Insurance Bill, 1987 [Seanad]: Committee Stage.

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

Before we commence formally on the Insurance Bill, may I take a moment to remind the House of the contents of the various sections?

We do not have a great deal of time.

The Bill has three main functions, first, to add to the Minister's powers of supervision of insurance companies; second, to regulate insurance commission which is paid by companies to intermediaries; and, third, to regulate insurance intermediaries.

The Bill, whose ultimate objective is the enhanced protection of the insurance consumer, has five parts. Part I comprises the usual technical provisions and Part V is devoted to miscellaneous items. Part II addresses itself to the supervision of insurance companies. Many of the provisions in this part of the Bill while they are new to legislation, serve to codify existing administrative practice. Some of the powers being taken by the Minister under this part of the Bill are requirements in relation to returns.

I am very sorry to interrupt the Minister but we seem to be changing somewhat the procedure for dealing with the Committee Stage of a Bill, in respect of what has been said.

I know the Minister's intention is to make the record clear as to what this Bill is about but it has been extensively debated already in a general sense and we have limited time in which to deal with Committee Stage. We should try to get into the sections as quickly as possible.

I would prefer if that approach were adopted, with all respect, Minister.

That is all right with me.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 2.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 5, between lines 37 and 38, to insert the following:

"`solvency certificate' means a certificate issued by the Minister to an undertaking attesting its compliance with the solvency requirements specified in the Regulations of 1976 or the Regulations of 1984 as appropriate;".

The introduction of a definition of "solvency certificate" here is to clarify what is meant by the term "solvency certificate" in sections 7 and 12. Section 7 providesinter alia for the charging of a fee for the issue of a solvency certificate. Section 12 provides that the Minister may make regulations governing the procedure, conditions and forms to be involved in the issue of a solvency certificate. The 1976 non-life regulations and the 1984 life regulations set out solvency requirements for the non-life and life companies respectively. As the Irish supervisory authority, the Minister for Industry and Commerce is responsible for monitoring the solvency of companies with their head office in Ireland. Such companies would require a certificate of solvency if they wished to apply to the supervisory authority of another State to establish a head office there.

Amendment agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 2, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The regulations of 1976 and the regulations of 1984 are referred to. Both are made under the European Communities regulations. These regulations effect substantial change in our law and I presume there is a probability that other such regulations will be made in the future. From the point of view of codification of law it is undesirable to make fundamental changes by regulation in that those who wish to consult the insurance law have to refer both to a lengthy publication of regulations as well as to the relevant statutes. Has the Minister considered whether matters of substantive change should in future be effected by legislation rather than by regulation?

This amendment adds a section to the interpretation section which basically gives a list of interpretation items. The discussion as to whether one uses regulations or orders or brings in substantive legislation is a matter for another section. I am dealing with section 2 and I do not wish to waste the Deputy's time by jumping forward.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 3.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 6, subsection (2) (a), line 27, to delete "£1,000" and substitute "£3,000".

I observe that amendments Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the name of the same Deputy are related. I suggest, therefore, that by agreement we discuss them together with separate decisions being made if required. Is that satisfactory?

Yes. These amendments concern fines and jail sentences which may be imposed under section 3 of the Bill. In the case of financial offences, frequently the people concerned are relatively well off so the use of fines is a much more appropriate method than the use of a jail sentence in that it hurts the people in their pocket, where they have been seeking to hurt others. The imposition of a fine does not cost the Exchequer money which can be used for better insurance supervision among other things. Conversly the use of a jail sentence costs the Exchequer a substantial amount of money and provides free accommodation for the people concerned for six months and does not necessarily reduce the wealth or assets of the people concerned. My amendment seeks to increase the maximum fine from £1,000 to £3,000 in the case of summary proceedings and from £5,000 to £10,000 in the case of proceedings on indictment. In order to indicate that the imposition of fines is the direction in which the House would wish to go I propose commensurately reducing the prison sentences so that the total penal effect is the same but the emphasis as between fines and imprisonment is changed. That is a desirable improvement to the Bill.

My amendment No. 6 is to ensure that in the imposition of fines the judge would take account of ability to pay. If a body corporate commits the offence, a body corporate cannot be sent to jail. If one is looking at this in a jurisprudential sense one must recognise that this Bill poses greater penalties on individuals than on bodies corporate in that it is only the financial penalties that bear on the body corporate whereas the financial and the prison penalties bear on individuals. My amendment would allow the judge to impose a commensurately more severe financial penalty on a body corporate in view of its corporate status and its non liability to imprisonment. That also is a desirable improvement of the Bill.

In the case of crimes generally but particularly with regard to financial crimes one must have regard to ability to pay. A fine of £500 on somebody on low income or on social welfare is one thing but the same fine on a millionaire is only petty cash. There is a reasonable case for requiring the judge in setting a level of penalty to take account of ability to pay so that the penal effect would be equivalent at different levels of income and wealth. That is not a revolutionary or a new idea. It is not even Left wing. It just relates to the fair treatment of individuals.

Perish the thought.

Even if it was Left wing that would not necessarily be a bad thing.

Indeed not. One must acknowledge one's debt at all times to different strains of thought in coming to the best solution. That is the essential pragmatism that informs the views of the Fine Gael Party in matters of this kind. Perhaps there are other parties who are similarly endowed. I make these proposals in the hope that the Minister, who has shown himself to be receptive in other legislation, will accept these amendments and we can go on to the next Stage.

In considering this section I came to the conclusion that it comes down to a matter of choice and on balance the greater the fine the greater is the deterrent. There is some merit in imposing fines in dealing with financial matters. Nowadays the sums of money that can be involved can be quite large and if the deterrent is not sufficient there is less reason for a person not to behave wrongly. On the question of prison sentences there is no need to reduce the terms suggested in the Bill because the terms there are limited. It is a matter of discretion for the judge whether he imposes a sentence of one, two or three months or whatever. The terms of imprisonment suggested are sufficient. If we reduce the terms of imprisonment I do not think we will be doing anything substantial. The higher the possibility of suffering for committing a crime the greater the deterrent for not doing so. I have an open mind on the fines and I support the increases proposed by Deputy Bruton in his amendments.

