Private Members' Business. - National Cultural Institutions Bill, 1996 [ Seanad ]: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.

Amendment No. 7 not moved.

I move amendment No. 8:

In page 9, line 42, to delete "museum heritage objects of the Board" and substitute "heritage objects of the Museum".

This amendment was debated at length on Committee Stage. I was trying to establish in law the distinction between objects "in care of" and objects "in ownership of". I appreciate that the Minister listened to our arguments on that point. I would like to hear his response.

We discussed this. The amendments I suggested accept the principle of the Deputy's amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 9:

In page 9, line 42, to delete "of the Board".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 10:

In page 10, lines 5 and 6, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 11:

In page 10, line 8, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 12:

In page 10, line 11, to delete "its collection" and substitute "the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 13:

In page 10, line 13, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 14:

In page 10, line 16, to delete "to its collection" and substitute "to the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 15:

In page 10, line 35, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 16:

In page 10, line 45, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 17:

In page 11, line 8, to delete "Board" and substitute "Library".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 18:

In page 12, lines 2 and 3 to delete "and outside the State (including inter-library loan agreements)" and substitute "(including inter-library loan agreements with other libraries in the State and outside the State)".

This is to clarify the intent in the amendment introduced on Committee Stage which was to allow the library to enter into inter-library loan agreements outside the State at its own discretion. Other agreements outside the State are covered by section 12(2)(k) which allows the library to enter into such agreements with the consent of the Minister. It has a further definition of library agreements outside the State. We discussed its reasoning on Committee Stage.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 19:

In page 12, line 6, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Library".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 20:

In page 12, line 17, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Library".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 21:

In page 12, line 18, to delete "its collection" and substitute "the collection of the Library".

Amendment agreed to.

Acting Chairman

Amendment No. 22 arises out of Committee proceedings. Amendments Nos. 24 to 27, inclusive, are related and can be taken together. Is that agreed? Agreed.

I move amendment No. 22:

In page 13, line 30, after "facilities" to insert "including the fixing of different fees for different circumstances and for different classes of persons and the fixing of fees for some circumstances only or for all circumstances or for some classes of persons only or for all classes of persons".

Amendments Nos. 22, 24, 25 and 26 are my amendments. Deputy de Valera tabled amendment No. 27. I was pleased to be in a position to introduce further initiatives on Committee Stage to ensure the securing of the maximum amount of real public access should any general entry charge system be contemplated by the boards of the museum, library or gallery. I introduced criteria which must be taken into account before any such scheme can be introduced. We discussed the by-laws in relation to admission charges. This amendment was in addition to that already provided, that no general entry charges can be introduced by a board unless approved by both Houses of the Oireachtas. Short of an absolute statutory prohibition this is the maximum regulatory protection that can be afforded. This recognises that if it should arise it would be a major policy issue that was worthy of consideration by the Oireachtas.

In the latest amendments, Nos. 24, 25 and 26, I am making some further technical adjustments to fine-tune the wording of the criteria provision introduced on Committee Stage. I am also providing an amendment, No. 22, to ensure that in any by-law being framed on this issue there will be the option to introduce different scales of charges. As presently worded, it could be interpreted that no such discretion was possible.

The other change to note is in amendment No. 26. This makes explicit, as I had intended by my earlier amendment and as I undertook on Committee Stage, the need to ensure a reasonable degree of access without charge for children in particular, described in the amendment as persons under the age of 18 years. Any scheme must still ensure an enhanced quality of service to the public on a sustainable basis and actively contribute to the level of appreciation of the collection concerned within the Irish public as a whole. These provisions are to ensure that the primary aims and objectives of the Bill to contribute to a widening and deepening of sensibilities in relation to the collections are adequately met.

On amendment No. 24, following the proposed deletion therein, the following amendment is required: In page 13, line 37, paragraph (a) to delete the words "enable the Board" and replace with the words "the need".

