Wednesday, 19 April 1950
Seanad Éireann Debate
“I have to rule amendment No. 9, by Senator Counihan, out of order, as it is not relevant to subject matter of the Bill. It cannot be held to be a normal responsibility of a transport board to see that lands sold by them are diverted to particular purposes which have no relation to their undertaking.” SECTION 6.
At least one of the members appointed under this section shall be a person having a knowledge of agriculture and the live stock trade nominated by the National Executive of the Irish Live Stock Trade.
This amendment requests the Minister to accept a member of the board nominated by the National Executive of the Irish Live Stock Trade. I would like to point out that there is no section of the public having as good a knowledge or experience of transport, particularly railway transport, as members of the cattle trade. That is portion of their training. For his first job, a young cattle man, in his apprenticeship days, has to go to the railway to see that the cattle are booked and loaded, and in some cases he has to travel in the guard's van on the cattle special to look after the cattle en route, and to try to induce railway officials to hurry up the specials and get them in in time for shipping. In that way, a cattle man gets a very sound knowledge of the running and working of trains. The majority of cattle men are also engaged in every branch of agriculture and they have a very sound knowledge of the needs of agriculture. Some members of the association which I represent, such as Senator McGee and Senator Quirke, are quite as interested in the transport of beet and other agricultural produce as they are in the transport of live stock, but live stock is the one item which is more important than any other class of merchandise, and which requires to have quick and efficient transport. In that way, I think we are entitled to have one of the members of the board a member of the cattle trade with a knowledge of agriculture, and I trust the Minister will accept it. We have just as much intelligence as the ordinary businessman in the country, and furthermore, I think the cattle trade pays more in freights than any other section of the community. That is why I appeal to the Minister to accept the amendment. If he does, he will be doing something  which will not retard transport one bit, but, in fact, will have a good chance of improving the work of the railways.
Mr. O'Dwyer: I would like to support the amendment, because the cattle trade is of such vast importance to the country. It is also of great importance to the railway itself, and I think it is highly desirable that some member of the trade should be on the board because, very often, great confusion occurs in regard to trade. I recommend it to the Minister as a very good idea.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Morrissey): I am sorry I cannot see my way to accept this amendment. I certainly could not agree that this body should be given the power to nominate a representative. I do not think that any restrictions such as this should be put on the Government because, so far as I know, no such restriction was ever imposed before in relation to the board of any company or organisation which was set up by the State and for which the State was responsible. I think Senator Counihan, as the mover of the amendment, may be assured that the Government are fully aware of the importance of the live-stock industry and that the agricultural or live-stock interests will not be overlooked. Full consideration will be given to that important section of the community when the members of the board are being selected. Senator Counihan, I think, will agree that if the live-stock trade was to be given the authority or power to nominate a member of the board it would be hard to withhold a similar authority or power from any other section of the community.
Mr. Counihan: The Minister has said that when they are nominating the members of the board, the cattle trade will get due consideration. He has promised that and I am prepared to accept the Minister's statement. I do not think he will break his word with the cattle trade.
Liam Ó Buachalla: I have a remark or two to make on Section 6. It would seem to be an important section of this Bill. It seems that this is one of the main differences between this Bill and the Act which, in the main, it is going to supersede. According to the section, the board shall consist of such a number of members as the Government may from time to time appoint—that is to say, the board will be appointed by the Government. The chairman of the board shall be appointed by the Government also. I wonder to what extent does the new board differ from the old one in so far as policy would be concerned. The main criticism of the old board was that the chairman was a Government nominee, and that he had particular powers to override the other members of the board when it came to a matter of Government policy as against the private interests of the shareholders.
The object of the Bill is to ensure that we will get a good system of transport. Its further object is to ensure economic development as far as possible. Is it the intention that the Minister will indicate from time to time to the chairman and the board what is considered advisable in the matter of economic development or is the intention of the Minister to wipe his hands completely of this responsibility? Will it be the intention of the Minister to indicate from time to time to the new board what he considers desirable in order to ensure a good system of public transport?
As far as the section goes, I have no objection. It may be that if the old board were allowed to function we would arrive at the conclusion eventually that it would be better to buy out the stockholders and have a Government-nominated board. For my own  part, I think I expressed before the opinion that I am sorry the old board did not get a better chance. When the proposals were before the House for the management of Córas Iompair Éireann, that is, under the 1944 Act, some Senators had a view that there would be a continuous clash between the Government-appointed chairman and the ordinary shareholders' directors. I wonder to what extent that developed? So far as I can make out from statements made publicly, they seemed to work in perfect harmony. The vice-chairman has indicated that there was no clash between the ex-chairman and the board, and that, after due deliberation, they agreed on policy. I hope that when students eventually come to consider this question of transport they will not allow what happened in 1947 to cloud the issue.
The losses that occurred in 1947 were not due to any failure on the part of the board. They were not due to any clash of interests between the chairman and the ordinary shareholders' directors. Be that as it may, what I am interested in now is to know from the Minister whether he is going to pass this matter over completely to this new board and leave them to decide what is advisable in the matter of economic development and what is advisable with regard to a standard of good transport. If he is going to interest himself in these things and to consult with the board from time to time, as I think he should, I cannot see that there will be any great difference ultimately between what will result from this board and what resulted from the old board, that is to say, as far as decisions on policy and methods of operation are concerned.
Mr. Morrissey: As the Senator said, under the section, the Transport Board will be appointed by the Government and, as it is set out there, the board will consist of not fewer than three or more than seven members including the chairman. So far as the policy to be pursued by the board is concerned, that is laid down fairly fully in the Bill that is now before the Seanad— the broad lines of policy that are to be  pursued and what it is expected by the State that this board will attempt to do.
