Friday, 5 July 1935
Dáil Éireann Debate
“Provided that if a joint representation is made to the Minister by a majority of the workers in any premises where an industrial undertaking is carried on and by the employer  to the effect that owing to transport conditions affecting the said premises or to conditions of employment at specified periods of the year or to any other specified cause the granting of the said interval of one hour would operate to prevent the working of a nine-hour day in or about such premises the Minister may while such transport conditions continue or for the specified periods of the year or while such other specified cause operates permit the interval of one hour to be reduced accordingly.”
This amendment deals with only one possibility which might arise under this one-hour period for meal time. In doing so, I suggest to the Minister that the meal interval which is fixed at one hour under sub-section (1) is not sufficiently flexible. It is quite satisfactory for certain classes of workers. I will mention certain classes of workers whom it would suit admirably. The first is the worker who has regular employment in a factory or workshop adjacent to his home. He is able to go home for his mid-day meal, and has the advantage of getting a meal cooked in his home surroundings. An hour interval suits him admirably. There is also the case of the workman who may have to go out from an establishment which is closed for an hour for dinner. In both these cases the workmen are well pleased with an interval of an hour. I would also like to bring to the Minister's notice cases where this provision will not work. Take, for the sake of argument, the case of a builder who is building a house.
About the 14th December, when one can scarcely work a 44-hour week, the workman is invited to stop in a damp, cold house and spend an hour over his meal, which he probably gobbles up in 20 minutes. He then finds that at 4.30 the light is gone. I suggest to the Minister that he should alter this provision to not less than half an hour, and from half an hour to an hour by arrangement. I realise that the workman should have a say in the matter as well, but I think it can be left to the common sense of both parties to work out a period that will suit. There  is nothing wrong with an hour for certain people. Where there is no difficulty about it, I do not see any reason why that should not be taken as a standing arrangement, but it is quite obvious that there are other cases in which half an hour is almost too long. I should like the Minister to allow greater flexibility. It is not that an hour is too long, in most cases, but, in my opinion, it should be left to the parties to agree as between half an hour and an hour.
Mr. Lemass: I agree generally with what the Deputy says. It will not be possible to have an hour's interval fixed in relation to all types of employment, but I am not sure that it would not be better to deal with that situation by Section 22—by excluding certain forms of industrial work from the provisions of this sub-section—than by amendment to the Bill. That could be done by Section 22. Workers away from their homes on a building or construction job would probably not desire more than half an hour's interval in the middle of the day if they could not reach their homes. That would involve the termination of their employment half an hour earlier in the evening. I think that there is a good case for that, and I agree to consider it. I should like the Deputy to understand that what I am proposing to consider is whether it is desirable to deal with the situation by amendment of this section or whether it is better to leave it to be dealt with by regulation under Section 22.
Mr. Dockrell: I suppose, in any case, the Minister would have power to deal with the matter under Section 22. If the Minister went around certain trades, he would find a fifty-fifty division as between an hour and a half-hour. I think it is obviously desirable that the Bill should follow the prevailing practice when it is not undesirable.
For the purpose of calculating the amount of time for which any employer is required by this Act to  pay wages or salary to any worker at the overtime rate, the overtime interval shall be reckoned as overtime worked by such worker.
I think a good case can be made for giving the worker a period of rest before the commencement of overtime, as suggested in the section. But we have got to recognise that, in the main, overtime is worked for the convenience of the employer. It is at his request the overtime is initiated, and it is at his request that the worker is subjected to the inconvenience of working overtime. Seeing that the subsequent work will be in the interest of the employer, and that the request for the working of overtime will be initiated by him, I think the worker should not be required to lose that half-hour. That is only fair, seeing that the incidence of this overtime was initiated by the employer and that the request for the overtime emanated from the employer. The object of this amendment is to secure that the worker, when given an interval of half an hour as a preliminary to working overtime at the request of the employer, should be paid for that half-hour.
Mr. Lemass: I could not accept the principle of the amendment at all but I agree that it might be unreasonable that a worker whom it is intended to work for half an hour overtime should be kept an hour away from his home in order that half an hour's overwork should be done. I am proposing to amend sub-section (2) so as to provide that the half hour interval will not be obligatory unless one and a half hour's overtime is to be worked. If it is only intended that the worker should work half an hour extra, then there will be no interval but if it is intended to work one and a half hour's extra, then the interval will be given.
Mr. Norton: A period that would make the half hour bear some relationship to the period of time worked. The Minister suggests that a person working one and a half hour's overtime should lose this half hour. I think the proportion is altogether too high. The minimum ought to be two and a half hours.
Mr. Lemass: If it is intended to work the worker from the dinner interval to the normal hour, plus one and a half hours extra, there should be, before the one and a half hours, an interval during which the worker could get a meal.
Mr. Norton: I do not agree that the worker should have the meal in his own time, seeing that the request for the overtime worked is initiated by the employer. I do not think that the worker should be obliged to bear this inconvenience for a short period of overtime.
Mr. Dockrell: I think that Deputy Norton is looking too much to the worker's pocket and too little to his stomach. I entirely agree with the Minister that if the overtime is for a very short period—for necessary tidying up or something like that—it would be absurd that he should stand by for a meal hour. I congratulate the Minister on that decision. Taking Deputy Norton's idea, let us examine the case of a worker whose work would normally cease at 5.30. He is called upon to work a quarter. That means that it would be coming up to 8 o'clock before he would get an evening meal.
Mr. Dockrell: I agree with the Minister on the question of keeping a man stalled up for half-an-hour for a meal to do a few minutes' work. But I should like Deputy Norton to look at the other side of the question. Under the overtime provision an employer will be compelled to pay from 25 to 50 per cent. overtime rates. If he had to pay a man for having his meal as well, the amount would run practically to 100 per cent. on the rate he has to pay. While Deputy Norton says that this is for the benefit of the employers, I should like to point out that it is for the benefit of the concern, and that the worker is interested in that. In a great many cases the overtime that has to be worked is co-ordinating work that is necessary because someone has fallen sick, or there has been a breakdown, or there has been some abnormal arrival or despatch of goods, which it is necessary to deal with, but which does not add to the profits of the undertaking.
Under this Bill it will be an offence to employ workers outside certain periods, except in certain processes, on Sundays and public holidays. Notwithstanding  the provisions of the Bill, cases may arise where an endeavour will be made to secure a worker to work during prohibited hours or on prohibited days. If an inspector from the Department visits an industrial undertaking, and points out that a man is working, either in prohibited hours or on a prohibited day, the employer's defence may be: “Oh, that man is only looking where he is going to work to-morrow”; or “He is only having a look at the machine,” or “He is really not working.” In that way a loophole for considerable evasion may be left in the Bill. This amendment seeks to assume that every worker present in an industrial undertaking during the time that industrial work is carried on “shall be deemed to be employed in such undertaking.” If the Minister has this power it will enable him to deal with any possible evasion. I do not think he will be able to deal with it as the section is drawn.
Mr. Lemass: When I saw the amendment I was not quite clear as to its purpose. In view of the explanation given by the Deputy, I may say that I agree with him. I think power to deem that a worker who is present on the premises is there for the purpose of employment would facilitate considerably the administration of the Bill, and if the Deputy will leave the matter over, I will have an amendment considered for the next Stage.
Mr. Lemass: I agree. It will be necessary to make some provision of that kind, so it would be a good defence for the employer who proves that the worker was there without his consent, or for any reason that he could not prevent. SECTION 41.
(1) Save as otherwise provided by this Act it shall not be lawful for any employer to permit any worker in his employment to do for him on any day which is a Sunday or a public holiday any industrial work other than industrial work which is—
(2) If any employer employs any worker to do on the Sunday in any week any industrial work which such worker may be lawfully permitted to do on a Sunday, such employer, if such worker remains in his employment for such week, shall allow to him twenty-four consecutive hours of rest before the next following Sunday.
“and where any employer permits any worker, in accordance with the provisions of this section, to do for him on any day which is a Sunday or a public holiday any industrial work such employer shall be deemed to have agreed to pay such worker in respect of such industrial work at a rate calculated by increasing by not less than fifty per cent., the rate at which such worker would be entitled to be paid for doing such industrial work if it were done on an ordinary working day.”
Apparently, the only compensation for a worker who works on Sunday is that he is to get 24 hours consecutive hours of rest before the following Sunday. The amendment seeks to ensure that if a worker is employed on Sunday, not only will he get a day's rest in respect of the Sunday, but that  in recognition of the fact that Sunday is regarded as a normal rest day, and that work on that day is paid for in many industries at time and a half, and even at a higher rate, there should be special recognition of the claim for compensation for being obliged to work on Sunday. Consequently, any worker who works on that day should have his earnings, whatever they may be, increased by not less than 50 per cent. of the rate which he would earn on the normal working day. Another amendment sought to ensure in respect of public holidays that they would be brought to the same level as Sundays. The section seeks to ensure a six-day week for workers. If a worker works from Monday to Saturday, that is six days, and assuming that he has 10/- a day, he has £3 to get as wages at the end of the week. But if he happens to work from Saturday to Friday, which is also six days, that involves work on Sunday, but he is only paid the same rate of wages. The amendment seeks to ensure that he will be paid 50 per cent. extra for such work as he renders on Sundays; that is, 50 per cent. extra in respect of whatever the normal rate for Sunday would be, if it were a working day. Sunday work is already specially paid for in practically all industries and the State recognises in the case of its employees, the obligation to pay time and a half for Sundays. There is a strong case for the amendment.
Mr. Lemass: I am afraid the Deputy has made no case at all for it. It is true that in certain industries work on Sunday is paid for at a higher rate than on an ordinary day, where that work is done by way of overtime, and where it is additional work done by the worker on Sunday, and added to the work he does ordinarily during the week. Here, however, we are dealing with a section which prohibits the employment of workers in industrial work on a Sunday or public holiday except in certain industries—continuous process shift work, the printing of newspapers, and the work of a creamery. In relation to these particular industries, the day of rest for a number of workers is not and cannot be Sunday. These industries must continue  on Sundays or Mondays or any other day in the week, and we are providing here that, instead of Sunday being the day of rest in their case, these workers must get another day in lieu of that. If they had to work another 24 hours they would be entitled to be paid, but, in fact, they are getting the holiday in lieu of the Sunday in the week because, by the nature of their employment, Sunday cannot be a day of rest for them. I cannot agree to accept the amendment.
