Committee on Finance. - Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Bill, 1947—Committee.

Section 1 agreed to.
SECTION 2.

I move amendment No. 1:—

In page 6, lines 36 and 37, to delete "means the hour of 4 p.m. on the last week-day during an election week" and substitute "has (as may be appropriate) the meaning assigned to it in Section 24 or the meaning assigned to it in Section 55".

The new definition of the term "close of the poll" is necessary by reason of amendments proposed to Sections 24 and 55. The proposed rules for the issue of ballot papers and marking and return of ballot papers will not require the papers to be marked in the office of the county registrar during an election week but the papers must be returned by registered post so as to reach the returning officer before the close of the poll.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 2:—

In page 7, to delete lines 1 and 2.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 3:—

In page 7, to insert "proposed" after "panel" in line 3.

Those who read the text of the Bill will see that nominating bodies do not in fact nominate but propose for nomination and this amendment is made to conform with an amendment to Section 24.

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

I move amendment No. 4:—

In sub-section (1), page 8, line 55, to delete "Clerk of the Seanad" and substitute "Clerk of Seanad Éireann" and in sub-section (4), page 9, to delete "Clerk of the Seanad" in line 16 and substitute "Clerk of Seanad Éireann" and to delete "Clerk-Assistant of the Seanad" in line 18 and substitute "Clerk-Assistant of Seanad Éireann".

This is, in fact, a drafting amendment. Deputies will notice that reference is made to the Clerk of the Seanad. The correct description of that officer is Clerk of Seanad Éireann.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 5:

To delete sub-section (3) and substitute the following sub-section:—

(3) The Minister for Finance shall pay to the Seanad returning officer the amount of his reasonable charges, not exceeding such amount as may be sanctioned by that Minister, in respect of the performance by the Seanad returning officer of his duties under this Act out of the Central Fund or the growing produce thereof.

The sub-section in the Bill is in the usual form where the returning officer is not a civil servant. As the Bill makes a definite appointment of the Clerk of the Seanad a scale of expenses is not required but provision is necessary that reasonable charges arising out of his duties and sanctioned by the Minister for Finance should be met.

Section 4, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 5 and 6 agreed to.
SECTION 7.

I move amendment No. 6:—

To delete sub-section (2).

The transitory provisions which are dealt with later by amendment No. 84, I think, will include the entire of the existing code to be repealed and, accordingly, sub-section (2) is no longer necessary.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 7, as amended, agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 7, 8 and 9 not moved.
Sections 8 to 14 put and agreed to.
SECTION 15.

I move amendment No. 10:—

In sub-section (3), page 14, line 25, to delete "under this Act" and substitute "after it is first published".

This is consequential on the new transitory provisions. The new register to be prepared under the Bill will be the register for the first election held after the register is prepared. It is understood, of course, that by the transitory provisions we are utilising the existing register for the purposes of the first election.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 15, as amended, agreed.
Sections 16 to 23 agreed to.
SECTION 24.

I move amendment No. 11:—

In sub-section (1), page 19, to insert "proposed" before "nominations" in line 20 and to insert "proposals for" before "nominations" in line 22 and in sub-section (2), page 19, to insert "proposed" before "nominations" in line 48.

This is a consequential amendment because, as I have already indicated, nominating bodies do not in fact nominate; they merely make proposals for nominating.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 12:—

In sub-section (1), page 19, to delete paragraph (c) and substitute:—

"(c) the days on which and the places and hours at which the nomination committee (general election) meetings (so far as they are re-required to be held) will be held."

This is merely to ensure that the day and the place and the hour for the meeting should appear.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 13:—

In sub-section (1), page 19, to delete paragraph (f) and substitute:—

"(f) the day and hour (in this Act referred to as the close of the poll) on and at which the poll at the election will be closed."

Under this the provisions in the Bill in regard to the election week are amended and provision is made that the ballot papers must be returned before the close of the poll — not after.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 24, as amended, agreed to.
Section 25 agreed to.
SECTION 26.

I move amendment No. 14:

Before Section 26 to insert a new section as follows:—

26. —(1) At a Seanad general election, a nominating body which is registered in the register of nominating bodies in respect of a particular panel shall be entitled to propose for nomination to the panel such number of persons as is provided in that behalf by this section.

(2) Where one nominating body, and no more, is entitled to propose for nomination to a particular panel, that body shall be entitled to so propose—

(a) in the case of the Cultural and Educational Panel — three persons,

(b) in the case of the Agricultural Panel or the Labour Panel — eleven persons,

(c) in the case of the Industrial and Commercial Panel — nine persons,

(d) in the case of the Administrative Panel — five persons.

(3) Where two nominating bodies, and no more, are entitled to propose for nomination to a particular panel, each shall be entitled to propose for nomination to the panel—

(a) In the case of the Cultural and Educational Panel — two persons.

(b) in the case of the Agricultural Panel or the Labour Panel — six persons,

(c) in the case of the Industrial and Commercial Panel — five persons,

(d) in the case of the Administrative Panel — three persons.

(4) Where three or more nominating bodies are entitled to propose for nomination to a particular panel, each shall be entitled to propose for nomination to the panel—

(a) if the number obtained by dividing the appropriate number by the number of the nominating bodies is two or less — two persons, and,

(b) if the number so obtained is more than two — the number so obtained of persons if it is a whole number or, if it is not a whole number, the next higher whole number of persons.

(5) In sub-section (4) of this section, the expression "the appropriate number" means—

(a) in the case of the Cultural and Educational Panel — ten.

(b) in the case of the Agricultural Panel or the Labour Panel — 18.

(c) in the case of the Industrial and Commercial Panel — 16.

(d) in the case of the Administrative Panel — 12.

