Conditions of Employment Bill, 1935—Recommitted.

Tuesday, 14 January 1936

Seanad Éireann Debate
Vol. 20 No. 23

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Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Before we proceed [1692] with the Report Stage of the Conditions of Employment Bill, may I ask agreement for the proposition that the amendments be recommitted. I think that it would facilitate discussion and, probably, make for more effective work if we were allowed to discuss these amendments as on Committee Stage.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Considering the exceptionally large number of amendments, it does seem reasonable that greater opportunity than is usual on this Stage should be given for their discussion. If a motion to recommit the Bill is made, I shall be glad to accept it.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I move accordingly.

Mr. Farren: Information on Thomas Farren  Zoom on Thomas Farren  I second the motion.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill recommitted.

Section 1 agreed to.

Mr. T. Kennedy: Information on Thomas Kennedy  Zoom on Thomas Kennedy  I move amendment No. 1:—

Section 2. After the word “employer” in line 38, to insert the words “or to some other person nominated by such employer.”

In this section, “out-worker” is defined as “a person who for salary or wages does industrial work in his own home or in some other place not under the control or management of his employer on articles given out by or provided at the expense of such employer for delivery to such employer after the doing of such industrial work.” I fear that, under that definition, some employers might take advantage of the drafting to escape their responsibilities as regards the treatment of outworkers. The amendment covers the case in which delivery would be made to some other person nominated by the employer. The object of the amendment is to prevent an employer giving out work to an out-worker and arranging that that work be returned to an agent. I know of cases in which the out-worker is instructed to bring the work, when finished, to a shopkeeper. Very often, [1693] the out-worker is put in the awkward position of having to give custom to that particular individual in order to obtain the work. The main reason of the amendment is to prevent such an employer—I am glad to say that the number is very small—from defeating the purpose of the Bill in regard to out-workers by the appointment of an agent.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I agree with this amendment. I think that there is an inadvertent danger owing to the provision that the work must be returned to the same employer and I agree largely with what the Senator has said.

Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I have no objection to the amendment but I do not think it is necessary. I do not think that the circumstances referred to by Senator Kennedy could arise in the industry which he had in mind. If an employer used an agent for the purpose of arranging to get work done by out-workers, the agent would come under the definition of “employer” in another part of the Bill. If there is a feeling that the amendment is required, I have no objection to accepting it.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  The Minister must not only think in terms of an appointed agent but of the case in which the person giving out the work may direct the out-worker to deliver it to a customer.

Question put and agreed to.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I have an amendment down to Section 3 as follows:—

Sub-section (1). To delete in line 27 the words “adapting for sale”.

The Minister said that he would look into this matter. If he can assure me that the words “adapting for sale” will not affect the adaptation normally done in an ordinary retail or wholesale establishment, I shall not move the amendment.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I have come to the conclusion that it would be highly [1694] dangerous to leave the words out of the section. No difficulty will arise where girls employed in drapery houses or similar establishments do a small amount of adaptation for sale. The deletion of the words would, however, lead to complications and difficulties which I should be very anxious to avoid.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I have come practically to the same conclusion—that the words “adapting for sale” would not themselves be sufficient, that it would have to be adapting for sale in work which would be otherwise industrial work under the Bill. I think that “adapting for sale” in work which would be otherwise commercial work under this definition would not be covered. It was, however, a matter of some importance and caused a good deal of uneasiness.

Amendment not moved.

Section 3 agreed to.

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  I move amendment No. 3:—

Section 4, sub-section (2). After the word “applied” in line 30, to insert the words “in their entirety”.

This amendment and the amendment which follows are part and parcel of the same proposal. Section 4 enables the Minister to exempt certain employers from the operations of this Bill. This amendment seeks to provide that they shall not be exempted from the whole provisions of the Bill. As was pointed out on previous stages, the Bill repeals all the effective sections of the Factories Acts and, by exempting any employer from the operations of this Bill, he is exempted from all the restrictions imposed by the Factories Acts. A particular instance would be a draper's shop which would have a room at the back in which girls would do dressmaking and work generally looked upon as factory work. Normally, this work would come under the Factories Acts. As matters stand, if any of these girls have to work overtime, a report has to be made before 8 p.m. to the [1695] factory inspector and the various regulations have to be complied with. Under this provision, these girls could be worked indefinite overtime without any report to the factory inspector and without any compliance with the provisions of the Factories Acts. The intention of these amendments is that where an employer obtains exemption on the ground that he has only a small number of his people engaged on any work that would come within the terms of this Bill, he shall not be exempted in respect of the various matters referred to in the next amendment, such as annual leave, minimum age for the employment of young persons, employment of out-workers, employment on Sundays and public holidays, registration of wages agreements and the provisions relating to penalties for offences.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  What else is left?

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  There are a few things left. Since the Minister has thought it necessary to repeal what were considered to be the effective provisions of the Factories Acts which these people presumably had to comply with in the past, I do not see any reason why we should strip bare of rights the workers who will be affected, such as the workers I have mentioned.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It will help to settle Senator O'Farrell's mind as to the possible consequences of this section if I tell him that the cases in which the power given in the section will be exercised will be very rare. I certainly do not contemplate that any place where girls are employed in dressmaking or similar work will be affected by this section at all. The only cases in which the power given under this section will be used will be where the work ordinarily done is commercial work and where it will be more convenient to control the conditions of employment in conjunction with the control exercised over the employment of commercial workers. I have mentioned the circumstances in which the necessity for the section arose. Senators will [1696] remember the Woolworth case to which I referred. It is only in an extreme case of that kind that the power given under this section will be used. In relation to such employees, who will be very few in number and who are ordinarily engaged in commercial work, I think it is better that conditions of employment should be controlled by another statute relating to commercial employees, which measure will, I hope, be introduced and may become law during the present year. So that the need for this section is one of administrative convenience only. It is only to permit a certain extreme case such as the experience of recent years shows might possibly arise to be dealt with. Nevertheless we deal with that in an exclusion order but it is only in such cases that an exclusion order will be made. The Minister will have to be satisfied that the amount of work is so small that it is not practical to apply this Act to deal with it and such cases will be very few indeed.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I think the Minister has forgotten that this gives the Minister the power to decide whether an undertaking is so small and what is “so small”. It is for the Minister to say, whether an establishment employs one or ten in the concern, that the industrial work is too small for the Act to apply. It is not what the Minister is now thinking of that matters. It is what a future departmental adviser may think. The consideration may be that the Minister for Finance may want to curtail the inspection expenditure.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  There could only be this disadvantage: The person so employed could only be employed for two or three months, because after that such a person will be covered by the amendment of the Shops Act which will be introduced very shortly.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  But the new Dáil may refuse to pass that Act. The Minister's contention in regard to this, I am afraid, is not covered even by inadvertence. Taking Woolworth's, for instance, under this amendment it would be possible for Woolworth's to employ a child of ten, say, during school [1697] holidays, to do this class of industrial work done by one person.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is not industrial work.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  But is not this an industrial Act?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is only work which could be legally described as that but in practice it would be nothing of the kind.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  The Minister says where the amount of any industrial work done is so small. But the presumption is that it is industrial work. If it is industrial work carried on at Woolworth's, but which the Minister cannot bring the section to bear upon, are we not making it possible for that firm to employ a child under 14 to do that form of industrial work? I think there is a serious fault in the Bill in that respect. If it were sure that the Minister's present intention was always going to be carried out, in the administration of this Act, his reference to Woolworth's might work, and it would be a matter of small moment. But we know that it is not going to be the case. We know how permission given under an Act with a definite intention, as to how it should be used, can be extended because it is simply convenient to extend it. I am afraid that unless this matter is tightened up it is going to be a very serious blot on the Act.

Mr. Comyn: Information on Michael Comyn  Zoom on Michael Comyn  It is very desirable that exemptions, under the Act, should be few and far between. If the section is left as it is, it is certain that the exemptions will be few. If the section is amended by the amendments proposed here the probability is that the number of exemptions will be great. I am not saying that the present Minister will be tempted to grant exemptions, so that the workers are protected, more or less. I suggest to the members of the Labour Party that it is better to leave this matter to be dealt with by the measure which is to be introduced dealing with commercial employment.

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  Would the Minister consider amendments Nos. 5 and 6 as alternatives to this?

[1698]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  All this difficulty arises from the fact that our minds are thinking of different matters. Senator Johnson obviously thinks an industrial concern of the small size is exempt because it is of a small size. I do not contemplate anything of the kind. I am thinking of a case that might arise where it may be held, against everybody's wishes, that a class of work done in an undertaking could be described as industrial work. The concern may not require the services of one of the members of the firm for more than an hour in a week at that particular work. But if the question is raised the provision dealing with industrial work could be raised. We think that power should be given to treat the workers concerned in the same way as other exempted workers are treated. Consequently, the whole purpose of taking this power is to enable any worker that may be excluded to be taken from the category of industrial worker and put into the category of commercial worker, and regulating matters according to the time this is in operation, until legislation dealing with commercial workers is enacted. Therefore, it is better to leave this as it is rather than to take on the obligation in respect of the very workers who might be affected by exclusion, or to say that the provisions of this Act should apply, whereas we can do it very effectively in the manner I am proposing to do it here.

