§ MR. CHARLEY
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Whether he is aware that an illegal lottery at which "bank shares," "fat sheep," "cases of champagne," and "chests of tea," are to be drawn as prizes "on the plan of the Art Union," is announced to take place on the first and second of May next, at the Rotunda, Dublin, "to raise funds for the completion of the new Church of St. Kevin, Harrington Street, Dublin;" and, whether the Irish Government have taken or intend to take any steps to suppress this illegal lottery?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
said, in reply, that it had been the practice for some time in Ireland to hold for 1384 charitable purposes bazaars, at which prizes were distributed by lot. These had been held occasionally for Protestant as well as Roman Catholic objects, and very frequently for the benefit of the poor, irrespective of any religious denomination. In 1864 the Irish Law Officers gave an opinion that it was doubtful whether lotteries of that description came within the letter, and certainly they did not seem to come within the spirit, of the Lottery Act; and though the subject had been brought to the attention of successive Governments, no prosecution had been instituted in Ireland or England, so far as he was aware, when the object of the lottery was of a charitable nature. At the same time, the parties promoting these lotteries did so at the risk, if they were illegal, of having qui tam actions brought against them. Under these circumstances, the Irish Government had not instituted, and did not intend to institute, any prosecution with regard to the lottery referred to.