Neutrality (War Damage to Property) Bill, 1941—Report Stage (and Recommittal).

Wednesday, 13 August 1941

Seanad Éireann Debate
Vol. 25 No. 25

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Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I move that the Bill be recommitted in respect of the amendments.

Mr. Quirke: Information on William Quirke  Zoom on William Quirke  It is quite clear that the Bill is being recommitted solely for the purpose of a wider discussion on the amendments.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Yes; there is no intention to do anything other than facilitate the passage of the Bill.

Ordered accordingly.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 1:—

In page 3, Section 2, sub-section (2), line 52, to delete the word “engaged” and substitute the words “a participant”.

This is a small amendment, possibly not of much importance, though possibly it may be. In the Constitution it is provided that war shall not be declared and the State shall not participate in any war save with the assent of Dáil Eireann, but in case of actual invasion the Government may take whatever steps they consider necessary for the protection of the State. I am not sure whether a court might not hold that, in taking steps to repel an invasion, we were engaging in war, and I think this should not be so until the Oireachtas has declared it. For that reason, it seemed to be wise to take the words of the Constitution and keep rigidly to them, so I suggest the word “participant” to keep it in conformity with the wording of the Constitution.

[2406]Minister for Finance (Mr. O Ceallaigh): Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The intention in the Bill is to limit the obligation to pay compensation under this Bill to the purely neutral position. The Senator wishes to change that.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  No.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I take it that, if the words were put in as the Senator suggests in his amendment and, in the strictly constitutional sense interpreted as such, compensation would be payable under this Bill until a formal declaration of war, though we might be actually at war.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I am trying to make the matter clear, and will not press this if there is no doubt in the mind of the Minister. The Constitution says that war shall not be declared save with the assent of Dáil Eireann. I do not visualise that happening at all and am not much concerned with it. Supposing the country were attacked, the Oireachtas would take action. I do not suggest for a moment that this Bill should last after we participate in a war, as this would not be the kind of Bill I would approve of under those circumstances. In that I am completely at one with the Minister. My only fear is that action taken, which might only be for a couple of days, in repelling any invasion or in resisting what was not really an invasion but an accidental attack, might be engaging in a war and the court might so hold. If you keep to the Constitution there can be no question: it cannot be war unless Dáil Eireann has so decided. That is the object of my amendment. Also, there can be no question then as to the date when we engaged in war. I hope it will not happen, but I can conceive it happening that there may be two days of attack during which we might not know whether it was an invasion or an accident. I do not want any possible danger of the words “engaged in a war” meaning other than what I think the Minister has in mind. My attention was drawn to this by a lawyer in the first instance, and on looking into it I saw that there was some slight danger.

[2407]Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I have gone into this and have had it considered by various legal authorities, including the draftsman, and their advice to me is to stand by the words in the Bill. It is a moot point whether we would be actually at war in case of an invasion though the Oireachtas might not have declared war. Lawyers might argue, and the court might decide, that once an invasion took place and we made any attempt to repel it, we were, in fact, at war. My desire with this Bill is that once a position of war was established this Bill would go out of operation and some other Bill would have to come in then for compensation. Therefore, it is with that intention in mind that that particular section is put into the Bill—to keep it strictly to the period when we are not at war and when there is no difference of opinion, and no difference can arise either amongst lawyers or others, as to whether we are at war or not. I would feel happier leaving the phraseology as it is in the Bill at present.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  There is nothing further from my mind than to argue with the Minister. I raised this point because I think it is a point of importance.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  It is.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  While I am not going to press the amendment, I would like to point out to the Minister that it might cut both ways.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  That is true.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  There is the danger that fighting might be going on a long time and there would be no definite date clearly established. I think it would have been simpler to follow the Constitution. If the Government feel that that would not be wise, I have done my duty in drawing attention to it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Government amendment No. 2:—

In page 4, Section 3, sub-section (1), paragraph (d), line 4, to delete [2408] the word “may” and substitute therefor the words “has suffered or shall”.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  This is purely a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Government amendment No. 3:—

In page 4, Section 4, sub-section (6), line 58, after the word “particulars” to insert the words “in his possession or procurement”.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I put down this amendment to meet a point raised by Senator Douglas on the Committee Stage. The draftsman considers the sub-section as it stands could be interpreted as relating only to information within the applicant's possession or procurement, but as it was desired to have it expressly put in, I have put down the amendment.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I am quite satisfied. In that case I do not propose to move amendment No. 4.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 4 not moved.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I am assuming the House will accept amendment No. 6, in which case I do not propose to move amendment No. 5. Amendment No. 6 seems to me the same thing with better wording.

Amendment No. 5 not moved.

Government amendment No. 6:—

In page 4, Section 4, to add at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—

(8) Every communication to the Minister from an applicant or other person making an application under this section may be sent by post addressed to the Secretary, Department of Finance, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  This amendment is to meet points already made.

Amendment agreed to.

[2409] Government amendment No. 7:—

In page 5, Section 5, sub-section (1), line 1, to delete the words “shall consider every” and substitute therefor the words “within 12 months after receiving an”; and in line 2, to delete the words “and shall” and substitute therefor the words “shall consider such application and”.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  We had, the House will remember, a long discussion on this matter and we also had, similarly, long and detailed discussion in the Dáil on the same section. Owing to certain amendments that I agreed to on the Committee Stage with regard to legal expenses and other points that were raised, I think, mainly by Senator Lynch, there is less difficulty on my part, at any rate, in putting a limitation on the Department of Finance with regard to the time they should take in making up their minds. Though I am prepared to accept a limitation of 12 months, I can see there will be difficulties arising departmentally but I have told the Department that the feeling of the House seems to be—and it was the feeling of a certain section in the Dáil—that there should be a limitation imposed on the Minister for Finance in this matter. I propose to meet the opinion expressed here, not to the full extent of making it six months, as was suggested, but to put in 12 months.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Francis Gibbons  Zoom on Seán Francis Gibbons  Is the amendment agreed to?

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  On the principle that half a loaf is better than no bread.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 8 not moved.

Government amendment No. 9:—

In page 5, Section 5, in sub-section (1), paragraph (a), line 4, after the word “offer” to insert the words “in writing”.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  This is a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 10 not moved.

[2410]Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 11:—

In page 5, Section 5, sub-section (2), paragraph (b), line 20, to add to the paragraph the following words “in its entirety or accept the offer and refuse the conditions”.

Amendments Nos. 11 and 12 cover the same point and, with the leave of the House, I propose to discuss them together.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Francis Gibbons  Zoom on Seán Francis Gibbons  That would, perhaps, be convenient.

Amendment No. 12 reads:—

In page 5, Section 5, sub-section (2), paragraph (c), line 21, after the word “offer” to insert the words “or accept the offer and refuse the conditions”.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I raised this point on the Committee Stage and the Minister said he would look into it. The effect of the Bill as I read it, as it stands at the present moment, is that the Minister may make an offer of a payment for compensation and he may attach certain conditions. It is open to the person to whom the offer is made to accept that offer and accept the conditions, or it is open to him to appeal to the court. I think it is desirable to limit the matters that might come before the court as far as possible, and I think it should be possible for the recipient of the offer to accept the offer as far as the cash is concerned and appeal against the conditions or to accept the conditions and appeal against the offer. My reason for that is that it would save the amount of time that would be taken in the court in the latter case, and in the former case it seems to me only just. If the dispute is only about the conditions and if you have to appeal against both the amount and the conditions you may put the recipient in the position of having to pay costs far in excess of those which he would have to pay if he were to appeal solely against the conditions. My attention has been drawn to this by several people who are more or less expert in the matter and they feel it does not [2411] really follow the spirit of the Bill, which does provide an appeal for practically every other case.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I do not think I can accept this amendment. I regard the offer as a whole, whether it be an offer in cash without conditions or an offer with conditions. You cannot make an offer separating the amount of cash that is offered from the conditions attached thereto. The conditions might have a very considerable bearing on the amount of the cash offered. If it were possible that the Minister were to fix, say, some onerous conditions, in order to get acceptance of such conditions he would probably have to make a generous cash offer. If the conditions were slight, the cash offer would probably be less. It is difficult, if not impossible, to separate one from the other. The offer must be taken as a whole. The conditions are part and parcel of the offer made by the Minister. I cannot see that it would facilitate matters in any way to allow the applicant for compensation to appeal on conditions alone. In fact it might be a disadvantage to him. If he were appealing on the whole he might get a bigger cash award made by a court but if the cash is ruled out and he has to appeal only on conditions attached to the award he might be very much worse off.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  An applicant to whom an offer is made with conditions attached has no right of appeal —is that correct?

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Oh, no, he can appeal.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  He can appeal on the whole lot?

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Yes.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  This is a point I do not propose to press or to divide the House upon. I am not fully convinced by the Minister's argument. It seems to me that his statement that there was a danger in a person appealing only against the conditions—that that person might come off much worse— is perfectly correct. As a matter of [2412] fact, there is a danger in appealing always, even against a cash offer. So far as I am concerned, I would never advise anybody to go to the court if they can get anything within reason at all. But there is always the possibility that the court might take a very different view of the conditions. In view of the Minister's statement, I am not going to press the point. There are other matters I feel more strongly on than this.

Amendment No. 11, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 12 not moved.

Government amendment No. 13:—

In page 5, Section 5, sub-section (2), paragraph (c), line 21, before the word “accept” to insert the words “in writing”.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 14:—

In page 5, Section 5, sub-section (2), paragraph (d), line 31, at the end of the paragraph to add the words “plus interest at 4 per cent. from a date which shall not be later than six months after the receipt of the application”.

This amendment raises a matter of very considerable importance. Like a great many other amendments, this would not be put in if consequential damage were permissible, or even if a limited consequential damage in the case of business were permissible. I put this amendment down partly because the Minister, without absolutely committing himself, dropped perhaps a foolish word that he was not absolutely against the idea of interest. I am not arguing the amount of interest; I am arguing on the principle of interest. I had to put some rate down and I put down less than what a bank would charge on overdraft.

What is in my mind can best be illustrated by a case of which I have some knowledge. I am informed that actually in the damaged area in the North Strand there was one person who owned 22 houses, all of which have been flattened out. The owner [2413] received rents, not very high rents, but rents that came to somewhat over £300 a year. There is a liability for ground rent of somewhere between £14 and £15 which has to be met, even though the houses are not there. If this particular person had had a fire and the 22 houses, which are her source of livelihood, had been destroyed by that fire, a certain time, usually six to nine months, would elapse before a claim could be completed and cash paid. But as soon as the claim was completed the insurance company would pay to this person a sum of money calculated to be necessary to replace the house, or meet the claim in accordance with the terms of the policy— whether it would be on a reinstatement basis or whether it was on the market value, I am not going to deal with that now. A certain sum would be paid after six or nine months.

If, as is very usual in a city, the landlord had an obligation to rebuild, that money would have to be used for rebuilding as soon as that became practicable. But, if materials were unobtainable, no enforcement of that rebuilding obligation could take place until it was possible to carry it out. Now we are in the position that under this Bill this person who owned the 22 houses that have been destroyed and whose livelihood depended on a rent of a little over £300, will be in this position, that almost certainly there will be a reinstatement clause attached and, if she went to the court, there would have to be a reinstatement clause attached. But under present circumstances the likelihood of obtaining materials to build 22 houses immediately is extremely small, and I do not believe it will be possible until the war is over, and perhaps some years after that.

Under the Bill this person cannot receive payment except for reinstatement, and the payment will not be completed until the reinstatement is completed. Consequently the State will hold the money and will be saving interest during a period of one to four years from the time on which the claim is agreed on, which must be within 12 months, and she will have no income from it. If it was an ordinary fire [2414] policy she would obtain the cash and she would have some income. As I understand this legislation, she will have no income until the payment is made. That is not fair. Where the State is unable to pay because of conditions attached, but where the claim is admitted, it seems perfectly reasonable that there should be some rate of interest allowed. That is one case.

Take another case, the case of a business destroyed. In that case you have not only premises but stock. Both the premises and stock are, under the Bill, proper matters for claims. Presumably there would be a reinstatement clause so far as the premises are concerned, and I am assuming that would be the case in a city—that it would not be Government policy to leave ground in a city vacant. I am told there will be some land taken over in the North Strand, but although I gave a case from there, we are not dealing with that but with any part of the City of Dublin that may possibly be bombed. In the case of business premises there will be a claim for the stock and the premises. Most businesses have an overdraft. They cannot repay that until they get payment. If there is a reinstatement clause they will not get the payment for a considerable time and yet the owner, there being no consequential damage permitted in a case of this kind, will be liable for the interest on overdraft.

From the date on which a claim could be examined and reasonably dealt with until it is paid, the State is saving interest and the person entitled to it is losing interest. Whether he has to pay on an overdraft or not he has the loss of his capital and it seems to me that for the period between the time when the claim is admitted and paid it is only fair to the recipient that there should be some interest paid. I am not arguing with regard to 4 per cent. I put that figure down because it is a little over what the State has to pay, but it is at least 1 per cent. less than a person would have to pay on an overdraft in the meantime. It is not over-generous from that point of view. It is the principle which I wish [2415] to establish. If there is to be no interest paid, then there should be some consequential damage to meet the loss to the claimant.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I do not propose to accept the amendment—I hope that does not surprise Senator Douglas. It is true, as he reminded the House, that I did say last week I would not object to the payment of interest, but then there was no limitation on delay that might occur. Now we have a limitation on the Minister for Finance. He must make his offer within a specified time and, therefore, for that reason I do not propose to accept the amendment or the idea of the payment of interest at any rate, 4 or 5 per cent. or any other rate.