Mr. Norton: But the Minister will admit that, in respect of three categories of work, it is permissible to work on Sundays, and thus, in these three categories of work, there is no restriction in the matter of employment on Sundays. Consequently, employers in these industries will find that it is all the same if they employ a worker on Sunday or Monday or any other day in the week. There is no extra payment demanded from them in respect of workers who work on the Sunday.
Mr. Norton: Yes, but Deputy Anthony will admit that that has been the result of the efforts of the trade unions concerned. Everybody understands what the existing trade union  practice is. I can tell of cases where double time is paid on Sunday. My point is that there is no provision in this section by which the worker would be paid anything extra for Sunday. It is true that, in the case of certain workers, their trade unions have been able to get them extra remuneration for such work, but this section is not getting it, and, consequently, so far as this section is concerned, there is to be no special payment in respect of work on Sunday. I think it is agreed that work on Sundays is generally irksome and irritating, and that it is inconvenient for the worker since it is the day when all his friends are available for recreation and rejoicing, and since it is a day upon which he can make more use of his spare time because of the fact that it is generally observed as a day of abstention from work. In this section, however, the Minister proposes to assume that an ordinary week-day is of the same value to the worker as a Sunday, and, consequently, the Minister tries to take the view that if a worker gets, say, Thursday off in compensation for Sunday, he is adequately remunerated for his work on Sunday, apart from the normal day's pay which he would get on that particular day. I think there is a special case for additional compensation, over and above the normal wages, where the worker is employed on Sunday, and I do not think it is any compensation to the worker to say that he is adequately compensated if he gets a week-day off because of the fact that be worked on Sunday. If the Minister were to take a ballot of the workers it would show that most of them would prefer to be off on Sunday rather than on any other day of the week, and I think that would be evidence to the Minister that they regarded Sunday as a more valuable day of recreation than a week-day. In the circumstances, I think the Minister should look into the matter with a view to ensuring that, so far as this section is concerned, some provision should be made for compensation, over and above the normal day's pay, for work on Sunday. I think that it would make it cheaper for the employer, as it were, to avoid Sunday work.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy's proposal is that we should do this by an Act of the Legislature and impose the obligation upon everybody involved in these three industries, without any information as to what the existing practice is, the circumstances that obtain, or the burdens that might be imposed on the industries. I feel that any provisions of that kind should be brought into operation by agreement, and, under Section 42, such agreements could be made universally applicable in relation to the industries covered by them. I think that is, by far, the preferable way of dealing with the question of rates of wages.
Mr. Lemass: The section provides for the registration of every agreement between those claiming to be substantially representative of the employers, on the one hand and those claiming to be substantially representative of the workers on the other hand whereby the rates of salaries, wages, or other reward payable to such workers are regulated or restricted.
Mr. Norton: It is true that agreement could be reached on this matter between the representatives of the employers and the representatives of the workers and that the agreement could be subsequently registered under Section 42, but I think that is leaving it to the free play of the economic forces which bring about these agreements.  I think there is an obligation on the Legislature to say, quite apart from the strength of the trade unions to enforce a claim on the employers or the employers' capacity to resist a claim, that some compensation should be paid in respect of work on Sunday. I would press the Minister to examine the matter.
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy is suggesting a particular rate, but that might not suit in all cases. For instance, I know of one firm in Dublin where they pay treble pay for work on a holiday. If we were to put in what the Deputy suggests, it would mean the worsening of the workers' conditions in that industry, and they would have to accept time and a half.
Mr. Norton: I agree, and consequently I have done the reasonable thing and suggested not less than 50 per cent. In some cases the workers are paid double rates, but I think the Minister will agree that whatever benefits of that nature the workers enjoy have been brought about by the action of the trade unions, and that these benefits are still available. I think, however, there should be some statutory provision for paying certain additional compensation where work is performed on a Sunday, and I would press on the Minister to fix some minimum extra remuneration in respect of work performed on a Sunday.
Mr. Norton: Surely the Minister appreciates that he can do nothing under Section 42 except to sit in his office and wait for an official of a trade union or an employer to come in with an agreement and ask for its registration.
Mr. Norton: The Minister thinks he can regulate everything under Section 42. He cannot. The keeper of the register will be idle, redundant, and perhaps unemployed, unless the union officials or the employers come in and ask to have the agreement registered. That is the position, and if the Minister is hoping to deal with this matter under Section 42, he is only going to be able to deal with it by allowing employers on the one hand, and workers on the other hand to fight out their battles on the industrial field and, when the battle is over and some agreement arrived at between them, then they can come and ask to have the agreement registered. I want to suggest to the Minister that the State should accept the obligation to provide some minimum rates of compensation for work on Sundays, and ought not to leave the matter entirely to the free play of economic forces in the industrial field. I still think there is a good case for fixing some minimum compensation for work on Sundays. Fifty per cent. may be too low; I think it is too low. I think it is inadequate compensation for a person required to work on Sunday. If he is paid 10/- a day I do not think it is adequate compensation to give him an extra five shillings for working on Sunday, but 50 per cent. is suggested as a minimum. There are cases where a worker is paid double time for Sundays, and the Minister has admitted that he knows cases where treble time was paid. What difficulty can he have, therefore, in imposing a minimum obligation to pay 50 per cent. compensation for work performed on Sunday?  Having regard to what obtains at present, 50 per cent. is a very reasonable minimum figure. I would ask the Minister to look into the matter, because I think it is desirable that some minimum should be fixed.
Mr. Lemass: Deputy Norton asks me to look into the matter, and I want to examine any suggestion made, but I feel we are coming up against something which we have really discussed on another amendment—the question whether, as a general principle, rates of wages in organised industry should be fixed by agreement or by State regulation. I am all in favour of fixing them by agreement, leaving State regulation out of it altogether, except where the circumstances of the industry are such that the Trade Board Acts can be applied.
Mr. Lemass: If Sunday work is done by way of overtime, or holiday work is done by way of overtime, then overtime rates are applicable, but my point in relation to those industries which are being exempted from the general prohibition of Sunday work is that Sunday is not a day of rest for a number of the workers who are engaged in them. But those workers, when they work on Sunday, are not exceeding the hours limit. They are not working more than the maximum number of hours per week. They are really, because of the circumstances of the industry, substituting another day of rest for the Sunday.
Mr. Lemass: Oh, no. The Deputy is entirely wrong. The Russian experiment expressed by Stalin, as I understand it, regards a standard wage of any kind as a bourgeois and capitalist device. It is utterly opposed to the standard wage.
Mr. Norton: Is that why the Minister is in favour of it? The object of one section in this Bill is to get close to the standard wage. Now we have had the view from the Minister that according to Stalin that is a bourgeois and capitalist idea. That is the idea the Minister is standing for in the Bill.
Mr. Norton: ——will be able to use the Minister when the agreement is initiated. What the Minister is doing  in this case is abolishing the Sabbath day in respect of certain workers. The Minister says that they must work on Sundays in certain of those industries, and the only compensation they will get for working on Sunday is a day off on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Does the Minister think it is compensation for a worker who is required to work nine hours on Sunday that he should get nine hours off on Monday or Friday?
Mr. Norton: He gets 24 hours' rest; he does not get 24 hours off. He gets the normal working day off—that is, nine hours; he gets 24 hours' rest. The only compensation for working nine hours on Sunday is nine hours off on Monday or Friday, or any other day of the week. In this section the Minister takes the view that that is adequate compensation for requiring a person to work on Sunday. I do not think it is. I think it is most unreasonable that a person who works nine hours on Sunday should merely get a day off as compensation. I think there is a very strong case for paying a certain minimum addition to the normal rate of pay for work on a Sunday. Merely granting a day in lieu is not dealing adequately with the inconvenience caused to the worker.
Cosgrave, William T.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
McFadden, Michael Og.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Pattison, James P.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rogers, Patrick James.
Rowlette, Robert James.
De Valera, Eamon.
Dockrell, Henry Morgan.
Flinn, Hugo V.
|Keely, Séamus P.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little Patrick John.
Lynch, James B.
Maguire, Conor Alexander.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
O Briain, Donnchadh.
Pearse, Margaret Mary
Ruttledge, Patrick Joseph.
Amendment declared lost.
An Ceann Comhairle: Amendments Nos. 128 and 129 are interdependent.
Mr. Norton: I move amendments Nos. 128 and 129:—
In sub-section (2), line 38, before the word “any” to insert the words “or on a public holiday.”
In sub-section (2), line 39, before the word “such” where it first occurs to insert the words “or on a public holiday.”
This section starts off with the declaration that it shall not be lawful for any employer to permit any worker in his employment to do for him on any day which is a Sunday or a public holiday any industrial work other than the type of industrial work which is set out in three categories. In sub-section (2) of that section it is provided that if any employer employs any worker to do on the Sunday in any week any industrial work which such worker may be lawfully permitted to do on a Sunday, such employer, if such worker remains in his employment for such week, shall allow him 24 consecutive hours of rest before the next following Sunday. In other words, the section declares in the opening that it is unlawful to employ a worker on a Sunday or public holiday to do industrial work except of the kind permitted in the section. Then in sub-section (2) we find that if the worker does, in fact, work on a Sunday he is entitled to 24 hours' rest before the following Sunday. But if he happens to work on a public holiday, then in respect of that public holiday he is not entitled to any rest. Seeing that the section opens with a declaration which is tantamount to saying that Sundays and public holidays are on an equal basis from the point of view of the desire of the State, as expressed in this Bill, to have workers excluded from working on those days, I think the same benefits to the worker in respect of 24 hours' rest should follow when he works on a holiday just as it follows when he works on a Sunday. I thought that there was an omission in regard to public holidays in sub-section (2) or that there was a mistake of some sort, because I cannot understand on what ground the Minister could defend the exclusion of a public holiday from sub-section (2), in view of the declaration contained in the preceding sub-section.
Mr. Lemass: The purpose of the section is to ensure, apart from the prohibition of work in certain industries on Sundays and holidays, that every worker will get at least one period of 24 hours' rest in a week. That is provided for in the section. If a worker works on a Sunday then he must get 24 hours' rest to compensate him for the loss of the Sunday. The same consideration does not apply in respect to public holidays. The worker will get his 24 hours' rest in the week in which a public holiday occurs, but it is not proposed to secure that the worker in such a week will get two consecutive days. There shall be one period per week of 24 hours' rest.
Mr. Cosgrave: Will the Minister explain how if a public holiday falls on a Saturday, the worker is to get 24 hours' rest before the next Sunday?
