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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 5 Mar 1958

Vol. 165 No. 7

Greyhound Industry Bill, 1957—Report and Final Stages.

I move amendment No. 1:—

In page 4, to delete line 23.

Perhaps we can discuss amendments Nos. 1, 2 and 3 together. They are all drafting amendments and they arise from the fact that the definition of "levy" in Section 2 relates to the use of the word in Section 32, course betting levy—and consequentially in Section 33—whereas the word "levies" occurs in a different sense in sub-section (2) of Section 40, levy on totalisator moneys.

The first amendment deletes the present definition in Section 2 and the second and third amendments replace it by alternative wording in Sections 32 and 33 respectively.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 2:—

In page 16, to insert "under this section" after "levy" in line 16, line 18, line 24 and line 28.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 3:—

In page 16, line 35, before "and" to insert "under Section 32 of this Act".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4:—

In page 24, between lines 11 and 12, to insert the following:—

(3) Where regulations under sub-section (1) of this section fix, in relation to a greyhound race track on which the board maintains a totalisator or to part of such track, maximum charges in respect of bookmakers carrying on their business, the charges shall be so fixed as not to exceed ten times the charges fixed by the regulations (or by other regulations for the time being in force) in respect of persons who are not bookmakers or, in case regulations under sub-section (5) of this section for the time being in force fix a minimum charge in relation to the track or part, the aggregate of ten times the said charges in respect of persons who are not bookmakers and that minimum charge.

(4) Notwithstanding that regulations under sub-section (1) of this section fix, in relation to a greyhound race track or part thereof, maximum charges in respect of bookmakers carrying on their business, any bookmaker may, with his consent, be charged, for admission to the track or part, a charge exceeding that which would be appropriate in accordance with the regulations, and such charge shall not constitute a contravention of the regulations.

I think this is as reasonable a solution as can be got to this very vexed question of the maximum charges to be made for admitting bookmakers to greyhound racing tracks. It has two aspects. The first is in relation to tracks on which totalisators are maintained by the board. We propose to proceed on this basis: as the minimum charge will accrue to the board in substitution for the proceeds of the levy which otherwise the bookmakers might be obliged to pay, we should take that as our starting point and say that this has no relation to the question of admission to the track or to the amount to be paid to the owner of the greyhound race track for permitting the bookmakers to go on the track and conduct their business there. Having provided for a minimum charge in the case of totalisator tracks where it is proposed to dispense with the levy and substitute the minimum charge, we take that minimum charge and say in addition to it, the track shall be at liberty to charge up to a maximum of ten times the amount fixed by regulation for admission of the ordinary public. I think that is the best solution that I can find for this very vexed question. It occupied a very great deal of the time of the House and I think it is acceptable to all Parties.

This is an amendment introduced by the Minister in which he recants 90 per cent. of the tedious tripe for which he and his colleagues were responsible when this Bill was before this House during the period of office of the last Government. I have no particular fault to find with this arrangement, but I despise the conduct of Deputies who now sponsor the proposal before the House remembering the records behind them. I desire to record that it is conduct of this kind which brings this House into disrepute —this revelation that 90 per cent. of what Deputies, deemed to be responsible Deputies, said, can now be repudiated and swallowed by them within 12 months of their having said it. This kind of conduct tempts me to say more, but I think what I have already said goes to the heart of the matter and I am relieved at least to notice——

On a point of order —I think this sounds very interesting and I want to state that I cannot hear what the Minister is saying.

I am grateful to the Deputy for describing me as Minister, but I am not now Minister. I was about to conclude by saying it was a relief to notice that at least Deputy Burke of North County Dublin is blushing for his past.

As one of the interested parties and possibly one of the more loquacious members of the House when this Bill was before the House on a previous occasion, I wish to say, to borrow an expression from the former Minister himself, that Deputy Dillon is talking complete balderdash. He suggests here to-day that by this amendment introduced by the Minister we have gone back on certain principles which we advocated on a previous Bill. That is not so. In fact, due to pressure by this side of the House Deputy Dillon himself, when he was Minister, introduced an amendment to Section 48. This section now before us does not meet with my full approval but at least it goes so far as to satisfy to a certain extent all the interests of the industry involved, the track owners and the bookmakers. If Deputy Dillon were to take the trouble of looking up the report of the debate when this section was discussed previously, he would discover no inconsistency whatsoever in the present attitude of this side of the House.

