SEANAD IN COMMITTEE. - LOCAL GOVERNMENT (COLLECTION OF RATES) BILL, 1923.—REPORT STAGE.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I understand that the Minister for Local Government is on his way here from the Dáil so we may take up this concluding matter on the agenda.

SECTION 2.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The following amendment stands in the Order Paper, Section 2, Sub-section (1)—"To delete the words ‘from so far as' in line 23 to the end of the Section." I think this is a Government amendment, put down as a result of a promise made by the Minister that he would consider the matter and bring it up on the Report Stage. The Seanad may take it from me that it will do no harm, and as it is a Government amendment brought in, in fulfilment of a promise, perhaps we should accept it.

On your recommendation, Sir, I wish to move the amendment.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I beg to move:— Section 2, Sub-section (3). To add after the Sub-section a new Sub-section (4) as follows:—

"(4)—No levy shall be made by the under-sheriff under this Section against the goods, animals or chattels of a defaulter who, prior to the issue of the warrants under this Act, has delivered to the under-sheriff a writ or writs offieri-facias or a civil bill decree or decrees for execution, until the under-sheriff has made a return to such writ or writs of fieri-facias or civil bill decree or decrees.”

The object of this amendment is to ensure that where the officer has decrees against somebody else he should have those decrees executed.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

I have just received another intimation to say that the Minister for Local Government cannot leave the Dáil. All the other amendments, except that of Senator Keane, are Government amendments and were made at the suggestion of Senators. I have looked into them and they carry out the undertakings of the Government. Perhaps we might allow your amendment, Senator Keane, to stand over a little while and first dispose of those amendments which were put down to meet the express wish of Senators?

Very well.

SECTION 4.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The next amendment is in Section 4, Sub-section (1):—

To insert after the word "authority" in line 57, the words "on notice to all persons interested."

This was drawn up on the attention of the Minister being called to the fact that this Section allowed things to be done behind the back of certain persons interested.

Amendment put and agreed to.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The next amendment is 3:

Section 4, Sub-section (2). To insert after this Sub-section a new Sub-section (3) as follows:

"(3). Any person aggrieved by an order made by a District Justice under this Section may by notice served within one fortnight after the making of such order appeal from such order to the County Court Judge or Recorder for the County or County Borough in which the tenement to which such order relates is situate."

This was inserted on my suggestion, made in the course of the debate, to provide an appeal from the decision of the District Justice in any case in which he refused to make a change in the name of the rated occupier. Under the Bill as it stands the District Justice was given power to do that himself, but no appeal was provided. The Minister for Local Government undertook to consider and deal with it on Report.

The expression used is "County Court Judge." Should it not be Circuit Court Judge?

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

No. This will come into law before the Judiciary Bill becomes law. Therefore, the appropriate expression is "County Court." I would rather say "within the prescribed time or manner." However as this is a Government amendment it is better to accept it as it is brought up.

Amendment put, and agreed to.
SECTION 5.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The next amendment reads:—

Section 5, Sub-section (1). "To insert after the word ‘prepaid' in line 18 the word ‘registered.'"

This amendment was made in deference to an application of the Seanad to the Attorney-General. The provision in the Bill requires notices to be served by the ordinary post. It was pointed out that that was not sufficient in view of the difficulties that the postal authorities are in now, and that it should be by registered post. This amendment and the following one are to carry out the acceptance of that suggestion.

Amendment put and agreed to.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

The next amendment is:—

Section 5, Sub-section (2). "To delete the words ‘put into the post' in lines 24 and 25, and to substitute therefore the words ‘handed in and registered at a post office.'"

Amendment put and agreed to.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

This may establish a precedent, and suggest that we get on better with Government amendments when the Minister is not present. What about your amendment now, Senator Keane?

SECTION 2.

The Minister said he was in sympathy with my amendment, but he has not put it down as a Government amendment. If we pass it now and the Government does not like it, it will have to go back to the Dáil. If it is thrown out, I do not suppose it will create a constitutional crisis.

AN CATHAOIRLEACH

Except in the Press.

Amendment put and agreed to.
The Seanad adjourned at 6.40 until Thursday, the 20th of March, at 3 o'clock.