Harbours Bill, 1945—Committee Stage.

Section 1 agreed to.
SECTION 2.

I move amendment No. 1:—

In sub-section (1), page 7, to insert the following definition before the definition of "chamber of commerce member":

"the expression ‘annual meeting' has the meaning assigned to it by sub-section (1) of Section 20 of this Act;".

Before dealing with this amendment, I think I should explain to the House that I caused this Bill to be circulated, after it had received a Second Reading here, to the harbour authorities and other interested parties in the country. I received from them many suggestions concerning its provisions. Such of those suggestions as seemed to me to deserve adoption I have caused to be made the subjects of amendments. A number of amendments appear on the amendment sheet which are intended to give effect to proposals received from harbour authorities. The Bill as introduced provided for the election of a chairman of a harbour board once in three years. Some of the harbour authorities suggested that the chairman should be elected annually. I adopted that suggestion and an amendment to give effect to it will be moved later. This amendment is consequential upon the change which will be effected by a later amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 2:—

In sub-section (1), page 7, to delete the words "and secretary" in line 34 and in line 35.

This amendment also is consequential upon an amendment, which will be moved later, to Section 39. The Ports and Harbours Tribunal recommended that the general manager to be appointed to the major ports would also act as secretary to the harbour board. The Dublin Harbour Board and other harbour authorities desired that that should not be made a statutory obligation. The Dublin Harbour Board, in particular, felt that the circumstances made it desirable for them to have both a general manager and a secretary. I have adopted that suggestion and, consequently, I am proposing to delete from this Bill the Provisions which require that the general manager would also be secretary. The effect of the change will be to remove the statutory obligation imposing the duties of secretary on the general manager. It will not be obligatory on any harbour authority to have a separate secretary and, in fact, the duties of secretary can be given to the harbour manager if that course is considered desirable by the harbour authority but there will no longer be a statutory bar to having a separate secretary where the harbour authority so desires.

Would the Minister say if this has any bearing on the suggestion in Section 38 that the secretary cannot also be the collector of rates?

It has no relation to that at all.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 3:—

In sub-section (1), page 8, to insert the following definition before the definition of "pilotage authority":—"the word ‘owner' includes, in relation to goods, any consignor, consignee, shipper or agent for sale or custody of such goods;".

Section 102 provides that goods rates will be payable by the owner of the goods. The Cork Harbour Commissioners and the Waterford Harbour Commissioners pointed out that it was desirable that liability for payment of goods rates should also be imposed upon the consignor, the consignee, the shipper of the goods or the agent for the sale and custody of the goods. The reasons they gave were two-fold—first, that the owner of the goods might reside in another country and, second, that difficulties have arisen frequently in the past and have led to legal actions in determining the owner of goods in the hands of a common carrier, where they were in transit from the seller to the buyer. Consequently, it was suggested—and I think it was a good suggestion—that the term "owner" should be extended to include the consignor, the consignee, the shipper of the goods or the agent for their sale and custody. In fact, there are numerous provisions in existing harbour legislation, requiring the goods rates to be paid by the consignors and consignees.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4:—

In sub-section (1), page 8, lines 43 and 44, to delete the words "the general manager and secretary or".

This amendment also has consequential upon the decision not to have the general manager necessarily act as secretary to the harbour board.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 5:—

In sub-section (1), page 8, to delete the definition of "triennial meeting".

This also is consequential on the amendment to provide for the annual election of chairman instead of the triennial election.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 6:—

In sub-section (3), to delete paragraph (b) and substitute the following paragraph:—

(b) in any other case, as a reference to—

(i) if the harbour is Dublin Harbour—the limits of Port of Dublin within the meaning of Section 2 of the Dublin Port and Docks Act, 1869, and

(ii) if the harbour is not Dublin Harbour—the limits of the harbour as existing immediately before the passing of this Act,

but subject to any variation therein for the time being in force under any harbour works order.

This amendment is designed to meet a point raised by the Dublin Port and Docks Board. It appears that the expression the "Port of Dublin" in the Dublin Port and Docks Act, 1869, has a much wider meaning, geographically, than the expression the "harbour of Dublin". The Bill, as drafted, would apply only to the restricted area of the harbour of Dublin, and consequently, it is desired to remedy that defect. This amendment does remedy it by making it clear that, in the case of Dublin harbour, the limits fixed by the Act of 1869 will still be the limits of the harbour.

Will that apply to other harbours as well, leaving the position as it existed before the introduction of this Bill?

No. Sub-section (3) of this section provides that in the case of a harbour where there is a harbour works order fixing the limits, the reference to the limits of the harbour in this Act means the limits fixed by that order. In any other case the reference to the limits of the harbour means the limits as existing at the time of the passing of this Act. The reason this amendment was brought forward is that there was some doubt concerning Dublin, the expression the "Port of Dublin" having a different meaning to the meaning of the expression the "Harbour of Dublin".

If this amendment is carried, does it mean that the Port of Dundalk will revert to the status quo?

Am I to understand that this Bill repeals every Act that has been passed in reference to harbours?

It provides that the limits of the harbour will be the limits as on the day this Bill becomes an Act, unless it is subsequently varied by a harbour works order.

Suppose this amendment is passed, what effect will that have on an amendment in my name to insert a new section before Section 49? I seek in that amendment to get power for the harbour commissioners to acquire certain property.

We are not changing the limits of the harbour under this Bill. The limits can be changed subsequently by a harbour works order.

All right.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to. Section 3 agreed to.
SECTION 4.

I move amendment No. 7:—

To delete sub-section (3) and substitute a new sub-section as follows:—

(3) Regulations made by the Minister under this Act shall have the force of law in accordance with their terms.

This is a drafting amendment.

It may be a drafting amendment, but, if it is, it will leave the section in this position, that a regulation made by the Minister, without any possible review by this House, could become the law of the land. Does the Minister intend that, and, if so, in what way can it be termed a drafting amendment?

It was intended that the regulations made by the Minister will have the force of law.

Will the Minister take steps further to amend the section, so that no regulations made by him will become law or will have the force of law without a provision to the effect that, while they may come into operation without prejudice, if a resolution of any House of the Oireachtas is passed within a certain number of days, the regulations will cease to have the force of law?

A lot of the matters to be prescribed are purely formal matters; they are matters relating to the form in which things will be done —the form in which an application for an Order may be made. Certain of the things which may be done under this Bill cannot come into effect until approved by the Oireachtas. As regards the ordinary matters in respect of which the Minister is empowered to prescribe by regulation, the items are of such minor importance that it is unnecessary to provide for their possible annulment by the Oireachtas.

The items may be small, but the section reads:-

"The Minister may make regulations to any matter or thing referred to in this Act as prescribed or to be prescribed."

The section then goes on to say—that is, if the amendment is adopted—that any regulations the Minister makes shall have the force of law. If they are small matters, then there will be no occasion for anybody in either House of the Oireachtas to refer to them; but they may be serious matters, and these matters will likely be dealt with by the Minister in these regulations. For that reason, it should impose no unnecessary hardship or work on anybody if we make this section read in the standard way—that where it is provided that regulations made by the Minister shall have the force of law, there will be the safeguard that the matter can be raised here if it is so serious as to require the attention of either House of the Oireachtas. I will oppose the section unless there is the usual safeguard.

I think it is an entirely unnecessary safeguard. If the Deputy will examine the Bill, he will note that the circumstances in which the Minister is empowered to make regulations are not really of such a character as to require that the Oireachtas should enter into the machinery of administration at all. Section 118 relates to the making of regulations in relation to mortgages; Section 119 relates to the making of regulations in relation to stock; Section 123 relates to the making of regulations in relation to accounts; Section 134 relates to the making of regulations in relation to contracts, and an earlier section deals with the election of elected members.

I think the House will have to consider now whether the general scheme of this Bill has its approval. The scheme is to give certain powers to harbour authorities to be exercised subject to the supervision of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. He may interfere in the conduct of harbour authorities only to the extent laid down and he may make minor regulations. That is the recommendation of the Port and Harbours Tribunal—that these harbour authorities should function under the supervision of the Minister for Industry and Commerce in much the same manner as local authorities function under the supervision of the Minister for Local Government. Heretofore, the Minister for Industry and Commerce had not that power of supervision, and the purpose of the Bill is to give it to him. That is the principle of the Bill which the Dáil is presumed to have accepted on the Second Reading.

I am completely opposed to embodying in any Act a provision to the effect that the regulations of the Minister shall have the force of law without a safeguard that within a certain period the matter can be raised in either House of the Oireachtas and the regulation annulled if necessary. It is not interfering with the power of the Minister quickly and adequately to deal with anything that may require to be dealt with by regulation, but it does provide, and it is a necessary provision, that nothing should be regarded as law that is included in a Ministerial regulation unless there is power given to either House of the Oireachtas to annual it, if that course is considered necessary. I consider that precaution is necessary.

There would not be any point in making regulations which would have no force.

Do the regulations cover the by-laws provided for in Section 52—by-laws submitted for the Minister's approval?

That is a different matter. A harbour authority may make by-laws and submit them for approval to the Minister. This section relates to the power given to the Minister to make regulations prescribing how certain things will be done—how accounts will be kept, how records will be maintained, and how the election of elected members will be held. Instead of setting out elaborate provisions in the Bill, power will be given by regulation in regard to these matters.

In Section 52 there is no clear indication of what happens following the submission of the by-laws to the Minister.

We can discuss that on Section 52. It does not really affect this section.

The Minister has suggested that his power to make regulations only applies to small matters—the form of documents and so on—but surely Sections 118 and 119 cannot be described as dealing with small matters. Under Section 118, the Minister may make regulations in relation to mortgages——

The form of mortgages.

——and to the issue of stock. That, I take it, would apply to the amount of stock issued.

Not under that section; but the Minister has power under another section to control the borrowing of harbour authorities.

Surely if a harbour board felt that an Order of the Minister was unreasonable or unjust, they would be entitled to some redress. The only safeguard they could have would be the safeguard suggested by Deputy Mulcahy.

The purpose of giving the Minister these powers is to ensure that the procedure of all the harbour authorities will be uniform, that there will be the same regulations for them all, instead of the present position under which every authority has a different practice and a different legal basis for that practice.

That is all the more reason why the Dáil should have control over such a wide series of regulations.

Under paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 119, the Minister is empowered to make regulations in respect of the manner in which stock is to be created, issued, charged, transferred, transmitted, dealt with and redeemed and in respect of the discharge of loans raised by the issue of stock.

Regulations relating to these matters.

These might be very big questions for a harbour authority because they may, and would, affect their finances.

Does the Minister consider that the inclusion in the Bill of this protection by the Dáil would be obstructive in relation to the carrying out of the regulations?

The word "regulations" may mean anything later on. At the moment the Minister gives us an indication of what he has in mind, but it could be interpreted very widely by a subsequent Minister and some drastic things might be done. I suggest that it is a dangerous practice to take matters away from the control of the House. If the Minister could devise a suitable form of words under which they would be subject to the control of the Oireachtas, I think the point would be met.

What Deputies are proposing to do is to give the Oireachtas powers it never had before. We do not have to approve of the regulations made by harbour authorities in relation to the creation of stock or the redemption of loans.

You are taking something in this section which does not exist at the moment. It is a plunge in the dark. We gave many powers to Ministers during the emergency period, but are we to be asked indefinitely to continue, in times of peace and normal legislation, to hand over to Minister after Minister powers ad lib. to make regulations without consultation with the House?

I am not suggesting that powers ad lib. should be handed over. The powers to fix details or to amend them by regulation are clearly limited.

The power could be interpreted very widely later on. We may find that something objectionable is being done under cover of the powers vested in the Minister and we may find harbour boards up in arms against it. Public representatives ought to have a chance of discussing these matters. If they are worth discussion, they can be discussed, but this is a dangerous precedent to adopt, and I do not think that the acceptance of the safeguard proposed would hamper operations in the least, while it would safeguard the democratic control of the House.

The Minister has said that there is no such provision at present. That is so, but the Minister is taking power to exercise a certain control over harbour boards and the moment he takes that power I suggest that a harbour authority ought to have some right of appeal to the House. If they feel they have a grievance, if they feel that the Minister has acted in a dictatorial way in bringing in a provision which is objectionable from their point of view, they have no redress. We suggest that they are entitled to some protection and we suggest the protection they ought to have is the right of appeal to the House which, by motion, can annul the regulation. Surely that is not an unreasonable protection to ask?

Up to the present, a harbour authority had to do these things in accordance with the special Acts applying to that authority which could not be amended or altered by any Ministerial Order. In the past, when changes in procedure, practice or regulations were necessary, new legislation was required, and for a number of these harbour authorities the powers exercised by them were given by private Acts and not by public legislation at all. In any event, I suggest that the matter is irrelevant to this amendment. If the Minister is to have any power to make regulations, it is clear that the regulations must have the force of law. Otherwise, it would be a waste of time to make them. Section 4 provides that the Minister will have power to make regulations wherever it is stated in this Bill he shall make regulations or have that power, and these regulations will have the force of law. If the Deputy wants to raise the issue in a specific way, in relation to the powers in Section 119, he can do so, but clearly this section must stand and this amendment must be made to it.

The Minister will apply his theory next to the Public Health Bill.

I will not be dealing with the Public Health Bill.

Is it not usual to have a safeguarding clause under which the House can annul an Order, if it thinks fit, in 21 days? The Minister says that this deals with details, and that may be true in the majority of cases, but Section 119 deals with the issue of stock, and surely that it a very large detail. While it is true that up to this these harbour boards operated under private Acts dealing with their particular harbours and the report of the commission recommends that the Minister should have a general guiding right concerning the harbours of the country, the report never intended, I think, that the Minister should have that right without having to submit it to the Dáil for approval or rejection. This amendment by the Minister is an extension, a considerable extension, of the original section, and if the protection we seek is not given in a sub-section to this particular section, there should be a provision in some part of the Bill whereby these regulations will be laid before the House.

This is the usual section in a Bill of this kind.

Surely this would relate to Section 126 dealing with harbour works orders, and naturally the Minister would have very great powers——

The harbour works order has, in fact, to be confirmed by an Act of the Oireachtas. That is much more definite than what Deputies now suggest.

Would the Minister say that his remarks could be fully applied to paragraph (g) of Section 119, sub-section (2), dealing with dividends?

