I move amendment No. 2:
In page 2, line 15, after "directs", to insert "; all such warrants shall be forwarded to the Attorney General in the first instance".
I would like to read into the record how the section if amended would read:
44A.—A warrant for the arrest of a person accused of an offence under the law of a place in relation to which this Part applies shall not be endorsed for execution under this Part if the Attorney General so directs; all such warrants shall be forwarded to the Attorney General in the first instance.
I withdrew this amendment on Committee Stage after the Minister had indicated that he was disposed to accept it and to provide for the amendment on Report Stage. As it turns out it does not appear, on examination, that it has any appeal for the Minister and no words have been added that would approximate to the words in the amendment. I am rather surprised but not all that disappointed — or should I put it the other way; disappointed but not all that surprised — because I have a feeling, and I think it is the feeling of many Members who participated in this debate over the past few days, that the more vaguely the Attorney General is identified in this judicial role — which undoubtedly it is, because on his opinion will depend whether a person may or may not be extradited — the better from the Minister's point of view.
I fear that the grand coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil had some words on this matter since last night, or they may have had words earlier, and reckoned that vagueness is a necessary part of this performance under the name of a Bill which will become an Act. The Bill we are discussing will become an Act in whatever words are agreed between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. On this the last possible occasion to have a word in the ear of the House, and in particular the Government, may I say that the performance in regard to the whole matter of extradition, including the coming into force of the Extradition (European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1987, at midnight last Monday is nothing but a charade, that has been staged in this House for whose benefit I am not quite sure. If anybody is fooled into thinking that what is contained in the Bill is an alleviation of or is in substitution for the betrayal of allowing the 1987 Act to come into force, as far as Fianna Fáil are concerned they will have a rude awakening the first time they offer themselves to the country. It is extraordinary that the offer was made that if any part of this Bill was defeated, or the Bill itself was defeated, there would be an election. What purpose that was intended to serve, I do not know. It was made once and not pursued, nor was it confirmed by the Taoiseach when I politely asked him to confirm the commitment that he would go to the country if any part of the Bill was beaten.
Obviously, it was not necessary because the passage of the Bill was fully assured before we came to discuss it in this charade that we are going through. It would not be beaten because the grand alliance, the grand coalition, the covert coalition of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, has ensured that there can be no majority for anything other than what they have agreed. It could be laughable but it is so serious that one cannot laugh at it. We must remember that this time last year Fianna Fáil were very concerned about the measure the then Government were putting through, namely, the 1987 Act.