Thursday, 14 March 1946
Seanad Éireann Debate
In sub-section (1), after the word “members” in paragraph (g) line 28, page 11, to insert the words “one of whom shall be deemed to be representative of Co-Operative Trading Societies”.—(Senator Baxter).
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): Perhaps I might start the proceedings by saying that I think this is an amendment which should not be pressed. In opposing the amendment, however, I must not be taken as implying that a person who could be deemed to be representative of co-operative trading societies would not make a worthy member of a harbour board. That is not the issue involved here. This Bill does not determine who shall be members of harbour boards but it determines who shall have the right to nominate members to harbour boards and the probability is that in any harbour area where a person who would answer that description would be regarded as a suitable member of the harbour board, he would secure that membership through one or other of the nominating bodies. The Ministerial power of nomination is intended, as I explained yesterday, to ensure that any interest that should be represented and that did not secure representation  otherwise, could be considered by the Minister.
I feel sure that where it is obviously desirable that such a person should be appointed in any district, and no such person secured appointment otherwise, the Minister for Industry and Commerce would most certainly consider including such a person amongst his nominees.
I must not be taken as saying that I am giving a guarantee in that regard. Clearly, it is undesirable to bind the Minister in any particular case. A person answering this description or a number of persons answering this description, may obtain membership of a harbour board through one or other of the nominating bodies and in such circumstances it is clearly undesirable that the Minister should be obliged to put a further person answering that description on the harbour board even if other interests which ought to be represented had failed to get representation. My opposition to the amendment is that it binds the Minister, limits his power of selection, and consequently tends to defeat the purpose of this provision in the Bill, which is to give him free scope to ensure that particular interests which should be represented are in fact represented by his nominees if they do not secure nomination otherwise.
Mr. Baxter: I do not complain of the Minister's approach to this amendment. To a certain extent I can see that it is reasonably fair. However, I should like to point out to the Minister that I cannot see, so far as the provision which he makes for the election of members of harbour boards and the possibilities there are of securing nomination are concerned, that the particular interests for which I speak in the amendment are likely to secure representation through any of the local authorities or bodies specifically mentioned. Because of that fact I was trying to secure that these interests would secure representation. I am glad the Minister recognises in the first place that there is a capacity amongst members of co-operative trading organisations which would be regarded as sufficient to justify their nomination to harbour boards but I frankly have to  confess to a fear that unless the Minister is more specific these interests will not get representation. The Minister has taken the line that his Bill makes provision for organisations that are going to elect members or secure representation on the harbour authorities. My complaint is that the Bill is not sufficiently comprehensive, far-flung as it stands. Perhaps I might have been able on more consideration and after closer examination to devise a better method, but then I was up against the problem of making the board larger and perhaps a more unwieldy board than is desirable. I did not attempt to secure my object in that particular way.
If we find after this Bill becomes law, when the new harbour bodies are equipped with the new machinery which the Minister has devised, that the very successful and progressive co-operative trading movements in the southern counties of Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Clare as well as in Wexford and other parts, have not access to these harbour authorities by means of direct representation, then I frankly confess the fear that they are not going to get the equal treatment meted out to other interests, that have not the same potentialities or record of constructive work which these co-operative trading societies have. I would be prepared to assert that, if the Minister does not make provision for our co-operative trading organisations on the harbour authorities of the country, he will be putting a barrier up against the development of co-operative enterprise, a barrier which will leave its mark on the future. I am not prepared to suggest that the Minister has any such desire. I have no reason to suggest anything like that. As far as the co-operative trading societies and their connection with the Minister's Department are concerned, they have nothing but the highest praise for the consideration they received from the chiefs in charge during the difficult war years. I would urge on the Minister that the co-operative movement is looking on the future through eyes that have been trained in a progressive way, a thing that is sadly lacking in the case of other groups in the country.
 Its aim is to facilitate progress and to benefit the country generally. I do not want to press the Minister unduly. He has said something which, I confess, was rather encouraging. I do not know if the Minister is aware of the amount of trading that these organisations handle, or what his views are about their potential trading power in the future, or the part which they may play in increasing both our internal and external trade. I do urge on him that, if he does not give those people facilities at least equivalent to those provided for other trading organisations, he is going to do something that will react very unfairly on them and on their members.
Mr. Lemass: The Senator will appreciate that as regards those interests which do not secure representation otherwise, it will be open to them to make a case for representation to the Minister. I think the Senator can be assured that any such representations will be very carefully considered.
Liam O Buachalla: In view of the Minister's remark that it will be open to various interests to make representations provided they feel they have not been properly catered for by the elected authority, is it to be understood that it will be open to bodies like the hoteliers, tillage farmers, the engineering profession or, say, the cement companies, to make representations in the same way as the co-operative trading organisations?
Mr. Lemass: Yes. The intention is that the Minister's nominations will  not be made until all the other nominations have been made. Not until it is possible to see what the composition of the boards will be, will the Minister make his nominations to complete the board.
Mr. O'Callaghan: A strong case has been put forward for representation for the live-stock trade and for co-operative trading societies. There is a big section of the agricultural community unorganised. I do not know who would make representations on their behalf, but I hope that the Minister will keep their interests in mind.
(i) in the cases of the Drogheda Harbour Commissioners, the Galway Harbour Commissioners, the Sligo Harbour Commissioners, the Dundalk Harbour Commissioners, the River Moy Harbour Commissioners, the Westport Port and Harbour Commissioners, and the Wexford Harbour Commissioners one member appointed by the National Executive of the Irish Live Stock Trade and two members (in this Act also referred to as nominated members) nominated by the Minister;
The object of the amendment is to ensure that one representative nominated by the National Executive of the Irish Live Stock Trade will be appointed on each of the harbour authorities set out. We think that the development of the smaller ports of the country could be very much improved if we had a representative on each of them. In a great many cases the Great Southern Railways Company in the past did not give facilities to our trade in this regard. I remember that on one occasion exporters had to walk their cattle from Athenry to Galway, where they had a special boat waiting for them. The railway company would give no facilities for taking the cattle to Galway. In the past, the ports mentioned in the amendment have been utilised for the export of live stock.
Most of them have lately gone out of commission. We think that, if we had a representative on these harbour authorities, these ports could be developed for the export of live stock. That would mean a big source of revenue to each port. The Great Southern Railways Company always tried to block the small ports because they wanted to get the big freight rates for the long haulage. It is not for the honour and glory of the thing that we are looking for this representation, but solely in the interests of the live-stock trade which is of such vital importance to the country.
Mr. S.T. Ruane: I support Senator Counihan's appeal, that the representation which he is seeking be given in the case of these small ports. There seems to be the danger that people who are in the way of organising traffic, so as to keep the ports in commission, will not have representation on these boards at all. Now, so far as the Bill is concerned, provision is made to give representation on the harbour board to people who pay certain tonnage rates. In connection with the classes of people to which Senator Counihan is referring there are no shipping interests involved, and there is the danger that  the people in whom he is interested will be passed over.
I can certainly bear out what Senator Counihan has said, so far as the railway companies are concerned, with regard to the diverting of traffic to a port in respect of which they would consider that they would have a greater mileage than if they took the traffic to one of the ports to which Senator Counihan has referred. On the other hand, there is the danger that some of these people, residents at these ports, and who are engaged in trade there, do not belong to chambers of commerce. For that reason, I would urge on the Minister to consider people, such as millers, who import raw materials and who are in a big way of trade at the particular centres concerned, because I think that such people should be given representation. My reason for that is that it could easily happen that the interests of these people might be overlooked.
Mr. Lemass: I shall urge the Seanad strongly not to support this amendment. I think the amendment is based on a complete misunderstanding of the whole position. This section is based on the tribunal's recommendation, and the tribunal strongly contended that there should be a uniform constitution for these secondary harbour boards. Senator Counihan now wants these bodies to be divided into three classes, to have a third class constituted on a different basis from the others. There seems to be an impression here in the Seanad that unless the cattle traders are given direct representation on these boards, there will be no representation for the cattle trade at all. Now, that is utter nonsense. These secondary ports, naturally, are trying as hard as they can to get trade for their own districts, but the history of the last few years is that trade has tended to go to the larger ports, and for that reason I think that these secondary ports or harbours should be controlled by the local people and in the local interests. I am definitely against putting any national organisation on these boards.
I think that it should be left entirely  in the hands of the local people who must develop their harbours in competition with other ports. It must be understood that these people secure trade in competition with other ports. They do not get trade merely by providing facilities for cattle alone: they get trade for their port by providing facilities and making it more profitable for people to use their harbour rather than some other harbour.
It seems to be assumed here also that there will be a refusal to give representation on these boards to those interested in the cattle trade, unless they get it for themselves. Now, none of these cattle traders' associations got representation on these boards in the past, or, if they did so, it was because the electors of the harbour authority realised that it would be for the benefit of the harbour board to give them representation. At any rate, I think that the acceptance of this amendment would completely undermine the principle of the Bill. In my opinion, these secondary harbour authorities must be constituted as local authorities, and national organisations should not be represented there. I feel that it would defeat the whole principle of the Bill if we were to give representation on such boards on the basis of national interests. Let me say, in that connection, that I think Senator Counihan is going beyond his brief in this matter, because the National Executive of the Irish Live-stock Trade, for whom he claims to speak, did not ask for that. As a matter of fact, the point was put to them specifically: Did they want direct representation on the secondary harbour boards, and they said, no, that they did not. Accordingly, I do not think Senator Counihan is actually speaking on behalf of the National Executive of the Irish Live-stock Trade in this matter. However, I think that this whole business of wanting to give representation to national interests on the boards of such secondary ports is contrary to the principle of the Bill, and is also contrary to the best interests of the harbours concerned.