Let me be clear as to what Section 119 deals with. The Bill provides in Section 113 that the Minister shall exercise a general control over the borrowings of harbour authorities. I do not intend to conceal what the Minister's powers are in relation to the financial transactions of harbour authorities. Clearly, a harbour authority may not borrow money without the consent of the Minister. That is specifically provided for in Section 113, but Section 119 refers only to the machinery, the details, the purely administrative matters set out there. It is not necessary for the Minister to abuse the powers given in Section 119 in order to control the borrowings of harbour authorities, because it is clearly intended in Section 113 that he should have power to control their borrowings.

I can see that, but surely the Minister would not describe the matter of dividends as a routine matter. Dividends can scarcely be described as a detail.

Sub-section (2) says that regulations made under this section in relation to stock issued by a harbour authority may in particular make provision in respect of all or any of the following matters——

And one of these matters is dividends. Surely that would include the amount of the dividend?

He would have that power anyway under Section 113 because he would have to approve the terms of any loan.

I would consider the amendment a reasonable amendment of the section only if it were associated with an additional amendment to the effect that anything done under the section shall operate without prejudice, but that if within a certain period the Dáil or Seanad passed a resolution annulling it, it should be annulled. As the amendment stands, it proposes to give all the regulations made by the Minister under this Bill the force of law. I am opposed to that.

Why should the Minister object to what we are asking?

Why should I object to give the regulations the force of law? There should, at least, be some common-sense behind the Opposition.

There is no common-sense in the Minister's attitude. If he behaved, as I am sure he will, in a proper way, the matter might never arise. But, in the event of some rare case occuring, the provision would be there to object to the regulations. Why not have the safeguard?

There are still safeguards.

Common-sense appears to be coming late to the Minister.

If Deputies want to limit the power of the Minister in relation to specific matters they may move amendments to the sections dealing with these matters, but this section deals in a general way with the making of regulations. If Deputies think that the Minister's power should be limited in respect of particular matters, then it is to the sections dealing with these matters that amendments limiting his powers should be moved.

I am not prepared, at the beginning of an exhaustive measure like this, to put into the hands of the Minister the power that any regulation made by him in respect to any aspect of the Bill is going to have the force of law without some safeguard that questions in regard to the regulation may be raised in the normal way at any time by either House of the Oireachtas. If there is any part of the Bill, in respect of which the Minister makes the case that under a particular section a regulation made by him should have the force of law without any safeguard or control by the Houses of the Oireachtas, then the House will have to consider that. But, as it is, I am going to oppose the amendment.

Amendment put and declared carried.
Question proposed: "That Section 4, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

I am opposing that motion.

The Committee divided: Tá, 46; Níl, 31.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Dan.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Brennan, Thomas.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick (Co. Dublin).
  • Childers, Erskine H.
  • Colbert, Michael.
  • Colley, Harry.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Crowley, Honor Mary.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Fogarty, Patrick J.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Humphreys, Francis.
  • Kilroy, James.
  • Kissane, Eamon.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick J.
  • Loughman, Frank.
  • Lydon, Michael F.
  • McCann, John.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • O'Connor, John S.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Loghlen, Peter J.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Rice, Bridget M.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Shanahan, Patrick.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Skinner, Leo B.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Ua Donnchadha, Dómhnall.
  • Walsh, Laurence.
  • Ward, Conn.

Níl

  • Bennett, George C.
  • Cafferky, Dominick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Cogan, Patrick.
  • Commons, Bernard.
  • Coogan, Eamonn.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry M.
  • Dockrell, Maurice E.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Giles, Patrick.
  • Halliden, Patrick J.
  • Hughes, James.
  • Keating, John.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, Timothy J.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Donnell, William F.
  • O'Driscoll, Patrick F.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Sullivan, Martin.
  • Redmond, Bridget M.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Spring, Daniel.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Kissane and McCann; Níl: Deputies Bennett and McMe namin.
Question declared carried.
Sections 5 and 6 agreed to.
SECTION 7.

There are many amendments that arise from Section 7. Amendment No. 8, if carried, will meet or delete several amendments—amendments Nos. 9 to 28, for instance, and there are others that are consequential—29, 32, 33, 35, 37, 39, 40, 43, 44, 46 to 48, 151, 153, 154 and 162. Therefore, the whole question of the membership of harbour boards and authorities might be debated on amendment No. 8, and if there are amendments submitted which are not met by the Minister, they might be adapted and put in on Report Stage, because it is very difficult to change them and get them in as amendments to the Minister's now.

Might we understand also that amendments submitted on Report, in these circumstances, will be discussed in Committee on Report, that is, that we would go into Committee, at any rate, for Section 7, on Report, in the circumstances?

That is a matter for the Minister.

The Minister's amendments to Section 7 only reached Deputies on Saturday morning and there was no possibility of having our amendments related to the Minister's new draft of the section. Therefore, I submit it would be a convenient thing if, in relation with your suggestion now, Sir, it could be accepted by the Minister that Section 7 on Report could be discussed in Committee.

Of course, we do not discuss sections on Report, but as far as these particular amendments are concerned, we could, perhaps, have a Committee Stage discussion without formal recommittal.

The Minister does not understand. You only recommit for amendments to this section without discussing the section itself. What the Deputy wants is to be allowed to speak more than once on his amendment?

Yes. The matter may arise on some other section also, but all I am asking now is that in respect of the amendments to Section 7 that will appear on Report that, for the discussion of these amendments, in view of the present circumstances, we might agree to go into Committee on Report.

For the purpose of the amendment?

For the purpose of the amendments to Section 7.

Very good. It is for the Minister to decide, of course; not for me.

I move amendment No. 8:—

To delete sub-sections (1), (2) and (3) and substitute the following sub-sections:—

(1) A harbour authority mentioned in the first column of Part I of the First Schedule to this Act shall consist of the following members:—

(a) five members (in this Act referred to as local authority members) appointed by the local authority mentioned in the second column of the said Part I opposite the mention in the said first column of the harbour authority or, in the case of the Cork Harbour Commissioners, appointed as to four of such members by the local authority mentioned firstly in the second column of the said Part I opposite the mention in the said first column of the Cork Harbour Commissioners and as to the other one of such members by the local authority secondly mentioned as aforesaid;

(b) four members (in this Act referred to as chamber of commerce members) appointed by the chamber of commerce mentioned in the third column of the said Part I opposite the mention in the said first column of the harbour authority or, in the case of the Cork Harbour Commissioners, appointed as to two of such members by the chamber of commerce mentioned firstly in the third column of the said Part I opposite the mention in the said first column of the Cork Harbour Commissioners and as to the other two of such members by the chamber of commerce secondly mentioned as aforesaid;

(c) two members (in this Act also referred to as cattle trader members) appointed by the organisation of cattle traders specified in the Order for the time being in force under sub-section (3) of this section in respect of the harbour authority;

(d) two members (in this Act referred to as manufacturer members) appointed by the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Limited;

(e) two members (in this Act referred to as elected members) elected by the qualified electors;

(f) four members (in this Act referred to as nominated members) nominated by the Minister.

(2) A harbour authority mentioned in the first column of Part II of the First Schedule to this Act shall consist of the following members:—

(a) (i) in the case of the New Ross Harbour Commissioners, six members (in this Act also referred to as local authority members) two of whom shall be appointed by each of the local authorities mentioned in the second column of the said Part II opposite the mention in the said first column of the New Ross Harbour Commissioners,

(ii) in the case of any other harbour authority, four members (in this Act also referred to as local authority members) appointed by the local authority mentioned in the second column of the said Part II opposite the mention in the said first column of the harbour authority or, where there are two local authorities so mentioned, appointed as to two such members by the local authority mentioned firstly and as to the other two of such members by the local authority mentioned secondly;

(b) in the case of a harbour authority in respect of which a chamber of commerce is mentioned in the third column of the said Part II opposite the mention in the said first column of the harbour authority, two members (in this Act also referred to as chamber of commerce members) appointed by the chamber of commerce;

(c) two members (in this Act also referred to as elected members) elected by the qualified electors;

(d) three members (in this Act also referred to as nominated members) nominated by the Minister.

(3) The Minister for Agriculture may from time to time by order (which he may at any time by order revoke or amend) made in respect of a harbour authority mentioned in the first column of Part I of the First Schedule to this Act declare that a specified organisation of cattle traders shall appoint the cattle trader members of such harbour authority.

(4) Each of the following persons or groups of persons shall, as respects any particular election of elected members of a harbour authority, be a qualified elector for the purposes of paragraph (e) of sub-section (1) or paragraph (c) of sub-section (2) (as may be appropriate) of this section:

(a) a body corporate incorporated in the State which on the 31st day of December next preceding the election was the owner of a vessel or vessels in respect of which there was paid to the harbour authority, during the year ended on such 31st day of December, tonnage rates of an amount not less than the minimum sum,

(b) an individual who was ordinarily resident in the State during the year ended on the 31st day of December next preceding the election and who on such 31st day of December was the owner of a vessel or vessels in respect of which there was paid to the harbour authority during such year, tonnage rates of an amount not less than the minimum sum,

(c) a group of individuals any one of whom was ordinarily resident in the State during the year ended on the 31st day of December next preceding the election and who on such 31st day of December were joint owners of a vessel or vessels in respect of which there was paid to the harbour authority during such year tonnage rates of an amount not less than the minimum sum,

(d) in the case of a corporate body not incorporated in the State which on the 31st day of December next preceding the election was the owner of a vessel or vessels in respect of which there was paid to the harbour authority during such year tonnage rates of an amount not less than the minimum sum, the representative manager of such corporate body provided that such manager was ordinarily resident in the State during such year,

(e) in the case of an individual who was not ordinarily resident in the State during the year ended on the 31st day of December next preceding the election and who on such 31st day of December was the owner of a vessel or vessels in respect of which there was paid to the harbour authority during such year tonnage rates of an amount not less than the minimum sum, the representative manager of such individual provided that such manager was ordinarily resident in the State during such year,

(f) in the case of a group of individuals none of whom was ordinarily resident in the State during the year ended on the 31st day of December next preceding the election and who on such 31st day of December were joint owners of a vessel or vessels in respect of which there was paid to the harbour authority during such year tonnage rates of an amount not less than the minimum sum, the representative manager of such group provided that such manager was ordinarily resident in the State during such year.

(5) In sub-section (4) of this section——

(a) the word "vessel" means a vessel registered in the State under the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1939,

(b) the word "owner" means a registered owner within the meaning of the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1939.

(6) In sub-section (4) of this section, the expression "the minimum sum" means——

(a) as respects a harbour authority mentioned in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act, twenty pounds,

(b) as respects a harbour authority mentioned in Part II of the First Schedule to this Act, either——

(i) ten pounds, or

(ii) in the case of any particular election in respect of which the Minister is of opinion that the application of sub-paragraph (i) of this paragraph would result in the number of electors being unduly small, such sum less than ten pounds as the Minister directs.

I may say that a very substantial number of suggestions was received from harbour boards and other bodies relating to the provisions of this section. Many of the views expressed by harbour boards were diametrically opposed to views expressed by other harbour boards and frequently chambers of commerce and similar bodies had also independent views to express. It was not possible to reply at length to many of the communications received from harbour authorities, although protracted discussions took place in my Department with the representatives of some harbour authorities and particularly of the Dublin and Cork Boards. I think I should at this stage thank the members of the various harbour boards, local government bodies, chambers of commerce and other organisations that went to much trouble to prepare and submit views and proposals relating to this section.

The section as originally framed carried out in toto the recommendations of the Ports and Harbours Tribunal. It was designed to give effect to the recommendations of the tribunal, and no departure, either by addition or subtraction, was made from these recommendations. But, having regard to some of the views submitted from various quarters, I think there is some case for amending the section and making the constitution of the harbour authorities slightly different from that proposed by the tribunal. The tribunal recommended that the harbour authorities for the four main harbours should be composed of five persons appointed by the local authorities concerned, four members chosen by the chambers of commerce in the port areas, two members elected to represent shipping interests, and four members nominated by the Minister.

The first point put forward by the Dublin, Cork and some other boards was that the total membership proposed, namely 15, was too small, particularly so in relation to the proposed quorum of seven. It was recommended that the quorum should be reduced from seven to five—an amendment is tabled for that purpose —and that the membership of the body should be enlarged. They argued that, having regard to the general experience as to the attendance of members at these boards, as well as the number of committees that have to be appointed from time to time to discharge the functions of the boards, some higher membership was desirable. I think there is something to be said for that point of view and the new constitution which I am proposing for the boards of the major harbours will provide for a total membership of 19. The additional four members, I propose, should be secured by providing for the direct representation on these harbour boards of an organisation representative of live-stock exporters and the Federation of Irish Manufacturers. Some Deputies have proposed to give representation on all these boards to the live-stock trade and have named a particular live-stock traders' organisation. I understand that that organisation ceased to exist at some stage of its career and was revived and the same thing might happen again. Therefore, I think it is wiser to adopt the device which I have adopted in my amendment of giving the Minister for Agriculture the responsibility of certifying which organisation is most representative of live-stock exporters and conferring on the organisation certified by him to be the most representative this power to nominate members on harbour boards.

The Federation of Irish Manufacturers represented to me that they had both interests and viewpoints which would not be, or might not be, properly represented by members chosen by chambers of commerce and, while the device of giving direct representation to chambers of commerce was adopted by the tribunal and accepted by me primarily for the purpose of ensuring that local business interests would be represented on those harbour boards, I think there is something to be said for the contention of the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, certainly so far as the major harbours are concerned.

In the course of discussions affecting the provisions of this section with bodies claiming representation on these boards, I found it necessary to emphasise again and again that these harbour boards are local authorities, using the term "local" in its proper meaning. The boards are intended represent local interests concerned with the development of each port. As Deputies know, these ports are often in competition one with the other, and it is, I think, undesirable to give undue representation upon these local bodies to organisations constituted upon a national basis. Such a national organisation might have a definite interest or a definite policy affecting the interests of one port or one class of port as distinct from others. It is desirable that whatever constitution we adopt should ensure that the local interests in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and the smaller ports should have the predominant voice in the management of their ports, and, in particular, in the development of their ports where that development could only take place, as is frequently the case, by attracting trade from other ports which are less efficiently managed or less enterprising. The particular changes which I am proposing, therefore, in so far as they affect the major harbours, are to provide for an increased membership of these boards by giving the right to nominate two members to the live-stock traders' association certified by the Minister for Agriculture to be the most representative, and two representatives of the Federation of Irish Manufacturers.

