Transport (Re-Organisation of Córas Iompair Éireann) Bill, 1986 [ Seanad ]: Committee Stage.

Question proposed: "That section 1 stand part of the Bill".

So far as this side of the House is concerned, the definitions may stand. At this stage, I should like to indicate that we will be proposing that the word "three" in the title be changed to "two".

Section 1 deals with the short title of the Bill only.

That is agreed.

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

This is a matter of interpretation and there is nothing in the section that the Opposition want to amend as of now.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 3.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 4, lines 12 to 18, to delete subsection (2) and substitute the following:

"(2) Whenever an order is proposed to be made under this Act, a draft of the order shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas, and the order shall not be made until a resolution approving the draft has been passed by each such House."

The section concerns the making of orders other than in relation to section 6. Our amendment is a repeat of amendments we put down previously to other Bills requesting that negative orders be replaced by positive orders. My reason for tabling the amendment is because I have found it impossible in the past, like other Members, to have orders similar to those referred to in the Bill debated in the House. There is no provision in the rules of the House for a debate on these unless the Government permit time. On a number of occasions in the past I tried, and failed, to have such negative orders debated in the House and it is for that reason that I am proposing that any orders made by the Minister under section 3 (2) should be of a positive kind. I am proposing that any orders made by the Minister should be brought before the House, discussed and agreed before the order comes into effect. For instance, I notice that in section 25 the Minister has the power to make an order to give additional functions to the boards of the companies concerned. It is important that the House should have an opportunity to discuss any such additional functions being given to the board, the reasons for them and so on but, because of the type of order proposed in the Bill, it is unlikely that such a debate will take place. I should like to ask the Minister to accept our amendment.

I am not out of sympathy with the line Deputy De Rossa is proposing as a general rule but I cannot accept his amendment. We are trying to create a new environment in the Bill for CIE and we are trying to get the company into a position where they can react speedily and flexibly, like any private company, to opportunities. The orders we can give, including the one the Deputy referred to under section 25, are designed towards that end. We can give orders under four headings. In section 7 (2) there is a mechanism for changing the names of the companies. The reason that provision was inserted in the Seanad was because there was a great deal of criticism of the names in the Bill. I accepted that criticism and said I was not very happy with the names proposed but nobody could come up with any better names. We decided to provide a mechanism so that if better names emerged, they could be changed by order. I do not think any Member can quibble about that. Orders under section 9 are purely for the adaptation of enactments where there might be wording slightly out of kilter with other enactments and that is fairly routine. Section 25 is about conferring additional functions on the board in order to be able to exploit their many assets, physical and human, to go into new businesses if opportunities arise.

Section 26 deals with policy directions which are more appropriate to the Minister than to the House. However, there is a provision in the section under which if a Minister gives a policy direction, the board may require it to be made by order and if so, the order is made public and put before the House. In all the circumstances, I do not believe that the amendment is appropriate or would be wise. We wanted to give CIE more flexibility and we do not want to have to come back to either House of the Oireachtas every time the company want a change in their business arrangement or in their Memorandum and Articles of Association. I do not think that would be wise and I do not think anybody who supports the concept of State enterprise would, on examination, want to tie down the company by such a restriction.

I accept what the Minister has said in regard to the need to provide a flexible environment within which the company, or companies, may have to operate. However, I take the view that in the normal course, any company are or should be responsible ultimately to the shareholders. I understand that in the case of any company taking extra powers or having extra powers or functions granted to them, it is important that the shareholders have a say in such a move. The Minister represents the public at large who are, in effect, the shareholders of CIE. The Minister is answerable to the House. I do not see how it would delay things if we had a discussion, if necessary, on the powers the Minister proposes to give to the board.

I understand there is a proposal on the Order Paper to provide public time on Tuesday next for a discussion on orders of that kind. Implicitly, there is a suggestion that such discussions would not cause unnecessary delays. From a general point of view it is important that when the House gives powers, as those in this Bill, there would be a discussion on such powers instead of nominal approval by the House, as at present. To my knowledge there have been negative orders made by Ministers that have never been debated. I did some research on this and I can find only one occasion in 15 years when such an order was debated here. It is a bad principle to have orders approved without the House being given an opportunity to discuss them.

In the past I have been concerned about this and put down motions to have orders annulled, but even if Fianna Fáil were to put down annulment motions it would not be possible to have them discussed in Government time — they would have to take their turn in Private Members' time. From the point of view of Members' responsibility in respect of the running of CIE, positive types of orders, to be debated in the House, would be necessary. If we take our role seriously, orders of this kind should not be there only in name, as window dressing. In appearance, we have the right to annul orders, but in fact we do not.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Section 3 agreed to.
Sections 4 and 5 agreed to.
SECTION 6

Amendments Nos. 2, 11 and 15 are related and will be taken together, by agreement.

Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 to section 7 and amendment No. 9——

There are other groups of amendments, as the Minister can find out. There are seven in the next group which, by agreement, will be taken together. On this section, amendments Nos. 2, 11 and 15 will be taken together.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 4, subsection (1), line 26, to delete "three" and substitute "two".

This is the nub of the amendments we have decided to put before the House in the hope of persuading the Minister to accept the general thesis that there should be only two companies instead of three. I should like to know if there will be separate decisions on amendments Nos. 2, 11 and 15.

A decision will be taken on No. 2 which will govern Nos. 11 and 15: whether they are taken together or not this will apply.

But such a decision will not touch section 7.

Sufficient for the day — I will come back to it in a minute.

There are extra considerations apart from the two companies instead of three. What I am afraid of is that when I come to section 7 the Chair, in its wisdom, might say the amendments had been disposed of.

The Chair hopes to acquire some wisdom in a minute or two.

This Deputy knows the Chair has wisdom. The substantial amendment before the House seeks to have two companies instead of three: our proposal is that there would be a specific company for Dublin city services and one company incorporating the provincial bus services and the railways for the whole country. As I said on Second Stage, the first consideration when the structures were explained to me by the consultants was that there was a lot of reason in what, theoretically, they put before me. I said then that I appreciated the care the consultants had taken to explain what the new structures were to be. However, when briefed by people who were not taken up totally with theory — who were the practitioners on the ground — I gave it further consideration and we considered it further in Fianna Fáil. The result of that consideration is the group of amendments now before us. In the main, the argument against the three-company proposal is on the grounds of efficiency and practicality. I referred to the main points on Second Stage but it may be worth repeating.

The ICTU, which we can rely on for a broad view because they represent not merely the trade unions in CIE but have a considerable amount of labour wisdom, are of the considered opinion that two companies would be better than three in the circumstances. The memorandum which I received from Congress states that the amendment submitted altering the restructuring proposals to two companies instead of three is clearly intended to protect the strength and flexibility of existing CIE rail and road passenger services. The memorandum elaborates on the theme. I mentioned on Second Stage the fact that many decisions in regard to matters of detail will eventually end up on the table of the parent board worries me. The parent board, as conceived, is not for that purpose. It has a broader role with regard to management and the role that is laid down for it is a sound one. For that reason I regard the possibility of disputes and problems arising at local level being referred back to the board as frustrating the purpose of the board.

