Would it be possible to have the later Stages of this Bill taken quite soon? The date actually mentioned in the Bill is a date at the end of June, and we are past the actual date mentioned. I have seen that the Department is taking steps to have the books collected and to have all preparations made to administer the Bill as soon as it becomes an Act. It would very much help if we could get the later stages taken almost at once, so as to have it passed as soon as possible.
SEANAD IN COMMITTEE. - SEANAD RESUMES.
If the date is already passed would it not be necessary to extend it by an amendment?
No; I think we can carry on. It would help if we could get the later stages taken at once.
This is a matter of urgency, and I move the suspension of the Standing Orders so as to have it taken in all its stages to-day.
We are carrying on legislation now under very great difficulty and I do not think it is altogether fair to the Seanad. To-day we have had a number of Bills before us that we really had no opportunity at all of reading. If the Government had carried out the promise they made over two months ago here, to introduce a number of these Bills in the Seanad, they would have been through and on the Statute Book before this time. They have not done that and the result is now that we are compelled to swallow those Bills wholesale. I am convinced that when these Acts come to be administered very serious defects and flaws will be found in them. Therefore I want, for the sake of the Seanad, to put in this word of caution, so that if we do help the Government in the present emergency and rush these Bills through, and faults are afterwards found in them, the blame may not be left upon this Seanad.
I am not generally in favour of the suspension of the Standing Orders, but I want to point out that there are 60,000 to 70,000 unfortunate unemployed persons dependent on this Bill. The motion to suspend Standing Orders is an order to consider a matter that is of great importance. These 60,000 to 70,000 people are waiting to get benefits under this Bill when it becomes an Act.
I was not opposing the suspension of the Standing Orders in this particular case, but I wanted to put in a word of caution.
I have a good deal of sympathy with Senator Farren and the Minister, and I think there was a great deal in what they said. But I do not think that Senator Farren is wise in moving the suspension of Standing Orders without notice. There are Senators absent who might desire to have amendments made on the Report Stage, and I think it would be better, instead of taking the Report Stage now, that Senator Farren should hand in notice to have Standing Orders suspended so as to take the Report Stage and the Fifth Stage. In that way, members of the Seanad who are absent would have notice, amendments could be made, and the Minister would be met by having his Bill passed tomorrow. That would be a more orderly proceeding, I think, than taking the Report Stage now.
I agree to that.
It is agreed that a motion will appear on to-morrow's Order Paper in the name of Senator Farren that Standing Orders be suspended for the purpose solely of enabling the Report and Final Stages of this Bill to be taken.