ACQUISITION OF LAND (REFERENCE COMMITTEE) BILL, 1925—SECOND STAGE.

I move the Second Reading of the Acquisition of Land (Reference Committee) Bill, 1925. It is a very short Bill and, as I mentioned before, the object of it is to reconstitute the Reference Committee established by the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919. Under that Act, where a local authority is authorised to acquire land compulsorily and where there is any dispute as regards compensation, a Reference Committee had power to appoint an arbitrator. This Committee will be the same as that appointed under Section 20 of the Courts of Justice Act, namely, the Chief Justice of the Irish Free State, the President of the High Court, and the Chairman of the Surveyors' Institute. Under Section 20 of the Act this Committee was only reconstituted for revenue purposes, and it is now proposed to reconstitute it for the compulsory acquisition of land.

What is this acquisition of land for? What does the Bill pertain to?

It would apply under the Housing Act or in the case of requiring to widen a road, where it would be necessary to acquire land compulsorily.

I am afraid we had not much of an opportunity of reading the Bill.

The matter has been in dispute for some time as regards the exact person to be the arbitrator. In essence it simply arranges that the arbitrator is to be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Saorstát, the President of the High Court, and the President of the Surveyors' Institution. It is really a formal thing.

Question—"That the Bill be read a second time"—put and agreed to.
Committee Stage fixed for Friday, 22nd May.
Sitting suspended at 1.15 p.m., and resumed at 1.50 p.m.,