Health Authorities Bill, 1959—Fifth Stage.

I move that the Bill do now pass. In doing so perhaps I should refer to the discussion which took place on Section 17 of the Bill in Committee, when Deputy Haughey, Deputy Cummins and others referred to the uneasiness of the staff which would be transferred under this Bill to the new Health Authority with particular reference to those who were to be transferred to the Dublin Health Authority. I arranged for this matter to be discussed between officers of my Department and the Dublin City Manager. I understand that the latter has in fact been in conference since then with representatives of the staff concerned in the Dublin Corporation with particular reference to the possible loss of promotion prospects and the possible inconvenience to the staff arising from their transfer to offices situated elsewhere than in the City Hall.

Naturally the matter of promotion prospects has been one of major concern to the staff. The Manager is sympathetic towards them in this matter but cannot, of course, consider the claim of the Corporation staff who will be transferred to the Health Authority without reference to those who will be taken over from other Health Authorities in the area. Discussions with the representatives of the officials concerned are, I understand, in progress and at this stage I do not wish to say anything more except to assure the Deputies who raised this matter, and the House in general, that my attitude and that of the City Manager towards the staff to be transferred will be sympathetic. I am sure that I can say the same for the Managers in the other areas affected by the legislation.

It is quite obvious that the Minister has gone out of his way to help and to facilitate the local authority in Dublin, Waterford, and perhaps Limerick, in connection with the proposals before the House. I have no intention of repeating any remarks I offered here on the Second Stage but I must say that I am still convinced that the Bill offers little or nothing for Cork and takes away so much. The Minister has admitted, during the discussion on the Bill, that in respect of the setting up of the new Committee, or the Authority, who will have the final say in connection with the operation of the Health Act in Cork, not alone is it a case of not saving money but it will undoubtedly mean the expenditure of more money in connection with health services in Cork. If it were a case of that extra money being spent on providing additional benefits for the people, certainly I would find myself in full agreement with the Minister, but when it is only a question of additional administration and of extra moneys being expended through a service which will not offer any additional benefits, and perhaps not even offer a continuation of our present system under the Health Act in Cork, I find myself still in disagreement when the question of Cork comes before us.

I fully appreciate that because the members from Dublin, Waterford and Limerick are satisfied with the new proposals, it is but natural they should support this measure but they still claim in Cork that in regard to anything affecting Cork City and county, even when discussed in this House, the obligation must be on the members coming from Cork not alone to voice their opinions in opposition to such a measure but to make it clear that they are opposed to the Bill. I am therefore opposing this Bill.

I would just like to say that I trust Deputy Desmond's apprehensions will be found not to be based on reality. I trust that in the operation of the Bill it will be found that the greater convenience of the people of Cork City and county will be advanced by its provisions. I do not promise that there are going to be any great reductions in expenditure. I cannot promise that. I hope that, as a result of this Bill, these people for whom the health services are primarily intended, will receive great benefits.

Question put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 44; Níl, 12.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Blaney, Neil T.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Kevin.
  • Brennan, Joseph.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Carroll, James.
  • Carty, Michael.
  • Childers, Erskine.
  • Clohessy, Patrick.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Crowley, Honor M.
  • Davern, Mick.
  • Donegan, Batt.
  • Dooley, Patrick.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Egan, Nicholas.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Geoghegan, John.
  • Gogan, Richard P.
  • Hillery, Patrick J.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Johnston, Henry M.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Kyne, Thomas A.
  • Lemass, Seán.
  • Lynch, Celia.
  • Lynch, Jack.
  • MacCarthy, Seán.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Medlar, Martin.
  • Millar, Anthony G.
  • Moher, John W.
  • Moran, Michael.
  • Norton, William.
  • Ó Briain, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Ceallaigh, Seán.
  • O'Toole, James.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Mary B.
  • Sherwin, Frank.
  • Smith, Patrick.

Níl

  • Blowick, Joseph.
  • Byrne, Tom.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Desmond, Daniel.
  • Esmonde, Sir Anthony C.
  • Kenny, Henry.
  • Manley, Timothy.
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Palmer, Patrick W.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Tierney, Patrick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Ó Briain and Mrs. Lynch; Níl, Deputies Desmond and Tierney.
Question declared carried.