I believe the financial services area is an area of tremendous fraud and criminal activity and fines of £1,000, £5,000 or £10,000 are meaningless. They are the same as a £5 note to someone in that area earning a wage packet. If there is criminal activity in that area we are talking of sums of hundreds of thousands of pounds and maybe even millions of pounds and I do not think increasing the fine from £5,000 to £10,000 will make the slightest difference. However, a jail sentence is a deterrent to committing crime. A term in jail puts the real stamp on what is happening — it is a criminal act. The criminality aspect must be emphasised and I would not support a reduction in the prison term under any circumstances. I agree with Deputy Cullen that we should by all means increase the fine. As it is, it is a maximum term which probably will be seldom imposed in court and perhaps some minimum term should be provided for also. I would oppose any reduction in the prison term as proposed in the amendments.

I want to respond to Deputy Cullen and Deputy Mac Giolla who criticised the suggestion I made for reducing the terms of imprisonment. My purpose in drafting the amendments as I did was to have the same penal effect as had been agreed by the Seanad and to shift the balance from jail sentences to fines. Obviously if that was to be achieved, there had to be both a reduction in the prison term as well as an increase in the fines. I take Deputy Mac Giolla's point on board, that going to jail emphasises the criminality aspect for some people more so than paying a large fine, however large it might be. I think I have taken account of that point by referring to the need to relate fines to ability to pay so that the wealthier people are, the more fines they will pay. Also, we should bear in mind that prison terms cost the State and the taxpayers money whereas fines get money for the State and the taxpayers.

With regard to Deputy Bruton's suggested amendments in regard to fines, I should point out to him that under the Constitution the District Court is the court of summary jurisdiction. The proposal to increase the fine in section 3 (2) (a) to £3,000 as suggested by the Deputy would put such fines beyond the meaning of summary and, therefore, outside the ambit of the District Court. The figure of £1,000 in section 3 (2) (a) at present is within the top end of the range of fines which can be imposed by the District Court and is the norm. I am aware that section 43 (2) of the Administration of Justice Act, 1914, requires the District Court among other things to take into consideration in fixing the amount of fine the means of an offender and I imagine the District Court would probably do so.

The Deputy's proposed new paragraph 3 (2) (c) has very wide implications for fines provided under legislation and could best be dealt with in the context of the Administration of Justice Act, 1914. The ideas put forward by Deputy Bruton this morning are interesting but are matters probably for other general legal policy legislation and perhaps not suitable to be decided under this legislation.

The Deputy mentioned that companies cannot go to jail and so on. I would refer the Deputy to section 3 (3) which states:

Where an offence under this Act is committed by a body corporate and the offence is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body or any person who was purporting to act in such capacity, he, as well as the body, shall be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Therefore, one can get behind the company and individuals can end up in prison. As a general rule there has been a move internationally to submit financial crime to prison sentences and, as one can see by what has happened recently, that is certainly the case in the USA.

I believe the balance we have is the correct one and particularly for the technical reasons mentioned in regard to the District Court and so on I could not accept the amendments as drafted.

Can the Minister tell me what the upper limit is for District Court fines?

The upper limit for District Court fines is not specified.

The Minister told me a minute ago that £1,000 was near the upper limit and if that is the case there must be an upper limit.

Of course there is an upper limit; the upper limit is the amount the Act fixes.

There is no substance in the Minister's argument.

Precisely.

The Deputy is talking about summary conviction——

That is a District Court proceeding.

——and the generally accepted level of that and I would regard this as the correct figure for the District Court.

It is a different thing. It is not what the Minister regards in the final analysis but what the House regards as the appropriate figure that counts. As I understand it, the Minister was making what purported to be a technical objection to amendments Nos. 2 and 3 by suggesting that they were impossible to give effect to because they would be breaking certain District Court limits and a case would have to be heard other than in the District Court. If I do not misunderstand the Minister and Deputy Taylor who has much experience in the matter, that objection does not really exist now in that it is possible to impose a maximum fine of £3,000 and still have a case dealt with in the District Court. If that is so then we should proceed on that basis.

It would appear that I do not have the support of two of the other Opposition parties for my proposals to reduce the jail sentences but that I have support for the proposals to increase the fines and reluctantly, therefore I will modify my stance in order to get support for what I want to do. I would be inclined to press amendments Nos. 2 and 4 and I would ask the other Opposition parties to look at amendment No. 5 again. Just because the proceedings are on indictment, two years in jail is still a long time and perhaps we could agree to reduce the sentence to two years.

The Minister was somewhat ambiguous in dealing with amendment No. 6. He said that the 1914 Act covered this but then he said my amendment would be a very radical change. It cannot be both: it is either covered already, in which case it is not a change, or it is not. I do not accept the argument that we should not have a different procedure in regard to insurance legislation as to how fines should be settled. It is for the House to look at each area of action it is dealing with. I think it is fair to say that if it is, for example, a fine for personal injury it is probably not unreasonable that basically the fine should be the same across the board in the sense that it is not a financial offence and people should suffer more or less similarly for it. One could make that argument, and I am not making it particularly, but certainly in the financial area there is a case for proportionality of sacrifice because financial gain was the motive for the activity.

The Minister is right to this extent when he says that the District Court is a court of summary jurisdiction but, as he subsequently correctly clarified, where fines are concerned no specific definition is given anywhere so far as I know as to any particular maxima the District Court may impose. There may already be cases on the books in which fines in excess of £1,000 were imposed. This may happen where penalty clauses are concerned, even under the Road Traffic Acts.

I would not have thought that a fine in excess of £1,000 should be ruled out on the basis that it would not be regarded as a summary penalty at this time. When one takes modern values into account in the type of offence envisaged here, a fine of up to £3,000 is reasonable enough to be regarded as a summary one. It is a matter for the House to fix the amount and if the House decides to accept the amendment so far as the increase in fines is concerned — and I hope that it will — I shall support it. It would be perfectly legal, perfectly in order and in no way would detract from the correct and appropriate jurisdiction of the District Court.

