In Committee on Finance. - National Monuments Bill, 1929—Committee Stage.

The Dáil went into Committee.
Section 1 agreed to.
SECTION 2.
the expression "national monument" means a monument or the remains of a monument the preservation of which is a matter of national importance by reason of the historical, architectural, traditional, artistic, or archæological interest attaching thereto and also includes (but not so as to limit, extend, or otherwise influence the construction of the foregoing general definition) every monument in Saorstát Eireann to which the Ancient Monuments Protection Act, 1882, applied immediately before the passing of this Act, and the said expression shall be construed as including, in addition to the monument itself, the site of the monument and the means of access thereto and also such portion of land adjoining such site as may be required to fence, cover in, or otherwise preserve from injury the monument.

I move the following amendment:—

In page 2, line 52, to insert after the word "monument" the words "or to preserve the amenities thereof."

This would be a useful provision in the Bill as the Government, in a suitable case, might remove an eyesore which would greatly take away from the appearance of the monument. There is a similar provision in the Northern Ireland Act, which works out very well.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Bourke

While on this section, I would like to say that there was a certain amount of discussion during the Second Reading in favour of a limitation of the definition of an archæological object. With that criticism I am rather inclined to agree. Deputy Cooper has an amendment down at a later stage which is somewhat to the same effect—limiting the effect of that definition in another way. On the Report Stage, I will probably introduce an amendment limiting the definition of an archæological object to objects that have not been introduced into this country within the last 300 years.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 3.
(3) The expenses incurred by a local authority in carrying this Act into effect shall be paid, in the case of the council of a county borough, out of moneys raised by means of the borough rate and, in any other case, out of moneys raised by means of the poor rate.

Mr. Bourke

I beg to move amendment 2:

In sub-section (3), to delete all from and including the word "paid," line 23, to and including the word "moneys," line 25, and to add after the word "rate," line 25, the words "and, in the case of the council of a county, as a county-at-large charge."

The Bill as it stands provides that the expenses shall be paid in the case of county boroughs out of the borough rate. The amendment changes this to the poor rate, as in all other cases. It provides also that in the case of counties the charge will be a county-at-large charge. The amendment is made to meet the views of the Department of Local Government.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 4 and 5 agreed to.
SECTION 6.
Where immediately before the passing of this Act the Commissioners are the guardians of a national monument by virtue of a deed executed under an Act repealed by this Act the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—
(a) such deed shall be binding on all persons on whom it would have been binding if this Act had not been passed,
(b) the owner (as defined by the Act under which such deed was made) shall have the same estate, right, title, and interest in and to such monument in all respects as he would have had if the Commissioners had not been so appointed guardians thereof.
(c) the Commissioners shall continue to be guardians of such monument by virtue of such deed until such guardianship is terminated by notice in writing given to the Commissioners by an owner of such monument who is not bound by such deed,
(d) the Commissioners shall, notwithstanding anything contained in this section, have in respect of such monument all such powers, privileges and duties as are by this Act conferred or imposed on them in respect of national monuments of which they are the guardians.

Mr. Bourke

I beg to move amendment 3:—

In lines 32 and 33 after the word "Commissioners" to insert the words "or a local authority" and after the word "Commissioners" where it occurs in lines 42, 44, 47 and 49 respectively to insert the words "or the local authority, as the case may be."

These are drafting amendments. It was thought better to repeal the section of the Act of 1869 with the other former enactments and provide for the continuance of guardianship, leaving that section unrepealed. One of the main objects of the Bill is to codify the existing laws and it was thought better to do it in this way.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 6, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 7.

Mr. Bourke

I beg to move amendment 4:—

To add to the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

"(2) Where the Commissioners have been appointed by deed under this Act or an Act repealed by this Act to be the guardians of a national monument, the Commissioners may, with the consent of the owner of such monument and the consent of the local authority in whose functional area such monument is situate, transfer by deed such guardianship to such local authority, and upon such transfer being so made the deed appointing the Commissioners to be such guardians shall thence-forward have effect as a deed under this Act appointing the said local authority to be guardians of such monument."

