Agricultural Co-Operative Societies (Debentures) Bill, 1934—From the Seanad. In Committee.

I am asking the Committee to agree with all the amendments inserted by the Seanad.

The following amendments were agreed to:—

1. Section 2, sub-section (1). After the word "body" in line 32 the words "or person" inserted.

2. Section 4, sub-section (1). After the word "time" in line 25 the words "subject to the provisions of this section and" inserted.

Dr. Ryan

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

Section 4, sub-section (2). A new sub-section inserted before the sub-section as follows:—

(2) An issue of debentures shall not be made by an agricultural co-operative society under this section unless either the committee of such society has power under the rules of such society to borrow money and the amount to be borrowed on the security of such debentures is within such borrowing power or a resolution approving of the making of such issue has been passed by a special meeting of the shareholders of such society convened expressly for the purpose of considering and, if thought fit, passing such resolution.

Would the Minister explain that amendment?

Dr. Ryan

That amendment was inserted by the Seanad because they had a certain anxiety that the committee of a co-operative society might issue debentures without having authority from the members of the society to borrow money. As the amendment stands—and, in fact, as I am advised—no committee could issue debentures unless they had powers to borrow. If they had powers to borrow, then it would be all right; but if they have no powers to borrow, then they must go to the society.

It seems to have been a very wise amendment. Was it inserted on their own initiative?

Dr. Ryan

It was, but still I think it was unnecessary.

If the Minister were a member of a co-operative society be might not think so.

Dr. Ryan

At any rate, that is what I am advised.

Amendment No. 3 agreed to.
The following amendment was agreed to:—
4. Section 7, sub-section (1). The words "registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1893," deleted in lines 13-14 and the words "mentioned in the Schedule to this Act" substituted therefor.

Dr. Ryan

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 5:—

Section 7, sub-section (1). The words "arrangement or understanding" deleted in lines 17-18 and the words "agreement in writing" substituted therefor.

Would the Minister explain the reason for this amendment?

Dr. Ryan

The words "arrangement or understanding" were felt to be somewhat loose phraseology.

Non-legal, I suppose?

Dr. Ryan

No, but not the correct phraseology.

Non-legal?

Dr. Ryan

I would not say that. The phraseology was somewhat loose and the words "agreement in writing," are perhaps somewhat more advisable.

Amendment No. 5 agreed to.
The following amendment was agreed to:—
6. Section 8. A new sub-section added at the end of the section as follows:—
(3) Where a member of the committee of a society is charged with an offence under this section, it shall be a good defence to such charge for such member to prove that he did not vote for and was not a party to or responsible, directly or indirectly, for the wrongful application of called-up capital which is alleged to constitute such offence.

Dr. Ryan

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 7:—

Section 14. After Section 14 a Schedule inserted as follows:—

SCHEDULE.

Kildare and Leix Co-operative Creameries, Ltd.

Boro Co-operative Creamery, Ltd.

Edenderry Co-operative Creamery, Ltd.

Imokilly Co-operative Creamery, Ltd.

Would the Minister say why those four societies have been specially ear-marked?

Dr. Ryan

The societies mentioned are those which have borrowed money under the terms as covered by this section. On pointing out that fact to the Seanad, they asked to have those societies put into such a position that the Credit Corporation could not extend the facilities to other societies. The point was that publicity might be somewhat injurious to those four societies.

Amendment No. 7 agreed to.
Agreement with Seanad amendments reported.
Ordered: That a Message be sent to the Seanad accordingly.