National Lottery Bill, 1986: Committee and Final Stages.

Question proposed: "That section 1 stand part of the Bill."

I should like an explanation for an extraordinary phrase on the definition of a "lottery game". One gets the impression that somebody dug out the broadest possible definition. The Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956, appears to better represent a healthy public attitude to the whole area of gambling in the sense that it does permit it but it permits it as, at worst, a necessary evil or, at best, something that can be indulged in but with considerable limitations. It has a definition of gaming as meaning "playing a game whether of skill or chance or partly of skill or chance for stakes hazarded by the players". It goes on to define a lottery as including all competitions for money or money's worth involving guesses or estimates of future events or of past events, results of which are not yet ascertained or not yet generally known. What we are actually going to have is a definition of a lottery in the 1956 Act and a definition of gaming in the 1956 Act which mean one thing and a defintion of a lottery game in this Bill, which means something completely different.

What troubles me is not so much the legal nicety, but the breadth of the term involved here. While only one licence can be issued at any one time, according to my understanding of the Bill, any number of forms of lottery games could be introduced by the licensee. It would not necessarily be one single game; we could have ten, 15 or 20 different things all going on at the one time, all swamping the nation in a morass of something that traditionally is looked upon with the same healthy scepticism that the consumption of alcohol is looked upon, something that can be tolerated in small measure but which is extremely dangerous if we get carried away with it. What we seem to have written in here is the broadest possible definition to allow the broadest possible usage of this national lottery by whoever gets it, in as many ways as possible. I agree that it is subject to certain constraints, particularly ministerial approval, but nevertheless the term "lottery game" as defined means "any game, competition or other procedure in which or whereby prizes, whether money prizes or otherwise, are distributed by lot or chance among persons participating in the game, competition or other procedure".

It is an extraordinary wide ranging term and it has to be taken in conjunction with the broad exemptions that are given in section 32, when in a one and a half line section all of the restraints society has imposed on the holding of lotteries are swept away. This new lottery is a whole new creation, entitled to do all sorts of things and with a definition which is broader in sweep than anything contained in previous legislation. I should like to know is there a specific reason for this breadth or is it one of these catch-all phrases thought up in the hope that it would embrace the broadest possible number of activities which could be regarded as revenue raising. As I said on Second Stage, I do not want to become the moral conscience of the nation. This country is more than awash with moral consciences as it stands and I do not want to add myself to the list of people guarding the morals of the nation.

I do think society has an obligation to confront moral issues, not just in the areas where it feels safe confronting them, where traditional morality has a very rigid meaning, but in all areas where human values and morality are called into question. The first place it is called into question is in this extraordinary definition of a lottery game. I would like to hear the Minister's view on this.

What is important to bear in mind is the fact that, under section 28, there is a provision whereby the company shall, in relation to each lottery game comprised in the national lottery, prepare and submit to the Minister a scheme setting out the rules of the game. Any suggestion that there will be a free for all in this area is without foundation.

On the definition, essentially this is only indirectly related to the definition of lottery in the 1956 Act. In effect, it is a definition which is broadly designed to cover the type of games that are proposed; but, of course, allowing some margin for flexibility in case that some variations of same become sensible alternatives in years to come. What is proposed initially are two types of games. The first, hopefully, launched late this year, will be an instant game cum draw. The tickets will have rub-off symbols similar to the promotional games operated by the petrol companies. The second game, lotto, will be added at a later stage and will involve more preparation. The preparation will involve the installation of about 400 or 500 data input terminals on line to the lottery's computer in sales locations throughout the country. Broadly speaking, the definition has been devised to cover, in particular, those two games and as I mentioned earlier, of course, with the possibility of some variant thereof emerging in the light of experience.

It is necessary to have a reasonably broad definition because it would not be very sensible that if a variation was proposed by An Post in three year's time for very sensible reasons and a new scheme of rules presented to the Minister that the Minister, for some very technical reason, would have to come back to the House because the initial definition was too narrow. From the point of view of the protection of the public interest, we have, firstly, a subsidiary of a semi-State body, operating the lottery and, secondly, we have the residual control with the Minister.

I mentioned one section under which a scheme of rules has to be submitted for approval to the Minister, but there are many other provisions in the Bill permitting the issue of directions by the Minister if he is concerned about a particular aspect. The fact that the definition is expressed in somewhat broad terms is sensible.

Since the Minister talked about the public interest, having had an opportunity over the last week to read about the operation of lotteries my view is quite simply that in the public interest this whole thing should be scrapped. But since we cannot do that at this stage, one has to do one's best to make sure, first, that we know what we are dealing with and, second, that what we are dealing with is clearly defined. Given some of the catch-on phrases that the Minister has provided to make sure that this works as he desires it to work, any extra ambiguity is worrying, to say the least. I do not see anything in the definition of lottery game which is not included in the definition of gaming in the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956. The Minister has conceded the point I made: that it is a very broad definition. It is at least broad enough to incorporate new concepts of gaming that are not currently practised or permitted in this country. It depends on the good sense and the view of the Minister of the time, whoever he may be, to ensure that we do not have a multiplicity of games being operated by the one company. The only thing that is restricted is the licence. We are giving one body a monopoly to run as many lotteries as the Minister permits it to run. Given the pressures on people, is it not arguable that we will have a series of local-type lotteries being generated by the same body who run the national lottery to raise funds for desirable local causes?

The Minister, like myself, knows that this House and the other House are made up of people of the same level of integrity as the rest of Irish society, which is by and large reasonably high. It is not made up of saints and neither is the other House. Therefore, if pressures are to surface and if we have a very broadly based definition, we are liable to have temptations to extend these activities more and more. Since I am more convinced that there are moral questions that have not been addressed, not to mention questions that have not been answered, it is regrettable that the definition should be as broad as that, particularly in the light of the later section which simply dismisses the whole regulation that society has imposed in this area of activity up to now.

Perhaps unintentionally Senator Ryan may be a little partial to the Government from the point of view of the moral aspect. I do not think he intended to convey the impression that this aspect was in anyway ignored by the Government. I do not want to get into a Second Stage reply because this aspect was raised on Second Stage. We have looked at the operation of this type of gaming in other parts of the world. We have looked at reports from other parts of the world. We are satisfied from the reports that are available that we are embarking on what is regarded elsewhere as a harmless form of legalised gambling. On Second Stage I mentioned the recent UK Home Office study on gambling generally. This concluded that there was evidence to show that lotteries and pools which provided a natural limit to participation "are unlikely to be a significant potential danger to the participant". I would like to put on the record that these aspects were looked at before we launched the proposal for a national lottery.

I indicated that the national lottery was drawn up generally to cover two types of lottery games that are proposed. It was also to allow some margin of flexibility in case it is necessary or desirable to introduce some variant thereof. At the same time the definition prescribes that any such game or competition must involve prizes which are distributed by lot or chance. Even within the definition there is a restricting factor. This is the appropriate kind of definition bearing in mind the type of lottery games that are proposed.

I do not want to join in a discussion on the definition of lottery. I agree with almost everything that Senator Ryan said, but there is no point in going into a Second Stage debate. There are other sections of the Bill on which I will be expressing similar views.

On section 1 the Minister defines the national lottery as any lottery game. Why did he not say a national lottery? The national lottery means any lottery game or combination of lottery games. Surely what we are talking about is a national lottery. He states that he is establishing two different types of games. One is a kind of an instant game and the other a lotto game. How can he say that there is just one thing called the national lottery? I do not understand that. One of the problems with this Bill is that it is very hard to understand. When we come to some of the other sections I would like some of the Members to explain to me what they mean. I do not think anybody in this House or the Minister without assistance, could possibly understand it. It is obscene how difficult it is. This complicated type of legislation can give rise to a situation where we read problems into things that do not exist. Can the Minister explain why it is not defined as the national lottery?

On that point, section 3 provides that the Minister may grant a licence to a person authorising the holding on behalf of the Minister of the national lottery. Not more than one licence under this subsection shall be in force at any time. Therefore when we are talking about national lottery we are talking about the national lottery which has been authorised under section 3.

Question put and agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 2 stand part of the Bill."

Will the Minister explain what subsection (2) means? It states:

The Minister shall have all such powers as may be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the holding by him of the National Lottery and the provisions of this Act shall, as respects the National Lottery if and when it is held by the Minister, apply and have effect with any necessary modifications or adaptations in relation to the National Lottery if and when it is so held and to the Minister as they apply and have effect in relation to the National Lottery held by the Company and to the Company.

The Minister is being authorised to hold the national lottery if he wants to. It is a jumble and nobody could understand it. What idiot drafted that?

with any necessary modifications or adaptations in relation to the National Lottery ... as they apply and have effect in relation to the National Lottery held by the Company and to the Company.

Who drafted that? What idiot drafted it?

It has been one of my experiences here over the last number of years to be continously told that the parliamentary draftsman says this, or that. This is almost a fiat from on high which we humble peasants are not supposed to question. Yet, we have been presented here, as Senator O'Leary rightly says, with a load of gobbledygook. Whichever person, under the august title of parliamentary draftsman, drafted that section should resign on the spot. That is gobbledygook of the first order, written in such a way as to mean I think, the Minister can amend legislation by decree if he finds that he cannot work within the legislation. I think that is what it means.

No, it does not mean that; there is another section for that later on.

Perhaps he is just starting in that direction at this stage. Quite definitely there is something in there that a reasonably ordinary lay brain like mine cannot understand and a quite sharp legal brain like Senator O'Leary's cannot understand. I hope that the Minister's presumably sharp legal brain can now explain it to us in simple English.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Before calling on the Minister — I can see by the commencement of this that we are in for a long hot night — I would ask Senators not to make any reference to anybody as an idiot.

I said it only because — I knew it was nobody present and that nobody would claim authorship — I was quite safe in making a general reference. I am sure it just happened by mistake.

I have to say that I completely stand over the efforts of the parliamentary draftsman in relation to this subsection. We are talking about a technical provision in the event of the Minister having to hold the lottery under section 1. The general idea is that the Minister will issue a licence to an authorised body, as we intend to, like An Post. But there is a provision in the Bill that the Minister can directly hold the lottery. In that situation we need some cover for the operation of the lottery by the Minister. This is a technical provision which, in that event, applies the provisions of the Bill — which otherwise legislate for the operation of the national lottery by licensee under section 3 — to the Minister when the Minister, rather than the licensee, holds the lottery. If the Senator reads the subsections carefully he will find that that intention comes through very clearly. I prefaced my remarks by saying that this is a technical provision. This is not the intention at all but it could arise in certain circumstances. In those circumstances, while the Bill is drawn up generally on the basis that the operation will be run by a licensee, we need to apply those provisions to the fall-back situation if the Minister were to be running it himself. I would feel that those Senators who made not very complimentary remarks about the draftsman might now withdraw those remarks. I do not think they are quite fair.

Would the Minister explain what the words mean? That is all I want the Minister to do. I do not want a lecture from the Minister as to what I should or should not do. Would the Minister tell us what it means. It is his Bill, it is not mine. Would he tell us what it means.

Can somebody explain to me under what legal principle this whole subsection has to be contained in one sentence? Is there a legal principle which says that things have to be made excessively complicated by putting in about half a dozen subordinate clauses? I do not understand why, if something is as complicated as this, it should be expressed in one sentence only. The rest of us have been taught and have had it drilled into us by various means, fair and unfair, that long complicated sentences with a whole host of subordinate clauses guarantee confusion, guarantee that people will not understand what you are saying. Can somebody explain to me why, under some obscure principle of drafting, the way to do it is to put it all in one sentence. It seems to me that a series of simple sentences could say exactly the same thing and we would understand them. The Minister just said what it was intended to do. Why could the subsection not be written in the same simple English instead of this long sentence with God knows how many subordinate clauses? I stand over what I said, that if that is the skill of parliamentary draftsmen then we could do without them.

There is an old saying — perhaps it is a new one — that for every complex problem there is a simple answer which does not work. I am not one to discuss the merits or demerits of draftsmanship. I understand that it is a career which involves very extensive training. Not having gone through that training I cannot really comment on it. It seems to me, having carefully read this subsection, that it clearly expresses what we want it to express. We want to give the fall-back powers to the Minister in the event of his having to run the lottery direct. The subsection clearly does that. I am not sure that anything much would be gained by a discussion as to how it is put together by the parliamentary draftsman. It seems quite all right to me. On Senator Brendan Ryan's point as to whether it is usual to have subordinate clauses all in one sentence or broken up into separate sentences, I am not an expert. From my point of view what is important is that, in relation to the instructions which are issued to the parliamentary draftsman, he comes back with a wording which effectively puts into writing what we want. That is what he has done in this case. I will not enter into any hassle with Senator O'Leary except to say that his comments are perhaps a little unfair.

Question put and agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 3 stand part of the Bill".

Am I right in saying that in subsection (1) (a) the reference to "a person" may mean a company or it may mean a person? If I am right in that — and I think I am right — would the Minister explain the meaning of subsection 7 because it is very important. This is not just a drafting point. This is much more important. Subsection 7 reads:

A licence shall be in writing and shall be expressed to authorise a company, being the licensee or a subsidiary of the licensee or in a case where the licensee is not a company, a company which, if the licensee where a company, would be a subsidiary of the licensee, to hold the National Lottery on behalf of the Minister.

It is quite clear what is in mind. It is proposed to grant a licence to a company. That company will be authorised to operate the lottery or, alternatively, have a subsidiary company which is operating the lottery. That is quite understandable and I accept its merit. It is also envisaged that it is possible that an individual will be appointed as licensee and that that individual will operate through a company. It then goes on to say that if an individual is appointed and the company operates, the relationship between the company and the individual must be the same as between a company and its subsidiary. How could the relationships between an individual and a company be the same as between a company and its subsidiary? That is what it says. The Explanatory Memorandum says, in brackets at the end of the explanation of section 3:

In circumstances where the licensee is not a company, the relationship between the authorised company and the licensee will be that of a subsidiary company to its holding company.

In other words, what is being said is that you can appoint an individual, and he can use a subsidiary company, provided the relationship between him and the subsidiary company is the same as that between a holding company and a subsidiary. How could you have a situation where the relationship between an individual and a company which he owns is the same as the relationship between a holding company and a subsidiary company?

In relation to subsection (1) the licence may be granted to a person but under the Interpretation Act "person" includes "company". That clarifies that point. The purpose behind the provisions of subsection (7) and of section 10 is to ensure that the lottery is run by a corporate entity within the Companies Act and should have as its sole function the operation of the national lottery. Irrespective of who gets the licence, whether it is an individual or a body corporate, the lottery must be run by a company whose sole function is to operate the lottery. Here we are talking about the subsidiary of An Post.

If in the future a licence were to be given to an individual rather than to a company, the subsection provides that the relationship between that individual and the authorised company should mirror the relationship between a holding company and a subsidiary. My understanding of a definition of a subsidiary company — an perhaps Senator O'Leary who is rather an expert in the company law area may be able to assist here —is that the holding company has to hold more than 50 per cent of the shares of the subsidiary. The effect of this subsection is that, if the licence were issued to an individual, to mirror the relationship between a holding company and its subsidiary that individual would have to own more than half of the normal value of the equity share capital of the authorised company.

If that is the case, why did we not say that? That would have covered that point. The Minister might be aware that it is not a simple matter of saying because you own more than 50 per cent you are a subsidiary. There is a 50 per cent subsidiary, there is a 75 per cent subsidiary and there is a 90 per cent subsidiary — all different subsidiaries recognised for different purposes under law. It is not just one subsidiary; there are subsidiaries and subsidiaries within the Companies Act and within the Finance Act. It is not clear which one of these it is intended to apply to. I have no objection to what the Minister said. I agree it should be run by a corporate entity. I do not disagree with what the Minister is seeking to achieve there, but it does not make it clear. Where he wants to appoint a licensee, what he is saying is that the licensee must be in a relationship with a company as if it was a holding company and a subsidiary relationship. That obviously begs the definition of what kind of subsidiary they are talking about in the first place. If all he meant was that the licence holder must hold more than 51 per cent of the authorised share capital of the company, he should have said that instead of going into these extraordinary situations where a licensee must in relation to a company be in the same position with its company as a company would be to its holding company.

I would not pretend to be such an expert on company law, as Senator O'Leary. My complaint is rather similar to that of Senator Brendan Ryan in that I think this is being made unnecessarily complicated. I, too, can see and understand why in section 10 the Minister says that it should be only a company running this lottery and I see the reasons behind that. If that is so, why do we have to go into the complications of section 3 (7) at all? Why not just issue the licence to the company that is running the lottery? Why go into this business of the company being a subsidiary of the company? We can say it is going to be a subsidiary of An Post but then the licence should be issued to the subsidiary. Why envisage a situation at all where the lottery is run by a person who has a sort of subsidiary company? Even leaving aside the difficulties raised by Senator O'Leary, why not just issue the licence to the company that is running the lottery? If you have a person who is owning, say, 51 per cent or 76 per cent or 91 per cent of the shares of this company, then basically it is the person who is running the lottery because the person owns the company. We are thereby in a way undermining to some degree the provisions of section 10 which envisage only a company doing it. We do not want to get into the situation where a person, whether it is an individual or a person who owns the majority shares in the company, is running a national lottery of this type. The simplest thing to do is to amend subsection (7) to say that the licence is to be issued to whatever company is actually running the lottery, whether it is a subsidiary of another company or whether it is a company that is partly owned by somebody or whatever. I really do not understand why we need to have all these complications.

That might not appear very significant in the remaining scheme. Members might look at what we will be discussing later on, namely section 14 which says how the directors of the company are going to be appointed. It has two different provisions. It has a provision in subsection (2) that the directors shall be appointed by the Minister. That is fair enough. That could be the normal situation. It also provides in subsection (3) that if and whenever one person is the holder of more than one half in nominal value of the total issued shares he shall appoint four of the directors. That is to cover a situation, presumably, where a person is in a position where he is the licensee and has a subsidiary company, a company which is in a subsidiary position to himself, if such a thing can exist; he must own more than 51 per cent of the shareholding and then as a result of that he appoints four of the directors. Does the Minister envisage that an individual is going to get the licence and, if he does, who is this individual to be? Is he to appoint four of the seven directors? I know the Minister's approval is required. I understand all that and we will come to a discussion on that later. The suggestion made by Senator McGuinness is perfectly reasonable. Why do we not have a company set up and give a licence to the secretary of the company on behalf of the company, if we must give it to the individual, and just do the job that way? Why all this unnecessary complication? I do not understand it.

What we are talking about is establishing legislation which is enabling legislation, but we have to be aware of the facts. The Government have decided that a subsidiary of An Post will run this lottery and will get a licence for ten years. That is the practicality of the situation. We have to bear in mind that a different situation could arise in ten years. We also have to bear in mind the kind of submissions that were made by different individuals and consortia bidding for this licence. The licence will be granted to a subsidiary of An Post. In ten years time, would it not be proper that the Government of the day should not have their hands tied, that they could look at all the options again as this Government looked at the various bids that were made in relation to the start of the lottery? That is the reason for this kind of provision.

A number of the bids were not made by corporate bodies; they were made by groups. We want to be in a situation, in the unlikely event that the licence of An Post would not be renewed and the question would be opened up again, that the Government of the day should have the same flexibility and freedom of manoeuvre as we had in granting the original licence. That is the reason for this kind of provision. It is only proper when we are establishing enabling legislation that this is what we should do. If we just push everything into one narrow channel it does not give the flexibility that may be necessary in time to come to the Government of the day when the licence will come up for renewal. It is absolutely unlikely under the provisions of the Bill that the licence will be revoked but the Government of the day at that time must have the flexibility to deal with the situation and not have their hands tied and thus not have freedom of manoeuvre.

I understand the Minister does not want to be tied to a subsidiary of An Post in the future. One of the groups that sought the licence was the Rehabilitation Institute. If the Government were going to give control to the Rehabilitation Institute they would not appoint one named individual in the Rehabilitation Institute. If they were not a corporate body themselves, the Government would get them to set up some kind of a company and would appoint the company under the care, control and management of the Rehabilitation Institute. I would consider it grotesque to appoint one named individual to run the national lottery, but this is what the Minister is suggesting.

The Minister is saying, quite rightly, that the lottery should always be run by a corporate entity but he is not taking the next logical step and saying, therefore, the only people he will actually appoint are corporate entities. It seems to be that the same corporate entities who are actually going to run it should be appointed as licence holders. If it is necessary to appoint the secretary of that company that is understandable but that is not what is being done. The suggestion is that, if at any time in the future the Government want to move outside the corporate sector, they may want to appoint an individual and they would force that individual to establish a limited liability company who would operate through that company. It appears to me it would be a lot more sensible for the Government to say the lottery would always be operated by a corporate entity and that they would only appoint corporate entities. What is wrong with that? Why do you want the flexibility of appointing individuals?

There are two things involved in this, one of which Senator O'Leary has not mentioned. It appears that we could effectively privatise the entire operation of the national lottery without any great difficulty because of the way this is written. As the Minister said, if for some reason the licence was revoked, one individual could be asked to take it over. Why do we have to wait until after an individual is granted a licence before the Government will be told who are the four people he proposes to name as the majority of the directors of the company which will run the lottery? It seems to me that it would be in the interests of good government and of proper knowledge that the Government should know in advance who it was that a private individual proposed to put in the company or to name as directors of a company which was to run something as sensitive as a national lottery.

I do not think something as sensitive, important and central as a national lottery should be run by a private individual. There is an issue of fundamental principle involved. We are probably running around looking for the mythical entrepreneurs who do not exist anyway but that is not an issue I want to pursue too much. I do not understand why we cannot insist that anybody who wants to apply to run the national lottery must in the first place set up a company. It does not cost that much money to set up a company, and to name the directors of the company in advance. If people want to run something on the scale of a national lottery and they are not prepared to stump up the cash to set up a company to apply for the licence, they are not the sort of people who should be considered for running a national lottery.