Deputy Bruton is quite right in saying that fines — indeed any penalty, but particularly fines — ought to be related to the means of the person who has to pay the fine. This is a point that I have made in this House on many occasions. The Minister refers to the Act of 1914 under which a district justice is supposed to take into consideration the ability to pay but, by and large, in practice that does not happen. Many district justices operate a rule of thumb according to the offence rather than take into consideration the means of the person concerned. For example, driving without insurance can bring a fine of £500 and that is that, irrespective of means, and very often the district justice does not want to know the means. The amendments dealing with the increase in fines are reasonable and I support them.

The effect of Deputy Bruton's amendments is to reduce prison sentences on offences. We can argue as between fines of £3,000 and £1,000. Some offenders here could be insurance companies and for them the amount of the fine is probably neither here nor there. It may matter to some offenders, but to many under this Bill the real deterrent is a prison sentence. Deputy Bruton's amendment seeks to reduce the prison sentence and increase the amount of fine.

But they are separate amendments.

They are, yes.

I see the point. However, the effect of the amendments on a prison sentence will be to reduce it. The import of the amendments taken together is to change the balance in favour of the money fine and away from the prison sentence. Given the seriousness of the offences which could be committed here — we are talking about an industry which affects hundreds of thousands of people — these prison sentences are appropriate. Also, they are maximum sentences. The court has jurisdiction to impose lesser sentences if they feel, as Deputy Bruton does, that the sentences are too high. With Deputy Bruton's amendments the balance is not correct. Because of the nature of financial crime today, one day in prison can be a very strong deterrent with regard to some senior executives in an insurance company, whereas in many cases the amount of money is not of significance.

The District Court has tended to operate — but I take Deputy Taylor's point of view as he is more experienced in this field than I am — on the imposition of fines of around £1,000 on summary conviction. My information is that the trend in the District Court is to stay at around that figure. This is not the legislation on which to start pushing up the target in the District Court. It would not make sense to try that change here. We have the balance right as between prison sentences and fines. I do not see any good reason for reducing the amount of time available to the court to send an offender to prison, particularly when you could be talking about very substantial financial offences. You must take these amendments together because there is a balance in them.

In order to simplify the debate, I wish to withdraw amendments Nos. 3 and 5 and to continue with the debate on amendments Nos. 2, 4 and 6, which, as Deputy Taylor has correctly pointed out, are separate.

The custom in the District Court requires the imposition of a fine of no greater than £1,000, but as this is new legislation the House is entitled to set the fine at any level that it wishes. As a maximum fine, £3,000 is not unreasonable on summary conviction. No substantive argument has been made by the Minister against amendment No. 4, nor has there been any convincing argument made by him against amendment No. 6, which requires a judge to take due account of ability to pay. I hope that the Minister will agree to these amendments.

I do not think that the Minister puts it correctly when he says that there is a balance between the imprisonment and the fines. What the section does is to give a discretion to the district justice to impose either a fine or imprisonment, or both. In a suitable case district justices may impose both the fine and the imprisonment. The fact that a maximum fine of £3,000 would be provided for would not affect the district justice's decision and cause him to impose a higher fine and not a term of imprisonment either, instead of or with the fine. The ideal is to give the maximum possible discretion to the court because the nature of the cases, the type of offences and the degree of culpability can be so wide and varied. That is why the Oireachtas generally gives a wide discretion to the courts as to the manner of penalty prescribed. I cannot see that there should be any great objection to increasing the maximum fine. In a serious case, the fine procedure may not be used at all by the court, or may be applied in addition to a prison sentence. Deputy Bruton has now withdrawn the amendment regarding proposed reductions in prison sentences, which was the correct thing to do. I cannot see that any harm would be done by giving an increased discretion to the court to impose quite a substantial fine of up to £3,000, in addition to a prison sentence if that is appropriate.

I shall try to be helpful to the House on this matter. However, I would need to be met at least halfway. I would be disposed to consider accepting amendment No. 4 — I would need assurances on this. I would not be in a position to look too closely at amendment No. 2 because I am strongly advised by the Attorney General's office that this is not the legislation under which to move away from the trend in the District Court with regard to fines. I am informed that the trend is around £1,000. I would have little difficulty in accepting Deputy Bruton's amendment which would change the amount from £5,000 to £10,000. I would make the point, however, that we are talking about an ordinary individual who might be an insurance agent and have a family to look after and who could be dragged into the District Court for some offence under this legislation. It applies to an ordinary agent to the same extent as to a large company. A fine of £1,000 could be quite meaningful.

It is only a maximum.

I am not prepared to move on amendment No. 2 against the advice I have been given.

It is a pity we cannot interview the Minister's advisers, particularly the Attorney General.

I cannot interview the Deputy's advisers.

My adviser is here and can be interviewed at any time. The Minister has made an offer which is not as good as I should like, but since time is not on our side and we could argue about this all day and not get very far against the Minister's adviser, whoever this individual is——

The Attorney General.

I have never met the man. In those circumstances I will accept the Minister's proposed arrangement. If he will accept amendment No. 4 I will withdraw my remaining amendments.

I will accept amendment No. 4 and continue to oppose amendment No. 2.

Amendment No. 2, by leave withdrawn.
Amendment No. 3 not moved.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 6, subsection (2) (b), line 29, to delete "£5,000" and substitute "£10,000".

Amendment agreed to.
Amendments No. 5 and 6 not moved.

I move amendment No. 7:

In page 6, subsection (6), line 53, to delete "references to this Act" and substitute "references to `this Act"'.

This is purely a tenchical amendment to insert inverted commas. The intention is to facilitate the reader in understanding the sentence.

Amendment agreed to.
Question proposed: "That section 3, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

Subsection (3) relates to offences committed by a body corporate and the offence then being attributable to an individual. Will it be easy to discover who is really responsible? A body corporate normally acts with corporate responsibility. There is a chain of command and all sorts of issues arise such as arose during war crimes trials where people would say they were acting on orders, while those who gave the orders would say they were ignorant of what was happening.

That was not a defence then and it should not be a defence now.

I am not talking about the ideal world but about the legislation before us and what it will mean in practice in court. The analogy is purely for illustration. We must ask how a court will tend to look at that issue.

