This Bill is largely self-explanatory. Under the provisions of Section 72, sub-section (5) of the Local Government Act of 1925, when a local authority is dissolved it becomes necessary to hold an election within three years of the date of dissolution. The Dublin Board of Guardians was dissolved on November 21st, 1923; the Dublin Corporation on May 20th, 1924; and the Cork Corporation on October 30th, 1924. Accordingly, if there was no amendment to the existing legislation, it would be necessary to hold elections for these different bodies on 21st November in the present year in the case of the Dublin Guardians, in the case of the Dublin Corporation on 20th May, 1927, and in the case of the Cork Corporation on 30th October, 1927.
The position is that there is a Poor Law Commission investigating the whole position with regard to the administration of poor law relief. That Commission will not conclude its labours for some considerable time. There is also a Commission dealing with the question of city government with particular reference to the City of Dublin. I expect that Commission will shortly be in a position to report, but as regards the Greater Dublin Commission it would, if anything, complicate the present position, which is itself sufficiently complicated, to have a new election of the Dublin Guardians, and so far as I can gather from the Poor Law Commission, there is not any great likelihood that they will recommend a revival of the old guardian system for the administration of poor relief. A new election for the Dublin Guardians would cost on the 1922 basis about £4,000, and for the Dublin Corporation it would cost £5,000. That would mean an expenditure of about £9,000 to have an election of bodies which, in their present state, are not likely to be kept in office for any considerable time, and the position in regard to Cork is somewhat similar. There is no Commission inquiring into the position of Cork, but I expect the views of the Greater Dublin Commission will have some bearing on that subject, and it is very likely that the Cork Corporation will not again be revived, at all events, in its former state. For these reasons, it would be impolitic and unwise to have elections for those bodies at this particular time, and, accordingly, I am asking the leave of the Dáil to pass the present Bill to relieve it from the obligation of these financial commitments and going to this unnecessary trouble.