So far as I am concerned, speaking as Minister, my policy will be to have the least possible intervention with the board and its officers in carrying out the work which will be imposed on them by this Bill. The Government's function will be to secure the most efficient board that it is possible for them to get together and to entrust to that board the running of the transport system and the improvement of it, so as to give the country the most efficient and most economical system of transport possible.
There will be, of course, a radical, a complete, difference between this board and the board it replaces. The chairman of the new board, it is true, will be appointed by the Government but the chairman of the new board, will not, of course, be given the powers which were given to the chairman of the old board by the Government. May I say, without wanting in any way to be provocative in this matter, that the new board of directors will be a real board of directors and will have functions and powers to exercise, which they will be expected to exercise? It will be admitted by Senators on all sides of the House that in the old board, outside the chairman, no member had any real power or function at all. I think that is accepted. I covered that point fairly fully on Second Stage, both in introducing the Bill and replying to the debate. I do not want to develop it further at the moment. There will be a complete change. This board will be a board of directors in the real sense of the word. They will have certain powers and functions and they will be expected to exercise them.
Liam Ó Buachalla: The Minister pointed out that the policy of the board is laid down in the Bill. Perhaps we are not agreed as to terms. It is true that the powers of the board are stated but policy, I take it. is quite a different matter. How it is going to achieve its aims, and such like —these things are not laid down. The main point I wanted information on was whether, since we are passing the control of this organisation over to a  Government-appointed board, there will be consultation from time to time between the chairman and the board and the Government just as I am sure there is consultation from time to time between, say, the Governor of the Central Bank and the Government. I would be very sorry to think that we were going to hand over this great organisation, which is so essential to the public welfare, to a body of men, whoever they might be, feeling that at no stage would there be consultation between that body and the Minister. The Minister will be bound to be informed in one way or another from time to time of changes that would be advisable, perhaps throughout the whole country, and I think it would be very regrettable if all these matters were to be left completely in the hands of the board without any reference whatever to the Minister. The Minister, of course, may point out to me that certain matters will come before the tribunal. I understand that thoroughly but since this board is a Government board—I do not think we can say that the transport system is being nationalised, but nevertheless it is a Government board—I would like to be assured that there will be consultation as frequently as is necessary between the board and the Minister.
The Minister referred to the difference between this board and the old board and he said that this board is going to have definite work to do and that it will do it. He seemed to think that the old board had no functions or for that matter that they had no power. I do not know anything about the inner workings of the board but did the board meet from time to time? Did the board hold regular sessions? Did the members of the old board perform duties besides the meetings? Did the members of the old board take part in discussions at meetings with the chairman and in consequence of those discussions were conclusions arrived at which represented the views of the existing board?
I do not think it is quite fair of the Minister to say that they had no functions and no powers. They had functions and they had powers and I  believe myself that they exercised those powers. The fact that the boardroom was not a cockpit is not evidence that the board did not function. On the contrary, I would be happy to think that the fact that the board worked so smoothly and that decisions were arrived at in the way they were is a tribute to the methods of working under the board.
Mr. J.T. O'Farrell: ——and he need not have asked the Minister what the policy is to be. He hardly expects to find detailed instructions laid down in black and white as to how they are to deal with every problem that arises. He has paid a tribute to the old board and its method of working, but I do not think we are really discussing the old board here; we are discussing what the new board should do. In reply to his question as to whether regular meetings of the old board were held I can tell him that towards the end the members of the board other than the chairman only turned up in relays or in their turn. If he will read some of the statements made by Mr. Wylie, the acting vice-chairman of the board, he will find that he complained of the fact that the shareholders' representatives had no powers. He gives that as one of the reasons why certain things happened and other things did not. The other members of the board could only act in an advisory capacity to the chairman. No statutory meeting of the board could be held unless he was present. When a meeting was held nothing could pass except what he endorsed and an otherwise unanimous decision of five directors counted for nothing once he decided to veto it. That could not be termed a board in the ordinary sense of the word at all; it was a chairman with absolute power  having five or six people to offer their advice or opinion to him for him ultimately to decide.
It might be true to say that certain minor functions were delegated to individual members of the board, but these were not executive functions and were only such as the chairman, in his wisdom, might decide to delegate to them. The new board, I am glad to say, is a board in the real sense, inasmuch as each member has the full powers of an ordinary director to the extent that we may reasonably place on their shoulders jointly and severally the responsibility of directors to run the new organisation.
Mr. J.T. O'Farrell: The State is buying out public transport and issuing to shareholders State script for the shares they hold, and we are appointing a board to manage it. The Government can dismiss that board or any member of it for stated reasons at any time. They are to guarantee interest and authorise the amount of money to be raised up to a definite sum of £7,000,000, and still we are told that this is not nationalisation.
Mr. J.T. O'Farrell: I hope we will not, but relatively we are losing infinitely more than they are losing under private enterprise, and I do hope that with public ownership we will be able to pay our way.
It is really amusing; I suppose that Senators are afraid it will be said that they voted for nationalisation and consequently they say that this is not nationalisation at all. The transport system has been bought by the Government, it is to be directed by a board appointed by the Government,  a board which can be dismissed by the Government, but really, they say, it is not owned by the Government.
Liam Ó Buachalla: I hope that I will not be responsible for widening it. Under the old system, public policy with regard to transport had to override all other interests. Is that not the position? What was the function of the chairman?
Liam Ó Buachalla: I agree. That is what I want to bring out, the difference between the old and the new. I want to know what would be the function of the new chairman, who is going to advise him, or whether there is going to be consultation between him and the Minister. Would that be in order on this section? If it is not in order, I am not going to persist against your ruling.