There are two points here and one is the question of the directors. We will be coming to that on a later section. It quite clearly specifies that directors, even if nominated by a company, cannot be appointed without the consent of the Minister. There is the control there. We are talking here about the distinction between the licensee and the actual running of the lottery. The provisions we are talking about permit that kind of scenario in all situations. I do not want to go into any details of those who were bidding for the lottery. Let us take an hypothetical example of perhaps a group of charities who would have trustees and who would be interested in running the national lottery. This Bill, when enacted, would enable the Government of the day in that situation to grant a licence to a nominated person on behalf of that group of charities. There might be a number of those charities. The actual running of the lottery would be by a separate corporation or a separate company.

We are talking about enabling provisions. We are talking about a situation where the decision has already been made. Immediately this Bill is on the Statute Book the necessary steps will be taken to appoint a subsidiary of An Post. It would not be proper merely to put into the Bill the necessary enabling sections to allow us to follow that road. This is what we intend to do now, but in the future the necessary flexibility should be there to enable the Government of the day to have all the options open, as they were to us when we were coming to the decision in relation to An Post.

I get the impression that the Government, as this legislation is drafted, are encouraging sloppy thinking and sloppy activities on the part of people who could apply for a licence to run the national lottery. Why can they not be required to fulfil proper legal requirements, like setting up a separate company, before they apply for the licence rather than wait until afterwards? There may be legal obstacles in the way, and if there are I would be very interested to hear about them. More and more I get the impression that legislation is being drafted as far as possible to avoid that great horror of horrors, which is, that the Minister might have to come back to the Oireachtas and explain himself. We seem to be getting to the position where the executive want the maximum possible flexibility and the minimum possible accountability to the one body to which they are accountable, the Houses of the Oireachtas. As one who will probably never have much chance of being part of the Executive, I am particularly sensitive to that. We regularly see this with tail ends of legislation. Rather than draft something which could have a particular meaning, we have something which could have any possible meaning given changes of policy and personnel in the future. I still do not understand why we cannot insist that anybody who wants to apply for a licence to run the national lottery should not first set up a company, with named directors, in advance so that the State would know to whom the licence was being given. I appreciate that it is apost hoc right of approval by the Minister, but that is not as good as knowing in advance, as it restricts the breadth of the decision that can be taken.

I would like to think I had the same interest in the functioning of parliamentary democracy as Senator Ryan. I would see the Oireachtas having an entitlement to discuss the operation of the lottery in the same way as it would have been entitled to discuss the operations of any other matter in the national interest. The Bill provides that annual reports have to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas. There are other provisions in both Houses whereby these reports, or any major aspects of them, can be discussed; but that is different to providing enabling legislation.

I do not know if Senator Ryan is aware of the rather complicated procedure that is involved in putting legislation through the Houses but, as I see it, it behoves us in the establishment of the national lottery and in bringing before the Houses enabling legislation, to provide for various eventualities. This does not in any way preclude the House from discussing the operations of the lottery in years to come. Suffice it to say that it is not an easy matter to be running back to the Houses of the Oireachtas on small technical points as they arise. It is incumbent on a Government to cover as far as they can various technical possibilities when the enabling legislation is brought before the House. Let me emphasise that it is certainly not the intention of Government to restrict in any way the Houses of the Oireachtas having debates in the future; that option will always be there.

It is interesting to hear the Minister try to visualise what might happen in ten or 12 years' time. We find ourselves year in year out trying to correct what happened the previous year or the previous month. It is interesting to hear the Minister say what he sees will happen in a ten year period before problems arise. In the granting of a licence to a subsidiary of An Post, will the Minister seek to control advertising and the remuneration to the subsidiary arising from the operation of the lottery? While we are concerned that the lottery will be a success — and there are many competing needs for it — one of our fears is that it will have a detrimental effect on existing voluntary and other organisations. Does the Minister seek to control in some way the capacity to advertise which would leave smaller units around the country at a disadvantage?

There were two points raised in Senator Smith's question. There will be an agreement with An Post on a cost framework. There have been very substantial discussions on this and the broad outline of this agreement has been settled. I do not think it appropriate at this stage to go into detail, but essentially there is broad agreement, which we feel is satisfactory and fair.

On the question of advertising and the voluntary and charitable bodies holding periodical lotteries we went into this in considerable detail on Second Stage. We also have an amendment to a later section in regard to advertising, and we will have an opportunity then of looking at the advertising situation of the subsidiary of An Post in the context of that amendment. In an effort to improve the situation of the voluntary bodies we have lifted the present restrictions on advertising imposed by the 1956 Act. In relation to the national lottery, I would anticipate that it will be run on a commercial basis and advertising will be part of that commercial operation. We will go into it in more detail on the amendment on that specific point.

The section reads:

The Minister shall not grant a licence to a person unless he is satisfied as to the suitability and competence of the person to hold, or, as the case may be, procure the holding of the National Lottery.

Does this mean that there will be some financial criterion under which a licence can be granted? How will competence be adjudicated? What penalties can be imposed if somebody who is supposed to be suitable is deemed not to be suitable? I would like the Minister to look at subsection (7). To me it is gobbledegook, and I would like him to put it into plain English.

A licence shall be in writing and shall be expressed to authorise a company being the licensee or a subsidiary of the licensee or, in a case where the licensee is not a company, a company which, if the licensee were a company, would be a subsidiary of the licensee, to hold the National Lottery on behalf of the Minister.

That point has been discussed to some extent already. It is proper that there should be a duty on the Minister to ensure that the licensee will be competent and capable of doing the job. Obviously, all necessary checks will be undertaken and every effort will be made to ensure that that is the case.

The mafia will be the most competent of all.

I think Senator Lanigan might be a little unfair to An Post. He did not find it necessary to engage the services of that organisation.

Where would their competence show?

This is an administrative matter. Going by experience to date, I would suspect that detailed submissions would have to be made and all queries raised would have to be fully and satisfactorily replied to before there would be any question of giving serious consideration to any contender. Even after a tentative decision was reached, very detailed and substantial discussions would have to take place between the officials of the Minister and the prospective licensee to ensure that the national interest was looked after properly. That is only proper. We have the enabling provisions here. There are many other provisions in this Bill for the protection of the public interest. There is the power of the Minister to issue directions and to revoke the licence within the period granted. We have been very anxious at all times to ensure that there are enabling provisions so that the public interest can be looked after the whole time.

We discussed subsection (7) earlier, but because of the enabling provisions which permit the possibility of the issuing of a licence to an individual with regard to the running of the lottery by a company, provisions had to be made to cover the necessary relationship between that individual and the company running the lottery. We are talking about a subsidiary and the relationship between the subsidiary and the holding company. If the licensee happened to be an individual he would have to hold more than 50 per cent of the shares in the company running the lottery. That in simple terms is the clearest explanation I can give on that.

Question put and agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 4 stand part of the Bill."

On section 4 (2), I would like to ask the Minister of State something which I know he will not tell me anyway. Can he give us some breakdown of where he envisages the other 60 per cent of the moneys received by the company will go? It is envisaged, that, taking one year with another, the prizes distributed shall be equal to not less than 40 per cent of the total moneys. What provision do the Government intend to make for profit for the operating company? In particular, what provision do they propose to make for advertising the moneys received by the company? Has he even a rough estimate on the breakdown of the other 60 per cent?

I would not like to mislead the House. Let me say that the 40 per cent for prizes is not, in fact, 40 per cent. It is at least 40 per cent. Therefore, particularly in the initial stages, that figure might go up to 50 per cent. Again, it is an enabling provision. The minimum must be 40 per cent.

The next part of the equation is the cost. Again, it is not possible to be absolutely specific on this, because to a certain degree the amount of the cost will depend on the annual turnover. There will be certain basic costs of the operating company. Those costs as a percentage of a small or medium turnover would be higher than as a percentage of a very big turnover. I do not want to appear evasive in any way, but again it is not possible to be specific on this. I do not think it appropriate to go into detail about the discussions between my officials and An Post, but generally we are talking about a cost recovery plus management fee basis with An Post. Therefore, I cannot be specific as to what that will work out at. As a percentage it will relate to how successful the lottery will be.

The third part of the equation — I hope I am using proper terminology — is the surplus we talk about in section 5. That is as fairly as I can put it. In certain circumstances it could be 40-20-40. In other circumstances the prize moneys might be higher and the percentage of the expenses could be lower. I cannot be very specific on this point.

If a private company were trying to persuade shareholders to become involved in a new venture like this I understand that they would have to make some sort of estimate of future profits in order to persuade their shareholders to become involved. No self-respecting shareholder in a private company would ever envisage a risk of the scale that might be involved in this being taken without some fairly hard and fast estimate of future profits. That is how I understand the private sector operates. Usually one of the virtues of the private sector that is paraded before us is that because of the emphasis on profitability there is less likelihood of pigs in pokes being purchased. Am I to take it that the shareholders in An Post, who are the people of this country, are not to be given similar estimates of profitability about a risk being taken by An Post; or is it that we know and are supposed to trust the Government to accept this on our behalf?

I am interested in two things. I am interested in the level of profitability and in the scale of advertising budget that will be available. What scale of advertising budget will they have at their disposal, given that we are talking about something of the order of £40 million or £50 million in turnover, as I understand it, or in moneys resulting from the sale of tickets in the lottery? We are talking about what would seem to be around £30 million to be allocated to promotion, profits, equipment, etc. Even if we can do it only in the plus or minus 10 per cent bracket, are we talking about an average budget of 5, 10, 15 or 20 per cent of total moneys taken by the company or profits in the order of 5, 10, 15 or 20 per cent of the total moneys received by the company as profits or as surplus, whichever one likes to call it? I appreciate that we are talking about rough estimates, but in a proper commercial environment we should not be talking in terms of rough estimates. We should have people with reputations and expertise in this area putting their reputations and expertise on the line by producing profit estimates. That happens in the private sector when people are asked to take risks. They get people who take considerable corporate and sometimes legal responsibility for profit forecasting. We should have the same thing in the case of something like this.

Going on the views that Senator Ryan expressed, let me ask the Minister a few questions. I fear that the profits arising out of this lottery will not be used in the best interest of the area I am most interested in, sport. When the prize money is taken could An Post take the remainder of the money because of excessive advertising costs or for administrative or organisational costs? Is there a certain definite percentage that An Post can take from the proceeds? It has been the experience with semi-State bodies that costs can run very high and we have seen that in the recent past. I would be reassured if I could have guarantees that there will be considerable funds available when all the expenses of running the lottery, including advertising, organisation and prize money, are taken from the fund.

We should try to estimate the likely income from the lottery. Figures between £75 millon and £100 million have been trotted out. However, on the basis of a total income of £100 million and assuming a 40 per cent payout in prizes, could the Minister give a rough percentage of the likely organisational and advertising costs for An Post or the subsidiary company?

It might be more realistic if I talked about the anticipated income in the first full year of the lottery's operation, which is estimated at about £40 million. About half of that would be earmarked for prizes and of the balance of £20 million about £10 million would be for costs and expenses and about £10 million for the purposes as defined in section 5. The figures indicate that the costs should be about 25 per cent but we are operating on a lesser figure, around 20 per cent. As the national lottery develops and the turnover increases the percentage of the total would be less. They are the figures for the first year and thereafter it is anticipated that more and more funding by way of surplus will be available for the purposes specified in section 5.

It would appear, therefore, that the fears expressed here and in the other House in relation to the sharp effect this is likely to have on other voluntary and charitable organisations have not been exaggerated because, while the Minister is talking about the initial stage and making sure it is a success, it seems that a 25 per cent of total take for organisation and advertising is out of this world compared to what competing agencies could consider. If that initial expenditure is necessary, the income arising from it is being totally underestimated and the overall effect will be to pay out a huge amount of money in organisation and advertising which would be very considerable if we had it for more deserving needs.

I am horrified that the Minister intends to organise a lottery with a turnover of £40 million in the first year. I could not support such a lottery. How many economically active people are there and how much would each of them have to contribute to get a total of £40 million? Is the Minister joking? How many people are in receipt of incomes here? One million? That is £40 for every person. The Minister can whisper all he likes but I can do my division as well as the next man. There are 3.5 million people and the Minister is talking about £11 or £12 a head. In other words, there are five in our house and the Minister is expecting us to pay £60 a year. I have news for him: he will not get 60p out of my house. If the Minister will not get 60p out of my house he will have to get a lot more than £60 from other houses. A lottery to the extent of £40 million could not be supported. The Minister is off his head. He has seven or eight children, does he know what is expected of him — £120 a year? I know the Minister is an extremely sensible man who will not spend £120 a year. Has anybody stopped and considered the implications for the poorer people because they will spend the money. Is the Minister joking? Perhaps he is talking about £4 million and slipped a nought in somewhere? The idea of having £40 million is totally unacceptable. I am not talking about the effect on other organisations. They can look after themselves. They will raise money some other way; they always have and they always will. That does not concern me. I assure the Minister that if he is thinking of running a lottery which in its first year will have a total of £40 million he is imposing a tax which I could not support.

I approach this section with trepidation. There is no doubt that it is another element of bureaucracy in which there is a major tax element. I will not go into the figures because they will not stand up. A sum of £40 million could not be generated in one year from a national lottery. I should like to know if the Minister has the figures from the tote for any one year over the last five years. The tote is well organised with regular gamblers. I would like to know what the turnover has been from that and what benefit has been derived from it.

The Minister's figures are extremely vague when it comes down to the cost of running this lottery. The only thing that is definite is that the take for sport and culture will not be a major element. The costs will be 60 per cent of the take. Whether that 60 per cent is taken up by salaries, wages, transport or advertising makes no difference. It just means that some advertising agency is going to have an absolute bonanza and there is no reason to believe that it will be otherwise. If this Bill goes through there will have to be a major effort made by some advertising agency on behalf of An Post to sell this lottery against every other lottery in the country whether they are for charity, sport or whatever. The main beneficiary in the first year will be the advertising agency.

Would the Minister give us an indication as to what percentage of the 60 per cent will be taken up in salaries? How much of the take will be given out in commission? In regard to the point made by Senator O'Leary, I sincerely hope that the Minister will get up and say that the noughts were placed in the wrong place. It might be a little like the official liquidator in London recently when an individual was up for a £600 million bankruptcy and the official liquidator suggested that there was little difference between that bankruptcy and any other bankruptcy; the only difference is that there is a larger number of noughts at the end of it.

This Bill purports to be a Bill to help sport. It was originally meant to help sport only. It has been extended now into the area of the arts and culture. But it would seem as if there will not be much money available as a result of this lottery for either sport or culture and I think that the Government, without the addition of what is in effect a tax on the poor — and it will be the poorer sections that will feel that there is money to be made out of this lottery and who will mainly contribute to it — should have looked at the possibility of providing more money for sport, recreation, amenities and cultural activities. I do not mind having a gamble. But this is not a gamble; it is another element of taxation and the benefits to the community will not be enough.

Again I would like to ask the Minister to expand on the take of An Post from the lottery. This is a very important point and as we are at that stage of the Bill it should be clearly defined here. I can visualise a situation arising where the Minister for Finance could say, when asked what profit the lottery made in any one year, that it made very little profit because An Post, because of very high costs, had to take 40 or 45 per cent of it. I would like to have some guarantee that there would be some restriction placed on An Post to ensure that their advertising and running costs would not be too high.

Going back to the fears that have been expressed by voluntary and charitable organisations as to whether they will be able to compete with a very high-powered, vigorous advertising campaign which is funded from the proceeds of the lottery, I doubt if they will.

I would earnestly ask the Minister to clearly state what he envisages. The Minister has mentioned a figure of 20 per cent. There is no guarantee that the figure will remain at 20 per cent. It is very important that we know for sure before this Bill leaves this House that the main beneficiaries will be in the areas as set out in the Bill, and not An Post.

I am very glad we have come to this issue of the income of the lottery because it is at the crux of the questions that we should be addressing that are central to this. I want to give the House a figure quoted from theToronto Star of Sunday, 7 October 1984 which stated that in 1983 Canadians spent 1.4 billion Canadian dollars on lotteries. I am not sure what the population of Canada is but I think it is probably around 50 million. It may be far less.

It is far less.

We will take 25 million and leave it at that. That is about seven times our population, and those are very crude figures. That means a country of our size would spend the equivalent of 240 million Canadian dollars on national lotteries. Senator O'Leary mentioned a figure of about £40 million. The £40 million is not an exaggerated figure. Spending seems to be compulsive when a national lottery gets going and this was recognised by the Canadian Government. InThe Toronto Star the Canadian Sports Minister stated that the Federal Government was getting out of the lottery business for good because the lotteries were a tax on the poor, perhaps even an immoral way of collecting taxes. He also said in an interview that there was no question that lotteries were an indirect taxation and that statistics proved that the lower income people spent a higher percentage of their income on tickets.

We are walking into that. Senator O'Leary mentioned £40 million and that is bad enough. The Canadian figures suggest that £40 million is not, in fact, an excessively high estimate. At a later stage I will quote other aspects of this article from authorities in Canada as to why people spend so much, and there are a number of reasons for it. It is true that what we are actually legislating for here is a form of taxation on the poor based on the sort of suffering the poor have and the need they have for some illusion of a possible escape from their own poverty. That is why poor people tend to spend large sums of money on a lottery; it is the only way out. The figures that have been quoted here, figures I am sure the Minister would insist are conservative first time off figures, are still excessive and, given that many of us will not be spending much, somebody is going to spend an awful lot of money on it. There is the questionable extent of advertising. The figure there would suggest that we will be talking about £2 million, £3 million or £4 million a year in advertising which is a massive advertising budget which will transform the content of advertising in this country because a whole new area of advertising will blossom. As Senator Lanigan quite rightly suggested some advertising agency will make a fortune. Radio Telefís Éireann will make a fortune, if they are allowed, and undoubtedly the newspapers will make a fortune. But they will make a fortune, on the international evidence, not from an evenly distributed few bob fluttered by everyone in the country but by a massive syphoning off of funds from people who by and large, according to international evidence, cannot afford it. The £40 million is bad enough. It is quite conservative and I believe it will end up nearer the figure of £100 million mentioned by Senator Smith. It raises again the fundamental question of the State being involved in issues like this.

A wide variety of points were raised here. I will attempt to tackle them in the course of my reply. Essentially I gather that some Senators have the view that the total sales of this lottery could not possibly run into the kind of figures we are talking about.

I am not saying they could not; I am saying they should not. There is a difference.

On the other hand, the theme from Senator Ryan and now supported by this comment from Senator O'Leary is that the figure should not be anyway high. We can only deal with the facts as we see them, based on the best assessment looking at the situation internationally. Having got the best advice, the figures I am talking about are the consequence of that process. Before I go into that, let me knock one thing on the head. Anybody who is talking about a tax when we are discussing a lottery is, I believe, talking about a totally different ball game. The establishment of a lottery has nothing to do with a tax. There is no compulsion on anybody to buy a lottery ticket.

There is no compulsion to buy cigarettes or drink, either.

Does the Senator call his pint of Guinness a tax? There is a tax element in it——

There is a huge tax element.

It is not just as simple as that.

I do not think anybody who is having a pint thinks like that.

He does. He feels he is paying tax.

He is enjoying the pint. However, let us not get into that.

The Minister led us into it.

Let us be clear about it. If we are talking about tax we are talking about a system where there is a requirement to pay. Here there is no such requirement.

In regard to the amounts projected, let me first reply to Senator Lanigan's point, to put the thing into perspective. I have not the figure for the current year, obviously, but I have the figure in relation to on and off course betting for 1983. That figure is £215 million and that will give the House a sense of perspective. As I mentioned earlier, lotteries are run in about 80 different countries. I am not saying that every country was looked at but quite a considerable assessment was done internationally, in a wide range of states in the United States and in a wide range of countries.

There was an examination of countries with different levels of population, different disposable income and so on. Based on that, the advices we received suggest that in the first full year of operation — I emphasise the full year — the turnover would be of the order of £40 million. Obviously, I cannot go beyond that. This is the best assessment that is available from the experts who have examined the situation internationally and got comparative figures. From that £40 million, depending on the level of prize money, we expect that there will be a surplus of about £10 million. Let me look at the different aspects of that £40 million.

Let me knock on the head, also, the quite unfair reference by Senator Lanigan, to costs of 60 per cent. There is a prize aspect which would be at least 40 per cent; it could be more. If you regard that as a cost, that is stretching it somewhat. Surely somebody who has a flutter in the lottery must have a reasonable chance of participation in the proceeds. I know that Senator Lanigan would perhaps not be averse to an occasional flutter himself, but if we are talking about prize money in relation to the total proceeds, we are talking about a virtually even money in regard to the pool of prize money, or almost even money — six to four. Obviously, the chance of the individual is very much smaller, but we believe there has to be a reasonable pool of prize money. This is as opposed to the charitable lotteries where the motivation, very largely, is support for the cause running the charity. Here we are talking about people having a flutter and, therefore, there must be a reasonable pool of prize money.

With regard to the cost factor, obviously there will be, in starting up, non-recurring costs and most Senators will accept that. Let me say that there was a number — around seven — of serious contenders who submitted detailed proposals and as a rough guideline virtually all the proposals were suggesting an expense and cost factor of the order of about 20 per cent. This is once the lottery is running. That is what we anticipate, but there initially would be non-recurring costs and obviously they have to be covered as well. Roughly, that is the order we are talking about.

There is no question of runaway costs under any heading. Detailed discussions have taken place between my officials and those of An Post and these have focussed on all the possible areas of cost, with various estimations and fairly tough negotiations. The House need not be concerned, if it is considered that a semi-State body should run this lottery, that there is any question of costs being allowed to run ahead of themselves.

On the question of advertising, we will be coming to that as a separate issue on Senator Ryan's amendment. I do not see how a new venture of this kind can become properly established unless there is proper promotion and advertising of the lottery. There will not be the surplus generated for the very worthy causes that we want to devote them to unless there is a sufficient turnover in the lottery. Perhaps I could be reminded of any specific point that is still outstanding that I have not covered. I have tried to cover the various points that have been raised.

Essentially, what I want to get across to the House is that this was not just a case of the Government sitting down and deciding to run a lottery, producing a Bill and rushing into the House with it. This has been going on over a number of years. This is referred to in the national plan, consultants were engaged and details of reports produced. The whole issue was examined very carefully and to some extent, on the other hand, we could possibly be accused of taking it too cautiously and too slowly. I note from my file that the official announcement of the Government decision goes back to October last. I want to emphasise that we have not rushed into this and that we have considered all the aspects. Both from the point of view of the enabling legislation and the administrative arrangement, every effort has been made to ensure that the public interest is protected as far as possible in every conceivable situation.

