I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. The original Act which we seek to continue by this Bill was passed as a result of what was known as the Erne decision of the Supreme Court. I am sure every Deputy remembers what that decision was, that the Erne was declared to be a public fishery and that other rivers would be governed by the same decision. At that time it was considered that it might not be advisable, from the point of view of the fisheries, that a free right of public fishing should be allowed on the River Erne, as it was considered to be a very prolific river, and it was feared there would be a fair amount of damage done if indiscriminate fishing was allowed. An Act was brought in in 1934 to regulate public fishing on the River Erne and other rivers concerned in the same decision. That Act was to continue for 12 months. It was brought in hastily, and there was admittedly very little time for the consideration of the problem. At the end of the 12 months it was renewed for two years. I hoped at that time that what was referred to as the major Inland Fisheries Bill might be brought in. That is manifestly impossible now, and even if the major Bill were ready it could not possibly pass through all stages before December 31st. Therefore, the renewal of this Bill is necessary. The major Fisheries Bill is advanced, and, as a matter of fact, is now with the Parliamentary draftsman. I hope it will emerge in the very near future.
In this Bill we are asking for an extension of two years. The question of the estuarine fisheries will, of course, be dealt with in the major Bill in a comprehensive way. When it comes before the House, Deputies will have the opportunity of giving their views as to the best way of dealing with those fisheries. In the meantime, I am asking the Dáil to extend the present arrangement: that is, to give me authority, which I got under the 1934 Act and extended under the 1935 Act, to issue special licences for fishing in the River Erne and in the other rivers affected, and to charge special licences for the fishing there. I am, however, asking the Dáil to agree to an amendment of that principle in this Bill. The amendment is to the effect that fishermen be allowed to pay their licence fees by instalments. The licence fees are fairly high in the River Erne. A fisherman owning a boat, with, say, three companions, finds it difficult at the beginning of the season to put down the full licence fee. I am asking the Dáil to agree that I should be enabled to take the licence fee in instalments, divided into not more than four instalments. If that is agreed to, a man will be asked to put down only 25 per cent. of the licence fee before the fishing commences. He may be expected, in the ordinary way, to have some receipts to meet the other instalments as they become due. That is all that is provided for in this Bill as it stands at the moment. I am, therefore, asking the Dáil to continue the present arrangement until the major Inland Fisheries Bill is introduced, which I hope will be in the very near future.