Public Services (Temporary Economies) Bill, 1933—From the Seanad—Amendments—In Committee.

Message from the Seanad:—
Seanad Eireann insists on amendments 1 and 4 made by it to the Public Services (Temporary Economies) Bill, 1933, to which Dáil Eireann has disagreed, it agrees to the amendment made by Dáil Eireann to the Bill in lieu of amendment 2.

I move:—

That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 1:—

Section 6, sub-section (1), sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (a) deleted.

I would like to find out from the Minister for Finance what is his attitude really with regard to this amendment which he now proposes. Speaking in the Seanad on 18th July he said:

"To exempt the Gárda now would mean that it would be exceedingly difficult for us to proceed with the Bill. It would mean that we should have to fall back on some other line; it would mean in effect, I think, that we would have to come forward with fresh proposals for taxation, and these proposals for taxation would naturally have to fall on the backs we thought best able to bear them."

Later on when the amendment was carried against him, the amendment which he is now proposing to accept he described it in this way:

"I do not know whether I should waste the time of the Seanad in replying to the statements that have been made by Senator Staines, because on this Stage of the Bill, in view of what has already happened to-day, to say anything may seem rather like pumping oxygen into the patient in order to keep it alive. The Bill has received a very deadly blow at the hands of the Seanad, and it is questionable whether it is going to survive it or not."

He resumed later, saying:

"I was saying that it is not a matter of £30,000 that is at stake from the taxpayers' point of view. Rather is it a matter of almost £300,000 that is at stake, and for this reason: The Seanad has already sent back the Bill to the Dáil with an amendment. The Dáil has considered the proposal of the Seanad on its merits and has not agreed with the Seanad in its view upon this matter, and, it accordingly has returned the Bill to this House. If the Seanad now maintains its original attitude the Bill cannot proceed further until the statutory period has elapsed; that is to say, the Bill cannot become law within the present 12 months and every penny piece that has been deducted out of this Bill will have to be returned to public servants. The economies which it was hoped to secure under this Bill will have to be forgone and, instead, additional public expenditure will have to be provided for out of taxation and in no other way."

Has the Minister any explanation to offer to the House now in face of all that turgid stuff for his acceptance of the amendment to-day?

Is the amendment accepted?

Is it in the spirit or in the letter?

In the letter.

Not in both?

Amendment agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 2:—

Section 7, sub-section (2). A new sub-section inserted before the sub-section as follows:—

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, no deduction shall be made from the salary of any person in the Civil Service of the Government of Saorstát Eireann—

(a) who was appointed with a special agreement as to the amount of his remuneration and who satisfies the Minister that, for the purpose of accepting such appointment, he gave up any profession or occupation from which he derived an income not less than the remuneration which he agreed to accept in respect of such appointment;

(b) who was appointed subsequent to the 6th December, 1922, with a special agreement as to his remuneration and who for the purpose of accepting such appointment gave up an appointment in the service of any other country.

Amendment agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 3:—

Section 9. sub-section (2). The word "shall" deleted in line 2 and the word "may" substituted therefor.

Amendment agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 4:—

Schedule Part II deleted.

Amendment agreed to.

Has Deputy McGilligan anything further to say now?

No, but if necessary to repeat that we would like to hear for once some sane eloquence from the Minister in reply. He will go to Glasgow too.

Agreement with the Seanad amendments reported and agreed to.

Message to be sent to the Seanad accordingly.

And all the economies are now to lapse notwithstanding the speeches of the Centre Party.

The time for the Minister to speak has lapsed.