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Dáil Éireann debate -
Friday, 13 Mar 1931

Vol. 37 No. 13

Public Business. - Plate Assay (Amendment) Bill, 1931—Second Stage.

I move the Second Reading of this Bill. The Bill becomes necessary in order to remove a certain difficulty that occurred in connection with the administration of an old Act —an Act of 1807. Under that Act certain very extreme penalties are set down for a group of offences, the offences mainly consisting of counterfeiting, forging, cutting out old marks from silver, and actually affixing them to other pieces of plate, or with the object of so affixing them. Under the old Act, a very extreme penalty—a certain number of years' transportation—was fixed for these offences. An English Act modified the penalty, but that Act had no application here. A case recently came before the courts here in which, the offence being proved, a certain Justice said he would not consider it right to inflict the penalty imposed by law on this particular citizen—even though the offence had been proved. We are, therefore, readjusting the penalties. That is the full scope of the measure. We are allowing an offence of this type to be tried summarily under the Courts of Justice Act in the ordinary conditions in which an offence may be tried summarily under that Act.

What is the purpose of sub-section (3) of Section 3, which relates to Section 17 of the Principal Act?

Section 17 of the Principal Act states that where a fine could have been imposed under Section 16 of the Principal Act—in cases where the offence did not amount to a felony a fine of about £200 might have been inflicted—the money should go to certain purposes. These are provisions of a very old Act, and I forget the particular purpose at the moment to which, the moneys were to go. They went into some fund, and that fund no longer exists. The purpose is not one that would be approved of at the moment, and we say in this Bill that if a fine be imposed it will not be affected by Section 17 of the old Act.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage fixed for Friday.