Wednesday, 19 December 1928
Seanad Éireann Debate
Mr. JOHNSON: I move amendment 1: To delete the word “Aldermen” in line 19, and to substitute therefor the words “Members of the Council.” The Bill, as it stands, defines the Corporation of the Borough of Cork as “the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses.” Later in the Bill there is an arrangement made for the election of certain persons to be called Aldermen. It will be noted that the Council and the Councillors do not appear as constituting the Corporation except in so far as they are burgesses of Cork. My point as regards this term of Aldermen is this: Under the Bill, as presented, these Aldermen have no specific functions, and while I do not want, for the sake of iconoclasm, to abolish this old and revered title, I think it is not desirable to perpetuate it unless there is some specific reason for having this class of persons called Aldermen. Under the plan of the Bill there is nothing, as far as I can understand it, which gives any duties to Aldermen which are different from the duties of Councillors, and unless there is a case made in favour of the retention of this term, it seems to me that we ought not to include it in the definitions.
Shortly, the proposition is that the Corporation will consist of the Lord Mayor, the members of the Council and the burgesses of Cork. I think that a case could be made for retaining this term “Aldermen,” but inasmuch as, as I said earlier, no specific functions are to be attributed to Aldermen in the future government of Cork, there seems to be no good reason for retaining an utterly empty title, especially in view of the fact, as I think we all agree, that in the method of election there is not even a real choice of selecting particularly capable people or particularly honoured people. It is an utterly empty term, meaning nothing,  and it will not add any credit to the city of Cork. I move.
Mr. BROWN: I am opposed to the amendment partly on historical grounds. I think it would be a great pity if this old title were abolished. It is true that Aldermen under this Bill have no other functions than those of the ordinary councillors. I cannot remember any time when Aldermen had any different functions from the ordinary councillor under any of our modern local bodies. But it is a good old historical title, and I see no reason why it should be abolished, but I think there is very good reason why it should be retained. This Bill is, to a very large extent, an agreed Bill. That is to say, all the parties in Cork are agreed on the principle of this Bill and on practically all its details. The definition of Alderman is one of the items in the Bill on which they are all agreed. Why should not Cork have its Aldermen if it likes? I am very much opposed to an amendment which proposes to do away with this good old title, particularly when it is not the desire of the city to which the Bill applies that this old title should be abolished.
Mrs. WYSE POWER: I am in favour of the omission of the word “Aldermen.” Senator Brown has told us that this is an historical title. Is it an historical title? Where did it come from? “The good citizens and Aldermen of London.” That is the historical title.
Mrs. WYSE POWER: That is where it came from. I think, if there is to be honour or credit for the citizen of Cork who gets the highest number of votes at the election, that then the Minister should make it an Irish title. I hope the Minister will accept my suggestion, and that instead of the word “Alderman” he will suggest some title in Irish for the citizen who gets the highest number of votes.
MINISTER for LOCAL GOVERNMENT and PUBLIC HEALTH (General Mulcahy): There is more in this amendment than something hanging on the taking out of the word “alderman” and doing away with  aldermen. Leaving out the word “alderman” would mean a change in the description of the Corporation in the future. The existing description will have to remain because the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of Cork are the people to whom by previous statutes powers, functions and duties have been given. We have assembled here under the word “Corporation,” the powers, functions and duties thrown in under previous Acts since 1840, and the Corporation includes the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses of Cork. I stand for the retention of the title “aldermen.” The point raised by Senator to Mrs. Wyse Power should be borne in mind. That would have to arise in the official translator's department, where we will be furnished with an Irish translation of this particular Act. These things are important. I would prefer to see the position with regard to the Irish language more effectively rooted than by giving persons the opportunity of pretending they were great Irish people because they called some particular thing by an Irish name.
General MULCAHY: That is very important. Dáil Eireann is more important to the phraseology of the country than what we are going to call an alderman. As far as I am informed, alderman is a title of honour. In so far as this Bill makes provision for appointing aldermen, they are being appointed in the same way as aldermen have been appointed since the introduction of proportional representation into local government. Great stress has been laid by all the parties that have discussed the future local government of the City of Cork on the necessity for having a certain amount of dignity and a certain amount of ritual in connection with civic life. The Lord Mayor has his own particular function. What we can hope for is that in the working out of local government in Cork those who are made aldermen by the higher majority of votes from the citizens, and are honoured in that respect, will find some useful function if necessary for themselves in the working out of a general scheme. We should not do  away with the title at this particular moment, when, as I have said, we are in a state of transition with regard to city government, and when we are dealing with one particular county borough as distinct from other county boroughs, such as Limerick and Waterford, and not bringing in the position of Dublin. I do not think this is the time to consider whether we should drop this title. At any rate, I think it is quite true, as Senator Brown suggests, that I have not been asked by anyone in Cork to drop this particular title.
Mr. JOHNSON: With regard to the Minister's statement that he has not been asked to drop this title, and with regard to Senator Brown's remark that this is an agreed Bill, I deny that it is an agreed Bill. It is not an agreed Bill from Cork, let alone from the Dáil. It is very much a controversial Bill. The point about this title is that it is dissociated from any function whatever. There is no question of dignity involved. We are going to have in the Bill a certain method of election, and any realist in this House will know that the method of election is not going to ensure that the most chosen of the candidates is going to be at the head of the poll. The least desirable in the list of candidates may be at the head of the poll, and the dignity is not going to be enhanced by the title alderman. I would like to see dignity and ritual retained, but I would also like to see some function attached to the office of alderman. The Bill abolishes any such function. It is not quite correct, as Senator Brown says, that at no time in recent years had an alderman any specific function. He certainly had in some cities.
Mr. JOHNSON: He had to be a returning officer at ward elections, and in Belfast the aldermen constituted the General Purposes Committee. They were more or less a selected element for specific purposes, and in those circumstances it was very desirable that they should act——
Mr. JOHNSON: It may not be statutory, but there is to be no General Purposes Committee in this Bill, and there are to be no ward elections, so that the functions that apply to aldermen in certain cities are abolished by the scheme of the Bill. This, of course, is not a vital matter, but it is one of those little points that ought to be considered in the Seanad. If it were generally agreed that the term alderman means nothing, we ought to delete it. As the Minister pointed out, there are certain old statutes which would require a great deal of alteration. I take it that could not be done by any simple amendment of the Bill, and consequently I am not going to press this point if it would involve any considerable alteration in the existing law. Speaking generally, the Minister said there is no chance of making the Bill by a minor alteration suit the deletion of this term. Then I do not wish to press it.
General MULCAHY: If it is desired to take out the word “alderman” then you will have to arrange by some descriptive clause to say what the Corporation shall be called in future, and you will want to have the manager thrown in as well. That is if the principle of the Bill is going to stand, and if further amendments by Deputy Johnson are not going to be carried, because as the Bill is framed at present in certain sections the duties of the Corporation are going to be carried out by the manager, and the manager is as much, from the point of view of the structure of the Bill, part of the Corporation as the councillors or the Lord Mayor, because he is shouldering some of the duties of the Corporation.
Colonel MOORE: I see no objection to changing throughout the word “alderman” to an Irish word. I have noticed during the last six years that not a single Bill coming from the Dáil into the Seanad has a word about Irish. Every Bill in which Irish is  mentioned has been introduced by the Seanad. It might be well if some Irish word were substituted for “alderman.”
(6) Subject to the provisions of this section, the law for the time being in force in relation to the holding of quarterly meetings of the council of a county borough and to the meetings so held and to the election, tenure of office, powers, duties, privileges, and remuneration of the Lord Mayor or the Mayor of a county borough shall apply to the holding of quarterly meetings of the Council and to the meetings so held and to the election, tenure of office, powers, duties, privileges and remuneration of the Lord Mayor.
I do not know whether the Seanad bears in mind an old adage that the road to a certain place is paved with good intentions. I think that might be very well amended to read that the road to membership of the Oireachtas is paved with good intentions, because in all the election speeches I have ever read I have noticed the most admirable intentions set out. They all profess to be in favour of economy and the doing away with sinecure offices, and all are in favour of abolishing every sort of abuse that has existed in the country in the past. Somehow or another when people come into the Oireachtas a great many of those resolutions seem to be forgotten. This Bill proposes to establish a town manager who has to do all the work. He has to administer the town finances and to do everything that is of any importance in connection with it. Parallel to the town manager it is proposed to endow a purely ornamental officer with a certain salary and certain emoluments. It reminds me of what are now described as the bad old times of British administration in this country when a notorious place-hunter  was bothering the Chief Secretary to give him a sinecure office. At last the Chief Secretary lost his temper and said, “My dear sir, there is no such thing as a sinecure office.”“My lord,” he said, “give me an office and I will soon make it a sinecure.” At present we are, of our own volition, establishing a sinecure. I do not see that we are carrying out the pledges we have given to the country to improve things, and I see no object in endowing the Lord Mayor with a salary. There is nothing in the Bill that proposes to limit the amount of the emoluments or the salary he is to receive, as far as I can see. We have had some examples in the past of the generosity of corporations and how, step by step, the emoluments which lord mayors received were increased, until we come to the somewhat notorious case of Dublin, in which the Lord Mayor's emoluments were increased— by degrees—until he was receiving a salary something about three times as large as a Minister receives to-day from the Oireachtas. In addition to that, he had a palace placed at his disposal.
The specious argument, however, is put forward that the Lord Mayor should be given this salary to enable him to maintain a certain dignity. On the last occasion that this Bill was before us, we had an instructive address on dignity and how it could be maintained. Senator Comyn said we did not live in a balloon but that we knew something of what went on all around us. I quite agree. We know that some of the junketing which took place in various cities by no means tended to maintain the dignity of the city. If, however, the Seanad is of the opinion that it is desirable that funds should be available out of which the Lord Mayor and the Corporation could entertain and welcome distinguished strangers, I have put down an amendment which would provide for such persons.
Mr. BARRINGTON: One hinges on the other. If the Lord Mayor is deprived of those emoluments, the dignity of the city can still be maintained by the establishment of a fund, and that fund could be applied for the entertainment of such distinguished visitors.
Mr. DOWDALL: I oppose this amendment. I have had some knowledge of the men who filled the chair of Lord Mayor of Cork, and perhaps at times there was abuse by individuals who partook of the hospitality, but there was not abuse on any occasion I have ever known by the Lord Mayors of the limited and moderate emoluments attached to the office. As the question of junketing has been mentioned in connection with abuse, I regret to say I have been present at commercial functions, functions associated with the University and at the entertainment of members of the Executive Council where similar abuse has taken place. When a man occupies a certain position and gets invitations he cannot be muzzled. And some men do not know how to muzzle themselves. But as to junketing, I have taken part on one or two occasions in entertainments in Cork and I cannot say that there was junketing.
We have had no Lord Mayor officially paid for some years past in Cork. The Lord Mayor who was in office at the time when the Corporation was dissolved continued to act at such functions but he did so, I believe, at very serious loss to himself. Some time ago an important commercial body in England decided to hold their annual convention in Cork and the cost of even a limited entertainment of these people would, I believe, be such that none but a wealthy man could entertain the idea of putting up the money himself. The Lord Mayor was compelled to go to people who were engaged in business in the city, including unfortunates like myself, and as we had some regard for the decency of the city we put up a sum of money which, in my opinion, should have come out of the municipal rates. That is provided for in part of the Bill and I do not think it could be improved on. After all, we do not live up in a balloon; neither do the citizens of a  city like Cork, and they are not likely to vote any sum of money which would not be in accordance with the interests of economy. I think it is proper that in a city such as Cork where sometimes distinguished visitors, especially from America, must be entertained at short notice, some provision should be made such as is included in the Bill.
General MULCAHY: I am very much opposed to the amendment and to the suggestion out of which the amendment arises. The Lord Mayor of Cork will occupy a very important and difficult position. Not only will he be the first citizen of Cork and will have to conduct himself in every way in accordance with the traditions of the city but he will also have a large amount of work to do. Much has been said that under this Bill no work will fall on the representatives of the citizens but it should be remembered that the Lord Mayor will have a large amount of work to do under the new scheme. He will have to keep himself closely in touch with the whole municipal policy and also with the whole work of the management of the city. It is unthinkable in my view that we should be asked to put such a clause as Senator Barrington suggests in the Bill.
Mr. FARREN: I think that in all decency this amendment should be withdrawn. It is notorious that Senator Barrington on every possible occasion endeavours to belittle the men and women who have endeavoured to carry on the work of local administration throughout the country. On every occasion when he gets an opportunity he endeavours to show his venom towards the elected representatives of the people.
Mr. FARREN: The Senator always suggests that there was corruption  among the representatives of the people, and that when performing their public duties they were guilty of corruption. I go so far as to say that he is an expert in corruption. The idea underlying the amendment is that no person should be appointed Lord Mayor unless he happens to be endowed with plenty of the world's goods. It has not been my experience that people with the most wealth have the most brains or the best intentions. Notwithstanding what Senator Barrington has said, the Lord Mayor of an important city like Cork will have a good deal to do. Apparently the Senator has not read Section 8, which deals with the functions reserved to the Council to carry through. Everybody who has had experience of the work of local councils knows that the Lord Mayor, notwithstanding the appointment of a city manager, will have a considerable amount of work to do. He will always have to attend to his duties. It will be almost a whole-time job, and, as Senator Dowdall said, if distinguished visitors arrive in the city, surely the Lord Mayor should not have to go cap in hand to business people and say: “I want four and sixpence to entertain this distinguished visitor to tea?” Such a position would be absurd. The Lord Mayor will have to sacrifice practically all his time, and, even though he has some little salary, he will be out of pocket when he has to entertain such people. It is time that there was an end to this talk about corruption among public representatives. I worked on public bodies in Dublin, and I met as pure-minded men and women, and as public-spirited, as one could wish to meet, and they gave their time voluntarily to their work in the interests of the citizens. Without any evidence forthcoming, it is unfair to make such suggestions against people who were the backbone of the administration of the country when it was going through a very difficult period.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The Standing Orders provide that where, in the opinion of the Cathaoirleach, the claim for a Division is made solely for obstruction he may call on the Senators to rise in their places, and if the number of Senators who rise does not exceed five he shall declare the result as already decided by him. I have already put the motion. Senator Barrington challenges my announcement of the result. I ask now those Senators in favour of his amendment, to rise in their places.
