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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 13 Nov 1935

Vol. 20 No. 14

Local Authorities (Mutual Assurance) Bill, 1935—Second Stage.

I have given the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health permission to appear in the House to conduct the Local Authorities (Mutual Assurance) Bill, 1935.

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time,"

This is not a complicated measure and I do not propose to detain the House very long explaining its simple terms. The Local Authorities (Mutual Assurance) Acts, 1926 and 1928, gave local authorities and committees power to associate for the purpose of promoting companies to provide for the mutual assurance of its members. The risks were against damage to property by fire and liability to pay compensation or damages to workmen employed by them. Before the passing of the Act of 1926 local authorities were paying excessive premiums, and as the law prevented them being shareholders in companies they could not recover the difference between what was paid by them and that paid to the type of company which distributes the profits amongst policy holders. Technical instruction committees, predecessors of the present vocational education committees were authorised to associate. The Vocational Education Act of 1930 does not, however, specifically endow the vocational committees with powers of mutual assurance possessed by their predecessors, and as there was never any intention of withdrawing from such committees the mutual assurance powers exercised by technical instruction committees, it is necessary that this defect in the law should now be rectified. Committees of agriculture which are somewhat analogous in their functions to vocational education committees have this right recognised by an Act of 1930. As the committees have up to the present acted on the bona fide assumption that they were entitled to participate in mutual assurance, the Bill in addition to remedying the position validates any action taken in this regard in the past. It furthermore gives the Minister for Local Government authority to confer similar powers by Order on any local authority or any committee of a local authority, a provision which will make the existing law more flexible and obviate the necessity for seeking express statutory authority whenever a new local authority is created.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, November 20th.