Local Government (Dublin) Bill, 1929—Committee Stage (Resumed).

It has been decided that the total membership of the council shall be 35. The question for decision on amendment 20 is whether there should be a commercial register and, since we have altered the membership of the council from 25 to 35, I take it that we may substitute the word "thirty" for the word "twenty-one" in line 42.

I will now take amendment 20, and on that amendment will put the Question: That the words "in this Act referred to as ordinary members" in lines 42-43 stand. That Question will give a decision on the point as to whether or not there is to be a commercial register.

I move amendment 20, which reads:

In sub-section (1), lines 42 and 43, to delete the words "of whom thirty (in this Act referred to as ordinary members)" and substitute the word "who," and to delete all words after the word "electors," line 45, to the end of the sub-section.

As you have stated, sir, the substance of that amendment, if carried, means the deletion of the special commercial franchise from the Bill. We object very strenuously to this revival of a system of franchise which most people thought was not alone dead but buried half a century ago——

And damned.

Deputy Davin would be an authority as to whether it is damned or not; I cannot say. Perhaps he will be able to give us some evidence on that matter. I hope he will, if it will have any effect in killing the proposal here. Deputy Davin says that the system is damned and I hope he will be able to prove that.

There is no necessity to prove it.

The proposal contained in the Bill is an effort to bring to light again the old system and the old principle of giving votes according to the amount of one's property or, as somebody said some weeks ago in a weekly publication which I read, according to the size of one's bank balance. That is a principle that we object to. We think that the most just principle in local government, as well as in national affairs, is one man one vote. I cannot see how any possible injustice would be done to the commercial community by adhering to that principle. Anybody in Dublin, or outside of it, who has experience of local government knows that in the past the franchise that is now in existence for local government afforded every possible opportunity to commercial men, as well as every other class in the community, to get representation. My belief is that, in so far as they sought, business men and commercial men got full representation on local boards and councils. At least, that applies to those with whom I was acquainted. To seek to set up for the commercial community a type of special franchise similar to that set up under certain laws for them in the case of the Port and Docks Board is, to my mind, indefensible. I cannot see any reason on earth to justify it. Those who have property have, no doubt, a great interest in the city. Those who have business have a great interest in the city. But even in proportion to their higher, valuations they have not a greater interest in the city than their own employees or the poorer classes of the community. Whether rich or poor, one pays in rates in the same proportion. One does not always pay it on the valuation of one's property. The poor pay it in their cost of living. It is in the things they buy they pay their rates. I think it would be a grave injustice on the people to put this principle in the Bill. There is no special demand for it that I know of on the part of the commercial community. I believe the proposal in the Bill is entirely unjustifiable, and we will oppose it to the full.

I want to repudiate very clearly that this proposal is giving a vote to property or attaching a vote to persons because of the size of their bank balances. I pointed out on the Second Reading of this Bill that of the total valuation of the old city, about £1,200,000, as much as £600,000 represented property occupied, not for the purposes of enjoyment of occupation or personal use, but occupied by persons engaged in trade, commerce and manufacture. It is now suggested that the present principle of giving a vote to a local government elector because of the fact that he is a rated occupier is not just. We are told that the local government franchise should be "one man one vote," like the franchise for the Dáil. Let that be discussed on its merits and in the right place.

As I understand, it is not proposed to discuss on this Bill whether the ordinary local government franchise or electorate should be changed or not in respect to the new system. What is implied in this Bill is that if the basis of the local government vote is the occupation of rateable premises, then it is unsound and unjust that, if we simply regard the statistics of the old city, one-half of the rateable premises should be unvoiced in the matter of local government. The Bill proposes that a voice shall be given to the persons who bear the burden of the rates; it is proposed to give it to them in a circumscribed and in a special way. It is realised that the commercial and the business community in the city have a special function in the city's life to exercise, if they do exercise it, in giving voice to the public policy of the city's administration. I made it clear on the Second Reading that we desire to see in the council of the city men who can speak for the business side of the city's life. We desire to give them an opportunity of being present at that Council without having to run the gamut of the ordinary public election, which involves going on the hustings and engaging in expense. We are not giving them a voice that will be in any way a turning point in the discussions of the Council. We propose that in a Council of thirty-five they shall have five. I am only quoting the figures for comparative purposes. The total valuation will be £1,700,000 and I am assuming that the commercial valuation is half the valuation of the present city. We are giving thirty seats on the Council to the ordinary electorate, who will cover something more than half the rateable valuation in the city. We are giving five voices in the Council to persons elected by the purely business community and representing a valuation that will go to nearly half the valuation of the new city.

As I said before, we have heard from time to time criticism by the business organisations in the city of the general conduct of municipal affairs. Only recently, from one of the other county boroughs in the country, I had representations from the Chamber of Commerce that the city was being mismanaged, that the system should be changed and that we should send down there a commissioner. The occupations of business people who speak in that particular way are such that they cannot face the electorate. We want to give them representation, to saddle them with the responsibility that attaches to it, and we want to give them no excuse for not being in the city councils and not speaking their minds there.

It is usually easy for a group of business people to criticise people from outside and to say that everything is all wrong. They will be much more effective if they are inside learning the difficulties and helping to overcome them. We want them to shoulder their part in the general giving of advice, the sizing up of difficulties, and the framing of policy. There are these very ample and sound reasons for introducing this system of representation for the commercial community. I would like to say, at this stage, that amendment 36 makes it more clear than it is in the Bill that non-Saorstát bodies will not have a voice in the election of representatives in the city council. I propose to accept that amendment.

The Minister in the course of his remarks, has paid a very poor compliment indeed to the business people of this city when he has made it clear that his reasons for adopting this peculiar method, and enshrining it in the Bill, of giving special representation, are because he could not get the business people to take their due share of responsibility unless this particular form of inducement was held out. They cannot be expected to undertake the expense of going before the electorate; they cannot be expected to be put to the trouble of going before the electorate; they cannot be expected to engage in the job of putting their particular view as to the interests of the city before the electorate. They must be put in a special, privileged position before they do what the ordinary citizens ought to do and what they, who are supposed to have a greater interest in the city than the ordinary elector, should be expected more readily to do.

That is the case the Minister makes for them. It is a poor case, and a poor tribute to the businessmen of the city. There are businessmen, I am glad to say, who do take an interest in the welfare of the city and in the welfare of the community generally who do not shirk their civic responsibilities, who undertake them to the fullest extent and do useful work. I say that whether I agree with their particular point of view or not. There is altogether too much, on the part of businessmen, superior contempt for those who do engage in the civic work or take part in civic or political activities—that kind of superior air that suggests that these people are doing this for their own or for selfish purposes. We have too much of that kind of thing from the business community of the country, and we have it not from the best element of the business community. The Minister is pandering to that supposed superiority when he goes out of his way and introduces into this Bill this particular form of inducement to bring in this kind of elector. I think I will be justified, although I may be anticipating to some extent, in referring to the register which the section sets up. I do so in reference to what the Minister for Education said in defending the proposal. He said on the Second Reading Stage (column 1001): "It was not because people have property of a certain amount"—the Minister repeated that to-day—"that they were given an extra vote, this special representation. It was because they represented business interests and presumably gave employment." That is the ground on which it is supposed to be given. But there is nothing in the Bill which says that. There is no provision in the Bill for that. A person may give no employment whatsoever and be entitled to this special representation or get on this special register. A bookmaker may have a big house with a big valuation and set apart one room as an office. He would be entitled to claim under Section 32 to be put on the special register. If the Minister is really serious that this is intended to apply to people who are giving employment in the city, then he will have no hesitation in accepting Deputy Davin's amendment, No. 42, which makes that point quite clear. As it stands at present, there is no such safeguard.

The Minister has not said, either on the Second Reading or now, why he confines this to Dublin. If it is good for Dublin, it ought to be good for Cork, Limerick and Waterford.

And the coastal borough.

Mr. O'Connell

And the coastal borough. There is no such provision for the coastal borough. What is the reason that this special provision is made for Dublin? If the principle is sound, is there any reason why it should be confined to Dublin? I said in my Second Reading speech practically all that is necessary to say on the general principle. I do not want to repeat it. It certainly does not seem to me to be right that we should in this way give special inducements to people who, because their interests are affected, are not prepared to undertake the responsibilities that they ought to undertake. If business interests are affected in the city they have their opportunity for getting on the Council if they wish to undertake these responsibilities. I think it is reviving a reactionary principle to bring in this proposal for a commercial register in the way in which it is being done in this Bill.

I should like to point out that on the Second Reading of this Bill the Minister referred to the amount of rates paid on business premises as distinct from ordinary residential premises. He quoted a figure of £600,000, which is half the amount of rates in question. I pointed out that in that figure was included rates payable on premises which would not be included in this commercial register at all. The Minister has not yet produced figures in that regard. If we turn to Section 32 in item C of sub-section (2) we will find that in spite of all the talk about business and manufacturing concerns that are to benefit by this clause we also have included the professions. There are a great many houses occupied in the city by doctors, dentists, solicitors, maternity nurses, masseures, that would come under this particular heading in a commercial register. I do not think that the Minister has given any reason why this step should be taken to give the business community or the so-called business community, any extra representation when we also have brought into line with them the professional community. The amendment in Deputy Doyle's name certainly goes a long way to do away with the danger that I pointed out on the Second Reading of those multiple shops, whose owners are not resident here, being included under this section of the Bill. I would like to know if the Minister is prepared to delete item C to which I have referred.