Mr. Farren: Information on Thomas Farren  Zoom on Thomas Farren  This is not a case such as the Minister has put up of one individual in each shop, so much. We know from experience that in different commercial concerns, all over the country, carrying on purely commercial business, because of the requirements of that very business it is necessary to keep a certain number of industrial workers engaged in industrial work. Take the drapery houses, for instance. They generally employ a carpet layer, two or three milliners and two or three dressmakers. They may employ one or two men tailors. It appears that these large commercial houses could not be brought within the provisions of the Act so far as this section is concerned. What we are anxious about is this, that between the coming into operation [1699] of this Bill and the bringing in of the other measure dealing with the commercial concerns something should be done to safeguard the position of these particular people.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  What Senators require, I take it, is that in so far as it is practicable, having regard to the different nature of the work done in commercial establishments and the work done in industrial establishments, the conditions of employment of commercial workers will correspond to the conditions secured by this Bill for industrial workers. That is my aim also. It is merely a matter of effective machinery to secure the realisation of that aim. I think in dealing with these very rare border-line cases that the most effective way is to have power to take one category and put them into the other, and that this is the most convenient method of administering statutory control over their conditions of employment. The cases in which that will be done by the power given under this section will be very few indeed, because obviously if the workers concerned feel that an injustice is being done to them, we are going to hear a whole lot about it if their conditions of employment are worsened by the making of an Order. The only class of workers that I can see affected at all by this are workers who regard themselves as commercial workers and not as industrial workers.

Mr. Farren: Information on Thomas Farren  Zoom on Thomas Farren  The Minister will appreciate that the reason why we are so anxious about this is that this is the last opportunity we will have of dealing with it. We do not know who will be dealing with the other Bill when it comes along. We, probably, will not have an opportunity of making a case against it.

Mr. Comyn: Information on Michael Comyn  Zoom on Michael Comyn  The Senator will have able representatives in the Dáil to deal with it.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I could not support the amendment because it goes too far. I think that a case has been made against the wording of the amendment partly by Senators and partly [1700] by the Minister himself, because he says that the idea is to move them from the one class to the other. I think that is exactly what he wants to do, but I do not think that is what the section does. What I want to see is that where there are tailors' or milliners' shops attached to a commercial firm and where a small amount of work is done by employees part of their time, it shall not be deemed to be industrial work. It would be extremely inconvenient if it were deemed to be industrial work. I want that kind of work to be deemed to be commercial work.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I am not so much concerned with the border-line cases that the Minister speaks of, or with the industrial workers employed in a commercial establishment. I am concerned at the moment with the worker employed on industrial work by an industrial employer in a small way. There is no question there of commercial work. The Minister is asking the Legislature to give power to a Minister, whoever that Minister may be, to exempt an employer on the score of his being inconveniently small. That small employer may be employing three, five or ten industrial workers on industrial work. There is no question but that they are engaged on industrial work. Now, the Minister may, under this section, give a licence exempting from all the provisions of this Act any such employer. As regards these classes of workers, the Minister is removing all the protection they have at present. The Minister has told us what is in his mind about this. He gave Woolworth's as an instance. But he is taking power to do very much more than he intends. He is asking the House, in his definition, to give power to a Minister to exempt a small employer, and to remove from the men, women and children in that employment all the protection that they have hitherto received. That is the danger that I see in the section.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  That is not correct at all.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  The Minister has said that several times. Let me take the [1701] definitions. I find, for instance, in Section 4 that an employer is defined as a person who pays a salary to a worker in consideration of doing any industrial work as defined under Section 3. If an employer carries on that kind of industrial work and the Minister gives an exemption, then the employer is exempted from the provisions of this measure as a whole. The Minister may grant such a person a licence to employ people and to engage in that form of industrial work while remaining exempt from the provisions of this measure. I would remind the House that, in this measure, we are repealing Section 62 and Sections 68 to 72 of the Factories and Workshops Act, and the Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Act, 1920, in so far as they relate to industrial work as defined here. It seems to me that you are taking power to nullify that portion of the factory code which has given these people protection.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Could it not be possible to say that, where the proportion of any form of industrial work done in the carrying on of any undertaking was so small in relation to its total output it would meet the position? With that provision you could not take the small industrial undertaking referred to by Senator Johnson. I must say that I entirely agree with him. I am sure the Minister has no intention of exempting there, but I think it could be done under this section. I entirely agree with Senator Johnson that, from the point of view of industrial workers, it is highly undesirable that it should be done.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The objections which Labour Senators are making to the section, as it stands, would be quite justified if the section applied only where the proportion of industrial work in relation to the total output was not considerable. Quite a large amount of industrial work might be done by some concerns and nevertheless be a small proportion of the total work done. We are taking the absolute size in this matter, and we say that where the total amount of industrial work is [1702] small that we can grant an exemption. We think that is desirable.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Will the Minister say what is his attitude towards amendments Nos. 6 and 7?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I am opposed to both these amendments. I think it is desirable that there should be some power to be exercised in the situation contemplated by the section. These circumstances will arise very rarely. I gave an illustration of a case that occurred to my knowledge. Taking that case as an example, anyone trying to frame such a section could not do better than is done here, and say that where the amount of industrial work done in connection with the carrying on of a non-industrial undertaking is so small that it is not convenient to apply the provisions of this Act to it, then a permit can be given.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Why not say a non-industrial undertaking?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is obviously a non-industrial undertaking and it is unnecessary to say it.

Mr. Comyn: Information on Michael Comyn  Zoom on Michael Comyn  If this sub-section is read and fairly construed, it must of necessity apply to small undertakings and large undertakings. “Where the amount of any form of industrial work done in the carrying on of any undertaking is so small that, in the opinion of the Minister, the provisions of this Act cannot be conveniently applied.” Suppose there is an undertaking employing only two and it is an industrial undertaking, why cannot the provisions of this Act be conveniently applied to that? Of course they can.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  The Minister determines that.

Mr. Comyn: Information on Michael Comyn  Zoom on Michael Comyn  He must determine according to law. This sub-section cannot possibly apply to any form of undertaking except an undertaking which is mainly commercial and the amount of industrial work done there is so small as to be negligible. It cannot apply to the cases which Senator Johnson has in mind, of small [1703] undertakings which are entirely industrial.

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  Senator Comyn has asked us to read into the section what is really not in it. He says it must mean non-industrial undertakings. The Bill sets out: “Where the amount of any form of industrial work done... is so small that... the provisions of the Act cannot be conveniently applied”—only in these cases can exemption be given. It is alleged there are hundreds of these undertakings throughout the country, each of them employing a small number of people, but in the aggregate employing quite a number. Surely it could be argued that under this section it is not convenient to apply the Act for administrative reasons. The Minister has taken the most extreme case in the country, the case of Woolworths, where a girl is stamping names on cards or on dog collars. You would probably search the whole community and not get another case on all fours.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is that case that is responsible for this section in the Bill —the only one that has arisen.

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  It is doing something like the Chinaman who burned his house in order to cook his dinner to arrange an Act of Parliament to meet the case of one girl in Woolworths.

[1704]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The Acts have to be applied.

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  I think you might have assumed ignorance of the existence of such a girl.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  We assumed ignorance until an over-zealous inspector reported.

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  I am afraid I will have to press the amendment. It is a very serious thing to say that because of the existence of one girl possibly hundreds of people may be deprived of protection which they now have and also deprived of certain benefits to be conferred on them under this measure.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I suggest that the Minister should withdraw the section, if it is only a case of Woolworths, and bring in a special Bill to deal with Woolworths.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is necessary to have some such power. Where we are extending the scope of legislation, as we are in this Bill, it is desirable to have some little safety valve of this kind to deal with the very rare cases that may arise, where it is not convenient to apply existing legislation to the work done, and I think the section should remain.

Amendment put.

Barniville, Dr. Henry L.
Blythe, Ernest.
Brown, Samuel L., K.C.
Browne, Miss Kathleen.
Counihan, John C.
Cummins, William.
Duffy, Michael.
Duggan, E.J.
Fanning, Michael.
Farren, Thomas.
Foran, Thomas.
Garahan, Hugh.
Griffith, Sir John Purser.
Johnson, Thomas.
Kennedy, Cornelius.
Kennedy, Thomas.
Milroy, Seán.
O'Connor, Joseph.
O'Farrell, John T.
O'Sullivan, Dr. William.
Parkinson, James J.
Staines, Michael.
Toal, Thomas.
Wilson, Richard.