Mr. BARRINGTON: This amendment, which is down in my name, depends entirely upon the same principle.  If the Seanad are not in favour of the amendment I do not intend to move it. But I should like to say a few words in connection with it. Senator Farren has thrown out certain doubts about me, and he said that I am always about to throw discredit upon the people who are and who have been honestly interested in doing the public work on those local bodies. It is notorious, and Senator Farren knows it as well as any other member of the Seanad, that there are people in those positions who use those positions for unworthy motives, and it is against those people that my remarks are directed. I beg to ask the leave of the Seanad to withdraw the amendment.
General MULCAHY: I understand that there are four quarterly meetings fixed by statute for county boroughs. Other meetings will come in between them, and are fixed by the council according to their standing orders or regulations, and are fixed to suit their own convenience. But there are four quarterly meetings for which not even notices of motion need be sent out.
(c) the making of any order and the passing of any resolution by virtue of which any enactment is brought into operation in or made to apply to the Borough and the revoking of any such order and the rescinding of any such resolution;
(f) the powers conferred by Section 5 of the Borough Funds (Ireland) Act, 1888, in relation to the promotion or the opposing of legislation, the prosecution and defence of legal proceedings, and the application for those purposes of the borough fund, borough rate or other the public funds and rates under the control of the Corporation;
(2) The Minister may, subject to the provisions of this section, by order require that the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to any matter not included in the matters referred to in the foregoing sub-section shall be exercised and performed directly by the Council and upon such order being made the said powers, functions and duties shall as on and from the date specified in that behalf in such order be exercised and performed directly by the Council and shall continue so to be exercised and performed while such order remains in force.
(6) In this Act the expression “reserved functions” means the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation which are by this section required to be exercised and performed by the Council directly and includes all other powers, functions and duties of the Corporation which are at any time required by an order made under this section and for the time being in force to be exercised and performed by the Council.
Sir JOHN KEANE: I rise to move the amendment in my name. It is in Section 8, sub-section (1) to insert after the word “moneys” in line 28 the words “or the incurring of capital liabilities.” I wish to develop this point and if possible acquire some information and also to ask the House to consider certain difficulties that I feel will arise. So long as you are dealing merely with a Commissioner, and with the power resting in a Commissioner or Commissioners, I can understand, though I do not approve of the method, that no practical administrative difficulties will arise and the matter is proceeded with. But where you come to divide responsibilities, as suggested, or as established by this Bill, I see great scope, even with the best intentions, for friction, and in consequence there is the necessity for considerable vigilance on our part in order to avoid that friction if it is possible for us to do so. Any of us who has any knowledge of the world and any knowledge of human nature knows that once you set  up a body, you will create in the minds of that body certain jealousies and anxieties with regard to its powers and its prestige. Unless the functions between that and some over-lapping bodies are clearly defined, you may get considerable friction and there is nothing more clogging to any administrative machine than what is known as internal friction. I am personally puzzled as to how you are going to avoid internal friction unless you are to have an extraordinarily divine element in your elected body. I do not see how you are going to avoid it. I see that on these reserved services you can retain for the council the power to make rates and to borrow money. But there is a matter that may arise in this way—that the manager comes to the council and presents them with a fait accompli. The manager may tell them: “Here is what you are going to do for the following year, and you are to strike that rate.” I see nothing more likely to create friction than that. I can agree that there will be a statutory difficulty in that form. I am not sure that the estimate is a regularly scheduled thing that takes place, but I think there should be an estimate submitted by the manager some very considerable time before he has to strike the rate. In that estimate invariably many questions of policy are involved. The council and the manager come together and there must be some general agreement on that estimate.
I admit I have not followed very closely the debates that have taken place on this Bill, and I may be dealing with a matter that has already been decided upon. But I would like the Minister to assure us with regard to machinery to provide that there should be a conference between the elected representatives and the city manager before the rate is struck. As I say, the manager may come to the council and present a pistol at the head of the council. If that is not guarded against in the Bill you will be only creating trouble. In the same way there is the question of borrowing powers. Everyone knows that the borrowing powers may very often fall behind the creation of capital liabilities.  The manager may enter into capital liabilities. I want to ascertain from the Minister whether the manager has power to create capital liabilities. Surely that is a matter to which the council should be privy? Otherwise I see fertile sources of friction. For that reason I would like to move my amendment.
General MULCAHY: I am afraid that the Senator can hardly have read the Bill very carefully, because Section 17 gives details of how the estimate is to appear before the council, and what the procedure on its discussion is to be. The form of the estimate is simply a preliminary step, without which formal step the striking of a rate by the council cannot be carried out. I do not quite understand the Senator discussing this matter in general terms, such as asking can the manager enter into capital liabilities beforehand without arranging for borrowing. I would like the Senator to be much more specific. The position is that there is no work that can be carried out before the money is provided for it. There is no maintenance that can be carried out without the money being provided for it, and in a matter like this I do not understand what exactly “capital” may mean in the Senator's mind. But if it means a new housing scheme to be embarked on, or the council being committed to a contract for a new housing scheme or a new water works scheme without these matters being dealt with and the money being provided by the Corporation— then the answer is that it cannot. The position is entirely safeguarded from the financial point of view by the “reserved functions” as they stand in the Bill. The section sets out that the council shall directly exercise and perform all and every of the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to ... the making of any rate or the borrowing of any moneys. Any matter that would involve a big amount of capital expenditure will, in the first place, have to be the subject of an inquiry. Then the Ministry will have to be satisfied that the scheme was one that did not impose an undue burden of borrowing on the Corporation. Both on the side of the Ministry and the  council the commitments in respect of any new expenditure of capital are fully safeguarded.
Mr. JOHNSON: But leave must be unanimous. The point mentioned by the Minister seems to me to be quite unsatisfactory. I have in my hand a copy of the rates that are to be fixed by a certain urban council not 100 miles from Dublin. The items are not specifically defined; there is no detail given. There are such items as: wages, so much; material, so much; footpaths and crossings, so much, and a refuse destructor, so much. This Bill gives power to the manager to make contracts. A contract may be made by the manager without any previous provision being made in the estimate. A contract may be made, not for so large a proposal as the building of houses, but for the purchase of a refuse destructor. The contract is made and, whether the estimate provided for it or not, the council must pay. Ought not that to be a decision of the council? Ought not the manager to get at least the sanction of the council before he enters into that type of expenditure? So far as my inquiries have gone, I understand there is nothing binding in these estimates. That is to say, the council at the present time may spend beyond the amount estimated. The council is not bound to confine its spending to the items set out in the estimate. It may go beyond the estimate, and therefore in future the manager can go beyond the estimate. He may contract for things not suggested in the estimate, and all that happens is that the council provides the money in the next yearly Budget. If that is a wrong statement I would like to have it corrected. Experts in the business of local government have assured me that that is the position and that the manager is empowered, inasmuch as the councils at present are empowered, to spend and enter into commitments by way of contract far beyond what is  provided for in the estimate. The only restriction is that the manager cannot borrow money. He must defer payment until he puts forward his estimate for the following year. If that is the position, I think the Senator's proposal is a good one and he ought to press it. Otherwise, there ought to be some restriction placed at a later stage upon the power of the manager to make contracts outside the authority of the council.
Mr. BROWN: I think the Senator has forgotten that Section 10 (7) restricts the power of the manager in the making of contracts “to such things as may be necessary for or incidental to the purpose of exercising and performing the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation which are by this Act required to be exercised and performed by the manager.” He can only make contracts within his own powers and not within the powers of the Corporation at all.
Mr. KENNY: I would like to ask Senator Johnson this question: Is it that the manager can, with regard to any specific item in the estimate, exceed the amount set out in front of that item; is it that he can enter into a liability or undertaking for some purpose not set out in the estimate, and if he can enter into an undertaking or liability not set out or having no concern with any item in the estimate? In the Corporation of Waterford, during the past few years, a proposal was made to spend £100 towards the relief of distress at Christmas time. It is a usual proposal every year, and it was always sanctioned. This year it was proposed that the amount, owing to the extra distress, should be increased to £300. The Treasurer informed the Corporation that the only way they could entertain that proposal was by making some effort in the direction of economy within the current quarter, such as, for instance, reducing the amount estimated in some other direction. He informed them that they had no authority to go outside the figure laid down and set apart for this particular expenditure. He stated that definitely, and the proposal to increase the amount was agreed to only on the  understanding that some saving could be effected under some other head. That was the only way in which the proposal could be entertained. The Treasurer is a very astute official, and that shows clearly the advantage of having an astute official. He observed the limitations of the council and he stated the position very clearly. There was no other possible way in which that extra expenditure could be made by the council. They could only grant the increase by making a reduction under another heading.
Sir JOHN KEANE: I must say that I merely skimmed over Section 17, and, if I am permitted, I will now withdraw the amendment, look into the matter further, and re-introduce the subject on the Report Stage, if necessary.
General MULCAHY: In the course of this discussion we have gone through many subjects, from a new scheme of housing and the purchase of a refuse destructor down to the purchase of a packet of pins. It is largely because there are such things to be attended to that you really have a manager. If a certain amount of money is set aside for cleaning the city on particular lines, personally I do not see any reason why the manager should be prevented from arranging the reorganisation of his cleaning work in the city by means of a particular type of destructor. In so far as the control of money and the material control of borrowing are concerned, those matters are in the hands of the Council. The mover of the amendment was dealing with the human material factor and the difficulties experienced in that connection. You might find it very difficult to say exactly where the dividing line is between the council and the manager, unless you were to throw over the whole of the council's business on to the manager.
We give control of finance in all its broad details to the council. If the manager in the exercise of the managerial side eats in on the council's side to a degree that is wrong, or that is entrenching on the council's sphere of action, or is in flagrant disobedience  of a settled line of policy adopted by the Council—for instance, if the council decided that they were not going to use refuse destructors, and the manager went and bought refuse destructors, then there would be a question of confidence. But I would prefer to see something else besides refuse destructors taken as the point upon which to discuss the principle involved in this. So far as the Senator's amendment goes, and as far as safeguarding themselves against the incurring of capital liability is concerned, the powers with regard to the striking of the rate and with regard to the control of borrowing completely safeguard, as far as I know, anything that could possibly be in the Senator's mind.
This is a point of importance, but not touching the general purport or intention of the Bill. Paragraph (e) says the making of any Order under Section 5 of the Shops Act, 1912, is to be reserved to the council. But it will be noticed in two or three other paragraphs, where the making of by-laws or orders is reserved, that there is coupled with the making the power to revoke, and it seems to me essential that if the council is to have the right to make an order under the Shops Act it should also have the power to revoke.
“(2) In addition to the powers, duties and functions of the Corporation which it is provided by this Act shall be exercised and performed by the manager, the council may with  the consent of the Minister delegate to the manager all or any part of the powers, duties and functions of the Corporation with the exception of the reserved functions, and such powers, duties and functions as are so delegated to the manager shall thereupon be exercised and performed by him until revoked by the council with the consent of the Minister.”
This is an amendment that really raises the larger question upon which several of the amendments in my name depend. The Bill reserves to the council certain powers defined in sub-section (1). In other parts of the Bill there are also defined certain powers which are handed over to the manager. But, in addition to the powers handed over to the manager, there are handed over to him all other powers, except those which are within the definition of sub-section (1). My proposal in this and subsequent amendments is to retain for the council statutorily these powers set out in sub-section (1); to secure to the manager the powers defined in the Bill; but any other powers which are not defined are to be reserved to the council until the council by a specific act hands them over to the manager. I believe that the public understanding of the purpose of this Bill is that it is to do just the thing that I am seeking to have done by this amendment. The public are not aware of the consequences of this Bill as set out in the Bill itself, but believe that it is power over the staff, control of the work, and the general control of the administration which are being handed over to the manager. I want to secure all that to the manager, as defined in the Bill, but I want also to secure what the Minister professes to want—to have no blurring of responsibility. I want to secure to the council all those things which are not handed over definitely to the manager. The powers that will be reserved to the manager by my amendment will be: The appointment and removal of officers and servants, as stated in Section 9; the making of contracts on behalf of the Corporation. This by the way, I think ought to be modified, unless the council is given greater power. It will still be the duty of the manager to give assistance  and information to the Lord Mayor and council; it will still be his duty and responsibility to prepare estimates; and he will still have the control of all officers and servants of the Corporation in the carrying out of their duties as set out in Section 14. I submit that securing that to the manager is securing to him all that is desired by Senators and by the public, and that we ought not, simply as a wholesale order, to hand over to the manager everything else except those powers defined in Section 8 as being retained by the council.
The Minister, at different times, has explained that ultimately he expects there will be a position under which the council retains all undefined powers or, shall I put it, that ultimately the council will be the directing authority, declaring policy in all matters, and the manager will be the administrator. That is the position that I want to arrive at in the Bill. The Minister has said, for instance: “The proposals are intended to lead up to the most satisfactory form of government for the city in future. It is also a transition stage in the policy which was adopted when the Commissioner was appointed to replace the old Corporation. There is a transition from the present Commissioner system to the system of a manager completely controlling the executive and completely subject in policy to an elected Corporation.” My amendment seeks to secure at once this state of things which the Minister foresees as something to be desired for the future. I put down the amendment in the hope that the Seanad will give it careful consideration and really do in the Bill, as they will pass it, what the Minister desires to have done, and what the people of Cork and the public generally believe is being done by the Bill.
