Perhaps the Seanad would suspend Standing Orders to enable the Bill to be put through its remaining stages.
THE PREVENTION OF ELECTORAL ABUSES BILL, 1923. - SEANAD RESUMES.
I move the suspension of Standing Orders.
Motion made: That the Bill be received on Report.
I wish to call the attention of the Minister to what is an important matter. This Bill proposes to inflict drastic punishment for corrupt practices during elections. Those of us who have been engaged on elections in this country know that there has been a certain amount of looseness regarding election procedure. The number of times a person voted was usually looked upon as a splendid achievement. I hope that henceforth all elections will be carried out in a clean and honourable manner. Young people, however, who do not understand these things may be advised by people who ought to know better. I would make a suggestion to the Minister in charge that if possible a schedule of offences for which persons were liable to be indicted for mal-practices against this Bill should be prepared. The widest publicity possible should be given to these.
If the Bill passes the amendment cannot be inserted.
It can be inserted in the other House, but then, of course, it must come back. If the Minister could suggest a scale that Senator O'Farrell would be willing to accept the amendment could be accepted now. If it does not suit it can be struck out in the other House. It would obviate the necessity for coming back.
I do not like to suggest one without a little consideration, because on looking into it before, I gave it up as an impossible thing unless we fixed a very high scale. It should be so high that no one would reasonably go above it. If an amendment is put in here it enables that matter to be raised in the Dáil.
I suggest 5d. and 4d.
I will put the amendment to the Seanad. The amendment alters the scale from 7d. to 5d. in the case of a County, and to 4d. in the case of a Borough Election.
The question is "that the Bill be received on Report."
The motion is "That the Bill do now pass."