Moneylenders (No. 2) Bill, 1933—From the Seanad—In Committee.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendments 1 to 6:—

1. Section 1, sub-section (2). The sub-section deleted.

2. New section. Before Section 2 a new section inserted as follows:—

2.—Each of the following persons shall for the purposes of this Act be a national of Saorstát Eireann, that is to say:—

(a) a person born in Saorstát Eireann or in the area now comprised in Saorstát Eireann;

(b) a person born outside Saorstát Eireann or the area now comprised in Saorstát Eireann whose mother at the time of his birth was ordinarily resident in Saorstát Eireann or such area;

(c) a person who at the relevant time is and for not less than five consecutive years immediately preceding that time has been ordinarily resident in Saorstát Eireann.

3. New section. Before Section 2 a new section inserted as follows:—

2.—(1) In this Act the expression "Irish-owned body corporate" means a body corporate, constituted within Saorstát Eireann, the issued shares of which are at the relevant time to an extent exceeding one-half (in nominal value) thereof in the beneficial ownership of a person who is or of two or more persons each of whom is at that time either a national of Saorstát Eireann or a body corporate, constituted within Saorstát Eireann, the issued shares of which are at that time to an extent exceeding one-half (in nominal value) thereof in the beneficial ownership of nationals of Saorstát Eireann.

(2) For the purposes of the immediately preceding sub-section, but not further or otherwise, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

(a) where a national of Saorstát Eireann dies and is at the time of his death the beneficial owner of any shares in a body corporate, such shares shall, until the grant of probate of his will or letters of administration of his personal estate, be deemed to continue in the beneficial ownership of a national of Saorstát Eireann, and upon the grant of such probate or letters of administration the personal representative for the time being of such national shall, so long as he is entitled to such shares in his representative capacity, be deemed to be the beneficial owner of such shares and, if he is not a national of Saorstát Eireann, to be a national of Saorstát Eireann; and

(b) where a national of Saorstát Eireann becomes a bankrupt or carries an arrangement with his creditors and such national was at the time of his bankruptcy or arrangement the beneficial owner of any shares in a body corporate, and his interest in such shares becomes vested in his assignee in bankruptcy or a trustee of the estate of such national as an arranging debtor, such shares shall be deemed, so long as such interest remains so vested, to be in the beneficial ownership of such assignee or trustee, and such assignee or trustee shall, so long as such interest remains so vested, be deemed, if he is not a national of Saorstát Eireann, to be a national of Saorstát Eireann; and

(c) where a person is for the time being entitled to the income arising from any shares in a body corporate held by a trustee, such person shall, so long as he continues to be entitled to such income, be deemed to be the beneficial owner of such shares; and

(d) where two or more persons are each for the time being entitled to a proportionate part of the income arising from shares in a particular body corporate or from such shares and other property held by a trustee, each of such persons, so long as he continues to be entitled to a proportion of such income, shall be deemed to be the beneficial owner of a corresponding proportion of such shares; and

(e) where the issued shares of a body corporate are transferred to a bank, being a body corporate, by way of security for an advance and such bank is registered as the owner of such shares in the register of shareholders of such first-mentioned body corporate, such transfer and registration shall be deemed not to operate to transfer the ownership of such shares to such bank.

4. Section 4, sub-section (3). The sub-section deleted and a new sub-section substituted therefor as follows:—

(3) A certificate under this section shall not be granted to any applicant unless such applicant produces satisfactory evidence that such applicant, if an individual, is at the date of the application a national of Saorstát Eireann or, if a company, is at the said date an Irish-owned body corporate.

5. Section 4, sub-section (8). Before paragraph (a) a new paragraph inserted as follows:—

(a) that the grant of the certificate to the applicant is prohibited by sub-section (3) of this section.

6. Section 4, sub-section (8). Paragraph (f) deleted.

Deputy Mulcahy moved in the Dáil an amendment defining a national of Saorstát Eireann. It is to meet that amendment 2 is inserted

Amendments 1 to 6 agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment 7:—

7. Section 9, sub-section (1). The words "totally dependent on" deleted in lines 64-65 and the words "not living apart from" substituted therefor.

That amendment was moved by Senator Johnson in the Seanad. I do not see any objection to it.

It was moved under great auspices at any rate.

Amendment agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment 8:—

New section. Before Section 12 a new section inserted as follows:—

12.—(1) It shall not be lawful for any moneylender or the agent of a moneylender to send any written communication, relating to a moneylending transaction, to the borrower or intending borrower, unless such communication is sent in a sealed envelope having written thereon the word "personal" and no other words save and except the name or the name and address of the borrower or intending borrower.

(2) If any person acts in contravention of this section such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds.

This was also moved by Senator Johnson. The Senator pointed out that great pressure might be brought to bear on borrowers by sending a letter to the person's employers.

Amendment agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 9:—

New section. Before Section 12 a new section inserted as follows:—

12.—(1) It shall not be lawful for any moneylender or the agent of a moneylender to visit, for purposes connected with a moneylending transaction, the borrower or intending borrower at any place where the borrower or intending borrower is employed or carries on business, unless the borrower or intending borrower resides at such place.

(2) If any moneylender or agent of a moneylender acts in contravention of this section such moneylender or agent shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds.

Amendment agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendments 10, 11, 12 and 13:—

Section 13, sub-section (1). After the word "proceedings" in line 22 the words "heard after the commencement of this Act" inserted.

Section 13, sub-section (1). The word "commencement" deleted in line 23 and the words "date of the passing" substituted therefor.

Section 13, sub-section (1). The word "commencement" deleted in line 25 and the words "date of the passing" substituted therefor.

Section 13, sub-section (1). The word "commencement" deleted in line 26 and the words "date of the passing" substituted therefor.

It was argued in the Seanad that the maximum rate of interest, 39 per cent., permissible should apply to transactions entered into upon the passing of this Bill and before the Act comes into operation. I can see no objection to that.

Amendments agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 14:—

Section 13, sub-section (1). The word "presume" deleted in line 29 and the words "conclusively assume" substituted therefor.

In the Seanad doubts were expressed as to the meaning of the word "presume." In order to remove any doubt this amendment is inserted.

Doubt in relation to what?

In relation to this question of interest.

Amendment agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment 15:—

Section 17. After the word "moneylender" in line 46 the words "whether personally or by his agent" inserted.

This amendment is to make it clear that the agent cannot do what the principal might not do. The principal may not do through his agent what he is forbidden to do himself.

Amendment agreed to.

I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment 16:—

Section 21, sub-section (2). The words and figures "1st day of October, 1933" deleted in lines 14-15 and the words and figures "1st day of January, 1934" substituted therefor.

The object of amendment 16 is to postpone the date from October, 1933, to the 1st January, 1934. Owing to the delay that has taken place in the passing of this Bill through the Dáil it was found advisable to insert this amendment.

Amendment agreed to.
Agreement with Seanad amendments reported.
Message to be sent to the Seanad accordingly.