Liam Ó Buachalla: It does, of course, but it arises on this also because the point was that the chairman was appointed by the Government and had powers affecting the decisions and views of the shareholders' directors.
Liam Ó Buachalla: And it is in the Bill. So, then, there seems to be no difference between this and the other, except that you are going to appoint directors, instead of shareholders' directors. Public policy must be uppermost in the minds of the new board, in regard to the system of transport, and in regard to economic development.
Mr. M. Hayes: It is really not clear. If Senator Ó Buachalla wants to discuss the board he can put down an amendment to have this board constituted the same as the board he speaks of, the old board. He did not do that, and clearly there is a difference between this board and the old board, and no amount of discussion, and no number of questions to the Minister will be able to make this board into the old board. So, I am at a loss, before you make a promise to the Senator, to understand what it is he wants to discuss. Perhaps, we can spend some time finding that out.
Liam Ó Buachalla: It is quite true, as Senator Hayes says, that I did not put down an amendment to this section, but is it not the procedure in the House that we can raise certain matters on the section with a view to getting information? I did not want to put down an amendment, and I had no intention of putting down an amendment, but I am entitled to seek further information. I am entitled to have the position as indicated in any section clarified. I am entitled to know what is the difference between this and the old, how it is going to function better than the old, and how the public well-being is going to be ensured under this, as against the old system.
Mr. Morrissey: May I say, Sir, that  this section has nothing whatever to do with policy, good, bad or indifferent? It has nothing to do with the old board, good, bad or indifferent. There is no comparison at all between this board and the old board. The old board was a board of a private company, privately owned by private citizens, and on that board of directors, representing the owners of the property, was superimposed a State dictator. This is going to be a public company, publicly owned and operated by a public board to carry out public policy. I do not know if I can make it any clearer than that to the Senator.
Liam Ó Buachalla: Except this, that I wanted to know from the beginning and if I got a straight answer on it, it would have cleared the issue, whether the decision in toto on matters of public policy, this matter of ensuring efficient public transport and economic development, is going to be solely and absolutely a matter for this board, without reference to the Minister.
Mr. Hawkins: From that do we take the “no” as meaning that the board appointed will not direct policy but will be directed as to the policy they give effect to, or does the Minister mean by saying “no” that he is not going to direct policy?
Mr. Morrissey: I thought I might be helpful to Senators by being brief but, apparently, I was not. I think the Senator who just got up to make the point—I do not think he is one bit confused about it. May I say that there will be more opportunities provided in this Bill for the Oireachtas, and the members of the Oireachtas, to query the activities and the policy of this board than have ever been possible in relation to any board prior to the passing of this Bill?
Mr. Hawkins: Section 6 of this Bill provides that the board shall consist of such number as the Government  may appoint from time to time, and that the number of members of the board for the time being shall not be less than three or more than seven. We are, in the passing of this particular section, making provision for the setting up of a board, the number of members of which may be seven, and not less than three. The question that Senator Ó Buachalla wanted to clarify before we proceeded very much further with the discussion of this Bill was simply: would it involve the members appointed to this board who formulate policy having no consultation, no regard for the fact that the Minister for Industry and Commerce through the Oireachtas was providing a certain sum of money to enable this undertaking to continue, having regard to the fact that Senator J.T. O'Farrell has most emphatically stated that in the setting up of this board we are nationalising the railways? Surely, if that is the case, then, there must be, at least, consultation; there must be, at least, some responsibility on the Minister to direct and control the activities of this board and the policy they pursue. Mention has been made, in a passing way, of the former board. It is probably not correct to refer to them as the former board because, as far as the board is concerned, they are still there. It is true, of course, that this board is the board of a private concern, a private undertaking, elected by the owners of that undertaking. It is true, also, to state that a chairman was appointed under an Act passed by the Oireachtas, not alone passed by the Oireachtas, but approved of by a majority of the Irish people at a general election. The reason for that is, that the railway undertaking, being such an important national undertaking, it was necessary, and is necessary now, and will be essential in the future, that whatever interests private concerns may have or even private investors may have, the interests of the State as a whole come first. That was the reason, to my mind, that there was a chairman appointed having, admittedly, very wide powers with a consultative board elected by the shareholders of that particular undertaking. SECTION 7.
“(c) if and whenever the Government remove from office under this sub-section any member of the board, the Government shall lay before each House of the Oireachtas a statement in writing of the fact of his removal from office and of the reasons for such removal.”
I suggest it would be better to insert the words “in detail”, so that the Government, if they thought fit to remove a director, would be bound to give in detail the reasons to the Oireachtas for the removal of such director. That would be desirable from the point of view of, say, the extreme case in which the Government might suddenly go mad and decide to remove a director because he had red hair.
Mr. Hearne: We know what would be said—that that was the ostensible reason but that the real reason was something else. We are in this country, unfortunately, unduly suspicious of many things done and things are said and noised abroad. It would be better, from the point of view of the Government, and only fair to the person who might have to be removed, that the reasons for his removal should be given in detail. The Minister may say that the reasons which the Government will give to the Oireachtas will be sufficiently detailed. If that is so, if an undertaking to that effect is given, it will meet the point I want to make.
Mr. Douglas: I am not very clear about what the Senator has in mind by the phrase “in detail”, and it might be that if I knew what it meant I would be in agreement with him  He seems to be under the impression that what is wanted is that the Government should state the true reasons. If so, I agree, but if he thinks that detail and truth are interchangeable, I disagree. If the reasons are not to be the true reasons, they would be much more objectionable and offensive if given in imaginary detail.
