Public Business. - Trade Union Bill, 1941—Committee (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That Section 22 stand part of the Bill."

When the debate was adjourned at 7 o'clock I was endeavouring to get some information from the Minister regarding the taking of a ballot under Section 22, with particular reference to sub-section (1) of Section 22. I wanted in particular to try to ascertain from the Minister how the register of the workers concerned was to be compiled, and by whom, and in what way the machinery was to be set up, and by whom, because the section as it is, in my opinion, leaves the whole matter, to say the least of it, very vague. There is very little direction in it either to the trade union or anybody else, and it might shorten the discussion on this particular section if the Minister could give us some information other than the little he gave us at the beginning.

Under this section, the tribunal may or may not take a ballot in relation to certain matters, and they may use their discretion as to who are to be the persons who will participate in the ballot. I think the section is too widely drawn, and that it is not sufficiently specific as to who are the parties to whom it would be incumbent upon the tribunal to grant a determination that a particular trade union shall have the right to organise workmen. I hold that there ought to be a definite limit on their discretion, and that it ought to be made clear that they cannot grant a determination to a union that does not continue to hold its negotiation licence or that has not proved in itself to be an authorised union, particularly as it is possible that they may feel that they need not have a ballot, and, even if they are going to have a ballot they can have it among such workmen as the tribunal themselves think proper, according to the wording of the section. Now, by doing so, you are at once opening the door to a type of people that we find in practically every industry in the country—and, naturally, they are particularly objectionable to trade unionists —who will not join any union, whether it has its headquarters in this country or outside this country. I suggest that the door is being opened to that undesirable type of person, who will not join any union, and yet may be called upon to participate in a ballot and, by their votes, defeat either the one side or the other. I refer to people who are there for purely destructive purposes and who, by their votes, may be enabled, as a result of this section, to prevent either one union or the other from being granted this determination.

If this is a Bill to deal with trade unions and trade unionism fairly, the insertion of such a section as this is purely a negation of common sense, unless there is something specifically put in to limit the parties to be consulted. It is against common sense to ask for a ballot in connection with a particular industry and then invite people to participate in that ballot merely because the tribunal considers that these are the proper people to take part in the ballot.

On a point of order, Sir. There was an amendment down on the Order Paper, amendment No. 64, in the names of Deputies Davin and Keyes, dealing with the point to which Deputy Keyes is now referring. That amendment, however, is not being moved.

What is the point of order?

The Deputy is discussing an amendment which has not been moved.

If the amendment is not being moved, is that a point of order?

The Chair must be permitted to decide.

I think, Sir, that Deputy Keyes is discussing an amendment which has not been moved.

I am trying to relate this matter to the section before us.

A point of order has been put to the Chair, and Deputy Keyes should give the Chair an opportunity to decide. An amendment is usually put down to obtain a decision on a specific point. Even if there be no amendment, or if an amendment tabled is not moved, the matter of that amendment arises on the section. A Deputy is entitled to discuss his point on the section, but cannot, of course, get a decision on that specific point.

May I draw the attention of the Chair——

Is this another point of order?

Will the Minister stand up when he is making a point of order? He should at least pay that much respect to the Chair.

I was about to say that Deputy Davin did not consider it worth his while——

That is not a point of order. Deputy Keyes may proceed.

I presume that we are on the section, Sir?

Yes, on the section. No amendment has been moved.

Then the Minister does not know what he is inquiring about.

The Minister, quite properly, asked for a decision on a point of order. A decision has been given.

I am merely endeavouring to point out the weaknesses resulting from this section of the Bill, and I thought I was in order in doing so.

The Chair has given a decision on that point.

I say that the Minister, by giving this very wide discretion to the tribunal to decide whom they may consider proper, is making it possible for the tribunal to invite people to participate in that ballot who may not belong to any of the unions that are claiming a determination in their favour. If the Minister really desires to achieve the objective which he says he wants to achieve, which is, as he says, to try to bring order out of the chaos which he alleges exists in the trade union movement, he ought not agree to the insertion of a provision such as this, the only effect of which will be to make confusion worse confounded. By this section the Minister is making it possible for a very undesirable type of people—people who try to batten on the efforts of trade unionists and who refused to join either on one side or the other—to cast their votes in a negative way against any move to help the tribunal to arrive at a just determination. I suggest that there are so many ambiguities in this section that it is meaningless. I think the Minister should redraft the section because, in its present form, it is not only unintelligible, but absolutely dangerous.

The Minister has made no attempt, any more than he has made any attempt in connection with previous sections, to explain what is behind the proposal contained in sub-section (1) of this section. Sub-section (1) says:

"Before making a determination under the immediately preceding section, the tribunal may, for the purpose of obtaining the opinion in relation to such determination of the workmen who the tribunal considers are concerned therein, arrange for the holding of such ballot or ballots among such workmen or any class or classes of such workmen as the tribunal considers proper."

The old word "class" or "classes"— evidently, it is new to the Minister— is sticking out here, of course, proving that this is purely class legislation. Does the Minister know that in the case of many industrial concerns in this country such as, for instance, the railway industry, a fairly respectable number of the workmen, if you like to call them that—I suppose that a manager can be described as a workman in the same way as the ordinary railway worker—are debarred from becoming members of trade unions. They are debarred, by the conditions of their employment, from becoming members of trade unions. If they are employed in a higher-grade position or in an executive position, they are not entitled to be members of a trade union or to look for the protection of a trade union in connection with the conditions of their employment or such matters as seeking improvements in their wages or salaries. Are we to understand that, under the terms of this sub-section, such people will be allowed to take part in any ballot that may be ordered by the tribunal? That, certainly, is a point that should be cleared up by having something more understandable inserted in this sub-section than there is there at the moment.

As Deputy Keyes has pointed out, and rightly pointed out, there is a number of people in every big industrial concern who like to think that they are always on the side of the master class. Such people are to be found in every big industrial concern in the country where large numbers of people are employed. They are the kind of people who will not join any trade union, whether it has its headquarters in this country or outside it, and I think it is entirely wrong that such people should be allowed to take part in any ballot ordered by the tribunal for the purpose of finding out the opinions of workers in general, and of trade unionists in particular, in a matter of vital importance to the unions and themselves. Can the Minister explain what is behind this and the many other sub-sections and sections in the Bill that have been suggested to him by the employers' side? We know that, before bringing this Bill into the House, the Minister consulted the representatives of the master class in this country, and there is no doubt that it was that class who suggested the provision for the giving of powers to house unions.

Will he at least explain what is intended by the words "amongst such workmen or any class or classes of such workmen as the tribunal considers proper"? Surely it is necessary, for the information of the chairman and members of the tribunal, that the Minister's mind be made clear?

I have an industry in mind where some of the workers are in a house union and others are anxious to become organised in a recognised trade union. If a ballot is taken, does it mean that those in the house union will be allowed to vote also as to which trade union they will join?

Of course.

There is another case, where an attempt is being made to organise a trade union and where there are 300 men employed. If a section is anxious to become organised in a recognised trade union—I know they are, but they are afraid of losing their jobs if they become too active—does it mean a ballot will be taken of nonunion men as well, to decide to which union they will belong, and will those anxious to remain under the house union have the same vote as those anxious to join a trade union?