The text currently reads: "a Board shall have regard to whether the proposed bye-laws would——

(a) enable the Board to provide an enhanced service to members of the public in Ireland,".

The text, once amended, will read:" a Board shall have regard to——

(a) the need to provide an enhanced service to members of the public in Ireland,".

In the light of these comments I urge Deputy de Valera to consider withdrawing her amendment No. 27.

I thank the Minister for outlining his amendments. I appreciate that he is taking on board the spirit of the conversation we had on Committee Stage regarding the Opposition's concerns on fees. Although I readily recognise the Oireachtas will have the final say in this matter — the Minister has made provision for that in the Bill — and that amendment No. 26 provides that a different position will pertain for those under the age of 18, the general principle of payment concerns me. It would be acceptable to provide for a charge for specific exhibitions, but I cannot accept the principle of payment in general terms as proposed and I intend to press the amendment.

In this instance the Minister has struck a fair balance. I am in favour of maintaining the principle of access to the greatest degree possible in law, but I would not like to put in place a law that would preclude forever the possibility of imposing charges for specific exhibitions or activities within either of the two institutions. I am grateful the Minister has provided for an exclusion for persons under 18 years. There should be free access at all times for children so that they are introduced to the practice of visiting the museum and see it as part of their rightful inheritance. Citizens should not take for granted that the collection of the museum or library will be there forever without them being called upon at some stage to contribute to their maintenance or the acquisition of new purchases. We should write into law the possibility of introducing charges at a given time for certain activities provided that is done only with the consent of the two Houses of the Oireachtas. That is a good balance and I support the amendment.

I appreciate the different views on those amendments, but any suggestion that would eventually have the approval of the Houses of the Oireachtas must be justified by being thrust towards providing an enhanced level of public access. The question of balance is involved.

Amendment put and declared carried.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

Amendment No. 23 in the name of Deputy de Valera is deemed to be out of order as it involves a potential charge on the Revenue.

Amendment No. 23 not moved.

I move amendment No. 24:

In page 13, lines 35 and 36, to delete "whether the proposed bye-laws would".

Amendment put and declared carried.

I move amendment No. 25:

In page 13, to delete lines 39 to 41 and substitute the following:

"(b) the need to promote an increased interest in and appreciation of the collection of the Museum or the Library, as the case may be, by members of the public in Ireland, and".

Amendment put and declared carried.

I move amendment No. 26:

In page 13, to delete lines 42 to 44 and substitute the following:

"(c) the need to provide a reasonable degree of access to the Museum or Library, as the case may be, without charge, in particular, to persons under the age of 18 years.".

Amendment put and declared carried.

I move amendment No. 27:

In page 14, to delete lines 10 to 20.

Question, "That the words proposed to be deleted stand", put and declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 28:

In page 14, line 44, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum or Library, as the case may be,".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 29:

In page 15, line 6, to delete "a Board" and substitute "the Museum or Library, as the case may be,".

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 30 not moved.

I move amendment No. 31:

In page 15, line 18, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 32:

In page 15, line 21, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

Amendment No. 33 in the name of the Minister. Amendments Nos. 34 and 35 are cognate and it is suggested, therefore, that amendments Nos. 33, 34 and 35 be taken together if that is satisfactory.

I move amendment No. 33:

In page 15, line 22, after "institution" to insert "or body".

This amendment proposes that the words "or body" be included in the preparation of museum loan guidelines. These amendments are largely of a drafting nature designed to ensure, in the drawing up of the guidelines by the National Museum for the loan of artefacts, a broad interpretation of the meaning of the word "institution" so as to ensure inclusion for all relevant bodies with a cultural remit.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 34:

In page 15, line 34, after "institution" to insert "or body".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 35:

In page 15, line 38, after "institution" to insert "or body".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 36:

In page 16, line 4, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 37:

In page 16, line 14, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 38:

In page 16, line 29, to delete "its collection" and substitute "the collection of the Museum".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 39:

In page 16, line 31, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the Library".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 40:

In page 17, line 5, to delete "its collection" and substitute "the collection of the Library".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 41:

In page 17, line 23, to delete "Board" and substitute "Library".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 42:

In page 17, line 26, to delete "its collection" and substitute "the collection of the Library".

Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

Amendment No. 43 in the name of Deputy de Valera. Amendment No. 45 is related and amendment No. 44 is an alternative to amendment No. 43. It is suggested, therefore, that amendments Nos. 43, 44 and 45 be taken together if that is satisfactory.

I move amendment No. 43:

In page 17, between lines 35 and 36, to insert the following:

"(a) 2 shall be representatives of the staff,".

I am concerned with the Minister's proposal to have one representative of staff. The principle of worker director has worked very well in semi-State bodies. We have only to look at Telecom Éireann, the ESB and Bord na Móna to see that is the case. I am sure it is Labour Party policy to ensure that workers have a say. The same principles should apply in this case. The Minister stated on Committee Stage that one staff representative need not necessarily be a director or a chief executive. Two representatives would be more appropriate, but in saying that I am not casting aspersions on any director of an institution.

I support amendment No. 43. We spoke at great length about the composition of the board on Committee Stage and I strongly recommended that the Minister should provide for staff membership on both boards. The spirit of the two amendments is similar.

Section 19 spells out the principle of staff representation. As I said on Committee Stage, the provision reflected in section 19 provides a novel and important measure for involving the staff of the National Museum and the National Library on their respective boards and provides for a staff representative on each board. A panel of nominees will be provided from which the Minister will select one to serve in a personal capacity. While I am happy to provide that there should be one staff member serving on the board, I have serious reservations about increasing the number to more than one. The number of staff in each institution is less than 100 compared to Radio Teilifís Éireann, which has a staff of almost 2,000 and only one staff member on the Authority. As I indicated on Committee Stage, the approach set out in section 19 is the most appropriate. Will Deputies Quill and de Valera consider these points?

I appreciate the Minister's stance but, as we have not reached agreement on the number, I must press the amendment.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 44:

In page 17, between lines 40 and 41, to insert the following:

(e) Provision will be made for the appointment of a minimum of one staff member to each of the Boards.".

Does the Minister accept the substance of my amendment?

We disagree on the number involved only. The Deputy wants at least one representative and I have provided for that. I do not want to mislead her.

Having received that assurance, I withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 45:

In page 17, between lines 41 and 42, to insert the following:

(a) 2 shall be representatives of the staff,".

Amendment put and declared lost.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

Amendments Nos. 46, 47, 50 and 52 are related, No. 48 is an alternative to No. 47 and No. 51 is an alternative to No. 50. I suggest, therefore, that we take amendments Nos. 46, 47, 48, 50, 51 and 52 together.

I move amendment No. 46:

In page 18, lines 4 to 7, to delete all words from and including "selected" in line 4, down to and including "him or her" in line 7 and substitute "nominated, whenever so requested by the Minister,".

I spoke at great length on this issue on Committee Stage. My amendment proposes that the nominee of the nominating body should be appointed by the Minister. It is wrong of the Minister to ask the nominating body to put forward a selection of people from which he would then select a nominee. That would constitute excessive interference by the Minister in the business of selecting a board that should be independent. I had hoped the Minister would respond to my comments on Committee Stage about excessive ministerial control over the appointments to the proposed boards by tabling an amendment on Report Stage, but there is no evidence of that.

I share Deputy Quill's concern on this matter. The word "selected" conjures up negative feelings. The reference at the end of Committee Stage to which party or member of the committee was more republican was made in jest. However, a reference to "selected" rather than "nominated" would give the wrong signals and could be seen as downgrading the institutions, even though that may not be the Minister's intention. The spirit of the two amendments is similar.