I am prepared to hear the Deputy argue that a consulting engineer who keeps a staff working, an architect who keeps a staff working, or a dentist who keeps a staff working at mechanical work, assuming that they are occupying premises for the purpose of carrying on their business, should not be regarded as on the same plane, say, as a shopkeeper. The difficulty about the professions is that one particular class of profession employs a certain number of people and that a member of another profession employs a couple of assistants or somebody to mind the door or keep his letters for him. There is a difficulty in finding a line in the professions. You have those who do give employment and those who do not. I would like to hear the Deputy argue that the architect, the consulting engineer, or the dentist who give employment should be left out.

There are a good many private houses in Dublin owned by people who are living on their incomes and who, perhaps, have five or six maids and a butler. They also come within the special register.

Not many of them.

They employ these servants for their own personal purposes, and they occupy these premises for private purposes. They do not occupy them for the purpose of carrying on a service to the general public.

Is the Minister going to argue that because a consulting engineer or an architect employs two or three assistants they should be given special facilities and that he cannot draw any distinction between them and the doctor? I say that the proposal is all wrong. Up to the present all the argument has been based on the fact that business men have great interests in the city and that they have not the means of putting their views before the Council for the benefit of industry. Now we have the Minister talking about the engineer, the dentist, the nursing homes——

There are also the commercial gentlemen of Dublin city who must be specially catered for in the interests of industry. I certainly cannot see that there has been any case made for it, and I stand by Deputy O'Kelly's amendment.

I would ask members of the House like Deputy Doyle to imagine for themselves what President Cosgrave would say if a proposal of this kind were made by the British Government in the British House of Commons during the period of his membership of the Corporation. Surely to goodness, there is no man now sitting in this House who had any associations with the Sinn Féin movement who would be capable of coming forward at that particular period to try and justify a proposal of this kind? I suppose the President is too innocent to admit even now what he would have said about such a proposal.

Is not innocence a grand virtue?

The proposal is to put a premium on those with the money as against those with brains. The Chairman or Managing Director of a firm like Todd Burns, Arnotts, or other business houses of that kind, who occupies that position because of his money or the shareholding interest which he has in the concern, is going to be put six times over the head of the manager, who is the man who is supposed to know how to conduct the business. The manager of Todd Burns, for instance, who is, I suppose, receiving a fairly good salary and who lives in a moderately valued house in a place like Drumcondra, will get only one vote whereas the chairman or managing director, because he controls the purse, will get six. That is the democratic outlook which the Minister holds to-day. I would ask him whether he is prepared to allow the House to say by a free vote what it thinks of this proposal.

I hope that Deputies Doyle and Duggan, whose names we hear sounding around this House when divisions are called, will not be put on as tellers in the division to decide what will happen in the case of this proposal.

Would the Deputy say what kind of voice he would give in the affairs of the city to persons who are responsible for the payment of rates on premises used for business purposes to the amount of, say, £2,000?

I call the business man an unpaid rate collector. Does anyone suggest that a publican or draper, or anyone else engaged in business, does not include in the price of the articles he sells to the public the amount he has to pay for rates and other charges?

Mr. Byrne

He does not.

Deputy Byrne does not like to be designated an unpaid rate collector. I do not know his shop but I am sure that he passes on the overhead charges in the price of the articles he sells to the public.

And a little more.

Certainly, for his valuable time. Would the Minister, from his experience of the working of the new Act in the City of Cork, say that that experience justifies him in coming before this House with a proposal of this kind? I am informed that there are twenty-one members in the Cork City Council and that five or six of them are some of the best business men in Cork. They went on the hustings on their merits and as a result of their brains and intellect, not because they had money behind them, they got their proportionate representation in the council. Can the President deny that? If these people in Cork were elected on their merits as business men why give these people in Dublin a privileged position? Nothing has been said by the Minister, either inside or outside this House, which would justify that proposal except that he wants to give a privileged position to people with money but people with money have not always the best brains. He will allow these people to sit in secret in Commercial Buildings and select four or five persons from among themselves for membership of the Corporation. We know how voting goes in the Commercial Buildings.

I am informed that one of the biggest slum-owners in the city—I think the President knows him but I will not mention names—will be eligible for membership of the council as a commercial candidate. He has big business premises in Dublin and he is also one of the biggest slum owners. He probably will be put up by the people who control the Commercial Buildings and such high-class institutions in the city, people who are supposed to have brains though I do not admit it. The man to whom I refer will be regarded as a super-citizen, capable of advising the council on housing schemes. This big slum owner who will probably get into the council by being a commercial candidate will be put in that privileged position. Does the Minister admit that a man of that kind would be a proper person to advise the city council in regard to housing schemes?

I would like to hear him discuss them.

He will be on the business man's register. Many of these business men own houses around the Coombe and Newmarket. I am sure that Deputy Lemass could confirm that. The Minister talks about the ordinary elector as distinct from the commercial one.

The extraordinary one.

Or, as Deputy O'Connell says, the extraordinary man. He is an ordinary man because he has not the money, and he is ordinary from the point of view of the Minister because Deputy Good does not speak for him. I am sure that Deputy Good has had a good deal to do with the introduction of this particular clause in the Bill. I suggest to Deputy Good that if the business men for whom he speaks would give serious consideration to the proposal in the Bill they would, if they were intelligent men, regard it as an insult. The Minister says that the moneved classes in the city represent £600,000 of rateable valuation.

I did not. I said that persons occupying premises for the purpose of carrying on business there, as distinct from being resident there, represent a valuation of that amount.

On the strength of the Minister's statement they would be entitled to have representation on the city council, and the offer of five out of thirty-five seats is nothing short of an insult to intelligent business men. I cannot, of course, forget the fact that I am one of the hard-hatted members of the House, but I could use language which would damn the Bill in a very few words, but the Chair would probably not allow me to use it. At any rate, I think that the majority of the members of this House have a sufficiently democratic outlook and that they will, by the free vote which we have now been promised, condemn this section.

Mr. Byrne

The Labour gentleman, the hard-hatted Deputy, who has just sat down, asked a question. He wanted to know whether the rates were passed on to the cost of articles sold by business men. He assumed that that is the case. We know that he speaks without the slightest knowledge of what he is talking about. He has never been engaged in business and knows nothing about it. I have been engaged in business since I was fifteen years of age and I know what I am talking about. I can tell the Deputy who makes these high-sounding assertions that there is not a scintilla of evidence for that statement. There is £125,000 in rates borne by the business community, but no part of it will be passed on to the public. I doubt if a penny of it will go on to goods sold across the counter.

A Deputy

Where will it come from?

Mr. Byrne

It is easily explained. The volume of trade in the city is so limited, and the competition to obtain it so keen, no man dare increase the price of the goods he sells, as otherwise they would be left on the shelf. That is the position in Dublin. When these statements are made from the Labour Benches I can assure the members who make them that there is not the slightest justification for them. The Minister asked Labour Deputies a plain, honest question. He asked them how they proposed to give representation in the City Council to that section of the community who are assessed on something like £628,000. There was no answer forthcoming, and if they are not able to answer that question they should not raise their voices. Such statements are simply all sound and fury, but there is no logic in them.

The Minister said that without this provision in regard to a special register the business people would be unvoiced in the administration of the city. In Cork, however, the business people have secured about one-third of the representation without this provision.

Cork is a very intellectual city, you know.

Mr. Boland

That is all very well. The presumption is that if these people were, as Deputy O'Connell suggests, the ordinary business people in the city, they would also get one-third of the representation. If I had my way they might get less. At any rate, they would get one-third out of the thirty, and now you propose to give them one-third plus five other members. That would be practically half—fifteen out of thirty-five. I think that this provision is not capable of any amendment at all. It does not matter whether people are employed or not by these big ratepayers. The experience of the city administration is that when these big persons had control of the city in the old days it was neglected. It was not until there was a more democratic council put into power that improvements took place in the city in every department. I believe that if you are going to give these people what really amounts to control of the council, the interests of the city— that is, the interests of the ordinary person who must live in the city, and who cannot go off fifty or sixty miles after business in a fast car—will suffer. You are going to have a state of affairs in the city such as existed thirty or forty years ago, if they have their way. I would like to ask any business man here, or anyone speaking on their behalf, is it for the love of the people whom they employ that they employ them? I am sure they get full value out of their employees. They exploit the people who work for them, and they exploit the public, and they are not entitled to any special representation on that account.

The Minister has made no case whatever for this provision. Whatever valuation their premises possess has been given to them by the people who work for them, the people who patronise them, the people who buy from them or give them orders. They have attained their present position because of these two facts. Speaking from experience of the past—it was before my time, but I know the tradition— I say we are going to have a repetition of the state of affairs which prevailed when these people had power before. You will have these people clearing off, caring not one button for what becomes of the city. There is no case whatever for giving more than one vote to these people. It is a nice state of affairs that when practically every country in the world is extending the franchise we are going back. I have my own ideas about the franchise. People who rule the world do not sit in Parliaments. I think it is simply a plan to humbug the people, but it is the people with the money who rule. It is simply a device to give people the impression that they really control the city when there are people behind the scenes who pull the strings all the time. We cannot, however, fool the people all the time.

A reference was made by Deputy Davin a moment or two ago as to what might have happened ten or fifteen years ago if this proposal were brought forward by the British Government and as to what my views were on the subject. I might remind Deputy Davin that I offered to resign my seat to secure the election of, I think, the late Lord Tveagh. Another member —speaking from recollection, though I may be at fault, I think it was Deputy O'Kelly—offered to withdraw in order that, I think, Mr. William Martin Murphy might be elected to the city council. Perhaps it was the late. Dr. McWalter who offered to resign with me. What was the idea? The idea was to try and associate more closely with the business management of the city those who for one reason or another kept aloof. Some business men concern themselves almost exclusively with their own business. They think their business will not afford the loss of time which attention to public administration might involve. The business community, generally speaking, have been to a considerable extent divorced from association with the management of the municipality for a very considerable period. Some of them have been associated with it, but we do not get any further by simply pouring abuse on any order in the community.

