Public Business. - Local Government (Dublin) Bill, 1935—Committee.

Section 1 agreed to.
SECTION 2.
(c) the following portions of the Principal Act are hereby repealed, that is to say, sub-sections (2) and (3) of Section 32, Sections 34 and 35, and sub-section (2) of Section 36.

I move the following amendment:—

To delete paragraph (c) and to substitute therefor two new paragraphs as follows:—

(c) the following portions of the Principal Act are hereby repealed, that is to say, sub-sections (2) and (3) of Section 32, Section 35 and sub-section (2) of Section 36.

(d) Section 34 of the Principal Act is hereby repealed and the following new section substituted therefor:—

34.—(1) Every corporate body which resides in Saorstát Eireann and is for the time being a rated occupier of any premises situate in the city shall be entitled to be registered as a local government elector for the borough electoral area in which such premises are situate.

(2) For the purposes of this section a corporate body shall not be deemed to reside in Saorstát Eireann unless the majority of its directors are citizens of Saorstát Eireann, and it is registered under the Companies Acts, 1908 to 1924, in Saorstát Eireann, or the business carried on by it in Saorstát Eireann consists wholly or substantially of the manufacture of goods in Saorstát Eireann, and such company has complied with the provisions of the Control of Manufactures Acts, 1932-1934.

(3) A corporate body may be registered in the register of electors in respect of two or more premises.

(4) For the purposes of this section the word "premises" means a hereditament or tenement separately valued under the valuation Acts.

(5) The vote at any election under this Act may be given on behalf of a corporate body by any person authorised in that behalf by writing, sealed with the common seal of such corporate body, and attested by a witness, and any document purporting to be so sealed shall be sufficient evidence of the authority of the person producing the same to vote on behalf of such corporate body."

I ask the leave of the House to detele paragraph (3) of the amendment which does not affect the main object I have in view. That provision was taken from the previous Act and I do not think it is necessary.

Leas-Chathaoirleach

You do not propose to argue paragraph (3) of your amendment.

Leas-Chathaoirleach

I am sure the House has no objection to allowing the Senator to delete that paragraph.

Agreed.

In moving the amendment I should like to say that it is difficult for an amateur to draft an amendment to achieve a purpose of this kind. It is quite possible that there may be faults in it. The amendment as it now stands makes my object clear. The object of the Bill is to abolish the commercial register. When that register was introduced into the Local Government (Dublin) Act some years ago, it was done very largely to get over the difficulty about representation of business in the Corporation. The law is, I understand, that persons carrying on a partnership are entitled to be registered and to vote, but if they form themselves into a private company, as many of them do, they are immediately disfranchised. We are at present extending the franchise by a Bill which has just passed through Committee Stage, so that the franchise will be the same for the Corporation as for elections to the Dáil. It seems to me that when a vote is being given to everyone, 21 years of age and upwards, whether they pay rates or not, it is unreasonable to disfranchise a person who carries on business in a local government area and pays rates if he does not happen to reside within that area. The amendment asks that a corporate body may be registered as a local government elector and may have one vote even though it represents a very considerable number of persons, shareholders or directors. We are at present going in for a very considerable extension of industrial development. Inevitably, there will be complaints as to the amount of rates such bodies have to pay. It seems to be perfectly reasonable to provide that they should not be disfranchised because they happen to be a corporate body instead of carrying on as individuals. The Council of the Federation of Irish Industries is interested in this matter and passed a resolution containing somewhat similar provisions. This is not in any sense a party political matter. I am putting the amendment forward as a reasonable proposition, which gives a right to companies that pay rates. It confines it entirely to companies which are managed here, and where the majority of the directors must be Irish. If they are manufacturers they will come under the Control of Manufactures Act. It would be objectionable to allow French, German or English firms with offices here to have votes, but when a company is controlled by nationals. I see no reason why there should not be one vote when there is responsibility for payment of a considerable amount of rates. This has not any political complexion as the persons affected do not support one Party more than another. I am not putting forward the amendment as a substitute for the commercial register which was a different matter and gave four or five votes according to the rating. I am simply proposing that one vote should be given to a commercial body.