The amendments put forward by Deputies Quill and de Valera seek to provide that the nominations to the boards of the National Museum and the National Library by the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Dublin Society, respectively, should be provided by those institutions without a selection input from the Minister other than to refuse a nomination of an unfit person. The person will serve on the board in a personal capacity. As I stated on Committee Stage, the general issue of nominating bodies and the issue of board members serving in a personal capacity is very important. When the person is appointed to the board he or she will participate in a total rather than representative sense. The provisions regarding the Royal Irish Academy and the Royal Dublin Society constitute special cases because of the legal agreement existing since the 19th century and their long involvement in the governing structure of these bodies. While I have been happy to make appropriate provision for such long-standing involvements, I am generally reluctant to reduce the flexibility of the Minister to appoint a board that would meet particular needs and requirements at that time. The Minister of the day, for example, would have to take account of the external circumstances, the environment in which the institution was functioning, gender balance and other matters.

My approach to the composition of the boards has a clear underlying philosophical basis. In proposing boards of the museum and library, I am providing that the Minister of the day who is accountable to Dáil Éireann, representing the public, will be responsible for appointing all the members of the respective boards, and that such persons will serve in their personal capacities. Because of the long association of the RDS and the RIA with the museum and library, I am providing that their role will be reflected in nominating people to the board without compromising the basic principle that the Minister of the day selects the persons to be appointed to the board. As I said, this approach is acceptable to both bodies, was discussed in some detail with them and has been agreed with them.

As I highlighted on Committee Stage, the structures being created reflect a basic belief in the democratic structures of the State, a belief that trusts the elected Minister of the day, of whatever political party, to act in the public interest. I respectfully ask Deputies Quill and de Valera to consider withdrawing their amendments, although I respect the principles on which they were put forward.

The concerns I expressed on Committee Stage and this evening have not been allayed by what the Minister has said. In light of the history and tradition of the two nominating bodies, their judgment in nominating fit persons to serve on the two proposed boards should not be undermined by any Minister. I object very strongly to any Minister reserving the right to be the final arbiter on who is the best person to act on behalf of the nominating bodies. It rankles in my republican blood. I am pressing my amendment.

Question, "That the words proposed to be deleted stand", put and declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 47:

In page 18, lines 22 to 25, to delete all words from and including "selected" in line 22, down to and including "him or her" in line 25 and substitute "nominated".

Question, "That the words proposed to be deleted stand", put and declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendment No. 48 not moved.

I move amendment No. 49:

In page 18, line 26, to delete "member" where it firstly occurs, and substitute "person".

This is a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 50:

In page 18, lines 39 to 41, to delete all words from and including "selected" in line 39, down to and including "him or her" in line 41 and substitute "nominated".

Question, "That the words proposed to be deleted stand", put and declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendment No. 51 not moved.

I move amendment No. 52:

In page 18, between lines 42 and 43, to insert the following:

"(10) A Minister may refuse to appoint a nominee of either nominating body on the grounds that the nominee in question can be demonstrated not to be a fit person to hold the post.".

I withdraw this amendment. It makes no sense in light of my other amendments not being carried.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 53:

In page 20, line 48, to delete "Library" and substitute "library".

This is a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill recommitted in respect of amendment No. 54.

I move amendment No. 54:

In page 21, between lines 12 and 13, to insert the following:

(4) (a) A member of a committee shall hold office for such period not exceeding 5 years and on such other terms and conditions as the Board of the Museum or the Board of the Library, as the case may be, may determine.

(b) A member of a committee shall not be eligible for re-appointment if he or she has served 2 consecutive terms as a member of the committee.".

The purpose of this amendment is to provide a reasonable limitation on the length of service that may be provided by a person on the Readers' Advisory Committee of the library and on the General Public Advisory Committee of the museum. The restriction is similar to that provided in respect of membership of either board. It is also being provided that the terms and conditions of service would be determined by the relevant board. I commend this housekeeping measure to the House.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment reported.

