Livestock Marts Bill, 1967: Committee Stage (Resumed).

SECTION 6.
Debate resumed on the following amendment:
In subsection (2) to delete paragraph (b)—(Senator Malone).

The House is taking, with amendment No. 38, amendments Nos. 39, 45 and 46.

Before we adjourned last night, the Minister was reassuring the House in his own style that this section is quite a harmless piece of legislation. He stressed that subsection (1) of section 6 provides that the Minister may make regulations. Surely he is not serious in trying to put across to us that, just as an afterthought, perhaps, he may make a regulation when everybody knows that the sole reason for this Bill is to make regulations to ensure that should it happen that cattle are seized, there will be no danger to those who go along to the marts to buy them. In other words, the Minister is taking new protection so that the John Browns of the future will be adequately safeguarded under the terms of section 6 of this Bill.

Last night I mentioned that paragraph (e) prescribes requirements as to size, design, maintenance, repair, cleansing, cleanliness, ventilation, heating and lighting of any building. I am not at all against providing even luxurious fittings in marts for the comfort of our Irish farmers. What I am against is the Minister prescribing fittings or luxurious buildings for which the Irish farmers must pay and will have to pay out of the price for their cattle. I object to any regulations which will require a further drain on the resources of our Irish farmers at a time when they can ill afford any excess expenditure at all on those lines. Nobody and no Minister should have powers such as are sought in paragraph (e) because any such regulation which the Minister will insist be complied with will definitely cost money and the only people who are there to pay for it are the Irish farmers. With the present trend in cattle prices, surely the Seanad should not add still further to the ever-increasing burden our farmers are being called upon to bear.

In paragraph (f), the Minister is again taking unto himself powers to prescribe requirements as to accommodation including washing facilities and sanitary conveniences at such places. There are already on the Statute Book powers for these purposes in any of the Health Acts from 1878 to 1962 and in the Sanitary Services Acts from 1878 to 1964. Surely there already exists sufficient power to ensure that public health will adequately be safeguarded? This paragraph is completely unnecessary. It is put into this section so that the Minister, if he so desires, may bring in crippling legislation which can pile on extra unnecessary cost for the mart committees or mart owners.

Last night, the Minister seemed to take exception to the suggestion that the officers of his Department and his draftsman would better be employed in endeavouring to sell surplus Irish cattle abroad. He said it was rather silly to expect draftsmen to sell our cattle. I cannot understand how the self-same draftsman is sufficiently well-equipped to know all about the requirements for marts throughout the country at a time, especially, when there have been no complaints against the conditions of operation or structural defects in those establishments. I do not trust the Minister with the power to bring in regulations on such a wide scale as he is taking in this Bill. We remember the Planning Act of 1963. When the Minister makes regulations he has a rather lively and imaginative mind. For instance, who would have thought that under the Planning Act he would have slapped in regulations which collected £8 on each petrol pump——

The planning legislation is not before the House. I would ask the Senator to keep to the amendments.

I am just showing the comparison——

The Chair has been very lenient over the past five days and that leniency should not be abused.

I quite agree, but I was just saying that in the past the Minister has thought up quite extraordinary regulations and I feel that if he is given the opportunity, he will do so again. I reject completely his assurance of last night that he only "may" make regulations. We all know that not only will he make regulations to control these marts but that it is more than likely he already has a good idea of the type of regulations and what he intends to do in the not too distant future. I cannot see how he can put forward that argument, in view of the fact that he has insisted that this Bill should go through the House at this time, that there is so much urgency about it that it has to be rushed through——

Certain amendments are before the House and the Bill as a whole is not under discussion We are dealing with the amendments and would the Senator keep to the amendments?

Last night the Minister said he "may" make regulations and I am making the case that he already has regulations made. The whole purpose of the Bill is to make regulations. Under subsection (1) of section 6, there is sufficient power for the Minister to make regulations without interfering with the running of these marts as he certainly will if he is given the power he is seeking. As far as paragraph (b) is concerned, I should like to ask the Minister if he would consider the fact that it has happened on a few occasions that cattle traders have purchased sizable numbers of cattle and then sought protection of the courts. Those cases are well known and were well publicised. It is true that in some cases the marts suffered heavy losses and in other cases individual farmers suffered heavy losses. I should like the Minister to indicate what safeguards he is going to introduce to indemnify the individual farmer and the marts against operators of this kind. I was distressed to read in the newspapers not long ago where such a rustler, when brought to court for buying cattle without having the money to pay for them, had his case dismissed because he argued that he had not intended to defraud, but at the same time he bought the cattle and sold them over again. That was poor consolation to the farmer who was caught for £1,000. That did not go to the marts at all. The farmers have no guarantees against such individuals. As the industry operates, there is a certain amount of good faith involved, but on occasion this type of rustler gets in and——

A Senator

What guarantees have they at the fairs?

There is nothing in this Bill to deal with that type of individual. If the Minister insists that every bid must be accepted——

The Senator is not now dealing with the amendment before the House.

Senator McDonald to continue on the amendments.

The Senator is making the same speech as he made last night.

Senator McDonald to continue without interruption.

I was merely asking the Minister if the farmers can expect any safeguards from these individual operators because under section 6 auctioneers and marts will not be free to refuse a bid even from a person whom to all intents and purposes they know is a man of straw.

The question is that amendment No. 38 be agreed.

I thought perhaps the Minister would indicate the position——

The Chair has no power to ask anybody to speak.

The Senator should not be attacking the courts.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand".
The Committee divided: Tá, 24; Níl, 8.

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.

Níl

  • Conlan, John F.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.
Tellers:— Tá: Senators Browne and Farrell; Níl: Senators McDonald and Malone.
Question declared carried.

I move amendment No. 39:

In subsection (2) to delete paragraph (c).

Amendment put and declared lost.
Amendments Nos. 40 and 41 not moved.

I move amendment No. 42:

In subsection (2) (d), line 37, before "and" where it secondly occurs to insert "such approval not to be unnecessarily withheld".

This is an amendment to provide that where the conditions of sale at a livestock mart are submitted to the Minister the approval of the Minister will not be, as set down, "unnecessarily" withheld. I think that is a typographical error. I think what was intended was "will not be unreasonably withheld". That is common form in a lot of legislation one finds on the Statute Book.

I am not entirely happy with the position that will arise where livestock mart owners are going to have to submit their conditions of sale to the Minister. It may well be that standard conditions of sale would develop and a blanket approval for these would be given but there may be circumstances where deviations from the standard regulations are necessary to suit a particular situation and I can see that difficulty will arise, people will be subjected to, possibly, a charge in the courts, for having departed from the standard regulations as approved by the Minister.

In addition, when one appreciates the kind of delays that occur in Departments, I think it is proper to provide that if a livestock mart owner submits regulations today he will get a decision from the Department tomorrow. That is the kind of competence you will not get from a Department of State. We have had to provide in the Town Planning Acts that where application is made for planning permission, if it is not given within two months it will be deemed to have been granted. I want to ensure that if somebody is having a livestock sale, say, in a month's time, and submits the conditions of sale to the Minister for Agriculture there will be no delay whatever in getting approval for the altered conditions.

One can immediately envisage the civil servant turning these over and examining them and making remarks and then writing out to find out what is meant by this and what is meant by that and sending out a whole list of inquiries and then when they come back there will be another set of inquiries arising out of the replies, and letters saying that the Minister's attention has been directed to so and so and asking what is meant by this and what is meant by that. That kind of rigmarole does not accord with my sense of business and it is not the kind of situation that I want to see livestock mart owners put in. I want to ensure that if a livestock mart owner applies to have his conditions of sale approved by the Minister these will be approved with speed, that the approval will not be unnecessarily or unreasonably withheld, but I do not think the amendment as drafted quite meets the situation. I think the approval should be deemed given if it is not forthcoming within whatever period we specify—a week or a fortnight. The Minister should make up his mind. He is the man who is supposed to know. If he is not satisfied with one thing, let him state what he does want.

At the risk of repetition, may I say that it must be assumed that the Minister for Agriculture and, indeed, every Minister of this State, will be fair and impartial in the discharge of his duties? If we accept the first line of argument, that every Minister is impartial in the discharge of his duties, the insertion of the words "such approval not to be unnecessarily withheld" does not improve the situation one bit. Rather would it indicate a lack of faith in the Minister. We can be sure that the Minister will not withhold approval without very good and cogent reason. Therefore, the insertion of the words "such approval not to be unnecessarily withheld" is superfluous, and if these words were inserted, it would make relatively no difference as regards the normal operation of the Act.

We all assume that Ministers are fair and impartial and reasonable and there is such a a thing known to the law as the reasonable man. That is a concept we are up against every day in administering justice. But, having accepted that there is such a concept as the reasonable man we find deviations from the norm every day. Let nobody be fooled by anything the Parliamentary Secretary says. I envisage considerable delay on the part of the Minister, not necessarily the Minister himself, but through his Civil Service machine there is going to be considerable delay. I think we must get the Civil Service to sit up and realise that in 1967 civil servants have a part to play in the business life of the country and must attune themselves to the tempo of business in 1967. That is the kind of efficiency and speed I want to get.

I do not intend to press this amendment because it does not quite adequately meet what I want to put in but what I will do is put down an amendment to ensure that we will have speed and efficiency and a minimum of delay in handling agricultural problems as well as other problems. I ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Mr. Dolan rose.

That does not prevent the Senator from speaking.

We should like to hear him.

On a point of explanation or of order, or whatever it is, this technique—"I will withdraw the amendment and put down one",et cetera—I can visualise what that is intended to achieve and I object to the withdrawal of the amendment.

It is a matter for the House.

I know exactly what is behind it.

The question is whether the Senator be allowed to withdraw the amendment. Does Senator Dolan wish to speak?

On the amendment?

Yes. I wish to say that as far as the amendment is concerned it was another of these efforts by the Opposition to obstruct and delay this Bill. It would achieve nothing. It is typical of the mentality of the Fine Gael effort in this respect. They have been trying here for the past four or five days and they tried for a couple of weeks in the Lower House, to ascribe all types of reasons to the Minister in introducing this Bill. At one point they are on the side of the mart owners. Then they are crying for the farmers. The whole thing is just a matter of raising a hare and bringing in irrelevant discussion for the sake of prolonging the debate. References have been made during the debate on this Bill to the Minister and to the Fianna Fáil organisation, to John Browns and so forth.

Could we keep to the amendment?

I should like to hear about the John Browns.

You may not.

He was a useful individual.

Regardless of the wishes of Senator Rooney, the Chair does not wish to hear it.

He was a very useful individual as far as I am concerned. This amendment should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

The question is whether Senator O'Quigley be given leave to withdraw the amendment.

This is very improper, Sir.

It is very interesting.

It is a new one, all right.

I ask Senator Rooney to withdraw that remark that the Chair has acted improperly.

I did not make any allegation.

I ask the Senator to withdraw that remark that the Chair has acted improperly.

I will withdraw anything I said in reference to the Chair, and nothing else.

