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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 6 Mar 1923

Vol. 2 No. 37


I beg to move Amendment No. 5:—

To add the following Sub-section after Sub-section (11):—"In every case in which a reinstatement condition is attached to a decree, the person to whom the compensation is paid or other the person who executes the work of reinstatement, shall observe the conditions as to the rates of wages to be paid and the hours of labour to be observed set out in the Third Schedule to this Act, as if he were executing the work in pursuance of a contract with the Government."

This amendment is very closely related to the one that has just been disposed of. It seeks to ensure that the Fair Wages Clause shall be observed in the expenditure of any awards granted by the Government. The Government accept as their duty to see that this is done in money expended on their own behalf. As these are semi-Government funds, it is reasonable to expect it should apply in this case also. The Third Schedule referred to in the amendment is now in operation in all the Government Departments. With that object in view I move Amendment No. 5.

The same argument that would hold against the other amendment ought to hold against this. It is imposing upon the people who get this money, not as a gift, but as a right, a condition that no man would agree to. This and the last amendment remind me very much of the effort to make the Government official handicappers in a race. They want to make it a handicap, and they want to handicap every horse except certain Irish horses. This and the previous amendment are an insult to the Irish nation as a whole. I am very sorry to see the nature of this amendment, and I would be sorry to believe there is a need for it. It is an absolute confession that we are not honest in our efforts to build up this nation and to compete with every other nation; that we want some Garden of Eden, some special ground for ourselves, and that without that we could not exist. I do not believe it.

If the Government promised to consider this or the last amendment, I would vote against the Government on this and on the last amendment. Now, the last amendment was a fine window-dressing stunt.

The last amendment is over.

This is about the same. It is the same window-dressing stunt for Irish manufacture. Certainly we all wish to support Irish manufacture, but amendments like this put into a Criminal and Malicious Injuries Bill will only be ridiculous.

The last two speakers were very amusing. The last speaker said it was window-dressing, and Deputy Gorey said it was giving support to Irish manufacture.

I did not say anything of the sort.

I would be very pleased to imagine that a suggestion that only Trade Union Labour be employed in any industry or business in Ireland would mean that we were keeping out an English worker or a German worker. I would be very pleased if that were true. That is what Deputy Gorey suggested. I would like to remind him that this does not, nor is it intended to apply only to Ireland, but that the Fair Wages Clause, as mentioned in the amendment, applies to practically all the work that is done by public bodies in Great Britain as well as in Ireland.

The effect of this amendment would be to fix a Fair Wages Clause as adopted in Government contracts. I think that the case that has been made by somebody against this amendment, that we owe this compensation, and that we owe it free from any restriction is a good case. We are certainly placing the maximum number of restrictions that we can possibly put on these people, giving them as little as we can, consistent with the national dignity, and to place any further restriction in their way would, I think, amount to a very serious interference with their liberty. There are cases, I am informed, in which it would be almost impossible to carry this out. It would I expect, keep the Government departments busy in seeing whether or not the conditions were complied with. In any case there might be a limitation with regard to competition which, I think, in the circumstances of the case we are not entitled to put in. As I understand the position it amounts to this. The cost of building is practically 50 per cent., perhaps more, in excess of the economic value of that building. What is responsible for that? There must be something. Our duty, I think, would lie as much towards finding out what that is, and removing it as in putting in a Clause of this sort. Building materials have gone down in price: wages, I am informed, do not really matter if there was output. If the output be responsible for the shortage, or for the high cost, certainly I think that those who are interested in putting down this amendment ought to see to it. I know one case myself where practically all Irish materials were used in building a small cottage which consisted of three rooms, a scullery and a very small hall, and the cost of building, left entirely to the workmen themselves and to their honour, and done under an architect, was £1,200. Certainly, we could not possibly go on if sums like that had to be paid in the same circumstances by people who are going to get awards. I admit it is an exceptional case; it is a case that occurred in the country within a couple of miles of the end of the tram terminus.

A couple of years ago?

Two years ago, and finished, I think, about 18 months ago. That is the sort of case that would be put up to us, and that they would be entitled to put up to us, and that I had a certain intimate knowledge of. That certainly would be unreasonable. I am sure it is not the intention of the Party in the House, responsible for putting down this amendment that cases of that sort should be continued. This, in essence, amounts to a restriction upon a person's rights and privileges, and I thought that we had reached the maximum of restriction when we insisted upon reinstatement, and when we decided only according as the building went up.

