I do not wish to hold up the progress of the Bill but we are on a point of some considerable importance. There is a difficulty in the method on Committee Stage of proposing an amendment. May I propose an amendment which I think could be dealt with now rather than propose that the whole Bill be held back for an amendment on a set occasion?
Agricultural Credit Bill, 1969: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Final Stages.
I am not out of sympathy with Senator FitzGerald and others on this point. I agree it is necessary that the accounts should be prepared and reports submitted at the earliest possible moment to me and to the Oirechtas but it is modern practice now to remove any specific time limit. I suggest putting in the words "as soon as may be". I may say that I am not prepared to die for this particular change.
It was not our proposal to shoot the Minister.
I suggest that the Seanad at this late stage would accept an assurance that we would fix some period now, say four months, five months or six months, and I would give an undertaking, not in my personal capacity but in my corporate, official capacity——
Does it not seem more sensible to put it in the Bill? If for some mysterious reason the Minister thinks this would be better, I suggest a period of five months.
Make it five months.
When the Minister says it is common practice not to put in a limit, he is unconvincing. Modern practice means that the Government have been doing it lately. If the Minister agrees it would be a good thing, is there any reason why it should not go into the Bill?
It would hold me up. I would have to go to the Dáil.
The Minister has given an undertaking which will be recorded in the proceedings of the House.
May I express the hope that in future legislation this will be borne in mind and that the Minister will avoid going back to the Dáil for a revision of the original draft?