I cannot personally see how a scheme of this kind can work except on the basis of a reasonable degree of confidence and faith in the Government of the day. Let us consider what the remedy would be. The only object of this is that it should be a guide for the Government. It is some protection for a director removed, and I presume he would have the possible remedy of going to court and saying that the Government had not given the reasons. I cannot conceive his being in any better position by being able to say that the Government had not given them in detail, nor can I conceive his wanting to do so. It is only a protection, if he feels that the reasons given are not just or proper or true. I do not honestly think it would be desirable or practicable to have what I would regard as a really detailed statement if the Government of the day chose to remove a director.
By “detailed statement”, I presume the Senator means the number of directors' meetings he attended, his opinions over a period and other matters of that kind. If he is dismissed because he is guilty of dishonesty or refusal to carry out public policy or to act in the public interest, no detail is required. That is a clear statement and would be the view of the Government.
This is something which is useless unless we have a Government which will act in good faith and we may assume that the present Government or their successors would, in matters of this kind, act in good faith. I do not think that our experience over the past 25 years gives any reason to think that there would be on the part of any of the Parties anything which one would regard as trickery in the sense of making statements or giving reasons  which were not true. I quite agree with Senator Hearne that there will always be somebody to say that these are not the true reasons, but it would be twice as bad if a statement must be made in complete and minute detail. I think it is impracticable and would not think it is desirable if it were.
Could the Minister indicate briefly to us what he would consider sufficient reasons for removing a member of the board or removing the board? Is it unreasonable to ask what he would consider sufficient reasons for such drastic action? For instance, would the Minister consider it a good reason for removing the board or members of the board, the board's failure to run the undertaking at a profit? Most of the criticism levelled at the present board and its chairman was the fact that it did not make a profit in 1947. We know the amount of the loss and we know also the two main factors which contributed to that loss. I think it would be true to say that that would be one of the factors which influenced the Minister in seeking the resignation of the chairman. Would that type of reason be given by the Minister in regard to the new board? What has he in mind in regard to this matter of unsuitability on the part of a member of the board?
That is the reason my colleagues put down this amendment asking that the details should be given. So far as I am concerned, it is immaterial whether the words are inserted or not, but the Minister ought to give some indication as to what he has in mind as constituting a lack of qualification on the part of a member of the board for continuance in office. There is, further down in sub-section (6) (a) a matter on which I may have a word to say presently and I take it that the failure of members to act in accordance with  that sub-section would be a reason for sending a member of the board away. Are there other reasons why a member should be sent away?
Mr. M. Hayes: May I suggest that this probing into the mind of the present Minister is quite useless and quite improper from the point of view of a House of Parliament passing legislation? We are not passing this legislation in order that this particular Minister may administer it for ever. I hope he will be long spared to administer it. In that I disagree with Senator Ó Buachalla, but whether my view or Senator Ó Buachalla's view is correct, this legislation is being passed in order to guide and control a Minister for Industry and Commerce in this matter, and what the present Minister thinks would be a good reason is of no value whatever to people who want to pass legislation on this matter. The board is appointed by Ministers, and the purpose of this paragraph (c), as Senator Douglas states, is, that if a particular citizen is asked to act as a member of the board, he is given this security, that, if he is going to be removed, the reasons for his removal will be stated publicly. Whether they are stated in detail or not makes no difference, because nobody can construe the word “detail”. He gets the security that the reasons will be stated publicly to Parliament, and, if the matter is one which some people think suitable for discussion, it will be discussed on that basis.
The idea that a Minister who is about to appoint a board has in his mind reasons why members of the board should be dismissed is a foolish one. None of us would transact our own business on that basis. If I were about to get a man to decorate my house or to plan a new one, I would get a good architect or painter, but I would not worry myself making a list of reasons why I should get rid of him. I suppose there are good reasons for getting rid of architects or even of Senators. The notion that this Minister's mind must be probed as to what he means by “details” is an example of how Senator Ó Buachalla misdirects himself in his duties as Senator. The purpose of the paragraph is to  give some security to persons asked to act on this board.
The Minister, like his predecessor and his successors, will find himself working this Act of Parliament, if it is passed; and the present Minister inevitably is working Acts of Parliament passed in the régime of his predecessors, just as the first Government here administered quite a number of Acts passed by the British Parliament—and we are still doing that. The Minister must appoint the best person he possibly can, and certainly could not set out a list of reasons why he might dismiss him, but he must take power that, if circumstances should arise when he might think the member is not doing right, he could dismiss him and state the reasons. The stating of the reasons is for the members' benefit and not for ours.
Mr. S. O'Farrell: While the intention of this amendment is very good, its effect would be bad. It is bad enough that a man should be dismissed, even though he deserved dismissal, but it should be sufficient that the reason for his dismissal should be stated as briefly as possible and not in detail. If the hope of the people who put forward this amendment is to protect some unfortunate individual, they are merely going to embarrass him. I could imagine someone asking why the man was dismissed. There could be 20 reasons, but one would not like to publish the details of the affair in which he was concerned. He might be dismissed broadly because he was unsuitable for the job, but there could be a great many reasons, and to give the details might put on him an additional penalty. Certain charges would be made against him in detail, and he may have no opportunity to rebut them in detail. It is better to state that he was dismissed because he was considered unsuitable than to go into details. There have been occasions of charges made against certain public men, and the more detailed they were the more embarrassment they caused —and very often the details might have been very far from the truth.
Liam Ó Buachalla: I am concerned  as to whether any principle is involved in coming to a decision as to why and when a person should be dismissed. Senator Hayes and Senator O'Farrell have argued that it would not be advisable to go into details in giving the reasons. I am conscious of the fact that, six times in an introductory speech to this Bill in Dáil Éireann and five times in an introductory speech to this Bill in this House, the ex-chairman of Córas Iompair Éireann was referred to in condemnatory terms or, on occasion, in ambiguous terms.