Amendment agreed to.

Are we dealing with sub-section (4) of amendment No. 4?

I am dealing with amendment No. 4 in page 24.

In connection with sub-section (4), I presume what the Minister has in mind is to deal with country tracks possibly where the tote might not be installed?

That is what the sub-section is intended to deal with.

To deal with that specifically?

Then that sub-section would, in fact, disappear when the tote was installed?

And sub-section (3) of the section comes into operation.

Where is the provision for the sub-section's disappearance?

If the Deputy looks at sub-section (3) he will see that when the board establishes the totalisator on a track and maintains it in operation there, sub-section (3) is in force. Sub-section (4) applies only to tracks where there is no tote. It provides for a charge in excess of the maximum charge of ten times the ordinary admission charge by consent of the bookmaker.

But may I ask the Minister where does it say that sub-section (4) does not apply?

It does not say that but it is clear from the text.

May I draw the attention of the House to the fact that it is not clear?

This is the Report Stage.

Yes, but I assumed when I intervened up to this that the Minister's amendment meant what it said and I extended the courtesy to him of accepting it on that basis without asking him to explain it. He now informs Deputy O'Malley that sub-section (4) disappears in certain contingencies. Sub-section (4) never disappears; it is part of the Bill and it provides, as far as I can see without reference to the presence or absence of the totalisator that "notwithstanding that regulations under sub-section (1) of this section fix, in relation to a greyhound race track or part thereof, maximum charges in respect of bookmakers carrying on their business, any bookmaker may with his consent be charged for admission to the track or part, a charge exceeding that which would be appropriate in accordance with the regulations, and such charge shall not constitute a contravention of the regulations." Either that means what it says or it does not. Does it mean what it says or is there some concealed phrase there which says that if the totalisator is not installed on a track sub-section (4) does not operate?

Does the Deputy not know this is the Report Stage?

I do. I was extending to the Minister the courtesy of accepting the amendment on the basis that it meant what it said——

Would the Minister explain and tell us how?

I am not at liberty to do so.

I have declared the amendment carried as a matter of fact, but I am not going to insist on that if the Minister wishes to speak.

The truth of it is that the Minister is swallowing his own disgraceful conduct on the Committee Stage of this Bill on a previous occasion and he is afraid that Deputy O'Malley will find him out. He can fool Deputy O'Malley but he cannot fool me. The Deputy should not let the Minister make a "gom" out of him like that.

I move amendment No.5:—

In page 30, line 38, to delete "50" and substitute "25".

The amendment is intended, if accepted, to reduce the normal strength of the Irish Coursing Club, all co-opted, from 50 to 25. I understand that the strength of the Irish Coursing Club—which is a body elected for life and, to say the least of it, does not generally represent as a vocational body should, the interests of the breeders and owners—is now about 70. The existing section of the Bill suggests that the strength should be 50 maximum and that there be no co-options to the Irish Coursing Club until the number goes below 50. Having regard to the functions that will be allocated to the Irish Coursing Club in the future, the number 50 is somewhat unwieldy and unworkable. It is for that reason that I put down amendment No. 5 and I would ask the Minister if he can see his way to accept it.

Deputy Burke has now vanished.

The proposal in my amendment is that no additional member shall be co-opted until the number of elected members who become co-opted members falls below 25. I feel that the Irish Coursing Club can still perform very useful work and it is for that reason that I am so anxious that the strength of that body should be fixed at such a number as to make it workable. I ask the Minister, therefore, to meet my requirements in this connection by deleting the figure 50 and inserting the figure 25.

Amendments Nos. 5 and 6 could be discussed together, perhaps.

I do not propose to accept the amendments. I do not think they are necessary. Apart from that, the figure 50 represents a measure of agreement which was secured not merely in relation to the 1958 Bill but also by the Minister for Agriculture, I think, in 1954, and the Minister for Agriculture in 1957, the late Senator Seán Moylan. Apart from that, I think the number of co-opted members is not of any very great significance in so far as they are only entitled to attend and vote at the annual general meeting. Merely by reason of the fact that they are co-opted members, they cannot be members of the executive. If they are members of the Coursing Club and become representative members of the club, then, of course, they can be elected. I think there is not anything to be gained by reducing the number below 50.