This is a new section in substitution for Section 26. This section can best be considered along with the new Section 28 and the amendment of Section 34. In order that the election may be a real election the voters must have a number of names from which to choose. That arises from the fact that there are two parties to these elections —not merely nominators but also the special electorate which has been chosen. It is felt that in order to give full effect to the recommendations of the committee the electorate should have an excess of candidates from which to select — that is to say, there should be more candidates put before them than there are places to be filled. The purposes of the provisions set out here, particularly sub-sections (2) and (3), are to ensure that there will be a sufficiency of candidates nominated irrespective of the number of nominating bodies; that is to say, where there is only one nominating body there should be at least three people selected by it. It is also felt that if there is only one or two nominating bodies they should not be given the right to present the electorate with afait accompli, by nominating just as many candidates as there are vacancies. It is an important element in the election of the Seanad that the special electorate should be given its right to vote and, accordingly, provision is made here that where there are only one or two nominating bodies additional candidates may be added by the Taoiseach. That does not mean that these candidates will have any prior right over anybody else but it does mean that the electorate will have the right to exercise a choice.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 26 deleted.
SECTION 27.

I move amendment No. 15:—

Before Section 27 to insert a new section as follows:—

27. — (1) Within ten days after a dissolution of Dáil Éireann, the Seanad returning officer shall send by post to every nominating body registered in the register of nominating bodies a form of proposal for nomination paper and also a notice in the prescribed form informing the body of its rights to propose persons for nomination to a specified panel and of the number of persons which it is entitled so to propose and giving to the body such information and instructions in relation to the making of the proposals for nomination as the Minister thinks proper to prescribe.

(2) A proposal for nomination to a panel by a nominating body shall be made in accordance with the following provisions:—

(a) the proposal shall be made in writing on a proposal for nomination paper in the prescribed form;

(b) the nominating body shall propose by one and the same proposal for nomination paper all the persons which it is entitled to propose;

(c) the proposal for nomination paper shall contain the particulars required by the prescribed form of proposal for nomination paper to be stated therein (including a statement of the qualifications of every person thereby proposed for the panel to which he is proposed) and shall be signed by the nominating body;

(d) where the nominating body is a body corporate, the proposal for nomination paper shall be signed by the body by affixing to such paper the seal of the body in the manner and with the counter-signatures required by the constitution, articles of association, or other regulations of the body;

(e) where the nominating body is not a body corporate, the proposal for nomination paper shall be signed in the name of the body by some person having authority to sign in that name.

(3) In the case of the Irish County Councils' General Council and in the case of the Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland, the persons to be proposed for nomination to the administrative panel by those bodies respectively shall be chosen by the members of the body voting on the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

(4) A proposal for nomination paper which purports to be sealed with the seal of a body corporate which is a nominating body and to be countersigned shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been so sealed in the manner and with the counter-signatures required by the constitution, articles of association, or other regulations of the body.

(5) A proposal for nomination paper which purports to be signed in the name of an unincorporated body which is a nominating body shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been so signed by a person having authority to sign in that name.

(6) Where a nominating body purports to propose for nomination by a proposal for nomination paper either more persons or less persons to a panel than the body is entitled so to propose, the proposal for nomination paper shall be wholly void.

(7) The Seanad returning officer shall furnish free of charge on request to a nominating body such number of forms of proposal for nomination paper (in addition to the form which he is required by sub-section (1) of this section to send to the body) as the body reasonably requires.

The only purpose of this amendment is to set out the different sections at length so that they might be clearly grasped; and the only difference is that the amendment proposes to substitute a new section for the existing Section 27 making it clear that nominating bodies do not nominate but propose for nomination.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 27 deleted.
SECTION 28.

I move amendment No. 16:—

Before Section 28 to insert a new section as follows:—

28. —(1) A proposal for nomination paper by which a person or persons is or are proposed for nomination at a Seanad general election by a nominating body shall be delivered or sent by post to the Seanad returning officer.

(2) Immediately after the expiration of the time for general panel proposal nominations, the Seanad returning officer shall prepare, in respect of each panel, a list (in this Act referred to as a nominating bodies list) in the prescribed form of the persons in the respect of whom he has received, before the expiration of the said time, proposals for nominations to such panel by nominating bodies.

(3) If, when the provisions of sub-section (2) of this section have been complied with, the number of persons included in a nominating bodies list does not equal or exceed the appropriate number, the Seanad returning officer shall report to the Taoiseach the deficiency in such list and furnish him with copies of the nominating bodies lists.

(4) Upon receiving a report under sub-section (3) of this section, the Taoiseach shall propose for nomination to every panel in respect of which he receives the report such number of persons as will be sufficient to bring the number of persons on the relevant nominating bodies list up to the appropriate number (and no more).

(5) A proposal for nomination made by the Taoiseach under this section shall be made in accordance with the following provisions:—

(a) the proposal for nomination shall be made in writing on a proposal for nomination paper in the prescribed form;

(b) the proposal for nomination shall be made by a separate proposal for nomination paper;

(c) the proposal for nomination paper shall state the sub-panel in respect of which the proposal is made and shall also contain the particulars required by the said prescribed form of proposal for nomination paper (including a statement of the qualifications of the person thereby proposed for the panel to which he is so proposed) and shall be signed by the Taoiseach;

(d) the proposal for nomination paper shall be delivered or sent to the Seanad returning officer and shall be so sent or delivered that it is received by him within ten days after the expiration of the time for general panel proposal nominations.

(6) On receipt of proposals for nominations under sub-section (4) of this section in respect of a panel, the Seanad returning officer shall prepare, in respect of the panel, a list (in this Act also referred to as a nominating bodies list) in the prescribed form of the persons in respect of whom he has received proposals for nominations to such panel by nominating bodies or the Taoiseach and such list shall have effect in substitution for the previous nominating bodies list in respect of the panel.

(7) In preparing the nominating bodies lists, the Seanad returning officer shall not—

(a) include the name of a person whose proposal for nomination has been received after the expiration of the time for general panel proposed nominations,

(b) include the name of a person whose proposal for nomination is declared by the Act to be wholly void, or

(c) include the name of a person more than once in the same list.