Under the Bill the local authority can transfer to the Commissioners but the Commissioners have not the power to transfer to local authorities. It is considered advisable that they should have this power. This power is also given in the Northern Ireland Act.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 7, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 8 and 9 agreed to.
SECTION 10.
Any person seised or possessed of a national monument for any estate or interest may by deed or will convey, devise or bequeath such national monument for all his said estate or interest therein to the Commissioners or to the local authority in whose functional area such monument is situate, and the Commissioners or the said local authority may, as they shall think fit, either accept or disclaim such conveyance, devise, or bequest.

Mr. Bourke

I beg to move amendment 5:—

In line 39, immediately before the words "by deed" to insert in brackets the words "(subject to any restriction imposed or consent required by law)."

This prevents a person who owns a monument standing on land which is subject to a Land Commission annuity parting with the property without the consent of the Land Commission, so that they may have the annuity apportioned or possibly reduced if it is thought necessary. This is put in at the instance of the Land Commission.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 10, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 11.
(2) For the purpose of the acquisition of a national monument by the Commissioners under this section the Lands Clauses Acts shall be incorporated with this Act subject to the following modifications, that is to say:—
(a) the provisions relating to the sale of superfluous land and access to the special Act and
Section 133 (which Clauses Consolidated Act, 1845, shall not be in-correlates to land tax and poor's rate) of the lands porated with this Act,

Mr. Bourke

I beg to move amendment 6:—

In sub-section (2), (a), page 5, to transpose lines 58 and 59.

This merely corrects a misprint.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Bourke

I beg to move amendment 7:—

To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

"(4) The Commissioners shall not acquire under this section without the consent of the Irish Land Commission any national monument on or forming part of land subject to a land purchase annuity or the subject of a land purchase agreement or vested or in course of being vested in the Irish Land Commission."

This is also inserted at the instance of the Irish Land Commission.

What is the purport of this amendment? Is it to prevent the acquisition of national monuments? Can the Land Commission transfer them to private ownership, and is it their intention to do so?

Mr. Bourke

The only intention is to let the Land Commission have notice of the fact that the monuments are being acquired.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 11, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 12 and 13 agreed to.
SECTION 14 (1).
(b) to make any excavations within, around, or in proximity to any such national monument, without or otherwise than in accordance with the consent hereinafter mentioned, or

Mr. Bourke

I beg to move amendment 8:—

In sub-section (1), paragraph (b), page 7, line 3, to delete the words "make any excavations" and substitute the words "excavate, dig, plough, or otherwise disturb the ground."

It was thought better to strengthen this section and make the description more explicit and full.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 14, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 15.

Mr. Bourke

I beg to move amendment 9:—

Before Section 15 to insert a new section as follows:—

(1) The Commissioners may, if requested so to do by the owner of a national monument, give to such owner advice in regard to the treatment, preservation, or repair of such monument.

(2) Where the owner of a national monument executes on the advice or with the approval of the Commissioners any work for the treatment, preservation or repair of a national monument the Commissioners may at the request of such owner, and in the case of a national monument of which they are the guardians, shall whether so requested or not so requested superintend the execution of such work.

(3) The Commissioners shall, unless the Minister for Finance otherwise directs, charge and be paid for advice or superintendence given by them under this section such remuneration as the said Minister shall direct."

The usefulness of this provision is obvious in the case of monuments of importance in the hands of an owner willing to pay the expense of preserving or even restoring them, but disposed to accept the advice and skilled guidance of the Commissioners and their architects. Useful work could thus be done without charge to the Government, except for the time and services of their architects, and injudicious restoration might in many cases be avoided.

Amendment agreed to.
Sections 15, 16, 17 and 18 agreed to.
SECTION 19 (2).
The Advisory Council shall consist of the Keeper of Irish Antiquities in the National Museum and an officer of the Commissioners nominated for the purpose from time to time by the Minister as ex-officio members and of such number of other persons (including representatives of the following bodies, namely, the Royal Irish Academy, the Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland, and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland) as nominated members as the Minister shall nominate to be members thereof.