Road passenger services feed into mainline rail services andvice versa. Thousands of passengers are concerned with this and there is a kind of linked in unit operating. The Minister himself was concerned about this and was successful in having a feed in from the Dublin city services to the DART system. The Minister achieved that and I am glad to be able to say a word in appreciation of it. While the two company proposal we have before the House is not relevant as far as that service is concerned, the Minister will admit it is important to have this liaison between the provincial bus services and the rail service.

The Congress memorandum mentions also that in quite a number of provincial locations control points, booking offices and other office accommodation, rest rooms, waiting rooms and so on are shared equally by road passenger and rail operative staff in the same premises. As it is a national transport company there is a major problem in separating these services. Who will get what would have to be decided at too high a level. These are matters which should come up for decision at a lower level than is envisaged in the Bill and in what the Minister told the House.

The memorandum states that a similar criterion exists in relation to existing maintenance services provided by the various provincial garages. Much of the savings and cost reductions achieved in recent times at provincial locations have been the result of the umbrella negotiating procedures which apply in the relevant areas. The present co-ordinated structure is more conducive to resolving such problems than having to deal with separate units, separate groups of staff and so on. Perhaps the Minister can indicate to the House that this will not involve the company or companies in any extra cost, but on the face of it that argument seems to make sense.

The next point was how does one have a rational system of competition between road and rail — and the Minister seemed to favour some competition — when one considers that it comes under the heading of a social service and £115 million has to be voted by this House for that company. The problem of competition seems almost impossible to resolve. I brought before the House complaints from hauliers — they were denied in this House and I have no way of knowing with absolute certainty whether the allegations are correct or not — that CIE hauliers were providing services which they could not provide if they were not subsidised by this House and, consequently, were driving the private hauliers out of business. By private hauliers I mean a man with one truck, not a large company. What happens with regard to competition between rail and bus services under this regime if they are expected to indulge in at least a measure of competition? If I could be convinced that such competition would result in better services and that the taxpayer would not suffer as a result of it I would be happy to go along with it but I am not sure that can be avoided in the circumstances envisaged.

I am sorry to interrupt the Deputy, but I am in a position to clarify things now. Subject to the approval of the House, it is proposed to take together amendments Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 15 as they are interlocked. Two decisions would be necessary, a decision on amendment No. 2 and a decision on amendment No. 3.

Amendments No. 9 and 12 are not included and they are also connected and will, presumably, be withdrawn depending on what happens to the previous amendments. Perhaps we can deal with that when it arises.

Does Deputy Wilson wish to ask something?

There can be a vote on amendment No. 2 if the Minister does not accept it and also on amendment No. 3. There is also the question of naming the companies. I think I have invented a snappy name but I will refer to that later.

I am advised that this arises on amendment No. 3 and there will be a separate decision.

The Minister invited suggestions for the naming of the companies and we could possibly deal with that on Report Stage if he thought there was anything in the suggestion I have put forward. Deputy De Rossa has his name down to amendment No. 2 as well.

Is it agreed that we take these amendments together?

I am somewhat confused. I understood we were taking amendments Nos. 2 and 12.

We were taking amendments Nos. 2, 11 and 15 together but then the Minister asked what other amendments could be taken together. Now it is proposed to take amendments Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 15 together because they are interlocked, but to have separate decisions on amendments Nos. 2 and 3. Those decisions will govern the remaining amendments Nos. 4, 6, 7, 8 and 10. That is agreed.

I had been talking about competition and the difficulties of seeing how it would work without the taxpayer suffering. One of the big fears has been that the thrust or eventual aim or objective is the closing down of sections of the railway. I know it has been denied but many people who are involved in the transport business are afraid that is the purpose of the Bill. It would be as well to have it on the record of the House and to accept my amendment to ensure that this is not the purpose of a separate company for rail and a separate company for provincial buses.

The problem is that when this House looks for more transparency in the finances of CIE, or individual areas of CIE's operations, immediately the suspicion arises that the purpose in knowing which areas specifically are losing money is to close down those services. That should not be the purpose. This House should be entitled to totally transparent accounts for the various activities of CIE, while at the same time not flinching from the obligations to provide a service which is in effect a social service, costing £115 million in 1985. I have a later amendment designed to develop greater transparency in the way the accounts are presented. It is not with a view to finding out which service is not paying and closing it down.

The rail people always complain that losses are attributed to them which they have not really sustained, in the fond belief that this House is so romantically attached to railways that it will not close down anything that is left of our railway system and therefore it is safer to lay the blame on them. Trade unionists have been worried about the idea that part of the railway system would be closed down and that part of the road passenger social services will be abandoned, leaving the worst off members of society without any public transport and resulting in the probable loss of thousands of jobs in CIE. The Dublin Transport Authority have no nominee from CIE. I do not know what this indicates but it is used as part of the argument that the objective is to close down part of the railway system and the road passenger service.

There has been an indication that the unions involved are prepared to negotiate a major reorganisation of the management structures. They emphasise heavily that the social role must not be lost sight of. In this House there is a general commitment to that. I do not think there is any strong, ideological stand on purely capitalist philosophy with regard to CIE.

I am arguing for two companies as against three companies and putting forward the argument about the integration of the rail function and the road passenger function. Only yesterday I received a document from the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association. The secretary of the Dublin No. 1 branch gives his views on the breakup of CIE, to which the association are opposed. They accuse the Minister of having made a U-turn and they quote from a Fine Gael document which stated that Fine Gael in Government would provide the capital required by CIE to implement within the next five years the sections of their rapid rail scheme and provide rapid rail services from the suburbs of Tallaght, Clondalkin and Blanchardstown to Heuston and Broadstone stations and would establish a busway from Dundrum to the city along the track of the old Harcourt Street line.

The document went on to say that further stages of the rapid rail system would be considered by Fine Gael in Government. The secretary goes on to deal with the subsidies and other matters which are not relevant to this section of the Bill. In general he takes the view that the companies should not be separated and expresses fear about that. I do not know how valid are these fears. Sometimes fears are exaggerated but a fear obviously exists that the establishment of these companies could lead to privatisation. I do not know how much substance is in that but perhaps the Minister would refer to it. I do not regard it as all that important because it is fairly evident that when we decide to retain a national transport system which is wholly dedicated to giving a social service — not £115 million, but whatever it costs — the idea of privatising any part of it would be foolish. I said on Second Stage it is important to identify what each separate part of the system is costing in the annual subsidy, to commit this House to maintaining the services. We cannot do that without being able to identify them. At present nobody can say — except perhaps the inner circle of CIE — what is and what is not a very heavy draw on the £115 million, and what is making money for the company. We would be better off if we knew that and committed ourselves to maintaining the services at as good value for the taxpayer as possible.

