formally moved the adoption of a Decree as follows:—
Decree to amend Local Government Act of 1902 as follows:—
The Local Government Act, (Ireland) 1902, (2 Edw. 7, C. 38) Sec. 16 shall henceforth read and be construed as follows:—
"Whereas an association of county councils of Ireland has been formed for the purpose of consultation as to their common interests and the discussion of matters relating to local government. Therefore a county council may pay out of the county fund, as general expenses incurred by them in the execution of the principal Act, any sum, not exceeding twenty pounds in any one year, as an annual or other subscription to the funds of the association, as well as any reasonable expenses of not more than two representatives at such meetings of the association as shall have been called with the sanction of the Local Government Department, Dáil Éireann."
The Minister explained that owing to the reduction in the value of money the former subscription was insufficient for the work of the General Council of County Councils. At present this council could only meet twice a year and he wanted that regulation extended to admit of a greater number of meetings if it should be required. This Department had used the General Council to send out information and to get representatives from the borough and county councils to Dublin. One of the most recent uses it was put to was to direct that no registration or jurors' lists be prepared, which if the Department did itself directly might be regarded as a breach of the Truce. The voters list could be used by the enemy for identification purposes when the Truce terminated. It would be also obvious to them why no jurors' list should be prepared for the Dáil had established law courts, judiciary and so on and there was no reason why they should allow the enemy courts to continue.
He did not see any objection to increasing the subscription. One or two councils objected to paying the increase because there was a statutory law fixing it at £10.