Mr. Bourke

I move:—

In sub-section (2), page 9, line 18, to delete the word "in" and substitute the word "of."

This is purely a verbal amendment, the object of which is to give the proper title of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, instead of "in Ireland," as it appears in the Bill.

Amendment put and agreed to.
Question—"That Section 19, as amended, stand part of the Bill"— put and agreed to.
Section 20 put and agreed to.
SECTION 21.
(1) Every person who finds any archæological object shall, within seven days after he has found such object, make a report of such finding to a member of the Gárda Síochána on duty in the district in which such object was so found and shall when making such report state his own name and address, the nature or character of the said object and the time and place at which and the circumstances in which it was found by him and shall also, on the request of any member of the Gárda Síochána and whether he has or has not made such report as aforesaid, give to such member any information within his knowledge in relation to such object or the finding thereof.
(2) Every person who finds an archæological object and either—
(a) fails to make a report of such finding in accordance with this section, or
(b) makes under this section a report of such finding which is to his knowledge false or misleading in any material respect, or
(c) in contravention of this section fails or refuses to give to a member of the Gárda Síochána information in relation to such archæological object or the finding thereof, or
(d) gives to a member of the Gárda Síochána information in relation to such archæological object or the finding thereof which is to his knowledge false or misleading in a material respect,
shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding ten pounds.

I move:—

In sub-section (1), line 1, to delete all words after the word "shall" to the end of the section and substitute therefor the words —"within fourteen days of such finding report the finding and character of the object and the circumstances under which it was found to the National Monuments Advisory Council.

(2) Any person being the finder of an archæological object who, without reasonable cause, either—

(a) fails to report the finding of such object in accordance with this section, or

(b) refuses to give information to the National Monuments Advisory Council, or to any person or persons authorised by the Minister, as to the character of the object found or the circumstances of the finding, or

(c) gives to the National Monuments Advisory Council or to any person or persons authorised by the Minister information as to such archæological object or the finding thereof which is to his knowledge false or misleading in a material respect;

shall be guilty of an offence under this section, and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding ten pounds."

It seems almost impolite to interrupt the Parliamentary Secretary's monologue, but I will not follow his example by reading this amendment, which is perhaps a new section. I think it would be best if I were to indicate to the Committee the differences between my proposal and those embodied in the Bill. To begin with, the Bill says that any find of an archæological object must be reported within seven days. It is possible that a man might find an archæological object, the value of which he might be more or less ignorant of, and he might wish to have time to consult the parish priest, or some other clergyman, or a schoolmaster, or somebody better educated than himself. You cannot expect a man to leave his work in the middle of the week to find somebody who would be able to tell him what it was. He might leave it until after Sunday, or he might not be able to find somebody to advise him. I do not think that there can be any objection to fourteen days.

My second difference is that instead of reporting the find to the Gárda Síochána he should report it to the National Monuments Advisory Council. I saw yesterday that the Commissioner of the Gárda attended a meeting of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. I am thinking of founding a society for the prevention of cruelty to the Gárda Síochána. I do not know if Deputy Fahy will act as vice-president. But they are being overwhelmed with duties that have nothing to do with their own work, and acting as a recorder of ancient monuments is not part of the ordinary policeman's duty under normal conditions. I think it is probable that the National Monuments Advisory Council will set up sub-committees in the different counties. I hope it will. It seems to me that the most effective way of working would be to find in each county four or five people who are interested in archæology and to get them to act, and I would have no objection to adding the words "or any sub-committee thereof" to the amendment.

My third point of difference to the Bill is that a person becomes liable to a penalty if he fails to report the finding of an archæological object without reasonable cause. At present there is no discretion in the Bill at all; if a man has found a thing, it does not matter if he does not know that it is valuable, it does not matter if he cannot read or write, the District Justice is bound to convict him. My amendment would make it possible for the District Justice to take these facts into consideration—the fact that he was ignorant and could not read—and if he was satisfied that the man had no malice aforethought and was not trying to conceal his discovery but merely acted out of ignorance he could allow the man to escape a conviction.

