I move the following amendment:—"In sub-clause (2), line 34, to omit the words `by means of the poor rate as a county-at-large charge' and to insert the words `as a charge on the area or areas presently liable to the maintenance of drainage works.' " As the law at present stands, so far as I know, drainage boards are empowered to levy a rate on certain areas for certain lands that were benefited by the drainage board. This sub-section proposes to give the county council power over the whole county. These works generally were undertaken by landowners whose lands were adjacent to the rivers to be drained. I think it would be only equitable that they should continue to be charged for the maintenance of these works.
APPROPRIATION BILL, 1924—SECOND STAGE. - SEANAD IN COMMITTEE.
There is a provision that the county council may resolve that such cost of moneys shall instead of being levied as a county-at-large charge be levied as an urban charge or district charge off the urban or rural district or districts specially benefited by the works in respect of which the loan was raised. Senator Butler's amendment would bring that into greater relief, but it would not effect the purpose more effectively. The reasons it is a county-at-large charge are that it would make the cost negligible, whereas in some cases the fact that it was levied as a district charge might interfere with the particular work being carried out. It was thought preferable to allow the county council to have an option in the matter to say whether it desired to make it a county-at-large charge, and the Bill enables it to do so, should it so desire.
I think it would be just as equitable to have it carried out as I suggest. There are several private landowners who have carried out drainage works and sometimes they had to borrow money to do so.
I support the amendment. The Bill is going to interfere with men who hitherto paid for and enjoyed certain benefits, and takes away from them the benefit obtained by moneys expended by them. I think that would lead to a great deal of annoyance and possibly to corruption I think the amendment would make for purity in administration and greatly improve the Bill and I urge the Minister to consider it.
The difficulty I see about it is as regards the question of new schemes.
The Bill, I understand, refers to schemes only at present in operation.
Yes, but this sub-clause deals with cases where by reason of the neglect of the continuance of these works and in order to restore them, certain capital moneys must be employed, and in connection with capital moneys and their repayment it is open to a county council to make either a county-at-large charge, or to make it the liability of any urban area or district so benefited. In this case it would be impossible to make it a county-at-large charge except with the sanction of the county council. The county council, obviously, having a greater number of members outside the particular area, would view with a great deal of jealousy any proposal to impose liability on areas other than those represented by the particular Councils in question, and it is where they do not so elect to do so that they can put it on a particular district.
The Bill, I take it, does not intend to interfere with the Board which carries out its work properly. This is an encouragement for certain bodies to neglect carrying out their work in order to have it carried out by the county council, and I think there is a direct incentive to waste there.
It seems to me that under this Bill it would be open to the Commissioners to take up drainage works that might be left derelict, but in regard to works allowed to go derelict, would there be any areas liable for maintenance?
There are certain areas adjoining the rivers which are drained which are liable for the maintenance of these works.
- T.W. Bennett.
- R.A. Butler.
- H.S. Guinness.
- J.C. Love.
- Edward McEvoy.
- Edward MacLysaght.
- Colonel Maurice Moore.
- Dr. George Sigerson.
- Samuel L. Brown.
- Mrs. E. Costello.
- William Cummins.
- Michael Duffy.
- Thomas Farren.
- Rt. Hon. Andrew Jameson.
- Sir Bryan Mahon.
- J.T. O'Farrell.
- Mrs. J. Wyse Power.