Mr. BROWN: It seems to me that this amendment goes to the root of this Bill. If the Seanad passes this amendment, it practically spoils the Bill. Under the Bill as it stands, the manager is given all the powers of the Corporation except such as are expressly reserved to the Corporation by a later section. What Senator Johnson wants to do is to delete the section that gives  these powers, less the reserved ones, to the manager, and to secure that the only powers that the manager will have shall be those given by the Corporation, with the consent of the Minister. That goes to the very root of the whole Bill. You might as well not have a manager at all if you pass this amendment.
Mr. DOWDALL: I believe Senator Brown is right. Senator Johnson has told us that the public do not understand all that is in this Bill. Well, this Bill has been canvassed and criticised and advocated in Cork, and I have no doubt whatever that if you took a plebiscite you would find that the vast majority of the people of Cork, including what are usually referred to as the working class in Cork, are in favour of it. With regard to the powers of the manager and of the council, everybody knows that if those elected to the council under this system, when the city is one unit or one constituency, are of the right class, you need not give them a single bit of power on paper, because their moral position will be such that no manager could interfere with or hinder them. If, on the other hand, they are men who do not take any interest in it—if such a minority is to be found in Cork, it will be a small minority—if they are not satisfactory, you may give them all the powers you possibly can and they will not have the moral adhesion or support of the citizens. The city of Cork understands the position of city manager pretty well, and my view is that while it is desirable that the citizens should be associated with the running of the city the management system has vindicated itself. I think this Bill should be passed, and that in essentials it should not be further altered.
“A county or borough council may with the consent of the Minister delegate to such person or persons as the Minister shall from time to time appoint for the purpose,  all or any part of its powers, duties and functions (including all or any of the powers, duties and functions of a board of health) and such powers, duties and functions shall thereupon be exercised and performed by such person or persons until the holding of the next triennial election of county councils.”
(1) On and after the appointed day a person appointed for the purpose by or under this Act who shall be called and known as the Cork City Manager (in this Act referred to as the manager) shall exercise and perform for and on behalf of the Corporation the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to the appointment and removal of officers and servants of the Corporation (including the Town Clerk, but not including the manager) and shall also exercise and perform all other the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation other than the reserved functions.
Section 9, sub-section (1). To delete in lines 34-35 the words “(including the Town Clerk, but not including the manager),” and to substitute therefor the words “(but not including the manager or the Town Clerk).”
I would like to have some elucidation of the position of town clerk in relation to the council and manager respectively. I raise the point that there is a certain anomaly in having a council with specified powers with no officer under its control or at its disposal.  The council has certain specified powers. The manager has all the rest. All the officers and staff of the council are to be appointed and to be under the control and direction of the manager. Apart from what is desirable, even apart from what is probable, it is possible that there may be rivalry or friction between the council and the manager. The council is not entitled to have at its disposal and under its control any officer. The town clerk, who would normally be expected to be under the direct control and authority of the council, is by this Bill, placed under the control of the manager, with all the rest of the staff. It seems to me that while you have, perhaps, some risks attached to divided control of the staff they are not greater, but much less, than having divided control of the administration of the city. The manager is going, in future, to act by order in so far as matters are concerned which, by normal practice, would have been done by resolution of the council. Under the provisions of the Local Government Act which the Minister quoted, or a later Act, it is the duty of the executive officer, where any proposal was being made by the council which over-stepped their strict limits to warn or advise against the doing of that act.
If the manager is going to do these things he will not have the town clerk at the meeting to warn him against doing things outside his limit. The town clerk's position is somewhat anomalous in respect to the manager. I am putting the point rather in the way of seeking information and guidance, that the council ought to have the town clerk directly under its control, so that there will be at least one official who is not appointed by and is not subject to the direction of the manager. There is a subsequent section which deals with the signing of cheques and the making of payments. The manager will issue paying orders and sign cheques subject to the counter signature of the town clerk. The town clerk is to be subordinate to the manager, but it seems to me that he ought to be rather an officer of the council controlling matters and checking  the payments of the manager. I raise the point as touching a rather important principle, and I would like to hear some explanation of the position from the Minister.
General MULCAHY: In so far as the town clerk has a special position under past statutes, he must occupy to the manager in respect of these powers, duties and responsibilities that the manager is now saddled with from the Corporation the very same position that he occupies to the Council in so far as the Council are saddled with the powers and duties of the Corporation. So that the town clerk, then, in respect of certain statutory functions, stands in the same relation to the manager as he does to the Council, and in so far as you are putting on the manager certain powers and duties of the Corporation, you cannot specially take away the town clerk from the manager, at any rate at the present stage of our experience. Seeing that the Council has no special officer responsible to itself, the town clerk will occupy a certain statutory position to the Council, arising out of the terms of past legislation, as I say; but in so far as the actual carrying out of their work is concerned, in future they will have the manager as their principal officer. If the Council want a set of by-laws dealing with any particular section of the city's work, they will ask the manager to see about doing it. The manager will probably require the machinery that is now under the immediate direction of the town clerk to do it. But you cannot possibly divide the manager from the town clerk in the way that the Senator desires.
In so far as the Council has to be served in a general way, it must be served directly by the complete machine, from the manager down. If there is going to be friction between a manager and a council, let us not draw the town clerk into that field of friction as the Council's man, as distinct from the manager. Let us not turn a state of friction that may necessarily arise out of certain matters between the Council and the manager into a state of friction between the manager and what must be his principal executive officer on the purely clerical side. In the  actual working out of the situation with a manager, the position of town clerk may become less important from the statutory point of view than it is at present. I do not know that one can prophesy definitely whether a time will come when certain statutory responsibilities that are now his will be taken away from the town clerk. Probably they will not. But at any rate, in putting under a manager the managerial side, which is the most important side of the Corporation's work, as important as the work of the Civil Service is to the Oireachtas, let us not, simply for no reason except that the Council must have some kind of officer of its own, or for some reason like that, divide responsibility in the carrying out of the actual work of the manager so that the town clerk should be independent of him in some peculiar way. The town clerk is required to carry out certain statutory duties for the Council; the town clerk will be required to carry out certain statutory duties in respect of the manager. But there are other duties that the town clerk carries out for the Council, and in carrying out these duties, and serving the Council, the town clerk must be subject to scrutiny and examination by the manager to see that he is doing his work faithfully and well.
Mr. FARREN: There is one point on which I would like some explanation. I can see that there might be great difficulty if the town clerk was independent of the city manager. I can see—I am stating it from my experience, and I think Senator Mrs. Wyse Power will agree with me—that if you have two people in control who are independent of each other there is likely to be a good deal of friction. For that reason I am not quite sure that it would be better, in the interests of local administration, that they should be independent, as suggested in the amendment. With regard to the appointment of a town clerk and the appointment of other officials through the manager, is there anything to ensure that these people shall be appointed by him as the result of competitive examinations? If you are giving the manager a free hand to appoint whom he likes, I will oppose  it. I agree, and have always agreed, that where competitive examinations can be held for the making of appointments they should be held, and that the people best qualified should be appointed, irrespective of any influence. I think that the competitive system that was set up by the Dublin Corporation twenty-six or twenty-seven years ago has shown excellent results. In my young days I read a paper that was published and edited by the late Arthur Griffith, and I remember that he advocated the establishment of a local Civil Service for the purpose of appointments to local authorities, and that officials should be graduated from an Irish local service. I do not see in the Bill any provision that would compel the city manager to require an examination to be held before appointing a town clerk, a surveyor, an engineer, or any other responsible official, and he appears to have a free hand to appoint whom he likes. If the Minister assures that that is not correct, I will be perfectly satisfied.
General MULCAHY: You have the Local Officers and Employees Act, which deals with such appointments as town clerks, or positions requiring technical qualifications, and in so far as clerical positions are concerned, the situation up to the present has been, outside big places like the City of Dublin, that the number of clerical vacancies is so small that you cannot adopt a general policy with regard to them. But where councils have adopted a policy of competitive examination, the difficulty of the Department, which so fully co-operated with councils as actually to carry out examinations for them was to get councils to appoint the first person on the list when the examinations were carried out.
General MULCAHY: So much so that the Department has had to wash its hands completely of the holding of examinations for clerical appointments, because it felt that it could not get rid of the stain that it was, to some extent, responsible for not appointing  the first person. So that the position regarding clerical appointments is that there is no requirement, so far as the Ministry is concerned, to have these appointments filled by competitive examinations, but in so far as the Ministry can effect it, it thinks it is desirable to have that done. As far as our experience of councils in that matter is concerned, I would have more faith in a manager to see that a competitive examination was held, and that the first person who passed was appointed, than I reasonably could have in the councils themselves, because of my experience of them.
Mr. FARREN: That satisfies me. If the Minister says that important positions must be filled in accordance with the Local Officers and Employees Act, I am satisfied. I agree that the Minister should use the influence of his Department to see that even the clerical positions are filled by competition. Senator Mrs. Wyse Power will agree with me, that the experience of the Dublin Corporation has been that by that means they have as fine a staff as could be got in any branch of the Civil Service. That staff is certainly a credit to the examination system, and I hope that the example will be followed generally.
Mrs. WYSE POWER: I would like to say, with regard to the competitive examination scheme in Dublin that young men and young women qualified in numbers larger than were required. Their names remained on a list and when subsidiary bodies wanted clerks their names were passed on, and they were generally accepted. I refer to the mental hospital where, when a clerk was wanted, they thought it desirable to ask the Corporation if they had anyone suitable for such a position. The person recommended was appointed. It was a very good system, and if the Minister could do anything by way of having it adopted by local councils, it would be good work. So far as the division of authority between the town clerk and manager is concerned, I am in favour of the provision in the Bill. If you are going to have a manager you must have him either to blame him or to praise him.
Mr. O'HANLON: I would like to know if the Minister would be in a position to make some allocation as to the time that is likely to be taken up in respect of the duties by the town clerk. I think if the town clerk were to give the vast proportion of his time to the duties arising out of his position as clerk to the council it is quite likely and feasible, and it seems reasonable to my mind, that he should be an independent officer, and not under the control of the city manager. But, if it were likely that the greater portion of his time were to be taken up with duties assigned to him by the city manager I am of opinion that the town clerk should be controlled by the city manager. It is rather difficult to see how the town clerk can serve two masters, and if he were mainly to be concerned with duties arising out of his office in connection with the council, I think it would be rather invidious that he should be directly under the control of the city manager. I would like a little information as regards the amount of time likely to be taken up in connection with the duties of the town clerk.
Mr. O'FARRELL: I would like to follow along the lines of Senator O'Hanlon, because it is not clear at all what the functions of the town clerk of Cork will be in the future. In the past the town clerk had as part of his responsibilities a good deal of the work that will devolve on the city manager. He had, I take it, general supervision and arrangement of the staff, the allocation of duties and so forth; under the Bill that will now devolve on the manager. The duties of the town clerk will be fundamentally altered under this Bill. I take it that he will be very largely in the position of a secretary to the council, keeping the minutes and the records generally, and conveying to the appropriate sources the decisions arrived at by the council. In many respects I think he will occupy somewhat the same position in regard to the council as, say, the Clerk of the Dáil or the Clerk of the Seanad occupies towards either of these assemblies. Each Minister has appointed for him his own particular secretary, and that secretary is responsible to him alone,  but the House which makes decisions reserves to itself the right of appointing its own officers, even for record purposes, such as the Clerks of the two Houses, and I think it would be an anomalous position if a council having a certain employee, responsible for keeping its records and doing its secretarial work and so forth, had no control over that employee. It merely goes to the city manager and asks him to supply an official, yet the council has no control over that official. It has to go to a third party, the manager, if an official shows shortcomings or is not up to the expectations of the council, so that I think there is real ground for suggesting that as the town clerk in the future under the city manager arrangement will be merely secretary to the council, he should not be appointed by the city manager, and should not be subject to him in the same way as other members of the staff are, seeing that he is the direct and intimate secretary to the council.
General MULCAHY: Attempts have been made to picture the town clerk as the personal clerk, as it were, of the council. If you are going to have a clerk of that kind, then you have to think of detaching an official from the town clerk's office to serve the council. It is entirely wrong to try to see the town clerk in respect of the council as being analogous to the Clerk of the Seanad or the Clerk of the Dáil. You must regard him rather as the head of the general secretariat of the Corporation, acting as the head of the secretariat, doing whatever work comes in there, on the one hand, and doing work for the manager on the other hand. I do not subscribe to any great extent to the suggestion that the town clerk is going to be in a materially different position in the future. The main difference in his position is that he carries out his work as head of the general secretariat in the new circumstances, that he has a council and a manager to serve. I think I explained elsewhere that the organisation of local bodies has not been satisfactory. You had the  engineering head that in no way came in under the secretary, and you had different sections that were not organised under the secretary or town clerk. Your different technical sections are now organised under the manager, but the town clerk must remain as a general secretary for the whole work of the organisation.
(1) Philip Monahan, the person to whom the powers and duties and the property of the Corporation were transferred by virtue of the Cork County Borough (Dissolution) Order, 1924, shall be and is hereby appointed to be the first manager, and the said Philip Monahan shall take office as the first manager on the appointed day.
(2) The office of manager shall be included in the offices to which the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926 (No. 39 of 1926) applies.
(3) As soon as may be after the termination of the office of the said first manager (whether by his death, resignation or removal from office in accordance with this section) and from time to time thereafter as occasion may require the council shall appoint a fit and proper person to be the manager and every such appointment shall be made subject to and in accordance with the provisions of the said Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926.
(4) The manager shall hold office until he dies, resigns or is removed from office.
(5) The manager shall not be suspended or removed by the council save—
(a) by a resolution of the council passed for the purpose of such suspension or such removal (as the case may be) by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the council present and voting at a meeting thereof of which resolution not less than  seven days' notice shall have been given to every member of the council, and
(b) in the case of the removal of the manager, with the sanction of the Minister.
(6) There shall be paid by the council to the manager such remuneration as the Minister shall from time to time determine and the amount of such remuneration shall be raised by the council by the same rate as the rate by which the salary of the town clerk is raised.