(8) In this section, the expression "the appropriate number" means—

(a) if one nominating body, and no more, or two nominating bodies, and no more, is or are entitled to propose for nomination to the relevant panel—

(i) in case such panel is the Cultural and Educational Panel —six,

(ii) in case such panel is the Agricultural or the Labour Panel —fourteen,

(iii) in case such panel is the Industrial and Commercial Panel —twelve,

(iv) in case such panel is the Administrative Panel — eight.

(b) if three or more nominating bodies are entitled to propose for nomination to the relevant panel

(i) in case such panel is the Cultural and Educational Panel— ten,

(ii) in case such panel is the Agricultural or the Labour Panel —eighteen,

(iii) in case such panel is the Industrial and Commercial Panel —sixteen,

(iv) in case such panel is the Administrative Panel — twelve.

This amendment proposes to modify the existing Section 28 in order to bring it into accordance with Sections 26 and 27.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 28 deleted.
Sections 29 and 30 agreed to.
SECTION 31.

I move amendment No. 17:—

Before Section 31 to insert a new section as follows:—

31.—Where the Seanad returning officer receives a proposal for nomination paper or a nomination paper at a Seanad general election (other than a paper declared by this Act to be wholly void or a paper so received after the time limited by this Act for such receipt)—

(a) the Seanad returning officer shall forthwith post up, in such public place in the county borough of Dublin as he considers most suitable, a notice stating the fact of the receipt by him of the paper and the name, address and description (as stated in the paper) of the person purported to be proposed or nominated by the paper and the panel to which such person purports to be so proposed or nominated,

(b) the Seanad returning officer shall hold the paper available for inspection by candidates between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on week-days during the period beginning on the day after the day of the receipt of the paper and ending on the day before the day of the completion or resumption of the completion (as may be appropriate) of the panels.

The existing Section 31 prescribes that public notice be given in a public place of every nomination received. This public place hitherto has been the main hall in the General Post Office, by permission of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs. The new section also provides for that, but it authorises the returning officer to allow a person nominated to a panel to inspect any nomination for that panel. I understand that at previous elections this question has arisen and the returning officer, by reason of the fact that he was not specifically empowered by statute to permit inspection, felt that he was not in fact able to do so. This new section will now permit a candidate on a panel to inspect any other nomination on the panel. The amendment is inserted for the protection of the returning officer.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 31 deleted.
SECTION 32.

I move amendment No. 18:—

In page 23, line 38, to insert "for which there are three or more nominating bodies" before "shall".

This amendment arises in this way. If in respect of any panel there are only one or two nominating bodies and that they in fact make all their nominations, it is not necessary to have a meeting of the nomination committee and, accordingly, a meeting of a nomination committee is only necessary when there happens to be three or four nominating bodies. The purpose of the amendment is to make that point clear.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 32, as amended, agreed to.
Section 33 agreed to.
SECTION 34.

I move amendment No. 19:—

In sub-section (1), page 24, line 28, to delete "one hour" and substitute "two hours".

This amendment is based on the practical consideration that if we have, say, on any panel of registered nominating bodies for a particular panel say, 15, as we have in fact, and if each of these 15 bodies has the right to send five representatives to a meeting of the nomination committee, it is felt that it may not be possible to take a poll within one hour. Accordingly, the time for taking the poll is extended to two hours.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 20:—

In sub-section (2), page 25, to delete "ten" in line 7 and substitute "six", to delete "sixteen" in line 9 and substitute "fourteen", to delete "fourteen" in line 11 and substitute "twelve" and to delete "twelve" in line 12 and substitute "eight".

This amendment is designed to meet what was the general feeling of the committee that we do not have too large a sub-panel and this fixes the number of candidates that must be nominated for a nominating bodies sub-panel at twice the number of candidates that may be elected to that particular panel in accordance with Section 51. In fact, it strengthens the position of nominating bodies and allows the electorate to make its choice from twice the maximum number of candidates that may be elected for any sub-panel.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 34, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 35.

I move amendment No. 21:—

To add to the section the following sub-section:—

(2) Where there is one nominating body, and no more, or there are two nominating bodies, and no more, for a panel, the Seanad returning officer shall, as soon as conveniently may be after the preparation under sub-section (6) of Section 28 of this Act of a nominating bodies list in respect of the panel, prepare a list (in this Act also referred to as a provisional nominating bodies sub-panel) of the persons included in such nominating bodies list.

The real effect of this is to allow the nominating panel to be inspected by a candidate.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 35, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 36.

I move amendment No. 22:—

In sub-section (1), page 25, line 18, to delete "twelve o'clock noon" and substitute "eleven o'clock in the morning."

This substitutes the hour of 11 o'clock for 12 o'clock noon, as it is felt it might be more convenient.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 36, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 37.

I move amendment No. 23:—

In sub-section (1), page 26, line 30, to insert "maximum" before "number" and to delete "required" and substitute "permitted".

This is a verbal amendment and merely makes certain that we insert "maximum" before "number" and substitute "permitted" for "required".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 24:—

In sub-section (2), page 26, line 42, to insert "maximum" before "number" and to delete "required" and substitute "permitted".

Amendment agreed to.
Section 37, as amended, agreed to.
Section 38 agreed to.
SECTION 39.

I move amendment No. 25:—

In sub-section (1), page 27, line 45, to insert "Subject to compliance (where appropriate) with sub-section (2) of this section", before "At".

I think we can take amendments Nos. 25, 26 and 27 together. They all have reference to the ruling on nominations. It is felt that if candidates are allowed to inspect the nomination papers they should, in turn, give to the returning officer notice of any question that they propose to raise at the sitting for the completion of panels, since it is only proper that the returning officer should have some opportunity to consider the questions in advance. It is felt that this notice should be given also for this reason: that the time allowed by the Constitution for the completion of a Seanad election is limited and, accordingly, we could not have a long adjournment. For that reason, we feel that notice should be given, not merely if a candidate desires to raise any question of qualification, but of disqualification. In preceding elections, the text of the existing statute did not permit a question of disqualification to be raised, and it is felt it is only right that that in fact should happen, as otherwise the election might prove to be abortive.