Mr. Lemass: He does not get 24 hours to compensate for the public holiday only for the Sunday. That is the mistake that Deputy Norton is making.
Mr. Norton: The Minister takes the viewpoint in sub-section (1) that a public holiday is virtually equivalent to Sunday for the purpose of his prohibition of work on that public holiday, and then he proceeds to say (2) that if the worker works on a Sunday he will get 24 hours' rest before the next following Sunday in other words if the worker works on a Sunday he will get one day off for that day, but in respect of the public holiday the Minister is not prepared to give any compensation in respect of the worker having worked on that day.
Mr. Lemass: He gets 24 hours' rest.
Mr. Norton: Take this position. A person works from Monday to Saturday. Let us say, Wednesday is a public holiday and the worker is required to work on that particular day, and he gets in respect of that day his day's pay. He will get under the section no other compensation in respect of that day. I am taking it  in any case that the Minister will find it very difficult to get the worker to work on a bank holiday. If he works on a bank holiday he will have to get paid.
Mr. Lemass: Yes, he will get paid.
Mr. Norton: Presumably the worker works on a bank holiday and the only compensation he gets is pay for that day just as if it were not a bank holiday at all. My amendment seeks to ensure that he will also get a day of rest in respect of that apart from the day's pay. I think there is a pretty strong case for that. The Minister is going pretty close to the Russian method of abolishing the normal week as we understand it in this island. But, notwithstanding what has been done in Russia, there is a good case to be made for the recreation given by a public holiday. No experiment made by any country in the world has convinced me that there should be any change in this matter or that any such change will be a benefit to the worker. The worker should get his ordinary rest on Sundays and bank holidays. The compensation that the Minister is giving is merely pay for the work done.
Mr. Lemass: It much more than pays for it.
Mr. Norton: If the Minister's viewpoint is accurately represented in the sub-section he gives him nothing. They have nothing to thank the Minister for or to thank his Department or legislation for.
Mr. Lemass: I am not asking them to thank me.
Mr. Norton: Whatever they have got they have got by their own efforts. Instead of recognising that there should be some compensation for working on public holidays, and enshrining that principle in the Bill, the Minister proceeds to deal with the situation as if nobody ever got compensation, apart from his wages, for working on a public holiday or a Sunday. If the worker is compelled to work on the first Monday in August, on Easter Monday or on  Whit Monday, I think he has a strong claim to get something more than his ordinary day's pay for working on that day. On a public holiday the worker would like to go out and enjoy the day with his family. He would like to go to the seaside or to the mountains; to go visiting friends or to sports fixtures, football matches and things of that kind. But by reason of the fact that he is compelled to work on the bank holiday, when all these amenities are available to him, he is denied the recreative benefits that he might have enjoyed. This is denied him because he has to work on the bank holiday. The only benefit he gets is the ordinary day's pay. I think the attitude of the Minister is a most unreasonable attitude to adopt in this case. There is a very strong case for recognition of the claim for special compensation in respect of work done on a holiday. In sub-section (1) the Minister has committed himself to the principle when he puts Sunday on the same plane as a public holiday in respect of work. I ask the Minister seriously to consider this matter. I now see that the Minister is standing for what I at first thought was an omission in sub-section (2). He seems to have made up his mind that the worker who is working on a bank holiday is not to be specially compensated. I think that is regrettable.
An Ceann Comhairle: Is the amendment withdrawn?
Mr. Norton: I do not think so.
Mr. Lemass: I want to impress this upon the Deputy that what we are providing for are the minimum standards, but they do not represent the actual standards that are operating. In the majority of cases the workers who work on a bank holiday or on a public holiday get double pay and, in some cases, treble pay. What the Deputy is proposing is that they should get another day as well as the additional day that is given.
Mr. Norton: What about the cases where no extra compensation is given? None will be given under this section.
Mr. Lemass: The section does not provide for it, but I am stating what is the practice.
Mr. Cosgrave: What Deputy Norton seeks to do in this amendment is to ensure that where there is a public holiday the person who works on that holiday will have 24 hours' consecutive rest in that week in respect of that day. The Minister's intention is to ensure that the man will not work more than six days in the week. That is the sum and substance of the section and it is good as far as it goes. The amendment has no meaning other than that where a public holiday occurs the man will get 24 hours off in respect of that holiday. It does not say whether he will be paid for it. All the Minister ensures is that the man will not work seven consecutive days. Deputy Norton says in respect of a public holiday that the same rule would apply. Neither the Minister nor Deputy Norton in his amendment provides for payment for the man.
Mr. Lemass: The amendment does.
Mr. Cosgrave: No.
Mr. Norton: It is in another amendment of mine.
Mr. Cosgrave: We have not come to that amendment yet. What is the purpose of public holidays? Apparently, they are for the purpose of giving the workers the enjoyment of a day's recreation. So far as the case is concerned, if there be a case at all for a public holiday, there is a case for giving it to persons employed in factories and people of that sort. That is as far as this particular amendment goes and the Minister ought to consider that.
Mr. Lemass: What we are providing for here are the minimum requirements. We cannot do more than that. We cannot do more than that taking into account the circumstances of the different industries, and the various reasons that may apply in different cases. It may be that in some places the workers are not paid extra for public holidays but in the majority of  cases they are. The minimum requirement we are providing for here is one day's rest in the week. If any individual agreement between employers and their workers provide for more than that there is nothing here to prevent their getting it. What we are doing is we are fixing it as a statutory obligation. That statutory obligation provides for a six-day week.
Mr. Cosgrave: I quite agree. But there are six public holidays provided for.
Mr. Lemass: And work is prohibited on these days.
Mr. Cosgrave: I am glad the Minister says that. Deputy Norton asks in this amendment that in respect of work done on a holiday that one other day in the week will be set apart for rest for the man who has worked during the holiday. That is not unreasonable.
Mr. Norton: In resisting the amendment which I moved for compensation for working on a Sunday the Minister said there were cases where the workers were paid double and treble for working on a Sunday.
Mr. Lemass: No, on public holidays.
Mr. Norton: What therefore is the objection on the part of the Minister to setting down some minimum which is less than what the position is in those industries? I asked for 50 per cent. extra in respect of Sunday. The only employer who could be affected by that is the employer who was paying less than 50 per cent. extra for Sunday work. Where the employer is paying 100 per cent., 200 per cent. or 300 per cent. as the Minister spoke of there can be no penal effect by this amendment. I suggested, therefore, that the minimum, which would be only a 50 per cent. increase on the normal rate, be given, and the Minister would not accept that though it meant no additional burden on those who were paying more. The only persons who would be affected would be those who were paying less at the moment.
An Ceann Comhairle: Has not that matter been disposed of?
Mr. Norton: Yes, but the Minister is using the same kind of argument on this amendment. He says that he is establishing a minimum standard in respect of public holidays. What minimum standard is established in this section? What it means is that if a worker works on a bank holiday be will be paid. Does the Minister think he is establishing any standard in prohibiting work on a bank holiday? In respect of these types of industry the only thing the worker is going to get is a day's pay for the service rendered.
Mr. Lemass: I do not accept that.
Mr. Norton: What else would he get?
Mr. Lemass: In practice he gets more.
Mr. Norton: Will the Minister show where?
Mr. Lemass: The newspaper industry, as Deputy Anthony stated. That is one industry.
Mr. Norton: I am not speaking of the newspaper industry. What does he get under this section?
Mr. Lemass: Nothing. This section does not deal with it.
Mr. Norton: It does. This section permits him to work on a bank holiday and, presumably, to get wages for the service he renders on that bank holiday. But this section gives him no other compensation. It is true that his trade union has, in many cases, got him compensation, but this section is doing nothing for the recognition of that principle, nor is it doing anything to safeguard the position of those who have got extra compensation. It is described as a Bill to make further and better provision for regulating and controlling conditions of employment, and it does nothing to safeguard what has been won for the workers in that respect. It does not even enshrine the principle, and it does nothing whatever to deal with the employer who, contrary to what the general position is in the industry, is paying nothing in respect of work  on a bank holiday. I cannot understand the mentality of the Minister on this section.
Mr. Lemass: I think this is a matter that should be dealt with under Section 42 by agreement. That is the question of general principle.
Mr. Norton: If the Minister says that generally in industry some extra compensation is paid, he need anticipate no difficulty in coming to an agreement with employers and unions on the matter. The only person with whom there will be difficulty if this amendment is accepted will be the person paying no compensation whatever to a worker on a public holiday or Sunday, apart from the normal day's pay for work on these days. I do not think the acceptance of the amendment will in any way militate against the chances of getting general agreement under Section 42. Nevertheless, we ought to establish some minimum standard, and that is what the amendment seeks to do. I think it is most unreasonable that the Minister should in one section provide that workers shall be prohibited from working on a bank holiday, and that in such cases as it is necessary to employ them on a bank holiday, he should treat that bank holiday just the same as an ordinary day and give no additional compensation to the worker. Although the whole principle of the Bill is to pick out the bank holiday and recognise it as a day of much more importance from the point of view of industrial leisure than any other day in the year.
Amendment put and negatived.
Amendments Nos. 129, 130, and 131 not moved.
Mr. Norton: I move amendment No. 131 (a):—
Before sub-section (3) to insert the following sub-section:—
Every worker employed by any employer to do industrial work and who under the provisions of this section is not permitted to do for employer any industrial work  on a day which is a public holiday shall be paid by his employer in respect of such public holiday at the following rate, that is to say:—
(a) in the case of a worker whose ordinary remuneration is calculated by reference to time, at such rate per day as shall be the average earnings of such worker for the last six working days immediately preceding such public holiday, and
(b) in the case of a worker whose ordinary rate of remuneration is piece-work wages, at such rate per day as shall be the average earnings of such worker for each working day of the last five weeks immediately preceding such public holiday or, if he has not then been in the employment of such employer for five weeks, shall be the average earnings of such worker for each working day of such period as he has been in such employment.
