Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 3 Apr 1930

Vol. 34 No. 5

Business of the Dáil.

Before the President moves the motion appearing in his name on the Order Paper, might I ask why it is that the Old Age Pensions Bill, about which there has been a good deal of discussion in the last week or so, does not appear on the Order Paper to-day? It had been on the Order Paper up to to-day. I notice that it does not now appear. Perhaps the Ceann Comhairle can give some explanation.

I had no notice of this question. I do not know why a Bill should appear in the Order Paper having passed its Second Reading when no further order has been made about it.

No order was made that it should disappear off the Order Paper.

The Bill should not appear on the Order Paper unless in accordance with an order made.

An order was made for the Second Reading of this Bill, but no further order was made, and until the order for Second Reading was discharged, I take it the Bill should appear on the Order Paper. My recollection is that Bills do appear on the order paper until an order for their discharge is made. I did not notice that the Old Age Pensions Bill was not on the Order Paper until a few minutes ago. Otherwise I would have given notice to the Ceann Comhairle that I intended to raise this.

The Bill was read a Second Time and no order was made for its committal. Under the Standing Orders, therefore, it does not appear on the Order Paper.

Does the Ceann Comhairle hold that a Bill that has got a Second Reading can disappear by some strange back-door method without any order for its disappearance? The Bill got an order for a Second Reading by a majority of the House. Are we to take it that the Ceann Comhairle holds that a Bill like that can automatically disappear from the Order Paper without any further reference to the House as to its life or death? Is that the position?

May I remind the Ceann Comhairle of the fact that after the Greater Dublin Bill passed its Second Reading no order was made, but it did not disappear from the Order Paper?

An order was made.

It was not on that evening.

I beg your pardon.

I beg your pardon, it was.

It was made the next day.

It was made after the attention of the House had been drawn to the fact that the report of the proceedings on the evening that the Greater Dublin Bill received its Second Reading was inaccurate.

Deputy MacEntee is raising another point. He is wholly inaccurate as to what happened in regard to the Local Government (Dublin) Bill. That Bill was read a second time, and an order was then made by the House for its committal on a particular date. Subsequently the date was changed. That is what happened.

I beg to differ.

The record is there.

The record was questioned at the next sitting of the Dáil.

No. The record was not questioned the next day. There was no question of the record. A question was raised by Deputy O'Connell, but it was a different question altogether, I think.

I questioned whether an order was made. You, sir, said it was made, and I accepted that.

Is it customary for the Chair to act in regard to the appearance of a Bill on the Order Paper, as it has done in this particular case?

The Old Age Pensions Bill received a Second Reading. A statement was made from the Chair to the effect that the Bill required a Money Resolution before it could be committed. I have not the exact words before me, but that was the effect of them. Therefore, no order was made for the committal of the Bill. Until a Money Resolution had been introduced the Bill could not go into Committee, because the sections impose a charge and could not be considered in Committee. The Bill, therefore, does not appear on the Order Paper.

May I ask what was the procedure in regard to the Moneylenders Bill which received a Second Reading and in connection with which a Money Resolution had to be introduced before it was committed? That Bill, if my recollection is correct, appeared on the Order Paper for a number of days before the necessary Money Resolution was made.

May I point out that I understand there is no time fixed as to when a Money Resolution should be introduced after a Bill has got a Second Reading. That being so, I submit that there is still time to introduce a Money Resolution. Consequently, until some definite decision has been taken I think the Bill should appear on the Order Paper.

There is no time limit with regard to the introduction of a Money Resolution except the life of a particular Dáil. A Money Resolution could be introduced at any time to enable the Old Age Pensions Bill to go into Committee.

That being so, should not the Bill still appear on the Order Paper?

Is it then your ruling or explanation as to why this Bill does not appear on the Order Paper that the Government did not introduce that Money Resolution? If not, what is the explanation?

It has been given.

Has this procedure been adopted in any other case heretofore?

This, I think, is the first case in which a Bill having received a Second Reading a Money Resolution has been refused where a Money Resolution was necessary. The position about the Old Age Pensions Bill is that it has been read a second time. Further proceedings in connection with it may be taken in the House, but they are dependent upon the introduction of an enabling Money Resolution, which Resolution would be in order at any time if introduced by an Executive Minister.

Did I understand you to say that this is the first case in which a Bill has got a Second Reading and the Money Resolution was refused, and if so by whom was it refused?

Is it not a fact that the Deputies who, by their votes last night re-elected Deputy Cosgrave, killed the Bill and automatically removed it from the Order Paper?

No. They did not kill the Bill.

They killed the old age pensioners.