If we are to judge by the way Senator Douglas argued in favour of his amendment, he put it as a consequential damage and the House knows what attitude I have felt constrained to adopt with regard to consequential loss or damage except in specific instances where I felt obliged to make amendments. Senator Douglas referred to the possibility of people in business or people owning property in the North Strand area suffering because of delay in payment of compensation without any payment of interest in the meantime. The Senator said that he was not arguing with particular reference to the cases in the North Strand. This Bill, of course, deals with any and every area likely to be involved, but, in the case of the North Strand, there is quite a possibility that the area will be taken over by the Corporation of Dublin, and, if that be so—I understand that the corporation are contemplating taking it over as a planning area for redistribution and rehousing—there would be no reinstatement condition.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  According to my reading of it, the court would have no option but to impose a reinstatement condition.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  If the corporation felt so inclined, they could be represented in court and could point out [2416] that it was their intention to take it over, and I doubt if the court order in respect of reinstatement would operate.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I agree with the Minister's latter argument, but, from my reading of the Bill, it seems to me that the court would have to make an order of reinstatement. The Minister may waive it afterwards, but it is clearly in the Bill that where there is a claim and where it is in respect of building, the court must insert a reinstatement clause.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I wonder if such a case could go into court, if the corporation decided to take over the area.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Why not?

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  It is a question. An arbitrator would be appointed and he would assess compensation.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I think there is an appeal against the arbitrator.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  In respect of the amount of the award, but reinstatement would probably not come before the court. However, we are talking in hypothesis. It is quite possible that it would not come into court, and that, if the corporation took it over, it is an arbitrator who would have to decide. I am told that the official arbitrator in cases in which property is being acquired compulsorily by the Dublin Corporation, does take into consideration loss of profits and goodwill. He does ordinarily take these matters into consideration, and assesses them according to his own principles in making awards in cases in which areas are being compulsorily acquired.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  While it may not be strictly relevant, I am very anxious to get any statement that will ease the minds of certain people, and I am sure the House will not mind my putting a point which is not strictly relevant. Is the Minister satisfied that the corporation, in taking over the property, will take it over as from before the bombing? If they took it over as from now, there could be no profits, but if they [2417] take it over as from before the bombing, it would be an enormous advantage, and the Minister's argument would almost convince me against my claim for interest. I am afraid, however, that you are asking too much from the corporation and that they will take it over as from now and say that there could be no profits from something which has been razed to the ground.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I could not give an answer to that point, further than to express an opinion of my own, as Senator Douglas or any other Senator might do, but probably the corporation would try to get it as cheaply as they could——

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I am afraid of that.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  ——and the last person to blame them should be the Minister for Finance. The arbitrator, however, is a very independent person with statutory powers and he could, if he cared to do so, give a wide interpretation to his powers and do what he ordinarily does in cases in which an area is being compulsorily acquired, that is, include provision for goodwill and loss of profits, but whether he would do that or not is scarcely for me to say.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The Minister has made an argument which has a certain amount in it, but not, I think, as much as the Minister put into it, that he has now bound himself in the Bill to give a decision within 12 months, but it should be clear that the Minister's decision does not mean that the money will be available. The Minister will give a decision within 12 months, but the person who has lost property will not have the money within 12 months.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  If he accepts the Minister's offer.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  He will not have the money if there is a reinstatement clause and that is the case which Senator Douglas made. If it were merely a case of money given to a [2418] person within 12 months, it would not be worth Senator Douglas's or my getting into a state about interest at 4 per cent. for six months on the amount of an award. I think we may say that the Minister can have that and welcome, that we will make him a present of it. The question really arises where the Minister makes an offer and the offer is accompanied by a reinstatement clause. It is quite clear that, in our present circumstances, the position of the person whose property was destroyed would be that he would have an offer from the Minister of a certain amount to reinstate his property and that he could not do it for a year, or perhaps two years, and in that period he ought to get interest on the money. That is not, as the Minister said, a consequential loss. The amendment does not contemplate compensation for consequential loss, but if there were compensation for consequential loss, the amendment would not be necessary.

On this question of the corporation, let me put two different cases to the Minister. We should not talk too much about the North Strand area because it should never be forgotten that this Bill and all its provisions apply not only to the North Strand, but to all future bombing and to areas entirely different in their nature from the North Strand. The corporation, I understand, are going to take over part of the bombed area for reconstruction, but not all of it, so that, even taking the North Strand area at the moment, you could easily have these two cases. If a person had a shop in the area which the corporation is going to take over, his position will be that the corporation will pay him in cash for taking over his premises compulsorily, but I think it is beyond all hope and beyond all reason that the corporation will compensate him on any better terms than he would have got under this Bill. I think we may take it that any competent City Manager or any common-sense arbitrator will refuse to give a person whose site is being taken over by the corporation any more than he would have got under the Bill, and I think we may be [2419] quite sure that this Bill will be cited before the arbitrator on behalf of the corporation to prevent any applicant from getting more from the corporation than he would have got from the State under the Bill.

That person will get cash and he will get it within a reasonable time— if he gets the Minister's decision within 12 months, he ought to be able to get the corporation's decision in a comparatively short space of time after that—but a person in the same area whose site is not going to be taken over by the corporation may have a reinstatement clause inserted by the Minister which he may accept, or, if he goes to the court, the court must insert a reinstatement clause and he will be out of his money and will get no interest. I think it is scarcely fair that two people in the same area should be in different positions, but in any event the only people who have a prospect of getting their money are those people upon whom no reinstatement clause is imposed, either by the Minister or by the court. Those people upon whom a reinstatement clause is imposed, whether in the North Strand area or any other area, are going to be out of their money for a considerable time and are going to have nothing at all in the interval. They are not being paid for consequential loss, except in a very limited way with regard to removal or storage of furniture or stock, but in this case they may be in the position that they have an award for £100, £1,000, £2,000 or £10,000. They have no business. Their means of livelihood is gone, and they cannot even get interest at the rate of 4 per cent. or, in fact, at any rate on money which the Minister, or the court, has determined ought to be eventually theirs. That is, I think, a very reasonable case. It only involves the payment of interest on money which the State, either through the Minister or through the court, has decided is due to the person concerned, and which the State does not pay. If the State pays, that ends it. If the State does not pay, it surely ought to pay interest.

[2420]Mr. Goulding: Information on Seán Goulding  Zoom on Seán Goulding  I have not examined this question very closely, but, listening to the statements of Senator Hayes and Senator Douglas, it would seem to be peculiarly hard that the person affected should be left without any means whatever during the interim period. A person, for example, may have been deriving an income from this property. It may be that he was solely dependent on that. It would be very hard if, during the interim period, that person were deprived of any income whatever from the property.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I think it is not at all unlikely, unless the people who have been in business are able to make other arrangements for the carrying on of their business during the interval which will elapse until the property is rebuilt in whole or in part, that they may be without the income which they normally derived from their property before it was destroyed by bombing. It is possible that some of them have already gone into business. They may have erected temporary structures or made other arrangements to enable them to carry on, so as to provide themselves with a means of livelihood. I know that some would probably have a difficulty in raising the necessary credit to enable them to do that. Such cases are unfortunately typical of the kind of thing that happens when people find themselves in the position of being the occupants of business, or other, premises in a bombed area. I wonder what about the people who were put out of business in 1922 and 1923? There was no provision made under the 1933 Act, or in any of the previous Acts, for the payment of interest to them. Some of those people were not paid compensation for 15 and 16 years, and were not allowed any interest.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  It was not decided until 1933 that they were entitled to compensation.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  No, but when it was decided that they were entitled to compensation no generous person came along to give them interest as well. I am informed that as a result [2421] of interest being paid under one Damage to Property Scheme—in the case of awards made by the Shaw Commission—it had the effect of encouraging dilatoriness. People were in no hurry in winding up their affairs or in bringing their claims to a conclusion. That was the experience of the Department.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  The last remark made by the Minister shows that he does not understand what I am asking. That may be partly due to my fault. I may not have made myself clear, or it may be partly due to the fact that I put the period of six months in my amendment. If I had known that the Minister was going to accept 12 months I would have put in that period when drafting my amendment. What I am asking has no relation to the question of dilatoriness. I want to secure that once the State undertakes to pay a man £1,000—I am taking that sum for the sake of argument—whether that is by agreement with the Minister or through action in the court, from the time that is agreed upon, until the money is paid, interest on it should be paid at the rate set out in the amendment. That, to my mind, is a perfectly clear and reasonable proposal, the kind of thing which, in business, would be regarded as ordinary equity. If I owe a certain sum of money and I am not able to pay it on the date it becomes due, and if I have to get the period extended by means of a bill or otherwise, I have to pay whatever interest may be agreed upon over the extended period. If what I am seeking is not as clear as it should be, that is because I did not get the Minister's amendments before I had drafted mine. If the State says that a man is entitled to £1,000, but that because of the war circumstances he cannot proceed to rebuild, or that for some other reason the claim cannot be paid, he should, in equity, since the State itself is saving interest, be paid ordinary interest.

I am not trying to embarrass the Minister. I feel very strongly about this because I am of the opinion that, since the State saves by delaying in making the payment, there should be interest paid to the person concerned [2422] over the period in question. This is not at all on a par with the question of consequential damage. The Minister referred to previous Acts. I am not familiar with the provisions of the 1933 Act, but it is because a certain amount of injustice did arise in connection with the earlier Acts that I feel so strongly we should not let anything of the kind occur again. I would remind the Minister that in a very large number of the cases that came before the Shaw Commission a measure of consequential damage had been previously paid by the White Cross, and with this help it was possible for people to make other arrangements for the carrying on of their business. The loans made to those people by the White Cross had to be paid out of the eventual compensation awarded, but only to the extent to which compensation was given. We had a substantial amount of money in that national organisation, and, as I have said, loans were made available in certain cases. There is no such organisation now. That may be used later as an argument when we come to the question of consequential damage. But, I think, it applies even in this case of interest that we are discussing. In connection with the claims that came before the Shaw Commission, the sums advanced, in quite a number of cases, were repaid to the White Cross Reconstruction Commission. The people concerned there had money all the time, so that the Minister's references to pre-Truce damage, and the dilatoriness of some of the people concerned, are not at all on a par with the case that we are discussing here. I am perfectly certain, as a business man, that if I admitted a debt of £1,000, and if for some reason or other I was not able to meet it on the date arranged, and an amicable agreement was made to postpone payment for a further period, I would agree, since I was saving interest, that the man I owed the money to should get the interest. It would be ordinary fair play, and that is what I am asking in this amendment.

I do not want to divide the House on many of these amendments, but I feel that on this question of the payment of [2423] interest from the time a claim is admitted until it is paid, I will have to do so, so that Senators may have the opportunity of being recorded as saying that the proposal is a reasonable one. I do not at all regard this as being in any way consequential damage. It is consequential only in the sense that there may be a reinstatement clause, or some other condition, which delays the making of the payment. That is all that I am after at the moment.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  I am not clear yet as to one point arising out of this discussion. If there is a reinstatement clause, can the claimant get no compensation until the premises are reinstated?

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Until they are in process of reinstatement.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  If they are in process of reinstatement, the claimant can get partial compensation?

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Only for the work actually done?

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Probably on the architect's certificate.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  The only delay in reinstatement will be due to the war and to the difficulty of getting supplies. If we were assured that, when the court decision was given, the applicant could go ahead with the work, no difficulty would arise. It is due to the fact that we cannot say that the applicant will be able to go ahead when the compensation is agreed upon that this difficulty arises. The whole crux is due to our lack of knowledge as to when the war will end.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  We are not sure that the parties concerned will be able to go ahead with the work even when the war ends. I am afraid that there will be difficulty in obtaining supplies, even then, due to shortages in England.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  I suppose that, generally speaking, the State does not pay interest in cases of this kind. If [2424] it does pay interest, under any circumstances, I think it would be only right interest should be paid in this case. However, I fancy the State is fairly conservative regarding the payment of interest on any money which it owes. If the State does allow interest in circumstances similar to those with which we are dealing, the unfortunate people who lost their all should, in this case, be paid interest. If there is any precedent for the payment of interest, I would ask the Minister to consider the claims of these people. If there is no precedent, I suppose the Minister will hardly establish one now. Since the money will be owing these people, it is only fair they should get interest on it if there is any precedent for such action.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Does the Senator know of any precedent for aerial bomb damage in Eire?

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  No. The State and the people should have special sympathy for those concerned in this incident because we do not know that it may not be our own case some other time.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I do not think that the question which arises in this case is one of sympathy; it is a question of equity as amongst different claimants. I know that it is not possible to make everything absolutely fair as amongst people who are bombed in this way. In the nature of things, some people will suffer more than others and nothing we can devise in legislation will make matters perfectly level. It is right that we should do whatever we can, particularly when the amount of money involved is comparatively small, to see that people who are bombed and who lose their property will be put in the same position. For instance, a man who gets money without a reinstatement clause is better off than a person who gets an award accompanied by a reinstatement condition. Similarly, a person whose property is taken over by the corporation and who has not to rebuild is better off than a person who has to rebuild his premises. All that is [2425] asked here is that from the time the award is made—the amendment can, I think, be amended so as to make the period 12 months after the receipt of the application—the claimant should be paid interest until he is in a position to use the money.

The point was made by the Minister that to insert this provision might encourage delay. It could not encourage delay because if the claimant delays in making his claim payment of his compensation and interest will be delayed. Within 12 months from the making of the application, the Minister must give a decision. All the amendment seeks is that, after application is made and after a decision is given by the Minister, interest should be paid if the money itself is not paid. I do not think that the amendment would encourage delay of any kind.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I do not agree with Senator Hayes when he suggests that the amount involved would be very small. We do not know how much it is likely to be. It is to be hoped we shall have no more bombings and no more damage to property, but, even to deal with the amount of property which has been damaged in Dublin and elsewhere, will entail very heavy expenditure. The amount that might be involved in the payment of interest might be small; we do not know. The payment of interest would, probably, encourage people to be dilatory. That was the office experience in the one type of case with which it had to deal—what Senator Hayes described as the Shaw Commission cases. There, interest was paid and it did mean a considerable delay.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Surely it could not occur in these circumstances?