With regard to the question of local interests, will the Minister say how it will be arranged that those nominated by the Federation of Irish Manufacturers will be persons who have local interests?

There is another provision which requires that a member of a harbour authority must reside within 20 miles of the harbour. That is a general provision affecting all members of a harbour authority except those nominated by a local authority. A particular point arose in the case of Cork. I received many representations that the Cork Harbour Board should include ex officio a representative of the Cobh urban area. I found that the argument that such a representative might be included on the Cork Harbour Board through nomination by the Cork Corporation or one of the Cork chambers of commerce or the Minister for Industry and Commerce was not considered adequate and, consequently, I am proposing that of the five local authority representatives on the Cork Harbour Board one of them shall be chosen by the Cobh Urban Council. It is, of course, conceivable, not to say probable, that the Cobh area will have other representatives on the Cork Harbour Board also because some of the nominated members or some of the elected members may have interests in that area. But it is specifically provided that one of the local authority representatives must be a member appointed by the Cobh Urban District Council. In the case of the New Ross Harbour Board, the local authority representation did not include provision for members representative of the Kilkenny County Council. The Kilkenny County Council is represented on the present harbour board and it is obviously desirable that Kilkenny, which has a very definite interest in New Ross harbour, should continue to have a voice in its management. I will be proposing, therefore, that the local authority representation on the New Ross harbour should be increased so as to provide for two members nominated by the Kilkenny Country Council.

May I ask if the Kilkenny County Council asked for that representation?

Yes, both Kilkenny and New Ross asked for it. Many of the harbour authorities and a number of commercial interests urged that the qualifications of elected members should be prescribed in the Bill and I agreed that it was desirable that they should. It is proposed, therefore, to make it a provision of this section that the electors of the elected members will be qualified, first, if they are resident in the State and, second, if they own vessels which are registered in the State and in respect of which, of course, the prescribed minimum tonnage rates have been paid in the preceding 12 months. Only one vote will be given to each owner in any harbour, irrespective of the number of vessels he may own or the amount paid by him in tonnage rates.

Provision is made that the responsible manager in the State of any of the owners will qualify as an elector, if the owners fail to qualify from the point of view of residence. The suggestion that the qualifications of electors should be more clearly defined came from Dublin, Cork and some of the smaller harbour commissioners.

These are the principal changes I propose. I am aware that many Deputies have in mind that representation should be given directly to named persons or other interests. I do not agree that there is a case for that. It will be borne in mind that one of the principal purposes which the Port and Harbours Tribunal had in mind was to establish a uniform type of harbour authority, to provide that the enormous variety in the powers and constitution of harbour authorities should end and that each harbour authority should be composed in a similar way and possess and exercise similar powers. Whatever circumstances in the past may have justified giving special representation to special interests or providing for membership ex officio of persons holding particular offices, I do not think it is necessary now. We must regard these harbour boards as business organisations set up to do a specific job, the members of which are chosen for their competence in relation to the job. While I quite well understand the Dublin Corporation nominating the Lord Mayor as a member of the harbour board, I do not think it is necessary to provide that the Lord Mayor should be a member ex officio of the harbour board. Similarly, I think the proposals which have been put forward here to give special or additional representation to other interests leave out of account the particular functions which those boards have to discharge, and the nature of the qualifications which the members of those boards should possess before being put on them.

Deputy M. O'Sullivan has proposed that representation should be given on these harbour authorities to persons representing the trades councils. I have provided in the Bill—although with some hesitation—that one of the persons to be nominated by the Minister for Industry and Commerce should be a person representative of Labour interests. It is hard to see why it is desired to give special representation to Labour interests. It is conceivable, of course, that Labour interests will be represented through local authority members, and most of those local authorities have in the past nominated on harbour authorities persons who had special qualifications to speak for Labour. The power of the Minister for Industry and Commerce to nominate members of these boards was proposed by the Harbours Tribunal, to ensure that any special interest which did not secure representation through the other nominating bodies would nevertheless be able to secure representation. The procedure laid down in the Bill is that all the other bodies must have made their nominations before the Minister makes his, the idea being that the Minister, having examined the list of those nominated by other bodies, will then see that any gaps are filled by persons who obviously should be on the harbour board, or that any interest which failed to secure representation otherwise will get it.

I have had some experience of the exercise of these powers in relation to authorities constituted under special Acts passed in the last ten years, and the only doubt I have in relation to the provision has arisen out of my experience in the exercise of those powers. I think the technique has developed, in some instances, of leaving off the harbour board the most obvious persons to be put on it, knowing that, if they are left out, the Minister will have very little choice but to put them on. Any development of that technique could largely undermine the purposes of this legislation. Obviously, it seems necessary that there should be some nominating authority which could wait until all other nominating authorities had fulfilled their functions and then ensure that the harbour board is, in fact, representative of all the interests that should be represented on it, and that obvious persons have not, by omission or otherwise, been left out. It would not be possible otherwise to ensure the type of body that would be best fitted to manage the trade and business of the port, which, of course, is the primary function of a harbour board. Therefore, I have decided not to accept the suggestion concerning the nominations of members direct from trades councils.

I do not want to argue the case against that on the ground of the existence of difficulties at present—which, I hope, are purely temporary difficulties and which would make the inclusion of these provisions a source of difficulty; but it seems to me that, in a matter of this kind, we must keep in mind clearly what these boards are going to do. These boards are going to manage the harbour in each of these named centres as a business undertaking. In so far as political labour interests desire representation on it, they should get it, and certainly should seek to get it, through the local authority. In so far as it is desired to give on a properly constituted authority membership to persons who are familiar with labour conditions, then it is difficult to see how such persons can be secured other than by some process of selection by a local authority or by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. If Deputy O'Sullivan has in mind the idea of ensuring that persons who are familiar with the labour problems which inevitably arise in ports should have some voice in the management of the port, I suggest that he has not succeeded in doing that by his amendment.

There are some proposals by Deputies relating to particular harbours, but I do not want to discuss them at this stage. In connection with each of them, however, I would like to remind Deputies that one of the main aims of the tribunal in framing its recommendations, and one of the main purposes of the Government in framing this Bill, was to maintain, as well as can be maintained, the principle of uniformity of constitution—the making of special provisions to meet the circumstances of individual ports would eventually lead to the restoration of the position which we are trying to remove and would mean that these harbour authorities would be constituted on different bases, with different legal powers, different methods of operation and different functions. I think we should avoid that and, therefore, I should be very slow to consider any proposal to alter considerably the constitution of a harbour authority just because of some special local circumstance or some past precedent or practice which it was desired to maintain.

On the Report Stage some details will arise for discussion, but there is one aspect of the representation, particularly in respect of the smaller harbours, which I would like to get further information or some more light about from the Minister. As the section will be amended now, take a harbour like Tralee or Ballina. In the case of Tralee, the harbour authority will consist of two members representing the Kerry County Council, two representing the Tralee Urban District Council, two representing two owners of vessels going there, and three appointed by the Minister.

And possibly two representing the chamber of commerce.

There is no chamber of commerce in Tralee or in Ballina.

Ballina will feel most insulted if you say that. They insist they have a chamber of commerce and I have accepted an amendment to cover that.

Will you put it into Part II?

Then Ballina may see some solution of the problems troubling them, but can the Tralee people?

I do not think they have proved their claim.

This point seems to be troubling the people interested in the harbour there, because the people who have the most direct contact with the harbour are the people bringing cargoes there and paying the dues. They are not the shipowners. The shipowners pay the harbour dues for the vessels, but the importers, and in the same way the exporters, pay the dues on the cargo. If we take Ballina, the only company calling there was the Limerick Steamship Company. All the other vessels were tramp steamers that might come once or twice in the year. They have no very particular connection with the port, but when they came there they paid dues on the vessels.

It would seem lopsided to give representation on the harbour board in the manner proposed by the Bill, unless it is amended in the way indicated by the Minister. It does seem lopsided, in the case of the smaller harbours, to give representation on the board to people who have very little connection with it, and exclude from representation the vast bulk of the people who have a front bench interest in the harbour in that they pay the dues on the cargoes coming in. Has the Minister received representation on this point? I should like to know whether, in the case of the people who cannot turn up at a moment's notice a chamber of commerce to figure in the Bill before it passes through the House, he has given any consideration to the importers or exporters of goods in these smaller harbours and proposes to give them representation on the harbour authorities in the same way as if they had formed themselves into a chamber of commerce.

I am glad, in the main, to see these Ministerial amendments, but I am sorry that the Minister did not accept the amendment put forward by Deputy O'Sullivan and the amendment put forward by myself with reference to the Lord Mayor of Dublin being an ex officio member of the Port and Docks Board of Dublin. The Minister has said that in these days port boards are business boards and are, perhaps, more related to local authorities; but the connection between the Port and Docks Board of Dublin and the Corporation of Dublin goes back until it is lost in the mists of time, and I think it is a pity that the ex officio membership of the Lord Mayor is not continued.

I think that long-standing tradition should be maintained. It is difficult to think of an occasion when the Lord Mayor on such a board would not be much more important than any ordinary corporation member. Occasions do arise when the Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin, in his capacity as first citizen of the capital city of Ireland, can speak in a manner in which no other member of the corporation can speak, and I think it is a great pity that link should be lost. I can conceive occasions when, by the Lord Mayor not being there, a situation might develop to the detriment of the port and docks board. I am glad to see that there are two members of the Federation of Irish Manufacturers and two members of the cattle traders' organisation, whichever organisation is chosen. I am glad to see that the Minister has recognised the interest which those two bodies have in Dublin Port.

I come now to the two members referred to as elected members, elected by qualified electors. Those are the shipping members. I have had some slight experience of the Dublin Port and Docks Board and I would like to tell the House that the contribution made by the shipping members is very great. Of necessity in any port a great amount of the work of the port board is concerned with shipping matters. Shipping is a highly technical business. The average man does not know the intricacies or the ramifications of it. In fact, he does not know the terminology or the phraseology of the shipping business. In these circumstances, the contribution made by the shipping members is a contribution which can be made only by them.

I feel that allowing only two members is cutting down the contribution which the Dublin Port and Docks Board has the right to expect. I feel certain that the newly-constituted port board will feel the lack of the shipping members who will have left. I do not mind how efficient the other members are, and I speak as a person who is a corporation representative on that board. Outside my corporation interests, I have commercial interests. I have no personal interest with the shipping business, but, over a number of years, I have watched the contribution that these men have made and also the highly intricate and technical nature of the shipping business which, of necessity, deals with a great many matters. The port board here is always dealing with shipping matters generally, and the ordinary members of the board find great difficulty in understanding them. Therefore, I ask the Minister to increase the qualified electors to four. He will then have much more efficient port boards. It may be said that the chamber of commerce may elect shipping members. That may be so, but we in this House cannot rely on that being done. Out of a membership of 27 on the Dublin Port Board at present, nine are elected to represent shipping interests; that is to say, one-third of the board is composed of shipping people. But under this new proposal, that representation will go down to two out of 19. I think that will inevitably damage the efficiency of that body, and I ask the Minister very strongly to reconsider it and bring the number of shipping members up to at least four.

This amendment and this new section which is being incorporated represent a substantial improvement on the old section, but one point in connection with it strikes me as being altogether wrong, that is, the Minister's refusal to permit the national executive of the live-stock trade to nominate two representatives. The Minister has instead delegated to the Minister for Agriculture the function of deciding what organisation is to represent the live-stock trade. That is a very undesirable feature to incorporate in this or any other measure because it provides an opportunity for a Minister for Agriculture in the future to discriminate between one organisation and another. If there are two organisations which claim to represent a certain interest—in this case if there are two organisations which claim to represent the live-stock interest—it will enable the Minister to favour one as against the other.

I think we should state definitely in the section the organisation which we intend should have representation. There is a precedent for it in this new section in that the Minister has provided that the Federation of Irish Manufacturers shall appoint two representatives. I ask why there should be this discrimination as between the Federation of Irish Manufacturers and the live-stock trade organisation? Why should one organisation be given definite recognition in the Bill while the other has to go to the Minister for Agriculture for recognition and the Minister at any time in future may withdraw that recognition? There seems to be definite discrimination there. I am in entire agreement with the proviso that the Federation of Irish Manufacturers should have representation. I think it a very desirable provision because manufacturers will be extensively engaged in the future as in the past in the export and import of goods; but it seems to me that there is no answer to the charge of discrimination as between one of these organisations and the other.

The national executive of the live-stock trade has, I think, been in existence even longer than the Federation of Irish Manufacturers. It is a well established organisation and well recognised in all branches of trade and there is no reason whatever why it should be refused representation. I am sorry I was not in the House when this amendment was being introduced. Am I to understand that we are dealing only with this amendment or with all the other amendments as well?

We are dealing with amendment No. 8 and all the others follow from it.

There are other interests which have not been provided for in this section. I have an amendment down to provide that in addition to direct representation for the live-stock trade there should be representation for other agricultural interests. It was an amendment in regard to the putting down of which I had a considerable amount of misgiving. In the first place, it might seem rather strange for an Opposition Deputy to suggest that the Minister for Agriculture should have the right to nominate representatives instead of giving that right to some particular organisation. My reason for suggesting that the function should be given to the Minister for Agriculture was that it is not too easy to forecast what agricultural commodities may be exported extensively in the future, and it would not be easy at present to state definitely what particular agricultural organisation should have the right to nominate representatives in addition to the live-stock trade.

It might be suggested that the cooperative creamery industry should have direct representation, but we have no certain guarantee as to what extent the creamery industry may be engaged in export in future. At present the creamery industries generally are not engaged in export to any extent. I considered the question from every angle and decided that discretion should be left to the Minister for Agriculture to select those people who he considered had a specialised knowledge of some particular branch of agriculture, or some particular agricultural export. This would mean that the Minister for Agriculture in regard to a particular harbour would have the right to appoint two agricultural representatives. He might, in regard to one harbour, appoint representatives with a specialised knowledge of a particular commodity, and, in regard to another, representatives with a specialised knowledge of the export of a particular commodity; but I consider that he would be a suitable person in future to make these nominations.

The Minister has brought the Minister for Agriculture into his amendment merely to make what is, in my opinion, a very undesirable choice as between two organisations. We have at the moment a recognised organisation dealing with the export of live stock which certainly could nominate suitable persons to represent the interests of the industry. I think that that particular portion of the section is very bad. I can see no reason why the live-stock trade organisation should not have definitely received the same recognition in this Bill as the manufacturers' organisation has received, and I think that, on reconsideration, the Minister will see that he has put forward a proposition which cannot be sustained.