On a point of order, the Senator has not said anything that was improper in relation to the Chair. What he said was——

The Senator has imputed impropriety to the Chair. The matter is now closed.

Is there any parliamentary precedent for not allowing a Senator to withdraw his amendment?

The Senator must be aware that amendments may be withdrawn only by leave of the House. There are precedents.

Might I seek the guidance of the Chair on this matter? The Government do not wish me to withdraw this amendment, and a vote has been taken by the Chair. Are we now entitled to challenge a division as to whether I am entitled to withdraw the amendment or not?

Yes. The motion is before the House. Does the Senator want a division?

Certainly.

Question put: "That leave be given to withdraw amendment No. 42".
The Committee divided:— Tá, 9; Níl, 25.

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Murphy, Dominick F.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.

Níl

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Sheldon, William A. W.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.
Tellers:— Tá: Senators Malone and McDonald; Níl: Senators Browne and Farrell.
Question declared negatived.

I am now putting amendment No. 42.

Question put: "That amendment No. 42 be agreed to".

I think the amendment is negatived.

Vótáil—no, I shall not pursue this absurdity except to say that, of course, I can put down an amendment to meet my needs on Report Stage. I intend to raise this matter on the section. For the information of Senator Ó Maoláin such an amendment would be in order.

Amendments Nos. 43 and 44 not moved.

Amendments Nos. 45 and 46 have already been discussed.

I move amendment No. 45:

In subsection (2) to delete paragraph (e).

Amendment put and declared negatived.

I move amendment No. 46:

In subsection (2) to delete paragraph (f).

Amendment put and declared negatived.

Amendments Nos. 47 to 49, inclusive, not moved.

I move amendment No. 50:

In subsection (2), page 5, to add a new paragraph as follows:

"( ) provide that the person carrying on the business of a livestock mart shall make adequate arrangements to safeguard the payments to persons whose property has been auctioned."

This seeks to ensure that something else will be provided in the regulations to be made by the Minister in connection with the proper conduct of livestock marts. This is something that can be accepted by the Minister because he made the point, when he reminded the House on Second Reading that this measure was being introduced principally in the interests of the farming community.

The purpose of the amendment is to safeguard the farming community in doing business with a livestock mart. We are now proposing to license these marts and in the situation when they will operate on the licence issued by the Minister, the farmers who bring their livestock for auction to these marts are entitled, now that they are under the Minister's surveillance, to be guaranteed by the Minister or to have the Minister ensure that when they bring cattle to the mart, they will, in fact, be paid for what has been sold. We have had reports of situations where, because of the failure of the cattle mart and the bad conduct of business by them, the cheques the farmers got for the sale of cattle bounced. Senator Dolan referred to some instances of this. That is regrettable. Up to now the marts have been operating without supervision or control but now the Minister is bringing them under control and it is sensible to provide in the regulations which will cover the conduct of the marts that they will be required to make adequate arrangements to safeguard payments to persons whose property has been auctioned.

I think the House will understand the sense of the amendment and that the wording will be found reasonable. It is the best I could think of and therefore I hope the House will accept it and add this condition to the list we have already included under section 6 (2).

This provision is unnecessary because it is being dealt with first, by regulation and secondly, it can also be dealt with by section 3 (2), which says that the Minister may, at the time of the granting of a licence, attach to the licence such conditions as he shall think proper and shall specify in the licence. I may add that the Marts Association will be consulted as regards the provisions and regulations being implemented and therefore the necessity for this amendment does not exist.

I cannot agree with the Parliamentary Secretary. Surely what is envisaged and provided for under section 3 (2) is the sort of exception where you attach a special condition to a licence which might go on to one licence and not another and which may vary from individual to individual and from business to business. What we have in section 6 is the sort of general regulation which would presumably apply to all marts. That is my reading of the section. What I want here is not something that may or may not be attached as a condition to one licence and not to another but that there should be something like the provisions in respect of maintenance of proper veterinary standards, that there should be something that will apply to all marts that get a licence after this legislation is passed. It is not sufficient answer for the Parliamentary Secretary to say that the Minister under section 3 (2) may attach such a condition as I envisage to a licence and shall so specify in the licence.

I suspect that the position is that the Minister finds himself in this situation: "Perhaps it would be desirable to have this included in the general regulations, perhaps it was not properly considered, or perhaps sufficient attention was not paid to it— that is not a criticism, and is not intended to be a criticism—and it could usefully be added to the section, but we do not want to accept any amendments in the Seanad and we do not want to concede anything". That is really the attitude, and the Parliamentary Secretary comes in with the excuse that it can be done under the exceptional arrangements which we can make under subsection (2) of section 3.

I want this to be one of the regulations which would govern all the marts, and not one which would govern one and not another, because one mart may fail at one time and another which is apparently healthy economically may fail in years to come, and if such marts have to operate under a licence given by the Minister, they should be required to make proper arrangements to safeguard payments to the farmers whose property is auctioned at the marts. I would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to look at this again. Surely it would be sensible to add the amendment to the section. Perhaps the wording is not the best, although I think it is, but the principle is important and should be accepted.

A great deal has been said, but we have been given very few facts, about the number of people who lost money as a result of the operation of livestock marts. I should like to hear from Senator Dolan or the Parliamentary Secretary whether it is of the order of 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 and in how many marts did this occur. This campaign is unfair to all the competent mart owners and auctioneers who are engaged in that business. Accusations have been made and, so far, no facts have been produced. Let it be stated quite plainly where this occurred. Was it in Ballybofey or where? I do not know. We should have the same clarity about these charges as one sees in the Aberfan Report which stated in no uncertain terms who was responsible for what. There is no use in mouthing charges and throwing mud which sticks to everyone.

Of course we are all in favour of people being paid for the cattle they sell at the marts but, with respect to the Senators who put down this amendment, I do not think the amendment would achieve the desirable object we all wish to achieve. Nor indeed is the Bill in any sense calculated to afford to the farmers the protection they may require. No amount of legislation will make people competent and honest, and ultimately it is competence and honesty which ensure that people get their money when they sell their cattle at a livestock mart. We can make all the regulations in the world about fidelity bonds being entered into, but if the livestock mart owner allows his fidelity bond to lapse unknown to the Minister, carries out a sale, and makes off with the proceeds, there is no security for the owners of the cattle.

Quite clearly you cannot legislate for honesty and competence to ensure that there will not be any loss, but there is a system by which one could ensure that if that kind of thing did happen and a fidelity bond were reneged upon or allowed to lapse, the sellers of the cattle would be protected. There is an admirable system in the legal profession. A fund is contributed to by all the solicitors, and if a solicitor peculates, as solicitors have done through incompetence or otherwise, and if he makes off with the client's money, a fund which has been built up by the solicitors with their own money is available to compensate the client whose money was taken by an incompetent or fraudulent solicitor.

That is a real remedy. There is nothing in this Bill to enable the Minister to do that. I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will not say he can do it under the regulations because he cannot, and he cannot do it by conditions. It just cannot be done under the Bill. That is a real system and a real safeguard and if the Minister were really concerned about safeguarding the farmers selling their cattle, that is the kind of system he would have brought in, by statute, as was done in the case of solicitors. No regulations however admirable or however well designed can provide the proper safeguards because they will be of no use if the fidelity bond is not paid up. Therefore, I do not think this amendment meets the situation.

I should like to say with regard to this matter which was referred to by the Leader of the Opposition that I did not make any wild charges about cattle marts as a whole. I know of many cattle mart owners who are excellent and reputable people but at the same time this Bill is designed, in the main, to protect the ordinary farmer.

Name a cattle mart that has gone bust.

Senator O'Quigley is well aware, I am sure, from his own supporters—if they are not all away on holidays—that such a case as I have referred to has occurred——

Perhaps the Senator would refrain from mentioning the names of people who are not here to defend themselves.

I did not mention any names. I was saying that cattle marts which were in existence have gone out of existence, and that people who brought their cattle there and sold them were not paid.

How much was due.

Have there been criminal proceedings?

This crosstalk must cease.

I rise to direct attention to the fact that we are discussing an amendment moved by Senator Murphy on behalf of the Labour Party. I do not think any reasonable-minded person can deny that Senator Murphy made an unanswerable case for the amendment. I am prompted to speak because of the experience we have all had during this entire debate. I am sure the debate on this Bill, and particularly the debate on Committee Stage, will go down in the history of the House as the most futile and senseless we have ever had on any Bill. For the life of me, I cannot see what purpose it is serving or what good it is doing to anyone.

Perhaps the Senator would confine his remarks to the amendment before the House.

I am trying to direct my remarks to the amendment and, with your indulgence, it will not, perhaps, take me too long to do so.

The Chair has been very indulgent over the past five days.

I agree, Sir; I do not think anyone will deny that. The Government ought at this juncture to take time to have a look at least at this particular amendment. It is not my intention to repeat anything Senator Murphy has said—we have had far too much of that in the course of this debate—but I put it to the Parliamentary Secretary that the Government surely owe it to themselves to demonstrate even by one small gesture that they are, in fact, prepared to listen to reasonable argument. We expect that much consideration from the Government. A great deal of the debate is to be deplored. I do not apportion any blame for that. I am simply reminding the House that we reached a position of utter absurdity this morning when we divided the House on the question whether or not a member of the House had, in fact, the right to withdraw an amendment. I do not think we should repeat that exercise. Something is needed to lift the debate out of the depth of absurdity to which it has sunk in order to demonstrate to everybody in the House, and outside it, that the Government have not completely lost their senses yet.

I agree wholeheartedly with the aim of this amendment. There are, I think, very few people on this side of the House who do not agree with it. The method, however, of achieving that aim is not the method suggested in the amendment. Subsection (1) of section 6 provides:

The Minister may, for the purpose of ensuring the proper conduct of places where the business of a livestock mart is carried on and the proper conduct of such businesses ... make such regulations as he thinks appropriate in relation to such businesses.

Subsection (2), which is the subsection Senator Murphy wishes to have amended, provides:

Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, regulations under this section may—

The governing word there is "may". And here is where we add the amendment:

( ) provide that the person carrying on the business of a livestock mart shall make adequate arrangements to safeguard the payments to persons whose property has been auctioned.

The whole purpose of this Bill, as I understand it, is to protect the ordinary farmers. That protection must be given to them in various directions and from different points of view. It must be given from the point of view of providing hygiene; it must be given from the point of view that every farmer has the right to sell his cattle on the mart; it must be given from the point of view that every farmer will be paid for his stock when it is sold on the mart. Despite what Senator O'Quigley has said, this Bill provides that regulations may be made to cover all these things or any additional things that may be found either necessary or reasonable for protecting the ordinary farmer.

The proper way to do these things is by regulation. Ordinarily, as a lawyer, I am opposed to delegated legislation, that is, legislation by regulation, but there are certain circumstances and certain types of business in which it is acknowledged that the only way in which one can do the greatest good is by making regulations instead of incorporating safeguards in a Bill. The reason for that is that it is only by consultation with the interested parties —the farmers, on the one hand, selling their cattle and, on the other hand, the cattle marts themselves—that one can ascertain the best and most effective way of doing things.