I have been convinced that the problems arising from having one separate company for rail and one for the provincial bus services will create too many difficulties. It is too big a wrench and too many problems at local level and too many difficult problems will be referred back to the board whose function is defined in the Bill. It is not envisaged as a board which will deal with the minutiae of local and regional organisation. I hope the Minister at this late stage will accept the amendment.

Amendments Nos. 4 and 6 are being taken in conjunction with amendment No. 2 so I propose to speak to amendment No. 2. Amendments Nos. 4 and 6 are consequential on amendment No. 2. If amendment No. 2 is passed, amendments Nos. 4 and 6 will automatically follow.

The points made by Deputy Wilson are the same points I propose to make so I will not repeat them at length. It is odd that a provincial service and a rail service which are so closely linked and which depend on each other to a great degree should be hived off into two separate companies. The case has been well made by the employees in CIE that whatever about Dublin city services being a separate company as it is a single type of service which can in theory be run as a separate company, the provincial bus services and the rail services use the same facilities in many cases and the same staff. It is impossible to figure out the thinking behind hiving them off into two separate companies. In Dublin we have the Dublin city service operating more or less as a separate entity and the provincial bus service operating from Busaras. I know of at least one instance where the manager in a Dublin city garage has had considerable difficulty in getting the use of a bay in Busaras for a bus and he was obliged for a long time to park a Dublin city service bus outside Busaras. That is the kind of petty obstacle that will arise if we have two separate companies operating in competition which each other. There will be all sorts of demarcation and problems about which is entitled to use facilities and at what times and so on. The provincial bus services and the rail services work well together and it would be unfortunate if they were to be disrupted, giving rise to all sorts of problems which would in the end make the service inefficient and would be contrary to the aim of the Bill which is to provide a more efficient service.

The Minister on a number of occasions has denied that there is any intention to privatise CIE services. I am happy to take his word on that but the reality must be accepted. If we introduce a free-for-all competition in the public transport system, if there are three companies involved, not only will they be competing with each other but with private operators. Presumably the Minister proposes at some stage to license private operators. There is an obvious possibility that the social services aspect of CIE will go by the board and the bottom line at any time will be whether a route is profitable. The inevitable outcome will not necessarily be privatisation but simply a transfer of the operations of CIE from public hands to private hands with the consequent loss of the social services aspect of public transport. There are many concerns among the staff in CIE both in connection with the security of their jobs and the fact that at the end of the day providing three companies, as is proposed in the Bill, will result in a less efficient rather than a more efficient service.

I agree with the points made by Deputy Wilson and Deputy De Rossa relating to the provincial bus and rail services. Would it not be more sensible to have one company controlling the rail and bus services with two sections? At present it is proposed to have three companies controlled by the board of CIE and any problems which may arise in regard to bus and rail services will be dealt with by the holding company. In view of the concern expressed by the workers at all levels within CIE regarding the problems which they see arising from the use of premises, to which Deputy De Rossa referred, it is no use saying that these problems will not occur because, human nature being what it is, it is inevitable that there will be problems. One company dealing with rail and provincial buses would cut down bureaucracy and red tape when the new company are in operation.

Deputy Wilson and Deputy De Rossa referred to concern among the staff. I understand that worry when there is uncertainty about the future, and that is why we should get on with this Bill to ensure that the reorganisation goes ahead smoothly. However, the vast majority of the worries and fears of the staff are totally unnecessary. I am surprised there has not been one word about the concern of the taxpayer and the travelling public.

I said the essential point was an efficient and economic service for the travelling public.

The purpose of the Bill is to cement the very big improvements which have taken place in CIE over the past four years for which everyone in the company deserves credit. We must also provide a system which will enable those improvements to be built upon and developed in the financial performance of the overall group of companies and in the level of courtesy, efficiency, cleanliness and so on of the services provided to the public.

The main worries of the staff are in relation to the railways because they are concerned about their future. However, the McKinsey report underlined the fact that there is no room for further truncation of the railways. No further branches of any significance could be chopped off to make the service less costly and the choice, according to the report, was to continue the service.

They will be glad to hear that in Cobh.

No railway line has been closed in my time and there is no proposal or hint that any will be closed.

I am glad to hear that.

I am happy to be able to give that assurance. The McKinsey report said that you either closed the railways or kept them. It is very clear that a decision has been made to keep them. We have a marvellous new DART system and, although it is costly, most people are delighted with it. A set of inter-city coaches is in course of construction. Some are already in service and more are being built. Those coaches will be in use for 30 or 40 years. In addition, there has been an enormous investment over the past five years in signalling, tracking etc. There has been a huge upgrading of the railways in that respect and, therefore, any fears in relation to the future of the railways are totally unfounded, certainly for the next 30 years. We are trying to ensure that the railways will not cost more than is absolutely necessary and the same applies to other services operated by CIE.

It is worth recalling the awful developments which took place in CIE between 1969 and 1982 when the deficit escalated from £3.5 million to £109.2 million, seven times the rate of inflation. We can never let that happen again. Over the past four years the deficit has fallen in real terms each year. Among the factors leading to the terrible escalation during that period was that CIE were too big. Decisions were made by management far too remote from the shop floor, too inflexible and lacking in understanding of the sort of decisions which needed to be taken. Another factor was very poor industrial relations, especially in Dublin city buses. Many people in CIE very much resent the impression that CIE have been strike-ridden for years because it does not accurately reflect the true picture.

For instance, the industrial relations record in regard to the railways has been very good, especially as far as strikes are concerned, and naturally they resent the label of being strike happy. I know the record of Dublin city bus services has been extraordinarily bad but there has been a great improvement in the past four years and I hope it will be sustained for a long time to come. Public confidence is crucial. The fact that a service is reliable and that buses come on time will be an important factor in getting people back on the buses, thereby reducing costs to the taxpayer. Of course, the more passengers you have the lower the fares. Industrial relations have been a problem contributed to by the remoteness of management which is inevitable in a company as big as CIE.

I can quote some examples, with which I am very familiar, of issues which have been at the base of many of the wildcat and other strikes and tensions in the Dublin city bus services. One such example is where a man rings in to take a day's leave because his wife is sick. He is refused a day's leave by the garage manager because he has been told by the top people to get tough on people not turning in for work etc. What does the man have to do? He has to go sick and he goes sick for perhaps a week or ten days whereas, if he had been given the day's leave he had asked for, he would have had a day's leave which would not have cost the company anything.

That sort of nit-picking, which is part of the fact that the company are too big, is illustrative of many other attitudes which have led to industrial relations problems in the Dublin city services. The other problems arise from the remoteness of the management. It was recommended by McKinsey that we break up CIE completely and have three totally separate companies — city buses, the provincial buses and the railways. We said no to that. There is a great deal of sense in having an overall national transport company because of the need for a comprehensive national transport system. There is a need to retain this group because of the interrelationship of all those services but, at the same time, we recognise the need to get the management down to specific functions and nearer the shop floor. That is what we are trying to do in this Bill.

