PUBLIC BUSINESS. - CORK CITY MANAGEMENT BILL, 1928—REPORT.

I move: in page 2, line 8, Title, to delete the word "Cork" and to insert after the word "Borough" the words "of Cork." This is a drafting amendment. When the Cork County Borough Dissolution Order was issued the phrase "Cork County Borough" was used. The correct phrase is "County Borough of Cork." So all through the Bill, where the County Cork Dissolution Order is mentioned the words "County Borough of Cork" should be used. Where they are not relating directly to the Dissolution Order, the words should more properly read, "the County Borough of Cork." This amendment is to change the words in the Title.

Amendment agreed to.

I move:

In page 2, line 34, section 2 (1), to delete the words "cease to have effect as on and from the appointed day" and insert in lieu thereof the words, "remain in force until the appointed day and shall then cease to have effect."

This is simply a drafting amendment also. The Dissolution Order will remain in force until the appointed day and then cease to have effect.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 3:

In page 3, Section 2, to add at the end of sub-section (5) the following new sub-section:—

"(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Local Elections (Dissolved Authorities) Act, 1926 (No. 22 of 1926), no election of members of the council of the County Borough of Cork shall be held in pursuance of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the said Act."

This amendment is to satisfy the mind of the draftsman that nothing shall operate to require that the Cork Council under the old scheme will be reelected. It is simply a safeguarding clause which applies to amendment 2 which we have just passed.

Amendment agreed to.
The following amendment stood in the name of Mr. Carey:—
In page 3, line 10, to insert before Section 3 a new section as follows: "On and after the appointed day the area of the County Borough of Cork shall be and is hereby constituted a separate area for the administration of the relief of the poor of the borough."

With regard to amendment 4, is the Deputy moving it? I would like to hear from the Deputy some explanation that would enable me to decide whether the amendment is in fact within the scope of this Bill.

The reason I put down the amendment was to regulate the way outdoor relief is paid and contributed by the different unions under amalgamation. Under the amalgamation scheme there are six unions included in Cork City for the purposes of outdoor relief. We are paying £300 a week for outdoor relief in Cork City, and the other six unions pay £300. Of the £300 that we pay in Cork the other six unions pay £150. The six unions pay £450.

This Bill appears to deal with the management, the administration and financial business of the Cork County Borough, whereas the amendment appears to be an amendment seeking to effect an alteration in the existing law concerning the incidence of the charge for the relief of the poor. There is nothing in the Bill to which it seems possible to attach the amendment. The amendment seems to open up a subject altogether outside the scope of the Bill, and particularly as the Deputy just explained it.

This is not an amendment, properly speaking; it is a new clause to be inserted in the Bill.

Perhaps I might point out to the Deputy that the Minister has adequate powers for changing the arrangement of the scheme in County Cork if a case is made by either of the bodies involved that the present scheme is not a satisfactory one. The scheme in the south portion of Cork county brings the city and the south portion of Cork county into one body. There are two sides to that question. If either the county of Cork or the city of Cork representatives have anything to bring forward to show that the present scheme is not an equitable one from any particular point of view, the Minister has full power to amend the scheme or either to divide the county from the city or take any other steps that may be necessary. The fact is that no such representations have been made to the Minister, and naturally there would be no proposal on my part to amend the scheme without a satisfactory case being made. Here is not the place to attempt to make a case.

Cork County Council passed a resolution asking that such a clause should be inserted under the Poor Law scheme.

That seems quite correct. If a clause has to be inserted it should be inserted, but I think you could not have it here on the Report Stage of the Cork City Management Bill, as this amendment appears to deal with something that is quite different from the finances and administrative system of Cork City. The amendment, I think, cannot be offered here on this Bill. It is outside the scope of this Bill, and therefore out of order.

Does the Minister see the injustice of this?

Apart from the injustice, I wish to point out that I think this is the proper time to do it, seeing that this Bill is giving certain powers to the Corporation of Cork which will involve spending county rates.

This is not the proper time to move it.

With all respect, I would point out that we had a long debate about the relief of the farming community yesterday. Here is a single item put up to the Government, the object of which is to relieve the farming community of one obligation they have.

The Deputy will sit down. Deputy Carey put me a point on the merits of the amendment. I am not concerned with that. The Deputy has tried to get it in the wrong place. I think the County Council resolution suggests that he could get it in somewhere else. Certainly this is not the place, and I think we can have no more about it now.

If there is a case for a change, the position is not prejudiced in any way by the ruling of the Ceann Comhairle.

I intended to second the amendment. What I wish to point out is that the Bill which is under consideration appoints the Corporation of Cork to take charge of the finances there, which include certain county finances. The Corporation appoints certain members to act with the county body, the South Cork Board of Assistance, in dispensing moneys paid by the county. I think this is the proper time and place to move an amendment to get it confined definitely. I think it is unfair in the present state of affairs that the unfortunate ratepayers of Watergrass Hill should be paying home assistance in the city of Cork.

The amendment is out of order.

I agree that the amendment is out of order, but I wanted to say something so far as——

This is not the time to discuss the amendment if it is out of order.

We have to support these people in Cork. When they flood into the city we have to maintain them.

I move:

5. In page 3, lines 10-14, section 3, to delete sub-sections (1) and (2) and substitute therefor three new sub-sections as follows:—

"(1) A borough election shall be held in the year 1929 and in every year thereafter and at every borough election the borough shall form one electoral area.

"(2) Eighteen members of the Council shall be elected at the borough election to be held in the year 1929, and the term of office of the members elected at that election shall, subject to the provisions of this Act in relation to persons appointed to fill casual vacancies, be as follows, that is to say:—

(a) the first six members so elected shall hold office until the fifth day after the borough election held in the year 1932.

(b) the next six members so elected shall hold office until the fifth day after the borough election held in the year 1931, and

(c) the remaining six members so elected shall hold office until the fifth day after the borough election held in the year 1930.

"(3) Six members of the Council shall be elected at every borough election held after the year 1929."

—Aire Rialtais Aitiúla agus Sláinte Puiblí.

It will be recollected that on the Committee Stage, in reply to an amendment moved by Deputy Anthony, where he sought to have five members elected annually to form a council of fifteen changed to seven, to be elected annually to form a council of twenty-one, I undertook, in connection with that amendment, and the alternative suggested by Deputy O'Hanlon, that of the fifteen proposed in the Bill as it was before the House in Committee, they should be elected at the same time and that five should go out annually. I said that I would consider the matter with a view to introducing an amendment that would bring in either one or the other as a solution of the position. What I am doing in this particular amendment will have the effect, that the Council will, from the very beginning, continue to consist of eighteen members, that instead of electing one-third of these in the beginning, and adding an additional one-third every year afterwards, until the full strength of the council is provided, the eighteen members would be elected at the first election.

While I have misgiving in connection with the election of eighteen members in one particular electoral area, nevertheless, the eighteen will be elected in one electoral area. It will be remembered that certain Deputies agreed that if it must be so, in order to get a full council in the beginning, there was no very serious objection to a full council being elected in one electoral area. It provides that the six members of the council last elected shall go out in the first year after their election, and the six next members in the second year, so that there will be an annual election for one-third of the council. I have given the matter very careful consideration, and I submit that a council of eighteen will fulfil the requirements of the Cork area under the new arrangement by which there will be a manager responsible for the carrying out of the work. The amendment in its amended form is intended to provide that if, as I anticipate, we are able to have an election in Cork in January next, the six members due to go out in the following year will continue in office until June of the following year, so that there will be complete continuity in the council of eighteen.

I move:—

In sub-section (2) of the proposed new sub-sections to delete the word "eighteen" and substitute therefor the word "twenty-seven," and in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) to delete the word "six" where it occurs and substitute therefor in each paragraph the word "nine" and in sub-section (3) to delete the word "six" and substitute therefor the word "nine."

While I do not want to go into the arguments that, I presume, were gone into at considerable length when this Bill was formerly before the House, when I was not here, I should like to say that we on this side of the House look at this measure and at the question of local government in a very different way from that of the Executive Council. We have full belief in the people; we like to entrust them with complete control of their own affairs, and to encourage them to have a sense of responsibility in connection with local affairs. For that reason we are anxious to have a fairly large representation in the Cork Municipal Council, not such a body as would impede instead of helping to carry on the work efficiently, but large enough to have a representation that will filter down to all sections of the people. We do not think that what we have in mind, at any rate, would be achieved by the Minister's amendment. He now suggests as an amendment of his previous proposal that there should be a council of eighteen, whereas we suggest a council of twenty-seven. For a city of the size and importance of Cork, we think that is certainly not too many, and that if anything it errs on the side of being too small. We believe that unless you have a membership of twenty-seven you will not get the full representation of all sections of the people that we, at any rate, would like to see. We believe that it would be for the future benefit of Cork and local government generally if the idea could be got into the heads of those in charge at present that we ought to trust the people, that we ought to have some faith in the people in regard to their local affairs. Of course, it is quite possible, as has happened before, and will happen again, that no matter what may be the size of the council mistakes will be made, but we ought to teach them, at any rate, that when they make mistakes they are the persons who will pay for them, and that the responsibility will be placed on their shoulders of making a success or failure of the local administration. We are firmly convinced that a council of not less than twenty-seven should be elected for a city of the size and importance of Cork.

I desire to support the amendment moved by Deputy O'Kelly, because I can subscribe to all that he has said so far as it relates to the expression of the people's will. But, in view of the fact that I had an amendment down on the Committee Stage to substitute the figure of seven for the figure five, or, in other words, that seven members should be elected each year until the maximum number of twenty-one was reached, I suggest that the Minister should be asked to make a compromise. If Deputy O'Kelly would agree to insert the number twenty-one instead of twenty-seven in his amendment, I think it would be some advance, and would, I believe, meet with the wishes of the people of Cork, who are, of course, mainly concerned, although not altogether concerned, in this Bill, because, as I have indicated before, this is a case of trying it on the dog, and that it will eventually apply to very many other bodies in this country. I daresay the second dog on which this medicine will be tried will be the citizens of Dublin. I agree with Deputy O'Kelly that if we are to bring our citizens to a sense of their responsibility it can only be done by trusting them to a greater degree than is done in this Bill. I believe that citizenship is quite as important as nationality. Some famous economist said that people learned the art of government by having placed on them certain responsibility—these may not be the exact words, but that is the substance of them. For that, amongst other reasons, I support the amendment, but would appeal to the Minister to make the number twenty-one instead of eighteen, and would ask Deputy O'Kelly, if the Minister is agreeable, to insert twenty-one in his amendment instead of twenty-seven. We have common ground for agreeing, at any rate, so far as certain sections of the Bill are concerned and in making that suggestion to Deputy O'Kelly I want to say that I have not discussed the matter with any member of the Government Party, so far as relates to this particular section, and that I now make it for the first time. I would ask Deputy O'Kelly, therefore, to reconsider the matter and insert the number 21 in his amendment, and I will go into the Division Lobby with him. In any event, I intend going into the Division Lobby with him in connection with this Bill, because I want to be quite consistent in the attitude I have maintained all along on the Bill. I again ask the Minister, for the sake of the additional three, to agree to bring the strength of the new Corporation up to twenty-one, and if that will also meet with Deputy O'Kelly's approval I shall feel quite satisfied, and those I represent shall also feel satisfied.