Senator O'Quigley referred to one method, the method adopted by the Incorporated Law Society: the members of the Society jointly and severally guarantee the honesty of every member and, if any person embezzles a client's money or is guilty of fraud, all his colleagues, without exception and without limit, must make good the amount lost or the fraud perpetrated. That is one way of doing it. It is only one of many. Senator O'Quigley has suggested that such a method is not possible by regulation. Of course it is, once it is provided for in legislation.

Incorporating this amendment of Senator Murphy will not put the matter any further. The Minister has given an undertaking—I am sure it will be found on the records; I do not know whether it arose in the Dáil, but it certainly did here, and I am quite sure my ears did not deceive me—that this is one of the regulations which will have to be made. Even if the amendment were to be accepted, we would still be governed by the word "may", subject to the fact that, when the regulations are made, they will be statutory regulations and will be laid before both Houses. I should imagine that, if such a regulation were not among the general regulations, there would then be very grave cause for concern and for criticism.

There are, of course, other ways in which Senator Murphy's aim can be achieved. This is not the only way. With regard to the fidelity bond, the bond is paid for in advance and the receipt from the insurance company must be produced before a man can carry on. There are various other ways. I agree with Senator O'Quigley that you cannot make a man either competent or honest by Act of Parliament, but you can by Act of Parliament and by regulations under the Act protect other people from defalcation. While it is agreed by everybody that this is one of the primary protections the farmer would require, I think Senator Murphy and Senator Crowley will find, if they refer again to the wording of the section, that this is not the way to do it. Ultimately we are dependent on the regulations. I have no doubt whatsoever that it could be done better under regulations rather than by incorporating it in the framework of the Bill. For one thing, there is more flexibility when it is done by regulation. The first method you hit upon need not necessarily be the best method. Therefore, while agreeing with the aim of the amendment, I find myself, for the very same reasons as Senator Crowley and Senator Murphy gave, namely, adequate protection, against the incorporation of the amendment in the Bill.

It appears that this Bill is to be made law and is to be enforced on the marts and the farmers whether they like it or not. The amendment by Senator Murphy and his colleagues is a very reasonable amendment. I was glad to hear that even Senator Nash approves of it and that he approves of the spirit and the aim of it.

We all approve of the aim of it.

When we have approved of it, let us face the position as we find it. This Marts Bill was introduced by the Government. They were not requested by the marts committees to introduce it or by the farmers or even by the people who Senator Dolan says lost their money—I shall come to that later. Neither were they asked by the IAOS or by the Livestock Marts Association or by any of those people who would be interested in it. No, there is nobody interested in this Bill——

Will the Senator confine his attention to the amendment.

Yes, Sir.

The Senator may not wander over the whole Bill at this stage.

No, Sir. I am referring to the financial standing of the marts and that is what I am going to discuss. First of all, this Marts Bill is being imposed on the people who are concerned with the contents of it. In trying to justify this Bill Fianna Fáil have tried by insinuation to make the public believe that every mart in the country is in danger of collapse——

Not at all.

——and that they are rushing to the assistance of the farmers by forcing this Bill through the Dáil and Seanad, an unwanted Bill and one that has been resisted in the Dáil and Seanad for those very reasons. Normally, legislation comes about as a result of representation from the parties and organisations concerned. No attempt is being made by the Government on this occasion to put on the Statute Book a Bill that has been requested because it has not been. An effort is being made by some of the Fianna Fáil speakers to make the public at large think that this Marts Bill is designed to protect the farmers against loss resulting from marts going out of business. The farmers have full confidence in the marts as they stand and the proof of it is the increasing and expanding volume of business which is being transacted through those marts. The trend is all towards the marts. If the farmers were afraid of losing their money by transacting business through those marts and if they had not confidence in them we should not have a situation where the volume of business being transacted through the marts is increasing. The effort of the Government in order to justify this Bill is to give the marts a bad name by creating some kind of suspicion in relation to the marts. They use this kind of chat as an excuse for imposing this Bill. I feel it is only right at this stage to challenge the Government on this issue and let them say once and for all that half the marts in this country are not in danger of collapsing as it would seem from the excuses put up by the Government in favour of bringing in this Bill.

There was some reference to taking out a bond. We all know that the bond will have to be related to the turnover because there are some marts transacting a greater volume of business than others and the smaller marts would be required to pay a very heavy premium if the premium was a uniform payment due from the marts. It would, of course, have to be related to their turnover.

Senator Dolan frequently in this debate has mentioned the fact that some farmers lost their money as a result of a mart going out of business. I am not forcing him to mention the name of the mart concerned but I am not convinced that the amount of money lost was in any way substantial. We have had publicity in relation to one or two isolated cases but of course the isolated case does not justify a Bill of this nature that is going to affect every mart in the country, every farmer in the country and the livestock trade in general. This talk is deliberately designed to create a suspicion regarding the financial standing of those mart owners. This suspicion is being created in order to justify the imposition of this Bill which has been resisted by all the interests concerned, the farmers, the marts and all those associated with it.

The Senator is getting somewhat diffuse.

The Parliamentary Secretary might be able to give the figure a little more accurately but my recollection is that the mart turnover is approximately £250 million.

You said that it was £5,000 a day in an ordinary cattle mart.

He did not.

He did. It is on the record.

Senator Dolan is either too stupid or too perverse——

Acting Chairman

Senator Rooney on the amendment.

The case I made was that a bond of £5,000 might be sufficient to cover a turnover of £100,000 in any one day because you would not expect a deficiency of £100,000 in turnover in one day.

That is all you know about cattle marts.

I am glad to hear the Senator say that because that is exactly what Fianna Fáil are saying all the time; that the marts are in danger of collapse——

No, it is not.

——and that this Bill is designed to prevent that kind of thing.

The Senator is opposing the amendment I take it?

Acting Chairman

I wish the Senator would discuss the amendment.

I shall read the amendment.

It would be a big help if you had read it before now.

The amendment is:

In subsection (2), page 5, to add a new paragraph as follows:

"( ) provide that the person carrying on the business of a livestock mart shall make adequate arrangements to safeguard the payments to persons whose property has been auctioned."

I have read this for the Senators.

For your own edification I would suggest.

No, I know all about it.

It is time you would by this.

The amendment is exactly what I am dealing with now. I am dealing with the turnover of the sales mart and I have come to the point where I am going to mention that the total turnover of the marts in this country would be approximately £250 million. Is there anybody over there prepared to contradict that figure?

That is a big change from £5,000.

We hear the Senators over there talking about losses of a couple of thousand pounds. A couple of thousand pounds out of £250 million.

It is a lot to a small farmer.

I agree.

The regulations are not going to help unless you adopt the system I suggested.

All this suspicion that is being created regarding the financial standing of marts is being justified by the Fianna Fáil Party repeating that somebody lost a couple of thousand pounds in connection with some mart that went out of business. Where there is a figure of £250 million concerned surely you can expect that some business or other may go out of business.

Yes, like Galway Textiles, £2 million.

All these places have lost far more money than all the marts in the country could be expected to lose in a year in connection with their business. This turnover of £250 million is the kind of figure that the Government are interested in because eventually I am sure they will be putting on a cattle tax and the mart owners will be the tax collectors.

Acting Chairman

The Senator is wandering from the amendment.

Is he for or against the amendment?

I am for the amendment. The point I am making is that the Fianna Fáil Party, for the past couple of months, have been talking about marts going broke.

Acting Chairman

The Senator is now repeating himself.

He is an expert on repetition.

I would certainly wish, first of all, to compliment Senator Crowley on his anticipation and to reassure Senator Murphy about the Minister's statement which he made here and which I quote from Volume 63, column 1035 of the 27th July:

Let me say, and go on the record here and now, without any question, as saying that one of the uses to which I first intend to put this measure, if it is enacted, is to ensure that there is either an insurance bond, a fidelity bond or whatever you like, that there will be cover for our farmers who may suffer losses in the future in regard to those marts as some of them have sustained up to the present.

The basic aim of the entire Bill is to ensure the orderly marketing of cattle, No. 1, and to safeguard the interest of farmers, No. 2. We in the Fianna Fáil Party do not cast aspersions on the cattle marts' integrity and the running of them but we are concerned with safeguarding the ordinary farmers, and even though the sums of money which would be lost might be insignificant to the wealthy elements of this nation, it is always well to remember that whereas a pound is not an awful lot of money when you have a lot, it can be a whale of a lot of money when you have not got it and to some of the small farmers the loss of even a few pounds would be of tremendous significance.

The regulations which will be provided after consultations with the marts will provide for suitable provisions designed to safeguard the interests of the owners of stock. Senator Murphy can be quite assured that his amendment is more than covered in the existing portion of this Bill and that its addition would be somewhat superfluous.

Not at all.

Special conditions will undoubtedly arise and it would be foolhardy of me to anticipate what those might be in certain circumstances. All marts cannot be of equal merit and the same case cannot be adduced for each one. If a certain case is adduced for one mart or several marts in one part of the country, there may be particular reasons for that not being suitable in other parts. I am not stating there will be such cases but there could well be, and it would be unwise to tie oneself to legislation under which there could be no guarantee that in very exceptional circumstances you were not committed to one particular situation.

Senator McDonald mentioned the size of marts, and the regulation of a particular size of mart. If the existing ones were lesser than the size prescribed, it could mean that they might not get a licence. I want to assure the Senator that such is not likely to happen. Now, to get back to this amendment, section 6 (1) gives general power to make regulations in regard to various aspects of the business of marts, including the taking out of a fidelity bond.

Section 6, subsection (1).

I do not see any mention of a fidelity bond.

One would imagine that a matter like this would be highlighted in the regulation section but this is an afterthought.

The other subsections provide for the making of regulations. The Minister has assured the House, and I now want to assure the House again, that one of the uses to which he first intends putting this measure is "to ensure that there is an insurance bond, a fidelity bond or whatever you like, that there will be a cover for our farmers who may suffer losses in the future in regard to those marts". Possibly this might meet Senator O'Quigley's suggestion. If the marts associations themselves devised such a system of guarantee as he mentioned, it might help.

It is the only protection for them.

I guarantee that the Minister will provide such an assurance. If he makes regulations, he will provide for this.

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for his reply. I think the second reply was rather different from the first one, but it was an improvement. I quite agree with Senator Nash that what we are dealing with here is an amendment which is not in any way obligatory. The section provides that the Minister may make regulations, but do not blame us for that. The Labour Party approach to this was quite different. It seems to me that the Fine Gael Senators are worried by the possible cost of this sort of cover to the livestock marts. It was suggested that the fidelity bond or the indemnity bond might not be completely satisfactory, that insurance might be allowed to lapse and farmers might be stuck as a result.

We are not in this amendment making any reference to a fidelity bond or an indemnity bond. We are not saying how the business should be done. We are saying it should be provided in the regulations that adequate arrangements are made to safeguard the interests of the farmers who trade through cattle marts. We are not attempting to define how it should be done but we are saying that if regulations are to be made in regard to washing facilities and veterinary requirements, the farmers' pockets are more important. This should be in the regulations and it should be in the Bill. We should not be fobbed off with an assurance by the Minister that he will, of course, if he makes regulations, provide for this.