My fourth point of difference from the Parliamentary Secretary is this: the Bill says that information must be given to the Gárda Síochána and to nobody else. That seems to be rather a drastic proposal. You must not tell a lie or give false information to the Gárda Síochána, but if the Professor of Archæology in University College or the Director of Antiquities in the National Museum goes down you can tell him as many lies as you like, and there is no redress, unless the Parliamentary Secretary takes the precaution of enrolling these gentlemen in the Gárda Síochána before they are sent down. My amendment proposes to substitute for the Gárda Síochána the National Monuments Advisory Council or any person or persons authorised by the Minister. He has it in his power to authorise the Gárda Síochána or a member of the Gárda Síochána if he wants to, but if he does not want to, he can authorise an archæologist. I think on these four points the amendment is something of an improvement on the proposals in the Bill, and I think the amendment would mitigate what might be a hardship, not perhaps an enormous hardship—I do not want to exaggerate—but still a hardship on a man who was not very well educated and not very conscious of the value of what he found who might be punished under the section as it stands. I therefore suggest that this is a proposal that the Dáil and the Parliamentary Secretary might reasonably accept.

I would agree with Deputy Cooper in substituting fourteen days for seven. As regards reporting to the National Monuments Advisory Council instead of to the Gárda Síochána, I think there are difficulties. In any case, "or any member thereof" should be added if Deputy Cooper's amendment were to be taken instead of the proposal in the Bill. But even with that addition we do not yet know, for instance, that members of that Council would be in any county, not to speak of any barony, and a person finding an object might not have a member of the Advisory Council within thirty miles of him, so that even the fourteen days suggested by Deputy Cooper would not then be sufficient. You would not ask a man to travel twenty-five or thirty miles to report such a thing. There would be no objection to putting in "the National Monuments Advisory Council, or any member thereof," or the Civic Guards in the local barracks. But I think that the Civic Guards should be left in as well, despite the fact that it might put some extra work on them, and that Deputy Cooper is so concerned about cruelty to animals or humans. Incidentally, I hope he will be with me in preventing cruelty to animals in another Bill one of these days.

If the Deputy means the humane killer, I will.

I think that the Parliamentary Secretary should substitute fourteen days for seven, and that Deputy Cooper's amendment might be adopted if it read, "the National Monuments Advisory Council or any member thereof, or any member of the Gárda Síochána," or the sergeant of the Gárda Síochána in the local barracks, if you like.

resumed the Chair.

I desire that this section shall be as useful as possible, and I am criticising it rather with a view to finding a wise solution. I think seven days is better than fourteen. My reason is this: Many of the objects about which we are concerned are very fragile, very destructive, will disappear in a day or two, some of them in hours. Small silver urns and things of that kind will perish in a very short time. If we are to wait fourteen days until information is given about them they might be washed away by the rain. That is my fear, and there are grounds for that fear. I would like to illustrate that by just one instance from a list I have got of what my informant calls acts of vandalism that have occurred quite recently. Talking about Mayo, he said: "Scores of the numerous eiscirs in Co. Mayo are being excavated at present for road material. In these are found both boulders for crushing and sand for finishing the surface of the road. These dry, sandy ciscirs were a favourite place of interment for our pagan ancestors. Knowing this, I asked an official of the Mayo Co. Council who superintends gangs of workmen if graves were ever found during the excavations. `Yes,' he replied, `graves containing bones and little cups. `What happens then?' I queried. `Oh, they are shovelled out with the rest of the material,' he answered. And his gang is only one of many such." That is the danger of waiting. Information should be handed in at once and you should make a responsible man like a farmer, who does realise that these are ancient objects, or at least that they are not modern objects, give information of a discovery to an official whom everybody in the county knows, that is a member of the Gárda Síochána. I do not know whether it will be possible—it will certainly take some time—to establish sub-committees of the Ancient Monuments Advisory Council, and certainly it would be very hard to advertise the presence and address of any of these in every neighbourhood in the twenty-six counties. On these grounds I think that the section is really better than Deputy Cooper's proposal.

