RIVER OWENMORE DRAINAGE BILL

In connection with this Bill, I have some amendments down, but it is only with regard to one thing, and that is, the free grant of an unlimited amount. Something in moderation I would not be against, but to have an unlimited sum is what I object to. Perhaps it is better for us to go through the Bill. I do not see any objection to Section 1. Section 2, there is no objection. Section 3, there is no objection. Section 4 stands, and so do Sections 5 and 6.

Sections 1 to 6, inclusive, accordingly put, and agreed to.

Now I come to Section 7. The first amendment is to delete paragraph 1. The paragraph to be deleted would be:

" (a) The Commissioners shall pay out of moneys under their control and applicable to loans a sum of £8,860 (eight thousand eight hundred and sixty pounds) which portion of the costs and expenses aforesaid is in this Act occasionally referred to as the advance by the Commissioners."

The amendment I have put down is:

" (a) the Commissioners shall pay out of moneys under their control and applicable to loans a sum equal to the entire costs and expenses aforesaid in this Act occasionally referred to as the advance by the Commissioners."

Well, now, the point is what reasons can be given? Will the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister give us what arguments there are to agree to a free grant of £41,000 instead of having it as a loan?

May I ask if Professor O'Sullivan would give us a sketch of this proposal, for I am perfectly ignorant of it.

Professor O'Sullivan gave a very good statement in the other House.

Perhaps I will go a little more fully into it. The Owenmore is in Sligo. It flows into Ballisodare Bay. It passes rather close to Ballymote and by Collooney and enters Ballisodare Bay in County Sligo. The problem is an old one. It has at least this resemblance to the Barrow scheme, that it is an old problem. I do not suggest that the problem is as big, but I do suggest that point of resemblance. It is so long ago first as 1846. From that time onwards there were a number of complaints; some were made in 1872 and again in 1895. From that onwards it was allowed to rest. There are about six or seven thousand acres actually affected in this particular area. The district that we are dealing with belonged to the congested districts and in reality the problem only became alive and practical when the Congested Districts Board took the matter up. I am now mentioning that incidentally, but I may return to it later on. It is a district in which there is always, and especially in recent years, a considerable amount of unemployment. The people of the district were particularly active in the early years of the century in trying to get this problem dealt with, but in effect it did not become a practical problem until the Congested Districts Board took it up. They then put forward this scheme. They got a scheme drawn up, fully investigated, with full details mapped out, and it was their conception of this that they estimated that the amount of money they should raise would be £700 a year for 20 years from the owners of land. They proposed to advance a sum of, roughly speaking, £14,000, which was to be paid back in twenty instalments of £700 a year. You will notice there was no question of interest, which was at that time a very unusual thing in dealing with schemes. It was very unusual to advance and this was practically an advance in that way, even on the part of the Government of that day. The Congested Districts Board were to get the money from the Development Commissioners, and, acting on that assumption, they proceeded with their scheme. Like all their different schemes of drainage, they are all theoretically possible even without legislation, if everybody consents to join, but one or two gentlemen would be able to hold up the scheme unless you have compulsory powers given by legislation. Consequently it was pointed out to them that they would have to proceed under the existing drainage code, that was mainly the code of 1863 and the amending Acts that followed the code.

Now, as I pointed out at an early stage, this was a very antiquated code, but it was the only practical way in which they could proceed. That brought them into touch with the Board of Works, and the Board of Works then pointed out the necessary conditions that they would have to fulfil if this particular scheme were to be carried out. The Congested Districts Board then agreed to proceed under that Drainage Code, and they themselves agreed that they would act as the promoters of the scheme on the part of the people. Not only that, but they got the consent of the people of the district; ninety per cent. of the people of the district agreed, and agreed to the sum that they would have to pay.

That is £14,000?

Yes. I mean the consent to what the people would have to pay. Any sum extra would not go on the people. The bargain was actually made with the people and that is why I am stressing this particular point. The actual amount that each holding would have to pay, not merely the total amount but the actual amount that each holding would have to pay, was decided on. Then the Board of Works, as it was bound to do, with a drainage scheme of this kind, sent down an engineer—not one of their own engineers under the Act of 1863, it was an outside engineer that was sent down. The business of the Board of Works was simply to investigate the scheme. There was no responsibility for carrying out the scheme. They only decided if the scheme was a practical and a good scheme or not. Mr. Lockdale was, I think, the name of the engineer who investigated the scheme on the spot and took the objections of the various people. I think there were about altogether fifty objections to the scheme, but these did not object to the scheme itself, they objected to their particular contribution.

