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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 22 Nov 1978

Vol. 309 No. 9

Tobacco Products (Control of Advertising, Sponsorship and Sales Promotion) Bill, 1978: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Final Stages.

Debate resumed on amendment No. 22:
In page 3, before section 3, to insert a new section as follows:
"A National Sports Sponsorship Council shall be established to take over the sponsorship of sports events and activities."
—Deputy O'Connell.

I ask the Minister to give serious consideration to this amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 23 has been ruled out of order because it involves a potential charge on the revenue. Amendment No. 24 is in the name of Deputy Boland.

I accept the ruling of the Chair with regard to amendment No. 23 but I think it is based on a false premise. I should like to discuss the general principle of it with the Chair again because I should not like it to be established as a precedent. I do not think it constitutes a potential charge on the revenue. I move amendment No. 24:


In page 3, before section 3, to insert a new section as follows:

"(1) Where it is proposed to make regulations to prohibit sponsorship of an event or activity, where such event or activity is considered to be of a sporting or cultural nature and where such sponsorship was in operation prior to the coming into force of this Act, the Minister shall endeavour to arrange such alternative financial or other assistance as is considered necessary for the event or activity.

(2) Nothing contained in subsection (1) of this section shall be operated in such a manner as to have the effect of imposing or increasing a charge upon the people.".

The thinking behind this amendment is that, where sponsorships are in existence before this legislation is passed, whether in the sporting, cultural or any other sphere, and where the Minister subsequently decides he would like to see that sponsorship by a tobacco firm removed, before a regulation is made prohibiting the continuation of that sponsorship he should try to arrange for alternative financial assistance. The amendment has been phrased deliberately to ensure that it could not be suggested it constituted a potential charge on the revenue by the addition of subsection (2). The idea was that the Minister would use his good offices to approach other commercial and presumably non-health damaging operations or other groups that want to give sponsorship to participate in order to replace the tobacco firms.

The Deputy is putting forward a good idea. I cannot accept the amendment and write it into the Bill but I give the Deputy the assurance that I have asked the Health Education Bureau to try to make this a matter of policy, that in a general way in especially desirable cases they would take up sponsorship themselves. Where they have no funds to take up sponsorships I have asked that they consider acting as an honest broker and try to promote commercial firms.

I think they have started that already.

Yes, they have done that.

I am not sure I am totally in favour of the idea of the Health Education Bureau getting involved in sponsorships of the type with which they were recently involved. However, I think the idea of their acting as an honest broker and encouraging other firms to participate should be pursued. That is the intent of the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section 3 agreed to.
Section 4 and 5 agreed to.

I move amendment No. 25:

In page 2, line 10, to delete "ADVERTISING" and substitute "PROMOTING THE SALE OF".

Amendment agreed to.
Title, as amended, agreed to.

Pursuant to Standing Order 95 (3) I have to report specially to the Dáil that the Committee has amended the Title to read as follows: An Act to provide for the control and regulation, including the prohibition, of advertising of tobacco products and of other means of promoting the sale of such products, including sponsorship, and to provide for other connected matters.

I think the Minister agreed to consider some amendments on Report Stage.

I will do it in the Seanad. What had the Deputy in mind?

I cannot recall them now but the Minister did agree to examine some amendments.

Does the Deputy want a separate Report Stage?

I was under the impression that the suggestions made were not going to be accepted by the Minister.

I am not sure what the Deputy has in mind.

Would the Minister consider accepting amendments on Report Stage?

If the Deputy has any particular point, perhaps he would discuss it with me between now and the Bill going to the Seanad.

That is acceptable.

Bill reported with amendments and passed.