There was one point which some of my colleagues raised and which I would also like to raise on this section. The question was asked not only about how much the costs would be, but also what percentage profit would be allowed to whoever was the licensed holder for running the lottery. In one of his replies the Minister made a passing reference to a management fee which would be payable to An Post. A management fee is a nice way of calling it, just as calling it a flutter makes it sound much more harmless. It should be fairly carefully arranged and this House should be informed what kind of level of management fee or profit will be allowed to the person who runs this. After all, here we are talking about An Post but the Minister emphasised earlier that the legislation is to cover periods long into the future when we might be reconsidering this or, indeed, having it run by one individual who may own 51 per cent of the shares in the company running it. It is important to know what will be the gain to the person who is running this.

The Minister may say that this has been very carefully considered and so on, but, after all, it is the job of this House to tease out legislation and to criticise it however carefully the Government may have gone into it beforehand. That is all very well, but we are here to represent our constituents and the people of the country when discussing legislation. While it might not necessarily be correct to describe this as a tax at the same time this kind of lottery tends to be entered into much more by people in lower income groups than those in higher and more educated income groups. It is typical that Senator O'Leary is saying he, or his family will not spend money on this. I am quite sure I will not spend money on this, nor will my family, and, probably, Senator Ryan will not either. One has to take the example of something like bingo which can be a very great social evil. Many women of the lower income groups become totally addicted to bingo. They spend money which should be spent on food for their children on bingo.

This kind of national lottery can become a sort of addictive gambling for lower income groups. This is something that should have been said on Second Stage but, unfortunately, I was not able to get in to speak on Second Stage. I disapprove of the whole idea of us financing objects, however worthy, through national lotteries. I come from a background which disapproves of gambling as a social evil anyway, a background which involved the Adelaide Hospital refusing to benefit from the sweepstake because it was gambling. However good one's object may be one is getting into a situation where one is going to cause quite a lot of human suffering. I have seen this over and over again. In various cases I have dealt with I have seen, how much damage gambling can do to the family, perhaps even more damage than drinking.

Therefore, this needs to be very carefully controlled if we must do this sort of thing. I do not think it is in the national interest at all. Perhaps we should consider putting some kind of limit on the number of tickets a person can buy in any one lottery, or something to prevent poorer families spending too much money on it.

I should like to make a few points and also put some queries to the Minister. We should not get bogged down in suggesting that all the evils will fall upon the poorer sections of the community. Gamblers Anonymous say that the problems associated with excessive gambling go right across all income groups and social strata. We should not take it that only the lower income groups can be affected by this extension in the national gambling scene. People far above the lower scale of income have got themselves involved in gambling to the detriment of their families, and that will continue. This lottery will be another opportunity for people who are affected by the need to gamble excessively.

Will the Minister say if the seven or eight companies who made submissions to him costed those submissions? If they did not cost them, it would have been impossible for the Minister to come down on the side of An Post as against others in the field. When talking about the element of cost and profit, we must have had a costing done by An Post. Will the Minister say what element of advertising will be involved before this lottery takes place in the first year? There must have been a submission from An Post as to how much they intend spending on advertising. How many people do they intend employing and how much will they pay them? How much do they expect to spend on distribution, printing and so on? Having made the comment about the spread of gambling. I should like to ask the Minister how much will be spent by An Post to launch this lottery? How many people will be employed by them in the launch? How many people will be employed prior to the launch of the lottery? What is the estimate for the cost of printing and the distribution of tickets?

The Minister was putting the question of the revenue from this in perspective when he mentioned the total amount spent on off-course and on-course gambling. He mentioned the figure of £212 million, which means that what we are proposing to do is to increase gambling by 20 per cent in one fell swoop, according to the conservative estimates and I presume they are conservative. I again invite the Minister to address the question as to whether that is a good thing, whether the fact that well-recognised good causes will get a certain amount of money justifies a decision by the State to extend national expenditure on gambling by 20 per cent. I do not think even the Minister will suggest it will come from a redistribution of expenditure from one form of gambling to another. I suspect there is no provision in the estimates of revenue from betting tax this year which would reflect any presumption of such a transfer, nor will there be in 1987, I am equally confident.

We are effectively talking about an increase. Let us not fool ourselves about this £212 million. It works out crudely at £50 per person, £100 per adult. If one assumes that only about half the adult population are earning, it works out at about £200 per earner. That is a frightening sum of money. If one assumes that a larger percentage of earners do not gamble at all one is probably talking about the average gambler involved in gambling at present spending in the order of £300 to £400 a year on gambling. That is not small money; it is £8 per week. We are talking about increasing that expenditure further. In the light of the evidence available, we are talking about increased expenditure by those in our society who can least afford it.

As most politicians will say gambling and drink are the cause of greater marital disharmony than any other more fashionable subject. There are many other topics which are much more fashionable to talk about but drinking and gambling do more damage to family life than all the other things which all the moralists here would have us believe are destroying us. It is a matter of great regret to me that the moral guardians of this country have seen fit to remain silent on what is to me a far more serious moral issue than many of the issues they wax eloquent on. I have said that on a few occasions. Is the Minister happy that there is no question of morality involved in increasing gambling here by a figure of at least 20 per cent, which I am sure in future years will be much higher? There is a moral question to be addressed and I invite the Minister to address it.

We are perhaps reopening some questions that we addressed before but I am quite prepared to go into them again. I would say, particularly to Senator McGuinness, that there is no question on my part of any feeling of resentment about discussing the issues involved here. In fact, I welcome the interest shown by Senators. It is an indication that a House of the Oireachtas is keenly interested in public welfare. Even though I would not agree with some of the views presented I am quite glad to see them presented.

Going back to the morality of the situation, the contention that lotteries are a tax on the poor is based on the assumption that the poor or less well-off are the predominant participants in lotteries. Evidence available to us, in particular from the United States, while not conclusive, indicates the contrary, that the participation rate of the less well-off in lotteries is lower than their arithmetic share of the population generally. In so far as that evidence has any weight at all it tends to rebut the suggestion that the poor or less well-off are the predominant participants. Senator Lanigan made this point in relation to gambling generally. It is sufficient for me to say that it is not proper to jump to the conclusion and state categorically that lotteries are a tax on the poor. The evidence is sufficient to suggest that there should not be a categoric statement along those lines.

On the question of cost, we talked earlier about a framework which will involve cost recovery and a management fee. The cost framework has been the subject of very serious discussion and indeed heavy negotiation between my officials and An Post over a considerable time. Each of the items has been very carefully looked at and negotiated. The profit factor — we might call it that in so far as An Post is concerned — is related to the management fee. While I do not want to anticipate what, I hope, I will be arranging after the passage of the Bill and the completion of discussions and arrangements of licences and so on, I would anticipate that the management fee will be slightly over 1.1 per cent. This is roughly what I think may be the area about which we are talking. That is so that the House will have a general idea of the scale of the operation.

In regard to salaries, again this will be dependent on the two types of lottery games being operated. I cannot be exact, but we are talking about direct employment of the order of 50 to 60. Some final details will need to be tied up there. We are not talking about an extravagant gargantuan organistion gobbling up whatever moneys that are subscribed to the lottery. We are talking about a trim, cost-effective, commercially-orientated organisation which will run this lottery in the best and most cost effective manner possible so that we can have a good distribution of prizes and a surplus available for distribution.

The figures in relation to printing, marketing and so on have been the subject of discussion. The House will appreciate that it is difficult for me to say exactly what the cost of printing will be. If the lottery is very successful obviously there will be more printing costs in producing more tickets. From the point of view of cost, the documentation, tickets and so on that will be produced will be a major factor. They will have to be of a fairly sophisticated kind to make sure that everything is above board. Any figure I would give in that regard could be misleading. The objective of my officials in the discussions is to ensure that we will have a printing system which will be as foolproof as possible in the public interest. Taking that and taking all the necessary sophisticated modern methods into account, from the point of view of achieving that aim, it will be as cost effective as possible. You can be absolutely sure so far as I am concerned that that is the approach being adopted.

There is concern about advertising: an amendment has been tabled in that regard. Again, I have to reiterate that I do not see this lottery being successful unless there is advertising, promotion and marketing. There will be no surplus unless this lottery is sold. Anybody who thinks otherwise is not thinking of the hard business world we live in. I hope I have covered the various points that have been raised.

At this stage repetition is beginning to become apparent. Perhaps we could avoid it.

If we could get answers there might not be need for repetition of questions. I asked the Minister, how much money An Post included for advertising in their pre-lottery submissions. This might give us some idea as to the cost of advertising? The other question I asked was what amount of money it is envisaged will be involved in setting up the lottery to the extent of having the first set of gamblers or whatever. That must have been addressed. On the question of the sophistication of the tickets, I presume they will be printed in Ireland.

The Minister has been very vague on everything so far from the money point of view; we are getting percentages and projected figures. How much money is the Exchequer putting into the setting up of the lottery? I should like to have a breakdown of what An Post said they would spend on advertising and on marketing this lottery.

Let me be blunt in regard to those two questions. I will take the second question first because it is easier: how much money is the Exchequer putting in? The answer is nil. An Post will be involved in setting up the lottery, not the Exchequer or the Government.

How much are An Post putting in to start up the lottery?

The start up costs are anticipated to be of the order of £2 million. This will involve the provision of equipment, all kinds of machinery, the establishment of ticket stocks, arrangements for distribution and preliminary promotion. We are getting into all sorts of detail now. I would not see much point in heavy expenditure on funding advertising and promotion until the lottery is about to start. That does not appear to make commercial sense. On the other hand perhaps the advisers in this area might think differently. Certainly it does not make sense to me to spend money on promotion until one is starting up. I suppose there might be some modest amount spent shortly before the launching of the lottery. I do not have a separate figure as to exactly what is proposed. I do not even know whether a final decision on that has been made. Certainly it would not be a sufficient sum to warrant its being separately costed at this stage. They are the kinds of details that will be ironed out between my officials and An Post in the period between now and the commencement of the lottery.

The Minister's figures do not seem to add up at all. He is suggesting now that £2 million will be enough to put in a stock of tickets and to advertise and market. He suggests then that, before the lottery is set up, there will be no need to market. Surely the biggest need for marketing and advertising this lottery will be before the first lottery takes place? There will be ongoing advertising and marketing costs thereafter. But surely the ongoing marketing and advertising will not cost anything like the initial expenditure in that regard? To suggest that before initiating a new project one would spend only a minimal amount on advertising and marketing and thereafter a much bigger proportion is to suggest or ensure that, in this case, the lottery could not take off. The Minister says that costs of approximately £2 million will be involved in its establishment, which will include printing and building up of stocks of tickets and so forth. Then he suggests that the annual operation of the lottery will cost about £10 million. I do not think those figures add up. If the Minister is thinking of spending a minimal amount only on marketing and advertising beforehand, then I suggest that we might as well pack it up now because it will never take off.

If I revert to the Minister's figures for the United States, first let me say that in Ronald Reagan's America there is a large section of the poor who have no income, thanks to President Reagan's deliberate policy of crucifying them. Of the poor in the United States there are three million who are living on the streets, homeless with no income whatever. They do not count. To use statistics about the participation rate of the lower income groups in a lottery is to deceive oneself. It is the proportion of the income of lower income groups consumed in expenditure on lotteries which is the critical factor. There are hugh numbers — perhaps the majority of people who are poor — who make enormous sacrifices in terms of every pleasure that is available in life to look after their children. Therefore, there is a huge number of poor people who cannot afford to have a pint, go to a film or engage in any activity because their position is so bad. They have no discretionary income and they do not use any of their income on any of these discretionary activities. But the truth is that there is a large section of people, in Canada at least, among the relatively poor who spend a disproportionately large part of their income on this sort of gambling. That is the issue which has to be addressed, not whether there is some sort of global participation rate but the unacceptable fact that a large proportion of poor people in other countries appear to spend an unacceptably high proportion of their very small incomes on this sort of gambling. There are perfectly good reasons for it — the illusion of the prospect of immediate riches, although the odds are about a million to one against, is created by very sophisticated advertising.

On the question of advertising, the Ontario lottery in Canada spends 3 per cent of its income every year on advertising. In the case of An Post that works out here at about £1.2 million a year minimum. That is a large sum of money to inject into advertising. It will be a particularly choice plum for the advertising agencies. I must take issue with the Minister on his quoting figures from the United States, of all countries, about the participation rate of the poor, given that large sections of the poor go unrecognised by the Federal Government. One should pick a country with a decent welfare system like Canada. I quoted already what the Canadian Government thought about lotteries, that they were effectively a tax on the poor. I believe a reasonably benevolent welfare State like Canada far more quickly than I believe Ronald Reagan's United States.

If I might take the second point first, I respect Senator Brendan Ryan's outlook on this. I can only go on the available statistics, the research which we have undertaken and the objective conclusions which we have drawn therefrom. I understand Senator Brendan Ryan's concern for the poor. It is a concern which I share. Having talked about our investigation of the report from the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries, I can only say that I honestly do not see the lottery as a tax on the poor. The available evidence is that, because of the kind of lottery gains proposed, the possibilities of addiction seem to be quite remote. The evidence from other countries suggests that there are unlikely to be adverse sociological consequences.

Going back to Senator Lanigan's point, we are getting into a degree of administrative detail here. If we do that we have to be fairly clear as to what we are talking about. We can discuss figures, projecting ourselves into the future of the lottery in full operation and what the costs will be at that stage. But, of course, that will depend on how successful it will be. We are not at that stage yet. We are talking about startingab initio. Obviously there will be a somewhat higher level of costs initially because of the start up. I mentioned the general start up costs as being projected at around £2 million to cover a variety of expenses. Thereafter, there will be the recurring costs. There will be the normal costs of running any commercial operation; any of us could list those. There will be provision for staff, accommodation, telephones, etc. It will be a commercial operation and it will be on a basis of cost recovery, plus a management fee.

Senator Lanigan, who is no stranger to the business world, will accept that the higher the level of turnover the higher the costs will be, but they will be lower as a percentage of total turnover. Of necessity, we are talking of projections, but the House can be assured that my approach will be consistent with ensuring that we will have a viable, commercial operation by An Post, as cost effective as possible, with a reasonable level of prize money. I want to see as large an amount as possible available for the purposes specified in section 5.

This will be my last comment on the section. I can take it from the Minister's agreement with me that there is considerable uncertainty about the social implications of such a lottery, and therefore I take it he will accept my amendment when we come to it.

I think the Senator read more into my remarks than I had intended. I am afraid I have to advise the House that I do not anticipate the result Senator Ryan has forecast for the amendment.

Question put and agreed to.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 5, subsection (1), lines 8 to 13, to delete paragraph (a) and substitute the following:

"(a) the purposes of sport and other recreation, and in such amounts as the Government may determine from time to time: provided that sport shall receive not less than 50 per cent of the amount of moneys so applied under this section in any given year, and".

The reason for the amendments is because I fear that sport will not be a major beneficiary of the proposed lottery, though the concept of the lottery was to support sport. As a former sportsman and a physical education teacher the one great hope I had when I came to this House was that a national lottery would put sport on some kind of financial footing. It sorely lacks that.

I am afraid that, even with the national lottery, sport will still be the poor relation from the point of view of funding. The definition in section 5 is far too broad. The definition of recreation alone is very broad. I am glad to see so many sport minded Senators here tonight and they will know what sport is. However, it is very hard to define what recreation is. It can include library facilities, parks, and the promotion of chess. When we try to define national culture, including the Irish language, we get into a vast area. When we come to the arts — I am not familiar with the Arts Act of 1951 — we will find it is just as wide. The health of the community is referred to. This is boundless and indefinable. He would be a very wise man who could define clearly what is "the health of the community".

Paragraph (b) provides that the Government may at any time and in such amounts as they consider appropriate, decide on the allocation of funds towards whatever cause it may be. In times of recession like we are undergoing, there is a danger that a Government might isolate one cause, perhaps a hospital, and allocate the total amount of the funds available to that cause. The Government, by extension, could allocate funds to many causes that would have no connection with paragraph (a) and sport and recreation. We have been presented with a great opportunity to acquire the necessary funds to put Irish sport on such a footing that we could compare favourably with other nations.

When we look at Government funding for sport throughout Europe and in the UK, America and Australia, we should not even pretend to feel proud. This lack of Government commitment to sport here has continued over many years and it has been demonstrated in various ways.

With the creation of the post of Minister for Sport — we have had good Ministers in charge of sport such as Deputies Tunney and Seán Barrett — sport gained some form of respectability here. However, sport will never properly be promoted here and will never be developed as it is elsewhere, from the point of view of facilities and expertise, unless money is made available to back it. Here is an opportunity to ensure that sport will be adequately funded.

I have no opposition to support for our national culture or the arts, but we must find other ways of supporting them outside this Bill. I am suggesting that the definition should be narrow to include just sport and recreation. The effect of my amendments would be that 90 per cent of the money available would go to support sport and recreation, with sport getting 50 per cent of the fund available and the remaining 10 per cent going to other purposes. These would include national culture and the arts. In proposing the amendments I accepted the distinction between sport and recreation. I inserted the stipulation, however, that at least 50 per cent of the moneys should go to sport. Therefore, the allocation of moneys should be nudged in the direction of sport or sporting activities in view of the fact that recreation, by definition, is very wide. As I have already explained, it could include library facilities, provision of parks, promoting chess or other activities which we recognise as being recreational by definition. My main concern is that sport and recreation together should be allocated 90 per cent of the moneys collected under this section. Under the amendment, the remaining 10 per cent can be allocated for such purposes as the Government see fit. I am sure the Minister of State understands what I mean.

I hope Senators on both sides of the House will support the overall thrust of my argument, that is, for the first time in the history of this State we have an opportunity to provide a continuing source of funding for sport. On the question of the morality of such a lottery, there are other areas of gambling which are just as immoral. It is unfortunate that Senator Brendan Ryan is not here. If he is so opposed to this Bill on moral grounds, he must be a hypocrite. Why has he not been opposing horse racing, casinos or one-armed bandits which are taking the pennies out of the pockets of every youngster in this country? I never heard him mention once in this House that he was opposed to such activities.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Senator Deenihan, words are being used on this Bill that I do not like. I think you called Senator Brendan Ryan a hypocrite.

My apologies.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

I would never live it down if I let you away with that. Have you withdrawn that remark?

I have withdrawn the remark. What I meant was that Senator B. Ryan questioned the morality of this Bill which is far more protective of the public than gambling on race horses or in casinos or on one-armed bandits. I do not think this Bill is morally wrong, or that collecting money through a national lottery is in any way immoral. The Minister of State may not accept the amendments, but I would appreciate it if he could give a definite commitment to ensure that sport will be adequately funded from the proceeds of the lottery.

I support the amendments in the name of Senator Deenihan. When the national lottery was first mooted it was definitely stated that the proceeds would be used for sporting purposes. The money available from this lottery will be spent in other areas that can be funded at present in various ways. The concept of spreading this fund into the area of health worries me especially at a time when so little is being spent by the Government on health. There are enormous Government cut-backs on health expenditure. Sport can prevent illness. The more we spend on sport the better chance there is that fewer people will end up in need of hospitalisation or medical care. It has been proved that, as spending on sport rises, the need for very expensive medical services decreases. As Senator Deenihan has said, the definition of recreation is very broad. Recreation encompasses everything people do which is to their benefit and which is outside the ambit of their job. There is virtually nothing that could not be included in the sphere of recreation. It is very hard to say we should spend a larger amount on sport than on culture, particularly Irish culture. There is no doubt that not enough money is being spent by the Government on the promotion of Irish culture. But, since the initial thrust of the Bill was meant to be towards spending on sport, it should stay that way.

The State would benefit in having the bulk of the moneys spent on sport as it might take advertising out of sport. I have said time and again that we are hypocritical, — not in the sense of calling anyone a hypocrite, but in the sense that we as an Oireachtas are hypocritical — in that we stopped cigarette and tobacco advertising on Radio Telefís Éireann but we allowed a golf tournament to take place over four days and every single hour of each of those days we saw a cigarette company's name sprawled all over the television screen. RTE give an inordinate amount of time to motor sport. I am in the motor industry to a small degree. RTE give an amount of time to grand prix racing which to most people is a boring and loud event but which advertises the John Players Special and the Marlboro cars lap after lap, hour after hour. We have got to ensure that whether the sport be golf or motor racing cigarette companies, who are banned from the screen, are not the major funders of the sport. Golf organisers should be able to produce a four day event of international status here with moneys contributed by their own members, by the State and, if need be, by advertisers who are not selling death, as is the case at present. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it is disgraceful to see the advertising by cancer spreaders being used supposedly to help sport.

If one feels that sport receives enough money from the State one has only to look at Cork city sports which are being held tonight. Up to about eight weeks ago there were grave doubts as to whether or not Cork city sports could be held. I would like to compliment the Minister of State, Deputy Barrett, for giving a very good subvention to Cork city sports to enable then hold their events tonight. Because of problems with funding, this year Clonliffe will not be holding their major international event for the first time in years. It is no tribute to this country that an event set up by the late Billy Morton should fall by the wayside. A lot of people think that major sporting bodies such as the GAA and the Irish Rugby Football Union have funds galore and that there is no need for them to look for funding to provide the facilities in which they are involved. There is absolutely no doubt that these are the best at organising the collection of money and in organising the games in which they are involved, yet they are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up the standards that are necessary in the games and activities in which they take part. The moneys that central Government put into sport have been totally inadequate. We are not the laughing stock of the world when it comes to spending on sport but we are very close to it. Countries which are much less well off spend much more money on sport. That money is repaid a thousand fold in terms of the benefits of a healthier attitude towards life and in keeping down the cost of medication and the major financial costs of capital projects.

The case for the amendment has been well made by Senator Deenihan. The Minister should go along with the amendment. The initial reason for setting up this national lottery was to provide money which would be put into sport.