This is an attempt to get behind the body corporate in regard to offences committed under this legislation. The subsection is quite clear and refers to an offence by the body corporate which is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate. It is an important weapon to have in the Bill. It may be quite obvious that a particular director was conniving or that the offence was committed with his consent. It would be a pity if we did not have the provision to deal with cases which can easily be proved. There will always be difficult cases.

This subsection is necessary and appropriate. It may be that difficulties could arise with regard to proof but that would be a matter for the prosecution. If proofs were not available, that would be the end of the matter. If evidence is available that a director, manager or secretary was actively involved in conniving in the offence, it is entirely appropriate that a prosecution should lie.

The subsection refers to any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer. It might be appropriate to add the word "agent" as an additional category. The company might employ an agent who would not be an employee of the company but nevertheless act on behalf of the company. If such a person was conniving in the commital of an offence under the Act, it would be appropriate to include that category. The Minister might consider that suggestion for a later stage.

The Deputy's concern is met by the reference in subsection (3) to "any person who was purporting to act in such capacity".

The agent might not be acting in the capacity of a director, manager or secretary. He might simply be acting on behalf of the company in general terms.

What does "officer" mean? Does it mean somebody who is at a very senior level or does it encompass any employee?

A definition of "officer" is not included in the legislation but it is a well understood term.

How is it well understood?

Any person who holds an office of the company.

Would that include a clerical assistant?

I do not think it is intended to apply to a broad range of employees, but more to the people who have influence and authority.

It is a well established rule of legal interpretation that when a number of categories such as director, manager or secretary are set out and there is then a reference to another similar officer, the courts always interpret that to mean that the officer must be of a similar category to those named before. It would have to be a person of the category of director, manager or secretary. "Secretary" means company secretary, not office secretary. It is theejusdem generis rule. That being so, we need not have any concern that it would affect anybody very low down the scale in the insurance scene.

My understanding is that the office-holder has been defined as holding an office that has been created by an Act of Parliament, a charter, a statutory regulation, the articles of association of a company or a body corporate and that only if the office was referred to in the articles of association of the company would it be an office in that sense. Circumstances will arise in which a senior employee would be involved in the commission of an offence of this kind and he might not be an office-holder within the meaning of Deputy Taylor's definition or the one which I have just quoted from an authoritative work on the subject. That could be a lacuna in the legislation. If employees are engaged in activity on behalf of the company they should also be brought to book if the activity is criminal. I wonder if the Minister should not consider extending the terminology to bring in all relevant people exercising responsibility within the company, directors, managers, secretaries, or within that category.

The Deputy was worried earlier about people acting on orders and you would certainly get that from employees, probably legitimately. I am not talking here about office-holders, I am talking about people who have a certain rank and authority similar to a director, manager or secretary. That may vary from company to company but it should be obvious, when looking at a particular person's role in the firm, whether they have a similar type of rank, authority or clout in the firm as a director, manager or secretary. It is the correct way to leave it.

In other words, vague.

No. It is to give the courts some latitude to decide what a similar office is. The intention is pretty clear; we are talking about directors, managers, secretaries or people of similar authority, rank or clout in the firm.

Why not say that? The words are "or other similar officer or body or any person who was purporting to act in such a capacity". "Purport", as I understand it, implies holding oneself out to act in such a capacity. It could well be that people would not be holding themselves out to be or acting as directors, managers, or secretaries but who would still transact business in a fashion that would be criminal without reference to higher authority in respect of each individual act. It would be better if one were to substitute for these words something like "secretary or other similar officer of the body or any person who was acting in a responsible capacity with delegated authority".

I do not know if the Deputy wishes to broaden this to include all employees, for example, of an insurance company. Could he really see the State locking up the secretary for a couple of years because the people at the top of the company did not fulfil their requirements to lodge certain documents? She may not have typed or posted it on the particular date or something like that. That is not the intention behind this section; it is to tackle people who have a level of authority who should be able to comply.

That is my suggestion.

This amendment captures that very well, as it names a group of people, mentions similar officers and says "any person who purports to act in this kind of capacity". That means a capacity of authority and it is pretty clear. To change it along the lines suggested by Deputy Bruton might suggest it included a broad range of employees which is not the intention behind the section.

A senior computer analyst or programmer is a very specific category within a company and would be in a position to do many things. Is there no need to be more specific in regard to a specific category of people? Where do they fit into the scale of things? They would have ample opportunity and could be seen as senior managers or normal members of staff. It is a very specialised area of a company which has grown over the years. It is also a very central part of a company's ability to operate.

I do not want to speculate too much on this matter but if a junior computer operator is involved in something illegal he would obviously be indicted for fraud or some other criminal offence. We are talking here about people who do not comply with the Insurance Acts and it is not practical to lay compliance with the Insurance Acts with the thousands of people who work in the insurance industry, unless they work in a very senior capacity where one would expect them to have the kind of authority and rank which would mean that they should have seen to it that the Act was complied with. Ordinary fraud legislation should cover somebody in a company who does something else.

Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 4.
Question proposed: "That section 4 stand part of the Bill."

I have a brief point to make on this section. In dealing with the service of documents subsection (e) states:

in the case of any other person, by leaving it at, or sending it by pre-paid ordinary post to, the address at which that person is known to reside.

That is a rather unusual format which I cannot recall seeing before. The more usual provision to cover that kind of situation is "to sent it by pre-paid, ordinary post to the last known address of the person in the Republic of Ireland". When it says "the address at which that person is known to reside," who is it known to? Is it known by the person who is sending it, known generally or will the person get into difficulty by having to plead knowledge of where the person is residing? This is very important because the whole question of service of documents can be crucial to proper enforcement of proceedings and availing of remedies. Therefore, it is very important to get this right. I do not know why the normal format has been changed. Very often people change their address to evade service of documents, to escape their responsibilities and so on under legislation. The normal approach up to now — which is not an unreasonable one — was that if a person held out that such and such was the address from which they were corresponding and known to be at and that if they moved about, it should not be their responsibility and it should be possible to serve the document at their last known address. The fact that their present address is not known would mean that, under this subsection, the document could not be served on them because their address would not be known, whereas it would be a person's own fault for having held themselves out as being at a particular location, disappearing and telling no one, with the result that the documents could not be served. The old formula might be a better one and I would be interested in hearing the Minister of State's view on this.