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The Minister will make his award and he will have no interest, once the award is made, in not paying as quickly as possible. It will not be his desire to keep the money; he will be anxious to see the [2426] buildings restored as quickly as possible.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  But the people will not be able to get the materials.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  That is so, possibly, at the moment. Everybody knows that there is a great shortage of building materials at present. When that position will change will depend on when the war ends, and God only knows that. There will be no desire on the part of the Minister to withhold payment. If a reinstatement condition is attached to the award, in all probability that will mean a bigger award. If there is no reinstatement condition, that will be taken into consideration by the Minister of the court in making the award. Under Section 9 (1), paragraph (b), the price will be estimated in each case according to normal market conditions “as at the date of the award.” That would allow for consideration of the difficulty regarding the cost of building materials.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I respectfully suggest that the court would say that anything else was consequential on the damage and that it could not add to it. I cannot see any other reading so long as Section 10 remains in its present form.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I do not think it would be possible to get over Section 9 in that way. If there is to be reinstatement, the estimate will be on that basis and if I were responsible for administration in connection with the matter, I should have to bear that part of Section 9 in mind. Bearing in mind the conditions “at the date of the award”, if the award is made within six months and there is difficulty in purchasing materials, that will be taken into account. There is no precedent, so far as I am aware, save the precedent afforded by the Shaw Commission, for payment of interest in the way proposed.

Amendment put.

Baxter, Patrick F.
Brennan, Joseph.
Butler, John.
Campbell, Seán P.
Counihan, John J.
Cummins, William.
Douglas, James G.
Doyle, Patrick.
Foran, Thomas.
Hayes, Michael.
Hogan, Patrick.
Johnston, Joseph.
Keane, Sir John.
Madden, David J.
O'Connell, Thomas J.
Parkinson, James J.
Rowlette, Robert J.

Byrne, Christopher M.
Colbert, Michael.
Concannon, Helena.
Goulding, Seán.
Hawkins, Frederick.
Hayes, Seán.
Healy, Denis D.
Johnston, James.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kennedy, Margaret L.
Lynch, Peter T.
MacCabe, Dominick.
Mac Fhionnlaoich, Peadar
(Cú Uladh).
Magennis, William.
O Buachalla, Liam.
O'Donovan, Seán.
O'Dwyer, Martin.
O'Neill, Laurence.
Nic Phiarais, Maighréad M.
Quirke, William.
Stafford, Matthew.
Tunney, James.

Amendment declared lost.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I move amendment No. 15:—

In page 5, Section 5, sub-section (2), to add a new paragraph (f) as follows:—

(f) any offer made under this section shall be deemed to have been accepted or rejected on the date on which a communication to the Minister has been posted either accepting or rejecting such offer.

This is not a matter of much importance and it may be that the substance of the amendment is implied in the fact that an address is given. I want to be quite clear that there shall be no dispute as to what was the date of the acceptance or the rejection of the offer. I am inclined to think that as the words “in writing” have been inserted by the Minister and as the postal address has been inserted, this amendment is not now necessary.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I am advised that it is not necessary and that it is covered by Section 18 of the Interpretation Act, which lays down that service is deemed to have been effected at the time the relevant document is delivered in the ordinary course of post.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I am much obliged to the Minister. I do not propose to press the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Government amendment No. 16:—

In page 5, Section 5, before sub-section (3), to insert a new sub-section as follows:—

(3) Any specified sum of compensation under this Act offered by the Minister under this section may, if the Minister so thinks fit, include a sum in respect of the costs incurred by the applicant in respect of the application to the Minister.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  This amendment is introduced to make it clear that a sum in respect of costs incurred by the applicant may, in suitable cases, be included in the compensation offered by the Minister.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I think this is a very great improvement and I welcome the Minister's proposal to insert this clause. I should like to ask him [2429] whether architects' fees would be allowable. I was asked to raise this point. In the case of fire insurance, in the total sum allowed for building, architects' fees are regarded as part of necessary expenses.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  That is an expense, in my opinion, which should be allowed.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Amendments Nos. 17 and 18 in my name are consequential on one not previously moved. I could make a slightly different case in respect to amendment No. 18 but I imagine the result would be the same.

Amendments Nos. 17 and 18 not moved.

Sir John Keane: Information on John Keane  Zoom on John Keane  In view of the amendments introduced by the Government, I would ask leave to withdraw amendment No. 19 which stands in my name.

Amendment No. 19 not moved.

Government amendment No. 20:—

In page 7, Section 8, in paragraph (a) to delete sub-paragraphs (i) and (ii).

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I would suggest that we discuss on this amendment, the amendments immediately following it.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  It is hardly necessary to say anything in regard to this amendment.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Perhaps I might say as one responsible for some later amendments that the proposals made by the Minister, in so far as sub-paragraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) are concerned, seem to me perfectly satisfactory. I think the principle introduced by the Minister that, as far as larger items are concerned, they should have been insured against fire or theft is a perfectly reasonable one. I do not see how anybody could suggest that the State should compensate for articles of the kind mentioned in these sections, if the owners had not gone to the trouble [2430] of insuring them against fire or theft. This test seems to me a very good idea and it might be extended perhaps to other parts of the Bill. I am not, however, quite satisfied with the Minister's attitude in regard to sub-paragraph (iv). Unless I have failed to grasp the meaning of the amendment, he seems to have, in effect, done nothing in regard to paragraph (iv). I still think that where a business is carrying on a postal trade and obtains almost all its daily receipts from postal orders and post office money orders, it is very unfair to exclude claims in respect of such orders. I have in mind a big business, not one that has been damaged, which has a specific insurance policy to cover its daily receipts. That policy covers cash, whether coins, notes, postal orders or cheques where they would be lost. In most cases the cheques would not be lost, but they are specifically covered. The Minister may have some reason which I cannot see for excluding postal orders. It seems to me that if the postal orders and the money orders are Irish orders the State is going to gain if such orders disappear or are lost. The money will then become the property of the State. There may be some difficulties involved, but it seems to me that up to the limit to which cash is permitted in respect of a business, possibly subject to some insurance clause, postal orders should be included within the categories of articles for which compensation may be claimed.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I do not know if Senator Douglas proposes to discuss this matter in connection with amendment No. 27.

Leas-Chathaoirleach:  I think the House might discuss all these amendments up to 28 together.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The Department of Posts and Telegraphs, as stated before, is prepared to make payment in respect of postal orders or money orders destroyed or burned, in case there is any satisfactory evidence available to prove the loss. That being so, I did not think it was necessary to cover money orders or postal orders in [2431] the same way as other items have been covered. The same applies to currency notes and bank notes. In regard to the Currency Commission, they will, on satisfactory evidence being produced, carry out the policy they have always carried out where evidence is available of loss or destruction of currency notes. If they are satisfied that they were in the possession or ownership of an individual they are prepared to refund.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Where the claimants are in a position to claim from the Post Office, they are not at a loss and do not come under the Bill at all. That is the position in regard to insurance companies. Insurance companies will not pay you for anything you can get refunded elsewhere, because it is not a loss and you cannot get paid twice. I am only concerned with the cases where they cannot be reclaimed. There are a limited number of persons here whose business is almost entirely postal and who would depend on the postal orders. Whereas in a large number of cases they would be able to claim, there may be cases where they would not, and, strange to say, the reason given by the Minister seems to be a reason why they should not be excluded. It is only in the cases where they would not be refunded that they would be in a position to claim.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  I merely rise as amendments Nos. 22 and 25 stand in my name. They were designed to cover what is dealt with by Government amendment No. 24.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  With your permission, there is one verbal change I should like to make in amendment No. 24—to add at the end the words “as a philatelic dealer”.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Does that mean that a person who, in the course of his trade, has to keep stamps such as a person carrying on a postal trade, cannot claim for loss of stamps? If that is so, the State will have gained by what is his loss. It seems to me that, whereas in the case of a private house there would be the danger that somebody would say that he had a [2432] greater amount of stamps than he had, and it is not reasonable to carry a large stock of stamps in a private house, it is reasonable in the course of trade. I suggest that the amendment as it stands is very much more fair. There will be only a limited number who carry stamps in the course of trade and, where they do so, it seems to be reasonable to pay compensation. On the question of proof, it would be difficult for the persons carrying the stamps to give the requisite proof in order to sustain their claim. They would only be able to do it by producing evidence that they had regularly kept a similar amount. Otherwise, I am certain an insurance company would not look at them, and I am sure the Department of Finance would behave similarly.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  If they are ordinarily and regularly kept in the course of trade, I am informed the post office would refund. If they were satisfied that a certain amount, whether £1 or £5 worth, of postage or health insurance or unemployment insurance stamps, or any other kind of stamps were kept, the person would normally be repaid.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Joseph Brennan  Zoom on Joseph Brennan  If you add the words proposed by the Minister compensation would only be given to a philatelic dealer and not, say, to shops such as departmental stores which have a philatelic department, although it would be part of their stock-in-trade.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I ask the Minister to let the amendment stand as it is. It will only occur in rare cases. There will have to be proof that it is bona fide stock-in-trade.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  This amendment is meant to cover all the people who would be dealing in stamps, whether that is their whole business or part of a business, such as the kind of omnibus trade we have in Dublin and some other parts of the country. It would include a department dealing in stamps. It would cover all that type of trade.

[2433]Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I must say I am rather on the side of the Minister. I do not know how the additional words he wants to put in will restrict what he is trying to do. Senator Douglas wants to give compensation to a person who is a collector or a dealer in strange or foreign postage stamps. I think if you add after the words “stock-in-trade” the words “as a philatelic dealer” you are making assurance doubly sure.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  That is the desire.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I do not think you are taking anything from it. If you want to give compensation for stamps in the ordinary way, that is another day's work.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I will be frank. If a business has normally got a substantial stock of stamps owing to the fact that the business is a postal one, I suggest that that is just as important and as much part of the business as drapery or some other class of goods and that it is not fair to exclude it. They will have to prove to the court that it was part of their stock-in-trade. As the amendment stands, for fear somebody would satisfy the court or possibly satisfy the Minister or his successor that stamps which they held for putting on envelopes in the course of ordinary business were stock-in-trade, the Minister wants to add the words “as a philatelic dealer”. It is better as it stands, where as part of the trade it is necessary to carry a stock of stamps. If the Minister says that he will not do that, well I will not divide the House upon it, and we must agree to his additional amendment. The question of a philatelic collection which I raised in my amendment is met. The question of a philatelic dealer is also met.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I do not want to exclude the trader who keeps a stock of stamps ordinarily in the course of his business from getting compensation but I do maintain that if a person, who has a small business or a large business as the case may be, is in the habit of getting from the nearest post office or the General Post Office every week £5, [2434] £10 or £100 worth of stamps, the fact that the messenger who buys the stamps, or the person in charge of the petty cash who pays for them, makes an affidavit that that amount of stamps had been purchased the day before the premises were destroyed would be sufficient evidence, and the post office, I take it, would refund.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  It is really a question of whether the Minister for Finance or the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs should pay. It comes out of the Exchequer in any event. I would rather have it in the Bill, but I am not going to worry as to which Minister pays it.

Amendment put and agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 21, 22 and 23 not moved.

The following Government amendment, No. 24, as amended by the addition of the words “as a philatelic dealer”, was agreed to:—

In page 7, Section 8, in paragraph (a), line 13, after word “stamps” to add the words “other than any such stamps forming or included in a philatelic collection or kept by the owner as part of his stock-in-trade as a philatelic dealer.”

Amendments Nos. 25 and 26 not moved.

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

In page 7, Section 8, paragraph (a), sub-paragraph (iv) to add to the subparagraph the words “otherwise than those held in the normal course of trade”.

With regard to this amendment what the Minister said a few minutes ago, I take it, meant that Irish postal orders could be repaid here, but if British or belonging to some other country it was doubtful, as he did not see why he should repay them. If this applied to an ordinary private house, where it would be a rare occurrence, I would not have raised this matter, because it would be a small one, but in the few cases where you have business carried on by post, and where the daily receipts are postal orders from various [2435] parts, and from Britain and Northern Ireland, it seems to me to be a pity to exclude them. It is a small point to err on the side of exclusion where we could afford to deal with them. I will not press the matter if the Minister will not budge, but I think he has not been as reasonable here as in the rest of the sections.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  On the whole I have not been unreasonable with regard to the amendments.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I agree as regards this section except as far as this amendment is concerned.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Government amendment No. 28:—

In page 7, Section 8, before paragraph (b) to insert three new paragraphs as follows:—

(b) the aggregate amount of the compensation awarded or payable in respect of watches, jewellery and articles of personal ornament (other than any such articles which were kept by the owner as part of his stock-in-trade or were, when the injury occurred, specifically insured against loss by at least one of the following, viz.:—fire, burglary, and theft, whether such insurance did or did not apply to the injury) injured in any one injury shall not exceed 5 per cent. of the total amount of compensation under this Act awarded in respect of property (other than buildings and other than chattels to which either this paragraph or the next following paragraph of this section applies) injured by that injury;

(c) the aggregate amount of the compensation awarded or payable in respect of coins, legal tender and other government notes, bank notes, and other currency of this or any other country (other than any such articles which were, when the injury occurred, expressly insured against loss by at least one of the following, viz:—fire, burglary, and theft, whether such insurance did or did not apply to [2436] the injury) shall not exceed five per cent. of the total amount of compensation under this Act awarded in respect of property (other than buildings and other than chattels to which either this paragraph or the next preceding paragraph of this section applies) injured by that injury or the sum of twenty-five pounds, whichever is the lesser;

(d) the amount of compensation in respect of any chattel which is excluded from either of the two next preceding paragraphs of this section by reason of its being insured in the manner mentioned in that paragraph shall not exceed the sum for which it is so insured;

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I move amendment No. 29:—

In page 8, before Section 10, to insert a new Section 10 as follows:—

10.—Compensation under this Act (whether awarded by the Minister or by the Court) in respect of an injury to which this Act applies shall be awarded in respect of the actual damage done to property and such consequential loss as in the opinion of the Minister is reasonable having regard to the circumstances of each particular case. The decision of the Minister in regard to consequential loss shall be final, but before making his decision the Minister shall have reference to the standards applied by insurance companies in assessing claims under consequential loss policies.

