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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 10 Dec 1924

Vol. 9 No. 24


I propose amendment 1, as follows:—

"In page 5, Section 3 (3), line 43, to delete the words "by such council."

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 2, as follows:—

"In page 6, Section 6, line 40, to delete all from and including the words ‘of such' to the end of the section and to substitute the words ‘upon which such amount would have been charged immediately before the passing of this Act.'"

This is a drafting amendment and it will not interfere with the existing chargeability in any way.

Amendment agreed to.

I propose the following amendment:—

In page 7, Section 8 (2), line 5, to delete all from and including the words "with the addition" to the end of line 6, and substitute the following words—"... (with the addition of the name of the county and of such distinguishing name as the Minister shall direct)."

This amendment is consequential to an amendment moved by Deputy O'Connell.

Amendment agreed to.

I move:

In page 7, Section 9 (1), line 13, after the word "district," to insert the words "and such others of the powers and duties of such council in such district as the Minister shall direct.

This amendment is moved in order to ensure that any functions that may not come under the heading of "sanitary functions" may be transferred to the board of health, if it is considered expedient to do so. There are several border-line cases and it is necessary to have this power.

I think it should be line 17. I suggest that this matter is of more importance than the Minister has suggested. The Section fixes that the duties of county councils as sanitary authorities are to be performed by the boards of health. "Powers and duties of the council of such county"—I take it that that is the county council—"as sanitary authority of such district shall, save as is otherwise provided by this Act, be exercised and performed through and by a board to be established in such county health districts and to be called the board of health." In the amendment it is proposed "and such others of the powers and duties of such council in such district as the Minister shall direct"—that is to say, that the Minister may direct that all the powers of the council shall be transferred to the board of health if he wishes. That is surely a very substantial amendment. It means that there is to be no limit fixed to the powers that may be transferred by the Minister's order. I think that the proposition is too wide and that the amendment should not be accepted. It is not proper that the Minister should be able to transfer powers in this way from one authority to another, and I ask the House not to accept the amendment. The powers of the Minister are great enough, and to allow the question to be decided by him in this way, to transfer power from one authority to another, is, as I have often said, handing over to the Minister powers and authority which he ought not have.

Is not line 13 correct?

I think if counted down it is line 17. It is county health districts against which the figure 15 appears on the draft. If it is counted from the top it is intended to be line 14.

It is line 13. There are two "districts."

It is on line 13 according to the numbering.

The numbering is wrong.

The numbering is wrong, but that is a different matter. It is on line 13, after the words "powers and duties of the council of such county as sanitary authority for such district." Is that where it comes in?

Yes. Perhaps there is a point in Deputy Johnson's objection, that it is too wide as it reads. Perhaps he would be agreeable if I put in "and such similar powers"?

As sanitary authority, do you mean?

The powers of the county council as sanitary authority include water supply, lighting, and other services of a kind which are not directly health services. Power of lighting is one of the sanitary powers which should not be handed over. We should not even contemplate the possibility that the board of health would be handed over such a matter as lighting. Then, I think, under the amendment, without the Minister's last suggestion, it would have included roads and the committees of agriculture, but even with the suggestion that the Minister is now making it would hand over to the board of health authority power over the water supply and lighting.

At present without this amendment these powers for lighting and water supply come under the board of health.

I move to report progress.