There is one suggestion that Deputy Cooper made that I think should be accepted, that is, that we should incorporate the words "without reasonable cause." Of course you can quite conceive that a workman might often in ignorance not realise that he had made a very important find, and I think the District Justice could reasonably forego punishment in a case of that sort.

I would be inclined to support Deputy Cooper and Deputy Fahy in the matter of fourteen days, rather than seven days, because an instance came to my notice where men discovered objects of archæological interest and did not know what they had found. For example, there is at present a shrine in the Museum which was found in Lough Erne by two fishermen. One fisherman suggested to throw it overboard again as he thought it was a little box. It was what was called the domhnac.

Probably Deputy Alton is acquainted with it. Only that one of the fishermen happened to be a little more enlightened than the other it would probably have been thrown overboard. They decided to bring it to a local archæologist, who bought it for 15/-. There are times when a man may not realise within seven days that he has got an object of archæological interest, whereas someone might come along afterwards and tell him that the object was valuable. Within the fourteen days' period he might, perhaps, see somebody to whom he could report the find, while he might not be able to do so within seven days.

Mr. Bourke

On the whole, I am inclined to agree with Deputy Cooper and Deputy Fahy with regard to extending the period, but, at the same time, there is a great deal of weight attached to what Deputy Alton said. However, in most cases I think it will serve the purpose of the Bill if we extend the period to fourteen days, and I am willing to meet Deputy Cooper that far. As regards the other point of reporting to the Advisory Committee rather than to the Gárda Síochána, there are many difficulties in the way. That is the method adopted in the Northern Ireland Act, but in that case the Advisory Council has much wider and stronger functions than under this Bill. They have got executive and administrative functions, while the Office of Public Works there has no function at all. In this case, the Advisory Committee merely advises the Commissioners of Public Works, and as the Commissioners have nothing at all to do with archæological objects, there would be no point in reporting to the Advisory Committee. If the report was to be made to anyone it should be made to the Minister for Education, or better still, to the Keeper of Irish Antiquities in the National Museum. In order to meet Deputy Cooper in that respect I would be prepared to insert a provision that the report should be made either to the Gárda Síochána or to the Keeper of Antiquities. That would be the most direct way of reporting it.

With regard to the other points about leaving some discretion to the District Justice and adopting the words "without reasonable cause," that is a matter I would like to consider further, and perhaps on the Report Stage, when dealing with the whole section, I may be able to give a more satisfactory explanation of the line we will take on it. I do not know what the consequences would be if it were inserted now, so that perhaps the Deputy would withdraw the amendment.

I regret to find Deputy Alton so inconsistent, as I have always admired him for his consistency. Deputy Alton has, on various occasions, suggested that this Dáil ought to pass an Act similar to the Act passed in 1926 in Northern Ireland. The provisions of this amendment came straight from that Act, yet Deputy Alton now says that it is not satisfactory, although I believe he told us that it was working admirably on more than one occasion.

In Northern Ireland.

I think I once remarked to the Minister for Justice that anything might happen in County Mayo. You cannot take County Mayo as a headline for the whole country. It is quite safe to say that seeing that there is no Deputy from County Mayo present.

There is one.

I beg Deputy O'Connell's pardon—there is one here. As regards Deputy Fahy's point, the Parliamentary Secretary has made a point about the Advisory Council here. In Northern Ireland the Council has a representative in every county, and while it might not work here, I am quite prepared to take the Parliamentary Secretary's half-way house. He has told us nothing about paragraph (b) of sub-section (2) of the amendment empowering any person authorised by the Minister, not merely the Gárda Síochána, to put questions or to receive information. I think it would be a great pity if an official of the Office of Public Works, or a strange archæologist, were to go down the country and then to find that he was deceived, or humbugged, because he had no power—not being a member of the Gárda Síochána—to take action. I am willing to withdraw the amendment if the Parliamentary Secretary will consider it before the Report Stage.