Sir John Keane: I do not think there is any special interest involved here,  and I am afraid I could not support Senator Counihan. I think that the point made by the Minister is a correct one. Power is given to Ministers, such as the Minister for Agriculture, in the case of agricultural interests, to make what he considers the most appropriate appointment. I think that that is the best way to deal with the matter, because these bodies change from time to time, and you might commit yourselves to the appointment of a body that might, in the course of years, become moribund. For that reason, I support the Minister, but I am not so happy in regard to the question of these smaller harbours. The Minister says that they will justify themselves by competition, but what interests me is that they will justify themselves by competition in connection with certain industries in which the Government has a definite interest. The Minister has mentioned the case of transport facilities, such as railway companies and shipping companies, and I am not at all satisfied that the Government, being interested in the success of these two enterprises, may not be inclined to neglect or to be lukewarm about the interest of these smaller harbours. I think that these small harbours would be better served by providing cheaper rates, and I hope that the Minister will give us an assurance now that the Government is really interested in the welfare of these small harbours and will provide cheaper facilities for them.
Liam O Buachalla: It seems to me that the case made by Senator Counihan in support of this amendment is based on a fallacy. His main contention, as far as I can see, is that it is because the harbours concerned did not get the interests represented that they wanted represented, that they did not succeed. That is hardly true. I know in Galway the authorities there went to considerable expense to provide lairages and to provide facilities generally for the cattle trade, but the cattle did not come along, and the reason for that, I think, is that cattle are not finished in the West of Ireland. Generally, cattle from the West of Ireland are brought to the East coast areas, and finished there, and, as a result, the general tendency is to  export cattle from East coast ports.
Again, I think that one of the reasons why these smaller ports failed was because of the price-cutting activities of certain shipping companies. I am sure that Senator Counihan must be aware, for instance, of the reason for the failure of a certain shipping company in Wexford, and I think I could mention other places. The failure in these cases was not because the harbour authorities were not willing to facilitate the cattle trade, but simply because other shipping companies were able to offer better facilities in the larger ports, and so, the cattle traders themselves walked out of these smaller ports and went into the big ports, such as Dublin, for example. If the case for this amendment is based on the suggestion that these harbour boards failed because particular interests, such as the cattle trade, did not have representatives on these harbour boards, then the case is based on a fallacy, and for these reasons I do not think we should support the amendment, and for those reasons I think we could not entertain the amendment.
Mr. Counihan: We are not named in the other ports. That is an exception. The Minister is responsible for every action in the Bill and I am asking him to justify his action. Senator O Buachalla said the reason the ports went down was that they did not get support. There is a certain amount of  trade, but one can kill a port in many ways, by not giving facilities for the export of goods or by not getting the railways to give the same facilities to one port as to another. People within 10 or 15 miles of Galway would export their cattle through Galway port, if they had one boat a week. I know they had a special boat from Galway at one time and the railway company definitely refused to give a special train from Athenry, though there were several special trains to Dublin. They said they wanted a big haulage over the line. It is Córas Iompair Éireann now and that may make a difference.
Even in the Minister's own Department, there is a prejudice against the cattle trade. When we were passing the Transport Bill, I begged the Minister to have a representative of the cattle trade on the advisory committee. We were turned down. The representatives of the cattle trade are good enough to bring revenue into the country, but otherwise they must take a back seat. That is the general rule. I thought I had the Seanad educated about it, but now I find Senator Sir John Keane objecting to giving them special representation.
Mr. Counihan: The Minister stated that the deputation from the National Executive to his Department did not ask for that. I was a member of the deputation. If the Minister says we did not do so, it was our intention to do so, but it may have been forgotten.
Mr. Counihan: It would be better to get one thing first. We got such a cool reception from the officials that it knocked the wind out of our sails. If we were assured of one thing, we might be better off. I know the Minister is in an agreeable frame of mind and I thought it better to press for the other and that he would consider the reasonableness of the proposal. I know there  is not much use in trying to force his hand if he wants to block the proposal.
Mr. Lemass: I will promise the Senator this, that in the case of any harbour authority where there is a possibility of the trade in live stock developing, if the live-stock interests do not get representation from the other nominating authorities, I will certainly give full consideration to the possibility of their representation by Ministerial nomination.
Mr. Patrick O'Reilly: I entirely agree with the view the Minister has taken. If a person is to be appointed to represent the live-stock trade, he should be living within the area of the port concerned.
Mr. Counihan: There is no question that the representative we would ask to be nominated would be living in the immediate vicinity. Our representatives cover the whole of the Twenty-Six Counties. I withdraw this amendment, as the Minister has promised to see me to discuss the whole matter.
Mr. Kingsmill Moore: Perhaps the Minister would also satisfy Senator Counihan to the extent that he would not give representation to any other specialised bodies? It is not in the Bill, but Senator Counihan seems to imagine there might be some danger that they would be represented and the cattle trade would not. I do not think it is the Minister's intention to give representation to specialised bodies.
Mr. Lemass: Not to national organisations. This amendment covers only a few harbours, while there are some 20 harbours covered in the Bill and most of them have no interest in the cattle trade and never will. The Senator mentioned Westport. The number of cattle exported through Westport in 1938 was 1.
Mr. Patrick J. O'Reilly: I want to submit a plea and incidentally to inform the Minister that, on the Report Stage, I will move an amendment, providing that important industrial and commercial towns situated at a reasonable distance from a particular harbour should have the right to submit at least a list of names of suitable persons. I agree fully with his decisions regarding committing himself to particular interests. The type of amendment I have in mind is merely to provide machinery to allow such towns to submit names to the Minister, who would then make the choice of the particular members. That raises a question associated with the various motions to provide for specific interests, and concerns also the remarks made by Senator Kingsmill Moore regarding nominated bodies generally. Personally, I do not like the idea of nominated bodies in general, but in this particular case, having read the Minister's remarks in the other House and having listened to his remarks here, I feel there is great advantage in having nominated members in a Bill of this particular kind.
Mr. Patrick J. O'Reilly: I thought that I would avail of the opportunity to deal generally with the section and point out its weakness, so that, when I came to move the amendment, the ground would be more or less clear.
An Cathaoirleach: He is entitled to speak on the section, but he is speaking to an amendment which he intends to propose on the next stage. The Senator must now confine his remarks to the section as it stands.
Mr. Patrick J. O'Reilly: It is rather difficult to do that. I should like to remind the House of what the Minister has stated frequently—that the people representing those bodies should have the interest of the particular port in view. They should have a local interest. I fully agree with that and I suggest that the question of what is “local” might be considered in that connection. I think that “hinterland” is the word used to describe the district which a port serves. In Section 19, the radius of that hinterland was calculated to be about 30 miles. I agree that interests within that radius should have some way of securing representation on the board.
I am afraid I could not continue the discussion without getting down to details but I should like to refer to an idea which I have in mind which would solve many of the troubles which have been discussed here. Would the Minister consider the formation of a panel on which there would be interests such as co-operative associations, live-stock associations and different bodies of that kind which are not specifically provided for in the Bill? Most people would rest satisfied then that, some time or other, the particular interest involved would be sure of getting reasonable representation on the board. I suggest that for consideration by the Minister before Report Stage. It would be in harmony with a number of proposals put forward now and, perhaps, properly dropped because they were over-specific in character.
Mr. Duffy: The most eloquent plea made here for avoiding particularisation  in regard to nominating bodies was made by the Minister. I suggest, therefore, that the provision in sub-section (1), paragraph (d) relating to the Federation of Irish Manufacturers is a complete contradiction of what has been urged in this House by the Minister. In the case of all other groups, general terms are used. It is true that, in respect of local authorities, the nominating body is particularised in the schedule. That has to be done to give representation to the local authorities. Then we have the chambers of commerce mentioned in relation to certain harbours — particularly the four principal harbours. When we get away from those two groups—the local authorities and the chambers of commerce — we have general authority for the Minister to select the body to make the nomination, except in one case. In that case, he is restricted to the nomination by the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Limited. I think that that is utterly wrong and that it may be short-sighted. We are assuming, and the Minister has emphasised, that this Bill represents a long-term policy. It is a codification of a number of laws relating to a large number of harbours and ports, big and small, some of them over a hundred years old.
It is intended that this Bill will provide machinery for the administration of ports and harbours for a long time to come. The Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Limited, is composed of very estimable people and it must not be assumed that I am reflecting on them in any way in raising this point. I am raising the point because we have a long history in this country of groups, parties and organisations suffering from the “splinter” disease. The Minister's own organisation has gone through that at one time or another. Most other organisations, political, social and economic, have had experience of some people, more to the right or to the left, more to the back or to the front, anxious to operate on their own. I can see the time arriving when there will be rivalry within this body known as the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Limited, and when the  Minister will be confronted with the problem of enabling a body to make nominations which may be a minority body as a representative of manufacturers. I am raising no question about the representation given to manufacturers, as such. They are entitled to it. In the main, they are very large importers and some of us are confident that the time will come when they will be large exporters, too. They have a very direct interest in the successful management and control of the ports which they will be using. My objection is confined entirely to the proposal here, that one particular organisation, named because it is in existence, should be the nominating body. Circumstances might arise in which that body would change its name or in which that body would divide into two separate groups.
Incidents connected with the operations of one of the Minister's colleagues in very recent weeks throw some light on all allegations made regarding the operations of certain people within that organisation during recent years. We are aware that there are bound to be conflicting interests within an organisation of this kind, where one group is producing raw material for another group. One can see the way that will develop. I think, without particularising unduly, the Minister would be quite wise in doing in relation to the Federation of Irish Manufacturers what he has done in relation to the live-stock traders and in relation to the representatives of labour interests—to take power to nominate one or more than one organisation representing manufacturers operating in Ireland, for the purpose of allocating members to each of the four principal harbour authorities.
Mr. Counihan: I should like to draw the Minister's attention to the importance of having one of his nominees on the principal port authority a representative of the railways. From the live-stock point of view, we feel it is very important when we are seeking additional facilities at the ports to have somebody directly there with whom we can discuss the matter. Furthermore, the railway companies own a good deal of the land round Dublin port. They  have lairages and other facilities which we want to have improved. This is all concerned with the question of transport, and it would be well if there was one member of the harbour board a representative of the railways. I have no authority for making that suggestion from any of the railways. I am only thinking that from the point of view of the live-stock trade it would be an advantage to have a representative of the railways nominated by the Minister.