(7) The manager may do all such matters and things, including the making of contracts for and on behalf of the Corporation and the affixing of the official seal of the Corporation to documents, as may be necessary for or incidental to the purpose of exercising and performing the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation which are by this Act required to be exercised and performed by the manager.
(8) The manager shall not affix the official seal of the Corporation to any document save in the presence of the Lord Mayor.
(9) Every reference contained in this Act to the manager save and except the reference contained in this section to the appointment of the manager by the council shall be construed as including the first manager.
Mr. JOHNSON: I move:
Section 10, sub-sections (1) and (2). To delete the sub-sections.
Section 10, sub-section (3). To delete lines 50-52 inclusive and to substitute therefor the words: “At the first meeting of the council after the appointed day and from.”
The Bill sets out the name of Philip Monahan as the person to whom the powers shall be transferred. My proposition is that the procedure intended in respect to subsequent managers shall apply from the beginning, that is to say, at the first meeting of the council after the appointed day, “and from time to time thereafter as occasion may require, the council shall appoint a fit and proper person to be the manager,” meaning that the local appointments procedure shall operate. I suppose the  Minister will agree that if the Local Appointments Commissioners were given the task of appointing a manager and that Philip Monahan were an applicant, he would be appointed, but there is a much more important principle involved in this. We are asked to name in the Bill the person to whom these powers are to be transferred, and that is a distinctly administrative function. It is an administrative act to make the appointment of a person to manage the City of Cork. The Seanad are asked specifically to participate in naming that person, without any official knowledge of that person or his qualifications, or anything about him. We are asked to take it from the Minister that Philip Monahan is a right and proper person for this position, but I think if the Minister is prepared to propose that to the House he should take upon himself the responsibility of making the appointment, or else, as I would prefer it, leave it to the machinery for local appointments.
I think that the precedent, as I may call it, though I do not think it is the first time that such a thing has been done, is a bad one in principle, and I think that to ask the House to place this individual in the position of manager without any canvassing of his merits, or without any knowledge of his antecedents, or anything about him, is quite wrong. I believe that everything points to the probability that, in any circumstances, whoever is going to make the appointment, once the Bill is accepted, the same person would be appointed; but whoever was going to appoint him would have to satisfy himself of his competence and qualifications. Nobody has put forward anything to the Seanad to satisfy us that Philip Monahan is a proper person, and I think in those circumstances we ought not to be asked to make this appointment. It is an administrative task, and should be done by administrators.
General MULCAHY: The presence of Mr. Monahan's name in this measure arises out of the circumstances in which the Bill was first introduced. I would like to say that if I had to canvass the Dáil or the Seanad on the merits of the particular person named  in the Bill, I would not have put the name in the Bill, for I do not think the merits or otherwise of a particular person can be suitably canvassed in either the Dáil or the Seanad. When this Bill was introduced, it was proposed that one-third of the council would be elected in the first year, and that the council would be added to by the election of the second third and the third third. That was following out the idea of an annual election, and that it was undesirable to divide the city into wards. The difficulty from my particular point of view of having a satisfactorily selected council, of any large number in one electoral division in the first election, led me to the position of proposing in the first Bill that one-third be elected in the first year, and that the council would gradually grow. I had definitely in my mind, as well, the desirability of working from the Commissioner system to the system of a council and a commissioner, with a small council in the beginning. The Bill has become changed so that the whole council is now being elected in the first year. If a part of the council was to be elected in the first year, and if you were going to work with a manager, it was very desirable to have it explicitly shown that the person who was going to be the manager was the person in charge of the city at the moment as Commissioner. As the full council is now going to be elected in the first year, there may not be the same necessity for argument that the present Commissioner should remain as manager, but the fact is quite clear that no matter how the appointment was made I believe the person proposed in the Bill would be appointed.
As a general practice, in the legislation introduced by the present Executive Council over a number of years past, the making of appointments under local bodies has been taken out of the hands of Ministers  and transferred to the Local Appointments Commissioners. I did not want to say in this particular Bill that the Minister shall make an appointment when I was quite clear as to the appointment that I was prepared to make. I think it was more frank and reasonable to state the person in the Bill, and having done so I see no reason since to strike out the name. I suggest to the Seanad that it is undesirable to do it now. I also mention the point—though it may not be important, it has a bearing on the question—that it has been suggested this appointment is a Party appointment. For that additional reason, too, I think it is very undesirable to remove the name. It is a continuance not so much of an experiment as of a transitional piece of work, apart altogether from whether there are precedents for the matter or not, or whether there will be actions of the same kind taken in the future, I think it is not at all unreasonable that the name of the present Commissioner, who has been in the city since 1924 and some of whose work is reviewed in detail in the Report of the Local Government Department for the years 1925, 1926, 1927, should stand in the Bill as being the first manager of Cork, for the excellent reason that I do not know of a more appropriate person for the position, nor do I think any Senator does.
Colonel MOORE: I agree with what Senator Johnson has said on the principle involved. It is not a question of this particular person. I do not suppose anybody is going to make a personal question of the matter, but I think as a matter of ordinary procedure naming the Commissioner in the Bill is wrong. That ought to be an administrative act and not put down in a Bill. On principle, I shall vote for Senator Johnson's amendment.
Amendment 14 put.
The Committee divided: Tá, 15; Níl, 26.
|Sir Edward Bellingham.
Caitlín Bean Uí Chléirigh.
Michael Comyn, K.C.
Joseph Connolly. Seán E. MacEllin.
General Sir Bryan Mahon.
Thomas Johnson. John T. O'Farrell.
Michael F. O'Hanlon.
Samuel L. Brown, K.C.
John C. Counihan.
The Countess of Desart.
James G. Douglas.
Sir Thomas Grattan Esmonde.
Mrs. Stopford Green.
Sir John Purser Griffith.
Henry S. Guinness.
|Right Hon. Andrew Jameson.
Sir John Keane.
Patrick W. Kenny.
Dr. William O'Sullivan.
Siobhán Bean an Phaoraigh.
Amendment declared lost.
Mr. COMYN: I move amendment 15:
Section 10, sub-section (2). To add at the end of the sub-section the words “save that in the case of a vacancy in the office of Manager the Commissioners appointed under that Act shall not recommend to the Council less than three persons for appointment to the office so vacated.”
The object of this amendment is to secure for local bodies some choice in the selection of a manager. I do not intend in any way to depart from the principle in the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act. That Act provides that the Commissioners appointed under the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act should set down one, two, three or more persons. The object of my amendment is to provide that in the case of a manager for Cork, and I suppose the precedent which you set to-day will be followed in the case of towns and cities throughout Ireland. The sub-section as it stands in the Bill is this:
“The office of the Manager shall be included in the offices to which the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926, applies.”
What the gentlemen in Dublin “may” do the object of my amendment is to secure that they “shall” do— that is, that they shall send to the local authority the names of at least three persons from amongst whom the local body, the Council, shall make a choice.
In the course of the discussion this afternoon one thing has become perfectly obvious, and it is that the post of manager of the City of Cork is a very important office and that the manager has wide powers and rather complicated duties. Indeed, it was suggested on several sides that he would be likely to have a difference of opinion, if not a slight conflict, with the members of the Council. In addition to the powers which have been stated in the course of this debate to be vested in the manager, he has very wide powers. He is, of course, chief executive officer, I might say the only executive officer, of the City of Cork. He has the right to attend meetings of the Council and to discuss questions coming before the Council, although he has not the right to vote. He may also be selected by the Council as a member of the Asylum Board to fill offices which only an elected member of the Council could fill—that is to say, he may be substituted for an elected member of the Council on the Asylum Board. The same applies also to Poor Law Relief. He may go on any one of these committees as an elected member of the Council, and if he goes on the Asylum Board or the Poor Law Relief Board, the number of elected Councillors who may go on is reduced by one. He has, as has been explained, the function of providing for the city estimates. The Council, at what is called a rate meeting held once a year, can consider those estimates,  but the manager is present, entitled to debate and to explain. He has a still further power. At his sole will and in his sole discretion, he can put in a written objection to any amendment which the Council choose to make to any part of these estimates, and his written objection has the effect of postponing the estimates for a fortnight. He has very wide powers. He has an office requiring great administrative ability and, particularly, requiring great tact and skill. He will be a wise man, indeed, if he avoids friction with the Council from time to time, and the object of this amendment is to help the Council and him to work more smoothly together, because if a man is sent down to the Council and is imposed upon them there is a likelihood that they will not receive him with the same cordiality that they would receive one of three from amongst whom they would make a selection. The selected man would be their own appointment, and would have a much better chance of working smoothly with the local body than if he were imposed upon them, perhaps, during the period of office of a political party which might be at variance with the general opinion of the City of Cork.
The salary of the manager must be paid by the Council, but they have no right whatever to fix that salary. It is fixed and it is varied from time to time by the Minister without the concurrence of the Council. There is another matter also which at first sight may seem an anomaly. Although the Minister has the right to fix the salary, he has no right to fix the superannuation allowance. When the poor man, after spending years as manager of the City of Cork, comes up for his superannuation allowance, that is fixed by the Corporation of Cork, with the sanction, of course, of the Minister. These are a number of considerations which have occurred to me as being all arguments in favour of the contention that the smooth working of the City of Cork would depend to a considerable extent upon the fact that the manager was selected by the people of Cork themselves, even within the narrow limits of three.
There is only one objection I can see  to this. I may say this amendment, as far as I can judge, has the approval of the Cork people and of the Senators from that great city and its neighbourhood. But the occasion may arise when there may not be three people in Ireland qualified to fill the post as manager for the City of Cork. That is an objection that is very hard to answer. Still, I think in Ireland there will always be three men who will think themselves fit for any position. I am sure the Commission will be able to find three who will be qualified, and I suggest to the Seanad that really there is no valid objection to this amendment. One objection was put forward on the last occasion by my friend, Senator Farren. Why not centralise in Dublin? You could have too much centralisation and too much officialdom. You could officialise and centralise until perhaps you would go too far. I suggest to the House this is an amendment which improves the Bill. I was glad to hear the Minister say that the Bill was very much amended in the Dáil. I would add it was very much improved in the Dáil by the amendments which were made to it. This is an amendment which was overlooked, and I am sure it will be accepted by the Minister.
Mr. O'HANLON: Senator Comyn has dilated on the question of the powers, functions, duties and so forth of the city managers who are to be appointed, and formed in our minds the opinion that what we should seek and have regard to in the appointment of city managers in the future is the question of efficiency and the fitness of the person who takes up the post. In this country we have appointed a body to go into such questions, a body called the Local Appointments Commission. The special function of that commission is to inquire into the qualifications, qualities, and fitness of applicants for posts, amongst others, of city managers. I take it that, after they have completed their investigations, they should be in the best position to determine who is the best qualified candidate. If we were to deal with cases along the lines suggested by Senator Comyn, we might have as applicants for the post of city manager in any important Free State town or city three applicants, one of  them being a useless person who comes from the very town or city itself. The Commissioners inquire into the qualifications of the candidates, and if they submit to the council the names of three candidates, including that of the local, useless person, we know that the tendency in this country is to regard rather favourably the claims of local applicants. We know that it is only human nature that if a local person is put forward with two other candidates, local representatives, seeing his name coupled with those of the others, will say: “He cannot be so bad after all. Let us give the job to the poor devil we know.” It has been my experience that where three names are submitted to public bodies, regardless of the order in which the local man's name appears on the list, he gets the job. If we are to have due regard to the functions of the Local Appointments Commissioners, and if we are to seek efficiency, and efficiency only, we must either make the investigations of the Commissioners a real thing or nullify their deliberations entirely. It we are to make their investigations real, there is only one thing to do, and that is to refuse to accept the amendment. Senator Comyn says that he stands for efficiency and for getting the best man. If we want to get the best man, and the best man only, let us reject this amendment.
Mr. DOWDALL: This amendment finds me rather in a conflict of views. I can see some objection to it, but, on the other hand, I think there is a considerable amount to be said for it. I voted for the inclusion of the name of Mr. Monahan on the last amendment merely because I know his work, and, though there might be some objections to putting the name of a man into a Bill, I did not let that stand in my light, as I was convinced that he was the best man we could get. In connection with what Senator O'Hanlon has said, may I ask him to look at the section and he will see that the words are “and that the council shall appoint a fit and proper person to be manager.” I assume that the amendment means that there shall be submitted to the council the names of three fit and proper persons, and if in the opinion of the Local Appointments  Commissioners none of them is competent no names will be put forward by them. I do not, however, think that this country is so destitute and bankrupt of talent that for such a position as this there will be any lack of suitable and qualified applicants. I feel convinced that the Bill shall so prove its advantages that it will be only a preliminary to the extension of this principle of local government to other areas and districts in the country. That being so, may I ask has there ever been in this country any lack of suitable qualified men for positions in the Civil Service? It must be remembered that in a very slightly different way the administrative qualifications necessary for these appointments are, in the main, the attributes and qualities that you would look for when making appointments to important administrative posts in connection with local government. In the beginning especially, I think that the range of choice of applicants will be rather limited, because while Mr. Monahan has had a good deal of success, I know similar appointments which have not been conspicuously successful, quite the contrary. My objection to the amendment is that possibly in the early stages of the development of this form of local government the range of choice may be limited, but we are not bankrupt of qualified men, and there is something in giving discretion as between three candidates to the council, for no other reason than that the council may know something concerning one of the candidates which the Appointments Commissioners do not know. I will vote for the amendment. I know that qualifications on paper are not always the best way of showing the relative merits of candidates.