This Bill, in my view, is extremely ambiguous as to the position of a worker who does not work on a public holiday. One would imagine from the Second Reading speech of the Minister and the declarations made outside the House by the Minister that worker who do not work on public holidays were, nevertheless, to be paid in respect of the limited number of public holidays defined in the Bill, but I can see no ground in this Bill for assuming that a worker will in fact be paid for a public holiday. If there is any clarity about the Bill in respect of workers who do not work on a public holiday, I think the clarity is that a worker will not be paid if he does not work on a public holiday. In this Bill we are defining what are public holidays and, presumably, we are defining them for the purpose of saying that certain provisions will govern employment on those days, or certain provisions will be made so as to prevent, as far as possible, the employment of workers on those days. A provision of that kind is a recognition of the fact that we rightly regard public holidays as days of normal recreation. Yet, in  the Bill, while we regard these as days of normal recreation, as special festivals to be set apart as days upon which there shall be a suspension from industrial work except in a certain limited number of categories, we fail to provide that the workers who are so exempt from work on those days will be paid wages in respect of their abstention from work, in accordance with the authority of the legislature, on these particular days. In other words, so far as this Bill is concerned, if workers are to have holidays—St. Patrick's Day, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, first Monday in August, Christmas Day and St. Stephen's Day—they are to have these holidays at their own expense. I think that is contrary to the underlying theory of the Bill in defining holidays for some express purpose. This amendment seeks to ensure that when some workers are not permitted to work on public holidays, they will be paid for the public holidays, in the case of weekly workers in the manner calculated in paragraph (a) of the amendment, and in the case of pieceworkers in the manner calculated under paragraph (b). I think it is only reasonable that when the legislature has provided six public holidays, namely, those specified in the Bill, the legislature should see to it that workers who, in accordance with the provisions of the Bill, are prevented from working on these public holidays, should be paid in respect of the public holidays on which they are prevented from working.
Mr. Lemass: The Bill does not provide a statutory obligation for any worker in respect of public holidays. I see considerable difficulty in forcing any such obligation. Perhaps the Deputy, on examination of the question, will realise that, to make such provision would also create a situation in which the employer who desires to do so, might be facilitated in evading the week's holidays; that is the holidays agreed periodically throughout the year. We fear the possibility may arise that certain employers would evade the obligation of giving a week's  holidays to workers by periodically dismissing them and re-employing them so that continuity of service would be invaded. But, in order to prevent that, we adopted a device by which the employer was obliged to pay a day's pay for each two months the employee was in his employment. Suppose we place upon him the obligation that he has to pay, also, for public holidays, it is not impossible that on the day preceding the public holiday the employer, will formally dismiss his worker, pay the day's pay provided for in the general holiday section, and by doing so evade the obligation to pay for the holidays referred to here. The employer would lose nothing by doing that. If he keeps the worker in his employment he will be obliged to pay for the public holiday, but if he dismisses him he will pay the same amount, but he will succeed in evading his week's holidays obligation. Has it not occurred to the Deputy that certain public holidays are, at the present time, recognised under existing law, but there is no obligation for payment, nor do I think it is the general practice to pay for public holidays. If we impose this new obligation to pay now, I do not see how we can get over the difficulty to which I have referred. I do not know whether the Deputy would like to give thought to that matter.
Mr. Norton: I sought to prevent that difficulty by eliminating the word “consecutive” in the section dealing with holidays.
Mr. Lemass: There must be consecutive employment. We will have to provide for accidental gaps in the continuity of the employment, and make allowances for breakdowns of plant and such temporary stoppages, but suppose we got a definition of temporary employment, the difficulty still exists.
Mr. Norton: Under the section, in which holidays are provided for, workers have the right to one day for every two consecutive months' service. I sought to have the word “consecutive” deleted so as to ensure that a person who had two months' service with an employer could claim one day's holidays. In support of that, I pointed  out to the Minister that, under the section as drawn, it was possible for an employer to employ a worker for one month and three and seven-eighth weeks of another, then terminate his service and pay for no holidays. I think that would have been the effective way. I moved that amendment as an effective way of dealing with a problem of that kind. It might work out, in an extreme case, that a person taken on for one day might have to get a day's holiday the next day, but I think a medium practice could be devised to prevent that anomaly. It is only by putting some obligation on the employer to grant holidays for some substantial period less than two months, and to put penalties on him so as to obviate any advantage to him of dismissing workers to avoid holidays, that you could operate under the Bill the part designed to give holidays to workers carried to any period of time.
I think the Minister will have to go back to that section dealing with holidays, and put a heavy obligation on the employer, making it necessary for him to grant these holidays in respect of shorter periods of service, not in the hope that holidays will be granted for shorter periods, but to avoid the dangers that may arise where the employer wants to interrupt two months' consecutive service by a break of one day. If the Minister does that he may get over a substantial portion of the difficulty.
The other portion is a very practical one, namely, what restriction can be imposed upon an employer so as to ensure that he will not dismiss workers in advance of a bank holiday. I think there is a certain type of employer who would resort to that subterfuge in order to escape his responsibility to the employee. But there are many who would not stoop to that level. In the Bill there is no obligation put on workers who do not work on bank holidays. I suggest to the Minister, even though there may be imperfections in the Bill that to ensure that that work will be paid for that lawful authority in the matter should be enacted by accepting this amendment.
 It will be difficult to regulate bank holidays in respect to each particular worker, and it will be an adjunct to trade union action to keep time with this position. If there was general recognition by any class of employers over a wide number of industries, that bank holidays should be paid for, I think ultimately you would reach a stage when the employer who desired to evade his liability in that respect might, in the course of time, reach a sufficiently higher standard of public conduct as to realise that he should fall into line with other and better classes of employers in the same industry. It may be possible, and even desirable, to insert some provision by which, where an employee is dismissed before a bank holiday, and if he has rendered a certain minimum period of service, he will have to be paid in respect of that bank holiday. Even if that latter provision is not made, I think substantial compliance with the amendment could be ensured, even under existing circumstances. But an addition of that kind would, I think, help to ensure compliance with the section, as amended, over a very substantial number of industries affected by this Bill. At all events, it is obviously unfair to the worker to say:“You cannot work on bank holidays and, because you cannot, we will make sure that you do not get paid.”
Mr. Lemass: I am afraid I could not accept the Deputy's contention that it is wise to make this provision in the belief that a number of employers in any event will conform to it, even though others can evade it. That is precisely what will not happen, and it is precisely to prevent such a situation in relation to any condition of employment arising that the Bill is designed, namely, to ensure that the standards and practices of the good employers will be made legally enforceable against all.
Mr. Norton: Take my second suggestion.
Mr. Lemass: It has not been our experience that the example of good employers brings bad employers into  line, but rather that the practice of bad employers forces good employers to come down in their standards. However, the Deputy will, I think, appreciate now that there are certain difficulties arising in this matter, and although I have certain sympathy with his object in moving this amendment, I do not quite see how these difficulties are to be got over. I suggest that he leave the amendment over for the next stage and, in the meantime, we will both have an opportunity of considering and even discussing how the matter could be met.
Mr. Norton: Would the Minister bear in mind the possibility of adopting my second advice, namely, of making any substantial period of employment between one bank holiday and another a reason why the worker should automatically be entitled to pay in respect of that bank holiday?
Mr. Lemass: Yes.
Mr. Anthony: In other words, the number of days should be accumulated. I think that if the Minister accepted the amendment in my name, moved by Deputy Norton, to Section 20, on Report Stage, it would meet the difficulty.
Mr. Lemass: I am afraid that would only create a whole lot of new difficulties.
Amendment No. 131b not moved.
Question proposed: “That Section 41 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Dockrell: There is one aspect of this section to which I wish to draw the Minister's attention. There are certain minor jobs that have to be done on a Sunday, such as feeding and giving water to horses and a caretaker opening premises and turning something on or off. I do not know whether he has contemplated that that would entail a lay-off for 24 hours the next day, but that, of course, would be absurd, but I suppose the Minister will deal with that.
Mr. Lemass: I propose to introduce an amendment on the next stage to provide that work not exceeding three or four hours on a Sunday or public holiday will not be deemed to be work for the purpose of a 24 hours' rest. It would be no advantage to a worker to get one hour's work on Sunday and lose a day's pay because of it.
Question put and agreed to.
(1) As soon as may be after the commencement of this Act the Minister shall establish and thereafter maintain a register (in this section referred to as the register) in such form as he shall think proper to be styled and known as the Wages Agreements Register.
(2) Every agreement, signed (whether before or after the commencement or before or after the passing of this Act) by or on behalf of a body or bodies (in this section referred to as the employer signatories) purporting or claiming to be substantially representative of the employers concerned in any particular form of industrial work in the whole on in any particular part of Saorstát Eireann and by a body or bodies (in this section referred to as the worker signatories) purporting or claiming to be substantially representative of the workers or of any particular class of the workers employed in the said particular form of industrial work in (as the case may be) the whole or in the said particular part of Saorstát Eireann, whereby the rates of salary, wages, or other reward payable to such workers or class of workers are regulated or restricted may be presented, within the time limited by this section, to the Minister by one or more of the parties thereto for registration in the register.
(3) Whenever an agreement made in respect of any particular form of industrial work is presented under this section to the Minister for registration in the register and the Minister is satisfied—
 (a) that the employer signatories to such agreement are substantially representative of the employers concerned in such form of industrial work in the area to which such agreement relates, and
(b) that the worker signatories to such agreement are substantially representative of the workers or of a particular class of workers concerned in such form of industrial work in the area to which such agreement relates, and
(c) that such agreement, if made after the commencement of this Act, contains provisions regulating the duration or providing for the termination of such agreement and that such provisions are so framed as to secure that such agreement will be operative for at least one year from the date thereof, and
(d) that such agreement is in all respects suitable for registration in the register,
the Minister shall register such agreement in the register.
(4) Every agreement registered in the register shall, on and after the date on which it is so registered and for so long thereafter as it continues to be binding on the parties thereto, be also binding on every employer concerned in the form of industrial work in the area to which such agreement relates and on every worker or, where such agreement relates only to a class of workers, every worker in such class employed in the said form of industrial work in the said area, and shall regulate, restrict, or otherwise control in accordance with the terms thereof the rate of salary, wages, or other reward payable by any such employer to any such worker and shall be enforceable by any such employer or any such worker in any court accordingly notwithstanding any contract or agreement between such employer and such worker to the contrary or inconsistent therewith.
(5) Whenever an agreement is presented to the Minister for registration under this section the party or  parties so presenting such agreement shall furnish to the Minister a copy thereof to be retained by him and shall furnish to the Minister all such information (if any) as he may require concerning such agreement and if such party or parties fail to furnish such copy and information the Minister may, on the ground of such failure, refuse the registration of such agreement.
(6) Whenever an agreement is registered in the register, an officer of the Minister authorised in that behalf by the Minister shall cause to be endorsed on such instrument and shall sign thereon a certificate stating that such agreement is so registered and the date on which it was so registered.