Mrs. Concannon: Last night when the House was debating Senator Kingsmill Moore's amendments dealing with nominated members, I felt that a great deal of precious time—time particularly precious at this moment when there is so much business to be done—was wasted, in re-fighting old battles—“remembering old, forgotten far-off things and battles long ago”; whether in the stormy history of the Cork Street Hospital or the more placid waters of national health insurance.
Having read this morning, the reply of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health to a question addressed to him by a member of the other House yesterday, I thought, however, that our time was not wholly wasted in view of the revelation that answer gave as to the Minister's mind with regard to what he considers as the minimum obligation of courtesy, good faith and co-operation on those whom he honours by entrusting them with fiduciary offices. It is high time that the independence of Government nominees, and Ministerial nominees— and quite usefully at this juncture-should be re-affirmed.
Mrs. Concannon: At the same time I think those of us who have been nominees must protest in the strongest way against the unwarranted insinuations in Senator Kingsmill Moore's speech. I speak with some feeling and with some considerable experience. For nine years I was a nominated member of the National Health Insurance Committee. So was Senator Foran. So was our late colleague, Senator Doctor Rowlette. None of us could regard ourselves as Ministerial spies, nor did we  ever expect to be so regarded. As to there being any cleavage between the various divisions of the committee, that was an unheard of thing. There were seven nominated members and eight elected by the Trade Unions Council and insured members. My experience during these nine years was that there was the most harmonious co-operation between the various members of the Society. All of us came there determined to do our best in the interests of the insured persons, to whom the society belongs. It is not a Government society; it belongs to the insured persons. The attitude we adopted, although we were Government nominees, was that we regarded ourselves as put there to do our best for the insured persons. We carried out our duties under the leadership of a magnificent chairman, to whom I should like to pay a belated tribute. We had the valuable assistance of the late Senator Dr. Rowlette. I should also like to mention the debt which the society owes to Senator Foran for his assistance and the financial advantage which the society derived from his advice. The members worked together harmoniously. There was never any difference between them.
I have also been a nominated member of the governing body of University College, Galway. My fellow nominees were the Bishop of Galway and the Archbishop of Tuam. Would anybody suggest that we could be suspected of being Government spies or of doing anything but what we thought was the right thing? I think it proper that we should once more affirm that when a person is selected as a Government nominee on any body, he or she accepts that nomination as a trust, not alone for the Minister, not alone for the Government, but a trust for the people in whose interests he is sent there to work.
Mr. Kingsmill Moore: On a point of personal explanation, may I say that if Senator Mrs. Concannon casts her mind back she will discover that I was referring to the abuses of the system, not to its uses—referring to the things which can happen and to the things which should not happen. I spoke perfectly advisedly. I spoke of matters of  which I have personal knowledge. I was not referring either to Senator Foran or the late Senator Rowlette— in whose confidence I claim to have been—nor to persons like Senator Mrs. Concannon. There are possibilities of abuse and in a Legislative Assembly, what you have to watch is how powers may be abused, if occasions arise and people arise, who are susceptible of not using them in a right way. I do not abate one word of what I said, but the idea never crossed my mind to bring any accusation against Senator Mrs. Concannon of bringing information to the Minister. I ask her to accept that assurance equally for my friend Senator Foran as it can also be accepted for my late friend Senator Dr. Rowlette. I ask her to remember also that everybody is not necessarily as she is and that the organisation which had the honour to have her as one of its trustees was not the type of organisation which was primarily under discussion or in the forefront of my mind.
Sir John Keane: My apology for rising again is to press on the Minister the position of small coasting interests. I am so afraid that the general tendency is towards unification and large administration that the Minister, even with the best intentions, will be tempted to favour big interests as against small interests. He will have, even when he desires to be fair, a certain latitude of discretion, and he must follow the line of least resistance and favour an interest in which the Government has a large stake. I want to repeat again that the services provided by the smaller ports will be diametrically opposed to the interests of the shipping company which owns small, independent vessels. I think Senator Baxter will support me in that. The co-operative trading societies in the past have made a very valuable  use of these small ports by bringing in small cargoes and distributing them at a minimum cost to their farmer members. The small steamer comes in, and the stuff is landed on a rather primitive landing stage. In that way a very substantial saving is given to the primary producers. I hope the Minister will recognise that, while a lot of those big interests that we have in the country with their grand superannuation schemes, pensions and the rest— that all these are paid for by the public. I suggest to him that the smaller interests which are not burdened with these heavy overheads should not be prejudiced by being put in an unfavourable position under this Bill owing to the Minister's use of his discretion. I would be glad to hear the Minister say that, if anything, he has a bias in favour of the smaller interests. He should be careful to ensure that no appointment made by him, or action taken by him, would in any way prejudice the full use of these small ports and the purpose that they serve so far as our primary producers are concerned.
Mr. Sweetman: I am particularly interested in the point that was made by Senator Duffy. This point was privately discussed yesterday between Senator Hayes and myself. We felt, however, that it would be undesirable to introduce anything in regard to it until the Report Stage of the Bill was reached, and until a certain trial, which is now proceeding, had concluded. I think, however, that an answer that was given in the Dáil yesterday by the Minister for Local Government raises a matter of which I, personally, was not aware when this Bill was under discussion here last night. If I were aware then of the letter which had been sent by the Minister for Local Government I might have felt bound to intervene in the discussion last night in a slightly different way. I think that, in view of the statement made by the Minister for Local Government, it will be necessary to have in this section some very clear indication that the members of the various harbour authorities who are to be nominated by the Minister will be nominated and become full  ordinary members of the harbour authorities, not owing allegiance to anyone other than the authority which they are serving. It will be necessary, I think, to have it clearly expressed that under no circumstances can they be asked to give an undertaking that “they shall communicate with the Minister if anything should arise which might disturb harmonious relations” with the nominated members of any body. They should have no communication with any Minister except through the authority on which they are serving. They should have the ordinary right to communicate with any person or individual that they may desire to communicate with, and should not be under any personal obligation to report specially to a Minister.
The only obligation on them should be to serve as full and proper members of the authority, to do justice to that authority, and that if anything entered into the work of the authority concerned that was not harmonious, then it would be their duty to see that the affairs of the authority were carried out in a proper manner. That is the only way in which real confidence can be obtained between one member of a harbour authority and another. Until we get that enshrined in this Bill, or clearly stated in the records of this House I think we shall have to give further consideration to this whole question of nomination.
Mr. Lemass: I am not quite sure about the points raised by the Senator. I must confess that I did not quite grasp what precisely he was getting at. I explained when introducing the Bill that, instead of aiming at the concentration of facilities, we were moving in the opposite direction so far as harbours are concerned. In relation to other transport undertakings our aim is concentration so as to make for efficiency and cheapness. That is not true in relation to harbours. The aim of this Bill is not merely to establish these harbour authorities upon a better basis but to facilitate them in developing the harbours for which they are  responsible. In fact, in introducing the Bill I outlined provisions which are not contained in it but which are equally important from the point of view of the harbour authorities. There is to be the provision of financial aid, first of all to meet the abnormal loss of revenue due to the cessation of trade during the war and, secondly, to provide for the construction of works and the provision of facilities which would attract traffic to them. If Senator Sir John Keane's point is that this Bill is in any way designed to take trade from the smaller ports to the larger ports, he completely misunderstands the position.
Perhaps while I am on my feet I might reply to some other points that were mentioned by Senators, although they do not appear to me to relate particularly to the section. First of all, I can tell Senator O'Reilly that he can spare the midnight oil in the drafting of that amendment about which he told us. I can tell him that the amendment is not necessary. There is nothing in the Bill which would debar the representatives of a local authority making representations such as he has in mind. In fact, if he studies the report of the Ports and Harbours Tribunal he will find that that is one of the specific purposes for which it is proposed to give the Minister the power of nomination particularly in relation to the Dublin port authority, where it is desirable to secure suitable representation for commercial interests in adjacent areas.
I appreciate the point raised by Senator Duffy concerning the name of the Federation of Irish Manufacturers as a nominating authority. It will be remembered that the Bill, when introduced, did not contain in this section paragraphs (c), (d) or (e). When I accepted the representations made on behalf of the live-stock trade, I felt that it would be impossible to resist similar representations made by the Federation of Irish Manufacturers who contended, and I think rightly contended, that they had a point of view in relation to trade matters which might not be adequately expressed through the chambers of commerce. The chambers of commerce would be much more concerned with purely commercial  interests represented in their membership, whereas the Manufacturers' Association had wider interests which put them in a position to express a different point of view. Obviously, from their point of view, no alternative to sub-section (d) of the section would be suitable, and, in fact, the power of nomination is being given to them because they do, in fact, express the viewpoint that might otherwise not be expressed at all, and that particular reason for giving them power of nomination would not be met by a general provision providing for representation of manufacturers.
Mr. Lemass: So far as sub-section (3) is concerned, I explained to Senator Counihan that the possibility of some other organisation being designated as the nominating authority had to be kept in mind. There is also the case where the main live-stock interest using the port might have to be given representation on the harbour authority.
Mr. Lemass: Certainly, and it has reference to what Senator Duffy said and what I stated in connection with Senator Counihan's amendment which we discussed recently. That referred to the secondary ports, and this is a question concerning the main harbour authorities. I can tell Senator Counihan also that in so far as the matter of the railway companies and traffic facilities are concerned, and the provision of proper facilities for the transport of cattle, it is not necessary to have anything of the kind he suggested in this Bill. In so far as anything of that kind is necessary, there is ample machinery for the purpose under the Transport Act, and there is the right of appeal. The Advisory Council which was set up under that Act, and which is the Minister's operative body, is empowered to deal with such matters if it is considered that the facilities provided are inadequate.  Furthermore, we provided in that Act provision to ensure that there should not be discrimination in the facilities provided, as between one harbour and another.
I do not want to go into the question of Ministerial nominations, or whether there might be any difficulty there, such as has been suggested. All I can say is that I have had no difficulty in that regard. These people were appointed for a certain purpose, and it never entered their heads, or my head, that they would not act independently.