Amendment agreed to.
The following amendments were also agreed to:—
26. In sub-section (1), page 27, line 48, to insert "or the disqualification" before "of".
27. Before sub-section (2) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—
(2) Where a person other than the Seanad returning officer proposes to raise a question at the completion of the panels, he shall deliver a statement of the question and of the grounds therefor to the Seanad returning officer at least two days before the day of the completion of the panels.
Section 39, as amended, agreed to.
Section 40 and 41 agreed to.
SECTION 42.

I move amendment No. 28:

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

(1) Where, before the expiration of the time for general panel proposed nominations, a nominating body satisfies the Seanad returning officer that a person proposed for nomination to a panel by the body has died or become disqualified for membership of Seanad Eireann, the Seanad returning officer shall forthwith cancel the proposal for nomination of such person, and thereupon such proposal for nomination shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act never to have been received by the Seanad returning officer and it shall be lawful for the body to propose for nomination in accordance with this Act a person to the panel in the place of the person who has died or become disqualified.

This is again consequential. We have repeated the whole of the sub-section. It is only to meet a point I already mentioned.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 42, as amended, agreed to.
Section 43 agreed to.
SECTION 44.
Question proposed: "That Section 44 stand part of the Bill."

Perhaps I might amplify something I said on the Second Reading. This section relates to the taking of the poll. I might mention that the electorate for the next election will number about 965 persons, on the assumption that the former members of the Dublin County Council who were elected in 1934 will not be electors for the purposes of the next election. If we have a total electorate of about 965, then the quotas for the various panels will run as follows:

For the Cultural Panel it will be in excess of 160 but it will not be 161. For the Agricultural Panel the quota will be in excess of 80; for the Labour Panel it will be in excess of 80; for the Industrial Panel it will be in excess of 96 and for the Administrative Panel it will be in excess of 120. I think it is necessary that I should repeat that in order to correct any misapprehensions which members of the Oireachtas may be under by reason of certain erroneous statements which appeared in the Press in relation to this matter when the Bill was first issued.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 45.

I move amendment No. 29:—

In sub-section (3), page 30, line 19, to delete "manager of a county or" and substitute "secretary of the council of a county or town clerk of a".

These two amendments arise from the fact that under the County Management Acts all matters appertaining to State or local elections are constituted a reserved function. Accordingly, it is felt that the proper officer to furnish the information required here as to the members of the council is the county secretary or town clerk rather than the county manager.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 30:—

In sub-section (3), page 30, line 20, to delete "thirty" and substitute "fifteen".

Amendment put and agreed to.
Section, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 46.

I move amendment No. 31:—

In lines 56 and 57 to delete:—

"and

(b) a declaration of identity in the prescribed form."

This is a consequential amendment proposed to the rules in Schedule 1. It will be noted that under the procedure which we are incorporating in this Bill the declaration of identity will not be enclosed with the ballot paper in the first instance. Copies of the necessary forms will be sent to the authorised officer and the authorised officer, when he is satisfied that in fact the person who tenders the ballot paper to him is the person who is entitled to have the ballot paper, will then hand to the elector, the person in possession of the ballot paper, a form of declaration of identity which the elector himself must fill up and which he will then show to the officer when he has then completed his ballot paper. I want to emphasise that the elector must not show the ballot paper completed but he must show the officer the declaration of identity properly filled up.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 46, as amended, agreed to.
Section 47 and 48 agreed to.
SECTION 49.

I move amendment No. 32:—

Before Section 49 to insert a new section as follows:—

49.—(1) On the day appointed for the issue of ballot papers at a Seanad general election the Seanad returning officer shall send by registered post to each person whose name is on the electoral roll for that election at the address stated on such electoral roll a ballot paper for each panel.

(2) Whenever a person to whom ballot papers for a Seanad general election should be sent under sub-section (1) of this section states in writing to the Seanad returning officer that more than 24 hours have elapsed since such ballot papers should have been delivered to him in the ordinary course of post and that he has not received such ballot papers and that he desires duplicate ballot papers to be issued to him, the Seanad returning officer, if such statement is received by him not less than 48 hours before the close of the poll at the election, shall forthwith or, if such statement is received by him less than 48 hours before the close of the poll at the election, may send by registered post to such person at the address mentioned in sub-section (1) of this section a ballot paper for each panel all of which, by being printed on paper of a special colour or otherwise, are clearly distinguished as duplicates of the ballot papers originally sent to such person.

(3) The Seanad returning officer shall, when sending out ballot papers in pursuance of this section, observe the rules contained in the First Schedule to this Act.

This new section together with the proposed amendment to Section 50 and the alternative rules proposed for rules 1 to 17 embodied in the First Schedule of the present Bill, sets out the procedure for the issue, marking and receipt of ballot papers. Ballot papers will be issued by registered post to the elector at his address. The outer envelope will bear a warning to him to keep the envelope until he has voted. He will produce that envelope to one or other of the officers authorised to witness the declaration of identity. That will be either the local superintendent of the Gardaí, the county registrar, the Clerk of Dáil Éireann, the Clerk of Seanad Éireann or the returning officer. He will show the ballot papers unmarked.

The voter will be given by the authorised officer a declaration of identity which he must sign, adding to it the number of the ballot paper which is on the back of the ballot paper. The superintendent will then witness the form and hand it to the voter. The voter will then mark his papers in the presence of the authorised officer but not in such a position as will permit the authorised officer to see how he is marking his ballot paper. He must then place his ballot papers, whether they are marked or unmarked, in the envelope, together with the declaration of identity and he will put the envelope containing the ballot papers and the declaration of identity in what is known as the outer envelope. He will then seal that and produce it to the authorised officer who will affix on the flap of the envelope a special lable. It will bear also a special certificate that this process was completed in his presence by the voter who signed it. The voter will then take the packet containing the essential documents and will post it by registered post to the returning officer. In that way we ensure that the ballot papers do not get into the hands of any unauthorised person, that the marking of the ballot paper is not done by any unauthorised person and that all the ballot papers are accounted for.

