Unemployment Assistance Bill, 1933—First Stage.

I move for leave to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to provide for the relief of unemployed persons and to make such financial and other provisions as may be required for that purpose.

When will the Bill be circulated?

By the end of the month or the first week in September.

Is the Minister in a position to state the lines upon which the financial assistance will be given?

It is better to wait until the Bill is circulated. It is a fairly large amount.

The Minister for Finance indicated that a sum of £450,000 would be available, and that the utilisation of that money would relieve, in a considerable way, local authorities from some of the burdens falling upon them at the moment. In view of that fact, is it not desirable that they should know, at the earliest possible moment, how they stand? Would the Minister, therefore, not indicate, even on the briefest lines, how soon the assistance will be given?

£450,000 is available for the financing of this Bill. In so far as the relief of unemployment will relieve local authorities they may find relief towards the end of the financial year, but any local authority that desires to make arrangements in anticipation of that would be making a mistake to make such arrangements between the period the Bill is before the Oireachtas and the period when it is brought into operation.

Does the Minister propose to make provision for direct financial relief or for the provision of public works?

Direct financial relief.

Is any of the money available at the present moment?

The Bill has not yet been passed.

May I ask the Minister if any of the money——

The Deputy should know that on the First Stage of a Bill no discussion is allowed.

Other questions were asked without interruption and I do not think it is right that I should be pulled up the moment I ask a question.

The Deputy will have to resume his seat.

Is it not in order to make a short statement on the First Reading of a Bill; and in the absence of such short statement, is it not in order that questions should be asked or short statements made by other Parties in the Dáil interested in the measure?

No measure is actually before the House until permission has been given to introduce it.

What I wanted to ask was whether, immediately, there was any of this money available or when it would be available to the local authorities to carry out such schemes of relief as the Dublin unemployed are clamouring for?

It is quite clear the Deputy wants to make a speech. If he understood the first thing about Parliamentary procedure he would know that this Bill cannot become law until it is passed.

I wish to point out in the interests of order that your ruling, a Chinn Comhairle, is, I submit, not clear. When permission is asked for the introduction of a Bill is it not in order that brief statements can be made on the measure either by the Minister or representatives of other Parties in the House?

According to the Standing Order no statement may be made on the introduction of a Bill unless leave to introduce is opposed. Occasionally the Minister is allowed to make a brief statement, but no discussion is permissible.

Is Deputy Byrne opposing the introduction of this Bill?

Leave granted. Bill read the First Time. Ordered for Second Reading on 27th September, 1933.