When the affairs of the club are being reorganised and the Greyhound Industry Board is functioning smoothly and properly and acceptably to all persons, I think co-option to the club will be regarded as a very special honour and I do not see any reason why the members of the reconstituted club should be limited unduly as to the number of reputable persons upon whom the honour can be conferred.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 6 not moved.

I move amendment No. 7:—

In page 32, to delete all words from and including "One-third" in line 19 down to and including "apply" in line 25.

The purpose of this amendment is pretty obvious. It suggests that the machinery constituting the new executive committee of the club and the standing committee of the club in future would be put into action more quickly. The period allowed under the existing section of the Bill is far too long and there is certainly no necessity for it. Reference is made to that arrangement in the Advisory Committee's report and that report certainly does not recommend that such a long period should be allowed. I hope the Minister will find it possible to accept this amendment, because it I would be a pity if the general good that is likely to ensue as a result of this legislation were to be initially jeopardised by the fact that such a long period will elapse before the executive standing committee of the club and the executive committee will come into being.

I would ask the Deputy not to press this amendment. It would render the reconstitution of the club a work of very great difficulty. If the purposes of the Bill are to be fulfilled, then the reconstitution of the club and the reconstitution of the new executive committee must proceed smoothly and in such a way as not to cause any dislocation in the control of greyhound coursing and greyhound breeding. I cannot see that that could be done in any much shorter time than that which is provided for in the existing schedule. There is no fear now that the reconstitution will not be carried out in the manner in which the Oireachtas would wish it to be, because under Section 26 a new sub-section has been introduced there which makes it clear that the appointment of members of the executive committee of the club shall be carried out subject to the supervision of the board. That will mean, first of all, that there will be no ground for criticism as to the manner in which the new constitution is carried out and, as well as that, it should ensure smooth and harmonious working between the Coursing Club, on the one hand, and the board on the other. I would ask the Deputy not to press the amendment.

In view of the Minister's explanation, I am prepared not to press the amendment and, accordingly, ask for leave to withdraw it.

Before leave to withdraw is granted, let us comment for a moment on this disgusting display of unctuous hypocrisy between the Deputy and the Minister. The Deputy puts down his amendment in order to satisfy the neighbours in Listowel and the Minister gets up and pours forth this revolting stream of hypocrisy, swallowing every word he uttered when this Bill was before the House on another occasion. I know the Minister to be mischievous in his activities, but there ought to be some standards of decency maintained. I do not blame Deputies for trying to bring a little grist to their mill in their own areas. I strenuously object, however, to their trying to bring grist to their mill by denigrating their neighbours.

I noticed Deputy Burke hopped out of his seat and fled out of the House when he heard Deputy Moloney getting up to make his attack, by innuendo, on the members of the Irish Coursing Club. Then, when Deputy Burke saw that there was to be a little drama enacted between the Minister and Deputy Moloney, he came trotting back to his seat so as to show what a decent man he was. I trust I may be pardoned, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, for expressing my nausea and disgust at this revolting pantomime and for expressing the hope that we have seen the last of it and that now a Bill which is useful and which may achieve a desirable purpose, if properly administered, will be passed without any further display of indecent hypocrisy on the part of the Minister.

I think Deputy Moloney should get the privilege of voting for his amendment. Therefore, we do not propose to give leave to withdraw the amendment.

Question—"That leave be given to withdraw amendment No. 7"—put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 58; Níl, 30.

  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Blaney, Neal T.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Kevin.
  • Booth, Lionel.
  • Brady, Philip A.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Calleary, Phelim A.
  • Carty, Michael.
  • Childers, Erskine.
  • Collins, James J.
  • Cotter, Edward.
  • Cumningham, Liam.
  • de Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Dooley, Patrick.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Egan, Nicholas.
  • Fanning, John.
  • Faulkner, Padraig.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gibbons, James.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Griffin, James.
  • Haughey, Charles.
  • Healy, Augustine A.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Humphreys Francis.
  • Kenneally, William.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • Lemass, Noel T.
  • Lemass, Seán.
  • Loughman, Frank.
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • Lynch, Jack.
  • MacCarthy, Seán.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Medlar, Martin.
  • Moher, John W.
  • Moloney, Daniel J.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Ó Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Malley, Donogh.
  • Ormonde, John.
  • O'Toole, James.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.