I should like to say that it puzzles me to know why it is necessary to send the ballot paper to the elector. I think that is going to cause a certain amount of trouble everywhere. If we could have a system by which the ballot paper could be issued at a polling booth, I think it would be much more satisfactory. The Seanad electors, we may be sure, will be getting quite a lot of election literature and there is a very great possibility that some electors will discard these envelopes assuming that they are the ordinary kind of election literature. In the event of an elector losing his ballot paper, or mislaying it, has he any redress?

Yes. If he applies to the returning officer with a statement that the ballot paper has not been delivered in the ordinary course of events, he will be able to get what is known as a duplicate ballot paper. I should like to emphasise that the ballot papers will come in a special envelope addressed to the elector and delivered to him by registered post. Some person will have to sign for it. In addition, this envelope in the registered packet will contain a warning that the envelope itself must not be destroyed. We have to recognise that we are dealing with a special electorate, intelligent men, and I am perfectly sure they will be aware of the necessity for complying with the required procedure.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 49 agreed to.
SECTION 50.

I move amendment No. 33:—

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

(1) Every person entitled to vote at a Seanad general election shall be entitled to vote at that election in the following and no other manner, that is to say, by marking one or more of the ballot papers sent to him under Section 49 of this Act and returning by registered post to the Seanad returning officer all of those ballot papers together with the form of declaration of identity, furnished to him pursuant to the rules contained in the First Schedule to this Act, duly made and completed by him.

(2) Whenever a person entitled to vote at a Seanad general election states in writing to the Seanad returning officer that he duly returned by registered post to the Seanad returning officer the ballot papers and a form of declaration of identity and that the same does not appear to have been delivered to the Seanad returning officer and that he desires duplicate ballot papers to be issued to him, the Seanad returning officer, if such statement is received by him not less than 48 hours before the close of the poll at the election, shall forthwith or, if such statement is received by him less than 48 hours before the close of the poll at the election, may send by registered post to such person at his address as stated in the electoral roll a ballot paper for each panel all of which, by being printed on paper of a special colour or otherwise, are clearly distinguished as duplicates of the ballot papers originally sent to such person.

This is a consequential amendment on Section 49. In addition, it will be necessary on Report Stage to have a minor amendment to Section 49 just to clarify the wording in the third and fourth line of the amendment. The intention is to require all the ballot papers whether they are marked or unmarked to be returned to the returning officer in order to safeguard against the possibility — I do not say the probability, but the possibility — that a person may be induced for an improper consideration not to vote.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 50, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 51 to 54, inclusive, agreed to.
SECTION 55.

I move amendment No. 34:—

In sub-section (3), page 34, to delete paragraph (d) and substitute:—

(d) the day and hour (in this Act referred to as the close of the poll) on and at which the poll will be closed, and.

Section 55 relates to Seanad by-elections and this amendment proposes to make the same proviso as we have in Section 24 (1), that the Order must state the day and hour on and at which the poll will be closed.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 55, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 56.

I move amendment No. 35:—

In sub-section (2), page 34, line 31, to delete "his services rendered and expenses incurred" and substitute "duties performed".

This is consequential on the amendment inserted in Section 4. It relates to services rendered and expenses incurred.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 56, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 57 to 61, inclusive, agreed to.
SECTION 62.

I move amendment No. 36:—

To add to the section the following sub-section:—

(5) The Seanad returning officer shall, during the period beginning on the day after the completion of a certificate of provisional election under sub-section (2) of this section and ending on the day before the day of the ruling upon nomination, hold the nomination papers which he accepted available for inspection by candidates between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on week-days.

This is to ensure that the nomination papers will be available for inspection by candidates

Amendment agreed to.
Section 62, as amended, agreed to.
Section 63 agreed to.
SECTION 64.

I move amendment No. 37:—

In sub-section (3), page 38, lines 44 and 45, to delete "and expenses in respect of his services rendered and expenses incurred" and substitute "in respect of duties performed".

This is consequential on Section 4.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 64, as amended, agreed to.
Section 65 agreed to.
SECTION 66.

I move amendment No. 38:—

To add to the section the following sub-section:—

(6) Where the Seanad returning officer receives a nomination paper at an election to fill an Oireachtas sub-panel casual vacancy (other than a nomination paper declared by this Act to be wholly void or a nomination paper so received after the time limited by this Act for such receipt), he shall hold the nomination paper available for inspection by candidates between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on week-days during the period beginning on the day after the day of receipt of the nomination paper and ending on the day of the ruling upon nomination.

This merely provides for the inspection of nomination papers by candidates.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 66, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 67 to 75, inclusive, agreed to.
SECTION 76.

I move amendment No. 39:—

In sub-section (1), page 44, line 1, to insert "Subject to compliance (where appropriate) with sub-section (2) of this section", before "At".

This is the same as the amendments to Section 39. These amendments make it possible for the returning officer to require a statement of the grounds upon which objection to nomination papers is made and also provide that the question of disqualification as well as of qualification of the candidates may be raised.

Amendment agreed to.
The following Government amendments were also agreed to:—
40. In sub-section (1), page 44, line 5, to delete "qualification" and substitute "qualifications or disqualification".
41. Before sub-section (2) to insert a new sub-section as follows:—
(2) Where a person other than the Seanad returning officer proposes to raise a question at any ruling upon nomination held under this Part of this Act, he shall deliver a statement of the question and of the grounds therefor to the Seanad returning officer at least two days before the day of the ruling upon nomination.
Section 76, as amended, agreed to.
Section 77 to 80, inclusive, agreed to.
SECTION 81.

