Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Sweepstakes Committee of Reference.

asked the Minister for Justice if he will state upon what date he appointed a Committee of Reference for the purposes of the schemes for sweepstakes on the Cesarewitch, 1932, Grand National, 1933, and Derby, 1933; what are the names of the persons appointed on that Committee; what remuneration they receive; and in view of the provisions of the Hospitals Bill, 1933, what work they are expected to perform.

A Committee of Reference for the purposes of the schemes for sweepstakes on the Cesarewitch, 1932, Grand National, 1933, and Derby, 1933, was appointed on the 28th April, 1933. The Committee of Reference consists of Mr. Michael Doran (Chairman), Mr. Denis Allen and Mr. Liam O'Doherty. The Chairman will be paid £1,000 and each of the other members £800. The duties of the Committee of Reference will be to report on the needs and circumstances of the institutions participating in the sweepstakes and the proportions in which the proceeds of the sweepstakes should be divided between those institutions.

Is the Minister not aware that under the provisions of the Hospitals Bill now before the Dáil no report is to be made for the future and that the entire of the present scheme is to be scrapped? What then is the sense of appointing gentlemen at large sums of money who have no possible work to do?

Dr. Ryan

The Deputy is aware that under the law the Minister was bound to appoint a committee. If and when the Bill at present before the Dáil becomes law the position can be reviewed.

I am aware of the fact that the Minister was bound forthwith when sanctioning a scheme, but I do not think anybody would consider that for the three schemes, two of which have been completely finished, the appointment was made forthwith when made several months after the finishing up of the scheme. Am I to understand from the latter part of the reply that the question of the amount these gentlemen are to be paid will be reviewed if the present Bill becomes law?

Dr. Ryan

The amount of the remuneration, of course, is on the understanding that three sweepstakes are dealt with by the Committee. With regard to the other part of the question put by the Deputy, it depends on the interpretation of the word "forthwith."

Would the Minister state the remuneration again?

Dr. Ryan

The Chairman £1,000 and the others £800 each.

Dr. Ryan

Not per year, for the three sweepstakes.

Is the Minister aware that at least one member of the old Committee of Reference is a man of wide experience who travelled extensively on the Continent in order to make himself acquainted with the usages in connection with the running of sweepstakes, and is it a fact that this member has been dismissed from the Committee?

I want to ask whether it is really meant that £1,000 is going to be paid to one member and £800 each to the others?

Dr. Ryan

Yes.

For each sweepstake?

Dr. Ryan

Not for each sweepstake, but for the three sweepstakes.

For one year?

Dr. Ryan

Even if it takes more than a year, even if they take two years—it is for the job.

The Minister knows that these men will have no opportunity of considering the sweepstakes at all. It will take them some time to learn their business before they are able to make any return whatever, and their business is finished as soon as the Bill is passed.

Might I ask the Minister why was not the appointment of these gentlemen delayed, at any rate, until the new Bill had become law, unless there was a desire simply to benefit financially three individuals?

Dr. Ryan

I have already told the Deputy that the Minister was bound to appoint them.

Forthwith, which he had not done.

Dr. Ryan

It depends on the interpretation of "forthwith."

Six months afterwards, when the whole thing is finished, is not forthwith.