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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 25 Apr 1934

Vol. 18 No. 16

Local Services (Temporary Economies) (No. 2) Bill, 1934—Report Stage.


Government amendment No. 1:—

Section 2, sub-section (3). After the word "person" in line 44 to insert the words "other than a medical officer".

Senators will remember the decision of the House on this matter on the last day on which the Bill was before it. It is in accordance with that that this amendment is now brought forward. I should like to ask that a slight change be made in the wording of the amendment. The place in which it is proposed to insert the limiting words, "other than a medical officer,' is after the word "person" in line 44, but, on further consideration, I think the most suitable place to insert the words would be after the word "authority" in line 45 instead of after the word "person". The line would then read: "the word officer' means any person in the employment of the local authority other than a medical officer".

Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

I feel sure that the medical officers will fully appreciate the action taken by the Minister. The Minister showed a keen sense of justice in excluding from the operation of the Bill a body of conscientious, reliable, hard-working and under-paid officials. I feel sure that the House will also be relieved at the course that has been taken.

There is no doubt that medical doctors are entitled to special consideration, and I would like to state the reason why. Owing to the circumstances existing at the present time they are not getting their fees for private practice as regularly as they had been getting them heretofore, and for that reason, if their salaries were now reduced, I think there would be a double penalty imposed upon them.

I move amendment No. 2:—

Section 3(being the new section inserted in Committee). To delete the section.

This amendment is consequential. I have already met that point by an official amendment.

Amendment agreed to.


Government amendment No. 3:—

Section 3, sub-section (1). Before the word "all" in line 3 to insert the word "includes".

Amendment agreed to.


Government amendment No. 4:—

Section 3, sub-section (1). After the word "made" in line 15 to insert the words "or are deemed under this section to be made."

I think amendments Nos. 4 and 8 go together. They arise out of the discussion that took place on the Committee Stage on an amendment moved by Senator Farren. The Senator has put down an amendment for Report—amendment No. 5—proposing that special consideration be given to analysts having regard inter alia to their commitments in regard to special equipment. I could not give special consideration to any one class of officers, but amendment No. 8, which I am moving to have inserted in the Bill, sets out the manner in which I am prepared to meet Senator Farren on this matter.

I am glad the Minister has gone some way to meet the amendment I put forward. I would like to be assured by the Minister that his amendment No. 8 covers the expenses which these analysts are obliged to incur in the carrying on of their business. The fees they receive as analysts cannot, I submit, be taken to be part of their actual income. Some are paid a fee per sample and others a fixed salary by local authorities. All these analysts have to maintain laboratories and pay staffs. Suppose, for instance, that an analyst has a total income for the work he does for local authorities of £1,500 a year. He has out-of-pocket expenses for the upkeep of his laboratory, purchase of chemicals, apparatus, and payment of the staff he requires. There are only four of these analysts. Take the case of one of them. He has a staff of four assistants. Let us assume that he pays each of them a salary of £300 per annum. That accounts for £1,200. An analyst may be doing work for ten, 12 and, in some cases, 30 different local authorities. In some cases, as I have said, he is paid a fee per sample and in other cases a fixed annual salary. In the case of some local authorities that pay a fixed salary it has been found that the number of samples which they send for analysis is far in excess of the number sent by other local authorities which pay a fee per sample.

In view of all the expenses which analysts are obliged to incur, I think the Minister ought to give special consideration to their case. The upkeep of a laboratory is a very expensive item and then there is the payment of the staff that an analyst must keep. I do not think that the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the carrying on of a business ought to be the subject of deductions, whatever may be said as regards making actual salaries subjects to the "cuts." All these analysts have to engage staffs in their laboratories. I think it is only fair, in view of all the circumstances, that the allowances which I suggest should be made to them to enable them to carry on their work.

I think I have gone a certain way in amendment No. 8 to meet the case put up by Senator Farren. It would not be possible, I think, to go the full length that he would like me to go. I believe the Senator's statement is correct that there are only four analysts in the country, and that it is true, as he said, that the expenses they have to meet are heavy. At the same time, I cannot single out analysts, even though there are only four of them, from other people who are in the service of local authorities, and make special terms and conditions for them. However, I think I may say that in deciding what is to be allowed to be taken as equipment the Department will take a sympathetic view and see that no injustice is done to them in proportion to what is being done to every other official under a local authority.

In view of what the Minister has said, I am prepared to accept his amendment No. 8. I desire to say that I am not making a special plea for any particular person. My sole desire is to see that no injustice is done to these people.

Amendment No. 4 agreed to.
Amendment No. 5 (Senator Farren) not moved.
Amendment No. 6 not moved.


Government amendment No. 7:—

Section 3, sub-section (1). To add at the end of the sub-section a new paragraph as follows:—

(h) payments by way of fees or other remuneration payable to registrars of stocks or other securities issued by local authorities.

Amendment agreed to.


Government amendment No. 8:—

Section 3, sub-section (2) To insert before the sub-section a new sub-section as follows:—

(2) Where in the current local financial year any officer, other than an officer employed to perform duties of an occasional nature, purchases equipment required for the performance of his duties as such officer and for the purchase of which no allowance is expressly made to him, the Minister on the application of such officer, may, if he thinks proper, declare in writing that a specified proportion of the salary of such officer, or of every officer of the class to which such officer belongs, is paid for the purpose of purchasing such equipment, and whenever the Minister so declares, such proportion of such salary shall be deemed to be payments made as an allowance for or towards necessary equipment.

This amendment is moved to meet the case in connection with the analysts put forward by Senator Farren.

Amendment agreed to.


Government amendment No. 9:—

Section 5. To delete in line 36 the word "such" where it first occurs.

Amendment agreed to.


Government amendment No. 10:—

Section 19, sub-section (1). To delete in line 46 the words "the year or any part of the current local financial year" and to substitute therefor the words "the current local financial year or any part thereof."

Amendment agreed to.


Government amendment No. 11:—

Section 19, sub-section (1). To delete the word "minimum" in line 49, and also in line 50.

Amendment agreed to.
Question—"That the Bill be received for final consideration"—put and agreed to.
Final Stage ordered for Wednesday, 2nd May.