This is the Second Reading of the Public Hospitals (Amendment) Bill, 1939. Under the Public Hospitals Act, 1933, Section 12, a specified proportion of the money derived from the sale of tickets can be applied to expenses incurred in the holding of a sweepstake, and while the proportion so applicable has been found sufficient, the promoters of sweepstakes have represented to the Government that a sudden change of circumstances might render the provisions in the Act of 1933 totally inadequate. To meet such a contingency it is proposed to establish a reserve fund. The sweepstake committee and the promoters whom they engage to conduct the sweepstake on their behalf must in the ordinary course incur heavy expenses a considerable time before money is received from the sale of tickets for a sweepstake.
It is, therefore, considered desirable to establish a reserve to meet expenses that would not be fully covered by the percentage of receipts from the sale of tickets fixed by the Act of 1933. The reserve fund will be allowed to accumulate until it reaches £250,000, and when that limit is reached there will be no further accumulation. Any interest or dividends that accrue will be transferred to the Hospitals Trust Fund. The reserve fund will be in the hands of the Hospitals Trust Board, and no payment will be made out of it unless the Minister is satisfied that the expenses cannot be met owing to an emergency that could not have reasonably been foreseen by the committee. It will take some time before the reserve fund reaches the limit fixed, that is £250,000. If it happens that the reserve fund is insufficient, payment of the expenses to such extent as may be necessary can be made out of the Hospitals Trust Fund on the direction of the Minister.