Mr. KENNY: In regard to Senator Dowdall's last statement, that a local council might know something about a candidate which the Appointments Commissioners might not know, may I point out that that might apply the other way round? The Commissioners are most meticulous in their inquiries both as to the candidates' technical qualifications and as to their character. I, like other Senators, have had considerable experience of the manner in  which appointments have been made and we cannot close our eyes to the fact that the local “pull” is everything. So much so, that the best men did not come forward and were not available. I know particularly that in certain cases where some serious issues concerned with life and death were at stake in the matter of the appointment of dispensary medical officers time and again men with the lowest qualifications succeeded in getting those posts. The General Council of County Councils had this matter before them and they circularised all the county bodies in view of certain action by the Minister recently in setting up a Commission to inquire into the working of the Local Appointments (Officers and Employees) Act. They circularised all those public bodies and, so far as the replies go, the great majority of them —nine-tenths of them—expressed the satisfaction of the local bodies with the way in which the Act is working out. There have been a few minor cases in which there have been complaints about delays by the Local Appointments Commissioners in making the appointments. They complain that the Commissioners are very slow and tedious in making the appointments and that as a result sometimes the local bodies have to incur the payment of sums to temporary substitutes. The expression of opinion from the great majority of them is that eventually the appointments made were satisfactory. As I say, the only complaint was that the local body was put to a certain amount of expense in supplying the substitutes. The fact was that the Selection Committees showed great care in going into details before coming to a decision in making their selection. No matter how you decide on sending 1, 2, or 3 down, you will, inevitably, have the friends of each of these three getting into communication with people on the local council. Everybody on the local council will be approached and anybody who has a pull with any member of the local council will be approached, and influence will be brought to bear in favour of one or other of the candidates, irrespective entirely of their  qualifications and character, and the decision which the Local Appointments Commissioners took so much pains to arrive at will be disregarded.
When I was a member of a local body and when I was trying to act in the best way I could as a public representative, I found on one occasion that I was only one of two members of a board of guardians who voted for a certain man. The chairman after this election said to me in the presence of a few others: “How is it that you voted for that man?” I said I voted because I was satisfied that he was the best man. His reply was: “It does not seem that you are very long in public life. Before you are very much older the very last thing that will weigh with you will be a man's suitability for an appointment under a board like this, or indeed for any other appointment.” That was said to me twenty odd years ago. I do not say that the position was so in every case. Senators here will, I am sure, have similar experiences. You may get some public bodies and members of those public bodies to rise superior to these considerations. To come back to the point, we have had expressions of views from these various public bodies entirely in accordance with and upholding the action and procedure of the Local Appointments Commissioners. We have not, as yet, received replies from all the public bodies. We asked these bodies to give us specific cases in which the new method has failed. There were one or two cases under investigation, but other than these cases of inconvenience and delays, there were no serious objections.
Sir JOHN KEANE: I feel there is an evasion in this debate of a very fundamental principle. I quite agree, if you take a short view of it, that by centralisation you get a higher standard of efficiency. If you let me loose amongst the farmers with not 80,000, but 8,000 men, I will revolutionise the whole phase of agriculture. I will have them up at reveille at six o'clock in the morning; I will have them on parades, and with military methods I will get better results than the Department of Agriculture could ever hope for. But surely that is not the beginning and the end of the whole story. You cannot go  entirely in these matters by what you merely see. You will also have to have regard to what you do not see. The attitude that the last speaker has adopted is that these elected bodies are not to be trusted. That is the plain English of the matter. Senator Barrington was attacked by a Senator for his suspicions as to the integrity of local men in those public bodies, and Senator Kenny now stands up and, in effect, endorses the attitude of Senator Barrington. I am not so pessimistic or despondent as some people as to the ultimate success of popular government. If I were I should despair entirely of what we call democracy or representative institutions. This is what occurs to me in passing—why, if these malign influences are actuating local bodies, do they not also actuate the central body, and have we any reason for thinking that in a recent election that came very near home there was an attempt to choose absolutely in all cases men most fitted for the appointments for which they were elected?
You cannot make fish of one and fowl of the other. If there is this element of corruption in the local body there must, ipso facto, be the same element, more or less, in the centralised authority. I think this thing is very much exaggerated altogether. I claim that the whole balance is determined by the spiritual or educational side. You cannot make omelettes without breaking eggs. In those public bodies throughout the country the element that you distrust is exceedingly negligible. Senator O'Hanlon adopted the point of view that where the names of only three people were sent down one of these would be a local man and would presumably be inferior. Presumably the local man is the worst man and he is sure to get in. That was the argument. But is it conceivable that only three persons are going to go forward? His suggestion was that only three persons were to go forward for such a well-paid appointment as that of City Manager of Cork. There is sure to be a very large number to select from. I do not care who the body is who makes the selection, whether it is the Local Appointments Committee or the council; none of them can be sure  which of the candidates is really the best. In the realm of business every day you find the candidates have narrowed down to one person, and you are always in very grave doubt as to whether the man you select is the best. There is no assurance whatever of having chosen the very best. There can be no assurance that one of the three selected by the Local Appointments Commissioners is the best of the three. Not at all. I believe that the Council is just as likely to choose the best out of these three as is the Local Appointments Committee of Selection. In the next place, you are not going to trust the local bodies to appoint their own chief officer. If that is so, you take a very gloomy view of your own future government, and you place the integrity of the public bodies of the country on a very low scale.
Mr. JAMESON: I hope Senator Sir John Keane will follow up the views he has just expressed by moving an amendment to the Bill, and leaving out these Local Appointments Commissioners altogether. If he is consistent, the Senator will now move that amendment and place in the hands of the new municipal authority of Cork the appointment of their own officers. If the Senator follows up the sentiments he has expressed here, he must ask this Seanad to do away with this section altogether, take the appointment out of the hands of the central body in Dublin, and put it into the hands of the city municipal body. There is no other course open to the Senator. I think if you put it in that way the Senator will see where this is leading him. I do not believe you will get the Seanad at all to vote for handing these appointments over to the local bodies and taking it out of the hands of the Local Appointments Commissioners. He must do either one or the other. He must either leave it as it is at present or leave it entirely to the local body. I believe, however, that we would have a very strong expression of opinion against that from the citizens of Cork themselves. Now why are we mincing things to such an extent as to say that the central body should send down three names and that the local body should pick one of  the three? In the present condition of Ireland, the central body, the Local Appointments Commission, is the best body to select men for these positions. If we do not believe that, then we should go to the local body and let them have it out at the election. If we believe the central body is the best body to pick the right man, then we should trust the central body, and we should not endeavour to mix up the thing by having a pick from three. We should not make it compulsory on the local body to make a selection from three.
Senator O'Hanlon says that there may be only three applicants for the position, that one of the three might be very bad and the other two might not be efficient; yet the Local Appointments Commissioners would still have to send three names forward. In these circumstances I think that they should be allowed to reject one of the three and should not be asked to send forward the three names. We must have regard to the present condition of the country. We have seen what has happened in our own city and we have seen what has happened in Cork. We should not try to spoil this experiment by imposing unnecessary things. Let us suppose anything happened to the manager who is being appointed under this Bill; let us suppose a new appointment had to be made in a very short period. If three names were sent forward the wrong man might be picked by the local municipal authority. That authority might not have gone into the matter with anything like the care that the special body appointed by Parliament devoted to it. It might be that all sorts of local influences would enter into the election and I think the Seanad would be doing a very serious thing if they interfered with the existing method of appointment, even though members of the Seanad may hold such altruistic opinions about how the thing would be managed as Senator Keane.
Colonel MOORE: Senator Jameson has already tried to put us in the position of accepting his man or going to the devil. He is adopting the same attitude now. He tries to force us into a  position which does not exist; either we must go to the Local Appointments Commissioners, go to the local body altogether, or we must accept the sole management of one person. The Senator tried to put us between the devil and the deep sea, but there is always a via media. There is a way to go other than by going to the devil or the deep sea. In this case, the route is that suggested in the proposal made. We do not want the local body to be the sole arbiters in this matter. They may hold a very short view; they may look only as far as the interests of the City of Cork are concerned; whereas the body in Dublin can view the whole of the Free State, can find the three best men there and send them down to the City of Cork or wherever else the appointment may be made. The local body can then make its choice from three men. That is a very different thing from what Senator Jameson says. It seems to me a very ridiculous supposition that the body in Dublin cannot find three efficient men to put before the local authority. The country is not so bad as all that and I think it is not a right suggestion to make. What we want in this case is to give a fair show to everybody. The three best men will be selected by a body, with a wide outlook, in Dublin. The people in the particular locality concerned who will have to pay the piper will be allowed to make a choice from three candidates. I cannot imagine that when three qualified men are sent down by the central body in Dublin, the local authority will deliberately choose the worst. Even if they selected the worst of the three, he would not be an incapable man, and they would not go very far wrong. Between the system of selection by the local people and selection by the Dublin authority, I consider the latter is the better.
The MacGILLICUDDY: I have had considerable experience of the question of appointments. There seems to be some divergence of opinion on this subject here for and against the Local Appointments Commissioners. I have heard almost exactly the same thing occur at the meeting of the General Council of County Councils. That representative  body of men came together to discuss the question of local appointments, and Senator Kenny was in the chair. I heard three councillors, one after the other, giving different opinions upon this matter. The first said that he had had twenty years public service and he had never seen a job done. The second man said that he knew, whenever he attended a meeting, if the room was full, that there was to be an appointment made. Finally a lady councillor got up and said there was jobbery done in Dublin. As long as you have that divergence of opinion I do not believe that the three names sent down to a local body will get fair play. So long as that difference of opinion exists, it would be well to let the Act, which has been carefully thought out, stand.
General MULCAHY: The amendment proposes to constrain the judgment of the Local Appointments Commissioners. Under the Act in existence, Section 5 (3), the Local Appointments Commissioners “shall recommend to the local authority one person for appointment to the said office, or shall, if they so think proper, select in accordance with this Act and recommend to the local authority two or more persons for such appointment.” The via media between what has been called the devil and the deep sea is to do the slobbery thing, not to make some particular piece of machinery responsible for doing a particular piece of work. The Local Appointments Commissioners have been set up for the purpose of putting together suitable and efficient Selection Boards for the purpose of selecting a person qualified for a particular position. The only occasion on which, to my knowledge, they found two people so nearly related in ability to one another that they referred the two names to the local authority, the local authority was very vexed. That is from my recollection of the discussion as reported in the local Press. If there are two people equally qualified, the Local Appointments Commissioners must send down the two. This amendment would constrain their judgment to send down on one particular panel three people. What is going to be the result of that? The result is going to  be that whereas, under the present system, with an efficient, specially-selected body with questions of qualification, experience and character gone into in a non-public way, a person is selected; under this proposal the question of the efficiency, qualifications and character of the three people is going to be thrown open to public discussion at a council meeting and the man is going to be selected in that particular way.
We hold that a question such as this requires very careful consideration. A committee has been set up to consider the matter and see whether the procedure under this Act can beimproved. Personally, I am convinced that you cannot and will not improve the procedure by sending down a number of names to a body. At any rate, such improvement as can be brought about has to be discussed by the committee set up, and I do not think from what has been heard here that the Seanad can persuade itself, in the absence of more critical and more detailed information, that it can safely depart from the present position where the Local Appointments Commissioners have power to send down one or more names. The practice has been to send down the one that is best qualified. It is the practical considerations and their whole actual experience that have brought them into that particular position, and I think it would be inadvisable to do anything else in this particular piece of legislation. It is not a question of whether local bodies can be trusted. That is thrown in in order to get opinions on other than the merits of the case. Local bodies, in the first place, are not equipped for it, and, in the second place, although it has been suggested that we have no confidence in local government, it is because we have confidence that local government can get certain improvements and big results all over the country that we are doing whatever we can to put into the hands of local bodies the most efficient machinery that we can put into their hands. You are not going to put into the hands of a child in whom you have no confidence a very sharp knife. We are proposing to put in, by pieces of legislation such as this, the most efficient machinery by which the local  bodies can carry out their will in respect to these subjects which come within their purview. I hope the Seanad will refuse to pass the amendment.
Amendment put and negatived.
Mr. CONNOLLY: Might I suggest, if it would meet the wishes of the Seanad, that we should adjourn at six o'clock and resume at seven? My idea is, in view of the week that it is, that business people and others might like to get through as much business to-night as possible so as to shorten the business for to-morrow.
Mr. MILROY: I would like to know what is the intention of Senators who have motions on the Paper—whether they intend to proceed with them before the adjournment. All of them are matters of considerable importance and would require very careful and exhaustive examination and a full House. Until the holiday season is over you may say what you like about the disinclination of Senators to attend to their duties, but the fact is that you will not get the attendance that is desirable to give adequate consideration to these motions. If the proposers of these motions would agree to allow them to stand over until after the Christmas recess we could very easily agree upon the question of adjournment now and the business for to-morrow. There is no immediate urgency for a decision on any of these three motions, but there is the possibility of a very informative and useful discussion, and possibly a useful decision on each of them. I think it would meet the general wishes of the Seanad if they would agree to allow the motions to stand over until the Seanad reassembles after the Christmas recess.
Mr. DOWDALL: I beg to second the suggestion.
CATHAOIRLEACH: It is a matter altogether for the movers of the motions.
Mr. CONNOLLY: If that is the feeling of the House, I would be willing to have item No. 8 left over until the House reassembles after the holiday  adjournment, as perhaps it might not be adequately discussed now.
Mr. JOHNSON: I should like to have item No. 7 discussed before we adjourn.
Mr. MILROY: Does Senator Johnson suggest that we should take his motion to-night?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Yes, No. 7. No. 6 would stand over until after the recess.
Mr. JOHNSON: I am unwilling that that should happen.
CATHAOIRLEACH: You consent to that if the House desires?
Mr. JOHNSON: The Seanad has to meet to-morrow.
CATHAOIRLEACH: It will be a very short meeting.
Mr. JOHNSON: There are certain Bills which require to be passed.
CATHAOIRLEACH: I do not think we can pass them all to-morrow anyhow.
Sir THOMAS ESMONDE: The Senator who rose originally suggested that we should adjourn for an hour and then resume and complete the different stages of the Cork Bill.
CATHAOIRLEACH: That could be done.
Sir THOMAS ESMONDE: This question of a draftsman is a very important one. I suggest to Senator Johnson that he might leave it over until after the recess.
