DAIL IN COMMITTEE. - LOCAL GOVERNMENT (TEMPORARY PROVISIONS) BILL, 1923.

The Dáil will now go into Committee on the Local Government (Temporary Provisions) Bill, 1923.

SECTION 10.

(1) Every officer of a local authority whose office is abolished under or in pursuance of any County Scheme shall, notwithstanding anything contained in such County Scheme, but subject to the provisions of this section, have the same rights in relation to superannuation as if he had been removed from his office for a cause other than misconduct or incapacity prior to the passing of this Act, and any provision in any County Scheme purporting to increase or diminish such rights shall be void and of no effect.

(2) Where any Board of Guardians has been abolished under or in pursuance of any County Scheme, and any person held before such abolition the joint office of Clerk to such Board of Guardians and Clerk to a Rural District Council, the office of Clerk to such Rural District Council shall, so long as such person continues to hold the same, be deemed to be pensionable notwithstanding the fact that such person does not devote the whole of his time to the service of such Council.

(3) Whenever before the passing of this Act an allowance has been granted under Section 8 of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1919, to an officer in respect of his removal from office under or in pursuance of any County Scheme, the Council of the County to which the liability to pay such allowance to such officer has under this Act been transferred, may, if they so think fit within a period of three months from the passing of this Act, notify such officer and the Minister of their desire to dispute the right of such officer to such allowance or the amount of such allowance, and thereupon a case of dispute within the meaning of the said Section 8 shall be deemed to have arisen, and the right to and amount of such allowance shall be determined by the Minister.

Notwithstanding a determination by the Minister under this sub-section disallowing the right of any such officer to such allowance or altering the amount of such allowance, such officer shall be entitled to receive and be paid the allowance up to the date of such determination at the rate at which same was granted under the said Section 8.

(4) From and after the passing of this Act no allowance, the amount of which exceeds the amount of an allowance calculated according to the scale provided by the Superannuation Acts, 1884 to 1892, and the rules thereunder shall be granted by a local authority to an officer under the provisions of Section 8 of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1919, without the consent of the Minister.

As there are several amendments on the paper for insertion before Clause 10, I simply will formally move the sections.

I desire to move Amendment No. 1, to insert the following new section before Section 10:

"Notwithstanding anything in any Act or in any County Scheme, it shall be lawful, from and after the passing of this Act, for a local authority to grant outdoor relief (including any relief in substitution for outdoor relief, by whatever name known) to a person, notwithstanding that the person is in occupation of more than one-quarter of an acre of land."

I find it rather difficult in looking over the schemes and the schedule to find whether all the restrictions on relief under the old Acts are to be continued under these schemes. The purpose of the amendment is to remove one of those restrictions. I am told that practically from the very beginning of the Poor Law system in Ireland—away back as far as the famine days—a person who had a holding—if you could call it a holding— of not more than a quarter acre of land could not get relief. It is ridiculous, I think, obviously ridiculous, that a quarter acre of land should prevent a destitute person from getting any relief, whatever the class of relief may be. It would continue to prevent labourers who have only half an acre of land or so—a little plot attached to a cottage in the country —from getting this relief. I want that restriction removed. I would not be inclined to agree that there should be any restriction, whether for one acre or two acres or none. The right to relief is derived from the destitute position of the person claiming the relief. I, therefore, move this amendment.

I rise to support the amendment of Deputy O'Shannon, because I believe there was always a great hardship imposed in certain cases on Boards of Guardians, and, presumably on their successors now, in not being able to grant relief in necessitous cases, where the applicant has a small quantity of land. In fact a quarter acre attached to a cottage was sufficient in the old days to disqualify an applicant, even though destitute, from getting relief. I knew of several cases where Boards of Guardians were prohibited from giving relief in the ordinary way in cases of that kind, and they had to resort to a subterfuge to get round the law, so that these people who are applying would not die of starvation, or have to be brought into the workhouse and made paupers of. I hope the Minister will give grave consideration to this amendment, because it will be known to a great many Deputies here that there are people who may have two or three acres of land, and who very often are in a destitute condition, and yet the Board of Guardians, or their successors, will not be in a position to afford them the necessary relief to keep body and soul together. That state of affairs should not exist in this country, and I give my whole-hearted support to this amendment.

I also wish to support the amendment. The present position of affairs is a bad one, so far as agricultural workers are concerned. No person, or agricultural worker, who is a tenant of a house built by the District Council, is entitled to outdoor relief. Now in view of the fact that these men are not insured under Part 2 of the Insurance Act they will not be entitled to benefit, and these men are in a worse condition than the workers in the town who have a claim for relief. I ask the Minister to take that into consideration. Something should be done to relieve these unfortunate men. We know that there is a slump in agricultural work at present. We hear it from all sides. It is apparent to everybody that these men are undoubtedly suffering hardship in consequence of their not being entitled to draw unemployment benefit. The Minister should stretch a point to do something for them.

My amendment standing down further in the paper on this matter has suffered some hardship. Whose fault it is I do not know. The amendments in my name —two and four—were handed in as one amendment. Four came before two, and the two of them are bearing sequentially. My amendment would be and it shall be "notwithstanding anything in any Act heretofore passed" as in 4, and at the end of that to add "and any such relief already granted in such cases shall be deemed to have been lawfully granted." I have a duplicate of that copy in my hand, and it is in that form that I handed it in.

They were separated by my direction.

It will be seen that my amendment, as originally handed in, is practically identical in all respects, except one matter, with amendments No. 1 and 3, certainly with amendment 1. The only difference is this, and I suggest it in addition to the arguments that have already been given. I am in entire concurrence with those who have urged that persons in occupation of a quarter acre of land should be entitled to this kind of outdoor relief—whether it be called out-door relief—which is the term that has earned some little degree of opprobrium in parts of the country, and for which I have therefore substituted the words "Home Help" which certain people who have advised me in this matter say would be better. The substance of the relief is the same whatever the name be called. I venture to suggest that the two amendments might be considered together, and both put before the Minister together. The amendment states: "Notwithstanding that the person is in occupation of more than a quarter of an acre of land," and I have added to that a further limitation by saying "to the destitute occupiers of more than one quarter of a statute acre of land, and not exceeding 1 statute acre of land." I suggest that if a person is in occupation of more than one statute acre of land that person should be able to earn such a livelihood off that amount of land by a proper use of it that he and his family should not be compelled to fall back upon outdoor relief or home help, whichever it is called. With that addition I urge the amendment.

The Deputy who has just spoken thinks the scheme of the '47 period was a right one, except that they lowered the acreage rather too much. If they had stopped at one acre then it was perfectly in order. I think the Deputy has been steeping himself too much in Peter Kropotkin and Vincent, of Brighton, and a few other people who have been experts in market gardening, and he thinks that labourers, or cottiers, in the country have the knowledge of intensive culture that these men had, and not only the knowledge of intensive culture, but the appliances, the glass and such-like for the production of great crops of foodstuffs. But if the Minister had been—I am a little premature in speaking of the Minister—if the Deputy had listened to the wails of the Farmers' Union, and the representatives of the Union in the Dáil, he would know that the greater the quantity of land the greater the need; that the paying of rent for an acre of land would bring them nearer to destitution than the paying of rent for a quarter of an acre of land, and the holding of land in these circumstances —certainly if the stories we hear from the agriculturists are true—is an added reason for the need that is required. Seriously, the argument runs that a man must divest himself of all means of keeping himself alive up to a quarter of an acre under the old law, but up to one acre under the proposal of Deputy Figgis. That is an entirely wrong suggestion. The same argument will apply at a later stage. The purpose of this should be to prevent destitution, and not drive a man to sell anything that he has for the purpose of keeping himself alive. I would resent the suggestion of Deputy Figgis almost as much as I would the retention of the present limitation, and I hope that they will both be removed, and that the amendment of Deputy O'Shannon will be accepted.

I would like to see the restriction removed where a man holds a small quantity of land. Anyone that knows certain parts of Ireland knows that there are not hundreds or thousands, but tens of thousands, of small holdings under three or four pounds' valuation. I know what Deputy Figgis can do on a small foundation, but I do not think he could make a living out of some of the holdings that I know of, no matter how industrious he might be. I think that to say that a man who has got an acre of land to live out of should not get outdoor relief is not common sense. The Guardians represent the ratepayers, they represent the people who pay the money, and if they are willing to relieve an applicant, knowing all the facts of the case, I think that the law should not step in and say they cannot relieve that man. This country, for climatic reasons, is subject to great agricultural depression, as unfortunately we know, and there may be districts, like the districts in the County Galway, where people will be suddenly struck with destitution through failure of crops, and the Guardians are prohibited, by a rule of this kind, though they may be willing to relieve an applicant, because he has one acre of a bog or of the side of a hill. I can see that, in order to put a check on what I may call corruption—although that is a very strong word—some limit has got to be put on, but I think a limit of one acre is not reasonable. We should keep in mind that the Guardians represent the men who will bear the burden, and that we should impose the responsibility upon them and not be setting up barriers which remind us too much of the old barriers we had to contend with in the past.

I would like to say that while professing no enthusiasm for one acre, I have merely put forward an argument based upon that, by which there should be some limit. If Deputy Johnson's argument against me were sound, he would remove every limit, with results that some of us know actually to occur to-day in Ireland. I know of cases in parts of the country that Deputy Sears is pretty well aware of where people can get outdoor relief who are not entitled to it, and where the Guardians have given it, not, I venture to suggest, as those who are in charge of public moneys, but as those who are subject to very considerable private influences. That occurs. Human nature permits it to occur, and we have got to check it. I do not say that the limit should necessarily be one acre, but I do urge strongly that to say there should be no outside limit, while fixing an inside limit, would be bad in itself, and would lead to very unfortunate and corrupt results.