One could argue that a formula comprising the words "last known address" is the wrong one because there would still be the difficulty of finding out the last known address. The word "known" is also included in that formula. We would argue that this is a better drafting, including the words "the address at which that person is known to reside." Therefore, there would be a duty on the Minister's officers in serving a notice or requisition to ensure that the person resides there. The formula comprising the words "the last known address" has many defects and, as the Deputy has rightly said, in many cases problems have arisen. My advice is that this is a better drafting in that it is a stronger wording. There would be an onus on the server to ensure that the person resides there. Using the formula comprising the words "the last known address" could mean in many cases finding empty buildings or addresses one or two years old. We could argue this point at length but I have been advised that this is a better and clearer drafting than the formula comprising the words "the last known address" the use of which in many cases could mean finding an empty flat.

Perhaps it could mean finding an empty flat but one could look at this from the point of view of the person to be served with a document or from the point of view of the innocent person seeking to bring a claim or prosecution or whatever it might be. If a person lives in a flat and conducts their business from there, that would be their last known address. In order to evade their responsibilities they move and tell nobody where they have gone. From their point of view, that is fine as they have evaded their responsibilities but is that what we want to happen? What is the person who seeks to bring a claim going to do? All they know is that they have received correspondence from such an address and that the person has now disappeared. If we leave it this way the person who has been wronged would be stymied. Our concern and sympathies should be for the person who has been wronged rather than for the fly-by-night who has disappeared and told nobody where he has gone, otherwise the operation of the Bill could be stymied because one would not know where to serve the documents. One would not know where the person was but would have his last known address. The idea is that there be an onus on a person with responsibilities under the Bill, and who is moving to tell people he has been dealing with where he is moving to. He should not disappear from the scene and thereby escape his responsibilities.

This is a bit like the position in regard to the registered office of a company. We all know that any company can be served with documents at their registered address. In most cases a company become aware of documents which are sent to their registered address but it is not unusual for the registered address of a company to turn out to be an unoccupied office with a caretaker. Even so the company can still be properly served with documents at their registered address even though all points of contact are gone from there. Why does the law allow this to happen? It is quite proper that it is allowed and the reason is that there is a responsibility on the company in changing venues to notify and file a change of address. What applies in the case of a company equally ought to apply in the case of an individual.

I can see that the Deputy feels strongly about this. So far as I am concerned the wording could be interpreted as including "the last known address". I accept that it does not say that but the wording "the address at which that person is known to reside" could be interpreted——

That is a different thing.

——as including "the last known address". I would propose with the Deputy's agreement to have the wording looked at in the course of the afternoon to see if it can be improved on before Report Stage, bearing in mind that all Stages of this Bill must be completed by 7 p.m. today.

I am quite happy with that undertaking.

I undertake to do that with one proviso, that it would not interfere with the time schedule in respect of the Bill which has to complete all Stages by 7 p.m. If it is practical to get a redraft or possible to get a few words added in — what I had in mind was to add to it, to include the words "the last known address"— I am prepared to do so before we complete the discussion on the Bill but the Deputy would have to bear in mind the time schedule.

I am quite happy with that.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 5.

We now come to deal with amendment No. 8 in the name of Deputy John Bruton, I observe that amendment No. 9 in the name of the same Deputy is an alternative. I suggest, therefore, that we discuss amendments Nos. 8 and 9 together with separate decisions if required.

I move amendment No. 8:

In page 7, subsection (2), lines 33 and 34, to delete "appear to the Minister to be expedient" and substitute "the Minister is satisfied are necessary".

Section 5 states that the Minister may make regulations to cover such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as appear to the Minister to be expedient for any purpose of the Act. I think this could allow a very wide field of law making by way of regulation on the part of the Minister in the sense that he could interpret the word "consequential" quite widely and the word "expedient" quite widely also. I think the word "expedient" is the most flexible word in the English language. Here it is used to give the Minister power to make laws by way of regulation rather than by debate and agreement of this House. My amendment proposes to tighten this up and I suggest that the Minister must be satisfied that the regulations are necessary for achieving any of the purposes of the Bill rather than he deciding that it is expedient to do so. Essentially those are the purposes which both of these amendments are designed to achieve. I do not wish to choose between them and if the Minister has any preference he may choose the one he prefers.

The two amendments tabled by the Deputy overlap somewhat in so far as the second amendment incorporates the Deputy's concern as stated in his first amendment. The present wording of the section would allow the Minister to include in enabling regulations provisions which he would see as suitable and desirable for achieving any of the purposes of this Bill. The revised wording suggested by the Deputy would on the other hand limit the Minister to including in enabling regulations only those provisions which are unavoidable for achieving any purpose of the Bill. I am sure the Deputy would agree that there is a subtle difference and I would not be inclined to amend the wording which is marginally more appropriate.

The apparent intention in one interpretation of subsection (2) is to confine the Minister's regulation-making powers to incidental, supplementary and consequential matters, but the use of the term "expedient" opens that up. That is why I would prefer to say "necessary" for the consequential, supplementary or incidental purposes of the Bill. I think it is better wording and I hope the Minister can accept it.

I hesitate to make much comment on Deputy Bruton's amendment because I think the entire section is wrong and inappropriate. If the section is to stay, and I hope it will not, his amendment will help a bit, but only a little bit. I will speak in more detail on the content of the section in general when we have disposed of Deputy Bruton's amendment but I think the whole section ought to go.

I must confess that, life being what it is, there probably is a need for the Minister to have some tidying up powers with regard to making regulations. I would not go along with the purist view that it is not right to give the Minister such powers. I accept he has to be given them, but I think this section is too wide. I would prefer the term "necessary" to be included rather than "expedient". The Minister should be satisfied because if the Minister has to justify something subsequently in court the test that he was satisfied is a more severe one than the test that it appeared to him to be expedient, which is very subjective indeed.

The proposals I make, or an amalgam of them, would be a distinct improvement and would, I hope, eliminate at least some of the objections of those who oppose the section altogether. I hope I can meet the Minister some distance on this subject because I do not want to find myself opposing the section altogether. In practical terms there is a need for something of this kind.