Since Deputy Whelehan raised this ethical point the tendency has set in of working it to death. I regret that the President fell a victim to the ethical Whelehan germ that Deputy Whelehan put in circulation. No one was clearer than the President some evenings ago when he said with regard to the amount of compensation payable that we have to consider what the public Treasury could bear, that we could not propose or hope to give all the compensation that would be requisite in every case, but that the Legislature intended to do its best. In doing its best those who are in charge of the taxpayers money are entitled to consider that the expenditure of the taxpayers' money will redound most to the advantage of the taxpayers as a whole. I would urge that upon the President, and it does away altogether with this supposed ethical right that the recipient of compensation is to be at liberty to do what he pleases with the money he has received. It is for the community that raise the money, in order to compensate him for injury sustained in conflict with the promotion of the interests of the community to determine how much they shall give, and under what conditions; and if it be thought to be the best public policy that the workman should receive a standard wage in all these things which are really quasi State operations, he should receive wages of the same standard as people under Government contracts, and I fail to see that there is any unjustifiable interference with the ethical rights of those who are compensated. Undoubtedly what has been before us so frequently is something that calls for remedy. The cost of building in Ireland two or three years ago went up to an enormous amount. It has gone down very considerably of late in England, but it has not gone down proportionately in Ireland. In England workmen's houses that were built for £850 and £860 are now being built for £375 and £400.

What are they like? I should like to see them.

In Belfast they are being built for £535 and £600, and in districts in the South of Ireland they are still over £800. The house that was built on the honour of workmen mentioned by the President was only £200 in excess of the price paid by local authorities for similar houses in the vicinity of Dublin, such as Dalkey township a few years ago. It is not the payment of standard wages that is at fault; it is the amount of production. A bricklayer ought to be paid, for example, a proper wage as calculated by the requirements existing in his district as regards the cost of living, and his own possibilities of human living. Of course, we are entitled to ask the builder to lay a proper number of bricks, and when we consider the number allowed by the unions in different districts they vary to a lamentable extent. Because there is one wrong there is no reason why we should leave another right unworked. It seems to me that the requirements of a proper wage should be satisfied and pressure put upon the slacker among the workmen to get him to do an honest equivalent of his particular labour for the honest wages paid to him. I am as much opposed as Deputy Whelehan or the President to restrictions upon liberty, but after all the very well-being of the community is based on restrictions upon licence to do what one wills. Liberty is defined by Burke as the wise obedience to just laws. It is wittily defined in terms of restriction. Some people jibe at the present restrictions as an unwarrantable interference with individual liberty. It is a warrantable interference with individual licence. I think if the money payable is to be paid by way of compensation to certain men, and they are to be at liberty in expending that in building, that they are to be sweaters of labour if they please, that they are to buy labour under conditions that they can impose, and have it at the cheapest price, then that is not a proper return to the community that lays itself under taxation in order to requite them for the loss they sustained. After all, we are not to be so tender to the injured receiving compensation as to forget that there are other people who might be injured by the repercussion of compensation, and we have to consider their well-being as well as the well-being of those to be compensated. It seems to me if we were believers at all in the rights of workmen to their trade unions, and if we believe the workman is entitled to the remuneration for his work that will enable him to lead a distinctly human life we ought not complain of asking an expression of that opinion in terms of legislation.


It seems to me the last speaker while he would probably claim to be an advocate of the amendment has put his finger upon the weak spot in the amendment, and it is a very weak spot, indeed. The case, I suppose, for a fair wages clause in a Government contract is, that the Government directly, at any rate, and theoretically—I am afraid it is very theoretically—has a certain control in the matter of output, and in deciding the manner in which the work shall be carried out. We are asked now to put a fair wage clause in what has been rather subtly described as quasi-Government work. It is not quasi Government work, and the Government could exercise no control whatever as to the output or manner in which the work should be carried out. Therefore, you would have a one-sided business. You would put on the employer the burden of paying a particular wage when you were not in a position to procure for him a standard output, or to control in any way the manner in which he shall be given value for that wage. That is the weakness. We have not the right to step in on one side if we are not in the position to step in on the other side. We have no right to say to a man, "You shall pay out to the extent of blank pounds, shillings and pence," if we are not in the position to say to the man who is giving value, "You shall give value to the extent of blank bricks laid per day." We are asked to sanction a "dogs-tied, stones loose" kind of arrangement. We are asked to step in in favour of one party to the contract while we have utterly no power to step in in favour of the other. That is the weakness of the amendment, and the last speaker to the amendment has consciously or unconsciously drawn attention to it.

