On the last day it was pointed out that this Bill and the Private Bill Costs Bill, 1924, were in practice being promoted by the Joint Committee on Standing Orders for private business. The Committee Stage was fixed for to-day with a view to allowing Deputies to say if they had any objection to all Stages being taken to-day. Is there any objection to that?
PUBLIC BUSINESS. - OIREACHTAS WITNESSES' OATHS BILL, 1924—COMMITTEE STAGE.
I would like to know if there is absolute necessity for taking them? Unless there is absolute necessity I shall object.
There is very great urgency about this Bill. At the present time the Committee of either House has not the power to administer oaths. There are a number of Bills coming up for decision in October before the Joint Committee of both Houses, and it is absolutely necessary that the Committee should have power to administer oaths. That is the reason the Bill is brought forward; we are a long time waiting for it.
Are we to understand that the Committees will be sitting while the Houses are adjourned?
No, but we are anxious to have the machinery ready immediately after the Recess.
The Committee Stage can be taken now and the Report Stage could be postponed, or will the Leas-Cheann Comhairle agree to postpone all stages?
There are six private Bills to come on immediately after the Recess.
There will be no loss of time if the Deputy postpones the Committee Stage as well as the Report Stage. Some question may arise on Committee Stage. I did not anticipate that this Bill would be proceeded with, but there may be questions as to whether this Bill, or the phraseology of it, covers all that is requisite in regard to the administration of oaths to witnesses before Committees. I think there may be some amendments required. Although, as a matter of order I have no right to object, I suggest that even the Committee Stage might be deferred.
Order discharged. Committee Stage fixed for October 21st.