The nation is made up of all parties and one party is just as essential as another. Business depends to a very considerable extent on top management as well as the efficient discharge of their duties by the lowest paid persons in the establishment. It is the harmony of the whole staff which results in success. There are many cases in the city of well-managed businesses which have grown out of very small beginnings, and which are an ornament not alone to the city, but to the whole nation. Is it not possible in connection with the future management of the city of Dublin to have some association such as that, not exactly perhaps in the same form, to harness as far as possible business and all the other interests of the municipality together? A few years ago it would have been much easier to secure what we would call nonpolitical election to a public body than it is now. The bigger parties in the State usually divide what there is of representation between them and leave a small representation to the brainy parties, such as that to which Deputy Davin belongs. I think that Deputy Boland does not weigh what he says sometimes in certain matters before he speaks.

Mr. Boland

Think it over again and you will find I am right.

I will think it over. I do not suppose the Deputy is over fifty years of age, if he has got that far.

Mr. Boland

I am about ten.

Up to the year 1898 there was a special register in respect of representation in the city. That was what Deputy Davin would call a privileged franchise on which certain persons were elected. Somewhere about the same year as the Public Health (Ireland) Act was passed—I think it was 1878—a company was formed here in Dublin, principally by large business men, manufacturers and others. They subscribed very largely to the shares of the company. One of the most successful and up-to-date housing schemes was embarked upon by this company. They built something like 5,000 houses in and around the city, and it was mainly business men who supported that. They made a remarkable contribution towards the solution of a problem which was not so widely spoken of at that time as it is now. They made a remarkable success of it, and they paid something like 5 per cent. They gave practically as good value as the Corporation gave afterwards when they had an opportunity of making up any deficit in rates. The circumstances were slightly different. They did not go in for clearing slum areas or incur any costs such as that. In one case they got a site, on which the Corporation had spent £1,500 to clear, for £150. When Deputy Boland is made aware of these facts perhaps he will not be so ready to make an attack on men who made that remarkable contribution to the city.

Similarly it was during that period that the Vartry waterworks were started. They had also under consideration proposals for the main drainage of the city. That, however, is not exactly the point in regard to this matter. This is not a watering down of the franchise as such; this is an addition to the franchise. If there were such a thing in our universities as a faculty of public administration and if there were graduates or people who took a post-graduate course there, I would have no objection to adding some of these person to the personnel of the Council of the municipality for the advantage of whatever light and leading they can give to a body of that sort. The real proposal underlying this clause, which the Minister has introduced without being requested by any business body, or any body of business men, or any individuals amongst the business community ——

Mr. O'Connell

What about the deputation from the Chamber of Commerce?

Not on this. They never asked for it.

Did your Party ask for it?

No. The Deputy will be astonished to hear that any initiative could come from here. He always looks for some other cause; it can never come from here. As a matter of fact, it did. Some persons from Cork were late in asking that the franchise, in so far as the qualifications of persons to be elected are concerned, should extend to managing directors of public companies in connection with the Cork Bill. The proposal came too late for embodiment in the Bill. Other than that, no other request, no other suggestion, no other recommendation, came from any source, and the Minister stands over the proposal such as it is, and I stand immediately behind him, and possibly on the same line.

Will you put it into the coastal borough section?

I have no objection, if the Deputy suggests it.

Mr. O'Connell

The Minister is in charge of the Bill.

Why is it not in it?

Is that good citizenship? That is not a good suggestion. If the principle be good, I have no objection to it being put into every measure.

In a multitude of counsels there is wisdom. There is no subtraction from the ordinary democratic representation.

Mr. Boland

It comes to the same thing.

No. There is an addition to it. If the Deputy can point out to me some remarkable member of his Party, some outstanding brilliant intellect——

There are none such —they are all outstanding.

——I would have no hesitation in making some sort of provision to bring him in, to give him some opportunity of representation.

Mr. Byrne

Deputy Hugo Flinn.

Deputy Byrne.

As I have said, it is an addition; it is a help; it is an endeavour to associate business with the management of the city. It is, as the Minister said, an opportunity to let them see each proposal in its ordinary, normal course, before it comes on the estimates, before the rates are struck, and not what we have been accustomed to, that when the rate was about to be struck, or when the estimates were about to be considered, somebody suggested very large reductions. We want them to be in possession of all the facts. If they do not know that there is such a matter as housing, and such questions as public health and so on, it is time that they should. This affords facility for them. Furthermore, it gives a further inducement to manufacturers and industrialists to come into and have confidence in the City of Dublin. They will be able to appreciate much more markedly the difficulties and perplexities of modern municipal government. It will, as I have said, give them confidence. It will bring other persons in contact with them and lessen a good deal the acrimony that is unfortunately in public life, and of which we have had a very small example here to-day.

The President said that the Dublin Chamber of Commerce did not ask for the privileges the Government propose to give in this Bill. The Dublin Chamber of Commerce would never dare to come to the President and ask that the new Dublin Council should be impeded by the addition of the antique furniture which the Government now suggest should be added to it. Both the President and the Minister seemed to be anxious to give the Dáil the impression that if Deputy O'Kelly's amendment is carried the business men, as such, will have no voice in the election of members of the municipal council. That is not correct. If the amendment is carried, the business men will have just as much say in the election of members to the council as any other individuals in the city. What the President and the Minister and the Government are proposing to do is to ensure that a certain section of the community will have a minimum of two votes each and a maximum of seven; to ensure that they will be able to exercise an undue influence in the election of members of the council.

The President also appeared to be anxious to create the impression that if this commercial register is not approved of business men will not secure election to the municipal council. Surely we should be guided in matters of this kind by experience. The proposal to establish a commercial register was not contained in the Cork Bill; it is in this Bill. Presumably, therefore, the Government have had their outlook changed by their experience of the working of the Cork Bill. Is it a fact that in Cork business men had no voice in the election of the council or failed to secure adequate representation at the election? The fact is that the business candidates in the City of Cork secured a greater representation than was secured by the two political parties put together, although the President has assured us that they would get the bulk of the representation in normal circumstances. Cumann na nGaedheal and Fianna Fáil between them got a smaller number of candidates elected than those who stood as business candidates with the nomination of the Chamber of Commerce. In the City of Cork, the business element got an undue share of the representation. If there is one fault in the Cork City Act, it is that on the council there is a preponderance of business men and a deficiency of labour representatives. Therefore if this Bill was being framed in the light of the Dáil's experience of the working of the Cork Act, we would have here a proposal to institute a special register to provide that the representation of labour would be adequate and not the representation of business. Has it been our experience that business men are reluctant to seek election to the Dáil and Seanad? Is it not a fact that at every election for the Dáil, at any rate, the ballot papers are littered with the names of so-called business candidates anxious to save the country from bankruptcy? Is there anyone here that honestly believes that business men will not seek election unless they are given special privileges denied to other sections of the community? Our experience has been quite the contrary. Not merely in Dáil elections, but in local government elections, persons describing themselves as business men, or ratepayers, or something of that kind are always evident in greater numbers than the candidates of political parties as such or candidates representing labour interests.

Mr. Byrne

If that is so, how many business men are in the House?

I am going to tell the Deputy in a minute why they were defeated. One reason is that business men have such extraordinary ideas about economic matters as those expressed by the Deputy to-day when he told us that business men did not pay rates out of profits. What do they pay them out of, if they do not pay them out of the profits of the business?

Mr. Byrne

I never made such a statement.

On the contrary, the Deputy was quite emphatic that the rates of business men are not recovered from their customers in the price of the ordinary articles they sell. Where do they get them? Are they paid out of dividends on shares or are they paid out of their private incomes or are they paid by robbing banks? We all know that business men get them out of the cost that they charge in prices to their customers in the ordinary articles they sell. If the Deputy would go to the technical school and take an elementary lesson in economics he would understand why it is the people of Dublin do not elect those whom he describes as business men but who do not know anything about business economics. If this principle is valid in relation to the Municipal Council of Dublin why should it not be valid in relation to every other local government body and is it not valid in relation to this Dáil? Is it not as desirable that we should have business men members of the Dáil as well as members of the Municipal Council? If they have any special ability to bring to the consideration of financial problems or special experience which it is desirable should be utilised there is just as strong a case for giving them special privilege to insure their election to the Dáil as to the Municipal Council. Are we to take it that this proposal of the Minister foreshadows another proposal to establish a commercial register in connection with the election of people to this House? What case can the Minister make for having a commercial register for the Dublin Municipal Council and not for the Dáil? The amount of money dealt with here is larger than that dealt with by the Dublin Municipal Council. The issues that arise here for decision are just as important and in many cases more important to the business men of the city than the interests that arise in the Municipal Council. If the presence of these business men at the Council is essential for the proper determination of these questions then their presence here is equally essential. The whole principle behind this section of the Bill is that administrative ability in individuals increases or decreases with the individual's wealth. There is a theory evident in the mind of the Executive Council that only those who have substantial bank balances or the control of business establishments in the city will be properly able to decide what is the best municipal policy in relation to housing, or sewerage or drainage for the Dublin Council to adopt.

There is also evidently a belief that the business men will not come forward for election unless they are induced to do so, or will not be elected if they come forward unless the road is made particularly easy for them. Our experience is contrary to the Minister's belief in both these matters. In fact, business men were not hesitant about coming forward to seek election, and, in fact, in municipal affairs at any rate, they never failed to get their due share of representation. In Cork they got more than their due share. Deputy Byrne asked why there were not more business men represented in this House. The reason is because business men are a failure in politics. That is our experience here, that those who claim to speak for business men, and whose only claim for election is that they are business men, have not been a success as politicians.

Mr. Byrne

How can it be the experience when the business men are not in this House at all?

