DAIL IN COMMITTEE. - INTOXICATING LIQUOR (GENERAL) BILL, 1924—FROM THE SEANAD (RESUMED).

The Dáil in Committee resumed consideration of Amendment 9 to the Intoxicating Liquor (General) Bill, received back from the Seanad.

On the last occasion that this matter was before the Dáil, I was the seconder of the amendment to reject the structural alteration clause. No reasons or arguments put forward since then have induced me to change the opinion I expressed then. It is my intention to-day again to second the amendment to reject that clause. I do not purpose going into the various matters that were detailed on the last occasion. The principal objection to the clause that I make is not on behalf of the big houses but on behalf of the small traders in the villages and the country districts. I said before, and I repeat, that I do not believe it would be possible to carry out these alterations. We are told that a Commission is about to be appointed to consider the entire licensing laws. When that Commission reports, they may recommend the reduction of some of the licences in places where there are too many. Those traders who will be blotted out will receive adequate compensation and the structural alterations will be carried out by the traders left in business. I do not think there would be any objection to that. I hope the Deputies who voted on the last occasion to reject the structural alterations clause will vote the same way on this occasion.

I am against this structural alterations clause, but I agree that the number of public-houses could be considerably lessened. There are too many public-houses in the small towns. But this clause is not going to reduce them. It may have been the Minister's idea to force a number of traders to choose one or other of the businesses carried on by them. If they had a hardware, drapery, or provision store they would probably have to give up the bar, if they had no space for the necessary alterations. I might agree with that if the Minister or the Seanad had inserted a provision that the people thus forced out of business would get some compensation. But when a man has held a licence for thirty or forty years, and by his industry has built up a business, it is not right to deprive him of that business without compensation. There is no provision for compensation in the Bill. In the country towns they have not sufficient accommodation to make the necessary alterations in the premises, and this clause would inflict great hardship and injustice on those people. I hope the Minister, as on the last occasion, will allow this matter to go to a free vote of the House, and I feel sure that every Deputy who voted before to delete this section will again vote in the same way. It is all very fine for the Seanad to send back amendments here simply because they extend the time to the 25th September, 1927.

That is not sufficient time to give the people. If Senators knew anything about the country, or if they really represented the people, I am sure they would not have sent in this amendment. I fully understand, of course, that the Seanad is only a nominated body. It is a nominated body of the Dáil, just as the county boards of health, to be set up under the new Local Government Bill, are to be nominated by the county councils. As the Seanad is a nominated body, the members of it cannot have the same sense of responsibility that they would have if they belonged to a body elected by the votes of the people. Senators do not, I believe, understand the great hardship that is likely to be caused by the amendment they have sent forward, which proposes to re-insert Section 12 in the Bill. It is quite true, of course, that traders in cities like Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford may have ample accommodation to make the necessary alterations in their premises.

In the country towns it is different. There, ninety-nine traders out of every hundred would not have the accommodation to make the necessary structural alterations if this amendment were passed. I do not agree with Deputy Johnson that the insertion of this amendment in the Bill would lead to more employment being provided for the people. I quite agree that if every publican in the country had sufficient accommodation in his premises to make the alterations proposed, the amendment would be a good one from the point of view of labour. In that way relief might be given to a large number of the unemployed, but as publicans in country towns and villages have not the accommodation in their premises to make the alterations suggested in this amendment it would not help to relieve unemployment but would add considerably to the ranks of the unemployed.

Its effect would be to add to the unemployment ranks in this way: Take the case of a trader engaged in general business who employs one or two assistants. All his business, let us say, is carried on in the one premises. He conducts, for instance, a hardware, general drapery, and provision business, and in addition has a licensed bar. If this amendment is carried he would be obliged, if he is not able to carry out the alterations proposed, to dismiss one of his assistants because of the limitation of his business activities. Therefore, the amendment, instead of helping to provide employment, will add to the numbers of the unemployed. I think, if Deputy Johnson took a serious view of the matter he would agree that this amendment is not going to be of any benefit to labour.