I move amendment No. 55:

In page 24, to delete line 21 to 25 and substitute the following:

"(15) In this section—

‘Director' means, as the context may require, the Director of the Museum or the Director of the Library or the Director of each of them;

‘remuneration' includes allowances for expenses, benefits-in-kind and superannuation.".

This is a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 56:

In page 32, line 32, to delete "in its collection" and substitute "in the collection of the institution".

Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

Amendment No. 57 is consequential on amendment No. 75 and both may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 57:

In page 32, to delete line 47, and in page 33, to delete lines 1 to 12.

The purpose of these amendments is to relocate section 47(5) to a more appropriate place in the Bill. The relocation is being made in light of the introduction on Committee Stage in the Dáil of new relevant and related provisions into section 68, which concern the care of archaeological objects found in the State after the passing of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1994. The provision which is to be relocated deals with such objects found before the passing of the 1994 Act. There are no textual changes involved, it is simply a resequencing of the text which makes more sense in light of the changes made on Committee Stage.

Does amendment No. 75 refer to section 68?

We are relocating section 47(5) because of new relevant and related provisions in section 68. We made changes to section 68 on Committee Stage and the suggested relocation makes more sense in terms of the sequencing of the sections.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 58:

In page 33, line 39, after "Board" to insert ",the Irish Manuscripts Commission".

This is a drafting amendment which arises out of similar amendments on Committee Stage which were supported by both Deputies. Its purpose is to include the Irish Manuscripts Commission among the bodies involved in preparing the register of important cultural objects.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 59:

In page 34, line 13, to delete "25 years" and substitute "50 years".

This was discussed at length on Committee Stage. The association of Irish antique dealers expressed their concern regarding the removal of the 25 year rule. The Minister was at pains to point out the need to tie in the question of licences. It would be helpful if he could clarify that section.

A balance must be struck regarding, on the one hand, the protection of items of cultural and heritage value that need to be kept, wherever possible, in the ownership of the State and which the law must protect because of their importance to our heritage and, on the other hand, concern that this new law may interfere with the normal commercial transaction of buying and selling, for example, of the kind undertaken by the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, which engages in legitimate trade in antique furniture and paintings. This activity should not be inhibited.

I spoke on this matter at length on Committee Stage and I expected the Minister to introduce an amendment to address my concerns and those expressed by Deputy de Valera. How does he propose to address them?

This was considered in detail on Committee Stage. It is a matter of striking a balance between what is constitutive of the national heritage and what is legitimate commercial practice where it affects objects of art. The effect of the amendment would be to require that the export licence requirement in the case of paintings should be set at 50 rather than 25 years of age, as proposed in the Bill, or no limit, as is the current legal position.

I oppose the amendment for a number of reasons. It is a matter to be handled through procedure rather than legislation. I have already put measures in place to ensure that this provision will only be operated as appropriate. These include options to change the various age limits, to set and change value limits under which the provisions would not apply, to exclude certain categories of cultural objects from the export licence requirement and for the issue of licences upon an intent to export or, for instance, in advance of a sale. All these measures provide ample scope to refine the requirement in so far as paintings are concerned and as the need arises.

The 25 year cut off point is appropriate for the reasons I advanced on Committee Stage. There has been a cultural renaissance in the visual arts in Ireland since the 1940s, led by such importance artists as Louis le Brocque. This was ground breaking work, especially from that exciting moment of the ROSC exhibition held in 1967, which provided an important focal point for a renaissance. The work of the late 1960s is, therefore, of cultural importance.

I am satisfied that a licence requirement in this area can be appropriately limited to a relatively manageable number of named painters based on their established reputations and I propose to operate the provision as it stands with this limited objective in mind. In response to what the Deputies opposite have said, my Department will consult with relevant interests, such as the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, about the proposed list of named painters before the section is brought into force. Given such procedural suggestions, it may be fruitful for the Deputies to consider withdrawing the amendment.