I beg just in a sentence or two to support what Deputy Sears has urged. There is an assumption in the amendment of Deputy Figgis that an acre of land is an absolute thing, that we can regard land quantitively only and that one acre anywhere is the same as one acre anywhere else. He informs me that it is not the case. Deputy Sears has in mind a place which I had an opportunity of seeing only in 1914, and I was brought into contact there by accident with a thing which made a lasting impression. I was asked by a poor woman to intercede with the Midland Railway Co. on her behalf. Her son, who was employed by the Company, had been killed on the line. Though he was a trespasser at the time, the Manager of the Railway Co. was good enough to put me in communication with the Railway Servants' Society in England, and a document was sent to me which I gave her to be filled up stating her resources. Unfortunately she got a local clergyman to fill the document and he, like Deputy Figgis, did not realise that you could tell a lie by speaking what seemed to be a truth by taking things literally. He wrote down as her resources that she had three acres and a horse—it was not a cow in this case. I need hardly tell you that the Railway Benevolent Society was not drawn on for her relief because I can well imagine an official in England saying "I wish I had three acres and a horse." There was not the sixteenth of an acre anywhere on which you could tread with any hope of getting away again unless you were a practised swimmer. The woman was thirty pounds in debt for twenty-five successive years to a local gombeen man. That was not mentioned among her resources. One might be destitute in congested areas of the West while being registered as the holder of more than one acre. I think what Deputy Sears has put forward ought to weigh with us very effectively.

Perhaps the Dáil had better hear the Minister.

I have no objection at all to the principle of the amendment. Indeed I think it was implied in the whole of the schemes that the quarter acre bar should be removed. In the preamble of the Act, on the first page, second paragraph (d), you see that one of the principal provisions is "Enabling all poor persons requiring relief to be relieved either in or out of the central institution as may be thought advisable." Now I think that not only must this bar be removed but that the other bars must also be removed because destitution must be relieved. When the workhouses existed certain classes of people would only be relieved in the workhouses, but there was provision in cases of necessity for these classes to receive relief in the workhouse. Now that the workhouses have gone, it must be made possible where the necessity exists, and where there is destitution, to relieve these people outside the workhouses. Returning in particular to the quarter acre, that has always been objected to, and it always has been evaded. It is most undesirable that a person holding a patch of land should be obliged to divest himself of it before receiving relief, and thereby reducing himself possibly to a condition of permanent dependence on the rates. Again, there is no reason for fixing on any particular measure of land. Relief is only to be given when there is destitution. We do not say, for instance, that a man shall not hold more than £200 worth of Guinness's shares, and there is no reason why a definite limit of the amount of land should be laid down. The test is one of destitution, and the person may hold a certain amount of land, and either owing to its unsuitability, or to the fact that the sale of the actual patch is undesirable the person may be genuinely destitute. There are other people for instance a widow with one child, who would be debarred under the existing law from receiving outdoor relief, and they would be obliged to go into the workhouse. It is necessary, and it should be possible to relieve them outside. On the other hand, it is necessary that there should be checks. Suitable regulations should be drawn up to prevent the abuses of the power of giving home relief. There is no doubt that in recent months the power of giving home help had been abused. It has been given, to an undue extent in cases where it is unnecessary to give it. It will be necessary to have stringent regulations to prevent that, and that home help should be given strictly for the relief of destitution. I do not think that I would agree to accept Deputy O'Shannon's amendment in its present form, because it deals only with one particular bar to the receipt of outdoor relief, and I think that the other bars must of necessity be removed also.

I cannot, on the other hand, suggest or give the precise words of an amendment that I think would be acceptable, but if the Deputy would be satisfied with it, I would undertake to bring one up which I believe it is necessary to have, although as I say, the whole scheme of the amalgamation of workhouses, and of their abolition implies the removal of these bars. Still, I think it is necessary to have some specific provision in the Bill, and I would be prepared to have something like this:—"Notwithstanding anything in any enactment limiting the granting of outdoor relief to certain classes of persons, any person in a county where a County Scheme is in force who is entitled to relief may, subject to the provisions of such County Scheme, and to any regulations made by the Minister in this behalf, be granted outdoor relief."

Whatever amendment I would get I feel it would be necessary to have regulations made to prevent abuses. It may be that in the future, in the case of able-bodied people who previously would have gone to the workhouses, to prevent abuse of the power to give relief to such people, some arrangement should be made to provide means of giving work to them, so that they might work, and not simply receive a dole. However, that is a matter for the future, and what is required for the present is really power to make regulations sufficient to prevent abuse of the new powers which must necessarily be given for the distribution of outdoor relief in view of the abolition of the institutions in which these debarred persons were hitherto relieved.

I would be quite prepared to withdraw the amendment, by leave of the Dáil, after hearing the Minister's statement, and I have no objection to regulations to prevent abuses of Home Help provisions. What I want to get at is, to prevent destitution, because some of the restrictions, particularly this one, create destitution rather than prevent it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

The statement the Minister has made fully answers the question I wished to vindicate and I withdraw Amendment (2) standing in my name. I think the regulations are necessarily required. In order to make my position perfectly clear, and not suffer from any ambiguity, in the way of a desire to restrict those who are destitute from getting assistance they should get, I have one particular case in my mind of a poor old man in a certain part of this country with which I am familiar. There were two holdings beside one another. One family is living, and making a very precarious livelihood, and not falling on the rates at all, while the other occupier, with exactly the same kind of holding—very poor bog land—of exactly the same size, does not work it at all because he happens to be a second cousin four times removed from a Guardian. That is the kind of abuse I wish to have removed by the regulations which will be prepared by the Minister following the statement he has made.

Amendment 2 by leave withdrawn, viz.:—"And it shall be lawful to afford Home Help to the destitute occupiers of more than one quarter of a statute acre of land, and not exceeding one statute acre of land."

The amendment in my name reads:—Before Section 10 to insert the following new Section:—

"Notwithstanding anything in any existing Act or in any County Scheme, it shall be lawful for a Local Authority to grant outdoor relief (whether known by that or any other name) to persons in distress by reason of lack of employment, and any such relief already granted in such cases shall be deemed to have been lawfully granted."

What other speakers have said shows the necessity of going into the conditions in which Home Help can be granted. We are all very pleased to hear the statement of the Minister that he proposes to do so. This provision that has just been discussed was directly introduced at the time of the famine for the purpose of pauperising and demoralising the people and for no other purpose, but to compel them to accept the shelter of the workhouse rather than help outside. Some people are apt to look upon home help as so much money wasted, but it is a much more desirable thing to grant the destitute poor relief than compel the destitute poor to accept the workhouse. Now in point of fact it is false economy to do the latter, as to support an average sized family in pre-war days cost over 30s. weekly, whereas to grant 30s. weekly as outdoor relief seems, to many people, altogether excessive. A much more enlightened view was always taken in Scotland, where Poor Law has been administered in a very humane manner, and where the principle of giving adequate relief has always been acted upon. They believe, and, I submit, rightly, that it was undesirable that any home should be broken up, or any family forced into the workhouse if it could be prevented by giving adequate home help. There are many other classes that could be referred to. The Minister has pointed out an instance of a widow with one child. There are also the cases where there is a family and where the father is in hospital, or where there is a wife and family who have been deserted by the husband. The only case in which the Poor Law can interfere is where the wife and family enter the workhouse. In that case the Guardians were entitled to proceed against the husband for desertion, and unless the wife proceeded no action could be taken by the Poor Law Boards. The whole thing tended, and these restrictions were deliberately designed, to demoralise the people, and we are very glad to hear the Minister state that he proposes to go into the provision with a view to removing them. Accordingly I agree to have this amendment withdrawn.

I would like to reinforce what I said in the earlier amendment, and I would ask the Minister to give us an assurance that, when he speaks of relief of destitute people, that that is not literally his whole mind on the matter. I hope it will be recognised in the transitory stage, and in the new Poor Law when it is formulated, that the greatest economy, both in money and in national well-being, will arise from the prevention of that destitution. It is not well to wait until the destitution stage has been reached before dealing with it. We ought not to remove outside the purview of the Councils under this Scheme the power to assist monetarily, or by gifts in kind, or by assistance of any nature within such regulations as may be devised, so as to prevent a family getting down to that utterly despondent, reckless, burned out stage that so many people arrive at before they seek the Poor Law. That is one of the wasteful sides of this system, that people have to become not only poverty-stricken, but utterly destitute, both in spirit, mind, body and estate, and the purpose of this should be to prevent that stage being arrived at, and that can be, and ought to be, done by the administration of the Poor Law.

I will just say a few words now on Section 10.

Amendments 3 and 4 are withdrawn. Does the Minister desire to speak before Amendment 5 is moved?

