Elections of Commercial Members of the City Council.

In Section 33 the Minister agreed that sub-section (5) of Section 2 of the Local Government Act of 1898 should be made not to apply to elections to the council on the ordinary register as well as on the commercial register. In that case the amendment in Deputy O'Kelly's name would not be moved because the main objection to paragraph (e) of this section was that it gave special privileges in respect to the commercial register which were not given in respect to the ordinary register.

I think I can say that I am prepared to introduce an amendment that will remove that disability in respect of candidates for election to the council as a whole. If the Deputy wishes to be on the safe side he might put down an amendment, so that having gone into the matter between this and the Report Stage, if I come across technical difficulties that might impede me, I will not be charged with a breach of faith. My conviction is that it should go. I hope to be able to introduce an amendment.

We will wait for the next Stage for that amendment.

Ordered: That Section 33 and 34 stand part of the Bill.
(2) Until the Lord Mayor has been elected and has made the declaration accepting office which is required by law, the Town Clerk shall be the chairman at the first meeting of the City Council but shall not thereby be entitled to vote on any question which is to be decided at such meeting by a vote of the members.

I move Amendment 48:—

In sub-section (2), page 19, lines 24 and 25, to delete the words "Town Clerk" and substitute the words "City Manager."

This amendment is consequential on Amendment 54. When it appeared that the position of one city manager in the city was more or less acceptable, it appeared more satisfactory to combine the position of Town Clerk with the position of City Manager in order to make more clear and secure that the City Manager would be the chief executive officer of the Corporation and the chief executive officer for the Council in so far as he dealt with the reserved functions of the Council. In the case of the city we were in the happy position that we had as Town Clerk a gentleman with very considerable experience in the city borough, a man who was qualified and fitted for the position, and whose services and capacity during the last few years under the Commissioners have been very favourably commented on, and who may, with safety, be entrusted with the position of City Manager. So that on the personal side we are in the position that we can safely recommend to the House that the present Town Clerk of the City of Dublin be City Manager under the new Bill.

There are certain statutory responsibilities assigned to the person of the Town Clerk himself, and it is desirable that there would not be a position in which you would have a City Manager responsible for the whole work of the Corporation and for the discipline and supervision of the staff, and that there would be individual members of the staff who would have statutory responsibility that in no way related to his responsibility. By making the Town Clerk the chief executive officer of the Council we avoid the possibility of any clash of responsibility as between the Town Clerk and the City Manager. Under the old system the Town Clerk was a very highly-paid official, and was, in fact, the chief executive officer of the Council, while not having the particular type of responsibility that the City Manager will now have. Under the new circumstances with the city managed by a Manager there will not be the same necessity for the same highly-paid official that the Town Clerk, of necessity, had to be, so that we will secure better efficiency, better control and less danger of friction or confusion in the matter of carrying out the responsibilities of the City Manager and the staff generally by merging the two offices. There will not be the same necessity to have such a highly-paid official in the position of Town Clerk, in the position, say, of head of the secretariat.

In view of the other amendments that are on the Paper dealing with this particular matter, we are prepared to accept this amendment as it stands. When the other amendments dealing with other aspects of this matter come up we will have something to say. We agree that it would be an unwise and bad procedure to have two officials of the kind, a City Manager and a Town Clerk, having in view the fact, as the Minister has just stated, that there are certain statutory duties imposed upon the Town Clerk which would, if he were continued as such, in view of the proposition to have a City Manager, give him a certain position of authority in certain acts for which he would not be subject to the chief executive officer who would be in future. I take it, the City Manager. That would be an anomaly and would not make for harmony, good work and efficiency. Therefore, from this point of view, subject to the other amendments expressing our views, we accept this amendment.

I must say that I am in the same position as Deputy O'Kelly. We will wait until we see these amendments in the framework of the Bill before we consider our position. If the Town Clerk is made Manager I presume these fees for the preparation of jurors lists will go to the city revenue.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I would like to ask the Minister would not the position be rather peculiar if the Manager, for instance, was the Returning Officer?

He will not be the Returning Officer. He will be the officer responsible for the compiling of the jurors lists.

