Road Traffic Bill, 1933—Committee Stage (Resumed).

I beg to move the following amendment (67):—

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

Nothing in the foregoing sub-sections shall prevent the Minister from exercising his discretion in regard to applications that may be made to him by individuals or sporting associations to vary in any manner the period which is declared by this section to be an excessive period for the purposes of the section.

When we were discussing the section last evening the House was in favour of granting many of the proposed restrictions. I do not know whether it occurred to Deputies that if these restrictions were granted and no power were given to the Minister to relax them on certain occasions, we would be prohibited from holding a number of interesting competitions here from time to time. I dare say Deputies know that motor rallies are held in various places and motor races have been held here from time to time. Some of these competitions entail continuous driving. Perhaps that is not the case, to a great extent in this country so far, but elsewhere there have been competitions entailing continuous driving—driving over a period, say, of 24 hours. If the restrictions that were agreed to last night were to apply to motor races it would be impossible to hold these competitions here. I do not think the interests of the country would be served by any such action, and I am sure it is not the wish of the House that these competitions should be prohibited.

If the Deputy will withdraw his amendment, I will undertake to introduce a somewhat similar amendment on the Report Stage which will provide for the granting of exemptions from the provisions of this section for sporting events of the kind mentioned by the Deputy, subject to the approval in each case of an advisory committee which will be established. I think that is a necessary precaution and it will achieve the purpose the Deputy has in mind.

Amendment 67, by leave, withdrawn.

On the section, as I indicated already, I think that in its present form, it is not a good one and I suggest it would be very much improved by adopting different regulations for the different kinds of motor drivers. I wonder if the Minister can give me any assurance that he is prepared to modify the section in this respect. In its present form I propose to vote against the section as a whole.

I should like to draw attention to the hardship that will arise if the section be adopted in its present form. There are a number of chauffeurs employed by professional men and others and it is in regard to them I would like to draw attention. I do not know if it is the intention of the Minister that this section is to apply to these chauffeurs. Their labours are not very heavy. A good deal of their time is of necessity spent sitting in the car reading newspapers and other interesting documents. I do not know whether it is the intention of the Minister that the limitation on the period of driving should apply to them. The point was not discussed at any great length last night. Is it the intention of the Minister that these regulations should apply to chauffeurs? Their services are not at all comparable to the services of bus drivers and drivers of heavy vehicles. It would be easy for any Deputy to make a comparison between the services given during ten hours by a bus driver or lorry driver and an ordinary chauffeur. The ordinary chauffeur would not perhaps be driving for one and a half hours out of these ten or eleven hours. There is no comparison at all between the two types of drivers. I would like if the Minister would tell us whether it is his intention to include chauffeurs in this section. If he does I am afraid it will have reactions. It will undoubtedly throw numbers of these men out of employment. The professional man will find that if he wants to have the use of his car it will be necessary for him to employ more than one chauffeur. The result will be that that will not be done and what will actually happen will be that the services of the one now employed will have to be dispensed with. I would like if the Labour members would bear that aspect of the case in mind.

This section as drafted includes chauffeurs. I think that is correct. It seems to me that the fatigue attaching to driving a private car is no less than the fatigue in driving a bus. Driving includes managing and controlling. If a chauffeur is in charge of a car in that sense that he is driving, managing and controlling the car for eleven out of the twenty four hours, then he is like a person in charge of any other type of vehicle for the same period and, if the period is too long, there is a danger to the public safety. It seems to me in view of these considerations that this section should not be altered in that respect.

On the point made by Deputy Thrift I do not see that there is very much in it. I think the Deputy, like some other Deputies last night, is mixing up two things in relation to the section. This section prescribes the maximum number of hours in which any individual is to drive a car in any one day. It does not say that this limitation should operate in the case of the omnibus or any other particular vehicle. It merely sets out the maximum hours of driving which can be allowed having regard to safety of the public using the road. If the Deputy votes against the section and succeeds in getting a majority of the Dáil to do the same, then there will be no control at all. The position will be the same as heretofore, that a person may employ a chauffeur to drive a car for twenty-four hours in the day without incurring any penalty. I do not think that the Deputy will achieve his purpose by voting against this section.