Yes, I want to say a few words now about Section 10. I regard Section 10 as being one of the important sections of this Bill because if we had not Section 10 we would have a very unsatisfactory state of affairs in the country with regard to superannuation. It might be well if I just said a couple of words about the superannuation of officers of local authorities. Originally they had no right to superannuation and there was no power to give them superannuation. In 1865 the Union Officers Superannuation Act was passed and subsequent Acts extended the same rights to other officers. It gave the power to the Local Authorities to grant Superannuation Allowances. These allowances were dependent on the good-will of the Local Authorities. Certain special formalities had to be observed before they could be granted. They were subject to the sanction of the Central Authority and a maximum was prescribed. Now the Act of 1919, Section 8, introduced vital changes. By that, every pensionable officer then holding office became entitled to a pension. A minimum and maximum were fixed. The Local Authority had full power to exercise discretion within the limits laid down by that minimum and maximum. The maximum was two-thirds, which meant that an officer having, say, 12 years' service, could be given by the Local Authority a full two-thirds of his pay and emoluments as a superannuation allowance. Under that Act there were cases of a man who was 14 years in the service of a local body getting 26 added years, on going out, and having his full two-thirds pension. Now there was no power unless the official disputed the amount given to him for the Local Authority to intervene. The Act of 1919, whatever its purpose is, certainly did not contemplate the large number of abolitions which took place under the amalgamation schemes, and the Act worked rather badly when those schemes came to be put into operation. The Boards of Guardians who granted the superannuation were in many cases going out of office. The superannuation allowance would be a county-at-large charge. The local authorities, that is the Guardians, in many cases were not disposed to exercise the discretion which they ought to have exercised, and in many cases granted the full superannuation allowed by Section 8 of the Act of 1919. Now there was really no power where the Guardians granted that pension to review it, although it might be altogether extravagant. No cases of dispute arose. The official who got far more pension than he was entitled to, naturally did not dispute it. The Local Government Department, in a circular issued when the amalgamation schemes were being taken up, laid it down that it would sanction the addition of 50 per cent. of the actual period of service as compensation for the abolition of offices. Where the local authorities have added more years than that, we have refused sanction. Of course, as the law stood we had not power to refuse sanction. The result is that if a clause like this, that is in Section 10 of this Bill, were not to be passed, the various officers who have retired owing to the abolition of their offices could go into the courts and could claim to recover the full amounts awarded to them by the Boards of Guardians, although they have accepted the action of the Local Government Department in reducing these allowances. There was no legal power behind those reductions. It is proposed to deal with the matter by giving power to the County Council, which will now be the authority responsible for paying these allowances, to dispute the amounts, so that the Department can come in and arbitrate. It will be possible, therefore, to have, if necessary, the rulings which were made informally by the Department, repeated and ratified in a formal way. The first sub-section of this clause is for the purpose of removing the effect of somewhat unreasonable clauses in some of the schemes. For instance, in the Clare Scheme there is a provision that superannuation shall cease to be paid if the recipient leaves Ireland. Of course, that sort of condition could not be allowed to stand. The second sub-section provides for the safeguarding of the rights of a man who is a Clerk of a Rural District Council, in addition to being Clerk of a Board of Guardians. Sub-section 3 gives the right of appeal to which I have referred. Sub-section 4 provides that in the future, superannuation shall be in accordance with the scales provided by the Superannuation Acts of 1884 and 1892.

What about the Treaty Act?

The Treaty Act does not affect the matter at all.

I move the following amendment:—In sub-section (1), to add after the word "effect" the words "Provided that where any such officer is, within three months after the abolition of his office, appointed to a pensionable office under such County Scheme, the salary and emoluments of which are not less than the salary and emoluments of his previous office, he shall not be entitled to the rights in relation to superannuation given by this sub-section, but he shall, for pension purposes, be entitled to add his period of service with the local authority to his subsequent service under the County Scheme or otherwise."

This amendment provides for a continuation of services. That is to say, that an official of a Board of Guardians, or any other official of a similar body, who takes service under the new County scheme, shall be entitled, for pension purposes, to add his period of service with the local authority, to his subsequent service under the County Scheme or otherwise.

Amendment agreed to.

I move the following amendment:—"In Sub-section (2), to delete the words `the office of Clerk to such Rural District Council,' and to substitute: `or of Medical Officer of a Dispensary District and Medical Officer of Health, or of Relieving Officer and Sanitary Sub-Officer, or of Midwife of a Dispensary District and Midwife of a Union Hospital, the office which is not abolished'; and to delete the words, `the service of such Council,' and to substitute the words `such Office.' "

This proposes to add a certain number of offices to that of Clerk of a Rural District Council, or Medical Officer of a Dispensary District, because, in addition to the Medical Officer and Clerk of a Poor Law Board, there are a number of other Officers who hold dual positions, such as Relieving Officers who might be Rent Collectors, or Sanitary Officers who might be Inspectors of Dairies, etc., and so forth. Where such Officers hold more than one position, and one of the positions is abolished by a reform or scheme, we think the Officer ought to be given the same advantage as the Medical Officer or Clerk of the Rural District Council.

I do not think the necessity for this amendment exists. The schemes for amalgamation will not interfere with Medical Officers at all. Their position remains unaffected by the schemes. That is, the Dispensary Districts remain as they were, and the Dispensary doctors continue their services as before. The schemes do not interfere with the Medical Officer of Health either, so that I think, as far as that is concerned, there is no need for the amendment. The same applies to a Midwife of a Dispensary District, or a Midwife of a Union Hospital. I am not sure of the case of a Sub-Sanitary Officer, but I believe the amendment is not required, and that the contingencies contemplated in it are not likely to arise. They cannot arise, in fact.

May I take it from the Minister these will be pensionable offices and will not be interfered with by the County Schemes?

Medical Officers are treated as whole-time Officers, and are pensionable, and the same applies to Midwives.

Would the Minister undertake to look into this, if it is withdrawn, to see if there is anything in the contention contained in the amendment?

I will look into it, although I am informed at present that no case will arise. The only doubt I have is with regard to sub-sanitary officers and relieving officers. I am not positive about these.

Amendment by leave withdrawn.

I want to ask a question under Sub-section (4) with reference to the superannuation of officers being in accordance with certain Acts. Is it possible to give a pension on bonus under these Acts? Supposing an officer has a bonus and a salary at the same time when he is going on pension, does he get his pension on the bonus as well as on the salary under these Acts of 1884 and 1892.

I believe that it is on his salary and emoluments, which would include the bonus.

Let us see that this position is clearly defined before we go any further. The bonuses have been disappearing, and may disappear altogether in twelve months. Am I to understand now that the superannuation is fixed on salary and emoluments and is to continue? Bonuses are a thing that is going to disappear, and if you are going to fix the superannuation on the emoluments and the salary the two things will run together. It is infamous that the two things should continue to run together.

We have a number of amendments before Sub-section 4. We had better get through with these.

I move Amendment 7. In Sub-section (2) to add after the line 53: "Provided that any official on the Board of Guardians who is an official of a Rural District Council, shall be entitled, on the determination of his office from the Board of Guardians, to retire, as official under Rural District Council, on same terms as if his office had been abolished."

This is just to enable an official under a Rural District Council and under the Board of Guardians, if his office is abolished by one of these County Schemes, to have the opportunity to retire from the Rural District Council on the same terms as if his office were abolished.

I accept that.

Am I in order in asking to have the last question I put answered?

Not now. When we get through the amendments you can raise all these general matters on the question that the section stands part of the Bill.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I move Amendment 8:—To add after Sub-section (2), line 53, a new Sub-section, as follows:—"(3) Where the Board of Guardians of any Union extending into two or more counties is abolished by a County Scheme or Schemes, the pensions of the pensionable officers of such Union shall be paid by the Council of the County in which the Workhouse belonging to such Union was situate, and the Council of that County shall be entitled to recover from the Council of any other county into which such Union extended the contribution payable by such Council towards such pension."

This simply proposes when a Board of Guardians of any Union extending into two counties is abolished by the County Schemes the pensions of the pensionable officers of such Union should be paid by the Council of the County in which the Workhouse is situated and that the Council of that County shall be entitled to recover from the Council of the other County into which the Union extends the contribution payable by that Council towards it. I do not think it is a matter for discussion.

I accept that. Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 9.—"To add at end of Sub-section (2) the following:— `Where any abolished Poor Law Union extended into two or three Counties, the pensions of the officers of every such Union shall be paid by the Board of Health for the County in which the abolished Workhouse was situate; and the apportioned share of such pensions chargeable upon the other County or Counties shall be a debt due to the County Board of Health by whom the payment was made, and shall be recoverable by that body.' "

There is nothing in that amendment that could arouse any opposition, I think, from the front bench. It is merely to protect one area from having to pay the full costs of pensions from the other area in which the Union is abolished.

Is not this the same as the last amendment? I think it is covered by Amendment No. 8 which is passed.

Amendment withdrawn.

I wish to move Amendment 10, "To delete Sub-section (3)." My reason for proposing this amendment is that this Clause violates the protection accorded to officials under Clause 8 of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, and, in my opinion, it is also a violation of Clause 10 of the Treaty Act. It should be well known to everyone connected with public boards that a number of public officials, employees of County Councils and others, were practically invited by their Councils to go out on pension on the tempting offers made under the Free State Act. Now we notice that the Minister having got these officials out, after having got the Councils to encourage them to go out, now proceeds, as it were, under this Clause, to have the pension reviewed and taken from them. A number of these officials with long service would not have gone out at all were it not for the encouragement the various Councils gave them. While I am on this motion, might I say that the Minister, in his opening statement in introducing the Bill, led us to believe that this was only a temporary measure for the purpose of setting up these 22 or 23 County Schemes. If you go through the Bill, Clause by Clause, you will see that there are a number of clauses which seriously affect the position of employees throughout Ireland who resign, having nothing at all to do with the County Council Schemes. The reason I do not think the Minister paid attention to what I mentioned, my principal reason for moving the deletion of this Clause, is that it takes from officials of county councils and unions the protection they had under the 1919 Act. I am a member of one of the Councils who invited their old employees to send in their resignations on the grounds that these tempting pensions would be paid to them, and a number of the employees did reply to the official who sent out the invitation and did hand in their resignations on the offers made by the head officials of the Dublin Corporation. I know that in a number of unions the same thing has occurred. Having got them to go out and having got their jobs filled up by others it is now proposed to take from them the pensions which they were allowed, and which were held out to them as an inducement to them to retire. I hold that this is a contravention of the Treaty Act.