  • Belton, Jack.
  • Burke, James.
  • Carew, John.
  • Casey, Seán.
  • Coburn, George.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Desmond, Daniel.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Esmonde, Anthony C.
  • Giles, Patrick.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Palmer, Patrick W.
  • Hogan, Bridget.
  • Hughes, Joseph.
  • Jones, Denis F.
  • Kenny, Henry.
  • Kyne, Thomas A.
  • Lindsay, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Thaddeus.
  • McAuliffe, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Manley, Timothy.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, William.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Rooney, Eamonn.
  • Sweetman, Gerard.
Tellers:—Tá:Deputies Ó Briain and Loughman; Níl: Deputies Kyne and O'Sullivan.
Question declared carried.
Amendment No. 7, by leave, withdrawn.
Question—"That the Bill, as amended, be received for final consideration"—put and agreed to.

When is it proposed to take the Fifth Stage?

Could we take the Fifth Stage now?

I have no objection to giving the Fifth Stage of this Bill now.

Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

On this stage it is appropriate to recall the history of the Bill. In 1951 a committee was set up by the Government of which I was then a member, to inquire into the greyhound industry and to report. Just immediately after that Government left office, the committee reported. There was then a Fianna Fáil Government for a period of three years, in the course of which no attempt whatever was made to introduce legislation here to implement the findings of that committee. When our Government returned to office in 1954, this Bill substantially, as set out in the White Paper which was circulated with this Bill, was submitted to the House. There was one fundamental difference. It was sought in the Bill introduced by me to pay a compliment, and no more than that, to those who had carried on, under great difficulties, the administration of the greyhound industry down through the years from the time when they had first separated the Irish organisation from the British organisation which in the old days controlled coursing in this country.

This House was delayed for months in the prosecution of a vicious vendetta by the present Minister for Health, mainly I believe against somebody who was dead and gone. Every sort of detestable vituperation and disgraceful innuendo was sponsored by the present Minister, by Deputy Briscoe and, I think, by Deputy O'Malley. I think that even Deputy Vivion de Valera was enrolled in that campaign. Deputy Burke was wont to intervene at various stages of the proceedings to repudiate this conduct and to say that he disapproved of their vituperation and that the individuals whom his colleagues were concerned to defame and denigrate were decent, men but beyond doing that he made little contribution to check or arrest that disgraceful campaign of defamation and vendetta which was being pursued.

Deputy Dillon will appreciate the fact that only what is contained in the Bill can be discussed on the Fifth Stage.

I am directing the attention of the House to the fact that the contents of this Bill, which I think we should now pass, are virtually identical with the contents of the Bill which was opposed and made the occasion of this disgraceful vendetta in a previous Parliament.

It is important for the House to know that, for the three years from 1951 to 1954 when this report was in the hands of the then Government, nothing whatever was done to give effect to its recommendations; and that when a Bill was introduced by the Government of which I was a member in 1954 to implement these findings, it was bitterly and viciously opposed by the members of the present Government Party. I like to record for the record that but for the fact that this Bill, substantially, was introduced by me on the authority of the Government of which I was a member, it is highly unlikely that anything whatever would have been done to implement the findings of the committee which reported in 1951.

I am glad to think this Bill which is now about to pass was received by the present Opposition in a very different, spirit from that which was manifested by the present Government when they were in Opposition when a virtually identical Bill was before the House. I hope we shall never have another instance of the misuse, in my judgment, of the procedures of this House such as we were witnesses of in the dispensing of the business which, so far as Dáil Eireann is concerned, I hope is now concluded.

It is in the interests of this important industry that this Bill should now pass. I believe it would have been very much better if it had been passed when it was first presented two years ago. I believe a good deal of damage has been done by the vicious persecution that was attempted by the Fianna Fáil Party when this Bill was first under discussion in the House. However, I say now, with all the sincerity I can command, that, in the interests of the industry as a whole, I hope the disreputable conduct of the Fianna Fáil Opposition may now be decently buried in oblivion because it is very necessary that all those who are concerned for the welfare of the greyhound industry should forget what tranpired in the only too recent past and agree, all sides together, to co-operate in the future so that this industry will be built into what those of us who are concerned for it hope it may yet be.

