Committee on Finance. - Referendum Bill, 1941—Money Resolution.

I move:—

That it is expedient to authorise such charges on the Central Fund or the growing produce thereof and such payments out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas as are necessary to give effect to any Act of the present session to make provision for the taking of a referendum and for the trial by the High Court of questions arising in respect of the taking of a referendum and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the matters aforesaid.

Perhaps the Minister could give us some indication as to what he thinks the cost, at present rates of money values—I am not asking him to indulge in any speculations as to any changes in money values—of a referendum would be, firstly, when it does not coincide with a general election, and, secondly, the separate cost when it does coincide with a general election?

I am afraid it would be very difficult for me to say what the separate cost would be when a referendum coincides with a general election. The Deputy will understand that the greater portion of the costs would be ascribable to the general election in the case where the two would coincide, and of course, in any case, a lot would depend upon the number of proposals which might be submitted to the electorate by means of the referendum. Perhaps the best thing would be to say what we think the charge might be if a referendum were to be taken upon a day other than the day upon which a general election was being held. In that case we might assume that the cost would be very similar to the cost of a general election, and that would be between £40,000 and £45,000.

Money Resolution agreed to and reported.