(7) A certificate endorsed and signed on an agreement in pursuance of the next preceding sub-section of this section shall be accepted in every court as conclusive evidence that such agreement is duly registered in the register and was so registered on the date stated in that behalf in such certificate, and such certificate shall be so accepted without proof of the signature of the officer purporting to sign such certificate in pursuance of the said sub-section or that he was an officer of the Minister or was authorised by the Minister to sign such certificate.
(8) The time within which an agreement may be presented under this section to the Minister for registration in the register shall be—
(a) in the case of an agreement bearing date before the date of the commencement of this Act, within six months after such commencement, or
(b) in the case of an agreement bearing date as of or after the date of the commencement of this Act, within six months after the date of such agreement.
Mr. Anthony: I move amendment No. 132:—
In sub-section (2), line 56, before  the word “body” to insert the words “trade-union.”
In putting down this amendment, I was hoping that the Minister might see his way to accept it. This is the section of the Bill about which most discussion has taken place — a good deal of it of a very acrimonious character, by the way. In both trade union circles and outside trade union circles and, particularly outside, a lot of acrimonious discussion has taken place. We are getting advice from all and sundry, and particularly from people who describe themselves as the left-wingers, in relation to this section and as to how it will be interpreted by the Minister when it becomes law. Sub-section (2) of Section 42 says that:
... a body or bodies (in this section referred to as the worker signatories) purporting or claiming to be substantially representative of the workers....
I propose to insert the words “trade union,” and because of inserting those words, I had to define that in Section 2. It was consequential, of course. It is generally understood that the Irish Trade Union Congress does not represent all the organised workers in the country. A number of very old established trade unions are outside the Irish Trade Union Congress. Many of them are outside because they cannot afford to be affiliated, and many others because they do not believe in linking up with the Irish Trade Union Congress. Hence, I suggest, in my definition amendment earlier, the words “an organisation of workers recognised by that body as a genuine trade union body.” Notwithstanding the fact, as I have said, that a number of bodies are not affiliated, they are recognised by the Irish Trade Union Congress as genuine trade unions.
Mr. Norton: Can the Deputy give us a list of those?
Mr. Anthony: I will give one which will illustrate my point. It is a very old-established society of 100 odd years—the Cork Masons' and Bricklayers' Society.
Mr. Norton: How many members?
Mr. Anthony: 150 or so. They are a very old-established society, and that is why I put in the proviso. I think the Irish Trade Union Congress does recognise the body to which I refer as a genuine trade union body. Is that not so?
Mr. Norton: Yes.
Mr. Anthony: No matter how the Executive of the Irish Trade Union Congress may be constituted at any time, I have sufficient confidence in that body to believe that they would not rule out any genuine trade union organisation. It is also well known to Deputies, and especially to any of those who take an interest in the trade union movement, that there are a number of bodies calling themselves trade unions which have simply broken away from their parent unions and which, because of some industrial disturbance, get themselves registered as a trade union. They break away, for some obscure reason, in many cases, and establish an organisation of their own. That occurred in this country during a very troubled period when it was only necessary to put the word “Irish” before the name of the body and it became popular and got thousands of members. It is to obviate that kind of thing that I put down the amendment.
There will be two parties to the bargain—the Irish Trade Union Congress and the representatives of the employers. I cannot see any objection to this amendment. I tried to anticipate a whole lot of objections. I am aware that Deputy Norton has a longer and more comprehensive amendment on the Order Paper to this section, and if Deputy Norton satisfies me that it is a better way of arriving at an amicable understanding between the various unions and the employers' groups, I should be quite satisfied to withdraw my amendment in favour of his. I agree at the same time that the Irish Trades Union Congress, because of its being so long established in this country, would be the most appropriate body to speak on behalf of the workers'  organisations. Hence I move the amendment standing in my name.
Mr. Lemass: I could not accept the amendment which would create the position that we could only accept as representative of the workers a trades union affiliated to, or recognised by, the Trades Union Congress. Officially I have no knowledge of the rules of the Trades Union Congress. I have no means of ensuring that it will always abide by its rules. I have no means of preventing the Trades Union Congress refussing to recognise a body that may be genuinely representative of the workers concerned in any industry or opposing its request to have an agreement negatived. I have no means of preventing the creation of a second body calling itself the Trades Union Congress. You might have half a dozen bodies calling themselves the Trades Union Congress if there was any difference of opinion on any matter in the trades union movement. Deputy Anthony's amendment and Deputy Norton's subsequent amendment to set up certain machinery arise out of the suspicion in the minds of certain people that the Minister for Industry and Commerce, either now or in the future, might accept as representative of the workers in any particular industry a separate body, organisation or group of persons, who were not really representative of these workers and that, by his doing so, there might be an agreement registered which would not be in accordance with general trades union interests or contrary to the interests of trades union members. I do not think there can be the slightest ground for that fear.
I think myself, having regard to the fact that the Minister has no power of initiative under the section, that he is concerned only to register an agreement when it is presented to him, and then only if he is satisfied that the persons who signed the agreement are genuinely representative of the people on whose behalf the agreement has been made and if he is of opinion that the agreement is one which having regard to all the considerations should be registered, these fears will have no foundation in fact. Having regard  to the fact that the Minister has got to account for his actions in relation to these matters here in the Dáil and to the public generally, the prospect of any Minister putting himself in a position in which he would register an agreement on behalf of a body of workers, or a body of employers for that matter, who were not genuinely representative of the people concerned in the agreement, is very remote indeed. There is, however, a slight danger that so long as that fear exists and so long as any body of trades unionists have any suspicion in their minds in relation to the section, the section may not become as operative as I should like to see it and I am prepared to consider an amendment to the section in certain respects.
We can provide here that no agreement should be registered unless at the request of both parties. At the present time an agreement can be registered at the request of either party and if we make a provision that the agreement can only be registered at the request of both parties, then there is an obligation, not merely on the Minister who deals with the registration, but also on the parties to the agreement, to satisfy themselves as to the representative nature of the parties dealing with it. I think that is not a 100 per cent. safeguard but it is a provision that I will be prepared to accept although from the purely trades union point of view it is not a desirable amendment. I think circumstances may frequently arise in which a trades union may have an agreement made with a body of employers and would like to have that agreement registered even though the consent of the employers to the registration of that agreement may not have been obtained. However, I am prepared, if I am pressed, to provide that the agreement can only be registered at the request of both parties.
If there is still a suspicion that agreements may be registered by parties not properly representative of those for whom they purport to sign, I am prepared to go further. I would give any party the right of appeal to the  courts against the registration of the agreement on that one ground, namely, that the parties to the agreement were not properly representative of those for whom they purported to speak. I think that would give an adequate safeguard on that ground. That would put the Trades Union Congress in the position that if they saw an agreement being registered by a body of people whom they did not regard as properly representative of the workers concerned in the agreement, they could initiate legal proceedings to have that registration upset.
Mr. Anthony: Does the Minister propose to introduce an amendment embodying that?
Mr. Lemass: Yes. I am prepared to do it. If I might deal with it at this stage, as I think it has something to do with the objections which were expressed to this section, I might refer also to a matter arising out of sub-section (4). Sub-section (4) provides really that when an agreement is made it can be legally enforced by any worker against his employer, or by any employer against his worker. People have been reading into that provision something which is not there, and which was never intended to be there, namely, that once an agreement is registered, it will become illegal for a trade union to take any action during the currency of that agreement, which would result in workers refusing to work. The agreement, as Deputies are aware, is really only in relation to wages. Yet people have read into that section the interpretation that, assuming that an agreement is made in relation to wages, and a dispute takes place between the employer and the worker in the industry concerned, over some other matter—over hours of work, recognition of a trade union, or something of that kind—it would, nevertheless, be illegal for the trades union to take action which would prevent the workers working in the industry so long as the recognised rate of wages is being  paid. That is not so, nor do I think it is of the slightest value to any employer to have the power to go to the court for an injunction to prevent a worker receiving a higher rate of wages than that which the employers have agreed to give.
The desire to maintain that position under sub-section (4) is very largely due to the illusion that it gives some effective power which can be used to restrain workers from going on strike while the agreement is in operation. There is nothing in the Bill which requires a worker to work in any particular industry. We could well have the position created in which, assuming an agreed rate of £4 was fixed for an industry, a worker employed in that particular industry would say: “I am not prepared to work at that rate; I am going to offer my services in some other occupation.” You could not possibly have the situation in which that worker could be forced to work in the industry at the agreed rate of wages. Therefore, I am prepared also to amend sub-section (4) in order to provide that it should operate merely in this way; that when an agreed rate of wages is registered, it shall be in the power of the worker by the procedure contemplated in the section, to require his employer to pay at least that agreed rate and leave it at that.
Deputies will appreciate that it is not proposed to force an agreed rate by action through the Department. What is provided is that an agreed rate is fixed, and that any employer who pays less can be brought to court by the worker who can recover the amount by which he was underpaid as a simple contract debt. With these two amendments to the section, the amendment making it possible for any party to upset the registration on the ground that the agreement was made by people who were not properly representative, and the alternative that I have indicated to sub-section (4) I think that most of the objections which I have heard from any quarter to Section 42 have been met.
Mr. Norton: I had an amendment  down to delete sub-sections (3) and (4), and in lieu thereof to insert a new sub-section which, I think, from the point of view of the workers and of every reasonable concept of the whole position, meets the problem with which this Bill endeavours to deal in a more reasonable, and, from the trades union point of view, less restrictive way. The Minister has made reference to the provisions of sub-section (4) of Section 42. I suggest that might be discussed because it may obviate the necessity of moving this rather lengthy amendment at this stage. I think the Minister must be aware of the fact that there has been very considerable concern expressed by the trades union movement as to the terms of sub-section (4) of this section. There has been, in my opinion, a quite legitimate suspicion that it was designed to curb the present legislative rights of trades unions in the matter of prosecuting industrial disputes: that the section was designed to hamper the rights of trades unions as those rights exist to-day. That view-point has been largely generated by the terms of sub-section (4) which provides:—
Every agreement registered in the register shall, on and after the date on which it is so registered and for so long thereafter as it continues to be binding on the parties thereto, be also binding on every employer concerned in the form of industrial work in the area to which such agreement relates and on every worker or, where such agreement relates only to a class of workers, every worker in such class employed in the said form of industrial work in the said area, and shall regulate, restrict, or otherwise control in accordance with the terms thereof the rate of salary, wages, or other reward payable by any such employer to any such worker——
and here is the serious portion of the sub-section——
and shall be enforceable by any such employer or any such worker in any court accordingly notwithstanding any contract or agreement between such employer and such  worker to the contrary or inconsistent therewith.