Boyle, James J.
Chléirigh, Caitlín Bean Uí.
Comyn, Michael, K.C.
Dowdall, J.C.
Fitzgerald, Séamus.
Healy, Denis D.
Keyes, Raphael P.
Lynch, Patrick, K.C.
Moore, Colonel.
O Maille, Pádraic.
O'Neill, L.
Phaoraigh, Siobhán Bean an.
Robinson, David L.

[1705] Amendment declared carried.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  As regards the Order of Business, I do not think it is at all possible that we can complete the business on the Order Paper this evening. I would like to consult the House on the question of the duration of the sitting this evening. Might I suggest 7.30 p.m.?

Mr. Counihan: Information on John Joseph Counihan  Zoom on John Joseph Counihan  Say 7 p.m.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Very well, say that we adjourn at 7 p.m.

Mr. Milroy: Information on Seán Milroy  Zoom on Seán Milroy  I take it that on to-morrow we will proceed with the Bill that is tabled for to-morrow—that I take it will be the first business to-morrow.

Mr. Farren: Information on Thomas Farren  Zoom on Thomas Farren  No, we will proceed with this Bill to-morrow and finish it.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  No; to-morrow has been definitely fixed by the Seanad for the other Bill.

Mr. Farren: Information on Thomas Farren  Zoom on Thomas Farren  Then we will stop up all night with this Bill. I think we have had enough codology already about other Bills. I want to have something done for the workingman and I will insist on this Bill being finished before the other is taken up to-morrow.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Certainly, you can insist on it being finished this evening but to-morrow has been allocated for the other Bill.

Mr. Farren: Information on Thomas Farren  Zoom on Thomas Farren  Well, then, somebody should and must kick up a row against this codology——

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  There is no codology. I am only consulting the convenience of the House. If the House desires it I would be agreeable to sit until to-morrow morning and finish the Conditions of Employment Bill.

Padraic O Maille: Information on Pádraic Ó Maille  Zoom on Pádraic Ó Maille  Would I be in order at this stage in moving that we sit late?

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Yes, quite in order.

Padraic O Maille: Information on Pádraic Ó Maille  Zoom on Pádraic Ó Maille  I propose that we sit until 10 o'clock and finish this Bill this evening.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  You cannot propose to finish the Bill by 10 o'clock because it [1706] might not be possible to get through it in the time. You can propose to sit until 10 o'clock to deal with the Bill.

Padraic O Maille: Information on Pádraic Ó Maille  Zoom on Pádraic Ó Maille  I propose that we sit until 10 o'clock this evening.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  It is likely that all the amendments will be got through this evening. Perhaps it would be better to adjourn at 7 o'clock and come back at 7.45 and we might finish by 10 o'clock.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Let us go on as far as we can with the Bill——

Mr. Dowdall: Information on James Charles Dowdall  Zoom on James Charles Dowdall  Go on until 7 o'clock and then decide what we will do.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  That would be the better thing to do. We will take no decision at the moment. Is that agreed to?

Senators:  Yes.

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  I move amendment No. 4:—

Section 4, sub-section (2). After the word “Act” in line 35 to insert the words “other than the provisions relating to annual leave, the minimum age for the employment of young persons, the employment of outworkers, employment on Sundays and public holidays, the registration of wages agreements and the provisions relating to penalties for offences.”

The principle of this amendment has been decided on and I am merely moving it. The matter has been decided so far as the principle goes under the previous amendment.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I am opposed to this amendment. I have only just been informed that the previous one was carried. I will have to oppose these amendments in the Dáil.

On the amendment being declared carried by the Leas-Chathaoirleach a division was called for.

Mr. Fitzgerald: Information on Séamus Fitzgerald  Zoom on Séamus Fitzgerald  I do not think there should be a division taken now. I did not hear anyone challenging a division.

[1707]Leas-Chathaoirleach:  A division was called for. I heard two voices calling for a division.

Mr. Staines: Information on Michael Staines  Zoom on Michael Staines  The call for a division was very slight. The Senators should stand in their places.

Amendment put and declared carried.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I am not moving amendments Nos. 5, 6, and 7.

Amendments Nos. 5, 6 and 7 not moved.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 8:—

Section 4, sub-section (4). Before the word “notice” in line 44 to insert the words “seven days' ”.

This amendment should not need much argument. I think it is a reasonable notice. It is reasonable that seven days should elapse before the licence is withdrawn.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I would prefer not to have it, but if there is any feeling in favour of it I have no objection. I think it is desirable that we should have power to withdraw such a permit at once if the circumstances have changed to make it undesirable that such a permit should be in operation. But if there is any feeling that seven days' notice is necessary, I cannot see the circumstances under which injustice would be done if the amendment were inserted, and I am prepared to accept the amendment.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  My reason is simply that where the work is so small, which I think is anticipated, the firm would probably give up that particular work, and seven days' notice would be necessary for the one employee or whatever number was affected.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Section 4, as amended, put and agreed to.

Sections 5 and 6 put and agreed to.

Government amendment (No. 9):—

Section 7, sub-section (1). After the word “Day” in line 8 to insert the words “when it falls on a week-day or, when it falls on a Sunday, the 27th day of December”.

[1708]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This is designed to deal with the circumstances which would arise if Christmas Day fell on a Sunday. It provides that if Christmas Day falls on a Sunday the 27th of December will be the public holiday instead.

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  I have an amendment further down, but I think the Minister's amendment meets the case all right, except that it creates a rather peculiar position in certain circumstances. An employer has the right, on a month's notice, to change from St. Stephen's Day to some other day. In cases where that is done and Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then the public holiday in respect of Christmas Day is on the 27th December, so that there is a blank day between the two days.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I think we can leave it to the employer to contemplate the possibility. It is merely necessary to make this to ensure that six public holidays will be given and allow the employers to do that. It might, in very exceptional circumstances, be desirable that that power should be there, but I cannot contemplate the circumstances myself.

Mr. O'Farrell: Information on John Thomas OFarrell  Zoom on John Thomas OFarrell  I have no objection. I am merely drawing attention to it. I do not propose to move my amendment, as I think the Minister's meets the case all right.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Government amendment (No. 10):—

Section 7, sub-section (1). Before paragraph (b) to insert a new paragraph as follows:—

“(b) St. Stephen's Day when it falls on a week-day or, when it falls on a Sunday, the next following Monday, and”

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This is corollary to the previous one dealing with St. Stephen's Day in the case where it falls upon a Sunday.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Government amendment (No. 11):—

Section 7, sub-section (1). To delete all after the words “Whit Monday” in line 11 down to the [1709] end of paragraph (c) and to substitute therefor the words “and the first Monday in August.”

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Amendments Nos. 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 all relate to the one matter, that is, to give effect to a suggestion made here on the Committee Stage by, I think, Senator Douglas. Senators will recollect that objection was taken to giving employers power to substitute for any of the six public holidays any of the Church holidays named in the Bill on the ground that that power might be used for the purpose of preventing workers getting a holiday in the summer and giving them a holiday in the winter time instead. The suggestion was made that, while the power of substitution might be kept, the requirement should be that the substituted holiday should be in the same season of the year. Therefore, the purpose of the amendment is to ensure that, where an employer substitutes Easter Monday, Whit Monday and the first Monday in August, it must be for one or other of the following:—Ascension Thursday, Corpus Christi, 29th June, or 15th August. That limits his power of substitution and ensures that the three holidays will be given during the summer months rather than the winter months.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  That meets the case we desire to make.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I quite agree with the amendments mentioned by the Minister.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Following Government amendments were also agreed to:—

12. Section 7, sub-section (2). To delete in line 18 the words “in the said next preceding sub-section” and to substitute therefor the words “throughout this section.”

13. Section 7, sub-section (2). To delete in line 19 the words “that sub-section” and to substitute therefor the words “this section.”

15. Section 7, sub-section (3). To delete all after the word “substitute” in line 22 down to and including the word “section” in line 25 and to substitute therefor the [1710] words “for the purposes of this section, any of the following days for St. Stephen's Day when it falls on a week-day or, when it falls on a Sunday, for the next following Monday.”

16. Section 7, sub-section (4). To insert before the sub-section a new sub-section as follows:—

(4) Any employer may, on giving not less than one month's previous notice to all persons in his employment, substitute, for the purposes of this section, in any year any of the following days for Easter Monday, Whit Monday, or the first Monday in August, that is to say:—

(a) Ascension Thursday,

(b) the Feast of Corpus Christi,

(c) the 29th day of June,

(d) the 15th day of August.

17. Section 7, sub-section (4). To delete in lines 34-35 the words “purpose of the next preceding sub-section” and to substitute therefor the words “purposes of the two next preceding sub-sections.”