In order to allay some of the concerns which have arisen and to underline the continuity of CIE we have made several provisions. We have, for instance, underlined in the Bill the full interchangeability of staff as between the companies and the board. Promotions are possible and transfers are possible within and between the companies. Secondly, there will be one pension scheme organised at the main board level for all the companies. Those two factors underline the continuity of CIE as one group of companies just as Guinness are one group of companies but include Smithwicks and Harpsales etc. Of course, the main board of Guinness ensure that there is no cutthroat competition between those companies but there is competition.

We have also provided — this deals with the privatisation fears and worries — that there cannot be privatisation. That is specifically provided for in the Bill. There can be no selling of shares.

Without the Minister's permission.

No. No shares may be alienated. I cannot give permission.

Save as authorised by this section neither the board nor any other member shall transfer or alienate any share in the company concerned.

Is that section 25?

Section 7 (9).

The only shares which are permitted are the statutory shares required by the Companies Act. They are the two nominee shares. Otherwise no shares may be sold or alienated. That is provided for in the Bill. Therefore, the privatisation fears or worries are totally groundless. Privatisation is specifically ruled out by the Bill. We have complete complementarity. At the same time we have interchangeability and promotability of staff and are getting management down to specific functions and nearer the shop floor. Also, we are getting greater transparency of the cost of each of the services.

Deputy De Rossa referred to the social dimension of CIE. The fact of the matter is that the Government decided in 1983, on my proposal, that we had better settle this thing once and for all because there never had been any proper consideration given as to the extent of the social role of CIE. There have been arguments for a long time. It is implicit in one of the amendments we will deal with later on in Deputy Wilson's name that we should identify the cost of each route on the railways, on the provincial bus services and on the city bus services. That is for the birds. One would spend an awful lot of time and money in trying to measure the cost of the Crossmolina-Belmullet bus service. To what benefit? I do not think Guinness — I mention them because they are the company with which I am most familiar having worked there — measure the cost of delivering a barrel of Guinness to Belmullet as against delivering it to Galway city. They take the overall cost of getting all their beer out to their customers. They are committed to a comprehensibility of service throughout the country so that their product is available throughout the country. CIE are very much in the same——

Since the Minister left, they do it with computers.

They still supply it to Belmullet. The point I am making is that there will still be bus services to Belmullet after the passing of this Bill. It would be wrong to isolate the cost of the bus service to Belmullet and say: "Look at this, it is dreadful. Look at what it is costing."

If Guinness stopped delivering Guinness to Belmullet, nobody would go there.

I will try to see to it that they will not, but the point I am making is that there is not much sense in deciding route by route, service by service what the cost is and what the social dimension is. Apart from the difficulties it is a recipe for political chicanery of the worst sort. One can imagine one social dimension which would suddenly attach to certain services in constituencies where there was a by-election. I do not think we should get into that. Looking at the record of CIE and the overall cost over a number of years, the Government decided that one-third of what they did was identified in general as a social dimension. Therefore, one-third of their expenditure would be met in the future provided that expenditure was kept within certain declining limits. That is how we have got it under control. Those declining limits which are reasonable limits have been met and exceeded in each of the past four years without a massive disruption of services or without redundancies. That is what we are trying to build on and that is what the Bill is about. That is why it is necessary to have three companies rather than two. If one were to have two companies one would still have too big a company. There would still be remoteness of management from the shop floor and a lack of flexibility.

When the Bill was introduced in the Seanad this was welcomed on Second Stage by speakers from all parties. The conversion to the two versus three arose during Committee Stage when Members of the Opposition throught the Government might have some difficulty among themselves, which did not prove to be the case, and all of a sudden an amendment to this effect was put down which was defeated. I ask the House to accept the arguments I have put forward and to join with me in giving a pat on the back to CIE and to all who work there and to say this is a welcome further development in ensuring the future of CIE and their component companies.

I thank the Minister for his comprehensive reply. I am still convinced that the trade unions concerned would not be so firmly in favour of two companies were it not for the fact that they know there are difficulties ahead. I have mentioned Congress, the TSSA and the National Association of Transport Employees who are very heavily involved in the railway operations. Of all the representatives I have met, no union were as firmly in favour of the two companies structure as that latter union were. They indicated that their fears were that, whatever is being said now, the thrust of the triple company arrangement was to cut down on rail operations. That produces an echo from areas where railways have been closed down in the not too distant past. For that reason the House should consider very carefully what they say. Our road system has deteriorated to such an extent that we should be thinking of developing the rail system. When people are talking about inflation and relating costs and subsidy to inflation and giving totals of subsidies and so on, the one thing they leave out is the fact that the railways provide their own roadway system, their own permanent way, and economists do not always take that into account when gauging the cost to the taxpayer of the respective systems of road and rail.

The Minister mentioned the investment in DART and in the coaches, and he made a point that this House should listen to. I cannot help claiming credit for this side of the House for both big investments that came under criticism from the then Opposition and have been criticised since then. If the people involved in the railway operation are worried, we must not forget that part of the responsibility rests with the Government and the Minister in that there was an indication in a public statement from the Government side that there would not be any investment in railways.

The Minister's thesis was that money was lost because CIE as a company were too big and that management decisions were being made too remotely from the people involved. I do not think that was the real reason for the lack of profit or development. The late Dr. Andrews, who had a very distinguished career in the public service, headed Bord na Móna, a large company, for a long number of years and he headed CIE for a long period as well. He devoted a whole chapter of his autobiography to what the Minister mentioned in his speech, the industrial relations problem in CIE. He indicated in that autobiography that industrial relations were at the heart of CIE's problem, but I do not think that was because the company were too big. I think not enough attention was paid to industrial relations as time progressed into this quarter of this century. The expertise was not being deployed in that area which should have been deployed there.

When I was asked some time ago to issue headlines for a transport policy, as I said to the House on Second Stage, I indicated that I thought the Dublin city services should be set up as a separate company. In so far as this Bill does that I am in full agreement with it. As I have put on the record of the House, I was disappointed. My idea was to link it with the Dublin Transport Authority and that, as was originally envisaged, CIE would be the agent for the DTA as far as the supply of the Dublin city services was concerned. That line of policy — which I still think was a sound one — would have had the Dublin city services operating on their own with this special statutory relationship with the DTA and there would have been a period to look at the provincial bus services and the railway services acting on their own and then to come to a conclusion, rather than jump in and have this omni-comprehensive Bill covering all three areas.

I still maintain that is so. As the Minister said, and I agree with him and commend him for it, the trade unions involved in the railways for the most part have been highly responsible. They have not in any way softened their demands for the workers, their own members, but they have been models in negotiating rather than causing industrial stress or coming out on strike. I do not believe the Member's thesis that the money was being lost because the company were too big.

I accept what the Minister said about the interchange of jobs, the continuation of pension rights and so on. That is specially designed in the Bill to remove some of the worries from the workers. I will have an opportunity later to deal with what the Minister said with regard to transparency in costs. By way of interjection my colleague, Deputy Ahern referred to this. I do not accept that at present with the advanced state of computer technology we cannot know the financial situation of every single operation in a company such as CIE. After all, in the Twenty-Six-Counties there are about 3.6 million people. London Transport have to deal with a population in the total London area of about ten million people, so ours is not a big operation. There is no great fear nowadays of tackling a job such as specific costing. I will be talking about that on an amendment which I have down.