Mr. Duffy: In connection with this matter, I should like to say that I have before me a copy of the last annual report of the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Ltd., and I am rather surprised to find that of their total membership of 748, 60 per cent. of these are in Dublin. It would appear, from the report, that 14 of their members are in Waterford. Are these to be consulted in regard to this matter?
Mr. Duffy: Yes, but I assume that it is two—that is, one-seventh—of the 14 members in Waterford who will be elected to the Waterford Harbour Board. Now, I am not opposing the giving of representation to the Federation of Irish Manufacturers. I am quite in favour of that, as a matter of fact, and I agree with the Minister that there are sound reasons for giving that body representation, but manufacturers' associations do not always agree with the chambers of commerce. As a matter of fact, their interests are frequently in conflict with the interests of the chambers of commerce, but the Minister is tying himself up, in this sub-section, with an organisation which, I suggest, represents a very small number of firms. If one were to examine the number of firms with membership in the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, it would be discovered that some of them are not of tremendous economic importance to the country. Some are, of course; but here is a very significant point, which  is set out in the report of the federation, and bearing out what I said at the beginning; this is a paragraph in the current report:—
In other words, of the number of firms who joined the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, Ltd., in 1945, 21 left the federation. I am not stressing that particular point, but I am drawing attention to the fact that 21 members left the federation because of arrears of payments, or for some other reason, in 1945, and that the total membership of the whole country is only 748.
All I want to emphasise in relation to these figures is that it is wrong for the Minister to tie himself up for all future time to a federation, named in his Bill, that obviously does not represent half the manufacturers, which may not, in fact, represent the most important manufacturers, and which is an organisation which has a fluid membership. I suggest that everything that the Minister wants to achieve under the Bill could be achieved equally well if he takes the same power under sub-section (1) in relation to the manufacturers as he takes in relation to the live-stock traders and other interests. Everything that he wants to achieve could be achieved in the same way. I was under no illusion as to the position of the federation vis-a-vis the chambers of commerce, although the Minister seemed to think that I was. The federation are entitled to representation, apart from the chambers of commerce, and I am in favour of their having two members on the board, although, in Waterford, that will mean that one-seventh of its total membership will have seats on the Waterford Harbour Board. However, as I say, I am in favour of giving representation to the federation, provided that the Minister does not tie himself down to this for all future time.
Sir John Keane: I am in favour of Senator Duffy's suggestion. The Minister must know that the Federation of Irish Manufacturers does not represent anything like all of the manufacturers in this country. In fact, several of the  older and larger manufacturers are not represented at all on the federation, and I do not think you would get a fair representation of manufacturers by confining this matter to that particular body. I think that the Minister-should take the matter upon himself, or, on the other hand, I think that the chambers of commerce would give a fair representation to that body.
Mr. P.J. O'Reilly: Yes, but it is that particular sub-section that puts into their minds that, for instance, if you have a small town, within ten, 15 or 20 miles of the harbour, certain interests, such as those of the live-stock traders, and so on, should be included. My suggestion is that the interests of people in such a town as I have mentioned should be given consideration, that they should be entitled to submit the names of three people to the Minister for nomination, and that the Minister could then select the people to be put on the board. That is what I had in mind.
Mr. P.J. O'Reilly: Well, I think it would be better to have a specific provision here in such a case, since the local authority does represent all interests. It would tend to secure a community of local interest, the necessity of which the Minister has so frequently emphasised. It would be very desirable, too, in the interest of the port itself. However, I hope to explain matters more fully when dealing with the amendment.
Mr. Sweetman: Under sub-section (3) the Minister for Agriculture may select by Order the live-stock members. Is this not a clear case in which there is possible discrimination by the Minister and does it not, therefore, come within the Minister's statement yesterday regarding Orders that should be tabled.
Liam Ó Buachalla: I had not intended to say anything on the amendment before us because I think that a great deal of the discussion which has taken place has been more a waste of time than anything else. One association in the country has been rather vigorously assailed. I do not hold any brief for that association—the Federation of Irish Manufacturers—but I do not think that their position has been properly stated. Neither do I think that their importance has been properly adverted to. I think that, in assessing their importance, it is wrong to proceed on the basis of the numbers of firms who are members of that association. People interested in Irish industry must be familiar with the aims and policy of the association. If they are familiar with those aims and with the policy of the organisation, it must have very forcibly occurred to them that there are interests in Ireland that will never rub shoulders and never associate with those connected with that organisation in their work for Irish industry. If there are certain elements not willing to associate with the Federation of Irish Manufacturers, I rather think that it is more a compliment to that association than anything else.
When Senator Duffy was speaking, it occurred to me to put the question: what would be the position of a provincial town? I visualise the position in Galway. I suppose we should have seven or eight industries in that town —an important foundry engaged in many aspects of engineering work, two firms engaged in the production of woollen goods, an important chemical industry and a branch of Imperial Chemicals. One might say that the number of firms in Galway who are members of this association would not run to more than eight or 10 but there could be no comparison between the interest they would have in the port and the interest the ordinary traders —the general body of the chamber of commerce—would have. The amount of their capital, the importance of the port for the importation of their raw materials, the number of workers they cater for—these are matters that must be taken into consideration. In stating the case against the Federation of  Irish Manufacturers, these points should have been adverted to. If Senators think that there is nothing in them, then they should have shown that. Taking the whole matter, by and large, there is every reason why an association like the Federation of Irish Manufacturers should get the representation that is accorded to them——
Mr. Duffy: Nobody has suggested that they should not. If the Senator would read the section and understand what he is talking about, we would be saved these lectures. Perhaps I shall give him a further opportunity by putting an amendment down for the next stage.
Mr. Sweetman: Would the Minister not think it better to specify the minimum electorate? I entirely agree that, if you have only a trifling electorate, it is not desirable to have an election but would it not be better to specify the minimum?
Mr. Lemass: Yes, except that conditions would vary considerably from port to port and from one authority to another. In some cases, a comparatively small electorate would be regarded as adequate, although it would be regarded as too small for a port of larger calibre. In Dundalk, the electorate is, I think, 500. In Foynes and Fenit it would be much smaller. What would be adequate for Foynes and Fenit might be too small for Dundalk. It is very hard to deal with all types of harbour authority in one section.
This section deals with the residence qualification of members of a harbour authority. The general line taken by the Minister is that the members of a harbour authority must reside within 30 miles of the harbour office. Originally, I think he contemplated residence within 20 miles. That has been altered. If a person resides more than 30 miles from the harbour office he will be disqualified for membership. That disqualification does not apply to members appointed by a local authority. That, in fact, means the county council, because a person appointed by a borough council would, certainly, reside within 20 miles of the harbour. I think that it is wrong to go on the line that the county council should be free to appoint as members people living any distance from the harbour office. Let us take the case of an appointment of representatives by Cork County Council on Baltimore harbour authority. One can hardly imagine the county council in Cork seriously contemplating the appointment of a member of the county council residing in Blarney or Fermoy as their representative on that harbour authority.
I suggest that if the county councils were to make such appointments, there should be some restrictions on their liberty to do so, because it seems to me that the people who would be most likely to understand the requirements of such a harbour and to be most interested in its control, management and development, would be those from the immediate neighbourhood. They would be available to attend regularly the meetings of the harbour authority, and controversies about travelling expenses would not be likely to crop up.
It is a disadvantage when members of harbour boards live at considerable distances from the offices of the board. There is a further consideration. The members of the harbour authority should be entitled to receive compensation for their expenses of locomotion.  That may not be a very serious matter in Dublin, Cork, Limerick or Waterford, but it may be a very serious matter in the case of a harbour like Ballyshannon or Baltimore, where the income of the harbour authority would be quite small and where expenses of travel might mean a considerable call on the revenues of the authority. Therefore I urge that the Minister would agree to delete these words in relation to the members appointed to the harbour authority by the local authority of the county.
Sir John Keane: Often I agree with Senator Duffy, but I am afraid I cannot see eye to eye with him in supporting this amendment. I feel that it would be undesirable to impose a residential qualification on members of the local authority. I think the local authority can be trusted, if it can be trusted at all, to take these considerations into account. I do not think that the residential qualification is advisable in this section.
Mr. Lemass: I think the case made for the amendment can easily be disposed of. The position in many of these harbours is that county-at-large charges are levied for their development. These charges are raised by the county council and I do not think it is desirable that the county council should be restricted in its choice of representatives when it has to produce the money.
Mr. Lemass: The same question could arise anywhere else. A local authority may, but is not obliged to contribute to the upkeep of the harbour. The same situation can arise in Kerry or in Donegal. It may not be necessary for a particular harbour to seek assistance from the local authority, and we must have regard to the old principle of “no taxation without representation”. That principle would require that the local authority should have whatever representation it desired.
Mr. Sweetman: On Section 20, might I ask the Minister why he has proposed that the harbour authorities should meet on the second Thursday of the month of October? Surely, that is one of the matters which could be dealt with by a Ministerial regulation instead of being incorporated in the Bill?
Mr. Lemass: I do not think so. The intention is to have a fixed date in every year in relation to which the business of the harbour authorities will be conducted. I think this principle has already been adopted in local government legislation. SECTION 22
This amendment relates to the difficulty which we notice very frequently in the election of chairmen of certain authorities. I agree that the section, as put before us here, differs in some respects from other statutes I have in mind affecting members of certain local authorities. We are aware that sometimes members of local authorities remain seated and do not show their hands during a vote. In that way they can frustrate the efforts of the local authorities to elect their chairman. That has happened on more than one occasion in certain places. One corporation has, indeed, had to meet week after week in an effort to elect a chairman.
Mr. Duffy: These gentlemen thought it wiser to abstain from voting than to record their votes. That is exactly what I am attempting to remedy here. We should make it clear that the business of the authority should not be held up by such tactics.
Mr. Lemass: If members of the House will examine the section they will see that it provides that a decision will be reached by those present and voting. When there are two or more candidates a vote will be taken.
