Do the expressions defined here bear any relation to the Interpretation Act?
Committee on Finance. - Superannuation Bill, 1936—Committee Stage.
Such expressions as "Provisional Government,""The Treaty,""The First Dáil," and so on.
I presume they are taken out of the Interpretation Act.
The Minister presumes?
Then it is clear there was a treaty in 1921?
Is there any Civil Service of the Republic? It does not appear to be mentioned? Is it an omission?
I assume that the Civil Services set out here fully cover all the Civil Services, service in which would entitle a person to reinstatement under this Act. In any event, this Act is based on the Act of 1923, as the Deputy knows, and accordingly it is desirable to follow the skeleton framework then laid down.
Was there a republic?
That is another question.
On Section 7, Sir, Deputy McMenamin put down a couple of amendments.
The first three amendments on the Order Paper are out of order.
I know, Sir, but in connection with Deputy McMenamin's amendment to Section 7, I should like to say that examination has revealed an ambiguity in the drafting of the section as it stands and that, on the Report Stage, I shall bring in an amendment which will be designed to validate all the certificates issued in pursuance of the Superannuation and Pensions Act, 1923.
To validate all the certificates?
Does this section not do it?
No. The draftsman considers there is some ambiguity in it.
Would that enlarge the terms of the Money Resolution?
No. I do not think so.
The Chair may have to consider that.
Surely that is a matter for the Chair.
On Section 8, Sir. The section says:
If the Minister, within two years after the passing of this Act, certifies in writing under his hand that a particular person ceased to be employed in an established position in a Civil Service to which reinstatement under this Act applies...
and so on. What evidence does the Minister visualise a civil servant would require in that case? Under his hand he can get all the particulars of every alleged dismissed civil servant by inquiring in the Departments in which they were serving. I presume that their staff papers are there still and also the record as to how they came to discontinue their service. I hope that that does not vest the Minister with any power to withhold the rights or that portion of the original rights of these civil servants that this Bill intends to give them. I should like to be clear on that point. Is the Minister not going to give any answer?
I do not know the point the Deputy has made. I cannot follow him.
Section 8 (a) says:
If the Minister, within two years after the passing of this Act—
(a) certifies in writing under his hand that a particular person ceased to be employed in an established position in a Civil Service to which reinstatement under this Act applies...
Does that imply that the Minister can withhold that certificate?
If he is not satisfied, yes.
What evidence does he want? I quite agree that the Minister may be confronted with bogus claims and that he will have to investigate them, but, in the case of those who were dismissed for political reasons, that is shown on their staff files. May I take it from the Minister's answer that if that can be definitely proved, the Minister has no power to withhold such certificate?
It may be taken that if it can be definitely proved that a person has ceased to be employed in an established position solely for political reasons, the Minister will not withhold the certificate.
If it is proved?
It may be taken that if it is proved, the Minister will not withhold the certificate.
Can we take it then that a civil servant who can establish such a claim has a right to get that certificate?
If he can prove it to the Minister.
But has he it as a right?
He should have it as a right.
You are only asking has he and clearly he has not. There is a later section which says that every dispute and everything else is to be determined by the Minister.
That is what I object to. It vitiates the whole Bill, in my opinion.
That is why they cannot make out an estimate.
That is why we are sitting here.
Resigning for political reasons is a very flexible term.
I will not go into that because the people I am interested in are of pretty well every political persuasion there is now, and that is saying a mouthful. What I am interested in at the moment is that whatever is being restored to these civil servants, they should have it as a right under this Bill when it becomes an Act. I should like the assurance of the Minister now that, notwithstanding the vague wording of this, the civil servant who can prove that he was dismissed for political reasons will get this certificate as of right, and not at the discretion of the Minister.
I have nothing to add.
I should like to add in answer to the Deputy that if he looks at Section 32 he will find that every doubt, question or dispute arising under this Act shall be decided by the Minister, whose decision thereon shall be final and conclusive. There is no question of a right; it is entirely discretionary.