The Minister says that he has been reasonable about certain amendments. We will have to agree that he has been reasonable. The Bill as originally introduced made no provision at all to meet consequential loss of any kind whatever. Then the Minister in the other House inserted a sub-section in Section 10, by which, for housing accommodation, cost of removal of furniture, storage of any movable article, he provided compensation up to a limit of £30. In the Dáil he made that £50, and on the last occasion here he promised to compensate for that [2437] particular kind of consequential loss at the discretion of the Minister, if the expenditure was reasonably incurred. He brought in an amendment to-day which is a very faithful fulfilment of that promise. On the question of consequential loss, any person who has been a member of a Government even for a short time and anybody who listened to a Minister for Finance over a long period, as I have done, will appreciate that the Minister does not want to open wide the door for consequential loss and have himself involved in an immense number of claims. I know that that is what he will tell me would result from the adoption of this amendment. I am proposing that compensation be given for—

“actual damage done to property and such consequential loss as in the opinion of the Minister is reasonable having regard to the circumstances of each particular case”.

I am entirely in agreement that consequential loss should not form part of the court proceedings; that consequential loss, if it is to be compensated for at all, should be at the discretion of the Minister.

Even with the limited amount of damage done already—and it has been very limited—an extraordinary variety of consequential loss, some of which everyone will agree ought to be compensated for, has been brought to my notice. I feel that the Minister ought to take power to give compensation at his discretion, having regard to the circumstances of each particular case. In doing that I am not binding the Minister to make payment for every possible kind of consequential loss. I am suggesting that he should make compensation in the circumstances of each particular case, and that he should do so having regard to the principle of consequential loss in insurance policies. There are several examples. There are people who lose wages owing to destruction of premises. Nobody will suggest that a person who loses wages should, so to speak, automatically go upon the State for his wages, but there are cases where a person will lose employment, and will [2438] find himself for a period without a job or without any other job which he could reasonably take. He might be entitled to some compensation in that position. He would certainly be entitled to more than ordinary unemployment insurance. Take the case of another person working for himself. Assume that a shoemaker, running a small business, having an electric machine from the Electricity Supply Board and customers, now largely removed, in the surrounding area, was able to make £4 or £5 weekly. That man's machine is destroyed and he finds it impossible to get another one, or to secure premises in the area into which the Electricity Supply Board would be prepared to put a machine or into which the corporation would allow it. His loss would be pretty substantial. When a person loses property or a house he gets fairly full compensation, but the man who loses a machine by which he made his livelihood gets no compensation for the loss he experiences while adjusting himself to new conditions.

Take the case of people who own a certain amount of property from which they get rents. They are proved to the satisfaction of the Minister to have had a certain amount of property but are comparatively poor people, with a profit of £3 or £4 a week to live on. They would get compensation for the property, which may be reinstated. In the kind of case I am thinking of it is unlikely that the house would ever be rebuilt in the original form but it would be taken over by the local authorities. The people may get compensation after a certain period, but in the intervening period some of them are in the position of the man who lost his job, as they would have lost their livelihood. The Minister should have discretion to make a payment in that case without binding himself to meet the entire loss. There are cases of that kind which might involve considerable hardship, but not the hardship which would accrue to a person owning a considerable amount of property, who will be awarded compensation for the portion destroyed. There are great inequalities in this [2439] matter. Take the case of a person who lives in a house which he owns. He would get compensation, under Section 10, as redrafted, for furniture removal, and for rent in the interim before reconstruction. Take a different type of house-owner of which there are numbers in the city who lives in a house and rents rooms or a flat. That person is in the same position as the shoemaker and his machine and under this Bill has no chance of getting any kind of compensation. He loses the house and also loses his livelihood, as well as a certain amount of goodwill which can never be restored to him, whereas the ordinary occupier, the person earning a wage or a salary will in the end be put in much the same position as he was before. A widow who made a living that way and who lost a house would be left without compensation. There are cases of people living in houses rent-free and tax-free, but at the same time making some profit out of them. When the house is destroyed they find themselves in the position of having to secure alternative accommodation, and to pay for it, with no compensation for the property beyond the provision in the Bill. I am aware of the difficulty in framing any kind of section which would enable the court to decide these matters.

I am, therefore, suggesting to the Minister to take it entirely out of the purview of the court and entirely into the discretion of the Minister, just as, in another matter, he mentioned that the Minister's award should be final. I am not bound to my own wording, but wish to make some arrangements whereby he could make payment where it appears to him that, in the circumstances of a particular case, payment should be made for consequential loss. I merely put down this wording for the purpose of raising this matter and having it discussed, and in an endeavour to persuade the Minister that, even without going so far as this amendment indicates, he might do something to enable him to meet the very hard kind of case I have mentioned—the case of a man who loses his living and that of a man or woman [2440] whose house was their living. Our experience up to the present has led us to the certainty that there are very difficult and harsh cases. I suggest that something should be done to meet these, without opening wide the door and allowing everybody who thinks he has a claim for consequential loss to come before a court to vindicate it.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I am afraid I cannot accept the amendment. I thought I was going a long distance to meet Senator Hayes and others who spoke the last day in favour of more generous treatment for certain consequential losses covered by Section 10, in introducing the amendment in my name on the Order Paper to-day. This further amendment by Senator Hayes would mean that consequential loss would have to be paid without restriction as to category.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  It might be paid.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Probably it would have to be paid. Imagine the position of any Minister for Finance with power to pay. He would be in a very difficult and invidious position.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Others might not be as soft-hearted as the present Minister.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I hope that as far as the finances of the State are concerned, I will not be accused of being soft-hearted. I do not think any Minister for Finance could face the barrage to which he would be subjected to open the door wider and wider. At any rate, the Bill, as brought in originally and still as regards 99 per cent. of its provisions, maintains the principle of not involving payment for consequential losses. Certainly, I did admit that there were hardships in cases brought specially to my notice as T.D. for part of the district concerned and officially as Minister for Finance; and I had to agree that it was necessary in justice and equity to make provision for them. I cannot see my way to go further than I have agreed to go in accepting a certain wording by Senator Hayes in the course of the discussion on the last day here.

[2441] I know that there have been hardships, and that there are hardships existing now. I am quite satisfied that the types of cases that Senator Hayes has in mind—perhaps individual cases which have been brought to his notice —probably do exist, but, if we once open the door to further payments for consequential loss, then it is hard to know where it will land us. I cannot face what that probably would mean, as I see matters at present, even with the restrictions suggested by Senator Hayes himself, and even leaving the Minister as the final arbiter in the matter. No Minister—least of all, myself—would like to be put in that position. As I have said over and over again, I hate the idea of its being suggested to me that I am acting unjustly. I would not like that to be thought in the House, but in all the circumstances, considering all the consequences that would flow from the widening of the door already opened to a certain extent as regards compensation for consequential loss, I believe it would mean such difficulties that I dare not face the consequences.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Nobody on any side of the House accuses the Minister of being deliberately unjust, and if we have to argue with regard to certain matters in this Bill that seem to us to be unjust, we are not making anything in the nature of a personal attack on the Minister. I would like to say I am satisfied that, from no side of the House, is this being debated in the sense of a Party measure, and I do not think anyone has tried to make capital or obtain publicity out of it. Secondly, the Minister has met criticisms and has tried to meet them. If some of us still feel that he is making a genuine mistake in not going further, and that he will regret it afterwards, that is not meant in the nature of bad faith, and is not a suggestion that he is not anxious to prevent hardship.

I would go further than Senator Hayes, as I do not think his amendment goes far enough. Nevertheless, I do appreciate that the Minister must have certain limits. I never have agreed that those limits would be difficult to frame in an Act of Parliament. [2442] Anyone who examines an ordinary fire (loss of profits) policy for a business will find in a comparatively short space—not in a few words, but certainly in a space which could easily fit into an Act of Parliament—that there are very definite limits to the consequential loss which can be paid under such policies. It seems to me that it is not only not fair but not in the public interest to exclude completely such loss simply and solely because it is consequential or because it does not come within the very narrow limits of Section 10, sub-section (2), even as amended by the Minister. The Minister's amendment to sub-section (2) goes a long way to meet the private individual who is living in the area or who may live in another area and who has to move to another place.

There is every reasonable chance that that private individual will be fairly treated under the Bill as it is being amended to-day by the acceptance of the Minister's proposals.

It completely excludes other types which seem to me of real importance. Let us take the case of businesses in the area that was bombed or in areas which may be bombed in future. I accept definitely that you could not agree that if they simply sat there and did nothing they were to have unlimited compensation until such time as somebody would put a house for them, but what I do suggest is that if you are giving compensation at all you should give such compensation as will make it possible for these people to start again and, as far as is possible, to make them as well off though no better off than they were before the bombing. I mean financially. Unfortunately, we cannot deal with the mental and physical strain on people who had the misfortune to be in the bombed areas.

If my business is destroyed by fire I am not entitled, under the policy I have, to unlimited compensation against loss of profits, but I am entitled to compensation against loss of profits for a short period to enable me to start somewhere else. It is not a sufficient period to enable me to completely rebuild, but it enables me to carry on in the meantime, and as is [2443] usual under a loss of profits policy, it enables me to maintain a considerable portion of my staff and to pay their salaries while they are assisting me in finding alternative or temporary premises, so that the business will be maintained.

I am convinced that if this Bill is passed as it stands now, in two or three years' time we will be ashamed of the fact that in this particular area in Dublin, assuming we have no more bombing, people who had trades were left there until the place could be rebuilt, with nothing whatever but the hope of compensation to rebuild their premises and to replace their stock at some future date—with nothing whatever to enable them to carry on. The individual who resided there will have some compensation under sub-section (2) and I have no doubt the Minister will be just and reasonable as far as the operation of that section is concerned. His attitude here shows that that is his intention. But the people who have business premises can get nothing. I do not for a moment suggest that they should get compensation for loss of profits for a long period, but I do suggest that they should get the equivalent of profits to enable them to get started and to carry on the business in some other place, if they are willing to do it.

I do not want to take a lot of instances but in connection with this question of consequential loss I want to tell the Minister that since the last meeting of the Seanad I have been given a definite case of a lady who owns property which has been destroyed. This lady has been told by the rates officer of the Dublin Corporation that she must pay the rates because whoever dropped the bombs did not drop them before April 5th, that if they had been dropped before April 5th she would not be liable but because it was after April 5th she must pay the rates for this year. Is it just to ask that person to pay the rates, which go to another public body, and to give her no compensation whatever for it? This happens to be a lady to whom I referred before, who has lost a very [2444] substantial number of houses. It is her livelihood. She is faced now with a demand that she must pay and if she does not pay now she will have to pay arrears later on. When she can rebuild these houses, I do not know, but in consultation with architects and others, I think three or four years is the best we can reasonably hope for. Why should not the Minister take such powers as would be given, at any rate, under Senator Hayes's amendment to deal with a case of that kind?

Take a completely different case—the case briefly referred to by Senator Hayes, but about which, it seems to me, he might have said a lot more, and about which I propose to say something. He referred to a boot repairer. As a result of damage to the premises where he worked he had to move elsewhere. He succeeded in getting another premises which would enable him to go on with his job, but the work he did depended on the operation of a three-phase machine. The wiring in the new premises would not work the three-phase machine, and the Electricity Supply Board refused, under present conditions, to put in the stronger wiring if the corporation operate the machine. This is a man who has been bombed out. As I understand, the reason they gave was that he could buy a one-phase machine from them. According to my information they said that they would put in the stronger wiring if the Corporation agreed, but they could not get that consent. This unfortunate man tried to buy a one-phase machine on the hire purchase, and because of the circumstances and the fact that he had been bombed out, the only thing he could offer as security was the three-phase machine which he was operating.

The Electricity Supply Board would not give him a one-phase machine on hire purchase, and so, instead of earning £4 a week, this man is now earning barely 25/- a week for himself and his family. There is loss consequential on the bombing, and also consequential on the strict interpretation of by laws by the Electricity Supply Board and the corporation. I believe that that is the kind of thing the Minister would like to deal with. I cannot see that he can [2445] deal with it under sub-section (2). I think that is a completely different case, which is more or less a scandal.

If these people are going to be left there just for fear we may open a door too wide, I say that I believe some day the Oireachtas of this State will be ashamed of the fact that after one serious bombing, they allowed these people to be left for two or three years without a way of earning a decent livelihood. I have much sympathy with the Minister and I assure him I do appreciate the way he has met us, and I would like him to believe that I am speaking as I am now partly because of my previous experience, partly because I did see what people suffered from previous destruction and because I feel there is a matter which I would call justice, but if we leave out the word “justice” for fear of being misunderstood, I feel it is a reasonable duty of the State. I do not believe it is beyond the wit of the draftsman to provide for a kind of consequential damage which would be limited and which would be such as could have been insured under a loss of profits policy or such as would be covered under an ordinary fire policy, which does not cover a great deal of consequential damage but usually covers a certain amount.

I suppose it is too late now to make an appeal to the Minister, but I would appeal to the House. Is the Seanad really satisfied that we should cut this out? Is the Seanad satisfied that we should not send back, with full respect to the Minister, a message to the Dáil that we think there should be some consequential damage put in this Bill? I believe there ought to be. I believe a genuine mistake is being made. I believe it is being made in good faith; I believe it is due to unnecessary fear, but I believe this is just one of the cases where we cannot afford, simply for fear it might involve too much expenditure, to treat people in a way which they will feel is unfair.

Mr. Baxter: Information on Patrick Francis Baxter  Zoom on Patrick Francis Baxter  I have not previously intervened in this debate but I must say that I fully appreciate the industry displayed by Senator Douglas and Senator Hayes and the manner in [2446] which the Minister has met every case which has been raised. The tone and temper of the discussion has been pleasing to every Senator, whether he has been taking part in it or is merely a listener, as I have been. I should like the Minister to accept the amendment, to reconsider the decision which apparently he has taken.

I think Senator Douglas has made a case which is unanswerable. The Minister argues, not on the basis of the justice or the right of claimants to consequential loss, but rather because of the fear that the burden for the State is going to be too heavy. There is a question of morality involved in this, and, if we are to take a decision on such a question, we have to ask ourselves on whom are we going to impose the greater burden. Pursuing the Minister's line, you will definitely impose a burden on a number of people, the consequences of which you cannot see at the moment. It may mean the breaking of some families or the health of responsible members of families. I do not think the acceptance of this amendment will break the State. It would take much more than that to break the State. It is a decision that the Minister could take with the full support of the House and, I believe, of the Dáil as well.

