I would suggest that the Dáil adjourns until January the 2nd or 3rd. We are very much pressed for time; until 12 o'clock last night, and also for three hours this morning we were engaged on the Criminal and Malicious Injuries (Amendment) Bill, and it will take some time to get through with it.
ADJOURNMENT OF THE DÁIL.
Perhaps some of these Bills may come back from the Seanad to be further amended?
That is the only thing I fear. I have been told it is quite possible attention may be drawn to one Act omitted from the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. If that were the case we could early in January run through a short Bill re-enacting that particular one.
It would be better to meet again rather than follow the precedent we adopted yesterday.
Very well; we can agree to meet to-morrow evening.
Before the motion for the adjournment has been put, it occurs to me that the President might be able to make some statement on a certain matter. The Criminal Injuries Act has just been introduced and read for the first time. It appears to me it cannot possibly be passed into law before the end of January. The Government have stated that it will require careful consideration and will contain a good deal of new legislation. I know professionally that many cases have been adjourned from the October Sessions until the January Sessions for the introduction of this Bill. The Legal representatives of the Government said that as they were going to be represented at the future hearing of any of these Malicious Injury Claims, the claims ought not to be taken up by the Recorder of Dublin or other Judicial Officers until this Bill had passed into law. The cases were all adjourned until the January Sessions. I know that in October many people attended with their witnesses hoping their cases might come on. They were bound to attend as they were duly summoned. The same thing will happen in January, and it seems to me absolutely impossible that this Bill could pass into law in time to meet the January Sessions. I venture to suggest that possibly the Ministry might be able to make a statement to-morrow, to the effect that these cases will not be taken up at the January Sessions, but will be further adjourned. That will save large expense to many people who would in the ordinary course be attending there. If such a statement could be made it would be an enormous convenience.
We had that point under consideration and it was our intention to insert in the Bill the date upon which these Courts would be assembled to hear cases. I think it would be about the first week in February, but we will consider the point mentioned by the Deputy, and see whether a statement can be made here in the Dáil, or whether we can publish a notice to meet the case for litigants who have already been disappointed on one occasion and whom we do not wish to disappoint again.
The President's statement entirely meets the case. Any further statement would be most gratefully received by the people who otherwise would be put to considerable expense.
Can you tell us, A Chinn Chomhairle, what is to be on the Agenda for to-morrow?
The Agenda to-morrow will contain nothing except Bills from the Seanad and Questions if there be any. Should the Seanad make any amendments to Bills sent up to them it will be necessary for the Dáil to consider these amendments, and it is to provide for that contingency that we are meeting.
I take it that the debate on the Address stands over until after Christmas?
We intend also, if possible, to have the First Reading of the Amnesty Bill to-morrow.
That is also a formal matter which involves no debate.
There is the important question of the land, which many of us wish to raise on the debate on the Address of the Governor-General. That would require a great deal of time and we are satisfied that it should stand over.