Perhaps it is right that we should congratulate the Minister on having realised the weakness of his original proposition despite the vigour with which he defended it in the Committee Stage. Having now come forward with his amended proposal it is perhaps not too much to hope that having realised that the Opposition were right in one contention, namely the advisability of constituting a council in full as from the first day, that possibly he would realise that the Opposition are also right in their other contention that the council which he has proposed to set up is too small. I think the Minister appears to allow himself to be influenced in this matter possibly by his experience of the working of committees of another kind. It is the general experience of all of us that committees fulfilling executive functions are much more efficient when they are of a small size and that the larger such committees are the less efficient they are. I think the Minister is allowing that idea to confuse his mind in considering the size of a council such as the Cork city council. It is a fact that the Cork city council will have no executive functions whatever. It will be purely a legislative institution and in any such institution it is I think a good thing to provide that there shall be the widest possible variety of views available upon every matter that comes before it. Deputy O'Kelly's amendment proposes that there should be 27 members, that is one representative for every thousand ratepayers in the city. I think it is only right that a section of ratepayers large enough to cast a thousand votes in favour of a particular candidate should be entitled to a representative on the city council. The Minister, I know, has some peculiar views on this matter but I trust he has since realised that the representative nature of the council is not determined by the number of votes required to elect each individual member of it. The representative nature of a council is determined by the number of interests and sections that can secure representation upon it. A section of a thousand ratepayers in the city of Cork is, I think, of sufficient importance to justify its being represented by one member on the city council. If that council is to be of a smaller number it will, of course, require a larger number of votes to secure the return of a single member.

Would the Deputy refer that principle of one representative to a thousand voters, to representation in the city of Dublin?

No, it is quite obvious the circumstances are different. The size of Cork and the size of Dublin have to be taken into consideration. A section a thousand strong in Dublin would be less important and less influential than a thousand in the City of Cork. Quite obviously you cannot apply the same system in each case, but you can say that as a thousand ratepayers is to the total electorate of twenty-seven thousand in Cork, so whatever number would bear the same proportion to the total electorate in Dublin should be entitled to one representative on the Dublin Council. I should say that would be the principle on which you should work. I think, and I have not been shaken in my opinion, that the best system of government of this kind that could be established in Cork would be to have a council of 27 members. It will not be so big that there will be unnecessary discussion on minor points; it will be a purely legislative body dealing with city policy and city policy only. It will have nothing to do with executive work. Being a body of that nature, it will be a good thing and an advantage to have it as fully representative as it can be made. If it had executive functions to perform I agree it should be small in size, but, as it has not, the suggestion contained in the amendment, the council of 27, is by no means unreasonable.

I very readily confess that if the opinion of the people of Cork was considered by this House, and if Deputies could vote and express their wishes, they would vote in favour of an increase in the number of the council. I am certain that the vast majority of the people of Cork would be more satisfied with a council of 27 than of any number mentioned. I strongly advise the Minister that it is almost essential to the success of the measure, or at any rate if it is to work successfully, that the wishes of the people of Cork should be respected. If you confine the number to 18, and if you have to divide these round the various committees on which the Corporation must have representatives, you will find that you will be placing upon the members a responsibility that they cannot really conscientiously carry out. I know that in this Bill you are giving authority to the Corporation to put outside representatives on these bodies, but I say that it is essential for the body responsible for collecting the rates spent upon any particular system by committees to have more than one representative on those committees. For instance, take the Technical Instruction Committee. That is a body wholly elected by the Corporation. Up to now the system was that outside bodies sent their own nominees, and these nominees were accepted by the Corporation, but in addition to that it had, as well as I remember, to elect 21 members of its own body to complete the members necessary. If the new body were to put any reasonable proportion of members who would be in a position to accept their responsibility as members of the Borough Council on that body, it could not be done by a working Corporation of less than 21 members. It would mean that you would have seven members out of the eighteen mentioned in the Bill who would have to attend to their ordinary Corporation duties as well as meetings of this committee every fortnight, and possibly three sub-committees every week. Then you have the various other joint committees of the outside bodies such as hospital committees and so on.

Then I cannot see any other way of managing the affairs without again dividing up into some system not as unwieldy as in the old days, but you will have to divide up the duties of the Corporation in the old committee system; probably it could be divided into three or four committees. But they certainly will have to meet to examine the details of the work of the Corporation before they would be in a position at any rate to criticise it in ordinary general meetings. I would like to suggest to the Minister, without expressing it personally, that there is an absolute desire that the whole Corporation should be elected together. And I would suggest to him that if he cannot accept that, that at any rate he will agree——

That is in the amendment.

Yes, it is in the amendment.

Only for the first year. I want the Minister to continue it right through the Bill. Again, I understand that according to the Bill the first eighteen ought to be elected in 1929, and that six of that eighteen are to seek re-election in the following June twelve months, and six more the following year. I think at any rate that the first whole of the Corporation should be elected until 1931, and then after that start on the six per year. After all, if you are going to elect an absolutely new body, you will probably get a majority of members who had not previous experience of local administration. I do not think there is any member of this House who has any experience of local administration who would come up frankly and tell you that there was a man elected to a public body who after eighteen months will have done anything more or less than getting into a state that he can understand the administration of the body.

The position is that on the Committee Stage, the principle of the annual election was embodied by the House in the Bill. The principle of one electoral area for the city was embodied. I take it that these matters are not now open for discussion. It is not a fact, as Deputy Lemass suggested, that I have seen more light with regard to the desirability of having a large council in Cork. I have not. I do not see any reason for having in Cork a council of more than fifteen members. I do not know whether the Deputy has gone into the matter or not, but as far as I understand he would suggest the same size of council for Dublin as for Cork. With regard to the work of the council set out or implied in the reserve functions included in Section 3, sub-section (1), I submit that a larger council is not necessary. Deputy French suggests that a bigger attendance of the members of the Corporation will be required on committee. The Bill provides specially that as far as technical education committees or any other committees of that kind are concerned, that the Corporation, instead of having, as in the past, to nominate a certain number of their own members, they can nominate persons specially qualified by their experience to act on that committee. There is no real necessity that the Corporation put their own members on any committee other than the Board of Assistance or the Mental Hospital. These are really the only two committees on which there is any real necessity for them to have their own members. The amendment is down for subsequent consideration—that where the Corporation desires to nominate the City Manager as one of the persons to act for them on these two committees, that there shall be nothing to prevent that being done. That is to say, that can be done if the council desires it. As I say, I did not put down 18 because I consider that 18 was a better number than 15. I put it down to meet in some way the representations of persons whom I consider less well advised than I am myself in the matter, but who put up a representation here that a larger number in the council would be more acceptable. I do not know whether Deputy Anthony offers his complete support to the principle contained here if I agree that the council shall consist of 21. If all the parties in the Dáil consider that they are fully met by a council of 21, I would be prepared to accept that as dragged from me as a further compromise by people who are not as enlightened in this matter or who have not given as much real consideration and thought to this matter as I myself have given. But as far as 27 is concerned, when we go to 21, we are being dragged further along the road of splitting up Cork into sectional areas. You are being dragged along the road of getting back to the ward system.

The Minister is self-contradictory there.

The Minister admits it was a step forward when we agreed that the whole city should be one electoral area. It removed the objection made by the Minister that we should get away from the ward system, with which I entirely agree.

You go along then, and in accordance with this particular amendment that I have here now, you propose to elect by proportional representation a panel of as many as 18 persons at the one election. It outrages my idea as to what can be done by proportional representation on a panel as big as that. You take the position that you have six members going out normally every year, and six new members coming in. The Bill provides for the election by the members of the Corporation at their own discretion of a person to fill the casual vacancy during the year. The person so elected to fill a casual vacancy goes out, and there becomes the extra vacancy added on to the six. If a casual vacancy occurs during any particular year, a person is elected by the Corporation to fill that vacancy during the year. Then at the end of the year, the electors are called upon to elect six plus one. If there are two casual vacancies during the year, then the electorate are called upon to elect six plus two, and if there are three casual vacancies, the number will be six plus three. If you increase the members from 18 to 21 you are likely to ask the citizens to elect as many as nine persons in any one year. I think that is not sound.

How does it arise that you would have seven or eight or nine?

If you have twenty-one on the council, seven is the normal thing, and if you have two casual vacancies, then you are going to elect nine at the end of the year.

Might I suggest to the Minister that in that case nine names will not be submitted to the electorate. Two will be filled as provided in this Bill by the Corporation.

But if in September, 1929, a casual vacancy occurs, and the Corporation decides to fill that vacancy by election, and the person is elected by the council to that vacancy, that man, if he has filled a vacancy that was not normally occurring in the following year, goes out. The electors are called upon to fill six vacancies plus the casual one, and they are to fill them by popular election.

I cannot follow the Minister in that. Would not the person appointed to fill the casual vacancy just complete the term which the person whom he substituted would have completed—just the same as in the Seanad?

That occurs in the Seanad.

That is exactly what occurs in the Seanad. The person elected to fill a casual vacancy goes out at the next election in the Seanad and not at the time that the person whose vacancy he fills would have gone out.

How often would the Minister anticipate the casual vacancies?

There is, first of all, in this matter the size of the council generally. We believe that the matters that the council will have to deal with, namely, questions of rates, etc., and the budget, that those are matters in which the citizens should have good representation. We accordingly think that there is no case whatever made out for a small council; the question of getting over the difficulty of a large panel by electoral areas has already been ruled on. We have already come to a decision on that. We have got the alternative of dividing the council into three parts so that the size of the retiring panel will be only one-third, and we have the difficulty of a large panel in only one election.

Does the Minister think that to elect nine in a local election of that kind, where every member would be known to the electorate, would form too big a panel? I cannot see for a moment why nine would be too many. I think anything less than nine will not give you the proportional representation that is advisable in the case of bodies of that kind.