He will also be responsible for the staff carrying out the election. It is really he who employs the staff for the counting of votes.

At any rate, if the person who occupies that position is an official of the Corporation, then the City Manager will be responsible for seeing that the work is properly carried out, in so far as it is a subordinate of his who is responsible for carrying out the work. Even if that work is to be done I do not see any difficulty about making the City Manager responsible for the efficiency of the work.

I have not examined it closely, but it appears to me that a City Manager is in a position of far greater authority than the Town Clerk. There is hardly an analogy between the two positions. I would be inclined to support some alternative machinery to deal with that rather than have it in the hands of the City Manager.

Is there any greater objection to having the City Manager responsible for the supervision of the making up of the voters lists than there is to having a person who was in the past Town Clerk doing it?

The Town Clerk was really subject to the council. They had some authority over the Town Clerk.

None in respect of these statutory duties.

If the Town Clerk was not doing his work satisfactorily he was under severe criticism from the council.

Not from the council, but from the Minister.

Not directly. Supposing he compiled a list irregularly, I do not think he would survive any council.

He has no statutory responsibility to the council in respect of this. The Minister is the person who is his critic there. The City Manager would be quite as much subject to the council's criticism and control in these matters as the Town Clerk was in the past.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 35, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Section 36 agreed to.
(1) On and after the appointed day a person appointed for the purpose under this Act, who shall be called and known as the Dublin City Manager, shall exercise and perform for and on behalf of the City Corporation the powers, functions, and duties of the City Corporation in relation to the appointment and removal of officers and servants of the City Corporation (including the town clerk but not including the City Manager), and shall also exercise and perform all other powers, functions, and duties of the City Corporation other than the reserved functions.
(2) Every person appointed under this Act to be City Manager shall by virtue of such appointment be an officer of the Corporation.

I move amendment 50:—

In sub-section (1), page 19, line 51, after the word "purpose" to insert the words "by or," and in line 52, after the word "Manager" to insert the words "and Town Clerk," and in lines 55 and 56, to delete the words "including the town clerk but not including," and substitute within the brackets the words "other than."

This is consequential on what we have accepted with regard to the City Manager and Town Clerk.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 54.—

Before sub-section (2) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

(2) For the purposes of every enactment (including enactments passed or made after the passing of this Act) relating either to town clerks of county boroughs in general or to the town clerk of the City in particular, the City Manager shall, on and after the appointed day, be the town clerk of the City and have, exercise, and perform all the powers, functions, and duties for the time being conferred or imposed by any such enactment or otherwise by law on the town clerk of the City.

This is the fundamental amendment that we have been discussing.

Would the Minister explain the position that will arise in relation to the City Manager and the perquisites of the Town Clerk?

The City Manager will have an inclusive salary, and the income from fees of one kind or another will become city revenue.

Would that not have to be provided for in the Bill?

It is not necessary to have it provided for in the Bill, because the matter has been dealt with in several cases. When appointments of new Town Clerks are made, it would be arranged that they would have inclusive salaries and that the fees would become city revenue. That is the general practice of the Department at present.

That has already been done in Wexford.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Question—"That Section 37, as amended, stand part of the Bill"— put and agreed to.
Question: "That Section 38 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.

I move:—

To insert before Section 39 a new section as follows:—

(1) On and after the appointed day the following committees (in this section referred to as abolished committees) shall cease to exist, that is to say:—

(a) the committee of management heretofore appointed by the council of the County Borough of Dublin under the Tuberculosis Prevention (Ireland) Acts, 1908 and 1913;

(b) the committee heretofore formed and kept up by the council of the County Borough of Dublin under the Fourth Schedule to the Diseases of Animals Act, 1894;

(c) the Waterworks Committee heretofore appointed under Section 7 of the Dublin Corporation Waterworks Act, 1861, as amended by section 13 of the Dublin Corporation Waterworks Acts Amendment Act, 1878.

(2) On and after the appointed day, all the powers and duties conferred and imposed on the several abolished committees respectively by the respective enactments mentioned in the foregoing sub-section shall by virtue of this section be transferred to and become and be conferred and imposed on the City Corporation, and thereafter no such committee shall be appointed or formed under the said enactments respectively for the County Borough of Dublin or (in the case of the said Waterworks Committee) at all.