That is what I object to. I wonder does the Minister understand the Bill or was it just handed to him to put over on this House. Are we ruled by permanent civil servants who were loyal to the British and who are now loyal because of their jobs?
This is not a Civil Service Bill.
If it is not, it is a political Bill.
The same thing is in this. If he does not shout "Up de Valera" he will not get it.
That is a most improper observation. There are many people benefiting by this Bill who did not shout "Up de Valera," and possibly never would.
Was there any inquiry made as to whether the people who are scheduled were ever likely to re-enter the service?
They all applied for reinstatement.
Then it was clear they could not get back?
The Deputy is aware that married people have been employed in the Civil Service, but not recently. Married people were formerly permitted to remain in the Civil Service.
Did they apply for readmission to the Civil Service before this Government took office?
Does that apply to every case?
Not to every case.
How many people applied for readmission to the Civil Service before this Government took office?
Does this arise here or on the Schedule?
Either here or on the Schedule.
I should like to know were all these people established civil servants?
I do not know whether the Deputy is aware that under the old Dáil there was no such thing as established or unestablished.
Were they in pensionable positions?
Some were and some were not. Those who were in the service of Dáil Eireann were not in pensionable positions, in so far as the Dáil passed no Superannuation Act.
I do not think Dáil Eireann is mentioned as a Civil Service in the definitions at the beginning of this Bill.
It is, as a Civil Service of the first Dáil, but not of the republic or anything like that.
Some of them were ex-British civil servants.
Some were, yes.
How many years' service had they?
I cannot say. With one exception they were all serving in Dáil Eireann, in 1920, 1921 or 1922. That is their claim to reinstatement now.
Did the Minister reckon any of their British service for compensation purposes?
These cases were all cases of persons who were equally entitled to reinstatement in accordance with precedents previously set up, and they were all dealt with alike.
The Minister is not going to hedge. Had they ten years' established service?
They would have had, if they had been permitted to serve.
They would have had, if they had been permitted to serve.
I am asking had they?
They are getting approximately the same terms so far as they can be applied to married women as were granted to those who were reinstated in 1923 and those reinstated in 1932. They are given a period of national service more or less equivalent to the years they might have served if they had been permitted to remain in the service.
Is the Minister aware that they must have ten years' service before being entitled to any gratuity?
That is not so; the Deputy is quite wrong about that.
When did it change?
I think the Deputy is completely wrong about that.
You think? Is the Minister sure?
I know that so far as the present condition is concerned, ten years is not the term.
I am not discussing the present position. I am discussing the position 16 years ago, and that is the position the Minister was confronted with when he compiled this Schedule. The Minister ought to know, as a Minister for Finance, that gratuities come after ten years' service.
Again I tell the Deputy he is wrong now, and that even 16 years ago he was wrong.
The Deputy has very good reason to know.
Did the Deputy leave the Service on marriage? He says he has good reason to know.
Very good reason to know. There is a month's pay as a gratuity for every year's service, and it would take 12 years' service to get a full year's pay as a gratuity. Had these people £300 a year? Is it a marriage gratuity the Minister wants to give these people? The Minister, apparently, does not know and is muddled over it.
I will not proceed by way of question and answer. Let Deputy Belton make his speech, if he can make one.
If anything is said which is intelligible I shall deal with it.
I am making a speech. The Minister went to Balbriggan and made a speech, and I went there after him and wiped him out. I do not want to make a speech now.
You will be brought before the Military Tribunal if you are not careful.
I was there before. I think the two-edged sword is cutting both ways. I do not want to reduce this to the level of politics, but if the Minister has a number of people to whom he wants to mete out special treatment, he must do it on some general principle. Why does he select eight out of perhaps a couple of hundred persons? From the names I recognise some of these as people who were attending our meetings in 1922, and whose condition I know of. I do not see why the Minister selects these people to be dealt with in a spasmodic kind of way. Why does he not deal with them on some general principle, and apply that principle all round? He stated that he acted on a declaration made by the then head of the Provisional Government, in February 1923, that there would be no compensation for the period between then and dismissal from the British Civil Service. In effect, the Minister said that he was acting on that principle.