Nine means a very large number on the ballot paper.

It means more on the ballot paper; it probably will mean double the number, but in any case they are all known locally.

Perhaps there might be twenty-nine on the ballot paper.

They are all very well known. It is a very restricted area, and the desirability of getting fair proportional representation outweighs all inconvenience in the matter. Less than nine will hardly give an opportunity for having represented the interests that ought to be represented. We have a small panel going out on each occasion. The only difficulty will be at the first election. There is no question of a big panel arising afterwards; it can only arise once. There will be no repetition of that very big panel as the elections go on year after year. Supposing the first election was not everything it should be—perhaps the panel was too large or the voting was not as accurate as it otherwise would be— all that begins to be remedied at once. It will be remedied at least in the next year because you will have certain members going out year after year. Considering the importance attached to the matter by the people in Cork, and by their representatives here, I think the Minister should give way on it.

It is not the question of getting down to the exact point at which the best type of representative can be got that we are concerned with here. The main point is to give a machinery of council in Cork the size and the type of machinery that will best carry out the duties imposed upon it. I think Deputies will remember that on the Committee Stage we dealt to some extent with a proposal from Deputy de Valera that there should be a council of thirty, and there was involved as part of his scheme a selection from that thirty of a smaller council of six or seven.

An executive body.

The Deputy then realised that the class of work this council would be called on to do would be such that it could not be satisfactorily done by a council as big as thirty, which number, for all practical purposes, is not very much larger than twenty-seven. There was a lot of talk about the council being legislative in its scope. The council would certainly not deal with its work in the way in which the Dáil deals with its work in committee, and the type of work carried out by the council in Cork would be very different from the type of work which we here call legislative. They have to consider proposals and plans and take decisions. They have to discuss matters so as to come to a clear decision which the executive machinery under the manager can take up and carry out to a practical conclusion without any looseness as to what has been decided and who is responsible for the different aspects of the work that is being carried out. The size of the council, the point that the council shall be of a size that can do the work properly, is the main thing to be considered here. I see very little point in discussing whether, in order to be representative, a council should contain one representative for every one thousand, two thousand or three thousand of the population. What is important is that the council be an elected council and that it be of a size that can carry out its work properly.

The Minister has not given any indication of why twenty-seven could not carry out the work properly. We have given indications that a council of twenty-seven would be very much better, because it would be representative of the people as a whole. It is important that all interests in the city should be represented fairly fully. The interpretation put upon my suggestion in regard to the advisability of a board of aldermen is wrong. I made the suggestion in regard to a board of aldermen because I wanted to have a body in close touch with the manager. A council of eighteen or twenty-one members is not going to have that close touch that I consider necessary. A board of aldermen would be a body that would be in constant touch with the administrative or the executive acts of the manager. My opinion is that the Minister has made no case whatever for a small council. It is not an executive body.

Having had a little experience in these matters, may I point out that a council of eighteen is quite large enough to do the ordinary business of a local authority? Any extension beyond that number is not in the interests of business or in the interests of the council. All of us who know these councils are aware that if you have a large body they turn very often into talking shops instead of business places. As far as my twenty-five years' experience of local authorities goes. I am strongly in favour of a small body.

There appears to be some confusion in this matter. I would like to know what is meant by a body of twenty-seven being more representative than a body of twenty-one. A body of six might be much more representative than a body of twenty-seven. I have rarely seen, in elections which have taken place, exact parallels in the case of members being elected to local bodies year after year. I have known cases in the City of Dublin where a candidate standing in the Labour interest would be elected one year, a candidate standing in a certain political interest would be elected by the same constituency the following year, and an entirely different person to either of the two would be elected another year. That term, "representative of the people," is rather confusing. What I think we should aim at here is trying to get the very best possible representation. I think there is general agreement on that; that there is a desire on the part of members of all Parties to have a good local authoing rity in this case. The question of numbers is an accidental question. It does not really matter. It has certain disadvantages and, I will admit, also certain advantages. One of the disadvantages is that the smaller the unit in respect of which a person may be representative the less likelihood there is of that person becoming an effective member of the local authority. He very often stands out from it and lends no help towards the solution of its problems. He contents himself entirely with being elected year after year, perhaps attending, I will admit, particularly to one aspect of the various activities of the city.

I think the Minister has met Deputies holding different views as to what the size of the council should be very fairly by agreeing that if there was general acceptance he would be prepared to have a council of twenty-one. Personally, I think that number too big. I think fifteen would probably be the nearest ideal and, perhaps, it would be much more representative in its decisions and would be more likely to give more civic satisfaction than a council of twenty-seven. There is the trouble of a large ballot paper in the first election. It is possible you will have 50 or 60 names upon it. I think it is true to say that half the number of the candidates will not be known to the electorate. Even those who have been representing a constituency for a great number of years very often meet constituents who do not know them. My experience leads me to conclude that the smaller a public body is in a matter of this sort and in regard to the work which is set the new council of Cork to do, the more efficient will be the discharge of its duties. It is not a matter upon which I think there should be sharp political divisions here. It is a question of one's experience, which, of course, may vary. Certain Deputies, from their experience, may have the view that the larger the council is the more efficient it will be. From my experience, my view is that the smaller the council the more efficient it will be. One can readily understand, in the discharge of public business, what an inducement there will be amongst nine or twenty-seven members to speak the whole time during the year which will be the last term of office in order to attract public attention to their usefulness.

I would like to point out to the President that he is relying, as far as his main argument is concerned in support of the smaller council, upon his own personal experience of city government in Dublin. The Greater Dublin Commission was set up for the purpose of examining the question of city government in Dublin. The Commission was composed of members who had fairly long experience of city government and of government in other boroughs. They recommended the establishment in Dublin of a council consisting of 65 members. Obviously they did not share the President's opinion that a council of 15 is likely to be more efficient than a council of 27.

Possibly that was wrong, or as the Minister for Local Government said, that they had not been as well advised as he was. But we must recognise the fact that some of the members of that Commission had at least as much experience of city government as the President, and, as the President has based his whole case upon his own experience, he will, I am sure, admit that there is a counter-case to be put against it. The Minister for Local Government maintains that when we speak of the legislative functions of the Cork city council we mean a different thing to what we mean when we speak of the legislative functions of this House. I submit that we know exactly what we do mean, because the functions of the Cork city council are defined here. I will just indicate what they are. The council is to have the power of making a rate and to borrow money on certain resolutions or proposals put forward by the city Manager. One of its main functions will be to pass a resolution confirming or rejecting these proposals. It is to have power to make, amend, or revoke any bye-law, as well as the following powers: The making of any order and the passing of any resolution by virtue of which any enactment is brought into operation in or made to apply to the borough, and the revoking of any such order and the rescinding of any such resolution; (d) the application to be made to any authority in respect of the making or revoking of any such order as aforesaid; (e) the making of any order under Section 5 of the Shops Act, 1912 (in that Act referred to as a closing order); (f) the promotion or the opposing in the Oireachtas of any legislation affecting the borough or any part of the borough; (g) the appointment or election of any person to be a member of any public body; (h) Parliamentary and local elections; (i) subject to the provisions of this Act, the appointment, suspension and removal of the Manager and the granting of an allowance or gratuity to the Manager on his ceasing to be the Manager; and (j) the determination of the amount of the salary and remuneration of the Lord Mayor.

It is quite obvious that none of those functions is of a kind that would involve a detailed examination of schemes by the council. They are all of a kind which can be carried out by the passing of a resolution. I do not think that a council of 27 is likely to be unnecessarily verbose in passing resolutions under any of these heads. Deputy Good said that if the council is composed of more than 18 members it is going to become a talking shop, and he lays that down as a general principle. Does the Deputy apply that to this House?

I was going to take the example of this House, but I thought it might be too personal.

The fact remains, in any case, that it is obviously not the size of the council in Cork or the number of voters comprised within its borders that affects the general principle which he laid down, but rather the size of the council irrespective of the work which it has to do. Obviously that argument applies to this House also. If that argument is right in its application to the city council of Cork, then obviously it also applies to this House. Would Deputy Good ask for the abolition of the Dáil and the transfer of its functions to the Executive Council?

Does the Deputy not admit that there is a certain weakness in that? If the 153 members of this House, each of whom is entitled to speak on every question, were to exercise that right, then no business could be done.

I would like to point out that members are only entitled to speak once on this particular amendment.

I wish, sir, you had thought of that before.

I agree that if every member of every party in this House exercised his right to speak on every matter coming before the House that business could be held up indefinitely. I think that we gave a demonstration some time ago that business could be held up fairly successfully, or at least delayed.

I am sure the Deputy admits that that is two-edged.

I agree, but the President is assuming that the 27 members of the Cork city council will be persons altogether different to the type of person elected to this House, whereas the fact is that they will be the very same type. They will speak only when they have something definite to say.

Except that being Cork citizens they will be much abler.

Personally, I think the Executive Council have no real argument to put behind their contention in favour of the smaller council than the President's own experience and the good advice which the Minister for Local Government got and which he did not impart to us.

Would the Deputy be satisfied with 21?

I think 21 is a lot better than 18. I would like if the President would make it 24.

While, personally, I am in favour of 18, I think, for the sake of not having a division on the matter, that the Opposition Party should accept the Minister's suggestion and agree to 21.

There will be no division on 24, but there will be for less.

If you get the proper type of council for Cork City, whether we have an extra division here or not, does not matter. I would like to hear Deputy Anthony further on the question of 21.

I just want to say a word before we have any division. In fact, I hope that we will not have a division. Deputations representing every interest in Cork city met the Minister when he came down to investigate the position there, and possibly to look for some guidance on this matter. Some interests suggested as small a number as 5, while other interests were in favour of a council of 30. The Labour Party, with its usual liberality and broadmindedness of outlook, which I am not going to say any other Party has, agreed that if we could get 21, it would really meet the wishes of most people. I have already suggested to the official Opposition that they might accept the figure 21. I indicated before that if the 21 were not accepted I would have to go into the division lobby with Deputy de Valera and his Party. In view of the fact that the Minister has met me in the suggestion that I have thrown out—I may say I had no communication with the official Opposition or the Government Party and possibly it was a good job I had not—I am quite satisfied with the number 21, and I ask the official Opposition to accept that figure as it is an advance on the original figure of 15.

On that point I may say that when in Cork I met all classes and I did not examine their political colour, and there was no person or party in Cork outside the Labour Party who suggested as high a figure as 30.