It would appear, from the drafting of this sub-section, that the agreement was to be registered in the Wages Agreements Register. In making his case on the Second Reading of the Bill for the power conferred in this section, the Minister indicated that his objective was to bring up the employer who was paying low rates of wages or enforcing bad conditions of labour into line with the good employer who was paying a trade union rate of wages and observing trades union conditions of labour. With that view-point I am in complete agreement, because I think that the bad employer is not only a socially undesirable person but that he is a menace to every decent employer who wants to pay decent rates of wages and put into operation decent conditions of labour. I think that nobody with a reasonable outlook on a matter of this kind will quarrel with the Minister's desire to require employers, in certain industries, to conform to a given standard, that being a standard regulated and fixed by good employers and trades unions and not by bad employers and unorganised workers. But in his desire to ensure that the bad employer is required to conform to conditions which have been agreed to by good employers, the Minister seeks to make such portion of an agreement relating to wages which is entered into between good employers and trades unions enforceable upon all employers, and in his desire to try to secure unanimity in that manner, he also proposes that such a wage agreement shall be enforceable not merely on the employer but on the worker as well.
I cannot understand the object of enabling an employer to enforce an agreement of that kind on the worker, nor can I understand why it is necessary that provision should be made in this section for enforcing the agreement on the worker. If, let us say, there was in the agreement a provision ensuring that the worker would be paid £3 a week, whereas he was formerly only paid £2 10/- per week,  it is against all reality to suggest that it would be necessary to sue the worker to make him take £3 a week. As drafted, this section appears to contemplate the possibility that it will be necessary to sue the worker in order to get him to accept the rate of wages provided in the agreement. In other words, that somebody fears that the worker will not desire to ask for, or receive, that rate of wages. Now I know that is a ludicrous contion. If that is not the intention, and if the worker could not be sued in that way, in what way could he be sued? If it is not the intention to sue him for a breach of the agreement, which breach takes the form of accepting a lesser rate than that provided in the agreement, in what other way then is it intended to sue him under the section? Is it intended to sue him to make him take the rate provided in the agreement if that rate is higher? Is the section intended to ensure that where the rate of wages is paid to a worker under an agreement entered in the Wages Agreements Register that it shall be illegal for that worker to cease work for an employer so long as that employer is prepared to pay that rate of wages, and is the provision in the sub-section, as drawn, intended to get us to the stage where the worker is not free to decide where he can sell his labour or withhold his labour? As drawn, this section seems to me to be open to the interpretation that an agreement is made between the representatives of the workers and the representatives of the employers. Let us say that agreement provides for the payment of a rate of wages of £3 a week. It is possible, I think, under the section as it is now drawn, for an employer to sue the worker and to require him to continue to work for such employer so long as the wages agreement was adhered to by the employer. It seems to me that that is the only possible interpretation which can be placed on this section as drawn.
I would like the Minister to say in what way it is contemplated that a worker could be sued under this  section. The suspicion in the trades union movement, and that suspicion has been fostered by the terms of sub-section (4), is that the desire expressed in the sub-section is to require that a worker will be compelled to work so long as the rates of wages provided in the agreement are paid. Of course, any attempt to enforce a section of that kind against the workers would be productive of results which I do not think anybody desires to see enacted in this country. There is the inalienable right of the worker to sell his labour at any price that he chooses. His right to sell or withhold his labour is an undeniable right. His right to work when he chooses and to abstain from work when he chooses is a right which is older than the State itself. It is older than any civilised community and it would be intolerable to think that, while still professing belief in democratic methods, we contemplated putting any restriction on the right of the worker to sell his labour at any price he thinks fit. I should like the Minister, therefore, to say in what circumstances it was contemplated that this section could be used against the worker and in what respect. It was feared by the trade union movement that this section would restrict the right of workers to withdraw their labour. It is probably true that, once the wages agreement was being adhered to, the workers would not desire to withdraw their labour but, while observing the wages portion of the agreement, an employer might break the hours portion. He might unjustly dismiss a worker or in a variety of ways introduce changes in organisation or conditions which would operate to the detriment of the workers. In such a case, there should not be any restriction on the right of the workers to withdraw their labour as a protest against these new and detrimental conditions. It was feared that under sub-section (4) there was a barrier to the right of the workers to withdraw their labour and that even if labour were withdrawn in such circumstances—in fact, the right to withdraw labour cannot be restricted, though it may be restricted in law—it was feared that the provisions of this  sub-section might be successfully pleaded in the courts against the use by workers of the rights which they enjoy under the Trades Disputes Act.
Another portion of this section which has given grounds for suspicion is that which says that the agreement
shall be enforceable by any such employer or any such worker in any court accordingly notwithstanding any contract or agreement between such employer and such worker to the contrary or inconsistent therewith.
This gets us back to the Minister's earlier phrase about the bourgeois concept of the standard of wages.
Mr. Lemass: That was Stalin's phrase.
Mr. Norton: Yes.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I suggest that Deputies have travelled far enough without going to Russia. I think we should dispose of Deputy Anthony's amendment, No. 132.
Mr. Norton: I think we might dispose of the whole section by discussing the matter and, when there has been an exchange of views, leaving it over to Report Stage.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: If that is the understanding, I am satisfied.
Mr. Lemass: All the amendments hang together. In fact, Deputy Anthony's amendment is an alternative to what Deputy Norton is proposing.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: If there is agreement as to the procedure, I am satisfied.
Mr. Anthony: The Minister has stated that he proposes to introduce an amendment on Report which will cover most of the points with which Deputy Norton has dealt. I should like to see the Minister's amendment before proceeding any further. The Minister's amendment will, I understand, meet some points I raised and which were also raised by Deputy Norton.
Mr. Norton: It would appear from the end of this sub-section that if the workers in a particular industry had a rate of wages of £3 5s. 0d. per week, and if an agreement were made providing that workers in the industry generally should have £3 per week, it would be possible, so long as £3 5s. 0d. was not recognised as the rate for a particular class of workers, for the employer to sue in the courts, if necessary, in order to bring down the rate of wages from something above the standard, or minimum, rate provided in the agreement. I think it should be made clear in any approach to a problem of that kind that the “inconsistency” and the “contrary” viewpoint referred to in the section should be regarded as used in the minimum sense and not in the maximum sense, and that where the Minister seeks to establish that an agreement is binding on the workers and employers, “notwithstanding any contract or agreement... to the contrary or inconsistent therewith,” it should not be capable of being used in such a way as to prevent a worker being legally entitled to any rate of wages which is higher than the rate fixed in the agreement. The main purpose of my amendment to Section 42 is to make sure that those real dangers which I see and which the trade union movement sees in sub-section (4) will be removed and that such provision will be made for registration of agreements as will ensure that only bona fide groups of workers shall be so registered. The amendment which I have submitted is designed to provide for the setting up of a committee, representative of employers and workers, to consider any agreement which the Minister considers as one the registration of which should be considered. After examination of the merits of the agreement the committee might report to the Minister that, in their view, it was desirable to register the agreement. Any agreement so registered should be enforceable as a minimum for all employers in the same industry and they should be required to pay that rate. In that way, the real object expressed by the Minister on Second Reading would be secured, and the  real dangers in sub-section (4) would be avoided. I think it is possible for the Minister, in conjunction with the trade union movement, to reach a substantial measure of agreement on this matter. The trade union movement desires to secure a mass forward move, a regulated forward move and a disciplined forward move, and, generally speaking, it does not desire any indisciplined or sporadic industrial action.
Certainly it does not desire any uncontrolled action. I think the Minister desires to achieve a somewhat similar purpose. Therefore, it is possible for the Minister while preserving existing rights to trade unions, which have long been enshrined in legislation, to reach a substantial measure of agreement with the trade unions. I am quite willing to withdraw the amendment if, in the meantime, the Minister is willing to consult the Trades Union Congress so as to endeavour to secure agreement, either in the form set out in the amendment or in some other form, in a way in which the object behind this section can be given effect to. There are obvious advantages in a reasonably drawn section of this character. Both employers and trade unions will see the same merits in a reasonably drawn section, and I suggest to the Minister that, concurrently with withdrawal of my amendment, he should arrange to consult the Trades Union Congress and endeavour to have this section an agreed section. If the Minister approaches the matter from that standpoint, he will find that the Bill, by reason of co-operation in drafting, will be worked in a better spirit, and with greater harmony, and that the real intention of the Minister on his Second Reading speech will be more truly realised than merely by pushing through sub-section (4) which, if persisted in, will beget the bitterest hostility of the trade unions.
Mr. Morrissey: While I agree with the principle behind Deputy Anthony's amendment, and with a great deal of what Deputy Norton said, we should not overlook the fact, when dealing  with this Bill, that the majority of the workers are unorganised and do not come under the Trades Union Congress at all. That is the trouble. Deputy Norton made one or two statements.
Mr. Norton: The majority of industrial workers being unorganised? Is it a majority affected by this section?
Mr. Morrissey: I would say a very large percentage. I am afraid the Deputy is thinking of cities like Dublin, Cork or Waterford. Great numbers of workers throughout the country are unorganised and do not submit to trade union conditions, unfortunately for themselves. We must keep that in mind. Whether the Deputy admits it or not, he will agree that existing trade unions, instead of going out to try to organise other workers, spend their time trying to poach from one another. The Deputy said that workers had a right to sell their labour at any rate they choose. Surely, that is not so. No trade union ever admitted that. Otherwise, why are there strikes and strike pickets? I want to assure Deputy Norton from my experience, while it may not have been so in the cities, the necessity is well-known of seeing that workers are compelled to live up to an agreement when it is registered. The Deputy knows quite well that for many reasons workers are prepared to accept lower rates than those fixed by trade unions. That is quite common all over the country. In recent years, the great trouble trade unions had, particularly in cities, was with the inflow of workers from the country who were prepared to accept work at rates lower than the trade union rates. That trouble arose mainly from the fact that these workers were unorganised. As the section stands at present there are certain dangers in it. I would like to see all workers organised so that it would be essential, for the proper carrying out of the intentions of the Bill, that the Trades Union Congress or a similar body, should be, so to speak, the central body.