We have existing things covered. They are not inexhaustible and it says they are not. We can suppose there will be important things which will be covered in regulations. For example, in paragraph (a), we prescribe the manner in which entries for auctions of livestock at such places shall be received and in paragraph (b), that entries for such auctions shall not be refused except in circumstances prescribed in the regulations. Those are all very important and I think the others are important too. We should have veterinary requirements and certain standards for such places and at such auctions. They may be relatively unimportant things. Surely the most important thing is that once a livestock mart operates under a licence issued by the Minister, it should be required to make reasonable arrangements to guarantee payment to the farmers whose livestock goes through that mart. This is not unreasonable and it is an important provision. It deserves to be written into the regulations. It deserves equal importance with the ventilation facilities, washing facilities and all that type of thing.

These are important in themselves— I do not want anybody to misinterpret me in that respect—for the health of the cattle and for the health of the people in those cattle marts, but surely what is of fundamental importance, particularly for the poor man, is that he should know, when he goes into a mart operating under a licence given by the Minister, he is going to a reputable person and if his cattle are sold at that auction, no cheque will bounce and he will be guaranteed against loss because of failure by anybody.

Again, I am not casting any aspersions on cattle marts or their operation. I do not know any of them. All I am saying is that in the interests of the farmer who will use those cattle marts, operating under licence from the Minister, there should be a condition that under the licence provided for in the regulations, adequate arrangements will be made to safeguard payments to persons whose property has been auctioned. Therefore, I press this amendment as I think it is of importance, and even more important than the cleanliness of premises or the inspection of cattle.

I am sorry for intervening a second time. I think the section meets exactly the point to which Senator Murphy has referred. First of all, let us take subsection (1). That deals with generalities: it gives the fundamentals. Subsection (2) deals only with details.

Important details.

Under subsection (1) you have the fundamentals to the regulations ensuring the proper conduct of places—that is the first thing. Secondly, there is the proper conduct of business. The business of a cattle mart is to take cattle which belong to other people, to sell those cattle for the owners to cattle dealers and to ensure that the owners are paid. That is the absolute fundamental business of the cattle marts.

That is not said here.

That is the business.

There are other ones later.

I am coming to them. This is the fundamental business. The regulations must, first of all, apply to the fundamentals. One of the fundamentals before you get to any of the details at all is the actual conduct of the business, the taking of the cattle from the owners, the selling of them to third parties and ensuring that the owners are paid and receive their money. Having dealt with the fundamentals of the business, under subsection (2) it might be considered that it is not a fundamental part of the business to ensure that the marts are kept properly washed, or to deal with the time at which the entries are received, whether a week beforehand, a day beforehand or on the day of the mart. Those are all minor points. If subsection (2) did not exist, it could possibly be argued that these kinds of details did not come within the ambit of subsection (1). Therefore, by writing them into subsection (2), you are making a detail of what is a fundamental.

Special pleading— not at all.

Can the Senator not stand argument?

If because he does not want to listen to logic my friend cannot and will not understand me, I cannot help that. The actual wording of the section speaks for itself. Subsection (1) is fundamental and you cannot necessarily introduce regulations regarding details. The auction mart might quite reasonably decide: "All right; when we accept entries, the entries we receive and whom we receive them from are details which we can decide." You may under subsection (1), supposing subsection (2) did not exist, decide on the fundamentals and payment for the cattle is one of the fundamentals which goes under subsection (1).

The only point of difference between Senator Murphy and me is that he feels this fundamental should be part of the Bill; in other words, this should be incorporated in the Bill. If you incorporate it in the Bill, it will be inflexible. From my point of view, this should be incorporated in an order, a statutory regulation, and not in the Bill. Thereby you can as effectively get the type of control of payment that would be most satisfactory to everybody.

I quite agree that there are general regulations governing payment. There may be certain fundamentals again there, leaving room, if you like, for certain discrepancies in detail. The bonds provided by one mart might not necessarily be decided for another mart. I do not say that bonds are the best method. There could be inspection of books, ensuring that they keep separate bank accounts so that there will not be an overdraft and that money cannot be lodged to their own account. The only way you can arrive at the best method is, first of all, by discussion with interested parties and finding out what would be most satisfactory and then by incorporating what you have decided in the regulations.

I really think Senator O'Quigley has a point when he says that subsections (1) and (2) of the section go into a lot of details. Senator Nash says they certainly are not of the very greatest importance. Of course they are. Perhaps subsections (b), (c) and (d) are fundamentals. They are, I think, one of the chief reasons for the measure at all. Surely it is a fundamental thing at an auction that you safeguard and make regulations about the way entries to marts will be received, providing that entries for such auctions shall not be refused except as prescribed in the regulations. There is all this talk about avoiding discrimination and about fundamentals. I say that it is equally fundamental to provide that the farmer who puts his cattle through the mart licensed by the Minister should have arrangements made for payment, that he should be guaranteed, if his property has been sold and the cheque is not satisfactory, that he will receive payment for putting his cattle through a licensed auction mart.

Senator Nash made the point: "Look, we are not going into details; there might be need to have consultation with the livestock marts and the associations about the details of this." The Minister has already made it clear that there will be consultations before he sets out to draw up regulations such as are envisaged under subsection (2). It does not take in any way from our argument that this should also be written into subsection (2) and should be the subject of consultation with the livestock marts before the Minister makes regulations. It should not be left out of the Bill altogether, as a sort of afterthought which might be included.

Question put: "That the proposed paragraph be there added."
The Committee divided: Tá, 11; Níl, 27.

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • McAuliffe, Timothy.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Murphy, Dominick F.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.

Níl

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Sheldon, William A.W.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Crowley and Murphy: Níl, Senators Browne and Farrell.
Question declared negatived.
Amendment No. 51 not moved.

I move amendment No. 52:

To add to the section a new subsection as follows:

"( ) The power of the Minister to make regulations under this section does not include the power to make regulations requiring the payment by any person, or unincorporated body of persons carrying on the business of a livestock mart, or by any other person of any licence fee, toll, poundage or other charge in relation to the selling or buying of livestock, or to the discharge by a health authority or by an officer of the Minister or the Minister of their respective functions under this Act, or under regulations or in relation to any veterinary examination, inspection or supervision under this Act or regulations."

I should like to draw your attention, a Chathaoirleach, to a small error in the printing of this. The amendment should read:

"( ) The power of the Minister to make regulations under this section does not include the power to make regulations requiring the payment by any person, or unincorporated body of persons carrying on the business of a livestock mart, or by any other person of any licence fee, toll, poundage or other charge in relation to the selling or buying of livestock, for the discharge,

rather than

or to the discharge by a health authority....

It only came to my notice this morning and I should like to say I am not attaching any blame to the officials or anybody else involved. The purpose of the amendment is to make it quite clear that charges for the administration of this Act will not be passed on to mart proprietors or to farmers but rather that they will be a charge on the Department. In the discussion during the past hour or so, the Parliamentary Secretary reminded us that the Minister stated that if a mart went bust, the cost would be met by an insurance bond and he added "or what you like". Does the phrase "what you like" include a charge on the farmers who sell cattle in the marts?

Veterinary examinations and inspection supervisions will probably increase at marts as time goes on because of the introduction in them of brucellosis tests and bovine TB tests. There will be more inspections of marts and of animals in them and this will involve a greater number of inspectors from the Department. I can imagine that the Minister for Finance, when he has a look at the costs coming up to Budget time, will direct the attention of the Minister to the continually rising costs of administering this Act and may suggest as a means of getting those costs down that a charge be put on sellers of cattle. It is to ensure that no such charge will be made that we have put down the amendment.

Briefly, I should like to support the amendment. Earlier in the debate the Minister told us of the ancient charter which imposed tolls or headage payments on cattle being shown at fairs. It is to be hoped he will not re-introduce a toll system under this Bill. That is why we put down the amendment. We should like an assurance from the Minister that he will not avail of the powers under the Bill to introduce any such toll or headage charge.

In the absence of any powers in the Act to charge fees, I fail to see the relevance of the Senators' speeches. During Second Reading, in his introductory statement the Minister assured the House that there is no requirement in the Bill for the payment by livestock marts of either licence or registration fees. This meets Senator McDonald's point. It has been stated by the Minister that the Bill has no requirement for the payment by livestock marts of any fee for licence or registration.

What about farmers paying going into marts?

They are not provided for in the Bill. It is not the function of the Bill to charge farmers who are going into any mart.

Can the Parliamentary Secretary give an assurance?

It has already been given by the Minister.

That is fair enough.

When we have Senator Nash and the Parliamentary Secretary telling us that the Minister is entitled to prescribe a fidelity bond, though there is nothing about it in the Bill, we are not prepared to accept that kind of assurance. Senator Nash told us that Senator Murphy's amendment, providing for the proper carrying on of the business of the marts, is contained in section 6 (1), which gives general power. That is all related to the proper carrying on of the business of marts. Of course, there is power if the Minister wants to use it by regulation to say that vendors of cattle in those marts shall pay a toll or a poundage or some kind of cattle tax. That power is there. Will the Minister give the categorical assurance that it is not intended to use any power contained in the Bill to impose on farmers selling cattle any fee, toll, poundage or other charge?

The Senator may have that assurance. That is in order. This is more of the propaganda, trying in every way to bring about mass hysteria.

We know all about the Fianna Fáil cattle tax. What the Minister stated on Second Reading is entirely related to the registration fee and the obtaining of a licence. He said there would be no formal charge for obtaining a licence. That is all he said.

It might be appropriate to ask the Parliamentary Secretary if he would be prepared to say that mart committees or owners cannot levy a charge against any people whose cattle are sold in the marts, for retransmission to any organisation, farmers' organisation or otherwise.

No reply.

Question put: "That the new subsection be there added".
The Committee divided: Tá, 12; Níl, 26.

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • McAuliffe, Timothy.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Murphy, Dominick F.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Prendergast, Micheál A.
  • Rooney, Éamon.

Níl

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Malone and McDonald; Níl, Senators Browne and Farrell.
Amendment declared negatived.
Question proposed: "That section 6 stand part of the Bill".
Business suspended at 1 p.m. and resumed at 2.15 p.m.

I will be very brief on the section because nearly all that can be said about it has been said already. However, I want to refer to what I consider to be a deficiency in paragraph (d), that is to say, there is no time limit imposed on the Minister within which he shall approve of the conditions of sale, and the conditions of sale for a livestock mart owner may in some circumstances be matters of urgency. Therefore, it is desirable that that matter should be dealt with, and should have been dealt with, in the section. I am glad the Minister is present again because it seems there are powers in the Bill which nobody reading it would have thought existed. According to the Minister's Parliamentary Secretary, one of the powers is to set up a compensation fund. That is feasible and possible under the regulations and I understood that to be Senator Nash's reading of subsection (1) of section 6. If there are to be regulations in regard to tolls and charges that may be and can be made by the Minister under section 6, these should be set out clearly in the Bill.