18. Section 7, sub-section (4). To delete in line 36 the words “the said sub-section” and to substitute therefor the words “each of the said two next preceding sub-sections.”

19. Section 7, sub-section (4). To delete in line 41 the words “the said sub-section” and to substitute therefor the words “either of the said two next preceding sub-sections.”

20. Section 7, sub-section (4). To delete in line 44 the words “the said sub-section” and to substitute therefor the words “either of the said two next preceding sub-sections.”

Amendment No. 14 not moved.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  On a matter of order and procedure, might I suggest that it would be a great convenience and probably facilitate matters in the Dáil if, on the Report Stage, this Section 7, as amended, could be put as a new section, deleting the present Section 7, because with all these amendments it is very difficult to read and it could be made easy if, on the Report Stage, a motion were made to delete Section 7 and substitute the [1711] following—that is really Section 7, as amended by these various amendments.

Leas-Chathaoirleach:  It is Section 7, as amended, that will be passed by the Committee. The section has been amended and it is the section, as amended, you will pass and that is what will have to appear on the Report Stage. I do not think anything else can be done.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I take it the way it will go back to the Dáil will be the section as amended?

Leas-Chathaoirleach:  Yes. There is no motion to delete the section.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  No, but I am suggesting that we should take time by the forelock. It would convenience everybody probably if that were the motion for the Report Stage, so that the new section would appear as we have amended it.

Leas-Chathaoirleach:  According to existing procedure, I cannot see how that can be done. There is no motion to delete the section, and there being no motion to delete the section, it stands with the amendments. Whatever inconvenience there may be in having so many amendments to this section will have to be borne, so far as I can see.

Section 7, as amended, put and agreed to.

Sections 8 and 9 put and agreed to.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I move amendment No. 21:—

Section 10. After the word “and” in line 38 to insert the words “upon being so laid and no sooner shall become operative and shall have effect but”.

We are touching upon a subject towards which Senator Farren is not friendly. This is the usual section dealing with laying regulations upon the Table of the Houses. On the Committee Stage I drew attention to the practice that has recently arisen of delaying the laying of regulations on [1712] the Table in a number of cases, in fact, beyond the time covered by the regulation itself. I was arguing then in favour of a definite time limit of seven days, within which the Minister would have to lay the regulations on the Table. In this amendment I am seeking to secure that the regulation shall be laid on the Table but shall not become effective until it is laid. The object of that form is to meet the problem that arose out of the remarks of Senator Douglas, that no disadvantage or penalty would follow from a failure by the Minister to lay the regulations upon the Table. Consequently, I think that a very important question has been raised as to the relations of the Minister and the Oireachtas in respect to laws which may be amended by regulations, and, as is shown, even without the knowledge of the Oireachtas.

If it is permissible for the Minister to defer laying the regulations upon the Table, officially and formally the Oireachtas does not know of the existence of these regulations; consequently, the law may be amended by regulation and nobody made aware of it and yet legally the public would be responsible for carrying out that regulation as provided by the statute. The form of this amendment, therefore, is designed to secure that the regulations shall be laid on the Table as soon as may be, but, to ensure that the Minister shall lay them on the Table, they will not become effective until they are laid upon the Table. That is the intention and it seems to me that some such formula is necessary in view of the difficulty which Senator Douglas pointed out as to the non-effect of a failure by the Minister to lay the regulation upon the Table as required by the statute. There is nothing at present to show that a regulation would be any less effective if the Minister never laid it on the Table and that seems to me to import a very serious defect. This is an attempt to remedy that defect.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I agree with Senator Johnson. I think this should have been the practice before, and, while I do not want to anticipate another debate, I think that possibly events in the near future make it more essential than ever [1713] that there should be some such provision.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Delays have arisen in a few cases in laying regulations made under various statutes before the Oireachtas. These delays were occasioned sometimes by exceptional circumstances. In the majority of cases, so far as I have been able to discover by enquiries I have made, there have been no delays, but if there are delays, I think that grievance should be adjusted by administrative action and not by a limitation of the powers conferred by the measure which are necessary for its proper administration. It would be administratively very difficult if the amendment were inserted in this section and it might very well lead to a ridiculous position in which regulations would be in force merely for a day or two, from the day on which they were laid before the House to the day on which the House passed a resolution objecting to them.

It would be much better, in my opinion, if that were considered a practicable scheme, to go the whole step and require positive approval by the House of this regulation before bringing it into operation. That, however, would make the Act very largely a dead letter and any other similar enactment a dead letter. Therefore, I should have to resist it. In my opinion, Section 10, which is similar to sections appearing in other measures of this kind, is a practicable method of giving the Oireachtas control over regulations made by Ministers, where the Oireachtas decides that certain things are to be done by regulation rather than in the body of the statute. Any difficulties that may arise in connection with the actions of particular Ministers in delaying the laying of regulations [1714] should be dealt with by another method.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I am not sure that the Minister appreciates the importance of this. He certainly has not made the point that there is a flaw in the particular formula of the section. The Minister is empowered to make regulations which have the force of law and the Minister is required to lay those regulations on the Table “as soon as may be after they are made.” When asked what the meaning of the phrase “as soon as may be” is, the Minister said, what most people would believe, that it meant “forthwith.” In fact, that word used to appear in this formula, but for some reason or other there has been a change and the phrase is now “as soon as may be.” What that means has never yet been defined, but supposing it were said to mean “forthwith” or “within seven days” and supposing the Minister failed to lay the regulation upon the Table by inadvertence, the regulation is no less effective because of that fact. In view of the great importance of this procedure of governing by regulation, it is of supreme importance that those regulations, which are in effect Acts of Parliament, shall be brought formally to the notice of the Legislature. If they are not so brought to the notice of the Legislature and no consequence follows the omission, it seems to me that the powers to make laws by regulation are extended almost indefinitely, and the citizen would be subject to those regulations just as he would be to the statute, without knowledge. I think it is of immense importance and unless there is an improvement on this formula in my amendment, I think this formula should be inserted.

Amendment put.

Blythe, Ernest.
Brown, Samuel L., K.C.
Browne, Miss Kathleen.
Counihan, John C.
Cummins, William.
Dillon, James.
Douglas, James G.
Duffy, Michael.
Duggan, E.J.
Fanning, Michael. [1715]O'Rourke, Brian.
O'Sullivan, Dr. William.
Parkinson, James J.
Farren, Thomas.
Foran, Thomas.
Garahan, Hugh.
Johnson, Thomas.
Kennedy, Cornelius.
Kennedy, Thomas.
Milroy, Seán.
O'Connor, Joseph.
O'Farrell, John T.
O'Hanlon, M.F. [1716]Staines, Michael.
Toal, Thomas.
Wilson, Richard.

Boyle, James J.
Chléirigh, Caitlín Bean Uí.
Comyn, Michael, K.C.
Fitzgerald, Séamus.
Healy, Denis D.
Lynch, Patrick, K.C.
O Máille, Pádraic.
O'Neill, L.
Phaoraigh, Siobhán Bean an.
Quirke, William.
Robinson, David L.

Amendment declared carried.

Section 10 as amended ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I move amendment No. 22:—

New section. Before Section 11 to insert a new section as follows:—

11.—The Minister shall as soon as possible after the expiration of each year prepare and present to each House of the Oireachtas a report of his proceedings under this Act during such year.

The suggestion contained in the amendment is that a new section should be inserted imposing on the Minister an obligation to prepare and present a report of the proceedings under the Act. There is a regulation under the Factory Acts whereby the Minister has to present the report of the inspectors to the Houses. I am not quite sure whether that would still be required, but whether it is or not, it is desirable that the proceedings of the Department under this Act should be reported upon annually, not merely the statistical reports that factory inspectors would present, but general reports would seem to me to be requisite under this kind of legislation. I am sure the Minister would not object to that.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I do not question the desirability, from the point of view of a member of the Dáil or Seanad, having such reports furnished, but I am appalled by the size of the task that would be imposed on the Department if the amendment were passed. The proceedings under this Act in the earlier years are likely to be very considerable, and the task of preparing a report of the proceedings any time after the conclusion of the year which would make it of any value, would be so big that it could only be done at the expense of efficiency in other directions, or by a substantial increase in the staff. While I would be willing that the fullest possible report of the proceedings under the Act should be made available, I urge that a statutory obligation to send a report should not be imposed on the Department. It would be a very big task, having regard to the nature of this legislation, to prepare such a report in a manner that would make it of any value.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I do not want to impose an undue burden on the Department, but it would seem desirable if the Minister could suggest a form in which reports could be presented periodically; perhaps annually might be too often. I will not press the matter now, but I suggest that it is desirable there should be some understanding that reports should be made regarding the operation of the Act.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Perhaps I could manage that. I do not want to commit myself to it. A number of reports which we are not under statutory obligation to publish are supplied at present, and I may be able to devise some method of making a report which would be of some value when we have got some experience of the work involved here. If the Seanad would leave it at that I would look into it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Sections 11, 12, 13 and 14 agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 23:—

Section 15, sub-section (2). To add at the end of the sub-section the words: “Provided that it shall not [1717] be obligatory on any employer to cease to employ a young person or young persons if the proportion fixed by such regulations is altered because of the temporary absence of any adult worker or workers in his employment.”

