Molaim-se ná aonntúigheann an Dáil leis an leasú so ó'n Seanad.
I move that the Dáil does not agree with the Seanad in its amendment to the Fisheries Bill. This is the first time in the history of the Oireachtas that a situation of this kind has occurred, and I think the proper procedure might be that if I get the agreement of the Dáil in rejecting this amendment a Committee might be formed from the different parties in the Dáil to draw up a reason and send it to the Seanad. The reason for opposing this amendment is not so much strictly a Fishery Departmental reason. It is on general grounds. If this amendment were accepted it would do away with all possibility of redress in a case where there was an obvious miscarriage of justice, and miscarriages of justice, of course, are not unknown. The second portion of the amendment also deprives even the judge who tries the case from reviewing his decision. It says "Recommendation for remission shall be made at the same time as the penalty is imposed." Supposing new facts come to light, he cannot then come forward in the light of these new facts and make a recommendation for the reduction of the fine imposed, or for the remission. That is the chief reason for opposition to the amendment. The other, a pretty important reason, is that the amendment would operate to limit the existing constitutional powers for varying or remitting the penalties imposed for offences under the Act. Actually, from the fishery point of view, the amendment, in the light of what has been agreed to, is particularly useless. If you just note the figures in this case you will appreciate this. Penalties were imposed for fishery offences in the year 1923 in 87 cases. These were all the penalties imposed that year. The District Justices who imposed these penalties recommended that they should be reduced in 73 out of the 87 cases. In 14 cases no reduction was recommended. In accordance with the usual procedure, these recommendations were sent to my Department, and we agreed with the District Justices in their recommendations in 42 cases. The District Justices recommended that there should be reductions in 73 cases, and the Fishery Department agreed to reductions in 42 cases and opposed reductions or remissions, recommended by the District Justices, in 31 cases. Reductions were actually made by the Government in 64 cases. From the fishery point of view, therefore, in spite of any suggestions to the contrary there is no reason for the amendment. It is not going to improve the Bill. I am not going to say it would injure it. The real reason for the objection to the amendment on the general principle is that it prevents the redressing of injury which has occurred or taken place through a miscarriage of justice. Therefore, if my suggestion is adopted, I should like to see appointed a small Committee of the Dáil; representing the different parties, with the Attorney-General and myself, and that Committee would draft a statement setting forth our objections to this amendment, and our reasons for not accepting it.