Is the Minister not going to act on that principle, or what principle is he acting on?
The Minister says that he did not say what the Deputy has alleged he said.
The Deputy alleges that the Minister said he was acting on the principle laid down by the head of the Provisional Government in February 1923.
Is the Minister not acting on that principle? I think he does not know what principle he is acting upon and is afraid to say yes or no. If he is acting on that principle, he has broken it in these eight cases. I know some of them personally. There must be some special reason for violating that principle in these cases. It is no answer as the Minister told Deputy Davin, that he was not associated with the movement, to run away at a tangent like that.
I did not shoot anyone, of course.
How many men, who were prominent from 1916 to 1921, have been reinstated in the Civil Service, men who suffered terrible privation during these years and got no compensation for the time they were out? Does the Minister say that the people referred to here have given greater service than eight I could pick out who were subsequently reinstated in the service? If he does, I will take him up on that. Why should not people who contracted debts at that time, and who perhaps have large families and who even with a struggle have not been able to get out of these debts, get compensation? I believe I am right in saying that since the Minister became Minister for Finance an Act was passed in this House directing the Corporation to reinstate certain people who were out in the civil war on the Minister's side, and who lost their positions. They were reinstated, and got their back pay. If that is so, why does it not apply in the case of those who did not fight against their own countrymen, but who fought against the British? Why should they not get compensation for the period they were out? I think the Minister is muddled about the principle he has adopted.
I am in favour of the payment of gratuities or compensation to those, or to any other persons similarly circumstanced, in accordance with whatever conditions they originally entered the public service, but, if what Deputy Belton says is true, that these people are being specially selected out of a larger number, I believe that when Deputy Belton's Government comes into office he will feel justified in bringing in a further Bill to deal with the others that he alleges have been left out.
And I hope we will have the support of the Labour Party led by Deputy Davin.
They will have to wait a long time.
I asked a pertinent question and I hope the Minister will not deliberately avoid answering it. I want to know how many of the eight persons applied for reinstatement in the Service before this Government came into office, and how many did not apply. This is a political Bill. There is no use saying anything else about it.
How many refused to go back?
I am conscious that this is a political Bill, and if the Minister is in a position to deny that, let us have the reasons. Will he say how many people, who are going to get gratuities under the Bill applied for reinstatement in the life-time of the last Government and were refused readmission by that Government for alleged political reasons, and how many applied since this Government came into office?
Will the Minister deny that some of these people would not work under a Free State Government?
Will the Minister answer my question? In fairness I am entitled to an answer.
I am waiting to see how many more speeches will be made on the section.
Because I am entitled to choose my own time to reply to them.
Undoubtedly, but the practice has been to intervene.
The practice has not been to intervene to answer one question and then to sit down and rise again to answer another question.
There were two speakers.
One was difficult to follow.
That is a disadvantage. There have been questions put and they are capable of answer.
They are. On the point made by Deputy Davin, I gather that eight people covered by Section 18 have applied for reinstatement in the Civil Service since 1932.
All of them?
How many others were similarly circumstanced?
No others were similarly circumstanced, that I know of. These are eight ladies who married. They applied for reinstatement.
Were they married when they applied for reinstatement?
Some of them were even when in the Civil Service of Dáil Eireann. Some of them got married since then.
Was it before they married they applied for reinstatement?
They were all married before the 12th April, 1932.
Were any of them reinstated then?
