In Committee on Finance. - Citizenship Bill, 1934—Money Resolution.

Thursday, 13 December 1934

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 54 No. 7

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Minister for Finance (Mr. MacEntee): Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I move:—

That as regards any Act of the present Session to provide for and regulate the acquisition by birth or otherwise of citizenship of Saorstát Eireann and the forfeiture or loss of such citizenship, and to provide for divers matters connected with the matters aforesaid, it is expedient to authorise the payment out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas of any expenses incurred in carrying such Act into effect being expenses which are required by the provisions of such Act to be defrayed out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

It is not anticipated that the expenditure under this Bill will be very large. It will be incurred principally in the matter of printing, stationery and things of that sort. The resolution is to allow for any unforeseen contingencies that may arise.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  I disagree with the Minister in what he says about the expenditure under this Bill. The expenses under this Bill will be considerable. So far as I can make out, the expenditure under the Citizenship Bill in future years may amount to something like [1110] half a million a year, that is judging by the Government amendments down for the Committee Stage of the Bill. These amendments show that it is the intention of the Government, as far as they can, to deprive the citizens of this State of the dual citizenship of the Commonwealth. Citizens of this State in future will be unable to call upon the consuls of the Commonwealth in different parts of the world for assistance. Consequently it will be necessary for us to establish a very widespread consular service in order to deal with the requirements both in regard to this Bill and the ordinary routine functions of issuing visas and passports. The result will be that a very heavy expenditure will be put upon the people of this State. At the present time the citizens of this State all over the world, in view of the introduction of the Citizenship Bill——

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  May I ask if the Deputy is in order in speaking on the Citizenship Bill on this resolution?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy is in order.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy has stated that the expenditure under the Bill will amount to half a million pounds. There is nothing in this motion to justify him in——

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Is not the Deputy entitled to his opinions?

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  Yes, if they are relevant. I suggest that we are discussing a question of the expenditure which may arise as a result of the operations of this Bill. The Deputy is speaking on quite an independent matter altogether.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I could not quite follow the trend of the Deputy's remarks.

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  The direct expenditure as a result of the operations of the Citizenship Bill may not be so very great, but I was going to point out that the indirect expenditure as a result of the Bill may amount to [1111] £500,000 a year. I mentioned that because I am aware that some countries like ours which maintain a consular service find that it costs about £500,000 to £750,000 a year to run that service. Because of the wide diffusion of our race, expenditure will probably be more considerable in our case than would be necessitated in the case of the independent consular services of such countries as Denmark, Sweden and Norway. I am only referring to what will be the indirect result of this Bill. I am not referring to direct expenditure.

Question put and agreed to.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I desire to raise a point of order, the motion having now been carried. The formula used in this motion runs according to the title of the Bill as we have it. It is proposed to make an amendment to the Bill which will certainly enlarge the field of expenditure. If the amendments tabled are carried and the title of the Bill is, consequently, enlarged, will a new Money Resolution be required?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  That question will be considered by the Chair if necessary.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I need not point out to the Chair that the Money Resolution will require to be passed before the Committee Stage is taken up.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Money Resolution on the Order Paper has been passed. If the situation to which the Deputy adverts arises, the matter will be dealt with.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There is an amendment on the Paper by the Government to change the title of the Bill. If it were considered that money might be required not covered by the field of the previous title, but covered by the new title, I take it that a new Money Resolution would be required.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  Yes.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  Consequently, a new Committee Stage would be necessary.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  As I informed the House yesterday, these amendments [1112] were carefully considered by the Ceann Comhairle. In the opinion of the Chair, they do not widen the scope of the Bill, even with the amended title.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  I did not raise any point as to widening the scope of the Bill.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy's point was that the amendments might involve further expenditure.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The possibility of further expenditure. If that be so, there must be a new Money Resolution. If there must be a new Money Resolution, there must be a new Committee Stage.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  These hypotheses will be considered if and when they become facts.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Is it not possible that it will be necessary to re-commit this Bill, even if the Money Resolution has not to be altered, in view of the Government amendments?

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  I take it that the point is that the words used in the Resolution on the Order Paper do not conform strictly to the title of the Bill as it will be if the amendment on the Order Paper is accepted.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  They do not conform either literally or in fact.

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  There we disagree.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The last amendment enlarges the title.

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  It is a question of the terms of the Money Resolution which has been passed. (Resolution quoted). Literally, there is nothing in that Resolution that affects the title of the Bill. When the time comes, I shall contend that there is no substance in the point that the scope of this Bill has been widened.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That is not my point.

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  Then I do not know what the Deputy's point is.

[1113]Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  That the field of expenditure has been somewhat enlarged.

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  The Deputy's statement led me to believe that his point was that there was some reference to the title of the Bill in this Resolution, when, in fact, there is none.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  There is.

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  Where is it?

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  It is not in inverted commas, if that is what the President means.

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  The terms of the Resolution are perfectly general, and the Deputy knows that well.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Chair does not know it quite so well.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy was assured by the Chair that if and when his hypotheses became facts they would be considered.

Mr. McGilligan: Information on Patrick McGilligan  Zoom on Patrick McGilligan  The Chair has not ruled out the hypotheses.

The President: Information on Eamon de Valera  Zoom on Eamon de Valera  My statement was by way of submission to the Chair.


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