When is the next stage to be taken?
DAIL IN COMMITTEE. RAILWAYS BILL, 1924. - DAIL RESUMES.
I propose to take the next stage on Wednesday next.
When will the revised version of the Bill be published, because there are a good number of very important changes?
Perhaps to-morrow evening, but Saturday morning for certain.
I think it is unkind of the Minister, after all the assistance we have given him in the Committee Stage, to rush us in this matter with the Report Stage.
When will the Minister's amendments be available so that we may compare them?
Perhaps Thursday would be a better day to fix for the next stage.
The question as to whether the Minister's own amendments can be circulated with the Bill, is the point that interests Deputies just now.
I believe they will be ready on Saturday.
The point is if the Minister's amendments are satisfactory that may preclude the necessity for sending in other amendments, but if we only get the reprint of the Bill on Saturday it means that it will be Monday before we can consider them unless we are to be always working at Green Papers. I suggest if the Minister could give a longer time for consideration it might ease discussion on the Report Stage.
Do you mean a longer time than Thursday?
Yes, I would suggest the following week. The Minister would lose nothing. I am not in any way trying to delay matters, but it would be a good thing if we could have until the following week to see what has been done.
The request of Deputy Johnson really only means one extra Parliamentary day. The Minister suggested Thursday. If we put it over till the following Tuesday it means only the loss of one Parliamentary day.
It might mean the loss of a good deal more than that. If I could have an agreement that the Fifth Stage could follow on the Fourth Stage, without the ordinary interval of notice being insisted upon, we might postpone the Report Stage until Tuesday week.
I think the Minister's time will be saved by allowing a longer delay for the consideration of his amendments. I am quite sure that Deputy Hewat, who has been the most active opponent of the Bill in Committee Stage, will not obstruct the Bill, on Report Stage, and I can assure the Minister he shall not have any obstruction from our benches and he will be facilitated, in fact, by giving plenty of time, and I hope the Minister will see his way to do so.
I think the Minister would be facilitated by giving a longer time before taking the Report Stage if he got any facilities for taking the Final Stage.
There is a definite date to which I am working as closely as possible, namely, the 31st July. The Bill, after leaving this House, has got to go to the Seanad, and those few days that Deputy Good does not think of so much value now are very valuable to me. However, I could leave it till Friday of next week.
My point is this. Like Deputy Johnson, I do not stand for anything like obstruction, but there are other interests that have to consider this Measure. We, commercial men, look upon this Bill as a very important Bill, and we would like those whom we represent to have an opportunity of looking at it closely. It is hardly fair to rush them to this extent.
I take it as agreed that we will take the Report Stage on Friday week. We will accept amendments as late as we possibly can.
I take it that is conditional on our getting the Bill on Saturday.
I did agree to bind myself to have it circulated by Saturday if the Report Stage was to be taken on Wednesday or Thursday. We are now going on to Friday, and that gives me an extra period to get the matter better together over the week-end:
Bill ordered for Report, Friday, June 6th.