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Seanad Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 31 Mar 1931

Vol. 14 No. 13

Plate Assay (Amendment) Bill, 1931—Second Stage.

Question proposed—"That the Bill be read a second time."

This Bill is to make an amendment in an old law of 1807 in the administration of which certain difficulty has arisen. A charge was brought against an individual in Dublin some years ago of removing a mark on a particular piece of antique silver for the purpose, as it was alleged, of putting it on to a more modern piece and getting the antiquity on to it in that wrongful way. When the case came before the Justice he said that if he found the man guilty, as indeed he expressed the view that he was, he had no option with regard to punishment except to impose a sentence of seven years' transportation or twelve years' imprisonment. He said that that penalty was so severe he could not think of imposing it on a person whom he described as a respectable citizen of Dublin. Whether other respectable citizens are going to find themselves in that position I do not know, but we want to have some penalty that will fit the crime. We are taking away the old rigid penalty which had to be imposed under the old law and are giving certain discretion to the Justice.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for 15th April.