Section 39 provides for the cessation of statutory committees appointed under the Tuberculosis Prevention Acts. There are two other statutory committees—one for the Diseases of Animals Act and one for the Waterworks Act. In view of the wiping away of all committees I want to put in this provision. The amendment simply says "to insert", it does not say "to delete" this section, but it is intended that Section 39 shall be deleted. We purpose to provide that the three statutory committees which would otherwise have to be appointed shall not be appointed.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Question—"That the new section stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.
Question—"That Section 40 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.

The next amendment, No. 56, in the name of Deputy MacEntee, can be left unmoved, as all these sections can remain as they are without prejudice to what happens in regard to the borough. The same applies to amendment 57.

Question—"That Sections 41, 42 and 43 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.
(1) The Borough Council shall at their first meeting and at their quarterly meeting held next after every 1st day of July elect one of their members to be the Mayor.
(2) The Mayor shall continue in office (subject to his death, resignation or disqualification) until his successor shall have been elected at the next quarterly meeting of the Borough Council at which a Mayor is to be elected by the Borough Council, and such successor shall have made the declaration accepting office which is required by law.
(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the law for the time being in force in relation to the election, tenure of office, powers, duties, privileges, and remuneration of a Mayor of a borough shall apply to the election, tenure of office, powers, duties, privileges, and remuneration of the Mayor.

On Section 44 is it not clear that we would have to urge that the Borough Council should not be equipped with a Mayor? I do not know how the position stands in relation to the arrangement arrived at last night. Would it be possible to let this go through formally?

I think we should let these sections go through, and then we can discuss the to-beness or not-to-be-ness of the borough. Matters arising out of that, including the question of the Mayor, can be discussed by the Committee which is to deal with it.

Question—"That Sections 44, 45, 46 and 47 stand part of the Bill"— put and agreed to.
(1) Whenever a vacancy (in this Act referred to as a casual vacancy) shall occur in the membership of the Council by reason of the death, resignation, disqualification, or non-acceptance of office of a member thereof, such vacancy shall be filled by the Council as soon as conveniently may be after the occurrence thereof.
(2) Every person who is elected by the Council to fill a casual vacancy shall, unless he sooner dies, resigns, or becomes disqualified or he refuses to accept office, hold office as a member of the Council for the residue then unexpired of the term for which the member whose death, resignation, disqualification, or non-acceptance of office occasioned the vacancy would have held office if he had not died, resigned, become disqualified, or refused to accept office.

I move:—

In sub-section (1), line 19, to delete all words after the word "Council" and substitute the words "at the quarterly meeting of the Council next following."

This amendment is proposed owing to the indefinite nature of the provision which provides that a casual vacancy caused by the death, resignation, disqualification or non-acceptance of office of a member may be filled immediately. I realise that it might not always be possible to fill it at the next quarterly meeting. It seems to me that there should not be any long delay in filling a casual vacancy of that kind. If the Minister would put in "at the next, or next following quarterly meeting" it would mean that there would be some definite limit of time in which the vacancy should be filled.

Perhaps it might meet the Deputy's wishes if I put in "after due notice as soon as conveniently may be." That would mean that the ordinary statutory notice of three days would be required to be given and it would get over the difficulty that might arise in connection with the next quarterly meeting.

Do you mean due notice after the next quarterly meeting?

If we say that it might mean that in the event of the death of a member occurring two days before the quarterly meeting the vacancy would have to exist for three months. I do not feel particularly one way or the other about it. If the Deputy has no point to make in regard to waiting for three months, it could be provided that after three days' notice the vacancy could be filled at the next monthly meeting. Usually monthly meetings are held.

The next statutory meeting.

I do not want to make it the statutory meeting as that is the quarterly meeting.

So is the monthly meeting.