The Bill received a Second Reading and further proceedings may be taken in the House. I have indicated what these further proceedings must be. There is no reason for keeping the Bill on the Order Paper, because there has been no order made regarding it.

Are we to understand that the Bill is still alive?

On a point of order, may I ask who has refused the Money Resolution?

That is not a point of order.

Well, on a point of order, has the Money Resolution been refused?

That is not a point of order either.

Did you, or did you not, state in the House that the Resolution had been refused?

The Ceann Comhairle is not subject to cross-examination.

Are you aware, sir, that the French Government organ——

Will the Deputy please sit down?

I want this point cleared up: is the Bill alive or is it dead? If a Money Resolution is introduced at any time, can the Bill go into Committee without necessarily having to go through another Second Reading debate?

The Ceann Comhairle was under the impression that he had made it perfectly clear that that was so.

The reason I put the point is this, because it is likely or possible that if certain Deputies opposite live up to their promises the Government may be again defeated when Deputy Anthony's motion dealing with the flour milling industry comes on. In that case another Government might be prepared to introduce the necessary Money Resolution. I take it, if that were so, that the Bill would automatically go into Committee without any further delay?

There is nothing to keep the Bill from going into Committee except the moving of the necessary Money Resolution, and that could be moved by an Executive Minister.

I am glad to have your ruling that the Bill is still a live issue. The Bill is still alive, but, as the Ceann Comhairle has admitted, this is the first time that a case of this kind has arisen. Therefore, we are making precedents here so far as the Order Paper is concerned, and I just want to have it definite and clear what the exact position is with regard to that Bill. The decision of the Ceann Comhairle who, I take it, is in charge of the Order Paper with regard to Bills, is that Bills that have appeared regularly on the Order Paper can disappear off the Order Paper without any order being made for their discharge. I take it that is the decision of the Ceann Comhairle?

The Ceann Comhairle has a great objection to having his rulings paraphrased. The Ceann Comhairle did not say that this Bill was a live issue. He said that the Bill was alive to this extent: that if a Money Resolution were introduced the clauses of the Bill could be considered in Committee according to order of the House. The disappearance of the Bill off the Order Paper does not mean that the Bill has been withdrawn which is a different thing. In connection with the Second Reading of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, moved by Deputy Little, the motion for the Second Reading of that Bill was withdrawn and the Bill was ordered to be withdrawn. That Bill is in the position of not being alive. The Old Age Pensions Bill has had a Second Reading and it was withdrawn from the Order Paper, because no further order was made about it. That does not mean that the Bill is dead.

You said that one of the Bills for which I was responsible was not alive now. I take it that does not imply that it cannot be reintroduced?

That is a different point.

I am interested in this particular point—that I think the procedure adopted in regard to the Old Age Pensions Bill is different from the procedure adopted in the case of the Moneylenders Bill introduced by Deputy Little. One continued on the Order Paper although the Money Resolution in regard to it had not been introduced in the House. I think the Old Age Pensions Bill was exactly in that position, that it received a Second Reading but that no Money Resolution had been introduced. Therefore, I would like if the Ceann Comhairle would explain to me the principle that guided his action in the matter of the Old Age Pensions Bill—why he differentiated in the action he took in regard to that Bill and the Moneylenders Bill.

Will the Deputy explain the difference in the action which was taken?

The difference is that the Moneylenders Bill continued to appear on the Order Paper for a number of days after the Second Reading though no Money Resolution had been introduced. This Bill has not been permitted to appear on the Order Paper at the session next following.

The Moneylenders Bill received a Second Reading by agreement and, as well as I recollect, the making of the order for the Committee Stage was postponed to enable the Minister for Finance to take certain steps. As a matter of fact, the Bill was sent to Committee without any tax Resolution being introduced into the House, owing to the fact that the Minister for Finance and Deputy Little came to another arrangement which the Ceann Comhairle considered satisfactory. In this case, the Bill received a Second Reading and no order was made for Committee. In the absence of a Money Resolution no order can be made for Committee, but an order could now be made for Committee if the Resolution were forthcoming. As a practical point, there is no reason why the Bill should appear on the Order Paper.

The circumstances were exactly similar in regard to the Old Age Pensions Bill. When the President and the Minister for Finance were asked if they were prepared to introduce the necessary Money Resolution, the President asked time to consider that point and said he would give his decision tomorrow. He gave his decision the following day.

In the case of the Moneylenders Bill it would have been possible to introduce a motion to refer the Bill to Committee. Certain sections of the Bill could not be considered in Committee and the other sections could. The Old Age Pensions Bill is in a different position.