Donnchadh Ua hEaluighthe

Ba mhaith liom a rá go bhfuilim in aghaidh an leas rúin seo.

I intend to vote against the amendment. I gave my reasons on a previous occasion. I am against the privilege which existed for Corporation elections in connection with the commercial register. I believe this is another attempt at giving privileged representation. If Senator Douglas was a shareholder in a public company in Dublin, he has his private vote without having another vote in connection with a commercial undertaking. Money will not operate a company. It requires human beings to do that. We have an example of it in Dublin to-day, when all the money invested in tramways and buses cannot turn a wheel. I had to walk from the far end of the city to attend to-day's meeting of the Seanad. I am opposed to privileged representation. If the Senator at election time goes up for election, as I have to do, and if he talks to the citizens, he will ascertain their views about such a proposal.

A privileged claim is not being made. Premises in which business is carried on have to pay a large amount of rates, and by the Bill they are going to be disqualified from having any vote in deciding the amount that may be levied. I know that I am being charged terrific rates while my vote has precious little to do with how they are spent. Throughout the length and breadth of Ireland the people who are paying should try somehow to have a say in the levying of rates. The object of the amendment is to try to prevent what is really a great injustice in connection with premises managed by companies which pay a large amount of rates. The result is that for the payment of very heavy rates on the premises of a company in the City of Dublin, no one connected with it has a vote or any voice in the levying of the rates raised. It would seem to me to be a wise thing that the people who pay rates should have some voice in the levying of them. To say that this amendment seeks to confer a privilege is, I think, going too far altogether. It seems to me to be a matter of justice and common sense that large ratepayers should have a direct voice in the management of the city, and in the utilisation of the rates. It was to achieve that that this amendment was put down.

I am a little at sea as to the actual meaning of the amendment.

Leas-Chathaoirleach

May I explain that, as the amendment originally stood on the Order Paper, it made provision that a corporate body might be registered in the register of electors in respect of two or more premises. Senator Douglas has now got leave to strike out sub-section (3) of his amendment, so that as the amendment stands it means that what the Senator is now seeking is to have a corporate body registered in respect of one set of premises only.

Do I understand Senator Douglas's point to be this: that while a business man may have a Corporation vote or a Parliamentary vote, if his business is floated as a company he will then cease to have a vote?

That is my intention. I do not object to that in the case of a Parliamentary election, but I do object to it in the case of a local government election.

You deprive a man of his Corporation vote in that way. Is he also to be deprived of his Parliamentary vote? If a man running a business converts it into a company, does he lose his Parliamentary and his Corporation vote?

In the case of the Parliamentary vote, no, because you have the whole country as the area. Therefore, as he has to reside somewhere, he gets his Parliamentary vote and he has no grievance. In the case of a local government area, such as Dublin City, if he does not reside within that area then he loses his local government vote in the city, as the Corporation deals only with the city. So far as I understand it, you could have, if you had enough premises, ten or twelve votes. You could have a local government vote in Cork and in Dublin and in each area in which you happened to have premises. Plural voting is not prohibited under the Local Government Acts so far as I know. If you have premises in different areas you can have a vote in each.

That is not the position at all.

Well, I was not aware of the fact that a person who voted in Cork, through having premises there, would be prohibited from being placed on the Dublin register if he also had premises here.

I am not yet clear on the point as to whether, if you turn your business into a company, you lose your Corporation vote. I take it that the object of the Senator's amendment is to revert back to the former position?

The object of my amendment is to allow a corporate body to have one vote.

Do you claim more than one vote for a company? You do not claim one vote for each director?

No, only one vote.

When the Bill dealing with this commercial register was going through this House I think I was one of the members who opposed it most bitterly. If my memory serves me, I think I made the statement that my action was governed by the principle of one man, one vote. The explanation that Senator Douglas has given of his amendment is, I think, a fair and reasonable one, and therefore I propose to vote for it.

I would be glad if Senator Douglas would tell the House why he confines his amendment to a corporate body? Why should this privilege be conferred on a corporate body or on a business that is run as a company? There are many private citizens who own large business premises in the city. They reside outside the city, but Senator Douglas does not propose to give them a second vote.