That was the position, roughly speaking, at the outbreak of the war. Then owing to difficulties, as to the exact conditions necessary to carry out a scheme of this kind, there was some delay between the two Boards. One blamed the other, and the other blamed the first; but anyhow, there were two of these Boards involved and acting together, and perhaps not altogether through their fault there was a certain amount of delay. So the war intervened and held up the scheme. No money was advanced by the Development Commissioners, and it was then that one of the Boards of the old régime, the Congested Districts Board, after the war in 1919, immediately took up the business. It was pointed out that there was a bargain and that it ought to be carried out, and that as a sum had been agreed on there should not be a question of increasing the contribution of the people of the district. I want to point out in this connection, that this Bill really could have been brought under the Arterial Drainage Act of this year. There is nothing to prevent it, and there was nothing to prevent the Minister for Finance doing what he proposes to do under this Act, actually giving the sum and giving it on the same ground that it was simply honouring a bargain that was entered into by a Government Department under the old régime. He could have done that without the trouble of passing a Bill through the Dáil and the Seanad, and the only criticism could probably have come on on the Estimates.

As far as I know, there is no necessity for an actual Bill, but I was particularly anxious to point out this: that this was the carrying out of a bargain, and seeing, as Senator Linehan has pointed out, that there was a considerable amount of public money involved, I was anxious that this should not become a precedent under the Drainage Act, and, as it was an exceptional case, that it should be treated as an exception. That is the reason for this special Bill, so that the advance given in this case will not stand as a precedent for the ordinary schemes of maintenance that now come up for the first time. This is treated as an exceptional Bill and it is introduced as an exception precisely to prevent the matter becoming a precedent. That is its reason.

Well, now, about the £14,000. The scheme was again examined by our engineer. We are carrying out the scheme that was then approved of, and no more than that scheme, and although requests have come from the district in question that we should take in an extra area, we have refused. We are simply honouring the bargain. If the occupiers along extra streams that are outside the scope of this scheme, want to come in, they will have to come in under the Act of 1925. They cannot come in under this Act. We are simply limiting ourselves to the actual scheme agreed on, but interrupted by the war, an interruption which I think I have already suggested the people who had agreed to make the scheme can in no way be held accountable for. We have got the scheme investigated again. We sent down one of the most experienced of our engineers, an engineer we have on drainage matters outside this, actually in control of such matters. He is one of the most experienced engineers we have got for this particular purpose, and we sent him down and got him to examine the scheme and find out was it a sound scheme, and he proceeded then to draw up an estimate. He is convinced actually that even on the prices that prevailed in 1914 that the £14,000 would be an under-estimate and, of course, a great deal of the increase in the costs is due entirely to the fact that prices are not the same now as they were then.

Furthermore, of course, it will be considered in this connection as I said, that this is a congested district. There was a great deal to be said, and there is still a great deal to be said for providing work in that particular district. The money spent, I should say all of it, beyond the purchase of a little machinery, which will amount to two or three per cent., must all remain within the country, and it helps to improve the land of the country.

In connection with the general scheme of drainage in the country, there is a provision in the Arterial Drainage Act enabling the Minister for Finance to make a contribution to give a free grant in connection with any scheme that comes before him. In this case this has been done, but, as I have said, to a greater extent than will be done in any other scheme, because this is put through in a special Bill, and because we do not want to make it a precedent. There is another point I just forgot. The local contribution actually is raised. I would like to point out this. I doubt very much if the Congested Districts Board knew much about arterial drainage. It was not in the ordinary scope of their work. They would not be very fully acquainted with an actual case. They could not be expected to be. It was really outside their ordinary work, and I think they overlooked, in dealing with the people at the time, one consequence, namely, that there should be maintenance on the people, that they were liable, not merely for the £700 a year, but also for the maintenance. Well, the people, in that bargain they made with the Congested Districts Board, were to pay £700 a year. We actually have raised the amount of £700 to £1,050. Seeing that the scheme was big, we thought that a considerable amount of the money should be spent in maintenance. Instead of paying £700 they are actually liable for the £1,050 and the county council may, if it likes, give the extra £350 for maintenance.

You mentioned about side-streams and tributaries that might require to be provided for at some time.

Well, would this scheme help the drainage of the tributaries when the time and opportunity come about, or would it perhaps block them?