If conditions were such in the country that there was sufficient money at the disposal of the Minister for Finance to compensate publicans who might be obliged to go out of business through the insertion of this amendment, or to enable others, who desired to extend their premises, to get a grant for the purpose and to purchase sites on which to build so as to be able to have their liquor business completely separated from the other kind of business they carried on, then it might be all right to have an amendment such as this brought forward. I ask Deputies to vote on this amendment as they did when Section 12 came originally before the Dáil, that is, to vote for the rejection of this amendment. In my opinion the amendment is not going to do any good to the country. It is, I think, going to cause a great deal of hardship to many people. You have not, in country towns or villages wealthy publicans such as you find in a large city like Dublin.

Men in the country who are engaged in the liquor business are not able to afford to build new premises, nor are they in a position to expend money on the reconstruction of the premises they now occupy. I think the Minister for Justice would be taking a wise course in not forcing the Dáil to agree to this amendment. The Minister, so far, has not said much in favour of the amendment. The only thing he did say was that the Seanad, in sending forward this amendment, did not ask that it should be put into immediate operation. What they suggest in the amendment is that it would not come into force until after the 25th September, 1927. If that is all that can be said in favour of the amendment, it is very little. If the Seanad had inserted in their amendment the 25th September, 1935, instead of the 25th September, 1927, there might be something to be said in favour of it, because given the longer date people would have had an opportunity of seeing what they would be able to do in the years ahead of them as regards carrying out an alteration to their premises for the sale of intoxicating liquor.

In the country towns, as Deputies are aware, shopkeepers engage in the provision, hardware and drapery business as well as in the drink trade. These traders could not possibly live out of one end of their business. If a trader had to forfeit that portion of his business comprised in provisions, drapery, and hardware he could not live out of the sale of drink, and if he were obliged to forfeit the bar business he would not be able to get sufficient customers for the other things he sells. That is the position in small country towns, and therefore I say the insertion of this amendment would do an injustice to those people. If such an amendment as this were to be introduced in seven or eight years' time, then the people engaged in the trade would be able to see ahead of them, and would, I am sure, make the necessary preparations to carry out the alterations which are now suggested.

Before, I form any opinion as to how I will vote on this amendment I would like to hear the views of the two Cork Deputies, Deputy Daly and Deputy Beamish, who captured the Dáil here last night on the Seanad amendment dealing with the St. Patrick's Day closing. My own opinion is, that this matter dealing with structural alterations should be deferred, and that the Dáil should not accept the amendment which has come to it from the Seanad. I think that this matter should be deferred until we have had before us the report of the Commission that the Minister for Justice has promised to set up. That Commission will be charged with a very important duty. It will, we are informed, deal with the number of licences in existence in the country at the present time, and with the number of licences that are to be eliminated.

I believe myself that the Dáil would be taking a sensible view of this matter by refusing to accept the amendment which has come to it from the Seanad, and in deferring the further consideration of this question until the report of the Commission to be set up has been received. The Commission, in my opinion, will have very important questions to decide. One of these is the number of licences that are to be kept in existence in this country. Everyone who knows anything about the country is well aware of the fact that we have far too many licences in the country, and I suggest it is a matter of urgent importance that this whole question should be considered at a very early date.

If I were asked for a reason—I doubt if one is necessary—to confirm the vote which I gave on a previous occasion for the deletion of this section from the Bill as originally drafted, I would rely on the speech delivered by the Minister for Justice in the Seanad on this very same matter. If I recall his remarks correctly, he definitely stated that this subject, if not the most important, would certainly be one of the important matters to be considered by the Commission which he proposes to set up in connection with the administration of the liquor laws in this country. Why, I ask, should we prejudge or prejudice the decision of that commission, seeing that this is going to be one of the important matters which, on the admission of the Minister himself, is to be dealt with by that commission. That, and that alone, ought, I think, to convince Deputies who gave a vote for the retention of this section in the Bill on the last occasion to vote against the Seanad amendment here and now.

I am entirely in favour of a considerable reduction in the number of licensed houses in this country. In fact, I may say I am in favour of a reduction in the number of all kinds of engaged in the distribution of the necessaries of life, because I believe, if you are to try and reduce the profiteering that is going on in this country, that is one of the most effective ways in which it can be done. At the present time there are too many people engaged in the distribution of the necessaries of life, and I believe that is one of the chief causes of the profiteering that we hear so much about.

Are the banks to be blamed for that?

