Finance Bill, 1976 ( Certified Money Bill ) : Motion for Earlier Signature.

I move:

That, pursuant to subsection 2º of section 2 of Article 25 of the Constitution, Seanad Éireann concur with the Government in a request to the President to sign the Finance Bill, 1976, on a date which is earlier than the fifth day after the date on which the Bill shall have been presented to him.

Despite the highly undesirable circumstances with which this Bill faced us, obviously one cannot object to the earlier signature motion. It is clear that constitutionally speaking the President has to sign it, but I reiterate that this is the sixth such motion since December. The Leader of the House should not assume that these motions will go through on future occasions without a vote or without debate.

The Leader of the House did not assume any such thing. He was merely moving the motion for discussion.

Regret has been expressed by the Minister and there has been a great deal of discussion about this. As Senator Yeats says, there is not much we can do about it at this stage. The Leader of the House should take the initiative—and he will get plenty of support from this side of the House—in doing what he can to ensure this kind of situation will not occur in the future.

As I indicated today, I know for a fact that we have the goodwill of the Minister in this respect and that he is prepared to endorse any arrangement we can make with the Dáil which will enable earlier consideration here of the Finance Bill so that we would not be up against this situation. If both sides of the House put their heads together and meet their counterparts in the Dáil we may be able to come to some arrangement.

Question put and agreed to.
The Seanad adjourned at 10.45 p.m.sine die.