This amendment was held over to permit the Minister to deal with it.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I have gone into the matter and I am advised that the absence of a worker through illness, or other temporary cause, would not be deemed termination of employment and would not upset the proportion. I have come to the conclusion that the amendment is not necessary. If a worker was dismissed from employment then the provision of the section would operate, but if absence was due to causes which did not mean termination of employment the section, as it stands, means that he would be regarded as still employed for the purposes of calculating the proportion.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I understand that if he was ill he would not be affected, but if he was killed in a motor accident a person would be deemed to have been dismissed.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The circumstances in which the proportion would be so closely observed would arise in very few cases, and the Senator can rely on the discretion of the Department to administer it.

Mr. Farren: Information on Thomas Farren  Zoom on Thomas Farren  The Senator would be satisfied with the ordinary procedure where there are apprentices, as the position regulates itself. Where a person dies he is replaced as soon as possible by another individual so that the position is not affected.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  The Senator is talking of the position where there are agreements with trades unions.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Regulations are made in connection with apprentices.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  That is so, but there is a certain number of trades in which that does not apply. I am not pressing the matter but I can see a danger, if some kind of inspector, such as the Minister referred to in the case of Woolworths, came along and gave trouble.

[1718]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It took him a long time to get there.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  The next two are Government amendments:

Section 15, sub-section (4). Before the word “is” in line 47 to insert the words “at the commencement of this Act”.

Section 15, sub-section (4). Before the word “is” in line 49 to insert the words “any apprentice who, at or after such commencement”.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Senator Kennedy suggested the insertion of these amendments. The effect of them is to provide that in calculating, the expression “young person” does not include a person who is an indentured apprentice at the date of the commencement of the Act.

Amendments agreed to.

Section 15, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. Milroy: Information on Seán Milroy  Zoom on Seán Milroy  I move amendment No. 26:—

Section 16. To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 10 of this Act, no regulation made under this section shall have effect until one month after it is made and until such regulation has been approved by resolution passed by each House of the Oireachtas.

It will be recollected that this was one of the most keenly criticised sections by certain Senators, and it is of sufficient importance to have a provision such as is suggested by the amendment inserted instead of the mere negative assent that there shall be definite approval. Section 10, which would govern regulations made by the Minister in this section, if this amendment were not inserted, would follow the usual course with, of course, the addition of Senator Johnson's amendment, if the Government had accepted it. Regulations made by the Minister might be laid before the Houses, and no particular public notice might be directed towards [1719] them, as generally happens to many of these things. The amendment suggests that such regulations shall only become operative after one month, so that those concerned may be able to ascertain their effect and come to a matured decision as to whether they are for the public welfare or not. At the end of the month they are not to become effective without express resolution of approval by each House. That is fair and just, and the Minister should see no obstacle to accepting the amendment.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I do not think the regulation contemplated under Section 16 should be put in a different position to regulations under any other section of the Bill. Whatever case could be made for exceptional treatment for such a regulation could be made equally forcibly in respect of any other section. The general principle is to provide in the ordinary way that regulations shall be made and come into effect upon the date prescribed, and may be annulled by resolution of either House of the Oireachtas. The particular regulation arising from this section should be treated in the same way. I could not agree that there are any special circumstances affecting persons likely to be concerned in such a regulation that do not apply equally forcibly to persons concerned with other regulations.

Mrs. Wyse Power: Information on Jane Wyse Power  Zoom on Jane Wyse Power  I consider that to vote for this amendment would be only stabilising this very regrettable section, by bringing what the Minister does into the House, and getting people here to say whether the quota is right or wrong. Now, the whole thing is, to me, very bad from the beginning, and I do believe that the two Senators who have put their names to this amendment, and who are so very well known, of course, for their interest all the time in women and women's equality in general, were led to believe by their well known interest in such matters that they were doing something to benefit the female workers who would be put out of this [1720] quota. I can assure the Senators concerned that most women do not want this amendment, because we do not want groups of men here and groups of men there to consider whether the quota is right or not. It is bad enough as it is. Leave it so. Leave it to the Minister and, for goodness' sake, do not pass such an amendment as this. I am sorry the Senators did not consult the people they are in the habit of working with on matters of this kind.

Mr. Milroy: Information on Seán Milroy  Zoom on Seán Milroy  The Minister said that there was no particular new circumstance, but I think that the whole section raises an entirely new departure from previous labour control. I am quite prepared to admit the suggestion of Senator Mrs. Wyse Power that I am not at all popular with the ladies.

Leas-Cathaoirleach:  The Senator did not say that, Senator Milroy.

Mr. Milroy: Information on Seán Milroy  Zoom on Seán Milroy  Well, Sir, the hidden effect of the suggestion is that I would probably be able to deduce the real meaning better than any other member of the House. However, this is not a matter upon which one would require to be a specialised expert in trade unionism in order to understand what the implications are. A new departure in the control and regulation of employment, discriminating between male and female labour, is being introduced into this Bill. It is undoubtedly a new phase. It is an experiment, and I say, whether one is specially interested in and can speak for a section of workers who are affected or not, one can state an intelligent view, and one can be aware that an experimental provision of this kind deserves very careful handling. A provision of the kind suggested enables people, who are concerned with the interests of such people and with employment generally, to consider well that the regulations which the Minister makes are such as would meet with the approval of the House. I certainly cannot find any substance of argument in the contention of Senator Mrs. Wyse Power that the insertion of this provision is any reflection on the people for whom she [1721] spoke so staunchly on the amendment before the House.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Do I understand from Senator Mrs. Wyse Power that the people who are interested in this section, and who would oppose it in the event of an Order being made under it, would prefer a policy of hush-hush and would be opposed to the matter having to be debated in the Dáil, as, I presume, there will be only one House by that time? If that is the case, I do not think the Senator is right; but certainly, judging by the visits I have received from many people in connection with this matter, they did not desire hush-hush, but, on the contrary, wanted all the publicity they could get on this matter.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I think that both the Senators, whose names are to the amendment, are misrepresenting in a sense what the amendment proposes. There is no suggestion in the Bill that any regulation made under it will not be given the fullest possible publicity; but if there is general agreement between the parties concerned that such a regulation should be made —and in the majority of cases, if not all, there will be general agreement between all the interested parties that a particular regulation should be made—is there any reason, nevertheless, why it should not come into effect until it is positively approved of here in this House or in the Dáil by a resolution which, in order to secure its passage, might have to be supported by, perhaps, a statement of considerable length giving the details of the circumstances in a particular industry? Very often the considerations that will prompt the making of a regulation under that section will be technical considerations of a difficult kind where the average persons would not be competent to make a decision and where a decision will be arrived at after consultation with the representatives of the workers and the representatives of the employers concerned and with the agreement of both sides. In such circumstances there is no need to have this requirement that the regulation cannot come into force until [1722] there has been a positive motion of approval by the Oireachtas. Where there is disagreement, and where one or other of the parties concerned disapprove of the provisions of the regulation concerned, the machinery provided under the Bill can be operated, and no doubt will be operated, because in such a case representations will be made to individual Senators or to particular parties to come forward with a motion of disapproval. In such circumstances, of course, there should be discussion and justification or otherwise of the regulation concerned. The Senators' amendment, however, is designed to secure that that motion must be carried even if all the parties concerned are in agreement with the regulation and want it brought into force as quickly as possible.

Amendment No. 26, by leave withdrawn.

Question—“That Section 16 stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 27:

Section 17, sub-section (1). After the word “may” in line 18 to insert the words “after consultation with persons interested in the relevant form of industrial work.”

This was also carried over for Report for consideration.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  My objection to the amendment, of course, is the difficulty of consulting out-workers. In other sections of the Bill we require consultation with the representatives of employers and the representatives of workers before regulations are made. That is not provided for in relation to this section for two reasons: firstly, the practical difficulty of getting representatives of the out-workers to consult, and, secondly, the practical certainty that their views and the views of the employers in relation to this matter are going to coincide and that, consequently, nothing is to be gained by this consultation. In practice, however, the Senator may be [1723] assured that consultation will take place with the employers before such a regulation is made. I think it is undesirable, however, to have that a statutory obligation in the same form as a statutory obligation imposed by other sections, because it might create difficulties in the implementation of the section.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I am in favour of the abolition of out-work as far as it is possible to achieve it. The only extent to which I am not in favour of it is where its abolition would lead simply to unemployment. Where the abolition of out-work would lead to the same work being done by other people, not in the nature of out-work, I am strongly in favour of it, and there are cases where that would apply. My real concern, however, is that the persons responsible for it whether employers or not, should be very definitely consulted and that the whole case should be considered. However, I am not pressing the amendment.

