Supplementary Estimate. - Local Government Bill, 1940—First Stage.

With the permission of the House, I move that leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to make further and better provision in relation to local government and to make certain amendments in the law relating to local government.

Leave granted. Second Stage ordered for Thursday, 6th June.

When will the Bill be circulated?

The Bill will be circulated by Monday.

If we are to have the Second Reading on Thursday, and the Bill is to be circulated on Monday, it does not afford much time for consideration of the measure.

I hope that it will be in the hands of Deputies by Monday.

Is it a complicated measure?

It is not. It is a codification of a lot of the laws already in existence. I do not think there will be any controversy arising on the Bill, but if any controversy would arise, it would be on the point where it fixes the number of members for county councils. It proposes to reduce the numbers in certain cases. It is not a drastic reduction. That is the only controversial thing I can see.

Has the Minister in any case made arrangements with country councils as to the probable number? I think in the case of Cork the number suggested was 42. Has that been done generally, or is it proposed to do it arbitrarily in this Bill?

These matters can be considered on the Committee Stage. Roughly, the proposals embodied in the Bill are: that where the members do not exceed 30 they should be reduced to 20; in other words, that there will be, roughly, two-thirds of the present membership. With regard to urban councils and so on, the membership shall not be lower than nine in any case. I should like to mention that the amendments sent back from the Seanad will be taken next Wednesday.

That is, the amendments to the Country Management Bill.

The Dáil adjourned at 8.30 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 5th June.