I move the following motion—
That Seanad Eireann recommend the Executive Council to ratify in respect of Saorstát Eireann the Convention concerning "The Rights of Association and Combination of Agricultural Workers" and "Workmen's Compensation in Agriculture" adopted by the Labour Conference at Geneva on the 12th November, 1921, the terms of which are set out in the schedules hereto.
There is no need to go into detail on this matter. The Treaty of Versailles set up a Labour Organisation of the nations of the world for the purpose of regulating, as far as possible, the labour conditions in the various countries. Representatives of all these countries meet and consider certain aspects of questions dealing with industrial matters. When the Convention decides a question, it has to be referred back to the respective nations, who are part and parcel of the League of Nations for the purpose of confirming the decision arrived at. In this particular case, the decision deals with the rights of agricultural workers to association and combination, and it proposes that all such workers should have rights, same as they have already got in this country. It makes no material change here, because we have already got the conditions sought, in this country, but it is essential that we should ratify the findings of the Convention. The idea underlying the Labour Organisation attached to the League of Nations is to level up, as it were, the industrial conditions in countries that are not well organised. As a matter of fact, it will help the countries that are not well organised and in which something approaching humane conditions govern the employment of the workers. It will serve to lift up those countries where there has not been very much progress regarding factory legislation. As I have said, we have in this country the right of association for agricultural workers, but it is essential that we, as a self-governing State, represented in the League of Nations, should ratify on behalf of this State the findings of the Labour Convention.