For my part I am not convinced that a council of 30 would not be the best council. I have a fairly long experience of public bodies, and I know the President has I think he and I entered public life in or about the same time, and we had experience of various types of public authorities in Dublin and outside it. I am convinced from my experience that in order to get a really representative body you would want to elect citizens who represent the various types and elements in the city, and you would not get a representation of that kind if the council were of a smaller number than 30. Cork city is an old city and has a citizenry of very varied outlook and interests. I think it is conducive to the dignity of the city to give it a council of the size suggested, that is, 27, if we cannot get 30. Personally, while firmly convinced that 30 would be the better number I would like if the Minister would give way and make it 24 and there would be no division.

The arguments put by the President in many cases cut both ways. You can produce arguments to show that you would get, perhaps sometimes even with a panel of 9, an election panel put up that would be much greater in numbers than would be the case in the panel for the first election for the Cork Municipal Borough. I remember that one time—I think it was referred to here before—in one ward in the city of Dublin I happened to be a candidate in the old days when Deputy Sheehy's Party were in the ascendant, that would be 15 years ago or more. My name is a common one, and there were 14 O'Kelly's nominated against me and most of them, I think, were in Glasnevin. That shows you the type of panel you can get, and I think it was the ingenuity of the Party to which Deputy Sheehy belonged that produced these dead men, and it shows what they relied on in those days. If you have only nine candidates going up you can get a panel that will make it very difficult for you and that will not be helpful to the citizens. Even although at that time there was such a panel, and such a number of people about whom the electors might have known something in past days before these men were dead and gone it shows the people did know the right person when I was re-elected again to the Corporation in spite of the innumerable people who might have been elected from the cemetery and elsewhere. In a city like Cork or Dublin people do know who those persons are who are aspiring to enter public life, and they know how to make their choice. It is my conviction that this would be the best thing for Cork and for the future training of good legislators, and the future training of citizens, and that you will get better results not alone in Cork but elsewhere by trusting the people and making the council fairly wide.

I cannot imagine any system of election, or any form of panel, that would conceal Deputy O'Kelly's personality. I think that argument, which he himself abandoned at a later stage, carries no weight. I feel, at the moment, that I am at a country fair, and that the Minister for Local Government offers a price of 21, and Deputy Lemass and Deputy O'Kelly say "Make it 24." I suppose it would be out of order to suggest that the two parties to the bargain should come together and stretch out their hands and split the difference and say "Make it 22½." I really rise to call attention to the inconsistency of the Opposition. It is not many days since the Opposition told us that 100 Deputies would be sufficient to manage the affairs of the whole Saorstát. If that is so, surely to goodness 21 members are enough to manage the affairs of the City of Cork.

I support the proposal for a larger Corporation. I do not think I can share the hope expressed by the Minister for Local Government that the Bill is going to be of much use to Cork, because the Minister has ruined the Bill. There are 68 members on the Cork County Council, and we manage to do our business all right, in spite of the allusion of the President to all members wanting to speak. We get a lot of the type there of those on the opposite benches, who never open their mouths.

We are not discussing Cork County Council now.

As to what Deputy Cooper said regarding the 100 members for the Dáil, I suggest that the Minister should try on a small scale here what he is proposing in the Cork Bill by reducing the membership of the House to, say, 20 or 26.

We would never go back to the old numbers I am afraid.

I do not think that Deputy Good would get rid of me as handy as he thinks. I ask the Minister to give way on this matter. As to Deputy Cooper's allusion, I am sure that if the Minister for Industry and Commerce carries out the suggestion I made the other day, Deputy Cooper will have no trouble in getting elected anywhere in Ireland.

With the leave of the House, I will amend the amendment so that it shall read 21 members instead of 18, with the necessary consequential amendments.

Mr. T. SHEEHY

I appeal to the House to be unanimous on this matter. I have had large experience of councils for 43 years. I was elected to a council in Skibbereen in 1885 and I am still a member of the council. I have had long experience on several councils. For some years I was a member, with Deputy O'Kelly, of a council which consisted of, I believe, 12 or 14 members. We had important business to manage, the technical education of Ireland, and we got along well with that number. I believe that Cork city would be fortunate if the House agreed to the suggestion of Deputy Anthony, and the Minister's amendment were carried, and have the membership of the Cork council 21. From my knowledge of the city of Cork I have every confidence that the people will return 21 citizens they will be proud of, and who will build up that good old city and bring back its prosperity.

We have no objection to the Minister making it 21 rather than 18. If the question he wishes to put to the House is whether he may amend his Bill to that extent, we agree.

Amendment amended by the substitution of the figure 21 where 18 occurs and 7 where 6 occurs.

Our position is that it is not a question of three. The question is will you have in the council what will be regarded as a fair sample of the citizens who are affected and of the interests that will be affected. Have you a chance of having them present when decisions such as those read by Deputy Lemass are going to be taken? I believe that you will not have them if you have a small number. I believe that you are going to make the council into a small body that will meet as if they were meeting in secret. You are not going to have the matter discussed in a proper way in a small council.

Question: "That the words twenty-one stand in amendment No. 5," put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 82; Níl, 55.

  • Aird, William P.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Connolly, Michael P.
  • Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Crowley, James.
  • Daly, John.
  • Davin, William.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Dolan, James N.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Keogh, Myles.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Reilly, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reynolds, Patrick.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Tierney, Michael.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.

Níl

  • Allen, Denis.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Holt, Samuel.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killane, James Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Clery, Michael.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Cooney, Eamon.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Tubridy, John.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.
Tellers—Tá: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle. Níl: Deputies G. Boland and Allen.
Amendment 5 declared carried.
Amendment 6—"In page 3, line 15, Section 3 (3), to delete the figures ‘1928' and insert in lieu thereof the figures ‘1929'"—and amendment 7—"In page 3, line 23, Section 3 (4), after the word ‘Council' to insert the words ‘elected at a borough election held in any year subsequent to the year 1929'"—(General Mulcahy)—agreed to.

I move amendment 8:—

In page 3, Section 3, to insert after sub-section (5) two new sub-sections as follows:—

"(6) Save as is otherwise provided by this Act, the law for the time being in force in relation to the qualification of persons for membership of any committee appointed by a council of a county borough or of any joint committee partly appointed by any such council shall apply to the qualification of persons for membership of any committee appointed by the council or of any joint committee partly appointed by the council.

(7) For the purposes of the two next preceding sub-sections a contract with the Corporation shall be deemed to be a contract with the Council and with every committee and joint committee appointed or partly appointed by the Council and a contract with any such committee or joint committee shall be deemed to be also a contract with the Council."

This is simply to make clear the existing statutory position with regard to certain disqualifications of members of the council and of the committees operating under the council. Sub-section (5) of the Bill, as it stands, makes the matter clear with regard to members of the council, and sub-section (6) makes it clear with regard to committees. Sub-section (7) makes it clear that members of committees or members of the council are disqualified from entering into a contract with the Corporation through the Manager. The fact that contracts will be made by the Manager will not make any difference with regard to the disqualification that would otherwise rest on a member of the council or of a committee if he makes a contract with the Corporation through the Manager.

Amendment agreed to.
SECTION 4.

I move amendment 9:—

In page 3, line 35, Section 4 (1) to delete the word "section" and insert in lieu thereof the word "Act."

This is a drafting amendment.

Amendment put and agreed to.

I move amendment 9a:—

In page 3, Section 4 (2), line 45, to delete the word "five" and substitute therefor the word "six," and in line 56 to delete the word "fifth" and substitute therefor the word "sixth."

This is consequential on amendment 5 that has been passed.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 10:—

In page 3, line 60, Section 4 (4), after the word "purpose" to insert the words "after one week's notice to every member of the council."

The amendment is intended to provide that a decision to elect by the council a member to fill a casual vacancy will not be come to without one week's notice being given to all members of the council of that intention.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 11:—

In page 3, line 64, Section 4 (4), to delete the words "fill such casual vacancy" and substitute the word "elect" and in line 66, after the word "meeting" to add the words "a person to fill such vacancy."

This is a drafting amendment to bring it into concord with another part of the Bill. It is necessary that the section would state that the council would elect a member to fill a casual vacancy.

Amendment agreed to.
SECTION 5.

I move amendment 12:—

In page 4, Section 5, to delete sub-sub-section (2) and substitute a new sub-section as follows:—

"(2) The first two members of the council elected at the borough election to be held in the year 1929 and the first two members of the council elected at every borough election held after the year 1929 shall be aldermen."

There is no necessity to make any consequential change in the number two arising out of the increasing of the council to twenty-one.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment to amendment 12:—
In the proposed new sub-section to delete the word "two" in each line where it occurs and substitute therefor in each case the word "three" (Seán T. O Ceallaigh), not moved.

I move amendment 13:—

In page 4, Section 7, to delete sub-section (2) and substitute therefor a new sub-section as follows:—

(2) Nine members of the council shall constitute a quorum at every meeting thereof.

This is consequential on amendment 15. I do not think it is necessary to change the quorum from nine as a result of the increase of the council to twenty-one.

Surely the Minister would not say that less than 12 would be a fair quorum for a council of that number?

It certainly should not be less than half.

When Deputies opposite were recommending a council of 27 they suggested that the quorum should be twelve.

Perhaps Deputy O'Kelly will formally move his amendment to the amendment.

I move:—

In the proposed new sub-section to delete the word "Nine" and substitute the word "Twelve."

There is obviously a limit to which we can go in having a quorum—I mean in allowing business to be carried on without having a sufficient number of members present. I think it would be very unfair to allow business of importance to be carried on and important decisions taken with less than 12 out of 21 members present.

A quorum is usually a low percentage in the case of public bodies. In the Dáil, with 153 members, the quorum is twenty. The Dublin Corporation had a membership of eighty and the quorum was twenty. There were occasions, I think, within the memory of Deputy O'Kelly, when there was difficulty in getting that number.

The President does not seem to see the point I am making, that you want a fair number— you cannot take it by proportion. I can see cases where twenty would be considered all right for carrying on the work here, but it is not a case of twenty individuals, with twenty distinct and different minds dealing with it. Here you are limiting the number of different minds dealing with the subject.

I suggest that the new regime makes it more essential that you should have a majority of the members of the council present at the meeting. I admit that in the old days in the Corporation the quorum was only fourteen out of fifty-six members, but the system is so changed now, with the limited authority that the council has, and perhaps greater responsibility in the matter of the authority that they retain, that it is essential you should have at least a majority of the members of the council present at each meeting. I think the amendment is a reasonable one and should be accepted.

Fourteen out of fifty-six and nine out of twenty-one!

It is fourteen and nine dealing with a particular problem or question.