To the best of my belief they have got it.

Excuse me, they have not. They have to declare whether they intend to vote in respect of the rated premises they own in the city or of their private residence outside the city. They have not a vote in respect of each rating. I cannot understand why Senator Douglas should want to confer on a corporate body a privilege that he denies to the private citizen.

I would be glad if the Minister for Local Government would clear up that point for the House. Supposing you reside in Cork and have business premises in Dublin can you, leaving the question of a corporate body out altogether, get on the register for the City of Dublin and vote at a Corporation election? Can you also get on the register in Cork and vote at the Corporation election in Cork?

The important point is this, and the law on it is well settled, that at local government elections a man has not two votes. In the case, for instance, of a business man he can vote in the city as the occupier of business premises but he cannot also vote on the same day as a local government elector as the occupier of his private residence in another area. In fact, people in that position are frequently called upon to make a declaration in the polling booth. The question put by the presiding officer is: "Do you swear that you have not already voted in any other booth as a local government elector to-day?" It is quite clear that the amendment would deprive a private citizen of the privilege that Senator Douglas is seeking for the corporate body. That is not fair.

I am absolutely opposed to plural voting. I believe in one man one vote. If Senator Douglas was consistent he would extend his proposal to all business premises, whether privately owned or by a corporate body, but he is not doing that. This is a special plea that is being made on behalf of companies. They are to get more votes than the ordinary private citizen. I think the Senator is quite illogical in his proposal. I am strongly opposed to the principle of plural voting. Members of the House are aware of how it has been, and is being, abused in connection with another authority that controls most important functions relating to this city. They know the abuses that take place in connection with proxy voting and plural voting. They know how an important local service, one of the most important in the country, has been managed and manoeuvred in the interests of those who control the votes—sometimes foreign combinations —and all to the detriment of the local people. All that has come about as a result of giving these limited companies not one or two votes but in some cases 100 votes. The principle is altogether wrong. I am wholeheartedly with the Minister in what he proposes under this Bill. We should put an end to all this privilege.

This is a democratic country. Everyone over the age of 21, if he or she has a residence, or part of a residence, qualification, is entitled to a vote. I may say, even if this privilege were conferred on corporate bodies, that in view of the present system of voting and of the large areas that we have in the city it would not count for very much, because you would get in one street of Dublin, in tenements more votes than all the corporate bodies of the city taken together would be able to poll. It is not for that reason, but rather because the principle underlying the amendment is bad, that I am opposing it.

I agree with Senator Farren that the number of votes involved will be very small, and that consequently it is not likely on many occasions to make much difference at an election. Senator Farren talked about the principle of one man one vote, but there has been much talk in the past about the principle of no taxation without representation. I think it would be a most undesirable thing that large ratepayers, which in this case might happen to be a corporate body in the City of Dublin, should not have any vote at elections to the Corporation. It is all right, of course, to say that the shareholders of a company will have a vote elsewhere, in Cork or the County Dublin or wherever they happen to reside, but at the same time I think it is a bad thing that substantial ratepayers in the City of Dublin should not be entitled to vote at a Corporation election in this city. I take it that the principle Senator Douglas is aiming at is that those who contribute to the rates of the City of Dublin should be entitled to vote at an election for the Corporation, and similarly that those who reside in the County Dublin should be entitled, if members of a corporate body which owns business premises in the city, to vote at a County Dublin election in the County Dublin if they reside and pay rates there. I think that the principle of one man one vote is the only possible one when you are dealing with Parliamentary elections in which the whole country is concerned, but where you are dealing with a number of different exchequers and contributions to different bodies, then I think that in the case of local elections the principle of taxation without representation has also to be considered.