I listened with great interest to Senator Deenihan in moving his amendment and he made a very strong case for support for sport and recreational facilities. I do not disagree with him that it is important as a country with a young population that we promote both, but he failed to make the case he had to make in moving this amendment — the case for preferring sport and recreational facilities over the other objectives which are set out in section 5. These are the other important objectives in terms of the areas that are to benefit from moneys to be raised under this national lottery, namely, promotion of the national culture including the Irish language, promotion of the arts and promotion of the health of the community. If we are having a national lottery, and that is a policy decision, it is important that we decide on broad-based recipients for it, that we ensure that the results of it are available in a well thought out but, I emphasise, broad-based way. I do not see how Senator Deenihan is trying to make a case and a special pleading for sport in this regard. I listened very carefully and he did not seem to make that case. I could, I hope with equal eloquence, make a similar case for the importance of any of the other three areas selected, equally validly and I think equally convincingly. On that criterion alone I would favour the way in which section 5(1)(a) is set out since it allows for a broad-based range of purposes to which the funds can be applied.

Where I have more sympathy for Senator Deenihan's approach is in his attempt to ensure some limit on the scope of the Government discretion under section 5(1)(b). I do not share his view that this should be done with a view to preferring sport but in his second amendment, which is being discussed with his first amendment, he says that the moneys allocated under section 5(1)(b), should the Government decide to identify a purpose under that subsection, should not exceed in the aggregate 10 per cent of the amount of money. This leads me to raise a number of questions which, a Leas-Chathaoirligh, you may feel are more properly raised on the section but they arise from Senator Deenihan's second amendment. It seems to me strange to have a section so drafted that although there are defined purposes and they are set out there — sport and other recreation, national culture including the Irish language, the arts, within the meaning of the Arts Act, and the health of the community — these could all in effect be displaced by a decision of the Government for undefined, unnamed, unspecified purposes under section 5(1)(b).

I know this is a matter the Minister has been questioned on but I question him again. Why is there such an open-ended provision in subsection (b) of 5(1)? Why is there no restriction as to amount? What are the potential purposes the Government could possibly have in mind and am I correct in interpreting the section as it stands as meaning that the Government could in fact disregard entirely section 5(1)(a)? Could they disregard sport and recreational pursuits, the national culture, including the Irish language, the arts, the health of the community and decide instead to give it all to some other purpose that suddenly arose and was to be furthered under the proceeds of the national lottery? There is no limit on the amount, there is no limit on the scope, there is no pre-condition at all other than the very minimal pre-condition in subsection (2) where there has to be notice of the purpose published inIris Oifigiúil. How many of us read Iris Oifigiúil every week, how many of us would know even if it was published in Iris Oifigiúil? It seems to me that subsection (1)(a) and (1)(b) are framed in a very unusual way for the proceeds of the national lottery.

I am sympathetic to the thrust of Senator Deenihan's second amendment that there be a limit on the unspecified unnamed purpose, though I would not be of the view that it should all be allocated in a way that very substantially preferred sport and recreational facilities over the other named purposes. I think that those purposes should be preferred over the unnamed potential purpose, that it should be limited to not more than 10 per cent of the total to keep that under check. I would keep the spread of purposes without any limit on what could be allocated, in other words a certain amount of discretion in any given year to how the funds of the national lottery would be allocated. I would like further information and clarification from the Minister on this and for the reasons I have given I cannot support the main thrust of Senator Deenihan's amendment.

I would like to support the plea for the division of the money to help sport but I am not sure whether section 5 is sufficient in itself and I am sure the Minister will clarify that. We are all talking about sport. When the lottery was first mentioned it was in connection with getting support for sport. I think the other things are being put in as an offshoot. I agree with what is being said about the value of sport even though I have not got as many All Ireland medals as my colleague. I have not got any and I think I am over the age of getting one, but I have spent a lot of my time in promoting sport, athletics and GAA. I attended the Community Games last Sunday and saw the number of young children there and the parents as excited as if Santa Clause were coming for the first time. It is marvellous to see people involved in sport; they are so occupied and they have some interest instead of getting into mischief. I can see the potential for sport but I will not go over it because it has been mentioned already here. I am not so sure that I support the idea of 10 per cent or 90 per cent because you can get into a knot if you start tying things up in percentages. I certainly expect that the vast bulk of the money will be going to sport.

I also welcome the idea of supporting our own culture and all the activities that go with it, and I suppose sport can be included in that. I welcome the idea go mbeidh cabhair le fáil do athbheochan na Gaeilge, mar tá sé an-tábhachtach go mbeimid i ndáiríre má tá airgead againn le tabhairt amach go mbeidh airgead ar fáil don Ghaeilge freisin. Therefore, I do not want to say that sport is everything: our Irish culture and music also play a leading role in our lives and we should be seen to protect them.

In section 5 (1) (a) the Minister has endeavoured to disperse these funds over a fairly broad spectrum. In the course of my Second Stage speech I said that I did not want to pick out one particular area for special treatment. One can make the argument for sport and it goes beyond question that sufficient money is not being spent on providing adequate facilities in the general sporting area, particularly with such a large percentage of our population being so young. There are competing considerations and we have seen an upsurge of interest in historical, archaeological and other developments throughout the country which need to be encouraged. They are starved of finance and but for the voluntary activities and efforts of people who are personally concerned to help in this area we would have perhaps a dismal picture. Therefore, anything that can be afforded from the lottery as laid down under subsection (1) (a) is fairly acceptable.

However, the Minister in subsection (1) (b) puts a coach and four through the principle and character of what is enshrined in subsection (1) (a). He hascarte-blanche to spend these funds for any purpose and may, as Senator Robinson has already said, eliminate the possibility of expenditure on the Irish language, recreation, sport, arts and so on.

Over the years we have become used to situations developing where finance for one reason or another is sucked into the Exchequer. If we want this lottery to be doomed to failure, to include subsection (1) (b) is the way to do it because the public will want to identify with developmental projects and will want to see specific results from the lottery. If money is not provided for sport and other purposes and instead at the end of the year, because of Exchequer demands and stringencies, it is diverted to the Department of Finance to be spent anywhere, it will ensure that the lottery will be a failure. Therefore, I am totally opposed to subsection (1) (b).

I am not concerned about percentages. We are talking about £10 million. Let us say that £5 million of that goes to sport and the remaining £5 million is divided between the promotion of the Irish language, other recreational areas, the promotion of our national culture, perhaps health education linked with sport and so on. That is a very small sum of money being dispersed into a fairly broad area. We may argue about how much is going to one area or another but there is a fair degree of acceptance on all sides of this House that the range being covered is fairly correct. I have already indicated how bad the situation is with regard to funds for sport and how anyone can afford the Minister the opportunity to usurp the money under the clause as defined in subsection (1) (b) is beyond comprehension. There is no need for the subsection. There is not nearly sufficient moneys to deal with the areas concerned. The Minister may say that we do not know at present what could emerge. There could be other developments and the Government might, from time to time, want to include something which we cannot foresee at this stage. That can be done in the budget. There are many mechanisms available to the Government with their billion pounds of a budget to deal with these areas without interfering with the areas into which we want to see this lottery going.

For that reason, on this side of the House we will be pressing for a total elimination of that subsection. It is unnecessary and unwarranted and it is an interference by the Government with the dispersal of these funds which, in effect, will totally undermine the national lottery.

I wish to support the previous speakers. In general I agree with much of what has been said and certainly my worry also would be the retention of section 5 (1) (b). As Senator Robinson said, it seems that the Government could, if they wish ignore section 5 (1)(a) and deal only with 5 (1)(b). It is far too much of an all-embracing section, one that could mean anything and, as Senator Smith said, it could be used for any purpose that the Government may wish. Section 5 (1)(a) can be ignored and that is not acceptable to me and to many on this side of the House. This point has been made many times. My main objection to the Bill is that this all-embracing section is imposed on us.

I see nothing wrong with section 5 (1)(a). There are one or two aspects of it which I will comment on. I have to agree with Senator Deenihan and, I think, Senator Browne, who said that when we initially talked about the idea of a national lottery we spoke in terms of it being used for sport and recreation. At that time that seemed to be the only purpose for which the proceeds of the lottery would be used. I can recall specifically it being suggested that the proceeds of the national lottery would be for a national sports centre, whether it be sited in Limerick, Athlone, Dublin or wherever or whether sections be sited in a number of different venues.

We must remember what is envisaged when we talk about a national sports centre. We are talking about, perhaps an international sports gymnasium, about an international athletics track, about an international swimming pool. We know that the Irish Olympic swimmers cannot do their qualifying trials in this country because there is no pool large enough for them to do those trials and therefore, they must go abroad to do them. Overall, whether this national sports centre is sited in one particular area or in a number of venues, it is going to cost a lot of money and the running costs will be huge. The Crystal Palace pool is losing £1.5 million a year, so we will have losses on a national sports centre whether we like it or not. The idea should be that the losses would be picked up from the national lottery.

As Senator Deenihan has said, the lack of commitment to sport by various Governments has been obvious over the past years. I felt that the national lottery was an opportunity to set the record straight once and for all. I thought, it would be specific and the largest amount of the money would go to sport and recreation. I can stay with section 5 (1)(a), but if section 5 (b) were deleted, I would be reasonably happy. I have no objection to our national culture, including the Irish language, benefiting from this lottery.

On the community health aspect, I would prefer a much clearer definition. The Minister will have to tell us what exactly he means by the health of the community. Is he talking about hospitals, nurses' salaries or aspects of health boards that we know are part and parcel of the Department of Health? If he tells us it is related to the Health Education Bureau and creating a greater awareness among the people of Ireland and about health and the importance of sport in their lives to promote good health, I would see nothing wrong with it. However, the Minister needs to clarify what he means by "the health of the community".

I agree with the main thrust of section 5 (a) — I am not opposed to it — but I am totally opposed to section 5 (b). Section 5 (a) can be totally ignored by the Government but section 5 (b) if introduced, would not be acceptable to me. I have to oppose it totally. If the Minister can meet Senator Deenihan's amendments we would be happy. The best thing to do is to satisfy everybody and make sure the national lottery is a success. If there are doubts about how the money will be used, it could prove a disaster for the implementation and running of the national lottery. I have no qualms of conscience about the national lottery. Senator Brendan Ryan compared the national lottery to a brothel — obviously he was referring to the morality of the lottery — which was a very unfair comparison. If the Minister could delete section 5 (b), it would meet my wishes.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

While we were discussing Senator Deenihan's two amendments the House ran amok, and we were debating section 5 as well as the amendments. Now that the Senators have had their say, I do not expect repetition on the section. The Acting Leader of the House would like to make a statement.

The Minister came from Strasbourg especially to take this Bill. He has to go back tomorrow morning and he would like to finish it tonight. The proposal is that the House would sit as long as is necessary to finish the Bill.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

All Stages?

My difficulty is that I am involved in the European budget and immediate action is needed. We have had a meeting of the Council of Ministers, but we need to go back to discuss the matter with the European Parliament. I anticipate that over the next couple of days I will be engaged in Strasbourg in an attempt to help them find a solution to the problems. I am happy to stay here as long as is necessary but, if it does not inconvenience the House, I would be anxious to remain until we complete all Stages.

The House is aware of the emergency nature of the ministerial meeting in Strasbourg and we are anxious to facilitate the Minister in getting there in time. We are dealing with the section which will take a long time to debate, but it should be possible to deal with the rest of the Bill fairly rapidly. We agree, and are prepared to complete all Stages tonight.

I appreciate the attitude of Senators on all sides in facilitating me.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Is that agreed? Agreed. Then we shall continue with the debate on amendment No. 1.

I will confine myself to commenting on Senator Deenihan's first amendment and I will reserve the overall thrust of my comments until the second amendment is discussed. The Bill is an infrastructure providing for resources to be channelled into specific areas. This is the nub of the Bill in terms of who is to receive support and funding from the national lottery once it is established. I want to put one other viewpoint. There seems to be an imbalance in the arguments put forward so far on this section. On Second Stage I argued very strongly in favour of resources being available for the provision of a national sports facility which was theraison d'être of this concept. Equally and strongly, I contend that the need within communities for arts funding remains to be answered. We do not need to outline again the value of regional art centres that have developed in recent times in some communities. The input of these regional art centres in terms of enriching ordinary people's lives has been very spectacular. Unfortunately, they exist in very few areas and we need funding from some source. There will never be enough resources at the disposal of central Government from the normal tax revenue to endow the arts sufficiently well to provide the proper range and scope of community art. I am familiar with how these centres operate and I think this provision should be clearly stitched into this legislation.

This House supports the concept of sports funding. I totally accept the underlying thrust of section 5 (a), as outlined in the Bill, that funds would be at the disposal of our national culture and the arts, within the meaning of the Arts Act, 1951. There is a tremendous amount that can be done with limited resources. There are a great number of embryonic arts groups flourishing in communities. In my own home town two amateur arts groups have estalished theatre companies — the Wexford Co-Operative Theatre and the Pocket Theatre Company. These exist on funding from the Department of Labour social employment schemes and Teamwork schemes and grants from local authorities and vocational education committees. These groups must be allowed more reliable funding and the national lottery is one mechanism to do that. I would strongly argue that there is an unanswerable case for funding for sport, but there should be equal funding for the arts, community artists and the enrichment of communities through artistic endeavour. I appeal to the Miniter to ensure that when it comes to the distribution of resources under the national lottery the arts should receive equal funding to sport.

I agree with section 5 (1) (a) of the Bill but I have a reservation about paragraph (b). I am very anxious that sport will benefit from whatever moneys are raised by the lottery. I would like to see also national culture, including the Irish language, benefiting from them and so I agree with the original section 5 (1) (a). Sporting organisations have suffered through the imposition of DIRT in the Finance Bill and I doubt if whatever moneys sport will receive from this lottery will compensate in any way for the loss sustained by sporting bodies as a result of DIRT.

It is a pity that some Senators were not more vocal about their concern for sport when we were discussing the Finance Bill. However, I hope that whatever moneys will be made out of the lottery which are intended for sport and national culture will go to benefit them. The national sports centre was mentioned. I make an appeal that it be sited in Limerick at the NIHE. I am delighted that my colleague, Senator Deenihan, a former pupil of that college, is plugging for that area. It would be an ideal centre, central and easily accessible to people from all parts of Ireland.

This discussion has been broad ranging and very interesting. I want to address my initial remarks to the first amendment of Senator Deenihan which relates to section 5 (1) (a) and then go on to section 5 (1) (b).

I am glad that somebody is speaking to the amendments.

Since the section has been discussed in broad detail I might talk generally about the section then. I understand fully the concern of Senator Deenihan to ensure that there will be major funding of sport. In the light of his record I would anticipate nothing less. I was an admirer of Senator Deenihan in his sporting days, except, of course, the days when Kerry were playing Cork, and I know that he has continued his interest in this area.

You were there last Sunday.

It was the same old story — an scéal céanna. On the other hand, I have difficulty in accepting his amendment for a variety of reasons, some of which have appeared in the course of the debate in the contributions from both sides of the House. I say to him that I anticipate that the national lottery will be of major benefit to sport. While I cannot anticipate the amount or what the surplus will be and I cannot predict a percentage at this stage as to what will be available, I can confirm on behalf of the Government that a significant proportion of the surplus will be allocated to sport. That is as far as I can go at this stage. I suppose that I cannot spend money which we have not yet got.

A very strong case has been made in this House and in the other House for support for the arts, for instance. Senator Howlin made an eloquent plea on behalf of the Irish language. Indeed, of all the items mentioned under section 5 (1) (a) the only one that seemed to arouse a little suspicion was the reference to the health of the community. Let me explain, first of all, the reason for using the terminology "of the community". Initially in the Government's announcement there was merely the word "health", but I have been advised by the parliamentary draftsman that it is necessary to specify "health of the community" as otherwise one could be talking about bovine health. The first term was too wide, and that is the reason it is expressed in that manner. There should be no question of suspicion on this point because there are many charitable and voluntary bodies who are doing excellent, outstanding work in the health area and I anticipate that some support could be forthcoming for some of their activities. I would like to have the flexibility and freedom to consider applications from that sector.

Let me return to Senator Deenihan's first amendment. I accept the thrust of his argument that sport must be catered for to a significant extent from the surplus of this lottery, but in regard to specifying percentages in the manner in which he suggested, I ask him to take on board the points I am making and the points made by his colleagues in this House and from that point of view to accept the undertaking from the Government that sport will be a significant beneficiary from the lottery fund.

His second amendment leads me to paragraph (b). Several suspicions have been raised in relation to that paragraph which were discussed on Second Stage and I will not go into the matter in too much detail. However, when we are establishing enabling legislation a certain degree of flexibility is necessary. The Government have made quite clear the beneficial uses to which the lottery surplus will be devoted. When the Bill was drafted originally they were not specified in the section at all. In response to points made in the other House I decided that it was proper to put them into section 5 (1) (a). At the same time there has to be enabling legislation to permit the Government of the day at some future time to accept some other purpose for which there might be unanimous or very major agreement among the people. If they have not that power they will be unable to do so.

Another factor in relation to section 5 (1) (b) is that a strong case has been made by Senators that the situation of those charitable and voluntary bodies who run lotteries at present should be given special consideration. I said on Second Stage that I did not anticipate that the national lottery would be competitive, but the bottom line was that if charitable bodies at present running periodical lotteries could show from their figures that as a direct consequence of the national lottery they had sustained a drop in their income, the Government would consider an application from them for support from the lottery by way of — I think the word used was —"compensation". I gave that commitment because I felt it was justified, yet if we removed section 5 (1) (b) I would not have the power to entertain such an application. Therefore, in essence there has to be that enabling power. That is why it is there.

I do not anticipate that the amounts allocated for other purposes will be of any great significance. Yet a charitable body doing outstanding work and needing funds in a particular year for some special project which it hoped to fund from its own periodical lottery might be considered to be worthy of special support. That is why, while the intention of the Government is not to avail of that provision to any degree, it is unwise to specify percentages in enabling legislation. Correct me if I am wrong but Senator Deenihan put down this amendment by way of additional reinforcement for his argument in favour of sport; and, if that is so, I ask him to accept the assurances which I have given in the sporting area and on that basis to withdraw both amendments.

Without making a Second Stage speech, I want to comment very briefly on a few of the points raised by Senators on the amendments and on the section in general. Senator Lanigan — understandably, in the light of his sporting background — pleaded for sport and said that when the lottery was first mooted it was solely for sporting purposes. That is not correct. When the lottery was referred to in the national plan in 1984 it was introduced on the following basis:

The Government have decided that a national lottery should be established, part of the proceeds of which will be allocated for the promotion of sport.

That is as far back as 1984. Therefore, while sport is very important in the context of the national lottery, it was not the sole basis for its introduction.

Senator Robinson would not have been entirely unhappy if the powers in paragraph (b) were excluded. As I mentioned earlier, this is enabling legislation. The purposes to which the Government propose to apply the proceeds have been announced publicly and are incorporated in section 5 (a). There is a need for this residual power. I mentioned one instance regarding the specific use of funds for a particular purpose where that power might be needed. But there is no question of using that power for the purposes of, as it were, highjacking proceeds from the lottery into general Government expenditure. I accept Senator Robinson's point thatIris Oifigiúil is not the most popular daily or weekly, but there will be full transparency in that there will be the opportunities for debate. I have to accept that that will be more in the other House rather than here because of the procedure whereby funds will be channelled through Departmental Estimates under a separate subhead. There will be a full opportunity for debate so there can be no sleight of hand involved. This is really what I am trying to emphasise.

Senator Browne made a very telling point when, having voiced a support for sport and, indeed, the Irish language, he pointed out that you get tied up in a knot if you get involved with percentages. That is how I feel, because we have competing demands: a strong case from both sides of the House for sport but also for the arts, the Irish language and so on, and it will be a question of a balance when the lottery is in operation. When we have a surplus to distribute different bodies will be invited to make applications and it will be a question of considering them and having a fair balance. There will certainly be an emphasis on sport, but I do not know if I should go on any further on that point. We discussed the section fairly extensively on Second Stage. I ask Senator Deenihan to accept, in the light of the assurances I can give him on behalf of the Government, that a significant proportion of the surplus will be allocated to sport and not to proceed with the amendments.

I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the Minister's assurances with regard to the funding of sport. Nevertheless, my experience tells me otherwise; and, without the safeguards included in the amendments, I believe that sport will be a loser in the long run. I am not questioning the commitments given by the Minister here tonight and I have no reason to doubt his honesty. Without being repetitive and holding up the House too long, I feel — and other Senators agree — that the case for sport is outstanding. While I have no wish to enter into any argument with regard to the benefit of sportvis-a-vis the arts or Irish culture, nevertheless in the context of the Bill I feel an opportunity has been afforded to us to ensure that sport will now be put on some form of permanent funding and not left to the whim of the Minister for Finance. For that reason I am disappointed with the broadness of the section and the assurances involved. I sincerely hope the Minister is right, that the Government are committed to sport and that the funding for sport which will come from the proceeds of the national lottery will not prove me wrong. Rather reluctantly, I withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 2 not moved.
Question proposed: "That section 5 stand part of the Bill".

I would like to be very brief in saying that I have some sympathy for the spirit in which Senator Deenihan has put down these amendments seeking specific provision for sport. The only point I want to make, and it is a point which has not been made already, is that we are presented with a real difficulty in this section of the National Lottery Bill in that some of the interpretations as to the usage of the funds it might generate are ones that would more normally be made in appropriations for specific Departments. I would like to give an instance of this. There is no doubt whatsoever that the provision that has been made for the area in which I probably have most experience as chairman of a regional arts committee for eight years, is through the normal channel. In the case of the Department of Education and in the estimates for the Department, apart from the question of the provision for the arts in the curriculum, there should have been provision long before now for the remodification of buildings and for the design of new buildings in such a way that they could become multipurpose buildings for arts activities in the evening for wide ranges of people. The position we have at present is unfortunately one where not only is there no provision for the arts in the curriculum, but where many of the buildings and structures which are provided are useless for purposes specifically of dance, in relation to the floors provided and of music in terms of acoustics and so on. We are in a position where there is a widespread demand within communities for arts, a demand which is of two kinds, one in relation to formal provision for the more institutionalised places, locations and practice of the arts, and then the growing participation in community arts. The point has already been made by Senator Howlin, and it is one I support, that at least in the region in which I have some experience, the Galway-Mayo region, at this stage more money has been spent by the Department of Labour than is being spent directly through the Arts Council in terms of the total number of people who are participating in the arts.