Senator Honan referred to a matter before lunch which is of very considerable importance. It may well be that Senator Honan was seeking an assurance on a matter about which he feels deeply. He certainly showed considerable candour and brought to light what a number of people had been saying this Bill is directed against. He asked the Parliamentary Secretary a question which was not answered. The question was: would the regulations provide that in a case where a livestock mart was run by a committee of persons, the committee would not be entitled to raise any levy in the course of the conduct of their business to provide contributions to a particular organisation. That, translated into ordinary everyday speech, means that Senator Honan wants to know if the Minister can prevent a livestock mart from making a contribution to, let us say, the Fine Gael Party, or to the Fianna Fáil Party.

No, a levy on the cattle.

I want to know can they do that or be prevented from doing that—or, more pertinently, to the Creamery Milk Suppliers Association or the NFA. That is what Senator Honan is worried about. He may have said the wrong thing at the wrong time. That may be disturbing the Minister. But "the facility which the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries possesses for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time is quite frightening," says an editorial in theCork Examiner this morning. I hope the Minister will not be too cross with Senator Honan for saying the right thing at the wrong time.

Question put.
The Committee divided. Tá: 26; Níl, 11.

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Sheldon, William A.W.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.

Níl

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • McAuliffe, Timothy.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Mannion, John.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Browne and Farrell; Níl, Senators Malone and McDonald.
Amendments Nos. 53 to 57, inclusive, not moved.
SECTION 7.

I move amendment No. 58:

Before subsection (2) to insert a new subsection as follows:

"( ) The Minister or an officer of the Minister shall not disclose to the Revenue Commissioners or to any other person any information relating to the business of a livestock mart obtained in the exercise of any of the powers under this Act or the regulations made thereunder."

The purpose of this amendment is to safeguard the owners of livestock marts who are obliged to disclose information to the Minister's officers and servants from having that information noised abroad either to competitors of the marts or to other persons. Some of the persons the livestock mart owners might be concerned about their getting information would be the Revenue Commissioners. The Revenue Commissioners, in my view, have ample powers of their own to ascertain such information as is necessary for them for the discharge of their functions and it would allay suspicions and fears considerably if it were made clear in the Bill that the information obtained as a result of the inquiries of the Minister's officers and servants was not going to be transmitted to any other Department of State and that it would be used only in connection with the business with which the Minister's officers were immediately and directly concerned. I know that when the position is the other way, the Revenue Commissioners normally will not disclose any information obtained by them to other Departments. Under the existing code of taxation legislation, they hold all the powers they require, without having that information obtained under penalty as provided in section 7 and having that transmitted to them from the Minister's officers or servants.

It is equally important that the private affairs of one mart should not be disclosed to, perhaps, a competitor in another mart. It is for that reason that the amendment provides also that the Minister's officers—and the Minister, although it is very unlikely that he would—shall not disclose to any other person information relating to the business of a livestock mart obtained by him. This is a desirable safeguard in order to preserve the business secrets of a mart. Even with the rigorous income tax code we have, legislation does provide, where there are disputes between the Revenue Commissioners and the taxpayer as to his liability, for the hearing of appeals either to the Special Commissioners or to the judge of the Circuit Court privately, and where matters have to be argued out in court, it is always done anonymously. It is very desirable that the safeguards in the taxation code should not be set at nought by this section.

I am rather surprised to see this amendment put forward, because every business in the country at the present time must submit to the Department of Industry and Commerce—I am talking about businesses other than a cattle mart business— full detailed statistical information about every aspect of their activities: the number of employees they have and what they are paid; what they were paid last year; the type of goods produced; the type of raw materials used; what they cost and what their selling price was; what the added value was—absolutely every detail. They do so with the full assurance that these details will not be disclosed by the Department either to competitors or to any other Department of State.

To incorporate something of this nature in this Bill when there is no such safeguard applying in the case of ordinary business would seem to assume that there is this difference, that people engaged in the cattle mart business can, without committing any breach of ethics, defraud the Revenue Commissioners, whereas in any other business, it would be a breach of ethics. There seems to be a discrimination. Of course it is unethical, but some people, unfortunately, do not consider it unethical. In any event, in manufacturing business of every type, there must be disclosed to the Department of Industry and Commerce considerably more details than have to be disclosed to the inspectors of taxes. Therefore, to introduce such an amendment into this Bill would be most invidious.

On the Second Reading of the Bill, I referred to this matter being dealt with under section 7, and I said in respect of taxation of land, that the trend is to derate land completely. It is quite obvious to everyone that if we derate land completely, there must be another form of taxation created to fill the gap caused by the fact that people have not to pay rates any further. I hold that the Marts Bill is not just a Bill to make regulations or to stop abuses in regard to people not being allowed to sell their cattle or in regard to a certain organisation going in and preventing sales. That only happened when certain people were not present. It has not happened since, and the owners of the marts were the only people who were really hurt by the fact that cattle were not sold in the marts. The mart owners do not want any obstruction. They are not at fault at all. The mart owners never tried to stop a beast being sold at a mart.

Would the Senator come to amendment No. 58, which is the only matter before the House?

I am speaking on amendment No. 58 which relates to section 7.

The Senator may discuss section 7 later on.

I think I am on amendment No. 58 as well.

Not as well. The Senator must come to the amendment.

The amendment refers to not disclosing information to the Revenue Commissioners. The section says they must disclose information to the Revenue Commissioners, and we do not want them to disclose to the Revenue Commissioners——

That is not in the Bill.

The amendment says they should not be asked to disclose information to the Revenue Commissioners as to the sales a particular farmer made or as to the sales that took place in a mart. I say that with the derating of land, a new system of taxation will be introduced and the Revenue Commissioners will get their information from the sales that take place in the marts. It is for that reason I am opposing the section.

We have just heard two of the most bizarre reasons from Senator McAuliffe and Senator O'Quigley for supporting this proposal. Senator McAuliffe feels, strangely, that were it not for this amendment, the Bill specifically gives power to the Revenue Commissioners to use information which the Minister may require solely to inform him as to whether or not a mart is being properly managed and is properly functioning. There is no such suggestion in the Bill. There are no grounds for the suggestion that this amendment is needed to allay the suspicions—not a very happy word— and fears of Senator O'Quigley that the Minister intends to start on an entirely new track of facilitating the disclosure to the Revenue Commissioners of information which he and his Department need entirely and exclusively for the purpose of ensuring that the marts come within the regulations proposed under the Bill. Here we have an instance of the suggestion implied in many of the amendments put down on Committee Stage that the Bill gives powers of intrusion which, in fact, it does not give.

Senator O'Quigley knows well that there is no reason, as Senator Nash has pointed out, for either fear or suspicion in his mind. Regarding what Senator Nash has said, were we to write in such a specific provision as this amendment, we would have to go back over all our legislation and write in what is long established as a convention, a tradition and, indeed, a principle, that the Minister involved in any such legislation will not disclose information to the Revenue Commissioners. I do not think legislation need specifically state that, since the principle has always been there and will always be there.

My final point is in regard to Senator McAuliffe's fear that because the Government have embarked on a programme of derating in the interests of the agricultural community, they will be seeking ways and means of making up the money through giving information to the Revenue Commissioners. The Senator and others like him who may believe that will find, as the Government's further programme for the relief of rates expands, that there is no need for fear that any such programme will be maintained on the basis of spying activities such as he suggests but purely on increased productivity which has always been the basis of Fianna Fáil reliefs from taxation.

I should like to be as satisfied as Senator O'Kennedy seems to be that this section is as innocent as he appears to think. The amendment we are discussing proposes a very simple precaution, merely to insert one additional clause. Nobody could question the necessity for some such, if not safeguard, at least assurance, being written into this section.

To see the effect of the amendment we must also look again at the section of the Bill. The amendment simply proposes that the Minister or his officers "shall not disclose to the Revenue Commissioners...". Looking down at section 7 (2), the first provision is that an "officer of the Minister shall, for the purposes of the execution of this Act, have power, first, to enter, inspect and examine at all reasonable times...". I do not think anybody could have any serious objection to that. The next provision is where we begin to ask why and what is the necessity for it—"...An officer of the Minister shall have power to require the production of any documents required to be kept in pursuance of regulations under this Act and to inspect, examine and copy any of them". That is an unusual provision, to my mind. Nobody could possibly say it was all right without at least asking why.

If you go down through the other subsections, your suspicions will, if anything, be confirmed. I happen to represent a section of people who have suffered for far too long under the imposition by which their earnings of one kind or another are completely open for inspection at all times by the Revenue Commissioners. Their most intimate and confidential sources of income are not only available to the Commisssioners but the workers are compelled to make them available, either themselves or their employers. Consequently, I have ample reason to complain of the discrimination, so to speak, that can be carried on under that sort of system in which one section of the community is treated in one way and another section in another. If for no other reason than that I question the desirability of opening yet another avenue for that sort of inquisition to the Revenue Commissioners.

I agree there should be an honest and fair return of turnovers handled by any of these marts. The Commissioners are entitled to ask for information and evidence to support it from time to time, but I am not prepared to say that an officer of the Minister should have all these powers, not alone to inspect, to enter and demand production of documents, but even, if necessary, to copy them. For what purpose? I am entitled to ask that question. I can only answer that there must be some ulterior motive in it. If it is not the motive Senator McAuliffe ascribes to it, what is the motive? Why must the Minister have all these powers?

For these reasons, if for no others, I think the amendment before the House is reasonable. It does not alter the effect of the legislation or cut it down or take away anything from the Minister. It simply obliges him to see that an assurance is given, as we require, that whatever information he collects in this way is not disclosed to the Revenue Commissioners. In dealing with this section of the community, I think this is a perfectly reasonable request.

I support the amendment. There is every justification for Senator McAuliffe's and other Senators' suspicions and fears which I think are well founded, despite what Senator O'Kennedy has said. Derating of agricultural land is a direct result of the Government's late awakening to the fact that the farmers are no longer able to pay rates at the level at which they have been called on to pay them.

Will the Senator tell us the basis for his belief——

Senator McDonald may not indulge in that discussion. The Senator will come to the amendment.

Not so long ago we had An Foras Tionscal warning all interested parties that there would be a severe reduction and set-back in the cattle industry towards the end of the year. For that piece of information, given with all good intention, we had Dr. J.G. Litton axed out of his job. Surely that is just one example of how far the Minister and the Government are prepared to go.

I fail to see how that supports the case for the amendment.

If the Minister and the Government do not want to impose additional taxation on the marts——

There is no question of taxation in this amendment. The Senator is going too far outside it.

If there is no ulterior motive behind this section, acceptance of the amendment should come easy to the Minister and he could give a clear indication of the Government's intention not to impose additional taxation on the farmers.

There is nothing in the section which says that the Minister shall not give appropriate information to the Revenue Commissioners. That is our complaint. There is no undertaking in this Bill that the information obtained by the Minister for Agriculture will not be made available to the Revenue Commissioners. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that if the Minister wants this Bill for the reasons he has set out, he will give an undertaking that he is not trying to put through the Bill in order to obtain information useful to the Revenue Commissioners.