Liam Ó Buachalla: It would be better if we could leave it aside, but may I not put this question? If it was proper to give in public reasons why the ex-chairman should have been sent away, without giving him an opportunity to defend himself, should the same not apply in the case of this board? What is the difference between the ex-chairman and the chairman or any member of this board?
Mr. Morrissey: That is about the best case that could be made against giving things in detail. I find it hard to understand the simplicity of the Senator. The mover of the motion and Senator Ó Buachalla have spoken as if this were a new principle. The wording here is almost exactly the same as in the Turf Development Act, the Electricity Supply Act and the 1944 Transport Act. Apparently, the fears which the Senator now expresses were not present to his mind prior to this.
This is a simple, straightforward sub-section. It is fair that, if a man is removed from a board such as this, the reason should be stated by the Minister or the Government responsible for removing him. May I say to Senators, in all seriousness, that the removal of a member of a board such as this would be a very serious step and one that could be taken only by a  responsible Government or a responsible Minister for very definite reasons? Senators are not being fair even to themselves when they suggest that a Government would remove a member of the board for a frivolous reason or for no reason and then simply concoct a story to put before the public as a reason. It is fantastic, if I may say so, to think along those lines.
Senator Ó Buachalla wanted me to indicate the reasons which might actuate me, or any Minister, in this matter. I do not think the Senator seriously expects me to answer that. The Government may appoint a board to carry out a very important State function and give that board full power and authority. If the board does not do the work, or does not carry out the duties it was appointed to carry out, the remedy is to remove the board. The remedy is not by interfering with them from day to day. We must lay down a particular policy, assign particular duties, select the men whom we think capable of carrying out those duties and give them a free hand. If they do not carry them out, or do not carry them out in the way in which they are supposed to do so, in accordance with public or national policy, we must remove them.
Liam Ó Buachalla: Does the Minister realise what is at issue? What he has said about being fair to members of the board is right and proper and I compliment him on that statement. I only wish he had the same consideration a short time ago, when he was dealing with the ex-chairman.
Liam Ó Buachalla: May I ask this question? Does the Minister think that failure on the part of the board to pay its way would be a reason sufficient for dismissing the board or for dismissing its chairman?
Mr. Hawkins: I agree entirely with the views put forward by Senator Hayes that it is what is in the Bill that matters and not what is the Minister's opinion or what the Minister may do. It is because of that the amendment in my name and that of Senator Hearne appears on the Order Paper. We agree to accept that when a person is appointed as a member of a responsible organisation or a board such as it is proposed to set up under this Bill to conduct the affairs of the transport system of this country, great care will be taken in the selection of the persons to ensure that they will be possessed of the qualifications which would entitle them to membership of such a board. There is all the more reason for it when, under any particular set of circumstances, it may be necessary for the Government to take the very drastic decision or step to remove one of those persons, as on a former occasion they did in respect of a person appointed on such a board.
Section 7 sets out the reasons under which the board members may be disqualified. The Government may at any time remove from office any member of the board who has become incapable through ill-health of performing efficiently his duties as such member, or who has, otherwise than for a reason considered by the Government to be sufficient, been absent from all meetings of the board during a period of six consecutive months. It is also provided that if, at any time, it appears to the Government that the removal from office of any member of the board is necessary in the public interest, the Government may remove such person from office. It is the provision in the following sub-section (c) which prompted the tabling of the present amendment:—
“If and whenever the Government removes from office under this sub-section any member of the board, the Government shall lay before each House of the Oireachtas a statement in writing of the fact of his removal from office and of the reasons for such removal.”
 The Government may, at any time, remove a person from office if it is considered to be in the public interest to do so, and it would naturally follow from that that the Government would regard the giving of that reason for the removal as sufficient to the public. If the member were removed under such circumstances, and the reason given by the Government was that they felt it was in the public interest that the person should be removed, nobody could doubt that the reason was that the Government felt it was in the public interest that he should be removed but was that sufficient justification, or a sufficient reason to give the public without allowing them an opportunity of making up their own minds whether that person should have been removed or not?
Various speakers on the amendment put forward the view that if the reasons were given in detail it would often be more embarrassing for the persons concerned, and probably would not be in their interests as much as they felt it might be. To my mind, that is not so. We have had in recent months, and probably will have always, a number of persons removed from various public appointments as members of various boards, no reasons having been given in any of the cases I have in mind at the moment. That is because the legislation under which the various boards were set up probably did not contain a section such as there is in this Bill. Sub-section (c) of Section 7 compels the Government to give a statement to the House in writing of their reasons for the removal of a member. While that is desirable, to my mind, it is highly desirable that the statement should give the full facts and the whole set of circumstances surrounding and relating to that person's removal. Senator Ó Buachalla asked if the Minister would consider failure to run the organisation on a profit-making basis sufficient justification for the removal of a member or the entire board. Surely there are other considerations. Would it be good and sufficient reason for the removal of a member of a board in the responsible position in which this board will be that it came to the notice of the Government that that member was a  member of certain organisations, secret or semi-secret? There are many other reasons that might come to the knowledge of the Government, and if they were put before the public, the public probably would agree that in the particular set of circumstances the proper action was the action taken by the Government. In my opinion, it would be better that no reasons at all should be stated rather than the reason which, to my mind, as the section at present stands can be given, that in the opinion of the Government, it is in in the public interest that the person should be removed, which was the reason given when many persons whom I have in mind were removed from office of this nature.