The greyhound industry ought to be of value to the State; and it can be of value to the State, and there are men associated with it down through the years who yet have valuable work to do on its behalf. I trust that, in determining the personnel of the administrative bodies provided for in this Bill, the hateful atmosphere of vendetta will be forgotten and that the individuals chosen for the responsible work envisaged by this measure will be chosen on their merits and not on the personal predilection of members of the Fianna Fáil Party.

I want to sound this note of warning. If the right men are chosen, this Bill will work and confer very material benefit on the country and the greyhound industry, but if the spirit of vendetta is suffered to prevail, and, by its light, the wrong men are installed here, then this Bill, instead of achieving the purpose for which it was designed, may well result in irretrievable disaster for the greyhound industry which would be a very great misfortune for this country.

I have the name of no one in mind, but I press most urgently upon the Government that, when the committee of control and the other statutory bodies envisaged by this Bill are established, the best men should be chosen for the greyhound industry and that all considerations of personal political allegiance be laid aside and qualifications based on merit made the only consideration.

I should like to correct some of the inaccuracies expressed by Deputy Dillon. He accused the previous Fianna Fáil Government of laxity in introducing legislation on receiving the report on the greyhound industry from the Advisory Committee. I should like to point out to Deputy Dillon that he himself set up this Advisory Committee on 21st February, 1951, and that that report was handed in report form to the late Deputy Walsh when he was Minister for Agriculture on 18th January, 1952. As the late Deputy Walsh stated when speaking in this House in answer to a point raised by Deputy Dillon on the report, that report had to be printed and circulated and unfortunately a very serious printers' strike took place at that time. Apart from that, we had many other problems on our hands. We had a very serious mess to clear up from our predecessors and it was quite obvious that these other measures would take priority.

Deputy Dillon has suggested that there was opposition from the Fianna Fáil Benches, the object of which was to obstruct the passage of the previous Bill. If that argument is brought to its logical conclusion, it would suggest that Deputy Dillon in the later days of the debate here before Christmas, 1956, saw his own Government's days coming to an end because it is completely illogical to suggest that the Fianna Fáil Party could have delayed the Bill in what should normally have been a five-year period of office. The bee that Deputy Dillon had in his bonnet is still buzzing when he speaks of the personal vendetta of the Minister for Health. As I said previously, that Minister does not require anyone to defend him and certainly he does not require me, but looking through the records of the debate, I have seen no personal references to any individuals, either living or dead, of a derogatory nature. If Deputy Dillon wishes to suggest that there are innuendoes, and so on, that is a matter purely for himself and it is not the general conclusion drawn by the interested parties and the public generally.

To-day a new era is dawning for the greyhound industry. We should be very grateful to the members of the Advisory Committee for the long and arduous task which they performed. We should be grateful to all who contributed to this debate who were both critical and constructive in their suggestions. While I think the Bill in its present form might not be entirely desirable from all aspects, a good job has been done. It has tried to cater for all sections of the community, for the greyhound owners, for the breeders, the track owners and, I might say, to a fairly limited extent also, for the bookmakers.

I thoroughly endorse the sentiments expressed by Deputy Dillon when he urged the Minister for Agriculture, having chosen the establishment date, to do all in his power to select the best possible men. I sincerely trust that the three members of the Irish Coursing Club having been nominated in accordance with the terms of the Bill and the chairman having been appointed, the other three members will represent, as far as possible, specific sections of the industry, sections for which the three nominees of the Irish Coursing Club would not cater in the ordinary course of events.

I hope the greyhound owners as such will be represented on the board and that the bookmakers, although there is no specific provisions written into the Bill, will also be represented—as they are on the Racing Board—particularly for the initial stages. I might say also that I think a member of the board could be chosen who has good experience of the operation of the Totalisator Act of 1929, as brought into operation by the Racing Board in 1945.

One of the other matters to which I wish to refer is that this legislation could not have come too soon. The number of amendments which have come to the House and which were accepted by the previous Minister and by the present Minister have all strengthened the Bill. No time has been wasted on irrelevancies; most of the debate has been constructive and has been of invaluable assistance to the Ministers who have had the task of introducing the legislation to control a very difficult industry.

