I beg to move the adoption of the Report of the Select Committee appointed to consider the Constitution (Amendment No. 5) Bill. The report is to this effect:—"That it was unanimously agreed that the Committee recommend that the further consideration of the Bill should be postponed and that in the meantime a Joint Committee of both Houses should be set up to consider and report on the question of the eligibility of members of the Seanad for membership of the Government, and that the Dáil should be asked to concur in the appointment of such a Committee."
I do not think that many words need be used in recommending this report to the Seanad. We had a long discussion upon it, and the opinion, undoubtedly, of Senators present was that the disability of members of the Seanad from being selected by the President as members of the Executive Council should, if possible, be got over. It is recognised that even in the present Bill now before the House there was a further removal of the slight claim that members of the Seanad had to become extern Ministers or secretaries to Ministers. It also became clearly evident that the position was very complicated. There were a great many things that had to be considered that would not occur at all to an ordinary individual looking at the Constitution. The only way to deal with that part of the matter is to have it considered by a Select Committee of both Houses where all these points could be dealt with and examined. I think that is the gist of the report.
The Bill now before us does not require any immediate attention. There is no immediate hurry for passing it. It might be possible that on a Report from the Select Committee the wishes of the Seanad could be achieved by some amendment in this particular Bill. The general opinion is, it could not be done by this Bill as it stands, and that it would not be a wise way of doing it. There is a possible way, and that is to set up this Committee with a view to providing amendments of the present Bill. Therefore we should postpone the further consideration of this Bill until a Committee is set up and has decided what they consider right as to the new Bill, to enable members of the Seanad to be selected as members of the Executive Council, and to remove their disability from obtaining such office.