I am convinced of the justice of the plea made by Senator Hayes, and supported by Senator Douglas. I suggest that it is merely a question of expediency that the Minister is going to decide against. He feels he is going to open the door too widely, and that he will have a flood of claims that the State can hardly bear. If you are going to rule out people whose claims are so just that you could not turn them down, if you are going to prevent their claims being heard, and adequate compensation being paid, simply because other people may make claims which are not sustainable, that is scarcely reasonable. In my opinion, you should leave the door open.

I wonder what would happen in case a bomb fell on some extensive farming premises. Has there been any consideration of the consequential loss [2447] which might be involved in an occurrence of that sort? In an agricultural paper issued recently I read a very interesting letter from a County Dublin farmer who has 120 dairy cows. He talks of the cows yielding five gallons each a day. I know that farmer, and I know his premises. I assume that he is selling the highest grade milk at not less than 2/- a gallon. One bomb might destroy that premises and 120 valuable cows, and do away with an immense income. So far as I know, there is no provision for any consequential loss which that farmer would suffer if his premises were bombed. Has any consideration been given to a case of that type? Quite conceivably such a case might arise.

I know this problem is a very troublesome one for people who have had to destroy cattle because of foot-and-mouth disease. It is really a matter of major importance. In many cases the result will be that the value put on stock and paid to the farmer will be eaten up before the farmer is able to get back again to business. That would be disastrous for farming generally if it were to be in any sense widespread. I do not know if such an occurrence as that has been brought to the Minister's notice. Has he given any consideration to the possibility of a bomb destroying a cowshed in which there are cows capable of yielding 800 gallons of milk a year, milk which could be sold at 2/- a gallon? The consequential loss in such a case would be very serious. The Minister should undoubtedly make some provision for an incident of that type.

Let us hope that the State will not have to meet so many of those claims as would make it quite impossible for the Minister to deal adequately with them. But if he has to decide between turning down cases where obviously, by so doing, he would not be dealing fairly with the claimant, or leaving the door open to people making unlimited claims, claims that he will have an opportunity of turning down, then I suggest he ought to leave the door open. One can appreciate the Minister's rather conservative attitude because of what [2448] he thinks the State can carry in future. The State can carry just as much as its citizens collectively are able to carry, and they will carry what we make it possible for them to carry. If we put them out of production and do not give them a chance of getting back again into production, the total capacity of the State to carry burdens is reduced to the extent to which the capacity of each individual is reduced.

Mr. Quirke: Information on William Quirke  Zoom on William Quirke  I should like the people who are supporting this amendment to visualise the position if it were accepted. I cannot imagine what would be an adequate description of consequential loss. As soon as a case would come to be decided by the Minister, would he be approached by various Deputies and Senators anxious to point out to him what a very serious case it was and the terrible hardship imposed on the individual concerned? It would be very hard to decide where to draw the line. Are you to compensate people who have lost members of their families? If you are to be consistent, you must do that.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That will be done; compensation will be given, under another scheme, for the loss of a person who had dependents.

Mr. Quirke: Information on William Quirke  Zoom on William Quirke  That is a different matter. If we were to follow this to its logical conclusion, we could put up an argument in support of consequential loss in connection with foot and mouth disease. We could argue that where people lose a herd of dairy cows they are compensated for the standard value of the cows, and I should like to know from Senator Baxter what value he would put on a herd of dairy cows from the point of view of consequential loss. Would he put the matter in the hands of the Minister for Agriculture, who would be the sole authority? I suggest the people supporting this amendment ought not to press it. I think the Minister's attitude is reasonable.

Sir John Keane: Information on John Keane  Zoom on John Keane  I have great difficulty on this point. The only thing I can see, looking at it in a rather rough way, is that no man should be put on the rates or deprived of his bare livelihood [2449] by reason of bomb damage. I do not see why the Minister should not, in his own discretion, work within the reasonable limits of that test. It is not so much what a person loses as what a person really needs for a livelihood. Senator Douglas mentioned the case of a man earning so much a week, but even the Minister might say: “I cannot give you all you earned before. I think you were earning more than was necessary for your livelihood, but so far as your livelihood is concerned, I feel that you should be met,” the principle being that nobody should be made to go to the public assistance officer by reason of any damage he suffered owing to bombing.

Mr. MacCabe: Information on Dominick MacCabe  Zoom on Dominick MacCabe  I have in mind the case of the bombing at Campile. That creamery was bombed and lives, unfortunately, were lost, but some hands there were not killed, and these have had to leave the place because there was no work for them. The assistant manager is still idle and has lost his livelihood. He has made every effort to get a position, but has failed, and I think he should be considered as a case for compensation because, through no fault of his own, he has lost his position. He was a first-class qualified man and, as I have said, has since failed to get a position. Cases of that kind— and there are probably similar cases in Dublin—of men who were working hard and getting on, and who have lost their position, should be considered. As Senator Sir John Keane says, they should not be put on the rates. The Government should be manly enough to compensate them, at least for the present, until they get some means of livelihood.

Professor Johnston: Information on Joseph Johnston  Zoom on Joseph Johnston  I support the amendment. It does not propose to open wide the door, but only that it should be left slightly ajar, and that the Minister should stand as a kind of Cerberus or watch-dog at the door. The Minister, I think, has not enough confidence in himself, if he doubts his ability to say “no” if the public in-interest requires that “no” should be said. We all have the greatest respect for the Minister and for his capacity to fight, and to say “no” if “no” is [2450] the right thing to say, and I think he might easily share that confidence which we have in him and accept this amendment.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  The subject matter of this amendment is certainly very wide. We would all like the Minister, or rather the State, to make some provision for consequential losses, but if I were Minister for Finance, which I never will be, I would not accept the amendment as it is proposed because it would open the door for everybody to use brow-beating methods to get an ex-gratia grant from the Minister. I should not like to see the Minister in that position at all. I would rather have set down in black and white in the Act what the system of estimation of consequential losses should be. To leave it to the Minister himself, I think would put the Minister in the position that everyone of us could afterwards say: “You paid compensation to So-and-so and you did not pay it to somebody else”, and we would have people mean enough to say that, for political reasons, one applicant got compensation, while another did not. I think that would be a wrong position for the Minister to be in.

Everyone of us feels that there have been great hardships and the possibility stares us in the face that there may be greater, or as great, hardships in the future. I was glad that Senator Baxter brought this matter into the country because we do not know where similar incidents may occur in the future. The outlook of the man in the country as well as the man in the city is involved, though it is assumed that the cities and coastal towns are the more likely to suffer damage. The fact remains, however, that any portion of the country may suffer from one of these incidents. Senator Baxter may be glad to know that the highest grade milk producers who lost their stock through the foot and mouth disease are back in business again, but there is this difference, that they got their money straight away, and, as soon as the restrictions were removed, were able to get back into business.

Mr. Baxter: Information on Patrick Francis Baxter  Zoom on Patrick Francis Baxter  But not into T.T. grade milk.

[2451]Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  The highest grade milk producers have started again.

Mr. Baxter: Information on Patrick Francis Baxter  Zoom on Patrick Francis Baxter  With tuberculin-tested cattle?

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  Yes.

Mr. Baxter: Information on Patrick Francis Baxter  Zoom on Patrick Francis Baxter  Good.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  And they are delivering in the City of Dublin. The fact is, however, that they got compensation—there was no allowance for consequential losses in respect of foot and mouth compensation—and got their money immediately. The moment the restrictions were withdrawn, they were able to get back into business. In the case we are discussing, a person who gets compensation might not be able to start immediately to rebuild his premises in order to enable him to get back into business. There is that difference certainly.

Senator Douglas mentioned consequential losses from the trader's or businessman's point of view and other speakers have mentioned the consequential losses of employers and others. We should all like to satisfy everybody and I regret that the State, as represented by the Minister, cannot go any further. On the other hand, we on this side are here to help and support the Minister. We should like to convince him, with the people on the opposite side, of the necessity for doing as well as he can, but, if this amendment is put to a division, I must support the Minister. I do not think we can go any further in inducing him to be more soft-hearted.

We all realise that there have been hardships and we should all like to see difficulties rectified. We are all prepared to talk about it, and, I assume, to pay for it, but the man with the purse insists that we are going too far in trying to provide for these payments. The victims of the bombing incidents are people to whom our hearts went out in generosity of action and generosity of subscription, and our hope is that we shall not have any more of these incidents. I think we are all quite satisfied that we want to be as generous as we can to those who [2452] have suffered damage and to those people who have suffered in their persons, but if the Minister says: “So far shall I go and no further”, I am afraid that I shall have to decide to support his point of view, but more or less unwillingly.

Professor Magennis: Information on Professor William Magennis  Zoom on Professor William Magennis  Senator O'Donovan says that if this amendment goes to a division he must vote against it. It prompts me to ask both him and others: Why should the amendment go to a division? Whatever may be urged in the way of meticulous criticism of the wording of the amendment, every reasonable man, it seems to me, must say that the speech with which Senator Hayes recommended it was thoroughly convincing, and the conviction was deepened, in my case, by the speech of Senator Douglas. The Minister, as is quite proper in view of his high responsibility, is acting very strictly, even rigorously, and indeed as sternly as it is possible for a man of his temperament, but I would ask him—what is the principle that rules in the case of compensation to dependents for the loss of their breadwinner? Consider that fairly and squarely, and then take the incident that Senator Hayes put before us in outline, and that Senator Douglas gave us in detail. What has the man lost? He has lost the instrument they referred to, not merely a piece of property, but the instrument with which he had been making his living. Senators remember the famous passage: “You take my life when you take the means by which I live.” A widow who has a house over her head maintains the home by having the remainder of the premises let in flats. If that fabric is destroyed by a bomb, does she lose the house, or lose the instrument whereby she maintains the home?

It is quite easy, I think, for anybody who approaches the matter sympathetically—and that is exactly what the Minister would do in the case of these applications—to distinguish between what is really consequential damage. Consequential damage, in the eyes of a lawyer, is either direct or remote. I have myself heard applications dismissed in court on the grounds that the [2453] damage was too remote. “Too remote” is an accepted legal formula, but here the damage is not remote. I cannot see that there is a separation possible, in point of fact, between the damage and what we have to speak of as its result—what the man loses, something in the absence of which he is not a wage-earner or a profit-earner as he had been heretofore. If, as Senator Hayes indicated, the instrument that he had was one that was irrecoverable, one that could not be provided, or, if it could be provided in the circumstances that Senator Douglas referred to, but could not be used, then I think any judge of the High Court— and in this case the Minister—would have to decide that it really was not a case coming under the ordinary head of consequential damage, but was a direct injury.

If the Minister is willing to apply the same sympathetic judgment that he did on the last day, I do not see why he should not accept the principle that lies not merely behind Senator Hayes's amendment but beneath it which, I contend, is the very principle on which compensation is made to those who have lost their breadwinner.

Mr. Campbell: Information on Sean Patrick Campbell  Zoom on Sean Patrick Campbell  Like other Senators, I do not wish to accuse the Minister of being unjust in regard to the matters raised in these amendments. Senator Hayes, I think, made an excellent case for this amendment. I have no complaint to make with regard to the discussion of details that has taken place. I am, however, not satisfied with regard to the attitude of mind manifested towards the problem that has arisen out of the bombings in Dublin. Our attitude ought to be to restore those people to the position they occupied before the bombings took place. As citizens they are entitled to that. This State and this Parliament, I think, ought to see that they are restored to that position. Senator Hayes quoted the example of the shoemaker who has been deprived of his living. Several cases of that kind have been brought to my notice. As I have said, my opinion is that all those people ought to be restored to the position in which they were before the bombings took place. The same thing should [2454] apply to people living out of the rentals of houses. They have suffered considerable consequential loss. They have had to pay their rates and taxes. We have been told of the woman who was compelled to pay her rates because the bombing took place on a certain date. I have no desire to minimise or decry in any way the efforts of voluntary bodies like the Red Cross or other associations for the help they have given. But I do think it is a bit degrading to the people who have suffered to find certain organisations advertising for cast-off and second-hand clothes so that they might get them cleaned to dole out to the sufferers of the bombing. The latter were not accustomed to attire themselves in second-hand clothes. I think it is the primary responsibility of the State to see that proper provision is made for those who have suffered or who may suffer in the future, though we all hope we will not have any more bombing. At any rate, I think the State should see to it that, if anything of the kind should happen again, proper arrangements will be made to feed, clothe and house the sufferers. They should not be left to depend on charity. I do not care to see Mr. Bumble or Lady Bountiful too prominent in matters of this kind. As I have said, I do not want to minimise or decry in any way the efforts of voluntary bodies. I would appeal to the Minister to be as sympathetic as possible in dealing with this question. May I say that I do not think we could have a more sympathetic Minister to deal with it? He has been very reasonable so far. Hence, I would urge on him to pay attention to the strong representations made by Senator Baxter, Senator Douglas, Senator Hayes and others to approach this problem from the point of view of restoring these people to as good a position as that which they occupied before the bombing took place.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I would like to say, before the Minister concludes, that this is not a political matter. I was asked to attend a meeting which was held on Monday night in the North Strand, and to be quite frank I did not go because I felt that if some extreme [2455] speeches were made I might find myself in the position of having to defend the Ministerial attitude, or if, on the other hand, any kind of a political wrangle took place as between representatives the people it would really not help in the object which we have in view. Now, who are the people who have suffered from this bombing, or who may suffer in the future? They are citizens of ours. Nothing whatever that they can do, no step of any kind that a business man or a householder can take, will prevent damage if an aeroplane drops a bomb. So that the people who have been injured, as well as those we contemplate providing compensation for under this Bill, are people who can do nothing whatever to help themselves. They are in no degree blameable. Suppose they had an insurance policy, any and every insurance policy is void. No insurance policy that any of us may have, or might conceivably have, will cover damage done by foreign bombers. So much having been said, the question is: Can we put them back in the position in which they were? We should like to do that, but I think we cannot do so. I do not think that it is possible for us to put the people back in the position in which they were, though, in the case of some classes of people, this Bill goes a considerable distance in that direction—as far as a reasonable person could expect any Government or any Minister to go.

