PRIVATE BUSINESS. - LIMERICK HARBOUR BILL, 1926—FROM THE DAIL.

LEAS-CHATHAOIRLEACH

I move that the Seanad agree with the Dáil in the following amendment:

New Section. Before Section 21 a new section inserted, as follows:—

"(1) The Commissioners may, at their discretion, grant to any whole-time officer or servant in their employment who either—

(a) has attained the age of sixty-five years and has at least twenty-five years' continuous service, or

(b) becomes incapable of discharging his duties with efficiency by reason of permanent infirmity of mind or body not caused by his own misconduct, or of old age and who has not less than ten years' continuous service,

upon his resigning or otherwise ceasing to be employed an annual allowance for his life not exceeding in any case two-thirds of his annual remuneration and emoluments, and subject to that over-riding limitation not exceeding an annual sum calculated at the rate of one-sixtieth of his annual remuneration and emoluments for every completed year of service with the Commissioners.

(2) The Commissioners may, at their discretion, grant to any whole-time officer or servant in their employment who has at least ten years' continuous service and who retires or is removed from his employment in consequence of the abolition of his office or situation, or for the purpose of facilitating improvements in the organisation or working of the undertaking of the Commissioners, by which greater efficiency and economy can be effected, such special annual allowance for his life by way of compensation as on full consideration of the circumstances shall appear to the Commissioners to be reasonable and just compensation for the loss of his office or situation, but not exceeding in any case two-thirds of his annual remuneration and emoluments, and subject to that over-riding limitation not exceeding an annual sum calculated at the rate of one-sixtieth of his annual remuneration and emoluments for every completed year of service with the Commissioners.

(3) The Commissioners may, at their discretion, grant to any whole-time officer or servant in their employment, whose service is less than ten years, and who either—

(a) becomes incapable of discharging his duties with efficiency by reason of permanent infirmity of mind or body not caused by his own misconduct, or of old age, or

(b) who retires or is removed from his employment in consequence of the abolition of his office or situation, or for the purpose of facilitating improvements in the organisation or working of the undertaking of the Commissioners by which greater efficiency and economy can be effected,

upon his retiring or ceasing to be employed, a gratuity not greater than one-sixth of his annual remuneration and emoluments for every completed year of service with the Commissioners.

(4) The payment of any allowances and gratuities authorised to be paid by this section shall be a purpose to which the tolls and other income received by the Commissioners may be applied.

(5) The grant of any annual allowance or gratuity made prior to the 1st day of June, 1926, by the Commissioners to any of their former officers or servants is hereby confirmed, and the payment thereof is hereby declared to be a purpose to which the tolls and other income received by the Commissioners would have been and may be applied, notwithstanding that the amount of any such allowance or gratuity exceeds the rate authorised by this section.

(6) In this section the expression "annual remuneration and emoluments" means in relation to an officer or servant who has been employed for not less than three years the average amount of remuneration and emoluments during the three years ending on the day on which he resigns or otherwise ceases to be employed, and in relation to an officer or servant who has been employed for less than three years the average amount of his remuneration and emoluments during each completed year of service.

I beg to second.

Question put and agreed to.

LEAS-CHATHAOIRLEACH

I move that the Seanad agree with the Dáil in the following amendment:

New Section. Before Section 22 a new section inserted, as follows:—

(1) The Minister for Industry and Commerce may by order appoint a fit and proper person (in this Act referred to as "the auditor") to examine and audit the accounts of the Commissioners, and may by such order fix the amount of the payments to be made by the Commissioners by way of salary and expenses (if any) to the auditor.

(2) The amount of the payments so fixed as aforesaid, shall be paid by the Commissioners to the auditor out of the tolls and other income received by them.

(3) The Minister for Industry and Commerce may by order remove the auditor from office, and shall, by the same or any subsequent order unless the appointment of an auditor appears to him for any special reason to be unnecessary, appoint a fit and proper person to be the auditor in lieu and stead of the auditor so removed."

I beg to second.

Question put and agreed to.

LEAS-CHATHAOIRLEACH

I move that the Seanad agree with the Dáil in the following amendment:—

New Section. Before Section 22 a new section inserted as follows:—

(1) It shall be the duty of the secretary to the Commissioners on any examination and audit of accounts to attend before the auditor at the appointed time and place, and there to produce and give to the auditor all his books of accounts, vouchers, receipts, and other documents, and all such information in his possession as shall be required by the auditor, and it shall also be the duty of the Commissioners and every officer and servant (other than the secretary) of the Commissioners, if required by the auditor so to do, to attend before the auditor at the time and place appointed for the examination and audit, and there to produce and give to the auditor all such documents and information in their possession, respectively, as shall be required by the auditor.