I think it is hardly necessary for me to say that this does not contravene the Treaty and that in fact it has nothing at all to do with the provisions of Article 10 of the Treaty. In regard to Dublin Corporation pensions I do not think that they would come under this particular Clause at all; they could only come when a question of dispute had arisen and when there was an appeal to the Minister. Now, it is absolutely necessary that this Sub-section should be kept in the Bill. If it was not kept in the Bill we would have hundreds of officials who have accepted our decision reducing the pensions which the boards of guardians granted to them, coming into the courts and having the old amounts restored, because, although they have accepted it heretofore, there is sure, if the law is not corrected, to be a break-away and a big crop of litigation in this respect. We have always been prepared to agree, in cases of abolition, to the addition of fifty per cent. of the years actually served and in my opinion that is not only just but quite generous. It would certainly be a scandal to allow large numbers of people, who had fifteen or twenty years' service, or even less than fifteen years' service in some cases, to mulct the rates to the extent of a superannuation based on two-thirds of their salaries for the remainder of their lives. I think that this is in no way unjust. It provides quite amply for the officers whose offices have been abolished and it is in line with the provisions in this Bill, which legalises the amalgamations already carried out. In order to prevent grave scandals the Local Government Department, under the circumstances operating before the coming into being of this present Dáil, this Parliament of the Free State, was obliged to exercise a power which had not been given it by any statute; it was obliged to act in the interests of the ratepayers to prevent careless granting of undue compensation by local bodies who were going out of existence. It is very essential that the action taken by the Local Government Department to protect the ratepayers in those circumstances should be ratified. If that action is not ratified, as I say, there must be an enormous crop of litigation. There was no bias at all against the officials; in fact I think that no reasonable official can complain of the way he was treated in this matter. Deputy Byrne has, several times, brought before the Dáil, by way of question, the cases of people who, althought not affected by this Section, were granted scandalously large pensions, having regard to the very short time of service that they had.

The Minister has gone away from the point that I made in my case, that Councils supporting the Government, induced or invited officials to go out, offering them certain pensions. I was not in favour of such an invitation being extended to anyone, but they induced those officials to go out on the ground that they would get so and so. Now, it appears that this retrospective legislation is about to take place, and a number of officials who did give up their positions—positions since filled by other people—having accepted the word of the Councils that they were to get certain pensions, are now being deprived, by the insertion of this clause, of the promises held out to them by the Council. I am not in favour of granting big pensions. I think it is not right and fair to the ratepayers, but when, with the support of the Government, the Councils concerned did send out such invitations I think it is wrong now, when their positions are filled by others, that their pensions should be cut down.

The various officials were quite well aware that from the beginning of these amalgamation schemes —it was stated in our Circular 53—that we would not consent to any superannuation in which there were added years exceeding fifty per cent. of those actually served. No, they were under no delusions in the matter. Perhaps some of them thought they would get away with more, but they were only gambling on that, and they were only hoping to get away with more than they were entitled to, and more than they knew that they had any reasonable prospect of getting.

This only applies to officials whose offices were abolished under the Amalgamation Scheme. But to illustrate the sort of thing that can occur, I have a case before me of an official in regard to whom Deputy Byrne asked a question. He was an official of the Dublin Corporation who had 14 years' service, and he got 26 years added and received as his pension two-thirds of his salary. I do not think the Dáil, in these circumstances, need pay much attention to Deputy Byrne's question.

This trouble, I suppose, is inevitable, following upon the conflicts of authority and law of the last three or four years. It is a case of retrospective legislation again. I think it is necessary to correct wrongs that were righted by law, or were made legal, though not made right, any time in the last three or four years. I think there is a good case for retrospective legislation in the circumstances of the last two or three years. But I hope the Minister will remember that this has another side, and that when you are making a correction on one side you are not going to do an injustice on the other side. As far as I can understand the effect of this clause, it will give power to the Minister to revoke and alter pensions granted under the 1919 Act, no matter whether they were extravagant or not, and a man may be receiving a pension for some time, and a not unreasonable pension, but this clause gives the Minister power, without any question, to revoke that pension. That probably will not be exercised, but it is not right that it should be left in that way. There is a class of case which has been brought to my notice which I want to present to the Minister for consideration. A number of officials were pensioned under the 1919 Act and their pensions were reduced at the orders of the Local Government Department. Some of these were re-employed in other Local Government Departments by other Local Government Councils. The pensions they were receiving under the Act were taken into account, or, shall I say, were withheld when fixing their pay awarded by the new authority. That may be justifiable, if the adjustment is made within reason, and there may be no injustice in it, but the new office is temporary, and is not pensionable, and further than that, the new authority, or, rather, the combined authorities, are holding the pensions up, and are insisting that certain conditions shall be complied with or the pensions will be withheld entirely. I maintain that is an injustice and should not be allowed. If the pension is granted, it is a definite right, and ought to be obtainable in any circumstances. No future misconduct shall prevent that pension being paid. Then there are cases of numbers of employees who are nominally temporary, but were sanctioned year by year for many years by the Local Government Department, and who, as a result of the amalgamations, lost their employment and office. Pensions were granted under the 1919 Act by the Local Government Authority, the Guardians, but have been refused by the Department, and these people, because of the peculiar circumstances that they were nominally temporary, had been deprived of pensions of any kind. I hope that will be considered by the Minister, and some alteration made.

I think it ought to be made clear when a pensionable officer has been deprived of part of his pension, the pension that has been finally allotted then because he has taken other local Government employment, that he should be assured there is to be continuity and that the new appointment is going to be taken into account in fixing his ultimate pension. When the present pension is stopped because he receives new employment under a local authority it is not right that the present employment should be considered as temporary and non-pensionable. The very fact that his pension is affected by continuity at all ought to make the present term pensionable as was the original term. I would ask the Minister to give consideration to these representations which come to me from more than one place, but particularly Limerick.

Before the Minister replies I would like to say that this matter raised here, like matters raised in one or two other Bills, should, I venture to say, raise a question of first class importance to this State, and if the Dáil would bear with me I would like to indicate it and to point out to the Minister that there is a very important parallel that meets our case at this moment in Ireland precisely. I am referring to the time when the United States broke free from England. Certain bargains were made at that time and immediately preceding that time which a number of persons after freedom had been established endeavoured to have undone. These bargains in nearly every case were deleterious to the State, and it was argued because they were hurtful, therefore they should be liquidated, and then a Statesman arose—one of the greatest of American Statesmen—and his argument was that every bargain that was made before the freedom had been established should be regarded as a clinched bargain and a closed bargain, and that however deleterious they should be they should be held by, and he argued that in favour of the persons that would be advantaged, but for this reason, and this reason only, that the good name of the United States was involved in the keeping of these bargains, and I think that argument is perfectly sound to-day.

I think the Minister does injustice when he infers, or leaves it to be inferred, that any Deputy is concerned with any official. I know no official who has received any advantage by such pensions, but I do know this, that once we get the name in this country for introducing legislation that goes back upon closed bargains and dishonours them then it will be a very bad day for this country. And I think no matter what has been done heretofore, even though we suffer for it, and even that it is against our best interests, we will ultimately find we will be serving Irish interests best even though we suffer a certain monetary loss at the time by saying although these bargains are against us we will show our good faith by honouring them and regarding them as closed and complete bargains, and we will make no endeavour to escape from or liquidate them.

That argument was raised before in history, and I believe it is perfectly sound and clear to-day. We had a case put before us, of a like kind, when dealing with another Bill in Committee yesterday, and to-day we come to the matter once again. I think it is sound to say they are doubtful, constitutionally, but whether they are or are not has nothing whatever to do with it. Even if it were perfectly clear, as I think it is not, that under the Constitution we could liquidate these bargains I still say it is bad business to do so, and bad business for this country that we should get into the way of regarding ourselves as a people who can tear up bargains made in the past; because we are here to-day, having achieved our freedom, we think we can escape certain monetary conditions by going back on these bargains. I appreciate fully the case that the Minister has given of the particular official to whom he referred. It is well known to all of us. It is a monstrous case. There are heaps of monstrous cases of this kind and other kinds, but, because they are monstrous, that is no reason why they should be gone back upon. Let us say, with regard to them, that these were contracts which were entered into by two sides, and being contracts, we will regard them as obligations that are binding upon us, and all the more binding upon us because we have, whether we have or not let us say we have, the legislative freedom to undo them.

I would like to say, with reference to a remark the Minister made regarding an ex-official of the Dublin Corporation, one would imagine from hearing the statement that it was the Council itself had added the 26 years to the 14 years' service. But if I am right with regard to the official he had no claim. The fact was that the Dublin Corporation refused to give any pension or to allow that official to retire, but the official insisted and claimed his right to retire. He appealed direct to the old Local Government Board, and was awarded a full two-thirds pension. I agree with the Minister that that was a scandal, and I hope the pensions granted under similar conditions will be reviewed. There are four or five, or possibly half a dozen, such cases. In one case, an official received a pension greater in amount than the Ministers of the Dáil receive in salary. That is he got more than £1,700 a year. That surely, is a case which needs some looking into.

To supplement that, I think it is desirable to draw attention to the fact that the bargains were not bargains between the State, nor were they sanctioned by any Act of the Legislature of this country. The bargains that are to be reviewed, and have been revoked—and the revocation has been accepted in most cases according to the Minister's statement—were bargains that were taken advantage of under cover of a punitive law which was intended to brow-beat this country; and the breach or the revocation of these bargains, entered into under cover of such a law, is, I think, quite defensible. It was not an Act of the Parliament of this people, in so far as the Parliament of this people was acting. We have it from the Minister that the participants in these bargains were warned not to enter into them, because they would be made abortive, and, therefore, they cannot be considered as morally binding upon the State.

