Friday, 12 February 1926
Dáil Éireann Debate
MINISTER for JUSTICE (Mr. O'Higgins): In moving the adjournment until Tuesday, February 23rd, I should say that the state of business does not seem to justify a sitting next week. When we meet on the 23rd the Second Reading of the Enforcement of Court Orders Bill, the Report Stage of the School Attendance Bill, together with the Supplementary Estimates that are on the Orders of the Day will be taken.
Mr. JOHNSON: Before the motion is put, can the Minister give us any information as to the position of the Bills that have gone from the Dáil to the Seanad? For instance, we had pressure brought on us to pass the Land Bill and one or two other Bills. I think the Medical Bill is another. I read in the newspapers that the Seanad had adjourned until February 24th. I do not  know what can be done in the matter now. I suppose nothing. The Seanad presumably is master of its own procedure but it is somewhat anomalous that the Dáil should be pressed to give effect to certain legislative proposals which are then sent to the Seanad, and that without consideration, and not on the ground that they have been overworked in any way, the Seanad adjourns for practically a fortnight without giving consideration to these Bills which were passed through the Dáil under stress of urgency. I should like to know if there is any means of dealing with this matter or as to what will be the position of such legislation.
Mr. O'HIGGINS: On the question of remedy I am not clear that there is any remedy. I do not know of any special circumstance which would explain the decision of the Seanad to adjourn until the 24th instant. There are seven Government measures and Senator Linehan's Land Bill, in various stages, before the Seanad. It is right to say that no special representations were made to the Seanad on behalf of the Executive Council with regard to the importance or urgency of any of these measures. Personally, as Minister in charge of three of the measures in question, I thought I was safe in assuming that the Seanad would resume its work next week. Apparently that is not to be the case, as the adjournment is from the 11th till the 24th instant, and I think we must only submit to the inconvenience which that occasions.
Mr. JOHNSON: On the question of the Land Bill I want to stress the fact that in the Dáil the matter was dealt with as one of urgency, and while agreeing that there were perhaps circumstances of an exceptional kind which, in the normal course of things, would not be approved of without long discussion, the Dáil agreed—and it was very generally recognised through the country—to deal with it as a matter of urgency. The fact that consideration of this Bill has been postponed in the Seanad for a fortnight indicates to me at any rate that at least they are not so much concerned  with the position of this State as I think they ought to be. Whatever may be the result, if there is any result or consequence of this adjournment or refusal to discuss the Bill, which in effect  it is, I hope that the Dáil will insist that all the value that would have been got out of the Bill, had it been passed immediately, will be got out of it.
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