I have hopes in that direction. I am trying to look at this from the Minister's point of view. I am trying to get a section which will secure the public safety on the roads but I think it is particularly absurd to say that the same regulations should apply for chauffeurs as for the drivers of omnibuses, to take two extreme cases. The driver of an omnibus can do extensive damage, and he can be an immense danger to the public if he is suffering from fatigue, but there is nothing of that kind in the case of the ordinary chauffeur. The ordinary chauffeurs are not an overworked body. I think anybody will admit that. Take for example a chauffeur driving a doctor's car. He is driving for very short periods of the day, as a rule, but this section, if passed in its present form, would prevent the chauffeur being available to bring the doctor to a case after a certain period in the day. A chauffeur who started at ten o'clock in the morning would not be available at all to take the doctor to a call at nine o'clock in the evening. The doctor could not call on the chauffeur to drive the car after that hour. I think I am right in saying that quite different regulations are required in the case of chauffeurs as compared with the omnibus drivers.

I would like to ask the Minister if he has not something to say on that point. Even if the Minister insists on applying sub-section (1) (a) and (b) of the section to drivers of private cars as well as to drivers of omnibuses there is sub-section (1) (c) which he might consider. Certainly there is no case for applying the section to the drivers of cars mentioned by Deputy Thrift, that is to say, drivers who have not regular hours of duty very often and who may be at any particular time in the position that the ten consecutive hours of rest may be broken in ordinary emergencies.

What this section provides is the overriding maximum for all types of vehicles. If there is a case for differentiation at all it is for a reduction of the hours in which the person should drive a particularly heavy type of vehicle. If we have to take any precaution for safety on the roads there must be some overriding period beyond which no person can be employed to drive a car. Driving for eleven hours is fatiguing. After that period the driver becomes a menace not merely to himself but to other people using the highway. I cannot see that there is anything unreasonable in the section as it stands, that there is anything unreasonable in requiring that a person engaged in continuous driving on the roadway should have these periods of rest—ten hours in every twenty-four hours. "Rest" there means a period of ten hours during which he will not be in control of a car. Although there may be very exceptional cases in which people may have to take charge of a car for a longer period than that, they would be very rare and we should definitely set out to stop them in the interest of the public safety.

With all respect, I think the Minister is quite wrong in assuming that the duties of an ordinary chauffeur and the duties of the driver of a heavy bus are comparable. Anybody who knows anything about the two vehicles knows that there is no comparison between them. Go outside the Dáil and you will see three or four chauffeurs walking up and down the pathway. Go down to the main roadway and you will find a bus driver in charge of a heavy bus containing 30 or 40 people. If the Minister adheres to a proposal of this kind, we are going to reach absurdity in legislation.

That is only an argument in favour of reduction of hours for omnibus drivers.

I am with the Minister as regards omnibuses but I am not with the Minister as regards chauffeurs.

You voted against it last night.

The vote last night was on quite a different point. The more one inquires into this matter the more absurd it becomes. This Bill has been under the consideration of the House for some years and, as a result of that consideration, I should like to see an Act emerging in which we all could take a certain amount of pride. If we are going to have absurdities of this character embodied in the Bill, the sooner they are dealt with the better.

Perhaps the Minister would define the position more clearly. It is the abnormal case we are talking about now. Take the case of a man coming into business. He parks his car until he is going home in the evening. That period might cover more than eleven hours. Is his chauffeur regarded as on duty while the car is thus parked?

If he is in charge of the car and responsible for its management and control, that period is regarded as a period of driving according to the definition in the definition section.

Has the Minister in mind any case in which an accident arose because the chauffeur in charge of a car had been overworked or had been on duty for too long hours? I never heard of such a case.

Nor nobody else.

I have not examined the records.

Does the Minister know anybody who can afford to employ a chauffeur continuously for eleven hours?

Question put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 59; Níl, 29.

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Daniel.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Browne, William Frazer.
  • Concannon, Helena.
  • Daly, Denis.
  • Davin, William.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • Doherty, Joseph.
  • Dowdall, Thomas P.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Flynn, Stephen.
  • Fogarty, Andrew.
  • Gibbons, Seán.
  • Goulding, John.
  • Hales, Thomas.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hayes, Seán.
  • Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
  • Houlihan, Patrick.
  • Jordan, Stephen.
  • Keely, Séamus P.
  • Kehoe, Patrick.
  • Kelly, James Patrick.
  • Kelly, Thomas.
  • Kent, William Rice.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, Michael.
  • Kissane, Eamonn.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick John.
  • Lynch, James B.
  • MacDermot, Frank.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Ben.
  • Maguire, Conor Alexander.
  • Moane, Edward.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Briain, Donnchadha.
  • O'Dowd, Patrick.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Kelly, Seán Thomas.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Pearse, Margaret Mary.
  • Rice, Edward.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Robert.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Ward, Francis C. (Dr.).