However, there are things we can do. I explained, when speaking before on this amendment, that I did not want, by any means, to open the door wide to consequential damage. Senator Johnston put the matter very neatly when he said that we wanted to have the door ajar, with the Minister inside awatch. Apart from keeping watch himself, the Minister has a plentiful supply of good watchdogs in the Department of Finance, without using the word “watchdog” in any offensive sense. It is open to the Minister to tell me—and I should accept it—that nobody charged with governmental administration could make himself responsible for an amendment which would open the door wide to consequential [2456] damage. I accept that fully and at once. I do not want to do that but, while I do not want to do that, I think we should not cripple the people concerned. I do not think that the amendment as it appears on the paper is satisfactorily drafted and, if the Minister were to accept the principle of the amendment, or part of the principle, I should almost give him a promise in advance that I should accept his drafting. I am sufficiently experienced to know that no Minister for Finance in any Government will accept the drafting of a member of either House in a matter in which public money is involved. I did not think that this Bill would go through all its stages in the two Houses before the Recess, and I did not take steps to find out all that it was possible to find out about it, but from what I have ascertained since this Bill was published, I am genuinely convinced, by information given me, that there are cases of consequential damage not met by Section 10, as now amended, which really ought to be met and which could be met in a limited way by the Minister.

For example, there is no compensation for loss of profits either in business or by way of rents but a property owner or householder is, under this legislation, still left with his original liabilities. In other words, the Bill says “We are sorry we cannot do anything about your liabilities. You will have to pay your ground rent and rates but we cannot compensate you for the loss you suffer during the period before your business is restarted.” I have been genuinely convinced that a case can be made for small people or working people and for business people. I suggest that the Minister could devise rules—they are not set out in this amendment—or he could take power to make regulations under which he could make an attempt to meet these reasonable cases. Senator MacCabe referred to the case of a creamery manager. That creamery manager is in a much worse position, if I am not greatly mistaken, than a creamery manager whose creamery was amalgamated under the Creamery Act. I do not recollect the precise terms of [2457] that legislation, although I heard a great deal about it, but I think that, in the case of a redundant creamery which was discontinued by State action for particular purposes, the manager had to be found alternative employment or, if he was not found alternative employment, he had to get compensation on some particular basis.

Mr. MacCabe: Information on Dominick MacCabe  Zoom on Dominick MacCabe  That is right.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That particular treatment was not regarded as generous and the Minister for Finance of the day was badgered to make it better. Surely, that was a much better position for the creamery manager than the position occupied by the man who was managing the Campile creamery. Surely, that particular employee should be in as good position as the manager of a redundant creamery whose employment was taken from him by the State for special purposes. That is an example of a precedent for certain types of compensation. I think the Minister should devise some rules in this connection. Take my own case. At the moment—God between us and all harm—if my private house were destroyed by a bomb, I should be fairly covered by this Bill as it now stands. I should get compensation, eventually, for the building and for the furniture. I have an insurance policy which would make my position clear. I should get compensation for watches, jewellery and personal ornaments, within the limits of my insurance policy, and I should get compensation for removal and for reasonable expenditure incurred until I should get back into my own house or a similar house. I should not get compensation—this answers the point raised by Senator Quirke— for any suffering or anguish on the part of myself, my wife or family arising out of the bombing. Senator Quirke is mistaken when he thinks that there is any provision in any Act, or in any law of this kind, to compensate people for the anguish which the loss of relatives involves.

Mr. Quirke: Information on William Quirke  Zoom on William Quirke  I was trying to explain what my idea was of how far claims for consequential damage could go.

[2458]Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  One cannot get compensation for loss of a child, although it is an immense loss to a parent. The only loss contemplated is loss calculable in terms of cash. The Minister has said that he proposes to make provision for personal injuries but, if the father of a family is killed by a bomb, the compensation will be paid according to the degree of dependency. It will not depend on the amount of anguish suffered. To continue my own case, that case is quite well met by the Bill. The other case I mentioned— that of a woman who is left by her husband to carry on with a house and furniture—is not so fully met by the Bill. She does not get anything like the compensation that a married man in employment would get for the loss of his house.

As between different kinds of people, there are certain inequalities. I do not say that the Minister, with the best will in the world, could remove all these inequalities. I do not think he could but I think he could frame an amendment and devise rules to meet the kind of cases we have mentioned here which are not met by the Bill and which involve serious inequalities between citizens who have suffered a disaster which no precaution of theirs could have avoided. The Minister has until next week if he desires to consider this matter and frame an amendment. He could bring in the amendment next week, on the Fourth Stage of the Bill, and I am sure the House would be quite willing to give him then not only the Fourth Stage but the Final Stage. He could do this, too, in case he fears any technical difficulty in the matter: bring in a form of words, tell us—I shall accept it from him—that he is not quite satisfied with the words and will not guarantee that he will move for their acceptance by the Dáil. When the Bill goes back to the Dáil, the Minister could re-amend it—I know he could also reject the amendment completely—so as to tighten it up. I am not arguing for a loose regulation under which compensation could be dealt with. I am arguing for tight regulation. That is why I have used the phrase “in the opinion of the Minister, is reasonable having regard to the circumstances of each particular case.”

[2459]Professor Magennis: Information on Professor William Magennis  Zoom on Professor William Magennis  The “nature” of each particular case.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  “Nature” might be better than “circumstances.” I understand the Minister's difficulty. Senator O'Donovan alluded to it, too. If the Minister gets power to do anything in this way, what he does will be an administrative act and he can be challenged in the Dáil about it. I appreciate too—I have every reason to do so—that when a Minister has power to make certain grants, he may be challenged as to why he makes a grant in a particular case and does not do so in another. It should not be beyond the wit of the Minister, his Department and draftsmen, to frame a form of words which would give him a principle to work upon and, at the same time, allow him some discretion. Without delaying the Bill one day or one hour and without subjecting himself to any barrage of questions, he could before next week frame an amendment and, within a period of a month, he could frame another amendment or other regulations which could be put into the Bill in the Dáil. I would appeal to the Minister to recognise that, while certain types of persons are being met, there is another type of person who is not being met at all. I do not want to raise any false hopes in the hearts of anybody who suffered loss under these bombings. Some people are doing their best to amend the Bill, and it is being done from several parts of this House, but whatever the Minister may agree to, it will not amount to what people want, and I am afraid that he cannot give them what they want. I think, however, that he could take a step which would go a certain distance to make more general and more equitable the compensation for consequential loss, and, for my part, I would not be critical in any way of any amendment, which the Minister would draft, which was restrictive and which made it difficult to get compensation for consequential loss, if you like, so long as it did, at any rate, leave it open that where there was a difficult case the case could be met. For example, the [2460] case of the creamery manager is one, and there is another case in which, I am sure, something could be devised by way of restriction in point of time. If you were going to compensate the shoemaker who has been mentioned, he would not be so badly off if, within a certain period of months—six months, let us say—he was able to get back to the position in which he was. I do not want these particular occurrences, or any future occurrences of their type, to be made the excuse for thrusting people on State funds, but I would ask the Minister to consider the matter on that basis, and to realise that he has another week here and another month, between then and the time the Bill goes to the Dáil, before he finally binds himself. If he would do that, I am sure he would get a very favourable and sympathetic consideration from the House. If this amendment is defeated, Sir, we shall have disposed of Senator Douglas's amendment and my own, No. 34.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I do not propose to move amendment No. 30.

Mr. Honan: Information on Thomas V Honan  Zoom on Thomas V Honan  When speaking last week on this measure I said that I was in favour of reasonable compensation in respect of consequential losses. I still am, but I must say that the Minister's amendment to Section 10 has somewhat met what I had in my mind, and I think it probable that the Minister may deem it advisable to open the door still another inch or two. The way in which, I think, the Minister could do the greatest service to those who have been affected in this matter would be to have his staff devise a really expeditious way of reconstructing the damaged premises. We can all realise, and do realise, that every month that will elapse will mean that the consequential losses will be getting greater, especially in the case of business premises. The greatest loss that any man, who is living by a business, can sustain is the loss of his business.

Therefore, I would impress on the Minister, from past experience, that the greatest help he can give to these people would be by having things so [2461] organised, by the time the Bill becomes an Act, that the work of reconstruction could be started immediately. I believe that it would be well for him to have three or four expert assessors ready, and they could have a preliminary report on the possible damage and on the cost of reconstruction within a few months. I remember that in the case of the White Cross Organisation, with which my friend, Senator Douglas, was very closely associated, in about six months the amateur investigators concerned had ready a report of the possible loss and the possible cost of reconstruction in the whole of the Twenty-Six Counties, and when the final assessment came, under the Shaw Commission, it was found that they were not so far out at all, although they were really only amateurs. I suggest, therefore, that if the Minister has experienced assessors ready to proceed with the work the moment this Bill becomes an Act, that will be the greatest means which the Minister could devise of seeing that the consequential loss is kept small.

We must realise that payment under this Bill is really, in a sense, an ex-gratia payment. We understand, from the Minister, that there will be another Bill dealing with this matter of consequential loss. There is also the possibility of compensation from another quarter, and I am sure that the Minister will treat the cases generously and will not want to make any profit out of the transaction. Therefore, the people affected will have a reasonable hope that the award now made will be increased to a greater extent, if this case is made by the State. There is a possibility that a full and proper compensation will be given, and, if there is, I am sure the Minister is not going to make any profit out of the transaction, and will only deduct what the State has already subscribed, from the amount which will be received.

I do not think we can press the Minister any further. He seems to be very reasonably disposed, and, as far as I am concerned, I am quite satisfied to leave the matter in his hands. Listening to the remarks of my friends on the Front Bench, I was wondering [2462] how the findings of the Shaw Commission, for instance, were ever accepted. In the case of the Shaw Commission, most of the people whose business houses had been affected were out of business for seven or eight years, living on their friends and on the amount that might be awarded for their stock and furniture. They had to live on that, and there was never one penny provided, although we were dealing with the wealthiest country in the world, by way of compensation for consequential loss. Not one single penny was paid, and those people had to wait seven or eight years without compensation for consequential loss. I do not propose that that should happen again, but we must be reasonable. The misfortune came, and we must bear some portion of it, and if another State is good enough to bear another portion of it, I think we must be thankful.

Mr. Quirke: Information on William Quirke  Zoom on William Quirke  I agree with most of what Senator Honan said, except the matter of the reinstatement clause. It is not a question of the money that should be put up by the Minister or by any other Minister. The fact is that, because of the lack of materials, it would be impossible in my opinion to carry on any extensive building scheme at the present time. In connection with Senator Johnston's speech, he suggested that he doubted the Minister's ability to say “no”. I do not think that is a fair statement to make. Anybody who has had any contact with the Minister for a number of years will have no doubt of his ability to say “no” when he feels it is necessary to do so. It would appear to me that his difficulty here is that he cannot say “yes”. If he were in a different position, I am sure that, like the rest of us, he would be as anxious as anybody to do what he could for everybody, provided he had no responsibility in the matter. I wonder what would be Senator Hayes's attitude if he were in the Minister's position? I would ask the Senator to be reasonable and not press the Minister on this matter. Nobody knows better than Senator Hayes what the difficulties are, and I believe that the Minister would go as far as any other man in [2463] the country to meet the amendment or any similar amendment.

Professor Magennis: Information on Professor William Magennis  Zoom on Professor William Magennis  The reply of Senator Quirke, if taken seriously, amounts to a condemnation of the Minister in bringing in this Bill at all, because, why bring in what has been rightly described, a moment ago, as an ex-gratia measure if the Minister is to be asked to be so vigorous and relentless in his custody of the public purse? I could understand what Senator Quirke has said, if it were said as against a demand for some extraordinary expenditure on the part of the State, but the cases put forward here by the supporters of the amendment must be from their very nature very few in number. If the cases are dealt with in respect to their peculiar nature, then the Minister is in the position of judge and jury and he can decide. There are all sorts of legal decisions to guide him. Those unfamiliar with the law are apparently unaware that judgments are reached by reference to previous decisions, that there are leading cases.

We are not asking the Minister to be generous. I refuse to ask any Minister to be generous with the public purse, but I want him to do the right thing. The arguments of the supporters of the amendment draw attention to peculiar cases which are not covered and which to my mind should be covered. There is damage and consequential damage. There is consequential damage, approximate and remote, and there are degrees of remoteness.

It is obvious to anybody who examines this matter without being guided by mere clichés and the usual kind of talk which one hears when there is a question of spending money, that there is room for favourable consideration of losses that the amendment has in contemplation. The loss may be one which is not directly a consequence of the harm done, but is nevertheless an integral part of the harm done. Compensation is not compensation at all unless this integral element is covered. That is the case I make for the amendment. If I were to [2464] talk of the Minister's present attitude, I could say there is no Minister with regard to whom we might feel more assured that he will do what he deems right. The only question is whether he is clear as to what is the right thing to do. We seek to guide him as far as we feel we are capable. We are not resisting a monster of iniquity who is such a custodian of the public purse that he will do wrong things in order to save money. We are not taking up that silly attitude.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I hate, on a matter of this kind, this talk of ex-gratia payments. It suggests that a person is getting something which he should not get. It does not mean that I know, but to certain people's minds that is the idea which is conveyed. Here we are in a neutral State in which the property of any of us might have been damaged by this series of bombings. I am convinced that in these circumstances we have got to share the losses which have been incurred by the people whose homes and businesses were actually destroyed. Any other course would be contrary to the national morale and to the national spirit. That I think was the view of the Government in introducing this Bill; otherwise it would not have been introduced at all. I support Senator Hayes' amendment, although it does not go so far as I should like it to go. I want to suggest to the Minister that the amendment, in effect, means that to him is left the responsibility, after he has seen the kind of claims that will be made and the kind of hardship that has been suffered, of making for his own Department certain regulations that will apply to all cases up to the present. If there are further bombings he will have to examine the claims made in respect of damage inflicted by these bombings and make other regulations for them. It is not intended that he should personally attend to each case. What to my mind is envisaged in the amendment, when it suggests that compensation should include such consequential loss as in the opinion of the Minister is reasonable having regard to the circumstances of each particular case, is that [2465] having examined some of these cases he could set down for his Department certain limits within which consequential damage might be allowed. I believe that a good deal of the present controversy about the Bill is due to the fact that these matters were not dealt with when the Bill was being drafted. I would urge the House to say to the Dáil that there should be some provision for consequential damage in specific cases. If the Dáil and the Minister, after further consideration, still refuse to provide for such compensation, I would not press the matter any further or try to alter the Bill.