I move amendment No. 42:

In sub-section (1), page 45, line 36, to insert "or other person" before "present".

This is to ensure that every person present, whether a candidate or not, when the ballot papers are being issued, received or counted, will be bound to secrecy under penalty of imprisonment for six months.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 81, as amended, agreed to.
Section 82 and 83 agreed to.
SECTION 84.

I move amendment No. 43:

Before Section 84 to insert a new section as follows:—

84.—(1) The following provisions shall, notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, have effect in relation to any Seanad general election held consequent on dissolution of Dáil Eireann occurring during the period beginning on the passing of this Act and ending on the publication under Section 15 of this Act of the register of nominating bodies:

(a) the register published in theIrish Oifigiúil under Section 19 of the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1937 (No. 43 of 1937), on the 25th day of March, 1947, shall be deemed to be the register of nominating bodies;

(b) that register shall, for the purposes of Sections 21 and 22 of this Act, be deemed to have been published on the passing of this Act;

(c) the person who, immediately before the passing of this Act, stood appointed under Section 5 of the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1937, shall be deemed to be the Seanad returning officer, but if that person is unable through illness, absence or other cause to fulfil his duties, such person as may be appointed in that behalf by the Minister shall be deemed to be the Seanad returning officer;

(d) the Clerk of Seanad Éireann shall not later than 30 days after the dissolution of Dáil Éireann send to the Seanad returning officer a statement of the names, addresses and descriptions of the members of Seanad Éireann who are entitled to be members of the electorate at the Seanad general election;

(e) the Clerk of Seanad Éireann shall be deemed to be an authorised person for the purpose of rule 8 of the rules contained in the First Schedule to this Act;

(f) the Seanad returning officer shall, in lieu of retaining the duplicate certificate referred to in rule 21 of the rules contained in the First Schedule to this Act, send such duplicate to the Clerk of Seanad Éireann.

(2) The following provisions shall, notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, have effect in relation to any Seanad by-election held consequent on a notice of a casual vacancy sent or deemed to be sent to the Minister during the period beginning on the passing of this Act and ending on the publication under Section 15 of this Act of the register of nominating bodies:—

(a) the register published under Section 19 of the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1937 (No. 43 of 1937), on the 20th day of March, 1947, shall be deemed to be the register of nominating bodies;

(b) that register shall, for the purposes of Sections 21 and 22 of this Act, be deemed to have been published on the passing of this Act;

(c) the person, who, immediately before the passing of this Act, stood appointed under Section 5 of the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1937, shall be deemed to be the Seanad returning officer, but if that person is unable through illness, absence or other cause to fulfil his duties, such person as may be appointed in that behalf by the Minister shall be deemed to be the Seanad returning officer;

(d) if the election is to fill an Oireachtas sub-panel casual vacancy and it is adjourned for the purpose of taking a poll—

(i) the Seanad returning officer shall forthwith on the adjournment inform the Clerk of Seanad Éireann in writing of the adjournment, and send to him a copy of the list of candidates, and the said Clerk shall, not later than four days after being so informed, furnish to the Seanad returning officer a statement of the names, addresses, and descriptions of all the members of Seanad Éireann who are then entitled to sit and vote in that House,

(ii) the said statement and the statement furnished by the Clerk of Dáil Éireann pursuant to sub-section (1) of Section 68 of this Act shall together be deemed to be the electoral roll constituted under the said Section 68 for the election;

(e) the Seanad returning officer shall, in lieu of retaining the duplicate certificate referred to in rule 23 of the rules contained in the Third Schedule to this Act, send such duplicate to the Clerk of Seanad Éireann.

(3) A notice sent under Section 5 of the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) (By-Elections) Act, 1940 (No. 20 of 1940), during the six months ending on the passing of this Act shall be deemed to be a notice of a casual vacancy sent to the Minister under this Act on the passing thereof.

(4) Notwithstanding Section 44 of this Act, a person shall not be a member of the electorate at a Seanad general election by reason only of the fact that he was a member of the council of the county of Dublin at any time before the passing of this Act.

This is a transitory provision whereby the Act can become operative to the fullest extent possible on the day it becomes law. At the first election the returning officer will not be the Clerk of the Seanad, as recommended by the committee, but will be the officer who, immediately before the passing of this Act, stood appointed under Section 5 of the Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1937, to be the Seanad returning officer. If he is unable, through illness, then any person appointed by him. It is felt it would be unfair to ask the Clerk of Seanad Éireann to undertake the responsibilities of returning officer at the first election under this measure without any experience of procedure.

The other main proposal is to make the existing register of nominating bodies the nominating body for the purpose of the Act.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 84 deleted.
FIRST SCHEDULE.

I move amendment No. 44:—

To delete Rules 1 to 17 and Rule 32 and to substitute the following rules for Rules 1 to 17:—

1. On the day appointed for the issue of ballot papers the Seanad returning officer shall issue, in the manner directed in the following rules, ballot papers to every elector named on the electoral roll for the election.

2. Every candidate shall be entitled to attend at the issue of ballot papers for the election, and the Seanad returning officer shall, on the request of any such candidate, inform him of the time and place at which the issue will be made.

3. The Seanad returning officer and his assistants, any candidate and any agent appointed by a candidate, and no other person, except with the permission of the Seanad returning officer, may be present at the issue of ballot papers.