To change tack slightly, equally within the Department of Education one could have expected that there would be normal provision made for sport. What I worry about, and it is just something that I wanted to place on record, is that it is terribly important that the moneys should be allocated within the context of some policy. I am very bothered about the fact that there is not a White Paper on the arts at this stage that would indicate the level of funding that is required over the period of years to come. Therefore, in the absence of a policy, it is very difficult to put a figure on what will be required so we could say that what is the necessary budget of the arts over the next ten or 20 years can be reasonably expected from the lottery. Unfortunately, what has happened in relation to the arts is that people are being told that something is coming from the lottery. I can tell you straightforwardly, a Cathaoirligh, and Members of the Seanad, that nobody involved in making provision for arts and culture anywhere wants haphazard grants, or bits of money delivered on promise, which unfortunately could be delivered, as many things are in this country, on the basis of the strength of lobbies and on the basis of the relative strength of an application at one particular time or another.

While I have sympathy for the case that is being made for sport, the case in relation to the arts in this country is truly appalling. We have, at present, one music school for 870,000 of the population. In the report which has fallen on deaf ears in the Arts Council and in any of the other reports which have come out, the case is made again and again, that despite our pretentions internationally as a very artistic nation, we have not made it possible in communities or schools or institutions for regular access and experience of the arts. I feel very strongly that the fullness of section 5 (a) be implemented. What I do worry about — and it is a point made by another Senator to which I lend my voice — is that at (b), the point the Minister has touched upon, "such if any other purposes and in such amounts as the Government may decide from time to time" has all the characteristics of haphazard expenditure, even interpreting it most benignly. Of course, the malign interpretation, the people would say, is that the money will be spent for purposes that would be part of routine expenditure, which is a point that might have been made already. I do make the point very strongly. I will give practical examples of what I have in mind.

There are places under the enabling Act under the arts, for example, of the seventies, whereby local authorities can give certain amounts out of their yearly budgets for the promotion of the arts. Most of that money is limited to actual performances within the particular year. It is only by twisting schemes that one could allow, for example, electricians to work in an old building to prepare the lights in a particular building. There is no funding for fixed work. At the moment we have urban renewal and development schemes. I might make the point that these buildings could have been acquired, refurbished and developed. It is necessary to spend in that area. I would much prefer that the interpretation of a section like this be removed totally from the realm of politics. I would like to see, for example, within the general demand for sport, that a certain sum of money is expressed as necessary, and that meaning a commitment. What I do think is that it is almost like a war among the poor, for us to be arguing the case for the arts and the case for sport. The fact that we are looking for regular funding for both sport and the arts in a National Lottery Bill rather than in an education or fine arts Bill, makes its own comment on the absence of policy in both areas.

I am a little bit confused at this stage. Are we now talking about the section or are we still on the amendment which Senator Deenihan certainly sought leave to withdraw? My comments very substantially relate to the section at this stage.

When I came in the amendments on the section were being discussed together. That is the trend which is running through all the time. The Senator can take two together. When the Minister replied, he replied to both the sections and the amendments.

My comments at this stage are more substantially on the section, though they touch on some of the matters replied to by the Minister in the context of the amendments put forward by Senator Deenihan. In relation to the framing of the section, I would have to express uneasiness at least, and indeed, criticism of the thrust of this section. It seems to be a very unusual approach in that one begins under section 5 (1) (a) with specified purposes. I have already said that I would prefer a balanced range of purposes because, like other Senators who have contributed, although I acknowledge the importance of sports and recreational facilities I equally, without being able to draw any distinctions between them and play one off against the other, acknowledge the importance of the arts, the importance of the national language and culture and the importance of the health of the community. These are all named specified purposes. There is no requirement on the Government, as I read section 5 (1) (a), to ensure that money from the national lottery goes to each of these purposes. There may just about be a requirement, depending on an interpretation of it, that the Government ensure, in any given year, that at least one of these areas receives funds from the national lottery, because it says: "the purposes of such one or more of the following". So it may be that the Government have an obligation. I am not quite sure. Maybe the Government have an obligation to at least ensure that some money is devoted to one of the named purposes from the National Lottery.

Then under (b) the Government have, it seems,carte blance. They have an open ended possibility of allocating any other purposes —“such (if any) other purposes, and in such amounts, as the Government may determine from time to time.” It may be, to reverse Senator Deenihan's preferences in the matter, that sport would get less than 10 per cent and that 90 per cent would be allocated to such other purposes. That is perfectly compatible with the section as it stands. What I do not understand and what the Minister did not make clear, is why he gave assurances? We are all long enough in this House not to value assurances very much and that is not to take from the Minister's own good faith in the matter. It has nothing to do with his good faith, as he, as a lawyer, knows. It has to do with the text of the Bill. That is what we are concerned about. Governments come and go. Ministers come and go. Priorities of Government, even within the same Government come and go. They are not what concern us. We are entitled to be concerned with the purposes to which the moneys would be allocated which would be raised by way of this national lottery, which the Minister estimates, when all other costs, expenses and prizes have been paid out in the first year, at approximately £10 million. That is a fairly sizeable sum. This House is entitled to know how that is to be allocated, not in accordance with some assurance from the Minister but in accordance with the text of the Bill we are passing through the House. It is not clear from the text of the section. It is puzzling that it cannot be made clear.

Still on the section, I would also welcome some clarification from the Minister as to how, in fact, the section will translate into action, if I may put it that way. Again, it is devised in a particular way. It says that money paid into the Central Fund shall be applied for the purposes stated either under (a) or (b) which will be identified by the Government. If one looks at section 3, it is clear that when the Government identifies the purposes it does so in terms of an amount for those purposes. Subsection (3) provides that the amounts required for a purpose determined under the section shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas. I am not quite sure how subsection (3) is to be read with subsection (1), but it seems as though in identifying the purpose there will also be an identification of an amount rather than a percentage of the fund. It will not be 10 per cent or £10 million; it will be X amount of money, it would appear. If that is the case, who is to do the followup on it? If the Government say they are allocating £5 million for sport, who is going to determine from then on the sub-allocation of it? If it is £5 million for health in the community, who does the sub-allocation? Is it the Minister for Health, for example, or some other bodies? If it is, broadly speaking, national culture, who does the determination? How much of that will be for the national language and how much will not?

These are important questions that are not clarified at all in the section. There is an almost peculiar terminology of "the purposes of such one or more of the following", and then under subsection (3) "amounts required for a purpose". Who is requiring those amounts? Is it the Government? If so, who is sub-allocating within the amounts required? I would welcome clarification on that.

In my previous contribution I tried to confine myself to the first amendment in the name of Senator Deenihan. I think I understand now the way we are dealing with the section as a whole. I want to comment now briefly on the broader section, if I am still in order.

First, I associate myself very strongly with the two immediately previous speakers, Senator Michael D. Higgins and Senator Mary Robinson. I agree entirely that what we are doing now is in a way grubbing over resources in a national lottery for vital activities in the community that certainly should be provided for anyway, and should not be dependent on a game of chance. I am afraid that is the situation with which we are faced.

I want to pick up a comment from the Minister. It is envisaged that, if charitable institutions can prove that their actual receipts are reduced by the operation of the national lottery by proving that their receipts are down, they can make a case to central Government for funding. The Minister wants an open-ended provision under section 5 (b) to be able to determine the amount on that.

In the course of his address on this section — and I hope I am referring accurately to his comment — the Minister, who does not want to quantify it in terms of percentage, said, that if in one year a worthy project was jeopardised or could be alleged to be jeopardised by the operation of the national lottery, a case could be made to Government and the Government would allocate a slice of the national lottery take to that. On Second Stage I said I regarded that as a highly dangerous provision. We are all in favour of goodness and every charity in the country is worthy of our support. They are all worthy of resources. However, if we givecarte blanche to every charitable institution effectively to apply for funding from the national lottery, there will be precious little left to the arts, or to sport or to the Irish language or the health of the community. It is a very dangerous provision to put into a piece of legislation of this kind.

I take up again the point made by Senator Robinson that there is no detailed copperfastened mechanism for the actual allocation of resources. It is too haphazard. There is a general statement on the recipients and it is up to God knows who at that stage to actually decide percentages and within each category who gets the goodies. Legislation like this should be far tighter, and we expect a far tighter provision. I have the gravest reservations about section 5 (b). That iscarte blanche for a Government that is lacking in resources, and there will probably not be a Government for the foreseeable future which will have abundant resources. It will be a temptation to them to have an easy access to resources. We have seen in other areas where there was not a copperfastened, legal mechanism for the disbursement of resources that the Government subsume the money into their normal activities. It will run counter to the very purpose of this Bill and to the sentiments expressed in both these Houses on this Bill. I am deeply concerned that this subsection would remain unaltered. The Minister should respond by more than just giving assurances. He should respond with an amendment of his own to the criticisms we have outlined.

It might be helpful if I dealt with the mechanics, as it were, of the operation before coming back to the other points raised. Essentially, it is intended, when the national lottery is operational, that specific allocations to bodies or organisations in the various areas mentioned here in the Bill will be decided on by the Government and made available through the normal Estimates process in separately identifiable subheads. For example, a body in the sports area which wanted to be considered for funding from the lottery would state its case to the responsible Government Department. In that instance, it would be the Department of Education. Similarly, bodies in the other areas of national culture, art, or health, are cases for the relevant Department. All such requests would be evaluated against the estimates of the lottery's proceeds in a particular year. Then the appropriate provision would be made in the relevant Estimates and Votes concerned. I thought it might be helpful to outline the mechanics of the situation and what will happen once the lottery is operational. What is important, to me and probably to this House, is that we are talking about separately identifiable subheads. There will be some transparency in the situation. That is as I envisage the manner of operation.

We have covered some of the matters raised in the last contributions. I appreciate — perhaps it is by way of a counter weight to the earlier concentration on sport — that the last number of speakers have been throwing their weight more behind the arts. That is one of the difficulties one has when one is dividing any cake. The arts area is, of course, included in the provisions of the Bill and I do not think I can go any further at this stage in regard to that. Clearly, it is the intention that in the area of arts and culture there should be support in the years ahead. I cannot anticipate what that will be. The problems we will face when the Bill has been passed will be the completing of discussions with An Post, the details of the licence, the setting up of the subsidiary, the establishment of the rules of the game, the assessment of the various plans and proposals from An Post and the giving of the necessary sanctions. It will take a long time to become operational. I did say, in concluding on Second Stage, that I was very anxious to have this lottery operational before the end of the year but, to a certain extent, that will be more in the hands of An Post.

A number of Senators referred to the powers in section 5 (1) (b). There is certainly nomala fide on the part of the Government and at the same time I have to say there is, in enabling legislation, a need for the kind of flexibility which is given in section 5 (1) (b). The Government have clearly announced their intentions but they could change in the years ahead. I will quote an example which might bring home the thinking behind that provision. When I was going into the other House on Committee Stage I was handed a letter from the National Youth Council of Ireland making a case as to why they should be included as beneficiaries of the lottery. At that stage, the last day of the debate, it was not possible to make changes but it is possible that the kind of activities the youth council are interested in do not fall within the purposes mentioned in subsection (1) (a). All the same there might be a fairly large consensus that some aspect of youth affairs should be included and if the Government of the day did not have the power to do that, that kind of decision could not be taken.

There is another safeguard. I should like to tell those who fear the clawback into the maw of the Exchequer of any surplus from the lottery that, in practical terms, that cannot be done. The success of the lottery to a large extent will be related to the fact that the people will be aware of the application of the proceeds for sporting purposes, the arts or the Irish language. People will be able to relate to them but if it transpired that the Government of the day tried to hijack the proceeds there would be a total loss of confidence in the lottery and, as a result, there would not be a surplus to divide. On that basis I believe the section should stand as it is. It is not as originally drafted. In response to comments in the other House I put down an amendment to cover the points raised by both sides. I suggest that this is the best way to frame the section in this enabling legislation.

I did not intend to come back on this section again but, unfortunately, when the Minister suggested that people might be worried about the proceeds of the lottery going into the maw of the Exchequer, he proceeded to tell us that the funds would go into the maw of the Exchequer. The Bill suggests that the moneys will be paid into a central fund, and section 8 defines the way that central fund will be administered, but nevertheless, that central fund has no control over the moneys that go in. The section states that moneys remitted to the central fund under this paragraph shall form part of the central fund. The section does not state, as the Minister said, that the moneys will be spread over the various Departments responsible for sport, culture, the arts, health and so on. Anybody looking for funds from the lottery will have to go to the Departments responsible. Those seeking funds for sport will go to the Department of Education, in the case of health they will go to the Department of Health and in the case of the arts they will go to the Department of the Taoiseach. How can the Minister state that the funds are not going into the Central Fund and will not become part of the State funding? Would it not be better to have a separate lottery fund? How will anybody know what proportion of funding for sport will come out of the national lottery if everybody who is looking for money for sport applies to the Department of Education? Will the exact amount of money that goes from the national lottery to the Department of Education be paid out for the purposes proposed? Will a separate division be responsible for the disbursement? How can anybody say whether money comes from a taxation or other source?

The Minister said he has made changes to this section. The changes he has made make the section worse. Subsection (1) (b) is not acceptable in any circumstances to this side of the House. We oppose it vehemently and will continue to do so.

The Minister's strongest defence of this section was to characterise the Bill as an enabling Bill. I am puzzled by that because it does not seem that it is an enabling Bill at all. What is it enabling? It is not enabling the possibility of the establishment of a national lottery. It is establishing a national lottery. There is nothing enabling about it; we are doing it. Whatever reason there might be behind referring to it or characterising it as an enabling Bill does not seem to apply here. In this section we are establishing the purposes of the national lottery. It should be as precise as we as a House can make it. I accept that the Minister has amended this section. In the other House he has been flexible in regard to some of the criticisms that were made. I accept that he has tried to meet some of the concerns and some of the views expressed which are similar to the views he is hearing in this House. I have sympathy for that.

Nonetheless, I remain unhappy about the way in which paragraphs (a) and (b) of section 5 (1) are set out because this House cannot know what it means. This House cannot know how the Government will allocate as between the purposes. It may or may not favour the purposes set out in (a) which this House at least has some expressed knowledge of. Senator Deenihan and others strongly favour sport. Some of the rest of us have a strong preference for the arts, the national language, culture and so on. We know at least what is being named. We just do not know what the purposes are in paragraph (6).

It suddenly dawned on me, as I listened carefully to the Minister, that, after all, perhaps this section is appropriate to a National Lottery Bill because the purposes of the national lottery are themselves a lottery. They are a pure matter of chance. We cannot and will not know what they are, and perhaps that is part of the whole absurd logic of this. It is all a matter of lottery or chance. Nonetheless, even though I accept that I will not get a clear answer to the question I really want answered, the Minister used a phrase a number of times in his reply that I would invite him to clarify a little further. He said that the fund would be allocated in the Estimates by way of "separately identifiable subheads". What precisely are "separately identifiable subheads", so that when we see them we will know them? Will they be in red ink or will they have beside them "NL" for national lottery, or "Nat. Lot"? Even to know that might take away some of the lottery element in this section, which disserves some of us.

In relation to my use of the terminology "enabling legislation" I use that because we are not establishing a national lottery. We are giving power which enables the Minister to grant a licence in certain circumstances. It is our intention, once these enabling provisions have been put on the statute book, to grant such a licence to An Post. From the point of view of the proceeds or the division of the surplus, what is important to me and probably to all the Members of this House is that any such division or allocation should be done in an open and visible manner, in the glare of publicity if necessary, and should be capable of discussion and debate. Essentially there should be full transparency. What better arrangement could one have than to ensure that that would be the position other than to include the allocations in the Estimates. I take the administrative point, if I may call it that, raised by Senator Robinson when she questioned how the specific allocations would be made available to the Estimates by way of separately identifiable subheads.

That is your phrasing.

The Senator questioned how in effect that is going to be a visible, open, transparent manner of operating. I suppose inherent in that would be to say that one can read the Estimates volume and track them down. I take on board the points raised. In so far as we can in the presentation of the Estimates we will ensure that there will be full transparency and, indeed, even the possibility of co-relation between the various lottery items. I assure the House that I will discuss with my officials as to how that could best be done. I am genuinely anxious to ensure that there will be full, open transparency about the affairs of the national lottery. In relation to the conduct of the lottery there will be annual reports which will have to be laid before the Houses and so on. That is not entirely the answer to the question of the distribution of the surplus. I have no doubt, particularly bearing in mind the level of interest that has been displayed in this House and indeed the other House, that pressure will be put on whatever Government is in power to ensure that there will be a full, open conduct of the business of the distribution of the surplus.

On the question of 5 (1) (b) I do not know if I can bring this very much further. Senator Robinson asked what will happen under this provision. I have to give an honest answer: I do not know. I do not anticipate in the short term that there will be any use of that provision except perhaps in the context of a point that arose in the course of the debate. I can see one possible use that I mentioned earlier. My other colleagues in the House might think of other possible uses. I want to wind up by giving a negative and a positive example to prove the need for that provision. I have repeatedly said that there is no question of absorbing the surplus from the lottery into general Exchequer spending.

On the other hand, I have also given a positive commitment that, in the event of there being a shortfall in the proceeds of charitable and voluntary bodies holding periodical lotteries as a direct consequence of the holding of the national lottery, compensation will be made. I say to you, and perhaps I will put it directly to those who have come out strongly against the provision, how could that compensation be paid, how could that undertaking be honoured if that provision was not there? It is essential that that enabling provision be there if only to enable me to honour that specific undertaking which I have given to those voluntary and charitable bodies, an undertaking which was not criticised by a single Member of this House. I will rephrase that by saying that that was an undertaking and commitment that was largely endorsed by the majority of the Members of this House.

With respect that would be an assumption also.

I gave a commitment. I intend to see that any commitment or undertaking I have given is honoured. But I must have the power, if necessary, for other purposes, to honour that commitment in the event that a question of compensation becomes a reality. I do not think I can carry the point any further. I believe the power is necessary. I have assured the House of my good intentions. I have no doubt that if there happened to be anymala fide on the part of this or any other Government, then the matter would become one of major public debate. I do not think any Government would get away with it.

This is a section that has evoked quite a lot of discussion and genuine concern from all sides of the House. Some people have priorities in this respect they want to ensure are met. The Minister is suggesting that section 1 (b) allows a certain flexibility. Most of us know a lot of other purposes for which the lottery could be used. Those of us having special priorities would want to ensure that they are identified in section 1 (a), such as sport, culture and so on. Section 8 would appear to meet Senator Lanigan's objections that gains would not go into the overall national Exchequer. Rather they would be lodged in a special fund in the Bank of Ireland which would be appropriately identified, with amounts being dispersed from that fund into various Departments and separately identified. Any Government that abuses the provisions of section 1 (b) of this Bill will be bringing about the death knell of the success of the national lottery. Therefore it is in all our interests that the money be dispersed as indicated here and that the discretion given in subsection 1 (b) will not be abused. Any Government will be on trial with regard to how they disburse these funds. If in disbursing those funds they do not meet the genuine wishes of the people who subscribe to the lottery then it will be a failure. That would be a tragedy. In my remarks on Second Stage I indicated that it was important to dispel any doubts in people's minds about how the funds would be used. I do not know whether today's discussion on the section will have created more doubts in their minds. However, it is important to get whatever assurances we can from the Minister. He has been as forthcoming as possible. The section as it stands allows a certain amount of discretion to the Government, which can be identified, and ensures that the money cannot be misappropriated under any other subheading. The gains will be published so that everybody can read about them and discuss them, which will determine the success of the national lottery.

I should like to take up with the Minister his commitmentvis-a-vis voluntary and charitable organisations. I mentioned this point already when speaking on Second Stage. This commitment is very dangerous from the point of view that there is nothing to stop any organisation from claiming that their funds were seriously affected by the lottery in a given year, claiming that the shortfall should be made up from the proceeds of the national lottery. If we extend this commitment to all organisations running lotteries, be they charitable or voluntary, that could lead to a further erosion of funds.

We have been making a case here for the arts, culture and sport but I fear that ultimately there will be nothing left for any of us. If the Minister gave them a commitment that he would make up a certain percentage of their shortfall then we would know where we stood. But there is nothing to prevent or deter these people from claiming for any type of shortfall. Indeed there is nothing to prevent them from not pursuing their fund raising activities with the same vigour, knowing that if they have a shortfall, it will be made up from the proceeds of the national lottery.

I do not want to drag this out all night. Obviously the Minister is not going to change his mind. There is a vagueness about subsection (1) (b) that is totally unacceptable. That subsection should not have been inserted. The Minister should not have allowed his parliamentary draftsman to insert it. There is absolutely no way that this House can accept that the Minister will be capable of confining the other purposes to the sporting, cultural and health areas which he wants to have covered by the national lottery. He will be subjected to extreme pressure by every other Minister in the disbursement of funds. If they feel there is a shortfall in their allocation for something which seems to be of a beneficial nature to any sector of the community, they will put pressure on the Minister in charge of the central fund of the national lottery to use it for whatever purpose they decide. It is totally unacceptable to us. There is absolutely no way we will accept subsection (1) (b). The dilution of the benefits of the lottery for sport to various other interests is not acceptable. Therefore, under no circumstances will we accept subsection (1) (b).

I want to emphasise one point. In the Minister's last reply he asserted that the unanimous view of the House was that charitable organisations who suffered a shortfall would be reimbursed from the national lottery fund. I am not sure whether the Minister listened to my last comment, those on Second Stage or those of Senator Deenihan. At that time we expressed genuine fears. Once you get into a free-for-allvis-a-vis charitable institutions, you will discover that they are all worthy, all have merit and will carry very strong lobbies. If they feel there is a possibility of their getting a slice of the cake, what we will have is not a national lottery — aimed at providing resources for sport, art and culture, the national language and community health — instead what we will have is a super-charitable lottery into which every worthwhile charitable institution catering for the myriad of worthy causes will all want to dip. That would run counter to the proposals and raison d'être of this Bill, and to the wishes of these Houses, and constitute the death knell of the positive objective of the supporters of this concept in the first place. I would ask the Minister to address that issue.