None of them has been reinstated because it is not our practice to reinstate married women, even though some of these persons were married when they were employed in the Service of Dáil Eireann from the time it was established in 1919 until they left that service for political reasons in 1922. Every one of them, having been in the Service of Dáil Eireann, was entitled, in accordance with the principles upon which this Bill is based, to reinstatement, by reason of that fact, in the present Civil Service. It is not out policy, however, to reinstate married women. Accordingly, we have to meet their entitlement to reinstatement in this way, by giving them monetary compensation and saying to them: "We are giving you a lump sum in full discharge of any claims you have for reinstatement." The services which they rendered were of a most diversified kind and were of a highly confidential nature. They rendered these services in circumstances of risk and danger, and I do not think that we can disregard their claim for reinstatement and simply disallow it unless we are prepared to give them something in exchange for it. That is the basis of this gratuity. This gratuity has not been assessed upon how many years service these persons gave. It is based on the fact that they rendered these services during the period when the old Dáil was the functioning authority in this country. It is based on the fact, and also on the fact that they rendered these services in circumstances of difficulty and danger. There has been no weighing of one claim against any other to see which of them was entitled to the greater compensation. It is a case where it was felt that the only equitable way to deal with the varieties of service and the circumstances in which that service was rendered, was to treat every one of these applicants alike. If they had been single they would have been entitled to reinstatement without question. Because there was no barrier in the old Dáil Service regulations to the employment of married women they would still, as married women, be entitled to reinstatement.
Were they not getting salaries?
Salaries under the old Dáil, I am not going to say had no relation, but I will say had little relation, to the duties which its officers discharged. When it was functioning in this country, it was a point of honour with every servant of the old Dáil to take only what was sufficient to meet his ordinary every day needs. It was not given to him as a sort of emolument or remuneration. Many of the people who were in most responsible positions, because their family responsibilities were comparatively light, were able to get along with very much smaller remuneration than other people who were subordinate to them. This question of what a person was paid in the old Dáil Civil Service, as I have pointed out to other people, had very little relation to a person's status or responsibility in the Service. The remuneration was fixed rather in accordance with the needs of the person than in accordance with the responsibility of the post. It was, as I have said, a point of honour that any person who was receiving remuneration from the Dáil funds should accept the lowest possible amount, particularly during the period from 1919 up to the Truce. That is why, in dealing with every one of these people, it was thought that the best way was to treat them alike, to make no exception in the case of any one of them, because they had all equal claims. There is the case of one lady who did apply for reinstatement prior to 1932. I think that, in that one case, reinstatement was at first refused, but, I think, on a second application reinstatement would have been granted. I have reason to know that the lady reconsidered her position at the time, and decided not to re-enter the Civil Service at that time.
Is that one of the eight?
Are you aware that you said in the beginning that the whole of them applied since 1932?
Yes. I made it clear first of all that every one of them applied for reinstatement since 1932. I did not say that none of them had applied up to that.
You evaded that point.
If I evaded the point, why did I come back to it? That is like some of the other wild statements the Deputy makes.
I asked a plain question.
And I have given you a plain answer, and given it in its proper logical sequence. I am not accustomed to the sort of huggermugger in which Deputy Davin indulges. I said, and I repeat it, that all these ladies, having applied for reinstatement since 1932, are, in our view, entitled to reinstatement. That is the principle on which the whole Bill has been drafted, that we were prepared to reinstate any person who applied since 1932 and who could prove that he or she had resigned from the Service of Dáil Eireann, from the British Service or from the Service of Northern Ireland, owing to political reasons, if he or she applied since 1932. Notice to that effect was duly published. Every one of these persons in response to that notice did apply for reinstatement since 1932. In addition one of them, only one, applied for reinstatement prior to 1932. In the case of her first application for reinstatement there was a refusal to reinstate her. In the case of the second application, it was intimated that reinstatement would be granted, but subsequently that lady changed her mind——
And waited for the £300.
——and again applied after 1932. The other point made was why should these people be singled out? The reason they are taken out is because they are the only married ladies who have applied for reinstatement and, out of all the applications, these are the only married ladies who are entitled to reinstatement. If they had been single they would have been reinstated.