I have been thinking of the same point as Deputy Hickey, but I want to go even further than that. Anybody with any acquaintance with the operation of house unions knows the depths to which employers will go in order to preserve these bodies. Take Deputy Hickey's point. There is a certain employer in this country who has a very serious disgust for any kind of trade union—I refer to Mr. Henry Ford, and it is no harm to mention his name.

He is nearly as bad as Mr. Marchbanks. We spent two hours discussing that.

And would the Deputy be glad that Ford's works be closed down?

We will have a debate on Ford's and on the companion picture.

We will soon.

There is a number of organised trade union people at present in that works. If a decision is to be taken whether there is to be a trade union or a house union, how is the register of voters to be compiled, and who is to decide those eligible to vote? It can be visualised that a firm may draft in a large number of men in order to sway the vote on their particular side. Must there be a qualification for a man to make him eligible to vote in that particular ballot? These are questions that certainly arise. As I have tried to point out, we know that such conditions exist in such firms as the one I name.

Then there is the question of the master class. Is there to be any ballot in order to decide to which class a particular master is to belong? There are gentlemen in this country interested in various forms of industry and one master may elect to be recognised as a miller or as a baker, and so on. Under this section, there is no reference to a master class ballot. If you are to have a balanced vocation, if one may call it such, you must have a master class as well as a working class. I would like the Minister to say if he has in mind that there is to be a ballot amongst the people of that class to decide to which particular class they would belong. I can visualise that employers must be segregated into different classes in their own particular callings, in order to make that balanced kind of arrangement which the Minister seems to have in mind under this Bill.

The question has been raised by Deputy Keyes, that we may have an unauthorised trade union coming in under this section for a determination as to whether they should represent that particular class of workman or not. As I have said already, who is to decide whether the unauthorised trade union would have the same rights and facilities as the authorised trade union? There are many questions arising under Section 22 which I think the Minister should elaborate upon. As I have pointed out on an earlier section, this tribunal will have very serious and a very confused kind of work to do if it is to operate the sections as they stand without any kind of illumination or direction from the Legislature as to what its work is to be. Section 22 will make confusion worse confounded than under Section 21, and I think the Minister should claborate this point and let us see clearly what is in his mind.

Deputy Morrissey raised a point which might easily be within the bounds of possibility. I quoted the case of two unions, one larger than the other. One seeks a determination that it is the only one entitled to organise the workers in a particular class. The tribunal may have a ballot, not only of the workers of those two unions but of a substantial number of unorganised people. The Minister says there must be a ballot of them all.

The Deputy started off by discussing railway unions.

Let us take a realistic case—though the one I quoted was by no means unrealistic—where two unions are catering for shop assistants. There are two organisations catering in some respects for the same class of worker. One organisation has 10,000 and the other probably about 3,000. The organisation with 10,000 goes to the tribunal and asks for a determination that it is the only body which should be permitted to organise shop assistants. The total number of shop assistants, of course, is very much larger than the number in both of the unions now extant. Under this section—this daft section—the tribunal apparently may decide on a ballot and then they would have to have a ballot of every shop assistant in Ireland, because all shop assistants belong to one class and the organisation is on a class basis. The Minister says all the members must be consulted to ascertain who is to look after their trade union destiny in the future. It seems to be the procedure of an asylum to suggest that if an application is made to the tribunal by an organisation of 10,000 workers in the distributive trade, to organise that trade, that the tribunal will have a ballot of all the shop assistants in Ireland.

The section says nothing of the sort.

The section, of course, says it. It says that where the tribunal desires to decide, it must take a ballot.

It may decide.

It says that, where it desires an opinion, it may take a ballot. That is the procedure for getting an opinion. It says that, before making a determination, the tribunal may, for the purpose of obtaining the opinion in relation to such determination of the workmen who the tribunal considers are concerned therein, arrange for the holding of such ballot or ballots among such workmen or any class or classes of such workmen as the tribunal considers proper.

There is not a word in the section making it mandatory upon the tribunal.

Will the Minister cease his silly, puerlle, infantile interjections?

Will the Deputy read the section?

The Minister should read it, and not be relying on briefs. If he cannot read it, he might get someone to read it for him. The tribunal may order a ballot for the purpose of gaining an opinion. When it wants an opinion, it is through a ballot it gets it.

What other way would it get it?

What other way would it get an opinion? says the Minister. If they feel that it is necessary to get an opinion, they conduct a ballot of the class interested in the determination. Let us say that the class interested is the shop assistant class, that there are 15,000 shop assistants organised and 30,000 unorganised. The ballot is to be held not merely of the 15,000 but of the unorganised 30,000, who are to give their opinion on what is to happen in respect to the organisation of that class. It seems to me to be as sensible to take a ballot of that kind as to ask a person who did not vote in a general election who should be elected Minister for Industry and Commerce. If a person does not elect to be a member of an organisation, it does not seem to me that he should come into this matter at all. It does not seem to me that he should be allowed to come in on an application made by a trade union. These people have no right to make an application themselves. They have no right to create a set of circumstances which justifies the taking of a ballot. They can only come on the scene when a trade union makes an application for a determination. Then, the whole bunch of those who would not think it worth while to organise or who, in the circumstances mentioned by Deputy Hurley and Deputy Hickey, may not have been permitted to organise in the way desired, are to be consulted in respect of the making of the determination. I do not know why the Minister insists on over-loading this Bill with so much craziness.

I should like to clear up a few points. Deputy Hurley and Deputy Keyes have not taken sufficient interest in the progress of this Bill through Committee to be aware that two amendments were accepted yesterday—amendments Nos. 47 and 53— which made quite clear that only authorised trade unions can apply for determinations. All this talk about unauthorised trade unions coming in simply falls to the ground in these circumstances.

I do not know how to express the impression which Deputy Norton's speech has created upon me. It is indicative, I think, of the whole theory which has informed his attitude here— that nobody has any right in this country unless he belongs to a trade union which the Deputy likes or to which he wants him to belong. The purpose of this section is to enable the people who may be principally affected by the determination to be made upon an application to express their views in relation to it —the people whom it sought to organise. If there are in this country 50,000 shop assistants, 10,000 being in one union and 5,000 in another union, surely the remaining 35,000 have some right to have their views heard if one or other of the organisations comes along and asks this tribunal to say that it, and no other organisation, is to be allowed to determine the future of these 35,000 persons who are not in either union. I think that it would be crazy and preposterous if the tribunal were not to be permitted, in such a situation, to ascertain the opinion of those who might be principally affected by its determination. The purpose of this section is to give the tribunal power, where it considers it necessary, to obtain an expression of opinion from those who may be principally concerned in the application.

The suggestion has been made here that only members of the authorised trade unions should have the right to say how the destinies of their fellow countrymen should be determined— that the 15,000 should have all the say and that the others should be silent, like dumb, driven cattle. I can only conceive that condition of affairs existing in that new system which Deputy Norton so volubly and so fervently advocates in this House from time to time.

The Russian one?

The Deputy knows a great deal about systems. It could not exist in a free country.

And this is freedom.

Freedom to be regimented.