I ask the Minister whether he thinks there is genuine fear that if you give this open-ended invitation to every charitable institution simply to prove that the national lottery will affect their fund raising efforts, they will have aprima facie case for funding from the lottery. This will open the door for inordinate pressure by worthwhile charitable institutions. They will lobby at a rate which the Minister and the Government will not be able to bear. This resource will be very finite and it will be dispersed and eroded and the objectives of the national lottery will be lost.

I have been searching my papers for the wording of the assurance I gave. The point arose in strong pleas in regard to existing charitable voluntary bodies at present conducting lotteries. They have expressed concern that they will suffer considerably as a result of the national lottery. I was a little surprised by the attitude of Senators because of the way that point developed on Second Stage. Most Senators were sympathetic in regard to voluntary bodies. The same occurred in the other House. I gave details of the various steps I intended to take to try to ensure that there would be no diminution in the receipts of such bodies through increasing the prize limits under the 1956 Act, plus the removal of the restriction on publicity.

I spoke about the various meetings between officials of my Department and the Department of Justice. There were meetings with various charitable bodies. There were strong representations from the GAA and, arising from that, I made a statement to the effect that in the light of the measures we have taken I did not think there would be any loss in the accounts of such organisations. I spoke of the Government's sympathy with them and I gave the following assurance:

Only time will tell how, if at all, the national lottery will affect the situation of these bodies who hold existing periodical lotteries. However, I have already given an assurance on this point and I am stating clearly that when such bodies can demonstrate satisfactorily that the lottery has adversely affected their receipts the Government is prepared to take steps to make funding available to them from the lottery surplus.

I do not intend to go back on that assurance. I have no intention of agreeing to a proposal that the enabling power in section 5 (b) would be removed.

If the Minister would insert in section 5 (b) his Second Stage assurance, that would be acceptable. The existing provision in the section could be applied to any shortfall in any organisation's fund and, if there is a shortfall in Exchequer funding of community health projects, the Minister for Health could come in and look for disbursement to make up the shortfall.

Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 23; Níl, 13.

  • Belton, Luke.
  • Browne, John.
  • Connor, John.
  • Daly, Jack.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Durcan, Patrick.
  • Ferris, Michael.
  • FitzGerald, Alexis J.G.
  • Fleming, Brian.
  • Higgins, Jim.
  • Higgins, Michael D.
  • Hourigan, Richard V.
  • Howard, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Peter.
  • Lennon, Joseph.
  • McDonald, Charlie.
  • McGonagle, Stephen.
  • McGuinness, Catherine I.B.
  • McMahon, Larry.
  • O'Leary, Seán.
  • O'Mahony, Flor.
  • Quealy, Michael A.


  • de Brún, Séamus.
  • Ellis, John.
  • Fallon, Seán.
  • Fitzsimons, Jack.
  • Hillery, Brian.
  • Honan, Tras.
  • Kiely, Rory.
  • Lanigan, Mick.
  • Lynch, Michael.
  • O'Toole, Martin J.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Smith, Michael.
Tellers: Tá: Senators Belton and Howlin; Níl: Senators W. Ryan and Séamus de Brún.
Question declared carried.
Sections 6 to 14, inclusive, agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 15 stand part of the Bill."

First of all, let me say that the way in which we have gone through the last six sections is an abuse of this House. I do not want to make any comment on you, a Chathaoirligh, but that is not a proper way to run the business of this House. If I have to filibuster in order to get people either to sit down or to participate in the debate, I will do so. It is not your fault. I am not criticising you but this is a serious matter with serious implications. We were racing through at a pace I resented.

On section 15 I would like to ask the Minister what reason there is to prevent staff of the company being Members of Seanad Éireann. I am geting quite sick of Seanad Éireann being categorised along with the Assembly of the European Parliament and Dáil Éireann for the simple reason — which is one that will surprise many people — that the income on which full time Members of this House have to live is far less than the income which Members of either the European Parliament or Dáil Éireann have to live on. To suggest that there is a parallel between full time membership of this House and full time membership of the other two Parliaments is extremely unfair. That membership of Seanad Éireann necessitates for a rapidly increasing number of people full time leave of absence from work, while the level of payment is based on the principle that membership of Seanad Éireann should not be a full time occupation according to the Devlin Report, is quite unfair.

There should be a reason given for this provision in the Bill. I cannot see any strange conflict of interest in somebody here being a member of the staff. It is one of these "catch all" phrases that is stuck in. The advisers who suggest to Ministers that they stick in these phrases are all living on salaries well in excess of what Members of Seanad Éireann have to live on. The inclusion of Seanad Éireann in every Bill like this, when it is a very different body from either the Dáil or the Assembly of the European Parliament, is an anomaly that should be addressed once and for all. As I have a reputation for very often criticising the scale of payment of Members of this House, I am qualified and in a safer position than most people to take exception to the implication of sections like this. I invite the Minister to justify the inclusion of Seanad Éireann with the Assembly of the European Parliament and Dáil Éireann, the Members of which are substantially better paid than Members of this House. It is an unfair comparison and one that should be addressed once and for all.

I take a very poor view of your opening remarks, Senator, because I read out the sections. I did not stop anybody. I think your remarks were better not said and you owe the House an apology.

To you particularly I would hasten immediately to apologise. I did not intend my remarks to be in any way a reflection on your good self. If anything I was being critical of some of my fellow Members. Now that I have calmed down a little I wish to apologise to them also.

Following what Senator Brendan Ryan said in the opening part of his remarks, surely a difficulty will arise in relation to the use of the word "nominated". I see it as a problem and perhaps the Minister can clarify the distinction between nomination and election.

I have previously raised the automatic inclusion of this clause in regard to every possible State or semi-State body, regardless of whether it makes sense or not to exclude Members of the Oireachtas and in particular Members of Seanad Éireann from being in any way involved in the staff or on the boards of these bodies. Another one is the National Social Service Board which I remember in particular talking about. It is particularly the case in regard to Members of Seanad Éireann when the whole idea is supposed to be that Members are to be expert in fields outside the House and to give the benefit of their expertise in these outer fields to the debates in the House. Therefore, it would be particularly useful to have a Member of Seanad Éireann who would have an expert knowledge of the workings of various semi-State bodies — this included — in order to give the benefit of this wisdom to the debates of Seanad Éireann.

These provisions are automatically included. I have questioned this before and the answer from various Ministers is that this is a customary clause in all these Bills. That is not a good enough answer. There is lack of thought and it is stuck in automatically. I notice that it says in subsections (1) and (2) "nominated as a Member of Seanad Éireann". I would like further clarification as to whether this means it is only the 11 people nominated by the Taoiseach and that those of us who are elected to Seanad Éireann are allowed. It seems to me that the whole idea of these clauses automatically being put into Bills like this is a thoughtless way of going about things. I ask the Minister to reconsider this position.

This section is now worded in the way this House required it to be worded after previous amendments we had put down to a whole range of legislation which precluded people who were nominated to stand for election to the Seanad. This is specific. It refers to a person "nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann". This is the only House to which one can be nominated as a Member. One can be elected to the other House but one can be nominated here. What worried us in the past was that people could be nominated to stand for election against their will, thereby being excluded from being members of subsidiary bodies.

The other argument being made by Senators is possibly a valid one — that people who are Members of this House should not be excluded. It is as Senator McGuinness has said, included in all Bills that we are precluded from being our own bosses. That is the reason for it. It does not just refer to people who are nominated to stand for election to the Seanad. It specifically refers to people who are nominated as Members.

I do not want to enter into a discussion on the level of remuneration of Senators or Members of the other House. It is a separate issue. As to the provision in general, I could foresee certain situations where there might be a conflict of interest in somebody who is a member of staff or a director of the national lottery company being a Member of the House.

They could declare the interest. That is the way to handle it.

The received wisdom over the years was that it was not appropriate that those who were either on the staff or the board of the semi-State bodies should be Members of the Houses. As has been mentioned by Senator Ferris, the old provision related to the standing for membership but now it has changed and is related to membership. It is rather a broad question as to whether that type of provision in general should not be applicable to semi-State bodies as a whole. In the light of the need to have very substantial public trust and credibility in the national lottery, I do not think this body is one where a start should be made in changing a precedent that has become so well established over the years. In the circumstances I would be reluctant to make a change in relation to the national lottery. Of all the semi-State organisations that is the one where I would be least tempted to make a start.

I take the point raised by Senator McGuinness perhaps year by year in relation to semi-State bodies we accept the received wisdom of the past and we continue as before. This is a standard provision.

When we talk about vested interests in this House we are talking about vested interests that are blatantly apparent, but it is very difficult to get somebody to serve on any board who has not a vested interest somewhere. We feel in Seanad Éireann that there is a certain discrimination particularly because of the fact that we cannot get away from the remuneration aspect and the fact that a considerable number of Members of this House if they were full-time would certainly have scope for involvement.

Section 15 (2) refers to a member of the staff of the company but that person could be a very junior member of staff without any policy function whatsoever. I was a practising teacher before I became a Member of this House and the rules and regulations that govern education in this country are matters of debate and discussion and enactment in the Houses of the Oireachtas. Therefore, should teachers be debarred from serving because they have some vested interest in the regulations that govern the educational system? I contend that people who have expertise in the area are suitable to comment on the matter. There is no logic in what the Minister has said. If it is not appropriate to this Bill, at least it should be borne in mind for future Bills.

I wish to confirm there is no question of singling out Seanad Éireann. It covers the Dáil and the European Assembly as well. As to the general principle, it is a matter for debate but I reiterate that I do not think that the national lottery company is the company where the debate should open. It seems to me there could be a conflict of interest. There is the old saying about justice not alone being done but being seen to be done. I want to ensure that the lottery company and the whole conduct of the lottery will have absolute national public confidence and from that point of view I would be more than hesitant to consider a change in the established procedure in particular in relation to the lottery company. However, as Senator Howlin suggests, the broad principle in relation to semi-State companies and particularly as it relates to the junior staff is a matter that should be discussed on another occasion.

The trouble about this is that every time we raise this kind of section on every Bill we get a similar reply to what the Minister has given. I understand what he has said, although I think it carries some rather strange implications about our politicians that we should not be trusted to be in charge of a national lottery. I do not know quite what that actually implies but, at the same time, what worries me is that we get the same answer from every Minister that in principle it may be wrong to put this clause in automatically. I hope that perhaps the Minister may be able to raise it at a higher level, that this kind of clause should not be put in automatically.

I think there is a difference between Members of Seanad Éireann and members of the other bodies because Members of Seanad Éireann are specifically regarded as being part time. As far as declarations of interests are concerned, we have plenty of Members of Seanad Éireann who are attached to particular industries or, as in my own case, to a profession or to insurance companies or whatever. Nobody thinks the worst of us that we contribute to debates on these issues and that we use our own professional or business expertise to contribute to these debates. Why is it all right to do it as a self-employed person or in private industry but not in the public sector?

I am at a loss, first of all, to understand what conflict of interest there could be between being on the staff of the national lottery and being a Member of the European Parliament. I am afraid there is no way I can stretch my imagination to see how membership of the European Parliament could be affected by or where there could be a conflict of interest. This is a conventional catch-all phrase that is stuck in automatically by the parliamentary draftsman and which nobody has challenged. I want to repeat again that Seanad Éireann is. first of all, a vocational body according to the Constitution and is meant to represent people who have, if I can use the phrase, positive vested interests. It is meant to represent those vested interests and it is meant to represent them publicly. One could go on for a long time about whether people do represent those interests; but there are people here who claim their right to be here because they represent agriculture, for instance. They are meant to be here. Does that mean that because they represent agriculture they should be silent on any legislation to do with agriculture? Of course, it does not; it means the opposite. It means that there should be a particularly specialised kind of debate here. Similarly, on any issue this should be the case and I want to say it again.

It does not affect me at present but one never knows what may happen in the future. For instance, I can think in my own area of one sector where the staff are now excluded effectively from Seanad Éireann. They are the National Institutes for Higher Education because the staff of those bodies must go on secondment if they are to be nominated or elected to membership of Seanad Éireann. If, for instance, a Taoiseach in the future decided to ask one of the directors of one of the NIHEs to be a Member of Seanad Éireann, which I think could have a lot of positive value, he could not do so because the director would have to go on secondment and reduce his salary by about 50 per cent at least. It is a ludicrous provision which is stuck in there because people never thought about what it meant or what it implied.

We are talking about a salary here which is about 20 per cent less than the average public service salary. It is a quite reasonable salary for a part time job and I have said it before but it is not a reasonable salary to expect somebody to meet the expenses that Members have to meet. I am saying it because I think I am probably less liable to get lambasted in the media for saying it than many Members of this House. Perhaps I can get away with it with less egg on my face than many Members. It is a perfectly reasonable salary, as are most of the other aspects of our career for people who are here are on the sort of basis on which Seanad Éireann is intended to operate. However, it is not a reasonable salary to expect people to live on if they are forced to be seconded from areas of employment.

The principle is what I am concerned about here. I would be very grateful if the Minister undertook at least to raise the issue of the principle of including Seanad Éireann in these catch-all provisions. After all, if I am correct he is also junior Minister in the Department of the Public Service where a lot of these things are often, I understand, discussed. It would be worthwhile pursuing it further. I do not think Seanad Éireann needs to be, ought to be or deserves to be included with either Dáil Éireann or the European Assembly.

In relation to the national lottery, it is absolutely important that its operations are seen to be — I emphasise those words — apolitical. In regard to the suggestion of Senator Ryan, I think perhaps this would be a fit subject for debate in one of the Oireachtas Joint Committees. I am thinking of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Legislation in particular. I would encourage Members to put it down for general discussion there. That would seem to me to be the appropriate forum.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 16 to 27, inclusive, agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 28 stand part of the Bill."

With regared to section 28 (2) (b), is there not some sort of anomaly — and this goes back to the issues I raised earlier — in the concept that persons who are under a legal disability or of unsound mind could purchase tickets presumably in the national lottery or can people buy tickets for nominees only? What is the position? I find it a little bit disturbing that persons of unsound mind are contemplated as people who could be purchasing tickets in the national lottery. This is open to all sorts of possible tragedies. I do not know how we could exclude them, but I am not happy that apparently we are prepared to contemplate people of unsound mind, or people suffering from other legal disabilities, purchasing tickets.

As I said from the beginning, this is just another form of gambling. It would be as addictive as any other form of gambling. Gambling is now recognised almost universally as something of an addictive disease in the same way as alcoholism. I think there is something peculiar about us contemplating people of unsound mind getting involved in purchasing tickets. I will not make a big issue out of this, but it should be on the record that the idea of persons of unsound mind, and people with other legal disabilities, purchasing tickets leaves an unpleasant taste about the operation of something like the national lottery.

From a practical point of view, the Senator will appreciate that it would not be possible to include a provision preventing the purchase of tickets by somebody whose soundness of mind could be questioned. If such a ticket happened to win a prize, it would clearly be very wrong that the said purchaser would be unable to benefit, but the question arises of devising a proper system for, say, the minor who got a present or somebody who became of unsound mind after purchasing the ticket — maybe because they won a prize. This is a practical point and special arrangements will have to be made in respect of those situations.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 29 to 31, inclusive, agreed to.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 16, before section 33, to insert a new subsection as follows:

"33. No notice or announcement concerning the National Lottery (other than normal news or other reporting) shall be broadcast on radio or television."

This section contains probably the most devastating two lines in the entire Bill. We are, with one swoop in a line and a half, eliminating this lottery from all the wisdom of our community about how to regulate gaming and lotteries. We are saying this is something new which should be regulated by this Bill and nothing else.

A number of Gaming and Lotteries Acts were passed between 1956 and 1979 — although I think the effective Act is still the 1956 Act, which goes through the method of conducting lotteries and many things related to it. Contained in the 1956 Act is section 22 which, until now was never publicly challenged because most people recognise the wisdom of that section. Section 22 of the 1956 Act states:

No person shall print, publish in any newspaper or periodical publication, exhibit on any cinema screen or broadcast by radio any notice or announcement concerning a lottery (other than an announcement of the results of a lottery declared by any provision of this Part not to be unlawful or cause or procure any such notice or announcement to be so printed, published, exhibited or broadcast or knowingly circulate or cause or procure to be circulated any newspaper or periodical publication containing any such notice or announcement.

Effectively it said that advertising to encourage the sale of tickets in lotteries was illegal, whether it be in newspapers, periodicals, on the radio or television. Presumably there is some section in the Broadcasting Acts which incorporates television into the definition of radio. That was not put in as some sort of extreme puritanism. It was put in because it was recognised that the whole area of lotteries and gaming is part of the area of gambling and that gambling, notwithstanding what we have been hearing here, is not a matter of free choice. It is potentially as addictive as alcohol or drugs. There is overwhelming evidence that addiction to gaming can be as destructive of individuals, of society and, in particular, given the quantity if not the quality of talk we have had about the family over the past six weeks, of family life.

As the Minister said earlier, we currently spend over £200 million a year on on-course and off-course betting. It is not by any means an insignificant sum. It represents about one fifth of what we spend as a society on education. It represents as much as we spend on the Department of Justice. It represents nearly as much as we spend on the Department of Defence. It is a large sum spent on gambling. This is not a minor issue.

Thirty years ago legislators recognised that gambling had potentially serious social consequences, that lotteries were part of ordinary living, particularly the small scale lotteries envisaged in earlier legislation and that they were potentially damaging if they got out of hand. A very wise provision was inserted prohibiting advertising of such lotteries in newspapers, periodicals or on the radio. It has worked well. Until this proposal for this national lottery came in, I had not been aware that most of the voluntary organisations were clamouring for a fundamental change in legislation about advertising lotteries. They had their own methods of enabling lotteries to be known about and of promoting those lotteries, usually by word of mouth, or door to door. This avoided a number of things. In particular, it avoided young people and children being introduced to a gambling culture because of radio and television in particular. Television is a children's medium which is consumed in large quantities by young people under 15 years of age. Unless the Minister is going to introduce regulations saying that the advertising of the national lottery can only be carried on after 9 o'clock at night, which I suspect he will not say, children will be fed a diet of advertising of this new form of gambling, and it will not be a particularly innocent form of advertising.

I would like the Minister to confirm that the Canadian Federal Government have decided to give up lotteries because of the negative effects of such lotteries. In an article inThe Toronto Star of 7 October 1984 the United Church, the Salvation Army and the Baptist Federation of Canada said that millions of Canadians are now gamblers who never were in the past or would be without the aggressive promotion of lotteries by Government. They went on to say that with subtle deceptive advertising techniques citizens were lured to buy and be a winner when most all of them would be losers, many losing money they could ill afford.

In our case, this will not be some sort of bland, detached advertisement saying: "Buy tickets in the national lottery". It will be based on the prospect of people winning a large fortune. The odds of somebody winning a large fortune are about a million to one against but this will not be advertised. What will be advertised is the possibility of winning a fortune. To whom will advertising the possibility of winning a fortune mean most, but to those who have nothing. They are the people who see no way out, no escape from their own misery, and the prospect of winning a fortune will appeal most to them. Those of us who have a reasonably comfortable life style will not risk our income on the prospect of making a fortune because we are reasonably all right the way things are. We can complain and grumble but our children do not go hungry. We have reasonable housing and access to many services. But people who have none of those things can easily be led into believing that this is the way out.

The Canadian newspaper documents people who have done extraordinary things. It mentioned the sort of advertising where the woman whose number came up the one week she had not bought a ticket is identified as what can happen if you do not buy your ticket every week. Appeals to people's sense of being oppressed, isolated or alone, are the traditional standard techniques of television advertising. Advertising is not some sort of detached profession. It operates on the level of people's weaknesses, fears and needs. It is a highly sophisticated business based on the best available analysis of people's psychological needs. That is the kind of advertising that will be used here. It is one thing to use it in newspaper advertising, which does not have the same person to person impact, but to use it in television advertising, which is recognised to be the most effective and to have the highest impact, is a danger in itself. The best way to work out the impact of television advertising is to look at the rates they charge. They are enormous. One would pay up to £10,000 for a slot on "The Late Late Show".

Where do you think the national lottery are going to go looking for their slot? It will not be on a late night television discussion in the Irish language. It will be on those programmes which have the maximum audience ratings. They will include programmes like the news and "The Late Late Show", programmes which are not by any means watched exclusively by mature adults, capable of making free decisions who are the only persons entitled to purchase tickets in the national lottery.

I would be happier to have section 22 of the 1956 Act remain in force, because that was a reasonable and sensible provision. My view about alcohol, cigarette smoking and, for that matter, one soft drug, is that the best way to deal with all these things is to legalise them and prohibit all forms of advertising of them. Gambling fits into that category. It should not be permitted to be advertised because it has at best a neutral role in society, and probably a destructive role. I find it astonishing that we cannot advertise something sensible, useful and practicable — such as contraceptives — on television because of moral scruples, but we can advertise something as potentially lethal and devastating to many families as the national lottery on television. Because of that, because the wisdom contained in the 1956 Act was based on commonsense, and because of the sort of advertising which is going to be used in a television campaign about this national lottery. I propose that no notice or announcement concerning the national lottery other than what would be normal news or other reporting shall be broadcast on radio or television.

I would like to say a few words in support of Senator Ryan's amendment. At this late hour of night I will not go over all the things which he has said, but basically I agree with him. I re-emphasise that gambling is very much an addiction. Some people can gamble a little bit and not be addicted to it, just as some people can drink normally without being addicted to that. Some people can smoke a few cigarettes without being addicted to tobacco, but we have taken a good deal of care to claw our way back to exercising control over advertisment of other addictive things, such as cigarettes and alcohol. We have tried to cut down on advertising these, and it seems ridiculous that we should have every available persuasive form of advertising to promote gambling. I agree with Senator Ryan that it is destructive to family life. I have known a number of cases where a wife may be desperately trying to hold on to the family home as the last thing that is left that has not been gambled away. It is all very well to say this will only be a small amount of money and so on, but these things start in a small way and work themselves upwards. I support the idea of leaving the situation as it was under the Gaming and Lotteries Act, and I support Senator Ryan's amendment.

