I understand this matter of a Committee on Salaries and Allowances is necessary.
COISTE AR THURASTAIL AGUS LIÚNTAISÍ. (COMMITTEE ON SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES).
Yes. I understand that it will be necessary to introduce a Bill to deal with this matter, and I ask that the Dáil would re-appoint the Committee which dealt with Salaries and Allowances so that the Ministry might be in a position to consult with that Committee, and to enable us to bring in a Bill dealing with this matter, which would be in the main, at any rate, an agreed measure. Since this Committee sat we have set up the Seanad, and it would be necessary according to the Constitution to make provision for the discharge of our obligations to the members constituting the Seanad. The payment of members and Ministers sanctioned by the Provisional Government or by the Dáil lapsed on the 6th December. An Act of this kind should, as far as possible, be an agreed measure. I think that from the report of the Seanad which I have seen, that much the same terms were agreed to there for Senators as were fixed for Deputies here. There are minor points on which it might be necessary to have the benefit of the advice of this Committee before bringing in the Bill. I think that if the Committee which dealt with this matter before were re-appointed, or should the Dáil decide to appoint another Committee, we would be able to bring in the Bill immediately after the re-assembling of the Oireachtas somewhere about the first week in January.
Is there any urgency about the salaries and allowances for this month?
I think I will be able to make arrangements to have payments made, on the understanding, of course, that the Dáil would not reject the Bill afterwards and place responsibility for the payment on my shoulders.
I think if there was a resolution moved that there be a preliminary authorisation that might meet the situation.
There are two matters. The idea would be to continue the arrangements made in the Provisional Parliament for the month of December in regard to the payment of salaries, allowances, travelling facilities, and so on. We are at present issuing travelling vouchers, but I have been told—I have not investigated the matter myself—that we have no legal authority to do so. I think a resolution would meet the case.
The resolution will be something like this: "That pending the introduction of a Bill dealing with salaries and allowances of members and Ministers similar payments to those passed by the Provisional Parliament be approved."
Do you mean similar payments to those made by the Provisional Parliament?
Is there not a formal method by which moneys can be paid pending the passing of a Finance Act? You have a form—I think it is called the Ways and Means—and I think it will probably have to be adopted very often. There is the resolution approving of the payment of certain charges pending the passing of an Act. I take it that that is the procedure which ought to be adopted in this case.
I take it that the resolution which has been proposed will cover the matter.
It is a Ways and Means resolution.
Yes. It allocates moneys for a specific purpose.
I beg to second the President's motion.
The matter that was first mentioned by the President as to the names of the Committee; does that arise still?
I suggest the appointment of the previous Committee.
The previous Committee was appointed to consider and report on salaries and payments suitable for the various offices held by Ministers, the Ceann Comhairle, the Leas-Cheann Comhairle, and Teachtai of Dáil Eireann. The Committee consisted of the following:—Micheál O Dubhghaill, Cathal O Seanain, Tomas O Conail, Seamus O Dolain, Seoirse MacNíocaill, Micheal de Staineas, Seosamh O Faoileachain, Domhnall MacCartaigh, Criostoir O Broin, agus Liam de Roiste.
Some members of that Committee are not members of the Dáil as yet, as far as the necessity for taking the Oath is concerned.
Deputy de Roiste is on the Continent, and I propose Deputy William Sears as a substitute.
I beg to second that proposal.