Committee on Finance. - Tourist Traffic Bill, 1970: Instruction to Committee.

I move:

That it be an instruction to the Committee on the Tourist Traffic Bill, 1970 that is has power to make provision in the Bill, in relation to the number of members of Bord Fáilte Éireann.

This is a procedural matter which must be undertaken if the Committee Stage is to be taken now after the Second Stage.

May I make a comment on this? Unless this resolution is accepted now we cannot go on to discuss the amendment which the Minister has put in for Committee Stage. Before the Minister replied to the debate I had reservations about the question of increasing the membership of the board. Am I right in saying now that in order to restructure the board special legislation would have to be introduced?

Therefore the Minister is dissatisfied with Bord Fáilte. He wants to effect immediate improvements in the composition of the board. The only way open to him to do this before the Dáil goes into recess is by means of this resolution.

Do not put words into my mouth, Deputy. I did not say I was dissatisfied. I felt that the operations of Bord Fáilte could be improved and this is the only way I can do it.

This is the only technical way of doing it.

Acting Chairman

We can discuss this on the amendment.

It might be better if we discussed it now.

As I understand it, unless the House agrees to this motion we cannot go on to discuss the amendment on the Committee Stage.

It might be better to agree to this and to go on to discuss it on Committee Stage.

We cannot move on to the Committee Stage unless the House agrees to this motion.

Can you not agree to that and then go on to discuss the Committee Stage?

Why is this necessary?

It is a procedural matter. I cannot move an amendment which is outside the scope of the original Bill. The scope of the original Bill was financial and bore no relation to the composition of the board.

The Short Title of the Bill refers to Acts between 1939 and 1968 and I think I would be correct in saying that some of those Acts would have some reference to membership of the board.

I agree but this procedure——

Acting Chairman

Deputy O'Donnell to continue.

I am not trying to be contentious. I want to clarify the situation and put the record straight. I am prepared to agree to this resolution at this stage. I shall have more to say when the Minister moves his amendment on Committee Stage. This proposal of the Minister's in relation to the number of members of Bord Fáilte is an interim measure pending the total assessment of the industry as a whole.

That is correct.

It is quite conceivable that the Minister will come in with legislation in the not too distant future which may provide for a certain restructuring of the board.

Depending on what the assessment will be.

This is an enabling resolution and it gives an opportunity to deputies, therefore, to talk about the number of members of the board. There are seven at present. The Minister intends to increase that figure to nine. I have put in an amendment reducing the number from seven to five. I believe the Minister is dissatisfied with Bord Fáilte Éireann.

Acting Chairman

I do not want to interrupt the Deputy but the Deputy will have an opportunity to talk as long as he likes on Committee Stage.

I have the right to speak on this resolution in this way.

Acting Chairman

This is purely an enabling resolution to permit the Minister to introduce his amendment.

I want to make a particular kind of case and it is on this that case should be made.

Acting Chairman

Why not make it on the amendment itself?

Why does the Minister not put it in as a simple amendment?

Acting Chairman

We had to get the procedure right. It is an extremely intricate procedure. I am trying to make it as easy as possible for Deputies.

This resolution deals with the number of members of Bord Fáilte Éireann.

Acting Chairman

No. This amendment is outside the scope of the Bill and this is an enabling resolution to allow the matter to be discussed.

It is not a Second Reading motion.

If I can speak as long as I like on Committee Stage, then I have no objection to this resolution. In deference to the Chair, I will keep what I have to say for Committee Stage.

Let us make the position clear lest there might be a precedent: because of the manner in which the Bill was brought into the House by the Minister, in effect what he is doing now—no one has any objection —is introducing a resolution to introduce a different matter into this Bill.

That is right.

Actually the House is entitled to talk about that but, in view of the fact that there is an amendment coming later on, we can talk about it then.

Question put and agreed to.