I cannot support the amendment that Senator Brendan Ryan has put down. If we are to have a national lottery — and it is obvious we are — then there must be some element of advertising and the best way to advertise is on radio and television. Senator Ryan said that that was a childrens' medium, and certainly we agree with that. On that we must make the point that advertising for this lottery must and should be at adult viewing time on television. I would not expect people responsible for the running of the national lottery to have television advertisments during the middle of programmes like "Bosco" and childrens' programmes generally, because people under 18 years of age cannot buy tickets. Therefore, that advertising would have to be at the peak adult viewing time. I accept Senator Ryan's strong commitment and I know he is concerned, but I must say that if we are to have a successful national lottery then there must be an element of advertising of it on radio and television.

To a large extent Senator Fallon has given the kind of reply which is necessary on this point. I fail to appreciate the purpose of this amendment. The effect would be to restrict not only advertising but the dissemination of information about the lottery. Such a restriction would be one-sided and totally discriminatory against RTE. The lottery will be run on proper business lines and to place a limitation of this kind on it would be totally unrealistic. Surely we intend the lottery to be successful and not hampered from the outset. Implicit in this proposal is a suggestion that the lottery will somehow be a danger to the public. I do not accept this. We have covered that ground in the past.

There are, in any event, ample powers in the Bill to enable the Minister to take action by way of directive under section 29, for example, if concern arises about the operation of the lottery. This would include the subject of excessive or tasteless promotion, which I am sure the good sense of both An Post and RTE will avoid in any event. On this point I conclude by saying that lotteries, as I mentioned earlier, are being run in over 80 countries, an indication of their success and their acceptability. It is correct that there have been some changes in policy in Canada, but international comparisons are best obtained by looking at the general rather than the specific. We Irish are no better or worse than other people. We as a people have sufficient maturity to cope with a national lottery in the same way as the people in the west, in the EC, in Australia, China, and North America. I do not put us in any different category. From that point of view I cannot accept this amendment.

Is the Senator concluding?

I do not know that I am.

That is all right.

I suppose the honest answer is "no". I do not understand why we have accepted that we should not advertise spirits on television. We have a large industry manufacturing gin, whiskey and all other spirits for sale to large numbers of the public. We decided because of the potential damage that alcohol abuse can do to people to prohibit advertising of that form of alcoholic drink on television. We decided that that is somehow acceptable. We discovered then that cigarette smoking was very damaging to people's health, not damaging, incidentally, to families. People do not beat up their wives because of cigarette smoking. They damage themselves by it and that presumably produces a follow-on effect; but they do not leave their children with very little because of cigarette smoking. However, we decided because of the damage it does that we will prohibit the advertising of cigarettes on television.

Here we have a proven threat to many families. Gambling has destroyed very nearly as many families as alcohol has. We have decided that we will suddenly turn the whole thing on its head and say it is OK to advertise gambling on television. We have never done it before. We do not allow bookies to advertise on radio or television; we do not allow the tote to advertise on radio or television; and then, all of a sudden, we see a lottery being run by the State which is going to produce relatively small sums for certain organisations to benefit from, and our whole philosophy about drink, cigarette smoking and other forms of gambling is turned on its head and we say that this is OK. I am not being illogical. I am being consistent with the general thrust of public policy. It is this legislation that is inconsistent with every other area of public policy in these areas.

I cannot accept the basic approach adopted by Senator Ryan. I am not convinced that analogies to drink and cigarette smoking are correct in this instance. We spoke earlier about the whole question of the morality of lotteries and I regard them as perfectly harmless.

Gamblers Anonymous, Canada in theToronto Star in October 1984 said that it is a destructive force, a dangerous thing when a man who cannot afford to give up $5 is spending $20 to $25 to buy dreams. It went on to say that you see them standing out in front of lottery shops and that you do not see any Cadillacs pulling up. Gamblers Anonymous are the equivalent among gamblers of Alcoholics Anonymous. That is authorative enough for me. Gambling, particularly national lotteries, are a threat. They represent another form of dangerous addiction. We are now allowing one form of dangerous addiction to be advertised while, at the same time, quite rightly prohibiting other forms of addiction to be advertised. Why is this addiction a lesser risk than others? It is because we feel it is less of a risk. The evidence from our own and other societies is that gambling damages people, vulnerable people in particular. It would be one step to prevent that by not allowing this lottery to be advertised on television.

There is considerable evidence to suggest that the lotteries of the kind proposed are not harmful.

Question put: "That the new subsection be there inserted."


Will the Senators who are claiming a division please rise?

Senators B. Ryan and McGuinness rose.

The names of the Senators dissenting will be recorded in the Journal of the proceedings of the Seanad.

Amendment declared lost.
Section 32 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 33 stand part of the Bill".

Section 33 is a most extraordinary provision to put into this legislation. The purpose of this legislation is to provide for a national lottery. In effect, section 33, and in particular subsection (1) provides that section 22 of the Gaming and Lotteries Act shall not apply to any lottery held pursuant to sections 27 and 28 of the 1956 Act. The effect of that is that any licensed lottery will in future be able to advertise whereas traditionally there has been a strict regulation of the way in which lotteries could actually advertise. Bingo would be an example of a lottery. Members will be aware that in the various crazes for bingo, generally bingo has not been advertised, and if it has, it has been advertised in a way which was trying to overcome the restrictions imposed by the 1956 Act. Such advertisements were worded, for example, "special attraction tonight". The word "bingo" was not used as it was not allowed. Even these advertisements were held to be against section 22 of the Gaming and Lotteries Act.

What the Minister proposes to do which is quite unnecessary — and this is separate and distinct from what he proposes to do with regard to the national lottery — is to allow other lotteries advertise where they were not allowed to advertise before. I do not know what the position is in relation to radio and television. But leaving aside radio and television, let us take newspapers, for example. From now on it is not only the national lottery that will be entitled to advertise in newspapers, but every other lottery which is licensed. That is a fairly fundamental change, a lot more fundamental than just advertising the national lottery — and I have great hopes that that will be a disaster. There are many other lotteries which will be successfully organised and I do not want to have those advertised in newspapers. It is not good for us or helpful that they should be advertised in newspapers.

The enthusiasm of An Post will deal with the national lottery. The most constructive thing the Minister has done to advance my point of view on the lottery is to give control of it to An Post. In those circumstances I am not very concerned about advertising the national lottery. What I am extremely concerned about is that we propose to change the law in relation to any other lottery in the country. What is the sense of that? Why are we doing it, and what business has it in this Bill? If I can put an amendment like this into a Bill like this, even if I did add something to the short title and other related matters, it would be ruled out of order and correctly so by the Cathaoirleach on the basis that it was not relevant. What relevance has it? What is the necessity for allowing every other lottery in the country to advertise just because we are introducing a national lottery? It is absolutely crazy. I do not understand why it is necessary to do so and I do not think the other House or the general public properly appreciate the very fundamental change which it is proposed to make in the law as a result of the introduction of section 33 (1).

A Chathaoirligh, if I make a rather crude quote from the same article of October 1984 from a lecturer in a third level institution in Canada about this whole issue:

"Gambling is like drinking, copulating and driving fast cars. I will fight for everyone's right to do these things but it is a shabby and distasteful business when governments cajole us to do more of them".

We are not quite getting to the stage where the Government are cajoling us to do more of them, but let us not forget that subsection (1) cannot be taken on its own because we will not have the small-scale little lotteries with many maximum prizes of £300 or £500 referred to in the 1956 Act because the Minister will have the right to alter the amounts specified. So we are liable to have not just a national lottery but a huge number of other lotteries offering increased prizes on a scale that none of them had dreamt about a year or two years or five years ago. All of these will be competing for people's money. Again the consequence will be that more money will be spent on lotteries, between the national lottery and the private lotteries — and of course the reason for this section is to redress the grievance of many of the existing runners of lotteries which are a very different kind of lottery from the one that is envisaged here that they would be at an unfair disadvantage. To reverse it and avoid all sorts of double negatives, they felt the national lottery would have an unfair advantage by being the only one allowed to advertise, and this was put in. So, in order to redress a grievance against the national lottery we will have all the lotteries advertising and the country will be swamped with advertising of various forms of lotteries which will mean different things because they are referred to in different items of legislation. But all of this will be an inducement to people to spend more money on something which, when we wear our other hats and pronounce our moralistic conclusions, we would regard as deplorable. I have heard most people I know tut-tut about the scale.

When the Minister mentioned the figure of £212 million a year being consumed by off course and on course betting, many of the Members of this House around me were very visibly taken aback at the scale of gambling that goes on in this country already. We are now allowing one form of gambling under the national lottery and another yet to be specified quantity of another form of gambling, which is the private lotteries, to be advertised to compete with each other, to compete with all other forms of consumption, and we will swamp the country not in £40 million a year but probably in twice that amount between all the lotteries. We are doing this without really being prepared to consider the possibility that it might do some serious damage. Section 33 compounds the damage that section 32 is already going to do.

It is proper in a democracy that the Government should be responsive to cares and concerns that are expressed to them. This section is a response to just such cares and concerns as were expressed very strongly to them by a wide variety of bodies.

Following the announcement of the national lottery while many voluntary organisations did not express outright opposition, they expressed concern. We invited them to talk to us. Some of the bodies who came to see us and who expressed concern were the Federation of Voluntary Charitable Organisations which is an umbrella group for ten of the larger charitable lotteries including the Rehabilitation Centre and the CRC, the Union of National Charities League and Enterprises, an umbrella group representing about 90 smaller charities, the Union of Voluntary Organisations for the Handicapped which is an umbrella group representing 38 charitable organisations, the Gaelic Athletic Association, Muintir na Tíre and other bodies virtually all of whom are doing excellent work. Among the cares and concerns they expressed was fear that there would be an adverse effect on their funds because of the national lottery and in many instances specific proposals were forthcoming. Two of the specific proposals related to increasing the prize limits prescribed by the 1956 Act and removing the restrictions on advertising. It is quite proper for us to respond to those concerns and that is what we are doing in this section. We are removing the restriction on advertising as requested and we are additionally raising the prize limits as specified in the 1956 Act.

It was quite proper for us to respond to those concerns and that is what we are doing in this section. We are removing the restriction on advertising as requested and we are, additionally, raising the prize limits as specified in the 1956 Act. As I mentioned on Second Stage, the present limit for a lottery under Garda permit is £300. The proposal is to increase that to £3,000. The limit for a lottery under licence in the District Court is £500 and it is proposed to increase that to £10,000. What we are doing here is responding to specific suggestions from a very big number of very responsible organisations.

Lest the wrong impression be given, I must put this on the record. Perhaps I took the Minister up wrongly when he named the bodies that talked to him or to his senior officials.

Some of them.

He named the body in which I am interested and I want to correct an impression he gave. Among the voluntary organisations for the mentally handicapped of this nation, there is a group with whom I have had 21 years service. I do not think that they talked to the Minister or to his officials asking to be allowed to advertise. Their absolute and deep concern was that in this small country of ours there is only a certain amount of money. Because I am so familiar with this case, I know the type of money that I need in the Clare federation to man the schools and the workshops. It is in a very small way like the Cork polio group. I have a concern, as an executive member of that particular voluntary organisation and when I use the word "voluntary" I mean it absolutely. There is no payment. There is only a certain amount of money. An organised lottery such as envisaged in this Bill before us here this evening will, I have no doubt, take some of the money that went into organisations such as the one I chair. I wanted to put that on record because I know how worried that organisation are.

Senator O'Leary's remark about whether the lottery would be a success was interesting. I am not going to delay the House now having regard to the length of time which has been given to this legislation but because of my closeness to that problem and my long service with it, I would ask that the record be corrected. It is our deep concern that we will not receive the money after this legislation is passed that kindly and voluntarily is being given to us now. We will not have the cashflow. I speak from absolute experience of dealing with big money and running workshops and schools.

The Minister's reply is most unsatisfactory. His proposal to increase the maximum prize money from £300 to £3,000 and from £500 to £10,000 represents a dramatic change of policy. To increase twenty fold the amount of prize money which can be made available as a result of an application to the District Court is totally wrong. First, it is wrong that the Minister should take on to himself the power to change it from time to time. That was not intended in the original legislation. He is now taking permanent power to change it.

Secondly, it is also totally wrong that the whole question of advertising has not been faced up to. The Minister did not answer my question. Will they be able to advertise on radio and television and if they are, what will that do to our television? We are going to have the national lottery and we are going to have other organisations whoever they may be, advertising £10,000 prizes? This is going to have an effect which far outweighs what the Minister envisages and certainly far outweighs what was appreciated during the early stages of the discussion of this legislation. For the Minister to say that he intends to abolish section 22 and to do it in this kind of backhanded way without looking in a most fundamental way at the gaming and lottery legislation, which is what is required if any adjustment is made, is quite unacceptable. I must repeat my question to the Minister: will lotteries, in addition to the national lottery be able to advertise on radio and television? We know the national lottery will and I am not arguing that point but will other lotteries also be able to advertise on radio and television?

I appreciate the point raised by Senator Honan and the excellent work being done by the body to which she referred. However, the changes proposed in this section arose out of discussions, between officials of my Department and the Department of Justice and a big number of voluntary organisations, as a response on our part to various suggestions and proposals that developed in these discussions. The concern of the voluntry bodies as to the possible effects on their own fund raising, in particular funds raised by lottery under existing legislation was shown. Different points were raised by different bodies. Quite a number of discussions took place with many bodies, but coming from quite a number of them were requests to raise the limits and to remove the restriction on advertising.

With regard to the specific point raised by Senator O'Leary, if we remove the restriction on advertising we do so, full stop. The question of whether advertising on RTE will be indulged in separately by any charitable lottery is an entirely different matter and one for decision by the promoters of such charitable lotteries. I imagine the vast majority are on such a small, local scale that there will be no such question. Perhaps some of the bigger ones might feel the expense justified. That will be a decision that will be——

Would the Minister support that?

What I am saying is that that will be a decision for the charitable body in question.

Would the Minister support such advertising on radio and television?

What we do is establish the legislative position. As to the practical consequences they will be a matter for the bodies concerned. Bearing in mind the kind of costs that are involved in advertising on television, I envisage that charitable bodies will want to focus their funds as far as possible on the object of their charity. I have introduced this section in response to requests from many of these organisations. This is the proper response on our part. What will follow will be a matter for the organisers of the charitable lotteries.

The Minister is obviously concerned about the representations and the views conveyed to him by various deserving charitable organisations. Their problem was that the promoters of the national lottery were to be allowed advertise their huge prize fund. Their natural response was to insist on similar rights for themselves. The sensible way given the inherent threat that gambling poses to many of our traditional values — to use the type of language that is very popular here — particularly to the value of family life and the capacities of families to live together as a unit, would have been to prohibit the national lottery from advertising and let it sell itself in the way that all other lotteries have sold themselves, that is by word of mouth over the years. Instead, we will have our television and radio absolutely swamped with gambling advertising. The national lottery is going to be a big budget organisation with a lot of money at its disposal. The figure I quoted was from Ontario, but at 3 per cent of income we would be talking of at least £1 million to £1.5 million a year on advertising. That is big money and it is going to make a big difference. It represents about 3 per cent or 4 per cent of RTE's current advertising budget and it will be concentrated in certain areas at certain times. We will have all the voluntary organisations working as groups and if they are going to be talking about prize funds of £10,000, they will be talking about advertising budgets which enable them to sell the numbers of tickets in their lotteries to pay for that sort of prize fund.

As Senator O'Leary quite rightly said, this will open up a whole area which was restricted under the 1956 Act because people recognised in 1956 the potential damage it could do. Nothing has happened in Irish society since to suggest that it will not do the same sort of damage that was obviously anticipated by the people who introduced the 1956 Act.

I should like to say to the Minister, so that he will be under no misapprehension, that I do not support this section. It is a retrograde step. It is shameful to bring in such a section. The Minister should be ashamed of himself because he does not understand the effect of what he is doing. He does not appreciate it. The Minister did not know, until I suggested it to him on Second Stage, whether bingo was covered. That is the scale of the investigation which has gone into this problem. It is shameful that so determined are we to run a national lottery that we are going to sweep away the kingpin of the 1956 legislation so as to allow other people feel that they have some prospect of entering into meaningful competition with the national lottery. My primary concern is not to so change the character of the society in which I live. Relative to the Gaming and Lotteries Act I am quite satisfied with this environment. I do not want to change it. I do not want more gambling because I do not think gambling will be to the long term benefit of our people.

I do not mind having a national lottery. It does not upset me too much. However, if the price of having a national lottery is to open up every other lottery here to increased prize money of up to £10,000, a twentyfold increase, and to allow each and every lottery to advertise on local radio, television or in the newspaper, depending on what it can afford, I do not think it is justified. I do not think the Minister is justified in coming in here with this obnoxious section which he does not understand. He has no appreciation of the fundamental change it is going to bring to Irish society.

I do not think it is in the interests of our people to permit advertising of lotteries. I am ashamed to be associated with section 33 because it is an obnoxious section. It is ill-thought out, ill-conceived, not properly researched and has been introduced in response to requests which, to say the very least about those are vague. I have no doubt that there were problems associated with the introduction of the lottery. I received no such representations from any organisation to increase the prize money or to allow advertising. What the Minister is proposing to do is shameful and I do not support it. I cannot and I will not support it. I do not see why we should allow such a fundamental change in our legislation.

I can assure Members that I am not going to go personally to the barricades on this but I appeal to Members on all sides — there is no point in addressing Fianna Fáil Members only; my remarks are directed at Members on our side — not to allow this legislation go through. It is not in the long term interests of the people we are here to serve. I have no doubt that the implications of this section have not been properly teased out and that the Minister or his Department do not understand the significance of what they are proposing. I accept that I may well be exaggerating the significance of this but we are taking a jump into the unknown which I consider to be quite unjustified.

I should like to draw the Minister's attention to the fact that once this Bill is enacted in a few days time, advertising will be permitted forthwith in respect of lotteries. It will not have to wait for the change in the regulations made under subsection (2). I hope the Minister will accept the responsibility for that because I will not.

I must say that I had not expected such steam and thunder about this section. I have a letter from the Union of Voluntary Organisations for the Handicapped which specifically refers to this section going part of the way to addressing their special problem. I mention that by way of reiterating that what we are doing is by way of response to representations received from a large variety of very responsible organisations. There are two aspects to this. First, the amount of the prize money, is £10,000, an increase from £500, the limit 30 years ago. The figure 30 years ago related approximately to the price of a car. It was considered that it was appropriate to offer a car as a prize in a lottery. In real terms the figure of £10,000 is no greater. I understand that if one examined the inflationary position since 1956 the increase would not allow for inflation over the 30 year period. What is the fuss about this item? Surely it is unrealistic that private lotteries should not be able to operate with the same real level of prize money as in 1956.

In relation to the removal of the advertising restriction, a number of organisations asked us to agree to relax the existing ban. Some of the remarks made by my friend, Senator O'Leary, were perhaps a little bit extreme. This Bill will not make any major or dramatic change in Irish society. I do not envisage a huge amount of advertising on radio and television as a consequence. It will probably be quite minimal. The decision in this regard, while it was made in response to representations from some of these bodies, was not made in a hasty fashion. The Gaming and Lotteries Act has been under discussion in the Department of Justice for some time. Many calls have been made in recent years for the updating of this legislation. Obviously there has been close consultation between my Department and the Department of Justice in the preparation of this provision. It is proper that, after due consideration, there should be a response from the Government to representations from established, recognised and very worthy bodies who have requested this change.

I want to counsel the Minister not to regard the Department of Justice as a source of great wisdom on the issue of gaming and lotteries. It was on the advice of the Department of Justice that the Government, less than 12 months ago, proposed to amend the whole area of gaming machine legislation. There was almost agreement between all the parties in Dáil Éireann to introduce and rush through legislation which would have dramatically changed our gaming legislation but for the vocally expressed concern of many groups outside the Houses of the Oireachtas who inculcated some wisdom into all of us about the potential damage from gaming.

I regret, yet again, that the same vocal lobby did not get itself organised on this issue. This issue, just like gaming machines will do all sorts of damage. There are more implications for the quality of life in our society in this legislation than ever there were in the blessed Family Planning Bill which we debated for hours and hours and on which we got lecture after lecture on morality and about the threat to young people from something they were perfectly familiar with. We are about to turn on its head, with these two sections, the whole philosophy of our society on gaming and lottery simply to convenience the national lottery which we are told will contribute about £10 million to various worthy causes. For the sake of something less than 0.1 of 0.1 of 1 per cent of Government expenditure, we are going to turn the entire philosophy and policy that we have operated as a community entirely on its head. It is an ill-conceived idea. It has profound implications for our society.

There is nothing in what Senator O'Leary said, in his characteristically strong language, that I would not agree with. This legislation contains implications which the Minister may wish to tell us are not true. Gambling is a problem on the scale of drink and drugs. To pretend otherwise is to ignore the issue. That is what we are trying to do. To face up to the issue raises implications about this Bill which would necessitate its being suspended and the whole issue being reconsidered.

I accept the comments of Senator O'Leary and Senator Brendan Ryan. I do not know where they have been for a long time. Down in the country draws, raffles and lotteries of all descriptions are being run by everybody and anybody for prizes far in excess of the limits being placed by the Minister in this Bill. They are being run by political parties and clubs with confined membership to solicit support for various worthy projects. Quite an amount of money has been collected for projects. No matter what the Gaming and Lotteries Acts said, people found ways around them by allowing them to be confined draws, draws confined to membership, to supporters of members or otherwise. That is the reality. I have not seen any evidence of widespread uncurable gambling in rural Ireland although tremendous prizes have been offered by various people. Churches produce motor cars as prizes when trying to raise funds for buildings.

The last thing I want to do is put up the Churches as arbiters of morality.