No. I will explain. There are a number of tributaries actually in the scheme. Any land that is actually now improved by this particular Bill will have to pay pro rata. So far as further drainage is concerned, anything that we do here certainly can be no hindrance; it may be a help. In these drainage matters I understand, from the engineering point of view, you must begin below and not above, and therefore the main stream must always be done before the tributaries are proceeded with. To proceed in the opposite direction would be, to a certain extent, to court disaster.

To flood the country.

To flood the country below.

I understand from you that the tenants would pay on the basis that the work would cost £14,000 and the actual cost would be made up by amounts from the Development Commissioners?

Were they an Imperial body, the Development Commissioners, or what were they?

They were not confined to this country; they were for the United Kingdom.

Of course, at that time, if a grant came from the Development Commissioners, it would be contributed to by the taxpayers of the United Kingdom?

Now as regards the unemployment there.

The Development Commissioners would simply have advanced the sum of £14,000 to the Congested Districts Board and the Congested Districts Board would have to find whatever was either over or above. I do not at the moment know how the matter of interest was arranged. They were the contractors and promoters of the scheme. How the matter of interest was arranged, I forget. To pay back the £700 for twenty years ignored the fact that they should pay interest for the money.

And no provision for maintenance?

And gave no provision for maintenance. The scheme is a large one. We put in £1,050. We think on the whole it would be better for the scheme. It was looking to the future of the scheme. We have said we will put £700 for the paying back of the loan and put £350 for the maintenance, and in a scheme of this kind we do not think, from previous experience, £350 would be a great deal of money. As I have pointed out in another connection, a very considerable amount of money was spent in the nineteenth century upon arterial drainage, something over £3,000,000. That did an immense amount of good at the time, and it is a good that even still persists. A great deal of the advantage was lost owing to the failure of maintenance; that is really the reason I am suggesting a considerable sum for maintenance, because the money having been spent, I think even if it might involve a couple of thousand more to the State, economically it was sounder in the long run that it should be maintained rather than that it should get into decay.

A lot of work done by the Congested Districts Board is waste of labour, labour thrown away.

Is it intended that the grants provided for unemployment would be applied to this work?

This is separate.

The work on this scheme would be done in summer and could not be done in winter.

But there is a certain amount actually done at present—rough cutting. That is possible at the moment, but the main portion of the work would have to be done when the water is low. I may say we are rather favourably circumstanced in the present year. This is a very exceptional year, and we have been able to continue work much longer than is usual.

I do not think Senator Linehan's objection to the amount of money being unsettled is met.

Would you limit the amount somewhere?

We have £50,000.

For instance: " That the balance of such costs and expenses over and above the advance by the Commissioners shall be paid by the Minister for Finance out of money provided by the Oireachtas." Would you insert anything there?

I am afraid I could not. First of all, we have allowed in the estimate a very considerable sum for unexpected expense, overhead charges and unexpected expense. Speaking roughly, I think about £9,000 we have allowed for every contingency; we put it in the most unfavourable point of view to ourselves. It is not optimistically drawn from that point of view, but it would be outside the financial method.

Would it not be desirable that we should ration the expenditure in this case? If we have an unlimited amount sanctioned, there would be nothing to induce the people carrying on the work to curtail the expenditure.

Oh, very well; but I am afraid that, technically, an amendment of that kind would be impossible. We would have to get a new method.

It seems rather much that we should be entitled to make an indefinite grant of millions of money and not be allowed to state it is to cost ten pounds.

I think you have a method.

What is the estimate?

The estimate is, roughly, £54,000. For the main river, roughly speaking, the estimate was £33,700. The tributaries bring it up, roughly, to £46,000, and allowing then for contingencies and for the overhead expenses it is suggested that £54,000 would be enough.

What do you call the overhead expenses?

There would be the purchase of machinery, the payment of the engineer and, if he has one, an assistant engineer and pay-clerk and matters of that kind. It is mainly contingencies, unexpected difficulty in cutting rock where you did not quite expect it.

That is how much?

Roughly speaking, a little over one-sixth. Then you will notice there is provision in the Bill for compensation, where damage is done, where you may have to purchase land. It may be suggested that we interfere with water supply.

Any legal expenses?

I do not think there will be much. There is a certain amount of expense of that kind. The mode of determining on this scheme is according to the mode adopted in the Arterial Drainage Act from, I think it is, the Land Acquisition Clauses Bill of 1919. This consists of a Board of Arbitration set up by the Chief Justice as Chairman, and other professional men are on it and one of these is appointed. There is one arbitrator and one expert witness can be heard on either side.