The banks have always been good friends to the publicans as far as I know. I am in entire agreement with the Minister, and my desire is to help him to attain the object he set out to achieve by the insertion of Section 12 in the Bill as originally drafted. I think everyone will admit that the publicans are making excessive profits. Therefore, I think they ought to be in a position to provide suitable accommodation for those who patronise their establishments for the purpose of consuming drink. I think if the publicans were anxious to do that they could not follow any better example than the way in which such provision is made for the patrons of public-houses, particularly in England.

I hope Deputies will not be tempted to support the suggestion made by Deputy Lyons. The suggestion apparently was this: That the Minister for Finance should be called upon to pay compensation to the people who will eventually be driven out of business as a result of the reduction in the number of publichouses in this country. I would not, for a moment, dream of supporting any Bill which would propose to impose on the taxpayers of this country the financial responsibility of meeting the compensation that might have to be paid as a result of any reduction in the number of licensed houses in this country. I say that such compensation will have to be found from amongst the people who remain in the licensed trade and not from the pockets of the general taxpayers of this country.

If the compensation has to be found out of the pockets of the people who remain in business then the general taxpayer will have to meet it in the end. It will be passed on to him in the usual way. The profiteering, therefore, that the Deputy speaks about will still go on.

So far as I am concerned, if a proposal ever comes before the Dáil to raise money by direct taxation from the people of this country to meet compensation of this kind, I will oppose it, and that is why I referred to the suggestion made by Deputy Lyons. As Deputy Shaw remarked, there is not very much to be said on this matter. The question was very fully discussed when section 12 was before the Dáil. In my opinion, the speech made by the Minister for Justice in the Seanad is justification for now asking the Dáil to confirm its previous decision on this question.

There has been a certain amount of confusion for the last seven or eight months since this Licensing Bill was introduced. We were told at that time that we were going to have a commission. It was a pity we did not have a commission first, so that on the findings of that commission we could have legislation, but when we were engaged in debating the Bill of 1924, about three months ago, the Bill of 1923 came out of its shell in the Seanad, apparently, and killed the 1924 one. The 1924 Bill that is before us now is going to be a short-lived one also, because the commission is going to kill it. I agree with Deputy Davin when he points out that it is premature to be talking about structural alterations. Structural alterations in a great many houses that are going to be altered first and abolished afterwards mean a waste of money. The commission will be very careful, I am certain, judging by the determined way in which people are talking now about structural alterations, to see that in as many cases as possible the licences retained will be for houses that have been structurally altered. I am anticipating that.

We are wasting a lot of time over this Bill. We should be doing something that would tend towards temperance in a better way than structural alterations would. We could be building decent houses for working-men who, when they come home could sit down and look around at the little place that could be kept clean, because in some of the houses in which they have to live at present, especially where there are large families, the beds have to be shifted on wet nights. These men cannot remain inside, and if a man comes to see them on any little business he has no place to take them but to the publichouse. I think that we should leave the whole matter over until the commission is established. We are threatened that this Bill will now be hung up, and that this abominable torture, the Act of 1923, will be left hanging over our heads during the time that these two amendments will be hatching in the next room. I hope that the commission will come along in a very short time. I would like to ask the Minister for Justice will the Senators hang up the Bill on account of our audacity in sending it back to them, and will they also hang up the commission, and thus bar the onward move to improve public-houses and to secure a more temperate country. Will that be the case, I would like to know—will they hang up the commission?

Not until after the Commission has given its report.

What I mean is, if they hang up this Bill will they debar the commission from coming along?

I am glad to know that. That only gives me more courage and gives more courage to the Dáil, though it is unnecessary to encourage Deputies, because every Deputy will have as much courage to-day as he had on the last occasion when the structural alteration clause came before us. They all can see that it would be quite impossible to carry out that clause in the case of a large number of publichouses. Deputy Lyons pointed out that the change could be made more easily in Dublin than in some of the small villages. I do not agree with the Deputy, as every foot of Dublin is worth something, whereas you could get places in small villages in the country for the asking.

I do not know of any.

You do not come down my way. I hope when the time comes— and I hope it will not be long—that the Minister for Justice will appoint a representative commission, representative of all classes and of all claims, and that its findings will be debated here, and that they will end all the trouble which whiskey and porter give in this country.