Deputy Norton and Deputy Keyes were very strong upon the difficulties which might arise if we gave people in any trade or class the right to express their views as to how their future should be determined. I cannot see any difficulty in the matter at all. Deputy Morrissey suggested that there was no machinery to enable the tribunal to take a ballot.

I asked you where the machinery was.

Under Section 24, the Minister may make regulations in relation to all or any of the following matters; (a) the times and places of the sittings of the tribunal; (b) the persons to whom and the times and manner in which notice of the sittings of the tribunal shall be given; (c) the admission or exclusion of the public from sittings of the tribunal; (d) such other matters in relation to the practice and procedure of the tribunal as the Minister may consider necessary or expedient for the proper conduct of the business of the tribunal.

That has nothing to do with my point at all.

It is clear that since a ballot may be taken the Minister must prescribe regulations determining the manner in which the ballot shall be taken, amongst other things.

The election register.

Including regulations regarding a register or panel of voters for the purposes of the ballot. It should not be a difficult matter in relation to most of these ballots, or all of them, to frame a register which would ensure that the opinions of those vitally interested in the application before the tribunal would be heard.

This is terrible.

Of course, it is terrible. I am sure the Deputy is very worried now.

I am over-awed.

I should not be surprised. The first dawn of intelligence is breaking upon him. The Deputy made great to-do about this section and the position of trade unions in relation to it. Yet, two members of the Deputy's Party had an amendment down to sub-section (1) of Section 22 asking that this ballot should be confined to persons who were members of the union concerned. They did not think the matter of sufficient importance to move the amendment. Perhaps, I am doing an injustice to Deputies Keyes and Davin. They may have attached considerable importance to the amendment but, of course, were steamrolled or trodden down by their leader. He said:—"If you raise this hare, it will be clear what we want. You will give yourself away and, therefore, it is better not to move the amendment."

This is like a Bill passed in a Parliament in Bedlam.

The Deputy is doing his best to make it a Bedlam. One thing about it is that the Deputy's instability of temperament and mind is not infectious.

The last remark of the Minister's is priceless. One would have imagined that the Minister had a six-foot mirror in front of him and was looking into it. If the consequences which will flow from this Bill were not so serious and were not to react on hundreds of thousands of people, one could perhaps share the Minister's amusement. I heard a phrase used in this House on one occasion about a thing of shreds and patches. By the time this Bill passes this House——

What about the section?

I am coming to the section. The difference between the Minister and myself is that I am satisfied to be corrected, but the Minister is not satisfied to be corrected even by the most intelligent member in the House. The Minister knows so little about his own Bill that, on a point which I raised on Section 22, he referred me to Section 24, and proceeded to read it, apparently, for the first time himself, because, before he got to the end, he discovered that it provided nothing about what I was inquiring about.

It empowers the Minister to make regulations. It covers fully the point made by the Deputy.

In sub-section (2) of this section the Minister admits that every workman has the right to have his opinion obtained and the method of obtaining it is to be by way of ballot. We ought not to forget that sub-section (1) of Section 22 should not be read by itself. We ought to have some reference occasionally to sub-section (3) of Section 21, which we have passed. There are at least 500,000 workers in this country, male and female. Speaking from recollection, I think about 500,000 people pay for national health insurance. I do not think I would be far wrong if I were to say that not more than half that number are organised in trade unions.

Let us assume that it has to be ascertained to-morrow what union has a right to organise agricultural labourers. The Minister tells us that it would be quite simple to get his Department to give us the machinery for a ballot of people like that, that there would be no trouble whatever in compiling a register, no trouble in deciding the qualifications of the persons who have the right to go on the register, no trouble in deciding how the votes are to be cast, where they are to be cast, who is to superintend the election, how the votes are to be counted, etc. Why, the famous Seanad election of 1925, when the whole country was a unit, did not produce any more startling results than such a ballot would produce. If Deputies throw their minds back to that famous Seanad election they will remember that it produced very startling results.

The fact is that the Minister has brought in here a Bill which is not only an ill-considered Bill but a Bill which was not considered at all. There is not a section in it, including this one, that will not have to be amended. Deputy Childers talked about two or three Bills having to follow this one. It seems to me that there will be so many amending Bills to this Bill that nobody will be able to recognise this Bill, or this section, as originally introduced. The Minister took up a point made by Deputy Norton and he seemed to me, anyway, to expose a section of his mind that we had not seen before. He talked about 10,000 and 5,000 organised workers out of 50,000 and about 35,000 not organised. He referred to the 35,000 as if he had in contemplation a Bill to compel every unorganised man and woman to join a trade union. That certainly was the impression the Minister conveyed to the House. Is that the intention? Is that one of the Bills which is to follow on this? Is that to be one of the Bills which Deputy Childers referred to?

The Minister appeared to be surprised that we showed astonishment at some of his statements. I frankly admit that I am appalled and frightened; the Minister has succeeded in frightening me more than the Bill itself. I was opposed to the Bill when I read it and I put down a reasoned amendment for the Second Reading to defer the evil of it. Each section and sub-section that has come before the House has confirmed and multiplied my fears. It is the most dangerous piece of legislation that this House has been asked to deal with in the 19 years of its existence.

The section is not only dangerous, but absurd and unworkable. What we are doing is a thing that should not be done by the House. We are asked to pass a piece of legislation that will be found incapable of being worked. We are really building up contempt for the law. If the House is asked to pass a Bill, or a section of a Bill it ought to be satisfied, first, that it can be worked and administered, and worked in an efficient and impartial way. This section cannot be worked and nothing that the Minister has said has convinced me that it can be worked. On the contrary, on the Minister's own statements, I am convinced that it is absolutely unworkable.

If the Minister succeeds, as no doubt he will, in getting some briefless barrister to accept the chairmanship of the tribunal and to interpret the sections of this Bill in accordance with the mentality which he has exposed in this discussion, there is no doubt that he will create a revolution, whether a bloody revolution or not, and that it will cost this country a great deal, especially in times when there should be peace and unity in the country.

I submit that on Section 21 Deputies got an ample opportunity for a discussion on the Bill generally, as they did on the Second Stage. They should now confine themselves to the sections.

I have raised points and I think Deputy Hurley and Deputy Hickey also raised points which the Minister has not answered. In the railway industry, for instance, there are about 25,000 employees and out of that very large number about 5 per cent. are not entitled to seek the protection of trade unions, or the employers will not allow a trade union to act for, say, 5 per cent. of their workers.

If the employers in the railway industry refuse to allow certain of their workers to join a trade union, or to remain members of a trade union, or to allow a trade union to act for 5 per cent. of their employees, I put it to the Minister that it is ridiculous for him to make it possible in the ballot proposed to be taken under this Bill for such people to vote in any ballot that may be ordered by the tribunal. If the employers refuse these people the right to organise, I do not see why the Minister should compel such a small number of people to determine, and they would probably have the right by their votes to determine, the result of the ballot. As far as the section is concerned, it gives power to the tribunal to take a ballot, and at the same time the tribunal may burn the ballot papers and ignore the result, as far as one can understand from a reading of the section as it now stands. Will the Minister answer the simple question: Why does he propose—that is, if he does actually mean it—to allow people who are not now members of a trade union and will not be allowed to be members of a trade union by their employers, to have a vote in the application of Section 22? Will he answer that question for the guidance of the chairman and other members of the tribunal who may be called upon to administer this section?