I oppose this section as well. I support Deputy Bruton's amendment as at least giving something more definite. The whole section is very vague. It provides: "The Minister may make regulations for enabling this Act to have full effect". That means if he makes regulations under the Act they may contain such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as appear to the Minister to be expedient. That is very vague. Any Minister can make mistakes and something might appear to him to be expedient at a particular time and in that regard at least Deputy Bruton's amendment firms up the matter. The Minister must be satisfied that it is necessary rather than it appears to be expedient. I support Deputy Bruton's amendment but I am definitely opposing section 5.

I am advised the section as drafted is marginally more appropriate. Deputies are talking about the Minister making incidential, supplementary and consequential provisions. They are very marginal supplementary decisions or regulations, we are not talking about something substantive. Maybe this is unfair but perhaps the word "expedient" has been devalued in the political system particularly. The worst thing you could say about a politician is that it was expendient for him to do something. I wonder whether we are taken in by that. The definition of "expedient" is "suitable and advisable". I am happy that the Minister can make supplementary, incidental and consequential provisions which are suitable and advisable. I think the necessity is to be satisfied, not necessary or expedient.

The Minister may recollect we had a discussion on the Companies Bill where it emerged that "satisfied" put a definite test on the Minister and it had a well established legal meaning. I think there is much to be said for that word.

Is it essential to do that? I know Deputies are talking about incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions but is that strong "satisfied" test necessary? I do not think it is.

If these regulations put somebody in jeopardy in either a criminal or civil action who might otherwise not be in jeopardy, then they are important——

You could not do that because these regulations can only be incidental. If they were suddenly to make somebody liable who was not otherwise liable——

They can also be supplementary which is more than simply——

Yes, but they cannot be substantive.

Why not?

Look up "supplementary" in the dictionary.

I do not have the time.

It does not exclude "substantive".

I am advised that this wording is suitable——

The bottom line.

——and I think I will stick with it. I think we are getting carried away with definition of the word "expedient" which is "suitable and advisable". If it is suitable and advisable to make incidental regulations, then they should be made quickly.

I hope it is advisable for the Minister to take the stand he is taking on this.

Is the Minister amending the word "expedient" to "suitable and advisable"?

No. I was merely quoting from the dictionary as to the accepted definition of the word "expedient".

"Advisable" would be a more suitable word than "expedient". I would prefer it.

It means "advisable"——

I do not want to waste time on a division here because time is short, but I am quite prepared to have a division if necessary.

I do not think it is expedient.

It is expedient and necessary if the Minister does not show some enlightenment. Is the Minister definite in what he is saying? I think the preferable amendment here is amendment No. 8. Is he definitely not prepared to accept that amendment, or at least consider between now and Report Stage the possible firming up of the wording here with a view particularly to the usage of the terms "expedient" and "appear to the Minister"? The words "appear to the Minister to be expedient" are dubius to say the least. Has the Minister reached a conclusion on this? If he has, I think we would have to divide.

How stands amendment No. 8?

My advice is that this word "expedient" is appropriate for this kind of section. I have already read into the record of the House that the word "expedient" in dictionary terms includes "advisable", and means "advisable", and I am quite satisfied that is the correct thing to do. I do not think it necessary to make a song and dance out of this rather minute part of a major Bill which we must discuss between now and 7 p.m. If the House must divide, so be it, but I would prefer to get on with the more substantive sections of the Bill. My advice, without substantial discussion with the Attorney General's Office, is not to depart from this wording. I think it would be foolish of me to do so under the woeful threat of a division in the House. If there is to be a division, let us have it.

Would the Minister not discuss it between now and this evening when we will take Report Stage?

Is the amendment agreed?

Amendment No. 8 is not agreed.

Acting Chairman

Is the Deputy pressing his amendment?

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand."
The Committee divided: Tá, 70; Níl, 56.

  • Abbott, Henry.
  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Matthew.
  • Brennan, Séamus.
  • Browne, John.
  • Burke, Ray.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Coughlan, Mary T.
  • Davern, Noel.
  • Dempsey, Noel.
  • Dennehy, John.
  • de Valera, Síle.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Ellis, John.
  • Fahey, Frank.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam.
  • Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
  • Flood, Chris.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat the Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Stafford, John.
  • Swift, Brian.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Haughey, Charles J.
  • Hilliard, Colm Michael.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Jacob, Joe.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Kitt, Tom.
  • Lawlor, Liam.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lynch, Michael.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • Mooney, Mary.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Nolan, M.J.
  • Noonan, Michael J.
  • (Limerick West).
  • O'Dea, William Gerard.
  • O'Donoghue, John.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Keeffe, Batt.
  • O'Keeffe, Ned.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Roche, Dick.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Woods, Michael.
  • Wright, G.V.

Níl

  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Boland, John.
  • Boylan, Andrew.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Clohessy, Peadar.
  • Colley, Anne.
  • Cooney, Patrick M.
  • Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • Cullen, Martin.
  • Deasy, Austin.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Durkan, Bernard.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Gibbons, Martin.
  • Gregory, Tony.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Harte, Paddy.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Higgins, Jim.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • Kelly, John.
  • Kemmy, Jim.
  • Kennedy, Geraldine.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • McCartan, Pat.
  • McCoy, John S.
  • McGohan, Brendan.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • Mac Giolla, Tomás.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Naughten, Liam.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Noonan, Michael. (Limerick East).
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • O'Malley, Desmond J.
  • O'Malley, Pat.
  • Quill, Máirín.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, P.J.
  • Sherlock, Joe.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
  • Yates, Ivan.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies V. Brady and Wright; Níl, Deputies J. Higgins and Boylan.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendment No. 9 not moved.
Question proposed: "That section 5 stand part of the Bill."

I am opposing this section, which I submit is entirely inappropriate and should not be adopted as part of the Bill. In the area of delegated legislation this form of clause has been appearing in virtually every Bill that comes before us. It is entirely wrong that the House should be asked to give blanket power to the Minister to make regulations enabling the provisions of this Bill to have full effect and to contain such incidental, supplementary and consequential provision as appear to the Minister to be necessary.

