I think Deputy Corry should know that we are prepared to let the other amendments pass through and conclude the consideration of the amendments to-day. Of course, I am not suggesting that Deputy Corry should not move to report progress at 2 o'clock if he wishes to carry on.
In Committee on Finance. - Land Bill, 1933—From the Seanad—(Resumed).
Deputy Dillon made great play with one individual who he was anxious should hold a stretch of a river. He must be as well aware as I am that different stretches of the river are in the hands of different landlords. No matter what Government is in power, I shall hold a certain view with regard to the rights of individual tenants, along those rivers, who have to pay rates and annuities for five or six acres of land covered by those rivers. If the rivers are to be taken over by the State, which, in my opinion, would be the best thing in regard to the whole of them, the farmers should not be obliged to pay rates and annuities for something that is of no use to them. It is still a greater injustice that they should have to pay rates and annuities for something out of which another individual is making a profit. I hold that view no matter what Government is in office. As to the statement made by Deputy Broderick, he ought to be aware, to the cost of his Party, that I am accustomed to carry out any pledges that I give. If the Deputy's Party had indulged in less deliberate obstruction during the last few months a Bill dealing with this matter would already have been passed.
I hope the Minister will know who is obstructing to-day.
Deputy Dillon thinks that nobody has any right to speak here but himself. I am not accustomed to leaving those wild statements of Deputy Dillon or any other young lad go unchecked. Deputy Broderick alluded to the fact that he was rather amazed that I intended handing over the rights we were going to take from the Duke of Devonshire to any individual farmer.
That is not exactly what I said. What I said was that I was opposed to handing over the welfare of the fishermen on the rivers to any individual farmer, who might let his particular portion of the river be unprotected.
I think Deputy Broderick ought to know me well enough to realise that I would stand for the protection of the ordinary fishermen, who, in my opinion, have first place. The ordinary people who work have first place over and above the Duke of Devonshire or any individual, be he farmer or duke. Those attempts at misrepresentation were things which I was very anxious to deal definitely with.
That is a definite charge—misrepresentation. I made no attempt at misrepresentation. I have stated that Deputy Corry, in supporting the right of an individual farmer over a stretch of river, was compromising the welfare of the net men on the river. That is not a misrepresentation, but a statement of fact.
I regret if I have misrepresented the Deputy. Nothing was further from my mind. As far as that individual farmer is concerned I cannot see how his rights have anything to do with the rights of the fishermen on the river. That individual farmer's rights are at present being used by the landlord, who is also getting the advantage of the annuities which that unfortunate man has to pay for the land over which the river flows. In that individual farmer's case he is paying for five acres of ground which is covered by the bed of that river. The gentleman who is drawing the price of the fishing rights on that river is also drawing the annuities.
Is not the water right worth something?
You know so much about rights that you do not know whether you are right or wrong most of the time. Thank God, you have some director now to take you into the right Lobby. That is the position I wanted to make clear as far as I am concerned.
Is there not a difference between the water right and the fishing right?
I hope within the next few months we will have the assistance of Deputy Broderick in dealing with the Duke of Devonshire. I hope he will not be led into the wrong Lobby by the people who have looked after the rights of the Duke of Devonshire for the last ten years.
Might I ask just this question? Are we to infer from the discussion that the Opposition, not having once mentioned the question of gaming rights, is satisfied that the section is correct so far as gaming rights are concerned, other than fishing rights? If there were time I would raise another point——
There is plenty of time.
It seems to me that the section does not deal at all with a very important matter in connection with those gaming rights. It deals only with those gaming rights on land which has been vested. When the Second Reading of the Bill was taking place I raised a question as to the gaming rights on land where only the grazing rights had been purchased, and where the property still remained in the hands of the old landlord. Apparently the Minister has decided not to deal with that question; at least that would be my reading of the section. To that extent the Act is incomplete—in so far as powers to purchase gaming rights are concerned. I am sorry there is not more time to go into that question because it is a very important one.