Despite the Minister's assurances, any painting over 25 years, regardless of its monetary value, will require a licence before export. This is bad law. Provisions should be made by law rather than by regulation. We should define in law the age and monetary value of objects that will be covered by the requirement of the Bill and exclude objects that are the subject of commercial transactions, which are mainly undertaken by the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. I am unhappy with the Minister's reply to the substance and spirit of the amendment.

While I understand the Minister's main responsibility is the protection of our heritage, we must be careful about the practical implications of what we propose to put into law. Legislation must be workable. The insertion of this section into the Bill will lead to all kinds of problems, not least the difficulties of delays in acquiring such licences. Will the Minister reconsider the amendment?

It is a question of balance. One can take a risk on the heritage side by opting for the longer period or be cautious in opting for the shorter period while seeking to adjust any discommoding effects through operational guidelines. I am satisfied that the balance falls on the latter and I cannot agree with the amendment.

Does the Minister intend to consult the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland and other associations before any decision is taken?

It is my intention to hold discussions before the section is implemented.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 60:

In page 34, line 37, after "archaeological object," to insert "any cultural object falling within a class of cultural objects designated by order by the Minister under paragraph (g) of subsection (1)".

This is a technical drafting amendment regarding the classes of new export licence categories of cultural objects to be eligible for exclusion from the export licence requirement. It is to ensure that any new category of cultural object that is made subject to the export licence requirement will be included in the provision contained in section 49(4) permitting licensable classes of cultural objects to be excluded from the licence requirement.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 61:

In page 35, between lines 8 and 9, to insert the following:

"(8) A licence shall issue within a period of not more than six months.

(9) Items included in household removals out of the State shall be excluded from the provisions of this Act.

(10) Items of purely commercial value shall be excluded from the provisions of this Act.".

I have already spoken on the spirit of this amendment. An excessive bureaucracy may result from the implementation of the Bill leading to an undue delay in the issuing of export licences which will have a detrimental effect on the legitimate commercial activities of dealers in antique goods. I strongly recommend that provision should be made in primary law to ensure that no undue delay will be allowed. I am conscious the law we are enacting is much more restrictive than that which applies to the export of cultural goods in other EU member states where a 50 year rule, not a 25 year rule, applies. While I accept there is an overwhelming need to protect heritage items and our track record in that area in law and in general practice has not been good, we must strike the right balance. I do not understand why our law on these matters cannot be brought into line with European law, which I expect is proving to be the correct law to give the proper protection to heritage items that are our main concern in this Bill.

I agree with Deputy Quill on that matter. The question of streamlining the acquisition of licences must be considered. I mentioned on Committee Stage that a code of practice might be considered. I said it might not be appropriate to this Bill, but the Minister might consider it as a mechanism for tying up related matters at a later date. I understand what the Minister is trying to do, but without having the type of balance he wishes to achieve we are making matters very difficult for dealers.

I note the spirit in which those points were made and I hope what I say will go some way towards alleviating the concerns the Deputies legitimately expressed. The section deals with export licences and exemption from licence requirement time limits. Section 49(4) introduced on Committee Stage provides a reasonable measure of flexibility so that certain categories of cultural objects coming within the scope of the export licence requirement do not unnecessarily become subject to it. That is what we were seeking to achieve. As I said, an example of what is envisaged would be cited under this heading is cultural objects imported into the State temporarily for the purpose of exhibition and sale. To reiterate, this proposed legislative structure for making exclusions from the export licence requirement also provides a general framework for the citing of other instances where export licensing would not be considered appropriate. I would not be willing at this stage to spell out the full extent of the use of this provision, but it will be focused as clearly as possible on the cultural imperatives involved. I could not accept an exemption for all household removals, if such removals included valuable cultural heritage objects, but I could accept that we would try to exclude ordinary household removals. In view of points put forward I am happy to undertake that my Department, in implementing this provision, will consult with relevant interests such as the Irish Antique Dealers Association. I hope that meets Deputy Quill's concerns on this matter as expressed, in particular, in subsections (9) and (10) of her amendment.