I happen to be interested in two aspects of this question of representation on harbour authorities, one of which was referred to at length by the Minister in his speech, namely, that of trades councils. The other is one on which I know members of the House who happen to be members of the Dublin Corporation will do their best to induce the Minister to alter his decision. That is the position of the Lord Mayor as an ex officio member of the Dublin Port and Docks Board. That is a question in which the Lord Mayor and the corporation are deeply concerned, due to the fact that since 1867 the Lord Mayor was the first individual who was named as a member of the Dublin Port and Docks Board. Since then, he has continued, by virtue of his office, to be a member of the board. I think it is correct for me to say that, on this matter, representations have been made to the Minister by the corporation. May I add that it is one of the functions of the Lord Mayor, not necessarily a very important function, to preside at the annual meetings of the board, and to invest the incoming chairman with the chain of office? I know quite well that the Minister can make the point that, if the corporation are interested in the question, they can make one of their five representatives the Lord Mayor. I suggest, however, that even by adopting that line you would be taking away from what is intended, and that is the dignity of the position which the first citizen of Dublin holds. Therefore, Deputy Dockrell and myself and other representatives of Dublin are merely voicing the unanimous view of the corporation when we say that we hope the Minister will see his way to continue the representation extended to that particular office.

My second point is that I should like to remove any doubts which the Minister may have regarding the question of trades councils. In regard to these amendments may I say that, as regards the position that obtains in Dublin at the present time, I have no intention or desire to obtrude the viewpoint of political labour so far as the trades council is concerned. I would say, however, that since the Minister is expressly reserving nominations for labour on these boards, thereby admitting the necessity of having labour interests represented, no more ideal unit of the labour movement could be selected for that purpose than the trades council. I have a pretty long experience of them in Dublin extending over about 25 years. I know the type of work they do, their constitution, organisation and the experience that they bring to bear on their work throughout the country, particularly in those towns which can be described as port towns.

The trades councils are, generally speaking, a federation of the trade unions in the areas. Their main object is to promote the general welfare of their members according to trade union standards. They are not in any way a compulsory body. They cannot force the decisions of one union on another. They are older than the Trade Union Congress, and much older than what may be described as the political Labour Party. For instance, the trades council in Drogheda has been operating for 67 years, while it may be said that the trades councils in Limerick and other places have been in operation for very long periods. They have not by any means what might be described as a definite labour political outlook. Their members are equipped by special knowledge appertaining to the local boards which eminently qualifies them for representation on an authority of this character. Now that the Minister has extended representation to the cattle traders' association and to the federated industries, I would suggest to him that the trades councils, by reason of their constitution and the people they represent, are certainly not less important than any of the other interests named. I suggest to him that the trades council is the ideal nominating unit so far as labour interests are concerned.

It may be, as the Minister pointed out, that these men would have the opportunity of getting nomination through their local authority. I can assure him that that does not always happen. Nomination for outside bodies take peculiar turns now and again within the political Parties and very often the qualifications of individuals for particular boards are not taken into consideration in perhaps the way they should be. Therefore, it would not be meeting the position if you were to rely on something that might or might not occur. May I add that the trades councils have a tradition behind them? As organisations, they have rendered valuable services nationally, socially and economically. May I say that there will be keen disappointment throughout the country if, on the one hand, representation is given to bodies like the chambers of commerce and the federated industries, while the claims of the trades councils are not recognised? May I say that the trades councils, apart from any political question, are given representation by local authorities on subsidiary bodies such as vocational education committees, hospital committees and so on, simply for the reason that the trades councils have been recognised in the way I speak of? If the Minister desires to continue his nomination of labour, then by all means let him do so. Obviously, he will be able to place it to good advantage and to the advantage of the local ports. I do, however, appeal to him, since I feel that he desires labour interests to be represented, that the most ideal form of selection would, in my opinion, be through these old trades councils.

I am glad that, out of the 19 members that are to be allowed to represent Cobh harbour under this Bill, one at least is going to be from Cobh, and the 18 from Cork. I regret that the Minister, when dealing with the recommendations that were sent forward to him by the Cork Harbour Board, did not give way to its request in regard to the representatives of the county council. I notice that he has given two extra seats— at least one may say that—to the chambers of commerce by nominating two members of the Federation of Irish Manufacturers. What I query is whether the Federation of Irish Manufacturers in Cork will have more interest in, and will have more to send out of, the port of Cobh than the producers of cattle, sheep, poultry and eggs in the county. If the Minister was good enough to give representation to the Kilkenny County Council on the New Ross Harbour Board, surely he cannot deny the right of the Cork County Council to representation on the Cobh Harbour Board, which has been misnamed the Cork Harbour. When one reviews the members that are appointed, one finds that there are four members from two chambers of commerce in Cork City. I do not know what they represent. All I have ever seen or heard of them is as being a kind of society full of pious resolutions, doing nothing. I have never seen any effective work done by the chambers of commerce in Cork City. I do not know why they have two rooms there. There are two members of the Federation of Irish Manufacturers. If the Irish manufacturers in Cork City are any use, they should be members of the chambers of commerce. I see no reason for having chambers of commerce on the one hand and a federation of manufacturers on the other. Should they not be one body, instead of three separate bodies? Then there are two members elected on a tonnage basis. That makes eight members out of a total of 19.

There is no representation of the people who will be producing the bulk of the material that will be exported, namely, the rural community, and no representation of the people who will be consuming the goods that will be brought in, namely, the ratepayers of the county. I suggest to the Minister that that is a grievance that should be remedied. I suggest that the representatives of the county council have a far greater right to representation on the harbour authority than either the chambers of commerce, who represent nobody, or the Federation of Irish Manufacturers who should be one with the chambers of commerce if they were any good.

This thing of opening four or five different doors to certain members is rather a joke. That is what is being done under this Bill. If you cannot get in through the federation of manufacturers, then you can take your chance on the tonnage basis; if you cannot get in on the tonnage basis, the chambers of commerce will be there all the time. If there was any basis on which the chambers of commerce should exist in Cork it should be as representative of Irish manufacturers and the representative body of the people to be represented by members elected on a tonnage basis should be the chambers of commerce. Why, therefore, have representation on a tonnage basis, representation on a manufacturers' basis and representation of chambers of commerce? I cannot understand it nor can I see any justice in it.

I can see no justification whatever for cutting out all representatives of the producers, who will have to see that their stuff is sent out in a marketable condition and that the port will be efficient in doing that. Nor can I see any justification for cutting out representatives of the consumers, and I do not mean consumers in the city, but consumers in the county, by whom whatever dues are payable, as a result of inefficiency on the part of the harbour authorities, or otherwise, will be borne. Any neglect or inefficiency on the part of the harbour authorities in sending out perishable goods, such as poultry and eggs, will react ultimately on the producer. Yet, neither the producer nor the consumer is getting representation under this Bill unless we take the four members of the corporation as representing the consumers. They represent the consumers in the city, perhaps, but they do not represent the consumers in the county and the county is served by Cobh Harbour. As I have said, I see no justification for representation of two chambers of commerce, a federation of manufacturers and of people elected on a tonnage basis, all of whom, if they are any use in Cork City, should be members of one body. I would ask the Minister, on Report Stage, to see that representation is given to the rural community under this Bill in respect of Cobh Harbour, which is situated in the rural portion of Cork County. To confine representation to the tail-end, known as Cork City, is wrong. I would suggest that on Report Stage the Minister should consider amendments to rectify that mistake.

I am very interested in the new amendments giving extra membership to live-stock exporters and the Federation of Irish Manufacturers but I am chiefly interested in seeing that membership is given to the fishermen of Dingle Harbour. On the old board, they had four members. Under this Bill they will get no membership. I think it is very unfair to deprive fishermen of representation on this board because all during the emergency whatever revenue was received by the Dingle harbour authorities was received through the fishermen. I would ask the Minister to consider giving the fishermen some representation on the Dingle Harbour Board because, as he is aware, there is no urban district council existing in Dingle; there is no chamber of commerce existing there. I am chiefly interested in getting some representation for the fishermen and I would ask the Minister to give that matter consideration.

I think there is an evident desire on the part of the Minister in framing this Bill to try to give adequate representation to those very important boards, the arteries of our country, representing the shipping, commercial and industrial interests. All these should be represented but I think there is a notable weakness in the lack of representation for labour interests, and I should like to support the amendment of Deputy Alderman O'Sullivan. It cannot be denied that Labour forms a necessary element in the control of ports and harbours and the harmonious working of the interested elements is one of the first essentials for the successful operation of a harbour. I know no better means of securing cohesion between the port authorities and the port workers than by having direct representation of official labour representatives, such as the local trades council, where ports are situated. Various speakers referred to the antiquity of various institutions which are seeking representation, such as the shipping federation, the employers' federation and so on. Deputy O'Sullivan adverted to the long period during which trades councils have been in existence. In Limerick, I think, we have one of the oldest of them. The one in Drogheda is also a fairly ancient one. As well as these, the Dublin, Cork and other trades councils have filled a very useful rôle in trying to maintain industrial peace in their respective centres. While, as mentioned by the Minister, they may still secure representation by being nominated by some public authority, that is a fortuitous hope. The Minister might offer that facility to the chambers of commerce. We claim that the element represented by the trades councils is no less important from the point of view of direct representation on these boards than the element represented by the chambers of commerce. I suggest that the Minister should consider seriously giving the representation which is asked for in the amendment, namely, that trades councils should have the right to nominate two members to these harbour boards. By having that representation they will be brought into contact with the actual working of the board's affairs and they can act as an intermediary between the port workers and the board itself. In that way they can fill a very useful rôle and contribute to harmonious working and the avoidance of friction, strike action, etc., which may develop if they have not such representation. I ask the Minister to consider favourably that particular point. He would not be overloading the membership of the various boards by putting on two representatives and, as I say, they can fill a useful rôle.

The Minister said that he was not prepared to give special representation to special interests. I suppose he is sound in that. It would be impossible to give representation to all the special interests that might be seeking representation. But it appears to me that the representation set out in the amendment is loaded in favour of particular interests and I do not think that is sound. I think Deputy Dockrell made a good case for an increase in the representation of shipping members. Surely it is sound to suggest that the authorities controlling the harbour and the shipping in the harbour should have a technical knowledge of shipping. If the representation of those with technical knowledge is reduced to two in 18, it is scarcely an equitable representation. I think the Minister should consider increasing that particular representation. In doing so, he might reduce the representation under (b) and (d) and possibly (e).

So far as the live-stock representation is concerned, I am pleased that the Minister has given way to the representations made in regard to that. I also think that the point made by the Minister, that the Minister for Agriculture should be empowered to nominate the body, is sound enough. The Minister told the House that the national executive of the live-stock traders disappeared for a time and was then revived again. No organisation has a lease of life. I know that the national executive of live-stock traders is consulted on every matter pertaining to live stock by the Minister for Agriculture, and I have not the slightest doubt but that he will nominate the national executive of the live-stock trade.

We are legislating for the future. We do not know but that body may be superseded by some more representative body, but, in taking that line of argument, I think it should apply also to paragraph (d). I do not know why the Minister did not take power to nominate the bodies under paragraph (d). The Federation of Irish Manufacturers may or may not exist for a long time. It may be superseded by a more powerful body. In any case, I have no doubt that the Minister for Industry and Commerce would nominate that body under that particular sub-head. But, having proceeded, as he has done in the amendment when dealing with the live-stock interests, I do not see why he should depart from that principle so far as the other interests are concerned. I think the Minister should consider applying the same principle to paragraph (d).

Some other Deputies made representation that other interests should be considered; that, so far as the interests of the rural community are concerned, other commodities are exported and that representatives should be there to look after the particular interests. I think that would be almost impossible to do. But I think the Minister is wise in putting in the live-stock interest, because, after all, the live-stock interest is a special interest and requires particular accommodation and particular care in connection with handling and loading. I have no doubt that the live-stock interest's representatives will look after other agricultural interests as well. In dealing with this, the Minister referred to the live-stock trade. Actually, in the amendment the cattle trade is referred to. I do not know why he has put in "cattle trade members" instead of "live-stock trade members", because we export other live stock besides cattle. We export sheep and horses and, in the past, we exported live pigs. I think it is more desirable to use the words "live-stock trade" instead of "cattle trade".

In Part II of the Schedule the Minister has made no provision at all for such representation. I suggest that provision ought to be made for this in Part II also. While, at the moment, there may not be any great volume of traffic of live stock from ports other than the ports in Part I of the Schedule, there is a certain amount of such traffic in some of the ports, such as the ports of Drogheda and Dundalk, and perhaps other ports as well. As years go by that traffic may increase. I think the Minister ought to make provision that, in the event of any substantial volume of traffic passing through any of the ports included in Part II, the Minister for Agriculture would have power to nominate a live-stock representative.

I think the Minister in dealing with this amendment referred to the fact that Ballina Chamber of Commerce would be incorporated in this Bill. Looking over Part II, I find that Dundalk Chamber of Commerce is not mentioned. I do not know whether the Minister received any communication from that body. I believe they had a meeting. It was a live organisation, but during the war, of course, they had not very many meetings. So far as I know, they were not affiliated with the central organisation in Dublin.

Amendment No. 156 will bring them in.

Now, as regards all these amendments, my opinion is that it is characteristic of the Irish people that they should always want representation. A new football club will have great support for a while, but after a month or two, the officials find great difficulty in getting a quorum to attend the meetings. I happen to be a member of the Dundalk Harbour Board, by virtue of the fact that I was chairman of the urban council. Notwithstanding all that has been said regarding democratic representation, I find that the members who comprised that body did their business in an efficient manner, they lost no time in talking about other things, but simply stuck to the agenda and most of the meetings finished in half an hour's time. We might as well face the facts. Everyone knows the Minister cannot give representation to every interest in this country. Everyone knows that the large committee is about the most inefficient body one could have in any organisation.