Like the majority of Deputies, who feel themselves unable to support this amendment of the Seanad, I would like to see these structural alterations carried out if possible and if it could be done with justice to all concerned. I think that the present system should never have been permitted, but it has been permitted and carried out for a great number of years. I think that in matters relating to licensing and the sale of drink generally, it is very necessary to proceed slowly in regard to anything that is done. I think that the danger of haste is very great.Festina lente ought to be our motto in regard to this question. There is a case in point of over-zealous legislation in regard to this drink traffic which, of course, in my opinion, has been a great curse to every country. The late Czar of Russia, I think, when the Great War commenced, ordered prohibition over the whole of his vast Empire with a stroke of the pen, and what was the result?

He lost his head.

Then, again, there is the case of America. Some people say that prohibition there has been a great improvement, while others say that it has not, and it seems to me in that case that the class who did drink have stopped drinking, and that those who did not drink are now drinking. Whether that is an improvement or not is a matter of opinion. It indicates, however, to my mind that legislation should be well considered before it is carried out, particularly as this Bill proposes to make some very drastic reforms, and is a big pill to swallow at once. The Minister has, of course, gilded it as nicely as it could be, but it is a Bill to be swallowed by many people who do not like it. We have to consider the interests of a legitimate trade which is in many ways well carried on.

I have not, and never had, any shares in a distillery or brewery. I think it is a well-known fact that the trade is well carried on as a rule, and, with few exceptions, is well conducted. I also think that it has its rights, which should be recognised, but there must be just restrictions. In this Bill there are vast improvements. It deals with the age at which young people shall be kept from going into public-houses, and it also deals with the age under which they must not serve drink. Other improvements refer to the manufacture of poteen, to drinking in clubs, and to the regulation of hours. It seems, however, to be going too quickly in some matters, particularly in regard to structural alterations, which will involve enormous expense in comparison with the means of the people generally who conduct such houses.

I hope when the commission is appointed this matter will be dealt with, and if it is necessary to do away with a number of these licences, that these people will receive compensation, not from the tax-payers but from the trade when the houses are closed, as has been done in England. It is from them the money should come, but until then I hope that this matter of structural alterations will not be proceeded with, as I think it would not be just or fair. The period of a few years, and the commission will probably be a few years, for this commission taking evidence from all classes concerned, will give these people ample time to consider what they will do, and will, of course, give them fair time for making preparation against the day that is inevitably coming. I regret that I must vote against this amendment of the Seanad, as I think it would not be fair under the present circumstances to insist upon having this amendment.

I think if there ever was an amendment of a section of a Bill in which all the Deputies had made up their minds one way or another, it is this section, and we ought to agree that there has been quite enough discussion. If it went on for days it would not result in any one Deputy changing his mind, and we ought to recognise that fact, especially when there is so much talk about the amount of work that has to be got through. I think it would be a sensible step for the Dáil to arrive now at a decision on this. The Minister gave his view as to what the attitude of the Dáil would be on this section when it was before the Seanad, and we all know what the action of the Dáil will be. It would be well, therefore, to arrive at a decision, and go on with work on which argument will be of some avail, but argument will be of no avail on this.

Judging by the speeches it appears there is a small minority in favour of this amendment. I intend to vote as I did on the last occasion for the insertion of this amendment, and I will run the risk of having the charge brought against me that it is frivolous to force this to a division. The proposition is that structural alterations will take place within the next three years. That is a considerable time for the people engaged in the business to adjust themselves to the new conditions. If it is found desirable by the persons concerned to allocate as between the grocery trade and the whiskey, or the drapery trade and the porter trade, that allocation will take place naturally by ordinary pressure of an economic kind, and in making their choice the proprietors will have three years to make the alterations. I want to emphasise that this actual enactment has been made in this country, and has been carried through without a great deal of objection, without any great opposition, with comparative ease, and without anything like this long three years' notice in counties which are as like, say, as Donegal and Monaghan, and Cavan are like Tyrone, Derry and Armagh.

These alterations have, as a matter of fact, taken place to the advantage of the trade, and to the advantage of the general community, and there was no long notice such as is proposed to be given to the proprietors of these businesses. I will ask the Dáil to remember Deputy D'Alton's speech yesterday in this connection, and to take note of the undesirability of allowing children who are going into a grocery or drapery establishment to see their parents take intoxicating liquor at the bar. The proposition to oblige the father of a family to take his drink on St. Patrick's Day in his own home was defeated, so that he is bound now if he is going to drink to take it at the bar, just as he will go to the bar on other days if he wants to save himself from showing to his children the example that Deputy D'Alton said was a bad example. Now he is to be allowed to go to the publichouse bar, and these very children will go into the grocery or drapery establishment and see him taking drink in the shop.