I think the amendment could be accepted with safety. I think you will get at least twelve members to attend.

Is the Minister prepared to increase the number to ten or eleven?

I would be satisfied with eleven.

You cannot halve twenty-one unless by some surgical operation, and I suggest that you make the number ten—that would be practically half.

Very good.

Amendment to amendment withdrawn.
Leave given to substitute the figure "ten" for "nine" in the original amendment.
Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

I move amendment 14:

In page 5, Section 8 (1) to delete paragraph (f) and substitute in lieu thereof the following paragraph—

"(f) the powers conferred by Section 5 of the Borough Funds (Ireland) Act, 1888, in relation to the promotion or the opposing of legislation, the prosecution and defence of legal proceedings, and the application for those purposes of the borough fund, borough rate or other the public funds and rates under the control of the Corporation."

This will amplify the powers already embodied in sub-section (1) (f) so as to enable the Corporation to expend money in the prosecution or defence of legal proceedings involving certain rights and privileges of the citizens, such as way-leaves, rights of way, railway facilities, or matters of that kind.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 15:

In page 5, Section 8 (1), before paragraph (i), to insert the following new paragraph:—

"(i) the admission of persons to the freedom of the City of Cork."

It is quite clear that the right of admitting persons to the freedom of the City of Cork should be held by the council.

Would you not say "distinguished persons"?

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 16:

In page 5, line 24, Section 8 (1), to add after paragraph (j) a new paragraph as follows:—

"the nature, extent and cost of all improvement schemes relating to drainage, housing, sewage, water-works, cleansing, lighting, and road-making."

This amendment proposes that this power and authority should be given to the newly-constituted council. I am of opinion that the council to be elected will be a responsible body and will be such that it should be able to decide, with the information that will be given to it by its officials, what is best for the city, in relation to such important matters as are set out here. I do not suggest that the council should have charge of the administration in so far as these matters are concerned. Matters of administration can generally be done more efficiently by the manager, but the initiation of improvement schemes relating to drainage, housing, sewerage, lighting and so on, the expenditure in connection with such schemes, and the districts that are to be served by such schemes, should be decided by the council as a whole, and they ought to have the final authority in matters of that kind. When it comes to saying how such work should be carried out, whether by contractors or direct labour, whatever way it is to be done, then one individual like the Manager would be better able to see that the city's interests are looked after. But when it is a big question relating to schemes of general improvement the people who ought to decide are the people who will have to pay, and these are the citizens, and these citizens will decide through their elected representatives. It ought not to be in the power of any one individual, even such an exalted person as the manager of the city of Cork will probably be, to decide how schemes of that nature, involving to such a large extent the whole interest and future of the city, should be carried out, or to what extent the city should go into debt in matters of that kind. The council will unquestionably have an opportunity in considering the annual Budget of discussing such matters, but outside the Budget, questions will arise relating to these schemes as to which it should be in the power of the elected representatives only to make a final decision as to what is best for the city. It should not be in the power of any individual, no matter how efficient he is and who is after all merely an official appointed, I take it, to look after matters of administration.

I support the amendment because I believe that the determination of the city's future is the exclusive right of the people, and the will of the people will find expression through their elected representatives. Deputy O'Kelly has put the case very clearly and I shall certainly support the amendment.

The amendment, as it reads here, is not acceptable, because when connected with the clause it would mean that a position would be reached where the council would directly exercise and perform all and every of the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to the following matters, that is to say, the nature, extent and cost of all improvement schemes, and that would make the council responsible for all the details of these matters. It is not quite clear from the amendment as it stands what Deputy O'Kelly means by the words "improvement schemes," but from what he said in regard to it, it is quite clear what he has in mind is new works and undertakings in which capital expenditure would be involved. That being the case, sub-section (1) (a) where the council is responsible for the making of any rate or the borrowing of any moneys would come in. Under the heading "borrowing of any money," the council has absolute control over anything that is to be done in the matter of an improvement scheme in any of these particular matters. In all these matters, with some small exceptions of road-making, but generally on all matters specified that require borrowing, they are to be supplied with a general outline of the scheme, plans and all that, and with the general details of the scheme which the Manager requires to bring before the council in order to put the scheme in a clear light before them in order that they may consider the question of borrowing for that scheme. There is no question of the Manager deciding he will run a housing scheme here and a new sewerage scheme in another direction and enter into a contract to carry them out. The plans must be before the council and the council must decide to borrow, and not only that, but the permission of the Minister must be given to borrow. Very often when it is a case of borrowing, there is a local inquiry ordered to see whether the works are public works and whether borrowing for them would impose too great a financial burden on the council. So far as anything that Deputy O'Kelly has in mind, it is quite covered by paragraph (a) of Section 8. The amendment would make the council responsible for the details, and almost responsible for the carrying out and maintenance of the work.

I take it that the Minister's case is that the council, under the Bill, has power to decide as to the nature, extent and the cost of such schemes.

But that is not embodied in the Bill. It would appear from what the Minister said that the amendment would be redundant or that it was unnecessary. He also conveyed to me that this was quite an innocuous sort of amendment.

Would it not be an improvement if paragraph (a) were amplified by the inclusion of what Deputy O'Kelly suggests in his amendment? Would Deputy O'Kelly accept the suggestion to amplify paragraph (a) of Section 8 by adding some words which would carry out the ideas suggested in his amendment?

As far as I am concerned, no addition to what is in the paragraph is wanted. When the council has come to the position that they have decided to borrow for a particular scheme we must take it that they have gone into all the details in the matter in so far as it is necessary for them to come to a decision to go ahead with the scheme and borrow the money. Once they come to that decision the Manager must have clear and unblurred responsibility for going on with the work.

I take it a scheme for which the sum is borrowed by resolution of the council could not be altered in any detail by the Manager as to its nature or cost; that the Manager would not have power to alter the nature of the scheme or any important points concerning it.

Material alterations could not be made. As a matter of fact, in the case of a scheme approved on the engineering side by the Ministry important alterations could not be made in that scheme without further examination of that further alteration by the Ministry.

Would the council have an opportunity of dealing with the alteration?

Certainly. The council will be in very close touch with the Manager, and no material alterations are going to be made in any matter without the council being made aware of it. In amendment 22 provision is made by which in any matter on which the Lord Mayor or members of the council require information that information must be made available to the council.

The Minister is not quite clear. Our purpose is to ensure the proper division between legislative and executive functions of the Corporation—to ensure that the council will carry out the legislative functions and the Manager the executive. It is the undoubted function of the council to decide as to the nature, extent and cost of capital schemes as such, or schemes involving capital expenditure. It is to ensure that there will be no ambiguity about that, and that it will be clear both to the Manager and the council that the council has the right of final decision, that this amendment was moved. I agree that the wording could be improved, and if the Minister is prepared to embody in the Bill in such a way as to make it clear that the council have the deciding voice as to the nature, cost and extent of such schemes the point would be met.

It is quite clear in the Bill. In practice the Manager could not depart materially in any particular direction or in any particular way from schemes without getting the consent of the council. If the inconceivable state of affairs existed that the Manager came to the Minister instead of going to the council to know if he might depart in any particular way from a scheme it is inconceivable that the Minister would not consult the council before deciding.

Not inconceivable.

The assumption cannot be made that the Manager is going to be a person who is not going to divulge information to the council or that he is going to keep away as far as possible from his council.

Frankly, I think the importance of this amendment might be lost in this House at the present time. To my mind it is essential that the authority of the council should be clearly stated in the Bill. I cannot see what objection the Minister could have to giving a clear definition of that authority in this sub-section. It is not clear from what the Minister has stated in previous debates that the Corporation has complete authority over the schemes mentioned in the amendment. It is not very definite in the Bill, and it certainly is not very definite in the minds of the people outside this House. Could it not be definitely stated, for instance, that the newly-elected body could consider new systems of sewerage and drainage for the whole city, and that if they were decided upon by the council it should be obligatory on the Manager to carry them out. For instance, if there was a dispute with the ordinary employees of the Corporation in any particular contract, there is a possibility of a difference of opinion arising as to the settling of that dispute. I would like to have it definitely stated, for instance, if there is a dispute on the matter of wages, and that the council were of opinion that a certain standard rate should be paid, and the Manager was of a different opinion, what is to be the position of the elected representatives? Again, in carrying out the ordinary duties, let us say, of the Sanitary Department, removal of domestic refuse, and so on, if there was a rather objectionable system, a system which would be objected to by the people generally, would the council be in a position to recommend a change or alter such a system? At the present moment there is a system instituted by the Commissioner which is objected to by most of the citizens. It relates to the collection of domestic refuse. The City of Cork is not adapted to the system that the Commissioner has evolved, and this system is considered rather objectionable. I would like the Minister definitely to state what is his particular objection to putting in an additional sub-section with powers for the origin of new schemes, the carrying out of improvement work, and setting out that the policy of the council will be the policy of the elected representatives. That question could be answered yes or no, and the sub-section could be framed leaving the matter more definite than it is in the Bill.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I beg to move amendment 17:—

In page 5, line 24, Section 8 (1), to add after paragraph (j) a new paragraph as follows:—

"the making of regulations, which regulations shall be subject to the approval of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, concerning the making of contracts for and on behalf of the Corporation."

Our opinion is that as regards the regulations which should govern contracts, except in so far as there is any general scheme already in operation which is obligatory on the local authority, it should be in the power of the local authority to make these regulations and not in the power of the Manager or any other official.

The Minister will recollect this amendment was tabled on the Committee Stage, and it was not moved then because he undertook to consider it between that period and the Report Stage. I would be glad to know why it was decided not to insert it.

I have gone very carefully into this matter, and I have come to the conclusion that there is no clear view as to what might or might not be embodied in regulations of this kind, and that no useful purpose can be served now by embodying in legislation dealing with the management of the city anything of that nature. Entering into a contract is a very definite executive act, and is, therefore, made with the sole responsibility of the Manager. In amendment 22 there is a proposal whereby the Lord Mayor or, through him, any member of the council can get any information that is available to the Manager or that may be desired in connection with any work that he is engaged on. No contract of any serious kind can be entered into by the Manager without the council being fully aware, by advertisement or otherwise, that such a contract is to be entered on. The Lord Mayor will be in a position to ask for any information or documents that may be in the hands of the Manager in connection with the making of the contract, and before it is made.