Regarding subsection (8) of her amendment which relates to time limits, the current position is that where licences are required they are issued as quickly as possible, in most cases in substantially less than six months. That will continue to be the practice. The only exemption envisaged is for items in subsection 1(d) where important cultural objects entered in the register are involved. The Minister will have the power to impose a condition that items cannot be exported before the expiration of one year. This allows time in the case of important objects to see if they can be kept in the State and resources provided to keep them there. As I said on Committee Stage, my inclination is not to impose a time limit as envisaged by Deputy Quill for the issue of licences as there may be a tendency for the time period for all issuings of licences to drift towards the maximum period. However, I accept the Deputy's concerns on that point and I am happy to undertake that in implementing the provisions of this Bill the orders to be made under subsection (4) will provide that, for the categories where a licence cannot be refused, in default of the issue of a licence within six months it will be deemed to be excluded from the export licence requirement. In the light of this undertaking I ask the Deputy to withdraw her amendment.

I withdraw my amendment in the light of what the Minister said in respect of the order. That represents a vast improvement on the Bill as first drafted. I am glad we continued to tease out this issue and to take it this far. I accept it is a tricky business, but I am heartened by what the Minister said. In that spirit I thank him and withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 62:

In page 36, line 41, after "subject to" to insert "such conditions and restrictions as the Minister determines and specifies in the licence including".

This is a technical amendment which allows the Minister to impose conditions and restrictions on an export licence, apart from the condition that the registered cultural object in question may not be exported before one year has elapsed since the date of application for said licence. This provision is already applicable in respect of other categories of export licence and the amendment is for the sake of consistency.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 63:

In page 37, line 18, to delete "Article" and substitute "article".

This is a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 64:

In page 41, to delete lines 7 and 8 and substitute "to dispose of land or an interest in land subject to the consent of the Minister, and to dispose of any other property".

This is a technical amendment clarifying that the governors and guardians of the National Gallery when disposing of property, other than the cultural objects in the collection of the National Gallery, only require the consent of the Minister when disposing of land or of an interest in land, which also includes buildings, and not when disposing of any other property.

Amendment agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

Amendment No. 65 is in the name of the Minister. It is noted that amendments Nos. 66 to 69, inclusive, and amendment Nos. 72 and 73 are related. It is suggested that amendments Nos. 65 to 69, inclusive, and 72 and 73 be taken together. Is that satisfactory and agreed? Agreed.

I move amendment No. 65:

In page 43, line 2, after "one month" to insert "or such longer period as the Board of the Library may in any particular case allow".

This group of amendments deals with mandatory deposit of library material to the National Library, deposit upon request only where certain Irish library material is concerned and the possibility for the extension of the time limit for deposit.

I signalled on Committee Stage that I would introduce some amendments of a largely technical nature to the mandatory deposit provisions as they apply to books and other library material. These amendments are designed to fine tune the mandatory deposit requirements while at the same time providing some extra flexibility when the provision is being operated by the National Library.

The amendments provide that the provision which widens the definition of "publisher" as set out in section 65(3)(b) will apply only in respect of the National Library rather than all the institutions listed in the 1963 Copyright Act and that paragraph (b) will apply only where the library requests such material, whether in the form of books as defined in the Copyright Act, 1963 or the types of library material covered in section 65 of this Bill.

The amendments also provide that a time limit of one year following publication is also being placed for the making of a request. In particular, I draw the attention of Deputies to amendment No. 65 in which it is proposed to provide that the basic time limit of one month for deposit of the library material, other than in the form of books after publication, would be extendable at the discretion of the National Library. This point was put to me during discussions. The possibility of a longer time limit is considered desirable. It was represented by certain interests that it would alleviate the fears of film interests where there might be a reluctance to make a deposit of a film reel in mint condition while the film in question still held a strong commercial value as would be the case soon after its general release.