The Minister made the point on this section that it is a real recipe for political chicanery. I do not accept that. The phrase is a neat one but I do not accept what the Minister said, that if you have the information before you it will cause any sudden expression of political chicanery in the House. It would do so if there was not a generally agreed philosophy that where a social service is required it should be supplied.

If we have rabid, right wing, straight up the centre capitalists anxious to abolish all services, except those which would show a profit, and the higher the percentage of profit the better, I have not heard from them. There are a few Members, who are not here at the moment, who might subscribe to that new Tory type philosophy — I do not believe anyone putting forward that theory would prevail — but taking it all in all the general agreement is that a national transport company should continue to supply a social service where profit making service cannot be developed. That is not to givecarte blanche to the people who put forward the idea that it does not matter a damn what it costs because the taxpayer should pay for it. What I am saying is that a tight efficient service for the benefit of the taxpayer is needed.

The Minister spoke a lot about what happened over the last four years. In 1981, the year Fianna Fáil left office and the Coalition took office, the cost of a barrel of crude oil was $39 plus. Today — and CIE must benefit by this — a barrel of crude oil costs a little more than one third that figure. The North Sea Brent quotation for a couple of weeks ago was about $14 and a few weeks ago it was $13. That is a very real help to CIE in improving their finances.

I urge the Minister to take into account what has been said from this side of the House about adopting two companies. The Chair will probably be able to help me with regard to the parameters for discussions on amendments Nos. 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 15 because we have been concentrating on amendment No. 2 up to now. I do not want the discussions to close until we go through these amendment's to the limit and I wish to know about the decisions by way of vote, if we cannot persuade the Minister to accept our amendments.

Amendments Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 15 are being discussed together. Individual decisions will have to be taken on amendments Nos. 2 and 3. If they are defeated the remainder will fall as well.

May I deal with some points raised by Deputy Wilson? As regards the concern about the future of the railway, in 1985 we invested £17 million in the railways, this year we are investing £19 million, and it is planned to invest £21 million in 1987. These figures speak for themselves, and they include carriage building, signalling and communications. Last year £5.3 million was provided under signalling and communications, £5 million was provided for this year and an estimated £4 million will be provided next year — and that includes a sum for Rosslare Harbour. To say there is worry about the future of the railways is just another red herring. The existence of the railways is assured for the foreseeable future, and I expect for my lifetime. As a native of Inchicore, an area which depends more on the railways than anywhere else. I am glad to be able to say that.

On Second Stage Deputy Wilson mentioned fuel costs and the benefits there must be in this regard for CIE. Of course the reduction in fuel costs is of some benefit but strange as it may seem, fuel, including, electricity, represents only 7.3 per cent of CIE costs. Out of over £300 million they spent £24.63 million on fuel in 1985.

What is the 1981 figure?

I do not have that figure here but I will get it for the Deputy before this debate is over. The fall in fuel prices will be of some benefit to CIE but it will not be as dramatic as Deputy Wilson expects.

Aer Lingus fuel costs are very high, but their fares are much dearer——

Labour and capital costs are much greater. I want to put this matter in perspective I do not believe this alters the main point which is that this Bill is being introduced to assure the future of CIE and of each of its components and to try to maximise that future. Anyone who suggests that this measure threatens in any way the future of CIE, or any part of CIE, is completely wrong. Great progress has been made in CIE over the last four years and this measure is designed to ensure the future of each part of CIE. I urge the House to reject the amendments.

In replying earlier the Minister referred to fears of privatisation. When speaking to that point I said that while I accepted the Minister's assurance that it was not his intention to privatise any part of the public transport system, in the sense of handing over bits of the companies to private enterprise, it is inherent in this Bill that at some point whether by this Minister or a future Minister, the various road services will be licensed to private operations. It is obvious that this is going to come and this Bill will facilitate that move. Many CIE employees fear that when the opportunity is right for whatever Government are in power to try to get out from under the social commitment to public transport, the power and the possibility of doing that lies within this Bill and that the three companies will be obliged to compete with companies licensed by the Minister for Communications, whoever that may be.

The Minister says the investment in CIE's rail services is such that it must be obvious there is no threat to that service. I would go along with him to a certain degree but I am not sure that that arises from any pure commitment to rail traffic and the use of rail for public transport in itself. I am not an expert in this area but I understand that rail services are regarded by the EC as an important infrastructural service from the point of view of security and so on, and that it is mainly for that reason that rail services are maintained throughout Europe, and not for love of that particular form of transportation.

It is obvious that no private entrepreneur in his or her right mind — now that we are encouraging women to become capitalists as well — would take over the rail services in Ireland or in any other country simply because there is no way they could make money out of so doing. For any private enterprise person, man or woman, the only criterion to be applied at the end of the day is whether they can make money out of the operation. There would be no way in which they could make money out of running the rail services or, say, a bus to Belmullet providing a service needed by the people in that area. Whether the Minister accepts it or not, the threat remains; whatever about his good intentions the threat remains.

Deputy Wilson raised the spectre of a right wing Tory Government. Some of us believe we have already at least 60 per cent of a right wing Tory Government in power, the remaining 40 per cent not very alive at present. The makings of such a Government exist. There are people who sit behind me here who would love to be in coalition with Fine Gael after the next election ——

Dessie and the tough brigade.

——and use the provisions of this Bill to obliterate much of the services at present provided by CIE. Whether the Minister for Communications would be prepared to serve in such a Government would be a matter for the future. The fact is that that possibility exists. It is no more than a possibility at present but the tools for carrying out such an operation exist in the provisions of this Bill. That is the fear of CIE workers which we are endeavouring to express here today.

The Minister is wrong in arguing that the reason for the proposal that there be three companies rather than two is size. As Deputy Wilson said, one could name dozens of multinational companies, ten and 20 times the size of CIE, employing four or five times as many people. It is the management structures of these companies which is important in terms of their being run efficiently, not the way in which the shares are held or the manner in which the boards meet, whether they are hived off into three boards as subsidiaries of a main holding company. What is important is the philosophy of the company, the capacity of the employees to respond to good management, whether that company be CIE, Guinness or any other. If the size of CIE is the strongest argument the Minister can advance, then it does not stand up to scrutiny.

I should like to take up the point raised by Deputy De Rossa in regard to the size of the company. There are 14,000 to 15,000 people employed in CIE with approximately 6,700 in the rail section. Therefore, the balance to be struck would be between Dublin city and the provinces. The basis of the Minister's argument a while ago for having three companies was the remoteness of management. That argument does not stand up because there are many other companies with more than or less than 15,000 people employed — some with less than perhaps 1,000 people employed — that experience management problems. It is not the number of people employed that causes management problems. Rather is it the type of management, the organisation within the company and how their public relations are handled. If that is the Minister's strongest argument, then the wholeraison d'etre for three companies falls flat on its face.

