Committee on Finance. - Connaught Rangers (Pensions) Bill, 1936—Money Resolution.

I move:—

That it is expedient to grant authority for such payments out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas as are necessary in giving effect to any Act of the present Session to provide for the payment of pensions, allowances, and gratuities, to or in respect of certain former members of the 1st Battalion, the Connaught Rangers, and to make provision for other matters connected with the matters aforesaid.

This Bill proposes to compensate certain members of the Connaught Rangers who were engaged in the Indian mutiny. Some members on this side desire to amend the Bill but it is obvious that any amendment we could draft would be ruled out by you, A Chinn Comhairle.

If it would increase the charge, the Deputy's supposition is correct.

As it stands, the Bill can be amended only by the Government. If the Bill is to be an equitable one, increased provision will have to be made. As it stands, the Bill applies only to a small proportion of the men engaged in the mutiny. I do not know what case the Minister will advance eventually for omitting some of the Connaught Rangers but to differentiate between them is unfair. Before we pass this Resolution, I should like to ask the Minister to introduce an amendment to cover the men who are entitled to whatever benefits are afforded by the Bill.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary say what is the estimated cost?

In reply to what Deputy Bennett has said, I might say that we are dealing in an equitable manner with all the participants in the mutiny; that we are giving that question very serious consideration and, in our opinion, this Bill meets every case in a fair and equitable manner. I cannot guarantee that the Bill in its later stages will be altered to meet the case made by Deputy Bennett.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary say what this will cost?

I think the figure will be around £8,800. I am not quite certain of the figure but that, or something near that, is what I believe it will be.

I think that is an exaggerated estimate. It will not come to nearly as much as that.

Motion agreed to.
Resolution reported and agreed to.