The Minister has tried to justify the looseness of this section on two grounds. The Minister said it might be necessary to ballot non-trade unionists of a particular class in considering the application of an organisation before the tribunal for a monopoly in respect of the organisation of employed persons in that class. He went on then to indicate that such persons had a vital interest in the determination of the tribunal. One might understand the Minister's contention if this Bill were making trade unionism compulsory, but since all these folk can continue to remain unorganised and to be non-trade unionists, what is the purpose of consulting them in order to ascertain which organisation should be given the right to organise that class of worker in future? It might be a matter of interest to unorganised folk of that kind if this Bill were to introduce compulsory trade unionism on a certain date, but it is not doing that. The reasons which the Minister indicated for the ballot would be valid only if this Bill made membership of a trade union compulsory. Take the case quoted by Deputy Morrissey of agricultural workers, or the case of unorganised shop assistants scattered over various types of shops in rural areas. To suggest that you are going to take a ballot of these people for the purpose of determining who is to organise shop assistants seems to be taking leave of one's senses.

The Minister said it would not be difficult to organise a register of persons who would be entitled to vote in certain classes of ballots. I wish the Minister would attempt that. Let him study, for instance, the Banking Commission Report or the Transport Tribunal Report on the feasibility of constructing a register of that kind. I wish he also knew the views of the Taoiseach as expressed by him to the committee dealing with the question of electing a Seanad on a vocational basis and the viewpoint expressed by the Taoiseach as to the impossibility of constructing a limited vocational register such as the Minister now says it may be necessary to construct under Section 24. The Minister did not know what, in fact, Section 24 would lead to. In the first place he said it did mean having a register, and then he said that it did not.

I did not say that.

Read the Official Report, and leave it alone, and you will see what is in it. He said "No" and then hurriedly corrected himself and said that it may be necessary, all indicating that the Minister has given no thought to the section and no thought to the machinery or the difficulties which will arise under the section because, of course, the Minister has no experience at all of trade unions.

Could I get an answer from the Minister to the point I raised? Take a firm where there is a certain number of trade unionists organised and where a trade union wanted a determination to organise the people in that firm. The firm is also trying to operate a house union. To my mind, the contest will be between the house union and the trade union. I take it from the Minister's reply to Deputy Norton that the members of the house union will be entitled to vote. Can the Minister explain what the machinery will be like? Will there be a qualification for voting? Has he anything in mind in regard to the machinery for conducting such a ballot? Will a man who came to the firm the day before, and who is brought into the house union, be allowed to vote in this ballot or must he have a certain period of employment in the firm in order to be qualified? Then the question will arise: who is to supervise that election? If the Minister could explain what he has in mind in regard to the machinery in conducting a ballot in some specific case it would clear up the doubts we have on this section. As it stands, it seems to be most unworkable.

Is the Deputy not putting the same point again? I think he should not repeat his speech.

I am raising this in order to get an answer, because as the section stands it is unworkable.

I cannot understand why there should be any confusion about this section. I think it is simply because Deputies cannot dissociate in their minds the Minister from the tribunal. I am not the tribunal. I do not know in what circumstances the tribunal will find it necessary to take a ballot. The nature of the ballot and the people who are to be consulted would naturally depend on the nature of the application to be made to the tribunal. If, for instance, an application came before the tribunal to organise shop assistants in urban areas, then, I presume, the ballot would be confined to urban areas. If a smaller unit of area were covered by the application taken, always bearing in mind that the tribunal thought it necessary to take a ballot, then I presume the ballot would be confined to smaller units. But I am not the tribunal, and I do not propose to fetter or to tie the hands of the tribunal in doing anything which it thinks is necessary in order to arrive at a proper determination upon the application before it. Accordingly, I cannot answer Deputy Hurley's question. What the tribunal will do is a matter for the tribunal. Their duty will be to determine these applications and, as set out in sub-section (2) of Section 21, they will have to determine these applications after having considered all the circumstances of the case. If there is a house union, I suppose the members of the house union will have to be consulted like other employees in the concern. The Deputy has been talking about house unions. I do not know how many house unions he imagines exist in this country.

What about the people who will not be allowed to join a union?

People who will not be allowed to join any union?

Are they going to be permitted to take part in a ballot?

The Deputy is asking me what is the position of people who are not going to be allowed into an organisation.

Mr. Byrne

What is the position in relation to an employer's house union?

How many are there? Deputy Byrne cannot tell me one. There is no house union, so far as I know, in the Thurles Sugar Factory.

Mr. Morrissey

The Minister does not know what he is talking about.

It was proved up to the hilt that there is.

I got up to deal with the point raised by Deputy Hurley as to what we would do in certain circumstances. I am not fettering the hands of the tribunal. They have to ascertain all the circumstances of the case.

I want to know what will be the machinery for holding this election. Will the Minister indicate in any part of the Bill, or tell us what is his idea of the machinery for holding this ballot? That is a very important thing—the machinery of election.

Deputy Kelly let dead men vote for him.

I should like to have information from the Minister about the election machinery.

The Deputy has spoken on that question twice.

I should like that question to be answered.

Quite so, but the Deputy may not continue repeating himself.

The Minister will not answer.

That does not justify repetition.

What qualification is necessary to vote in this election? Is there an age qualification, a residence qualification, or a qualification relating to the period of employment?

The Deputy is merely repeating his question.

That should be put in the Bill.

The Chair has no power to put anything in the Bill.

I am suggesting it to the Minister, through you.

Will dead men be allowed to vote, the same as they did for Deputy Tom Kelly?

Question put.
The Committee divid ed: Tá, 49; Níl, 24.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Dan.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brennan, Martin.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Childers, Erskine H.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Fogarty, Patrick J.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hogan, Daniel.
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Keane, John J.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • Kissane, Eamon.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick J.
  • McCann, John.
  • McDevitt, Henry A.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Meaney, Cornelius.
  • Morrissey, Michael.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Mullen, Thomas.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • Rice, Brigid M.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Laurence J.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Conn.

Níl

  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, Alfred (Junior).
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Davin, William.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Hickey, James.
  • Hurley, Jeremiah.
  • Keating, John.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, Timothy J.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Redmond, Bridget M.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Rogers, Patrick J.
Tellers:— Tá: Deputies Smith and Kennedy; Níl: Deputies Keyes and Hickey.
Question declared carried.
SECTION 23.
(1) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that one trade union alone shall have the right to organise masters of any particular class, no other trade union shall thereafter accept as a new member any master of that class.
(2) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise masters of any particular class, no other trade union shall thereafter, so long as such determination remains unrevoked, accept as a new member any master of that class.
(3) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that one trade union alone shall have the right to organise workmen of any particular class, no other trade union shall accept as a new member any workmen of that class.
(4) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise workmen of any particular class, no other trade union shall thereafter, so long as such determination remains unrevoked, accept as a new member any workmen of that class.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, no determination under this Part of this Act shall—
(a) extend to or apply in respect of any civil service staff association, or
(b) operate to prevent any organisation of teachers recognised by the Minister for Education from accepting any teacher as a new member of such organisation.
(6) If any trade union acts in contravention of any sub-section of this section, such trade union shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.

