Committee on Finance. - Exchange Control Bill, 1954—Money Resolution.

I move:—

That it is expedient to authorise such payments out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas as are necessary to give effect to any Act of the present session to confer powers, and impose duties and restrictions, in relation to gold, currency, payments, securities, debts, and the import, export and transfer of property, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

On the Resolution, I have already indicated that I regard this Bill as a typical instance of bureaucratic control which I think is undesirable in legislation. I can quite well appreciate that the Minister requires some form of Exchange Control Bill and that the Minister is in the dilemma of deciding whether he should continue the existing Emergency Powers Order or introduce a Bill to cover the position for a longer period. I accept the Minister's view that he regards these powers as necessary. Nevertheless, I consider that the Bill is a very bad precedent and a dangerous precedent from a legislative point of view, and I would ask the Minister to reconsider it from another point of view. I think the constitutionality of the Bill is doubtful. The measure, in effect, gives fairly wide powers, amounting to powers of confiscation, and I doubt if the provisions of a Bill that, in effect, provide for confiscation are constitutional.

Money Resolution put and agreed to.

Money Resolution reported and agreed to.