The arguments that have been advanced in support of this amendment strike one as being very plausible. They have been very well put before the Seanad, but on a little reflection, I suggest that they are arguments which should not commend themselves to a popular assembly. It is quite true that, from a certain angle, the interests of property should be considered in connection with the question of the rating of an area. When you are called upon to vote on the question whether you will give property representation within any particular area you have to consider other interests and these other interests operate so strongly with me that I cannot vote in favour of the amendment. Anybody who has taken the trouble to read the annual reports of the medical officer of the City for the last 40 years is aware of a record which reflects discreditably upon the owners of property who, apparently, had control of the Corporation. Those who read these reports will realise the conditions under which people have lived and are now living in the slums. Anybody who reflects upon the information furnished by these reports can give only one answer to the question as to how he should vote on this amendment. The people concerned here are those who are formed into units—whether they be small companies or large companies— which hold property within the area of the City, the members of those companies living—in comfort, I hope, but perhaps in luxury—outside the City with none of the inconveniences or disadvantages that poverty, slum life or unemployment entails, and with none of the other disadvantageous conditions attaching to residence within the City. The conditions of the poor and of the workers are obtruded upon the notice of people who live within the City every day and every night. These are the people to be considered. They are just as much to be considered as the people who, under the name of a company, own units of property. It is because I think that the poor and the working class are more to be considered than these people that I shall vote against this proposed amendment.

Senator Lynch told us that it would be a very bad thing for a popular assembly to pass this amendment. As an ex-member of the Corporation, I should like to put the matter in a different way. The Senator talked about the reports of the medical officers. So far as these reports are concerned, the Corporation are in a cleft stick. For many years we have been building houses for the poor and for the middle classes in Dublin, but while we were doing that, the slums remained. The slums have not been pulled down as they should have been. Why? Because the moneyed classes in this city—I worked for a limited liability company and, although I had a vote, no member of the company had a vote—did not give three straws who went into the Corporation. I am not objecting to the people who were elected to the Corporation. The men elected were good men, but the people with the money did not give three straws what happened to any Corporation loan or scheme. Senator O'Neill was somewhat at sea, but I should like to point out to him that, if he wants to build a sea wall at Clontarf, he must get the money to do it. Remember, money talks. That is sad, but true. We all know that the Corporation loan—one of the best investments in the country—was not subscribed the other day. I am sorry for that. It means that building will have to be stopped and that all the other schemes we had in hands will have to be stopped. I do not want to make capital out of that. I am sorry for it but, if we do not give the people who have money a voice in our affairs, we must put up with the consequences. I have pleasure in supporting this amendment.

I am afraid that my old colleague, Senator Staines, has fallen into error. I am reliably informed that the Corporation loan has been taken up.

Not by public subscription.

I wanted to refer to that matter. All that loan was not taken up. With £5 paid, it was quoted at 2¼ discount on the stock Exchange yesterday. So much for the capitalist. According to the Stock Exchange report of yesterday there was a discount of 2¼ on the £5 paid, and the loan was not fully subscribed. These are the public-minded people who have an interest in the State. I have dealt with that matter by the way.

I want to suggest to Senator Douglas that he should withdraw this amendment. Times have changed. At one time the people he represents were able so to influence the Government as to give them privileges and to have a commercial register for Dublin Corporation. We were told then that we were going to see a wonderful achievement in civic administration. I saw some of the performances of these alleged supermen the commercial register found for us, and I do not think they impressed anybody or left any record worthy of the effort made on their behalf. Nobody regrets their passing. This amendment would be poor consolation for the people who had that privilege in the past and who, I should say, abused it. As to the fears of the employing class and the well to do people, that democratic representation in the City of Dublin will mean high rates, they have now a definite safeguard in the City Manager, who will ensure that their pockets are properly looked after. In any event, this amendment could not be accepted, in my opinion, because, under its provisions, administration of civic affairs in the City of Dublin would be entirely different from that of other parts of the country. That should weigh with Senator Douglas. The interests for which he speaks had an opportunity and they did not engage in any great development, or teach the older people in the Corporation anything new or anything worth learning. Consequently, even if this amendment were passed, it would be poor consolation for what they had in the past.