When we are dealing with a matter of this kind, we must leave to the Government a big share of the responsibility and I am sure that Senator Douglas is right when he points out that if you ask that the reasons be given in detail you are probably asking too much. Here, again, “detail” does not mean that every movement of the person both in private and public life over a period of years during his occupation of the post should be disclosed but sufficient facts should be given as will justify the Government's action in the public mind. It is in the person's interest that the public should know exactly the reason for his removal. If no reasons are given to the public in the case of a person who is dismissed from any particular post, if he is an employee of a local authority or a civil servant, suggestions of every kind are bandied about, some of them as uncharitable as the statements that have been made in connection with other people, and there is a false impression created and great damage done, not only to the person himself but to his family. It is very important, if we are to get the best type of person to take office of this kind, to provide every safeguard so that, in the event of a decision being made by this or any other Government to remove a person, the public will be given the full facts and the whole set of circumstances that led to such a serious decision being taken.
Dr. O'Connell: We must begin by assuming that any trustworthy Government will have a sense of responsibility. It would be a very grave matter indeed to remove either an individual of this board or the board as a whole. That being so, unless we are unduly suspicious of the Government, we must assume that if the Government take action of that kind they do it for good and sufficient reason. If we have any confidence in the Government—this Government or any other Government that will succeed it—we must accept that position. Senator Hawkins referred to the fact that a person can be dismissed if, in the opinion of the Government, it is in the public interest. Many things have been done and were said to be done because it was in the public interest. Questions are often put down asking for certain information and the Government says that it would not be in the public interest that the information should be given. We must accept that. We must accept it that the Government are a responsible body and, if they feel that such an action is in the public interest, they must accordingly take it.
I have been listening to this debate since it began, and I am at a great loss to know what is meant by the words “in detail”. Is not it a question of degree? If they say that a person is dismissed because it is in the public interest, that is a reason. He may be dismissed for other reasons. He may be dismissed for misconduct, for instance. What will it mean in that case if they are to give the reasons in detail? I cannot understand what is meant by “in detail”. Who is to decide whether the details are given or not? If a man is dismissed or removed from a position of this kind and he believes that he has been unjustly or unfairly treated he can find a remedy. The matter can be raised in the Dáil or Seanad; he can have his own case fully stated and it will be the responsibility of the Government to justify in detail then the dismissal of the man. Very often it may be in the interests of the individual concerned that his case should not be raised or thrashed out publicly. If this amendment is inserted, I do not see that it will add anything one way or the other.
Mr. Douglas: I spoke before on this and the only point I would like to add is that I do not believe it is possible by any method to provide an interpretation of the words “in detail” unless you provide that it is to be interpreted by a court. I do not think you could possibly get it held that it was not “in detail” if the Government said that, having considered the whole problem, they thought that the removal of so-and-so was a matter of public policy. I do not think you would gain anything whatever if the words were put in, and, frankly, I do not want to have an invitation to the Government to make detailed statements against a particular person which that person has very little opportunity of answering. You must remember that when a man holds a public office of this kind and is removed, and the Government publishes statements, it is almost impossible for that person to catch up. The fact that a Minister makes a statement means a headline in the newspapers. Probably considerable space will be given to it and, although his statement may not be inaccurate generally, there are two sides to most cases, and I think it would be highly undesirable that reasons should be set out in detail. There is nothing whatever in the Bill, however, to prevent its being done. If the amendment said “but not in detail” I would have far more sympathy with it. As it is, I am afraid there is nothing in the Bill to prevent a Minister, if he thought fit, from publishing all sorts of details or reasons. No matter what you put in, it comes down entirely to the question of the responsibility you must leave to the Government. If I could see any way out I would prefer that the Government should not remove a director at all; I would prefer some other body, but with nationalisation I cannot see any other way than handing to the Executive the power to remove a person managing a State concern. I would like to see some other way, but I do not think there can be any other way.
Mr. Anthony: I would suggest to Senator Hawkins that he should withdraw this amendment in view of what  has been said by the other Senators who have spoken. I have cast my mind back to a reply given by the Minister for Defence in the other House on one occasion when he was attempting to justify the dismissal of some officers. When he was cross-examined by various members of Dáil Éireann he said that they were dismissed because he had no further use for their services, and he refused to give any other statement whatever. That is on the records of the other House. Examples have been quoted by Senator O'Connell and others showing that it might affect a man's future if details were published. Let us consider the case of a man on that board who might turn up to a meeting slightly intoxicated. If there were some rabid teetotallers on the board they might decide that he was no longer a desirable person to have on the board, and I am sure Senator Hawkins would not suggest that details of that character should be published. We are all aware of how that would affect that man's future from the point of view of getting employment, socially and in other ways. In view of what was said by the Senator who spoke before me I would suggest that Senator Hawkins should not press his amendment.
Mr. Hearne: On a point of order Might I ask what is the position of the House in view of the fact that no one is in charge of the Bill before the House? No Minister or Parliamentary Secretary is in charge.
Mr. Quirke: I do not think it is right that this House should be forced to conclude the debate on a particular amendment or Bill because the Minister happens to find it necessary to be absent for a short time.
Mr. Quirke: If we are to accept Senator Hayes's suggestion we must take it that because the Minister is not here the questions which have been put since he left are of no importance whatsoever and that the question must be put.
Mr. M. Hayes: I did not suggest that because the Minister was absent the question should be put, but that the matter has been sufficiently debated to allow the members of the House, who should be reasonable people, to make up their minds on the matter and that it might convenience the House if the question were put.