Some of them were, but they disappeared at the last election, and some of them who are here now will disappear at the next election.

Mr. Byrne

Perhaps you might disappear yourself at the next election.

It is quite possible. I am a business man. But that is our experience. I say it has not been merely our experience, but the experience also of other countries. It has been the experience of England. This theory that a business government was necessary held great sway in England, particularly approaching the end of the War, and immediately afterwards, and a number of business men were brought into the Cabinet, every one of whom was a failure. Their inefficiency brought the Coalition Government into disrepute. The same occurred in the United States of America. It was business men's administration that gave rise to the great seandal figuring in the Press lately in the United States. Business men as a class are proved to be more corrupt than any other section of the community. Their corruption is not signalised by the taking of small bribes. They are corrupt on a bigger scale, and the fact is that business men, as a rule, although there are honourable exceptions, only seek election to public positions in order to serve some special class of business interests. There are, of course, individuals in this House now, and individuals who occasionally seek election to this House under the name of business men, but who should not be described as such at all, for they are really politicians, and their main purpose in seeking to come here is to serve a particular political viewpoint always associated with the Chamber of Commerce in the City of Dublin—business men whose only claim to election is not that they are business men, but that they have been a success as politicians. The reason is obvious. The business man is there to consider profits. His one concern is to produce a balance sheet, to show a profit at the end of the year. Politicians are concerned, not with profits, but with principles. The business man does not know what principles are, or he ceases to be a business man.

Mr. Byrne

He could not be a success if he was.

The business man who would consider principles and not profits would soon be in the Bankruptcy Court. We must also consider the fact that the classes of the community represented by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce are in the main associated with one political idea, and the main effect of this proposal is to ensure that persons supporting that political idea will be given that privilege of representation in the Dublin Council. I do not say that that was the main consideration that influenced the Government or one of the considerations, but it is one of the effects of the proposal they have brought forward and which they might at this stage give consideration to.

Deputy O'Kelly mentioned the desirability of standing for the principle of one man, one vote. That is not merely a slogan; it crystallises the experience of mankind in this matter of municipal and national government. The existing idea concerning the methods of government represents the experience of mankind for over 1,000 years and that experience is crystallised in the slogan, "One man, one vote." This proposal to give certain individuals, in some cases, two, three, four, five, six, and even seven, votes is a decidedly retrograde step and is contrary to the experience of all mankind.

Would the Deputy compare the slogan of "One man, one vote" with the slogan "No taxation without representation?"

The Minister is trying to create the impression that the business men whose names will figure on the commercial register would not have votes if that register were not there. Everyone of them will have votes except the foreign companies which the Minister now proposes to exclude. The only case for this commercial register was that by it votes would be given to foreign companies who pay rates in the city, but the Minister is going to exclude foreign companies; every member of a partnership, every member of a company which will figure on the commercial register will have his vote as an individual. If he is interested in municipal politics he will be able to influence the course of municipal politics. If he wants to be elected as a member of the municipal council he will be eligible to become elected.

In the past, the condition used to exist that before a person would be eligible to seek election, he had to be a registered local government voter for the area concerned. The Minister's proposal is to abolish that qualification in relation to the City of Dublin for persons whose names are on the commercial register. Voters on the commercial register can vote for individuals who need not necessarily be ratepayers in the city. The Minister is going, in this particular matter, back beyond the point which was gained by the forces of democracy in 1898. It is a decidedly retrograde and undemocratic step. There are arguments in favour of democracy, despite what Deputies on the other side appear to think. Deputy Tierney and others, on the Second Reading, objected to Fianna Fáil standing for democracy. We do not mind their objections, provided they are prepared to stand for it and so long as there is somebody ready to urge that democracy has not been a failure. We at least are quite satisfied that democracy has not been a failure. We believe it is worth trying still as a method of government until some better system has been suggested. No better system has yet been suggested.

The Minister's idea of giving special privileges to the moneyed classes is not an improvement. Before we break the working rule of government which the experience of mankind has hammered out over a few thousand years, we want a better case than that put forward by the Minister. The Minister's case was based on two misinterpretations of fact. He based his argument first on the idea that business men would not have votes at all unless the commercial register was instituted; and, secondly, that business men would not be elected at all unless special privileges were granted them. Our experience is contrary to that belief in both these matters. Business men will have their due share of influence in the next election to the city council under the present local government rules, and they will not be in the least bit hesitant about coming forward to seek election if they think their own personal or sectional interest can be benefited by being there. There is no case for the commercial register. I believe members of the Cumann na nGaedheal Party who give this matter any consideration will be prepared to support the amendment. It has been pointed out that in this matter there will be a free vote and that the Government Whips are not going to be applied. We are told that each individual will be free to vote in accordance with his conscience. We ask Deputies on the opposite side to realise that democracy as a working rule has not been superseded, and until it has they should stand for democracy in the municipal council of Dublin.

The Deputy who has just sat down is usually well informed. He told us that if you do away with the special franchise the ordinary director or business man can get elected in the ordinary way. I do not think on this occasion the Deputy is well informed. Being a business man, he knows that there are in the city a very large number of businesses—in fact the major portion of businesses—which are limited liability companies. Will he show me how any one of these limited liability companies gets a vote or any return whatever for the taxes it pays?

Individual members of the companies have votes.

Will he show me how the individual members of any company have got a return for the taxation paid by the company, except that an individual director holds a property qualification in the city, irrespective of the taxes paid by the company, and pays rates to the city? In those circumstances that director gets the privilege of franchise as an individual ratepayer, but not as the director of a company. I challenge Deputy Lemass to give me any instance of a limited liability company that gets any representation in return for the taxation which it pays. Guinness's, the largest ratepayers in Dublin to-day, do not get a single vote in return for the immense volume of taxation they pay.

They will not get it under this Bill as the Minister is going to amend it.

The firm of Jacob, another large ratepayer, does not get a single vote for the large volume of taxes it pays. Is it fair that those who pay the large volume of rates in our city should, by reason of the fact that they are limited liability companies, be disfranchised? That is what the whole thing amounts to. It is a difficulty which the Minister has met in this particular way. In other countries it has been met in different ways. In the North of Ireland it has been met. Every country feels that this taxation should get representation in some form. This is the particular form in which the Minister hopes to give it representation. In other places representation is given. Does the Deputy argue, and do those with him argue, that these companies are to be taxed, they are to pay the larger portion of the taxation in the city, but that they must get no representation whatsoever? That would seem to be his line of thought.

Let us be fair in this matter. Every country has endeavoured to give representation, and why should this country, in which we are trying to deal equitably between the different classes, disfranchise its large ratepayers? Why should it say to them: "If you will move your works across the Border you will get representation there, but if you remain in the Free State we will give you no representation"? That is a poor policy, and it is poor encouragement to business men. The whole thing is a poor, miserable, wretched idea, and I hope the House will be no party to taking a large volume of taxation from business people and giving them no representation whatsoever in return.

Deputy Lemass remarked that there would be a free vote of the House on this matter, and he would appeal to the rank and file to exercise their judgment on this amendment. I stand for business representation. I think it is right and wise. I have been associated with a public body for some years. I was chairman of it for four years. I am aware of the help given by business men to local councils, and I know their ability. I think it would be a great loss to public councils if business men, men of responsibility and men with a stake in the country, were denied representation. I would like to see business men on local boards, because of my knowledge of their ability in managing the affairs of a council. They have been most helpful; they understand the business throughly. They give very valuable time, and they give the benefit of their years of experience and training in managing the affairs of the councils. In listening to Deputy Davin and to his remarks on slum owners and the owners of slum property, the conviction was forced on me that Deputy Davin really does not know what he is talking about. I cannot understand how the Deputy can attack the owners of property in which the working classes live, the very classes who send Deputy Davin into this House to plead their cause. What really constitutes a slum area? It is just this—that the houses have become old and in the course of years have fallen into dilapidation. Their value in the market is very little. What is wrong suppose a man like myself becomes the owner of this property, keeps it in repair and collects the rent from the ordinary humble workers? I do not know anything very mean or bad in that any more than it is for me to collect rent from villas or other property which I have. I do not call this property slum property, I call it tenement property.

There is this other aspect in this case—Deputy Davin seems to think that there is something degrading in owning such property. He seems to forget that these houses were built for habitation, and he also forgets that we in the Corporation here have a body set up to see that these houses are kept in proper repair, that they have proper sanitation and that everything about them is in accordance with the bye-laws of the city——

Everything except the rent.

Why Deputy Davin should say that the owner of this property is not a fit person to be included in this register passes my judgment. I do not understand why there is a set made on people who own this property. The property is not valuable. On the market its value is very little. I have known such property being put up for sale and the highest bid that could be got for it was a price of three years' purchase. I am also satisfied that if any man owning this property goes to a bank and tries to raise money on mortgage on it he will be refused. Now, according to Deputy Davin if these slum owners are making such a huge profit, and if they are such tyrants towards the working classes in extorting such rents from them, surely then this property should be a gold mine to the owners.——

Here is the proof —if a man goes into a bank to raise money on this property——

The Deputy can hardly discuss on this amendment the propriety of being or not being the owner of tenement property.

The point I am making is that it is wrong for any Deputy to make such a set on the owner of any such property, and to describe him as being unfit to be put on the register. That is all I have to say in the matter. As in my opening remarks, I would say that it would be very bad for local government administration if business men are to be turned down and not get their proper representation.

