INTERPRETATION BILL, 1923. - SECOND STAGE.

On the question of the Second Reading of the Interpretation Bill, 1923, if there was a feeling that it would be likely to run on into another sitting, it might be desirable to take some of the other Bills that are more likely to be non-contentious, such as the Gaming Bill, or the Local Elections Postponement (Amendment) Bill.

Perhaps the Minister would give the Dáil an indication, while on the Interpretation Bill, on the point that this is the kind of Bill which ought be referred to a Special Committee for consideration in Committee? That is to say, that its consideration should be by a Special Committee rather than by a Committee of the whole Dáil. It is a Bill of very great importance, of course. It seems to raise a great many points of difficulty and detail, which could be more effectively — with greater enlightenment to some of the Deputies — and more usefully discussed in a small Committee than in a Committee of the whole Dáil. I ask the Minister if he would be prepared to meet that proposition, as otherwise it may require a longer discussion on Second Reading.

Mr. O'HIGGINS

We would be quite prepared to agree to submit the Bill to a Special Committee.

Shall we take the Second Reading now?

Agreed, as far as I am concerned.

I move the Second Reading of this Interpretation Bill, 1923. It is in the nature of what might be called a draftsman's dictionary, and with these people who draft documents, it is a familiar practice to have definitions which can be conveniently used for the purpose of having certainly in the use of terms. It enables phrases to be used subsequently with the dictionary or vocabulary of the Act always defining the expressions used. In England they have a series of these Interpretation Acts. The latest was the Act of 1889. That Act is now somewhat out of date. In addition to it, we ourselves have added to the vocabulary words that need definition for the purposes of our own legislation.

Following the precedent that we have already adopted, we have made a single comprehensive Bill covering all the terms that are likely to be of frequent occurrence. The type of expressions that we find in a Bill of this kind are expressions that are usually contained, and likely to occur, in different kinds of Bills and are likely to be of frequent use. It also disposes of other matters which have frequently given rise to questions in the Courts such as when a power to make Rules is conferred, whether that gives power to repeal Rules and make a new set as may be required by the circumstances afterwards. It is now recognised that there should be a provision of that kind in order to shorten the drafting of provisions enabling Rules to be made. Deputies already have an out line of the Bill before them and they will have seen the assortment of terms that are proposed to be defined. There is no question of principle involved in having a Bill of the kind, save the principle of a valuable dictionary. Any other matter that would arise out of the Bill is a matter for a Committe.

Mr. O'HIGGINS

I second the motion.

Question: "That the Interpretation Bill, 1923, be read a Second Time," put and agreed to.

Under the Standing Orders the Bill must be referred to a Special Committee.

Mr. O'HIGGINS

Must the Members or the personnel of the Committee be named?

Not under new arrangements.

Mr. O'HIGGINS

I move that the Bill be referred to a Special Committee.

Motion put and agreed to.