In this case I would like some explanation from the Minister, because it does not seem to me that this is clear. If you turn up the original Act, Section 34, you will find that it contains two sub-sections, sub-section (1) and sub-section (2). The effect of this amendment is to repeal sub-section (1) and leave sub-section (2). When you read sub-section (2), which is still left, it says: "In sub-section (1) of this section..." If sub-section (1) is gone that expression means nothing. I am not at all clear as to why that was put in, and failing an explanation I feel that you should now make a further amendment deleting those words in sub-section (2).
Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Bill, 1952—Recommittal.
My officials have discussed this matter with me and have given me to understand that the parliamentary draftsman regards this as all right. I am prepared to accept the assurance and unless a member of the Seanad were to press me for further consideration of the matter I would be quite satisfied myself to say that this would be all right as it is.
It is not clear what it means.
This definition is referred to in Section 7 of this Bill and it is considered therefore that sub-section (2) should not be repealed even though it has no significance for its original purpose.
I can quite understand why the provisions of sub-section (2) should stand. I cannot understand why you retain the words "in sub-section (1) of this section the expression ‘appropriate number' means." It is purely technical and I am not, of course, going to press the Minister. I am quite sure the parliamentary draftsman has far more experience of this than I have although I am not prepared to accept his infallibility. In any case it is our job here to draw attention to matters of this kind. Although I do not intend to press the Minister, it looks to me to be a mistake. However, this Bill will come before the other House and there will be plenty of opportunities to refer to this amendment.
Perhaps I might be allowed to call the attention of the members of the House who are not on the committee to the fact that this Bill was amended unanimously. There were no differences of any kind on Party lines. We received very great assistance from the Minister when he found there was agreement in preparing the amendments required and we also had particularly useful and impartial assistance from the officials of the Department. Although not perhaps strictly in order, I think the House will agree that it is desirable that that should be said by someone on the committee because there were many technical difficulties in regard to which we received invaluable assistance. Even though it may not contain by any means all the amendments we should like to see, the public should know that this Bill is non-Party and has the general support of the members of the committee.