Níl

  • Belton, Patrick.
  • Bennett, George Cecil.
  • Brodrick, Seán.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Cosgrave, William T.
  • Craig, Sir James.
  • Curran, Richard.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McGovern, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • Minch, Sydney B.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
  • Finlay, John.
  • Fitzgerald, Desmond.
  • Fitzgerald-Kenney, James.
  • Good, John.
  • Haslett, Alexander.
  • Holohan, Richard.
  • Keating, John.
  • Lynch, Finian.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
  • Rice, Vincent.
  • Thrift, William Edward.
  • Wall, Nicholas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Little and Traynor; Níl: Deputies Good and Thrift.
Question declared carried.
SECTION 168.
(1) Where injury to person or property is occasioned by the negligent driving of a mechanically propelled vehicle belonging to the State, the Minister for Finance shall be civilly liable for damages in respect of such injury.

On behalf of Deputy Costello I move amendment 68:—

In sub-section (1), line 43, after the word "driving" to insert the following words "care, construction, control or management."

The section introduces in a positive way the liability of the Minister for Finance for the negligent driving of State-owned vehicles, but it appears to be somewhat restricted, and it is rather by reason of the fact that certain things, by omission, have made the restriction that these omissions have to be called attention to. First (clause quoted): The amendment is to insert after the word "driving""care, construction, control or management." It is quite true that, as defined in Section 3, the word "driving" includes control or management, but the reason why the amendment has been put down in this form is to divide out the word "driving" even into these two terms and put by contrast against the two terms the two other terms which do not appear to be included. I do not know whether it is wise or unwise to have this section introduced at all, but if it is there, why should the Minister for Finance assume liability for injury caused by reason of the negligent driving of State vehicles and not be subject to the same penalties and damages as might be given against an ordinary citizen for accidents occurring not through driving, but defects in the car? That is the type of thing that is intended to be covered by care and construction. It is a doubtful point, for instance, whether defective brakes would come even within the enlarged meaning given to driving by the definition of control or management, but I think it is pretty certain that there would not come within the definition such a thing as, say, a driver changing a wheel and not putting the nuts and bolts on properly with the result that the wheel flies off, the car overturns and causes injury to another person; or any other defect because of the fact that a person had not exercised care with regard to the construction of the car.

I say again that it is recognised that the word "driving" covers control or management, but the four words are put in here in order to make the contrast. Defective brakes may be a sort of line ball and might be brought under "control or management," but I doubt very much if the matters I have spoken of, such as replacing an old wheel by a new one in a defective way which results in injury, are controlled. I see no logic in having the Minister for Finance simply liable for negligent driving and not having him liable, as any other citizen would be under this Bill, for, say, driving a car which is defective, and defective by reason of the driver's negligence. I should like to have these words inserted.

The definition of the word "driving" includes "control or management." Therefore, the two words the Deputy would like to have inserted would be "care and construction." I think that that would have to be modified in some way, too. I think it should be re-drafted, if it is to be re-drafted at all, by the inclusion of some words like "negligent construction."

"Negligent" governs the whole thing. This is to insert these words after the word "driving," which is governed by "negligent."

I am largely with the Deputy in that matter, but I would not like to make the thing too wide. I shall have it examined and put it up in another form on the Report Stage.

That is satisfactory, but might I ask the Minister to define his attitude this way: does he want to put in a limitation in this section at all, or does he want to make State-owned vehicles subject to action for anything for which privately-owned vehicles will be subject? Does he want any restriction at all?

I think some kind of restriction might be necessary, because we all know that when it is a question of the State being the defendant possibly it is more open to attack and gets less sympathy even in the courts; that when it is the Exchequer that has to pay it is more vulnerable than the ordinary private citizen, or even than the ordinary insurance company. I think we should have to bear that fact in mind in drafting the section to see that the State would not be open to an attack that might not be made against a private citizen or an ordinary private company.

That seems to me an illogical stand. The reason why State-owned vehicles were hitherto exempt was the very fact to which the Minister has alluded, that not merely here, but in any other country, the State would be regarded as a better mark and, consequently, if a claim for damages were made, probably a verdict would be found, and once found certainly the damages would be increased. Probably the same thought was behind the practice whereby insurance had to be kept out of the consideration of a case, but that can now be brought in. Similarly, you bring in a State vehicle. It seems to be illogical to say that the State is going to be more vulnerable than a private individual, that damages will most certainly be given against the State, and that you are going to let those excessive damages be given for negligent driving, but you are not going to let any damages be given for injuries—which from the point of view of the person who suffers are going to be quite as serious— arising from a defect in a car due to the negligence of the person in charge. Either make a limitation for everything, or, if the State is going to be thrown open to assault in this way, let it be thrown open to liability for everything in the same way as a private person is liable. Will the Minister bring forward an amendment himself?

