Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 24 Jul 1962

Vol. 196 No. 17

Local Government (Sanitary Services) Bill, 1962—Committee Stage (Resumed).


I move amendment No. 6:

Before Section 8 to insert a new section as follows:

"Where a sanitary authority propose to provide a public sewerage system, they shall make provision for junctions in the system by which existing dwellings may be connected to the system."

I do not regard the amendment as necessary and therefore I am not prepared to accept it. My reason is that administratively this is a matter of which we have taken note in the Department where contracts are coming up for approval. We shall continue to do that in the future. As I have said, it is a matter to be dealt with in an administrative rather than a statutory way. The House can be quite satisfied that we will in all reasonable cases deal with the problem effectively administratively and that what is intended in the amendment will be effected administratively rather than by making it a statutory provision in the Bill.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 7:

In subsection (4), line 24, to delete "District Court" and substitute "Minister".

At the risk of being misinterpreted in this matter, as it refers to the courts, I should like to say I cannot agree with the amendment. I believe one of the essential things one should endeavour to maintain is an appeal from the administration to a court because it is the existence of such an appeal that very often makes an administration more wary about treading on the corns of individuals.

That may be all right for Deputy Sweetman, but we all know court proceedings can be rather costly and possibly the difficulties involved here could be resolved just as well by the Minister and his advisers. We assume that the people in the Department dealing with such questions on appeal are men of integrity, as well qualified as any judge or justice to deal with such matters. It is only fair that the House should assume that they will be impartial. I do not think it advisable that this House should throw too many matters over to the courts. One can imagine a situation arising where an appeal would start in the district court and one of the parties would be dissatisfied. There would be an appeal to the circuit court and eventually the case would wind up in the High Court and, perhaps, in the Supreme Court.

It cannot go beyond the district court.

This House has passed sufficient legislation in the years of its existence to be able to meet the needs of the people in a simple matter of this kind. We should bear in mind the desirability of resolving these things without involving people in the expense of having recourse to the courts.

Can the person concerned not have a crack at the Minister first and then go to the court as the final arbiter?

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted, and 20 Members being present,

There is a lot to be said for both sides of the argument here. Neither side at any stage could be said to be entirely wrong but there is this to be said about the situation: this section involves procedure which is somewhat new. The section makes provision for a fine and it is because of that that we suggest there should be an appeal to the district court. Should we find at any future time that our experience in operating the matter through the courts is not a success, we could quite readily at any time amend the situation and revert to an appeal to the Minister. I should say that at the moment the district court plays some part in our sanitary services and in their administration. Again, we have in Section 7 of the Fire Brigades Act of 1940 a procedure similar to what is proposed in this section and our experience of the operation of that provision in the 1940 Act suggested to us that we should adopt a similar procedure here. As I said earlier, it should not be difficult to amend this later, if our experience suggests that is desirable.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendments Nos. 8 and 9 not moved.
Question proposed: "That Section 8 stand part of the Bill."

All of us who from time to time, have been members of local authorities have met the difficulties for local authorities which this amendment is designed to remedy. I can think of many cases where local authorities have installed piped water and sewerage schemes at considerable expense and those by whose door the scheme ran had not connected with it. The danger there may be to health, quite apart from the cost in which the local authority is involved, is a matter that cannot be indefinitely ignored. Hence the principle that is behind this section is one I am personally prepared to support but I want to be quite sure that in its application the section does not involve hardship.

I visualise considerable difficulty in certain cases where the owner of the premises might genuinely want to connect but has not the funds to do so. I think these should be provided in some shape or other; that if it is an appeal from the sanitary authority's order to the district court, the district justice can take into account whether the owner of the premises has the financial facilities available. I do not mean whether he has the money himself to do it but whether the money is being provided by way of grant or loan by the sanitary or local authority. If the sanitary authority is not prepared to meet the cost by way of grant and loan, it seems that great hardship could be brought upon an owner of property of modest means who has not funds to do the work required.

I can see that it would be difficult to provide in the section itself that the sanitary authority must always make the funds available and it therefore seems that the appropriate way of doing it would be to provide that it is one of the factors that could be taken into account before contravention, as visualised in subsection (10) of this section, visits penalties upon the owners of property. I do not think, as the section is drafted here, in subsection (10) or indeed otherwise in pursuance of a notice under subsection (2), it would be any defence for an owner to say: "I should like to do this work but I have no funds and if the sanitary authority will make available to me on loan, on normal terms, the difference in cost between the actual cost of executing the work and the grants available, then I shall do it, but if those facilities are not made available to me, no matter how much I want to do it, I just cannot." There would be many cases of that type of people of very modest means, owning little houses, people who may be involved in pretty expensive work under this section.