To introduce into legislation a provision that would invite the council in its early days to consider in what possible way it might tie up the Manager in little details in connection with his work, would, I have considered, be quite inadvisable. We want a very clear and unblurred position as between the council and the Manager. The making of contracts is the responsibility of the Manager, but there will be nothing in connection with the making of contracts that cannot be fully exposed to the Lord Mayor and, through the Lord Mayor, to the council. If there is an undesirable practice on the part of the Manager that is of such a nature as would warrant the council to decide that they could have no confidence in him, there is machinery for the council to get rid of the manager. I think the fullest possible co-operation can best be attained in a clear definition of responsibilities and in allowing the new scheme to develop without, in the beginning, any invitation being held out to members of the council to tie up the Manager in small or petty ways.

Attention called to the fact that twenty Deputies were not present.

House counted, and twenty Deputies being present,

The arguments put forward by the Minister are not very conclusive. He speaks as if this Manager were directly appointed and could be dismissed by the council. We know that is not a fact, that it is going to be a very cumbrous proceeding to get rid of the Manager under the terms of this Bill. Entering on a contract, negotiating a contract, can certainly be held to be an executive act, but I certainly think the council should have some opportunity of ratifying or giving a final decision on any matter that is going to be done in its name. I think the council should have that power and, in view of the fact that the Manager is not going to be directly appointed or cannot be easily dismissed by the council and is not so completely under its control as we would wish, we will have to press this amendment.

The Minister will probably recollect the nature of the regulations which we indicated that it was advisable the council should make. One was that where possible a certain preference should be given to Irish-manufactured goods. Another was that in all work carried out under contract for the council only trade union labour would be employed. These two examples were given as to the nature of the regulations that we considered the council should have power to make. I cannot think what the Minister is afraid of, what type of regulation would be made which should not be made if the council so desired, and which would unduly tie up the manager and prevent him having a free hand in matters in which he should have a free hand. I would like the Minister to indicate what he has in mind when he makes that statement. It seems to me that in accordance with the principle of the Bill, as the Minister defined it when dealing with the division of the legislative and the administrative functions, the council should have the power to make regulations of the kind I have indicated within which the manager would have to act.

The point made by Deputy de Valera that the council cannot dismiss the Manager, as the Minister indicated, is a very essential one in this connection, and, even if they had the power, it is very doubtful if the council would take the drastic step of dismissing the Manager because he had refused to do his work, say, in the making of contracts in strict accordance with their wishes. It would be like getting a sledge hammer with which to crack an egg. It would be better to give the council the right to say that the Manager would have the right to make contracts and matters of that kind, but that he shall do that work in accordance with the regulations which were laid down and which would be general regulations in a wide sense and would not involve any interference on the part of the council.

Subject to the approval of the Minister. These regulations would be made subject to his approval, so that if there was any attempt to use them as a trick to tie up the Manager beyond what was intended in the Bill the Minister would have power not to approve.

There is a question, as Deputy Lemass says, of goods, say, of a particular class of Irish manufacture. That was mentioned here and also wages of a particular standard. I cannot see the type of regulations that should be framed dealing with Irish manufactures that ought to be binding on the Manager. I consider that there is and that there can be a much more satisfactory arrangement by a complete understanding between the council and the Manager as to the extent to which Irish manufactures can be used. The Manager has been down to certain details of the work and he knows to what extent Irish materials are satisfactory one day and may not be satisfactory months afterwards. As regards the question of the best thing that can be done under the council or the Manager for Irish manufactured goods by using them in the work of the council you have there a very fluid position and an understanding between the Manager and the council can give you perhaps a much more satisfactory situation with regard to giving preference to Irish manufactures than can be given in any hard cut regulations set down by anyone. In the same way in the question of wages the actual practice is that the local bodies pay the standard rate of wages or require in contracts the standard rates that are current in any particular district. That is a matter that is to a certain extent fluid also. I do not see any reason for countenancing regulations of that particular kind, binding the Manager in the general discharge of his duty. I do not see any reason for that at the moment. This is not the last word that is going to be said on city management and whatever experience we can have in Cork under the new Bill had best be sought without restricting regulations on any one side that would blur the authority of whoever is going to shoulder responsibility for any particular matter.

The Minister will, I think, admit that the making of such regulations is a legislative act and if these accidental difficulties to which he refers were not there it would be properly the work of the council.

I feel if we were clear as to any particular things that it would be desirable to do, we would put them in actual statutory requirements here, and not put them in a general thing dealing with regulations that as far as I feel can only invite petty interference on the part of the council with the Manager's direct responsibility.

The Minister says this is not the last word in city government. That is why we are anxious that the Bill should be such as to give this experiment a decent chance. If we had such a section in the Bill as we suggest, the council would have a right to make this regulation subject to the approval of the Minister. If such section is not in the Bill, then the council can have no such power. The framework of the Bill would be too rigid and there would be no means of determining which is the better method. The better method would be to give the council that right and let the right be exercised through the strict supervision of the Minister and then it would be possible to insure that we would know, after the Bill had been working for a year or so, which was the better method and put that into any subsequent Bill introduced here.

The Deputy's point is that the possibilities of the Bill as an organic thing would be better if it embodied a clause dealing with the council making regulations. My opinion is that the Bill is better organically at the present moment by leaving it without any provision for the making of regulations, and clearly to show responsibility.

The Minister takes that view, because he is looking at the Bill wholly from the point of view of the Manager, and the only possibility of success the Bill has is to leave as much power as possible to the Manager. We think the only possibility of success for the Bill will be by leaving as much power as possible to the council.

I do not admit that I am looking at the Bill from the point of view of the Manager, but I do say that as between the Manager and the council, the council will get the best of it in every matter. That is what I am afraid of and I want, therefore, for that reason, to have the Manager's responsibilities put quite clearly.

Assuming that the Manager—and I want to keep the personality of the present City Commissioner out of it altogether—but assuming that the Manager had anti-trade union tendencies, what position would the council occupy then? The position hitherto has been that a body would approach the Corporation and ask for the enforcement of the Fair Wages Clause. That has never, to my knowledge, been refused by any public body in Ireland. I would like to see something embodied in this Bill which would insure that the wages paid to workers in Cork should not be lower, and the conditions should not be worse, than those obtaining in similar occupations governed by trade union conditions. That is a point which I would like the Minister to clear up, because at the earlier stages of this Bill he indicated to me, at any rate, that, as far as he himself was concerned, he thought it would be a matter for the new Corporation. He expressed his sympathy with the suggestion I then put forward. I would like his sympathy to take a little more concrete shape.

I certainly feel myself very much in agreement with Deputy O'Kelly and Deputy Lemass in the attitude that they are adopting towards this particular clause of the Bill.

I think I pointed out before, in connection with the fair wages clause, that in places where industrial conditions are very much more advanced, and where what might be called official labour organisations are in a much stronger position than they are here to get their own particular plans carried, that it has practically never been contemplated that there would be a statutory provision of any kind made that the fair wages clause would apply in contracts, because you are dealing with a situation and in a certain sense a fluid position in the matter of contracts and general wage conditions in different areas. We have had before our minds, I think, many instances in which local councils have passed resolutions of this particular kind dealing with Irish manufactures and with wages, and where they were quite ready to go back of them when dealing with certain matters. What is wanted is that in these matters, in which the council have given themselves a very free hand in dealing with particular cases, we are to be faced with resolutions or regulations framed by the council, and binding on the Manager, no matter what the other circumstances he is up against may be when dealing with them in a practical way. Leaving the Manager responsible is the best way, in my opinion, of having this matter properly attended to. There can be no question arising as between the council and the Manager involving any big dispute on the question, say, of trades union wages or labour conditions in which, if it comes to a tussle, the council will not get the best of it. If it is, in the eyes of the Manager, reasonable that he would make objection to certain things being done and declines to do them, it is quite reasonable to think that the Manager may be fully justified in his attitude. The council can always consider whether the Manager's attitude in this particular matter is of such importance and involves such issues that they no longer have confidence in him. If there is a serious deadlock between the Manager and the council on any important matter, there is no way for preventing the council getting the better of him and having their intentions fully carried out.

It appears to me that Deputy Lemass has probably overlooked the effect of sub-section (2) of Section 8, which certainly leaves the door open.

It seems to me that a natural division between legislative and executive functions would require the insertion of this clause. That is the main point I am stressing not merely this amendment but the one before it and the ones following. They all embody functions which should belong to the council and not to the Manager as they are legislative.

I do not think it is necessary. All the things mentioned by the Deputy have been generally accepted by councils throughout the country. The main trouble with regard to them, if I might say so, is the danger of their abuse. There have been some abuses, and in consequence there is much more danger to be apprehended from abuses than otherwise. I consider it almost inconceivable that a council would require to make regulations in a case of that sort.

I agree with that, and I would be more inclined to agree with the President if the Minister for Local Government had not been at so much pains to inform us on Committee that in the best circles they are not making this fair wages clause now. He has in the back of his mind that it is a bad principle to insert, and I am afraid his opposition to the section is not so much on the grounds of principle as that the council may do a thing which would be a bad thing to do, and which is not done in the best circles.

I would like a definite assurance from the Minister as to whether the new council will be enabled to enforce the fair wages clause. If they are enabled to do so, and put the fair wages clause into operation, and that does not meet with the wishes of the Manager, would the council or the Manager have the last word, or can the council appeal for the Minister.

Will the Deputy say has any difficulty in that connection arisen.

That is what we are going on.

We are enshrining a particular set of principles in legislation, and the council and the manager will have to work out their salvation after that.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divide d: Tá, 65; Níl, 69.

  • Allen, Denis.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Holt, Samuel.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killane, James Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clery, Michael.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Cooney, Eamon.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
  • O'Hanlon, John F.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Tubridy, John.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Connolly, Michael P.
  • Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Crowley, James.
  • Daly, John.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Dolan, James N.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Leonard, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Reilly, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reynolds, Patrick.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Tierney, Michael.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Boland and Allen. Níl: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment 18:—

In page 5, line 24, Section 8 (1), to add after paragraph (j) a new paragraph as follows:—

"except where otherwise provided for by law the making of general regulations concerning the appointment, promotion and removal of officers and servants of the Corporation (not including the Manager) and fix the minimum and maximum rates of remuneration to be paid to such officers and servants."