Amendment No. 27, by leave, withdrawn.

Question: “That Section 17 stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.

Section 18 agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 28:—

Section 19, sub-section (2). Before the word “notice”, in line 20, to insert the words “seven days”.

I think that there is a better case for the insertion of the words “seven days” in this case than there was in the last instance.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Since I accepted it in one case, I suppose I shall have to accept it in this case.

Amendment agreed to.

Section 19, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 20 to 23, inclusive, agreed to.

Government amendment No. 29:—

Section 24, sub-section (8). To delete in line 48 the words “modification that” and to substitute therefor [1724] the words, brackets and letter “modifications that (a)” and at the end of the sub-section to add the following:—

“and

(b) if such employer shall, before the commencement of this Act, have allowed to such worker in such employment year one or more days' leave which would be annual leave for the purposes of this section but for the fact that such days were not consecutive or were less than six or were both not consecutive and less than six, the said leave so allowed shall be deemed to be annual leave for the purposes of this section and such worker shall only be entitled in respect of such employment year to such number (if any) of consecutive days' annual leave after the commencement of this Act as is equal to the number (if any) of days by which the said leave so allowed is less than six.”

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The purpose of this amendment is to provide that where an employer has given one or more days leave during the employment year that will be current when the Act comes into operation, he shall not be obliged to give that leave again. In other words, the obligation will be to give six days' leave, less whatever leave has been given during the course of the year.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  This only affects the first year?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Yes.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 30:

Section 24, sub-section (8). To delete all after the word “expires” in line 48 down to and including the word “Act” in line 49 and to substitute therefor the words and figures “before the 1st day of June, 1936.”

This amendment was carried over from last stage, and its object is one of which I am still in favour. I want the holidays at the end of the first year to be in the summer of 1936. I [1725] am still afraid that there will be a number of holidays to be given early and, therefore, not at the time most suitable from that point of view. I indicated before that I was not going to try to get a majority of the House to carry this amendment. The Minister has got to administer the Act, and I merely want to warn him. The holidays must be given within three months. If the Minister succeeds in getting the Act into force at an early date, the holidays will have to be given within the three succeeding months. In the case of trades where holidays have been given in the past, that will be a matter of very little importance. It is only in the case where the holiday is an absolutely new thing that the matter will be of importance. I really do think that it would be wise to have a definite date in the Bill in preference to the date of the coming into force of the Act.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I can give no definite indication at this stage as to when the Act can be brought into operation. That, in itself, is an argument against putting a definite date in the Bill in relation to a provision of this kind. Delays which cannot be foreseen at the moment may arise and they might render inoperative any such provision. In any event, the obligation to give holidays within three months arises only, in this connection, when the employment year of a particular worker expires within a month of the date of the coming into force of the Act. In that case, the holiday must be given within the three months following. Only a small minority of workers in any concern will be affected by that provision— workers whose employment year will expire during that period of one month. In relation to other workers, there will be a twelve months period during which holidays can be given.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I had a brief conversation with the Minister and I know that he thinks that this matter is fully covered. Since then, however, I have satisfied myself that in one or two cases it will in all probability seriously affect the annual holiday given in August because the number [1726] will be sufficient to make it impracticable.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 31 (Senator Douglas) not moved.

Government amendment No. 32:—

Section 24, sub-section (9). To insert before the sub-section a new sub-section as follows:—

(9) In the application of this section to workers who are young persons, the several periods of fifteen hundred hours, two hundred and fifty hours and one hundred and twenty hours shall respectively be substituted throughout this section for the several periods of eighteen hundred hours, three hundred hours and one hundred and fifty hours, and this section shall have effect in relation to such workers accordingly.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This is another amendment which was suggested on Committee Stage. The Bill provides for certain periods which constitute “continuous employment” in relation to adult workers. The same periods were provided in respect of juvenile workers, whereas, obviously, shorter periods should apply. The matter could be dealt with by Order under the Act but it is more desirable that it should be embodied in the statute.

Amendment agreed to.

Section 24, as amended, agreed to.

Section 25 agreed to.

Amendments 33 and 34 (Senator Douglas) not moved.

Sections 26 to 30 agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 35:—

Section 31. To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

(4) This section shall not apply to any industrial work done in or about the printing and publishing of newspapers.

It would probably save time if the Minister would briefly explain all his amendments relating to the newspaper industry. At the moment, I do not quite see why there should be no amendment to Section 31.

[1727]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The amendments relating to the printing and publishing of newspapers are designed to take that form of work out of the provisions of the Bill relating to hours. The reason why an amendment to Section 31 is not necessary is because the printing and publishing of newspapers has been excluded from Section 38 and Section 31 has no meaning except in relation to Section 38. It is Section 38 which imposes the obligation to cease work at 1 p.m. on the short day. As the printing and publishing of newspapers is excluded from Section 38, this work is also excluded from Section 31. I looked into the matter carefully.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  As the Minister knows, I move this amendment at the instance of certain newspapers and I told them that I did not see how Section 31 could be enforced if they were excluded from Section 38. As a matter of symmetry, it does seem rather absurd that there is nothing in Section 31 to make clear that it does not apply to people exempted from Section 38. As a matter of practice, I am disposed to agree with the Minister, but I suggest that there is that peculiar anomaly, that while you have not to give a holiday, you must, under Section 31, fix a date.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  No. Section 31 merely says that Saturday shall be the short day and gives power to substitute. As the short day has no significance in relation to printing and publishing under Section 38, it has no significance under Section 31.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Section 31 agreed to.

Government amendment No. 36:—

Section 32, sub-section (1). Before the word “unless” in line 9 to insert the words and brackets “(other than industrial work done in or about the printing or publishing of newspapers)”.

This amendment is designed to make clear that the section does not apply to the printing and publishing of newspapers. The section makes shift work [1728] unlawful except in relation to a continuous process or under licence. In the printing of daily newspapers, there are what are called “shifts” and some confusion might arise if this amendment were not inserted. It is not intended that the printing and publishing of newspapers should be subject to this regulation.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 37 not moved.

Section 32, as amended, agreed to.

Section 33 to 39, inclusive, agreed to.

Amendment No. 38 not moved.

Sections 40 to 43 agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 39:—

Section 44. To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

(3) It shall be a good defence to any proceedings taken against any employer for a breach of the provisions of this section if such employer proves to the satisfaction of the court that reasonable care was taken by him or his agents to ascertain the facts and that he did not knowingly commit an offence under the section.

This amendment, in a different form, came up on Report Stage. I consulted a prominent legal member of the House, and he was of opinion that while in almost all certainty the penalty in this case would be extremely small, nevertheless, in such a case, there would be a breach of the section. I am concerned in preventing prosecutions where there is no need for them.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I also discussed this with the legal advisers of the Government, and it appears that if we inserted the word “knowingly,” by any device, in the section we would probably make it inoperative. The decision I came to was that it was best to rely upon administrative discretion to see that no unreasonable action was taken, and, secondly, to rely upon the fact that the courts will accept what is a good defence put [1729] forward. If a prosecution is brought the obligation to show that in any event the offence was not committed knowingly is undesirable. In the circumstances, I feel it is better to leave the section as it is.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I am personally not very interested, nor am I speaking on behalf of any firm in which I have an interest. But there seems to be some uneasiness about this matter. As far as I can see in most cases, except where the worker is of a doubtful character, the employer will be satisfied if he gets a statement from him. If he is a man that had made false statements before, then I do not think it would be exercising reasonable care to take him at his word. In practice, a man who works part of the week is not going to get any more work if the employer has to get practical proof as to the time he already worked. It can only be worked at all if there is a certain amount of good faith. There is going to be difficulty, and this section will not be easy to administer except on the basis I have indicated. I may have failed to provide words that are satisfactory. I am not much concerned about the word “knowingly,” and I appreciate what the Minister said. I cannot press this case against what he said. I recognise the section must be included in the Act, or otherwise there will be abuse; but I do not think the Minister has put it in a satisfactory form. I think the amendment I put down would avoid the Minister's objection. If he says he has taken legal opinion, of course I cannot dispute that. I can only say that an employer who has given a man a job, in good faith, will be guilty of an offence if the section stands as it is , so I leave the matter to the House.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I think I mentioned on a previous stage that this was in operation in the Shops Act. I wonder if the Senator could give any instance of where it led to unreasonable prosecutions by virtue of the fact that the word “knowingly” was not in it.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I have one answer to that, that if this legislation is to be [1730] administered in the same way as the Shops Act we are wasting our time on the business.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Section 44 agreed to.