I was not unaware, at the time I spoke, of the argument to which Deputy Johnson has referred. It was present in my mind all the time, and I say now, quite deliberately, it leaves me quite unmoved. I appreciate to the full the strength of it, but we took over the State. When we achieved our freedom, we took over the State as a going concern. I hope that we will still, in spite of the fact that we are the persons who suffer by the injustice of these punitive measures, fulfil our obligations, because, having taken over the State as a going concern, we took it over with all the obligations, imposed by that going concern, upon ourselves. I have assumed the position I am now taking, and am pleading as a result of a considerable amount of thought, and urge that it is an inescapable position of honour. That is what I am urging. It is easy between ourselves to argue why these bargains should be liquidated, but it is true of Nations, as it is true of men, that Nations neither live to themselves nor die to themselves. What we are doing amongst ourselves may seem justifiable, but, represented in any country in the world, will be represented in the guise and role of dishonour. It is from that I desire we should escape.

I think the analogy drawn by Deputy Figgis is a very sound one, and might be borne in mind by this assembly. The American Colonies when they revolted, revolted because they were taxed and legislated for in a Parliament in which they had no representation of any kind, and revolted because they considered that taxation and legislation was unjust to them. The statesman to whom Deputy Figgis referred was, I imagine, Alexander Hamilton who contended that, whatever they might have a right to do, they should abide by the law as they found it when they took it over and achieved their own freedom. It was opposed by Benjamin Franklin who put forward the very arguments that have been put forward by Deputies Johnson and O'Brien that these things had been imposed on them by people who had no moral right to control them. The words of another statesman in that same debate—John Adams— may be quoted when he said: "The issue is one of National honour, not of compensation to Tories."

The Deputy who has just spoken and Deputy Figgis have lost sight entirely of one of the most important facts in this matter. These amalgamations were carried out by the local authorities which claimed to owe allegiance to Dáil Eireann. They were carried out under the directions and under the supervision of Dáil Eireann. They were carried out at a time when a struggle was going on in this country. The awards that were given by the Local Government Department of Dáil Eireann have been in the main accepted. There is no difference between what has been done in the matter of pension and what has been done in the matter of amalgamating the Unions. They were all done largely as part of the struggle that was going on.

It is not the purpose of this section to upset something that has been done. It is to legalise something that has been done; it is to provide the means of legalising and regularising what has been done. The number of people who were awarded pensions was exceedingly small indeed—that is on the two-thirds basis. The number of people who had pensions sanctioned by the old Local Government Board was exceedingly small. These were people, all of them, who acknowledged the authority of the fighting Government that was carrying on the struggle for freedom in this country. It is not that we are going back to something that was done before that struggle commenced, before these people had disavowed any allegiance to the British Government. We are merely dealing with matters that arose in the course of the struggle. There is no intention, and there has been no intention, to go back on anything that was fixed and settled before the struggle took on the complexion that it did in February, 1919 But the things that have been done since then had been done at a time when there was dual authority—when there were two Executives functioning in the country, and we cannot say that people are entitled to look to one Executive for this privilege and advantage and look to another Executive, or the regulations of another Executive, for another advantage. All these things were done under the popular Executive which was carrying on the struggle for freedom. The law was modified not by any legislative decree, because that was not possible, but by the administrative actions of the popular Executive which was carrying on the struggle for freedom. This is simply to legalise and ratify the modification of the British Act which was made by the administrative Act of the popular Executive which was carrying on the struggle here.

I suggest that the greater part of the concluding remarks of the Minister are entirely irrelevant to the argument I put forward. I do no more than say that I have put forward an argument which may be right or wrong. I put it forward believing it to be right and morally binding upon us as an argument, as a position from which we should not escape. Whether it be right or wrong, it is not for me to say. But if it be wrong, and if it be shown to be wrong, it can only be done by meeting it and not by neglecting it, and not by bringing up arguments that have nothing to do with it. But the Minister has referred to the acts of the authority which was set up by the Irish people as against the Government of this country. As one who has, from the very beginning, supported that Government and taken his share in the support of that Government, I am not unaware of the force of that argument, and to show that I am not exactly unaware of it I will, with the permission of the Dáil, make a quotation from one of the papers sent out at that time by the Government of the Irish Republic through the Minister conducting the Department of Local Government. I have in my hand here the original Circular sent out from the Department of Local Government at that time, it is Circular No. 53, and it is headed "Superannuation of Local Officers." It is signed by a name, that of the chief person of this Dáil next to yourself, A Chinn Chomhairle, Liam T. MacCosgair. I would make one or two brief quotations from this Circular: "It is also noticed by the Ministry that Local Authorities, when awarding pensions, rarely exercise the discretionary powers vested in them by the Statute"—by the Statute—the Statute being the English Statute which was recognised. And then the Circular goes on: "by the Statute in the case of Officers entitled to Superannuation. The Section specified two limits to the amount that may be granted. It states: "that the retired Officer shall receive an allowance not exceeding two-thirds of the salary, fees and emoluments which he was in receipt of at the time of the removal or resignation, and not less than an allowance calculated according to this scale provided by the Superannuation Acts, 1834 to 1892, and the Rules thereunder. Within these two limits the Local Authority can award such amount as they see fit." That is from the Government of the Irish Republic, and it is signed by Liam T. MacCosgair. There is another section of this that I will read. Having set out a scale of actual services with a maximum period that might be added in cases of retirement, it says: "This scale may be applied to Officers who retired on the ground of Old Age or permanent infirmity, but Officers whose employment has been terminated as a result of reforms or changes in the public service, would be in a different position, and could justly claim a higher pension as compensation for loss of office and prospects in the service. The Ministry consider that the maximum number of years to be added in these cases might be half the actual number of years served." I have been, in relation to the arguments I brought forward, referred to the Government that was set up during those years of war by the Irish people. I accept it. I produce the document to support it, sent out by that Government of the Irish Republic, and I ask that the obligations that were entered into by local bodies under Circular 53 be honoured by this Dáil.

I do not know really why the Deputy made his last speech, because there is no intention to dishonour those obligations.

I have some slight recollection of this Circular, and the reference therein to British Statutes simply amounts to this, that in the decree of the Dáil which instructed that local authorities sever their relations with the British Local Government Board, it was set out as a matter of convenience that while they were functioning under the supervision and authority of the Dáil Local Government Department, the existing code, subject to such alteration and modifications as might from time to time be promulgated by the Department, would be the code governing their activities. It did not mean, therefore, that they regarded British Statutes, qua British Statutes, as binding. It simply meant that a particular set of regulations which were in existence would continue to be their code, subject to any regulations and modifications that might from time to time be promulgated by the Department. The Dáil at that time met, perhaps, once a month, perhaps not so often, and in the stress of the times it was necessary, practically, that that particular civil department of the Dáil would have, within the limits of its activities, almost legislative powers. It was given power to alter and modify the existing code as circumstances demanded, or seemed to demand. I just thought it right to mention that in view of what sounded very like a taunt from Deputy Figgis that we had thought fit at that time to set out—even in our own instructions—a British Act or Section.

It was not a taunt. There was no other alternative at the time.

Mr. O'HIGGINS

The responsible Minister has stated that there is no intention whatever of dishonouring or departing from the terms of the circular.

Might I say, in connection with the case mentioned by the Minister for Local Government of one man with short service getting an extravagant pension, that I have no sympathy whatever with that case. I am not in favour of short service men getting pensions such as this man received. But I know of cases where members of Committees, supporters of the Government, and elected on their ticket, did invite officers to resign on certain conditions, and got them out on pensions fixed by them. It is proposed by the Minister to take from these men the pensions which were offered to them in order to resign. Their positions are filled now. If this Section is passed it means that the Councils and members of these Committees have induced half a dozen officials to resign under false pretences.

This Section only applies to officers removed in pursuance of the carrying out of County Schemes.

Before this debate closes, I just wish to say that it has all centred on the side of the people who are about to receive these pensions and emoluments. I have not yet heard a word of the unfortunate people who will have to raise these contributions and contribute to them. It matters very little to the people who will have to pay these pensions if they had seventy years added to their service. The ratepayers would not be entitled to pensions. There has not been a single word said in defence of the ratepayer or the people who have to contribute.

Amendment put and negatived.

I beg to move Amend-No. 11. In Sub-section (3), page 6, line 60 to line 3, page 7, to delete all after the words "so think fit" down to the end of the paragraph, and to substitute: "notify the Minister of their desire to dispute the right of such officer to such allowance or the amount of such allowance, and the officer may notify the Minister of his desire to claim such allowance or to dispute the amount of such allowance, and thereupon a case of dispute within the meaning of the said Section 8 shall be deemed to have arisen, and the right to and amount of such allowance shall be determined by the Minister, having regard to the provisions of this Section: Provided that any such notification shall be given within a period of three months after the passing of this Act, and provided also that before determining the right to or amount of such allowance, the Minister shall inform the officer, if the notification is given by the Council, and the Council, if the notification is given by the officer."

The object is to give the recipient of the pension the same right of appeal as the Minister, and to ensure that due notification will be given to the interested parties. I think there should be no contention about this.

I think that the recipient has already a right of appeal, and in case he was not satisfied he would have exercised it. Heretofore disputes have been raised by recipients. They were entitled to that. The body which gave the superannuation might also have raised a dispute in case of any claim that a certain emolument was not pensionable. But otherwise than in such a case the body which gave the superannuation was not likely to dispute it. The official could dispute it, and where he was dissatisfied did dispute it, and in all cases where he has felt that he got less than the fifty per cent. of added years which we were prepared to grant, he has appealed, or appeals are before the Department, so that I think that is really unnecessary.

I think the Minister is probably assuming that the recipient has a right because he allowed the privilege. But I think it is a mistake to say that the recipient has the right of appeal. It may have been allowed—or rather, the appeal may have been heard—by the Minister and the Department as an ordinary matter of course, but if there had been another Minister, or if there comes to be another Minister, he may say: "We are going to exercise our legal rights in this matter, and you have no right of appeal." If the Minister will assure me on further examination that there is the actual legal right to appeal then the amendment may be withdrawn, but, on the other hand, if he finds there is no legal right to appeal, or if he will accept the amendment in any case, it would do no harm.