I move amendment No. 67:—

Before Section 23 to insert a new section as follows:—

23. (1) Where a determination (in this sub-section referred to as the first determination) is granted under this Part of this Act that two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class, no application shall subsequently be made by any of such trade unions to the tribunal in relation to masters or workmen of that class until at least 12 months after the grant of the first determination.

(2) Where a determination (in this sub-section referred to as the first determination) is granted under this Part of this Act that one trade union alone or two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class, no application shall subsequently be made by any other trade union to the tribunal in relation to masters or workmen of that class until at least five years after the grant of the first determination or, where during the said five years the first determination becomes revoked, until after such revocation.

On the Second Reading Deputy McGilligan suggested that under Sections 20 and 21 as they originally stood it might happen that after a first determination, and after 12 months had elapsed, any trade union might be able to apply repeatedly. He went on to say that if a determination was not in favour of two or more trade unions, and was in favour of one, apparently, the defeated trade unions could apply repeatedly even within the 12 months prescribed under Sections 20 and 21 as they originally stood. The purpose of this amendment is to make it explicit, in the first place, that where a determination is granted, that two or more trade unions have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class, no application shall subsequently be made by any of such trade unions to the tribunal in relation to masters or workmen of that class until at least 12 months after the grant of the first determination. The second part of the proposed new sub-section goes further than the sub-sections originally in Sections 20 and 21, to this extent, that where a determination is granted that one trade union alone or two or more trade unions alone, can have the right to organise, no application shall subsequently be made by any other trade union until at least five years after the grant of the first determination, or, where during the first five years the first determination becomes revoked, until after such revocation.

Once the question has been decided that one or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise workmen or masters of a particular class the issue would not be re-opened until at least five years have elapsed, that is to say, until some stability has been secured, and until it has become quite clear to everyone whether or not these unions cater sufficiently for the masters or workmen of the class comprised within it.

The Minister has undoubtedly endeavoured to explain the matter to the House, but probably owing to my own denseness I am not yet fully clear as to the distinction between sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) of the amendment. The only difference I can find is that in sub-section (1) it refers to two or more trade unions alone, while sub-section (2) refers to one trade union alone or to two or more trade unions.

It goes further.

I would be glad if the Minister would point that out.

We have first to consider the position where, as a result of application to the tribunal, a determination has been made that two or more trade unions alone or, say, a group of trade unions, have the sole right to organise persons of a particular class. Sub-section (1) provides that where a determination has been given in favour of a group no member of the group shall seek to disturb that determination for at least 12 months after it has been given. Sub-section (2) deals with cases where one trade union or a group of trade unions has been given the sole right, or provides that no other trade union shall come along to disturb that right for a period of at least five years.

I see the distinction now.

Am I to understand that when one or two unions have the right to organise workmen of a particular class, after 12 months either of them can go to the tribunal again?

That can go on each year, I take it, for five years, and then another trade union can come in?

And that trade union can make application for what either of the other trade unions have the right to organise?

Under sub-section (1).

So that each year it might be possible under a Bill which is to bring harmony, peace and unity into the trade union movement to have such recourse outside the unions organising a particular class.

Those that get their place in the first instance can go on every year and then you can have the final show-down every five years. Does the Minister suggest that is going to bring the peace and harmony into the trade union movement that he tells us he desires so much? I cannot see from this section where you are going to have that peace and harmony. If this question is not settled it can be reviewed every 12 months and, at the end of the five-year period, you can have some other union coming in. I do not think that is a very wise provision in the section. The amendment, to my mind, is going to create terrible confusion, terrible unrest and terrible dissatisfaction. Let us take this case: two unions are allowed to operate, to organise one particular class of workmen. The very fact that that position obtains makes the case of poaching or dissatisfaction with one union and going across to the other union a certainty. Then, at the end of 12 months, this position can be reviewed and it may happen that one of those unions would go out of commission. Is not that so?

If one of them goes out of commission then the other falls under sub-section (2). If one of them, as the Deputy says, goes out of commission leaving only one union, then that one is safeguarded for five years.

That is what I wanted to know. Then that position must obtain for five years. But if the two operate still, if they are 50-50 in the class of workmen, then the visit to the tribunal will take place every year, and the tendency will be that one union will try to filch as many members as possible from the other union in order to strengthen their position for the next visit to the tribunal. I think that it makes the position very ridiculous, to say the least of it, that this annual visit to the tribunal can take place, and in between you are going to have this poaching and filching of members going on. It gives rise to that position. Personally, I cannot see the force of the Minister's argument when he says that the Bill is designed to bring peace and harmony into the trade union movement when you have a section like that in it which definitely leaves those particular unions open to a state of strife all along, with the disturbing effect of visiting the tribunal annually in order to decide who is to operate for the next 12 months. Naturally, as I have pointed out, you are going to have that thing recurring year after year until, I suppose, the survival of the fittest will decide who is to operate finally in the particular industry.

I think there is something in the point which Deputy Hurley has made. I am not wedded to this 12 months, but at the same time I do not think that the operations before the tribunal will be conducted exactly in that way. I assume that in making its determination, where there are two unions concerned, or a group of unions, the tribunal will convey to these unions that if they are going to get the sole right which they are asking, it must be on the assumption that their relations with each other will be orderly and proper, and that there will be no unnecessary recourse to the tribunal. As against extending the period of 12 months, there is this consideration, that the tribunal may err. We do not know. It may err and may concede to one or more of a group of trade unions the sole right to organise certain classes in cases where experience will prove that to have been an unwise dicision. Accordingly, the section as drafted, will allow comparatively early resort to the tribunal to rectify that position, which has some advantages. However, as I say, I am not wedded to the 12 months. I could make that period two years or three years, if it were considered necessary, and if that were the general view of the House I would be prepared to accept an amendment in that regard now, but I still do not think that where trade unions have gone to the tribunal once they will be likely to have recourse to it again at an unnecessarily early date.

My objection to this amendment is the objection which I have given on many of the sections which we have decided on already. The trouble about this Bill, unfortunately, is that it is impossible so to amend it, particularly at this stage, as to make it safe for this House to pass. Whether the Minister makes this one year, two years, three years or five years, the effect of it will be to spur on trade unions to poach.

The Minister has spoken in this House of the rivalries, jealousies, bitterness and industrial unrest that have occurred amongst trade unions in this country. Nobody denies, as I have said from the beginning, that there is a problem in the trade union movement to be solved, but the main cause of all the trouble in the trade unions was poaching. The Minister is going to give it a completely new lease of life, and he is going to make it so valuable that unions are going to go out and use methods and means they have never used before for the purpose of getting members. There is no question whatever about it. The trouble is the whole approach to this problem is completely wrong, and I am afraid it cannot be made right now, no matter how we try to amend it. I am perfectly satisfied that this proposed new section, just like many of the other sections, is going to have the very opposite effect to what the Minister desires to bring about. I may be wrong. I do not think I am. It is because I am so positive that it can bring no results other than bad results that I am opposing it. I do not know, but it might be some slight improvement if the Minister were to accept the suggestion made by Deputy Hurley, but the proposed new section is so full of danger that I do not think it can be amended in the way we would like to see it amended. There is going to be competition between unions.