Sir WALTER NUGENT: Senator Connolly has agreed to allow his resolution to stand over. Senator Johnson, I understood, also consented. Does that not mean, then, that we are simply going to finish the urgent business?
CATHAOIRLEACH: Senator Johnson does not consent in reference to item No. 7.
Sir WALTER NUGENT: He said he would if he was pressed, and I am pressing him now.
CATHAOIRLEACH: What does Senator Johnson desire?
Mr. JOHNSON: My desire is that No. 7 should be discussed, inasmuch as it would be useless after the recess.
Mr. O'FARRELL: On matters of this kind, one is sure to get overwhelming support for adjournment of work; that is a foregone conclusion. It is most popular to suggest that we should put off the evil day when we have work to do. It is obvious that the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill has to be passed, and that we must meet to-morrow. Under these circumstances, I do not see any objection in our adjourning now and resuming later in the evening. If we do that we will not have a full day's work to-morrow. I suggest we should go on for some time longer this evening and meet again to-morrow.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Perhaps if we were to go on to a quarter to seven or seven o'clock we could finish this Bill.
Mr. CONNOLLY: I merely made my suggestion but the House is against it, and I am quite satisfied.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Then we shall go on until seven o'clock.
Amendment 16 not moved.
Mr. COMYN: I move amendment 17:
Section 10, sub-section (3). Before the word “death,” in line 51, to insert the words “attaining the age of sixty-five years or his.”
The object of this amendment is to make it quite clear that the manager shall retire on attaining the age of sixty-five years. This being a special Act, I suggest that its provisions might be held to override any general Act, and inasmuch as there is nothing stated in the Bill as to the age at which the manager shall retire from office, it might at least be a subject for legal decision, and it might be contended that the office is a life one. “The manager shall hold office until he dies or resigns, or is removed from office.” In a special Act of this kind, it is open to argument that the office is a life office, and both this amendment and the one that follows on the Paper in my name, is intended to clear up the matter. I move this amendment in order to make the Bill more clear than it is on that point. I have no doubt it  is not the Minister's intention to have a person in office as manager in the City of Cork who is more than sixty-five years of age.
Mr. O'FARRELL: I am in favour of the principle of the amendment; at least, I would like to see the appointed manager retiring at sixty-five. But I do not know that it is good policy for us in this Bill to fix the age of retirement, seeing that we are actually fixing nothing else in regard to the conditions of service. We are not fixing remuneration, the period of holidays, and a number of other things that apply regarding the conditions of service. I do not think it is desirable that we should take one particular item and deal with it. In regard to the age of retirement, the manager will be very largely in the position of a secretary of a county council or other local authority employee. I do not know that we should fix the age for one particular person unless we fix the general age of retirement for all local employees. I think it is a matter that should be dealt with as a whole. There is a provision already that any man having attained the age of sixty-five can be put out on pension. If the manager becomes senile or incompetent because of age, it will be open to the Council to remove him, with the consent of the Minister. The question of age is very controversial. It might be argued that no man would be competent to remain a member of the Seanad after he had reached the age of sixty-five If we apply that rule, we might remove even some of Senator Comyn's ablest supporters. It has been complained with regard to the Courts of Judges suffering from senile decay have remained and kept worthy aspirants to office out of a job. Senator Comyn will confirm that in certain respects. It is true that some people imagine that this is Arcadia or that it is Eternity. They refuse to grow old, and actually seem to increase in energy and virility as they go on. It is alleged to be a fact that as people grow older they grow more talkative, while not always improving in wisdom. That does not apply in every case. We have examples in this House that age brings wisdom, experience and stability. It might be an unfortunate regulation in  certain cases to have to force a man out and lose his services simply because he arrived at the magic age of sixty-five. We all hope to reach that age some day. I think it would be unwise in the case of one particular man to make it compulsory on him to retire at that age unless there is some good reason, or unless the rule is applied generally. For these reasons, I think Senator Comyn would be well advised not to press the amendment unless we are going to face up to the general question of age for retirement of public officials.
Mr. DOWDALL: The Bill as it stands has been, I think, framed so as to give assurance of fixity of tenure and independence, quite necessary in the circumstances, to the occupant of the office here, much in the same way as a judge holds his position independent of the Executive, or any other authority, that may be supposed to exercise supervision and control over him. The Bill, therefore, is rather absolute, and it is quite possible that the city manager may develop a certain amount of senility which the council, in its delicacy, might not care to put forward to the Ministry as a reason for his removal. Another office with a certain amount of independence is that of a university professor. What is done in his case is, that when he comes to, I think, 65 he is continued from year to year, but he is compulsorily retired at 70, and I think an amendment might be worked into this Bill which would provide that it might be optional on the Ministry or on the council to take the resignation of the official at 65, or in their discretion, if they wish to continue him they may do so from year to year, but that he must be compulsorily retired at 70.
Mr. COMYN: I am prepared to vary the amendment to suit Senator Dowdall's views.
Mr. BROWN: Senator Comyn says that he wants to make this section quite clear. The section is quite clear. It is perfectly clear that under this section the manager will hold office for life, until he retires, or until he is removed from office, but the council has  the power of removing him from office at 65, before 65, or after 65. But it is also clear that what Senator Comyn is trying to do is not to make the section clear but to alter it, and I am very strongly opposed to an alteration except you also make it compulsory for the Corporation to give the manager a pension if he is to go at 65. As the Bill stands a pension is purely discretionary on the part of the Corporation; they can vote it, but they need not. So that it would be most unfair compulsorily to retire an efficient manager, who may be got rid of, as the Bill stands, at 65, unless you make the Corporation give him a pension.
General MULCAHY: I will reply first to the point mentioned by Senator Brown, and mentioned earlier by Senator Comyn. In sub-section (6) of Section 44 of the Act of 1925 a person who is removed from office in certain circumstances can get a gratuity if he has less than ten years' service, and can get a pension of not more than two-thirds of his salary if he has more than ten years' service. If a person is aggrieved he has an appeal to the Minister, and the Minister can fix the gratuity or the pension. That answers the point that Senator Comyn raised on a previous amendment that the manager was not safeguarded in regard to superannuation, and it answers Senator Brown's point now. There is an appeal to the Minister if the official is dissatisfied with regard to the superannuation. In Section 44 (1) of the Act of 1925 special significance hangs round the age of 65. It states that a local body shall, with the consent of the Minister, grant to a pensionable officer in their employment, who has either attained the age of 65 years or has at least 25 years' service, a certain pension. Under this Bill the manager is made an officer of the Corporation. He comes in under that section, and the suggestion of 65 years will apply in his case as it does in the case of any other employee. I agree with Senator O'Farrell that it is undesirable to say that a manager in particular must go at 65 when the council has full power to remove him at 55 if it so desires.
Mr. DOWDALL: Subject to the Minister.
General MULCAHY: Subject to the Minister. That is on the question of his efficient working. They have full power to remove him at 55 if they are not satisfied that he is competent to carry on the work, or really if they are not satisfied that he is the best person that they could get. So that to introduce the question of the age of 65 is to introduce a point that is a point; but there are numbers of other points that might be introduced in the same way, and I do not think that this affects anything, in the light of Section 44 of the 1925 Act.
Mr. COMYN: Again I submit that this is a special Bill. It gives a life tenure to the manager. Has the Minister considered that, in view of the provisions in this special Bill, it does not override the general Act of 1925 to which he has referred? If the Minister has not got legal advice on that question, then perhaps I may be permitted to urge on the House that this special Bill will, in fact, override the general Act, and the appointment of a manager for the City of Cork is a life appointment. As regards the other portion of the argument put forward by the Minister, there is, of course, no doubt that the Cork City Council, with the consent of the Minister, can dismiss the manager. But they must show some cause; they must show some incompetence. The Minister may say that all civil servants hold office during pleasure. In point of fact that means during good behaviour. If this Bill is allowed to go unamended in this particular way, there will be, too, unpleasantness—the council making a case of incompetence against an officer who, in the vigour of his youth, had been efficient. My amendment is really only a drafting amendment. It is not my intention to raise any controversy, but to make explicit what the Minister considers is implicit in the Bill, but which, in my opinion, is not implicit. I give it as my opinion, without binding myself to it, that there is at least a very good argument possible on the question, and my opinion is that this office of manager of Cork is a life office under the Bill.
General MULCAHY: It is explicit in the Bill that the complication that the  Senator foresees will not arise. Section 9 (2) says that every person appointed to be a manager shall, by virtue of such appointment, be an officer of the Corporation, and Section 10 (4) says that the manager shall hold office until he dies, resigns or is removed from office. The manager shall not be suspended or removed from office, under sub-section (5), except by a resolution which, from the statutory point of view, need not bear on incompetence or anything else, but is simply a resolution stating that, for reasons which they give to the satisfaction of the Minister, he is removed.
Mr. COMYN: Must there not be some grounds given for a resolution of that kind—a ground of incompetence or decrepitude, or some other ground? I cannot see what objection the Minister can have to this amendment, except that he is so proud of his Bill and thinks it so perfect that he cannot bear to have it touched. This is not a question of politics; it is not a question of party; it is merely a question of law. In my judgment the Bill would be greatly improved if the amendment which I proposed were accepted. It certainly cannot injure it, and I cannot see why the Minister stands out so strongly against this amendment, except that he wishes to take the Bill back from the Seanad without a word of it altered.
Amendment put and declared lost.
Mr. JOHNSON: I move:—
Section 10, sub-section (4). To delete the sub-section and to substitute therefor a new sub-section as follows:—
“(4) The manager shall hold office for seven years from the date of his first appointment unless he earlier dies, resigns or is removed from office. If the Council, by resolution passed by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting at a meeting thereof held not more than twelve months before the expiration of the term of office of the manager, of which resolution not less than seven day's notice shall have been given to every member of the Council, decides that the manager shall be continued in office and the  Minister sanctions that decision, the manager shall without further appointment continue in office until he dies, resigns or is removed from office in accordance with the provisions of this Act.”
This amendment, though it is a long one, does not require a great deal of explanation. Instead of making this an office for life at the outset, I propose to ask the House to agree that the use of the word “experiment” shall have some reality, and I make it an experiment of seven years' duration, the idea being that two full Councils should have had experience of the manager and his work before he automatically becomes a life appointment. The proposal, therefore, is that in the first instance the manager shall hold office for seven years. If after seven years— that is, after the experience of two full Councils of three years—and one year within which notice would be given— the Council is not satisfied that he is the best possible manager that could be got they may, without any cause assigned, without any flagrant dereliction of duty dispense with his services, or if, after that period of experiment he proved satisfactory to the Council, they shall then re-appoint him for life. I think the suggestion is a reasonable one. The Council is supposed to have some authority over the manager with regard to the determination of his appointment or otherwise, but we know that, as a matter of practice, it would be difficult to persuade the Minister to consent to the removal of an officer unless there could be brought forward evidence of some specific dereliction of duty of a serious character. On the other hand, we know that there are many public and private servants who are able to carry on their duties, who never commit a fault, but who never do anything very valuable or useful. There is no positive value in them, but there is nothing of such a flagrant demerit as would justify their dismissal. I want to see that the Council will have the right to review the manager's position and competence in the light of seven years' experience. If, after that experience, they say, “He is competent and we would like to re-appoint him,” let him be re-appointed for life, but in the first instance do not ask the Seanad to say that Philip Monahan shall be re-appointed for life without the Council having had any experience whatever of his competence or value as a public servant.
Mr. CONNOLLY: I think there is a great deal to be said from the point of view of the appointment of a manager for a period, not so much as it applies to Commissioner Monahan in Cork, because I think he has already exhibited his qualities or his defects, as the case may be, to the people of Cork and to the country generally; it is more that this Bill may serve as a model for future councils. I see a great number of difficulties, and whilst I agree with Senator Johnson on the general principle of appointing the manager in the beginning for a limited period, I think it should not require a seven years' term to find out whether a man is competent or not. There is, after all, the manager's point of view to be considered also. A manager may go to Cork or Limerick at any age from 28 to 38, and may put in seven years— perhaps the best seven years of his life —and still not make good by the end of that period. He is then thrown derelict on the world. What responsibility the Corporation or the Department are going to have for that public official I do not know. Does Senator Johnson suggest that he should be in any way compensated by the grant of a pension, or is he simply to be discarded as incompetent and unfit for work? I think the period is too long as a trying process. I think a period of a year, two years, or, at the very outside, three years, would be sufficient. I also think if a manager is appointed for an indefinite period and continues in the position for a certain number of years that some scale of pension commensurate with the years he put in in the office should be awarded him. It might be worked out on a basis of, say, one-twentieth or one-twenty-fifth of his salary for every year of service, or on whatever ratio would seem equitable. I agree with the principle, not so much in the case of Cork alone, but in the case of other corporations, that an experimental period should be fixed for a  manager so appointed. In Commissioner Monahan's case there has been very considerable experience, so that we would probably feel easier in our minds in voting for the appointment of Commissioner Monahan than we would for other men who have not been tried in a similar capacity. It is more with a view to protecting ourselves for the future, in case this Bill be used as a model for other corporations, that I agree with Senator Johnson, but I would suggest to him that he should amend the period of years, and that he should in some way protect the Commissioner by securing him a pension or a gratuity commensurate with the services which he has given, so that such an office would not be simply a blind alley where, as I said, a man might put in the best years of his life and then be thrown on the scrap heap.
Mr. BAGWELL: I must vote against this amendment, because I think it would have a very bad effect in the direction of preventing the class of man that we really want to get as manager for cities like Cork, or any other large city, from applying. A first-rate man must be experienced. He must have proved himself in some way, and therefore his prospects are probably not at all bad in whatever form of employment he is in. To ask a man like that to go for a probationary period of one, two, three, not to mention seven years, is impracticable. You would not get the best class of men to go forward under such circumstances, and therefore I think the choice would be limited to a very great extent, because the whole intention is that you should get an absolutely perfect man. From that point of view I do not think it a good thing to have a probationary period at all. After all if the council finds that the manager proves either incompetent or impossible, they have their remedy, and can get rid of him by terminating his appointment. To make every man go through a probationary period like that would, I believe, very much limit the choice.
