The Taoiseach apparently does not understand what the position is. You have got a racing company which has been condemned as corrupt or inefficient by the Racing Board. The Racing Board announces that the administration of the track is so bad that they are going to establish, in competition with the corrupt track, a track under their personal direction. The statute, if this amendment is inserted, requires the Racing Board to notify the offending company before it acquires the land to establish the competing track. The Racing Board fails to give that notice. Mind you, if you are trying to buy a piece of land, you would not want to go around telling all the neighbours, as the Taoiseach well knows. If the Board of Works wants to buy a piece of land, they do not go and tell the neighbours, because, if they did, the price would go sky high. It has all to be done under the rose in order to get the land at anything like a reasonable price. This amendment provides that the Racing Board will notify the offending company that they are going to buy this piece of land to establish a racing track on it. Suppose that, in order to get the land at a reasonable price, they buy it surreptitiously, and then go to the corrupt, bad, racing track company and say: "We are going to put a racing track right down beside you, because there are no other means of making you behave properly", and the racing company says: "Under the amendment put in by the Seanad you cannot do it; you did not give us notice of your intention to purchase the land before you bought it. Now, you have bought that piece of land, and we are going into court to say that you failed to carry out your obligation to us under the statute. We claim our right. Our right is that you shall not build a race track upon this piece of land purchased by you in our vicinity, because you did not give us prior notice of your intention to buy." My submission is that if they can prove all these facts the court will say: "It is admitted that the Racing Board are trying to build a track in competition with the existing track. It is admitted that they purchased land in the vicinity of the existing track. It is admitted that they did not give notice to the racing track company before they bought the land. Therefore, according to the statute, they must never put a race track on that piece of land." The court would give the racing company an injunction in perpetuity against the Racing Board from putting a race track on that land, and that is almost certainly the only piece of land suitable for a race track in the vicinity, because it is not every piece of land that is suitable for a race track. Does the Minister want to do that?
If, instead of this amendment you say that "in the event of the Racing Board failing to give notice to the company, the company shall be entitled to full compensation for all their assets", or something of that kind, then the racing company has an ascertainable remedy against the Racing Board. That would not prevent the Racing Board from doing what is necessary to be done, but it would compensate the racing company for any fortuitous loss to which they may be put through the laches of the Racing Board. What I am afraid of is that the amendment is liable to hamstring the Racing Board. Even suppose a situation never arises in which the Racing Board is impelled to do its statutory duty, you can see the Racing Board's position. It has to go to the racing company and say: “I am going to buy William Murphy's farm for a race track”. William Murphy says: “Very well, if you are it is going to cost you £35,000. I offered it last week to a neighbour for £7,000, but if the Racing Board wants it, £35,000 is the price—not a penny less”. Is it not true that, when the Board of Works want to buy a house in Dublin, they have to buy it through junior clerks, third cousins, aunts, relatives? If it once got out that the Board of Works wanted a house, gold would not buy it. If this section ever is to be operated—of course, it may never be operated—you are going to make the position of the board impossible, because they never will be able to buy land if they have to notify the whole country that they want to buy it.