Committee on Finance. - Local Government Bill, 1940—From the Seanad.

It is proposed to accept the amendments to this Bill put down in the Seanad.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 1:—

Section 36. In sub-section (1), page 16, in line 52 the word "borough" deleted and the words "or other borough (not being the Borough of Dun Laoghaire)" substituted; in line 54 the word "county" deleted, and sub-section (2) deleted.

This is a drafting amendment, consequential on an amendment made on the Report Stage in the Dáil. Instead of forming one electoral area a borough may be divided into one or more electoral areas. The amendment provides that an alderman in a borough electoral area, which has not been contested shall be chosen from members elected for that particular borough electoral area, and not from members of the council as a whole.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 2:—

Section 43. A new sub-section as follows added to the section:—

(2) A candidate for election as a lord mayor or mayor of a county or other borough, or as the chairman of any local authority shall not be deemed to have a pecuniary interest in such election by reason of the fact that a salary attaches to the office of such lord mayor, mayor, or chairman, and accordingly such candidate may vote and take part in the proceedings at such election.

Under the Municipal Corporation Act, 1842, a member is prohibited from taking part in a discussion in which he has a pecuniary interest. I understand that in the case of all the mayors and the chairmanship of at least one borough council, there is a salary attached to the office. It would be possible, therefore, simply by nominating a member for the position of mayor or chairman to prevent him from taking part in discussions, and this amendment is designed to make it clear that a person proposed as mayor, who may be said to have a pecuniary interest by his office, nevertheless shall not be debarred from taking part in the proceedings.

Question put and agreed to.

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

Section 61. Before sub-section (3), page 29, a new sub-section inserted as follows:—

(3) Where a hereditament in respect of which sub-section (1) or (2) of this section is applicable includes agricultural land, the power of apportionment under the said sub-section shall include a power to apportion the valuation of such agricultural land, and the said sub-section shall have effect accordingly.

This is a drafting amendment. The purpose of the section is to allow a provisional valuation to be made where a hereditament has been actually divided, but still appears as an undivided one on the valuation list. The purpose of the amendment is to make it clear that agricultural land in hereditament may be dealt with in the same way.

Mr. Brennan

Will this not put into the hands of the officials of the local authorities the right to fix, or, at least apportion, the valuation? I do not know that local authorities are equipped for that particular work.

It is only provisional valuation.

Mr. Brennan

That is what I want to know. It is not going to stand, and is subject to review?

Certainly.

Question put and agreed to.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 4:—

New section. In Part IX, immediately after Section 89, page 40, a new section inserted as follows:—

(1) As soon as may be after the commencement of this section, the appointment under Section 4 of the County Management Act, 1940 (No. 12 of 1940), of the first county manager for every county (other than the county of Dublin) or each of every two grouped counties shall be proceeded with and completed, notwithstanding that that Act has not then come into force, but the day appointed by the Minister under sub-section (2) of the said Section 4 as the day as on and from which any such appointment takes effect shall not be earlier than the day on which the said County Management Act, 1940, comes into operation.

(2) Sub-section (5) of Section 4 of the County Management Act, 1940 (No. 12 of 1940), shall not apply or have effect in relation to a county in respect of which the appointment of the first county manager takes effect on the day on which that Act comes into operation.

(3) As soon as may be after the commencement of this section, the first appointments of persons to fill the several offices to which Section 12 of the County Management Act, 1940 (No. 12 of 1940), applies shall be proceeded with and completed under that Act notwithstanding that the said Act has not then come into operation, but the day appointed by the Minister under paragraph (b) of sub-section (3) of the said Section 12 as the day as on and from which any such appointment takes effect shall not be earlier than the day on which the said County Management Act, 1940, comes into operation.

It was hoped to put the County Management Act into operation early next year, and the object of this new section is to have the selection of county managers and assistant managers proceed, so that appointments will be made in time for the first managers to take up their duties when the Act comes into operation.

Mr. Brennan

The Act is to come into operation piecemeal—is it not?

No, simultaneously, on the one day.

Is not that very peculiar terminology: "As soon as may be after the commencement of this section"?

Yes, immediately after Section 89.

I have never read that in an Act of Parliament before. "As soon as may be after the commencement of this section"—when does the section commence?

The section commences when the Act comes into operation.

That is what is put in usually—"when the section comes into operation".

I am afraid the Deputy will have to take that matter up with the draftsman. I am advised that that is the form in which it has to be drafted to make the intention of the Oireachtas clear.

I must say that this part of the Oireachtas is by no means clear on that.

Question put and agreed to.
Reported that the Committee had agreed to all the Seanad amendments.
Report agreed to.
Message to be sent to the Seanad accordingly.