Wednesday, 30 March 1927
Seanad Éireann Debate
CATHAOIRLEACH: I am very sorry we have no power to do that. I explained all this twice to Ministers. Certainly, six weeks ago, I asked Ministers to take notice of it. The House changed its procedure six weeks ago, and that prevents Standing Orders being suspended except upon previous notice of motion given in the prescribed time, unless in case of national emergency, of which I am to decide. By no stretch of the imagination can I decide this to be a case of national emergency. All that was necessary—and if you had asked some Senator he would have been only too happy to do so—was to put down a motion for to-day suspending the Standing Orders to enable the remaining stages of the Bill to go through. Then we would be quite in order, but as the matter stands, in the absence of a notice of motion I have no power, and the House has no power, to go into the remaining stages of the Bill to-day.
Mr. BLYTHE: That is of no value whatsoever to me, but I suppose we will manage to get on. I do not want to speak of the procedure of the Senate, but this is a sort of Bill which is not controversial  and which the Senate, I think, ought to be in a position to consider.
CATHAOIRLEACH: What is the explanation? Why were the Senate not put in a position to consider it? There is no reason alleged for not having given notice. This matter was reported in our debates and in the public Press in order that facilities might be given to Ministers. We approached it again at the next sitting and asked Ministers to take notice. I have no power to change it, nor has the House.
Mr. BLYTHE: That only means a day into the next year, and I presume it would do at that. I made an effort in the Dáil to get the Bill through early. As a matter of fact, in previous years I acknowledge that the Senate had cause to complain that this Bill was not brought up till the last day, but this year I got the Bill practically dealt with a fortnight before the end of the financial year.
Mr. DOUGLAS: I think this is a case where we can get a quorum on Friday. I think the difficulty here is due to the fact that there is no Government representative or leader of the House here who could make provision. On this occasion I think we might call a meeting of the Senate for Friday with an understanding that only city Senators need come.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Personally, I would be quite prepared to come here to-morrow and on Friday to get rid of this inconvenience. I hope it will not be made a precedent, and I hope the Ministers will take notice of the change we have made, because it will facilitate them and make our proceedings more regular and dignified. The Minister may not have had this change in our Standing Orders brought to his notice. I would be satisfied to get a sufficient number of the House to attend to-morrow, attend again on Friday, and get the Final Stages through. If we are going to do that, it might be convenient for the members if we had the sitting in the forenoon.
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