Perhaps I should explain very shortly what is the question. When the Local Government Electors Registration Bill was in Committee in this House an amendment was put in, which practically deprived of the franchise people who had not paid their rates at a particular date. When that was returned to the Dáil they disagreed with it mainly on the ground that as the Bill itself was really only a Bill to hasten the machinery of registration this was too big a question to discuss in a Bill of that kind. They rejected our amendment, and it has come back to us. The question for the Seanad now to decide is—Will they or will they not adhere to their amendment? It may be put in either a negative or positive form.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTORS REGISTRATION BILL, 1923.—FROM THE DAIL.
Without meaning any disrespect to the Seanad I think we would be placing ourselves in a ridiculous position by trying to uphold the amendment. The Bill was simply one for making a new register and did not deal with the question of franchise, whereas this amendment does deal with that question.
That is not quite accurate. The question was raised, and I held that it did deal, in Clause 3, with the question of the franchise. It was only on that ground that I allowed the amendment to be moved.
The point I was making was that the Bill itself was not primarily for the purpose of the franchise. The amendment moved was an amendment dealing with the question of the franchise. I respectfully think that the House ought not to press its amendment, and I move that the House do not insist on its amendment.
I second the motion.