Mr. Lemass: I think some Senators are misunderstanding the position. May I make it clear? If there is only one candidate for the office of chairman he is elected. If there are two, a vote will be taken. If there is a tie, the matter will be decided by lot. If there are three candidates and one does not get the majority of those present then the lowest is eliminated and another ballot taken. It could happen that some people will abstain from voting on the first ballot, who  might vote on a second. I hope that I have made my point clear to the Seanad.
Mr. Lemass: Will the Senator not agree that, where there are more than two candidates, one candidate should not be declared elected on the first ballot unless he receives a majority of the votes of the members present? If he does get a majority, then no subsequent ballot can upset that position and he is declared elected. If he does not get a majority of the members present, then the procedure is that the lowest candidate is eliminated and whoever on the final ballot gets the most votes is elected.
Mr. Duffy: Let us say that it is a small harbour authority and that there are nine members present. Suppose there are three candidates and one person gets a majority of the votes cast. He may get four votes, another candidate may get three, and two members do not vote. The person who gets the majority of the votes cast should then be elected. SECTION 23.
There is something which I do not understand about the provision in sub-section (4) of this section which enables a harbour authority to fix by regulation the procedure and quorum for its sub-committees. I am at a loss to understand what exactly is meant, because I cannot find anywhere in the Bill power conferred on the harbour authorities to make regulations.
Mr. Duffy: In Section 24, sub-section (8) a harbour authority is given power to regulate its own business “by standing orders or otherwise”“Otherwise”, I believe would mean, according to the accepted interpretation of law, something equivalent to standing orders but it would not cover the fixing of a quorum.
Mr. Lemass: I shall look into the point, but clearly we could not accept the word “prescribed” which would mean prescribed by the Minister. “Prescribed” is defined in the definition section as “prescribed by regulations made by the Minister”. That is why “regulations” is used here to distinguish it from a Ministerial Order. SECTION 24.
Mr. Duffy: I move amendment No. 19:—
In sub-section (1), page 21, line 17, to delete the word “five” and substitute instead the word “seven”.
In sub-section (1) of this section it is proposed that the quorum for a meeting of a harbour authority mentioned in the first part of the First Schedule —that is, the principal harbours—shall be five. When the Bill was originally drafted the Minister prescribed a quorum of seven. At the time he intended that the harbour authorities should consist of 19 members. Meanwhile the membership has been increased from 19 to 23 and the quorum reduced from seven to five and here is one of the things that has been running through my mind with regard to the matter. The Minister is entitled to appoint four members of the board, and a good deal of discussion has taken place here in regard to these appointments. I do not want to go into that at all. I think the Minister is not infallible in regard to the making of appointments. I do not think he will designedly set out to secure four people who are not suitable members, but I do think it undesirable that a quorum at the board should be only five when the Minister has the right to appoint four members of the board.
Mr. Lemass: The Bill as introduced provided for a quorum of seven, but it was represented to me by the harbour authorities themselves that it should be reduced. They made the case that where only formal business had to be transacted it was frequently difficult to get a quorum. When there is important business to be transacted there is generally a full attendance, but when there is no important business and purely informal transactions had to be disposed of, they said they found it difficult to get a quorum. They, therefore, suggested that the quorum should be reduced, and I accepted their representations.
It is not unusual. In the case of Dublin Port and Docks, where the present membership is 28, the quorum is five. The membership in future will be smaller but the quorum will be the  same. The principal reason for reducing the number is that the harbour parties themselves think that the quorum should be smaller. To facilitate the transaction of purely formal business it is felt that a big quorum should not be required.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. Duffy: I move amendment No. 20:—
In sub-section (3), line 38, after the word “chairman” to insert the words “vice-chairman”.
In this case there appears to have been an error. Sub-section (3) sets out that,
“save as otherwise provided by this Act, a question at a meeting of a harbour authority shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present except where the question of the election of chairman is concerned.”
Whatever applies to the election of chairman applies also to the election of vice-chairman.
Mr. Lemass: But by the time it is proposed to elect a vice-chairman, a chairman has been elected.
Mr. Duffy: If you look at paragraph (h) of Section 22, you will find that the chairmanship must be decided by lot if there is a tie. That refers to the vice-chairmanship as well as to the chairmanship.
Mr. Lemass: I see the point.
Mr. Duffy: I suggest there can be no doubt if, in addition to the provision in Section 22 which provides that the election of vice-chairman must be decided by lot in case of a tie, it is also provided that there should be no casting vote.
Mr. Lemass: I shall examine the point.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. Duffy: I move amendment No. 21:—
After sub-section (9), in page 22, to insert the following new sub-section:—
 (10) A meeting of a harbour authority shall not be abandoned on the grounds that a quorum is not present until the expiration of 15 minutes after the time appointed for the holding of the meeting.
This deals with the abandonment of meetings. It seems to me that some named time should elapse before a meeting is abandoned. It will be remembered that a meeting may be called on requisition, but not because the secretary or chairman desires it. If a chairman refuses to call a meeting, a certain number of members can sign a requisition requiring the secretary to call one. It seems to me that in a case like that the chairman might be disposed, five minutes after the time appointed for the meeting, to abandon it.
Mr. Lemass: The proposal in the Bill is to leave these matters to be fixed by the harbour authorities under their own standing orders. They will have the power to make certain standing orders, and this is one of the matters that might be left to them.
Mr. Duffy: I do not want to force this point. The Minister is taking power to safeguard the rights of individual members of harbour authorities. If a chairman is unwilling to call a meeting, I want to ensure that he will not be able to frustrate the efforts of members to hold a meeting by, for example, announcing three minutes past 12 o'clock that the meeting had been abandoned.
Mr. Lemass: I take it that the harbour authority would have a standing order for the purpose of determining at what stage a quorum was not present. This is a matter that, I think, might be left for regulation by the harbour authorities themselves under their standing orders.
Mr. Duffy: Normally, I agree that is the proper thing to do. As, however, power is being taken to safeguard the rights of members, I thought that this was a matter in respect of which we should take steps to safeguard members' rights, if not already safeguarded under standing orders.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
 Sections 24 and 25 agreed to.
Mr. Duffy: I move amendment No. 22:—
In sub-section (1), page 22, line 37, to delete the word “twenty” and substitute instead the word “ten”.
This is a case where a penalty is imposed on a person who acts as a member of a harbour authority when disqualified from so acting. On conviction, he may be fined a sum not exceeding £20. I recognise, of course, that the court may not impose that penalty at all. The fine imposed may not exceed 5/-. The fact that £20 is mentioned suggests that the fine should be substantial. I am not defending the person who acts, knowing well that he was not entitled to act as a member of a local authority. In view of all the circumstances I think that a maximum fine of £10 would be adequate.
Mr. Lemass: In this and in a number of other sections of the Bill, the practice that we have followed has been to adopt provisions similar to those contained in Local Government legislation. We felt that there was a case for making ordinary routine provisions of this kind conform to those in the Local Government statutes with which the members of harbour authorities are likely to be familiar. Unless there was good reason for doing so, I should not like to depart in any way from these provisions which, as I have said, are contained in Local Government Acts. Unless the Senator thinks that this is an important matter, I would urge him to leave the section as it stands.
Mr. Duffy: I do not consider that it is important.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 26, 27, 28 and 29 agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 30 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Sweetman: I presume that Section 30 also follows local government procedure?
Mr. Lemass: Not quite. It is mainly the same, but there are special provisions in this section for dealing with harbour authorities which may be somewhat different. It is based on local government procedure.
Question put and agreed to.
Sections 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35 put and agreed to.
Mr. Duffy: I move amendment No. 23:—
In page 25, to add to the section the following sub-section:—
( ) Every Order made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as conveniently may be after it is made.
This section deals with the adaptation of enactments. It provides that:—
The Minister may by Order make all such adaptations of any enactment (including this Act other than this Part of this Act) as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for enabling this Part of this Act to have full force and effect or for enabling such enactment to have effect in conformity with this Part of this Act.
On a previous occasion when discussing a somewhat similar measure, I think the present Minister objected to the suggestion that an Order made by him under a similar provision should be capable of being annulled. While I am not conceding that point I do not propose to argue it. All that I am asking is that the Minister will lay a copy of his Order on the Table for the information of both Houses without any power to annul. Some of these Orders may be of a far-reaching character, and they should be available for the public.
This matter was discussed some short time ago by the House on a motion which I moved, and one which received a considerable amount of support. The proposal then was that every Order and every regulation made by a Minister over a period of years which purported to adapt, amend or modify enactments or other statutory measures, should be collected and published. The Taoiseach was good  enough to come to the House on that occasion and to express concurrence, to some extent, with the views advanced here. He admitted, I think, that it was desirable that the public should be informed as to what was being done under these enactments. I think he went so far as to say, in relation to a certain body of Statutory Orders, that the first step would be to collect and issue them in an annual volume so that the public might be kept informed of what was being done under the authority of the Statute.
What I am proposing will not impose a difficult task on the Minister. It simply asks that, when he makes an Order, a copy of it will be placed on the Table for the information of those interested, and that there will be no power to interfere with, hold up or annul that Order.
Mr. Lemass: This section, of course, deals with a very minor matter, as the Senator will appreciate. The main, effective power in this part of the Bill is contained in Section 30, which provides that every Order made under the section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as conveniently may be after it is made, and that if a resolution annulling such an Order is passed by either House of the Oireachtas within the next 21 days on which either House has sat after such an Order is laid before it, the Order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under the Order. It is under Section 30 that the effective power will be used, and when the Minister decides that the members of a harbour authority must be removed from office, the Order which he makes in connection therewith will be tabled before each House of the Oireachtas.
May I say also that, in relation to that particular section, we did depart from the previous Local Government Acts? The Local Government Acts give power to adapt or modify certain sections, but we are only taking power here to adapt; that is, to substitute such provisions as will enable the commissioner to carry out his duties. It is purely a matter of adaptation, and  will not affect the powers of the harbour authority. That will be done under the main Order, mentioned in Section 30, which will be tabled before each House of the Oireachtas.
Mr. Duffy: Supposing that the Minister makes an Order under the Act, and then changes the Order to vary the number that will be on the harbour board: how will the public, or how will a lawyer, who might be particularly interested in the matter, know that that adaptation is to be made?