Let us say "as soon as conveniently may be" and introduce the question of due notice. If the Deputy finds that that does not cover the point he can bring it up again on Report.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Question—"That Section 48 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.
(1) The Council shall directly exercise and perform all and every of the powers, functions, and duties of the Corporation in relation to the following matters, that is to say:—
(a) the making of any rate or the borrowing of any moneys;
(b) the making, amending, or revoking of any bye-law;
(c) the making of any order and the passing of any resolution by virtue of which any enactment is brought into operation in or made to apply to the City or the Borough (as the case may be) and the revoking of any such order and the rescinding of any such resolution;
(d) the application to be made to any authority in respect of the making or revoking of any such order as aforesaid;
(e) the making or revoking of any order under Section 5 of the Shops Act, 1913 (in that Act referred to as the closing order);
(f) the powers conferred by Section 5 of the Borough Funds (Ireland) Act, 1888 in relation to the promotion or the opposing of legislation, the prosecution and defence of legal proceedings, and the application for those purposes of the public funds and rates under the control of the Corporation;
(g) the appointment or election of any person to be a member of any public body;
(h) parliamentary and local elections;
(i) the admission of persons to the freedom of the City or the Borough (as the case may be);
(j) subject to the provisions of this Act, the appointment, suspension and removal of the manager and the granting of an allowance or gratuity to the manager on his ceasing to be the manager;
(k) the determination of the amount of the salary and remuneration of the Lord Mayor or Mayor (as the case may be);
(l) applications to the Minister for a provisional order under this Act extending the boundary of the City or the Borough (as the case may be).
(2) The Minister may, subject to the provisions of this section, by order require that the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to any matter not included in the matters referred to in the foregoing sub-section shall be exercised and performed directly by the Council and upon such order being made the said powers, functions and duties shall, as on and from the date specified in that behalf in such order, be exercised and performed directly by the Council and shall continue so to be exercised and performed while such order remains in force.
(3) The Minister may, subject to the provisions of this section, revoke an order made by him under this section.
(4) The Minister shall not make or revoke an order under this section save upon the application of the Council made to the Minister in pursuance of a resolution passed by the Council and for the passing of which not less than two-thirds of the members of the Council voted and which was so passed after not less than one month's notice of the intention to propose such resolution had been given in writing by the town clerk to every member of the Council.
(5) Upon receipt by him of any such application as aforesaid the Minister, before (as the case may be) making or revoking an order under this section, may, if he thinks fit, hold a local inquiry into any matters which appear to him to be relevant to the purpose of (as the case may be) making or revoking such order.
(6) In this Act the expression "reserved functions" means the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation which are for the time being required by this section or by an order made under this section to be exercised and performed by the Council directly.

Perhaps on the next amendments in connection with this section I could deal with them as they effect the change in the manager's position.

On what particular amendment would the discussion take place?

If we settled first, amendments 66, 67 and 68, which are minor amendments, and then came on to 72, we could deal with that amendment and also amendments 89, 103, 111, 129 and 130.

Amendment 65 not moved.

I move amendment 66, which is as follows:—

In sub-section (1), paragraph (e), page 23, line 44, to delete the figures "1913" and substitute the figures "1912."

This is merely a drafting amendment.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I move:—

In sub-section (1), paragraph (f), page 23, line 46, to delete the figure "5" and substitute the figure "3," and in line 49, to delete the words "legal proceedings" and substitute the words "any such legal proceedings as are mentioned in that section."

This also is a drafting amendment.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 68, 69, 70 and 71 not moved.

I move amendment 72:—

To add at the end of sub-section (1), page 24, a new paragraph as follows:—

"The disposition (otherwise than by demise for a term not exceeding one year) under the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Acts, 1840 to 1888, of lands, tenements and hereditaments belonging to the Corporation."

This amendment proposes that one of the reserved functions of the Council shall be the disposition otherwise than by demise for a term not exceeding one year of certain property of the Corporation. The effect will be to make the letting of the city estate a reserved function of the Corporation. I think that it will meet to a large extent the point made about the necessity of putting the Council into the position in certain cases of having control of the leases of city property. On the general position in regard to the Manager, these amendments are intended to make it more explicit that the Council has complete control over policy, and they are also intended to fit in with the arrangement by which under the reserved functions they are given complete control for the making of rates and the borrowing of money. Under the subsections in Section 49 they are given power to pass a resolution asking for additional reserved functions, and the Minister, with or without inquiry, can issue an order setting out the additional reserved functions and duties of the Corporation.