As Deputy Crowley has mentioned, the Bill says that the Minister may send down an officer to inspect documents and to take copies. I am sure several copies would be available. This section gives the Minister power to go to the marts and get the names and addresses of the customers. It gives him power to see the business transactions of the customers. It gives him power to see what the turnover of the marts has been. It gives him power to see how many cattle were sold by the marts on any day, month or year. We know that the banks, when dealing with the financial affairs of people, do not furnish information to the Revenue Commissioners, but here we have a Bill which permits a Minister to provide that information to the Revenue Commissioners, not only in respect of the business transactions of the marts but also the business transactions of the farmers and the customers who are doing business through the marts.

This Marts Bill will have very widespread effects so far as the farmers are concerned because it will enable their affairs to be found out through the marts where they sell their cattle. There is nothing in the Bill to stop the Minister from making that information available to the Revenue Commissioners. The Minister will also be asked many questions in the Dáil about the business transactions of the marts, and so far as I am concerned, he will be answerable to the Dáil. He will be required to give that information in the Dáil and this will go further towards prying into the affairs of the marts and their customers.

This amendment belongs to the class of amendments put down for one specific reason—to raise invented stories about what the Bill intends to do. The only purpose of putting down this amendment is to try to suggest to unintelligent ears that the Minister will use the Bill to tax the farmers and the marts.

Accept the amendment and that will finish it.

Senator O'Quigley knows as well as I do that there is not a word of truth in that.

He has something to tell you yet.

Senator Rooney would say anything that suited him for the moment. Senator O'Quigley sneered at what he called my habit of going back to 1920 for previous legislation. I will quote precedents every time Senators like Senator Rooney, Senator McDonald and Senator O'Quigley say that such and such a section has no precedent and that its intention is to do down the farmers. This section deals with inspections. There has never been an Act dealing with agricultural matters since 1924 that has not included a provision of this kind, even when the late Deputy Hogan was Minister——

He was dependable.

——and when Deputy Dillon was Minister.

He was dependable.

There is a whole chain of Acts which are still in force with a provision exactly analogous to this. This applies not only to agriculture but to manufacturing industry. There is a vast mass of records that have to be made available to the inspectors of the various Departments, and there has never been any suggestion that they are used for any purpose other than the purpose immediately related to the legislation in question. This is fantastic and ludicrous, and if Senator Rooney does not know it, he should. There has never been any suggestion that any Department of State have betrayed their trust by giving information of this kind. The amendment was put down to suggest that the Bill would be used for some kind of skullduggery. There is not a word of truth in that suggestion and no one knows that better than Senator Rooney and Senator O'Quigley.

Senator Nash, Senator Yeats and Senator O'Kennedy have all indicated that in this amendment I am trying to do something new and something which implies that the officers of the Minister would be guilty of a breach of trust. We seem to have editorials as a matter of course now decrying the Minister for Agriculture. "Each new morn, new widows howl", like those in Macbeth. It was theIrish Times yesterday and the Cork Examiner today. They cannot all be wrong.

Senator Nash occupies a very special position in this Chamber because he is nominated by the Incorporated Law Society and elected to the Seanad on a cultural and educational panel by virtue of that nomination. When he speaks with such apparent authority on what the law is, one is inclined to regard him as being fairly accurate. One might take a different view of Senator yeats' researches into the law. Senator Nash said there never was such a provision as this in any other legislation. He now shakes his head in affirmation of that assertion. I took the first Book of Statutes I came across, the 1955 volume. I took the first volume and I will not look at any more. I have not got any civil servants or Taoiseach's nominees to do research for me. The Prices Act, 1958, was introduced by Deputy Seán Lemass. Section 24 reads:

An authorised officer may, for the purpose of obtaining any information which the Minister may require for enabling him to exercise his functions under this Act, do any one or more of the following things——

If Senators follow me they will find that subsection (1) of section 7 of this Bill is almost an exact parallel. Paragraph (a) of section 24 of the Prices Act reads:

... at all reasonable times enter premises at which any activity in connection with the business of manufacturing or processing or packaging or supplying or distributing commodities or in connection with the organisation or assistance of persons engaged in any such business is carried on, and inspect the premises——

Paragraph (b) reads:

require the person who carries on such activity and any person employed in connection therewith to produce to him any books, documents or records relating to such activity...

Paragraph (c) reads:

inspect and copy or take extracts from such books, documents or records—

Paragraph (d) reads:

require such person to give to him any information...

Let us turn to section 25 and see if Senator Nash is drawing the long bow.

What are the opening words?

Yesterday the Senator was looking for a quotation from the Minister for Education: "ceteris paribus we will look after our own.”

I did not get the quotation.

Section 25 of the Prices Act provides:

No person shall disclose information...

We did not get the information.

It is 23rd February, 1967, Official Report of Dáil Éireann. Look it up.

No person shall disclose information available to him by virtue of the powers of obtaining information conferred on him by this Act or through being present at a meeting of an Advisory Committee held in private.

(Interruptions.)

I shall read it very slowly because the Senator is dull of perception today.

No person shall disclose information available to him by virtue of the powers of obtaining information conferred on him by this Act or through being present at a meeting of an Advisory Committee held in private.

(Interruptions.)

That is the Prices Advisory Committee, a completely different thing altogether.

What I am talking about is subsection (1). Let Senator Nash not be so obtuse. He has been caught out redhanded and he is extremely obtuse if he is not prepared to admit he has been caught out.

(Interruptions.)

Senator Yeats and Senator Nash have both been caught out. That is the first Act. I have no fleet of officials to do research for me, but there it is. That was very important because it was highly political. The issue involved was highly controversial. One can imagine Deputy Lemass, when he was putting this Bill through, expressing the Government's firm intention to control prices. Deputy Lemass felt he had done a very good job, I recollect, on the Report Stage of that Bill. It is interesting to note that was one of the Bills on which the Government were defeated in 1958. But that was Deputy Lemass's view. He was a businessman and he knew something about business secrets. That is my view.

Since I have civil servants who do research, and do it a great deal more successfully than the Senator, I shall quote. I will take the Fertilisers, Feeding Stuffs and Mineral Mixtures Act, 1955; by a strange coincidence the section is section 7.

I expect the provision is contained in all those Acts.

This is subsection (1):

Every person who carries on or is employed in connection with the business of manufacture, import or sale by wholesale or retail of any fertiliser, feeding stuff, compound feeding stuff or mineral mixture shall at all reasonable times—

(a) produce, at the request of an authorised officer, any books, documents or records relating to such business which are in the power, possession or procurement of such person, permit the authorised officer to inspect and take extracts from such books, documents or records and give to him any information which he may reasonably require with regard to any entries therein,

(b) afford to an authorised officer all reasonable facilities for the inspection, sampling and taking stock of any fertilisers, feeding stuffs, compound feeding stuffs or mineral mixtures....

I shall not go on with this. It runs into two pages. The first part is the really relevant part with regard to documents, records, inspection, the taking of copies, and so forth. That Act did not call for any research on the part of the Senator because we had already given the reference several times in the course of these discussions.

We have then the Seed Production Act, 1955. Subsection (1) of section 17 of that Act provides:

An inspector may at all reasonable times enter and inspect any premises in which he has reasonable grounds for believing that seeds to which this Part applies are kept and may examine and take samples of any such seeds which he finds in the premises.

Subsection (b) provides:

The inspector may request the person in charge of the premises to give him the name and address of the person from whom the seeds found in the premises were obtained.

Section 18, subsection (1) provides:

The licensee shall keep such records as may be prescribed and shall from time to time make the appropriate entries in the records.

And subsection (2) provides:

Every record kept in pursuance of this section may be inspected at all reasonable times by an inspector.

Subsection (3) provides:

The licensee shall produce for the inspection of the inspector on request the record and also the invoices, consignment notes, receipts and other documents (including copies where originals are not available) reasonably requested by the inspector for the purpose of verifying any entry in or explaining any omission from the record.

We come then to the Factories Act of 1955. It was a funny year anyhow. We had a Coalition Government.

And some work was done.

Section 94, subsection (1) provides:

An inspector shall, for the purposes of the execution of this Act, have power to do all or any of the following things, that is to say—

(a) to enter, inspect and examine at all reasonable times, by day and night, a factory, and every part thereof, when he has reasonable cause to believe that any person is employed therein, and to enter by day any place which he has reasonable cause to believe to be a factory and any part of any building of which a factory forms part and in which he has reasonable cause to believe that explosive or highly inflammable materials are stored or used;

(b) to take with him a member of the Garda Síochána if he has reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction in the execution of his duty.

That is worth recording because there was a similar subsection in this Bill and I took it out by amendment, believing it was no longer necessary, unlike the people who produced that Act in 1955. These may not be strictly related, though the Seed Production Act and the Fertilisers, Feeding Stuffs and Mineral Mixtures Act are directly related to agriculture. The Creamery Act, 1928, surely parallels what we are doing now. In section 15 (1) there is the provision:

Every person in charge of a creamery within the meaning of this Act shall, upon being so required for the purposes of this Act by an officer of the Department, produce to such officer all records, books and other documents in his custody relating to such creamery and permit such inspector to examine and take copies of or extracts from the same.

That power has been there since 1928. There were no amendments. No amendment on the lines of the amendment proposed here was ever thought to be required. On no occasion since 1928 has there been any request to that effect by any Member of either House of the Oireachtas. To my knowledge, no attempt was ever made to have inserted in that Act an amendment similar to the amendment before the House now. That Act has been in operation since 1928 and its operation has been quite successful in relation to the inspection of records, the taking of copies, and so on and so forth. There has never been a single complaint by anybody. There has never been objection raised, such as Senators who have spoken against the section as it stands suggest will occur if the amendment they now propose is not accepted. Surely the commonsense of the Senators who have made the case for this amendment, and against the section as it stands, will now dictate to them the wisdom of their seeing the light and not insisting on this unnecessary amendment going into this Bill.

May I take the opportunity on the amendment to say that not only is it not necessary but it has been clearly demonstrated over the years that it is unnecessary. I wish to go on record as saying without any equivocation, to allay any suspicions that may have been raised by the sort of talk we have listened to, that there is no danger whatsoever and there is not the slightest possibility that any of the records, documents or information ascertained by or on behalf of the Minister now or in the future would be used other than for the purpose of this particular Act. In saying that, I am not making any big offering to anybody. I am merely indicating my belief in conforming to that which has been established over years of practice and experience and, as has been very wisely stated by Senator Yeats, if we were to undermine in any way the good faith of the people with whom we deal in regard to these matters, then all the laws and all the rest we may lay down would be of scant use in so far as keeping of records would be concerned because if, for any reason, these people should be led to the belief by false propaganda or otherwise that we were going to misuse our information; then they would know from the kickoff that the Bill was not in the interests of their industry and they would also know that it would pay them not to give us the true records and to try to deceive us.