It is desirable for the general good and for the sake of public health that these people should connect to the public scheme, whether water or sewerage, but it is equally desirable that we should endeavour to provide here that there will not be any injustice by allegedly forcing them to do it, without at the same time giving them financial means to do the work which we are requiring in the section.

This section applies to people whose premises are within 100 feet of the main water system. That being so, I do not think they qualify for a grant at all. I am a member of a local authority and, as far as I remember, only those whose premises are situate at least 100 feet from a main water system are entitled to a grant.

I thought it was 30 feet. Perhaps the Minister could enlighten us on that point in a preliminary way. Is it 30 or 100 feet for a grant?

The 100 feet qualification is not quite relevant. That arises under the Housing Acts, as we have known them and, as the House is now aware, we are for the first time segregating the payment of water and sewerage grants from the housing code. Within the framework of this Bill, there is no statutory provision which would prevent payment of grants to an owner within 100 feet or it might be administratively arranged that if the connection, whether to water or sewerage, were to exceed a certain cost, we might make that figure the bar.

Was there not such mention of 30 feet?

Certainly not in the context of this Bill. Generally speaking, as it is being discussed here, it is only cases of hardship about which we are very concerned or should have any cause to be concerned in regard to the provision that people shall make connections to these public services. In those cases, it is a question of the individual house or property-owner not being in a position to pay anything towards the cost of a connection, whether water or sewerage. The local authority, as well as the Department, will be in a position to contribute towards the cost of any such enforced connection or, indeed, if circumstances warrant, they may meet the full cost of the connection.

The dangers that have been mentioned here of hardship arising in cases where even an appeal to the courts would not relieve the person concerned do not really exist. There is ample power available to both the Department and the local authority to contribute all or part—certainly the local authority can contribute all of the cost—of any of these connections, even though it is an enforced connection, even though it may be subsequent to an order of the court made on appeal. There is no real danger of hardship arising from the court saying: "You must do it" when the person clearly and obviously cannot do it through lack of funds. Such hardships need not and should not arise. I feel they will not arise and that local authorities will use their powers and discretion to ensure that a hardship case will be met adequately.

If that was the fact under the section, that the court was bound to take that hardship into consideration, then I should not have any difference of opinion with the Minister. I agree that it is only in extreme hardship cases I am interested but in Section 6, paragraph (b), the court has power to confirm the notice, subject to such modifications, alterations, or additions as the court thinks reasonable. I read that clause as referring to the physical alterations in a connection or the physical determination as to where a connection is to take place and so forth. If that clause could take into account also the court considering whether there was any hardship on the individual concerned, then the Minister would have met the point I have raised without question.

All I am worried about is that the individual who has not got the money to do this will have the opportunity of making the case on appeal to the court that he would like to do the work but has not the funds to do it, and that the court will have the right to say "OK; we think this connection should be made in the interests of public health, but the appellant has satisfied us it would be a hardship to make him do it because he has not got the funds. Therefore, we will make the order for the connection, subject to the sanitary authority either doing the work themselves or making the funds available to do it." As long as the individual is able to make that case — he cannot make it, as I see it, under the section as it stands—then the element of hardship can be avoided.

I made a case earlier pointing out that local authorities have in the past prosecuted site-owners because they did not make sanitary connections. Fearing the effect of prosecutions, site-owners have actually removed the owners of temporary dwellings from their lands. Am I in order in referring to site-owners who are likely to be prosecuted by local authorities but who may not have the means to make sewerage connections? The Minister was to consider that point.

The position is not one on which I could generalise. The Deputy knows that no two cases of this kind are the same. Neither would the same circumstances apply in the case of occupants of sites, whether they be owners or tenant occupiers, individual tenants or groups. What I said at an earlier stage was that I felt that within the framework of the Bill, there was ample scope for local authorities and such people to arrange a workable scheme, taking into account the ability of these people to meet the cost of the connection and the accessibility of the main, whether it be a sewer or water main. It would be very difficult to cover statutorily all the cases that would arise throughout the country, but, as I say, the Bill gives sanitary authorities and such people sufficient scope to come together and work out an arrangement as to how connections, particularly those in the public interest, can best be made without putting an undue burden on the person being obliged to connect.