Deputy Wilson raised a point about the breakdown of information regarding the specific services provided by CIE, that that would give political chicanery the go-ahead. If there were specific detailed information available that would deter people from circulating stories, just using headlines, going into flights of fantasy and receiving plenty of press coverage without the relevant facts. The availability of such facts would stop much of this nonsense being printed about different companies. One must have facts before arriving at any reasoned judgment on any issue.

Deputy De Rossa says that, no matter what, there is anxiety about the future, that a future right wing Government or whatever could do this, that or the other. They cannot do anything. The provisions of this Bill prevent the alienation of any shares. Any change in that arrangement would necessitate additional legislation being introduced in this House. In relation to the licensing of other services, there is no change proposed in the existing arrangements under the provisions of this Bill. The licensing of other road transport services is governed by the Road Transport Act, 1932, being reviewed as part of the recommendations of the White Paper but is not affected by the provisions of this Bill. The existing statutory provision remains, that I, as Minister, may only license private bus operations for routes that are not closely similar to the routes serviced already by CIE. That is not being changed. Therefore, the provisions of this Bill in no way change the competition CIE bus services face at present from the private sector. That is completely separate. There is no threat or danger whatever to the future of any part of CIE. The intention of the Minister is precisely the opposite. Rather is it to maximise the future of CIE and each of its component parts.

As we are taking amendments Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 15 together we would want to go down through them but, before doing so. I should like to reiterate that a major point I made was the load the arrangement will place on the parent board. Incidentally, is the board of CIE, as at present constituted, to be the parent board? That is a significant question.

Will it run for the period stipulated in the previous Act, for the period that board would normally run? I take it that is the position?

The separating of two companies as closely interwoven in organisation, structure and activity as the national bus company and the national rail company will place on the plate of the board what I would regard as something that is not their obligation as foreseen in the new structures but which, because of the nature of the new structures, will arrive back on their table. I would like the Minister's views on that.

Fianna Fáil Senators put down amendments in Seanad Éireann for the purpose of having two companies rather than three, indicating that there would be an interchange of directors. It was an attempt to meet a particular problem. The fact that the Minister suggested and agreed to the amendment indicates he realised there could be problems. I cannot agree that all the problems will be removed by that device. I would like the Minister to indicate how he thinks the board will be able to cope with the problems from Crossmolina, as he mentioned, to Killarney — I cannot go too far up north because we were deprived of railways some time ago in my area — right up to Dundalk and across to Sligo.

The Fianna Fáil Government did that.

It was done. When we were in Government we stood by the promise to provide more money for roads on account of losing the railways but that promise has been forgotten by this Government. They are not giving any money towards roads and the potholes are getting more dangerous. Some people are looking for fishing rights for some of the potholes in my county at present.

I am a little wary about taking all these amendments together. Amendment No. 3 in my name is to establish two companies, Comhlacht Iarnród-Bus — CIB, and Bus Bhaile Átha Cliath — BBAC. I think that CIB would be a good title and one that could catch on. It also has the merit of retaining the Irish language. I am afraid that because of what is incorporated in section 7 — the titles Iarnród Éireann - Irish Rail; Bus Éireann - Irish Bus; Bus Átha Cliath - Dublin Bus — the Irish language will be forgotten because the Irish title is a bit too long. The use of initials would be a good idea.

Fuair mé litir ó Chonradh na Gaeilge inné nar gheall ar an mBille seo agus mar gheall ar na hainmneacha atá ann:

Tagraim athuair don Bhille Iompair thuasluaite os rud é go bhfuil Céim a Dó de á phlé faoi láthair agus go mbeidh Céim an Choiste ann sar i bhfad eile.

Do chuir an fear céanna litir eile chugam agus chuig an Aire agus chuig na Teachtaí anseo i nDáil Éireann cheana féin i Mí Bealtaine 1986. Sa litir sin do mhol sé go bhféachfaí chuige gur ainmneacha Gaeilge amháin a bheadh ag na fochomhlachtaí Stáit nua seo ag CIE.

Aontaím leis an mbunphrionsabal sin gur cóir gur ainmneacha Gaeilge a bheadh againn anseo sa chuid sin, Cuid VII, agus tagraim chuige i leith an leasaithe seo, leasú Uimhir 3. Comhlacht Iarnród Bus atá molta agamsa mar ainm, nó CIB mar ghiorrú, agus Bus Bhaile Átha Cliath, BBAC, ionas go mbeadh sé níos éascaí an t-ainm Gaeilge a choinneáil agus go rachadh sé go deas ar theanga na ndaoine ansin.

Mar thacaíocht leis sin, luaigh mé go raibh glacaithe go forleathan le hainmneacha Gaeilge cheana féin, mar shampla, Aer Lingus, Bord na Móna, An Post agus Córas Iompair Éireann féin, agus gur ghlac na daoine leis na hainmneacha sin as Gaeilge agus gur chóir go mbeadh na hainmneacha as Gaeilge an t-am seo freisin. Leanaim le sliocht eile as an litir:

Léiríonn an fótachóip atá leis seo—

Is dócha go bhfuair an tAire an litir freisin.

—an chúis go bhfuil an Conradh go láidir i gcoinne ainmneacha dhá-thean-gacha (seachas ainmneacha Gaeilge amháin) a bheith ag comhlachtaí Stáit. Bíonn claonadh láidir sna meáin chumarsáide agus i measc lucht fógraíochta agus lucht caidrimh poiblí gairmiúil neamhaird a dhéanamh den leagan Gaeilge.

Tá a fhios ag an Teach go bhfuil sé sin fíor.

Thosnaigh Bord na Móna mar Bhord na Móna agus lean an t-ainm sin. Tuigeann chuile dhuine cén comhlacht atá i gceist. Bord Soláthair an Leictreachais, is é an ESB atá i gceist, ach do thosnaigh siad leis an dá ainm ansin agus cailleadh an leagan Gaeilge mar gheall air sin.

Molaim Conradh na Gaeilge gur bhain siad feidhm as na hainmneacha Gaeilge seo — an Ráil, mar shampla, nó Ráil Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Córas Ráil Éireann, Córas Iarnród Éireann, agus i leith na mbusanna, Buslínte. Mar a deirim, tá an leasú ansin agamsa chun dhá chomhlacht a bheith ann. Tugann an Conradh le fios gur mhaith leo go mbainfí úsáid as na hainmneacha Gaeilge seo: An Ráil, mar shampla, ar an iarnród; Buslínte nó Buslínte Éireann, Busanna Éireann, Córas Buslínte Éireann, Córas Bus Éireann, is é sin don chomhlacht bhus náisiúnta; agus ansin Bus Átha Cliath, Córas Bus Átha Cliath, nó, mar a deir an litir céanna:

go socródh an Dáil go bhfostódh an tAire Cumarsáide comhlacht/duine gairmiúil chun ainmneacha Gaeilge amháin a roghnú do na fo-chomhlachtaí...

