IRISH RAILWAYS. - MALICIOUS INJURIES BILL.

I would like to make a short statement in connection with the Malicious Injuries Bill. I undertook to have that published and distributed to the members but I regret it has not been possible to do so. We have been to some extent inconvenienced by the fact that one important officer of the State had to go away unwell and the particular branch of the work which he was dealing with and of which he had all the papers has held us up to some extent. I would like to say that this Bill contains very important and far-reaching provisions as to the subject matter of compensation, the basis of assessment and the incidence of payment, and in view of the fact that the County Court Judges are going out and will commence their sittings next week, I am anxious that they should have due notice to postpone the hearing of all claims during the short period that will elapse before the Bill is dealt with by Oireachtas. Otherwise it may be necessary to provide in the Bill for the rehearing of any cases that may have been heard, should they consider them next week. It is to draw attention to it that I make that statement, and to inform the Dáil of the reason why we have been unable to provide them with the Bill.

Arising out of the statement of the Minister for Finance, will it be possible, or will it not be proper for the Government to issue some notice either by public advertisement or otherwise, to the effect that these cases will not be proceeded with before the County Court?

The object is not only to assist County Courts in making their arrangement, but to prevent people from incurring unnecessary expense coming up to find when they arrive that their cases cannot go on.

Yes. I will undertake to have that done.