What about the married men?
Any married man who applied for reinstatement and who was found to be entitled to reinstatement, was offered reinstatement because there is no barrier against bringing married men into the Service. We are anxious to get them and to get single men also but we are not anxious to have married ladies in the Service. There is a small number of married ladies in the Service who were brought in a long time ago, but there has been no addition to that number recently. No married lady, so far as the present regulations are concerned, can be admitted to the Service. That is the only reason why these eight persons are being treated in this way, simply because they would have been entitled to reinstatement otherwise.
They are entitled to reinstatement although they are married?
They are entitled to reinstatement because there was no barrier to the employment of married women in the Service of the old Dáil.
Will the Minister say what positions are open to women in the Civil Service which they must not vacate on marriage?
There is no position in our present Civil Service that must not be vacated by a woman when she gets married.
Married women must vacate all positions?
Yes, on marriage, but these people joined a service in which there was no such barrier. When some of them were in the British Service, there was no such barrier.
For at least 30 years, that barrier has existed in the British Service.
The Deputy must be aware that there are married women serving in both the British and Irish Civil Services.
I am not aware of any such thing.
And they have been there much more recently than the last 30 years.
I am not aware that such is the fact.
The Deputy does not recognise that there is any flaw in his own omniscience. He thinks he knows everything.
That applies to you, too.
Perhaps it does, yet I have already made several admissions in this House in respect of matters of which I am ignorant, one of them being the pledges and promises to which Deputy Davin referred on the Money Resolution. There are a number of other matters of which I am not aware. I am merely making the case now that there was no barrier to the employment of married women in the old Dáil Civil Service. Even under the British régime, married women were employed in the Civil Service. Therefore, every person who comes within this Schedule, on the ground that she might have continued to be employed if she had not resigned from either the British or the Dáil Civil Service for political reasons, has a certain claim to compensation. We say that, in our view, it is not in the interests of the Service that married women should again be brought into it. But we are not going to deal unjustly with these ladies as compared with other persons. We cannot give them reinstatement and, accordingly, we are giving them the compensation provided for in this Schedule.
The Minister said that this compensation was being given to these eight ladies in lieu of their claim to reinstatement. I ask him to mention one post in the Civil Service from 1932 to date that could be occupied by a married woman. I know the positions some of these ladies held in the British Service and I know that it was a condition of their employment that they should vacate these positions on marriage. I must not be taken as opposing the little bit of compensation being given these people. I think they are entitled to it. They have earned it and I should be glad to see them given greater compensation. By the work they did for the country, they have earned this compensation. But the line the Minister has taken in supporting the case of these ladies is not the true one. He tells the House that compensation is being given in lieu of their claim on the Government for reinstatement. In fact, they have no claim to reinstatement because they are married women. That cuts them out. He has not told us why he has singled out eight victimised civil servants for compensation and left out a couple of hundred. The reason he has given for granting compensation is not the true reason because these ladies have no claim to reinstatement. The Minister should say "We are giving these people compensation because of the national service they rendered in a time of emergency." He should not camouflage the issue. That is the reason why they should get compensation—because of the service they have given. To proceed in the way the Minister is doing is to show partisanship. In the division on the Treaty, I know what side these eight ladies took. Women who gave equally good service and who took the side of the Treaty are not included in this Schedule, although they were victimised too. Why are they not included? This is a political measure and I do not know whether or not it is worth voting for.
I should like to put one or two points to the Minister. Does the Minister propose to carry this principle further into the Bill than Section 18? He tells us that the principle on which he worked is that these people, being married women, cannot be brought into established positions in the present Civil Service and that when they entered the previous Service there was no bar against marriage.
That is not true.
That is the statement, at all events. There is an attempt to continue service as between the first Dáil down to the present day. All the people who entered the Service of the first Dáil, equally with these eight persons, entered in the absence of any precluding rule regarding marriage. Did they carry that right with them into the present Civil Service? Is it not true that any woman who came into the Civil Service when there was no such prohibition against marriage, now being in the Civil Service, will be removed if she gets married? The principle is, therefore, not going to be carried comprehensively into the Civil Service.