I understand we are all entitled to vote on this matter how we choose, and probably what is more important to express our own reasons for so doing. Quite frankly I am not concerned with the democratic principle which is supposed to be involved in whether or not certain people should get votes due to property qualifications. The fact that there is a property qualification at all is in practically all cases to some extent a denial of that principle as a pure principle of politics. I can quite see that a good case could be put up even on democratic grounds for saying that in the case of people who are large employers of labour and who have large interests in the city and pay a very considerable portion of the rates, if the machinery which did exist did not in practice provide them with an opportunity to be represented, that such machinery should be provided. I see no difficulty on democratic grounds in defending an expedient such as might be necessary to enable that to be done, if thereby it will be shown that the people who are for any reason in the world entitled to representation are not given that representation. If people are, owing to any formalism in relation to democracy, prevented from enjoying democratic rights, I personally would regard myself as a better democrat in interfering with those forms than in upholding them. Therefore it is not for that reason that I am personally opposed to this section. I am opposed to it on the ground that it is not necessary.

I think it was Huxley who said that Spenser's definition of a tragedy would be deduction killed by fact. Now, deduction in this particular instance is killed by fact. We have not these facilities in the city of Cork. We have not this special register not these special provisions for these people. We have all the evils which the present system is supposed to possess, and yet in fact these very people for whom representation is proposed to be provided now are not excluded from representation at present. The House knows that they are not. We have 21 members in the Cork Borough Council. There are three organised parties in Cork who have machinery for getting in contact in the ordinary way with the voters. There is the Labour Party, the Cumann na nGaedheal Party and the Fianna Fáil Party. The whole of those three organised parties if the theory worked out instead of fact —parties who had access to the voters—should have swept that election.

In addition to these three bodies, a body which calls itself a Business Party put up candidates. The Independents, who had no organisation of that kind, but who depended upon whatever individual knowledge the individual electors had of them as individuals to get elected, put up candidates. What was the result? Out of 21 seats Fianna Fáil got three, the Labour Party got two, and the Cumann na nGaedheal Party got three. All these organisations, as far as I know, got seven or eight seats on the council. The whole of the rest of the seats were left open to business men and Independents. Each of the Independents and the business men depended on his own individuality. Having nothing but his own individuality, as many of them were elected as were elected by Cumann na nGaedheal, Fianna Fáil, and the Labour Party altogether.

It does not look as if on that basis any man who had personality, and who had individuality, that any man who was without the advantages of an organisation behind him was subject to any hardship. The Business Party carried seven seats. These are the very people who have not got this vote which it is now sought specially to give them under this section. As far as I know, three of these business men are directors of limited liability companies who, Deputy Good says, have no chance whatever of being represented in a council.

Not as representatives of limited liability companies.

I can give you the names of the three managing directors, three very prominent directors anyway, of three limited companies, three men who are associated in the minds of the people of Cork with those companies. Deputy Good can have any little shade of difference he likes in suggesting that they were elected under their own names and not as directors. They were elected due to the fact that they were known to be what they were functioning as, or that they were in contact with the people with whom they were in contact or because they occupied the position which they did occupy. In exactly the same way, I believe, in the City of Dublin responsible business men will be able to make that contact with the electorate, and will, if they deserve it, have that amount of confidence of the electorate which will enable them, without any of those privileges, to be elected to that council. Remember this Bill and the evils which are going to remain in it, I mean to the extent to which it is not amended, is a Dublin version of the Cork Act. Our actual experience under the Cork Act was that the provision of this special franchise is absolutely unnecessary.

Now the suggestion is that we should provide a franchise which, in addition to those who would be elected of the particular calibre under the ordinary representation, will give them a special representation. The suggestion is that there is some special virtue, some special decency in relation to the administration of public affairs by people of this kind. There is not. It is all nonsense. I am a member of the Cork Harbour Board, which at one time did consist entirely of these very nice people. It has now been corrupted by democracy. Some very ordinary people, even more ordinary than myself, are now members of that body, but there are officials in that body who have had experience of the administration of that body when it was constituted of the two different qualities of human beings. I went to one of these very experienced officials and I asked him what difference he had noticed in the administration of the Board since it had been corrupted by these democratic elements. He said that the difference was that now if it were a job it was a 30/- job, and before, if it were a job, it was a job well worth while.

There is not any special virtue, there is not any special patriotism, there is not any special honesty in any particular class of the community over another, and the suggestion that there is is certainly not based upon any experience which anyone can have in relation to the old Dublin Corporation, and the House knows it. The House knows of land reclaimed in the City of Dublin when very much nicer people had charge of it than the recent Dublin Corporation, and they know the definition of the difference of the administration which was given by that responsible official of the Cork Harbour Board was true, that while under a board corrupted by democracy you may have occasionally little jobs, under the old grand jury system, under the old really first-class, hand-picked people the jobs might not be so many, but they were a lot better worth while.

If it is shown as the result of the experience of an Act out of which this special provision is cut that elements in this State which are entitled to representation, even though they be moneyed elements, do not get representation, due to the cutting out of this provision, then I for one will unhesitatingly say that that is a defect. I will unhesitatingly be in favour of providing machinery which will enable due representation to be given to every element of the population, but on the face of our actual experience of the administration of this Act in Cork without the provision for special facilities, I say there is no necessity whatever on any democratic principle or any principle of fairness to provide special representation for those whom our experience has shown can already get a great deal more representation than they are entitled to, a great deal more representation than our experience has shown they are capable of efficiently and honestly using.

Deputy Flinn speaks of deductions being killed by facts and things like that. I would like to refer to an expression of the native mind: "Ná creid gach ní a chloiseann tú mar is minic go dtógtar brí na bréige as" ("Do not understand everything you hear because it is many a lie a deduction makes"). I think we might go further in this case and say: "Do not understand everything you see because it is many a lie a deduction makes, and if you see business men on the Cork Municipal Council do not understand that the people who are responsible for paying rates in Cork are getting the just representation they are entitled to." Deputy Flinn knows that it is a fact that Senator Dowdall, a member of the Oireachtas who is a very prominent Cork citizen and who helps to keep the life blood of Cork flowing by keeping a business going there, was not eligible either to be a voter or a member of the Cork Council under the present system.

We are asked to look at Cork and see that there are business men on the Council. We say we can discuss Cork and we can discuss the position of Cork at some other time, but we are asking Deputies to say whether the basis of the local government franchise being the occupation of rateable property, that is, the responsibility for paying rates, that those who occupy premises for business purposes are to be denied a voice in respect of the rates that they pay.

Or to be given six voices.

I was asked by Deputy Lemass why one system for the Dáil and why another for local government. I may ask him that question, too. All human experience apparently would dictate that it ought to be the same, but the human experience that has been responsible for the growth of our institutions has made things very definitely different. You have an adult suffrage for representation in Parliament. Representation on local government bodies is based on the fact that you pay rates. There is one blot on the situation as we see it at present and we are rectifying that blot in the matter of the city. We are giving representation to persons who occupy premises for business purposes.

Will the Minister say —he has not yet given any explanation—why there is one system for the city and another for the coastal borough?

I am going on to that. I pointed out, taking the old city for which we have the particulars, that the premises occupied for business purposes bore half the total valuation approximately of the city. You have also the fact very much in mind that people have been recently discussing the area over which Dublin City should extend, and that people carry on business in the city and live outside it. In the case of the City of Dublin, as well as having their ratepaying capacity unrepresented in the Council, you have to a very large extent persons carrying on business in the city and living outside it. They have not even the ordinary local government franchise. The institution of this in the city is a beginning. In the case of the coastal borough I have no information that would show me that the amount of unrepresented rated property is anything like the proportion of the total rated property in the city. I am fairly clear that the extent to which persons occupying premises for business purposes in the borough live outside the borough is probably very different from the extent to which persons occupying business premises in the city live outside the city.

Will the Minister explain why a publican in the coastal borough now proposed under this Bill should be put in a different position from the publican in the city?

Because I am talking in general terms. I would probably suggest that there is a bigger chance that a publican in the coastal borough is living over his publichouse than that a publican in the city is living over his publichouse. I think Deputies will understand from the nature of the coastal borough that the percentage of premises that are occupied for business purposes is not at all the same proportion of the total rated premises that it is in the city. The extent to which people who are rated in that particular way live outside the area is not so great either. I have in mind the fact that the system has not been extended to other county boroughs yet, such as Cork or Limerick. Dublin City in this particular matter is in a special position. I would apply the system forthwith to Cork. I was very glad to hear from a prominent representative of Cork City that the non-application of this to Cork City at the present moment is not, in his opinion, doing any very great injustice to the city. The kind of suggestion that is running through many of the speeches here is that the business community are a class of people who want to cut the throats of the people generally, or, at any rate, to rob anything they can get from them.

They are neither better nor worse than ordinary people.

Then this type of speech made here to-day by some Deputies ought not to have been made. The city here could not exist without the manufacturing and the distribution that are carried on here. They provide the life-blood of the City of Dublin, and as well as giving certain rateable property the representation it ought to have, in our opinion, in ordinary common justice, we are carrying on some process of integration between the business life of the city and the carrying on of the governing of the city.

May I correct one misapprehension? The Minister thinks that because people do not happen to have property in the city they cannot be elected as representatives. In at least two cases in Cork, at the last election, business candidates were put up who would not have had the qualification if property had not been transferred to them ad hoe for the purpose of enabling them to stand. That property was transferred. They did stand, and they were elected.

The Deputy only emphasises the position.

There is no difficulty. The fact that business people have property gives them an opportunity to do things of that kind which people who have not property are not able to do. I do suggest in all fairness to the House if it was proved that business men could not get representation there might be a case for this thing, but in face of the actual facts and actual experience you are simply using a steam-hammer to crack a nut. You are trying to work some artificial machinery for something which experience has shown that machinery is absolutely unnecessary.

What could be more artificial than to have a situation in which it was clear that there were certain people in Cork City who not only were thought to be proper representatives for the council, but who were subsequently elected, and that it should be necessary first for someone to transfer property to them for the express purpose of making them eligible for representation?