This is surely what the Senators of the Opposition are trying to induce people to do. They are trying to induce people who are running a straight, honest business, by fear of what they promise tomorrow which will never arise, to bring them around to being dishonest people and keep dishonest books. This is really what is being sponsored here by Fine Gael and it is not the only place they have sponsored it. They started this down in Galway about four weeks ago. A rumour went around, got some publicity—as naturally other things can get publicity, not necessarily in editorials. When news is scarce they have to fill up with something. We have the knowledge that this was fostered by those who are not necessarily interested in the marts or their well-being but who are anti-Fianna Fáil and are trying to make trouble. Five or six weeks ago it was started. It was published. There is always some hack around who will pick up a thing and publish it provided it is anti-Fianna Fáil.

It was published and it arose from a statement made in Galway. I have promised—and I kept that promise in the Dáil—the Marts Association that I would, in speaking to the two Houses, take the opportunity to make special mention of this particular matter so as to dispel the rumours that have been put about and which have been propagated here today and to say that there is no question of the information to be got under this section being used for any purpose other than the operation of this Bill. I want to say that again to re-emphasise it to keep faith with those whom I told that I would do this who, let us be fair to them, did not themselves on their own admission believe the rumours because the people whom I was talking to are members of the IAOS, of the co-operative movement throughout the country who have had experience as nobody else had of the operation of the Creameries Act since 1924 and 1928 which I have just now quoted and they know that these rumours are completely unfounded; that there is no case that can be shown where complaint ever was made or any well-founded suggestion ever could be made as to abuse of the power under the 1928 Creameries Act. They merely wished for what I am now doing, giving public utterance by way of assurance that the rumours are just rumours without any basis in fact whatsoever so that people might not be misled by false pictures painted here or elsewhere.

The very simplest way of dispelling the rumours is to incorporate this amendment in the Bill. Then there will be no doubt at all about it. When the Minister was talking about the 1928 and the 1958 Acts, I thought he was going to say that there was no provision in those Acts such as has been in the Prices Act of 1958 but he did not do that and I have not the time nor the inclination to do the research to see whether they are there or not. As regards his assurances, I remember a very solemn assurance given by a former Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera, in Belmullet in 1961 that they would not remove the food subsidies and they were not in office six months when they did.

(Interruptions.)

By reason of the quotation of the Prices Act of 1958 I must intervene to reiterate what I said already, that there is no single piece of legislation in this country and I challenge anybody to produce it, where information has to be furnished to a Government Department for the purpose of carrying out the terms of an Act where it is provided that that Department will not disclose it to anybody else.

The 1958 Act.

The 1958 Act is not at all relevant. It is a Prices Act in which provision is made to have a tribunal of people other than civil servants hearing evidence.

Not at all.

Those people are getting secret information about everybody's business who appears before them and gives evidence. I reiterate again that there is no single instance where information has to be given to a Government Department for the purposes of effectively carrying an Act into effect where there is a proviso that that Government Department will keep it secret. The reason is that it is an accepted tradition in the Civil Service with a very, very binding force that no Government Department will, in any circumstances disclose to any other Government Department information which they get for the purpose of discharging their duties. To introduce into this measure an amendment such as suggested would mean that now that tradition is to be departed from; that it is to be observed where you have an Act of Parliament but not to be observed where you have not an Act of Parliament. Such suggestion would undermine the whole confidence in the Civil Service.

Question put: "That the new subsection be there inserted".
The Committee divided: Tá, 13; Níl, 27.

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • Davidson, Mary F.
  • McAuliffe, Timothy.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Mannion, John.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Prendergast, Micheál A.
  • Rooney, Éamon.

Níl

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Sheldon, William A.W.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Malone and McDonald; Níl, Senators Browne and Farrell.
Question declared negatived.
Amendment No. 59 not moved.

I move amendment No. 60:

In subsection (4), line 46, to delete "if so required".

The amendment is designed to ensure that any officer or inspector of the Department of Agriculture or the particular officers the Minister proposes to appoint will be able to walk into any established cattle mart and openly to go about their business. Seeing that they will be there now, there is no reason why they should not cultivate good relations between the mart-owners and the farming community, and walk in and produce their cards so that everybody will know who they are, their duties and what they are there for. There is no reason why the Minister should inflict an additional body of spies on the farmers. He can require them to produce their identity documents when they go into these places and so give these people a better chance of doing their work in harmony and perhaps it will lead to co-operattion.

Amendment put and declared negatived.

Question proposed: "That section 7 stand part of the Bill".

I want to draw attention to the powers that have been given in this section to an officer of the Minister. Among the powers are those set out in subsection (1): (a) to enter, and inspect the place, and (b) to require the production of any documents and to inspect, examine and copy any of them. We had a fairly lengthy and somewhat acrimonious debate on the simple amendment I put down to provide that there should be no disclosure of information. In the course of that debate, both Senators Yeats and Nash threw out a challenge —and there is nothing I like better than answering a challenge and doing that single-handed without the aid of civil servants or anything else——

I have the Library in Leinster House the same as any other Senator.

Senator Nash threw out a challenge. I am sorry he is not in the House now to hear what I have to say. He said that all the statistics collected and all the returns to any Department of State are generally, without any obligation on them, not to be disclosed. He said there was no analogous provision in the statutes relating to these officers. One minute's research provides a complete answer to the challenge and shows how reckless Senator Nash is, and he has put himself in the position where nobody will trust his opinion as to what the law is ever again.

The Statistics Act, 1926, provides that the Minister may collect, compile, abstract and publish statistics relating to any matter affecting the general economic and other activities and conditions in Saorstát Éireann and in particular all or any of the following matters: (b) vital, social and educational matters; (d) employment and unemployment; (e) emigration and immigration; (f) agriculture; (h) industry; (i) commerce; (j) banking, insurance and finance. That is subsection (2). Section 14 provides:

Save for the purpose of a prosecution for an offence under this Act, no officer of statistics shall publish or disclose to any person, other than another officer of statistics concerned with the matter in the course of his duties as such officer the contents or any part of the contents or any individual schedule, form, or other document filled in or otherwise completed by any person in pursuance of a requisition made under this Act or the contents or any part of the contents of any record or document (not being a record or document open to public inspection) which was inspected or of which a copy was taken or obtained by an officer of statistics in exercise of any power in that behalf conferred on him by this Act or any valuable information or answer given relating to any individual person, business or concern.

Subsection (2) of that section says:

Every officer of statistics who shall publish or disclose the contents or any part of the contents of any such individual schedule, form, or other document as aforesaid or any such record or document as aforesaid or any verbal information or answer given relating to any individual person, business or concern in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or,... to imprisonment...

Now, will Senator Nash have the grace to admit that he was recklessly wrong in what he said—recklessly wrong? He has put himself outside the pale of being heard by anybody at all in this matter. All the statistics and all the information that are collected for any Department of State are collected under this Act and there is an absolute prohibition on disclosure. I do not want to make it an offence for a civil servant concerned or a particular health authority. I merely want to provide that what applies to industry, and prohibition on what applies to industrial procedure, as provided in Lemass's Prices Act, 1958 should also apply to the Livestock Marts Bill, 1967, and so on.

I have not intervened in this debate up to now but I find I am compelled to speak. I am sick and tired of listening to Senator O'Quigley using one phrase all through these six days whenever he got the opportunity. He strikes me as being a distinct example of what Myles na gCopaleen described as "The Béal Bocht." We hear him whining that he did not have civil servants or people to engage in the necessary research. I want to know whether it is not a fact that the Fine Gael Party enjoy some thousands of pounds of the taxpayers' money voted by the Dáil each year for the purpose of secretarial assistance and research. If they get that money which the finance accounts and the Accountant-General verifie they get, what are they doing with it? If Senator O'Quigley cannot get secretarial assistance, cannot get assistance to dig out the research, what is happening to the money? I think it is time we had an inquiry into that.

We do not get nearly enough money for the purposes for which the money is supposed to be devoted. A great deal is devoted to the kind of research necessary for the formulation of policy documents which have to be produced.

I still think we should have an inquiry.

I am distressed about this obviously quite appalling waste of taxpayers' money.

What about the waste——

Will Senator McDonald please let Senator Yeats continue?

All I want to say about these two alleged analogies that Senator O'Quigley has produced is that really one would despair of seeing any rhyme or reason in anything Senator O'Quigley says in regard to legislation of this kind. First of all, the Prices Act is no analogy. That Act relates, amongst other things, to people who are not civil servants, who would not in the absence of such a provision in the Act be under any restriction with regard to the publication of confidential material. It is essential to have a clause of that kind in that Act in order to deal with persons who are not civil servants.

The Statistics Act now produced by Senator O'Quigley has no relation at all to the matter in hand. That is an Act relating to the publication to the country at large of information that is collected. Since it gives a blanket power to publish everything that is collected, obviously there has to be such a section dealing with that. It has no relation to the type of legislation with which we are dealing.

The Senator is talking silly nonsense.

Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 27; Níl, 12.

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Sheldon, William A.W.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.

Níl

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • Davidson, Mary F.
  • McAuliffe, Timothy.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Mannion, John.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Browne and Farrell; Níl, Senators Malone and McDonald.
Question declared carried.
SECTION 8.

I move amendment No. 61:

To delete subsection (2).

Subsection (2) deals with the position of companies and unincorporated bodies of persons. It seems to me it is throwing too great a risk of being found guilty of an offence on persons who may be merely clerks or servants with no discretion or say in the running of the company or committee. It is going that bit too far to bring them within the penal section of the Bill and, for that reason, the subsection should be deleted. In regard to corporations or unincorporated bodies, section 11 of the 1937 Interpretation Act, paragraph (i) and paragraph (c), already has brought them within the provisions of the Act and we propose that the subsection be deleted.

Acting Chairman

Is the amendment being pressed?

Oh, yes.

Amendment put and declared negatived.

I move amendment No. 62:

In subsection (3) (a), lines 19 and 20 to delete "one hundred" and substitute "ten".

This is one of a group of amendments the purpose of which is to bring down the maximum fines and penalties in all cases to more realistic figures. We have seen in the past few months farmers getting maximum jail sentences and maximum fines for technical offences. For that reason we feel the penalties set out in the subsection are excessive. Members will recall that not so long ago there were almost 100 farmers serving three months in penitentiaries for little more than a parking offence.

Is it the courts the Senator is criticising?

I ask the Minister not to discriminate further against the farming community. I ask him to reduce these rather heavy fines down to something in keeping with every day court practice.

I will give the Senator cases of personal hardship as the result of the trivial offences he has spoken of. Would he like me to do so?

They were held in jail for three months and I saw them in Portlaoise.

There were injuries to health and life as a result of these technical offences. I will give the Senator some examples if he wants them.

At the same time as these farmers were serving long terms in prison, we find people in this city not being brought to justice for attacks on the person.

Is the Senator now attacking the Garda Síochána?

The entire forces of the State were set on this much maligned section of the community. There is no comparison between the fines and punishment the Minister proposes to impose under this section and those usually imposed. For instance, in subsection (3) (a), the Minister proposes a fine of £100. Any reasonable-minded person will agree this is excessive, taken in conjunction with the continuing fine of £10 a day. I ask the Minister to have second thoughts. The section of people we are dealing with always have been law-abiding.