Another danger is that the Trades  Union Executive has been for a number of years largely composed of trade union officials. By that I mean officials of existing trade unions, and, if a genuine attempt was made by some person or persons—and I do not envy them the job—to organise the unorganised workers, it would not be looked upon with pleasure by officials who should be catering for these unorganised workers. While I do not say it will happen, there is the possibility that efforts might be made to see that that attempt at organisation would not receive the sanction or the recognition of the Trades Union Congress. That danger is there. The principle is perfectly sound, and I am in favour of it, but I think we should not overlook the difficulties and certain dangers that are in it. I do not think registration is to be condemned. I agree with Deputy Norton that there is a necessity to make it watertight, so that as far as liberty goes workers will not be put into a position that was never intended. There is a good deal to be said, from the point of view of the workers, that when there is agreement it should be registered, but workers should know about wages and conditions and if you like have a legal right to insist on getting these rights. The position in some towns is notorious. I was responsible for the establishment of a rate of, say, £2 per week in one town. I know towns in the south of Ireland where that was established by trade union action. I am quite satisfied, from information I have now, that many of these workers to-day have only 30/- or 35/- a week. There was never an open attempt made by employers to reduce wages, but it was intimated that where there were two or three men working, that they could not all be kept on owing to particular circumstances, loss of trade or depression, and that unless they agreed to a reduction of wages one of them would have to be dismissed or a wage reduction insisted upon. I know men that have accepted that situation, particularly when the employer told them, and with a certain amount of truth, that there were plenty of men  outside quite willing to work for a lower wage. I am sure the Deputy knows that that is the position. These are some of the dangers I see on this question. The principle is sound and, as far as that is concerned, I am in favour of the amendment, but I would like to see it so tightened up that, while the Trades Union Congress should be the body primarily responsible, it would not be used by officials, if others attempted to organise unorganised workers.
Mr. Norton: May I correct what I think was an unconscious misrepresentation of my point of view by Deputy Morrissey. He said that I stated that workers had a right to sell their labour at any price they liked. In relation to the manner in which I used the remark I stand over it. I was speaking of organised workers. I was merely pointing out that in sub-section (4) it is sought to compel a worker to sell his labour at a fixed price, and that fixed price could be enforceable against him. My point was that the worker should be free to say that his labour was worth a higher price, and that he should not be compelled, even under orders, to work for a lower rate.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendments Nos. 133, 134, 135 and 136 not moved.
Question proposed: “That Section 42 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Dockrell: Arising out of the wording of sub-section (3) (c) I do not know what the practice is in all agreements but, certainly great numbers of these agreements are, more or less undated. They contain, however, a provision for their termination by either party on giving so much notice. I should like to ask the Minister if that agreement would be in order under this section; in other words, I do not think it is at all necessary to have a one year period stuck in in every agreement. I should like to have the Minister's viewpoint on that.
There is another question that I do not think the Minister made quite clear. Presumably, he is considering— which I think, is probably all to the good—that he is going to get agreement by both the employers and the workers before he registers an agreement,  because I am afraid that if you drag in one party unwillingly you will have a whole lot of trouble. However, the Minister is looking into that aspect of it, but he speaks of when an agreement is reached, and presumably he is satisfied that that will not take away the right of the workers to go out or to disagree on everything except wages. I suppose, if that is so for the workers, it would be so also for the employers, so that you could have a dispute over anything except wages and have either strikes or lock-outs. There is another question I should like to ask the Minister, and that is where an agreement is registered with him, and presumably, notice would be given by either party, as, on one side, for a rise, or on the other side for a decrease, in the rate of wages: would the Minister contemplate saying to either party: “I refuse my sanction for the notice that you have handed in,” and then would the dispute take place in defiance of his permission or would he merely give a voluntary permission more or less to meet the matter, to let the dispute commence, and having given his blessing to the dispute, so to speak, then leave it to be settled by the ordinary proceedings such as now operate?
Deputy Norton spoke about having an advisory committee or something like that who would, more or less, overhaul the agreement handed in by either employers or workers. I do not think that, personally, I would have very much faith in such a committee, because it would be extremely difficult to get anybody who really could technically go into the details of all the various agreements that might be sent in to them from all over the country, and, in that respect, the Minister might find that he had raised a monster that would give him a great deal of trouble. Accordingly, I think the best plan would be to have direct intercourse with the employers and employees.
Mr. Lemass: The Department of Industry and Commerce will have nothing to do either with the making of the agreement or with the enforcement  of the agreement when it is made. It will merely establish and maintain the register, and when an agreement is presented for registration then, assuming that it is regarded as the type of agreement that should be registered, it will be registered; but once the agreement has been registered, the enforcement of it becomes a matter for the parties themselves through the procedure established under the section. Obviously, we could not have agreements that would operate for less than a year. There are many agreements which do not terminate at any particular date and that type of agreement is quite common. In future, we would insist on some such class of agreement, such as that it should operate for a certain period but, in any event, for not less than one year from the date of registration. I think that is a reasonable thing to require and that the parties to the agreement should indicate their intention to keep the agreement.
Section 42 put and agreed to.
(1) Where, in order to comply with this Act, the hours of work prevailing immediately before the commencement of this Act in regard to all persons or any particular persons or person employed in any particular form of industrial work are reduced or otherwise altered, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—
(b) the said reduction or alteration of hours of work shall not terminate nor prejudicially affect the contract of service under which any such person is so employed immediately before the commencement of this Act, and every such contract shall continue in force after such commencement with such modifications only as may be necessary in order to comply with this Act and in particular the modification that notwithstanding the said reduction or alteration of hours of work, the rate of salary, wages, or other reward payable  to such person under such contract shall remain unchanged.
Mr. Norton: I move amendment No. 137:—
In sub-section (1) (b), line 31, before the word “with” to insert the words “in the same manner as if this Act had not been passed”.
This amendment is put down with the object of taking from the sub-section the rigidity which it appears to have, as it is drawn. It is provided under sub-section (1) (b) of Section 43 that in a desire to maintain the present rate of wages “a reduction or alteration of hours of work shall not terminate the contract of service under which any such person is so employed immediately before the commencement of this Act, and every such contract shall continue in force after such commencement with such modifications only as may be necessary in order to comply with this Act and in particular the modification that notwithstanding the said reduction or alteration of hours of work the rate of salary, wages, or other reward payable to such person under such contract shall remain unchanged.”
If the object of this section is to preserve an existing agreement, voluntarily entered into, one can quite understand and appreciate it, but I fear that, as drawn, the section seems to conceive of the possibility that the contract may not be altered, and the contract is given a rigidity there which would even prevent it being altered in an upward direction. Suppose a contract that has been made is in existence at the time of the passage of this Act, and that it provides for the payment of a rate of wages of 30/- a week, I want to ensure that nothing in this sub-section shall prevent that being altered, in the ordinary way in which contracts are altered, in an upward direction. I want to make sure that there is nothing to prevent the rate of wages being raised above that level. I have, therefore, moved to insert the words “in the same manner as if this Act had not been passed.” The amendment may not be  necessary, but I fear that there is a measure of rigidity about the sub-section as it stands.
Mr. Lemass: I do not think the amendment is necessary, but as it is purely a drafting matter, I shall have it looked into.
Amendment No. 137, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. Lemass: The next amendment, No. 138, is a mistake and I shall have it put right.
Amendment No. 138 not moved.
Mr. Lemass: The next amendment, No. 139, I shall accept in principle also.
Mr. Cosgrave: The Minister is not putting in these words?
Mr. Lemass: The intention is that they shall not be reduced, but, as it stands, it might mean that we were preventing the rates of wages being changed at any time. It is merely a matter of drafting.
Amendments Nos. 139, 140, 141 and 142 not moved.
Mr. Lemass: I do not think amendment No. 143 is necessary, but if the Deputy thinks that it is necessary I will have it examined.
Mr. Norton: No. I think it is already covered.
Amendment No. 143 not moved.
Section 43 put and agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 144 and 145 not moved.
Mr. Lemass: I am accepting the principle of amendment No. 146.
Amendment No. 146 not moved.
Section 44 put and agreed to.
Mr. Lemass: With regard to amendment No. 147 I think it is a drafting  point that is intended to be dealt with. I do not think the amendment is necessary, but I will have it looked into. If it is necessary to have a definition of “premises,” we will have it inserted in the Bill.
Amendment No. 147 not moved.
Mr. Lemass: I think the suggestion in amendment No. 148 is quite good so far as the registered rates of wages are concerned, but I do not think the Department can undertake the obligation of seeing that the recognised district rate of wages is also displayed, because that would involve some act on our part to check up rates of wages over which we have no control, but if there is a registered agreement of wages I think there is something in the suggestion that the registered rate should be displayed on the premises.
Amendments Nos. 148 and 149 not moved.
Question proposed: “That Section 45 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Norton: I take it “or” in line 53 should be “on”?
Mr. Lemass: Yes. It is a printing mistake.
Question put and agreed to.
Mr. Lemass: I would ask that the amendments to this section be held over. I agree it is necessary to have a wider definition of what would constitute emergency circumstances than is contained in the section, and I propose to have a redraft of the section prepared for submission on the next stage.
Amendments Nos. 150 and 151 not moved.
Section 46 put and agreed to.
Mr. Lemass: Amendment No. 152 is similar to earlier amendments which we agreed to consider.
Amendment No. 152 not moved.
Mr. Lemass: I am prepared to consider amendment No. 153, but I see certain difficulties. The idea is to prevent a worker, who has worked eight hours with one employer, from going home and, after an interval, taking other work with some other employer, but we will have to have some means of providing the second employer with the knowledge that the worker has worked earlier in the day. We cannot penalise the employer in a case where the worker makes a false statement as to what he has been doing earlier in the day. While I agree generally as to the desirability of the provision, I am not at all sure that we can find an effective means of enforcement. However, I am prepared to consider the matter if it is left over.
Amendment No. 153 not moved.
Section 47 put and agreed to.
Mr. Lemass: I am accepting the principle of amendment No. 154.
Amendment No. 154 not moved.
Section 48 put and agreed to.
Mr. Lemass: Amendment No. 155 is the same as an earlier amendment.
Mr. Norton: The Minister is accepting the principle?
Mr. Lemass: Yes.
Amendment No. 155 not moved.