The Minister seems to have forgotten that the money will be paid out of the Treasury according as the conditions are complied with. If a condition to be complied with is that there shall appear in the contract a fair wage clause, there is no great difficulty in regulating the output of money according to the compliance with the conditions in that respect as in any other respect or condition. The question of the cost of housing is only indirectly bound up with this amendment.


On a point of personal explanation, I think it is rather important that we should not misunder stand one another, and I think the Deputy misunderstands me. My point is that we are not entitled to say to an individual, "You shall pay wages not less than so and so," when we are not in a position to say to the people he employs, "You shall give value not less than so and so"; that we are not in a position to step in and say to the other party to the contract—because the employment is a contract—"Your output or production shall not be less than a particular standard."

That would refer to any Government contract.


This is not a Government contract.

If it is not a Government contract, you are at least insisting that contracts shall be entered into. I differ from the President in saying that it is the final and ultimate condition that should be applied. If you insist that contracts shall be entered into, or that certain buildings shall be rebuilt, you are fully entitled to say that they shall be rebuilt under certain conditions. I wonder would the Minister object if coolie labour were brought in? Would he say that was compliance with the conditions and that he had no right to intervene? For practical purposes we are not very much concerned except for the districts such as that represented by Deputy Whelehan, and I am going to ask him, for instance, and other Deputies representing districts where the bricklayer and the mason are not highly organised, and are not subject to alleged directions and conditions of output, why he does not, and why his constituents do not show the remainder of the country how to build cheaply? There are houses built in Galway county, and the conditions that are alleged to be imposed on output—the limitation alleged to be imposed on output—certainly do not prevail in county Galway. Now, there is an opportunity for the Deputies representing county Galway to show the rest of the country how to produce houses cheaply. This story about output and a limitation of output is based upon a fallacy and ignorance of the conditions. It is really based upon propaganda of the Association or Federation of British Industries, and it has percolated through all the newspapers that there are limitations on output imposed by the trade unions. It is not true. I am putting forward this challenge, that in these districts of the country where they build houses, and can build houses, and where the building trades are not organised in the way that is suggested in other towns, that they should show us how to do it. I make this challenge, and I say that if the building contractors can organise their business properly they will find that houses can be built cheaper than they have been. It is their failure to organise their business and not the failure of the workmen to do their work satisfactorily. There is another aspect to this, and it might even be considered pertinent to this question of conditions. Are you willing to build your houses in the Saorstát of the same quality as they are building them in England for £300 or £400, or as they are building them in Belfast? Are you prepared to see built in this country the same quality of house as they are about to build at this low price? Your Local Government Department, except in a few cases where the poor ex-service men are to be housed, have not consented to the building of that quality of house. There is a lot of jerry property being put up to-day that will be slums in 20 or 30 years, decrepit broken houses which are being thrown at us as examples of how to build cheaply. True economy, as will be found, is to build a better quality of house for the working man to take some pride in their work, as they are doing now in the building trade in Dublin and in the South generally. If you want machine-built houses I have no doubt you can find a way of doing it, but you will not get houses of the kind that you will be proud of in 20 years' time. The amendment simply only seeks to ensure that the sweating conditions that may be imposed in districts of the country, where there are no trade union organisations, shall not prevail, and it is on behalf of these parts of the country in the main that this amendment is proposed.

I do not like to rise and speak twice on one amendment, but a challenge has been thrown out by Deputy Johnson, and the reply is another challenge. Is there a contractor in Dublin to-day building houses without a subsidy? Is there a contractor in any part of the country, or a private individual, or a business man entering into a contract for building houses as a speculation? I know they are building all over England, as I was over there a fortnight ago and saw them building. Why? Because they can get some return for their money. Building is a paying proposition there, and the thing is done on business lines. There people are doing the possible and not trying to do the impossible. In Ireland you cannot get that. No contractor will get up here and put in a contract for building as a paying proposition. He could not do it, and I challenge the Labour men to produce such a contractor who is doing so even on a small scale.

I do not know if Deputy Johnson has considered all the circumstances of the case. He mentioned the builders being at fault and the organisation of their business being defective, but if my recollection is quite correct the Dublin Corporation handed over to a Building Guild in the city houses to be built in groups, and, as far as I know, the price was not much under the builders' price, if at all, so that the organisation of the builders must be efficient, considering they have to get a living.

Who provided the materials?