In relation to amendment No. 69, the reference to subsection (2) should be read as meaning the appropriate reference if amendment No. 66 is accepted. It is consequential and consistent. I commend the amendments to the House.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 66:

In page 43, between lines 10 and 11, to insert the following:

"(2) The publisher of material to which this section applies that relates substantially or primarily to Ireland shall, if written demand for any such material is made by the Board of the Library not later than 12 months after its publication, deliver a copy of the material to the board within one month after receipt of the demand or, if the demand was made before its publication, within one month or such longer period as the Board may in any particular case allow after its publication.".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 67:

In page 43, line 32, after "publisher" to insert "other than in subsection (2)".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 68:

In page 43, line 39, after "distributes" to insert "but does not publish or cause to be published".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 69:

In page 43, to delete lines 40 and 41 and substitute the following:

"section of the public,

and in subsection (2) has the meaning assigned to it by paragraph (b).".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 70:

In page 44, line 13, to delete "and".

I also move:

That the fullstop after the word "Museum" in line 18 be deleted.

Amendments Nos. 70 and 71 are related. They are drafting amendments to section 66.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 71:

In page 44, line 18, after "Museum" to insert ",and".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 72:

In page 44, to delete lines 21 to 23 and substitute the following:

"(2) The said section 56 shall be construed as if the references to a publisher were references to a publisher within the meaning of the definition of `publisher' in section 65(3) modified so that references in that definition to material to which that section applies are construed as references to a book.".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 73:

In page 44, between lines 23 and 24, to insert the following:

"(3) Subsection (1) of the aforesaid section 56, in so far as it relates to the publisher (within the meaning of paragraph (b) of the definition of ‘publisher' in section 65), shall apply only to the Library and to a book that relates substantially or primarily to Ireland and then only if written demand for a copy thereof is made in accordance with subsection (2) of section 65 by the Board of the Library.".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 74:

In page 44, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

"(a) by the substitution of the following section for section 3:".

This is a drafting amendment, correcting an omission when making an amendment on Committee Stage.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 75:

In page 45, between lines 48 and 49, to insert the following:

"69. — (1) Where a dispute arises between the Museum and a public authority or a local authority, as the case may be, concerning the care, control and management of an archaeological object to which this section applies, the matter shall be determined by the Minister after consultation with the Heritage Council whose decision in relation thereto shall be binding on the parties concerned.

(2) This section applies to an archaeological object that—

(a) is in the ownership of the State,

(b) is in the care of a public or local authority, as the case may be, before the commencement of the Act of 1994, and

(c) has not at any time been in the care of the Museum.".

Amendment agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

I thank the spokespersons for the Opposition parties, specifically Deputy de Valera and Deputy Quill, for their positive contributions particularly on Committee Stage. I am grateful for the contributions in both Houses of the Oireachtas. I also thank the officials in my Department who undertook such a long period of work and consultation to prepare this technical and valuable legislation.

I thank the Minister for explaining the amendments in detail. It was a useful and enjoyable discussion, particularly on Committee Stage. I also thank the officials for their assistance.

Good legislation is now in place which has been significantly improved by thorough debates in the Seanad and this House, particularly on Committee Stage. I thank the Minister for taking on board the spirit if not the substance of a number of my and Deputy de Valera's amendments. I am disappointed that all my amendments were not accepted but that is not how things happen in the House. I thank the Minister for his courtesy and patience and I congratulate his officials on their input to the Bill. I will end the debate where I began by saying that I am still concerned that, while this is good progressive legislation, the problems of staff shortages in both institutions and the lack of proper staff structures in the National Museum remain to be addressed. I hope the Minister and his Department will take the necessary steps to make proper provisions to enable the institutions to thrive and develop under the new boards which will be established. I congratulate the Minister on introducing the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle

The Bill, which is considered to be a Bill initiated in Dáil Éireann in accordance with Article 20.2.2 of the Constitution, will be sent to the Seanad.