DAIL IN COMMITTEE. - OIREACHTAS (PAYMENT OF MEMBERS) (AMENDMENT) BILL, 1925—REPORT STAGE.

I move that the Bill be received for final consideration. There are two amendments—

In page 2, Section 2 (2), line 53, after the word "apply" to insert the words "or be deemed ever to have applied," and in line 59 after the word "be" to insert the words "or be deemed ever to have been."

The first of these amendments is necessary in order that advantage should be reaped in the future and extended back over the last twelve or eighteen months. In order to effect that purpose the amendments are necessary.

Have these amendments been circulated?

The reasons for the amendments are that in some cases of military service pensions it has transpired that while the pensions would be relieved from any deduction in respect of allowances paid to members of the Oireachtas unless these words were inserted referring to the passing of the Act, that penal restriction which, I think, was not intended either in the Payment of Members Act or in the Military Service Pensions Act would apply and income tax would be collected or deducted as the case may be, and no reimbursement to the persons affected would take place. In order to remedy that these words are being inserted. They ought to have been inserted in the first instance, and it is only in the last day or two that we discovered that, in respect of some persons, this particular charge would be made and these moneys collected.

Leave is asked to take these amendments without notice.

Are these amendments matters of substance?

I do not think they are matters of substance. The rate of payment is the same, except provision is made retrospective for a certain period, but, of course, it is an amendment moved without notice.

It is an amendment moved without notice, and it may have consequences which on the mere verbal statement of the President we cannot foresee. I suggest that we ought to have the proposed amendments circulated, even though we deal with them later this afternoon. I am not prepared to vote for amendments of that kind without knowing what I am committing myself to.

Very well. We can do that. The amount involved is £252 7s. 11d.

Did the President say that only two persons would be affected?

Only two persons.

Consideration postponed.

On resumption,

The effect of the first amendment would be that sub-section (2) of Section 2 would read: "No such provision as is mentioned in the foreging sub-section shall apply, or be deemed ever to have applied, to so much of the salary," and so on, and lines 58 and 59 would read, "if he did not hold such office nor shall any pension payable out of public moneys be, or be deemed ever to have been suspended or abated in respect of or on account of so much as aforesaid of any such salary." It was the original intention, and the intention running through the entire measure, that whatever were those particular allowances they were to be regarded as running over the whole of the period as from the day on which they were first paid, and these amendments now, although late notice was given of their introduction, are really only verbal amendments in so far as they are really carrying out the original and subsequent intention in regard to this matter.

I recognise that the amendments are verbal and do give effect to what was declared to be the intention. I content myself with saying that whatever may have been the intention of the Bill, the Bill itself is far beyond the intention of the original proposals regarding the payment of the members, and I think it is unfortunate that we should be asked to pass this Bill at this time.

Amendments agreed to.
Question —"That the Bill, as amended, be received for final consideration"—put and agreed to. (The President.)
Ordered: "That Standing Order 88 be suspended to enable the Fifth Stage to be taken."
Question—"That the Bill do now pass"—put and agreed to. (The President.)

I certify this is a Money Bill under Article 35 of the Constitution.