Therefore, they need not be afraid of the penalty.

It is most unfair either to jail them for long periods or to impose these heavy fines.

I should like to tell the Senator that his idea of a technical offence is most extraordinary. Before asking him a question, I should like to express my astonishment that on top of attacking the courts, on top of attacking the manner in which the Garda Síochána carry out their work for the protection of life and property in this city——

I never said a word about them.

He never mentioned the Guards.

He spoke about the unsatisfactory manner in which the enforcement of law and order was being carried out in this city. More than anything, what I want to get from him is his explanation of these comparatively minor technical offences he spoke about. The technical offences I know about, which many of these criminals he is pleading on behalf of committed, occurred when bunches of hoodlums did not alone damage to life and property but also prevented clergymen—I emphasise "clergymen"—from rendering the Last Rites. There is a particular case I have in mind. If we are so polite that we are afraid to mention hoodlums or call a spade a spade, Senator McDonald can proceed to tell us more about these technical offences, or he can go on assuming that the people will believe his description of these offences. Many of the people shown leniency by the Government refused to accept it and the only thing asked for in return was that these people would recognise the laws enacted by the people through constitutional means.

I take it, then, the farmers cannot expect leniency from the Minister or from Fianna Fáil.

That is another example of what somebody described as the planted lie. Say it often enough, shout it loud enough——

Would the Senator say what he meant when he said the farmers were criminals?

Acting Chairman

Will Senator Rooney keep quiet and allow Senator McDonald to proceed on the amendment?

I should like to put the position that will obtain under these subsections clearly and distinctly so that Senator McDonald can understand it. We in Fianna Fáil have always believed in the courts of this country. The Minister is not, as Senator McDonald suggests, meting out terms of imprisonment or fines in this Bill. He is doing nothing of the kind. That is a matter for the courts. Unlike the situation that arose recently in this country with certain elements, including Fine Gael, we in Fianna Fáil believe that matters of this kind are for the courts. The penalty inflicted by the court is a matter for the court: it is not a matter for the Government. If, under this Bill, a fine of £100, or any other sum, is meted out by a court, it is not because the Minister thinks it should be so but because the court has decided, in its wisdom, that the offence warrants that fine. That is the point. It has nothing to do with the Minister. Everything the Senator has said is designed, apparently, to upset the whole idea of the courts fixing penalties. No court will fix a penalty for a particular offence, be it a trivial or an important offence, except on the basis that the penalty they are inflicting is in accordance with the gravity of the offence committed.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand".
The Committee divided: Tá, 26; Níl, 12.

  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Sheldon, William A.W.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.

Níl

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • Davidson, Mary F.
  • McAuliffe, Timothy.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Mannion, John.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Browne and Farrell; Níl, Senators McDonald and Malone.
Question declared carried.

Might I intervene on a point of order? I understand that in my absence, Senator O'Quigley again saw fit to make an attack upon me.

Do not blame me if you are out.

I do not blame the Senator for my absence.

That is what the Senator is doing.

I referred to the Statistics Acts, of which there are two, one in 1926 and one in 1946, and I take it that it was to the Statistics Act, 1926 he referred.

How is this a point of order?

I take it that it is a point of explanation. I want to know what it is.

I want to justify what I said. I understand that Senator O'Quigley made an attack, not only on the accuracy of what I said but on my integrity in stating——

The Senator may raise this on another occasion. It may not be raised now.

May I raise it later today?

I suggest the Senator consider raising it at the next sitting.

Thank you.

I move amendment No. 63:

In subsection (3) (a), line 21, to delete "ten" and substitute "three".

Amendment put and declared negatived.

Amendment No. 64, and with it we can take No. 67. Separate decisions may be had, if necessary.

I move amendment No. 64:

In subsection (3) (a), to delete lines 23 to 25 inclusive.

The purpose of these two amendments is quite simple. At matters stand now, the fine that will be imposed will be one of £100 and there is provision for a further fine not exceeding £10 per day for every day during which the offence continues. In paragraph (b) there is provision for a fine of £500 and a fine of £50 per day in respect of continuing offences. It seems to me that these large fines are all designed to create the impression that terrible offences are going to be committed by livestock mart owners and also by people buying or selling in livestock marts. They come within the penal clause of subsection (1) of this section. It is going to be suggested that they are all engaged in terrible crimes that merit heavy penalties of £100 and £10 a day. I do not think for a moment that there ought be any question of a term of imprisonment together with these penalties. If fines of that kind are imposed, or are to be imposed, for every day the offence is continued, no business or individual could continue as they would be paying what would amount to a daily rental of £10, or in the case of a company or unincorporated body, a daily rental of £50. I know of no business that could stand up to that and therefore if these fines are to be imposed, they would seem to be sufficient without providing also for stretches of imprisonment.

Amendment put and declared negatived.

I move amendment No. 65:

In subsection (3) (b), line 27, to delete "five" and substitute "one".

Amendment put and declared negatived.

I move amendment No. 66:

In subsection (3) (b), line 29, to delete "fifty" and substitute "five".

Amendment put and declared negatived.

I move amendment No. 67:

In subsection (3) (b) to delete all words from and including "or" in line 30 to the end of the paragraph.

Amendment put and declared negatived.

Question proposed: "That section 8 stand part of the Bill".

There is just one matter which intrigues me. I want to ask the Minister in what particular set of circumstances a person will be tried on indictment, as provided in paragraph (b). It is a matter of information—what will determine whether there will be a summary trial or a trial on indictment?

The accepted procedure in criminal law will decide it.

The Senator is being very learned.

Not being very learned, but trying to appear to be commonsense; to be punctilious, as you were not when you misquoted an Act of Parliament, the introduction to which set out the actual position regarding that Act.

I did not.

I can understand density, but not duplicity; prejudice, but not prevarication.

The Senator will have an opportunity of dealing with that. I am entirely correct.

Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 26; Níl, 11.

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Flanagan, Thomas P.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.

Níl

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • Davidson, Mary F.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Mannion, John.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Browne and Farrell; Níl, Senators Malone and McDonald.
Question declared carried.
SECTION 9.
Question put: "That section 9 stand part of the Bill".
The Committee divided: Tá, 25; Níl, 11.

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.

Níl

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • Davidson, Mary F.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Mannion, John.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Browne and Farrell; Níl, Senators Malone and McDonald.
Question declared carried.
SECTION 10.
Amendment No. 68 not moved.
Question put: "That section 10 stand part of the Bill".
The Committee divi ded: Tá, 26; Níl, 11.

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Sheldon, William A.W.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.

Níl

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • Davidson, Mary F.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Mannion, John.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Browne and Farrell; Níl, Senators Malone and McDonald.
Question declared carried.
SECTION 11.
Question proposed: "That section 11 stand part of the Bill".
Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 26; Níl, 12.

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Egan, Kieran P.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Sheldon, William A. W.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.

Níl

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • Davidson, Mary F.
  • McAuliffe, Timothy.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Mannion, John.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Browne and Farrell: Níl, Senators McDonald and Malone.
Question declared carried.
SECTION 12.
Question put: "That section 12 stand part of the Bill."
Question declared carried.
Bill reported without amendment.

In view of the minute examination which this measure has got on Second Stage and in Committee and in order to save Members from the possibility of having to spend time here next week, I thought it might commend itself to the House if we were to take the remaining Stages now.

I think the Leader of the House has misinterpreted the feeling of the House. We shall not give the Report and Final Stages now.

It would be most unjust to ask us to deal with Report Stage now. It is possible that some amendments will be put down, and people need some time to think over the amendments and put them down, if they so desire.

I have not the slightest desire to curb the discussion. Since Senators have given such a detailed examination to the Bill, it looked to me as if everyone had gone far enough with it. I thought it might commend itself to the Seanad and that Senators would like to do the job now.

Perhaps I might make a counter-proposition. As there does not appear to be any great urgency about the Bill, and in view of the fact that the Minister has indicated that he may not make regulations at all, if upon examination it becomes apparent that it might be too difficult or too unwieldy, Report Stage of the Bill could be taken next October. That would facilitate the staff of the House and it would facilitate Members of the House, too, whose interests do not concern me as much as those of people who have no say in having their holidays disrupted.

Fine Gael Senators may be back from their holidays then.

I was sincere in suggesting that we take Report Stage now, but in view of the fact that Senator O'Quigley has become facetious and made a suggestion about October, to accommodate Members from the country, and in view of the fact that next Monday is a Bank Holiday, I suggest we take Report and Final Stages next Wednesday at 3 p.m.

That is not agreed and I want to give a reason. We should be afforded the normal facility of having the Report of this debate before us so that we can get a consensus of opinion from various sides of the House in relation to certain amendments. Some amendments commended themselves to people on the other side af the House, and we cannot frame amendments for Report Stage without having the Report of the debates before us. That will not be available by next Wednesday. Also in view of the fact that next Monday is a bank holiday, to suggest that we meet next Wednesday is tantamount to exercising a guillotine.

It is time to call a spade a spade. Senator O'Quigley knows very well that on the Second Stage of this Bill we had a very long and representative debate and also on Committee Stage, so there is no question of a guillotine.

The only motion before the House is that the Seanad adjourn until next Wednesday at 3 p.m. to take Report Stage.

May I correct you? Report and Final Stages.

It is tantamount to exercising a guillotine.

One day's notice.

Your people are not here.

I want the Seanad to understand the form in which this motion is being put before it now, strictly in accordance with the Standing Orders. The question is: "That the Report Stage be taken on Wednesday, 9th August, 1967.

Question: "That the Report Stage be taken on Wednesday, 9th August, 1967, put."

The Seanad divided: Tá, 25; Níl, 12.

  • Ahern, Liam.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Brennan, John J.
  • Browne, Seán.
  • Connolly O'Brien, Nora.
  • Dolan, Séamus.
  • Eachthéirn, Cáit Uí.
  • Farrell, Joseph.
  • Fitzsimons, Patrick.
  • Honan, Dermot P.
  • McGlinchey, Bernard.
  • Martin, James J.
  • Nash, John Joseph.
  • Ó Donnabháin, Seán.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • Ó Maoláin, Tomás.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Longford).
  • Ormonde, John.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Patrick W.
  • Ryan, William.
  • Sheldon, William A.W.
  • Teehan, Patrick J.
  • Yeats, Michael.

Níl

  • Conlan, John F.
  • Crowley, Patrick.
  • Davidson, Mary F.
  • McAuliffe, Timothy.
  • McDonald, Charles.
  • McHugh, Vincent.
  • Malone, Patrick.
  • Mannion, John.
  • O'Quigley, John B.
  • O'Reilly, Patrick (Cavan).
  • O'Sullivan, Denis J.
  • Rooney, Éamon.
Tellers:—Tá: Senators Browne and Farrell: Níl: Senators Malone and McDonald.
Question declared carried.
The Seanad adjourned at 5.25 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 9th August, 1967.