Dúirt an tAire nuair a bhí an díospóireacht ar siúl againn anseo cheana féin go raibh sé toilteanach dá mba rud é go gcuirfeadh éinne ainmneacha cuí ceart chuige go mb'fhéidir go mbeadh sé leo. Tá áthas orm go bhfuil sé sin amhlaidh agus ídím air é sin a dhéanamh.

Mar a dúirt mé cheana, bhí sé sin le rá agam agus tá sé ráite agam anois faoi leasú Uimh. 3.

Ba mhaith liom cúpla focal a rá faoin cheist seo, ainmneacha Gaeilge ar na comhlachtaí nua seo. Go minic bíonn dalladhmullóg á cur orainn féin sa cheist seo.

I have long felt that the practice of putting a name in Irish on any company that the State establishes, whether it be companies of the form we are proposing in this Bill or other forms, is a kind of confidence trick on ourselves that we are doing something useful for the Irish language. I received a letter from Conradh na Gaeilge and while I accept that they have a case in regard to having the names of companies in Irish it is in large measure a continuation of the genuflection towards an aim, the restoration of Irish as a spoken language throughout the country. There is little else done either with the general public or within any of the companies we establish and put Irish names on to promote the use of Irish.

I recognise that the function of the companies we are discussing will not be the restoration of Irish as a spoken language but the provision of an efficient and effective public transport system. At the same time it is a bit of nonsense to think that we are doing anything worthwhile for the aim of restoring the language by putting a name on the company which in Irish may not mean anything to 90 per cent of the population. To me as a young boy CIE did not mean Córas Iompair Éireann but Crush In Everybody. At that time CIE simply meant the buses.

I do not have any objection to the names of companies being in Irish but if we do that we are not doing anything except codding ourselves.

Is áthas liom an méid a bhí le rá ag na Teachtaí Wilson agus De Rossa. Aontáim freisin leis an mbún-phrionsabal nach mbeadh aon ainm ag an gcomhlacht ar bith ach ainm lán-Ghaelach.

I accept the suggestion made by Deputy Wilson that there should be an Irish name. I do not agree with the point made by Deputy de Rossa. There is great value in having Irish names for our companies. This retains for the future something distinctive and gives to our administrative machinery, and the public service, a distinctive Irish flavour which is useful. I would extend that principle to include streets. I do not see why we should have two names for streets. Why do we not have just one Irish name for streets and areas in the country? By extending the Irish language in that way we are bringing it into greater use. It ensures that there will be more use made of the language at no great inconvenience to those who may have difficulty in learning it.

I will take on board the suggestions put forward by Deputy Wilson. I received letters from Conradh na Gaeilge and Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge, in which several suggestions were made. The letters arose from my invitation to those organisations to put forward their views. The Seanad at my suggestion adopted a provision which will allow me change the names of the companies by order and it is definitely preferable that we should leave the matter like that because we will have more time to think about the titles of the companies before they are set up. Many names have been suggested such as Éire Ráil, An Ráil, Ráil Línte, Ráil Éireann, An Tréan, Bus Línte, Bus Línte Átha Cliath, Bus Línte Éireann, Bus Cúrsa and Bus Náisiúnta. The title An Ráil has a certain make-up dimension about it. Certainly, it was not a word that was in my Irish vocabularly when I was going to school but I accept that the language is taking on new words all the time. In fact, an carr was not in the Irish vocabularly but my children use that word instead of gluaisteán. In my view it is better to leave the provision as it is because it will give us more time to consider the titles of the company later.

I appreciate what the Minister said in the Seanad and that he sought advice on names. I am not sure that if we chose Ráil Éireann there might be confusion between another well run national institution. I disagree with what Deputy De Rossa said. In introducing the amendment it was not my intention to genuflect towards any institution, any philosophy or any language. I introduced the amendment because I felt we should make the change. It is easy to ridicule the idea and say we are only just nodding in the general direction. I disagree with what Deputy De Rossa said about CIE. I know top officials in CIE who are very committed to the use of the Irish language. Those people write about the language in journals and magazines. From the beginning transport companies here indicated their general interest in the Irish language. The late Dr. Andrews who was head of that company had a cultural, economic and political commitment to the area of our national life and he tried to promote the use of the Irish language not by way of genuflection but by indicating his philosophy. He was a republican, an economic nationalist who was committed culturally to the best that came from Ireland by way of literature and so on in the Irish language. As far as I am concerned this is not just window dressing. I do not want to exaggerate the section. As the amendments are being takenseriatim I thought it better to bring this point in under amendment No. 3.

Táim buíoch den Aire as ucht an méid adúirt sé annsin, go bhfuil sé leathanaigeanta mar gheall ar ainmneacha na gcomhlachtaí, agus tá súil agam, sa deireadh, go socróidh sé ar ainmneacha Gaeilge amháin, agus go gcuirfidh sé isteach iad faoin chuid sin den Bhille a thugann an chumacht sin dó.

I do not wish to be misunderstood. I would much prefer that there would be a single name than to have an English version of the Irish name or, rather, to have the name in the English language or to have it in the Irish language. That would be far preferable — something along the lines of Aer Lingus and Busarus. My point was not meant to be offensive to Deputy Wilson in any way.

In general, I think we are conning ourselves that we are promoting the cause of Irish as a spoken language. We tend to genuflect in the direction of Irish and say it is something we would like to achieve and we stick an Irish name on something, or introduce and end our speeches with a few words of Irish. We think that in that way we are serving the cause of its restoration. That will not restore the language.

In my constituency people attempted for years to establish an all-Irish school but they got nothing but obstruction and piffle from the Department of Education who we are told, are the front line in the promotion of Irish and developing the language. It was only after many years of hard struggle, of lobbying and fighting, that the people in Ballymun managed to get their Irish school. That school, in a working class area, is now thriving. They got the school not because the Minister of the day thought it was a good idea but because a general election was imminent; promises were flying, and it was a good promise to make. The people there are promoting Irish as a spoken language and are now trying to get a pobal scoil, a second-level ceárd scoil in the area but they are being told, "No, you cannot have that". I will not use the term I would like to use, but I tend to get fed up with genuflections, sticking Irish names on this and that. When ordinary people in an effort to promote the language try to educate their children in Irish they get nothing but obstacles, being told they do not know what they are about or what they need.

We all know Deputy De Rossa's commitment to the Irish language, and Deputy Wilson and I share it.

I am still picking my way through the amendments and how they fit into the sections. It looks as if we have teased out the idea thoroughly as between amendments Nos. 2 and 3. I make a final appeal to the Minister to accept the substance of the amendments before us for the reasons I gave, in particular because the people who are involved on the ground are convinced that from the point of view of giving a service to the people, of efficiency, of giving value for money to the taxpayers, and of the general management structure, two companies would be better than three.

