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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 1 Jul 1925

Vol. 5 No. 13


Tá an Dáil tar éis aontú le Leasuithe 1, 3 go 13 go huile agus 15 a dhin an Seanad ar an mBille Iascaigh, 1925, agus tar éis diúltú d'aontú le Leasuithe 2 agus 14.

The Dáil has agreed to Amend- ments 1, 3 to 13 inclusive and 15 made by the Seanad to the Fisheries Bill, 1925, and it has disagreed to Amendments 2 and 14.

It is for some Senator to move, if it is thought fit, that the House agree with the disagreement of the Dáil to those two amendments.

The first amendment stated, "No person not being a licensed fisherman may sell anywhere on the public street or highway," and so on. The Senator who moved the amendment admitted that he had not thought of the brown-trout fisherman, or that he had no intention of depriving the hawker of his means of livelihood. I felt there was no case for the amendment as put forward, especially owing to the fact that the Senator who moved the amendment gave away his own case in stating that he had not thought of the brown-trout man or the hawker.

I move that the Seanad agree with the disagreement of the Dáil.

I should like to agree with the Dáil in that case. As the Minister pointed out, I did not see at that time that this amendment would hit brown-trout sellers. I have succeeded, however, in getting the point brought forward, and the Minister recognises, too, the fact that every hawker should be licensed to sell salmon.

Motion put and agreed to.

In the first place, I should say in fairness to Senator Love, that I was misled by my Department in stating that the last enquiry in that place was held in 1902. Senator Love said it was held in 1910 and he was right. At the same time, I think that the Seanad would be rather stultifying themselves in passing an amendment of this kind which really removes the power of making bye-laws from the Minister, when they have in Section 27 already given me power to make and revoke bye-laws. I have told Senator Love that I will institute an inquiry where none of the things that might have been detrimental to the persons whose interests he advocates can now operate, and if the case is as he states, then, undoubtedly, a bye-law, more or less as he indicates in his amendment, will be passed. I can guarantee that. I will have the enquiry, but I think it will make my position very difficult indeed if this is put in the Statute after passing Section 27, which allows me to make bye-laws. Afterwards, if I found another bye-law was necessary in that place, I do not know what I would be able to do.

I move that this House do not insist on Amendment 14, which the Dáil has disagreed with. I am afraid we were largely carried away by our sympathies with the poor fishermen who were referred to by Senator Love in proposing this amendment, and I think that very likely there is a great deal of hardship suffered by those fishermen under the existing bye-laws. After all, it is purely a local grievance and I doubt if this amendment were within the scope of this Bill at all. I do not think there is any precedent for the introduction of a purely local matter, that is, the removal of purely local grievances, into a public Act. This is a matter which is at present arranged by by-law. The by-law can be altered. The Minister has very fairly offered a public inquiry in which evidence will be given on all sides. If a by-law like this was made, there used to be an appeal to the Privy Council. There is now an appeal to an extraordinarily good tribunal consisting of two judges of the High Court, one of whom must be the President of the High Court. A by-law offending against ordinary justice is not likely to meet with the approval of a tribunal like that. I object to an amendment of this kind, which is a local matter being introduced in a general Bill. This Seanad has not had the evidence before it or the opportunity of dealing with a question as to whether this by-law is a proper one or not. On the evidence of Senator Love, some of us thought it was an unjust by-law. We had not the evidence before us to judge properly, and I put it respectfully to the Seanad that they ought not to insist on the amendment.

I was the proposer of the amendment. The Minister seems to have met me very fairly in it. When this matter came before us on the First Reading I said to the Minister: "Has not this inquiry taken place and has not the Chief Inspector of Fisheries reported absolutely in favour of making an amendment of the by-law?" The Minister said: "I do not agree with the Senator that the facts are so. The facts are not so." Since the Minister has discovered the facts are so and he has promised to give me an inquiry, it is only a question of accommodating myself to the Minister. I feel a little flattered about what was said regarding the way in which I roused the sympathies of Senators. I assure the Senators that those sympathies were not misplaced.

Motion put and agreed to.