The Minister must know that there are certain unions in this country whose one ambition during the last 25 years has been to get every workingman into their own organisation, to get them in, if possible, by every means within the law, and perhaps not always by means within the law. People who know anything about the trade union movement know that to be a fact. The Minister is going to legalise that sort of activity. What is proposed here will spur them on in their activities, and what I am afraid of is that methods will be adopted to get and induce people to join unions that none of us would like to see used in this country, and that certainly will not be in the interests of the workers themselves. There are many employers who foolishly think that this Bill is going to bring peace in industry. Because of that belief they are giving a sort of welcome to the Bill. In my opinion, the Bill has dangers enough for workers, but it has far more dangers for employers.

This section deals with what is called the first determination. Would the Minister say if there is any provision to deal with anything other than a first determination? I take it that there can be only one first determination: that after a period, when the first determination has run out, there must be a second or a third determination. It appears to me that no provision is being made to cover the period when the first determination expires.

There is provision in amendment No. 68, because when these determinations fall in, or are revoked, then a new determination may be made and each new determination becomes, for the purpose of this section, a first determination. In reply to the point made by Deputy Hurley, I should be prepared to accept an amendment to delete the words "twelve months" in sub-section (1), and to substitute the words "three years".

Let the Minister bring that in on report. No one can understand this patching up business. He does not understand it himself.

If Deputy Davin does not think there is much in Deputy Hurley's point, well and good.

The Minister can do what he likes with it, but I think it should be done in a regular form.

Is Deputy Hurley satisfied with the Minister's suggestion to bring in an amendment to meet his point.

The point I made was that no matter what period is put in, this amendment is going to lead to strife and turmoil.

Put the amendment.

Amendment put.
The Committee divi ded: Tá, 46; Níl, 20.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Dan.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Brennan, Martin.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Childers, Erskine H.
  • Cleary, Mícheál.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Fogarty, Patrick J.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Hogan, Daniel.
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Keane, John J.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • Kissane, Eamon.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick J.
  • McCann, John.
  • McDevitt, Henry A.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Meaney, Cornelius.
  • Morrissey, Michael.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • Mullen, Thomas.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • Rice, Brigid M.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Martin.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Victory, James.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Conn.

Níl

  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Davin, William.
  • Hickey, James.
  • Hurley, Jeremiah.
  • Keating, John.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Murphy, Timothy J.
  • Nally, Martin.
  • Norton, William.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Redmond, Bridget M.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Rogers, Patrick J.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Smith and Kennedy; Níl, Deputies Keyes and Hickey.
Amendment declared carried.

Before proceeding to move amendment No. 68, I want to give notice that, on Report Stage, I propose to introduce an amendment to cover the point raised by Deputy Hurley which we have been discussing. I move amendment No. 68:—

Before Section 23, to insert a new section as follows:—

23. (1) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act in relation to masters or workmen of any particular class and immediately before the grant thereof a previous determination under this Part of this Act in relation to masters or workmen of that class is in force, the first mentioned determination shall operate to revoke such previous determination.

(2) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that one trade union alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class and subsequently the negotiation licence granted to such trade union under Part II of this Act becomes revoked, such revocation shall also operate to revoke such determination.

(3) Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class and subsequently both or all of the negotiation licences granted to such trade unions under Part II of this Act become revoked, the second or lastly occurring of such revocations shall also operate to revoke such determination.

I explained this amendment when moving amendment No. 51, but, for the convenience of the House, I will repeat that this amendment provides that where a determination is granted and where a previous determination exists, the first-mentioned determination is automatically revoked. It also covers the case in which one trade union alone has the right to organise workers or masters and its negotiation licence lapses. The lapsing of the licence automatically revokes the determination. That is to cover a point which was made by Deputy McGilligan when he said that it seemed to be possible that, after a determination, one of the trade unions it affects may, by failing to keep its deposit up to the proper amount, lose its negotiation licence. Sub-section (3) provides that where a determination is granted to two or more trade unions and subsequently both or all the negotiation licences become revoked, the determinations are automatically revoked by the collapse of each of these licences in turn.

In this amendment, which the Minister assured me cleared up the point which I raised on the previous amendment as to a first determination, we have determinations, previous determinations and first-mentioned determinations, but I fail to see anything in it which covers the point I raised. It is possibly the vitiated atmosphere of the Chamber which makes me so stupid that I cannot see it, but it appears to me that you can have only one first determination and cannot have a series of one after the other.

You could, under this Bill.

I think it is quite clear if we remember that the term, "first determination," refers to any determination.

Why put it in?

It refers to a determination, an indefinite determination. It doesn't particularise it.

Why put it in?

Search me. As I say, this Bill has been drafted by a lawyer, not by me.

Mr. Morrissey

If that is so, I sincerely hope he is not the lawyer the Minister has in mind as head of this new tribunal, if he is to make as good a job of that tribunal as he has of the Bill. I understood the Minister to say that where two or more trade unions had been granted a determination and where, let us say, one of them lapses, the remaining union automatically retains the determination. I take it from the Minister's nod that that is the position?

There is nothing in the section which would suggest otherwise.

Mr. Morrissey

We are agreed at least on one point, but that raises a very nice position. It again brings us up against poaching. There are two unions granted a determination, in the first instance. One is a fairly large union and the other a fairly small union, or one is a wealthy union and the other a poor union. For the first ten months of the 12 months, there is scarcely a shadow of doubt that the wealthy union will do all in its power to attract as many members as it can from the second union. The Minister probably does not see the point, but I do not want to labour it. I explained my point about poaching and the incentive to poaching which this Bill and these amendments give, and the new lease of life which poaching is going to get. If anything, the amendments will give greater force and certainly greater reward to the successful poacher than the Bill as originally drafted.

What is to be the position under this scheme for determinations and revocations of determinations in the case of an organisation which gets the sole right to organise workers of a particular class? Having exercised that right, no other organisation can make an application to the tribunal that it should also share the right to organise that class until the lapse of five years after the first determination is made. Suppose the organisation goes to the tribunal and claims, and gets, the right to organise certain classes of workers, and suppose that after 12 months, instead of organising that class, it simply rested on its oars and took no steps to organise them, or, because of internal dissension, the organisation was rent from top to bottom and was so sundered that there was no energy or enthusiasm left for the organisation of workers, that internal bickerings had broken down the whole structure of the organisation and undermined any enthusiasm which might have existed for the organisation of that class of worker. Suppose a situation of that kind arises, and that in fact the union has not organised that class of workers, it is provided in this Bill that nobody else can look for that right for five years.

Amendment No. 68 has nothing to do with five years.

We have got to consider amendment No. 68 in relation to amendment No. 67.

We have to consider it in relation to itself.

Amendment No. 67 is part of a new section.

No. Amendment No. 67 is a new section. Amendment No. 67, which has been passed by the House, is to insert a new section.

To insert a new section which puts restrictions on applications to the tribunal.

