The Minister in Ireland (Cudahy) to the Secretary of State

No. 92

Sir: With reference to Instruction No. 18 of the Department, dated February 4, 1938, over signature of The Honorable Sumner Welles, Under Secretary of State, and this Legation’s confidential despatch No. 88 of April 19, 1938, I have the honor to report that having secured [Page 200]permission from the Minister for External Affairs, I had a discussion on April 20, 1938, with Mr. Joseph McGrath, Managing Director of Hospitals’ Trust, Ltd., and Sir Joseph Glynn, Chairman of the Associated Hospitals Committee.

I pointed out that press articles indicated that the sale of Sweepstakes tickets in the United States for the past three Sweepstakes had been upwards of £4,000,000 and said that with the increasing winnings by Americans, the enterprise would grow to such proportions that the Sweepstakes would defeat itself. It would become a wholesale scandal in the United States and measures would be demanded in Congress for its suppression. I emphasized that in the United States the importation of Sweepstakes tickets and transmissal, both intra-and inter-state, was a felony under provisions of the American Criminal Law. And said further that the distribution of tickets by Hospitals’ Trust, Ltd., constituted a breach in the comity between two friendly nations.

I went on to say that in October, 1937, I had protested against this organized contravention of these American Criminal Laws and that notwithstanding this protest, I had been supplied with evidence that from November 1, 1937 to January 22, 1938 a large number of Sweepstakes tickets had been sent through the mails from Ireland to the United States.

Mr. McGrath asked me if I could give him the names of persons sending these tickets and I thereupon showed him the list of names and addresses supplied by the United States Post Office Department. After examining the list he said that the persons mentioned had no connection whatever with Hospitals’ Trust, Ltd., and that they merely as individuals and entirely on their own responsibility had mailed tickets to the United States. He said he had no means of controlling independent sources from which Sweepstakes tickets could be purchased. After being apprised of my protest with the Department of External Affairs on October 26, 1937, he said he had written an instruction to all agencies distributing Sweepstakes tickets in the United States forbidding them to engage in advertising or wholesale methods of distribution. He told me that if the American Postal authorities would send in the Sweepstakes tickets confiscated, he could identify the agency from which the tickets were secured and if any agency had engaged in advertising or exploitation in violation of his order, he would revoke such agency.

Sir Joseph Glynn at this point stated that a large portion of the Sweepstakes tickets mailed to the United States were remailed to their destination from England and Canada. He said this simply illustrated one of the obvious devious methods for the evasion of the American Law.

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At the conclusion of the discussion, Mr. McGrath agreed that the Hospitals’ Trust, Ltd., would not use the mails to the United States for the transmissal of any written or printed matter concerning the Sweepstakes, that no Sweepstakes tickets would be sent through the mails, by the Hospitals’ Trust, Ltd., to the United States, that no circular or advertising matter from any distributing agent of Hospitals’ Trust, Ltd., in the United States would be permitted and if any such agent violated the order against circularizing or advertising, he would revoke the agency of such agent.

Respectfully yours,

John Cudahy