There are owners of bungalows who also own their sites. There are dozens of them in Portmarnock within 20 or 30 yards of the main road. They have a stake there. Will they get grants to put in sewerage or water connections or will they be left without? Is there anything in the Bill to help them?

In the ordinary way— I am assuming no enforcement is necessary—the people owning these bungalows can apply to the Department and, subject to the general conditions applying to everybody, they can get a grant. If it is a question that the local authority, say, in Portmarnock, decide that these people must connect and are taking steps to enforce, the sanitary authority must first bring the mains to within 100 feet distance of where they wish the connections to be made. There is in this Bill that provision of grants being available for all and sundry in ordinary cases, but if there is to be enforcement under Section 8, the sanitary authority has an obligation. They cannot say to somebody: "You must connect; if not, we will have the law on you." They first have to bring the water main or sewer within 100 feet of the house.

If at that stage the person being prosecuted can show it would be unreasonable to ask him make the connection out of his own resources, he cannot be forced to do so. In that case, the sanitary authority have power under Section 9 to make the connection at the expense of the sanitary authority, either in whole or in part. While the operation of water or sewerage grants has been limited to connection within 100 feet of a house, that is not contained in the Bill and is not, in fact, a statutory obligation. It may well be that, when we come to make the regulations under this Bill for the administration of the grants, we may decide that in certain circumstances in future, the 100 feet will not be the yardstick but we may say that, if it costs more than £10, we will contribute by way of grant and that the local authority may contribute a similar amount or even more, as they are entitled to do under subsections 1 (a) and 1 (b) of Section (9).

Section 9 is an optional section?


Even where there is no compulsion by the local authority, if owners of bungalows want to get in sewerage connections, they can be assisted?

That is correct.

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted and 20 Members being present,

The Minister has informed me that a local authority can contribute in whole or in part to the installation of a water or a sewerage scheme to a house that is more than 100 feet from the main. I think before an order is made forcing people to take the matter to the court, a local authority should be satisfied that the persons whom they are compelling to instal water or sewerage are not in a position to do the job themselves. I have in mind the case of a very elderly woman in my village who is not in a position to instal water or sewerage and, if she had to go into court, it would cost her more to assert her position that she was unable to do the job herself. The local authority should satisfy itself that the individual is not in a financial position to do the job and then the local authority could do it themselves. It would be a different matter if the local authority were satisfied that the person concerned was able to do the job.

I should like to support the point made by Deputy Brennan. I think that is the way the matter should be administered. It is difficult to see how one can do it but, even if the Minister finds difficulty in writing something into the Bill, the point made by Deputy Brennan should certainly be written into the Bill in relation to subsection (6) clause (b). It could be put in there by a very simple amendment that of the modifications, alterations and renewals, the sanitary authority should meet such part of the cost as the court might think reasonable. I agree with Deputy Brennan that it would be better to do it before you go to the court if that could be done but if you cannot do that you must not put a penalty on a person who is so lacking in means that he has not the funds to do the work.

All of us in our own villages know of such cases where there would be people who would not have the funds to employ a contractor or a workman or to purchase the goods necessary. We must ensure when dealing with what is necessary as a general principle that we do not do it in such a way as to cause unnecessary individual hardship.

In this matter, the House will appreciate that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to write in every little safeguard we can think of. What I would direct the minds of the House to is that we are now discussing difficulties which may arise or be brought about by the action of various sanitary authorities who are, by and large, the various local councils whose ambition and hope it is to have as many connections as is possible within their financial limits.

The provision of safeguards to protect people against what is rightfully put into the section to ensure that this, that and the other thing will be done and, at the same time, to ensure that there will be no chance of hardship being inflicted on anybody is impossible. The danger of any of these hardship cases arising through the decision of a district justice or the action of a local authority without having regard to the financial circumstances of a person is not very great.

I think that under the section as it stands the district justice has no right to concern himself with the hardship that might be involved. If he had I would not argue so forcibly with the Minister.

While not disputing the general assertions of Deputy Sweetman that the section deals with the physical possibilities rather than the financial position of the particular appellant, nevertheless, I think it is true that the financial circumstances of the appellant will enter into it and be a factor in the mind of any district justice who may be hearing the cases.

Would the Minister meet me to the extent of putting in the Bill on the next Stage that the district justice will have a discretion in such cases? As the Bill stands at present, if a district justice was anxious to consider the financial circumstances of a person he is not allowed to do it and I do not think that is the Minister's intention.