They are not allowed in under the age of 16 years.

Make no mistake about that, the child will go in to the shop for butter or bacon, and the father will be there at the end of the shop drinking beer. Deputy D'Alton has insisted that that is a bad example which the children should not be shown, so I claim Deputy D'Alton's vote for these structural alterations.

Question.

I claim I am speaking to the question. A Chinn Chomhairle, am I speaking to the question?

No. The question of structural alterations was not yesterday's debate.

Deputy D'Alton can reserve himself for his speech.

I want to be allowed to reserve myself.

The promise of a Commission seems to have affected the minds of Deputies who would otherwise support the proposed new section, and they say, "Let us have the Commission." The Commission may have a great deal to do, and we should not have to wait for the Commission to examine every question in connection with the sale and distribution of intoxicating liquor. There are some questions we are qualified to answer, and I think this is one of them. I will say in that regard that the Commission might well have the opportunity to advise between to-day and 1927 whether in view of the alterations which may be shown to be necessary as a consequence of this Bill that some kind of compensation for those who deem it desirable to go out of business altogether rather than undertake these expenses might be charged upon the remaining licensees. I would certainly agree to that being considered by the Commission, but I would not agree that the whole question as to whether a double or mixed business in the same premises, in the same room, should continue is a matter for reference to the Commission. I think we are quite qualified, and that we have sufficient information and experience to decide on the merits or demerits of that issue. On these grounds I would ask the Deputies to support the Seanad amendment.

Although I intend to vote against this amendment, I am entirely in favour of the principle contained in it. Nobody deprecates mixed trading more than I do. I know it is responsible for a great deal of drinking in this country, especially amongst my own sex. Unfortunately, that is true. Women come in and buy groceries, and very often the publican is a very generous person, after the nature of Deputy Daly, who treats them, and in that way the drinking habit has been acquired. As I say, I deprecate this very strongly, but I know that it is absolutely impossible to bring about these structural alterations in a great many cases.

There is a town in the South of Ireland with which I am very well acquainted, which, I am sure, is typical of the majority of the smaller towns in Ireland. This town has a population of approximately 3,500. There are 43 licensed houses in the town and, of these, at least 38 are engaged in mixed trading. From my knowledge, I can visualise those houses now. There is just one door and one window, and it is absolutely impossible to make structural changes. It would really mean that the licensees would have to close their houses altogether, because their business in both branches of trade is small. It is not their fault, because they inherited the business as a legacy. To insist on structural alterations would simply mean closing the houses altogether and depriving the people of their means of living. A certain gentleman in the British House of Commons once described the liquor trade in the South of Ireland as a hand-to-mouth business and created a great deal of amusement thereby. It is absolutely true. I know it myself. Licensed traders are a very important section of the community, a very respectable body, and I am quite sure it is not the intention of the Dáil to victimise them in any way. As things are at present, they would be victimised if the amendment were carried.

I am sorry I have got to speak on this question. I wish that Deputy Baxter's suggestion had been accepted, although I do not agree with the principle of it, that because this had been debated before, Deputies would not change their mind. I hope he does not mean that having come to a certain conclusion, without thinking it over, they would not use their brains and reconsider it. As to Deputy Johnson's intervention, he is a Deputy for whom I have very great respect and whose views I am often in absolute agreement with, especially as regards the right of the people to live.

But the Deputy will never vote with me.

Perhaps I have acted in a way which may be much better than voting. Many of the points raised by Deputy Johnson should receive greater consideration than they received in a House which, I fear, to a certain extent was prejudiced for one reason or another. I say that advisedly. Some Deputies were perhaps connected with the licensed trade and some were concerned with investments they had made in certain industries; more, perhaps, were thinking of their constituents and their votes, not of what they owed to their own self-respect and to the future of the country. There are two or three points made by Deputy Johnson that I wish the House had taken into consideration. One was that it would be a great help to temperance if every licensed trader was compelled to provide food. That would prevent a great deal of the drunkenness that prevails. In Denmark, Sweden and Germany the workers go into the clubs or the theatres at night and have food with their beer. Deputy Johnson stressed the point as to the provision of food, and I hope that the Commission will consider that matter: that every publichouse should provide food, whether it is coffee or tea and biscuits, or cheese and bread and butter. I wish to back Deputy Johnson in that suggestion. Perhaps he did not go as far as I would wish to go. If the licensed trader did not provide food for his customers, I contend that the licence should be taken from him, just the same as if he had committed a breach of the licensing law.