Mr. Bourke

I am quite willing to consider it, but I think, at the same time, it is difficult to draw the line in withdrawing it from the Gárda Síochána. Any official might go down. Whom should it be reported to?

But the Minister is the Minister for Finance, who spends his whole life drawing the line. He is an expert at it.

I was not here during the whole debate and I only intervene to say that I have not seen any definition in the Bill of what is an archæological object.

Mr. Bourke

Section 2 deals with that.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Question—"That Section 21 stand part of the Bill"—put and agreed to.

I move:

To insert before Section 23 a new section as follows:—

"(1) Where it appears to the Minister on a report made by the Advisory Council, or otherwise, that any object which in his opinion is of archæological, cultural, historic or artistic value is in danger of being exported from Saorstát Eireann, the Minister may by order (in this Act referred to as a prohibition order) prohibit the export of any such article.

(2) Any person who exports or attempts to export or sells for export any object in respect of which a prohibition order has been issued and is in force, in contravention of this section, shall be guilty of an offence under this section, and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(3) The Minister may at any time, by order made after consultation with the Advisory Council, revoke any prohibition order."

My amendment is really an alternative to Section 22, and perhaps, with the leave of the Dáil, it would be convenient to discuss the two together, because if Section 22 stands my amendment is quite useless. The proposal in the Bill is that anyone who wants to export an archæological object must write in and get leave to do so. Of course, that is founded on a belief that is deeply rooted in the Civil Service. Civil servants spend a great proportion of their time writing letters to the outside public and to other Government Departments. They are admirable letters; they will in time be classified as archæological objects, because no one in future will understand why people began and finished letters in one language and had another language in the middle. There is matter in that for a long and serious controversy. But civil servants, being so immersed in correspondence, cannot realise that people in the country have anything else to do but to write letters to Government Departments. The contents of their post-boxes probably makes them think that. I must say that there are people who have other things to do than to write letters to Government Departments. My suggestion is that instead of writing letters every time you want to export an archæological object the Minister should have power to prohibit the export of any article that is considered valuable to the country.

I daresay a great many of these things which Deputy Alton is deploring while they may be archæological in value are not things that would be very valuable. There are probably a great many specimens of them in national collections already and there is no great reason why they should not be exported. I have purposely made a wide definition, in fact it is open to the criticism that it is too wide, giving the Minister power to stop anything of real value to the country going out of it and that is all that is needed. He has power to stop not only things of new discovery but things of old discovery. I have in my hall the horns of an Irish elk. My hall was thoroughly looted and the only things not taken away were the horns of an Irish elk which I suppose were too big to take. They are not very rare. I do not know why, if I wanted to, I should not have the right to export them or why I should have to write to the Minister and ask him. If he knew that I had the horns of an Irish elk he would probably issue an order of prohibition under this section. I think anything increasing the amount of letter writing which means a burden on the Civil Service and leads to Deputies making speeches stating that there are too many civil servants and too many salaries paid should be checked, and if everybody who wants to inspect an article which comes under the wide definition of archæological which Deputy Murphy has now discovered writes a letter to the Department you will have an increase in staff. I commend this to the House with some faith but not with much hope.

I wonder is Deputy Cooper offering himself as the first sacrifice under the Bill. He has stated that he has an archæological object in the house. Is he to be prosecuted? There is one ancient monument—I think every member has found it, I found it anyway when I came in here—and I suggest that we give a special permit for its exportation, that is the ancient monument outside the door. I think it is an insult to the dignity of this House now when we are told that we have a free and independent parliament——

The Deputy has got far enough with all that.

I would not like to see in this Bill that someone will be prosecuted for removing it, because if it is not removed by the House I hope someone will have the pluck to remove it some time.