Mrs. WYSE POWER: I am going to support Senator Johnson's amendment for one specific reason—that this Bill is only the forerunner of the Greater  Dublin Bill that we are promised next year. I was identified with the Report of the Greater Dublin Commission, and on the question of the city manager, the Report of that Commission states: “The appointment of the city manager should, in the first instance, be vested in the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, and the initial term of office shall be a period of three years.” Having put my name to that Report, I am bound to stand by the three years' period, or, at all events, to the nearest period to it that I can get. I think that the three years' period is an excellent period, for the reason that it covers the duration of a council's term of office. I do not think that a seven years' period is so good at all, because the new manager, who has been such a success in Cork, may not work as well under the new conditions as he did when he was entirely his own master. He may not be at all as suitable a manager as he was a Commissioner. I think that to make the appointment for life would be a very grave mistake. I hope that the views of the various parties in the House on this question will be taken into consideration by the Minister. As I have said, I intend to vote for Senator Johnson's amendment.
Mr. DOWDALL: If we were considering a Bill that proposed to deal with the whole Department of Local Government, there might be some case for the principle in this amendment. We are dealing with a special Bill, and the House has gone so far as to put the name of the new city manager for Cork in that Bill. That, in effect, means that he will be in office until he dies, except he is removed for misconduct or is obliged to resign because of ill-health. In view of the fact that there is that provision in the Bill, it is practically a contradiction to be considering this. We have in the Commissioner in Cork a man who really has proved his worth. There is the old saying: “By their fruits you shall know them.” In this case we have seen the fruits, and we are perfectly satisfied. While an amendment such as this might or might not be worthy of consideration if we were dealing with a Bill that covered the whole field of Local Government, I  think it is very objectionable in the case of this special Bill, and I must oppose it.
Mr. JOHNSON: I recognise that the important issue in this amendment is raised in the first three lines. I admit that there might be some improvement made in other portions of the amendment as drafted. But let us bear in mind that we are making this appointment. The Council is to be set up at the direction of the Oireachtas. The Council is to have certain responsibilities. It is to have the right to remove the manager, with the sanction of the Minister, if it can satisfy the Minister that its justification is sufficient for removing him. But, apart from the public and indefinite experience it has had in the City of Cork, the Council, as a Council, ought to have experience of the manager before they are asked to take him on for life. As to the period, I am not bound to seven years, though I think there should be a reasonable period for him in which to justify himself. But I cannot, in considering this Bill, think of it merely as a Cork City Management Bill. This Bill is the forerunner of a complete change in the system of administration of local authorities in the country. There will be, I think, a new profession arising out of this Bill, the profession of city manager or county manager. It is intended to have county council managers as well as city managers. Arising out of this Bill, as I say, there is going to be the new profession of city manager. I think the Cork Council ought, in a period, say, of seven years, to have the right to say whether, for instance, it would like better to have Peter Murphy who is administering Donegal in place of the present man because they believe he is a better man. “Let us have this period of seven years, and let us at the end of the seven years have the right to say, without any disrespect, we release Mr. Monahan, who can now seek a new field of operations in the same profession, because we want another man. We believe the Local Appointments Commissioners would appoint this man for Cork, because he is  the best in the country, and he is now administering the affairs of Donegal.”
There is no question of throwing this man on the scrap heap any more than other men. When the Minister for Local Government appoints Commissioners are they to be thrown on the scrap heap when their period of office comes to an end? Is there to be a scrap heap for them? No, there are other openings for local administrators. I have not the slightest fear, and I am sure that Mr. Monahan has not the slightest fear, that at the end of seven years he will find himself on the scrap heap. I think that the council ought not be obliged to prove that Mr. Monahan has committed some flagrant act of disloyalty or misconduct or mismanagement. I think they ought to be able to say that he is not good enough for Cork; good, as he may be, he is not good enough for Cork, and at the end of seven years to say, “We want to improve upon Mr. Monahan.” I want the council to be placed in that position, and that is the real object of the amendment.
Mr. DOUGLAS: I find myself diametrically opposed to Senator Johnson, especially since he made his last speech. I think that the principle that he has enunciated would be most dangerous. I am astonished, personally, to find it coming from him—from a person in the position that he holds in the Labour world. If that principle were to be applied generally what would the position be? If I had on my staff twenty persons and that I came upon a man whom I liked better and turned the others out—of course it will be said that there is a market for them—I wonder what the attitude of the Labour Unions generally would be, and quite rightly? It seems to me that you cannot turn out a man in Cork, because you like a man in Donegal better, without definitely injuring him. Unless there are reasons, I do not think that the man should be removed just because the Cork Council like some man that is in Donegal better than the man they have. That would be a most dangerous and a most objectionable principle to adopt. It would largely defeat what we are trying to achieve in this Bill.
 I was impressed a good deal by what Senator Connolly said, but on the whole I do not think that he is right. Even a two years' period would, I think, have the effect of deterring a good type of man from applying. I think it is far better that he should take his risk, take the risk, as Senator Connolly said, that he is not able to do the job. That is what the manager of a business or of any important commercial concern has to do. I think it is by far the best way of dealing with this matter in the case of a city manager. A person will apply for the managership of a factory or large works only if he sees that if he makes good in the position it will be a position for life, but if he feels that his employers would dismiss him because they might like some other person in the country better he would not look at the position, and certainly he would not think it worth his while to put his whole life's energy into it. While there might be some argument as regards appointing the manager on trial, I believe it is better to make the position a life job unless he cannot make good.
Sir JOHN KEANE: I take it this is not to be a precedent for all future positions of the same character. There may be special conditions which make it necessary in Cork, because there is already a man there, and there may be a personal aspect to the matter. The method of appointment is, to say the least, most unbusinesslike. Surely we are justified in following the analogy of a board of directors who are responsible for policy and also control of their executives. If we followed such an analogy it would be inconceivable that we would give a life appointment. There arise conditions where a person is not so unsatisfactory that you can remove him by form of a resolution, such as where he has got beyond his work and is not so active or alert as he ought to be, and it should be in the power of the responsible body to remove such a person in respect of age or because of some other condition.
General MULCAHY: This amendment must be treated from the point of view as to whether it should apply generally to the position of city manager or whether it should apply to the  Cork manager only. The question of a Cork manager and the question of managers generally must be considered together. I am looking at it from the point of view as to whether it is desirable generally in respect to city managers, and I say it is not. The council has power to remove a man if he is not satisfactory, with the sanction of the Minister, and the Minister in these matters is in an exposed position. He can be dealt with if his attitude in this particular matter is not satisfactory, so that when the Bill gives power for removal by a two-thirds vote of the council that gives power to remove the manager. In these circumstances it must be accepted there is adequate power to remove a man. There is also the question that you want the council to deal with their work in a positive way. This amendment would allow the council for seven years, or whatever period of time is allocated, to let the manager go by default by not making up their minds as to whether he was a satisfactory manager or not. As we are persuaded all round that councils are only too anxious to do it, we may at least expect they would stand up to their responsibilities and if a manager is not satisfactory that they will say so and take the necessary steps to get a better man.
I subscribe to what Senator Bagwell says, that you will not get the type of man worth getting except you offer him conditions that are tempting, give a good prospect of permanency, and provide that he will not be got rid of except on a positive statement of the position with regard to him. To have it any other way would put the manager in the position that he would have to be coaxing members of the council to get the support of his council, or by some other way than by determinedly doing his best to administer the city without regard to the whims or wishes of odd members of the council. The Bill offers the appointment of manager with security of tenure, except on a resolution by the council on serious grounds that he ought not to continue. I think that anything less than three years would not be satisfactory. Three years may or may not be a suitable time in which to size up whether a  manager is doing his work well or not; but, in normal circumstances, I can imagine a good man being let go by default because he did not get a vote of confidence in three years where there had been, say, a change of council in the meantime; but I cannot imagine a good manager, any kind of reasonable manager, being let go in a period of three years on a vote of want of confidence. I think three years hardly sufficient, if you had a change of council in the meantime, to let a manager go for want of confidence, because a new manager may not be able to show in a period of three years what is in him. However, that is a different problem from the bigger point I have in mind: that you must offer security of tenure, and that you must face the situation that the council will positively face their responsibility in the matter and take any necessary action to remove him. I may say, in reply to Senator Connolly, that there is a provision in Section 44, sub-section (2) of the Act of 1925 to provide a gratuity if the services of a man are dispensed with under ten years, and to give him not more than two-thirds of his salary as pension if his service is over ten years.
Amendment put and declared lost.
Mr. COMYN: I move:—
Section 10, sub-section (4). Before the word “dies,” in line 58, to insert the words “attains the age of sixty-five years or.”
This amendment is different from the others, as I think it will include Mr. Monahan in its purview. The object of the amendment is to substitute for the words that are in the Bill, “The manager shall hold office until he dies, resigns or is removed from office,” the words proposed in this amendment. I submit that the amendment would greatly improve the Bill. It would at least make it clear. The Minister says that under the Bill, as drafted, the office is not a life office. I think the opinion of this House is that the office is a life office. The manager of the City of Cork would require to be a man of physical activity as distinct from intellectual vigour, such as we  see in this Assembly when men go to the age of seventy-five or eighty or more. It is a man of physical activity that is required. I think it is a bad thing to have a man exceeding sixty-five holding on to his office, and, as the Minister says, coaxing the council to keep him on for another five or ten years. The Minister is quite right in saying that he and the council have power to remove a man. Of course they have, but that power is intended to be exercised only in cases where there has been misconduct or gross incompetence, or some other sufficient cause that renders it undesirable he should continue in the office. It is not intended that that section should be used so as to put a slur on a faithful public servant—a faithful servant of the City of Cork. I submit to this House that the section is wholly inapplicable to the case of a manager who serves the council well, and who between the ages of 65 and 70 becomes so inactive physically that it is not desirable he should be continued in this onerous office.
Amendment put and declared lost.
Amendment 21 not moved.
Mr. JOHNSON: I move:—
Section 10, sub-section (6). After the word “as” in line 8 to insert the words “the Council with the sanction of.”
I want to give the Council some authority in fixing the remuneration of the manager, subject to the approval of the Minister. This seems to me to be vital to the position of manager and his relations with the Council. My object is that the Council should feel that it is superior in status to the manager. It ought to be if you are going to entice to the public service men with some feeling that they are of some use and have some responsibility. I do not think it is right that the Minister shall say, “A man shall get £5,000 a year,” and that the Council, whether it wishes or not, must pay it. The Council should have at least a voice in what the salary of the manager might be, and, to prevent the Council making a fool of itself and paying either too little or too much, the Minister will have the right to veto.
Sir JOHN KEANE: I wish to support this amendment. I am afraid I have been born into the world too long, because the whole bias of education is for the Council assuming responsibility in this matter. There should be a chair dealing with the peculiarities of Government administration, especially with its intricacies and anachronisms. Unless the whole foundations of philosophy as thought out now are entirely wrong, we have entered into a new phase of thought which certainly has not received the recognition of academic authority. You are setting up a body of people and you are taking out of their hands the question of the salary of their principal officer. How we can get good men to come forward for the position of local representatives unless you give them such an obvious responsibility as the one embodied in the amendment I cannot see. One has perhaps, in principle, awarded them full responsibility. One must compromise. Compromise does not break your case, as Senator Jameson, in a previous amendment, suggested. Compromise means that you are only applying principles to modern conditions and putting yourself forward as a realist and not as a doctrinaire. Surely the fixing of a salary of a manager should be left to responsible people like a Board of Directors and not to an outside party.
General MULCAHY: This is a proposal which is in general accordance with the ordinary law bearing on the matter of remuneration of Government officials, of the ordinary law as it applies, amongst others, to local officers, including sanitary officers, officers of health, county surveyors and so forth. The Minister, with the information available to him by his Department, is in a position to say what salary ought to be paid to a person in the position, say, of a city manager. We are trying to secure, in respect to city managers, that there will be a definite relationship between the amount paid to a city manager in one city and the amount paid to a city manager in another. If we take the amount of remuneration, say, paid to county surveyors,, and left the matter entirely open to county  councils, we would have no uniformity at all as to the class of men we got in as county surveyors, upon whom the Department was depending to carry out the road policy, financed to a considerable extent from the central funds, and financed also from the rates. The Council, with a changing personnel and a changing outlook on these matters, is not a satisfactory body to have fixing the remuneration of such an officer. The amount of moneys that came from central funds, say, in 1925-26, the last figures I have before me, to the County Borough of Cork, was one quarter of the total amount collected from rates So we have central responsibility in the matter too.
The question of seeing that there is an adequate salary paid and that in the paying of a salary of a particular class of person there is some kind of relation to the amount paid to a similar class elsewhere is, to my mind, a definitely Ministerial matter. So far from taking some of these matters out of the hands of the council, I submit it is no more derogatory to a Council to make these matters Ministerial than it is to this Assembly or the Dáil, who, when they congregate in a new body from time to time, do not discuss and vote on the amount of salary paid to a junior executive officer or a higher executive officer or some other class of civil servant.
Mr. BROWN: I am sorry that the Minister does not see his way to accept the amendment. I know that in the case of most other appointments by local bodies the Minister fixes the salary. This, however, is a special office, and it will have to be fairly highly paid, but I do not think it is analogous to the position of a county surveyor. I think that it is clear that the Council in this case and in the case of future managers should have the right of suggesting what the salary should be, because that is the only power they will have—namely, the power of suggestion. It is still under the control of the Minister. I think he should accept the amendment.
General MULCAHY: So far as the power of suggestion is concerned there is no question.
Mr. BROWN: That is all it is.