It is proposed, under amendment 89, that the Council may "if and whenever it thinks fit, make regulations prescribing the procedure to be followed in regard to the reception and examination of all or any particular class or classes of tenders for the supply of goods and for the execution of work, or any other thing for which the Corporation may lawfully have invited the submission of tenders," the regulations made under this section to be subject to the approval of the Minister. That deals with tenders when received, but it does not interfere with the Manager's powers of entering into a contract. Amendment 103 links in with the idea that Deputies put forward when they said that the Council had not power to carry out certain works which they wanted. Amendment 103 enables the Council to call upon the Manager to provide the necessary plans, specifications and general information that will enable them to make up their minds when they require certain classes of work carried out. It enables them to go into such matters beforehand and it will put them in the position, having required the Manager to provide for that particular work in the estimates, to have everything arranged by the time the estimates require to be considered. In the case of borrowing, they will have the necessary information upon which they can arrange to borrow for work which they, taking the initiative themselves in the matter, consider should be carried out.

Linked in with that provision are amendments 129 and 130. Deputies will remember that it was complained that the Council could not amend the estimates in any way they wanted. This amendment makes it clear that they can put things into the estimates or take things out of the estimates and generally make the estimates, as finally accepted, the basis of striking the rates and make them what the Council require they should be. It will be seen, too, that the estimates are required to be in the hands of the Council for fourteen days. I had in mind that I should change that fourteen days to not less than 21 days so as to give more time to the Council to consider the estimates when in their hands, and I will introduce an amendment on Report Stage for that purpose.

Amendment 101 is intended to give power to the Council in connection with any specific matter which they have considered in a certain way, to order the Manager to carry out something which they require to be carried out. Deputies will see that it is hedged around with provisions requiring certain notices, requiring that it should be passed by a certain majority, and that after discussions with the Manager the Council can require the Manager to carry out a certain thing which they require to be done. It provides that an order like that cannot refer to a class generally, but simply refer to one particular act. I think these amendments go a certain way towards improving the explicit position of the Council in respect to the Manager.

There is one point which I would like to suggest to the Minister. That is in reference to the question of transferring the powers of control to the Council. That requires the authority of two-thirds of the members of the Council voting for the motion. I would like the Minister to examine that, because my experience of it is that it is an impossibility. If the future Corporation of Dublin has a membership of 35, that provision means that you must have 24 members of the Council present and voting for your motion. Taking it that a reasonably good attendance would be 28 or 29, that provision means that you must carry the motion by 24 votes out of the 28 or 29 present. I would like the Minister to examine the matter from that point of view. If it meant that you should have two-thirds of the members of the Council who were present at the meeting there could be no real objection, but the proposal that you must get two-thirds of all the members of the Council voting for a particular motion is a practical impossibility.

I think we should dispose of the amendments first.

Is it intended that the discussion on the Minister's whole plan for improving the Bill will take place on the amendments or piecemeal on the various sections? The Minister has given an outline of the plan in moving this amendment. Although it is not intended by any Party to oppose any of the amendments, it would be more advisable that we should discuss the Minister's plan in globo on this amendment than piecemeal on the various amendments.

If it is not intended to oppose the amendments, I think it would be better to have them debated on the sections.

A number of the amendments relate to other sections. There are amendments No. 89, No. 101 and No. 103 relating to other sections, but they are part and parcel of the whole plan.

I think it would be better to discuss the whole plan.

I was merely going to follow the course the Minister had taken——

The Deputy can discuss amendment 72 if he likes.