Mr. Lemass: I do not see how that can arise. A harbour authority is removed from office, and a commissioner is authorised to carry on the duties of that body. He is authorised to carry on their duties, and that is all there is to the matter in such a case, but in the case of the appointment of two or three other persons, as substitutes for people who have not been carrying out their duties, that would be only a minor matter.
Mr. Duffy: Let us assume that the number of members designated to form a pilotage committee should be changed, what would happen in that case? I assume that this would come under one of the old British Acts.
Mr. Lemass: It is provided for here.
Mr. Duffy: Yes, but the Minister may say that the number concerned shall be, let us say, three, and some person concerned with shipping interests, and having no knowledge of this adaptation, may go to a solicitor and proceed to take action because there are now only three members: how is the lawyer in that case to know that the pilotage committee is properly constituted, unless it has been published that such an adaptation has taken place?
Mr. Lemass: Well, I am not in a position to answer that now, but I shall look into it.
Mr. Sweetman: My idea is that the form of the publication of statutory Orders, and so on, is such that it would lead to dreadful complications if one were to try to find out, in respect of, say, Westport Harbour, whether changes had been made, and  accordingly I think it would be well for the Minister to issue a synopsis, say, every 12 months, of the various Orders or changes that have been made.
Mr. Lemass: I think that, in actual practice, all these Orders, whether so required by statute or not, are laid before the Oireachtas, or tabled in the Library of the Oireachtas.
Mr. Sweetman: I doubt whether this one would be.
Mr. Lemass: I think that if the Senator inquires, he will find that all these Orders, whether statutory or not, are tabled in the Library of the Oireachtas.
Mr. Sweetman: My objection is that the amount of research involved, having regard to the fact that most of the Orders concerned here will be referred to by number, will be very heavy. Most of the Orders connected with this particular measure, for instance, will be referred to as No. So-and-so, 1946, and everyone of these Orders will have to be looked into in order to see whether they would affect, say, Westport Harbour.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 36 and 37 put and agreed to.
Mr. Quirke: I move amendment No. 24:—
In page 26, Section 38, to insert at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—
() (a) Where, before the passing of this Act, a person was appointed to an office or employment, under a harbour authority, which became vacant or was created on or after the 1st day of January, 1946, and which would, if this Part had come into operation on the 1st day of January, 1946, have been an office or employment to which the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Acts, 1926 and 1940, would have applied, then, that person shall, immediately upon the passing of this Act, cease to hold the said office or employment.
 (b) Every question or dispute as to whether any particular office or employment is or is not an office or employment to which paragraph (a) of this sub-section relates shall be decided by the Minister after consultation with the Local Appointments Commissioners and such decision shall be final and conclusive.
Mr. Lemass: I think I should explain the necessity for having an amendment of this kind in the Bill. As the House is aware, the intention is to have offices in the service of harbour authorities filled in future through the Local Appointments Commission. The Bill so provides, but there appears to be a tendency on the part of some local authorities to forestall the passing of the Bill by creating or filling offices now, and I think that that is undesirable. In so far as it is the intention that such appointments should be filled through the Local Appointments Commission, it is not desirable that that object should be defeated, and I am proposing, therefore, that where, subsequent to January 1st and before the passing of this Bill a person has been appointed to an office or employment under a harbour authority, that appointment shall be deemed to be temporary. I do not want to suggest that there has been anything wrong in the action of a harbour authority in creating or filling vacancies since the introduction of this Bill into the Dáil, but it could be suggested that there was undue haste in creating or filling such vacancies and that it was clearly the intention of the harbour authorities to secure certain individuals in employment before the Local Appointments Commission could deal with the vacancies. Accordingly, I am suggesting in this amendment that such positions should become vacant again when the Bill becomes law.
Mr. Sweetman: I oppose this amendment vehemently. It is an amendment that has been introduced by the Minister to deal with two specific cases: the cases of Cork and Limerick. The Minister gave notice, in the discussion on the Fifth Stage of the Bill in the Dáil, that he proposed to introduce  such an amendment. His proposal to introduce such an amendment was occasioned by the mention by Deputy Morrissey of a letter to the Minister's Department in regard to Limerick. However, let me take the case of Cork first. The position in respect of Cork was that, on the 1st October last, the then Harbour Master of Cork, Captain Kelly, resigned.
Mr. Lemass: He has not resigned yet, or at least he has not vacated office yet.
Mr. Sweetman: I think that if the Minister will look at the records of the Cork Harbour Board, he will find that the resignation of Captain Kelly was accepted on 8th October, 1945. Steps were taken, I understand, by the Cork Harbour Board, consequent on that, to arrange with their legal advisers for the appointment of a successor. So far as I understand, Captain Kelly was asked to hold on until they would have made the arrangements. Cork Harbour Board made their arrangements and had called a special meeting for the making of the appointment when they received a letter from the Minister's Department which referred them to the terms of this Bill and suggested that the appointment should not be made. I want to state, in passing, that the letter written by the Minister's Department to the Cork Harbour Board was, to say the least, very discourteous to this House because it assumed, as a matter of course, that the Bill would pass this House. Not only that, but it assumed that the Bill would pass the Dáil, which it had not then passed. It is very undesirable that Government Departments should make that assumption in regard to any measure before the Oireachtas at any time. It further assumed that the measure would pass not in its then existing state but in a form to which the Minister intended to change it at a later date. This amendment is designed to ensure that what Cork Harbour Board set out to do in performance of their proper duties shall not be done.
Whatever case the Minister may have in respect of Cork, I suggest he has no case whatever in respect of Limerick.  The Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926, contains specific provision for promotion within the service. All Limerick Harbour Board did was to promote a man who, for seven years, had been carrying on the duties of the secretary who was old and who had not been able to discharge his work. From what I have been told, there would be a case for the Minister rating the old board for not having made the appointment sooner but all that was done by Limerick Harbour Board was to appoint a man by promotion from within their own service in a way that they would have been entitled to do under Section 5 of the 1926 Act. The Minister is attempting to stultify that. If the Minister is going to work on that basis in regard to the employees of harbour authorities, then there will be very little incentive to those people to do their work in a proper. conscientious way and thus earn and obtain promotion. I have a feeling that there must be something more serious at the back of this business. I feel that the Minister must be particularly anxious to ensure that the person appointed in Limerick shall not be appointed and that this amendment is aimed deliberately at two persons— one in Cork and one in Limerick. Without some reason, it would seem extraordinary for the Minister to adopt the attitude that a harbour authority should not be able to promote an officer who has been doing the work so long and so satisfactorily.
Mr. Lemass: Let me remove any possibility of misunderstanding caused by Senator Sweetman's remarks before any other Senator speaks. So far as Limerick is concerned, the Senator is completely misinformed. The position was that the harbour authority and my Department were aware that the existing secretary was advanced in years and would shortly retire. It was decided that the provisions of the Bill should be amended so as not to apply to Limerick the obligation to appoint a harbour manager until the date of the retirement of the secretary. It was the opinion of the tribunal and my opinion, and it is, I think, accepted by the harbour authority, that, in the  case of Limerick, a separate secretary and manager were not necessary—that the offices should be combined in the same person. The Bill would have imposed on them the obligation to appoint a manager. Faced with the fact that the secretary was about to retire, as we thought some time after the Bill would pass, it was decided that the obligation to appoint a manager should not arise until the secretary had, in fact, retired. I put into the Bill, in Section 45 (2) (c), a specific provision, of which the Limerick Harbour Board was aware, to the effect that the office of general manager would be deemed not to be created until the person now acting as secretary should cease to hold that office. That was designed to meet the specific position at Limerick and was done with the knowledge of the Limerick Harbour Board. What has happened? Before the Bill is passed at all and before the date for the retirement of the old secretary, he resigns and the harbour board immediately meets to appoint a new secretary. If the Bill were not amended, the position would arise that this secretary, who is a young man, would be confirmed in his office and the appointment of a harbour manager would have to be postponed, under the provisions of Section 45, until this new secretary had retired. It was quite obvious that Limerick harbour authority were taking advantage of the special provision I put in the Bill to maintain the position unchanged until the old secretary had retired.
So far as Cork Harbour Board is concerned, the position is that the harbour manager is due to retire in May. The position would ordinarily be advertised and filled when he had retired but, realising the effect of the provisions of the Bill, Cork Harbour Board proceeded to fill the vacancy before the person holding the office had, in fact, vacated it. I do not see that it can be alleged that the letter I sent to Cork Harbour Board was discourteous. The letter was sent on the 28th February and I have it here. I drew attention in it to the fact that I had noted the Press reports that the harbour commissioners were proposing to take steps to fill a vacancy which will occur in May next,  both in respect of the harbour master and the deputy harbour master. I referred them to the terms of the Bill which would make these offices, as technical offices, subject to the Local Appointments Commissioners and I continued:—
“As it is expected that the measure will become law shortly, the Minister considers it would be contrary to the public interest for harbour boards to make appointments at this stage otherwise than in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Bill. I am to suggest, accordingly, that when a vacancy occurs before the measure is enacted it should only be filled on a temporary basis and on the clear understanding that a permanent appointment will be made at an early date through the Local Appointments machinery. There is, in fact, no reason why preliminary arrangements should not be begun with the Local Appointments Commissioners even before the Bill is passed.”
Mr. Sweetman: It is to the last sentence I object.
Mr. Lemass: There is no reason why the harbour board should not avail of the machinery of the Appointments Commission, even if the Bill were never passed. Dublin Port and Docks Board are using that machinery. They asked the Local Appointments Commission to act for them in selecting the most suitable person from those who applied for the post of harbour manager in Dublin. Cork Harbour Commissioners could have done the same thing. There was nothing to prevent their using the machinery of the Local Appointments Commission and there were many precedents for their doing so. It is quite obvious they decided they would forestall the Bill and fill these posts before they became subject to the Local Appointments Commission.
It may be that the persons appointed might be considered by the Local Appointments Commission to be the most suitable for those positions, but it certainly seems that doubts exist in some people's minds in that connection. The Cork Harbour Commissioners  knew that an amendment would be submitted to the Seanad, but nevertheless decided to make the appointments on a permanent basis.