The only thing I see arising from this Bill—bearing in mind the position of all the harbours on the eastern seaboard—is that there is a lot of representation of the British collieries. That gives some hope that, if and when this Bill is passed, we may have coal boats coming into Drogheda, Dundalk and Wexford ports, which at present are practically idle. We speak about representation, but that is really the type of representation we want and that is what the harbours here want as well. I agree that the Minister is prepared to do his best in providing the machinery, if and when the time comes when that machinery will be wanted; but as far as I am concerned personally, I have not a great deal of confidence, of faith or hope, in all the suggestions put forward here by the Minister and by Deputies, though they have been put forward honestly. I know the position of the harbours referred to. What we want is the coal boats and until we get them, all these grand amendments and grand representations are of very little good.

We heard Deputy Corry bemoaning the fact that representatives of the Irish manufacturers should have representation on the harbour authorities. He seems to be displeased at that, forgetting the fact that the Irish manufacturers are the very embodiment of the Fianna Fáil policy for the past 12 years, building up our industries. He seems to be displeased and he talks about giving representation to the people exporting through the port of Cork—exporting to Great Britain, of course—although he says we are able to consume in this country all that we produce. That is foolish. I believe it will be impossible for the Minister to give representation to all the interests seeking it.

Although I come from the working class myself, with all due respect to Labour, I would not go out of my way to have a representative of labour on any public authority. If they got elected to the county council or the urban council, well and good, and, after that, if they are chosen on harbour bodies or other bodies, well and good; but I do not think it is good policy to differentiate between different sections of the people. This being a small country, I firmly believe that we must all work together, that it is only by co-operation, by goodwill and by supporting one another, that we can succeed. I would not lose a night's sleep, as a worker myself, about having a working-class representative on the authority. If there is a good man there, who is intelligent and who is fit, he should be elected and he will be elected, but there is no reason to kick up a row. Naturally, by their intensive organisation, they will acquire that representation, not alone on harbour authorities but also on other public bodies, including the Dáil. Therefore, there is not a lot to be said in favour of having a labour representative, or, for that matter, any other representative.

I quite agree that there is a grievance as regards organised labour, in giving special representation to such bodies as the chamber of commerce. It could be called differentiation or class distinction, but I would not lose a night's sleep over it. The principal thing we want is trade for our ports and that is what I am thinking of at the moment. Whilst I agree that the Minister is wise to consolidate most of these amendments, and try to have a general discussion on the amendments proposed by the Minister, yet beyond and above all that, I hope the Minister will lose no time in bringing about what is most important of all, a little trade to our ports.

I was interested in one amendment, which is down in my name, regarding the election of nine representatives to the Drogheda Harbour Commissioners, in addition to those representatives who will be selected from the local authority, and the people who paid tonnage rates, plus the three who will be nominated—one of whom will be a labour representative—by the Minister himself. The existing franchise, I understand, is of a very restricted nature. In view of the discussion which has taken place here to-day, I do not propose to move that amendment. However, I would like to ask the Minister if he could give any indication as to the type of representative—other than the labour representative, which is guaranteed—he would nominate to the harbour authorities, in the case of Dundalk and Drogheda. In the case of the Dublin Corporation and the Cork Corporation, the numbers are increased. Would the Minister give some slight indication, though it may be too soon to ask for it now, as to the type of qualifications he would deem necessary that those representatives should have whom he intends to nominate? That information might be of assistance to the members of the House and might ward off a certain amount of criticism. It would not be much use if the Minister were going to nominate representatives who would act as "nosy-parkers" on the different harbour authorities, carrying information to the Minister which it would not be correct or wise that they should carry. I would like to know if the Minister would say something about that, as to what he has in his mind at the moment in regard to such nominations.

In the last sub-section in the Minister's amendment, sub-section 6 (b), provision is made for the representation of elected members by the shipping interest who pay a sum of £10 or, in any particular election where the Minister is of opinion that the application of the £10 limit would result in the number of electors being too small, who pay a lesser sum. I am interested in a particular small harbour, Balbriggan, which comes under the control of the Dublin Harbour and which will have no representation from the point of view of the £10 limit, though it normally might get representation on the lower figure. It could happen that, unless the Minister makes special provision, the smaller shipping interests there will not get any representation. In most other harbours, particularly the smaller ones, there naturally will be representation, but in Dublin a place like Balbriggan, which has room only for smaller ships and which would not come under the £10 qualification, there possibly will never be representation. I wonder if the Minister is satisfied that an adequate safeguard is given there to the smaller shipping interests. As Deputy Dockrell pointed out, the shipping interests are possibly the most vital on the port board. In this particular case, there is no representation from the local authority, since the local authority is the Dublin Corporation. I think the Minister should give some better safeguard to the smaller ports, particularly ports like Howth, Balbriggan and Skerries. Skerries I know has been under the control of the Dublin port as the law stands at the moment. These small ports do serve the particular towns and possibly serve even a larger area and I suggest to the Minister that he should give them adequate representation.

I want to join in the objection raised to the manner in which the Cork County Council has been treated in the proposed constitution of the new harbour authority for Cork. I certainly cannot conceive how it was proposed to give certain representation and completely ignore the county council in this matter. Some consideration should be given to a local authority in charge of the largest county in the State and consisting of representatives intimately and closely concerned with the trade of the county and with a particular knowledge of the problems that arise at meetings of the harbour authority. I hope that the Minister will, even at this stage, be in a position to give some indication that that is not his final intention and that before the Bill leaves the House some provision will be made in that respect.

There are two other matters that I want to mention. I want to voice the complaint of the people of Berehaven and Bantry as to the failure of the Minister to take cognisance of their position in relation to a measure of this kind. No provision has been made in regard to either place and there is a feeling in Berehaven and Bantry that they have been completely forgotten. The Minister's proposals will have the force of authority and any other proposals submitted from other quarters in this House will have a slender chance of succeeding, so I suggest that the Minister should take into account the position of the harbours in Bantry and Berehaven and the constitution of some authority, consisting partly of county council representatives, and the need for providing in some way for local representatives to act in conjunction with them to voice their claims and look after their interests in the future.

This is a very big Bill, involving large and varied interests. The claims of those places I have mentioned are no less important because the statement made in regard to them is a short one. I hope that the Minister will do something to meet the undoubted and very well defined claims that the people of these two districts have. I ask him to review his decision in regard to the Cork Harbour Authority for the purpose of allowing the premier local authority in the country, the Cork County Council, to have some place in the management of the affairs of the harbour.

In my opinion there is ample provision for the representation of every sectional interest in so far as the administration of harbour boards, and particularly of provincial harbour boards, is concerned. If I understood the Minister rightly, he stated that the area from which members can be elected is 20 miles. That may be all right in so far as Part I of the First Schedule is concerned, but I think he will find, from a little experience, that 20 miles will be a rather wide area from which to select representatives of harbour boards, particularly provincial harbour boards.

A good deal has been said about the representation of cattle trade organisations, live-stock interests and agricultural producers. Surely it is evident that ample provision is made so that each county council can have representation on harbour boards. If those people do not get representation it will be their own fault. Speaking from experience, I think the harbour boards will find it very difficult to get attendance, support and service from the cattle trade interests, even when they do elect them. That has been my experience over a period of 11 years. We elected people on our board to represent the cattle interests, but we could not get them to attend. That is not much to the credit of the people who clamour here and say that the cattle interests should get representation. I hope when they do get representation that they will utilise it in the future and not neglect things as in the past.

When these harbour boards are being constituted under this legislation I am satisfied it will mean a great improvement, particularly for the Port of Drogheda, which I represent. In Drogheda we have one of the outstanding harbours in this State. I can stand up here and claim that we do not owe one bob to any authority. Even the City of Dublin cannot claim that. I hold that that is due to efficient administration by the people who man that harbour board. A good deal of the chaos in many of the harbours in this State would never have occurred if the elected representatives discharged their duties in those harbours.

I have a good deal of sympathy with the claim made by Deputy O'Sullivan on behalf of the trades council. I know the personnel of the Drogheda Trades Council. There are on that body some very able men who earn their bread by their hands. I would like to see provision made so that men who are on the Drogheda Trades Council will get representation on bodies like the harbour board. We have representatives on the Drogheda Corporation, elected by the people, and they are men of intelligence and culture, competent to take their stand on any public body with representatives of any chamber of commerce in this State. I want to pay that tribute to the members of the Drogheda Trades Council.

I think the Minister would be well advised to give further consideration to those matters. I am quite satisfied every section can get representation, on the harbour boards, from our public boards, through this Bill. As far as we are concerned, at all events, in selecting representatives for the Drogheda Harbour Board, it can be accepted that every section there will get representation, whether it is Fianna Fáil, the now defunct Fine na Gael Party or the Labour Party. All sections will get representation—I am quite satisfied about that. I hope the Minister will make this Harbour Bill as successful as he has made so many other Bills, in the interests of trade and industry in this country.

Deputy Coburn stated that Deputy Corry had deplored the representation given to the Federation of Manufacturers on the new harbour authorities. That was not Deputy Corry's contention. His contention was very clearly that because certain members could represent the tonnage electors, the Federation of Manufacturers and either one or the other of the chambers of commerce, there might be voting on three different bodies for a representative on the harbour authority and consequently the representation would be overloaded by these interests. He contended, and I agree with him entirely, that those who produce the cattle, the sheep, the poultry and the eggs and butter, which are very important factors in our trade and commerce, would not, under the present system, get anything like the representation that was previously given under the old system that prevailed in Cork.

I agree with Deputy Murphy and Deputy O'Sullivan as regards the representation of labour interests. The Cork County Council, no matter what views they may have politically, when they came to electing members on these bodies, elected them in proportion to their membership. Where there was an opportunity of doing that by a fair number of members, we acted on that principle, but now the county council is cut out entirely, and, so far as the corporation is concerned, the representation is so small that small interests will have a very poor chance of getting any member in at all. In consequence, I suggest that the Minister should increase the membership to at least 21, which corresponds with the present membership of the Cork Corporation. I think it would be very wise because there would be a chance of getting representatives from the county council who represent the rural community. While I subscribe to Deputy Corry's contentions in other respects, I may say that, while I would enthusiastically support a change of street names in both Cork and Cobh, I am not advocating a change of name in respect of Cork Harbour.

We have more than a passing interest in Waterford Harbour. On the old harbour board, there were 12 members elected by the Waterford Chamber of Commerce, seven by the Waterford Corporation and four representing Clonmel—a total of 23. Under the Bill, the board will consist of five members appointed by Waterford Corporation, four elected by Waterford Chamber of Commerce, two elected by the payers of shipping tonnage dues and four appointed by the Minister—a total of 15. I should like to suggest a few additions to that. The greater part of the cargoes of shipping out of Waterford harbour is supplied by the North and South Ridings of Tipperary. The length of the county which the harbour serves is 60 or 70 miles. Waterford County would be about 15 miles from where it leaves the Carrick border and I suggest that it would be very fair if we had a representative of the Carrick Urban Council on the board. Clonmel Corporation would be entitled to two and the north and south ridings of the county to two each. I think that would be a fair representation.

Sixty per cent. of the traffic out of Waterford comes from County Tipperary. The river perhaps 60 years ago was navigable as far as the village of Ardfinnan and was navigable to Clonmel up to 23 years ago. There was a grant being made by the British Government about the time of the Treaty towards the canalising of the river four miles from Clonmel in the southern direction. I am sure that Clonmel Corporation or Waterford Harbour Board would have a record of it. What became of it, I have not been informed. When four members were appointed originally from Clonmel, boats were doing practically the bulk of the transport and the Clonmel members must have done very useful work. The boats which carried that traffic from Waterford to Clonmel were horse-drawn and they ceased 20 years ago as a result of a labour strike, but the time may come when, by the use of petrol or steam-propelled boats, the road traffic from Waterford City could be relieved. Possibly much of the cattle traffic from Clonmel to Waterford, as well as up traffic from Waterford to Clonmel could be carried on these boats. As Deputy Coburn said, if coal comes again, which is a very remote possibility, it may be possible to use it for drawing coal or turf and the canalising of the river where it has become rather shallow would be well worth consideration.

Would the Deputy deal with the matter before the House—the constitution of these boards?

This matter deals with Waterford harbour, and this was the principal outlet to Waterford and may be again.

Quite, but on this section we are dealing with the constitution of these harbour boards.

Here we have Tipperary non-represented at the moment. There should be representation for Carrick Urban Council, Clonmel Corporation and the North and South Ridings County Councils. I think Deputy Mulcahy has an amendment down to that effect.

How many do you want?

I am not cutting in on Deputy Mulcahy, because, on the Second Reading of the Bill, I mentioned this matter of representation for these bodies, and I mention it again. Great minds think alike.

That puts the Deputy into a definite class.

Whether Deputy Mulcahy took his cue from your humble servant, I do not know, but it does not matter in the least, because we are both on the same lines—representation for County Tipperary. I am not stealing Deputy Mulcahy's thunder; I should not like to do that or attempt to do it.

Deputy O'Donnell and the other great mind want to get representation on the Waterford Harbour Board for the town of Clonmel. I think they would have been wise to have taken the elementary precaution of reading the observations of the Port and Harbours Tribunal upon the issue of representation for Clonmel on the Waterford Harbour Board. I will read an extract:—

"It also transpired in evidence that the Clonmel members seldom attended a meeting of the harbour board. Indeed, it might fairly be said that, during the ten years preceding our inquiry, Clonmel was unrepresented on the board, except on one occasion when the whole five members attended to assist at the appointment of a clerical officer on the board's staff."

It was closed down for many years.

The Clonmel representation was closed down.

But it may be opened again.

It is the old story —when there is something to be given away, they will all be there.

The tribunal said that whatever justification there was for giving the town of Clonmel representation on the Waterford Harbour Board when the Act was originally enacted, that justification appeared to have passed, and they did not, in fact, recommend it.

What about all the cattle we are sending from Tipperary?

How about the Carrick members—did they attend? He staked a claim for Carrick also.

They never had representation on Waterford Harbour Board. I want Deputies to understand that up to the present the problem which has been most acute in respect of membership of harbour boards has been to secure the attendance of those who were appointed in sufficient numbers to enable the business of the boards to be carried on properly. There are exceptions to that. Dublin is an exception, Drogheda is an exception. The busier ports were always able to ensure a fairly large attendance of members of the harbour boards. The smaller ports, and the ports where trade was declining, had a greater difficulty, and in many cases the persons who were least regular in their attendance were the representatives of public bodies, those who had no personal business interests associated with the ports and were chosen to safeguard the general public interest. In many cases the harbour boards with an effective membership were those whose businesses were associated with the ports. They were naturally affected either for good or ill by the adequacy or otherwise of the facilities provided by the port authorities. Any tendency to unduly enlarge the membership of harbour boards by the appointment of persons who might represent some general interest and have no direct and immediate concern with the management of the port would, I think, be a mistake. It will tend to secure that these new bodies will start off on a better basis than some of the old bodies and will become more in the nature of a forum at which views will be debated rather than a business executive with a job to do.