I do not know—I suppose they had to be bought—possibly the Corporation—but even if they did I expect they had to pay contract prices, so there was no extravagance as regards the price of materials. The essence of the case is that private building has ceased. As regards what the Deputy says, "Are we to be satisfied with houses such as are built in England or Belfast?" I say you are not rich enough to have better. If you are looking to the State to provide better ones, I say you have not greater resources than the English Government, and you have nothing approaching the revenue that they have got.

If it means that you are looking to the State to make up the difference, I may tell you, from an intimate knowledge of the finances of the State, it cannot be afforded. It is out of the question. I do not know exactly what is meant by sweating in the building trade. I never heard the term applied to it; but I do say that something is radically wrong. It cannot be the builders; the builders could not possibly have 50 per cent. profit, and the houses that are being charged for at £1,000, or from £750 upwards, are, in my deliberate opinion, from 33? to 50 per cent. over the price they should be at. No person would think at the present moment of investing money in house building. Although it was an investment in the pre-war period, it is out of the question now, and I would suggest to the Deputy that it ought to be considered very carefully by the people to whom a contract is given. Otherwise it will come to this: that it would not be to the interest of any individual to put money into brick and mortar at present prices.

I do not think we can enter into a general discussion on housing. Deputy Johnson wandered very far from the amendment, and the President was entitled, perhaps, to make his contribution of disorder on housing generally. This is a question of putting in a Fair Wages Clause into contracts entered into where a reinstatement condition has been attached to a decree. I think we ought to keep to that.

It seems to me there is a very great distinction between the private person operating with money derived from a decree, and the Government. Standard wages, arrived at as a result of the mutual pressure put upon workers and employers, having regard to the economic circumstances, to market conditions, and to outside competition. Now, that mutual pressure will very frequently take the form of strikes and locks-out. The Government has the duty of keeping the ring and keeping peace when the mutual pressure becomes acute. It is undesirable that the Government should be involved in the struggle, wherever it can be avoided. It is undesirable that the Government as a party, or as an employer, should be directly or indirectly involved in disputes which have the effect of fixing and altering and settling from time to time what the standard wage in any particular case is to be. If we tie up the private employer, who is not different from any other private employer, except that he has got the money which he is going to pay for the work as a result of a decree following damage to property, we are knocking out the machinery by which the standard wage is arrived at. It might be desirable to have other means of arriving at what will be the standard wage than simply by the pressure of employers and employed on each other. That is how it stands, and if we are to alter it, we ought to alter it with a set purpose, and by some deliberately conceived machinery. It is not desirable that we should alter the conditions simply by following what I think is an entirely false analogy. We are making certain private employers stand out from this process of mutual pressure, by which wages are altered as conditions alter. There is no reason why those employers, more than any other employers, should not have, if they wish, wages reduced and conditions of employment altered. There is a good reason why the Government should not do that. Where a Government is a contractor, or where a contractor is definitely performing work on behalf of a Government there is no reason why that contractor should not be involved in the struggle in which the Government would be brought into to keep the ring. That does not apply to the private employer, a person who has a decree for compensation, and who is building a structure for his own use, and not for the Government.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 13; Níl, 28.

  • Tomás de Nógla.
  • Riobárd Ó Deaghaidh.
  • Tomás Mac Eoin.
  • Liam Ó Briain.
  • Liam Mag Aonghusa.
  • Tomás Ó Conaill.
  • Aodh Ó Cúlacháin.
  • Liam Ó Daimhín.
  • Seán Ó Laidhín.
  • Cathal Ó Seanáin.
  • Seán Buitléir.
  • Domhnall Ó Muirgheasa.
  • Domhnall Ó Ceallacháin.


  • Liam T MacCosgair.
  • Donchadh Ó Guaire.
  • Séamus Breathnach.
  • Deasmhumhain Mac Gearailt.
  • Domhnall Mac Carthaigh.
  • Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
  • Éarnán Altún.
  • Gearóid Mac Giobúin.
  • Liam Thrift.
  • Eoin Mac Néill.
  • Seosamh Ó Faoileacháin.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Fionán Ó Loingsigh.
  • Criostóir Ó Broin.
  • Risteárd Mac Liam.
  • Caoimhghin Ó hUigín.
  • Próinsias Bulfin.
  • Séamus Ó Dóláin.
  • Próinsias Mag Aonghusa.
  • Éamon Ó Dúgáin.
  • Peadar Ó hAodha.
  • Séamus Ó Murchadha.
  • Liam Mac Sioghaird.
  • Tomás Ó Domhnaill.
  • Éarnán de Blaghd.
  • Domhnall Ó Broin.
  • Séamus de Burca.
  • Mícheál Ó Dubhghaill.
Amendment declared lost.
At this stage Mr. George Nicholls took the Chair.