Section 9 is there and can only be there for one purpose and design and that is to help one type of person, the type which we are desirous of saving from undue hardship under Section 8. That section would help to relieve distress that might be caused under Section 8 and it enables the local authority to make the connection in full at the full cost, or at part of the cost, or to subscribe to the cost if the person is not in the financial position to help out himself.

Another point about it is that we are inclined to regard the present situation as one that will apply in future as regards grants from the Department and supplementary grants from the local authorities in relation to making connections beyond one hundred feet from the main. We are in no way bound by any of the terms of this Bill to any such limit of 100 feet. It could well be that exceptional measures could be made available to recipients of old age pensions, widows' pensions, home assistance or unemployment assistance who are sought to make connections which obviously they could not pay for. It can well be, and it is possible within the framework of the Bill, that, by administrative regulation, they can regard such people as being exempt from the 100 feet limit and the grants can be paid in such cases.

In addition to our grants, in the ordinary course of events, supplementary grants should likewise be paid by the local authority, leaving a residue of a very small amount which, again, the local authority could themselves actually contribute, if the case were one of a sufficient degree of distress. As I say, we will normally find ourselves with practically no leeway whatsoever to make up in even the most financially embarrassed case one could possibly imagine. With that latitude given by the House to the Minister for Local Government and to the local authority in relation to the operation, implementation and, if you like, manipulation of the grant provisions, the dangers that might arise in the ordinary course through the operation of Section 8 are so remote and so capable of control that they need cause no concern whatsoever. These people will be safeguarded in the future operations of this Bill.

I should put it to the House that we have a wide enough and sufficiently flexible power as between Local Government and the local authorities to take on any and every case that may arise under the most unusual circumstances. To try now to improve on that situation might, in fact, throw up other difficulties that we have not yet foreseen, difficulties which we would only see when the change had been made. I, as Minister, am anxious to see this work done with the greatest possible expedition. I personally am satisfied that we have in this Bill a framework within which none of the difficulties mentioned need, in fact, cause any hardship to the occupant of any premises in any part of the country.

I take it the regulations that will be made now will operate, as does Section 2, retrospectively to work commenced after 1st April last and it is not, therefore, necessary for anybody to stop the commencement work to see whether or not he will be entitled to a grant?

I would not like to give an unqualified "yes" to that. I cannot offhand see anyone who would, under regulations in the past, have qualified for a grant being disqualified under any of the provisions of this Bill. I cannot see any worsening of the position. From the point of view of the applicants, it is an improvement.

Do I take it then that the people in the category mentioned by the Minister—old age pensioners, widows and so on—will be considered by the State for a grant for the installation of water, prior to the local authority taking any action at all? The local authority would prefer to give a supplementary grant. Up to now, the position has been that the people living within 100 feet of a water supply would not be considered at all. Do I take it that they will now be considered under this Bill?

As I said, I instanced the methods by which it would be possible to meet some of the difficulties Deputies foresee arising. I have not said absolutely that this is what I will do. It is a method, or methods, whereby we can meet a great many of the difficulties outlined. The regulations we will issue to the public and to local authorities will ensure that the position will no longer be dependent upon the verdict of the court. It will not be subsequent to a court decision, and subsequent only to it. Whatever benefit we can give will be available immediately. There will be no such thing as need for an enforcement order.

Question put and agreed to.

Subject to the fact that I shall put down an amendment to cover the point on Report Stage.

Section 9 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 10 stand part of the Bill".

I am a little worried about the very sweeping powers that are being taken in this section from the point of view of their possible effect on industrial employment. While we are all agreed that it is desirable to control pollution of the atmosphere, and prevent pollution as far as we possibly can it is a matter upon which there are bound to be in almost every case two divergent views. It will always be a matter of degree and, when things reach the stage of being a matter of degree, the point at which it is desirable to take action is always a matter of opinion. I rather feel that the power of the Minister to make regulations in vacuo, and that is the power given here, is a power which will possibly have such wide repercussions that we ought to consider it a little more carefully.

In normal practice, there are, of course, two types of regulation. First, there is the type of regulation we have under the Restrictive Trade Practices Act whereby the Minister for Industry and Commerce makes a regulation—it is called an order, but really it is a regulation—and then comes and asks this House for a positive motion of approval. The other type is the regulation which is made and power is given to veto it within the next 21 days after the House sits. In relation to these matters, which will be, must inevitably be, matters of pure opinion, I feel it is undesirable for the Minister to have the sweeping powers conferred by this section.