I know that privilege dies hard and this is an effort to retain some of the privileges enjoyed by these people. If this amendment were passed, it would, in my opinion, lead to plural voting. The next thing we would have would be an amendment to secure votes in accordance with the amount of rates paid. We hear people say that property has rights. So have the working people of this city and property ought not to have more rights than the workers. Senator Staines says that money talks. Certainly it does. It says "good-bye" to me occasionally but it never does a lot without the aid of human energy. I think that the amendment represents merely an effort to retain a certain amount of the privilege these interests had and it is hardly worth while holding on to it. It is not going to accomplish much on behalf of those much robbed ratepayers. They have a safeguard in the City Manager, who will see that Senator Healy and Senator O'Neill are not going to dip their hands too far into the ratepayers' pockets. They are safeguarded already.

I rise to get some further light on this question, which seems to become more involved the more we hear about it. I wonder whether Senator Douglas is claiming a right or a privilege. If it is a right, then we should weigh up the case for it and arrive at a decision accordingly. If it is a privilege, then I do not want to confer any privilege on the people for whom Senator Douglas claims to speak. I am a farmer and rustics are in the backwoods in a discussion of this description. It is difficult to understand the intricacies of Dublin Corporation management and the attitude of the Dublin Corporation on these franchise questions. If a farmer has, say, five acres in Cavan and ten acres in Meath, he can, so far as I know—the Minister will correct me if I am wrong—vote both for the County Council in Cavan and the County Council in Meath.

On the same day?

It is a different local authority.

He cannot vote twice in either place.

If a man is living outside the boundary of the city and has property in the city, is he to be denied the right to a vote in the city out of the property he possesses there?

Senator Douglas's amendment does not give him that right. It refers only to companies.

I am speaking of the people for whom Senator Douglas is making the claim. It seems to me, looking at the matter as it has been presented here, that it is not justifiable to give the man in the country a right to vote in two separate counties because he possesses property in these two counties and to deny this right to people who reside outside the City of Dublin but who possess property in the city for which they pay rates. That is an invidious position in which to place an owner of property in Dublin as compared with an owner of property elsewhere.

Senator Douglas does not propose to give the property-owner the right to vote in the city.

The Senator is claiming that right for a corporation which owns property in the City of Dublin. In a similar set of circumstances in the country, the property-owner would be conceded that right. I think that there is force in the point stressed by Senator Blythe, that if a man has the right to own property at all and if the State is entitled to give protection to property, the owner should be given the right to vote in respect of that property.

What protection can property have if the owner of the property has not some right in declaring who is going to say what tax is to be levied on that property in the particular area where the property is? That seems to me to be quite a clear definition of the position as Senator Douglas is putting it. In addition, it is of importance that the owner of property, whether in land or buildings or business, should have such an interest in how the local affairs of the area, in which his property is, are being conducted, and that he should have the opportunity of passing judgment on it on a particular day. It is an extraordinary situation for a man to find himself in, that he has property in a particular area and that the law denies him the right to say who ought to be the representatives of the particular area and who are going to levy taxes on the particular property he owns. That is how the case strikes me as an ordinary country rustic, as I might say.

It seems to me that Senator Baxter has led himself into a trap by thinking in terms of a man who owns property. This is not the case of a man but of a corporate body and that corporate body may be composed of 150 men or 1,500 men, and a majority may decide, conceivably, what the whole body may do in such a matter as casting a vote. I think that the real objection to the amendment is that it is going diametrically contrary to the general spirit of the local government legislation that is being promoted; that is to say, a vote by virtue of personality as distinct from a vote by virtue of property ownership. The other Local Government Bill confers a vote on the individual and this Bill is trying to retain, merely from the point of view of principle and for no other purpose at all, as far as I can see, the right to vote by virtue of property ownership. Once this sub-section (3) has been eliminated, for practical purposes, the proposed amendment is of no value. When it was conceivable that a corporation might have 150 hereditaments in a particular area, its vote might be of some value as it had many votes; but if it has only one vote per company—probably a limited company whose shareholders all reside outside the city—the value of the vote for practical purposes is very little, indeed. In fact, you might say that it is infinitesimal.

