I move amendment 43:—
At the end of the section to add the words "and shall continue in force until the 31st day of July, 1938, and shall then expire.
When the original Bill was about to be introduced, the Bill put into my hands provided that the Sweepstakes should end with the Sweepstake on the Derby in 1933. Certain objections were raised to that, and I extended the period for another year, until the end of June, 1934. In my opinion, that was a sufficiently long time.
I have put down this amendment because I do think that the hospitals ought to be very well provided for in another five years, and I think it would be very advisable for the Government to cease trying to raise money for this particular purpose after that time. As soon as the Hospitals Sweep had run its course I was at one time very keen on supporting a Bill that would provide from £5,000,000 to £10,000,000 for housing, but, strange to say, though I suggested that to Senators and to Deputies here nobody seemed to fall in with the idea. My own feeling is that it would be very much better not to continue to appeal to the world for the hospitals beyond a certain period, and that if we wanted to go on with the sweeps for a further period it would be a great deal better to go on with them for housing. The more we prevent people from getting diseases the less money will be required for the upkeep of the hospitals, and I have not the slightest doubt whatever that if we were able to do away with our slums and give people proper housing we would do away at all events with a great deal of sickness in the large cities, and particularly in the City of Dublin.
I should like to press this amendment, because I do not like the hospitals to be for ever held out as poverty-stricken. This Bill is a permanent measure brought in by the Government. The last Bill, as has been frequently stated, was a temporary measure brought in by a private individual. All Parties were consulted with regard to its provisions, and when amendments were suggested those amendments were generally accepted. What annoyed me in particular, with regard to this Bill, is that the Government took it into their own hands to suggest things, without any reference to the proper Parties in the House, which had not been at all the feeling in connection with the original Bill. However, that is past and gone. I am quite prepared to forgive and forget anything either that the Parliamentary Secretary said to me or anything that I said to him. I would ask him to accept this amendment, and, if it is found necessary, to bring in an amending Bill afterwards. I do not think it is a good thing for us to continue those sweeps as a permanent thing for years and years. As I say, I am giving this Bill five years from now, and I think by that time surely we ought to have made sufficient provision to support the hospitals permanently.