When I say that it could not have been brought in quickly enough, I should like to point out that it was only last week at the coursing at Clounanna that we had the unfortunate incident again of two bookmakers welshing on their responsibilities. In one instance, it was unfortunate that one of the members of the public who did not get his money was a non-national. The sooner this board is established and tackles its duties, the better for this sport and this industry which unfortunately has fallen on lean times and has lost the respect of the public generally. It has lost as essential feature for the success of any venture, that is, the confidence of the public as a whole.

I will conclude by saying that all parties concerned with the greyhound industry owe a debt of gratitude to the present Minister for his interest and his contributions to the debates on the previous occasion and the sympathetic manner in which he has agreed to certain of the amendments. On the previous Bill, I would say that a certain amount of congratulation is due to the previous Minister even though, as I said, he had certain bees buzzing in his bonnet.

They were not. Egyptian bees.

I should like to say a few words mainly arising from the remarks made by Deputy Dillon. Some of those remarks would be applicable only to me for the simple reason that this is the first time I have been elected to the House and some of the allegations made refer to certain things——

I assure the Deputy that he was not in my mind at all.

As far as the personal attack is concerned, I have no evidence of any of my colleagues being actuated by that motive, and if Deputy Dillon wants to refer to personal attacks, all that he has to do is to read again the report of the Advisory Committee which he set up in 1951. He will find in that report very serious references to some of the people whom he describes now as models in this industry. Beyond that, I am not prepared to go. I think that report speaks for itself. Surely we cannot be accused of influencing what appeared in that report.

Deputy Dillon makes an appeal to the Minister, when setting up the board, to get men of desirable qualifications. To that extent, I endorse his remarks and request the Minister—I am quite sure that our Minister can be depended on to do so—to get men who will be capable and efficient in representing the greyhound industry. I should like to associate myself with the sentiments expressed by Deputy O'Malley that all sections of the industry should be represented as far as possible, maybe not officially, but men who are capable of understanding the varied interests of the industry should be found for the board. I think the Owners' and Breeders' Association, who can claim to represent a sizable proportion of the greyhound owners and breeders, deserve every consideration in relation to such appointments. An integral part of the whole industry are the bookmakers and I think they also deserve recognition.

I am perfectly satisfied that a good board will come from the various interests that make up this whole industry. I have not the slightest doubt that the Minister will do a good job. Deputy Dillon seems to doubt that this Party is capable of setting up a good board and it occurred to me that perhaps he would suggest his line-up for the board——

Deputy Moloney is getting away from the subject matter of the debate. Only what is contained in the Bill may be discussed. He cannot make a Second Reading speech now.

I am sorry if I was getting away from the matter contained in the Bill. I have not anything more to add, except to say that I am glad the Bill is finished, and I think we should all co-operate to ensure that it has the success it deserves and the success the industry deserves.

I had often read about obstruction——

Do not raise another hare.

Whenever I raise hares, I can kill them, and I coursed some hares before a lot of the people here who are talking about coursing and greyhounds. I saw the way this was being influenced by a group outside who just wanted to get representation on the board and they were here with Fianna Fáil Deputies all the time. The vendetta was carried on against the Irish Coursing Club. It was smeared all over the place. It is a kind of custom in the greyhound industry that all seem to smear one another, but the reason the Irish Coursing Club came in for most of the smearing was that they had warned people off from the time they had formed themselves into a body and from the time they had separated themselves from the English——

The Deputy may not pursue that line.

The criticism was that they had not warned off enough people.

I saw a few of the warned-off people and they were trying to influence the Bill.

It depends on what they were warned off for.

If they were supporters of the side over there, they were lily-white lambs. I would be more concerned with the people who breed and feed greyhounds, and with the people who buy greyhounds from them and look for markets. Nobody mentioned those here to-day. They are important people in the industry.

They may be, but that is not relevant on the Fifth Stage. The Deputy may discuss what it, in the Bill on this stage.

I put it to you, Sir, that when Deputy O'Malley was speaking, he mentioned the bookmakers and mentioned the feeders and breeders.

And I have allowed Deputy Lynch to mention them, too, but I think he should come to what is in the Bill.