Does the Minister propose to confine himself to what is called negligent construction? It is scarcely fair, if the ordinary private person is liable for a defect in construction——

I think the Deputy is incorrect in stating that an ordinary driver is responsible for an accident caused by negligent construction, unless it can be shown that he was aware the car was defective when he took it out.

If a person takes out a defective car, and it transpires in the course of the hearing of the case that there was a defect in the car——

Of which he was aware.

Whether he was aware or not, I believe the owner would be held responsible. I believe if I—or anybody else—went into court with a case of that sort against me I would be held responsible, and that the point is whether or not the car was in good condition. I have had experience of two instances, if I may say so. In one case one of the State cars crashed into mine. The insurance company was at a cost of something like £1,900. I did not get a penny from the State. There was something defective in the State car.

I think the Deputy is wrong. I think the Deputy did get something from the State.

I can assure the Attorney-General that I got nothing. The insurance company may have got something. That is one case where there was something apparently wrong in the machine belonging to the State. The second case is where a skid takes place. Skids are a rather interesting phenomena in connection with motoring. It so happens that if the brakes are not tightened to the same extent on both sides—I hesitate to say it would be negligent—one of them may loosen, and then a skid in some cases is almost inevitable. In that case an ordinary individual would be liable. If the Minister is not going to include in that word "negligent" the question of the construction of the car will the State get out? In other words, is the State to get all the advantages and the individual all the disadvantages? I consider that that would be unfair. If an ordinary individual is liable for certain defects in the machine and if the State is going to accept liability at all it should be on the same basis. It is a question of knock for knock if you like.

If an accident were caused by an ordinary private car, through defective management or defective construction, unless that were shown to be due to negligence on the part of the owner or the driver of the car I do not think there would be any liability, and the State should not be liable either.

I would not like to have a case against me on that basis.

I am instructed that there would not be liability unless negligence were shown.

That is the very point.

The main proposition here is safety to public life. If there is a defect in construction and the person loses his life it is no satisfaction for him to know that the law did not provide for it.

That is correct.

Amendment withdrawn?

Yes. It will be reconsidered, will it not?

Question proposed: "That Section 168 stand part of the Bill."

On the section, I would like to ask what is the intention with regard to the fourth sub-section?

There may be a responsibility on the driver, besides the responsibility that is on the State, and he will not be relieved of any responsibility that is on him.

Might I ask the Minister in a case of that kind, where a State chauffeur is engaged beyond the eleven hours prescribed in the preceding section, on whom does responsibility lie?

The State will be prosecuted.

For a breach of Section 167? What about the accident that may happen later?

If there is an accident the driver has certain responsibility too.

Although the State has kept him out of his bed longer than he should have been?

A Deputy

Who will prosecute the State?

Is this going to stop electioneering.

I hope not. A lot of the joy of life would be gone if it did.

Does sub-section (4) apply in any way to the responsibility on the part of the driver to be insured in respect of damage, or is it simply intended to apply to criminal liability in respect of his negligence?

I take it it is to apply to the criminal liability.

How is the section improved by the insertion of the sub-section?

It apparently does not refer to criminal liability. There is no penalty attached.

Is the Minister assured that a person, who would be the victim of an accident and cause damage, for instance, to a State car, would not be liable—although half-killed himself— to prosecution under this section as it reads at the moment? Look at the sub-section. It seems to me to be possible that even the victim of negligent driving might be prosecuted.

If the whole Labour Party is blocking up the way, and the army runs them down——

Your head is very clear this morning.

I have not the Bill before me, but I should like to ask the Minister whether the law is being changed. If a State driver—say a soldier—knocks down and kills somebody, can the relatives get any compensation from the State. I have in mind a case where the relatives were referred to take action against the driver. I want to know is the law being changed. Can the relatives of a person killed by a State car get any compensation?

The law as it stands at present is that the aggrieved person can only get compensation by way of an ex gratia grant from the Government. He could take an action against the driver, of course, but in nine cases out of ten he would not get very much out of the driver. The proposal here is to make the State liable to be sued in court the same as a private person.