There could be matters of substance arising under this section. We all know that it is standard for Ministers to be given powers to make regulations under Acts. The Minister gives the power to himself to make laws without having recourse to the House. It is appropriate that the House delegate power to Ministers because the House does not have the time or the resources to deal with all the minutiae of legislation. This has been a time honoured principle but the extent and range of the powers being given to the Minister ought to be clearly defined as is done, for example, in section 12 of this Bill under which the Minister may make regulations for the exercise of his functions in respect of eight categories in all. I accept that. In fact I do not mind if there are ten, 12 or 15 categories that the Minister is to have power to make regulations in respect of, but let us specify what the Minister's powers are to be so that we in this House can delineate and quantify the areas where he is to be allowed to make his regulations without having to have recourse to the House.

I hope the Minister, in his reply, will not talk about coming before the House with a negative resolution. We will be talking about that in a minute because we all know that for most parties in the House the value of negative resolutions is virtually nil for all practical purposes. There is a great will on the part of Ministers and departmental secretaries to slot in to every Bill a kind of blanket power to bring in regulations for whatever may be necessary to enable an Act to have full effect. They seem to think it is very convenient but it is a matter for the draftsman and his staff and the Minister and his staff to work out now what is necessary to give the Bill full force and effect. If the Minister needs powers on any specific items to make regulations to ensure that the Bill will have full force and effect, those items should be specified here and now. We discussed this same measure on another Bill only last week and I made the comment then that what it amounts to is lazy draftsmanship. In other words, they just do the best they can on the Bill and then put in a catchall regulation in case anything has been forgotten or something turns up. That is not good enough. It is a dangerous precedent to stitch into every Bill that the Oireachtas is called upon to enact. If we are going to give the Minister those kinds of powers, why bother bringing in the Act at all? Why not just put in a few general headings and say that the Minister can do everything else he wants by regulation? In the history of parliamentary democracies, going back to Tudor times in Britain, there has always been this push by the executive, then represented by the King and now represented by the Minister, to increase their powers as against the powers of the legislature. In the time of Henry VIII there was a clause known as the Henry VIII clause which was a blanket clause to bring in whatever he wanted on any general defined area. That kind of thing is creeping back and it is our responsibility as legislators to ensure that a curb is put on ministerial powers.

The Deputy is a Roundhead then.

I have very little hair left to be any kind of head at all. We have a responsibility to watch this and we would not be doing our duty as legislators if we allowed these blanket provisions to find their way back into the legislation. If the Minister wants to take powers to do certain things under the Act that is fine, but let us spell it out and put in the categories. There are eight different categories in section 12 where the Minister is taking power to make regulations. I take no exception to that whatever and I do not mind if there are additional categories but it is wrong to put in a blanket provision which could cover items which we could not possibly conceive of here and now and give power to the Minister to bring in regulations under such provision. That is the function of the Oireachtas and not the Minister. For those reasons I am totally opposed to this section.

I will be brief. Deputy Taylor made the basic points so there is not much more to be said on the issue. Having regard to his legal experience, I can understand his annoyance but even to the layman it is an extraordinary section to put into a Bill. It is taking unusual powers to the Minister. We are trying to get the best regulatory system we can into the insurance business, and we are either satisfied or dissatisfied with various sections but when we come to this we see that it does not make much difference what we say because we find that the Minister may or may not make regulations to enable the Act to have the effect we thought we were putting into it. Many people think that many more supervisory powers are required than are in the Bill, but even in regard to what is in the Bill now the Minister need not necessarily enable that part of the Act to have effect if that is his desire. Under section 5, as we discussed in the amendment already, what the regulations may or may not contain or what may or may not appear to the Minister to be expedient is much too vague. I do not like it when a Minister reverts to a dictionary. it reminds me of de Valera's dictionary republic, and a dictionary republic is the worst of all republics. It is no use reverting to a dictionary to explain that when we say "expedient" we really mean advisory and assuring the House that that is what it will mean because a judge will not judge words on what the Minister said they should mean but will have his own meanings and precedents and so forth.

There is a terrible vagueness about section 2 but it is really section 5 (i) that is the most frightening, and we are definitely opposing this section of the Bill. As Deputy Taylor says the power to make regulations is in all sorts of Bills. Section 12 demonstrates the types of powers the Minister needs and much of it consists of technical regulations in regard to the particular Bill. Under section 5 the Minister may make any regulations he wishes to enable the Act to have full effect. We are very concerned about what the possible meanings of that would be.

This is a very common provision in legislation. It has been used down the years and has not given rise to the kind of concerns which Deputies have expressed. For example, it is used under the Insurance Act, 1936. The provision is necessary to ensure that as far as possible very full use can be made of each of the provisions in this Bill. It is also necessary to ensure that the intentions of the Oireachtas in enacting legislation are not evaded on very incidental items or mere technicalties. Therefore, I see it in a more positive light.

It is also important to remind the House that regulations made by the Minister under this section cannot add to the substance of the Act. That clearly would beultra vires. Such regulations would simply assist in giving the fullest effect to the existing provisions. Of course under the provisions of section 8 all regulations made under this Act will be required to be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. I should try to reassure Deputies that this is not a blanket power. The Minister cannot go beyond the powers given to him in the Bill. The House can also annul any such regulations which the Minister might wish to make.

In an industry like the insurance industry, as Deputy Bruton will appreciate very much, speed can be of the essence. It would be a pity if some minor incidental item in the legislation, something that a regulation could deal with fairly quickly, frustrated the intention of the legislation. Speed and flexibility are very important in this industry because it moves at such speed and there are such large sums of money involved. I would argue that flexibility is required. I want to repeat that we are talking here about regulations that are incidental, supplementary and consequential. By supplementary I mean that the supplementary aspect cannot be substantive. It would have to, as stated in the first part of section 5 (1), give effect to the Bill, to make sure the Bill has full effect.