You can pay any fees?

This £54,000 is a maximum limit?

Is there any maximum limit?

I think it is a bad principle, giving a blank cheque.

You are not giving a blank cheque.

I have no doubt the Executive are doing a safe thing, but it is practically giving a blank cheque.

It does seem a strange thing to spend twelve thousand pounds, and after you have spent that——

Let me point out this, that we have the consent of the Oireachtas in the Estimate to spend £12,500. We can spend that £12,500 and we have the authority of Parliament for that, but this Bill is necessary. Anybody can hold up the scheme. For instance, A.B. has land on the side of the stream and he can prevent us utilising that land. One person can hold up the scheme. It is for that purpose the Bill is actually necessary. We have spent no money which has not been voted by Parliament.

All this money is got by vote?

You have got to come for this and any more you want?

Is the explanation of this £54,000 that these estimates were made pre-war?

It is, largely.

The £14,000 is, of course, dropped to begin with?

Yes. It was largely owing to the difference of price between what is now and pre-war. We do suggest, and I am sure Senator Linehan will agree with me, that we may put fifty per cent. as the increased value of agriculture as between now and pre-war. Apparently the people have made no objection to that. We have put it at 50 per cent. but certainly we could not suggest that agricultural produce and land are three times what they were.

The scheme is along the same lines as the one made in pre-war days?

Absolutely. The reason there is a separate Bill for this is that it is a bargain entered into by our predecessors, and we do not want at the same time to create a precedent. Otherwise, with much less trouble to ourselves, we could have proceeded under the Arterial Drainage Act of this year. We could have given the same amount by way of grant as we are giving now. We would be in exactly the same position except that there would be a precedent created, and we do not want to create a precedent for other schemes that come up for the first time. That is the explanation.

Do not you think it is a precedent?

No, it is carrying out a bargain.

I am afraid applicants in other schemes will point it out to you.

They have pointed it out. People on the Fergus have pointed out that we were only giving them twenty-five per cent. for the restoration there. We thought that quite generous, but we pointed out that we were simply carrying out a bargain. I anticipate that in every case at present as long as agricultural prices continue, and other prices continue as they are, a certain grant will have to be made by the Government for this arterial drainage. I think it is good work. I think it is wages and money that remain in the country. It improves the land of the country, and I have looked at some of the work we have actually done, and especially in the case of restoring existing drainages, I should say that about 95 per cent. goes in wages.

Is there any control now as to the expenditure beyond the vote of the House?

Control over us?

A limit on expenditure?

Control over us? I am afraid there is not, except the vote of the House. That is always there. We have told the House what it would cost, and I am now telling the Seanad the actual cost. The actual cost is £53,742 10s., say, £54,000.

To get up to £80,000 you must go to the House?

Yes. And not only that, but to spend £54,000 we must go to the House. That will come before you on the Estimate.

Would it not be desirable to place a limit on it, and let the matter go back to the Dáil, because as far as I see, very few members of the Dáil know what has gone on at all? You made a very plain statement, but how many members were present to hear you?

There was a very considerable number.

Of course that would not prevent the work from going on for after 270 days; that is all we could postpone it. We do our part here if we say there ought to be a limit.

I think it is very unlikely, and you have a remedy in the way we have to come here year after year, and you can vote on what we have put down. I had to explain it in the Dáil last year in the Estimates. We have to put down the actual sum.

But it would be rather late in the day after you had spent the money to turn round and say: " We will not sanction what you did," but we could let you know beforehand you were limited to a certain amount of money in spending.

I think it would be better for the scheme to leave the thing as it is. You would find it more satisfactory in the long run.

Would you be satisfied to limit the cost of the work to £54,000?

It is our estimate, and I think it is an estimate that certainly does not try to cut down things, but see the position we would be in supposing the cost was £55,000.

Come up for it.

Ah, come up for it! That would be a new Bill.

But, I think there would be an objection to having a new Bill for a purpose of that kind.

But if you knew you would have the trouble of a new Bill you would be careful.

No; I can assure you, if you think it is easy to get money out of the Minister for Finance, it is not.

I thought so until I saw the Bill.

I certainly think it would be easier to get money out of the Dáil or Seanad than out of the Minister for Finance, at least that has been my experience up to the present.