This is a question of structural alterations.

This is a very important point as regards structural alterations, with all due respect. In the houses that are in a position to supply both food and drink, bread and cheese and tea and coffee can be got from that portion set apart for provisions and groceries. That is why I am so keen that Deputy Johnson's suggestion should be considered by the Commission, as it may be premature now.

Does the Deputy realise that the sale and supply of food for consumption on the premises is specifically allowed by the amendment on premises licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor?

It may be allowed, but it is not laid down as asine qua non that it is to be supplied; in other words, that the licence be withdrawn if the licensed trader is not in a position to provide food when demanded. That would be in the interests of temperance. In England, in nine cases out of ten, those who go in for a drink ask for a biscuit, or bread and butter and cheese. That is the reason that intemperance is less apparent there than here. In this country men attending fairs and markets go into licensed houses fasting and can get no food there. I want a provision to that effect to be considered by the Commission and inserted in a Bill. I wish that the Minister would consider that point along with the one I made yesterday, that no whiskey under five years' old should be allowed out of bond. These are two important points that should be considered by the Commission. Perhaps I may be diverging, but it is with your permission, sir, if not altogether with your approval.

Not with my permission all through. I just tolerated it.

I said not quite with your approval. I contend that this matter comes into the question of structural alterations.

The Deputy must not try to convince me of anything like that.

I did not try to convince, as it is very hard to do so. If I have your permission for the time being, that is all I require, I am glad I referred to that point of Deputy Johnson's regarding food. Certain tax-payers in this country got licenses under certain conditions. They spent their money believing they had certain rights. The legal profession, through the courts that were supposed to be courts of justice at the time, led them to believe they had rights, just as the courts of justice of the present day lead them to believe that they have rights now. The licensees got the licences under certain conditions, and spent money accordingly. They paid rates, taxes and licence duty. Surely their business cannot be interfered with now without giving them sufficient notice and time to arrange their financial position. I say that they would not have sufficient time to do that by 1927.

If the Seanad or if the Minister for Justice had made the period ten years, so that this provision would come into operation in 1935, or even 8 or 9 years, I would support it. I feel that after 8 years it would be no great injustice, because these people would have had time to reconsider their position, and those who are indebted to the banks or to their friends would have had time to arrange their affairs and turn their activities in other directions. Several Deputies have mentioned that we have too many licensed houses in Ireland. I am absolutely in agreement with that. While I may, possibly, be supposed to support amendments that do not meet with the approval of other Deputies, I agree that we have too many licensed houses. I want these houses abolished, but I want it done in a reasonable way. As Deputy Baxter stated, they can be abolished without loss to the general public. Those who remain in the licensed trade can be made responsible, to a great extent, for compensating those whose licences are abolished, so that it may not be a burden on the public. I do not think Deputies, or even the Minister for Justice, have been sent here to interfere with the individual rights of a certain section of our people without consulting them. If the salaries paid to the primary and the secondary teachers are, as some people think, too great, and should be reduced because the education results, according to some people, are not sufficiently apparent, can Deputies come here and say that the salaries should be reduced without consulting their constituents?

A DEPUTY

Was it not done?

We did not suggest they should be reduced. Are Deputies supposed to come here without instructions and without authority from their constituents and by any action of theirs deprive any section of their income? I think it would be unfair to take 50 per cent. or 75 per cent. away from the salary of any teacher and leave him without the possibility of living. In the same way, we have no right to take 75 per cent of his income from the licensed holder, leaving him only 25 per cent. of the income he had, and which he was supposed to enjoy for a specified period.

What about the district councils?

I did not vote for the abolition of the district councils. I expressed my own opinion on that matter, but my constituents did not ask me to do so one way or the other. I had no authority to do so. Deputy Johnson has raised a point that, to my mind, is important. He said I was opposed to the children of the workers seeing their parents drinking at home. I have seen workers, such as carpenters and masons, after their day's work, taking a couple of drinks and I never saw any drunkenness amongst them. I say it is infinitely better to let the working man have his couple of drinks with his friends and then go home. The Deputy's remarks are not a true interpretation of what I said. The Deputy said that these children could see their parents drinking in licensed houses. According to the law, these children are not allowed to go into licensed houses. Why should not the question of structural alterations come before the Commission? Why should not the bars in licensed premises be put at the extreme end of the shop and the licensees prevented from supplying drink at grocery counters? If Deputy Johnson and other Deputies place these points before the Commission they will really advance the cause of temperance.