——and indicate, first of all, our satisfaction that the Minister is moving thus far from his original position and improving the Bill, in our opinion, by so doing. Secondly, to indicate various points in which I think it is still possible for the Minister to improve the Bill, even within the limits of the scheme which he is prepared to sanction. There are certain additional reserved powers which are proposed to be given to the Council. We can discuss these on the Report Stage. I should like to press on the Minister the point of view mentioned by Deputy Flinn in relation to the extension of the powers of the Council. It is undesirable that the machinery should be so rigid as to be practically incapable of being worked. The provision that you must get two-thirds of the members of the Council before a resolution asking for the extension of the powers can be passed makes the machinery unworkable. It is probable that in a council of thirty-five there will always be a few members sick, and they are ruled out. Their absence increases the difficulty of getting the resolution passed. If the Minister would be prepared to amend the Bill and to make it two-thirds of those present and voting at the meeting, it would ease the situation. The procedure to be adopted in extending the powers of the Council is a very formal one. Notice has to be given to the Manager, and a formal copy of the resolution has to be sent to each member of the Council. Every member of the Council who is anxious to vote for or against it is given adequate notice and opportunity of doing so. If, when all these formalities have been complied with, certain members of the Council abstain from attendance, their abstention will be either due to physical inability to be there or else to the fact that that is the only manner in which they can express their attitude in relation to the resolution —an attitude of indifference.

The actual passing of the resolution does not secure the increased powers to the Council. It only secures that the resolution will be forwarded to the Minister. He can grant these powers or he can set up an inquiry. If there is no real case in the view of the Minister, for giving the increased powers the Council will not get them. But, if there is a real case, then it is desirable that the wishes of the vast majority of the Council should be capable of being brought easily to the Minister's notice. The same applies to the proposed new section before Section 54. That is amendment 111, which deals with a requisition by the Council that a particular thing should be done by the Minister. The proposal there is that one half of the members of the Council must vote for the resolution asking that a particular thing be done. It may often happen that the particular thing that the Council wants done will be a matter of urgency. If the meeting of the Council was held during the holiday period or during a period when influenza was prevalent it might be very difficult to get one-half of the members present at the meeting, much less one-half of the members prepared to vote for the resolution. Again, there is a certain formality which must be followed. Notice must be sent to the members and everybody concerned must know that the particular resolution will be under discussion at the meeting. In view of that fact, one-half of those present and voting should be adequate to ensure that the Manager would be required to do the particular thing which the Council wants to have done. In view of the restrictions with which the Minister has hedged round this particular power of the Council, it is undesirable that accidental causes might make it impossible for the Council to carry out the function which has been given to it in that proposed new section.

In relation to the proposal concerning the reception and examination of tenders, the Minister has undoubtedly improved upon the original Bill, but he has not, in our opinion, gone sufficiently far because there is a very strong case to be made in support of the contention that the Council should have control of contracts. In considering the matter, Deputies should not merely think of contracts of a small nature. The contracts that the Manager may be dealing with may involve several thousands of pounds and, in some cases, hundreds of thousands of pounds, and as a prominent man in the city put it to me, no matter how honest the City Manager may be the fact that he has the awarding of contracts of great magnitude in his own hands will create a general suspicion that undesirable influences are at work in determining his decision.

I agree that if the Council makes regulations necessitating the reception and examination of the tenders in public it will work out so that the Manager will be practically compelled to accept the tender which the Council consider should be accepted. But I should like to see the Council provided with the formal power of deciding that in all contracts involving, say, more than £250, which has been suggested by Deputy Byrne, the Council should have the final determining voice. In that proposed new Section 54 there is another matter to which the Minister should give consideration. It is provided in the last sentence that any resolution purporting to be passed by the Council under this scheme which contravenes this sub-section shall be void and have no effect. That is the sub-section which deals with the passing of a resolution relating to the general powers of the Manager or to the control of staff. The Council is definitely prohibited from passing such a resolution. There may be border-line cases. It is possible to imagine a resolution which the Council would urge related to a specific thing, but which the Manager would contend dealt with the general exercise of his powers. If such a dispute arose between the Manager and the Council, who is to determine the issue? Is there a possibility there that the Council and the Manager would be involved in a legal dispute? That paragraph visualises the Council passing a resolution directing the Manager to do a thing which the Manager will refuse to do, on the ground that the resolution is in contravention of the sub-section. Would it be possible for the Council to take legal proceedings against the Manager to compel him to do the particular thing which the Council wants him to do, or should not there be some machinery set up to decide in a disputed case who is right, even if the machinery which the Minister thought of was the usual refuge of the administrator, that the matter should be referred to the Minister? No doubt, that is the solution the Minister would think of, but it is better than having no machinery at all for solving the issue.