I am afraid you must have got him in a very soft moment to give you this.

No; it was a bargain. I got it mainly on the grounds that it is carrying out a bargain. If you cut out this scheme, you cut away from the old business: I mean the agreement entered into and already there. You cannot cut down such a scheme.

Supposing millers allege that they have a grievance in your letting the water down more rapidly to them and they claim for compensation, where is the money to come from? Not out of the £54,000?

Well, yes; all the contingencies, roughly, £7,000.

You can only make an estimate about that.

You can only make an estimate.

May I ask have maps of the district showing the area to be affected been prepared?

Are they to be displayed?

There is no objection to that if anybody wishes to see them.

I think it would be rather necessary to guide the Committee.

It would make clear what Owenmore river is meant. There are three or four of them. More than one is in the same county.

He shows you, it follows a certain course.

It should be put in the Bill.

Then we would have practically to incorporate the plans in the Bill in that case. You see this is the Owenmore in the County of Sligo.

There are two or three.

I know there is one in Mayo. This means one very definite river. Perhaps if the members of the Committee wish for maps we might get them. For the moment I do not know where the maps are, whether they are down with the engineer or with us. I think they are with Mr. Tuite at present, but if the Committee at any time would like to see them, they can. Of course the people of the district will see the maps. That is provided for as in any drainage scheme.

Do you not intend under this Bill to have a new scheme prepared if the Bill is passed?

It will be the scheme in existence.

The same scheme?

Yes, the same scheme.

Of course the only point we have to decide is whether we will limit this free grant or leave it so.

I mean seeing it is a bargain I am afraid you will have to leave it as it is. I will ask the Seanad not to pass this amendment.

There is only one amendment; the others are consequential.

Yes. Unless Number 9.

It is consequential also, to give them a chance when the money was increased.

Oh, quite so, yes.

Personally I do not like unlimited estimates.

It is not easy to get at it. The estimate really is carefully drawn up.

If it is carefully drawn up, why not leave it?

You cannot, if you exceed it by three or four thousand.

I thought you could put on a sheet of paper: " We want more money."

There is not a single estimate we put down, however carefully it has been done, that is not open to the same objections. If you take the particular estimates that I am concerned with they are all carefully done, but they are estimates and only estimates.

Does that apply to the Shannon?

I have nothing. I must say, to do with the Shannon from any point of view whatever.

In the estimates, have you any special sum for compensation?

We have put that in that £7,000 roughly speaking. X £6,960, roughly speaking £7,000, we put in. That is included. The suggestion is that we are in this particular case doing something which is out of the ordinary in the drainage way, that the amount is uncertain, that the amount is not specific. In any particular drainage scheme we must go on the estimate first. As I have pointed out we could have done that. In this particular case we could bring it in under the existing Act, but we wanted to prevent this being a precedent, and that is the reason.

Could you not give it as a contract at a limited price? That is the viciousness of things like this being done by the Government. If private people give a contract to be done for a certain amount the contractor is fixed. A Government spends as much money as it likes.

I may say, speaking of the actual work of maintenance done this year, especially in the western counties, and in the rest of Ireland, there is no suggestion we have not got good value, and I doubt if contractors would have got quite as much as we did.

What have you done?

We have done a certain amount of restoration drainage, restoring existing drainage which had been allowed to get into disrepair.

Arrears of maintenance?

Is that interpreted anywhere on the basis of acreage maintained? I mean to say from the point of view of what you call a business-man, unacquainted with the details and not having much time to examine but applying a broad test, the obvious test I would apply is an acreage test. Could that be done in terms of a unit? An acre is the obvious unit in this case.

What I was driving at is not so much this, but actually we are dealing with the question of a contract and a Government Department. What I am suggesting is, so far as the men were concerned with our work, that they gave us full satisfaction, especially in the West of Ireland, and that was what we were referring to.

I think we are drifting. I am asking what specific notation there was, for instance to interpret it, so many acres and so much cost, putting it in specific terms.

Say, for example, that we have carried out arrears of maintenance involved, estimate at such and such, the cost of providing new drainage, such and such.

The average amount per acre we have always before us when putting up a scheme.

Maintenance or cost?

Cost. We do not think that there is a justification for thinking that the benefit will not be commensurable with the cost. There is a drainage district in which possibly no work has been done for twenty or twenty-five years. Complaints are made. It comes before us. We send an engineer down to investigate. He gets an estimate and so on. We have the number of acres that are expected to benefit by that. He tells us the state to which they have gone back. Thus we find the cost per acre, and if, judging by the quality of the land, it does not seem that there would be a justification for going on, then the Government would not go on.