General MULCAHY: I spoke of county surveyors' salaries. In fixing these on a particular grade we take into consideration the representations of local authorities in the matter. The fact that we make this the responsibility of the Minister does not rule out co-operation or consultation between the Minister and the council, but if a big salary is to be paid, as Senator Brown says, my experience is that from the point of view of councillors, that is in the particular atmosphere of economy, that is regarded as dirty work, and councils might be particularly delighted to leave it to the Minister to do that particular kind of work. The Minister is in a better position to look all round and to come to conclusions from what he sees all round. It is better that he should be in that position than that there should be an argument between him and the council on that matter and that the council should say perhaps that the salary should be lower.
Mr. JAMESON: I suppose the salary is paid by the council?
General MULCAHY: Certainly.
Amendment put and declared carried.
Question—“That Section 10, as amended, stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.
SECTION 11 (2).
(2) At the beginning of every month the manager shall cause to be prepared and shall furnish to the Lord Mayor a statement showing as nearly as may be the actual financial position of the Corporation at the end of the previous month.
Mr. JOHNSON: I move in Section 11, sub-section (2), after the word “Mayor” in line 33, to insert the words “and every member of the Council.”
General MULCAHY: That amendment is acceptable.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Question—“That Section 11, as amended, stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.
 SECTION 14 (2).
(2) Subject to the provisions of any regulations made by the Minister under any Act and for the time being in force in relation to the service, remuneration, privileges, or superannuation (as the case may be) of the officers and servants of a local authority, the manager shall consider and decide all such questions as may from time to time arise in relation to the service, remuneration, privileges, and superannuation of the officers and servants of the Corporation.
Mr. JOHNSON: I move:
Section 14, sub-section (2). After the word “any” in line 58 to insert the words “Act or.”
I do not know whether this is a drafting fault.
General MULCAHY: I think the amendment should be made to read, “Act or any.”
Mr. JOHNSON: Very well.
Amendment as amended put and agreed to.
Question—“That Section 14, as amended, stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.
SECTION 15 (3).
(3) The town clerk shall keep in the prescribed form a register or registers in which he shall enter or cause to be entered a copy of every order made under this section by the manager and a record of the time when such order was so made and the said register or registers shall be produced by the town clerk at every meeting of the council for the inspection of the members thereof.
Mr. JOHNSON: I move:—
Section 15, sub-section (3). To add at the end of the sub-section the words, “Copies of every such order shall be sent to every member of the council at the beginning of every month.”
This amendment is important. I am not able to gather from the Minister's statement or from any argument put forward in favour of the Bill what is the expectation regarding the duties of  the council. As I read the Bill, the council's functions will be satisfied with four statutory quarterly meetings per year, and there will not be business for them to transact except such as might be required at the quarterly meetings. I am not sure what will be necessary even then. There might be odd occasions when special meetings would be called to make any order referred to in Section 8, sub-section (1), but in regard to the regular course of business of the Corporation, the regular course of administration, it does not seem to me that there will be any occasion for the council to meet except at these statutory meetings. While it is provided that certain financial statements and so on, shall be presented to the Lord Mayor, and while it is provided in this section that signed orders of the manager, which are to replace resolutions, shall be copied into a register, the councillors will not be made acquainted with these decisions of the manager except they take upon themselves to refer to the register or record provided for in the section. My proposal is that the councillors should be provided with copies of any signed order made by the manager during the conduct of his business just as they would be provided with copies of resolutions in the ordinary work of the council. Otherwise, I can imagine the council being very careless and generally allowing things to slide until the statutory meeting, and then when the estimates come forward they will receive statements from the manager, and will have no accurate or detailed knowledge of what has been happening, and naturally will be unable to apply any detailed criticism to the estimates. It will simply be a case of allowing the manager to run the city with nominal responsibility resting on the council. My proposition is to try and avoid that and to try and insure that the council will retain continuous and active interest in the administration of the city, and that they should be provided with copies of every signed order.
I would like to draw an analogy. Deputies and Senators here are responsible more or less for the orders issued by the Ministers. They are law after they are laid on the Table for the information  of Senators and Deputies. We know with what assiduity the Senators examine those orders and allow them to become law. What will happen if this section passes in its present form, I predict, is that the council will have as much knowledge of the conduct of affairs as carried on by the manager as Senators have of the orders that are contained in the Minister's regulations that are laid upon the Table. I want these orders to be formally put before the council, as I would like to have put before Deputies and Senators the orders that are laid on the Table.
Mr. DOUGLAS: Does the Senator think that the Senators read all the documents that are sent to them?
Mr. JOHNSON: Well, the responsibility is brought home to them a little more closely. I move my amendment.
Mr. BAGWELL: My own view is very strongly in favour of centralisation in this matter, but I think it would really be farcical that members of the council should not have this information.
General MULCAHY: I am informed that the number of such orders would run to hundreds every month. In very many cases they would refer to such matters as appointing a tenant for a house or ordering action to be taken on foot of a particular nuisance in the sanitary officer's department, so that the Senator's suggestion is one which, with the information at my disposal at the moment, would mean the circulation of hundreds of orders to the members of the council—a regular book of orders every month.
Mr. JOHNSON: Were these things done by resolution of the council formerly?
General MULCAHY: Yes. That is what I have to say to Senators on that matter. On the other hand, you have in Section 11: “The manager shall, whenever requested by the Lord Mayor so to do, afford to the Lord Mayor all such information as may be in the possession or procurement of the manager,” and so on. Under that section the Lord Mayor has power to arrange with the manager that a copy of  any order that he makes shall be kept in some special place where the members of the council, if they wish to do so, can refer to it. But there is no desire, I am sure, that the Council should be deluged with the orders on petty matters if these orders were available for scrutiny by any members of the council who desire to see them. I suggest that this is a matter that the Council themselves should decide on, and that they should decide on the classes of orders to be brought before them. As far as the provisions of the Bill are concerned by which a register of these orders shall be available at any meeting of the Council, the fact that there are four statutory quarterly meetings does not, I am sure, suggest to anyone that the council of Cork are going to meet only quarterly. The fact that the same thing applies to the county councils does not mean that they only meet quarterly. It only imposes an obligation to meet at least quarterly. In fact, I think it may be taken by Senators who know the conditions in Cork that the council will meet much more frequently.
Mr. DOUGLAS: Would it be possible that the Lord Mayor be given power by which any particular information which the Lord Mayor himself can obtain could be circulated to the council? The Lord Mayor could demand that a certain class of orders or certain information could be circulated to the council.
General MULCAHY: I submit that that is implied in Section 11.
Mr. DOUGLAS: I think that is doubtful. I suggest that the Minister would look into it between now and the Report Stage.
Mr. O'HANLON: Would that information be available at the meeting of the council?
General MULCAHY: That is a question that could be considered on the Report Stage if Senator Johnson would agree that it would meet his point. In Section 15 (3) there is the provision that “the town clerk shall  keep in a prescribed form a register or registers in which he shall enter or caused to be entered a copy of every order made under this section by the manager,” and so on. That register will be available for inspection.
Mr. JOHNSON: That does not meet my point. I want the individual councillor, who may not be able to persuade the majority of the council, to be in a position that he should be able to have this information. I want the individual councillor to be in the position of knowing what is happening in the city. The Minister said that this would mean a volume every month. I have no direct personal experience of city administration, but for years I followed very closely the conduct of affairs in the City of Belfast, and my recollection is that the councillors knew of every resolution that was passed leading to a definite decision. That did not mean this inordinate volume of monthly resolutions that the Minister suggests would be required. You have the position that the decision is now required to be taken by the manager by a signed order that was formerly done by resolution of the council. That does not suggest to me a monthly volume requiring an immense amount of printing. Such signed orders as would take the place of resolutions ought not be so many as to make it impossible for an ordinary councillor to read with interest and liveliness.
The proposition is that the Lord Mayor shall have the right of access and that information shall be supplied to him. No doubt that is fairly good, and if everything were going swimmingly and the Lord Mayor was always the voice of the Council and was always responsive to the slightest whisper of the Council, it would be all right. But I can foresee the possibility that the Lord Mayor will be the nominee of the majority, and the minority will have to persuade the Council, or the Lord Mayor, to do certain things. Consequently that minority will be deprived of the information that I consider ought to be made automatically available. Of course, they can make special efforts to seek out this information, but I think  there ought to be a normal procedure whereby councillors shall be made acquainted with the decisions of the manager.
Mr. O'HANLON: The Minister makes himself responsible for the statement that in his opinion the orders will be multitudinous.
General MULCAHY: That is my information.
Mr. O'HANLON: There would be some point in what Senator Johnson puts forward if one could assume that all the multitudinous orders would be read by the members of the Council. In all likelihood they would not. I think the issue of these orders to the individual councillors would not bring Senator Johnson the least bit nearer to his object. I regard this Council as something in the nature of a deliberative assembly responsible mainly for the policy which will be pursued by the manager. The Council will be already made aware of what the manager is likely to do. Then, if the councillors have access to a register or copies of these orders, it is quite in keeping with the responsibilities of their office that they should approach that register or those orders and scan them and so make themselves perfectly acquainted with what is proceeding.
Senator Bagwell says it would be farcical if the councillors had not access to information regarding what the city manager is doing. I think it would be much more farcical if these councillors did not regard their functions with sufficient seriousness, and if they did not avail themselves of any information which they might require and regard as necessary in the pursuit of their duties. I do not see any great point in Senator Johnson's amendment if the Minister will meet the suggestion that the register be made available for councillors.
Mr. DOUGLAS: As the Bill stands, could the manager refuse the information if he was requested by the council? Could he refuse to circulate it? If he could not, there is no case for the amendment.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The whole thing is quite clear.
General MULCAHY: Under Section 11 the Lord Mayor can make arrangements. It would be unreasonable that there would be any difficulty arising in the matter. It would be impossible to classify the matters under which the council would require orders to be circulated.
Amendment declared lost.
Sections 15, 16, 17 and 18 put and agreed to.
SECTION 19 (5).
(5) There shall be paid by the council to the deputy-manager such remuneration (if any) as the Minister shall determine and the amount of such remuneration shall be raised by the council by means of the same rate as the rate by which the salary of the town clerk is raised.
Mr. JOHNSON: I desire to move amendment 28:
Section 19, sub-section (5). After the word “as” in line 66 to insert the words “the council with the sanction of.”
This amendment is not exactly consequential on the amendment that was accepted in relation to the manager, but I think it is one that will meet with approval.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 19, as amended, agreed to.
In every action or other legal proceeding, whether civil or criminal, instituted in any court of law or equity by or against the Corporation the Manager shall act for and on behalf of the Corporation and may do all such acts, matters or things as he may consider necessary for the preparation and prosecution or defence of such action or other proceeding in the same manner in all respects as if (as the case may require) he were the plaintiff or the defendant therein and where any such action or other proceeding relates to the exercise or  the performance by the Council of any of the reserved functions the Manager shall in the doing of any such act, matter or thing as aforesaid act with the express authority of the Council which authority shall be deemed to have been given unless and until the contrary is shown.
Mr. JOHNSON: I desire to move amendment 29:—
Section 20. To delete all after the word “Council” in line 15 down to the end of the section.
This section has given me a lot of trouble, and I put the amendment down rather with a view to illustrating the import of it. In Section 8 (1) paragraph (f) we read:—“The council shall directly exercise and perform all and every of the powers, functions and duties of the Corporation in relation to the following matters: the powers conferred by Section 5 of the Borough Funds (Ireland) Act, 1888, in relation to the promotion or the opposing of legislation, the prosecution and defence of legal proceedings, and the application for those purposes of the borough fund, borough rate or other the public funds and rates under the control of the Corporation.”“The prosecution and defence of legal proceedings.” I will now refer Senators to Section 20, and they will see that the council, therefore, is not to reserve to itself all rights in respect of the promotion of legal proceedings or the defence of legal actions. The manager is to act for the council in every respect as though the council had given him authority, whether or not he was given authority. It may, and probably will, mean that unless the council specifically reserve from him the right to proceed with any such action, he shall be assumed to have got the authority. I see nothing in the Bill to ensure that the manager will be obliged to report this matter to the council before he takes proceedings, enters a defence, decides upon an appeal, or anything of that kind. I am not now thinking of small, petty prosecutions. I can understand quite well all the small administrative matters in which the manager should have the right to carry on. But in the case of larger legal  measures, such as a decision to appeal against a judgment of the court, the manager appears to have all the rights, if he wishes to avail of them, unless the council passes a specific resolution. I should like the Minister to clear up this point.
Mr. BROWN: Under Section 20 no legal proceedings, however small, can be taken in any court by the manager without the express authority of the council. That is the way the section runs, and the only effect of the words which Senator Johnson wishes to delete is that they put the onus of proving that that has not been done on the other side. The court is bound to assume that express authority was given by the council, which it can only do by resolution, before the proceedings can be taken.
Mr. COMYN: It appears to me that the words which Senator Johnson takes exception to are in favour of the man whom the Council might be proceeding against, and inasmuch as they are in favour of the citizen as against the Council, I submit they ought to be allowed to remain.
General MULCAHY: Sub-section (1) (f) of Section 8 refers to the taking of legal proceedings in connection with certain matters, such as rights of way, railways, etc.—the powers conferred by Section 5 of the Borough Fund (Ireland) Act, 1888.
Mr. BROWN: These are for fines, I think.
General MULCAHY: My information is that it refers to certain proceedings—rights of way, railways, and matters arising out of such things as rights of way. I can have that matter further looked into before the Report Stage.
Mr. BROWN: Perhaps it would be well to have it looked into.
General MULCAHY: With regard to the other section, it is intended that in respect of these matters—the functions and duties of the Corporation vested in the manager—he shall be able to take legal proceedings without reference to the council, but that in respect of legal  proceedings arising out of the matters that are reserved functions, he shall have to have the permission of the council to undertake these legal proceedings, but it will not be necessary for him to prove that matter in court.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Section put and agreed to.
Sections 21, 22 and 23 and Title agreed to.
The Seanad went out of Committee.
|Last Updated: 16/05/2011 16:16:13||Page of 12|