LOCAL ELECTIONS POSTPONEMENT BILL.

I beg to ask leave of the Dáil for permission to introduce this Bill, namely "Local Elections Postponement Bill." The scope of the Bill is not a very wide one. It simply postpones to a date to be determined by order the elections of a number of borough councils, urban councils, and town commissioners, due to take place in the month of January next. It provides also for power to postpone county council and rural council and other elections if it should be necessary. One of the principal reasons for postponement is the state of the register. Now, I have every hope that the register all over the country will be ready in June. In parts of the country it will be ready by the 15th April, but in certain counties like the county of Kerry, owing to the state of affairs there, no progress has been made with the compilation of the register. It is consequently probable that in certain parts it may not be possible to have the elections for the county councils and rural councils in June. Consequently, power is taken in this Bill to postpone those elections also, the idea being that it should not be necessary to come to the Dáil again for another Act. If they have to be postponed I do not think it will be necessary to postpone them for more than a month or so. The Bill I propose will not interfere with the election of Lord Mayors, Mayors or Chairmen of County Councils. The Mayors or Chairmen who may be elected in January next will sit only until the first meeting of the Council after the prescribed date. So, say if the prescribed date were the 15th June, the Mayors or Chairmen elected next month would hold office until the first meeting of the Council after the 15th June. It is undesirable that the election of Mayors in January should be prevented. On the other hand, it would be undesirable to prevent any Council electing their new Chairman. There is practically nothing else in the Act than that and I beg leave of the Dáil to introduce it.

Question put: "That leave be given to introduce the Local Elections Postponement Bill."
Agreed.

I would ask leave to move the suspension of the Standing Orders so that a Second Reading of this Bill may be taken. As the general principle is quite a simple one there is no reason why this should not be discussed now.

I beg to second it.

Copies of the Bill are not yet in the hands of the Deputies but will now be distributed. It were better that the motion, for the moment, be withdrawn. We can take the Second Stage of the first Bill afterwards.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.