There is not only the actual area drained, but the hinterland.

There are two classes of land—the flooded land and the benefited land.

What is the cost per acre in this case?

Between six and seven thousand acres benefit.

Eight pounds an acre.

That would be it. I am not suggesting, mind, that if we were taking up this scheme for the first time that we would proceed in the same way. The reason that there is a separate Bill for this case is that we are not taking it up for the first time. We are simply carrying out a bargain.

You are of opinion that if the thing were going on again you could improve on the original scheme?

I am afraid the only improvement on the original scheme was that it could be extended.

Yes. A great many people would like to have it extended, but we have resisted anything of that kind.

There are people who suggest—I am not suggesting— that the gentleman who originated this scheme did not know much of these matters.

He had an engineer, and we have got the scheme investigated again by our engineers. We had Mr. Tuite and one of the principal engineers of the Board of Works.

They have not extended the area?

Simply extended the money?

Yes. We are keeping the bargain. If we extend the area it would mean bringing people in with whom you had no actual bargain. Personally, I would like to extend the area, but it is merely as a bargain that I bring this forward.

Would you give them the chance to come in— these people that would be benefited?

You mean extra people coming in?

No. It cannot be done, because the terms are too good. We are only keeping the bargain with the people with whom it was made.

If the people outside the area form a drainage board for their own part, they can come up and say, " We shall want a grant like the others."

Probably they will do so. In this connection, I may mention, Sligo is a congested district where there is a good deal of unemployment. Now, if you compare Sligo, from our point of view, with other counties, there are very few drainage districts in Sligo. There are a couple of small ones. This is really the only big work carried out in Sligo. There are a couple of small districts in existence, but there is nothing like the other congested districts. I may say there is another county which has even a bigger grievance than Sligo—that is the County of Kerry, my own particular constituency. It is worse even than Sligo. If you compare Sligo with the other districts, such as Mayo, Roscommon, and Galway, you will see that Sligo is practically a blank so far as drainage improvement is concerned. These are only side issues, and the main issue is that we are keeping a bargain and do not want to create a precedent. That is why I should like it to stand as it is.

If it exceeded £100,000 you would still maintain that you are keeping a bargain?

Well, you will have an opportunity of voting on it.

It will not come before anybody if you get this clause.

We will have to get the money voted. I will say this again: that one of the engineers who has the duty of drawing up the estimates does not over-estimate. I know that from experience. There are, of course, individual engineers, like physicians, who sometimes differ on these matters, and some are inclined to under-estimate and some are inclined to over-estimate. As a rule, we find this one I am connected with does not over-estimate. That is our experience.

We must come to some decision on this matter, whether you think it desirable to have a limit or not. That is the only point.

I think, as I said, if the Committee regards this as carrying out a bargain, they had better not vary the terms of the bargain, but work it as it is and trust to the well-known parsimony of the Minister for Finance.

Sir John Griffith has experience of these matters.

I should like to have a limit, but——

I suppose we will have to let it go through.

It is very advantageous that we have had this conference.

Yes, I think so.

It has explained matters which we did not know previously.

Professor O'Sullivan is very persuasive. I propose that the Bill stands as it is.

I do not insist on these matters. I only put them down in order to have the matter thrashed out. I am not in favour of giving a grant in this way.

Surely, under all the circumstances——

Yes. I take it we will agree to Colonel Moore's motion.

" That we approve of the Bill as it stands."

Under the circumstances!

Under the special circumstances.

That meets with all these amendments. They are all consequential.

Amendments, by leave, withdrawn.
Question—" That the Bill stands as it is "—put and agreed to.

The meaning of it will be that all the clauses are passed, without amendment, but I put the other clauses formally just to go through them.

Sections 8 to 22, inclusive, accordingly put and agreed to.

Clause 23 is that " This Act may be cited as the ‘ River Owenmore Drainage Act, 1925 '"—the title of the Bill.

The Owenmore, Sligo.

But Sligo is mentioned in the Bill.

At the same time, what the Colonel wishes would make it more distinct to anybody looking at it afterwards. You might have that.

Well, I think it will have to go back to the Dáil in that case.

Question—" That we agree to report the Bill back to the Seanad without amendment "—put and agreed to.

I would like to thank the Committee.