This Bill provides for the constitution of a certain board. Surely Deputy Lynch is entitled, to argue that if the board is to be set up in accordance with the terms of the Bill representation should be given to certain sections of the industry?

That is a point which would have been relevant earlier, but is not relevant now.

Surely on the Fifth Stage?

Surely this board which will be set up to run the industry will run it well. I cannot see why the Irish Coursing Club cannot get its place on it.

It is taking its place.

They are clapped down upon as if they were convicts.

Read the report.

Why should the previous Minister have tried to cook up a report?

Nobody condemned them but the people who tried them.

They were the people out in the limelight.

It was your colleague who appointed them.

Deputy Moloney should not interrupt Deputy Lynch.

Deputy Moloney will be put into the Glasshouse.

I am quite certain Deputy Ó Briain is going to put him into the Glasshouse after his effort to-day.

There are three members of the Irish Coursing Club to go on this board. I have no doubt that, whoever they may be, they will be able to give a better account of themselves than anybody else, with all due respect to anybody else and even to anybody else for, whom I have spoken. They know their Job. I am often in the habit of asking questions in Dáil Éireann of Ministers and it is a little curious that the Ministers do not seem to answer the questions I ask them. Deputy Moloney said that "our Minister" will appoint the board. That is the actual way he said it. I should like to know to whom he is referring. Is it the Minister for Health or the Minister for Agriculture?

He does not know.

Who will appoint the Board? I ask the Minister that question.

Ask Deputy Moloney and he will get away with it.

The Bill will go through now. I do not know how long it will be before the board is established and how long it will be before it begins operations. The only think I regret is that this Bill was not passed when it came in here before. No Deputy on the opposite side of the House can say that, in the intervening period, the greyhound racing industry has improved. There was a great urgency and a great need for this Bill. When this Bill was brought in by Deputy Dillon, then Minister, it should have been passed. In spite of the printers' strike, it could have been brought in by the late Deputy Tom Walsh.

Let the dead rest.

I beg Deputy Burke's pardon. I will not traduce dead men. There was enough of that done here on this Bill. This Bill was run sometimes from the restaurant and sometimes from the bar.

We cannot discuss that now.

Many things are run from the bar.

Yes, and it was not a creditable performance, either. Deputy Vivion de Valera from these benches spoke for three hours on greyhounds. It would be a wonderful thing for somebody to look back on the records. That would be a right penance on somebody.

Why should they?

I hope this Bill will be put into operation quickly. As I was saying when Deputy Burke interrupted me. God rest the late Deputy Tom Walsh, he did not bring in the Bill because it was never the wish of the Fianna Fáil Party to bring it in. So far as they were concerned, they were prepared to let the greyhound industry go down the drain. They were yielding to pressure from a small group of bookmakers to keep the Bill from coming into the House. That was what was behind the business all the time.

It is not nonsense at all. It is a matter of fact. I hope that when this Bill becomes law, it will be put into operation immediately because the industry is in such a parlous state now. It needs this Bill and needs it badly.

Mr. MacEntee rose

Deputy Burke wants to intervene. Surely you will give Deputy Burke a chance?

Deputy Ó Briain will be very cross.

I suggest that the Minister give way to Deputy Burke. On a point of order, may I direct the attention of the Chair to the fact that Deputy Burke rose and wishes to intervene?

I understand Deputy Burke had the courtesy to resume his seat to allow me to conclude.

Give Deputy Burke a chance to speak.

He is being gagged.

Deputy Burke would be much more sensible in his contribution to the debate than Deputy Dillon was, but he knows very well that I am in a difficult situation, that I will be engaged in business again at half-past six. I am anxious that I be given the courtesy of the House to wind up the debate.

On a point of order, did the Chair see Deputy Burke getting up?

It is usual, when a Minister has been called, that he be allow to conclude.

On a point of order, Sir, when Deputy Burke is on his feet, is it proper to allow the Minister to speak? Was Deputy Burke on his feet?

Deputy Dillon knows I was going to leave the House.

Well taken.

Deputy Dillon should allow the Minister to make his statement.

Deputy Burke is now allowing the Minister to go ahead.