Extraordinarily enough, those are the people who preach morality. They use this method to get money to build churches, extend schools and so on. I respect the views expressed by the two Members on the morality of it. The reality is that other things are happening. People have found ways of getting around the small prize money that has been allowed by law up to now and have had all sorts of internal draws, lotteries, small gambles, 45 drives, and so on, to eke out funds for voluntary organisations and political parties. They have been doing so for a number of years. I do not know if that is a bad or a good thing, but it has been happening and I do not see that this legislation will alter it in any material way. I have to have regard to the fact that people have made submissions to the Minister and his Department on this section. They feel under threat if the lottery is to be givencarte blanche and the special privilege of having prize funds which could be decided by An Post and they could advertise on any medium available to them. Anybody else who wanted to run similar draws for charitable purposes could not do likewise. We should have one standard for everybody. At least Senator Ryan has been consistent. He has looked for one standard for everybody. Other people think it is all right for the national lottery but should not be allowed for anything else. I do not follow that logical argument but I respect the people who use it.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 34 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 35 stand part of the Bill."

On section 4 the Minister was asked what costs would arise for the State from the setting up of the national lottery. He said none. Can he explain section 35 to me?

The question I was asked earlier related to the start-up costs of the national lottery. I indicated that these will not fall on the Exchequer, that they will be the responsibility of An Post or the subsidiary of An Post. What we are talking about in relation to section 35 is the standard provision which is put into Bills and the expenses there referred to are the normal departmental expenses of the Minister in the implementation of the provisions of this Bill. It has nothing to do with the actual running of the lottery.

I did not get my hands on the explanatory and financial memorandum that should accompany every Bill according to a change in Standing Orders. Under section 35, could the Minister tell me what are his estimated expenses?

I can make available to the Senator the Explanatory Memorandum which was circulated with the Bill. Did I hear the Senator say he did not have it?

I did not have it.

In relation to the actual cost I have not got an estimate. I am advised that the amount is of such minimal proportions that it did not justify the preparation of an estimate.

Question put and agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 17, before section 36 to insert a new section as follows:—

36.—(1) Every five years the Minister shall carry out and publish, or shall cause to have carried out and published, using funds provided under section 5 (2) of this Act, a study of the operation of the National Lottery. This study shall seek to determine what if any deleterious social consequences have resulted from the operation of the National Lottery.

(2) Notwithstanding the generality of this section, the study shall endeavour to identify the effect, if any, of the operation of the National Lottery on family incomes.

(3) If, having considered the results of such a study under this section, the Minister is satisfied of the serious deleterious social consequences of the National Lottery, he shall terminate any existing licence within two years and no further licence shall be issued.

We have had quite a long discussion on this Bill. The Minister and I have not agreed on much of its contents but he has conceded that there is at least some uncertainty about the social consequences. He said there was no conclusive evidence to suggest that national lotteries had a negative or deleterious effect on families, on lower income group families in particular. He agreed that the evidence was unclear. However the Minister did say that in at least one major western country, Canada, at federal level the whole question of lotteries was being reexamined. My understanding is that national lotteries in Canada, at federal level, were being terminated because of opinions being expressed about what they did to the poor, that they were effectively an indirect tax on the poor.

We are aware that gambling is a problem in our society. Our present attitude to gambling is similar to our attitude to drink of about 20 years ago, that drink and its associated problems were a kind of a good man's fault, that one might throw one's hands up in horror and outrage if a man was unfaithful to his wife, but if he drank three quarters of the family income every week, that was somehow less of a fault, that that was what people used to describe as a good man's fault. I should say that I am fond of both gambling and drink. Therefore I am not speaking from a position of moral superiority. In fact I am quite fond of most of the vices in life to the extent that I have an opportunity to practise them. Nevertheless it is a fact that all of these areas do carry the threat of negative social consequences. It is equally true that it would be wrong to expect the State to fund any research into the extent of these consequences. I happen to believe that the drink industry should be required to fund considerable research into all areas of alcohol-related social damage. I happen to believe the cigarette industry should fund research into tobacco-related areas of damage. The consumers of drink and cigarettes, who pay the tax, are the people who fund these things. I happen to think they should be financed, as the Minister for Health is proposing to do in the case of cigarette advertising, out of levies on the companies rather than levies on the consumers. Consequently it seems to me a very reasonable proposal to suggest, as I have suggested in this amendment, that we should undertake in this Bill to carry out a review, on a regular basis, of the possible social damage resulting from a national lottery. I have proposed that the Minister should initiate a study of the operation of the national lottery every five years, the results of which should be published. That is the only way to ensure that a reasonably detached decision can be taken on the evidence of such a study. I emphasise in the amendment that this study should be funded out of the proceeds of the national lottery because that is the proper way to fund it. The last sentence of the first paragraph of the amendment reads:

This study shall seek to determine what if any deleterious social consequences have resulted from the operation of the National Lottery.

In order not to be accused of being excessively vague I put in a separate subsection that requires that the study shall endeavour particularly to identify the effect, if any, of the operation of the national lottery on family incomes. That is the effect about which most of us will be concerned. Paragraph (3) of the amendment states:

If, having considered the results of such a study under this section, the Minister is satisfied of the serious deleterious social consequences of the National Lottery...

That leaves considerable discretion to the Minister. It is not some sort of catchall destruction of the national lottery. It leaves the Minister discretion to study the effects of the operation of the national lottery on our society, to study what possible damage it may have done. If the Minister is then satisfied that the consequences are sufficiently serious he shall terminate any existing licence within two years and no further licence shall be issued. The Minister currently has the right, under the Bill as it stands, to terminate a licence. Under present legislation he has no method, objective or otherwise, of determining what damage the lottery may have done. I find it extraordinary that the Minister can concede that there is no certain evidence, that the matter is unproven, that we cannot insert some provision to study the consequences here. It is far too bland.

We are now aware, after many years of trying to ignore it, of the consequences of alcohol abuse here. We also ignored drug abuse until it became an epidemic. We ignored the abuse of tobacco for a long time until the evidence was rammed down our throats. Are we now going to repeat this apparent head-in-the-sand attitude until somebody else documents the destructive effects of something like the national lottery and the multiplicity of lotteries that will be beamed at us from our television screens? Will we wait until the evidence is overwhelming? Why can we not ascertain the evidence as part of the operation of the lottery and ascertain the consequences? So be it if I, Senator O'Leary and others are proven totally wrong. At least the Minister present will be vindicated in his assertion that the lottery will do no harm. If he is so confident why can he not agree to this study? It will not cost the State anything. It should constitute a minimal response to the deep concern of a number of us in this House and of people in other countries about the impact of national lotteries on lower income group families.

I am not necessarily opposed to the type of study envisaged in this proposal. However, I do not see the need to incorporate it in a mandatory way in the Bill. The amendment appears to assume that, to use the Senator's phrase, deleterious social consequences are inevitable. This has not been the experience of other countries where national lotteries are in operation. Such evidence as exists points in the direction of there being no deleterious social consequences.

What about Canada?

There is exceptional provision in the Bill to allow the Minister to oversee the operation of the lottery and to take steps by way of direction under section 29 for the carrying out of an examination by the scrutineer under section 6 to regulate any aspect which causes concern. There are many excellent bodies who monitor and take an interest in the subject of social research. We are thinking in particular of the ESRI.

They have no money.

I am sure that eventually they will turn their eyes to the national lottery. I do not accept that additional provisions are necessary. I have said I see no objection to a study of this kind — what we contemplate is a successful lottery rather than a harmful operation of the kind which figures in Senator Ryan's thinking. I cannot accept the amendment.

Question put: "That the new section be there inserted".


Will Senators who are claiming a division please rise?

Senators B. Ryan and McGuinness rose.

The names of the Senators dissenting will be recorded in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Seanad.

Amendment declared lost.
Section 36 agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment and received for final consideration.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass".

It is very late to launch into a long speech, so I will not do so. I want to talk about what is contained in this Bill. I will observe strictly the Standing Orders of this House and will not talk about anything that I think should be in it but is not in it. My only regret is that I did not get the opportunity earlier to study what was involved in this Bill. What we are doing in this Bill is turning the entirety of our community's collective values about gambling on its head. We are doing it in the face of evidence that gambling as it stands is a destructive thing. This Bill is about the State extending its role in gambling even further. We are going to allow a lottery to be run which can be advertised in a way that no other form of gambling in the history of the State could have been advertised. We are going to do it on the rationale that, if you must have a national lottery, you must have advertising. That is like saying that, if we have a national whiskey and gin industry, we must allow it to be advertised. We decided not to. We have advertising, we have a national lottery and we have an estimated scale of prize funds which will result quite obviously in some people paying out far more than they could reasonably be expected to afford.

As a consequence of section 33 every other lottery in the country will now have access to all of the legitimate media of communication which will further extend the perception of gambling. One of the attractions of our society as it stood was that young people did not come into contact with gambling in their own homes. They were usually pushing on towards their teens or adulthood before they came into contact with gambling because they did not meet it in the medium that most young people, particularly children, see most which is television. We have decided to change that and turn it on its head. If this would produce enormous benefits for our society, it would be very worthwhile but from the figures which have been presented to us today we are not talking about £50 million or £100 million but about £10 million in the early stages being allocated from this lottery. That is not disputed.

In order to make £10 million available we are now turning on its head the entirety of healthy restrictions on gambling incorporated in the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956. It has been said, and from the evidence I have, this is a tax on the poor. It will tackle those whose choices are most limited. It will affect those whose hopes are most limited. That is where it will be directed and that is the sort of advertising which we are now going to permit, which has been used in other countries. It is the fantasies, fears and hopes of people who have no other hope of escape from their own situation which will be most exploited by the advertising. Let us be under no illusion: no amount of ethical committees will prevent that sort of exploitation taking place.

I had hoped that this Bill would be amended in this House. It is a great regret to me that because the other House is now in recess there is no realistic prospect of amendments being accepted. Because reasonable realistic amendments did not appear to be acceptable, this Bill, as it stands, is not just a pleasant little flutter; it is a fundamental transformation of a series of values we have all taken for granted. As I said on Committee Stage, it is a far more fundamental transformation of values than the Mickey Mouse Family Planning Bill we all agonised for so long over both in this and the other House less than two years ago. This is a fundamental shift in moral values. It is the participation deliberately and consciously of the State in the extension, organisation, advertising and promotion of gambling through every organ and medium of the State. If it was simply an attempt to syphon off the surplus of the already well-off in our society, I would say let them at it, but it will have the direct and opposite effect of further depressing the already appallingly low living standards of the poor in our society. Because of that, even at this late hour, I am not prepared to accept that this Bill should be passed.

After a long debate we have come to the stage where it is time to make up our minds. That time has come after many deliberations on the problems with which this Bill has confronted us. I do not accept that the Irish people are as naive or as vulnerable to the evils of gambling as Senator Ryan suggested or that there will be a massive increase in gambling as a result of this Bill. There will be certain problems associated with it. I think it is very bad legislation. The debate which has taken place on this Bill has shown that it is one of the worst pieces of legislation that has ever come into this House. I sincerely hope the Minister will never again come into this House with a Bill as vague, as full of innuendo and possibilities, and lacking in thought as to the financial arrangements that will be made, as this Bill. I hope we never again will have a Bill purporting to do one thing but which allows the Minister every option possible in the administration of the funds.

The Minister said that a national lottery will help cultural activities such as the Irish language, health, sport and recreation whereas the Bill goes much further than that. It can be used to fund any area a Minister decides he wants to fund. The Bill is a negligent piece of legislation. The Minister was negligent in the manner in which he introduced the Bill. The Seanad has been negligent in allowing this Bill to be taken today. We should never again allow legislation such as this to go through when there is absolutely no way the Minister can accept amendments because the Dáil is in recess. We should never again allow any Bill to come into this House after the Dáil has gone into recess because we are fooling ourselves and fooling the public.

Under the rules of the Dáil and Seanad, if the Minister accepted an amendment here this evening, it could not be dealt with because the Dáil is in recess. We should not use this House in such a cynical manner. If the Seanad is to be relevant, amendments should be accepted by the Minister. These amendments should go back to the Dáil but, of course, the Dáil will not sit again until 22 October, another national disgrace. It is nearly as disgraceful as the Bill before us. It is disgraceful that the Dáil has decided——

The Senator is getting away from the Bill.

——not to come back until 22 October.

If the National Lottery Bill is applied properly — and the Bill does not give us an indication that it can be — maybe it can give extra funds to the sections of our community that badly need these funds. That might take away from them the onus of collecting moneys, as they have to do at present, rather than concentrating on providing the facilities that are needed for sport, recreation, the Irish language and culture. The Bill is a flawed one. It has gone through this House after a major contribution from a large number of Members, particularly on section 5. Before the Minister applies the regulations in the Bill he should sit down with the best advisers he can get to decide how section 5 can be organised so that the moneys that are purported to be going into the four or five items in the Bill will not be dissipated throughout the economy. If they are dissipated throughout the total economy the lottery will be of no use to anybody except the advertising companies, the 50 or 60 people who will be employed, An Post, who will be getting a small amount of money in fees, and anybody else who might be able to earn a few bob from selling tickets or whatever as a result of this Bill.

I am extremely disappointed that this Bill, which could have such major implications for Irish society, was brought into this House in the manner in which it was during the busiest week of the year when the Dáil goes into recess. It was brought in here last week with little opportunity for Senators who had other commitments to make a contribution on Second Stage. I think it was a record week for meetings of the Oireachtas committees and other such meetings in winding up the Dáil sessions. I will not make a Second Stage speech here now because the Cathaoirleach will not permit me, but I did not have an opportunity last week, nor did many of my colleagues. Then we have the situation today, when we ourselves are winding up for the summer recess, of having to put through all Stages of a Bill which has probably got much less attention than many less serious Bills.

I know every piece of legislation which we put through the House is important to somebody but I believe — I hope I am wrong and live long enough to say I am wrong — that this Bill will have implications across Irish society unrecognised by the general public today. The implications are probably unrecognised by some politicians who have had a major hand in bringing the Bill forward. I sincerely hope that we are not opening the floodgates with the provision in the Bill dealing with advertising. It has been brought home to us that inadequate consideration has been given to this and other sections of the Bill.

The Minister earlier tonight made a comparison with the gambling habits of other countries. I do not believe that such a comparison can be made because the Irish are a race apart.

I would ask the Senator to stay with the contents of the Bill.

I will in as much as——

The Senator cannot make a Second Stage speech.

I do not intend making a Second Stage speech.

I was very kind to you.

You were very kind to the speaker immediately before me and I thought you might have offered the same kind of generosity to me.

I am giving you the same.

I sincerely hope that we are not opening the floodgates with this provision regarding advertising, because certainly the section which provides for the advertising of the national lottery is extended to other organisations and associations, charitable organisations and anyone who has been in the business over the years of running such lotteries. Of course, they are going to avail of that opportunity in so far as the finances will permit them, although maybe not to the same extent as the national lottery will be advertised because I am sure we are going to get it on practically every envelope that we get through our letterbox, as well as through the normal channels or areas of the media such as the papers and the radio. No doubt the other organisations will be pushed into a situation where they will have to do the best they can to keep up with that kind of barrage. If advertising means anything, of course the finances are going to flow in the direction from which the advertising is coming.

I do not think a comparison can be made with the Irish people and with other European countries because we have a far greater habit of gambling than most other races, but thank heavens the vast majority of Irish people have been able to keep it under control. There are those — Senator Ryan spoke about them in his speech — who cannot control their gambling and this is the section I would be concerned about. If our fears are well founded, then I believe we have the wrong title on this Bill, that rather than call it the National Lottery Bill is should be termed the Irish Gaming Bill or the Irish Gambling Bill.

I fully realise that there were representations over the years for the updating of the legislation concerning the control of lotteries. Not only Ministers and Government Departments but those of us who have been in the political game for some time would have received those representations as well. I am not so sure that the representations would have envisaged this kind of updating of the legislation. I hope that the Minister will take seriously the points made here tonight on Committee Stage and that he will do the best he can with the Bill as it progresses.

It is my earnest hope that we will not be back here in two, three or four years' time amending this legislation because of the harm it has done to Irish society. As I said at the outset, I hope I am proved wrong, I hope that my fears will prove to be unfounded but those are my fears. By way of a number of sections in this Bill, we are changing the whole of Irish society and the whole Irish scene with regard to gambling, something which has brought misery to many Irish families.

We should have given far greater consideration to this, rather than rushing through a Bill of this nature. Suggestions for a national lottery have been floating around for as long as I have been a Member of the Oireachtas and that dates back to 1970. But despite that long period of years this Bill has been brought before us in this rushed manner.

I hope that we do not live to regret the action we are taking tonight in passing this Bill. Unfortunately, our hands are tied. As well as the rushed nature of the legislation and the proposals before us today, our hands were tied in that we could not amend the Bill in any way. It would have been tantamount to leaving Second Stage over from last week until after the summer recess.

I am glad I was given the opportunity to express my fears. It is the only opportunity I have had to speak on this Bill. I regret that, and I regret that some of my colleagues have not had the opportunity to speak because of the manner in which it was brought before us.

I wish to join with other Senators in saying that I deeply regret that the Oireachtas has decided to pass this Bill. We have recently gone through a public debate in which many people have had a religious objection to something that has been proposed but have argued — from their point of view argued rightly, I have no doubt — that it would have a bad effect on general social welfare and the common good. I can only say with regard to gambling and lotteries generally that I, and those who belong to my religious tradition, have an objection in principle to the promotion of lotteries. We feel that the promotion of lotteries is contrary to general social welfare and to the common good. Our objection is as well justified and very much better documented than some of the other objections based on social welfare and the common good that have been put forward in the past few weeks. Some of the things that Senator Ryan, other Senators and I have said show very clearly the threat to the common good posed by the introduction of a national lottery. It has been pointed out by the Minister that some 80 other countries have national lotteries but the same might well be said of the subject matter of the recent referendum.

I do not want to go into the details of the objections to the Bill which both Senator Ryan and I have raised and it is clear that Senator McMahon has objections to it also, as have various other people. However, there has been no claim by either of the major parties in this House that Senators should be allowed a conscience clause to object to this because they feel, as Senator McMahon said, that it might open the floodgates to all sorts of undesirable social consequences. Apparently, this is not the sort of thing about which one is allowed to have a conscience clause.

There is no doubt in my mind that the damage caused by addiction to gambling is causing very serious damage to society. It should be discouraged, not encouraged by the State entering into gambling and by the State promoting its own gambling by advertisement. This is the State gambling with its own people's resources and lives. We have a clause in the Bill which suggests this will not apply to anyone under 18 years. Who is going to control this? We have heard all sorts of discussions in this House and elsewhere about the difficulty of restricting the serving of alcoholic drink to people under 18 and we stayed in this House until 4 o'clock in the morning discussing the difficulty of controlling the supply of condoms to people who were under 18. Who is suggesting for one moment that we will be able seriously to control the sale of lottery tickets to people under 18? The idea that we are protecting people under 18 is not realistic.

Senator Lanigan has suggested that the Irish people are not vulnerable to this kind of thing. I am rather inclined to agree with Senator McMahon, that we are possibly more vulnerable than many other people in the temptations of gambling. Those Senators who have voiced their objections to the Bill, in particular Senator Lanigan and the Members of his party and Senator McMahon who is exercising a right of conscience, should at this late stage vote against the Bill and try to prevent our country from sinking into a cheap form of raising money, however desirable the cause may be, by introducing this national lottery, a principle of which I deeply disapprove.

There are a few points I wish to make arising from the debate we have had relative to this legislation. The first and most important point is that this Bill was introduced into the other House on 13 June 1986 and it was passed by the other House on 2 July 1986. It is now 8 July 1986 and we propose to pass it. Legislation of such importance and of such potential social consequence should not be rushed through the Houses of the Oireachtas in that length of time, except in the most exceptional circumstances.

Secondly, this House should consider carefully the point made by Senator Lanigan: whether it is appropriate for us at all to consider legislation while the other House is not in a position to consider amendments. It places any Minister in an impossible position. It makes a total mess of any consideration which we might want to give to legislation in a serious way. There are those of us in this House who want to improve legislation.

Thirdly, this Bill was introduced by the Minister for Finance and he is ably represented here by the Minister of State. However, it makes a fundamental change to the Gaming and Lottery Act, which is the responsibility of the Minister for Justice, not that of the Minister for Finance. It is quite objectionable that such a fundamental change should be introduced under the sponsorship of the Minister for Finance while it is making a fundamental change in an area in which he has no competence, an area which is not under his control, and it is being tagged on to a Bill which is no concern of his.

If this House has learned one thing, I hope it has learned from the consideration of this legislation what a charade it is to consider legislation in the absence of the other House; how unreasonable it is to expect, leaving aside the question of emergencies which may arise from time to time, that normal legislation should be passed in such a short space of time. It does not allow time for proper debate which is a necessary part of the consideration of legislation. Debate not only in this House but outside this House is a necessary part of consideration of legislation.

It is not without some significance that within the last 12 months and leading up to the end of a session, there was a proposal to change the Gaming and Lotteries Act in a very sudden and different way. This is the second shortcut which has been taken in this area of legislation, and that is quite unacceptable.

Having given the matter very careful consideration I am totally opposed to this Bill and I will be unable to support it on Fifth Stage.

I want to thank Senators for the lively interest they have shown in this measure. The Debate has been very interesting. I have already covered comprehensively the various points raised, so I will confine myself to a few comments. I respect but do not agree with Senator Ryan's viewpoint. To Senator Lanigan I reiterate that we are speaking about enabling legislation. The Government have already made and announced their decisions in regard to the operation of the lottery and the areas to benefit. To Senator McMahon I say that I am genuinely sorry the parliamentary timetable did not permit lengthier discussions. I understand Senator McGuinness's concern. I wish to point out to Senator O'Leary that section 33 was introduced after full consultation with the Minister for Justice. It covered a lot of ground.

I hope that the national lottery will be an outstanding success and that the areas which are to benefit under section 5 will in the near future be in receipt of a surplus which will have a considerable impact on the development of sport, recreation, arts and culture and other areas mentioned in that section.

Question put: "That the Bill do now pass".


Will the Senators who are claiming a division please rise?

Senators B. Ryan and McGuinness rose.

The names of the Senators dissenting will be recorded in the Journal of the proceedings of the House.

Question put and agreed to.