I certainly will give the assurance asked for.

Amendment by leave withdrawn.

I beg to move:—

In Sub-section (4) after the word "Minister," line 16, to add:—"That this Sub-section shall only apply to appointments subsequent to the passing of this Act."

What I have stated in regard to the previous amendment applies also to this. I understand that the Officials' Associations concerned hold an undertaking from the President, when he was Minister for Local Government, that his Department would adopt and honour Clause 8 of the Local Government Act of 1919 respecting the officials concerned. I might remind the Minister that the English Local Government Board allowed fifteen years to be added when the North Dublin Union was abolished.

The amendment could not be accepted. It would mean that the abuses which were possible under Section 8 of the Act of 1919 would still be possible as long as any of the people who were then in office, and who are now in office, remain in office.

Mr. BYRNE

That is the acceptance, practically, of my amendment.

I am refusing to accept your amendment, and explaining what your amendment means.

Amendment put and negatived.

I move the following amendment: To add to Sub-section (5) the following:—"A Dispensary Doctor or a Dispensary Midwife, who has become incapable of discharging the duties of his or her office with efficiency, by reason of a permanent infirmity of mind or body, and who has served as an officer of a local authority for not less than twenty years, may, with the permission of the Minister, be allowed to resign his or her office, and he or she shall be entitled to receive from the Local Authority an allowance, not exceeding two-thirds of the salary, fees, and emoluments which he or she was in receipt of at the time of his or her resignation."

The amendment should, I think, read "To add after Sub-section 4 a new Sub-section as follows."

Yes. There have been so many vulnerable points in the steel armour of the Minister that I have some confidence that I will meet with a soft point in it in proposing this amendment. I have a lurking suspicion that he will tell me that the amendment is out of order and that in dealing with a temporary Bill I am suggesting something of a permanent character. I could, however, if he will not stop me, I think, make a very good case for the amendment, because I know very particularly that many medical men and midwives as well as dispensary doctors remain in office long after they are capable of performing their duties, because if they give them up they would not be able to live on a small pension. In the amendment I propose it is only asked that persons by reason of infirmity of mind or body, medical officers or midwives should be able to resign office on receiving a reasonable pension. I will explain later what that pension may be. At all events many of these dispensary medical officers throughout the country who get into ill-health and unable to perform their duties remain on long after they should have resigned. That is unfair to them, but it is much more unfair to the poor people. I have here a letter from a dispensary doctor in Connaught, who has to cover 14 square Irish Miles. If he were in bad health you could imagine the way the poor people in that large area would be treated. It is not fair, therefore, if a man is unable to perform his duties either through mental or physical infirmity to keep him on if he is unable to do his duty to the poor. It is a more serious matter for the poor of the district than for the man himself. What I suggest is that it is very necessary that young men should be encouraged to go into the service. If they do not get encouragement, however, there are very few of the better class men who will enter the service. This doctor to whom I refer says he is getting £220 a year as Dispensary Medical Officer. He is getting £15 a year as Medical Officer of Health. Ye gods, think of £15 a year, 10d. a day for looking after the public health in an area covered by 14 Irish miles. He tells me also that under no circumstances could he possibly make more than £50 a year in private practice. He has possibly to keep a motor and also a man servant, and he makes the comparison, I think justly, with the National School teacher in his neighbourhood who receives from £300 to £500 a year for five or six hours a day. This man is liable to be called out at all hours of the day and night to cover this huge district and going into houses where typhus fever is frequently rampant. The point I make is that an attempt should be made to encourage people of good education to go to those districts, and unless they are going to get a decent salary and pension when they are no longer fit to perform their duties I do not think that the men would go there. I am not claiming that a man should get a pension who is able to work.

I am glad that this amendment has been introduced, because it brings to a head a question that has arisen in our county for a long time past, for almost thirty years. A doctor is bodily infirm, and he has not resigned nor will he resign and he has been costing the ratepayers at the rate of twelve guineas a week for practically speaking all these years—certainly during the last few years since the fees became six guineas weekly for temporary duty. The Board of Health called on him to resign, and if he does not it will be my business to ask the Minister for Local Government to force him to resign. If it is not within the province of a doctor to resign it ought to be within the province of the local authority to make him resign. The thing I want to talk about is this. Remuneration is evidently to be based on salary, fees and emoluments. A few minutes ago I spoke on the question of bonus and I understood that it was contemplated that remuneration was going to be based on the bonus. Bonus is not an emolument and any remuneration based on emoluments is quite wrong, and cannot in law be allowed. Emolument is something to which a person is entitled by the terms of his appointment, fuel, light, apartments, attendance, or food. That is an emolument they are entitled to by law. Bonus is quite a different proposition and it carries nothing at all. I want a clear understanding on this question. A bonus is a shifting compensation; it may be enforced to-day and disappear to-morrow. It is not an emolument in any form and cannot be considered as an emolument.

I would like to support the amendment, because I know some country doctors who are certainly very badly hit. I know one at Mullingar who is in receipt of £50 yearly from the Infirmary. Now, that gentleman has to keep a house, and also a man and a servant, and I am sure that he does not receive another £50 outside for private practice. If Deputy Gorey says that doctors in his constituency who have been asked have not resigned, and that they cannot get them to do so, that only shows their enthusiasm for the work of looking after the old and infirm.

And he getting another man to do it for him.

I think Deputy Gorey has a remedy. The other day he and other Deputies spoke of "drastic action." Does Deputy Gorey want to get the secretary of the Farmers' Union to use drastic action there?

With regard to emoluments and bonus, I think it has been the practice that where a professional gentleman in a decent position is entitled to superannuation, that includes emoluments and bonus. Of course, the bonus would only count since the war, but in my opinion, if you want to do away with the bonus you can easily do so by simply placing the same amount on the salary. There is no use giving any professional gentleman a wage which is incapable of keeping him; and there is one thing certain, if we want to encourage, as Sir James Craig has pointed out, the best men to go to the country districts to look after the poor, we certainly must pay them. It is no use for any member of a local Council to stand up and try and repudiate the Standing Orders on the books that doctors will get superannuation up to two-thirds of their salaries. I certainly support Sir James Craig's amendment that midwives or dispensary doctors who are in feeble or in delicate health should be allowed to resign on two-thirds of their salaries.

I think Sir James Craig's own criticism of his amendment was a good one, that in this Bill, which, if it becomes an Act, will only run for twelve months, it is hardly right to propose any permanent change in the law, or anything of the kind not required by an immediate emergency or to regulate some confusion that has arisen. It seems to me that the fixed rule that an officer with twenty years' service—a medical officer—on retiring on account of infirmity or for any other cause, would be entitled to receive two-thirds, as a pension has perhaps at least the appearance of undue generosity. I know cases myself where doctors just like other people, have managed to get medical certificates that they were unfit for anything further, and to have afterwards proved not to be so bad at all. At present, after ten years a dispensary medical officer is entitled to a pension. If he has less than ten years' service he is entitled to a gratuity. If he served ten years he cannot be awarded by the Board less than one-third of his salary, that is, one-sixtieth of every year's service. If the doctor appeals, it is possible for the Department to exercise discretion and increase that pension up to two-thirds. I do not think it is desirable to make provision for a rigid two-thirds in cases where a doctor retires on account of ill-health after twenty years' service. Their position before the 1919 Act, perhaps, was somewhat unsatisfactory, but it is now reasonably satisfactory, to my mind, and I would not be inclined to accept the amendment in the form in which it stands at present. With regard to what Deputy Gorey said, he is raising a question which goes far outside this question of superannuation of Local Government Officials. Very large numbers of other officials are retiring and are getting the advantage of the bonus they have at present. Civil Servants, for instance, are retiring under Treaty terms and getting the advantage of the bonus. I understand that medical practitioners are entitled to have the bonus taken into account in calculating the value of their office. I think that is not unjust. It certainly would be unjust to calculate their pensions without any regard to their bonus. I see that a case could be made for having the pension on some sliding scale if the bonus was fixed on a sliding scale, so that, with a fall in the cost of living the bonus would disappear, and the amount given in respect of the bonus would also disappear. On the other hand, I do not think it would be fair to leave the bonus out of account altogether. A man, if he is entitled to a bonus to enable him to live, is entitled to have the cost of living taken into account when the pension is being calculated, just as it was taken into account for the purpose of awarding him a bonus.

Am I to understand that an officer retiring now would have his remuneration calculated on bonus on the present salary, and that that would continue while he lives, even though the bonus may disappear in twelve months. I think the Government is too ridiculous for words if that is the attitude. I do not think the country will stand that at all, and, to take you into my confidence, I may tell you I will not stand it.

They stood more than that.

They will not stand that sort of jobbery.

I am not going to press the amendment if the Minister says he is not going to accept it. If he says he will accept the principle I will be quite satisfied. If he says, on the other hand, that the amendment as drafted is not satisfactory and wants to go through the legal mill I have no objection to it going through that legal mill. It was drafted by a trained person. Otherwise, I have no objection to withdraw the amendment.

At this stage the chair was taken by Mr. Gerald Fitzgibbon.

ACTING CHAIRMAN

I understood the objection of the Minister was that this was to introduce a permanent provision into a Bill which was only temporary, and would only last twelve months.

In that case I would withdraw the amendment.

