SECTION 23.

In this Act :—
the word " Commissioner " means the Commissioner of the Gárda Síochána ;
the word " Minister " means the Minister for Home Affairs.

This Section says " the word ‘ Minister ' means the Minister for Home Affairs." Should not the word " Minister " mean the Minister for Justice ?

I propose to delete the words " Home Affairs," and substitute " Justice."

Amendment put and agreed to.
Section, as amended, put and agreed to.
Section 24 put and agreed to.
First, Second, Third, and Fourth Schedules put and agreed to.

Returning to Section 8, I find in the Gárda Síochána (Temporary) Provisions) Act, 1923, the provisions of Section 8, as follows :—

(1) The Minister may, with the sanction of the Minister for Finance, from time to time by Order regulate and appoint the rates of pay and allowances to be paid to the several ranks of the officers and men of the Gárda Síochána.

(2) Every Order made under this Section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution is passed by Dáil Eireann within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which Dáil Eireann has sat annulling such Order, such Order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under such Order, and any recommendation in respect of such Order which shall be made by Seanad Eireann within such twenty-one days shall be duly considered by Dáil Eireann.

A provision equivalent to this Section appears in Section 7 of the Bill now under consideration.

" Including conditions applicable thereto " is not in the Act.

Otherwise it is the same. It may be within the recollection of members of the Committee that the Army Act, and I think one other Act, were passed as Temporary Acts without consideration by the Seanad in agreement, so that we are not really bound by them as we would be if we had passed them after full consideration.

For my part I undertake to look into this between this and your Report Stage. An amendment to put it right could be moved in the Seanad. Subject to consultation, I would be in favour of putting the position on all fours with regard to the Dáil.

The position with regard to that is this : in the matter of an Order, whether it be an Order of a Minister or an Order by the Executive Council, if either House refuses to pass that, the Minister either remains where he was or brings in a Bill. If the Seanad refuses to pass it, he has got a majority in the Dáil he can bring in a Bill. Would that meet with your view, to leave it to a member of the Committee to put down an amendment on the Report Stage ?

I suppose that is the best thing to do. There has been a certain lack of consistency in regard to these Orders. The Civil Service Regulations Bill makes provision dealing with Orders such as this, made by the Minister for Finance, and in that case both Houses, I think, have to pass a similar resolution annulling the Order before it falls. We had some controversy, and in the Seanad we introduced an amendment providing that a resolution of either House would cause it to fall, too. That was thrown out in the Dáil, and the Bill stood as introduced. These Regulations dealt with conditions of service, and they dealt also, I think, with rates of pay. Certainly one strong ground for opposition in the Dáil was that they were Regulations affecting money, but there was no provision giving the Seanad only power to recommend, so that this is a clear departure from that procedure.

That is so. There is another point in connection with this. It does not refer particularly to this Order, but it refers to all. It seems to me that it is not a very satisfactory form, particularly if you amend it to include the Seanad. It says if a resolution is passed " within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which Dáil Eireann has sat." It seems to me the intention is twenty-one days from the first sitting of Dáil Eireann after the Order is made. I asked Lord Glenavy in the case of another Order, and he said he thought if you took it to the Courts you would have to prove that they sat twenty-one times. I think you will find a number of Orders in the same position. The question has never arisen, for it has never been challenged.

Have you got the Temporary Act there ? I think the wording of that was different, " the next twenty-one days."

And also it does not mean that it is only within these twenty-one days the Seanad can recommend it. although we might not have met for a fortnight after.

The wording we would require would be something like this : " Every Order made under this Section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution is passed by either House within twenty-one days after the first day on which either House has sat, annulling such Order."

I think somewhat the same wording has been included in all the Bills passed.

It is not good wording.

The time it struck me was when Mr. Hogan was asking me to move under one of these Orders, because he wanted to do the thing in a hurry. I said, " What does it matter ? We will not meet within twenty-one days, and if it is not passed it makes no difference to you." We got the Act, and both he and I came to the conclusion that it really meant twenty-one times of the Seanad sitting, and that it was a good case for getting his resolution through.

" Every Order made under this Section shall be laid before the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution is passed by either House within twenty-one days after that House has next sat," or next sits.

After the date on which that House shall next sit.

It is quite easy to put it right.

Would it meet the case if we were to make that amendment here, so that it would come formally as an amendment before the Seanad ? If I am present I will explain it, and if not, someone else will do so. It is necessary the matter should be explained to the House. It is clear some amendment is necessary.

When is the Report Stage in the Seanad ?

It is likely to be next Wednesday. It is just possible I may be absent, but perhaps Mr Brown, if I am absent, will undertake to explain the matter. I want it to be explained as a courtesy to the Minister, that he did not accept the amendment, but said he would consider it.

The amendment I have drafted is :—

" Every Order made under this Section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made, and if a resolution annulling such Order is passed by either House within twenty-one days after the date on which the House shall next sit, such Order shall be annulled accordingly."

So you will delete the words from " Order," line 42, down to " without prejudice" ?

Amendment put and agreed to.
Section 7, as amended, put and agreed to.

In Section 8, Sub-section (2), the procedure is somewhat different. All that is necessary there, I think, is simply to say " no Order made under this Section shall come into operation unless and until it has been laid before each House of the Oireachtas, and approved by resolution of each House." Then all the rest goes out. I propose this.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Section 8, as amended, put and agreed to.
The Preamble and the Title put and agreed to.
Question : " That the Bill, as amended, be reported to the Seanad," put and agreed to.
CIVIC GUARD (ACQUISITION OF PREMISES) AMENDMENT BILL, 1924.
The Committee also considered the Civic Guard (Acquisition of Premises) Bill, 1924.

The power to acquire premises were to be exercisable only for one year. What you want to do is to extend that ?

What you want is to extend it to the 16th July, 1925 ?

Sections 1, 2 and 3 put and agreed to.
Preamble and Title put and agreed to.
Question : " That the Bill be reported to the Seanad without amendment," put and agreed to.

The powers of that Act were used only in 42 cases, and in 16 of these they were already in occupation of the premises, and the machinery of the Act was merely used to regularise the tenancy. That leaves 26 cases. We came to an agreement in terms with the owners in 9 of these 26 cases, and in 2 cases terms were fixed by the Commissioners in default of agreement. In the remaining 15 cases the terms of tenancy have yet to be fixed, the policy of the Commissioners being to exhaust the possibilities of agreement before exercising the statutory powers, but we found that whereas the number of cases in which we had actually to use the compulsory powers of the Act was small, it was a help in negotiation that we had the powers.

If you had not that Act you would certainly have had more cases.

We had 837 stations to establish, and on 13th May the position was that 81 stations had yet to be opened, and probably there are now 50 or 60 stations to be opened.