The Chair suggests that amendments Nos. 1 and 2 can be discussed together as they are consequential.
Committee on Finance. - Insurance Bill, 1969: Committee and Final Stages.
I move amendment No. 1:
In page 2, line 25, to delete "1961" and substitute "1964".
The purpose of this amendment is to correct a drafting error. The date "1961" in the Long Title should be "1964".
Amendment No. 2 was discussed with amendment No. 1.
I move amendment No. 2:
In page 2, line 6, to delete "1961" and substitute "1964".
This is the same amendment, for the same reason.
Perhaps the Minister would be kind enough to tell us what is the drafting reason which renders this amendment necessary?
By an error, the date "1961" was put into the original draft. It should be "1964".
It is just as well to get that clear.
We are quite clear.
We are changing "1961" to "1964".
In accordance with Standing Order 96, subsection (3), I have to report specially to the Dáil that the Committee has amended the Title of the Bill to read as follows:
Bill entitled an Act to amend and extend the Insurance Acts, 1909 to 1964.
Would it unduly trouble the Minister to tell me what exactly does this Bill do?
We had this on the Second Stage.
The Minister will not deny me the right to hear it on the Fifth Stage after the Bill has been considered and amended.
We are doing two things in this. Firstly, the House recently passed the Exports Promotion Bill and the provisions of section 2 of this Bill are tied in with that, and that is to enable the services available to exporters of goods to be made available also to architects and engineers who are operating within this country, but are carrying out works abroad. I explained to the House previously the reason for this. Within the purpose of this Bill the objective is to enable political risks insurance to be given to cover that kind of export of services which at present is available for the export of goods. Without this section political risks insurance could not be given in respect of those kinds of services; it could only be given in respect of goods.
The other purpose of the Bill is to raise from £5 million to £10 million the aggregate sum which at any time the Minister may undertake by way of guarantee in respect of political risks insurance.
Is this related to the Kuwait operation?
No, not specifically. It is related to all our export activities. The Deputy will appreciate that although what I am speaking about is related solely to the export of the services of architects and engineers it may occur in any part of the world. The figure of £10 million which we want to insert here is necessary because of the commitments already entered into over the years in respect of political risks. There is a growing demand for political risks insurance, so it is necessary to raise this figure. This covers all exports of goods and in future, if this Bill is passed, it will cover the export of this particular kind of service.
I am not criticising the Bill for being a bit obscure but if a building contractor secures a contract in France, Kuwait or any other foreign administration and hires an architect, a quantity surveyor and an engineer and pays them a suitable fee and as a result of political upheaval the project is abortive and the payment of these technicians proves to be nugatory is the purpose of this Bill to enable the contractor to get insurance from the Minister's Department to recoup the expenditure on the architect, quantity surveyor and other technocrats whom he may have employed in contemplation of the completion of his contract of construction or other work?
The purpose is to make available to the people qualifying under the Export Promotions Act, which the House passed recently—that is the architects and engineers coming within the category so defined — the same provisions in relation to political risks as are at present applicable to the exports of goods. That is the broad general proposition. There are qualifications to it in that political risks insurance is not given in respect of certain places—these change from time to time—nor is it given to the extent of 100 per cent of the amount being covered. However, I do not think it is necessary that I should go into the details of the political risks scheme except to say that what is being done here is to put the provision of those services, which are now being regarded as exports if they come within the specifications in the Bill, in the same position as exports of goods for the purpose of political risks insurance.
This Bill is certified as a Money Bill in accordance with Article 22 of the Constitution.