I would not like to deprive the Deputy of the opportunity.

I never make personal remarks. I am as keen as the Deputy is for sobriety. If the Deputy does advance these points I will support him. I agree with the suggestion that licensed houses should be prevented, where there are no structural alterations, from supplying drink at the same counter as that at which groceries are sold. If Deputy Baxter's suggestion had been carried out, I would not have intervened in the discussion. I oppose the amendment returned from the Seanad as it turns down the finding of the Dáil.

I have nothing to add to what I said on this matter on the Second Reading of the Bill and later on the Committee Stage. Practically the only thing said in this debate with which I am in entire agreement is Deputy Lyons' remark that there is a great deal of room for less public-houses.

Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 12; Níl, 48.

  • John J. Cole.
  • Bryan R. Cooper.
  • Sir James Craig.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • John Good.
  • Tomás Mac Eoin.
  • Patrick McGilligan.
  • Risteárd O Maolchatha.
  • Séamus O Murchadha.
  • Pádraig O hOgáin (Gaillimh).
  • Caoimhghín O hUigín.
  • Liam Thrift.

Níl

  • Pádraig F. Baxter.
  • Richard H. Beamish.
  • Séamus Breathnach.
  • Seán Buitléir.
  • Seoirse de Bhulbh.
  • Proinsías Bulfin.
  • Louis J. D'Alton.
  • John Daly.
  • Máighréad Ní Choileáin Bean Uí Dhrisceóil.
  • Séamus Eabhróid.
  • Patrick J. Egan.
  • Seár de Faoite.
  • David Hall.
  • John Hennigan.
  • Connor Hogan.
  • Seosamh Mac Bhrighde.
  • Seamus Mac Cosgair.
  • Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
  • Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
  • Risteárd Mac Fheorais.
  • Pádraig Mac Fhlannchadha.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Liam Mac Sioghaird.
  • Patrick J. Mulvany.
  • Martin M. Nally.
  • Tomás de Nógla.
  • John T. Nolan.
  • Peadar O hAodha.
  • Ailfrid O Broin.
  • Criostoir O Broin.
  • Seán O Bruadair.
  • Partholan O Conchubhair.
  • Aodh O Cúlacháin. Liam O Daimhín.
  • Séamus N. O Dóláin.
  • Peadar S. O Dubhghaill.
  • Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.
  • Seán O Laidhin.
  • Aindriú O Láimhín.
  • Séamus O Leadáin.
  • Fionán O Loingsigh.
  • Pádraic O Máille.
  • Domhnall O Mocháin.
  • Domhnall O Muirgheasa.
  • Tadhg P. O Murchadha.
  • Séamus O Murchadha.
  • Seán Priomhdhail.
  • Patrick W. Shaw.
Question declared lost.

The amendment is disagreed with.

SECTION 12.

Amendment 10. In Section 12 (c) after the word "years," line 51, the following words inserted "other than an apprentice under an indenture of apprenticeship made before the 1st day of November, 1924."

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in Amendment 10. The effect of it is to carry out an undertaking given on the Report Stage in the Dáil that I would consider the question of not interfering with the existing indentures of apprentices in the licensed trade.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 14.
Amendment 11. In Section 14 (1) the words and figures "1923 (No. 47 of 1923)" deleted in line 52, and the figures "1924" substituted therefor.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in the amendment. The point of this amendment is that the Expiring Laws Bill will become law before this present Bill, and, therefore, this amendment is a drafting one which is necessary.

Question put and agreed to.
SECOND SCHEDULE.
Amendment 12. In the Second Schedule, third column, the word and figure "Section 2" deleted where they occur opposite the words "Intoxicating Liquors (Sale to Children) Act, 1901," and the words "The whole Act" substituted therefore.

I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in Amendment 12. As I indicated before, it has been considered a better drafting course to repeal the whole of the Intoxicating Liquors (Sale to Children) Act, 1901, and this amendment secures that.

Question put and agreed to.