I felt that the Cork Harbour Commissioners should understand the situation, and informed them of the proposed amendment. I do not know the attitude of the Seanad on this question of using the Local Appointments Commission. In a matter like this all suspicions of wrong influences affecting appointments should be eliminated. It is the intention that these offices should be filled on a competitive basis by the Local Appointments Commission, so as to ensure that the appointments should go to the people best qualified to fill them. We are proposing to apply that principle to the harbour authorities in general and I think it would be wrong to tolerate a position in which certain harbour authorities create or fill jobs before this Act is passed.
Sir John Keane: I had intended to support the amendment, but I feel, after hearing the Minister's explanation, that he is quite justified.
Mr. Duffy: The Minister seems to challenge us to say what is our attitude toward this filling of positions in the public service. I have no hesitation in saying straightaway that so far as I and my associates are concerned, we feel that these positions should be filled on a competitive basis. That is not something new. I think that every section of advanced thought in this country has supported that position in relation to public appointments for 30 years or more.
There is however—and the Minister should probably know about it—a feeling growing up in this country that the Local Appointments Commission is not achieving the objects we were told are in view. I do not want to particularise, and I do not want to refer to any individual cases, but there are instances in which the gravest doubts exist as to the manner in which the functions of the Local Appointments Commission have been fulfilled in relation to certain public appointments. I do not want to go into it any further, and I do not want to raise any question in relation to the commissioners themselves.  I think that the fault lies somewhere else. I subscribe, however, to the attitude the Minister has taken in regard to the appointments we have under discussion. I think that the most that can be said at this stage is that the Minister showed concern about the undue haste in filling certain of these appointments. One would imagine that a local body having the knowledge that this Bill was going through and that a certain method of filling the appointments was prescribed, would wait until the Bill became law so that the appointments could be made within the terms of the present legislation.
Mr. Sweetman: The Minister, has given us a statement of his view of the facts surrounding certain appointments. If his version of the facts was correct, his reasoning would be good, but I do not accept his version as the true version. I am concerned with the provisions of Section 45 of the Bill regarding certain first appointments.
Mr. Lemass: Section 45 of the Bill provides certain conditions in relation to the case of Limerick.
Mr. Sweetman: I have been told by a member of the board——
Mr. Foran: I object. First of all, the Minister is challenged and when he is challenged I think the person who issues the challenge should give full information. It is not good enough to say that a member of the board said so and so. When a charge is made here the person should be mentioned. We are entitled, I think, to have the name of the person who gave the information.
Mr. Sweetman: I have not suggested that the Minister for Industry and Commerce deliberately made a statement to mislead the House. I did not say I believed that he deliberately made a false statement.
Mr. Baxter: Go on.
Mr. Sweetman: I am speaking from the version of the facts given to me.
Mr. Baxter: And you are entitled to give your version of the facts. The House is entitled to have it, just as we are entitled to have the Minister's version.
Mr. Sweetman: If the Minister's version was correct, I would be perfectly satisfied with the attitude he is adopting. But I am dealing with the wide principle of appointments. I remember, even as a young man in 1926 and 1927, the rows that were caused at local bodies' meetings against the Act. These rows were caused by members of the Fianna Fáil Party——
Professor Magennis: Which did not exist in 1926.
Mr. Sweetman: I said 1927. The Act was passed in 1926, and in 1927 a howl was raised throughout the country against the Act. The Act provided for competitive examination to secure the best people for the positions vacant. Unquestionably, the system of competitive examination is justified as the best system and it has been justified specifically by subsequent legislation.
One of the sections of this Bill provides for appointments by promotion in regard to particular offices, subject to the sanction of the Minister for Local Government, and to his declaration that the provisions of the Act can apply. As I read the amendment proposed by Senator Quirke for the Minister, I see the reason for introducing the Limerick case. It seems to me that despite the intention of the Bill the Limerick harbour authority case is given exceptional treatment.
Mr. Lemass: I would like, Sir, to be given an opportunity to explain the section as it affects Limerick. The intention is that the general manager will be the secretary also and in the case of Limerick I think I would decide at any time that the harbour revenue would be insufficient to support two offices or that the functions involved would not require two separate individuals to hold two posts. The position of secretary, if it were a separate office, could, under the general provisions, be filled by promotion but the position of harbour manager could not. The effect of the action of the Limerick harbour authority now is to put them in the position, unless we were to leave in the provision in Section 45, that they must have a secretary and general manager although  they themselves would have agreed, and did agree, that there was no need to have separate appointments for the two positions. The position that arose when we drafted the Bill was that we recognised that at Limerick and Dublin there were existing secretaries. We did not wish to disturb these officers in their positions so we embodied this section in the Bill. It provided, in the case of Dublin, that the secretary would continue to fill that office even after the position of manager had been filled by the commissioners themselves. In the case of Limerick, the appointment of a manager would not arise until the existing secretary had retired. We sent that draft of the Bill to the harbour authorities. The Dublin harbour authorities agreed to the draft. They made a number of suggestions, most of which were adopted and incorporated in the Bill by amendments in the Dáil. The Limerick harbour authority made no representation against this provision nor did we know that they were going to utilise the provision in Section 45 in a manner entirely contrary to that in which we intended it should operate until we saw a Press report to that effect. The Press report stated that the existing secretary had retired and that the position was going to be filled without delay. We then communicated with the Limerick Harbour Board, pointing out that the proposed appointment would be contrary to the intentions of the Bill, that in fact the effect would be to prevent the appointment of a manager so long as the new secretary held office, and that that was not the intention of the relevant provision in Section 45. A secretary was appointed by the Limerick Harbour Board in the last few weeks and the position of manager still remains to be filled although the Port and Harbour Tribunal, we ourselves, and the Limerick harbour authority agreed, as anybody who studies the position must agree, that there should not be two separate offices.
I am proposing that the appointment will be regarded as temporary and that after the Bill passes the position of general manager and secretary for  Limerick will be filled through the machinery of the Local Appointments Commission. There is another amendment later which will provide for the appointment of a secretary with the consent of the Minister where it can be shown that it is necessary. I doubt very much if the Limerick harbour authority will attempt to show that it is necessary with trade in its present condition at the port. No doubt trade will develop to the pre-war standard at a future date or even to a higher standard. If it should, it will be possible for the harbour board to make the case that the functions of general manager were sufficiently large to occupy the whole time of the manager and that they require a secretary as well. At present they could not make that case at all.
Amendment agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 38, as amended, stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Duffy: There is a small point to which I desire to draw attention. It has been customary in a number of statutes of this kind, where the system of the Local Appointments Commissioners is invoked to fill vacancies, to insert a provision regarding the disposal of fees. That does not appear in this section at all. The usual provision is that the fees payable under the section are disposed of in accordance with the wishes of the Minister for Finance or words to that effect.
Mr. Lemass: Whatever provision is required in that regard is contained in the Local Officers and Employees Acts. We are only applying these Acts to the harbour authorities.
Mr. Duffy: I thought that was the case but I was looking at some Acts passed in recent years and a provision was inserted regarding the disposal of the fees.
Mr. Lemass: The fees were paid to the Local Appointments Commission and I think go to pay the expenses of the commission. I shall look up the matter. I am not as well acquainted with it as the Minister responsible.
Mr. Sweetman: Perhaps if the Minister  were more acquainted with it, he would appreciate what Senator Duffy is referring to from one angle and what is felt throughout the country from another angle. That is that there is a very distinct uneasiness that the Act is not being operated in the way that was intended, a way that brings out the best competitive result. There is that feeling in the country. Whether that feeling is with or without justification, nobody who does not know the inner workings of the commissioners can possibly judge. I do not want to say anything that would be contrary to the rules of order or to refer in any critical way to any person who is not here to defend himself but I think it would be better, regardless of whether it is worked at present in the most economical way or not—I am not now suggesting the commissioners are partial—for a facade to be given to the Act such as if it were not operated by three persons all of whom were political appointees. If it were not operated in that way, there could be no justification for the growing public feeling in the country relating to the commission.
Mr. Lemass: I find that I have a note here to the effect that at the end of each year the entire cost of the Local Appointments Commission is calculated. There is deducted from that the total amount received by the commission in fees and other receipts and the balance is assessed on the counties and county boroughs in proportion to the rateable valuation.
Question put and agreed to.
Mr. Quirke: I move amendment No. 25:—
In page 26, Section 39, to insert at the end of the section a new sub-section as follows:—
(9) A harbour authority of a harbour mentioned in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act may from time to time with the consent of the Minister appoint, in addition to the general manager, a person to be secretary of their harbour, and the office of secretary shall be an office to which the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Acts, 1926  and 1940, as applied by this Act, apply.
Mr. Lemass: This is the amendment to which I referred when discussing the previous amendment. It provides that a harbour authority may from time to time appoint in addition to the manager a secretary where the Minister consents to an application from the harbour authority to make such appointment on the ground that the business of the harbour has grown to such an extent that two separate officers are required to discharge the work.
Amendment agreed to.
Sections 39 and 40 agreed to.
Question proposed: “That Section 41 stand part of the Bill.”
Mr. Duffy: This section relates to the position of the secretary of a harbour authority where the harbour is under Part II of the Schedule. The secretary is designated here as chief executive officer and the question occurred to me as to what his functions are in relation to certain duties specifically assigned to the manager in the case of Part II harbours.
Mr. Lemass: There is no provision for managers for Part II harbours.
Mr. Duffy: What are his powers, if any, in relation, say, to the appointment of staff and the dismissal of staff?
Mr. Lemass: He is not given the same powers at all as the harbour manager of Part I harbours.
Section 41 agreed to.
Mr. Duffy: I move amendment No. 26:—
In sub-section (1), page 27, before line 23, to insert the following subparagraph:—
(c) qualifications relating to age of retirement.