Before it is withdrawn, might I be permitted to appeal to him to take up the second last attitude and adhere to it. A pension is well understood to be deferred pay. Now, in view of that I would appeal to every Deputy who stands here in the name of democracy to remember that one of the fundamental doctrines of democracy is that the labourer is worthy of his hire. Are we to propose to provide for the service of the poor only such remnants of the medical service as cannot look forward to the plums in the big cities. Are we not, as Sir James Craig said, in proposing the amendment, to invite into that service excellent physicians and excellent medical people with high qualifications. You cannot do that if you pay them with a niggardly hand. Now, I hesitated about supporting this when the terms of it were two-thirds, inclusive of fees and emoluments, but I support the altered position of Sir James Craig which merely asks for the principle to be accepted, and I presume, as a corollary to that principle, he will also ask that the amount in the pension in the Act of 1919 should be regarded as too little, and should be increased. It seems to me the retort which you have repeated on his behalf does not become a Minister who, this very afternoon, stood strongly for a clause which, while being in a temporary measure, may alter permanently the financial resources of the people affected. The Minister claims power under a recently passed section to revise the amount that is payable under a past arrangement, thereby conceivably reducing considerably and unexpectedly, the income of the man affected. If it is under a temporary measure we may do that, with similar want of regard for logic and justification, why may we not introduce a principle, at any rate an expression of opinion, with regard to this matter? Even though it may not be possible, during the limited period in which this will operate, to bring this into play, still, at any rate, let us have it on record that we do not approve of the very, very economic treatment that is doled out to the medical servants of the public, more particularly in the poorer districts.

ACTING CHAIRMAN

Does the mover of the amendment desire to press it, in view of what has been said by the Minister?

Perhaps the Minister would repeat the statement?

Deputy Magennis has raised a point here that I desire to deal with. I am not objecting at all to remuneration based on the salary and emoluments; but there must be salary. I do not care if they raise the salary so as even to include a bonus.

ACTING CHAIRMAN

That point would arise when the amendment is adopted. It will then be open to the Deputy to introduce the point in regard to fees and emoluments.

I do not think this Bill is the proper place for such a provision. I therefore oppose it from that point of view. Touching on the principle of the thing, I would not be inclined to accept it in exactly the form in which it is, even for permanent legislation, because I am not convinced it would be necessary in every case that there should be a two-thirds pension. On the other hand, I do see the point that it is undesirable to have a doctor who is in an unfit state from the point of view of health, endeavouring to carry on his work satisfactorily, and holding on to his position because he could not retire on the pension which would be due to him. The dispensary doctor who has care of a large number of people in an out-of-the-way district, where no other doctor would be available, holds a different position from the large number of officers, say clerical officers, of the Board. In the case of ill-health he might be given an opportunity of retiring on a salary which it would not be necessary to give to other officers. In the preparation of the permanent Act, which will be taken up at once, I will give every consideration to the proposal that is put forward by the Deputy.

After that expression of opinion I am quite satisfied to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment 14:—"At the end of Sub-section (5) to add: `That the Minister may, where Local Bodies have been in default in the payment of Superannuation, Gratuities, or Salaries due to officials, whose offices have been abolished, pay to such officials the amounts due out of any Parliamentary or other grants to which the Local Bodies may be entitled.' "

I wish to withdraw this amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move:—"To add at the end of Sub-section (5): `Where any existing officer entitled to a pension is appointed to any office under the County Board of Health, his services shall be deemed to be continuous, and his former service shall be taken into account for pension purposes.' "

I presume that to be the intention of the Bill, but it seems to me it would be better to make it quite explicit. I am afraid that this amendment will come under the criticism already introduced in the Dáil by Deputy Doyle, with whom, if I may, I desire to express my sympathy that he or his house should have been the object of an outrage by anarchists. I am afraid it comes under the same criticism, and in answer to that criticism I would merely like to say I think he will agree that as between public bodies representing people, and the servants whom they employ, there are two parties concerned, and it is not in the public interest, any more than it is to the public credit, that a public body should act otherwise to its servants than in an honourable and competent way. I believe he will agree with me that it is by generous treatment of public servants we will be able to get into the public service those who are diligent and competent. I suggest that it is a good principle to observe in all such matters, the principle that is already observed in matters commercial, or at least in some spheres of matters commercial. That is, to pay competently, to treat generously, and to insist ruthlessly upon getting efficiency. I think this is a question of justice that I hope it is not necessary to argue in favour of. Clearly if an existing officer is entitled to be appointed to an office under a County Board of Health, his previous service shall be deemed to be continuous.

I do not think that Deputy Doyle or any of us had any idea of opposing this principle. The Deputy is labouring under a mistake, and has been addressing himself unnecessarily, and has been giving us a lot of hot air for nothing. It is the first amendment submitted by Deputy Figgis, since I came to the Dáil, that I can heartily agree with. I think the principle is sound. Wherever an old officer has been reappointed under the new scheme, there can be no question as to the adoption of that principle. Public Boards in the country would be only too happy to count his previous period of service.

I think Deputy Figgis must have overlooked amendment No. 5 which was accepted and passed. It is practically the same in substance as the amendment he has moved. It means that his extra services shall be counted for pensionable purposes.

I am delighted the Minister should have given me this exposition of Amendment No. 5. If the matter has been adequately met by Amendment No. 5, it is not necessary to press my amendment. It was the principle I was bringing forward. If the Minister states that Amendment No. 5 exactly covers the point, I am willing to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move:—"To insert the following new Sub-section:— `Notwithstanding anything in Section 8 of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1919, or the enactments therein referred to, the number of years of service of an officer who is removed from office for any cause other than misconduct or incapacity shall, for the purpose of calculating the amount of the allowance or gratuity to which he is entitled, but not for the purpose of determining whether the officer is entitled to an allowance or a gratuity be deemed to be one and a half times the actual number of years served, any fraction less than one half being disregarded, and any fraction equal to or exceeding one-half being taken as one year.' "

This amendment proposes to entitle the retiring officer, whose office is abolished, to the additional service indicated in Circular 53, issued in September, 1921. I take it, after the statement of the Minister, that this amendment will be acceptable, and that they propose to stand by the terms set forth therein. I think it must be admitted in addition to compensation for actual time served, an officer is definitely entitled to some compensation where that office is abolished. Up to 1914 it was the practice of most Boards of Guardians to add a considerable number of years in the case of ordinary retirements, for good service. In fact it was the practice to add the maximum number which they were entitled to add —10 years. In a circular sent out by the Local Government Board in 1914, the Board indicated they would not be prepared to sanction the maximum of 10 years unless the retiring officer had a period of service of 20 years, or exceeding 20 years, and there would have to be a lesser number of years added where the actual service was less than 20 years. That is in the case of ordinary retirement. I think a special case is made out where the office of an officer is abolished, and where he is compelled against his will and without misconduct of any kind to retire. It is a very serious thing for an officer who has put in 15 years or more to be forced to retire, and, in many cases, the difficulty of taking up fresh employment is very great. I think the least the officer would be entitled to, is an addition of one and a half years for each year of service. That is where he retires after twelve years' service he would be entitled to eighteen, as indicated in Circular 53.

I would like to look into this a little further, because I do not know but that the amendment as it stands might not refer to other officers than those who have been removed in the carrying out of county schemes of amalgamation. I do not know whether I would like to be tied to having every officer removed for a cause other than misconduct or incapacity, enitled to 1½ times his actual service in all circumstances. It is our intention in all cases where it is put up to us to allow that in the case of officers whose offices were abolished in pursuance of county schemes. The amendment as it stands might have a wider meaning than that.

ACTING CHAIRMAN

The words in each of the other sub-sections, "under or in pursuance of all county schemes," follow the words, "removed from office." It introduces all this.

The amendment is purposed to be wider than what the Minister indicates, because it would be necessary to cover the case of an officer whose office was abolished through some reform other than a county scheme. Take the case of either the Dublin or Cork Unions. If an office of an officer were abolished, it would entitle him to 1½ years for each year of service. I think that is reasonable.

That is reasonable, and in those circumstances—that is, hypothetical circumstances, or circumstances arising out of some reform which we have not yet gone into—it would be desirable that the discretion of the Department should remain. I should prefer it would remain. There might be cases, and there have been cases, in connection with county schemes where superannuation was based on 1½ times the number of years served, and that was perhaps overgenerous. (At this stage An Ceann Comhairle resumed the chair.) I have seen pensions and gratuities which I was obliged to sanction, but which I thought were excessive. On the other hand, there have been cases where 50 per cent. of added years was hardly sufficient, having regard to all the circumstances, and I think, because a good number of people were having their offices abolished at one stroke, that it was necessary to lay down a somewhat rigid line, so that everybody would know where they were. When once we have got over that batch of abolitions, it would be better that the equitable discretion of the Department should be freely exercised. I would undertake to consider the whole circumstances of the case between this and the next reading if Deputy O'Brien agrees.

In that case I withdraw the amendment.

Amendment by leave withdrawn.

I move to insert the following new Sub-section:—An officer of a Local Authority who retires or is removed from office by reason of ill-health or infirmity, has served at least twenty years, and has reached the age of sixty years, shall be entitled to receive an allowance equal to two-thirds of the anunal salary, fees, and emoluments which he was in receipt of at the time of his retirement."

This is guaranteeing the rights of two-thirds after twenty years' service if the applicant has reached the age of 60 years. Of course, this comes under— may I say—the ban of the Minister, inasmuch as it deals with matters not immediately arising out of the abolition of office, but there will probably be, under the economy, if the economy is to be effected by the new schemes, a number of people to be retired and the object of this sub-section is to ensure that there will be a two-third of the annual salary, fees and emoluments, in the way of pension, provided a man has served twenty years and has reached the age of 60. It covers somewhat the same ground but it covers a larger number of persons than the amendment of Sir James Craig.

