Committee on Finance. - Local Elections Bill, 1937—Committee and Final Stages.

Bill put through Committee without amendment.
Agreed that the remaining stages be taken now.
Question—"That the Bill be received for final consideration"—put and agreed to.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

It is significant that while, under the Bunreacht which the House is now considering, the provision for the election of a President is held as a great democratic right which the people are getting, they are getting it at the expense of certain local elections. It would appear, therefore, that for every democratic right that is given to them a democratic privilege is taken away.

In 1931, when the Deputy brought in a similar Bill, we were not even getting a new Constitution. If we are postponing the elections I hope that we will not deprive the electors of their right for three years, as the Deputy did when he brought in his Bill in 1931. I am speaking of the Deputy as head of the Government. I do not mean that he personally brought in the Bill. It was brought in by the Minister for Local Government at the time. I hope that it will not be necessary to keep the elections back for three years, as the Deputy and his Government did at that time. I think they made the same promise that I am making, but I hope that I shall be a little luckier than the ex-President was in keeping that promise.

Question put and agreed to.