Is not the Minister arguing in favour of doing away with this property clause? There may be a Labour representative whom the people would want to elect but who would be ineligible for the same reason, and could not get the facilities that these others got.

I believe a restriction of that particular kind is undoubtedly archaic and ought to be taken away. What is also emphasised by what the Deputy says is that these two persons were considered to be worthy of representation, but that they had not a vote in the city without the transfer of property.

Is the Minister in favour of abolishing the archaic restriction? If so, the only thing he has got to do is to make paragraph (e) of sub-section (2) of Section 33 apply to the entire electors instead of to the commercial community.

Certainly. I would be prepared to do that.

And to dispense with the commercial register?

He is hedging now.

My personal experience is that there is absolutely no necessity for a qualification register. If Dublin has not been represented by business men within the definition that suits the Minister, it is because the business men, to my mind, confine their activities to their own interests and have no sense of community service. There is not a borough in Ireland where business men have nominated candidates that they have not got reasonable representation for the numbers of their class. Deputy O'Connell's speech, to my mind, has been the greatest speech for the rejection of this clause that has been delivered in the House. He admitted that he had personal experience of the capabilities of business men on public boards of which he was Chairman, that they have got their representation at the present moment on a privileged local government register. They actually get greater representation than they are entitled to. It is not a democratic register. In Cork borough at the present moment more than half the council are business men. You have a total vote of 13 at least nominally outside political parties.

Again I would like to ask the Minister from what direction came the demand for this commercial register. Has there ever been a public demand for it? Has the demand been private?

Private inspiration.

The fifteen.

I want to repudiate the suggestion very definitely that the demand for this came either from the Chamber of Commerce or from any organisation of business people in the city or from what Deputy Flinn has pointedly referred to as "the fifteen."

Whom did it come from?

Direct inspiration.

From heaven?

From the democrats of Cumann na nGaedheal.

Accepting that it is inspiration from himself or his Department, he is placing all his faith in the ability of business men to administer. He must know that the local government register at present will give them in any borough one-third representation. To give them now a qualified register is quite inconsistent with the fact that while bringing in their brains he will deny them power to administer. The two facts are inconsistent. The brains are simply to be an ornament. Where is authority vested in the public representatives of the future Dublin Corporation that will necessitate any intelligence? The principal reason underlying it is—no matter what the business man may say in private—that he will be there only to retain full dictatorship and authority for somebody nominated as Manager under this Bill. That is the only reason that has prompted the Minister to bring in this commercial register. It will bring in this class of people who are definitely against public elections in Dublin for the city governors and who want to get that government through the Local Government Department. They are prepared to participate in the farce for the purpose of carrying out the ideas of the Minister. There has been no case stated where business men showed any anxiety to get representation and where it was denied to them in any borough. I defy a man who has experience in public administration to point to one borough where business men have not alone been represented, but have always controlled a majority on the council.

In the eyes of any section of the people it is a criminal charge to make recommendations that there shall be this particular franchise.

Arising out of the eloquent and moving appeal of Deputy Good, and in view of the statement made by the President earlier and the very emphatic statement of the Minister that this is an inspiration and that it was not asked for by anybody, I would put it to Deputy Good that the deputation which went from the Chamber of Commerce did not ask for it. I take the Minister's word for that. If Deputy Good feels so strongly now on this matter why did he not put it up to the Minister through that deputation? There is more involved in it than giving votes to limited liability companies. There is the question of special representatives on the council. It is not a question solely, as was the burden of Deputy Good's speech, that a limited company as a company wanted representation. Personally, I am not so strongly opposed to giving a company the right to vote as I am to this special class of people whom you are putting on the council. Evidently Deputy Good and those for whom he speaks did not see the necessity for special commercial members on the council. This is a new provision which is an inspiration of the Government, according to the Minister. It was never suggested by anybody, but it comes now at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour.

Innate justice.

Even Deputy Good, who might be expected to have some inspiration in that direction, did not think of it when making representations to the Minister. In regard to the special register, I think we ought to have more information as to its practicability. We have not, however, had anything in that line up to the present. How is it going to be framed? What is the machinery for framing it? Has the Minister made any estimate of the number of people who will come on the register? It seems to me that it will be very large. The Minister has not answered Deputy Davin's question as to why a man living over a publichouse in the city will get at least two, and may get half a dozen, votes whereas a man living over his publichouse in the borough will only get one vote. How is this register going to be framed. I do not see anything in the Bill about making regulations.

I hope it will be ready soon. We will have to pass a Bill providing machinery for dealing with these elections.

Mr. O'Connell

We ought to have something, even an estimate, showing the possible number on the commercial register. It seems to me that the number will be very large, especially if it is based on the principle laid down here to the effect that any business man with a valuation of £20 can claim to be put on that register. We ought to hear something from the Minister, not alone as to why limited companies should get a special power to vote but as to why there should be these five special members of the council. We have had very little argument directed to that question so far.

It seems to me that the Minister's argument in support of the commercial register is narrowed down to this, that unless such register is instituted, business men will not be eligible for election to the council unless they are also residing within the council area. What the Minister is anxious to provide is that a director of a company with premises in Dublin should be eligible for election, even though he resides in the county of Dublin or, in fact, in any other part of Ireland. That particular purpose of the Minister could be served by introducing a section to the effect that sub-section (5) of Section 2 of the Local Government Act, 1898, shall not apply to the election of the Dublin borough council. He has already provided that that sub-section will not apply to elections held on the commercial register. If the only purpose the Minister wants to serve is to ensure that a company director, no matter where residing, will be eligible, he can fulfil it without forcing this provision into the Bill, a provision which on his own admission nobody wants and nobody asked for.

In answer to Deputy Lemass what he suggests would not accomplish this; it would not give representation to that £600,000 valuation on rateable property that we desire it to have and that in justice we think it should have. It would not give you in the council, business men such as you have in Cork where they formed themselves into a Businessmen's Party. Deputies have stated that any business men they met in politics were a failure. We hope that under this system we will be able to get men with business training who will not be failures, the type of man who will not take on the work of joining political parties, of facing the electors or of doing political work of that kind, but who will be prepared to come in on the kind of franchise which we are giving to the commercial community. We hope to get a type of man who will be prepared to come in on that kind of franchise without reference to politics and without keeping his eye on the electors, while giving the benefit of his business experience to the discharge of the work of the city.

If this Bill were not one setting up a managerial system, if it were a Bill restoring the old Corporation under somewhat different conditions, I could quite understand the Minister getting a brain-wave or an inspiration about a commercial register, but the primary object of the Bill as it stands is to set up the managerial system in Dublin, to reproduce the Cork situation in Dublin, while the manager would have supreme control to decorate him with a few electoral representatives. That is the effect of the Bill as it stands. It may go through in a different form as the Minister has seen the folly of his ways in different sections. If it was for any other purpose but to set up a managerial system, I would think there might be some reason to introduce the super-business men whom the Minister has in mind to lend a hand in the control of the affairs of the city, but as matters stand we have a separate Local Government Register, the qualification for a vote being a property qualification. That qualification is now going to be increased by setting apart a certain number of representatives on another qualification—on a valuation basis, giving up to six votes to one voter. All this, to my mind, is a perfectly futile performance. The Minister has not stated what numbers are likely to be on the new Register. He has not stated what the Register is likely to cost to compile. He has given us no idea as to whether it is even worth while, having regard to the cost of compiling the new Register whether it is not taking a sledge-hammer to kill a fly. He has not proved that if business men go up for election in the City of Dublin they would not be returned. In fact, what this section says is that the Minister himself is convinced that proportional representation, as at present carried out, is a failure. If proportional representation is in operation in this country at the moment, if it has been the success which all exponents of the present system of proportional representation say it has, and if it is so perfect that it gives every section of the community perfect representation according to their numerical strength, what is the necessity for superimposing upon that system of proportional representation, this dual voting capacity?

I cannot see for the life of me what use it is, and I think the inspiration the Minister got in introducing this commercial register was for the purpose of keeping the minds of people off the fact that when they were elected, whether on the Local Government Register or on the new commercial register, and when you got all the Labour representatives, business men and professional men together, that practically they had no business on the council and that the Manager would do everything. That is the condition of affairs as the Bill stands. I do not think any case has been made for the new register, and I think the House would be well advised not to try to experiment in that way until such time as there will be a guarantee that people, after they are elected, will have control of affairs, without being ordered by a Manager who will be the servant of the Minister.

Deputy O'Connor, who is a representative of County Dublin, has given his blessing to this section of the Bill. He has done so after the Minister has given as his main reason for the introduction of the clause, the fact that the business man who has a monied interest in the city and who does not reside in the city, should be given a share of responsibility for the good government of the city. It is a fact that many large business men, who are directors or chairmen of business concerns in the city, do not live in the city. It is a fact—and I challenge Deputy O'Connor to dispute it—that many men who own publichouses, drapery houses and other business houses in Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey live in places like Foxrock, Bray or Greystones. For the same reason why should not the Minister say that the same principle of voting should be adopted for the coastal borough? Ten or fifteen years ago when I knew General Mulcahy, who is now the Minister, I looked upon him as a good nationalist with a democratic outlook. Unless the Minister has turned his coat inside out several times and to such an extent that he does not now recognise the lining of it from the cloth he will withdraw this abnoxious section from the Bill.