I could not accept this amendment. It would give the officials of the Local Authorities far more generous terms than are given to Civil Servants. The Civil Servants get a pension on a scale which is calculated at the rate of 1/60th of their salary for every year's service. Under that scale, a person who had served twenty years would only be entitled to one-third of salary. I do not see why a specially privileged class should be created when we are dealing with the officers of Local Authorities. Apart altogether from the fact that it is outside the scope of this Act, on the merits of the amendment I would not accept it.

Amendment put and negatived.

I move to insert the following new Sub-section:—"An officer who has served a Local Authority continuously for not less than two years in an office for the due and efficient discharge of the duties of which professional or other special qualifications were required, and who is removed from office for a cause other than misconduct or incapacity, shall be deemed to have held a pensionable office and to be entitled to an allowance or gratuity in accordance with Section 8 of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1919, and this Section."

This amendment proposes to ensure that an officer who while nominally temporary has served a Local Authority continuously for the period of at least two years shall be entitled to a pension or gratuity if the service is less than the period laid down. It is quite a practice with many local bodies not to fill up appointments immediately a vacancy occurs, and it very frequently happens that an officer serves in a certain position for a number of years before being fully appointed and sanctioned. It is only reasonable where the service is for two years, that a person on the abolition of his office, should be entitled to a pension or gratuity, as the case may be.

I cannot accept the amendment. It would mean, I take it, as it stands, that if a man was employed, say, as Clerk of Works for a couple of years, he would be entitled to a gratuity on ceasing to be employed. I do agree with one thought which I think Deputy O'Brien has in mind, that where an officer has been employed temporarily for a large number of years, and then is permanently employed, that the years of the temporary service ought to be taken into account in calculating his years of service.

Would the Minister on the next stage agree to embody that exception in the case mentioned—that is, the case of an officer filling a permanent position who serves a number of years as a temporary officer and is subsequently permanently appointed?

I will agree to consider that.

Might I suggest there is in Deputy O'Brien's amendment something quite different from this that merits a little consideration. The first thing that is emphasised is that if there is an office for the due and efficient discharge of which special or professional qualifications are required; now, let us suppose A.B. is appointed to such an office on terms that give him in the first years only a probationary character, and now, because of some reform the office is altogether abolished, would it not be equitable to regard him as deprived of a source of income to which he had a reasonable expectation and, therefore, as one who suffers? I emphasise in that connection the fact that he is required to have professional or special qualifications. If a man has two years, I quite admit that is insufficient, but when it comes to three or four or five, undoubtedly an injustice is done; and this will prevent the scheme operating, which I have known to operate many years ago, of appointing men with highly specialised qualifications for a period of three years, and again for a period of three years, and yet again for a period of three years, so as to prevent them acquiring any pensionable right or any entitlement to gratuity; so that I think there is something in this which is quite met by the undertaking of the Minister to include temporary services of a probationary period in the total years of service when later a computation is being made for the retirement allowance of a man.

I want to emphasise what Deputy Professor Magennis has said. In that respect it has been the practice of certain Boards of Guardians to appoint temporary officers, nurses for instance and to keep them in employment for quite a long number of years as temporary employees, and now their office is to be abolished. There is, in fact, no difference in respect of many of these nurses as compared with others that were, perhaps, appointed a month or two months or a year before, but happened to get into the permanent staff. Now, if in the abolition of the whole scheme, the revision of the system, particular offices are abolished, that people who have been serving for a continuous number of years, year after year, and gathered all the assumptions of permanence in their office, it is not unreasonable to treat them, for the purpose of this change, as pensionable officers. If the objection lay in the number of years, not less than two years, if it is that that is too short a period to determine whether an office should be pensionable, then I dare say there could be a revision by agreement, but it seems to me to be a reasonable claim that where temporary officers have been appointed year after year for successive periods, that there should be some right to pension on their abolition, and, though it may be said that the present scheme will last only for another year, there ought to be some barrier put to the practice of local authorities trying to get around their obligations by appointing large numbers of temporary officers. It is to meet that evil that the amendment is moved, and also to safeguard these people who came into the service of the Poor Law Boards, as, for instance, nurses who were brought in when the staffs were depleted during the big war. They have been engaged continuously since, and are now deprived of any pensionable rights. I think it is a reasonable case, and I hope the Minister will reconsider his decision.

I cannot conceive any case has been made out by Deputy Johnson. There may be an exceptional case, but exceptional cases are scarcely worth while going on. I agree with the principle that where there have been temporary services, and where a temporary appointment has been converted into a permanent appointment, that it is only fair and just that the years of temporary service should be added. But the case is being made out now that with few exceptions would apply all over the country. Anybody with a little assistance can make out a special case—a little legal assistance—or they need not even go to the legal profession. They can make out special qualifications, and it would lead to untold fraud, to my mind.

I cannot accept Deputy Johnson's suggestion, which, if I understand it aright, means in effect that there would be no such thing as a temporary or non-pensionable office. I do agree that where the office is really and clearly permanent and cannot be disputed as being in effect permanent, some case might be made where some subterfuge was being resorted to to give an appearance and pretence of temporariness to what was really permanent.

I will withdraw the amendment.

Amendment by leave withdrawn.

That disposes of the amendments.

The motion is:—"That Section 10 as amended stand part of the Bill."

Except I get an assurance that this question of bonus will not be considered when fixing the scale of remuneration I will oppose the whole Section.

I cannot give the Deputy the assurance he asks. I think it would be unjust to leave bonuses out of account.

It cannot be unjust to leave bonuses out of account. I do not care if bonuses are added to the existing salaries so long as this is done in a proper and legal manner, but the bonus is a shifting thing which may disappear in a year. How can you fix superannuation on such a matter? If the local authority, or any other authority, chooses, for purposes of pension or remuneration to make bonus an addition to the salary by all means let them do it, but you cannot make the bonus a matter of remuneration. It would be illegal to do it, and I will oppose the Section if it is insisted upon. It is unsound.

I beg to support that suggestion. If a man has a bonus because the cost of living is high, and is pensioned off when the cost of living is high, that is no reason why this increased pension should be continued for the period of his life. There ought to be some proviso that it should be reduced. Then we could accept it, but as it stands it is really unjust to the ratepayer to expect that when a man happens to be pensioned at a time when the cost of living is high that the ratepayers should be made to pay the increased pension for the lifetime of that particular man.

The difficulty of the matter is simply this, that but for the bonuses the officials who have the bonuses would otherwise have, in practically all cases, a higher salary, higher by the amount of the bonus, than their permanent salary. Therefore there is this fact, that pensions have been fixed under which the bonuses have been taken into account and these have been sanctioned. While we are not going to stand by the provisions of the British law with regard to pensions and superannuation allowances, we must stand by the things that we have done ourselves in this matter.

I should like to ask Deputies Gorey and Wilson if they would agree that their arguments should cut the other way, that is, that these people who got pensions when the cost of living was low should have received the bonuses which were paid to the people who had salaries.

I have advocated that continuously; I have asked that certain schoolmasters who have very low pensions should be placed in a better position, and that is right.

Schoolmasters only, and ex-schoolmasters.

On a point of order, sir, might I ask you to decide that those who vote for the Section vote for it, of course, as subject to those promises made by the Minister. It has become very essential of late that our positions should be made absolutely clear, that we are voting, not so much for the Section as it appears on the Orders of the Day but for the Section as it is in our souls after the deliberations on it.

Deputies who vote for Section 10 of this Bill vote for Section 10 as amended, as far as I am concerned.

Question put: "That Section 10, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 42; Níl, 10.

  • Liam T. Mac Cosgair.
  • Seán Ó Maolruaidh.
  • Tomás de Nógla.
  • Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.
  • Séamus Breathnach.
  • Pádraig Mag Ualghairg.
  • Peadar Mac a' Bháird.
  • Darghal Figes.
  • Tomás Mac Eoin.
  • Mícheál de Duram.
  • Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
  • Liam Ó Briain.
  • Éarnan Altún.
  • Sir Séamus Craig.
  • Gearóid Mac Giobúin.
  • Liam Thrift.
  • Liam Mag Aonghusa.
  • Pádraig Ó hÓgáin.
  • Tomás Ó Conaill.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Piaras Béaslaí.
  • Fionán Ó Loingsigh.
  • Séamus Ó Cruadhlaoich.
  • Criostóir Ó Broin.
  • Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.
  • Séamus Éabhróid.
  • Liam Ó Daimhín.
  • Caoimhghin Ó hUigín.
  • Próinsias Bulfin.
  • Séamus Ó Dóláin.
  • Aindriú Ó Láimhín.
  • Seán Ó Laidhin.
  • Cathal Ó Seanáin.
  • Peadar Ó hAodha.
  • Séamus Ó Murchadha.
  • Seosamh Mac Giolla Bhrighde.
  • Earnán de Blaghd.
  • Uinseann de Faoite.
  • Nioclas Ó Faoláin.
  • Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.
  • Risteárd Mac Fheorais.
  • Domhnall Ó Ceallacháin.

Níl

  • Donchadh Ó Guaire.
  • Seán Ó Duinnín.
  • Domhnall Ó Mocháin.
  • Seán Ó Ruanaidh.
  • Ailfrid Ó Broin.
  • Risteárd Mac Liam.
  • Próinsias Mag Aonghusa.
  • Tomás Ó Domhnaill.
  • Domhnall Ó Broin.
  • Mícheál Ó Dubhghaill.
Motion declared carried.

I move that we do now report progress, and that the Committee sit again on Tuesday.

Question put and agreed to.

Will the Criminal and Malicious Injuries Bill also come on on Tuesday?

Better perhaps say Wednesday.

I think it would be more convenient for the Dáil to proceed with the Criminal and Malicious Injuries Bill, instead of alternating one Bill with the other. Judging by the amendments sent in, two or three days may have to be spent on the Criminal and Malicious Injuries Bill. If we could finish that before we resume this Bill, I think it would be convenient for everybody.