Summer Time Order, 1951—Motion of Approval.

I move that Dáil Éireann approve of the Summer Time Order, 1951.

The effect of this Order is to fix the period of summer time from 15th April to 21st October, which is the period fixed for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If the Order were not made, summer time would start on 22nd April and would end on 7th October, leaving a period of a week in April and two weeks in October when there would be a difference between our time and the time observed in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A similar Order has been made in every year since the war.

I wonder would it be possible to introduce a uniform time to operate all over the country. The majority of the country people operate winter time right through the summer. That leads to confusion. Surely it should be possible to have one time so that everyone will work and sleep during the same hours. The present system makes people late for trains and buses and causes endless annoyance and confusion. I think it is a bad system and it should not be allowed to go on. Some years ago a special commission inquired into this matter and made some recommendations. I think they suggested sunset and sunrise and no dependence upon Northern Ireland or Great Britain. That recommendation has never been implemented. I ask the Minister to look into the matter.

If we were to bring in legislation dealing with a uniform time, we would have to appoint hundreds of clock inspectors.

That is gross misrepresentation.

The Deputy asked if there was any method by which a uniform time could be enforced. This is a free country and nobody can stop anybody else from having his own time. Deputy Allen knows quite well that this Order is merely for the purpose of synchronising our time with regard to transport, mails and so on with Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

That is not the purpose of it.

It is in the first instance of it. I do not think that any step could be taken to make it mandatory upon the people of the country to go by any particular time.

They have their own time, in any case.

I hope they always will, just as they wish. The Order is a simple one. I find, personally, that it often serves a great purpose to have different times, especially at the time of an election. You can attend a public meeting in a town and then go to another area an hour and a half later and be there at the same time. These are very important points. I saw the former Minister for Local Government utilising these times on various occasions to very great effect.

Is it in anticipation of an early general election that the Minister is introducing this Order?

I was trying to prevent inspectors being appointed.

Has this been published in England and Northern Ireland?

One hundred inspectors are being appointed this week by the Government.

For summer time?

For all the time.

I did not ask about inspectors.

Question put and agreed to.