I had an instance brought to my mind when the State car skidded and knocked down a hoarding, and the hoarding damaged a person on the pathway, and the State would not assume any liability. Under this Bill here what will be the difference in the case?

The proposal is to put the State in the same position as private owners. What usually happens is an application is made to the Minister, under whose control it is, for an ex gratia payment, and the practice has been that these applications are referred to the Attorney-General and he says whether in certain cases ex gratia payments may or may not be paid. The effect of this section is to make the State liable, but it does not exonerate the driver from liability—the driver is already liable—and it does not add to the driver's liability.

I think the case Deputy Good has cited is a good case, because there I think the builder was made pay damages, as it was his hoarding which had injured the person, and it is very appropriate to this sub-section. The effect of sub-section (4) would be to leave that liability still upon the builder, because it was his hoarding which had actually done the damage.

Mr. Maguire

I do not follow what the Deputy's trouble is. I cannot see how this sub-section can have any influence such as the Deputy has mentioned or how it can be so suggested. The position would be, if in the case Deputy Good mentioned an action is brought and it is shown that the hoarding was knocked down and the injury was caused through the negligence of the State vehicle, the Minister would then be liable or would henceforth be liable.

He was not liable in the previous case?

Mr. Maguire

No.

Sub-section (4) does not change the law by any greater liability. That is the point I want to get at. Nothing in the section operates to relieve from liability. Leaving out sub-section (4), what we have in the first three sub-sections is that the Minister is to be civilly liable. We are told the intention is that he is to be liable on every occasion as a private individual would be liable. That is what we are told is the intention, and there is to be an amendment considered with a view to seeing whether the intention is properly carried out. In sub-section (3) "every plea in defence which would be open to a master sued for damages in respect of the negligence of his servant (including the plea of contributory negligence and also pleas to the effect that the person in respect of whose negligence the damages are claimed was not acting in the course of his employment)." Now, where up to that point has there been any relief of liability. I cannot see the force of putting in sub-section (4) and I think there is danger in it.

I suggest the force of putting it there is to make it quite clear that there is no alteration in the liability. I take it the draftsman in putting that in wanted to make it clear that the driver would not be exonerated.

Why not limit it to the driver?

Mr. Maguire

I cannot see what danger lurks in this sub-section that objection can be taken to it.

There is no danger. There is no doubt about it the Attorney-General will admit that if I admit negligence I am personally liable for my negligence. That is clear already—that is the law. Why put that in there? What is it doing there? It is already the law that a man is guilty for his own negligence. Is not that what the sub-section means? What is the object of putting it in here?

What is the harm?

When the courts get after that, the first thing they will say is the Legislature is not putting in things as a surplus. They will always give a ready meaning to it. There is always that danger in putting in something for which there is no clear explanation. I can see all right if you wanted to make it for greater caution you should say the driver of such a car is not relieved if the accident is caused by reason of his own negligence. But this is terribly wide.

Surely the sub-section was put in to correct the possibility of misunderstanding by the court. "Where injury to person or property is occasioned by the negligent driving of a mechanically propelled vehicle belonging to the State, the Minister for Finance shall be civilly liable." Surely an implication could be read into that where it is specifically stated the Minister for Finance should be liable. That should be meant to read the Minister for Finance and only he should be civilly liable. Surely it would be argued in court that you were setting up a very special law in respect of these cases and that the liability was to be exclusively for the Minister for Finance. The moment sub-section (4) is produced where is the force of your argument? It seems to me that is what was in the draftsman's mind.

If that was in the draftsman's mind I doubt if instructions were properly given to him to bring the matter properly before the House. In the present circumstances I wonder would the Attorney-General agree that a person who might argue what Deputy Dillon argued would get away with it, in the circumstances when other people are liable. You bring in the section and say the "Minister shall civilly be liable." I know "civilly" is a bad word to use for the Minister for Finance but still it is there. Why not say the Minister for Finance without prejudice to the rights arising under the law as it stands or something like, or the Minister for Finance in addition to any other person described as shall be. It seems to me that to bring in this very wide business of "any person" is opening the door to all sorts of contentions hereafter and there is always the danger of the Legislature not putting in matters that are not capable of a reasoned explanation afterwards. There is always the possibility of the courts interpreting a phrase in such a manner as would override what is the obvious intention of the House which passed that piece of legislation.

