I think an undertaking was given last week that I should announce the terms of reference to the Judicial Commission that has been set up. The terms of reference are:—"To advise the Executive Council of Saorstát Eireann in relation to the establishment in accordance with the Constitution of Courts for the exercise of judicial powers and the administration of justice in Saorstát Eireann, and the setting up of offices and other machinery necessary or expedient for the official conduct of legal business." I will undertake to have that circulated to the members of the Dáil, but, I think we have undertaken to read it here.
If the President could also announce, as I believe a pledge was given to do so, the personnel of the Commission, perhaps this might be a fitting time to make a similar statement.
I do not know whether it is in accordance with facts that we undertook to give the names. I have not got them here at any rate. This is a Committee set up to advise the Government on matters judicial. I will see if I can get the names, and have them circulated also. There was a matter I would like to ask permission to raise and that is with regard to the sittings of the Dáil. I suggest for the consideration of the Dáil that we sit until 6 o'clock each evening instead of until 8.30 o'clock. It is a long sitting and it is rather difficult just now to arrange business. It absorbs a good deal of the time, and if it meets with the convenience of members we propose to recommend that arrangement. It is only by agreement I expect that we could adopt that plan. If we allow private members' business to be taken at 5 o'clock on Wednesdays and Fridays instead of 7.30, it would give one hour, and in that case, if agreeable to members, I propose to adjourn this evening at 6 o'clock, and take up whatever business is left over to-morrow at 3 o'clock. I take it that the ordinary business before us this week will be the Enforcement of Law Bill, the District Justices Bill, and, possibly, we hope to be able by the end of the week to have the Malicious Injuries Bill circulated. It is also possible that a Temporary Provision Bill, as well as an Order in connection with the Revenue Board, will be laid for presentation on the table. If there was general agreement I would propose that we adopt the plan recommended.
It is not proposed to amend Standing Orders?
It could be arranged from week to week.
May I take it that in the event of the President's proposal being agreed to should there be a debate on the adjournment it would go on until 6.30?
I suggest that this is a matter that should be raised before the Committee on Procedure. We are to meet to-morrow, and I would suggest that the advisable course would be for the Minister to give the Dáil some idea of the business he desires to be brought forward. Private Deputies may have other business that they wish to bring forward, and they should also give notice, so that the Committee on Procedure could discuss the wisdom of having short meetings each day, and meet according to the Standing Orders. I do not think it is desirable to accept motions of this kind without some consideration beforehand of the whole of the business.
If it is desired to adjourn any particular evening at any particular time, that can be done by motion. It would be better if the Committee on Procedure considered the question of a change in the hour of meeting, and make a recommendation to the Dáil.
Very good. I take it there will not be any objection to moving the adjournment this evening at 6 o'clock. Will that be agreed?
That cannot be decided until the adjournment is moved.
This is a rather important matter. When the Dáil sits, we come here at 3 o'clock. There are some who are not frequent in their attendance, but for those of us who are here it means that the day is broken. It would be more satisfactory and much better if we had not that amount of business that would employ us for the whole week, sitting from, say, 3 until 8.30 p.m.; that we should sit fewer days and longer hours in order to have the remaining days free for business that Deputies might be engaged in. I do think it is a serious decision to take, that because you have not got the amount of work ready to keep us occupied the whole time, we should sit continually for a greater number of days, and pretend to be occupied, when we could sit fewer days and for a longer time.
No decision has been taken, except that the Committee on Procedure will consider the matter. They can take the initiative. Meantime, the Orders of the Day can be taken now.