Minerals Development Bill, 1940—Report and Final Stages.

Government amendments Nos. 1 and 2:—

1. In Section 26, sub-section (3), page 16, to insert immediately after the word "lease," in line 4, the words "and what (if any) covenants or conditions should be contained in such lease".

2. In Section 26, sub-section (3), page 16, to add at the end of the sub-section, line 7, the words "and also the extent to which it is desirable, in the public interest, that any of the minerals raised under such lease should be conserved for use within the State as raw materials for industries that are or may be established within the State".

These amendments are designed to meet, so far as was practicable, the point raised by Senator MacFhionnlaoich in his amendment No. 3.

Tá leasú ar an bPaipéar im 'ainm-se mar leanas:—

In Alt 26, fo-alt (3), i ndeireadh an fho-ailt na focla seo leanas do chur leis "Gabhfaidh an t-Aire fá n-a bhreith fasda an féidhm atá le baint as an mianach (Minerál), le súil cosg do chur an mianach (Minerál) do chur as an tír a bheadh féidhmeanhail do'n náisiún."

In Section 26, sub-section (3), at the end of the sub-section to add the words "The Minister shall also take into consideration the use to which it is proposed to put such minerals, with a view to prevent the export of minerals that may be of national importance."

Tchím go bhfuil leasú ag an Aire ar an rud céana agus má glacfar leis, táim sásta, mar sílim gur gá leasú de'n tsort seo do bheith ann. Tá eolas agam fhéin go bhfuiltear ag cur mianacha as an tír faoi láthair a bhéadh fóirstineach dúinn ar ball. Sa tsean aimsir, ní raibh aon mhianacháin dhá oibriú againn annso agus tá súil agam go mbeidh feasta. Táthar ag cur rudaí sin agus bfheidir go mbeidh gá leo annso. Ar an adhbhar sin, molaim an Rialtas bheith cúramach gan na mianacha a bhéadh usáideach dúinn do leigint as an tír. Ní tarraingtheóir cleachtuithe mise agus sílim go bhfuil leasú an Riaghaltais níos oiriúní ná mo leasú fhéin, agus táim sásta leis.

Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 agreed to.
Amendment No. 3 not moved.
Question proposed: "That the Bill as amended be received for final consideration."

Before we take the main question, may I put a point which I overlooked raising on Committee Stage? Section 5 of the Bill defines State minerals as any minerals or any exclusive mining right which, at the date of the passing of the Act, belonged to or are the property of the State or the people. Might I inquire why the words "or the people" must be brought in? I am not aware that the people, as such, are mentioned in the Constitution as owning anything or as being a corporate body. It seems to me to be unnecessary verbiage. Article 10 of the Constitution states that minerals are vested in the State. Is there any necessity for adding "or the people", except to give a flavour to the Bill?

I saw this first in the draft Bill which came before me and I was inclined to think, like the Senator, that there might be tautology in it. On taking the matter up with the draftsman, he pointed out that, under Article 49 of the Constitution, all the rights and prerogatives exerciseable in respect of Saorstát Eireann immediately before 11th December, 1936, whether in virtue of the Constitution then in force or otherwise, belonged to the people and, accordingly, the view was taken—and I am sure that constitutionally it must be the correct view—that if the section were to specify merely the rights which were the property of the State, there might be some rights, other than those actually vested in the State, which would be excluded from the provisions of the Bill.

It is a saving in case there was anything vested in the King. That is what it really amounts to, I suppose—the royal prerogative.

Well, if it was a royal prerogative, it is now vested in the people.

It always was. It is only a matter of words.

Question put and agreed to.
Question—"That the Bill, as amended, do now pass"—put and agreed to.