The same principle is embodied in this amendment as was in the last. Judging by what has just happened, and by the attitude taken by the Minister on the last amendment, in all probability we will have another division before very long, and those who are leaving might not go too far away. Anyhow, the same principle is involved. We believe that the council ought to have the authority of making whatever regulations they think fit and proper to govern their own staff, and the conditions under which their own staff will work. Personally, I would like to see the staff of this local authority and the staffs of all local authorities being brought in under a general scheme, such as the one that is being talked of as the National Civil Service, and that appointments to clerkships and the like should be made through certain competitive examinations, the regulations regarding which should be made, say, here in Dublin or at headquarters, at any rate, under the patronage or guidance of the Local Government Department. That would deprive local boards of patronage, and to a large extent of the power that we seek to retain to the local board here. Until the system of the National Civil Service has been put into operation we think that the local authority ought to have the power, and not the Manager. The elected representatives ought to have the power of deciding what the salaries of their officials should be and what other regulations might be necessary governing the hours and conditions of their employment. We think that is a matter that certainly the elected people ought to have a final voice in. It would lead to a more satisfactory working than if it were left to the Manager whose fiat was final in the matter. It would probably lead to less trouble to have the Manager dealing with it, but it might make things more difficult for the officials in general, and would not make for greater efficiency in the carrying out of the work.

Section 13 stipulates that the officers and servants of the Corporation shall perform their duties in accordance with such directions as the Manager may from time to time give. Generally it gives the Manager control over the officials and servants of the Corporation. Sub-section (2) of that section specifies that, subject to the provisions of any regulations made by the Minister under any Act and for the time being enforced in relation to the service, remuneration, privileges or superannuation, the Manager shall consider and decide all these questions. The Minister at present has powers with respect to all officers and employees of, say, the Corporation in Cork, with the exception of workmen, labourers, artisans or servants. In respect of all others, clerical officers, professional men and technical men, the Minister has full power to deal with the mode of appointment of these officers, to fix their salaries, service and security. He has also power in regard to dismissals, resignations, and so on. So that you have on a certain plane, at any rate, the nationalisation of these matters that Deputy O'Kelly spoke about. As far as professional and technical officials are concerned, they are appointed in what may be regarded as a national way by the Local Appointments Commissioners. If there was a sufficient number of vacancies in the clerical officers' class, from time to time, that would eliminate the practical difficulties that stand in the way at present. It could be arranged that there would be a national scheme for dealing with the clerical classes, perhaps. Deputies, I think, from their own experience of local bodies, will realise that we have not yet arrived at a time when we can propose a national scheme in that particular way, but you have national control in respect of salaries, conditions of service, privileges and so on at the present moment in the hands of the Minister. The only class of employees of local bodies that are outside that are the workmen and people of that particular class. So that the proposal is almost undesirable in so far as it might refer to, say, the clerical, professional and other classes that the Minister has power over now, in that it would be denationalising, perhaps to some extent, the position with regard to their conditions. Generally on these grounds, and on the general grounds discussed in connection with the last amendment, the amendment is not acceptable.

I should like to point out that the principle contained in this amendment is one which received the approval of the Greater Dublin Commission. It appears, of course, that the Greater Dublin Commission is treated by the Government as a sort of joke, because they have consistently throughout this Bill taken a diametrically opposite line to that which the Greater Dublin Commission laid down. In other words, they have adopted principles in Cork opposed to the principles laid down by that Commission, when they positively recommended that the Great Council should make rules for the guidance of the City Manager, as regards appointment, promotion, transfer, suspension and reinstatement of all officials and employees in Greater Dublin. They did provide, of course, that, subject to the sanction of the Minister for Local Government, the power we have under statutory provisions that relate to appointments under local authorities, promotion, transfer, suspension and reinstatement of administrative officers, should be exercised by the City Manager solely, but according to rules made by the Great Council they also recommended that the Great Council, subject to the Minister's sanction, should fix all other salaries except the Manager's, securing, as far as possible, uniformity between corresponding grades.

As Deputy O'Kelly pointed out, the amendment imposes a principle similar to that contained in the amendment which has just been rejected by the House. It is that the legislative body should have power to make general regulations under which the Manager will work, or, in other words, to define policy in respect of these matters, as it relates to the city under his control. Deputies on this side of the House think that such amendments should be made in the Bill in order to ensure to the council the exercise of the functions which are properly the council's functions. The Greater Dublin Commission thought the same. I think the Cork City Executive of Cumann na nGaedheal thinks the same. Everybody thinks the same except the Minister, but the Minister is able to carry his view very largely because his Party do not listen to the arguments, but come in and vote as they are told, without knowing whether, or not, they are taking the correct course. I would suggest that it is a foolish practice to set up Commissions to consider these questions at great length and in great detail and publish elaborate and costly reports merely for the sake of rejecting their recommendations.

Would the Deputy give us the date of that report?

Considering that we are dealing with principles that are eternal, I do not think the date matters.

Was it not stated here that the Cumann na nGaedheal Party did not discuss this Bill?

They have studied it at great length, and the queries they have put to the Minister and the interviews they have had with him have put him in the position of being able to lecture in any part of the country on its merits.

The date of the report is 29th November, 1926.

What I was going to remind the Deputy was, if my recollection is correct, that that recommendation was made without advertence to and possibly before the Local Authorities and Employees Act, 1926, was passed. We have advanced even from that time.

No. They make a definite reference to it, "Subject to any statutory provisions relating to appointments under local authorities the council should have the powers and not the manager."

The Act of 1923 they had in mind when they put in that clause.

Their proviso still remains, "subject to any statutory regulations."

I quite agree. My objection to this and the last amendment is that it almost provides an arena for the new council to occupy its time and to distract its attention from the business of the council. I think nobody knows better than Deputy O'Kelly how much is involved in that amendment. I am sure he appreciates the troubles there are in local authorities. Dublin is a case very much by itself by reason of its size, the number of its employees, and the diversity of occupations in it. May I point out one little incident that happened in which I think Deputy O'Kelly will bear me out. A member standing for election in Dublin was opposed on the ground that he voted against a working man getting an increase of 1/11 a week in his wages.

I hope he was beaten.

He was beaten. The fact is that he did not vote against that so much as refusing to put a man into a class for those who passed a competitive examination—a principle for which Deputy O'Kelly and others stood. The Deputy sees the point. It was unfair and unjust, and similarly with regard to this. What are the present regulations with regard to the position in the city of Cork? Do they lend themselves to any great alteration, or improvement, and, if they do, who is best qualified to express an opinion?

Is it the person who is concerned with the immediate administration, who is charged with executive responsibility in connection with the administration, or a body that concerns itself with quite another class of work? We can understand that on a board of management of a public company, or a large concern, with a board of directors, being divided into two sections, one an administrative section closely in touch with every phase of the work of the whole organisation, and the other dealing with quite another matter, looking for orders and concerning itself with schemes of development and so on. Is that section of the board of directors that is concerned with development, the methods of doing business, the getting of orders, the best qualified to deal with what the managing director should be getting, or what clerks, accountants or other people of that sort should be paid? I do not think so. Similarly with regard to this amendment, it differs from the last one inasmuch as one could argue whether the last one was necessary, whether in the times we are living in, some regulations should be there to correct evil tendencies of a manager who sought to deprive people of standards of living that are now prevailing. This is a different matter, and in my view strikes at the principle of the managerial system altogether. While admitting at once that in special circumstances the council would be entitled to consider matters of this sort in conjunction with the Manager, to give them power to make regulations appears to me to strike almost at the principle of the Bill.

I think the President misunderstood the amendment. The amendment does not provide that the council should be given power to say that such and such an engineer should be paid £500.

But they would say what the scale of salaries ought to be.

Precisely, just as a board of directors would have the right to fix a scale of salaries with a knowledge of what they could afford to pay, as well as with a knowledge of what salary would be required in order to get employees of the intelligence and ability required. I say that it is a matter for the council and not for the Manager to say that clerical officers, for instance, should begin at £150 and rise by £10 yearly to £200, or £250. Laying down general regulations of that kind is a matter of policy, and the power to do so should be given to the council and not to the Manager.

I agree, if you were starting, but we have an institution there functioning.

With reference to the 1/11 increase, was it not a better system than one where three commissioners could reduce workers' wages by 1/- weekly, and a fortnight afterwards increase their own salaries by £200 each? I say the other one was a far better system.

I am afraid it is so mixed that we cannot pronounce judgment on it now.

Mr. BOLAND

I put it to any fairminded person to say if it was not a better system than having three commissioners ruling in the name of the people of Dublin reducing the workers wages by 1/2 and a fortnight, three weeks or a month afterwards increasing their own salaries by £200 yearly.

The Commissioners have no power to increase their salaries.

Well, they succeeded in getting their remuneration increased.

Mr. BOLAND

The net result is the same.

The cost to the people is the same.

Many are the approaches to salvation.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 65; Níl, 70.

  • Allen, Denis.
  • Anthony, Richard.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Boland, Patrick.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Seán.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Broderick, Henry.
  • Buckley, Daniel.
  • Carney, Frank.
  • Carty, Frank.
  • Cassidy, Archie J.
  • Clery, Michael.
  • Colbert, James.
  • Colohan, Hugh.
  • Cooney, Eamon.
  • Corkery, Dan.
  • Corish, Richard.
  • Corry, Martin John.
  • Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
  • Crowley, Tadhg.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Fahy, Frank.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • French, Seán.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Holt, Samuel.
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Kennedy, Michael Joseph.
  • Kent, William R.
  • Kerlin, Frank.
  • Killane, James Joseph.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Moore, Séamus.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mullins, Thomas.
  • Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Connell, Thomas J.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick Joseph.
  • O'Kelly, Seán T.
  • O'Leary, William.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Reilly, Thomas.
  • Powell, Thomas P.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Sexton, Martin.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (Tipperary).
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Tubridy, John.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Ward, Francis C.

Níl

  • Aird, William P.
  • Alton, Ernest Henry.
  • Beckett, James Walter.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Blythe, Ernest.
  • Bourke, Séamus A.
  • Collins-O'Driscoll, Mrs. Margt.
  • Conlon, Martin.
  • Connolly, Michael P.
  • Cooper, Bryan Ricco.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Crowley, James.
  • Daly, John.
  • Davis, Michael.
  • De Loughrey, Peter.
  • Doherty, Eugene.
  • Dolan, James N.
  • Doyle, Peadar Seán.
  • Duggan, Edmund John.
  • Dwyer, James.
  • Egan, Barry M.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Thos. Grattan.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Gorey, Denis J.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Hassett, John J.
  • Heffernan, Michael R.
  • Hennessy, Michael Joseph.
  • Hennessy, Thomas.
  • Hennigan, John.
  • Henry, Mark.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Galway).
  • Jordan, Michael.
  • Brennan, Michael.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, John Joseph.
  • Carey, Edmund.
  • Cole, John James.
  • Law, Hugh Alexander.
  • Leonard, Patrick.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • Mathews, Arthur Patrick.
  • McDonogh, Martin.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, James E.
  • Murphy, Joseph Xavier.
  • Myles, James Sproule.
  • Nally, Martin Michael.
  • Nolan, John Thomas.
  • O'Connor, Bartholomew.
  • O'Donovan, Timothy Joseph.
  • O'Leary, Daniel.
  • O'Mahony, Dermot Gun.
  • O'Reilly, John J.
  • O'Sullivan, Gearoid.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Reynolds, Patrick.
  • Roddy, Martin.
  • Shaw, Patrick W.
  • Sheehy, Timothy (West Cork).
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Tierney, Michael.
  • Vaughan, Daniel.
  • Wolfe, Jasper Travers.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies G. Boland and Allen; Níl: Deputies Duggan and P.S. Doyle.
Amendment declared lost.
The following amendment was agreed to:—
In page 6, line 10, Section 10 (1), before the word "County" to insert the word "Cork," and in the same line to delete the words "of Cork."—(General Mulcahy).