Mr. Counihan: Information on John Joseph Counihan  Zoom on John Joseph Counihan  I would urge the Minister to give consideration to the appeals which have been made to him, and I would suggest, if he cannot see his way to accept the amendment in its present form, that he should postpone consideration of it, and on a later stage he might be able to insert something to meet the wishes of Senators who are advocating compensation for consequential loss. If we adjourned consideration of the amendment to Report Stage, the Minister might be able to bring in an amendment which would meet the wishes of all Parties.

Mrs. Concannon: Information on Helena Concannon  Zoom on Helena Concannon  I think that, on the whole, the Minister must be convinced that on all sides of the House there has been a genuine desire to help him in this very difficult task. He is the guardian of the public purse and has to be careful of it, but the public who fill that purse have already shown that they would like to share the burden of those people who, through no fault of their own, suffered great losses in the recent bombings. The Minister himself brings forward this Bill as an acknowledgment of that desire of the Irish people. At the same time, the Bill even if the amendment which the Minister has opposed were inserted, does not, as I think has been shown conclusively, cover every case of direct hardship and direct suffering caused by the bombing. I would join with those who pleaded with the Minister to give further consideration to such cases as have been brought before his notice. They cannot [2466] be very great in number, and I think the people whose money we are spending will not feel that the Minister is imposing any undue hardship upon them if he spends a little more in helping these cases.

Mr. Foran: Information on Thomas Foran  Zoom on Thomas Foran  I think those Senators who addressed their appeals to the Minister are directing them to the wrong quarter. I think it is to Senator Quirke we should appeal. If the Whips were taken off there is no doubt what the fate of this amendment would be. The Minister must see that 90 per cent. of the members of this House are absolutely in favour of it. It is a just and reasonable amendment. We are making arrangements under which compensation will be paid, and surely this is one case that has a greater claim than most others. The Minister's own Party has made a much better case for the amendment than Senator Hayes. I think Senator O'Donovan certainly made an excellent case for it when he concluded by saying that he would be reluctantly compelled to vote against the amendment. To my mind, that is the view of Senators generally on that side of the House. Our interest in the amendment is to ensure that working people who lost their employment and who suffered damage, people who are least able to bear this suffering and loss, should get consideration in this matter. If the Minister feels that there is any possible hope of meeting the amendment, surely it is not unreasonable to ask him to defer a decision on the matter until Report Stage, or even to the subsequent stage. If the Minister feels that a decision of this kind would entail too much responsibility for him, surely some tribunal or committee, in lieu of the Minister, might be set up to deal with the matter. That would relieve him of what might be alleged against him in the future. I think that this amendment is certainly one of the most important, if not the most important one which has been put forward. I earnestly appeal to the Minister to look into this matter further, and see if there is any possibility of meeting the amendment put forward by Senator [2467] Hayes. If he is not prepared to do that, I appeal to Senator Quirke to take the Whips off and let us have a free vote.

Mr. Quirke: Information on William Quirke  Zoom on William Quirke  I was not aware that there were any such things as Whips in this House. That is the first I heard of it.

Mr. Foran: Information on Thomas Foran  Zoom on Thomas Foran  I was more or less unaware of that until I heard Senator O'Donovan speak.

Mr. O'Donovan: Information on Sean ODonovan  Zoom on Sean ODonovan  I did not say there were Whips.

Mr. Foran: Information on Thomas Foran  Zoom on Thomas Foran  The Senator said that his Party have to stand by the Minister very reluctantly. If that does not indicate that he was under Senator Quirke's Whip, I do not know what it means. Senator Honan, and everybody on that side of the House who spoke also implied that they would be very reluctantly compelled to vote against the amendment. If they were allowed to vote according to their own opinions, I am sure Senator Hayes' amendment, or something approaching it, would be carried unanimously.

Mr. Cummins: Information on William Cummins  Zoom on William Cummins  I think that the arguments advanced by the supporters of the amendment are very convincing. I think that any Senator who really spoke his mind would feel as the mover and seconder of the amendment feel. The Bill is an excellent one and will remove a lot of hardship. There must, however, be hundreds of cases such as those quoted by Senator Hayes of the workman who was deprived of his means of living and of the widow who was left a house and furniture and whose house was bombed. The Bill, as I say, is an excellent one and the Minister should not stultify himself by allowing this Section 10 to stand as it is. He should at least keep the door open. I believe that the Government will much regret later on that they have closed the door and stultified themselves by putting an Act on the Statute Book that will have to be amended in time so great will the hardship be in many cases. I am sure that the Minister can, in his own sympathetic way, find ways and means of [2468] dealing with this and not close the door on the matter of consequential loss.

Mr. Madden: Information on David John Madden  Zoom on David John Madden  I wish to join in the appeal that has been made not alone from this side, but the other side of the House. The considered opinions and the reasoned arguments put forward and the convincing demands that have been made I am sure will ultimately find a kindly and sympathetic response in the heart of the Minister. Some writer on constitutional government has told us that amongst the primary functions of government the first is to maintain law and order and the second to give to the majority of the people the maximum of comfort, peace and prosperity with the minimum of taxation and irritation. Now if that has been regarded as a kind of constitutional philosophy in regard to democratic institutions and if governments have to accept it, here then is a case where a very considerable section of the people have suffered dire consequences through no fault of their own, and the Government, who are the responsible authority, should meet the consequences resulting from this disaster, I do not say in a generous way, but in the equitable, just and reasonable way that is due to the people. Cases of hardships have been cited to-day. I heard of quite a number of cases during the last month that have not been cited, cases of people who, even before the award of the Minister may have been determined, may have to pass through the bankruptcy court and then start in such an atmosphere as would mean the ruin of a business that may have taken half a century to build up. I join in the appeal which has been made to the Minister, and I am in perfect agreement with Senator Campbell, that, if a free vote of the House were taken, the preponderating majority of the House would be in favour of that appeal to the Minister. I think, as Senator Hayes put it, the Minister ought to consider the question a new and submit to the Dáil amendments that will at least meet the case in a reasonable manner.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  This has been a very interesting discussion on a matter [2469] of principle and a matter of importance; certainly a matter of vital importance not alone to the Bill, but to the individuals primarily concerned. The Bill, as agreed to by the Government and as later introduced in the Dáil, did not include any provision for consequential loss or damage. I took it upon myself on behalf of the Government to agree to a modification of the principle upon which the Bill was drafted of not including consequential loss or damage. I did agree to a modification during the Committee Stage in the Dáil and I agreed to a further modification here. I would put forward as one argument that, if I agreed to the amendment of Senator Hayes, the Bill would be an entirely different Bill when it goes back to the Dáil. I cannot claim now that it would be a different Bill in principle, because, as I have already stated, I gave way on the principle of consequential damage to some extent in the Dáil, and enlarged on that considerably during the last stage of the Bill here and even to-day. But it would be a different Bill, a materially different Bill, if I were to accept the amendment of Senator Hayes.

The amendment which Senator Hayes has on the Order Paper does not put any limit to consequential loss with regard to category or kind or the extent of a particular consequential loss. Undoubtedly Senator Hayes has stated that he is not bound by the words in his amendment and requested that I should consider the matter of bringing in an amendment of my own at a later stage; that if I agree to the principle enshrined in the amendment it would satisfy him and those with him who support the amendment. I do not think I could do that. We have gone a certain measure of the road to meet claims for consequential loss and damage. I believe we cannot go further. I am not without heart, and I am not without interest in these people. Certainly I have feelings which make me agree with Senator Hayes that the poor boot repairer who lost his machine and implements is in a very difficult position, and is deserving of consideration as is also the woman who kept a boarding house and made a living for herself and, perhaps, [2470] for her family by keeping lodgers, and also the owner of one or two houses who made a living out of the rents derived from them. I could go further and mention persons who own ground rents in the area, who might be widows or delicate persons who could not work, but made a living in that way. I am not without feeling and I would like to be able to help these people, but there is no precedent for dealing with consequential loss or damage in any similar legislation that we have had here. In itself that would not stop me—though it is wise to look to precedents—but I cannot let myself be swayed entirely by my heart.

As Minister for Finance I have to use my head. If I am soft hearted I hope I cannot be accused of being soft headed. I am Minister for Finance and there is a suggestion made to pay people, whose places have been bombed, and whose business has been lost, consequential damages with the Minister as sole arbiter. That would be placing the Minister for Finance in practically an impossible position. If there was any intention in the Government originally to include payment for consequential loss or damage, strict rules, regulations and conditions would be necessary. Otherwise any Minister for Finance would find himself in an unenviable position; in a most difficult position in deciding between Tom and James, or on claims from any part of Ireland or to satisfy them. He would be put in the position of having the final word, or the only say in the matter, and that is bound to create the greatest possible dissatisfaction. Senator Magennis would not ask that I should be generous. I do not think there is any great fear of a Minister for Finance being generous. That is very unlikely. I would like to be just so far as I can, but I really cannot contemplate involving the State in an unknown burden for the payment of consequential loss and damage. There would be no limit to it. Nobody could define it. The Minister for Finance would find it most difficult to define where consequential loss would end.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Could you frame regulations?

[2471]Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I would find it very difficult to do so. I am impressed by the obvious honesty and sincerity of everyone who took part in the discussion to do justice to these people. I am quite satisfied that there was no intention of using it from the partisan or Party point of view. That was obvious to everyone and I certainly accept that view. I am satisfied that Senator Johnston meant to be complimentary in saying that he had confidence that the Minister would do the right thing, but it would be impossible, without strict rules, regulations and conditions, for any Minister for Finance to do what would be regarded by those primarily concerned as the right thing. Unless the Oireachtas in its wisdom laid down such rules, regulations and conditions as would bind it, it would otherwise be impossible to administer payment for consequential loss or damage. This amendment certainly does leave the door wide open. It is not, as Senator Johnston said, ajar, but the door is left wide open to such consequential loss “as in the opinion of the Minister is reasonable having regard to the circumstances in each particular case”. There is no limit and nothing is set down that would be any guide to the Minister. Last week, after considerable discussion, and after listening to the speech of Senator Hayes which, like several speeches that he made to-day, was quite reasonable, I accepted the idea he put forward, and even the words he used, and embodied them in the amendment on the Order Paper as a Government amendment. I thought I had gone far to meet the desire of those who were anxious to meet, to some extent, consequential loss or damage and to pay compensation for it. I do not see that it would be possible as things stand to accept the amendment or the idea of unlimited consequential loss being compensated for under this Bill.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Would the Minister accept this kind of idea?

“Compensation under this Act (whether awarded by the Minister or by the court) in respect of an injury to which this Act applies, shall be [2472] awarded in respect of the actual damage done to property and such consequential loss as may be determined by regulations made under this Act. The Minister may make regulations for the award of compensation for consequential loss of such kinds and to such an extent as he may determine. Any decision of the Minister arising out of the regulations shall be final in all cases, and shall not be the subject of or included in any application to or award by the court.”

The concluding words are taken from a later amendment of the Minister's. They would allow regulations to be made, and would leave the Minister free from the charge that he was giving compensation to X and not to Y. They would also enable him to say what he proposed to do in the circumstances when cases arose. He could be as strong in defending the regulations as, for example, he was in objecting to the amendment. Would the Minister agree to postpone this matter and to reconsider it?

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  The Minister would not have to make regulations until he had many more facts before him in the way of claims. That is important.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Would the Minister leave it over to next week? We will not say one word then, but will hear what he has to say.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  And vote.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Frankly, this Neutrality (War Damage to Property) Bill was drafted in my Department and submitted to the Government on a certain basis. It was on that basis it was debated there as it was debated here, and sometimes with more heat, and it was passed on that basis. As Minister for Finance, I probably could take a chance and make amendments and alterations, and then face the Government with the consequences. I would not like that, and I do not think it would be fair to my colleagues to make any fundamental change without consultation with them. I undertake to consult the Government—in the meantime, [2473] I am not giving any promise or guarantee—and then come back here.

Professor Magennis: Information on Professor William Magennis  Zoom on Professor William Magennis  Would it be fair to ask the Minister to explain to those persons not so clear-minded as he is, why he said he cannot entertain the idea of unlimited compensation? I did not hear anyone raise a voice on behalf of unlimited compensation. In the amendment which we discussed, I read that the decision of the Minister in regard to consequential loss shall be final, so that the Minister himself, in the exercise of his own skill and judgment, can fix the limit. Nothing could be limited more clearly than as it is contemplated by the amendment.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  You might be limited as to amount, but there is no limit to the class or category.

Professor Magennis: Information on Professor William Magennis  Zoom on Professor William Magennis  That is why I suggested the word “nature” instead of “circumstances”.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I am talking of the amendment as it is here.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Am I to understand that Senator Hayes will put down his amendment in its newly drafted form next week, that we will hear what the Minister has to say and that if we disagree we will vote, but that we will not spend another day at it? It will be in the form that he has read out. If that were agreed, there could be no misunderstanding.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Francis Gibbons  Zoom on Seán Francis Gibbons  Is there agreement to take the other amendment to Section 10?

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  If the Minister brings in an amendment that will be covered.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  So far as private members' amendments to Section 10 are concerned, we let them go altogether. If the Minister has one himself, probably it will have to stand, in case he is not prepared to go further.

Amendment No. 29, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 30 not moved.

[2474]Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I suggest that amendments Nos. 31 and 32 stand over. They could be put easily if the Minister does nothing else. If he does, of necessity they would have to be altered.

Amendments Nos. 31 and 32 not moved.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I move amendment No. 33:—

In page 8, Section 10, to add a new sub-section as follows:—

(3) Whenever the Minister has decided that a payment is to be made under the preceding sub-section it shall be lawful for him, at his discretion, to make interim payments, before a decision has been reached as to the total amount of the compensation to be awarded.