(2) It shall be the duty of the auditor on any examination and audit under this section to examine into the accounts of the Commissioners and to disallow and strike out of such accounts all payments, charges, and allowances made by any person, and charged on the funds of the Commissioners contrary to law, or which he deems to be unfounded, and to charge the same upon the person making or authorising the payment, charge, or allowance so disallowed and struck out, and thereupon to certify the same to be due from such person.

(3) The auditor shall, on application made to him in writing within ten days after the completion of any examination and audit made by him under this section by any person aggrieved by any allowance, disallowance, or surcharge made by him on such examination and audit, state in writing his reasons for such allowance, disallowance, or surcharge, and furnish forthwith a copy of such statement to such aggrieved person.

(4) Any person aggrieved by any allowance, disallowance, or surcharge may, within twenty-one days after the completion of the audit if a statement of the auditor's reasons for such allowance, disallowance, or surcharge has not been applied for within ten days after the completion of the audit, or within fourteen days from the furnishing of the statement of such reasons if such statement has been applied for within the time aforesaid either—

(a) appeal to the Minister for Industry and Commerce in the manner to be prescribed by such Minister, and such Minister shall deal with the matter (including, but subject to the provisions of this section the costs of appeal) as justice may require, and the decision of such Minister on any such appeal shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal to or review by any court, or

(b) in lieu of such appeal to the Minister for Industry and Commerce, apply to the High Court for a writ ofcertiorari to remove into the said Court the said allowance, disallowance, or surcharge in such manner as may be provided by rules of court, and on the removal of such allowance, disallowance, or surcharge, the Court shall make such order thereon (including, but subject to the provisions of this section, an order as to costs) as justice may require.

(5) On any proceedings under the foregoing sub-section the Minister for Industry and Commerce or the High Court as the case may be if it appears to such Minister or Court that the decision of the auditor was correct, direct that the costs of the auditor be paid by the person appealing or prosecuting such writ ofcertiorari as the case may be, or if it appears to such Minister or the High Court that the decision of the auditor was erroneous direct that the costs of the person appealing or prosecuting such writ of certiorari as the case may be, be paid out of the tolls and other income of the Commissioners, but in no case shall any order for payment of the costs of the person appealing or prosecuting such writ of certiorari be made against the auditor.

(6) Any costs (including costs between solicitor and client) incurred by the auditor in relation to any proceedings on any appeal or writ ofcertiorari under this section and which have not been recovered by the auditor, from the person appealing or prosecuting such writ of certiorari shall be paid to the auditor out of the tolls and other income of the Commissioners.

(7) Any sum certified by the auditor under this section to be due by any person shall (subject to any reversal, cancellation or variation of the certificate by the Minister for Industry and Commerce or the High Court) be paid by such person to the auditor within twenty-one days after the completion of the audit or, in case an application has been made for a statement of the auditor's reasons for such allowance, disallowance, or surcharge, within fourteen days from the date of the delivery of such statement, or, in case an appeal has been made to such Minister or proceedings have been taken by way ofcertiorari, within fourteen days from the date of the decision on such appeal or proceedings, and every allowance made by the auditor which has been disallowed by such Minister or Court shall be a sum due from the person making or authorising the payment which was the subject of such allowance, and shall be paid to the auditor within fourteen days from the date of the decision of such Minister or Court, and any sum payable under this sub-section to the auditor, may, if not so paid in accordance with this sub-section, be recovered as a civil debt by the auditor by action or other proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction, and every sum paid to or recovered by the auditor under this sub-section shall, when received by him, be applied by him in the manner directed by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and any costs and expenses by the auditor in proceedings for the recovery of any such sum which are not recovered by the auditor from the defendant in any such proceedings shall be paid to the auditor out of the tolls and other income of the Commissioners.

(8) Every person who being required by or in pursuance of this section to attend before the auditor or to produce any document or give any information to the auditor fails or refuses so to do shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding ten pounds or at the discretion of the court to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month.

(9) Every person required by or in pursuance of this section to produce any document or to give any information to the auditor shall if so required by the auditor verify on oath (which oath the auditor is hereby authorised to administer) any document produced or statement made by him to the auditor and any person who shall upon examination upon oath by or before an auditor under this section wilfully give false evidence shall be guilty of perjury, and shall be punishable accordingly."

Question put and agreed to.

Am I correct in assuming that this Bill, having already passed through all its stages in this House will now become law by the fact of there being agreement between the Dáil and the Seanad in these amendments, without any further motion?

CATHAOIRLEACH

The Leas-Chathaoirleach will answer that conundrum.

LEAS-CHATHAOIRLEACH

It does become law.

It is most desirable and necessary that it should become law at the earliest possible moment.

CATHAOIRLEACH

It will become law this session.