I move amendment 20:—

In page 6, line 43, Section 10 (7), to insert after the word "Manager" the words "acting in consultation with the Lord Mayor."

I think it is wise to bring the Lord Mayor into such important functions as often as possible in order to secure that his status as representing the elected representatives to the city shall be confirmed, and that he will, as the elected head, at any rate, of the council, give his sanction as representing the full council to any important actions of the Manager as the administrative head.

Deputy O'Kelly will perhaps agree that amendments 21 and 22 rather meet his point. Deputy O'Kelly's amendment would mean that in all matters and things in connection with the discharge of the powers, functions and duties conferred on the Manager under this Bill, the Manager should act in consultation with the Lord Mayor. In the first place, it would be utterly impossible for the Manager to do anything like that. In the second place, if there was a question of law involved, it might be almost impossible for him to prove that he had taken any particular action in consultation with the Lord Mayor. In order to meet the desire of Deputies in connection with this matter, I propose to move amendments 21 and 22. The purpose of these amendments is to secure, in connection with any information in the Manager's possession or procurable by him about any matter, the Lord Mayor, if he desires to have that information, can have it. In that way, any member of the council, through the Lord Mayor, can get the information. In addition to that, it is provided on the financial side, that the Manager shall furnish a monthly statement showing the actual financial position at the end of the previous month, and that in affixing the official seal of the Corporation to any document, the Manager shall not act save in the presence of the Lord Mayor. So that I think, in so far as it is practicable to do what the Deputy suggests, these amendments meet the matter.

I agree that a good deal has been done by the Minister to meet that idea, but what I had in mind was that at a certain hour every day the Manager and the Lord Mayor might meet, and that the Manager might go over the proceedings of the day and tell the Lord Mayor what he had been doing in connection with any matters that were on his journal or diary for that particular day, in order to keep the two of them working closely together, so that they should not get out of touch with each other. However, I realise that there might be difficulties, especially in connection with any legal matter, in proving that the Manager had taken a particular action in conjunction and consultation with the Lord Mayor. That might raise technical difficulties, and I therefore ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
The following amendments were agreed to:—
21. In page 6, Section 10, before sub-section (8), to insert the following new sub-section:—
"(8) The Manager shall not affix the official seal of the Corporation to any document save in the presence of the Lord Mayor."
22. In page 6, before Section 11, to insert a new section as follows:—
"(1) The Manager shall, whenever requested by the Lord Mayor so to do, afford to the Lord Mayor all such information as may be in the possession or procurement of the Manager in regard to any act, matter or thing appertaining to or concerning any business or transaction of the Corporation which is mentioned in such request.
(2) At the beginning of every month the Manager shall cause to be prepared and shall furnish to the Lord Mayor a statement showing as nearly as may be the actual financial position of the Corporation at the end of the previous month."— (General Mulcahy.)
Amendment 23 not moved.

I move amendment 24:—

In page 7, line 66, Section 15, to delete the words "Town Clerk" and substitute the words "Lord Mayor."

The next amendment on the Paper, amendment 25, meets that. Section 15 as it stands says: "The Manager may, by order signed by him and countersigned by the Town Clerk, authorise the making of any payments, etc." In that particular matter the Town Clerk simply puts his signature to a paying order. That is a signature certifying the signature of the Manager. The Manager is the person responsible. Amendment 25 gives the Lord Mayor power at any time to require in writing that no payment shall be made by the Manager except the Lord Mayor's signature is on the paying order as well. It gives the Lord Mayor full power, at any particular time that he may be dissatisfied with any particular matters, or if he anticipates any irregularity in the matter of payment or if he wishes to supervise the position in general, to issue his order in writing that all paying orders issued in future, or until such time as he gives an order reversing it, shall be signed by him. That gives full discretion without imposing upon the Lord Mayor any responsibility or liability that he would not otherwise have. I think that meets the Deputy in regard to amendment 24 and his amendment to my amendment 25.

I agree my point is met, but not exactly to the extent I had in my mind. My idea was that it would be better to have the representative of the elected body to countersign all the payments which are to be made. What is suggested here is that two officials, the Manager and the Town Clerk, should sign and countersign paying orders. Of course, I am not suggesting that it will happen or might happen, but it could happen that two officials could be in collusion, or that they might do something that might not be right or proper. I think it would be an additional safeguard to have one of the elected representatives, and the best you could select would be the Lord Mayor to countersign payments.

The Deputy will appreciate the point that by having, the Lord Mayor's signature there would be a certain responsibility upon him. It would not be fair to put the responsibility upon him which is the responsibility of the Manager. The difficulty was apprehended about collusion between two officials, and the method of arriving at supervision is that the Lord Mayor shall at all times that he requires information of any sort or kind have the right to get it. That gives him the authority to supervise without imposing responsibility upon him. It would be unfair to impose responsibility on him in the circumstances.

I agree. I ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment 25:

In page 7, Section 15, to add at the end of the section two new sub-sections as follows:—

"(2) The Lord Mayor may at any time direct by writing under his hand that every order made under the foregoing sub-section authorising any such payment as is mentioned in that sub-section during the unexpired residue of his term of office or during any lesser period specified in such direction shall be submitted to him for his signature, and the Lord Mayor may by writing under his hand revoke any such direction at any time during the period to which the same relates.

(3) If and whenever the Lord Mayor gives any such direction as is mentioned in the foregoing sub-section then while such direction remains in force the signature of the Lord Mayor shall be necessary on every such order as is mentioned in the first sub-section of this section in addition to the signature and counter-signature mentioned in that sub-section, but the Lord Mayor shall not by reason of the fact of his signature being on any such order incur any liability to which he would not have been liable if he had not given any such direction as aforesaid."

Amendment to amendment 25 not moved.
Amendment 25 agreed to.

Amendment 26 in the name of Deputy Hennessy is not in order.

I beg leave to move amendment 27:—

In page 9, Section 17, to delete sub-section (3) and substitute therefor two new sub-sections as follows:—

(3) The Manager, notwithstanding that he is not a member of the Council, shall be qualified and may be appointed by the Council to be a member of the joint committee of management of the Cork District Mental Hospital or of the public body for the time being entrusted with the relief of the poor in the Borough or a member both of such committee and such body in the same manner as if he were a member of the Council, and for the purpose of such appointment the office of the Manager shall be deemed not to be an office of profit within the meaning of Article 12 of the Local Government (Application of Enactments) Order, 1898.

(4) If and when the Manager is appointed under this section to be a member of the committee of management of the Cork District Mental Hospital or of the public body for the time being entrusted with the relief of the poor in the Borough, the number of members of the said committee or the said body (as the case may be) who are required by law to be members of the Council shall be reduced by one."

That provides that, where the council so desires, it can appoint the Manager as one of their representatives on the district mental hospital or on the body charged with the administration of poor relief. It may be that the council would desire to appoint the Manager as their representative because of his detailed knowledge of matters. This is simply an empowering section to enable them to do it if they so desire.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment 28:—

In page 9, lines 25-34, Section 18, to delete sub-section (1) and substitute three new sub-sections as follows:—

"(1) If and when the Manager is, through illness, absence from the borough, or suspension from performance of his duties, temporarily incapable of exercising the powers and functions and performing the duties conferred and imposed on him by this Act, a Deputy Manager may be appointed under this section for the duration of such incapacity, but may with the consent of the Minister be removed under this section at any time during such incapacity.

"(2) Where the incapacity of the Manager is due to absence from the borough, the power of appointing the Deputy Manager under this section may be exercised by the Manager, after consultation with the Lord Mayor, before and in contemplation of the incapacity, but in every other case, that is to say, where the incapacity of the Manager is due to illness or suspension and also where the incapacity of the Manager is due to absence from the borough and a Deputy Manager is not appointed under this section before such incapacity or having been so appointed is removed under this section during such incapacity, the power of appointing the Deputy Manager under this section shall be exercisable at any time during such incapacity by the Lord Mayor only.

"(3) In every case the power of removing the Deputy Manager under this section shall be exercisable by the Lord Mayor only."

I agreed with Deputy Lemass that sub-section (1) of Section 18 required redrafting in order to make clear in what way the Deputy Manager would be appointed in the absence of the Manager.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move amendment 29, which is consequential on amendment 28:—

In page 9, lines 35-36, Section 18 (2), to delete the words "such incapacity or absence as aforesaid of the Manager" and substitute the words "the continuance of the incapacity on account of which he is appointed or until he is sooner removed under this section."

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move amendment 30:—

In page 9, lines 50, Section 19, to insert after the word "Manager" the following words "in consultation with the Lord Mayor."

This is to make arrangements for any case involving legal action. I think, when any legal action is contemplated by the Manager, he ought not to enter into it—in cases where he was instituting proceedings himself certainly— without consultation with the Lord Mayor.

I beg to support the amendment. I cannot see, for the life of me, why any objection could be raised to it by the Minister. I think he will agree to the insertion of that amendment. There should at least be some consultation, and the Lord Mayor would be the proper authority in matters of that kind.

Inserting this amendment would mean that in every petty case of legal proceedings brought at the instance of a sanitary officer or sub-officer the Lord Mayor would have to be consulted. There would have to be consultations in connection with ordinary routine work of that kind. There would, of course, be certain classes of legislation. The Manager will not be empowered to conduct, on his own behalf, certain classes of legislation reserved by powers of the Corporation, but in so far as certain powers of the Corporation are vested in him, it is proposed to give him full authority to deal with, all legal proceedings arising out of these powers.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Question—"That the Bill, as amended, be received for final consideration"—put and agreed to.
Fifth Stage fixed for Friday, November 30th.