I had originally intended to adhere strictly to the recommendations of the tribunal which were, in fact, designed to give specific power to put persons on a harbour board, but gave no indication or direction as to the type of representative they should choose. I still think it is wise to maintain that principle as closely as possible, but I have, in consequence of representations made to me, proposed to depart from it somewhat in respect of the four main ports, and to allow the nomination of persons to the authorities of these ports who will be representative of particular interests. I must agree that, having breached the position which I had intended to take up in that respect, I am not as well able to resist the proposal to give special representation to labour interests as I might otherwise have been. I still have considerable doubts as to its wisdom.

It is true that I had put in the Bill a provision which was not contained in the recommendations of the tribunal and which limited the discretion of the Minister in respect of his appointments, in one respect by requiring him to have one person chosen by him because he was representative of, or was familiar with, labour interests. I might have withdrawn that proposal again if we had maintained the proposed constitution of harbour boards as recommended by the tribunal, on the grounds that the nomination to be made by the Minister should be used solely for the purpose of making good any deficiencies in the representative capacity of the harbour boards resulting from the appointments made by other bodies. Conceivably, but not probably, all persons nominated by a local authority might be labour representatives in which case it was clearly unnecessary to add to the number of such representatives by any other method. But, on the other hand, it is conceivable that none of them would be representative of labour interests, in which case it would be clearly desirable that the power of nomination by the Minister should be exercised to secure that there should be such representation.

It is clearly desirable that there should be representation, but how to get the best type of representation is the problem. It is a particular problem at the present time. If we were to give the power of direct representation to labour interests on the boards of a number of harbours as we are giving representation to live-stock interests and manufacturing interests, we would have to adopt a device somewhat similar to that which I have adopted in relation to the live-stock interests, the device of giving the Minister power to nominate a body which would exercise the power. I think it is true to say that the Dublin Trades Council at present has lost the affiliation of unions, if not the most representative, certainly of unions that are very representative of the type of workers who find a livelihood at the port, and I think that the Cork Council no longer contains representatives of the only union which caters for labour at Cork port. That situation may end, and I hope it will end. It may provide an argument for those who want to end it to show that the mere existence of it prevents us getting a simple method of securing direct representation of labour interests in a case such as this. But should there be such representation, the harbour authority will not merely be an executive authority managing the business of a port, it will also be an employer, and in a matter of this kind it may not merely be an embarrassment to the harbour authority but an embarrassment to those bargaining with it on behalf of labour interests, if there was a conflict of responsibility. I think that those who go on a harbour authority should go on with one purpose only, and that is to do the business of the harbour properly. They certainly should not have the idea that they are already briefed on behalf of some particular interest.

However, I would like Deputy O'Sullivan and other Deputies who spoke in favour of the amendment to give direct representation on harbour boards to trades councils to consider the matter again between this and the Report Stage. I ask them to remember that I could not accept at all an amendment which would name an existing trades council in circumstances where there may be two such bodies at the moment. The one named in the amendment may, in fact, have no representative of the type of labour which should be represented and would be entitled to claim that representation on the harbour board. I think that would involve some other method of securing such representation. I propose a method myself in the Bill. I say that the Minister shall appoint at least one person who shall be representative of labour interests. There may be many more such persons, but there will be at least one nominated by him, and he could, if he thought the circumstances required it, nominate all four. Alternatively, you could say that instead of nominating one of the four the Minister would have the further right of nomination confined to representatives of labour interests, or, alternatively, that the Minister would have the power to designate—in present circumstances I would not like to have it—the nominating body.

Deputy Mulcahy and other Deputies spoke about the representation given to chambers of commerce on harbour boards. I emphasised, when speaking before, that these harbour authorities are local bodies. I want to qualify that in relation to the four main harbours, and what I said in relation to the representation for labour interests applies only to the four main harbours. The representation which we are proposing to give to the live-stock trade and the Federation of Irish Manufacturers is confined to the four main harbours. I think it can be argued that the principle of purely local representation can be departed from in the case of the four main harbours because their business is of national concern and the adequacy of the facilities provided by these four main harbours has repercussions far outside the areas in which the harbours are located but, leaving aside these four main harbours, and speaking of the secondary harbours, I would strongly oppose any suggestion that would include in their membership persons who could not be described as representative of local interests only. These harbours are, in the main, in competition one with the other. The development of these harbours, the improvement of the facilities, the lowering of the rates, the attraction of trade to them, is a matter in which all the local interests are concerned and they should be allowed to develop their harbour and attract trade to it, if necessary in competition with a neighbouring harbour, by the improvement of their facilities, the increase of the efficiency of their administration, or otherwise. I think we should not have in relation to these smaller harbours any other provision in their constitution except the designation of the authorities who are going to appoint members on their boards.

The chambers of commerce were chosen because, of the various commercial organisations that exist in this country, only the chambers of commerce could be said to be representative of purely local interests in the case of these harbour boards. The Federation of Irish Manufacturers is a national organisation. It has no local branches. Other similar commercial organisations are constituted on a national basis or on a regional basis. The chamber of commerce is a body which is composed of the local commercial interests, designed to foster the local commercial interests and, clearly, they are the persons who should have the right to nominate upon the harbour authority which is concerned with the management and development of a local institution.

Deputy Mulcahy referred to the fact that in some of these areas there is no chamber of commerce. I am proposing to add, by way of amendment to the Schedule, provision for representation of the chamber of commerce in some additional centres—Ballina and Dundalk were mentioned. The recommendation of the Harbours Tribunal was to confine representation to chambers of commerce which were affiliated to the central organisation, what they call the Associated Chamber of Commerce. I decided to depart from that and to give power and representation to a chamber of commerce where it is obvious that such an organisation exists. The Minister must decide that and provision exists in the Bill, or will be inserted in the Bill, to provide that in any case where it does not appear there is a chamber of commerce, the moment such an organisation appears which is thoroughly representative of local commercial interests the Minister may add it to the list of bodies entitled to representation on the harbour board. On the other hand, if in any particular place a chamber of commerce ceases to function and by becoming inactive loses the claim to be representative of local commercial interests, then the Minister may remove it from the Schedule and deprive it of its right of nomination or substitute some other chamber for it if the other chamber appears in fact to be the more representative body. That machinery will avoid a recurrence of what has happened to harbour authorities in the past, where certain people were given powers of nomination or certain organisations were given rights of membership, where either the individuals failed to exercise their right or the organisation disappeared and, in the case of one harbour authority, an arrangement was made for the election of the original members and apparently no arrangement was made for any subsequent election so that the original members or persons co-opted by them have continued in unbroken membership for some time.

In some cases the father nominated the son.

Now it is the stepfather they are blaming.

Deputy Dockrell complained about the cutting down of the representation of shipping interests. Let us be quite clear again that this Bill does not cut down the representation that is given to any interest. There is a provision that two members of these harbour boards will be elected by persons who are qualified electors by reason of their shipping interests, but there is certainly nothing to prevent the Dublin Corporation, in the case of Dublin, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, or the Minister, putting other persons associated with shipping or having shipping interests on the harbour authority. Clearly, it would be a matter of concern to the chamber of commerce in each case to ensure that those who had shipping interests in the ports or who might bring shipping business to the ports or develop the use made of the facilities provided should be represented on the harbour board. What we are doing is providing a different method of choosing the members from that which existed in the past. In the past, the person chosen by the shipping interests or by the importers of goods through the Port of Dublin had the great majority of the Dublin Port Board. The Dublin Corporation, which was the only other nominated body, had a minority representation. I do not think that is desirable. I think it is always undesirable that the control of a harbour authority should pass entirely into the hands of shipping interests. I think that wherever that has happened the efficiency of the harbour administration has suffered considerably.

Deputy Cogan inquired why we adopted the device of having the Minister for Agriculture nominate the organisation that is to have the right of representation on behalf of the cattle trade while we did not adopt a similar device in the case of the Federation of Irish Manufacturers. In the first case, I should like to point out that the Federation of Irish Manufacturers stand in particular relationship with the Department of Industry and Commerce. It has received something approaching official recognition, which recognition goes to the extent of having an officer of the Department of Industry and Commerce on the council of the federation for liaison purposes. The distinction made, however, is not intended to be to the detriment of the cattle trade. Quite the reverse. As the amendment stands, the requirement will be to have representatives of the cattle trade secured through some organisation designated by the Minister for Agriculture. If one organisation disappears, he will designate another. If the Federation of Irish Manufacturers disappears, nothing will take its place and, what is more, if it did, I do not think anything should take its place. I think the arrangements made to secure representation of commercial interests otherwise would be adequate. While it exists, we are giving it that right of representation. I do not think it will not continue to exist, but if a situation should arise in which it ceases to be active, then it would either lose that right of representation altogether or that right, under another provision, would be exercisable by the Minister who would, in consequence of the failure of the federation to exercise it, have the responsibility of nominating persons who were representative of manufacturing interests.

I do not think it is necessary to secure any special representation for other agricultural interests. I think it is a mistaken idea that those who produce eggs, butter or certain other agricultural products are ultimately concerned with the method of their disposal. The person who produces eggs sells them to a trader in eggs, an egg exporter; a person who produces milk, sells it to a creamery and at a very early stage in the process of production and distribution these commodities pass into the hands of traders. We have, I think, taken adequate steps to secure representation of these trading interests on the harbour boards and they are the persons who should be represented because they are concerned with the efficiency of the harbour administration and the adequacy of the facilities provided.

Deputy Corry said that only one of the 19 members of the Cork Harbour Board would be from Cobh. So far as the Bill is concerned, all 19 can be from Cobh. There is certainly nothing in the Bill to prevent it and if the Cork Corporation, the Cork Chambers of Commerce, the Cork shipping interests or the Minister believe that, Cobh has not got sufficient representation at any particular election then they can be given additional representation. What we are providing for is that, of the five local authority members, one at least must be a representative of the Cobh Urban Council.

Neither was it correct to say that, in the case of Dingle, we are depriving the fishermen of representation. The Dingle Harbour Board is at present constituted on a special basis which gives representation to fishing interests. These fishing interests may be entitled to elect their representatives as qualified electors in respect of the payment of tonnage dues. But, in any event, it is to be assumed that the Kerry County Council, or the Minister for Industry and Commerce, will choose persons who will be representative of those who are using the Dingle harbour, and there is no reason to fear that the fishing interests will not be represented on the harbour board.

A Deputy asked me to indicate the type of representatives I may appoint on the harbour boards. I think the Minister for Industry and Commerce, when considering the appointment of representatives, would have the duty of choosing persons who were representative of local interests or personally suitable for membership of the harbour board but who, for any reason, failed to secure that membership through one or other of the bodies. That is certainly what is intended; that when the local authorities and the chamber of commerce have made their nominations, the qualified electors have elected their representatives, the Minister for Industry and Commerce will get a list of those who are, at that stage, members-elect, and will consider to what extent any particular local interest has failed to get adequate representation or whether some individual, who is specially qualified for membership, should be added on. That certainly has been the practice which I have endeavoured to follow in the case of harbour authorities where I have the power of nomination at present. It is also certain that that is the practice which we will follow in the future. Very frequently, the problem is to get the persons who are the most suitable for membership to agree to act. Frequently, such a person will hesitate before allowing their names to go before a local body or a local council for fear they might not be successful in their candidature, but he will accept nomination from the Minister because there is then no element of doubt as to whether the person will be appointed or not. In my experience, most of the persons who have agreed to accept membership of a harbour board on Ministerial nomination are the most active and useful members of these boards.

Deputy Murphy referred to the absence of any reference in the Bill to Berehaven and Bantry. There are a number of harbours not referred to in the Bill and which were not dealt with by the tribunal because they were not mentioned in the tribunal's terms of reference. Provision is, however, made in the Bill to elevate any harbour into the Class B category if the trade of that harbour develops sufficiently to justify the creation of a separate harbour authority. Generally, the set-up will be, Class A harbours constituted as proposed here; Class B harbours, that is smaller harbours which are doing some fairly considerable trade; and smaller harbours which, in the tribunal's and in my view, should be managed by the county councils, but which may, because of some development of business, be graded up to Class B harbours, just as Class B harbours can be graded up to Class A harbours. Provision is made in the Bill to enable a harbour of the Class B type to be graded as a Class A harbour and for county council harbours, or other local harbours not at present mentioned in the Bill, to graduate into Class B, if their trade develops to an extent which would justify that. In my view, Berehaven and Bantry and smaller ports, which are not at present doing sufficient trade to justify the creation of a special harbour authority for them, should be managed by the county councils. But county councils are not always willing to take over the management of these smaller ports and to accept the financial responsibility involved in their management.

Deputy Murphy and Deputy Corry referred to the fact that Cork County Council is not getting representation on the Cork Harbour Board. It is not, any more than is Dublin County Council getting representation on the Dublin Harbour Board. There is, however, power in the Bill to enable the Cork County Council to be given representation on the Cork Harbour Board if the Cork County Council undertakes any financial responsibility or obligation in relation to the development of Cork Harbour. The same thing applies to other cases. An additional local authority may be given representation on the harbour board by reason of the fact that it guarantees a loan or otherwise accepts some financial obligation arising out of the development of the harbour. I hope the Cork Deputies will not think that leaving the Cork County Council off the Cork Harbour Board is in any way intended to be detrimental to Cork interests. We are, in fact, putting Cork Harbour in the position of being a Class A harbour and constituting the board in precisely the same manner as the Dublin, Limerick and Waterford boards. It is only in the case of smaller harbours, which are regarded as not being of national importance, but only of local importance, that special provision is made to secure county council representation, and then again, in the case of these smaller harbours, the county council must, in fact, come to the aid of the harbour authority financially when a special development work has to be undertaken. I think that to adopt Deputy Corry's and Deputy Murphy's suggestion with reference to Cork Harbour might be interpreted as putting Cork Harbour back into the Class B category, which would, I am sure, offend Cork sentiments.

There are 15 members to be appointed to the Waterford Harbour Board as against 23 on the old board. There are to be five from the Waterford Corporation, four from the Waterford Chamber of Commerce, and two members elected by shipping firms. That is a total of 11 out of 15. Would that mean those importing goods or those exporting goods?