4. The Seanad returning officer shall issue ballot papers to each elector by doing or causing to be done in respect of such elector the following things in the following order, that is to say:—

(a) the number, name, address, and description of the elector as stated in the electoral roll shall be called out;

(b) the elector's said number shall be marked on the counterfoil of each ballot paper to be sent to him;

(c) a mark shall be placed on the electoral roll opposite the elector's name thereon to indicate that ballot papers have been issued to such elector, but without disclosing the identity of such ballot papers;

(d) the ballot papers shall be marked on both sides with the official mark;

(e) the number on the back of the ballot papers shall be marked upon the outside, and the elector's said number upon the inside, of an envelope (hereinafter referred to as the ballot paper envelope) in the prescribed form;

(f) there shall be placed in an envelope (hereinafter referred to as the outer envelope) in the prescribed form addressed to the elector at his address stated in the electoral roll and marked upon the inside with the elector's said number, the following documents, that is to say:—

(i) a ballot paper for each panel, and

(ii) the said ballot paper envelope, and

(iii) an envelope (hereinafter referred to as the covering envelope) in the prescribed form addressed to the Seanad returning officer;

(g) the outer envelope shall be effectually closed;

(h) when the foregoing provisions of this Rule have been complied with in respect of all the electors whose names are on the electoral roll, all the said closed outer envelopes shall be collected, counted, and posted.

5. Every request for the issue of duplicate ballot papers shall, when received by the Seanad returning officer, be endorsed by him with the day and hour of the receipt thereof by him and with a consecutive number, and duplicate ballot papers issued in pursuance of any such request shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing Rule so far as the same are applicable save that, in lieu of the number on the electoral roll, there shall be marked on the counterfoils of such ballot papers the consecutive number endorsed on the request in pursuance of which such ballot papers are issued and that when such ballot papers have been issued the said request shall be disposed of in like manner as the marked copy of the electoral roll is required by these Rules to be disposed of.

6. The Seanad returning officer shall post the said closed outer envelopes by delivering them to the nearest head post office, or such other office as may be arranged with the head postmaster, and the postmaster at such office shall stamp with the post office date stamp a form of receipt to be presented by the Seanad returning officer stating the number of envelopes so delivered, and shall immediately forward such envelopes by registered post for delivery to the persons to whom they are addressed.

7. The Seanad returning officer, as soon as practicable after the completion of the issue of the ballot papers and in the presence of such candidates and agents as are in attendance, shall make up in separate packets, sealed with his own seal and sealed by such of the said candidates or agents as desire to affix their seals, the marked copy of the electoral roll and the counterfoils of the ballot papers.

8. (1) The following procedure shall be followed in connection with the marking of ballot papers:—

(a) the elector in the presence of an authorised person (no other person being present) shall do the following things in the following order:—

(i) he shall produce to the authorised person the following documents sent to him under these Rules:—

(I) the outer envelope,

(II) the ballot papers (as respects which the authorised person shall satisfy himself that they are five in number, that they are unmarked and as to whether they are or are not duplicate ballot papers),

(III) the covering envelope,

(IV) the ballot paper envelope,

(ii) the elector shall mark the number which is on the back of the ballot papers on a form of declaration of identity in the prescribed form furnished to him by the authorised person and which, in case such ballot papers are duplicates, shall be marked by the authorised person with the word "duplicate",

(iii) the elector shall make and complete the said form of declaration of identity,

(iv) the elector shall hand the declaration of identity to the authorised person who, if he is satisfied that the person who made it is the person to whom the outer envelope is addressed, shall sign it and return it to the elector,

(v) the elector shall mark one or more than one of such ballot papers,

(vi) the elector shall place the ballot papers, whether marked or unmarked, in the ballot paper envelope,

(vii) the elector shall place the ballot paper envelope and the declaration of identity in the covering envelope and shall effectually close the covering envelope,

(viii) the elector shall hand the covering envelope to the authorised person,

(b) the authorised person, on being handed the covering envelope, shall affix thereto in the prescribed manner a label in the prescribed form and, if he is satisfied that it is proper to sign the certificate appearing on the label, shall sign that certificate and shall then return the covering envelope to the elector.

(2) For the purposes of this Rule, each of the following persons shall be an authorised person:

(a) the Seanad returning officer,

(b) the Clerk of Dáil Eireann,

(c) the county registrar for the county or county borough in which is situate the premises the address of which is stated on the outer envelope,

(d) the sheriff (if any) for the said county or county borough,

(e) the under-sheriff (if any) for the said county or county borough,

(f) the superintendent of the Garda Síochána in whose district is situate the said premises or, where the superintendent is unable through illness, absence or other cause to perform his duties, such inspector of the Garda Síochána performing duties in that district as the superintendent may nominate.

9. The Seanad returning officer shall provide a ballot box marked "Seanad ballot box" for the reception of the covering envelopes when returned by the voters, and on the completion of the issue of the ballot papers the Seanad returning officer shall show such ballot box open and empty to the candidates and agents (if any) present, and shall seal such ballot box with his seal and shall make provision for the safe custody of such ballot box.

10. The Seanad returning officer shall forthwith place unopened in the Seanad ballot box every covering envelope received by him before the close of the poll and shall seal up unopened in a separate package all covering envelopes received by him after the close of the poll and shall also seal up unopened in a separate package all outer envelopes returned to him as undelivered.

11. Not less than three days before the close of the poll, the Seanad returning officer shall send by post to every candidate at his address as stated in the panels of candidates notice in writing of the time and place at which he will open the Seanad ballot box and count the votes.

12. As soon as conveniently may be after the close of the poll, the Seanad returning officer shall open the Seanad ballot box and count the votes.

13. The Seanad returning officer and his assistants, any candidate and any agent appointed by a candidate, and no other person, except with the permission of the Seanad returning officer, may be present at the opening of the Seanad ballot box or the counting of the votes.