I should like to ask the Minister a question on this point. It has been represented to me that there are poor people who would have a claim and a reasonable case, and a final decision on the matter might take some time. A decision that they actually had a claim might be reached very quickly, and it would be a great convenience if they could get an interim payment. I know that there are administrative difficulties, and I put this amendment down so as to hear what the Minister would say.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The Minister can make an interim payment: the power exists.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Even before the award is made?

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Yes.

Amendment No. 33, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 34 not moved.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I move amendment No. 35:—

In page 8, before Section 11, to insert a section as follows:—

11.—Income-tax under Schedule A shall not be charged, levied or paid in respect of any premises for the period during which such premises may be rendered incapable of normal [2475] use, by reason of injuries to which this Act applies.

Perhaps the Minister could tell us what the position is.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The Revenue Commissioners advise that such a provision as that suggested by the Senator would be proper to a Finance Bill. Apart from that consideration, relief from income-tax under Schedule A in respect of premises which are unoccupied or are not in existence—as in the case of bombing—is granted in the existing law. Therefore, the provision contained in the amendment would be redundant, and hence undesirable.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  Is the Minister quite sure that that is right as he read it? I have a suspicion that it is correct with the addition of one or two words, that is, “those which appear on the list or register as being unoccupied”. That may be changed now. I had experience of a place which was destroyed, and I thought it was the duty of the authorities to deal with it. There was nothing there except some walls, and there was no way in which it could be removed, so I had to pay. I do not wish to go back on the past, but that makes me a little sceptical. The statement means that that is his intention and, if it is not so, he will have to try to cover it in the Finance Act.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  That is the intention and practice, and if the Senator has a case he should be entitled to a refund.

Amendment No. 35, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I move amendment No. 36.

In page 8, before Section 11, to insert a new section as follows:—

11.—In the case of any premises to which an excise licence was attached, and which have suffered injuries to which this Act applies, such licence shall not be payable for the period during which the premises remain incapable of their previous use for trading purposes, but nevertheless shall be deemed to continue in force [2476] up to the time of the reinstatement of the said premises.

I put this down in order to find out the Minister's intention in regard to the matter. After the 1923 Compensation (Damage to Property) Act, a Dublin Reconstruction Act was passed in 1924, and it contains provisions very similar to those in the amendments Nos. 36 to 39. Frankly, these four amendments are taken, with some adjustments, from that Act. In the case of a publican, a tobacconist or a chemist whose premises are destroyed, two questions are involved. Must he keep on paying for a licence to the Revenue Commissioners? Then, there are legal provisions in the case of a publican, that a licence must be exercised, and he has to make certain applications in court. I would like to know what the position is of such licensees in the case of damaged property, not only in Dublin, but in other parts of the country.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  We consulted the Revenue Commissioners on that matter and they said that, in so far as liquor licences are concerned, the purpose of the amendment has been provided for already in Section 8 of the Finance Act of 1917, which authorises repayment or remission of excise duty in respect of destroyed premises, and makes provision for the revival of licences on the reconstruction of the premises. In relation to this amendment and the previous one, they say that it was not thought necessary that this principle should be brought in in the Dublin Reconstruction Act of 1924. I am told the commissioners thought they were unnecessary, but the Government of the day apparently decided to go ahead with them.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  To make assurance doubly sure.

Amendment No. 36, by leave, withdrawn.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  I move amendment No. 37:—

In page 8, before Section 11, to insert a new section as follows:—

11.—No building or house which has suffered an injury to which this [2477] Act applies nor any such building or house when rebuilt shall be liable to be valued under the Irish Valuation Acts at a sum larger than the valuation in force on the 26th day of August, 1940, in any valuation coming into force before the 31st day of March, 1940.

Will the Minister deal with the question of valuation?

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  The draftsman advises that the amendments and the previous one are entirely outside the scope of the Bill, which is primarily a Bill to provide for compensation, that is, monetary compensation, to persons whose property was damaged or destroyed. The immediate objective is to provide the machinery for the assessment and payment of compensation for definite physical injury to property. The matters the Senator raises in the amendments should be dealt with otherwise.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  It is far from being the business of the draftsman to define what is relevant to the Bill. Generally he wishes to put in as little as possible —and more power to him. I remember being told by one Minister for Finance that the Attorney-General had advised him that something was relevant, but the Attorney-General came to see the Ceann Comhairle afterwards to say that he never said any such thing, being an intelligent Attorney-General.

The position is that certain damage to property has taken place and more may take place. If this Bill that we are now considering is the only Bill to deal with it then we ought to put all this in and, with all respect to the draftsman's opinion, we actually have drafted this Bill in such a way as to contain, not only provision for the giving of compensation, but provision for town planning. The draftsman must have been asleep when they slipped the schedule into the Bill or the Minister must not have consulted him in time but this Bill appears to be an omnibus Bill about damage to property and, if it is, I think that either this provision suggested in amendment No. 37 should be made or else we should have it from the Minister [2478] that another Bill will be brought in. Certainly, if a person's house is damaged, it was provided in the Dublin Reconstruction Act that he should have a period of years on the old valuation. I am suggesting a similar period of years here but I have no opinion as to the dates. Certainly, a person who reconstructs his house should not find that at once, when he is endeavouring to get on his feet, the valuation of the house is raised. There is a case in the North Strand of a very valuable licensed premises which may or may not be reconstructed. We do not know. But, if it is reconstructed, certainly the licensee should get an opportunity of getting back his custom and getting on his feet, after he has suffered loss of profits over a period of years, before his valuation is raised on a new building. That is the point I am making here and I think it is reasonable. The Minister should either make that provision here or we should have some other Bill dealing with it. I think it would be much preferable to make it here.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I promised in the Dáil to bring this matter to the attention of the Minister for Local Government. I believe it is proper to a Local Government Bill. I understand that there is a Bill dealing with remission of rates that will fall due for reconsideration at an early date. I cannot say yet whether the Minister proposes to bring in a Bill to extend the period of that Bill or not. In any case I intend to bring this matter, and two or three other matters of a similar kind in regard to which Senator Hayes has amendments down—which were not in the Compensation Act of 1923, but which were in the Dublin Reconstruction Act of 1924—to the attention of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  That applies to amendment No. 38, about rates?

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  It does.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  But I am informed by what I regard as sound legal authority that not only are the rates due upon a building which was in existence [2479] on the 5th April, 1941, but that the corporation must collect them. Of course, I know the resources of civilisation are pretty wide; the corporation can go slow on the collection and probably will, but I understand there is a legal obligation on them to go ahead with the collection and they may find themselves dealt with in a report of an auditor or somebody about it. amendment No. 39 deals with leases. A person who has, say, five or seven or ten years to go on the 1st June, 1941, may not get his premises reinstated until 1944. Have the intervening three years elapsed out of his lease or does he start in 1944 with the lease as it stood on the date of the bombing? The allusion in this to the Act of 1931 is an adjustment of the Dublin Reconstruction Act and it simply wants to put the tenant of a new premises, after reinstatement, in the same position as he would be under the Landlord and Tenant Act if he had carried out repairs and was going to be disturbed.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  That one, I am certain, the draftsman would advise could not be brought within the scope of this Bill. We had difficulty in getting him to accept the idea of Section 20, about town planning. It was at the urgent request of the Dublin City Manager that that was put in. The draftsman pressed very hard not to be asked to agree that it was appropriate to the Bill but we pressed upon him that the corporation desired it, that there was great opportunity for clearing up an area that they thought ought to be cleared up. He gave way to our pressure but I am certain that he would be strongly of opinion that any of the three or four matters dealt with by Senator Hayes with regard to rates and valuation and the Landlord and Tenant Act could not reasonably be brought within the scope of this Bill.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Surely it is a matter for the Cathaoirleach of this House to decide the question of the scope of the Bill, not the Parliamentary draftsman or the Minister. The question of what is the scope of the Bill is a matter for the Chair. It is not a matter for the Minister; it is not a matter for the [2480] Attorney-General; it is not a matter for the Parliamentary draftsman. It is a matter for the Chair. It seems to me quite clear that all these matters need to be dealt with and they are comparatively simple. I think there is no doubt whatever that when they are being dealt with they will be dealt with on the basis of these amendments. What I am wondering is, if they are not going to be dealt with now—and I cannot make the Minister accept them if he does not want to—will they be dealt with before reinstatement conditions come to be applied? I presume they will. It is the Minister for Justice, is it not, who is concerned under the Landlord and Tenant Act?

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Yes.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  There is a certain amount of misunderstanding abroad with regard to what I think are inaccurate newspaper reports in regard to the Minister's intention to bring in another Bill. As far as I understand it, the Minister, as far as compensation is concerned, has no intention of bringing in a further Bill at present. He may find it necessary under new circumstances to do so but he has no intention at the moment. I would like him to say so if that is correct because some people have false hopes. They think that they are not met now but that they are going to be met in another Bill. That is a tragedy. I know that is the case. I have been telephoned to by people who say, “Perhaps in the next Bill I will be met.” I said I did not think there was going to be a Bill but I think it should be made clear. Surely anything that has relation to war damage while we are neutral and which adjusts normal Acts only for that purpose is relevant to this Bill. Anything which makes permanent changes, I agree, would not be relevant.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  I entirely agree with Senator Hayes in what he says about the authority to decide what should be in and what should not be in a Bill, but we are all subject to advice. We like to get expert and competent advice. Even the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad is, I think, quite [2481] willing to accept advice that he is confident is expert and competent on the particular matter. I have no hesitation in saying that, so far as present circumstances are concerned, I think this is the Bill to deal with compensation for war damage while we are neutral. If circumstances change it might be necessary to bring in other Bills, amending Bills or otherwise, but there is at present nothing further in contemplation in the way of a Bill to deal with compensation for damage to property.

Cathaoirleach: Information on Seán Francis Gibbons  Zoom on Seán Francis Gibbons  The Cathaoirleach, I may say, frequently consults with his expert advisers also.

Amendment No. 37, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendments Nos. 38 and 39 not moved.

Government amendment No. 40:—

In page 10, Section 14, line 11, after the word “Act” to insert the words and brackets “(other than compensation to which a reinstatement condition is attached by the court or a condition in the nature of a reinstatement condition is attached by the Minister)”.

Mr. Douglas: Information on James Green Douglas  Zoom on James Green Douglas  I have two amendments down dealing with this, Nos. 41 and 42. Amendment No. 42 is to delete the whole section. Amendment No. 41 was meant to be something less than No. 42. I am perfectly satisfied with amendment No. 40 as far as No. 41 is concerned. I do not propose to move No. 42, if you will allow me to say that I do not like the section at all, and I am sorry it is in the Bill, because, to my mind, it is like hitting a man when he is down. The Minister for Finance or the Revenue Commissioners or the people that are there say: “So-and-so-owed us some money. Splendid. German or some other bombers came along and destroyed this property. Now is our chance to get our money.” I do not think this is the kind of opportunity we should take. At any rate, if they must take power to seize this opportunity, I hope they will not seize it too often because, after all, this does not make it obligatory on the Minister to do it. I am very glad it [2482] provides that he cannot do away with the reinstatement clause. It may have that effect. I am sorry it was brought into this kind of Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 41 and 42 not moved.

Government amendment No. 43:—

In page 11, Section 16, sub-section (2), after the word “Act” in line 15 to insert the words “and any payments made by him in such year under paragraph (e) of sub-section (2) of Section 20 of this Act”.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  This is a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Government amendment No. 44:—

In page 12, Section 17, to add to the section the following subsections:—

“(3) The expenses incurred by a local authority under this section shall be raised and defrayed in like manner as expenses incurred by such authority under the Public Health Acts, 1878 to 1931, are raised and defrayed.

(4) Where expenses are incurred under this section by the board of health of a county health district, such expenses shall be charged equally over the whole of such district.

(5) Where before the passing of this Act, any expenses were incurred by a local authority in making any entry or doing any act rendered lawful by sub-section (2) of this section and such expenses were, in the opinion of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, properly so incurred, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

(a) such expenses shall be deemed to have been incurred under this section and this section shall apply and be deemed always to have applied to such expenses accordingly, and

(b) if any sum was, at any time either before or after such expenses were incurred, included in [2483] any rate in order to defray such expenses, such rate shall not be deemed ever to have been invalid or irrecoverable merely by reason of such inclusion.

(6) A local authority may, for the purpose of defraying expenses incurred by them under this section, borrow under the Public Health Acts, 1878 to 1931, as if such purpose were a purpose for which such authority is authorised to borrow under those Acts, but money so borrowed shall not be reckoned as part of the debt of such authority for the purposes of any limitation on borrowing imposed by those Acts.”

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  Amendment No. 44 and amendment No. 45 were put down at the instance of the Minister for Local Government after consultation with the Dublin City Manager.

Amendment agreed to.

The following Government amendment, No. 45, was agreed to:—

In page 14, Section 20, to add to the section the following subsections:—

“(3) The expenses incurred by a district planning authority under this section shall be raised and defrayed in like manner as the expenses incurred by such authority in the execution of the Town and Regional Planning Acts, 1934 and 1939, are raised and defrayed.

(4) A district planning authority may, for the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred by them under this section, borrow under the Town and Regional Planning Acts, 1934 and 1939, as if such purpose were a purpose for which such authority is authorised to borrow under those Acts.

(5) In this section, the word ‘site’, when used in relation to a building, includes any yard, garden, or other land attached to such building and forming one enclosure with it.”

Government amendment No. 46:—

In page 14, in the Schedule, to delete paragraph 2 and substitute the following paragraph:—

[2484] 2.—A preliminary order shall not be made save within—

(a) where the relevant injury to which this Act applies occurred before the passing of this Act— whichever of the following periods ends later, that is to say, three months after the occurrence of such injury and four weeks after the passing of this Act, or

(b) where such injury occurs after the passing of this Act—three months after its occurrence.

Mr. O Ceallaigh: Information on Seán T. O'Kelly  Zoom on Seán T. O'Kelly  So far as amendment No. 46 is concerned, we consulted with the Dublin Corporation, and they are satisfied.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Amendment No. 46 meets amendment No. 47, in my name.

Amendment No. 47 not moved.

Bill reported with amendments. Report Stage ordered for Wednesday, 20th August.

Sitting suspended at 6.40 p.m. and resumed at 7.30 p.m.


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