To that very illogical position the Minister has added two very serious misstatements. He was asked how the standard of £300 was arrived at. If any formula was used at all, it must have been based upon years of service with. perhaps, some computation of what these people might have been entitled to if they had remained in the Civil Service over a particular period. The Minister was questioned about that by Deputy Davin, who asked some questions as to salaries in the Service of the first Dáil. The Minister made the astounding statement that, in the case of service in the first Dáil, pay had no relation to the service rendered.
I did not say "no relation."
The Deputy is becoming more accurate.
The Minister did say that the principle on which they worked was that people only took what their means entitled them to take. That is an outrageous falsehood. That is the best way I can describe it.
The Deputy knows nothing about it.
I have one of the highest sources of information beside me.
Does Deputy Cosgrave say that?
Let him get up and make the statement.
Deputy Cosgrave knew something about Civil Service activities under the first Dáil, while the Minister knew nothing.
I knew a little about them.
More than Deputy McGilligan.
I am giving the source of my information, which is always a good thing to do.
The Minister has forgotten what he knew.
It is absurd to say that the pay in the first Dáil was related to the means of the people who were earning that pay, or that there was any point of honour about people not taking any more than they thought was necessary to support themselves. There was nothing at all like that. The Minister also told us about those eight names—that they occupied posts of responsibility and danger.
I did not say responsibility. I said posts of danger.
Very well, "danger" is the word I want to fasten on. Will the Minister tell us what were the branches? He said it was with regard to the whole eight. I think it is a misstatement, to put it very mildly on the part of the Minister. A most glorious example of camouflage came out in his speech in regard to this section. He said these people had applied since the present Government came in. He said that in answer to a question which sought information as to whether any of these people had applied prior to that time. The Minister did say in that context that they had all applied since the present Government came in. In the context that meant that they had not applied earlier.
Not at all.
Then it emerged that one person had applied, one of those eight who is now going to be given £300. She applied because she was entitled to reinstatement but was precluded by marriage from continuing in the service. But she had applied and it had been intimated to her that she could be reinstated, but she thought better of it and decided to wait for the £300. That is a shocking state of affairs. The principle goes by the board. The principle is not running through the Bill, the principle of people who went into the service where there was no marriage bar. That has only been brought out by the Minister because he does not want to admit what Deputy Belton has said more crudely, that this is purely a political Bill. If we are going to vote £300 let us consider that. A lot of people would vote for that in order to get rid of the whole business, but we ought to know why the £300 is fixed on. It must be an amazing formula or principle which enables eight people with divers work and in divers occupations to get that same sum of £300. Was there any formula or any principle in that at all? Was there any reason for giving one of them any greater pay than the others because of more danger or because of longer services or more responsibility? Where they were allowed to go back one of them thought better of it; it would be better to take the £300. Deputy Belton raised the question of a married man. Let us suppose some married man applies to go back. He is bluffing, his bluff is called and a post is made for him. Will he go back and take the post or will he be given the £300? Not likely. If the man's bluff was called he would not get the £300.
Deputy McGilligan has explained to my satisfaction what I, when speaking previously, meant in the general statement to which the Minister has taken exception. When I was referring to this question of pensions, etc., I was referring to the repeated Acts or Bills of a similar kind passed in this House. I said that the time had arrived when the thing should be put on a fair basis and finished with once and for all. Deputy McGilligan has confirmed what has been my suspicion, namely, that there is some thimble-rigging going on as to how one is to obtain a pension on the basis discussed here to-day. I made a general statement at the time that all this thing should be finished and wound up. I think I never suggested that there were not brave men in the country who are not entitled to decent pensions. I never made such a suggestion, but I have complained that the thing has grown to an abuse and that different types of new claimants for pensions are coming along. The Minister for Finance turned the whole matter into personal abuse of myself.