The other points which arise in this connection can be dealt with on the Report Stage, when we see the sections in relation to the Bill as a whole. I think, however, that we can congratulate the Minister on having gone so far, and express the hope that we can persuade him to go a bit further. My own view, as expressed in the amendment which stands in my name, is that the procedure which the Minister should have adopted was to have decided that certain specified powers, functions and duties will be exercised by the Manager and that all other powers, functions and duties will be exercised by the Council. If that had been done, I believe that the objections to this Bill would be much less formidable than they are.

This particular method which the Minister adopted of giving reserved powers to the Council, and all other powers to the Manager, caused most of the misunderstandings and most of the opposition to this Bill. The procedure should be to give reserved powers to the Manager, particularly the powers of controlling staff and controlling and executing contracts, and the other functions that gave rise either to corruption or a suspicion of corruption in the past. If those were reserved to the Manager, and all the other powers given to the Council, unless the Council themselves chose to delegate them to the Manager, the Bill would be much better in principle than it is.

It is probably impossible effectively to amend the Bill to ensure that that could be done, although we can have a discussion on the principle when the Bill again comes before us, and these amendments are moved. Before that I would like the Minister to consider the advisability of extending the reserved powers of the Council to include the various items in the different amendments. The Minister expressed his intention that the Council should exercise complete control over the legislative functions of the Corporation, and that the Manager's duty should be confined to administrative functions. But the Minister cannot possibly argue that administration covers such decisions as those mentioned in amendment 68—the making, maintaining, and revoking of decisions concerning the nature, extent and cost of capital undertakings. He cannot argue that administration covers other matters mentioned therein, as the letting of houses and the decision as to whether they should be let at a weekly or other tenancy, or sold on the hire-purchase system; the question of whether entrance to the service of the Corporation should be by appointment or by competitive examination; the question as to whether preference should be given to Irish goods in the making of contracts; the question as to whether legal proceedings should be initiated or defended; the question whether trade union disputes should be fought ought or settled; and the other matters mentioned in the various amendments in the name of Deputy Byrne and myself and other Deputies. All these are questions of policy and not of administration, and if the Minister is anxious that legislative powers should be reserved to the Council, then I think he will be forced to extend the reserved powers of the Council so that they can exercise jurisdiction in these matters.

We approve of the managerial system. Probably if it was clearer in the Bill that the Manager was definitely subordinate to the Council appointed, paid by, and liable to be dismissed by the Council, we would be prepared to give the Manager a much wider sphere of operation than we would be prepared to give him while his position is as dubious as it is under the Bill. But on the general principle that there should be a clear division between legislative and administrative functions of the Corporation there appears to be agreement between us. The only question at issue is whether particular functions are legislative or administrative, and I think there can be no doubt that we are right as to the matter mentioned in the amendment. I would like the Minister to consider the possibility of accepting our views in relation to these matters before the Bill comes forward again on the Report Stage.

I want to claim the indulgence of the House, because I was absent for the last twenty minutes, and I do not happen to know what happened in the interval, and whether there was agreement between both sides and, if so, whether it covered all the grounds.

It was agreed that only the Minister's amendment and those accepted by the Minister would be taken at this stage.

The President also agreed that the Bill would be recommitted on Report Stage.

That there would be a second Committee Stage. The Deputy's amendments are not being moved now, but they can be raised on the occasion of this further Committee Stage. We are now dealing with amendment 72, but the Deputy will not be confined to that if he wishes to speak, because it is now linked with Nos. 103 and 111.

Mr. Byrne

With reference to amendment 78 in my name, Deputy Lemass referred to some of the items embraced in that amendment.

The Deputy is not going to argue that now.

Particularly such a composite amendment as that.

Mr. Byrne

I did not expect the Minister to accept it in globo.

It is agreed that this amendment will not be moved at this stage.

Mr. Byrne

Has the Minister given a promise of any kind to meet the points raised by Deputy Lemass?

He has not had time yet.