Mr. Quirke: We are all very greateful to Senator Hayes for suggesting that we are all reasonable men. Sometimes the people on the other side of the House are also reasonable men, including Senator Hayes. I put it to him that if the Minister were here and heard some of the statements which were made since he left, he might change his mind and accept the amendment. My opinion has been changed considerably as a result of a couple of statements made by the last speakers. One Senator suggested that it might be a dangerous thing if statements were made as to why a certain director of a certain company was removed from office. In my opinion, if a director were guilty of a serious crime and as a result of that crime had to be removed from office, the public would be entitled to know why he was removed so that in later years the public or society would be protected from putting such a man back in a similar position. Senator Douglas said by way of opposition to the amendment that if statements like that were made in this House it might take a long time to catch up and that there were two sides to every question.
Mr. Quirke: The Senator is a good man at wangling but he cannot wangle me into accepting that statement and any reasonable man on any side of the House will not accept that statement. We know what Senator Douglas said. I will grant Senator Douglas a lot of things but I will not allow him to get away with that. He suggested that if a detailed statement were made here or in Dáil Éireann—I have nobody at all in mind—it would be detrimental to the man who was removed because he might not be able to catch up on statements made in the Dáil or Seanad. I agree 100 per cent., but no man should be removed unless for a serious reason. If the serious reason is, as Senator Hawkins pointed out, that he is a member of one of the three secret societies we have in this country—I only know of three; there may be more; I am not a member of any of them and I am no expert—people who know him will say: “There is nothing very wrong with that.” There are people walking around, perfectly decent people, who are members of one of those societies or maybe of two of them, but if a man is guilty of a serious offence I think we owe it to the people of this country to thrash it out here. No Minister should be afraid to come before this House and say in very plain language that the man is guilty of so and so and, therefore, should be removed. Nobody would oppose him, no reasonable men as we have been described. On the other hand, if there is not a serious charge against him, I believe he should not be removed. We have had statements made here in connection with certain individuals. There is no use in beating about the bush, about the previous chairman of the company. The statement which was made by the Minister was a quite harmless statement. I am quite prepared to admit that, but we had statements made here, direct statements, and statements which were much worse, by innuendo, that this man was guilty of some terrible crimes.
Mr. Quirke: To-day. Well I can assure you, a Chathaoirligh, that you will hear it mentioned before this debate is over, and it will be perfectly in order. If you rule me out, I am prepared to accept your ruling. If these charges are made, innuendo is much worse than the definite charge, I believe we ought to take every possible precaution to ensure that no such thing will happen, as has been suggested may happen, in the absence of this amendment.
Mr. M. Hayes: This section which is sought to be amended provides that when a person is removed from office the reasons must be given. The question at issue in the amendment, is whether the reasons should be given “in detail”. I suggest that these words have no meaning which can be enforced in the circumstances, and while Senator Quirke began by saying that he had been influenced by the speeches made by Senator Douglas and Senator Anthony, he concluded by arguing away from the line taken by them. May I suggest to you again, Sir, that you may put the question?
An Cathaoirleach: I want to make it clear, on the point of order that was raised, that in the absence of the Minister, the Chair is entitled to put the question. I want to make that clear and definite: in the absence of the Minister I shall put the question, if there are no other speakers.
“(a) where a person who is a member of the board becomes a member of either House of the Oireachtas, he shall, upon his becoming entitled, under the Standing Orders of that House, to  sit therein, cease to be a member of the board.
That is the sub-section that, I suggest, should be deleted from the Bill. I think this raises a question of rather general constitutional interest affecting other boards besides this board, but anything I have to say will apply simply to the Transport Board, which is the subject of this Bill. With the growth of boards of this kind, and with the expansion in the number of organisations in semi-public ownership, the number of people engaged in the management of the public services will become greater and greater. I for one, cannot see why such people should be excluded from taking part in the public life of the country in other ways if they wish. I cannot see it. I do not say there are no reasons. The reason I put down this amendment was partially in order to tempt the Minister, or invite the Minister, to elucidate this question and to state what the reasons are for putting this into the Bill, because, certainly to me, at any rate, the reason is not self-evident. It does not stand there without any proof, and I would like to know what the reason is. I think it probably is some sort of subconscious recollection of the great parliamentary controversies of the 18th century, both in this country and in England, where there was a question of the pressure by the Crown on the Executive and the principle came into our parliamentary life that place-men should be excluded from the Legislature and that people holding for profit under the Crown should be ineligible to sit in the House of Commons or present themselves for election. I cannot help feeling that some notion of that kind underlies the insertion of this provision in this and other Bills which we have had in recent years in this country. I cannot help feeling that at the present time in the circumstances of this country these provisions might easily introduce a very undesirable wedge  between business and public life. One of the advantages of our parliamentary system up to the present has been that it has not been entirely run by professional politicians. There were people who have taken part in the discussions in the Houses of Parliament who have been very experienced in the business and professional world, in “the city”, in agriculture, and so on. I think that has greatly enriched the quality of parliamentary life and the value of the opinions of the members of various Houses of Parliament.
The tendency at the present time, in this country and elsewhere, whether we like it or not, is towards a greater degree of public operation and control of essential services. We have the Central Bank Board, the members of which are debarred from the Oireachtas, we have the Electricity Supply Board, and now we have this board, and I have no doubt that we will have a number of other boards in the future. I think it is desirable that the Seanad should consider the propriety of exclusion of this kind when these boards are being set up. The supply of first-class business ability in this country is not unlimited, and may not be so very great; and it does seem to me to be rather a pity, rather a waste, if people who have qualities which are suitable for the running of these gigantic commercial undertakings should be deprived of the possibility of contributing their share to the public life of the country. I think it is undesirable from the public point of view. I would have thought that the proceedings in the Dáil or Seanad would be added to by the presence of people who had first got experience of the running of big undertakings, such as the railways, the Central Bank, and services of that kind. I also think that people in these boards might, possibly, have a certain amount of experience, might gain a certain amount of experience, might gain a certain amount of general knowledge of things outside their specialised functions by taking part in parliamentary discussions, by coming to the Dáil or Seanad and hearing what people of other outlooks had to say. In other  words, unless there is some political or constitutional reason for this divorce between these two functions, it seems to me that, on the face of it, it is capable of doing more harm than good.