If the Minister wishes to speak, he should stand up.

The Deputy should sit down, and give the Minister a chance to speak.

I want to make a point of order, and I notice that there is another Deputy on his feet. We have dealt with amendment No. 67, and we are now dealing with amendment No. 68. Amendment No. 68 imposes no limitation whatever in regard to time, or in regard to applications to the tribunal, and I am suggesting accordingly that it is not in order to discuss on amendment No. 68 conditions which were prescribed by amendment No. 67. What amendment No. 68 is dealing with is merely the case where a determination has been given and a negotiation licence has been revoked.

Would you, Sir, make an order to supply the Minister with a copy of the Standing Orders overnight?

I think it is permissible for the Deputy to refer to amendment No. 67, in which the five years' period is mentioned.

The only way to discuss the matter intelligently would be to discuss amendment No. 68 through amendment No. 67. Amendment No. 67 deals with the whole question of the revocation of determinations of the tribunal. Of course nobody can follow the bad example of the Minister, because the Minister does not know what he is discussing.

Amendment No. 67, which has been passed, and amendment No. 68, which is now being discussed, are independent, but I can see no objection to the Deputy making a reference to amendment No. 67en passant.

Every point of order which has been made by the Minister to-night has been a point of disorder.

The Deputy might help us by keeping order.

I was quoting the case of an organisation which got the sole right to organise workers of a particular class. Having got that right in a particular class, it is found that, either through internal disorganisation, some kind of internal disruption, or some kind of premeditated policy outside, it is not, in fact, exercising the right which it got, namely the right to organise the workers of that particular class. In that case, no other organisation could make an application for a monopoly right in respect of the organisation of the same class of workers until a period of five years has elapsed from the date of the first determination. Notwithstanding the fact that the organisation which gets the right to organise such workers fails to do it, or deliberately chooses not to do it, the tribunal is not given power in amendment No. 68 to revoke a determination of that kind which was made by the tribunal in those circumstances. Why is the Minister not giving the tribunal power in amendment No. 68 to make a revocation in a case such as I have quoted now? What is the purpose of allowing five years to pass by before remedying a situation of that kind, which obviously calls for a remedy?

Sub-section (3) of amendment No. 68 says:

"Where a determination is granted under this Part of this Act that two or more trade unions alone shall have the right to organise masters or workmen of any particular class and subsequently both or all of the negotiation licences granted to such trade unions under Part II of this Act become revoked, the second or lastly occurring of such revocations shall also operate to revoke such determination."

But does the Minister want to stop there at that particular point? Does he contemplate what is to be the position when this particular incident foreshadowed in sub-section (3) has taken place? If there were no possibility of its arising, that sub-section would not have been inserted. What is to be the position when that happens? Does the Minister contemplate that the men are to be left completely unorganised?

I am anxious to get an explanation as to what will be the position when that happens?

The Deputy is overlooking the fact that this determination is to give to one union or a group of unions the sole right to organise a particular class. If, by reason of the negotiation licence falling in or something like that happening, the determination is revoked, then the field is open for new unions to come in and seek to organise this particular class. It does not mean, simply because the determination has been revoked by the falling in of the negotiation licence, that the workers in this particular class are to be left unorganised, as some Deputies seem to have assumed. It simply means that, when what might be described, for convenience of reference, as the monopoly right to organise, has lapsed, has fallen in, other unions who think they can do the job better will have the right to come into that particular field and organise the workers.

Mr. Morrissey

Immediately?

They cannot do it under amendment No. 67.

Mr. Morrissey

Supposing even that they could do it, does it not occur to the Minister that there might not be another union to step in?

If so, is it not clear that that particular class of workers are unorganisable?

The Minister does not understand. Let me assume that there are two unions catering for a particular class of workers. Those two unions go before the tribunal. The tribunal decides to grant a determination to both unions. Subsequently, for any reason you like—suppose they were not paying their rent or their stationery bills, and a raid was made upon their deposit, and they were unable to bring it up to the sum required —they were automatically disqualified.

Both of them were unable?

Yes—both of them. Mind you, the Minister has left it so easy for any type of person to raid the deposit, that it could happen, and the Minister's own amendment contemplates that happening. Let me assume, however, that there are two unions, and only two unions, catering for a particular class of worker and that, for any reason you like, the negotiation licence ceases to exist, and there is no other union there to cater for these workers, what is to happen there?

If there is no other?

I can give the Minister an instance, at the moment, where, in one particular case, if the licence of one union lapses there is no other union to cater for the workers concerned.

That might be so.

It would appear that if, after a determination was in existence for one year, and if one union or the two unions lose their licence, and therefore their determination lapses, a further period of four years must take place before anybody else can proceed.

Well, there is nothing in the Bill which suggests anything else.

That is not correct. Amendment No. 67 meets the point made by Deputy Benson. That amendment says: "...no application shall subsequently be made by any other trade union to the tribunal in relation to masters or workmen of that class until at least five years after the grant of the first determination, or"—and here is the significant point—"where during the said five years the first determination becomes revoked, until after such revocation." That makes it quite clear. That makes it quite clear that when there has been this general revocation, there can be, if necessary, a new application to the tribunal for what I may again describe as a monopoly right. Take the case we have heard of, where a union has gone before the tribunal and got this monopoly right: is it likely, first of all, that the tribunal is going to grant a monopoly right to a trade union, in relation to the organisation of a class of individuals in this country, unless it is satisfied that the resources of that union are such that it will be able to discharge the responsibilities which it assumes under the monopoly right?

Suppose the tribunal is wrong, what happens then?

The tribunal must take into consideration all the circumstances of the case, as set out in Section 21, and surely one of the circumstances to be considered would be the possibility that the applicant union would be able to continue in existence and discharge its responsibilities. I do not think the tribunal is going to act in the light-hearted way which has been suggested here, particularly in connection with the granting of a monopoly. It is not going to grant a monopoly to a trade union which is likely to be put out of existence because it cannot pay its printer's bill, as Deputy Morrissey has suggested, and it is certainly not going to divide that right between two or more trade unions whose finances are in an equally precarious position. We must assume that where this right is granted it will be granted to an organisation which seems to have the necessary resources to enable it to undertake the functions which it asks should be entrusted to it alone.

Like the Ballingarry Cottage Tenants' Association.

I wish, Sir, Deputy Davin would show a better sense of responsibility. If the Deputy has been deprived of a proper sense of responsibility I cannot help that, but I am trying to address myself seriously to the point that has been made, and I say that the contingency that has been suggested by Deputy Morrissey is a very unlikely one.

Mr. Morrissey

What about sub-section (3) of your own amendment?

Oh, whether the contingency is likely or unlikely to arise—whichever way you may look at it—we still have to provide for the contingency that, in fact, a trade union which has been granted a determination may lose its licence. This simply deals with that situation and makes it clear that where a union loses its negotiation licence it also forfeits any determination that has been made in its favour, and where two or more unions have secured a determination in their favour, and one of these unions loses its negotiation licence, it also loses, as I have said, the determination which has been made in its favour, but the determination subsists in favour of the second trade union unless it likewise loses its negotiation licence, in which case the whole original determination falls to the ground and the field is open to any other trade union to come in and try to organise that class of workmen or masters, as the case may be. It has been suggested, of course, that if we should have this series of happenings in which one trade union after another falls, trade unions which have not entered that particular field previously may be unwilling to enter it because of the unfortunate experience of the trade unions which did ask to have the sole right in that field. Apparently these unions asked for a monopoly, and, instead of finding it beneficial, found that in fact it bankrupted them, and they had to withdraw from business altogether because they were not able to fulfil the conditions necessary to maintain a negotiation licence.