I did not talk of hawking patriotism around the Dáil.
It seems to me that there is nothing but hawking patriotism around the Dáil. The Minister should get up and give the House here a fair explanation of this measure. Instead of that he singles out Deputy Davin and myself and says that it was due to them that "we are sitting in this House." I would like to inform the Minister that my opinion is that were it not because of what some people—Deputies of this House—fought for, we would be sitting here to-day in a House of Parliament for all Ireland and not in a Parliament for the Twenty-Six Counties. I would wish to remind the Minister that my association and the association of my family with the Irish cause and with the Irish Parliamentary Party will bear comparison with what he and his family can show.
My accuracy has been challenged with regard to the statement I made that the old Dáil had more regard to family responsibility than to any other consideration. That is more or less what I said. Deputy Cosgrave has been given as an authority upon which that statement is challenged. I am sure Deputy Cosgrave recollects as well as I do the day upon which the Cabinet of the Republic came to Dáil Eireann with proposals for the remuneration of the members of that Cabinet. The Deputy can recollect as well as I do the discussion which took place on the occasion. He can recollect how Arthur Griffith himself unwillingly accepted the sum fixed for him; he wished to have it reduced on the grounds that it was more than sufficient for his needs. The Deputy will recollect that Cathal Brugha refused to take any remuneration even though he was Minister for Defence. He refused on the ground that his other resources would enable him to do without any remuneration.
Others members of the Cabinet took the same course. When that was the principle which they laid down for themselves, we might be perfectly well satisfied that every other person who served them in the movement and who were comrades of theirs in that movement was anxious to follow their example in regard to the service given to the movement. We may be perfectly well satisfied that every person connected with the movement would do the same thing no matter whether they were high in the Hierarchy or were lower in grade. That is my authority for the statement I made and I am certain that if the records of the old Dáil were available, they would be found to bear that out.
The question on which I challenged the Minister was in connection with these eight girls, and that bore no relation to the members of the Cabinet. It is an outrageous misstatement to imply that they did.
Deputy McGilligan is a good judge of outrageous misstatements.
That is very good, coming from the Minister.
The Minister can find records in the Department and compare the salaries paid to these officials with what was paid to them when they came into the service of the Provisional Government and the present Government. He can see whether or not there is a difference between them. It is not a very considerable difference. The Minister spoke about the Cabinet of the republic. It was the Cabinet of Dáil Eireann and not the Cabinet of the republic to which the Minister was referring. I have some notepaper in my office and there was never a reference to the Cabinet of the republic on that notepaper.
For some reason or other the Deputy objects to mentioning the Cabinet of the republic. In this matter of salaries, I must say that the Deputy was as unselfish as any other member of the Cabinet.
I am dealing with facts when I speak of the Cabinet of Dáil Eireann. I mentioned the note-heading used in my Department and I am saying that that notepaper bore the heading "Dáil Eireann, Department of Local Government." There was no mention of the Cabinet of the republic on that notepaper.
If it were the Cabinet of the republic every service under it would be the service of the republic. That has never been mentioned in this Bill or in this House.
I understand that the amendment in my name to this section has been ruled out of order. Of course, I accept that ruling, but perhaps I would have an opportunity on this section of representing to this House, and to the Minister in particular, the views that caused that amendment to be tabled. This Bill affords recognition to service with the old Congested Districts Board, and I put down the amendment to draw attention to, and if possible to cover, the case of a few persons who had such service but who had left the Civil Service before any such recognition was afforded. From a financial point of view the proposal is not a very far-reaching one; in fact, it is a very modest one, and does not cover many cases, and I commend it to the Minister's most favourable and sympathetic consideration.
Do I understand the Deputy to say that some of these persons have left the Service?
