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Seanad Éireann debate -
Thursday, 7 Dec 1933

Vol. 17 No. 27

Injuries to Property Acts and Damage to Property Act, 1933—Rules of Procedure. - Expiring Laws Bill, 1933—Committee Stage

Section 1 and 2 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That the Schedule stand part of the Bill."

On Second Reading, Senator Comyn asked why it was necessary to include the Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1883, and subsequent Acts continuing and amending that enactment, in the Schedule of the Bill. The position, as the Senator is, no doubt, aware, is that when the original Act was passed it was anticipated that the problem of housing in rural Ireland would be dealt with satisfactorily within a period of five years, an anticipation which, it is not necessary to inform the Seanad, was not fulfilled. The Act was subsequently continued by amending Acts in 1885 and 1886, and so on up until 1906, when an Act was passed which provided that the Labourers Act should continue in force for a period of ten years from the passing of the Act until the end of the Session of Parliament next ensuing. The theory underlying the time limitation which was imposed in all these Acts was, as I already indicated, that the problem of rural housing would have been satisfactorily dealt with in the main and that the only thing that would then remain to be provided for would be the proper administration of houses which had been built under the Acts, and their maintenance. Needless to say, once more that anticipation, even the anticipation of the 1906 Act, has not been fulfilled, largely due to the reason that the operation of the Act was suspended and that, in fact, operations were not resumed until the beginning of last year when the problem of rural housing was tackled in earnest. It is felt, however, that the justification which existed for making the original labourers' code a temporary one still exists and that until further progress has been made towards a solution of this problem and until we are in a position to visualise what the future position in regard to rural housing is going to be, we should not do anything to make this a permanent code but should await the results of the present activity. In that connection, I might point out there is in some counties a feeling that these cottages should be passed on to the owners. In other counties, however, there is some objection to that. What the position will be when the problem, as a whole, has been fully dealt with, it is very difficult to say.

Question put and agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported to the House.
Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 13th December, 1933.