Committee on Finance. - Arterial Drainage Bill, 1944—Second Stage.

I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. Before the dissolution of the Eleventh Dáil, the Drainage Bill had secured its Second Reading. It has been reintroduced without any change whatever and I suppose it is scarcely necessary to cover the ground that was covered then. There is just one matter to which I would like to make a short reference. Since the Second Reading debate to which I have referred, a certain decision was given in the High Court regarding the Mulkeerin and Cappamore Drainage Scheme. As a result of that decision, it will be necessary to introduce certain amendments on the Committee Stage, to regularise the position. Those amendments will be circulated to all Deputies and there will be ample opportunity to think them over before the Committee Stage is reached.

So far as this Party is concerned, we dealt with this Bill on its introduction in the last Dáil, when we discussed it exhaustively on the Second Reading. We are in agreement that large-scale arterial drainage operations are essential and desirable at the earliest possible moment. There are several principles in the Bill with which we find ourselves in disagreement and we hope to make full use of the Committee Stage to have those principles changed, so far as it is possible for the Parliamentary Secretary to agree to our views in the matter. For that reason, we have no objection to taking the Second Reading now.

Mr. Corish

So far as we are concerned, we have said all we desire to say.

Question put and agreed to.

When is it proposed to take the Committee Stage?

I suggest that it be fixed for the first day on which we resume in September.

Say the 12th of September?

I do not know when it is proposed to resume.

Mr. Corish

Is it not sufficient to fix it for the day on which we resume in September?

A definite date must be fixed. The fixing of the Committee Stage for a particular date does not necessitate a session on that date.

Mr. Corish

Why not fix it for the 19th September?

If it is fixed for 12th September, can we get an assurance from the Parliamentary Secretary that it will not be taken on the first day on which we meet?

It is most unlikely that it would be taken on the first day and I give that assurance.

Committee Stage fixed for 12th September.