I do not intend to prolong this debate for any length, but there were some statements made here which, for the purposes of the record, I wish to correct. In particular, I wish to repudiate the suggestion which has been made by Deputy Lynch that the Fianna Fáil Government was deterred from taking action on the report of the Greyhound Advisory Tribunal because of certain pressures which had been brought to bear on them. I should also like to correct the statement made by Deputy Dillon with reference to the time schedule of this Bill. It is true that the Advisory Committee was set up by him, as he stated, on 21st February, 1951. It is true that it did not report until the 18th January, 1952, when the Fianna Fáil Government had been in office for over eight months. The report then presented was in typescript. There was difficulty in having the report printed, as has been pointed out, and it was not actually printed and ready for circulation until November, 1953. Early in 1953 consultations were opened with various interests and a submission was made to the Government. After further discussion with the Irish Coursing Club final submissions were made to the Government at the end of 1953 and the drafting of a Bill was approved by the Fianna Fáil Government in February, 1954. I hope the Deputy who hurled the charge across this House, a charge phrased in most disgraceful terms, implying that corrupt pressure, because that is what it would have been, had been brought to bear on the Fianna Fáil Government is now taking note of these dates. In February, 1954, a Bill was approved for drafting and the draft Bill was received by the then Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Dillon, very shortly after mid-summer of 1954.

What happened between mid-summer, 1954, and July, 1955, when that draft Bill was introduced in the Dáil and circulated to Deputies? That is quite a substantial time. Who was bringing pressure to bear on the then Coalition Government? Who was bringing pressure to bear upon the then Minister for Agriculture? The Bill, which was in his hands, ready for circulation to this House in mid-summer 1954 was not circulated until 12 months later. Of course, those who were bringing pressure to bear upon him were the members of the Irish Coursing Club with whom, I may say, Deputy Dillon had the greatest difficulty—just as great difficulty as his predecessor, the late Deputy Tom Walsh had. But, whereas Deputy Walsh was not prepared to give way, was not prepared to surrender to the pressure of the Irish Coursing Club, Deputy Dillon was prepared to give way and did surrender. And Deputy Dillon brought in a Bill here which was in many respects very acceptable to the Opposition but which in one respect was highly objectionable because the Bill proposed to hand over control of the greyhound industry to a body which had been very severely criticised—indeed I am understating it when I say very severely criticised— by Deputy Dillon's own Advisory Committee; and the vital point of difference between the Fianna Fáil Party in opposition to the Bill and Deputy Dillon as Minister for Agriculture in charge of the Bill was as to whether the Greyhound Industry Board was to be controlled by the executive of the Irish Coursing Club, as it then was, or whether, instead of that, while the executive of the Irish Coursing Club would have adequate representation on the board, at least the majority of the members of the board would not be taken as nominees of that body. Now that was a vital question of principle.

There were other matters which were discussed at great length between us. In the course of the Committee Stage of the Bill, Deputy Dillon was not receptive to any suggestions that were made—perhaps that is an exaggeration: Deputy Dillon was loath to accept any suggestion—for the improvement of the Bill by those who were critical of the Bill and who were opposing it, until at the very end, when a general election was looming in the offing and there was an anxiety on his part to get the Bill through and get the appointment of the Advisory Board into his own hands, he brought in 20 amendments, all of them embodying the proposals of the Opposition. Those amendments are embodied in this Bill.

Now that is the history of this Bill. Suggestions have been made about my personal attitude to certain people. I shall not deal with these. I shall not make any rejoinder to Deputy Dillon. I would have to sink to his depths in order to do so. I do not propose, to do that. I merely propose to echo the hopes which have been expressed by people on both sides, now that the Bill has got to this stage, that it will be shortly enacted and that, in consequence of the provisions of the Bill and of the control and supervision of the industry by the Greyhound Industry Board, the industry will in due course realise all the potentialities which most of us believe it holds for the economic benefit of this country.

The question is——

I asked the Minister a question.

I am not answering any question of Deputy Lynch. He made a disgraceful speech here.

On a point of order.

There can be no point of order while the Chairman is standing. The question is:

"That the Bill do now pass."

Question put and agreed to.

There is a Deputy over there who questions my right to ask a question in this House.

I am not answering any questions addressed to me by Deputy T. Lynch. He made a most disgraceful speech here.

The Minister made a disgraceful speech last week. There is the most scurrilous man running out that door now.

He promised to reform last week.