Paying tonnage rates on ships.

That would mean the import of goods. That seems a very big number. The Minister has the right to appoint four. I am sure that half the rates paid in Waterford Harbour come from my native county. Is not the representation of Waterford top-heavy, with 11 representatives?

The Clonmel representatives never attended. What is the good of giving them representation when they do not attend? That was at a time, too, when there was some trade.

When the Minister is nominating these four members, might I suggest that he should bear in mind the great export of cattle from Tipperary? There are quite a lot of goods exported from there. Clonmel has a population of close on 11,000 and is paying very big tonnage rates. Might I suggest that one of these would be the Clonmel merchant with the biggest tonnage rates in Clonmel and that one would be from the export cattle trade in my native county?

The matter will be kept in mind, without any commitment.

I thank the Minister.

Would the Minister remember Deputy Hughes's suggestion regarding the live-stock traders instead of the cattle traders?

I will look into that, though I do not think it makes a lot of difference. They are the same trade or organisation.

Mr. O'Sullivan

I would put in a word, in order to remove a doubt.

I do not want to curtail the discussion, but would remind Deputies that they will have this again on the Report Stage.

Mr. O'Sullivan

In regard to the Minister's reference to the type of representation that labour would enjoy on the port boards and the numerous statements which have been made, I would tell him that representatives of commercial interests, so far as the Port of Dublin is concerned, have, from time to time, expressed the opinion that the contribution which labour members have made on that board is not less valuable in the general administration of the board than that of any other section. I think the very fact that labour members are on the board is regarded by the board as a whole as being a certain influence for good, so far as purely labour matters are concerned. It is rather significant that, for a very long number of years, there has been no serious trouble between the board and its employees.

I am sure that is true. Of course, these labour members get representation through the Dublin Corporation and I presume they will continue to get it.

In regard to the nominations made by the Minister, have we any assurance that the persons nominated will be persons resident in the locality of the harbours?

Section 19 of the Bill disqualifies any person who is not a resident, unless he is a local authority representative.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 9 to 29, inclusive, not moved.

The House will go into Committee again on the Report Stage in respect of amendments that have been tabled. Lest there be any doubt about it, I would make it clear that it is for Deputies to retable the amendments if they so desire, if they are not met by the Minister's new section. For the purpose of those amendments, we will revert to Committee, that is to say, the House and the Minister have agreed to go into Committee for the purpose of amendments retabled on Report on Section 7.

Existing amendments only?

They must be related to them, or there might be some others. I have to take into account that Deputies had not seen this new form of these provisions.

Section 7, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 8.

I move amendment No. 30:—

In sub-section (1), page 11, to delete all words from the words "that the" in line 44 to the end of the sub-section and substitute the following:—

either—

(i) that the assisting authority shall appoint one or more of the local authority members of the harbour authority and that the number of such members to be appointed by any local authority which under this Act would ordinarily appoint such members shall be reduced correspondingly, or

(ii) that the assisting authority shall appoint one or more additional local authority members of the harbour authority.

Where a local authority gives financial assistance to a harbour board, it was proposed that it would get representation on the harbour board by reducing the representation previously enjoyed by other local authorities. The purpose of this amendment is to permit the possibility of an alternative, that is, of the giving of representation to the individual authority rendering financial assistance by an addition to the membership of the harbour board.

Do they get that representation no matter how small the assistance?

I suppose so, if they make it a condition of their assistance and if the board really needs it.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 8, as amended, agreed to.
Section 9 agreed to.
SECTION 10.

I move amendment No. 31:—

In sub-section (1) to delete in line 24 the word "and", and to insert before paragraph (c) the following paragraphs:—

(c) the appointment, if the harbour authority is mentioned in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act, by the appropriate organisation of cattle traders of persons to be the cattle trader members of the harbour authority;

(d) the appointment, if the harbour authority is mentioned in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act, by the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Limited, of persons to be the manufacturer members of the harbour authority, and.

This is consequential on the amending of Section 7.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 32 and 33 not moved.

I move amendment No. 34:—

Before sub-section (5) to insert the following new sub-sections:—

(5) Where, during the period beginning on the 7th day of July and ending on the 31st day of August in an election year, an organisation of cattle traders required under this Act to appoint persons to be cattle trader members of a harbour authority fail to comply with such requirement either by not appointing any such persons or by appointing less than the number of such persons which they are so required to appoint, the Minister may, as soon as conveniently may be, appoint so many persons to be members of the harbour authority as will remedy such failure.

(6) Where, during the period beginning on the 7th day of July and ending on the 31st day of August in an election year, the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Limited, being required under this Act to appoint persons to be manufacturer members of a harbour authority, fail to comply with such requirement either by not appointing any such persons or by appointing less than the number of such persons which they are so required to appoint, the Minister may, as soon as conveniently may be, appoint so many persons to be members of the harbour authority as will remedy such failure.

This is consequential.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 35 not moved.

I move amendment No. 36:—

In sub-section (6), page 12, to delete in line 58 and 59 the words and figures "sub-section (3), (4) or (5)" and substitute the words and figures "sub-section (3), (4), (5), (6) or (7)" and to insert in line 62 before the word "or" the words "a cattle trader member, a manufacturer member".

This is consequential also.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 37 not moved.
Section 10, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 11.

I move amendment No. 38:—

Before Section 11 to insert a new section as follows:—

Where, as respects the election to be held in any particular election year of the elected member of a harbour authority, the Minister is of opinion that the electors will be so few in number as to render inappropriate the holding of the election, the Minister may by Order direct that the election shall not be held and thereupon—

(a) the election shall not be held, and

(b) the Minister shall, during the period beginning on the 1st day of September and ending on the second Thursday in the month of October in the election year, appoint two persons who in his opinion are representative of payers of tonnage rates to the harbour authority to be the elected members of the harbour authority and such persons shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have been duly elected as the elected members of the harbour authority.

This is a redraft of Section 11. The original draft gave the Minister for Industry and Commerce power to direct that elections would not be held at a particular harbour where, in his opinion, the payers of drainage rates were too few in number to warrant such action. As electors have now been more specifically defined in the new Section 7, this amendment gives the Minister power to direct that the election shall not be held where the certified electors, as distinct from the payers of drainage rates, are so few as not to justify an election.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 11 not moved.
Section 12 agreed to.
SECTION 13.
Amendments Nos. 39 and 40 not moved.

I move amendment No. 41:—

To delete sub-section (1) and substitute the following sub-section:—

(1) The Minister shall make regulations in relation to the manner in which an election of the elected members of a harbour authority is to be conducted and such other matters relating to such election as he thinks proper.

This amendment is to give the Minister power to make regulations in relation to the manner in which an election of elected members of a harbour authority is to be conducted and such other matters relating to the election as he thinks proper. We have now, by the amendment of Section 7, set out more clearly than originally intended the qualifications of electors and who should be entitled to take part. It is proposed to take power by regulation to prescribe the manner in which the election will be held if, in fact, there is an election. There will not be one, of course, if the number of electors is too few to justify that procedure.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 13, as amended, agreed to.
Section 14 agreed to.
SECTION 15.

I move amendment No. 42:—

In sub-section (1), to insert before paragraph (c) the following paragraphs:—

(c) if the member was a cattle trader member, the organisation of cattle traders by whom he was appointed shall, within two months after notice of the vacancy has been given to them under this section, appoint a person to be a cattle trader member to fill the vacancy,

(d) if the member was a manufacturer member, the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Limited, shall, within two months after notice of the vacancy has been given to them under this section, appoint a person to be a manufacturer member to fill the vacancy.

This also is consequential on the change in Section 7.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 43 and 44 not moved.

I move amendment No. 45:—

Before sub-section (5), page 14, to insert the following new sub-sections:—

(5) Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of a harbour authority by reason of the death, resignation or disqualification of a cattle trader member, the harbour authority shall forthwith give notice by post of the vacancy to the organisation of cattle traders by whom the member was appointed.

(6) Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of a harbour authority by reason of the death, resignation, or disqualification of a manufacturer member, the harbour authority shall forthwith give notice by post of the vacancy to the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Limited.

This is consequential on amendment. No. 8.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 46 not moved.

I move amendment. No. 47:—

In sub-section (6), to delete all words from the words "local authority" in line 21 to the words "the vacancy" in line 23 and substitute the words "member appointed by a body specified in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) of sub-section (1) of this section and such body" and to delete in lines 34 and 35 the words "the local authority or chamber of commerce to be a local authority member or a chamber of commerce" and substitute the words "such body to be a local authority member, a chamber of commerce member, a cattle trader member or a manufacturer".

This is consequential also on amendment No. 8.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 48 not moved.
Section 15, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 16, 17 and 18 agreed to.
SECTION 19.

I would like to deal with amendment No. 49, if some Deputy would move it.

On behalf of Deputy Eamonn O'Neill, I move amendment No. 49:—

In sub-section (1) (c) to delete all words from the word "except" in line 9 to the word "member" in line 10.

It is provided that a member must live within 20 miles of the harbour, unless he is an appointee of the local authority. Deputy O'Neill wants to make that residence condition apply even to a local authority appointee. I do not think that is desirable. I can mention as an example the specific case of the Galway County Council, which has guaranteed a substantial loan for the Galway Harbour authority and is on that account entitled to representation on the harbour board. However, there are many parts of Galway more than 20 miles away from the harbour and it would be clearly unfair to deprive the county council of the right to put on any person it thought fit from its membership to safeguard its interest in the harbour board, particularly when the payment of interest on that loan is a county-at-large charge.

Is the Minister accepting the amendment?

No, I am opposing it for that reason.

May I take it as negatived?

Yes—that is, Deputy O'Neill's amendment.

Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 50:—

In sub-section (1), paragraph (c), line 11, after the word "resides" to insert the words "or has a place of business".

It may be that a man lives more than 20 miles away, but might have very considerable interests in the port. In that case it would be unfair to debar him from being on the port board. We do not know in the future what mechanical improvements will come about; people may be living considerably more than 20 miles away from their place of business and that is my reason for moving the amendment.

The purpose of the limitation was not so much to confine representation to persons with business interests in the port area as to confine it to persons who could conveniently attend and who could be expected to attend board meetings. The case was raised more specifically in relation to Foynes Harbour, where local business interests are represented by oil companies which are very intimately concerned with the development of the harbour and which bring most of the trade to the harbour. It seemed desirable that the persons who accept membership of the harbour authority should reside in the harbour area and should be able to attend harbour board meetings with reasonable regularity. The experience has been that, where members secured election or accepted nomination to the harbour authority, but lived a considerable distance away, they did not attend and it is a repetition of that circumstance that we are trying to avoid. Perhaps the Deputy will leave this amendment over. I should like to consider it and I might go some distance towards meeting him. In the case of the Dublin area it is possible to have a different rule to what might apply elsewhere. There is a special problem at Foynes. It could be argued that if a man had a place of business he might be likely to attend meetings sufficiently frequently.

It is entirely from the point of view of Dublin, where a lack of interest would not arise—at least, not to the same extent —if the man had a place of business.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 51:—

In sub-section (2), lines 29 and 30, to delete the words "is absent from every meeting" and substitute the words "is absent from more than half of the meetings".

I think I will accept that.

It is just to keep the members up to scratch.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 19, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 20.

I move amendment No. 52:—

In sub-section (1), page 15, to delete in line 62 the words "a triennial" and substitute the words "an annual" and to delete in line 63 the words "an election" and substitute the word "every".

This is consequential on the proposal to have an annual rather than a triennial election of chairman.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 53:—

In sub-section (2), page 16, to delete in line 1 the words "a triennial" and substitute the words "an annual", to delete in line 3 the word "election" and to delete in line 5 the word "seven" and substitute the word "twenty-one".

This also is consequential.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 54:—

In sub-section (3), line 8, to delete the word "triennial" and substitute the word "annual".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 55:—

In sub-section (6), line 25, to delete the words "chairman, or" and substitute the words "chairman or an officer of the harbour authority authorised by them in that behalf, or,".

This is a different matter. This amendment is proposed at the suggestion of the Galway Harbour Commissioners, who suggested that it might not always be possible to obtain the chairman's signature to a notice of an intended meeting. The amendment provides that an officer may be authorised to do so on his behalf.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 56:—

In sub-section (7), lines 32 and 33, to delete the words "the secretary of the harbour authority" and substitute the words "an officer of the harbour authority authorised by them in that behalf".

This is consequential.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 56a:—

In sub-section (8), page 16, line 40, to delete the words ", except, in the case of a triennial meeting, business" and substitute the words "and such business (if any) as may be".

This also is consequential.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 20, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 21.

I move amendment No. 57:—

In sub-section (1), line 42, to delete the words "a triennial" and substitute the words "an annual".

That is the same point as was met in amendment No. 52.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 58:—

In sub-section (2), to delete all words from the words "the expiration" in line 49 to the end of the sub-section, and substitute the words "immediately before the commencement of the next annual meeting of the harbour authority".

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 59 falls when amendment No. 58 is accepted.

Amendment No. 59 not moved.
Section 21, as amended, agreed to.

I move amend ment No. 60:—

After the word "present" in lines 17 and 21, to insert the words "and voting".

Will the Minister accept this amendment?

The Minister will recall the trouble that arose at Sligo and other places with regard to the election of a mayor or chairman where certain individuals could come into the room and if they liked to frustrate the decision of the meeting they could decide to abstain from voting, and the necessary majority could not be secured. I think my amendment will ensure that a decision should be reached in the proper way.

I see the Deputy's point, but I am anxious to keep all the provisions of this Bill that relate to the proceedings of harbour boards in conformity with the legislation that relates to the proceedings of local authorities. It is desirable that we should use precisely the same words, and have exactly the same provisions, so that not merely will the members of the harbour board and local authority be familiar with the procedure, but any interpretation placed on the relevant provision in the Local Government Acts will apply in this case. There are many advantages in having the various provisions of this Bill which govern the proceedings of a harbour board the same as those in local government legislation which apply to local government authorities.

The Deputy's point is that there is need for an amendment of the Local Government Act. It may be the Local Government Act could be improved in that respect. I am anxious that this legislation should in this respect remain the same as the local government legislation. Perhaps the Deputy will leave the matter over, and I will see if the Minister for Local Government contemplates an amendment of the local government legislation because of the difficulties that arose and to which he referred.