I have stated, and I have not got any indication that the unions or Congress were worried about this, that the structure proposed in the Bill would put too heavy a burden in the wrong way. I did not think you could burden a board charged with the running of CIE heavily enough, but we are here, through minor details, putting a burden on them which they should not be asked to bear, though the Minister made a gesture in the Seanad to provide machinery for resolving difficulties when he amended the Bill to include a majority of directors from one company on the other company's board.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand".
The Committee divided: Tá, 78; Níl, 73.

  • Allen, Bernard.
  • Barnes, Monica.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Bell, Michael.
  • Boland, John.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Cluskey, Frank.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Conlon, John F.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Cooney, Patrick Mark.
  • Cosgrave, Liam T.
  • Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
  • Coveney, Hugh.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, Martin Austin.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dowling, Dick.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Doyle, Joe.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • Fennell, Nuala.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Glenn, Alice.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Myra.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • L'Estrange, Gerry.
  • McCartin, Joe.
  • McGahon, Brendan.
  • McGinely, Dinny.
  • McLoughlin, Frank.
  • Manning, Maurice.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Mitchell, Jim.
  • Moloney, David.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Naughten, Liam.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Noonan, Michael. (Limerick East)
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Brien, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • O'Toole, Paddy.
  • Owen, Nora.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Prendergast, Frank.
  • Quinn, Ruiarí.
  • Ryan, John.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, Patrick Joseph.
  • Skelly, Liam.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Yates, Ivan.

Níl

  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Andrews, Niall.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Mattie.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, John.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Byrne, Seán.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Fahey, Francis.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzgerald, Gene.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Nolan, M.J.
  • Noonan, Michael J. (Limerick West)
  • O'Connell, John.
  • O'Dea, William.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Keeffe, Edmond.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Malley, Desmond J.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Jim.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Haughey, Charles J.
  • Hilliard, Colm.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Kitt, Michael.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • Leonard, Tom.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McEllistrim, Tom.
  • Mac Giolla, Tomás.
  • MacSharry, Ray.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Ormonde, Donal.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies F. O'Brien and Taylor; Níl, Deputies V. Brady and Browne.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.
Question proposed: "That section 6 stand part of the Bill."

I regret that the arguments which were put forward in favour of the amendment to section 6 did not prevail in the House. I hope the explanations the Minister has given will in effect come true with regard to the structure and running of the company. We have put on the record of the House our own reservations with regard to that point. The one area that has not been teased out, discussed or met as far as I am concerned by the Minister is the one with regard to the functions of the parent board. We should now and through the remainder of the debate address ourselves to this problem of what by implication is being imposed on a parent board who by definition should be concerned with policy and the overall running of the company.

I know I am not alone in thinking this will cause trouble in the future. With regard to the other arguments, I have given my own arguments buttressed by arguments from the ICTU, the National Association of Transport Employees, the Transport Services Staff Association and other unions involved in CIE. I thought the weight of the arguments might have borne fruit, but I want to say finally on this section that I am still not convinced we have had any teasing out about the problem which the parent board will have if they have to settle disputes about accommodation, booking etc. in Schull and Ballydehob as well as trying to lay down a general policy for CIE.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 7.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 4, subsection (1), to delete lines 34 to 36 and substitute the following:

"(a) Comhlacht Iarnród-Bus — CIB;

(b) Bus Bhaile Átha Cliath — BBAC.".

Deputy Wilson, are you pressing amendment No. 3? It has already been discussed fully. The debate has concluded on it. There can be no further debate on amendment No. 3.

Until after the vote? Is that what you are saying?

I want to say that——

The Deputy cannot.

The amendment is linked up to something the Minister is agreeable to and can say something about. After the vote we may have a word or two on the section.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand."
The Committee divided: Tá, 78; Níl, 68.

  • Allen, Bernard.
  • Barnes, Monica.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Myra.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Bell, Michael.
  • Boland, John.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Cluskey, Frank.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Conlon, John F.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Coogan, Fintan.
  • Cooney, Patrick Mark.
  • Cosgrave, Liam T.
  • Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
  • Coveney, Hugh.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, Martin Austin.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dowling, Dick.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Doyle, Joe.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • Fennell, Nuala.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Glenn, Alice.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • L'Estrange, Gerry.
  • McCartin, Joe.
  • McGahon, Brendan.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McLoughlin, Frank.
  • Manning, Maurice.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Mitchell, Jim.
  • Molony, David.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Naughten, Liam.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Noonan, Michael. (Limerick East)
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Brien, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Tom.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • O'Toole, Paddy.
  • Owen, Nora.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Prendergast, Frank.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Ryan, John.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, Patrick Joseph.
  • Skelly, Liam.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Yates, Ivan.

Níl

  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Andrews, Niall.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Mattie.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, John.
  • Fitzgerald, Gene.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Jim.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Haughey, Charles J.
  • Hilliard, Colm.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Kitt, Michael.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • Leonard, Tom.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McEllistrim, Tom.
  • Mac Giolla, Tomás.
  • MacSharry, Ray.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Byrne, Seán.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Fahey, Francis.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Nolan, M.J.
  • Noonan, Michael J. (Limerick East)
  • O'Connell, John.
  • O'Dea, William.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Keeffe, Edmond.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • Ormonde, Donal.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies F. O'Brien and Taylor; Níl, Deputies V. Brady and Browne.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.

I put down a Private Notice Question yesterday asking that the main Blasket Island should be declared a national park and if the Minister for Finance would make a statement on the matter. I wish to raise this matter on the Adjournment.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

Amendment No. 4 not moved.

I move amendment No. 5:

In page 5, subsection (10), line 23, after "winding up", to insert the following:

"and unless the Minister and the Board have had consultations with the recognised trade unions".

Section 7 (10) states that a resolution for the voluntary winding up of a company shall not be adopted unless resolutions have been passed by each House of the Oireachtas consenting to such winding up. I put forward this amendment because the procedure of winding up one of the three companies being set up under the Bill is a serious move and could cause a problem. While the House should clearly have a say in the winding up of a company, the staff of the company should be consulted on the matter. It is conceivable that, even though there are staff representatives on the board, a decision could be made by a majority of the members in opposition to the views of the worker directors. Therefore, there is a need for a specific section in the Bill requiring the Minister and the board to have consultations with the recognised trade unions before such a serious step is contemplated.

This is superfluous as the Bill provides that if any such closure takes place the services of the company and the employment of the transferred workers would automatically revert to the board. The workers are fully protected if any of the companies is wound up. The section says that no voluntary winding up should take place without the prior approval of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann. In any event, if a motion to that effect was tabled in both Houses, it would be comprehensively aired.

That might happen in a perfect world but, unfortunately, companies have been liquidated without any reference to the rights of workers.

The difference here is that we are providing a format for these companies to give flexibility to enable them to get into new businesses without having to seek changes in the law. Statutory format does not allow for flexibility because it is bound by law whereas, in a company format, you can change the memorandum and articles of association. We wanted a company format as is the case with Telecom Éireann and An Post and at the same time we want to provide the maximum protection for workers.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.
Sitting suspended at 1.30 p.m. and resumed at 2.30 p.m.