Nobody knows better than the Minister that, when I want to be political in a Party sense, I am well able to be so; in this case I do not mean the "Minister" in any Party sense; I am referring to the Minister in charge of the Department of Local Government. He is bound, so to speak, to be on the side of regulation. We might be wise in this, therefore, to follow the practice in the Restrictive Trade Practices Act rather than the practices laid down here, certainly in relation to the main regulations made. This is entirely new ground and we should have some form of positive motion of approval brought before the House. I am not clear exactly what type of regulation the Minister has in mind. It seems to me very difficult to determine in an absolute way the degree of pollution that will constitute an offence. When we are starting off on an entirely new uncharted sea so far as regulation or legislation is concerned, it behoves us to consider very carefully where it could take us.

I could visualise here under this a whole factory having to close its door, the people employed in it being disemployed, all arising because of a genuine misunderstanding and mistake as to the effect of a regulation made in relation to any industry.

It would be desirable to provide some form of consultation. I cannot see how we can provide a form of statutory consultation. It seems to me, therefore, that the only way we can do it is to provide, as we do provide in the Restrictive Trade Practices Act, the publicity that is involved by the Minister giving notice of his intention to come to the Dáil to ask for a motion of approval. Once a Minister gives that public notice that he will ask the Dáil for specific approval, then the matters under discussion are brought in a very special way to the notice of persons who may likely be affected. Without that publicity, I cannot see how one can avoid the possibility of considerable damage and disturbance to industrial employment.

After all, this is not a case in which the Minister can know of all the ways in which his regulation will affect individual industries. It is impossible for him to know. It is only the people who are in the individual industries who would appreciate what was involved in the regulation. The Minister cannot get in touch with him, following publication by him of the appropriate draft regulation he intends to make.

I appreciate that no Minister likes to bow to the view that it is necessary for him to come in here and seek time and a positive motion of approval, but in the line of country we are travelling in this section—this desirable section, let me say—we should, at least until we have fixed the pattern, make it the position that the House will have an opportunity of expressing a view before individual industrial employment could be affected, as otherwise it may seriously be affected without the Minister having the fainest idea in making the order that he was so affecting such employment.

Deputy Sweetman has very rightly based quite an amount of his argument on the consequences of an order made by the Minister for Local Government without having sufficient knowledge to be aware of what the consequences may be on the various industries throughout the country and which the Minister probably would not be expected to have anyhow. What should satisfy the Deputy and the House is that the Minister for Industry and Commerce, in all matters relating to industry under these provisions, must be consulted by the Minister for Local Government before the making of his regulations and only after that consultation may those regulations be placed before the House and the 21 days' provision come into operation.

I take it that in regard to industry and the effects of any proposed order that the Minister for Local Government might wish in the general public interest to make, the Minister for Industry and Commerce of the day would be in a position to ascertain, if he were not already aware, what the effects would be. So that it is not really the Minister for Local Government whom we would have to rely on in these industrial cases; it would be, rather, the Minister for Industry and Commerce whose main interest in any Government is the improvement and extension of industry. That being so, being in a position to be alive to any dangers that might emerge from proposed regulations of another Department, the Minister for Industry and Commerce certainly would be in a position to take active and positive steps to ensure that anything proposed by the Minister for Local Government would not have any injurious effect, or unduly injurious effect, on any industry.

Naturally, if the two Ministers could not ultimately agree and if their views did not coincide as to the relative merits of the case, then, as in any Government, the final decision would rest where all these matters must really rest, that is they would have to go to their Government and the Government would have to determine on the pros and cons of the case.

In that regard and in regard to the danger that might arise—and I do not disagree that there could be dangers in any regulations made by a Minister or Ministry not attuned to the various needs of various industries—while I agree that that could happen, I do not think there is any real cause for worry or any real danger of a regulation being made in this instance that would hurt an industry, due to the fact that there is a provision in this Bill for consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce whose real purpose in any Government is the welfare and promotion of industry. That in itself is an insurance that nothing damaging will be done, through ignorance or otherwise, by any Minister for Local Government under the powers sought in Section 10.

While I accept what the Minister says so far as it goes, I am not really thinking of the case where anything is done without advertence of that sort. I am thinking of the type of case where only a person who is engaged in the particular industry as a practical matter realises the effect of the regulation will be harmful in the manner we have been discussing.