Under sub-section (1) the Minister is taking power to prescribe certain qualifications in relation to appointments under the Bill. For instance, he will  have the power, in certain cases, to specify qualifications with regard to character, age and so forth. He is not taking power to prescribe a retiring age. If that is to be dealt with at all, I think it should be dealt with now. We know that some years ago another Department proposed to specify a retiring age in respect of dispensary doctors. The attempt to do so failed. There was an outcry on the grounds that when a person was appointed to one of these offices there was no retiring age prescribed, and that therefore it would be unfair to apply it to such a person. The person entered the office in the belief that he could continue in it as long as he was able to discharge the duties. In regard to this Bill, I think that, if there is a desire to have a retiring age in respect of principal officers, it should be set out in the declaration in regard to the qualifications which the Minister will prescribe.
Mr. Lemass: If the Senator will leave it over for Report Stage I will consider it. There seems to be a need for some such provision.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Mr. Duffy: I move amendment No. 27:—
In sub-section (5), page 27, to insert at the end of the sub-section in line 45, the following words: “Provided that this sub-section shall not apply in respect of a qualification which relates to residence where the person appointed undertakes to reside after appointment within a prescribed area and carries out such undertakings.”
It would appear to me that in the Bill the specification in regard to residence applies to candidates and not to the persons appointed. If I am correct, it would follow that if the Minister were to specify a Dublin residence for an applicant for a position under the Dublin Port authority it would rule out applicants from Drogheda, Limerick or Cork. I feel fairly certain that is not meant. I am endeavouring to ensure that the specification given by the Minister will not rule out candidates living outside the area prescribed if, on appointment, the person appointed is  willing to reside in a specified area and to carry out that undertaking.
Mr. Lemass: I think it would be possible for the Minister to make a declaration under sub-section (1) to apply to the holders of office rather than to the candidates for office. In fact, I feel fairly certain that the declared qualification would, in fact, relate only to the holders of office and not to candidates. I will have the point examined. It is desirable that there should be no ambiguity.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Sections 42, 43 and 44 agreed to.
Mr. Quirke: I move amendment No. 28:—
In page 28, Section 45, sub-section (2), to insert in line 53 after the word “Act” the following words “and was appointed to that office before the 1st day of January, 1946”.
Mr. Lemass: This amendment is designed to ensure that the provisions of the sub-section will apply only to the secretary of the Dublin Harbour. It is designed to meet the case of Dublin, and it is desirable that it would be clear that it applies only in that case.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Quirke: I move amendment No. 29:—
In page 29, Section 45, sub-section (2), to delete paragraph (c), lines 11 to 20.
Mr. Lemass: I referred to this amendment in the course of a discussion on an earlier amendment. I indicated that this provision was inserted in the Bill solely on the understanding that the former secretary of the Limerick Harbour Board would remain in office until this Bill had become law. As he has now resigned, it is not necessary to retain this provision.
Amendment agreed to.
Mr. Quirke: I move amendment No. 30:—
 In page 29, Section 45, sub-section (3), line 25, to delete the words “and shall have effect as if it were,” and substitute the words “in such manner as the said commissioners think proper, and the person so selected and recommended by the said commissioners for appointment shall be appointed general manager of the harbour under Section 39 of this Act as if the said selection and recommendation were”.
Mr. Lemass: This is a drafting amendment suggested by the Local Appointments Commission. It is designed to ensure that the intention of the sub-section is given full effect.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 45, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 46, 47 and 48 agreed to.
Mr. Duffy: I move amendment No. 31:—
In page 30, line 17, before the word “provide” to insert the words “and if required by the Minister shall”; and in line 19 to delete the words “they think proper” and substitute therefor the words “may be reasonably necessary for the purposes of the harbour”.
I assume that this amendment is going to be unpopular because it proposes to impose obligations on harbour authorities where they are reluctant to do what it is contemplated in this Bill they should do. The section provides that a harbour authority may provide, in connection with their harbour, sheds, transit sheds, silos, stores, etc. It appears to me that it is not sufficient, having regard to the interests of Irish trade and of Irish shipping, that a harbour authority may be given permission to provide these facilities. I want to ensure that the facilities will be provided where they are necessary. What I am proposing is that the section should be altered so as to read that the harbour authority may provide these facilities, or that they shall provide these facilities where required by the Minister to do so.
 The phraseology that I am using is quite common in local government legislation, where the Minister authorises a local authority to provide a hospital, a mental hospital, a clinic or something else, at the same time taking the precaution, where he considers it necessary to do so, of saying that they shall, in fact, provide these amenities if called upon by the Minister to do so.
I may say that I am concerned mainly with two kinds of facilities: the provision of ordinary transit sheds and transhipment sheds. Strange as it may appear, in an island country such as ours, having all its external trade carried through its ports, and endeavouring to build up its own maritime marine, there is not one transhipment shed in the whole of Ireland. That seems to be absolutely inconsistent with our geographical position and our own ambitions, but it is explainable when we have regard to our history. The various shipping companies using our ports were built up on the principle that they were doing a coastal trade. They were just trading between England and Ireland, just as they might trade between London and Liverpool, and up till about 1923, these shipping companies had no other view in regard to this country except the view of a coast-wise trade. Goods were brought from abroad to England, and then brought here in ordinary cross-Channel steamers, and there was no transhipment. In those days, there was no question of quotas or licences. What I want to suggest is that if it is desirable to build up a maritime service in this country, it must develop on the principle that Irish ships will be able to take on a cargo at a foreign port for any centre for which the cargo is offered. Let us assume, for instance, that a ship is loading at Amsterdam, for the Port of Dublin; half of the cargo which is being shipped is being brought to Dublin, but there is also cargo lying at that port which is available for Glasgow or Liverpool. The master of that Irish ship can take on the Liverpool or Glasgow cargo in order to fill up his vacant space, if he is able to offer to the shippers the same facilities in Ireland that a British firm would be able to offer. In other words he can say: “I can take your  cargo to Dublin, where it can be lifted from the ship, without the smallest package being opened or broken, and it will only have to lie there at Dublin for about 24 hours until a ship is leaving for Liverpool or Glasgow.”
That is the principle that I am advocating, and it is in that connection that I say that proper shipping facilities and transhipment sheds are required, but we have no such transhipment sheds, and none of the shipping companies concerned have bothered their heads to provide any such facilities at any of our ports for that kind of traffic during the last 25 years. I suggest that it is not merely sufficient to put into this Bill a provision authorising a harbour authority to provide such a facility. I want a provision inserted in the Bill which will enable the Minister, if the circumstances so require, to demand that the harbour authority concerned will provide for such transhipment facilities. I do not want to go into all the details of the matter now, but I do think that if we are serious about foreign trade being carried in Irish ships, we ought to have transhipment sheds provided in, at least, the ports of Dublin, Cork and Galway. The same, of course, would apply to other ports, and I merely mention these three ports because it is obvious that they are the chief ports for which such facilities should be provided for other of course, may suggest that the same facilities should be provided for other ports, and I am not denying that; I am merely calling attention to these three ports as the greatest that we have in the country.
That is not all, but facilities provided at the majority of Irish ports for handling foreign cargoes are, to say the least of it, antiquated. For instance, goods are discharged at the Port of Dublin, and left on the quayside for weeks at a time, because there are no sheds in which to put them. Personally, I may say that I have seen flour lying on the quays in Waterford, because there were no sheds in which to put the flour. As a matter of fact, I think that there are no transhipment sheds in Waterford. In that connection I may say, that one company was compelled by the revenue authorities to spend £30,000 on the provision of a proper shed in Dublin, and  that was quite proper, but all revenue officers are not quite so insistent on having proper provision made, and it is a fact that cargoes are often left lying on the quays at Dublin. Now, that is bad enough, so far as the cargo itself is concerned, but consider the effect on the consumer when a cargo is discharged and left lying on the quayside. If it cannot be put on the quayside, if it cannot be put under lock and key, then watchers must be provided, and these watchers have to do duty from 9 p.m. till 9 a.m. Naturally, these watchers have to be paid, and the cost of that goes on to the consumer. I have been informed that goods have been left on the quays of Dublin simply because of an ordinary hold-up by the revenue authorities. However, I shall not go into that. I think it is sufficient to say that it is extraordinary that goods should be left on the quays of Dublin simply because of the lack of proper and sufficient shedding accommodation, and I am proposing here that if the Minister considers that there should be transhipment sheds provided, he should have power under this section to see that such sheds will be provided.
Mr. Lemass: I must agree with Senator Duffy when he says that it is desirable that these harbour authorities should provide all the facilities that are required for the development of trade in their harbours, but I doubt very much if it is desirable that the Minister should be given power to require that these facilities should be provided by the harbour authorities. That would be putting these harbour authorities in a somewhat different position from what I contemplated when this Bill was being framed. The newly-constituted harbour authorities will have a different outlook from that of the old harbour boards, and I certainly would like to give them time to develop plans for their harbours before taking power to compel them to do certain things. In the first place, I assume that these newly-constituted harbour authorities will act in the national interest. If, at some stage, it could be shown they were not doing so, we might have to reconsider their constitution and the powers of the  Minister in relation to them but, at present, I should not like to have those powers or to appear in any way to be taking over the boards' responsibilities. So far as Cork and, perhaps, a few other harbours are concerned, if we had the powers, we might use them to require the provision of facilities but, if we were to require other harbour authorities to provide additional facilities, they would want to know where the money was to come from. There is a queue at the Department of Industry and Commerce of harbour authorities asking for financial assistance to keep necessary services going.
Mr. Duffy: The fact that the Minister takes power does not mean that he will use it unreasonably.
Mr. Lemass: The problem in the case of the smaller harbours is to get such an expansion of harbour revenue as will keep the harbour facilities in reasonable working order. Very few of them have a surplus revenue to expend on the provision of new facilities. That does not apply to Dublin and the Senator's remarks related mostly to Dublin. Neither does it apply completely to Waterford, Cork or Limerick. The main reason I would not adopt the amendment is that I want to assume that these newly constituted harbour authorities will discharge their duties properly and will be concerned solely with taking whatever action is required in the national interest as well as in the interest of their particular harbours. Until the contrary is shown, I think we should assume that they will act properly.
Amendment No. 31, by leave, withdrawn.
Progress reported; Committee to sit again, to-day.
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