In reply to Deputy O'Higgins, all I can say is that the Bill about which he has spoken will, I hope, be circulated some time around the period of Easter. It is a complex Bill, as he well knows, and it has been examined, corrected and discussed over a considerable period of time. When I say I hope it will be circulated this session, I am merely expressing the hope that we will not find still more complexities which may cause it to be still further corrected.
In reply to Deputy Dillon, and to his remarks with reference to the appointment of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Justice, all I can say is that he must not have the remotest idea of the work which has to be undertaken in that Department. I may say that when my predecessor was in office, he had the aid of the Attorney General at his disposal in this House as well as in the Department. He also had the aid of the Taoiseach. Am I not entitled to get the aid of a young man who, I can say without being too modest, is a legal expert in his own right and can deal with measures which are brought into the House and discussed with legal authorities on the other side?
I want to make it clear that the volume of legislation prepared in the past four years by the Department of Justice is a record for any period of office of a Minister for Justice since the establishment of the State. I am not making an over-statement when I say that. Many of these Bills are of a most complex character. There are two Courts of Justice Bills which will be circulated to Deputies very shortly, and which I feel sure will be discussed over a considerable period of time when they are circulated.
I want to pay this tribute to the Parliamentary Secretary: he has been responsible, as Deputy Dillon must be fully aware, for bringing into this House and taking through the House and the Seanad, the Solicitors (Amendment) Bill which is now an Act, the Rent Restrictions Bill, which is also now an Act, the Charities Bill which is at Report Stage. There are the two Courts of Justice Bills, the Civil Liability Bill and, at the present time, he is working on a White Paper on the general subject of law reform. I can say definitely to the House, and to Deputy Dillon, that the appointment of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Justice can be fully justified. I can say, however, that some of the questions Deputy Dillon asked in respect to the appointment of the Parliamentary Secretary were answered by the Taoiseach in reply to a Parliamentary Question asked, I think, by Deputy Dillon. I thought the reply full and ample. I have no apologies to make on behalf of the Government or on behalf of Deputy Haughey for his appointment as Parliamentary Secretary.