It is possible that, with that unhappy experience in front of them, other trade unions might hesitate to enter that field, but what does that show? It simply shows, as I said before, the problem of organising the particular class of workers engaged in that field is to be peculiarly difficult and that, therefore, trade unions ought to be chary about going into it if they do not want to make the same sort of mess of it as the trade unions which had the monopoly rights in that field made. I do not think, however, that in the case of large organisations, whose controlling officers think that they have functions to fulfil in regard to unorganised labour, they will be deterred from going into that field even with unhappy experiences in front of them. Deputy Morrissey appears to think differently, but I believe that they will not be deterred unless experience has shown that nothing is to be gained either for themselves or the workers by entering that field.

It would appear that the Minister does not understand his own amendment. Sub-section (3) goes much further than even my interpretation of it would suggest. Will the Minister read it and give us his interpretation?

Will Deputy Morrissey read out sub-section (3) and tell me what interpretation he places on it? I have stated the intention of the amendment to the House, and I am satisfied that my interpretation of it is correct.

I am saying that it goes much further than anything I have stated.

Tell us what it is. Give us your interpretation.

Apart altogether from reading the amendment or listening to the Minister, my own personal knowledge of the trade union movement tells me that this thing can quite possibly happen, but the Minister says that it cannot. He speaks of some of us approaching this in a light-hearted way, but now we are informed that not only will a union have to put down £2,000, £4,000, £6,000 or £8,000 but they will also have to satisfy the tribunal that they are sufficiently sound financially to carry on against all possible contingencies.

Before the union can get a monopoly.

Before it can get a determination, the Minister said.

Yes, giving it a monopoly.

Are we now to understand that not only is the sum of money set out in the Schedule to be deposited to qualify, not only have they to satisfy the tribunal that they are a union catering for a particular class of workers and are in the best position to cater exclusively for that class of workers, but that they must go further and satisfy the tribunal about the state of their banking account, their balance sheets, and their ability to pay all and sundry debts that may arise?

Not at all, except——

Will the Minister please keep order?

The Deputy is asking a question.

I am not; I am making a statement. The Minister has been talking to men who are very reasonable on this Bill in this House. I am taking the Minister's own statement—the words he has uttered here within the last five minutes——

He has forgotten them.

——and putting on them the only construction that can be put on them. It is quite possible—I will go further: it is probable—that, in respect of certain classes of workers, there may be only one trade union qualifying for a determination. The Minister talks about a number of trade unions, but he is overlooking the fact that a number of trade unions will be wiped out under this Bill, and will never be in a position even to apply for a determination. If he is not ignoring it, he certainly wants the House to forget that fact. He talks about big strong unions, numerically and financially. That is what is at the back of the Minister's mind and at the back of the Bill from the beginning. I told the Minister on the Second Stage and subsequently that that was so. The Minister opened the bag last night and let the cat out, and now he is chasing the cat around a couple of times to-day so that we can make perfectly sure of the colour of the cat. A great number of the unions will be wiped out and never will be able to qualify. Some may scrape together a deposit out of their existing resources, or out of contributions secured from members by way of levy or loans. Members may make loans, if they can afford it, in order to maintain the benefits for which they have subscribed for many years. The Minister cannot conceive that. Again, I invite the Minister, before he makes another speech, to read sub-section (3) of amendment No. 68.

The Minister spent a good deal of time clearly indicating he did not understand his own amendment. It is quite obvious to those listening to the Minister that he was beginning to get some little light on what his amendment really meant. There is one point he did not deal with—a most important point. I called attention to the case of an organisation which may get a monopoly right as a trade union, that is, the right to organise workers in a particular class. Take, for instance, the bakery workers' trade union. In that there are ordinary operative bakers and bakery van-men. Supposing, having got the monopoly right to organise bakers and bakery van-men, the union decided after a year that it would not continue to organise the van-men and took steps to expel van-men from membership by carrying on in such a manner that they did not desire to remain.

The position at the end of the year would be that this bakery union would have the right to organise bakers and van-men—having held the right for a year—but they would be organising only the bakers. The van-men would have no other organisation and could not make an application to the tribunal for the right to organise, as that monopoly right remained with the bakers' trade union, and four years would have to elapse before anyone could go back to get the right. In the meantime, the bakers' union might keep its rights in existence. It may leave its £2,000 with the courts and may keep the amount up to £2,000, and so keep its negotiation licence. Although that continues, it has dropped one section but does not indicate its desire not to continue to organise that section. Can another organisation come along and organise that section while the bakers have the monopoly?

There is an amendment on the Order Paper that will deal with this position.

So that is possible.

I am not accepting the Deputy's hypothesis that the tribunal will grant to a bakers' society the right to organise vanmen.

The thing is not improbable at all. As a matter of fact, there is a very considerable number of vanmen employed in the bakers' union. When the Minister was talking about the famous Irish Memorandum No. I, he discovered that the authors of that memorandum believed that almost everybody who looked into a baker's shop should be put into a baker's union.

The tribunal might not believe that.

What the tribunal will believe under this Bill I do not know; what they can determine under this Bill I do not know; but the fact of the matter is that, if one union has been given the monopoly right to organise workers for five years and if they drop the right within the five years, no one else can go in and have the right. That is possible under amendment No. 67. There is no power given to the tribunal under amendment No. 68 to deal with a situation of that kind. Will the Minister indicate why he is deliberately omitting a power to do that under amendment No. 68?

The Minister derided my suggestion that it was possible that a union might lose its licence and there might be no one to take its place. Might I again refer him to sub-section (3) of his own proposed amendment, where mention is made of "both or all" of the negotiation licences granted to such trade unions under Part II of this Bill becoming revoked?

And what happens then to the determination?

What happens?

It falls through.

And what takes its place?

Then the field is open to others to come in and organise.

Suppose there are no other starters?

They are in existence.

The Minister does not know they are. I have explained already that in respect of certain classes concerned there is only one union. So far as other classes are concerned, there are not more than two unions catering for them. The Minister contemplates not only one union but more than two unions having their licences revoked, and after that has been done there will be no union to cater for workers.

It is not necessary ——

Is there a quorum?

They got their men to go out in the last two minutes.

It is in order if Deputy Davin wants to go out.

Can I move to report progress?

It is not 10.30 yet.

Would the Minister look at sub-section (3) of his own amendment?

I will put the question.

Is there a quorum?

If there is not a quorum to enable the Minister to answer my question, there is not a quorum to put the amendment. I am anxious to get the Minister's reply.

The members are standing outside and will not come in. They are Fianna Fáil members.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.
The Dáil adjourned at 10.30 p.m., until 10.30 a.m. on Friday, 4th July.