Section 45, 46 and 47 agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 40:—

Section 48, sub-section (3). To add at the end of the sub-section the words: “Provided that, where the industrial work is carried on in more than one premises, the employer may fix a different interval for the workers in each of such premises.”

This was left over from Report Stage and I understood the Minister was willing to agree to the principle of it.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Yes, but it is not necessary. The Bill as it stands permits of different hours in different premises.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Where does it so permit? It seems, definitely, to say that is not so in one part of the Bill.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Sub-section (4) reads:

Where on the application in writing of any employer the Minister is satisfied that on account of the nature of the industrial work to do which such employer employs workers, the fixing of the interval at the same time for all such workers would occasion serious loss, the Minister may by a permit which may at any time be withdrawn by the Minister allow such employer exemption....

What the Senator wishes to provide for is where the industrial workers are in more than one place. The interpretation put upon that is that the undertaking and permission mean the same thing and that different times can be fixed for different premises even though there is but the one employer.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Do I understand that one limited company could have 12 undertakings?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Yes.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I wonder is that right?

[1731]Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I got the matter looked into and I am assured that this amendment is not required.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  It might be very important according to the usage in different towns.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 41:—

Section 48, sub-section (4). After the word “sub-section” in line 52 to insert the words “whether in respect of all workers employed by him or a class of workers only.”

Does the same apply here? In this case I am not satisfied it was desirable.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I was satisfied that amendment is not necessary.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. Foran: Information on Thomas Foran  Zoom on Thomas Foran  I move amendment No. 42:—

Section 48, sub-section (6). To insert before the sub-section a new sub-section as follows:—

(6) Any employer who permits a worker to whom this Act applies to remain in a room in which any form of industrial work is carried on during any part of the time allowed for meals shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

This amendment only seeks to continue what already exists under the Factories Acts. It was found useful, and necessary, and we believe it is desirable that it should be embodied in the present Bill. It is not desirable that people should be taking their meals while industrial work is going on in the same room. That has been embodied in the Factory Act, and we see no reason why it should not be embodied in this measure.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The only answer I have to what the Senator has said is that such a provision does not belong to this Bill. It belongs to the Factory and Workshops Act, and it is undesirable that any health provision should be inserted in this Conditions of Employment Bill when a Bill to codify and amend the Factory and Workshops Act will be introduced next [1732] month embodying whatever recommendations we think are necessary to alter the law in that respect. The present law, of course, is being repealed. The Senator's point is that the present law makes a similar provision in respect to women and young persons, but the amendment goes further than the present law. Whatever gap may exist in the law will be of short duration, and I think it is undesirable that we should change the basis of the statutes merely in order to provide against the very slight possibility that the existing practice will be deliberately interrupted during a couple of months in this establishment.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  Does the Minister assure us that, so far as he can secure it, the factory legislation that is to come will contain at least the provisions of protection on the question of meals in factories and workshops that are in the present law?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Definitely.

Mr. Foran: Information on Thomas Foran  Zoom on Thomas Foran  In that case, although I will not be here to see it, I accept the Minister's assurance that such a Bill is contemplated and will be passed into law at an early date.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  The drafting of it has been in hands for the past two years, and the measure is now almost complete.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I wish to draw the Minister's attention to the possible effect of sub-section (5) which on an earlier stage he said he would look into. It seems to me that under the meaning of the word “premises” if a factory provided a suitable meal room, which in a country place is highly desirable, the workers in that room would be deemed to have been on the premises during the period in the middle of the day because it is all the one premises. The Minister said that he would look into that. It seems to me that it should be quite sufficient if, during the period for meals, the workers wished to make use of the facilities inside the general premises they [1733] should be allowed to do so. I am afraid the effect of the sub-section will prevent them from doing that.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Separate premises do not necessarily mean a separate group of buildings or a separate building. You could have two or three premises for the purposes of this measure inside the one building. Obviously, a mess-room where no industrial work is done is a different premises for the purposes of this section although a workshop where the workers are engaged during the day.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  So that you could have 12 undertakings on each of 12 other premises. I wonder will that be the interpretation of the Act? Would not a corollary of that be that you could have different meal hours for the workers in each particular premises? If what the Minister has stated is the intention I do not think it is made clear in the sub-section.

Mr. Johnson: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  There is a definition of premises, and I am wondering whether that definition will fit in with the Minister's view.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I do not think it will.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is not in conflict with it, certainly. If you take the Ford building in Cork, there are three, if not four, factories in that building. At the present time they are obviously separate undertakings and separate buildings for the purposes of this Act.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  If premises include land with no buildings how many square yards would make a separate premises for the purposes of this Act?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Obviously the premises include land.

Section 48 agreed to.

Government amendment No. 43:—

Section 49, sub-section (1). After the word “printing” in line 13 to insert the words “or publishing.”

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This is merely a verbal change. The printing of newspapers is [1734] exempted. It was feared that the definition was somewhat narrow and it is proposed to extend it to printing and publishing. The exclusion only relates to work done in connection with the printing and publishing of newspapers.

Amendment agreed to.

Government amendment No. 44:—

Section 49, sub-section (7). To insert before the sub-section a new sub-section as follows:—

(7) In the application of the two next preceding sub-sections of this section to workers who are young persons, the several periods of 120 hours and 16 hours shall respectively be substituted for the several periods of 150 hours and 20 hours, and the said two next preceding sub-sections shall have effect in relation to such workers accordingly.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This is the same principle as the one in a previous amendment providing for lesser periods of duration in the calculation of continuous employment where juveniles are concerned as compared with adults. The change could have been effected by regulations but it has been thought preferable to have it embodied in the Statute.

Amendment agreed to.

Government amendment No. 45:—

Section 49, sub-section (7). To insert before the sub-section a new sub-section as follows:—

(7) If any employer fails to pay to any worker any moneys which become payable to such worker under this section, such worker may recover such moneys as a simple contract debt from such employer.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This is, I think, a desirable addition to Section 49. It is similar to the provision in the section dealing with annual holidays and is necessary in order to make the section effective.

Amendment agreed to.

Section 49, as amended, agreed to.

Section 50, 51 and 52 agreed to.

Government amendment No. 46:—

Section 53, sub-section (1). To delete the new paragraph (c) (inserted in Committee) and to substitute therefor a new paragraph as follows:—

(c) a notice stating the days in the current year which are for the time being public holidays for the purpose of this Act in respect of such industrial undertaking, and.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This amendment is to put in a more orthodox form an amendment which was adopted by the Seanad in Committee on a previous Stage of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Section 53, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 54, 55 and 56 agreed to.

Government amendment No. 47:—

Section 57. To delete lines 20-22 inclusive and to substitute therefor the following:—

(57) Whenever the Minister makes regulations or grants a licence or permit under this Act in respect of a particular form of industrial work, the Minister may, in such regulations, licence, or permit (as the case may be).

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This is really a drafting amendment. It provides for a certain elasticity in the making of regulations under Section 57. I think it is desirable that there should be the facility which it it is proposed to give here, and which is similar in form to what appears in an earlier section of the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Duffy: Information on Michael Duffy  Zoom on Michael Duffy  I move amendment No. 48:—

Section 57. To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

(2) Whenever the Minister makes regulations or grants a licence or permit under this Act in respect of a particular form of industrial work, he may in such regulations, licence or permit (as the case may be) [1736] specify that such provisions of this Act as may to him appear proper shall continue to apply to work performed in connection with such form of industrial work or in any undertaking in which such form of industrial work is carried on and every such regulation, licence or permit (as the case may be) shall be construed and have effect subject to such conditions as may be so specified by the Minister.

It seems to me that Section 57 gives power to the Minister to specify the form of work which shall be exempt in the provisions of this measure as well as the classes of work performed. Under this Bill certain protections for women and children provided by the Factories Acts are being repealed. As this particular section confines the Minister to limiting an individual doing a particular class of work in a factory under the provisions of this Bill, it seems to me the women and children have not the minimum of protection that they had under the Factories Acts. My amendment will give power to the Minister to make such provision under this Act as may to him appear proper. I believe it is necessary that the new sub-section should be added to Section 57, as otherwise the Minister will not have power to give the protection to the women and children in industry at present secured to them by the Factories Acts and which will be repealed on the passage of this measure.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  In so far as that is so it relates to hours of work, the hours during which such persons may be employed. An earlier section, Section 52, provides that where the Minister makes regulations excluding any form of industrial work from any part of the Act dealing with hours of work, he can fix such conditions as seem to him necessary in order to protect the interests of the workers concerned. That is covered by Section 52 (1). If we, by regulation, exclude any form of work from the provisions of this Act relating to hours of work, we can by further regulation prescribe hours of work which will have the same statutory effect in respect of any class of workers or any form of work named in [1737] that order. That, I think, gets over the difficulty of the repeal of certain sections of the existing Act in relation to the class of workers affected by the exclusion regulations.