The inclusion in subsection (3) of the proviso that the Minister for Industry and Commerce and, indeed, also, the Minister for Health, shall be consulted in certain circumstances is to some extent a protection—with that, I agree—but it does not carry me the whole stage because there are the difficulties of a type which no Department—Industry and Commerce or any other Department—could possibly visualise and, indeed, where a person engaged in one industry would be unable perhaps to realise how it would affect another industry, even though the two industries were almost allied.

I said originally that I appreciate that no Minister likes this method of positive approval. Although it would be better to have that, at the same time, the Minister might be able in another way to come some part of the journey. The section as it is provides that the regulation would be made and would automatically come into effect there and then, subject of course to the right of annulment within a period of 21 days but that right of annulment is, as normally, without prejudice to the validity of anything done previously. I would prefer the positive motion of this House but I take it the Minister is not prepared to go so far with me. Would he agree that he would not make regulations except such as would not come into force for a period of, shall we say, three months? Once the regulations are made, then that gives a person who will be affected an opportunity of considering them long before they come into effect and will give the person concerned an opportunity of contacting members of this House with a view to invoking the procedure involved in Section 11.

The procedure involved in Section 11 is to some extent illusory, if the regulation comes into effect overnight. If the regulation is one which will only come into effect a period ahead, then it gives everybody an opportunity of making representations to the Minister that the regulation, before it becomes operative, needs to be amended but if the Minister is not prepared to amend it, it does give the House an opportunity under Section 11 of considering it not merely as an ex post facto operation but as a genuine anticipatory criticism before it can do any possible damage.

I appreciate the Deputy's viewpoint on this and I think he has come to see the difficulty there is in trying to legislate for the unknown which to a large degree most of this really is. The suggestion of the three months' waiting period between the issue of regulations and their taking effect would, in one very serious aspect, conflict with the best interests that can be served by this section. It was pointed out also on the Road Traffic Bill that although it may indeed be necessary at times to delay the coming into operation of a Bill, to delay the operation of a Bill for an extended period could in fact defeat the whole usefulness of the legislation.

I can see that point —"As far as possible."

What we probably will do, and in fact there is no good reason why we should not do it because it should be very useful, is to set up an advisory committee or a consultative committee, if you like to call it that, representative of the various interests throughout the country that we would anticipate might be about to be affected by any proposed regulation. We can do what we have been doing under the Road Traffic Acts, that is, have consultations with the interested parties in regard to regulations made and about to be made.

We have also been practising something which is very useful, that is, giving the public notice in the press for three days running, indicating we are about to make this type of regulation dealing with this, that or the other, and inviting everybody interested or concerned in the matter, or who have any views on it, to communicate with us. That practice which we have been pursuing only recently in relation to the Road Traffic Acts has been working reasonably well. The public advertisements have been getting a pretty good response and people are coming forward to make their cases and are making very useful contributions to our knowledge in the Department in advance of these regulations being made.

In regard to regulations which may be made under this Bill, we can follow this practice by inserting advertisements in the press, allow any delay which will make no difference to the effectiveness of the legislation, and use any other means we can use to the best advantage in the light of the circumstances obtaining at the time these regulations come to be made.

I think that will meet the reasonable criticism made on this section and will allay any fears Deputies may have had.

Notice taken that 20 Members were not present; House counted and 20 Members being present,

I think the Minister has made a reasonable approach to the matter.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 10 and 11 are out of order.

Amendments Nos. 10 and 11 not moved.
Section 11 agreed to.
Sections 12 and 13 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That Section 14 stand part of the Bill."

Has the Minister any view as yet as to the date on which he will bring the Bill into operation and is he proposing to bring it into operation in one piece or in successive stages?

Successive stages.

Question put and agreed to.
Section 15 agreed to.
Question proposed: "That the Schedule be the Schedule to the Bill."

Could the Minister tell us the effect of the various sections he is repealing? It would save a lot of homework if he would give us that information. I am sure it is in the Minister's brief.

A number of them are being replaced.

Are they purely old sections that are being replaced in this Bill by modern provisions or are there any that are being dropped out for another reason?

Practically all of them, but there is one here, the open spaces one, which is repealed at the request of the Society of the King's Inns.

Yes, the Minister mentioned that.

The open spaces provision which allows Dublin Corporation to take care of them. Everybody is agreeable to it.

Question put and agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment.
Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 25th July, 1962.