Sections 168 and 169 agreed to.
Sections 169 and 170 agreed to.
SECTION 171.
(2) The following provisions shall have effect in relation to the measurement of the damages recoverable by the governing body of a hospital under this section, that is to say:—
(a) such damages shall, subject to the deduction hereinafter mentioned, consist of a reasonable sum in respect of the treatment of the injured person in such hospital;

I move amendment 69:—

In sub-section (2) (a), line 39, after the word "sum" to insert the words "not exceeding twenty-five pounds in any case."

This is a simple amendment. I was perfectly satisfied with the section as it stood, that a reasonable sum should be paid to hospitals in respect of injured people, but I had a visit from quite a number of insurance people who told me that it would be absolutely necessary to limit the amount. If the amount was left unlimited they stated the premium that would be charged would be extremely high, as they would not know what amount would have to be paid to the hospitals. It might amount to hundreds of pounds. In similar Acts in England and in the North of Ireland the amount was limited to £25. I think the hospitals will accept a reasonable sum and that it would be well to insert the words suggested in the amendment.

Will the hospitals be satisfied with that?

I am quite prepared to accept the amendment.

Give them a draw from the Sweeps for anything in excess.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 171, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 172.
Any member of the Gárda Síochána may demand of any person in charge of a pedal bicycle or a pedal tricycle his name and address and if any such person fails or refuses to give on such demand his name and address or gives a name or address which such member reasonably believes to be false or misleading, such member may take such bicycle or tricycle (as the case may be) by force if necessary and retain it until such time as he is satisfied as to the identity of such person.

I move amendment 70:—

In line 14, after the word "bicycle" to insert the words "who has committed an offence under this Act."

The amendment is moved to make it clear that a person should only be arrested for refusing to give his name and address after having committed an offence. I do not think the Minister will see any more in the amendment than what is intended to prevent the possibility of annoyance being caused to individuals on suspicion.

I do not see anything dangerous in allowing the Gárda Síochána to ask a person to give his name and address. There should be no objection to that.

At any time?

At any time. I imagine that a person would act in a reasonable and in a commonsense way, and that unless there was some reason for it a person would hardly be stopped and asked for his name and address.

Unless there is an accident, what is the meaning of the section?

There might be an accident, and while the person with the bicycle may not have committed an offence, still he might be asked his name and address as a witness. I do not see anything unreasonable in allowing the Gárda Síochána to do that.

The section does not say that.

Is there any reason for making an exception in the case of a suspected person more than in any other person?

Why not leave out "in charge of a pedal bicycle or a pedal tricycle" and make it the whole community?

That is what it is.

I have a very strong feeling on the point which Deputy McGilligan has raised. It is one of considerable importance. I yield to no one in my respect for the Civic Guards, but I resent having to give my name at every street corner.

There would be no necessity to do so in the Deputy's case.

The Minister may be surprised to know that the only time I came into conflict with the R.I.C. was in the patriotic days in this country when I refused to give my name and address. I think this is an undesirable principle to introduce, to give to the Civic Guards such wide rights as to hold a person up in regard to trivial matters, or to harry private citizens.

Was not the original intention with regard to this section to have it related in some way to an accident which had occurred somewhere within the area?

I think that was the intention.

Could it not be tied up more tightly?

I think so. I will reconsider the matter.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section put and agreed to.

With regard to the regulations, I want to find out what the Minister has in mind with regard to the Petroleum Acts of 1871, and what type of new regulations does he think it necessary to introduce generally.

The section referred to is a re-enactment of existing powers in the Locomotives on Highways Act. The whole of that Act is being repealed by this Bill, and this gives power to re-enact. The regulations at present in force were issued in 1907.

Is it thought that the old position was not good enough? Are there to be drastic changes?

Nothing drastic. As the Act is being repealed it was thought wise to have this power.

Is there a quantity in mind?

As far as I know there is no change.

Sections 173 to 175 put, and agreed to.
SCHEDULE.
No. 1 (Private) of 1925. The Dublin United Tramways (Omnibus Services) Act, 1925. Paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of the proviso to section 3.

I move amendment 71:

In page 83, to delete all relating to the Dublin United Tramways (Omnibus Services) Act, 1925.

This amendment is necessary, because we have repealed Section 3 of the Act mentioned by the Road Transport Act of 1932 which was passed since this Bill was drafted.

Amendment agreed to.
Schedule, as amended, and the Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.
Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, April 5th.

I will try to have the Government amendments circulated a week in advance.

By this day week?

I will try. There are quite a number of them. If it is not possible to have them circulated a week in advance we can ask to have the Report Stage deferred.