With regard to sub-section (2), as throwing upon the authority responsible for compiling the register the necessity for retaining a separate register, it strikes me that there will be no machinery for such if this amendment is passed. I mean that the authority that is going to decide who are the persons and which are the companies entitled to vote will have to go into all these questions of whether they are registered, whether their business is carried on wholly in the Saorstát, whether they have complied with the provisions of the Control of Manufactures Act, and so on.

They had to do that under the Bill that is being repealed now.

Exactly, and it will have to be re-inserted and the section makes no provision for the re-insertion of that machinery. Presumably the intention is, once sub-section (3) is eliminated, to retain as a jumping-off ground this provision for the vote by virtue of property ownership wholly and solely and retaining this provision for a separate register so that at some future time a slight amendment may confer a number of votes. It is because the principle is running athwart the general tendency of legislation regarding local government that I think this amendment should be defeated.

Leas-Chathaoirleach

If no other Senator wishes to speak, the Minister will conclude.

I think I am entitled to reply, Sir. I suppose I can do that after the Minister has spoken?

Leas-Chathaoirleach

I think that, probably——

After all, Sir, it is my amendment, and I think I am entitled to reply afterwards.

Leas-Chathaoirleach

Very well then.

I cannot accept this amendment of Senator Dougles, and I cannot see my way to recommend the House to accept it either. As Senator Johnson has just said, it is entirely opposed in principle to the nature of the Bill that has just been passed through a certain stage in this House a few minutes ago, and is opposed in principle to the general tendency of local government legislation that we seek to bring about. That is the main objection I have to it. I object to it also on practical grounds, however. Senator Blythe, and I think some other Senator, mentioned that it probably would not mean the addition of many voters to the franchise. That is true, as far as I know, but it is also true to say that when the commercial franchise was in operation, under the 1930 Act, not a very great percentage of those who were admitted to the franchise, or who were entitled to exercise the franchise, sought to get on the register or used the power to vote when they were on the register. I think that in the first year there were only 337 corporate bodies; so that, therefore, if that number, or even if 500, were again put on the register in Dublin, it would not be any addition to the interests that Senator Douglas wishes to serve. Even if that right or privilege, or whatever you wish to call it, were given by this House to corporate bodies, it would not in practice be of much value to those interests.

I am opposed to it in principle. I do not see that it would be right in principle, and I do not see that it would serve any practical purpose. I do not see that it would be any help or addition to any of the bodies that Senator Douglas, presumably, speaks for. There seems to be some doubt as to the qualification for electors in local government. Any elector or any person who has the franchise, and is entitled to be on the register, can vote once only for any one local authority, but an elector can vote in two or more elections for different local authorities. For instance, an elector can vote for an election for the Dublin Corporation or the Dublin County Council, and if he is on the register in Cork City, and has the time, he can go down there and vote there also, and he can vote at any public election on the way down if he is entitled to the franchise for those areas. That does not apply in the Parliamentary elections. In the Parliamentary elections the elector has only one vote in the Free State, and can only exercise one vote in the Free State on the day of a general election. I do not think that there is any other point that I need refer to. I think that the strongest argument from the point of view of what is practical is the example of the use, or rather the non-use, of the power that was given by a very large percentage of those who were enfranchised under the 1930 Act.

I am somewhat surprised by quite a number of the arguments that have been used here, but perhaps most of all by the Minister's argument, which was to the effect that even if a thing be right the fact that it only affects 350 persons means that you should not do it. He said, in effect, that because the number was so negligible there is a case against it. I say that even if only one person were affected, it ought to go in the Bill. In moving this amendment originally, I stated that I did not think it had any great political significance of any kind. First of all, may I say that I am not claiming to represent anybody and that I have not been asked by anybody to move the amendment. I think I mentioned that before when this matter came in about a year and a half ago. The idea came largely out of my own experience. Perhaps I may be permitted to give a concrete instance. Three persons owned a fair-sized property in the City of Dublin. They owned it jointly and they each had votes. I think their wives also had votes, but I am not quite sure about that. However, they themselves each had votes and they resided just outside the city boundary. They also had votes in the county. For family reasons, they formed themselves into a limited company, and they were immediately unable to vote for the city Corporation although they paid rates in the city. Senators Farren and Foran referred to that as a privilege. It would seem, according to that, that what was an ordinary right when they acted as individuals becomes a privilege just because they formed themselves into a corporate body. To my mind, that is ridiculous. The law provides that if a person has business property in an area he can vote in that area and that if he is similarly entitled to vote in other areas he can vote in those areas. That was very clearly stated by the Minister. Why is it a privilege if the same persons are a corporate body?

