Sea Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, 1974: Committee and Final Stages.

Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.
SECTION 3.
Question proposed: "That section 3 stand part of the Bill."

This section reads:

Section 22 of the Principal Act, as amended by section 2 of the Act of 1970, is hereby amended by the substitution of "money (including money in a currency other than the currency of the State)" for "sums", and, accordingly, that section shall have effect as set out in the Table to this section.

Was this inserted at the request of the Attorney General or is there an ulterior motive? Would that section not be more appropriate in a Finance Bill rather than in a Sea Fisheries Bill? Is it essential that that portion of the section be included?

According to the advice of the Attorney General this is necessary. It was set down in the introductory statement. Section 3 of the amending Bill proposes to replace the word "sums" with a phrase which embraces foreign currency as well as Irish currency.

It is essential that it be included?

It is essential, according to the advice at our disposal.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 4.
Question proposed: "That section 4 stand part of the Bill."

Section 4 (4) reads:

Moneys paid by the Minister for Finance under a guarantee under this section shall be repaid to him (with interest thereon at such rate or rates as he appoints) by the Board within two years from the date of the advance of moneys out of the Central Fund.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary clarify that? What kind of rates of interest will the Minister for Finance charge?

This subsection empowers the Minister for Finance to guarantee due payments by BIM in respect of borrowings. Money borrowed by BIM from the European Investment Bank or any outside source must be guaranteed by the Minister for Finance. This will strengthen the board's position when negotiating loans. Rates of interest may very from time to time.

Does that not mean that the Minister for Finance will charge the interest rates? The words used are "with interest thereon at such rate or rates as he appoints". I presume "he" is the Minister for Finance.

Yes, it would be the Minister for Finance. He must guarantee the repayment and is the chief regulator. Loans could not be negotiated without his guarantee.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 5 agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment and passed.