I think Deputy Cooper's amendment draws the line rather tight, and I am more inclined to agree with the paragraph as it stands in the Bill, because I think it is very desirable that all archæological objects that are connected with the country should be cared for, and that it should be seen that they are not taken out of it. But then one may have in one's possession things that are of archæological interest and are not connected with this country at all. People who go in for archæological subjects may have in their possession objects of archæological interest that are really not connected with this country at all, and I think that Deputy Cooper's amendment may prevent those things which are not connected with this country at all from being removed from it. I think it is too tight, and I prefer the paragraph as it stands in the Bill, although dealing with Irish archæological objects it is quite right, on the whole, I think.

I think the wording of the Bill in this section is better than Deputy Cooper's suggested amendment, because it would be very difficult for the Minister to know what articles were going to be exported and so on. You have not an archæological survey, and we do not know what number of these objects are in the country. It would be much better to leave the law that when a person intended to export them he should get permission. It would be very difficult for the Minister to find out what they intended to export, except he was told by the exporters, and it is easy for them to write and get permission.

Mr. Bourke

Deputy Fahy has pratically said what I intended to say on this amendment. We have no means of compelling anybody to let us know that they have made a discovery or got some valuable possession like Deputy Cooper's ancient elk horns. Possibly other people may not show the frankness he has shown in this house. If there were any great value attached to these horns once they were sold out of the country, or once a dealer had come in and purchased them, it would be too late to issue our prohibition order and the only defect I can see, in this amendment is that it has got no power to deal with a dishonest person who is trying to conceal the fact that he has got a find. It is only going to unduly penalise an honest person who has made known that he has made such a discovery, because this is a much more stringent section than the previous one, as it includes the words "cultural and artistic." It would mean that a valuable picture or a piece of valuable furniture with any kind of association with the country could not be exported if the Minister issued a prohibition order. In the other section cultural and artistic objects are not at all affected.

As I mentioned on Section 2, I intend to introduce an amendment with regard to the definition of archæological objects which will considerably narrow it down and there is no danger of objects which are not of particular Irish interest being affected by it once that amendment has been accepted, if it will be accepted. I really think the section is much better as it stands.

The Parliamentary Secretary's point about articles of furniture has, I think, strengthened my case. There are articles of furniture which might well be considered archæological objects. Suppose that chair in which the Ceann Comhairle is sitting was discarded by some future Dáil, it should not be allowed to leave the country or be allowed to lie amongst the refuse of an old clothes shop. It should be placed in the sanctity of the National Museum. I think articles of furniture might very well be prohibited from export. At the same time, when both front benches are against me, I know I am probably right, but that I have no chance of carrying my point. Therefore, I will not press my amendment on this occasion.

I think the word "artistic" should never have been allowed in the amendment. It makes it too wide.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 22, 23 and 24 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
SCHEDULE.
ENACTMENTS REPEALED.

Session and Chapter

Short Title

Extent of Repeal

45 & 46 Vic. c. 73.

The Ancient Monuments Pro- tection Act, 1882.

The whole Act.

55 & 56 Vic. c. 46.

The Ancient Monuments Pro- tection (Ireland) Act, 1892.

The whole Act.

1 Geo. V. c. 3.

The Ancient Monuments Pro- tion Act, 1910.

The whole Act.

3 Edw. VII. c. 37.

Irish Land Act, 1903.

Sub-section (4) of section 14.

No. 42 of 1923

The Land Act, 1923.

Section 47.

Mr. Bourke

I move:—

Immediately before the words "Irish Land Act, 1903," to insert the word "the."

It is merely a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Bourke

I move amendment 14:—

After the lines relating to the Ancient Monuments Protection Act, 1910, to insert the following:—

61 and 62 Vic. c. 37

The Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898.

Section 19.

The power of guardian given to the county council in this Act has been given in another section of the Bill, and there is no necessity to have this provision in operation.

Amendment agreed to.
Schedule, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Title agreed to.
The Dáil went out of Committee.
Bill reported, with amendments.
Report Stage ordered for Wednesday next, 13th November.

As there appears to be no business, would it be in order to move the adjournment of the Dáil?

That has been generally regarded as the prerogative of a Minister.

Mr. O'Connell

There is no Minister here to move it.

I will not decide the point of order for the moment.