In one notable case that I know of, the person's health completely broke down, and, with very small service, he had to accept a very small gratuity. I am anxious to give the Minister, with particular reference to this case, and probably a few others, power to review cases of that kind and to remove a very serious hardship.
The Deputy's amendment has caused us to look into this matter further, and I am prepared to accept the principle of the amendment, which is, that an award already made may be varied or adjusted in favour of an individual to whom a reward has been made, on the basis of the new position under the section. I shall bring in an amendment to that effect.
That is all I ask.
I had intended to raise a point which might be ruled out of order, but this section will give me an opportunity of getting it in by a side wind. The Minister mentioned that in Section 4 there is a reference to a certain date. There is one person in the service of the Local Government Department who was appointed at a date previous to the Truce. The Truce had no reference whatever to the appointment, but that official was unable to take up duty until after the Truce. Will the Minister say whether the appointment is likely to date from the date of the making of the appointment, or the date of taking up duty? I think that is the only case in which such a thing occurred. Everything in connection with the proceeding was regular. It was on the recommendation of one of the members of the former Dáil Cabinet that the person was taken on in the Department, and it would be unfortunate that, by reason of circumstances which had nothing whatever to do with the date of the Truce, the person should be precluded from any advantage which would accrue to him otherwise.
According to the principle on which the Bill is based, if the person were prevented from taking up duty, owing to circumstances not within his own control, he would be entitled to pre-Truce service, that is, to establishment now.
I am afraid that is not the case I refer to.
If the Deputy will give me the facts of the case, I am prepared to consider it to see if I can meet it.
The object of the section is to make certain retrospective provision in the case of persons who retire or who have retired, or who die or have died, whilst in the service of Saorstát Eireann from 15th October, 1932, and to that extent it is clear what the purpose of the section is. But I should like to know from the Minister whether the effect of the section is to restore, for all superannuation purposes, and for grants made under the Superannuation Acts, the position as if there had been no interruption in the service during the period in 1922. The case I have in mind is that under the ordinary Superannuation Acts a female civil servant, who retires on marriage, is granted a gratuity based upon certain established service. A couple of cases probably have occurred where, as a result of the exclusion of the 19 days period, which is now restored in this section, the effect is to lose a year's reckonable service for the purpose of a gratuity. Can I take it that this section would normally restore the service for that purpose as well?
There is a difficulty there, because marriage gratuities are not covered by the Superannuation Acts at all. However, if the Deputy will send me the particulars of the case he has in mind, I shall look into the matter and see what I can do.
I take it the Minister accepts the position, in endeavouring to wipe a sponge over this matter, that in this particular instance he will endeavour to treat the person in the same way as that person would have been treated if there had been no interruption of that nature?
With the proviso that the Deputy will notice that this benefit here is made retrospective to 15th October, 1932, and I would prefer not to go beyond that. If the Deputy will send me particulars of the case, I shall try and meet it.
I move amendment No. 4:—
In sub-section (1), page 18, line 4, after the word "liability" to insert the words "or, in the case of persons partly employed as hereinafter mentioned, the due proportion of the liability."
This is a drafting amendment. Section 30 is directed to giving effect to an undertaking given to the Public Accounts Committee in 1931 that provision would be made for charging against the funds of the Post Office Savings Bank, as part of the expenses of administering the savings bank, the pensions liabilities accruing from day to day in respect of civil servants employed on savings bank work. The question has been raised since the section was drafted that as it stands it might be construed as authorising, if not actually requiring, a charge to be raised against the bank for the entire pension liability accruing in respect of a person employed only partly on savings bank work. Now, it is not, of course, the intention, nor has it been the practice in the past, to charge more in the case of such persons than the amount of the pension appropriate to the time spent on savings bank work. It has been agreed that the section, as drafted, is somewhat ambiguous, and that possibly there is room for the interpretation which I have indicated. Accordingly, this amendment has been drafted which makes it clear that it is only the due proportion attributable to savings bank work of pension liabilty that can be recovered from the funds of the bank.