The following amendment appeared on the Order Paper:—
156. Before Section 49 to insert a new section as follows:—
(1) Save as otherwise provided in this section of this Act it shall not be lawful for any employer who employs workers to do industrial work to terminate the contract of employment of any such worker otherwise than by giving to such worker one week's previous notice of dismissal.
 (2) The provisions of this section shall not apply in any case where—
(a) the employer of such worker gives to such worker notice of dismissal for a period longer than one week, or
(b) the employment is of a casual nature.
(3) If any employer contravenes the provisions of this section he shall be guilty of an offence under this section.”—(Deputy Norton.)
Mr. Norton: Is the Minister accepting this amendment?
Mr. Lemass: I do not think it is necessary; I think that it is the existing position.
Mr. Norton: It is the common law position, but I want to ensure that, in a code dealing with conditions, an employee in industrial work should be entitled to a week's notice. That seems to me to be proper to a Bill of this kind rather than to be proper to the common law.
Mr. Lemass: I will look into the matter, but I would be reluctant to effect any unnecessary change in the position. It is only if there is a clear case for making a change in the present position that we should do so.
Mr. Norton: There is not really a statutory provision for it at present. A decision in the Supreme Court to-morrow that it was unnecessary would tear up whatever rights the worker at present has. We ought to have some specific provision that he is definitely entitled to a week's notice.
Mr. Lemass: If you had that provision you would have to set out all the circumstances under which it could be dispensed with. If the employer saw a worker running around with petrol tins to burn down the works he should not have time to give him a week's notice.
Mr. Dockrell: While I agree with the principle of this amendment, and I think in a great many cases it is carried out, at the same time the employer may see the job terminated or a stop  page of the works, in which case he could hardly be bound by this provision. The Minister has mentioned the case of a worker running around with petrol tins, but of course a whole lot of other reasons may arise. While there are any number of cases of agreements for a week's notice, there is a very large number of employments where, theoretically, a man is only entitled to an hour's notice. I do not suggest for a moment that that is very fair, or that it is a common practice, but certainly a very large number of exceptions would have to be brought in if amendment No. 156 were accepted.
Mr. Lemass: The matter may be left over. I am not promising to produce an amendment, but I am suggesting that if the Deputy himself puts it down on the next Stage, if I can meet it I will do so. If not, we can argue the matter, and have a division if necessary.
Amendment No. 156 not moved.
Section 49 put and agreed to.
The following amendment appeared on the Order Paper:—
157. To add at the end of the section the following new sub-section:—
“(2) Every employee in an industrial undertaking in charge of the firing or stoking of steam boilers shall possess a certificate of competency to be issued by the Department of Industry and Commerce and shall produce such certificate for examination when requested by an inspector so to do.”—(Deputy P.S. Doyle.)
Mr. Doyle: I should like to hear what the Minister has to say on this amendment. The position is that in various industries, both in the city and in the country, there are quite a number of inexperienced people in charge of boilers. I think if the Minister makes inquiries he will find that a number of accidents have occurred by reason of the fact that the persons who have charge of those boilers are not qualified. There are other countries in  which people are not permitted to take charge of a boiler except under certificate, notwithstanding the innovation of mechanical appliances on account of which it might be suggested that nobody at all is required to look after the boilers. I would ask the Minister if it is possible to insert this amendment——
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: This discussion is really irregular, because the amendment has been ruled out of order as not being relevant to the Bill.
Mr. Lemass: I was going to explain to the Deputy that the amendment will relate to the Bill which will deal with safety and health regulations—that is, the Bill dealing with factories and workshops.
Amendment No. 157 not moved.
Section 50 put and agreed to.
Where industrial work in any industrial undertaking is done wholly or partly by persons who, on the grounds that they are members of the family of the person carrying on such industrial undertaking or any other grounds, do not receive any salary or wages in respect of their work, the person carrying on such industrial undertaking shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be the employer of such persons doing such industrial work, and such persons shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be workers in the employment of such person.
Mr. Norton: I move amendment No. 158:—
In lines 2/4 to delete the words “on the grounds that they are members of the family of the person carrying on such industrial undertaking or on any other grounds.”
I cannot see the value of the words which I am seeking to have deleted.
Mr. Lemass: Except by way of illustration.
Mr. Norton: “Except by way of  illustration” the Minister says. I think the illustration is a very unhappy one. The desire, in any case, is to secure that a worker shall not be employerless.
Mr. Lemass: That a person is deemed to be employed even if he does not receive wages.
Mr. Norton: But surely we can say that by leaving out the words which I am seeking to have omitted through my amendment? I take it the Minister has in mind members of a family carrying on such industrial undertaking “or on any other grounds” and I am afraid the courts would hold that “on any other grounds” is a phrase which must be closely related to the first condition of exemption and that “on any other grounds” as used in this section, is intended to deal mainly, I think, with the cases of members of a family and would not be held to apply to the case, let us say, of a dressmaker taking in half dozen apprentices to learn the business and not paying them wages. I think the governing words are “members of a family.”
Mr. Lemass: Or on any other grounds.
Mr. Norton: I think that phrase will be related to other kinds of circumstances. I think the Minister should have the matter reconsidered by some of his legal advisers. If it is perfectly clear to them that “on any other grounds” is not closely allied to membership of a family, I will be satisfied, but I fear “on any other grounds” may be ruled by the courts to be close relationship to the employer and it will not cover the cases I have in mind.
Mr. Lemass: It is intended to cover quite a number of cases, such as shareholders in a co-operative concern and other things of that kind.
Mr. Norton: Is the Minister prepared to take further advice?
Mr. Lemass: It is merely a matter of drafting.
Mr. Norton: I think the section will be more comprehensive if the words I  suggest should be omitted, are omitted. It would avoid possible complications in the interpretation of words which, as the Minister admits, are not necessary to the section at all.
Mr. Lemass: I will have the matter looked into.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 51 and 52 agreed to.
(2) The Minister may under this section make different regulations in respect of different employers or different classes of employers.
Mr. Lemass: I am accepting amendment No. 159:—
In sub-section (2), line 27, to delete the words “different employers or”.
Mr. Cosgrave: Is the Minister accepting the terms in amendment No. 159?
Mr. Lemass: I am accepting the terms.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Norton: On the Schedule, may I take it the Minister will ensure that in so far as any portions of these Acts are repealed—the Acts referred to in the Schedule—by this Act, that at least they will be preserved either in their existing form or under some new statutory regulation made by the Minister under this Act, in the cases of industrial undertakings which either by licence or permit he excludes from the scope of the Act.
Mr. Lemass: No, I am not promising. The only persons who will be excluded from the scope of the Act will be firms which, in the main, are not industrial concerns at all, and places where it is held the amount of industrial work done is such a small proportion of the total work done that the Act could not be enforced. In these cases there must be separate application and a separate permit.
Mr. Norton: The Minister quoted the case of a firm in town which had a small machine installed which did a certain amount of industrial work, or work which would be held by this Bill to be industrial work. He proposes to take power here to exclude that undertaking.
Mr. Lemass: Certainly, in respect of this Act, but the concern which is 99½ per cent. not affected by this Act will be covered by whatever other legislation may apply to it.
Mr. Norton: But the Minister is repealing sections of Acts which have application to firms of this kind.
Mr. Lemass: I am excluding certain firms because I do not think the Factory and Workshop Acts should apply to them.
Mr. Norton: Take the case of the weekly half-holiday.
Mr. Lemass: A concern is liable to shut down for a weekly half-holiday under another Act.
Mr. Norton: What is the Act?
Mr. Lemass: The Act which requires all trading concerns to give a weekly half-holiday.
Mr. Norton: Where such portion of an Act is repealed by this measure and the Minister excludes an undertaking from the scope of this Act, then it is neither under this Act nor under the repealed portions of the other Acts.
Mr. Lemass: The point is that these concerns were held in strict law to be liable to the regulations affecting factories and workshops, because an insignificant amount of work done in them was of an industrial character. The Factories and Workshops Act should not apply to them and we are proposing to exclude them from the obligation of the Factories and Workshops code, but they will be subject to the regulations that apply to them as retail establishments.
Mr. Norton: Let us assume that a laundry or a dressmaking establishment is excluded from the scope of the Bill.
Mr. Lemass: It could not be excluded under Section 4.
Mr. Norton: Why could it not be?
Mr. Lemass: It can only be excluded on the grounds that the amount of industrial work done is so insignificant that, in the opinion of the Minister, it is not possible to enforce the Act in relation to it.
Mr. Norton: Did the Minister never hear of a very small laundry or dressmaking establishment?
Mr. Lemass: I did, but it is not because it is small in size that it can be excluded. The only firm that I know of that was held to be a factory was Woolworths, because it had a machine on the counter for printing visiting cards.
Mr. Norton: I want to introduce a safeguard against the possibility of any industrial undertaking being excluded from the scope of the Bill, either regularly or for periods or during periods of pressure. I want to ensure that during periods of that kind, whatever provisions at present apply under the Factory and Workshop Act will be preserved—that is, during the period that they are so excluded.
Mr. Lemass: There will have to be a separate application and a separate permit in every case.
Mr. Norton: Will the Minister make sure in granting that, that such protective provisions as at present apply in the industry will be preserved?
Mr. Lemass: The Deputy may have every confidence that I will protect the interests of everybody who needs protection.
Mr. Norton: With more courage than the Minister displayed in this debate?
Mr. Lemass: With all the courage I have displayed.
Schedule and Title agreed to. Bill reported with amendments.
Mr. Lemass: I propose to take the Report Stage on the 17th July.
Mr. Dockrell: When will the Minister produce his amendments?
Mr. Lemass: I will endeavour to produce them next week, if I can.
Mr. Dockrell: I take it there will be a few days left for other amendments to be submitted?
Mr. Lemass: For alternative amendments to be put in? Certainly.
Mr. Cosgrave: Will the Minister make some provision for any excitement that might involve the Executive Council and induce them to sit almost every day next week? In such an event we would have only Saturday and Monday left.
Mr. MacEntee: If the Deputy would only muffle the idle tongues of his followers, there would be no occasion to sit so long.
Mr. Norton: Will the Minister circulate the amendments as they are ready, rather than hold them up until all are ready?
Mr. Lemass: I will circulate them as soon as I can.
Mr. Norton: In time to enable further amendments to be submitted?
Mr. Lemass: Yes.
Mr. Cosgrave: Will you undertake not to take this measure until the amendments are at least a week in Deputies' hands?
Mr. Lemass: Except by agreement.
Report Stage fixed for Wednesday, 17th July.
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