It is dealt with, I think, in the new Act.

There is reference to the election of mayors. Those present and not voting do not count.

I should like to look into that matter and that is the reason I am anxious that the amendment should be left over.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 61:—

In paragraph (g) after the word "receives" in line 33, to insert the words "on a poll".

I brought forward this amendment in order to bring the wording of the section into line. I think the words I have suggested would improve the section. It is desirable that the form in which a decision is taken should be inserted in the section.

We have copied this section from the Local Government Act, 1941.

Perhaps you would like to have a look at it again?

Yes. Of course, the Deputy will understand why I am anxious to keep the section in this form.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 22 and 23 agreed to.
SECTION 24.

I move amendment No. 62:—

In sub-section (1), line 14, to delete the word "seven" and substitute the word "five".

This is the amendment to which I made reference already which decreases the quorum from seven to five. A large number of the harbour authorities recommend this amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 63 has fallen with amendments Nos. 5 and 32 and some others.

Amendment No. 63 not moved.

I move amendment No. 64:—

In sub-section (3), line 30, to insert before the words "A question" the words "Save as otherwise provided by this Act,".

This amendment is necessary to cover the case of the suspension or removal of a general manager which, under the provisions of Section 39, requires a two-thirds vote of the members. It is a drafting amendment more than anything else.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 65 not moved.

I move amendment No. 66:—

Before sub-section (4) to insert the following new sub-section:—

(4) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, no officer of a harbour authority shall be removed from office unless with the consent of two-thirds of the members of such authority present and voting at the meeting of such authority at which the question of such removal is decided.

I think that attention was drawn to the point covered by this amendment by the Dublin Port and Docks Board. It is that certain employees were covered to the extent that they could not be finally dispensed with except by a certain majority of the board and it is to ensure a continuation of that cover that this amendment is moved.

While I am aware that certain officers of the Dublin Port Board enjoyed that very special status, I think it would be undesirable to give a similar status to all employees of all harbour boards. The Bill as framed empowers a local authority, with the sanction of the Minister, to remove an officer, and I think the need to obtain Ministerial sanction is sufficient safeguard. While I can understand that some officers of the Dublin Port and Docks Board may feel that their situation is affected because they have this very special right, I do not think that would be a justification for giving similar rights to all officers of all harbour boards. Having regard to the possibility of abuse, and I suppose that is the only thing the officers may have in mind, that is, the possibility that they may be unfairly or wrongly dismissed by a chance majority of the harbour board, I think the danger of that is minimised, if not eliminated altogether, by the necessity to obtain Ministerial sanction before it becomes effective. I therefore could not agree to accept the amendment. It would be wrong to provide that, once a person becomes an officer of the harbour board, he can in practice never be dismissed, no matter how justified his dismissal may be. A majority of a harbour board, which will be always slow to act except upon a very definite case, supported by Ministerial sanction, is sufficient and is an adequate safeguard for the officer concerned.

Mr. O'Sullivan

Would the Minister not agree that it would be at least equitable that those who have enjoyed that cover up to this should have it continued, that it should not be removed as a result of the introduction of this Bill?

We are laying down a general law which will apply to all harbour authorities and getting out of the position in which every authority had its own law. That general law must determine the position in relation to the Dublin Port and Docks Board. There are certain officers of that board with special privileges of one kind or another who no doubt will continue to enjoy them at the discretion of the Dublin Port and Docks Board which could, in any event, have withdrawn them, if they had wanted to do so, at some time in the past. They got these rights by decision of the board, which conceivably could have changed its mind and taken them away again, rather than by legislation. The new situation, which requires a harbour board to get Ministerial sanction before dismissing an officer to whom the section applies is a sufficient safeguard and, taken on balance, is probably as good a safeguard as the two-thirds majority required in respect of some of these officers at present.

I do not know that the Minister is correct in saying that these safeguards arose from the board's own actions. I think they arose out of legislation.

That may be so in the case of the Dublin Port and Docks Board.

The Acts of 1920 and 1940 retain certain safeguards which the officers of the Port Board had and it is in an effort to get that legislation continued that the amendment is moved.

I am sure that the Deputies will agree that it is only a theoretical point.

It might be more than theoretical.

None of these officers is likely to be dismissed, except in circumstances which in the past would have produced the two-thirds majority, or at present would produce Ministerial sanction. It seems to me that one safeguard is as good as the other. In any event, I would not like the special case of a few officers of the Dublin Port and Docks Board to be used to establish what may be the permanent law of all officers of all harbour authorities.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Section 24, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 25, 26 and 27 agreed to.
Amendment No. 67 not moved.
Amendment No. 68 not moved.
Section 28 agreed to.
Section 29 agreed to.
SECTION 30.

I move amendment No. 69:—

In sub-section (2), page 21, before the word "the" where it first occurs in line 3 to insert the words, "if so specified in the removal order made under sub-section (1) of this section."

As the section stands, all members could be removed from committees, and I am anxious to ensure that at least such members as could reasonably be termed useful on these committees would be available for service and that they shall not be removed unless designated in the removal order.

I see the Deputy's point. Again, my argument against the amendment is that the local government legislation, which is the precedent I am following, does not provide in that way. In the case of a local authority which is removed, the subsidiary bodies appointed by it cease to function, and their members cease to hold office. In fact, the Local Government Bill now before the Dáil has some provision to remove certain doubts in that respect, and while it is probable that a commissioner appointed in lieu of a harbour authority would be glad to get the co-operation of people familiar with the work, I doubt if it is desirable to make a statutory provision in the manner suggested by the Deputy. Deputies will understand that there is a difference between a harbour board and a local authority in this way, that the trouble with harbour boards is that sometimes they will not work. The local authority will go on. It may do wrong things or mismanage the affairs of a local area on the penalty of being removed and a commissioner appointed in its place. The trouble with a harbour authority is that it cannot cease to function without very serious consequences arising in some cases. That would not apply in Dublin or in the case of the larger ports. But in the case of some of the smaller harbour authorities they do cease to function, due to the fact that members do not turn up to meetings or that a quorum cannot be secured. In such a case there may be no alternative but to appoint a commissioner in order to ensure that the work of the harbour will be carried on, that the staff of the harbour is paid, that the dredging of the harbour is kept up and so on. It is very unlikely that this power to remove a harbour authority would be exercised except in cases where the work of the harbour was not being done. Consequently, the commissioner who would go in there would be looking for people to help him to do the work rather than to remove people who were doing it the wrong way.

When the stage was reached whereby the harbour authority was suppressed a commissioner would be put in. That might arise from incompetency, corruption or any other cause. But, even in that situation, there would at least be a minority of the members who were giving service on the board, and who, I suggest, should not suffer. They might be members of various committees of the board and have special knowledge of the work of the port. I am anxious to ensure that even during the reign of the commissioner their services should be available, and that they should not automatically go out on the suppression of the board.

We are providing that they shall cease to hold membership of subsidiary bodies when the commissioner is appointed. He has to reappoint representatives on the subsidiary bodies and we are giving him a free hand to do it. On the general principle of keeping this legislation the same as the local government legislation, I would prefer that the Deputy would not press the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 30, 31 and 32 agreed to.
SECTION 33.
Amendment No. 70 not moved.
Question proposed—"That Section 33 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.
Section 34 agreed to.
SECTION 35.

Mr. O'Sullivan

I move amendment No. 71:—

After sub-section (3), in page 22, to add the following new sub-section:—

(3) Every Order made by the Minister under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and if a resolution annulling the Order is passed by either such House within the next subsequent twenty-one days, on which that House has sat after the Order is laid before it, the Order shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

I was interested in the amendment that was discussed to-day on the question that regulations made by the Minister should have the force of law. The Minister, in the course of the debate, said that there was one way open to the House by which they could put down amendments to specific sections. I think members would desire that precautions are taken to ensure that an opportunity is afforded to the House of discussing in the ordinary way any regulations that are made. I would refer the Minister to the debate that took place in the Seanad last Thursday on this matter, in which the Taoiseach gave expression to a particular point of view. So far as these regulations and Orders are concerned, the people who are affected say that it is almost impossible to get hold of them at present. Therefore it is desirable that safeguards and precautions should be taken in relation to them. I hope the Minister will accept the amendment.

I am not sure that there is a special case to be made requiring that Orders made under the section should be tabled before the Dáil. The proposal in this part of the Bill is that where a harbour authority fails to do its work, and is shown by a local inquiry to have failed to do its work, it may be replaced by a commissioner appointed by the Minister. He can hold office for certain periods, the maximum period being four years. A commissioner having been appointed, it is clear that a number of the provisions of the Act will not be applicable to the circumstances in so far as they relate to the harbour board. They cannot be made fully applicable where a board has gone out and a commissioner is acting in its place. All that the section does is to give the Minister power to do such things as are necessary or expedient to enable the harbour authority, which is now the commissioner, to function effectually, and generally to enable this part of the Act to have full force and effect. It provides for the exercise and performance, by a deputy, of the functions of a commissioner who becomes ill. Having accepted the principle that the Minister should have the power to depose a harbour authority from office, as the result of a local inquiry for neglect of duty, it seems to me to be foolish at that stage for the House to start drawing back: to say that it may take back this power and thereby make it impossible for the Minister to exercise it in a case where a commissioner has been appointed. I would not agree that that should necessarily be made the subject of motions in the House.

The power of the annulment of Orders seems to me to be one which should be exercised only where there is some suggestion that the Minister might use his power to alter the effect of the legislation, to use the legislation in a manner that would achieve a different purpose from that which the Oireachtas had in mind when passing it. It seems to me to be going too far to apply it in cases where the power can only be used in such a manner as to give effect to the intentions of the Legislature. Clearly, the words in this section make it quite obvious that the Minister's Orders made under it must be and can be only such as to give effect to this part of the Bill. It is always a difficult matter to argue against an amendment of this kind, because there is the temptation to say that this issue may never arise, and that, consequently, there is not much point in opposing an amendment of this character in relation to some sections.

But I do think there is a wider issue involved, and that we should clearly distinguish between the different classes of circumstances and limit the powers of the Dáil in relation to them. In respect of many provisions in legislation there are minor matters of administration which can best be left to be dealt with administratively and which the Dáil may not concern themselves with. These matters relate to the prescribing of the form in which people may make application for various matters, prescribing the manner in which they may do it, giving the Minister certain minor powers of adjustment to ensure that the intentions of the Act are brought into effect. There are times when legislation provides that the Minister may have power to suspend the operation of the Act, or to modify its operation in some way which would be related to circumstances that the Dáil had not in mind when enacting it, and in such cases it seems desirable that the Dáil should have the power to countermand the Minister's decision if the Dáil regards it as contrary to the public interest. There are other cases where the Minister's power is so definitely one of altering the purpose of the legislation that he should not be allowed to exercise it at all until prior approval of the Dáil has been secured. There is, in fact, in this Bill, provision for harbour works Orders which cannot come into effect until the Dáil has passed a Bill giving positive approval of it.

In this particular case I would not agree that the Dáil should concern itself at all. It seems to me that, having accepted the principle, having decided that the Minister should have this power, it is reasonable to say: "What is more, we will give the Minister that little freedom of action which will enable him to make it effective."

I think there is something to be said for Deputy O'Sullivan's contention. The Minister argues that this is only to be used in questions of detail. If, as the Minister says, this is so rarely to be operated, there does not appear to be any objection to inserting it. It is a safeguard, and, as the section stands and as Section 36 stands, not alone is there no safeguard, but the Orders, whatever they are, are not laid on the Table of the House, nor is there any obligation on the Minister to publicise them in any way.

As Deputy O'Sullivan says, anybody affected by an Order may not be able to get a copy of it, and it is possible that a person may commit some offence or may be involved in some serious change in his position before he becomes aware of the terms of it. I think it is bad practice. It got through in the earlier section when there might have been an amendment put down. I think that the report which was submitted and which recommended that the Minister should have that controlling interest in harbours never intended that the Minister should have that controlling interest without being subject to the control of the Dáil by laying his reports or regulations on the Table. I think the Minister should accept this even if it is only so as to allow those affected by an Order to become aware of its terms. I think there are only one or two Orders in respect of which a motion to annul was made in the last two years, but it does not follow that in future or at any time if a Deputy deems it necessary or desirable to put down a motion annulling an Order that it should not be considered.

Any matter may be raised in a motion. It is the power of annulment with which I am concerned.

That would mean a specific motion.

It must be a motion in any event.

It must be, but, referring to this specific Order, it would probably mean a motion in wider terms than the normal one.

I forgot my main objection—that I am anxious to get this section of the Bill in precisely the same words as the corresponding section of the local government legislation, and there is no such provision in the local government measure.

Would the Minister not think of improving the local government measure? There are many flaws in it. I mean, to start improving this Bill.

I am not so sure that it is an improvement. That brings us back to the main issue.

Will the Minister consider the question?

I will do that, but it seems to me that while there are some sections in relation to which that power might be given, this is hardly one, because there is no question of doing anything except giving effect to the full intention of the Bill. It is not a case where you might modify its application or delay it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 35, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 36.

I move amendment No. 72:—

In lines 2 and 3, page 23, to delete the words and brackets "(including this Act other than this Part of this Act)".

The section reads: "The Minister may by Order make all such adaptations of any enactment (including this Act other than this Part of this Act)...." I can only presume that draftsmen and Ministers, as a rule, in a Bill of this kind play for safety——

Playing for safety— that is all.

And that they introduce words of that character to ensure that in the event of anything unforeseen turning up they will be covered. I can understand it to some extent but certainly not in relation to the terms of this particular Bill. I think it should be within the competence of the Minister, and of his advisers, and of this House to ensure that before this Bill goes through at least we shall have understood all its implications. I think it is extending the power of the Minister just a little bit too far, to ensure that in addition to any other enactments, we are also to give him a certain amount of free play in respect of the Bill we are now discussing. To my mind the Minister is asking just a little too much.

It is intended that the Minister should have power to adapt this Act in such a manner as may be necessary or expedient to enable it to have full force and effect. The words which the Deputy proposes to delete do not alter that effect of the section. The words themselves are intended only as a precautionary measure to ensure there will be no doubt about the Minister having that power. In this case I am not going as far as the Local Government Act because that Act gave the Minister power to modify and adapt. There is no proposal to take powers here to modify but only powers to adapt.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 73 not moved.
Sections 36 and 37 agreed to.
Progress reported; Committee to sit again.