I want to put forward another viewpoint which has not been touched upon yet. This matter affects Dublin. I have here in my hand a resolution: "Resolving that we, the fishermen of Ringsend, object to the clause introduced in the Land Bill wherein fishing rights are vested in the Land Commission, and are of opinion that it will have very serious effects on future fishing in the Liffey." There are some Dublin men here, and they have heard of the troubles of the Ringsend fishermen in the past. They have had a very bad season, and I am informed that if the Seanad amendment is not accepted there will be no salmon in the Liffey in two or three years' time; instead of having bad seasons to complain about, they will have no seasons at all.
There is another matter which should not be glossed over, and that is the unemployment which will result. I am reliably informed that close on 5,000 people will lose their employment if this Seanad amendment is not accepted. For the interests of those on the Fianna Fáil Benches who are laughing at this, I had better mention their own district for them. In Wexford, 440 men will have their employment seriously affected, if not taken from them altogether; in Lismore 1,441; in Bandon 315; in Kenmare 124; in Leenane 355; in Bangor 285; in Ballina 208; in Sligo 230; in Ballyshannon 471; in Dundalk, 180; in Ballinakill 86. I would ask representatives of those areas to take into consideration the troubles of those men who will lose their employment.
Let you look after the Dublin ones.
The industry itself will suffer to the extent of probably £250,000 or £300,000 a year. Deputy Corry should not sneer at Dublin. Yesterday we devoted a complete day to the country districts. We talked of land annuities; we talked of farmers' rights; and we talked of the rights of the people in the country. Dublin itself is suffering much more than any part of the country. Deputy Corry, of course, goes from his hotel down to O'Connell Street and sees Dublin at its best. Let him go around the slums of Dublin and see what the poor people are suffering and he will not sneer. In Dublin there are 600 evictions threatening. That is how Dublin stands in regards to its working classes at the moment. I put forward a plea that the Seanad amendment should be accepted, so as to give at least the part of Dublin I am referring to, Ringsend, a chance of life.
I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendments 26, 27 and 28:—
Section 37, sub-section (1) After the word "coast" in line 3 the words "or other" inserted.
Section 37, sub-section (2). After the word "coast" in line 13 the words "or other" inserted.
Section 37, sub-section (6). The words "coastal or other erosion or other similar cause" deleted in lines 28-29 and the following words substituted therefor:—"the permanent or occasional incursion thereon of water, sand or other substance (whether liquid or solid)."
I think that amendment 23 is one which the Minister should at least explain to us.
It has already been thrashed out between Deputy Rice and myself, and was brought in to meet his point.
I move: That the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendments 29, 30 and 31:—
Section 38, sub-section (1). The word "is" deleted in line 35, where it secondly occurs, and the words and figures ‘was on the 9th day of August, 1923" substituted therefor.
Section 47. A new sub-section added at the end of the section as follows:—
(2) In the exercise by the Land Commission of the extended powers conferred by this section due regard shall be had to the reasonable requirements of the occupiers of land in the neighbourhood in respect of turf for consumption as fuel in their own houses and not for sale.
New section. Before Section 49 a new section as follows:—
49.—(1) The following provisions shall apply to and have effect in respect of every tithe rentcharge or variable rent issuing out of a hereditament which is, at the passing of this Act, situate within the county borough of Dublin, that is to say:—
(a) where a tithe rent charge or a variable rent to which these provisions apply has in fact been varied under and in accordance with Sections 2 and 3 of the Tithe Rentcharge (Ireland) Act, 1900, or those sections as applied by Section 90 of the Irish Land Act, 1900, and also under and in accordance with Section 49 of the Land Act, 1931, the said Sections 2 and 3 and the said Section 49 shall apply and be deemed always to have applied to such tithe rentcharge or such variable rent accordingly;
(b) where a tithe rentcharge or a variable rent to which these provisions apply has not been so varied as aforesaid, Section 49 of the Land Act, 1931, shall apply to such tithe rentcharge or such variable rent but with and subject to the following modifications, that is to say,
(i) the 1st day of November, 1933, shall be substituted for the 1st day of November, 1930, wherever it occurs, and
(ii) the 2nd day of November, 1933, shall be substituted for the 2nd day of November, 1930, and
(c) sixty-two per cent shall be substituted for ninety-two per cent.
(2) In this section the expressions "tithe rentcharge" and "variable rent" have the same meanings respectively as they have in Section 49 of the Land Act, 1931.