ADAPTATION OF BRITISH ENACTMENTS BILL. - GENERAL ADAPTATIONS OF REFERENCES TO GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS.

I move the following:—

"11. (1) Subject and without prejudice to the specific adaptations made by this Act or by any order made under the authority of this Act, every mention or reference contained in any Act of the British Parliament having the force of law in Saorstát Eireann of or to any Minister, Official, Department or Authority of the Government of the late United Kingdom or of the late British Government in Ireland shall in respect of the doing or not doing of any act, matter or thing after the 6th day of December, 1922, be construed and take effect as a mention of or reference to the Minister, Official, Department or Authority in Saorstát Eireann exercising in Saorstát Eireann functions the same as or corresponding to the functions exercised in respect of the area now comprised in Saorstát Eireann by such Minister, Official, Department or Authority of the Government of the late United Kingdom or the late British Government in Ireland prior to the 6th day of December, 1921; but this section shall not apply to any provision contained in any such Act relating to the remuneration of any Minister or other official."

I move that in the phrasing of the clause the word "Acts" be substituted by "Statutes," and that after the word "Ireland," before the word "shall," the following words be inserted:—"including the Lord Lieutenant exercising Executive functions."

May I ask what exactly is the force of the last sentence?

I think, if my recollection is correct, the late Chief Secretary for Ireland was paid £5,000 a year, and I do not know whether there is any intention now to pay such a salary, and it is to avoid such a complication.

Does the Minister see that this commits him to more than simple matters of that kind?

Amendment put and agreed to.
Motion made and question put:—
"That Clause 11, Sub-section 1, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
Agreed.

Sub-section (2) is:—

"If any question shall arise as to which Minister, Official, Department or Authority exercises in Saorstát Eireann functions the same as or corresponding to the functions exercised by any Minister, Official, Department or Authority of the Government of the late United Kingdom or of the late British Government in Ireland, such question shall be determined by the Minister of Finance, whose decision shall be final."

I move an amendment that for the Minister of Finance we substitute the President of the Executive Council—the same person as the President.

In lines 60 and 61?

Amendment put and agreed to.
Motion made and question put:—
"That Sub-section 2, Clause 11, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
Agreed.

The next is Clause 12. I move Sub-section 1, which states:—

"Power for Executive Council to make further adaptations.

"The Executive Council of Saorstát Eireann may from time to time by order make all such general or specific adaptations of or modifications in any Act of the British Parliament having the force of law in Saorstát Eireann which in the opinion of the Executive Council are necessary in order to enable such Act to have full force and effect in Saorstát Eireann or are expedient in order to remove doubts as to the operation of such Act in Saorstát Eireann."

I move the usual amendment, to substitute "British Statute" for "Act of the British Parliament having the force of law in Saorstát Eireann," and to substitute the words "British Statute" for "Act" in line 7, and to delete the last two lines of the sub-section, "or are expedient," in order to remove doubts as to the operation of such Act in Saorstát Eireann.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Motion made and question put:—
"That Clause 12 Sub-section (1) as amended stand part of the Bill."
Agreed.

I move Sub-section 2:—

"(2) Any such adaptation or modification as is mentioned in this section may be made notwithstanding that same is covered or effected by any general adaptation or modification made by this Act, but no adaptation or modification shall be made under this section which is inconsistent with any adaptation or modification made by this Act."

There is no amendment to Sub-section 2?

It would be just as well to get an assurance from the Minister that for administrative purposes this particular Clause 12 is necessary. It is a very wide power indeed to hand over to the Executive Council. I can imagine that it may be required for administrative purposes, but I hope full consideration has been given to it from that aspect, and I would like an assurance that it is felt essential for the transitional period, shall I say, that they should have these powers.

The main purpose of this is to make the Act apply in the cases in which it is necessary to make it apply.

Adaptation and modification which gives immense power to the Executive Council. The safeguard we have, of course, is that the Order is to lie on the table, and I accept that as satisfactory. It would be quite understood that it is purely for administrative work.

Well, I cannot answer for future Ministers. I think it is clear, to this extent anyhow, that it is carried out in the spirit to enable it to have such force and effect as are expedient in order to remove doubts as to the operation. I think it really might be read in the spirit of that.

This is the first time that the substitution of the words "British Statute" for "Act of the British Parliament having the force of law in Saorstát Eireann" is really of more value than the substitution of one formula for another, for if the original had been retained we should have been regarded as indulging in a witticism, taking power to give full force and effect in Saorstát Eireann to "a Statute having the force of law.

Sub-section 2, Clause 12, put and agreed to.

Motion made and question put:—"That Clause 12 as amended stand part of the Bill."

Agreed.

I beg to move Clause 13, as follows:—

"Adaptations, etc., made by the Government of Ireland Act, 1920.

"Wherever any Act of the British Parliament adapted or modified or authorised to be adapted or modified by this Act has been adapted or modified by or under the authority of any subsequent Act of the British Parliament having the force of law in Saorstát Eireann other than the Government of Ireland Act, 1920 (10 and 11 Geo. V. ch. 67) this Act shall be construed as referring to such Act as so adapted or modified."

I move to substitute "British Statute" for "Act of the British Parliament" in line 1 of the clause, and in lines 21 and 22 to substitute the words "British Statute" for the words "Act of the British Parliament having the force of law in Saorstát Eireann other than the Government of Ireland Act, 1920 (10 and 11 Geo. V. ch. 67)."

I take it that the intention of this reference to the Partition Act of 1920 is to repeal that for all practical purposes.

Should not the last word "Act" in line 23 be "Statute" similarly?

Statute, I should say. Yes.

Does not it refer to the British?

That omits the words "Government of Ireland Act, 1920."

That is why the amendment was given.

It is a most desirable amendment, and I heartily approve of it.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Motion made and question put:—"That Clause 13, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
Agreed.

I move Sub-section 1 of Clause 14:—