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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 22 Feb 1967

Vol. 62 No. 13

Industrial Training Bill, 1965: Report and Final Stages.

Government amendment No. 1:
In page 8, after line 56, to insert the following new section:
17. An Chomhairle may, with the consent of the Minister, given with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, borrow temporarily by arrangement with bankers such sums as it may require for the purpose of providing for current expenditure.

During the Committee Stage of the Bill Senator Dooge raised the question of whether An Chomhairle should be given specific power to borrow moneys. On further consideration, I feel it would be desirable to empower An Chomhairle specifically to borrow money by getting a temporary overdraft on current expenditure. This amendment provides for that. There would not be any point in making provision for borrowing money for capital purposes. The only real source of income for An Chomhairle will be the annual grant under section 16 of this Bill, and it is doubtful whether it would be appropriate for An Chomhairle to borrow money long-term in those circumstances. Any funds required by An Chomhairle for capital purposes, or for the equipping of the centres, can be provided from the grant-in-aid under section 16.

I thank the Minister for accepting the point raised on Committee Stage and I am completely in agreement that borrowing should be confined to current expenditure.

Amendment agreed to.
Government amendment No. 2:
In page 8, after line 56, to insert the following new section:
18. (1) An Chomhairle may accept gifts of money, land or other property upon such trusts and conditions if any, as may be specified by the donor.
(2) An Chomhairle shall not accept a gift if the conditions attached by the donor are inconsistent with the functions of An Chomhairle.

This amendment is designed to meet the point made by Senator Dooge on Committee Stage of the Bill. Its purposes are to permit An Chomhairle Oiliúna to accept gifts. It is similar to section 55 of the Apprenticeship Act, 1959.

Again, I thank the Minister for meeting the point made. I expressed the wish that this particular money would be availed of by the general public anyway.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 3 and 4 may be taken together.

Government amendment No. 3:
In page 9, in lines 41 and 42 and in lines 49 and 50, to delete "any case in which a grant was made in respect of the process" and substitute "relation to workers in respect of whose training in the process a grant was made".

Doubts were expressed by Senator Dooge on Committee Stage about the effect of paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of subsection (2) of section 18. In particular the Senator feared that these provisions might preclude An Chomhairle from making a grant for the training of additional workers in an industrial undertaking where a grant had been paid for a similar training scheme for other workers in the undertaking. He also feared that An Chomhairle might be prevented from making a training grant to more than one firm. It was not intended that such limitation should be imposed on An Chomhairle and this amendment is designed to prevent abuse.

I thank the Minister for approving amendments Nos. 3 and 4.

Amendment agreed to.
Government amendment No. 4:
In page 9, line 56, to delete "any case in which" and in page 10, to delete lines 1 to 3 and substitute "relation to workers in respect of whose training for the purpose of the undertaking a grant was made by the Shannon Free Airport Development Company Limited."
Amendment agreed to.
Bill, as amended, received for final consideration.
Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass".

Before the Bill is passed I should like to mention that there were two other points raised on Committee Stage which the Minister undertook to look into. Since there are no amendments, I take it the Minister is satisfied that the other points made are fully covered and that amendments should not be made. I should like to ask the Minister whether he has any comment on these two points. One was in regard to the question of making explicit and statutory the right of appeal to a court of law from the levy introduced in the Bill. My second point was in relation to the use in one section of the term "effluxion".

The Senator is raising a matter by way of question.

I raised these matters on the Report Stage because they were debated on Committee Stage and if the reply is unsatisfactory I might have to seek recommittal.

There is another point which I put to the Minister for further clarification. It relates to an amendment which I endeavoured to have put on Committee Stage. It relates to the rules that An Chomhairle can make in relation to the suitability of a candidate for apprenticeship. I should like clear assurance that I have understood the Minister correctly as saying that nobody will be excluded from apprenticeship under these rules by reason of the fact that his father, or his uncle, was not in the trade. I understood the Minister to say that what might happen afterwards due to trade union action was not within the jurisdiction of An Chomhairle. Am I correct in thinking that nobody will be excluded from trainee status by reason of the fact that he has not got a relation in the trade?

It will be ultra vires for An Chomhairle to make any rule which will bring in the question of kindred, religion or race, anything except the personal suitability of the candidate for apprenticeship. They would be breaking the law in making such a rule. Therefore, a rule such as Senator Sheehy Skeffington has in mind will not be made.

Nobody will be excluded under such terms?

What happens is a diminishing practice. The introduction of this type of amendment might appear as coat-trailing and is unnecessary. An Chomhairle would be acting outside their powers in making such a rule. There is no fear they will make such a rule. I undertook that if they did I would come back to amend the law. An Chomhairle would be acting ultra vires.

I thank the Minister. I hope he is right.

I have had advice in relation to the appeal from the tribunal to the courts and I am satisfied that section 20 does not interfere in any way with a person's right of appeal in common law to the High Court against a decision of the tribunal. This has been examined by the Committee and they did not make recommendations. An amendment along the lines of that in the Northern Ireland Act is not necessary. I have not any strong feelings about putting it in, but I feel it is not necessary. "Effluxion of time", I gather, is a well-known legal term and is used in other legislation and is a specific term to cover a determined period of time. "Passage of time" does not carry the same meaning. We cannot find anything that carries exactly the same meaning as the expression "effluxion of time". I do not think the other meaning will be put into it in this section.

Question put and agreed to.