That section also permits of reductions being made in the hours of work of industrial workers more than is effected by the general provisions of the measure and that will be, in fact, mainly operated in order to ensure that the 48-hour week will be the maximum week and by stages a shorter maximum week will be instituted. I do not think the danger the Senator referred to in relation to exclusion regulations can arise. The existing Factories and Workshops Code deals mainly with health and safety regulations. They are not being affected and will not be until the new Factories and Workshops Act becomes law. In so far as they relate to hours of work, Section 52 gives power to make special regulations in order to protect the interests of those concerned.

Mr. Duffy: Information on Michael Duffy  Zoom on Michael Duffy  I understand that under the Factories Act it is illegal to employ children under 12 years of age to work at night or to employ women in certain industries. It seems to me that the Minister has not power to stipulate that women and children should not be employed in certain industries and at certain hours—he has not power in respect of children under 12 or women working on Sundays in certain industries.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  That is prohibited by this Bill. If we by regulation exclude certain forms of work from the provisions of the Bill we have power to make regulations fixing other hours of work for these classes of workers. That is what the Senator proposes. We have that power already. It is not necessary to insert his amendment, because the power is there.

Mr. Duffy: Information on Michael Duffy  Zoom on Michael Duffy  Would the Minister not properly rivet it by accepting my amendment?

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  It is already copper-fastened by Section 12.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Sections 57 to 62, inclusive, agreed to.

Mr. Milroy: Information on Seán Milroy  Zoom on Seán Milroy  I move amendment No. 49:—

To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 10 of this Act no regulation made under this section shall have effect until one month after it is made and until such regulation has been approved by resolution passed by each House of the Oireachtas.

This and the next amendment are more or less the same and the arguments behind them are somewhat similar. Under this section the Minister is given very wide powers to demand certain returns. I think there is no limit to the returns he can demand. He can ask for returns that might be futile to the business man but might be regarded as of great importance to the officials. For instance, the Minister's Department might want the number of red-headed men or women in a particular firm— I merely use that statement to indicate that certain peculiar returns might be requested. I think we should be given time to consider the subject-matter of the orders that will be made before they become operative and I suggest they should not become operative until there is a resolution of approval passed by each House of the Oireachtas.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  I will put it to the Senator that what the Bill already provides in that respect is really more reasonable. It comes before the Oireachtas and the Oireachtas is given power to annul any regulation if they think a mistake has been made, or that powers are being used excessively. There is no reason why we should impose on the Oireachtas the obligation of discussing and passing a resolution if everybody is satisfied and no complaint has been made. We are merely asking power to get certain statistical returns. The utilisation of that power will be determined more largely by the efficiency and the size of the statistical machine of the Department. The existing Statistics Branch is so fully occupied [1739] with the work it has now on hands that it could not undertake to do any more statistical work.

In relation to the particular matters covered by Section 63, the position has been that for years past most of the industrial firms in the country have been making voluntary returns dealing with the numbers employed, the wages paid and certain matters of that kind. That system of voluntary returns worked quite satisfactorily until recently, when there was an increase in the number of industrial concerns, and certain other factors resulted in growing delays in getting returns in time and very frequently in inability to get them from certain concerns. If there are 12 firms engaged in an industry, and you want statistics in relation to that industry, ten firms may voluntarily give the information you require, but if the other two do not give the information, what you have got is of no value to you. The statistics can only be of value when associated with the figures of all the concerns.

We are taking this power to require the making of returns which, in the past, the great majority of firms have made voluntarily. It is to ensure that our periodic reports relating to employment and wages in particular industries will be more accurate than they have been. For some time past we had to cease publishing these returns because they had become only estimates which were very frequently known to be incorrect, due to the fact that particular concerns had not undertaken the voluntary obligation of supplying the information. It is desirable to have these powers and it is desirable, I think, that the Oireachtas should have the right to step in and stop their use if they think the powers have been abused and that unreasonable obligations are being imposed upon employers. But that is as far as we should go. I do not think it is necessary to provide that the powers cannot be used at all until a resolution has been adopted in the Dáil and Seanad. Most of the orders made under this section will be of trivial importance and need not necessarily occupy the time of the Legislature [1740] unless some individual member has had representations made to him that some firms have suffered a grievance.

Mr. Blythe: Information on Ernest Blythe  Zoom on Ernest Blythe  There is a little difference between the previous amendment which Senator Milroy withdrew and this, because in reference to the matter of the previous amendment there is provision for agreement. The Minister mentioned that in the other cases orders would be made only if there were agreement. In this case there will be no consultation or agreement. The Minister will simply take action. If the matter were confined to the voluntary returns it would be all right, but there is wide power in this requiring returns which might be very onerous on the employers if the order were made. The Minister would issue the order and then it might be extremely difficult for the Oireachtas to take any action. As a matter of fact, it would be in the nature of a censure on the Department if action were then to be taken. On the other hand one sees that if there were to be numerous orders it might be difficult to require each one to be separately approved of by the two Houses. In the one case, when the Minister examined the matter he made one comprehensive order. This might not have to be varied appreciably but once in a year or so—or say at very wide intervals. I think this is a matter that ought to be specifically approved of by the Dáil. I think it would not require a great deal of discussion in the ordinary way. It would be passed after a brief statement by the Minister. I do not know whether the Minister contemplates whether there would be a great mass of separate orders covering different matters or whether statistical requirements only would be met. But if it could be possible to make a comprehensive order an order would be made which would stand for a considerable time. On the whole everything is in favour of getting the order accepted specifically by the Dáil.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  Up to the present we have been getting half-yearly returns, voluntarily, from protected industries. I would like to have these returns on [1741] a more secure basis. What we contemplate is to require persons to make returns on the 1st September and the 1st April each year and it would be obviously unnecessary to come every half year to the Dáil with a resolution prescribing these returns, particularly as these returns are less onerous than the returns we are getting voluntarily at present. We would be requiring these returns from a limited number of firms. These returns are made at present under the Census of Production. These are, of course, confined to the larger firms who are in a much better position to supply the statistical returns than are the smaller firms. But it is in relation to the smaller firms that we require the statutory power, because the absence of these returns makes it impossible for us to publish the information from the larger firms, or if we do publish that information it makes it of little value. It would be only where a new departure in statistics would be embarked upon that the Dáil would be really concerned in the matter, but such a departure is not contemplated.

Padraic O Maille: Information on Pádraic Ó Maille  Zoom on Pádraic Ó Maille  Might I be permitted to draw your attention, Sir, to the fact that earlier in the evening we decided that the Seanad should sit later than 7 o'clock for the further consideration of this Bill?

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  It is not 7 o'clock yet.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  And we will be finished in a couple of minutes.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  And we will be finished in a couple of minutes.

Mr. Milroy: Information on Seán Milroy  Zoom on Seán Milroy  I am not inclined to press this amendment, and the same applies to the next amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Section 63 agreed to.

Amendment No. 50:—

Section 64. To add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 10 of this Act no regulation made under this section shall have effect until one month after it is made and until such regulation has [1742] been approved by resolution passed by each House of the Oireachtas.

—Senator Milroy.

—Senator O'Hanlon.

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This is a different matter. It is a matter of prescribing records which enable us to enforce the Act, to get particulars of outworkers and things of that kind. I do not think it is necessary to have positive approval of these things.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Section 64 agreed to.

Government amendment (No. 51):—

In the portion of the third column relating to the Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Act, 1920, after the word “work” to add the words “within the meaning of this present Act.”

Mr. Lemass: Information on Seán F. Lemass  Zoom on Seán F. Lemass  This amendment was suggested by Senator Johnson on the last Stage, so as to make clear that the Act referred to in the last section of the Schedule—the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act, 1920—is repealed to the extent to which it relates to any form of industrial work.

Amendment agreed to.

Question—“That the Schedule, as amended, stand part of the Bill”— put and agreed to.

Question—“That the Title stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.

Question—“That the Bill be reported”—put and agreed to.

Mr. Foran: Information on Thomas Foran  Zoom on Thomas Foran  Would it be in order to take the Report Stage now?

Cathaoirleach: Information on Thomas Westropp Bennett  Zoom on Thomas Westropp Bennett  No; we could have it to-morrow. We could not take the Report Stage to-day.

Mr. Counihan: Information on John Joseph Counihan  Zoom on John Joseph Counihan  Fix it for next Wednesday week, the 22nd January.

Mr. Foran: Information on Thomas Foran  Zoom on Thomas Foran  No; it will be the first business to-morrow.

The House adjourned at 7 p.m. until 3 o'clock on Wednesday, 15th January.


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