Allen, Denis

Wednesday, 27 April 1955

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 150 No. 3

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Committee on Finance. - Vote 27—Agriculture.

Quite right.More Button

The Aberdeen Angus are good milkers.More Button

Committee on Finance. - City and County Management (Amendment) Bill, 1954—Committee Stage (Resumed).

Why is it in Section 16, at all, then?More Button

Something that is lawful to be done.More Button

The terms, and provisions of this Bill apply to local authorities where a county manager operates the local authority functions. Is that not so?More Button

And to those only.More Button

It does not apply to a vocational committee or a county committee of agriculture?More Button

Last Thursday evening the Minister tried to indicate that.More Button

I know the terms of that provision, and so forth.More Button

To-night the Minister laid great stress on the fact that a local authority might take a tender other than the lowest tender. Where, in law—where there is a manager—have a local authority power to tak...More Button

It does not empower the local authority to accept tenders for anything. I want the Minister to be specific on that point.More Button

Under Section 4 they may do a thing that is legal——More Button

——in the reserved functions of the council. There is no reserved function and there is nothing in Section 4 that empowers a local authority to accept tenders.More Button

In this Bill there is some provision about receiving tenders and making rules in connection with the receipt of tenders but there is no provision in law, and the Minister well knows it. There is no u...More Button

There is no use in trying to bluff anyone that a local authority will have power, when this Bill becomes law, to accept tenders of any kind. They will not.More Button

The stupidity of the Minister or of myself does not arise on this Bill. Last Thursday the Minister mads the lamest explanation it was possible to make about the provisions of this section and what i...More Button

However Deputy Brennan, or the Minister, or myself, or any other Deputy may interpret something here that does not make it law. Judges and justices and auditors interpret the law. The Minister and e...More Button

It has often been a source of wonder to me down through the years why all the legislation governing local authorities was necessary. In my time, more of the time of the House has been spent in passing...More Button

——in connection with local government than any other Department of State. I believe we have grown up sufficiently now that it could all be abolished and a set of standing orders devised under which l...More Button

I do not think so, but we find here a Minister who claims to be a super democrat, who is giving to the local authorities more powers than they had for the past dozen years— he proposes to give them mo...More Button

No officer of any council, where there is a county manager, can make any payment. No council can force a manager to make any payment which he considers illegal. They have nothing whatever to do with...More Button

I will look at Section 29 of that Act now.More Button

It is the same almost as Section 4. There may be——More Button

Section 29 of that Act, the reactionary Act which gave no powers to local authorities at all and under which the Labour Party believed —I suppose, honestly, as they did not know better—no powers were ...More Button

Deputy Davin is the best man in this House to get you out of a difficulty——More Button

——because he is an old soldier at this type of thing. I believe this is a reactionary section and I am surprised the Minister brought it in. I suggest that he should withdraw it and redraft it for a...More Button

Deputy Smith did not deal with us when he brought in the Bill.More Button

He had to run the gauntlet here, and, if we had found anything like this in the Bill, we would not have been slow to draw it to his notice.More Button

Whatever legislation was brought in by a Minister in the past does not concern the House to-day. This is a date late in April, 1955, and we are making, or trying to make, laws for the future.More Button

There was nothing in the 1940 County Management Act putting the onus on local authorities or allowing auditors to surcharge members of local authorities. There was nothing so reactionary in it, but t...More Button

Quite satisfied.More Button

We would have been glad if the Minister had given us some more justification for the inclusion of this section. The County Management Act has been in operation now for 12 years and the Minister did n...More Button

It is on the records of this House and I challenged it and you did not deny it.More Button

I am not giving way.More Button

That is right, I am glad to hear that. Section 17 of the Management Act—it is not being altered in this Bill—goes on to define executive functions. Section 17 says very clearly that the manager shal...More Button

No resolution of the council can compel a manager in the exercise of his executive function to accept any tender which he does not wish to accept.More Button

Is the Minister agreed on that?More Button

In other words, that the council have power to compel the manager to accept a tender? Is that the Minister's interpretation?More Button

In other words, that the council of a county or an elected body have power to compel a manager, by vote at that council, to accept any particular tender that they think well of?More Button

In other words, that they have power to exercise the executive functions of a manager by resolution?More Button

Section 17 of the County Management Act of 1940 sets out as regards executive functions: “All such matters and things, including the making of contracts and the affixing of the official seal, as are n...More Button

I want to insist that even under this Bill no elected body or council of a county has power to make contracts.More Button

It is only the manager of the county who has power to make contracts.More Button

The Minister earlier to-night argued here that one of the reasons for Section 16 was that the council or elected body had power under Section 4 of this Bill to compel the manager to accept a tender ot...More Button

I made a new point.More Button

Section 16 sets out the reserved functions. It says the council of a county shall perform such functions as are in the Second Schedule of the Act. It says they are reserved functions and that they ...More Button

I am dealing with executive functions and reserved functions.More Button

I am trying to point out——More Button

I will. I will make reference to the section. I am trying to point out that the council of a county have certain reserved functions which they have a right to perform and the manager has certain exe...More Button

I realise that I am getting under the Minister's skin but I should be glad if he would not interrupt me. This section is reactionary and it should not be in any Bill setting out democratic powers. F...More Button

He makes the payment. He cannot do it illegally.More Button

The manager is safe.More Button

We are waiting for the Parliamentary Secretary to speak.More Button

Deputy Allen was not invited to the meeting and was not entitled to be there because he is neither chairman nor vice-chairman.More Button

The Deputy is defending the Act now.More Button


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