I press the Minister to accept the spirit of what Deputy Lemass urged. He referred again to the two-third majority. I think there is in the same class the question of one month's notice. That, to my mind, is altogether unnecessary. A notice served on a member of the Council is quite easily forgotten in one month. A month's notice does not serve any useful purpose. I think a fortnight's notice or twelve days' notice should be sufficient to any member to make up his mind on a particular motion. Again, it would be a good thing if it were possible at this stage to have even the powers of the elected representatives more clearly defined in the Bill. I have some experience of a smaller measure and, like Deputy Lemass, I agree that the second venture of the Minister has been far more liberal than his first. I think he deserves to be congratulated on that. I think the Minister could, at this stage, define the powers more clearly. The Minister is aware that in regard to a similar Bill that passed through this House amendments have been put forward. The amendments asked for by the Cork Corporation would only alter the Bill in a very slight way, but they are not the last word. The difficulty in attempting to alter that Bill was almost insurmountable. To put down in words the exact intention becomes almost impossible, even for a lawyer. It should not be assumed that the amendments sought in the Cork Bill are anything like the last word in the opinion of those who voted for them. I again suggest that the relations between the Manager and the Council should be more clearly defined. It would be far easier for those who will have the worry and trouble of administering this Act if we had a clearer definition. It would be almost impossible, after the rates meeting, for a member of the Borough Council of Cork to stand up and to be strictly in order. After the rates meeting he has absolutely no function, and anything he might say would be more or less a friendly advice to the Manager or would be simply expressing his opinion that the Manager may adopt or reject at his pleasure. Strictly speaking, after the rates meeting he has no authority to open his mouth.

Perhaps I could have five minutes really to finish this and to reply to some of the points made. On the general appeal made to further consider these matters with a view to seeing whether I could not completely accept them I say to Deputies to give further consideration to the general position and to look into it again as it is in the Bill and in the amendment. A judge in Chicago was given a job to decide, and he did decide, that a wife had the right to slide down the bannisters. Some of the powers that the Cork Council are looking for seem to be in the same kind of category. They are looking for things that they have already. I appreciate the remarks of Deputy French when he says that it is terribly hard to put into words what the Cork Council feel they want. You cannot lay down a certain framework of words and say that that completely suits a City Manager, human, with his temperament and his capacity and all that, and a city council, and one cannot dovetail them into one another in the way in which a mechanic will take two wheels and fit them completely into one another. You have to give them the framework over which they are to work and the rest is co-operation and administration. I am prepared to go further into these matters and we will see what we have to say to each other on the Report Stage.

I appreciate the attitude of Deputies with regard to the number of the majority under amendment 111. I think we might be prepared to make it 50 per cent. of the council or two-thirds of the members present at the meeting. With regard to the point about two-thirds of the members and the month's notice under Section 49, I am prepared to look into that matter and see whether a change may not be made. That deals with a resolution calling the Council together to consider a very fundamental matter; that is, the passing over to them of reserved functions. Really it ought to be a thing that would require a certain amount of formality and not the kind of thing that ought to arise in a hurry, simply because a particular thing was being dealt with and something must be done at once. It is a matter that ought to arise out of the general experience of the Council.

As a matter of fact, that is really what does happen. The Council will not alter the existing arrangement unless they arrive at a situation in the first instance where they think it necessary to transfer the powers. The matter is usually the subject of controversy within the Council before the motion is actually put in or before notice is given.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendments 73 to 87, inclusive, not moved.

Mr. Byrne

I was anxious to say something on amendment 78.

It was agreed that no amendments would be moved at this stage, except the Minister's amendments. The Deputy will get an opportunity of moving this amendment on the next stage, if he desires to do so.

I beg to move amendment 88:—

Before sub-section (6) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

(6) No order made by the Minister under this section shall extend or apply to any power, function, or duty conferred or imposed on the manager by or under this Act in relation to the officers and servants of the Corporation or the control, supervision, service, remuneration, privileges, or superannuation of such officers and servants or any of them.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 49, as amended, agreed to.
Progress reported; the Committee to sit again to-morrow.

I take it that in dealing with the matter to-morrow, we will simply confine ourselves to the amendments I move, or am prepared to accept.