But Senator Douglas is asking for all kinds of corporate bodies, and not merely for corporate bodies of three persons.

I agree that it might apply to a very much larger number. The only argument that seemed to me at all valid in this case was that there was a danger of plural voting. I am only arguing that there should be one instead of three, because I do not see any other feasible way. The only valid argument seems to me to be that there might be a danger of these people residing inside the area and therefore that there might be plural voting. The attitude of the Labour Party is due to the fear that there might be plural voting. I admit that I have not dealt with that possibility in this amendment but it is not impossible to avoid it. There are several ways it could be done. You could provide that the vote would not be given to a corporate body unless one of its directors resided outside the area. Another way would be to provide that the person exercising the vote must not be a person who had a vote within the local government area. Plural voting can be avoided if you once concede the principle of no taxation without representation, which is all I am standing for here. It is a bad principle to expect persons, whether they be in a large or a small company, to pay rates for local government without having any vote or any say in the way those rates are to be spent. I know that the Minister has the big battalions behind him. I know that I have not much hope of putting this amendment through because the Minister has sufficient numbers in the Dáil behind him to prevent it. It is possible that there may be a question of the drafting of this particular amendment, but if the Minister has decided to prevent the passing of the amendment he can do so.

May I interrupt the Senator to say that if he needed any help in drafting we would have been very happy to provide him or any other Senator with any assistance in the way of drafting an amendment that he felt inclined to submit to the House.

I appreciate that and I may say that it has been my experience in the past. If the principle had been accepted I would have gone to the Minister and asked the assistance of his Department in drafting an amendment for the Report Stage, and I know he would have given that assistance willingly. What I meant to convey was that there would be no point in altering this amendment. It would make no difference inasmuch as the Government have decided that they will not accept it. At the same time I think the principle is sufficiently important to divide the House and I intend to ask for a division on this amendment.

Amendment, as amended, put.
The Seanad divided: Tá, 17; Níl, 23.

  • Bagwell, John.
  • Baxter, Patrick F.
  • Bigger, Sir Edward Coey.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Browne, Miss Kathleen.
  • Counihan, John C.
  • Douglas, James G.
  • Garahan, Hugh.
  • Griffith, Sir John Purser.
  • Jameson, Right Hon. Andrew.
  • MacLoughlin, John.
  • Milrory, Seán.
  • O'Hanlon, M.F.
  • O'Rourke, Brian.
  • Staines, Michael.
  • Toal, Thomas.
  • Wilson, Richard.

Níl

  • Boyle, James J.
  • Uí Chléirigh, Caitlín Bean.
  • Connolly, Joseph.
  • Cummins, William.
  • Dowdall, J.C.
  • Duffy, Michael.
  • Farren, Thomas.
  • Fitzgerald, Séamus.
  • Foran, Thomas.
  • Healy, Denis D,
  • Honan, Thomas V.
  • Johnson, Thomas.
  • Keyes, Raphael F.
  • Linehan, Thomas.
  • Lynch, Patrick, K. C.
  • MacEllin, Seán E.
  • O'Farrell, John T.
  • O Máille, Pádraic.
  • Phaoraigh, Siobhán Bean an.
  • Quirke, William.
  • Robinson, David L.
  • Robinson, Séumas.
  • Ruane, Thomas.
Tellers:—Tá: Senators Douglas and Blythe; Níl: Senators S. Robinson and D. Robinson.
Amendment declared lost.
Sections 2 to 5, inclusive, and the Title ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Bill reported without amendment.
Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 27th March.
The Seanad adjourned at 6.30 p.m. until Wednesday, 27th March, at 3 p.m.