I move amendment 6:—"To add the following sub-section after Sub-section (11):—`Payment of compensation, whether in money or by the issue of securities, shall be made at such times or in such instalments as may be prescribed by regulations which shall be framed by the Minister for Finance, and shall provide that, in any case in which a reinstatement condition is attached to a decree no payment shall be made, continued or completed, unless and until the Minister for Finance is satisfied that the reinstatement has been carried out in accordance with the conditions imposed by this Act.' " If the Minister in charge of the Bill accepts the amendment, well and good; but, inasmuch as the conditions that were sought to be introduced have not been acceptable, there is no use in pressing the amendment unless it meets with the general acceptance of the Dáil.

The conditions imposed by the Act I did not know had reference exclusively to the others. There are other conditions. I should say that we pay on the architects' certificates— that is, payments are made out from the Treasury as soon as we have evidence of the fact that reinstatement is progressing.

Is that contained in the Bill?

No; but it has been the practice observed under the Shaw Commission wherever a reinstatement clause has been put in.

In the amendment we make it quite clear that compensation monies would only be payable as it was found the conditions were complied with. I think such a condition ought to appear to safeguard the Treasury.

In view of the fact that it is in operation as far as the Shaw Commission is concerned, we do not think it necessary. I will consider the point.

Amendment withdrawn.
Question: "That Section 12, as amended, stand part of the Bill," put and agreed to.

I move Section 13:—

(1) The Council of every county and urban district in Saorstát Eireann shall in each of the five financial years beginning on the 1st day of April, 1923, the 1st day of April, 1924, the 1st day of April, 1925, the 1st day of April, 1926, and the 1st day of April, 1927, respectively, pay to the Exchequer of Saorstát Eireann in accordance with such directions as may be given for the purpose by the Minister for Finance, an amount equivalent to the produce of a rate of sixpence in the pound levied throughout the county or urban district.

(2) The amount required to be paid to the Exchequer under the foregoing sub-section shall be raised in the like manner as the amount of decrees awarded under the Criminal Injuries Acts are raisable by the Council of a county or an urban district.

(3) There shall be issued out of the Central Fund of Saorstát Eireann, or the growing produce thereof, an amount equivalent to any sum paid to the Exchequer under this section, and such amount shall be paid into and form part of the Road Fund.

(4) From and after the passing of this Act the Road Fund may, in addition to any other application for the time being authorised by law, be applied for repairing any damage (including total destruction) done at any time prior to the 6th day of February, 1923, to any road or to any bridge, viaduct, or sub-way over or under or supporting any road.

I move Amendment 7.

"To delete Sub-section (1) and (2), and to insert in lieu thereof the following Subsections:—

(1) The Council of every County and County Borough, in each of the five local financial years, beginning on the first day of April, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, and 1927, respectively, shall pay to the Exchequer of Saorstát Eireann, in accordance with such directions as may be given for the purpose by the Minister for Finance, a sum equal to a rate of 6d. in the £ on the rateable value of such County or County Borough, including any urban districts therein at the beginning of each such local financial year, respectively.

(2) The sum required to be paid by the Council of a County or County Borough under the foregoing Sub-section shall be assessed and raised in the same manner as the amounts of decrees under the Criminal Injuries Acts, charged on the County at large, including the urban districts therein are assessed and raised." The effect of this is to exclude from Sub-section (1) and (2) of Section 13 any reference to Urban Districts, and to substitute County Boroughs. The reason is that the County Council in the ordinary course will collect the 6d. rate from the Urban District, and for that reason the Urban District should not be included. On the other hand, the County Council will not collect from the County Borough, and it is necessary to include the County Borough.

