SECTION 132.

Question proposed: "That section 132 stand part of the Bill."

Will the Minister explain the section?

This section enables the court in certain circumstances to allow relief to a company either in relation to itself or to another person.

It could happen that a person who has been a director of an insolvent company becomes involved with another company without the directors of that company being aware of his background. This would mean that the company would become subject to various restrictions imposed by sections 129 and 130. It will be noted that, under section 130 (6), a person who has been a director of an insolvent company and who proposes to act in another company is required to notify that company of his previous involvement. However, this may not always be done and it is important, therefore, to ensure that a company can seek relief from the court where it has failed to comply with the requirements of sections 129 and 130 by virtue of the fact that it was unaware that it was subject to those requirements.

It will be seen that the court's discretion under this section is fairly wide — it can grant relief on whatever terms and conditions it sees fit. This is to ensure that a company which is essentially blameless will not be unfairly penalised because of the actions or omissions of one of its directors. It is important, however, that relief should not be available to a company where it had notice of the status of a director, in other words, where it was aware that one of its directors had formerly been a director of a company which went into insolvent liquidation. The section, therefore, provides that where the company has been notified under section 130 (6) that a person who was proposing to act in the company was previously involved with an insolvent company, then relief will not be available.

The very use of the words "aware of his background" or "not aware of his background" in the case of a company appointing a director who was previously a director of a company which becomes insolvent, clearly indicates the pejorative connotations of this Part in regard to the very simple act of blameless failure in regard to the directorship of a company. This is more of the same and I oppose the section.

Well a word like "history" could have been used, there is nothing pejorative in the reference to background.

You say that if the Minister refers to being aware of somebody's background it generally has, in a connotation of anything negative, pretty pejorative connotations. It reveals inadvertently the Minister's thinking.

There are at least as many people with good background as there are with bad. I do not share the Deputy's bleak view of the human race.

You do not penalise people on the grounds of their background other than if you regard that background as in some way blameworthy.

Question put.
The Special Committee divided: Tá, 5; Níl, 4.

Barrett, Michael.

Hilliard, Colm.

Bell, Michael.

O'Malley, Desmond J.

Cowen, Brian.

Níl

Barrett, Seán.

Carey, Donal.

Bruton, John.

Doyle, Joe.

Question declared carried.