I desire to support the Bill inasmuch as it provides for a special register for what are called business men. I think the Bill is very wise in that. Dublin is largely a non-industrial city, and I think it should be our aim in all legislation to encourage industry to come to this country. I believe you will encourage industry or induce people to set up industries in Dublin by giving them a reasonable voice in controlling the affairs of the city and in the matter of controlling the taxation of the city. There is expressed here a great anxiety for democracy. I would like to know what is the average Deputy's idea of democracy, especially on the Labour and Fianna Fáil benches. Somehow at the back of my head I think their fondness for democracy is for that section of the community that is the more easily gulled and the more easily deceived. In Cork, where there is a lot of native shrewdness, there is a reaction against politicians of every kind. I am rather glad to see that, and I think that explains the failure of the politicians to control the Council in Cork. I hope, though I am not so sanguine that the same may happen here, and that the few additional members that this special register provides for, if they cannot exactly control the council they will have some salutary influence on it, if only for the reasons I have stated, of encouraging the establishment of industries. What industries in England and everywhere else are groaning under at present is high taxation. De-rating was introduced in England. What was the justification for de-rating? Simply that industries might get a chance of continuing or of being established, and for that reason, as I say, underlying the provision in this Bill, I think that provision is very well worthy of support, and that Labour members especially ought to support it, because it is only by co-operation between capital and labour that we are going to get on in this country.

Mr. O'Connell

Why not get five special Labour members on the Council?

Deputy Hennessy said that we are going to encourage industry and that somebody is going to come in here and start an industry with £40,000 or £50,000 because he is going to get a place on the decorated benches alluded to by Deputy O'Hanlon. If the Deputy thinks business men are going to be so easily gulled as that, I can see any amount of business coming into the City of Dublin. I do not see what business men want in this decorative establishment at all. They are going to get no business to do there. If they go there they will quickly realise what the Cork business men have realised. The Cork business men have condemned the working of this system in Cork. It has been condemned by the Cork business men who have been returned to figure as a decoration or as a camouflage for the dictatorship exercised by Commissioner Monahan. I do not know that any business man will consider it worth his while or allow himself to be used as a smoke screen for the dictatorship that is going to be exercised here. I think the Cork Corporation, for instance, were very ill-advised to allow themselves to be used as a smoke screen for the dictatorship that exists there and to touch the thing at all. If the Minister and his Department wish to establish a dictatorship, such as exists in Cork, in every city here, I think the proper thing to do would be to prevent by every means in our power these corporations from being formed and from functioning. If there is to be a dictatorship, let it be a clear and open one and not working under the smoke screen of an ornamental corporation. That is what exists at present in Cork and what the Minister is introducing not alone into the corporation under this new system that he is establishing, but into every public body in the country. I do not know whether he claims responsibility for the idea himself, but I am prepared to give him the responsibility for it. I do not think his Department is responsible; I think it is the Minister himself. I think it is that peculiar kink in his disposition that has been working all the time— at one period for the good of Ireland, but since 1922 to the detriment of Ireland—trying to undo what good he ever did.

I always listen with great attention to any contribution made in this House by Deputy Dr. Hennessy, but I fail to see what encouragement there is in this Bill to induce business men to enter the proposed Dublin Corporation. The reasons why the business men should not enter the Corporation, if this Bill is passed, have been stressed by Deputy French and others, and I am not going to waste time in repeating them. I certainly believe that if this Bill had no other effect—it may be intended to have this effect—it will bring at least one medical doctor into it, which I think would be most appropriate, because it would certainly need a medical man to administer the pill so well compounded by the Minister.

We are discussing an inspiration which reminds me, at any rate, that it was once said there are flashes struck at midnight. In the Cimmerian darkness of the Minister's mind this bright thought flashed, and, inspiration with the Minister is so rare a thing, that he became embarrassed and did not know what he should do with it, so he stuck it into this Bill. Ill-considered and ill-digested as it is, we are discussing the Minister's inspiration. What is the purpose that his inspiration is to serve? To give, I understand, representation to the business element in the city. So far as I can gather from Deputy Good's speech, he wished to imply that the business elements which he desired should be represented were mainly the manufacturing interests. The effect of this proviso will be to give some representation admittedly to the manufacturing interests, a representation which, I think, is unnecessary, but which, if such representation were necessary, would be inadequate in the manner in which the Minister proposes to provide it. It will give, at any rate, a much greater representation to those who are not manufacturers in the city, to those who are merely distributors of goods manufactured abroad. Deputy Good painted to us a pathetic picture of Guinness's and Jacobs', who, he said, though they give a considerable amount of employment, are not represented in the city's government. If they are not represented as entities, or as corporate bodies we have to remember that every one of their employees who lives here——

What I complained of in connection with these firms was that, though they gave a large amount of employment, they had not a single vote in return for the taxation paid.

May I point out to Deputy Good that this franchise is not going to be based upon the amount of employment that these manufacturers give, but upon the valuation of the premises which they occupy, and that there is a very definite limit placed on the number of votes which they are to be given even on the commercial register. Let us take Messrs. Guinness. I am told they employ at least 3,000 persons. They will have six votes. But Montague Burton, who employs, certainly not 3,000—I doubt if he employs six persons in Grafton Street—is to have the same number of votes as Messrs. Guinness.

You object to give Guinness these six votes?

No, but the Minister's justification and Deputy Good's justification for this is that they are going to give this privileged franchise to those who give employment. Montague Burton will get six votes. There are other concerns in the city that employ many more people than Montague Burton, but they will not even get three votes under the special register. Apart from that, as experience has shown in the case of Cork, the provision of this special register in order to secure that the manufacturing and business interests will be adequately represented on the council is wholly unnecessary. I have been a member of one public body, and I have a very intimate knowledge of the position of another important council in this county. Deputy Batt O'Connor has been a member of a public body and so is Deputy Good, and in every case I can say the business community was adequately represented. They had not a majority, but they were adequately represented, and, as Deputy Good said in the case of Pembroke, the council's administration was efficient and economic, though the business community had not a majority on that body, at least for some years past, but they had adequate representation. It is only necessary that they should have adequate representation, and it is not right that they should have anything more than adequate representation. It is certainly not right that there should be a device inserted in this Bill, and inserted in the constitution of the municipality to ensure that certain privileged people are to be railroaded into the Corporation, for that is what is at the back of this. I do not know that the Minister is so concerned about this commercial register, but the fact is that certain special groups are to be elected on the basis of that register and thrust into the council over the heads of the people. That particular group and that interest have already, as I said, adequate representation. Every election in this country has proved that. The records of the public bodies themselves prove it. The Dublin Corporation was for a long time controlled by what is known as the business interest in the city.

It must have been before the Flood.

By, I suppose, the biggest business in the city. I am perfectly certain the President would not get up and assert that the business element in the old Dublin Corporation were the only elements that approached civic problems with a sense of civic duty and responsibility. When Deputy Flinn was speaking Deputy Good interjected the remark which, I think, indicated rather a confused idea as to what this commercial register and special representation was going to achieve. Deputy Flinn pointed out that at least three members on the existing Cork Corporation were directors of limited liability companies, and Deputy Good said that they did not sit there as representatives of limited liability companies. If that meant anything it meant this, that each member of a limited liability company should be entitled to have its own particular representative on the Corporation.

It is entitled to have votes in return for taxation, let there be no doubt about that, just the same as Deputies opposite are.

Exactly, and it has it not directly but indirectly.

No, it has not.

It has that in virtue of the fact that most of the members of the staff, responsible officials, have the interests of the company at heart as well as the interests of the city, and when they come to cast their votes will bear in mind their responsibility to those who employ them, and to the company which they direct. They are represented, therefore, in that indirect way, just as the members of a householder's family that have a sort of an indirect representation on the Corporation in virtue of the fact that the person who cast the vote has his own particular responsibility to his business and his family. When a member of a staff of a company, say a responsible person in a managerial position, casts his vote, I am perfectly certain he does not exclude from his mind the effect of that vote upon the fortunes of the company with which he is associated.

They have the same responsibility as children.

Should they have any more? It may be a corporate body, but is it a company, a living entity? Has it any soul or feelings? Should it have any more representation in the City Council or in the government of the community than those who are actual living entities in the community. I think the Minister has put the case in a nutshell. Should a corporation, a soulless thing, have any special representation that a living child with a human soul has not? That goes to the basis of the whole matter.

Give votes to the children then.

I am not asking to give votes to the children, but the Minister, with his unreasonable logic, if the inspiration entered his mind presumably would come to this House, and with the same immutable attitude advance a proposal to give votes to children, and ask us to accept it.

The Deputy's argument becomes more intelligible when he lets us know that he throws logic aside in directing his mind to this matter.

This is Deputy Good's section, and the Minister cannot withdraw it.

We are not asking that children should be given votes. We say they are represented through the votes of the householder, and that the companies are represented through the votes of their employees, directors and shareholders, and, therefore, are not entitled to any further representation in the affairs of the city. That is the argument, and I think it is a perfectly logical argument.

I thought it was meant to be illogical.

Rational, perhaps, is the better phrase. Logical is often unreasonable, so shall we say rational, which the Minister very seldom is. What sort of representation are Guinness and Jacob's to get. There are to be about 13,000 on the commercial register, so that the kind of representation which Guinness and Jacob's will have will be six votes out of 13,000. They are to have a voting right in one-five-hundredth part of one of the commercial members of the Corporation. And that, according to Deputy Good, is going to remove all the disability that Guinness's and Jacob's at present suffer under, and to give them an adequate voice in the affairs of the city. I think that if the interests of Guinness's are such that a vested interest in one-500th part of a commercial elector is going to give them an adequate voice in the affairs of the city, then I think we must find some other way of giving them representation rather than that proposed in the Bill. That is the inspiration of the Minister, which Deputy Good has so chivalrously defended, but it does not meet the purpose, and I repeat again I do not think there is anything to be served by this clause. To my mind the only thing it will do will be to railroad four or five individuals who fear to be contaminated by contact with ordinary electors into the council. So far as the companies are concerned, they are already adequately represented through the votes of shareholders and their employees, and, therefore, I do not think that this section should be inserted.