I am sorry the House did not agree with the arguments put forward by Deputy Taylor, Deputy Mac Giolla and myself on the last amendments. It would have been a reasonable half way house if the House had agreed to something between getting rid of the section altogether, which I would not support, and removing some of its troubling excesses. Therefore, I regret to say that I will not oppose the section if it is put to the House. It is a pity we have to bring in regulations to convey the intention of the House in making legislation, that literal considerations can be used to the degree that they are used to frustrate the clear intentions of the Oireachtas.

As we approach 1992 we are moving towards a common European legal system. My understanding of the legal system on the Continent is that intentions are construed by the court as part of the matter used in interpreting the meaning of a particular section, whereas the common law system which is to be fused in the European legal system after 1992, our system and that of Britain, takes a much more literal approach and looks not at the intentions but at the actual words. This is one of the reasons European law, for example, contains a lot of "whereases". They are designed to recite the intentions and are to be interpreted in conjunction with the literal meaning in the sections that follow them. Our law, on the other hand, does not take attention into account and contains no "whereases" for that reason. It seems there is a case for moving our legal practice closer to that on the Continent of Europe.

Maybe they should move theirs closer to ours.

I think predominance would suggest it would be easier to move in the other direction. In any event, one of the side benefits of this move if it were to occur would be that the courts would not make it necessary for the Minister to bring in regulations simply to clarify what is meant, when it is clear from the outset what is meant but those seeking to frustrate the Oireachtas decision simply rely on literal considerations. That is a factor, in the light of 1992, the Minister might like to respond to at some stage. Perhaps he could inquire if a movement along these lines would be useful and would remove the necessity for putting sections of this kind into legislation which, I agree with Deputy Taylor, is inherently undesirable. If the judges were to adopt a different interpretative practice it might not be necessary and we might also be moving towards what would be more the norm within the European legal area.

We can only deal with legal practice of the courts as it is before us at present in deciding what we will go at any time. It may be that this provision has been used more and more but it is time we stopped and thought about what we are doing before we give it a rubber stamp. The next stage in this process will be that the section 12 type clause will not appear at all. It could be argued that section 12 is not needed at all when section 5 of the Bill provides that the Minister can make regulations to enable this Act to have full effect. All the items in section 12 would come within the general category. The next stage will be that blanker powers will be given to the Minister to implement the Act any way he wants. That trend will just creep in and become the norm and the whole supervisory and legislating function of the House will be gradually and invidiously eroded. That should not happen. It should not be beyond the ken of the draftsmen, who take long enough to prepare these measures, to examine the powers they think the Minister will need and to give him specific powers to implement them.

The trend is invidious. The way the smaller parties in particular in this House are denied the opportunity of dealing effectively with delegated legislation highlights that. This negative clause, which has now become the order of the day, for practical purposes deprives every party in the House other than the Fine Gael Party, by reason of the time they have for Private Members' Business, of the opportunity of bringing any such delegated legislation on to the floor of the House for examination.

Another slur.

During the time of the previous Government when negative resolutions were included in measures, I remember Fianna Fáil spokesmen who are now Ministers arguing with great force that the positive-type resolution was required. Now that they have become Ministers they refer to the old bad practice and forget what they were arguing about when they were in Opposition, although they argued it then with great effect and great force.

There is a general principle involved here. I know about draftsmanship because I spent many years drafting documents of all descriptions. They require care and thought and that is right and proper. The draftsmen are professional people so let them draft their documents carefully. Let them produce to this House, and let the Minister introduce, legislation which is forceful and effective. Let the draftsman and the Minister when introducing the legislation decide on what powers the Minister will need. Then let the House look at the powers which are being sought and decide whether they are appropriate. If they are appropriate so be it, let the legislation be passed. By using this lazy method you say to yourself: "I do not need to worry all that much about it, I do not have to rack my brains that much to make sure that I specify it in detail because even if I have overlooked a few things the catchall clause will pick it up and under the catch-all clause our Minister will be able to deal with the matter by regulation. I do not have to go to the trouble of spelling out properly the way it is to be done." That is not acceptable. It is not good enough. It is a serious matter when the House delegates to a Minister the power to make regulations. Regrettably, it has to be done but it is a very serious and important matter that a law making power should be exercised by a single individual, other than the Oireachtas which is given the primary legislative function under the Constitution, but at least it should be specific in the powers that are given. General powers, such as those envisaged in section 5, should not be given. Consequently, we could not accept that section.

Acting Chairman

Deputy Mac Giolla, are you opposing the section?

Deputy Mac Giolla and I are opposing the section.

Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 111; Níl, 16.

  • Abbott, Henry.
  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Boland, John.
  • Boylan, Andrew.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Matthew.
  • Brennan, Séamus.
  • Browne, John.
  • Bruton, John.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Liam.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Cooney, Patrick M.
  • Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
  • Coughlan, Mary T.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • Harte, Paddy.
  • Haughey, Charles J.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Higgins, Jim.
  • Hilliard, Colm Michael.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Jacob, Joe.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Kitt, Michael P.
  • Kitt, Tom.
  • Lawlor, Liam.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Lynch, Michael.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McGahon, Brendan.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Mitchell, Jim.
  • Mooney, Mary.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Naughten, Liam.
  • Nealon, Ted.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • Davern, Noel.
  • Deasy, Austin.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Dempsey, Noel.
  • Dennehy, John.
  • de Valera, Síle.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Durkan, Bernard.
  • Ellis, John.
  • Enright, Thomas.
  • Fahey, Frank.
  • Fahey, Jackie.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam.
  • Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Flood, Chris.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat the Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Nolan, M. J.
  • Noonan, Michael J. (Limerick West).
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Dea, William Gerard.
  • O'Donoghue, John.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Keeffe, Batt.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • O'Keeffe, Ned.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Roche, Dick.
  • Sheehan, P.J.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Stafford, John.
  • Swift, Brian.
  • Taylor-Quinn, Madeleine.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Woods, Michael.
  • Wright, G.V.
  • Yates, Ivan.

Níl

  • Bell, Michael.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Gregory, Tony.
  • Higgins, Michael D.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Kemmy, Jim.
  • McCartan, Pat.
  • Mac Giolla, Tomás.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Sherlock, Joe.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies V. Brady and Wright; Níl, Deputies Howlin and Quinn.
Question declared carried.
Progress reported; committee to sit again.