There is no amendment down to this, but I would like to direct the attention of the Minister —and it is probable that the attention of some of those who represent public bodies has been already attracted—to a matter in this sub-section that will, I think, have to be met by legislation. "The Council of every County and County Borough in each of the five local financial years, beginning on the first day of April, 1923, ..." That is, in less than a month from now they must raise a sum equal to a rate of 6d. in the £. The rates for the financial year beginning on April 1st, 1923, have in accordance with law to be settled before the 1st March. That is a day which occurred last week, and it will be necessary, either in this or in some consequential legislation to authorise public bodies to raise a supplementary rate, in order to meet the 6d. in the £, at least for the financial year beginning on the 1st April, 1923. Their rates have been made, though not actually struck yet, but, in any event, it would be impossible for them to charge this sum of 6d. in the £ upon the ratepayers during the coming year unless they are authorised by some other legislation. The only other course that they could adopt, so far as I know, is by way of loans, for which they would have to get leave from the Local Government Department, and if it is intended that they should do it by loan I think the Statute should contain an authority to raise by loan, instead of by rate, this sum of 6d. in the £. I think that probably it was supposed that this Bill would have become law at a date which would have enabled the public bodies to strike a legal rate for this 6d. in the £. As that now seems to be impossible, having regard to the date on which, by law, they are bound to strike their rates, some section should be introduced on this, or a later stage, or possibly some supplementary Bill, to enable this to be done. Probably some Deputies, who are familiar from practical experience with the work of public bodies, would be able to make some suggestion on the matter.

I want to raise a point of order which will, I am sure, be of interest to the President, inasmuch as he has insisted upon the necessity of having a Financial Resolution passed before the discussion on Second Reading of any measure which appropriates public money. I think it is in his mind also that there must be a similar Financial Resolution before any Bill which makes a charge upon the public can be discussed in Committee. Now, I submit that this section, or the sub-section under discussion, makes a charge upon the public, and there has been no authorisation by a Financial Resolution. The only Financial Resolution that has been passed deals with the issue out of the Central Fund, not making a charge upon the public which will come into the Central Fund, and I draw the attention of An Ceann Comhairle to the point, and ask the President to take note of it.

An Ceann Comhairle resumed the Chair.

With reference to the point made by Deputy Fitzgibbon, I know that rates have been struck by various County Councils, according to law, before the 1st of March, and these rates are now in course of preparation. If this Bill goes through the Seanad, it will be, possibly, the 1st April before it will be a fact, and I do not know of any means at the disposal of the county bodies at present as to how they are to get the sixpenny rate for next year. Of course, if the Bill becomes an Act it will be very easy for 1924 and 1925, but we have to get over the difficulty for the period from the 31st March, 1923, to the 31st March, 1924. I believe, with Deputy Fitzgibbon, that some legislation will have to be passed, or authority given to the County Councils to enable them to strike a supplementary rate, or to borrow the money to pay for the forthcoming financial year. I think the Government will have to make some arrangement, either before we are finished with this Bill, or bring in some legislation afterwards, to give the County Councils an opportunity of raising the money asked for.

The points raised by Deputy Fitzgibbon and Deputy Hughes have been before us. We did not anticipate, when compiling this Bill, that so much delay would have occurred, and it is a difficulty that we are at present trying to solve. We hope to be able to have a solution of it on the Report Stage, or to have some arrangement come to whereby the rate of sixpence in the £ can be struck this year. The point has been before us now for the past week or so, but we have not had opportunities of giving much time to it, and we will be able to have something later on. I do not think that the point mentioned by Deputy Johnson arises. The authorisation to strike a rate and the striking of the rate is in itself a Financial Resolution, and as we do not raise the money for our own purposes, it does not really concern us. It is not anything that we are spending.

May I suggest to the Ministry to consider, when they are dealing with this, the possibility of allowing this year's contribution to be raised by way of loan with repayments spread over a period, because, as everybody knows, rates are hard to come by just at present?

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment 8:
To insert the following after the word "road," Sub-section 4, line 23:—"Provided that the amount so applied in any County or Urban District does not exceed the amounts paid into the Road Fund for that County or Urban District under Sub-sections (1) and (3) of Section 13."

When drafting that amendment I believed it would be unjust for any particular areas which paid their rates religiously, and are not in debt to have their money applied to other areas where the people will not pay rates. That is the object of this amendment. I perfectly realise that a Road Fund is necessary to make up for the damages which have occurred all over the country, and, therefore, I shall withdraw this amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I beg to move Amendment 9. In Sub-section (4), line 23, to insert after the word "road," a new sub-section as follows:—

(5) "No County or other Council, and no Town Commissioners shall be entitled to recover any compensation in respect of an injury to which this part of this Act applies, done to any street, road, bridge, viaduct, or subway, which such Council or Commissioners are, by law, liable to maintain or repair."

We have already provided a fund out of which this compensation is to be paid, and the object of the amendment is to ensure that the local authorities will not be paid twice in respect of the same transaction.

Amendment agreed.
Question put:—"That Section 13 as amended stand part of the Bill."

I move to report progress.

Progress reported. Committee to sit again on Wednesday, March 7th.