May I ask the Minister if his sole purpose is to insure that the companies should have votes, why did he not merely provide for that in the Bill without setting up this costly white elephant? Is he prepared to compromise on votes for companies?

We do not know how to do that.

While having a great deal of sympathy with the point of view put forward, still in view of the fact that a great change has taken place in the country in the last few years, I think it would be unwise to set up two different registers. The suggestion seems to be put forward here that the ordinary workman has not sufficient intelligence in his own interest to vote for the right type of person. I think that is a wrong impression.

My experience, as far as public bodies in the constituency which I represent are concerned, is that the majority of the members of these bodies are business men, and that to a great extent these men are elected by the votes of the ordinary working classes. I myself in season and out of season have always advocated the policy of having business men on public boards. I believe in business men for the simple reason that they have experience in the handling of their own affairs, experience which would be useful when handling public affairs, especially in regard to finances. My chief objection to this section is that this special register would keep business men away from intercourse with the ordinary type of man. I am keen on seeing that that should not be so. I am anxious that business men should mix with the ordinary people and exchange views with them in order to secure that co-operation between employers and employees which will be to their own mutual advantage. It is for that reason that I believe it would be unwise to set up this separate register.

Again, I am of opinion that the best way to secure defeat in getting elected to a public board is to stand as a Cumann na nGaedheal, Fianna Fáil or Labour Party candidate. My experience in the recent local elections in the County Louth is that Cumann na nGaedheal or Fianna Fáil candidates were sure to be defeated. It was the men who stood as Independent candidates were sure of being elected. Therefore, I submit there is no necessity for this provision. The ordinary people of this country have got common sense and they have cut away from the old shibboleths and from the old policy and custom of electing men on political tickets. The people know that the economic position of the country requires that men elected on public boards should know how to transact the business. As far as my experience goes—and it is a fairly typical experience throughout the country—the ordinary type of elector will not vote for anybody now unless he is convinced that that candidate is going to carry out his public duties in an efficient manner. I sympathise with the views put forward by those who have spoken in favour of the section, but I think it would be a very unwise course to adopt this principle at this juncture.

I believe that even without this special register the citizens of Dublin, if given an opportunity, will elect men to the Corporation who will be an honour to themselves and be worthy of the confidence reposed in them. Besides that, there is the fact that the managerial system is to be brought into operation. Under the managerial system it does not matter so much what the personnel of the Corporation will be. The chief duties will be entrusted to the care of the Manager and, if the Minister is fortunate enough to secure an efficient Manager, then the work of the Corporation will be very light. I cannot see why this special register should be brought into operation.

There was one other matter brought forward by Deputy Good and it was in connection with Guinness's. He states that Guinness's, notwithstanding the fact that it gives great employment, would be entitled to, at most under a special franchise, six votes. It has been said that Guinness's employ 3,000 men. If those employees have any interest in the firm in which they work it means that that firm has in reality 3,000 votes. The chairman of any company will naturally cast his vote in accordance with his conscience and with due deference to the material well-being of the firm which he controls. They say what is typical of the chairman or manager of a company is also typical of the men who work for the concern. The 3,000 men who work for Guinness's will naturally, when casting their votes, have before their minds what they are to do and they will not vote for any candidate who will do anything inimical to the interests they are concerned with. For that reason the fears expressed here are groundless.

My chief objection to this is that there has been a great tendency in the country lately for Chambers of Commerce and commercial organisations to put themselves upon a sort of pedestal, so to speak, and to whine behind closed doors that this thing or that thing is wrong. Why do not these men come out into the open and trust the workingmen and women in this country? My experience of any business men who did that is that they were always sure of election. In the principal town of Louth they have always elected men of business capacity. There is no such thing as politics in local elections, as far as my experience goes, during the last five or six years. I am glad that condition of affairs exists. I can assure Deputy Good that the people of the Free State will not elect any man on a political ticket in future unless he has good characteristics to advance his claim.

That is very hard on the three big Parties here.

I say that without any hesitation. What is true of local elections would be also true if there were a general election held in the morning. If good independent men would but present themselves for election I am sure a large number of them would be returned to the Dáil. I am willing to submit that opinion to the people of the country in the morning, if necessary. While I sympathise with the views put forward by those who support the register, I must say that I do not think there is any necessity for it. There has been a great change all over the country during the last four or five years, and the ordinary people have intelligence enough to vote for the right man.

Question put: "That the words in brackets in this Act referred to as ordinary members' stand part of the section."
The Committee divided: Tá, 76; Níl, 57.

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Kelly, Patrick Michael.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Leonard, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • MacEóin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Connolly, Michael P.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Crowley, James.
  • Daly, John.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Dolan, James N.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Richard.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Reilly, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearóid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reynolds, Patrick.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Tierney, Michael.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • White, Vincent Joseph.
  • Wolfe, George.


  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Cooney, Eamon.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Flinn, Hugo.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Redmond, William Archer.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipp.).
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle: Níl, Deputies G. Boland and Cassidy.
Question declared carried.

That decision means that there is to be a commercial register. There is a number of other amendments to Section 29, but we have now adopted a certain scheme. We have made the number of the Council 35 and the number of ordinary members 30. The question that remains now is the number of the quorum. Perhaps we could simply make the word "four" in line 45 into "five," altering the quorum into twelve, and then leave the other amendments until the next stage, when the Bill will be before us as now amended. Otherwise there is a possibility that we will not reach to-morrow the amendment in regard to the managerial system in the name of the Minister.

Mr. O'Connell

Do these amendments go on automatically? Will they have to be put down specially again?

These amendments could be put down in that form. When the Bill is reprinted the Deputies will have an opportunity to put down such amendments as they please in the form most suitable to the reprinted Bill.

In view of the fact that a number of amendments may be left over, we would want to make it clear that no amendment will reappear automatically; amendments will have to be freshly put down after the Bill is reprinted.

I move amendment 24:—

In sub-section (1), line 45, to delete the word "four" and substitute the word "five".

Amendment put and agreed to

I move amendment 27:—

In sub-section (2), line 49, to delete the word "nine" and substitute the word "twelve".

Amendment put and agreed to.
Question—"That Section 29, as amended, stand part of the Bill"— put and agreed to.
(4) The election of ordinary members at the city election held in the year 1930 shall be held on the day of election, and the election of ordinary members at every subsequent city election shall be held on the day appointed by law for the holding of such city election.

Amendment 30 is, I think, consequential upon the decision just taken.

Amendment not moved.

I move amendment 31:—

In sub-section (4), page 17, to delete lines 1 and 2, and substitute the words "be held on such day as shall be appointed for the purpose by or under the law for the time being in force in relation to elections of members of councils of county boroughs."

Amendment 31 is to secure that the ordinary law with regard to election in county boroughs will apply and that the elections will take place normally between the 23rd June and the 1st July.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Ordered: That Section 30, as amended, stand part of the Bill.
(1) As soon as may be after the passing of this Act and before the day of election, the Minister shall by order—
(a) divide the area consisting of the Existing City, the added urban districts, and the added rural area into three borough electoral areas which shall be the borough electoral areas in the City for the purposes of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1919, and
(b) prescribe the number of ordinary members of the City Council to be elected for each of such borough electoral areas and shall so prescribe such number as to secure, so far as is practicable, that the number of members so assigned to each such area shall be such as to give equal representation upon the basis of population.
Amendments 32 and 33 not moved.

I move:—

In sub-section (1) (a), to delete the word "three" and substitute the word "five."

Amendment put and agreed to.

If we could get agreement that the Bill would be recommitted, we could take only the Minister's amendments now between this and to-morrow evening.

That is, either ministerial amendments or amendments which the Minister accepts.

Amendment 35 not moved.
Section 31, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
(2) There shall be registered in the register of commercial electors every individual, partnership, unincorporated association, and corporate body who or which is for the time being the rated occupier of any premises which—
(a) are valued under the Valuation Acts at not less than twenty pounds, and
(b) are situate in the City or (until the appointed day) in an added urban district or (until the 1st day of April, 1931) in the added rural area, and
(c) are occupied by such individual, partnership, unincorporated association, or corporate body wholly or partly for the purpose of carrying on therein any business, profession, trade, manufacture, or other commercial or industrial pursuit.

I move amendment 36:—

In sub-section (2), line 8, after the word "which" to insert the words "resides in Saorstát Eireann and" and before sub-section (3) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

"For the purposes of this section—

(a) a partnership shall not be deemed to reside in Saorstát Eireann unless all the partners therein reside in Saorstát Eireann, and

(b) an unincorporated association shall not be deemed to reside in Saorstát Eireann unless its business is managed and controlled in Saorstát Eireann, and

(c) a corporate body shall not be deemed to reside in Saorstát Eireann unless either its business is managed and controlled in Saorstát Eireann and it is registered under the Companies Acts, 1908 to 1924 in Saorstát Eireann, or the business carried on by it in Saorstát Eireann consists wholly or substantially of the manufacture of goods in Saorstát Eireann."

This section provides for the establishment of the commercial register and fixes the qualification necessary for admission to that register. The object of the amendment, which relates to sub-section (2) of the section, is to secure that residence in Saorstát Eireann shall be an essential qualification. In addition it defines what is meant by residence in Saorstát Eireann in respect to the various types of partnerships and associations and corporate bodies.

There is one point on which I would like information. Paragraph (c) deals with corporate bodies. I take it that the second part of that paragraph is to cover such cases as Messrs. Guinness's, which are registered abroad, but what machinery will exist for deciding disputed cases or for the making of appeals against claims to be included on the commercial register by a business which some people might believe did not consist wholly or substantially of the manufacture of goods in Saorstát Eireann?

That will be provided in the Bill.

The Franchise Bill.

Amendment 36 put and agreed to.

The other amendments to Section 32 are postponed.

Ordered that Section 32, as amended, stand part of the Bill.