14. When the Seanad ballot box has been opened the Seanad returning officer shall do the following things:—

(a) take all the covering envelopes out of the Seanad ballot box and count and note the number thereof;

(b) examine separately each such covering envelope and mark with the word "rejected" any such covering envelope—

(i) which is not registered,

(ii) to which there is not affixed in the prescribed manner the label provided for by Rule 8 of these Rules bearing a certificate duly completed by an authorised person within the meaning of that Rule,

(iii) which is open, or

(iv) which in his opinion has been opened after it was first closed, or has been attempted to be opened after it was closed;

(c) open each such covering envelope not marked as aforesaid and segregate any of those envelopes containing a declaration of identity marked "duplicate";

(d) take up separately each of the said covering envelopes not so segregated and examine the declaration of identity therein and compare the number on such declaration with the number on the ballot paper envelope in such covering envelope;

(e) if the said numbers agree and the declaration of identity is found to be duly completed and made, he shall place the declaration of identity and the ballot paper envelope in separate receptacles;

(f) if he is not satisfied that the declaration of identity has been duly completed and made, he shall mark the declaration of identity with the words "vote rejected" and shall attach thereto the ballot paper envelope, without opening such envelope, or if there is no such envelope, the ballot papers or paper;

(g) if he finds that the numbers on the declaration of identity and on the ballot paper envelope do not agree, or if the envelope has no number on it, he shall open the envelope, and if there are five ballot papers therein and the number thereon agrees with the number on the declaration of identity, he shall place the ballot papers respectively in the appropriate one of the special receptacles provided by him for ballot papers;

(h) where there are five ballot papers and the number on the ballot papers does not agree with the number on the declaration of identity, he shall replace the ballot papers in their envelope, if any, attach such envelope or ballot papers (as the case may be) to the declaration of identity, and endorse the declaration of identity "vote rejected";

(i) if the number of ballot papers is not five, he shall replace the ballot papers or paper in their or its envelope (if any), attach such envelope or ballot papers or paper (as the case may be) to the declaration of identity and endorse the declaration of identity "vote rejected";

(j) where a declaration of identity does not appear to accompany the ballot paper envelope, he shall open the ballot paper envelope, and if it is found to contain the declaration of identity, he shall deal with such declaration and ballot paper envelope in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this Rule;

(k) he shall mark with the word "rejected" every declaration of identity which is not accompanied by a ballot paper or which does not bear the number of a ballot paper and every ballot paper which is not accompanied by a declaration of identity;

(l) when all the said covering envelopes not so segregated have been dealt with under the foregoing provisions of this Rule, he shall take up separately each of the said covering envelopes segregated as containing a declaration of identity marked "duplicate", examine the declaration of identity therein and ascertain whether a declaration of identity in respect of the same person has or has not been previously examined under this Rule;

(m) if a declaration of identity in respect of the same person has been previously examined under this Rule, he shall mark the declaration marked "duplicate" with the words "vote rejected" and shall attach thereto the ballot paper envelope, without opening such envelope, or if there is no such envelope, the ballot papers or paper;

(n) if a declaration of identity in respect of the same person has not been previously examined under this Rule, he shall deal with the declaration marked "duplicate" and the ballot paper envelope and ballot papers or paper accompanying the same in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this Rule other than the two last preceding paragraphs thereof.

15. Where ballot papers and a declaration of identity are received together, such ballot papers shall not be rejected solely on the ground that such ballot papers are not in the ballot paper envelope, such declaration is in the ballot paper envelope or the ballot paper envelope is not closed.

16. The Seanad returning officer shall show any covering envelope which he proposes to reject to the candidates and agents (if any) present, and if an objection is made by any such candidate or agent to his decision shall add to the endorsement the words "rejection objected to".

17. The Seanad returning officer shall keep all rejected covering envelopes separate from all other documents.

18. The Seanad returning officer shall show any declaration of identity which he proposes to reject on the ground that it has not been properly completed and made or that it does not bear the number of a ballot paper to the candidates and agents (if any) present, and if an objection is made by any such candidate or agent to his decision shall add to the endorsement the words "rejection objected to".

19. The Seanad returning officer shall keep all rejected declarations, with the attached envelopes or ballot papers as the case may be, separate from other documents.

20. (1) When all the covering envelopes (other than covering envelopes rejected) in the Seanad ballot box have been opened and their contents dealt with under the preceding Rules, the Seanad returning officer shall open each unopened ballot paper envelope.

(2) When such envelopes have been opened, the Seanad returning officer shall, as respects each envelope, ascertain whether it contains five ballot papers and, if the number of ballot papers in any envelope is not five, he shall replace the ballot papers or paper in the envelope and mark them "rejected".

(3) As respects each such envelope which contains five ballot papers, the Seanad returning officer shall compare the number on the envelope with the number on the ballot papers, and if the number on the envelope and the number on the ballot papers agree, he shall place the ballot papers respectively in the appropriate one of the special receptacles provided by him for ballot papers, but if the number on the envelope and the number on the ballot papers do not agree, the Seanad returning officer shall fasten such ballot papers and such envelope together and mark them "rejected".

21. As soon as the Seanad returning officer has completed the placing of the ballot papers in the special receptacles, he shall seal up in separate packets (1) any rejected covering envelopes; (2) the declarations of identity which accompanied any ballot papers duly accepted; (3) any rejected declarations of identity; and (4) any rejected ballot papers; in the two latter cases with the envelopes (if any) attached thereto.

22. When the Seanad returning officer has complied with the foregoing Rules of this Schedule, he shall, as respects each of the special receptacles provided by him for ballot papers, mix together throughly the ballot papers therein and shall, in respect of each panel, count, in accordance with the Rules contained in the second Schedule to this Act, the votes recorded on ballot papers relating to such panel.

23. As soon as conveniently may be after the counting of the votes is completed, the Seanad returning officer shall, as respects each elector from whom he received a covering envelope, place a mark on a copy of the electoral roll (which copy the Seanad returning officer shall not show to any person save by the authority of a court of justice) and, in the case of an elector from whom he received a covering envelope containing no ballot paper, one ballot paper only or a number, other than five, of ballot papers, the mark shall be a distinctive mark indicating that fact.

It is proposed to delete the Rules from 1 to 17 and Rule 32 and to substitute a new set of rules.

Amendment agreed to.
First Schedule, as amended, agreed to.
Second and Third Schedules and Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.

We will take the Report Stage to-morrow. We may have a minor amendment and I would like to have it disposed of. It will not be necessary to reprint the Bill.

Ordered: That the Report Stage be taken on Thursday, 4th December.