I would like to know from the Minister what is the reason for the insertion of this provision in the Bill because, I take it, it is put in for some considered reason, and I would like to know what the considerations are. From the point of view of the individual (because I have already tried to state it from the point of view of the community) from the point of view of the individual, it seems it is an unfair choice, that a man of ability and ambition, a man who has shown qualities necessary to rise to the top of his own profession, selected to represent various interests on these great national industries, and national boards, should be excluded from public life. It seems to me an unfair choice that a man should have to make. Why should a man be excluded from public life, from taking part in parliamentary activities and debates, from going on the ladder which might lead to ministerial office in the Government of the country, simply because he is giving his services to one of the nationalised industries? It seems to me rather unfair. On the other hand, why should a man who elects to serve his country in Parliament by being a member of the Dáil or Seanad, why should he be excluded from a whole range of profitable occupations from which he is not excluded under the present system of privately-owned railways, and so on? It seems to me that it is putting a certain curb on legitimate ambition and depriving certain able people from serving their country in two directions instead of one.
Senator Counihan moved an amendment which attempted to define some of the qualifications of some of the members of the board and that, I think, is very reasonable. It would not be at all unreasonable if the legislation setting it up were to state certain qualifications and the sort of people who could be appointed. The Central Bank Act of 1942 contains a definition of the people who can be appointed to the  board. Three of them are banking directors and the other five are persons who are experienced in agriculture, trade or commerce and, in addition, two of these may be civil servants. Parliament has, to some extent, at least, circumscribed the discretion of the Minister in setting up that board. Here we have no positive definition at all. The Minister for Industry and Commerce—I do not refer to the present Minister; as was said earlier, there will be many other Ministers in future—has complete unfettered discretion to appoint anybody he likes. Certain negative qualifications are set down: the Minister cannot appoint a bankrupt, a convicted criminal, a person who lives outside Ireland or a person who is not an Irish national, a person who is certified insane or a person who is a member of the Dáil or Seanad. In other words, we are left among the ineligibles and not amongst the eligibles. That seems to me to be scarcely flattering to us as a House or to the other House of the Oireachtas.
However, I do not propose to delay the House on the matter. As I say, it does seem to me to raise a question of rather wide constitutional importance. With the growth of nationalisation, is there going to be an ever-growing wedge driven between business and public life? If a man decides to serve his country in one capacity, is he to be excluded from serving it in another? There may be reasons for such an exclusion. I want to know what they are and that is why I put down the amendment.
Mr. Hawkins: I agree with the sentiments expressed by Senator O'Brien, but I fear that the whole matter is much larger than can be dealt with on a section of a Bill of this nature. We have already had discussions here on similar sections in other Bills, and, while a case can be made for excluding members of the Dáil or Seanad, I feel that a case could be made for entitling such persons to membership of any public board for which the Government of the day thought they were fitted as members. While holding that view, I still maintain that we have already passed legislation containing sections of the same nature. As a matter of fact, the legislation  dealing with that organisation which is often held up to us here as the most perfect ever established in this State, the Electricity Supply Board, goes even further in that it debars any of its members, its employees or workers, from being nominated for membership of the Dáil or Seanad. Here we have what one might refer to as a problem that should be approached in the broad sense and not in the sense of relating it to a particular board about to be set up.
The Minister referred to Bord na Móna. A Bill dealing with that board was before the Dáil and Seanad some short time ago and it passed the House with much the same provision in it, although the wording in this particular case is of a more extraordinary nature and much harder to understand. The effect of it will be much the same, however, that no member of this or the other House will be entitled to be appointed as a member of the board, and no member of the board will be entitled to become a member of either House of the Oireachtas. While agreeing with the sentiments expressed by Senator O'Brien, I feel that it is a matter to which we should give serious consideration some time in the future, but not in relation to this particular measure.
Mr. Douglas: On this occasion, I agree almost entirely with Senator Hawkins. I agree also, in the main, with Senator O'Brien. I believe that some day this matter will have to be settled and I should like to see it settled without relation to any particular board. Personally, I think it has grown up as the result of a feeling which I think was not by any means always—certainly not entirely—justified, that you could not depend on Ministers not to be unduly influenced by their supporters and that the principal supporters who would influence them would, of necessity, be in one House or the other. The tendency has been to suggest that men or women of sufficient ability to serve on the board of a concern the size of Córas Iompair Éireann must, of necessity, be debarred from taking part in public affairs. I think that is fundamentally a mistake, though I agree that, in practice, it  would be highly undesirable if most of the members of boards of nationalised industries were to be chosen from persons taking part in public life; but, as against that, I think it is a great pity that a man who has made a success of a position on some such board should be definitely debarred from becoming a member of either House. There is a rather peculiar provision in this Bill which may or may not be unintentional. He can stand for election and, therefore, can fight an election on political grounds, but cannot remain if he succeeds. If it is a bad thing for a director of Córas Iompair Éireann to become a member of the Dáil or Seanad, to my mind, it is a bad thing for him to stand, to fight an election and be defeated, and then continue as a member of the board.
Mr. Hearne: I find myself very much in agreement with the sentiments expressed by Senator O'Brien and Senator Hawkins. This is a very big question. We had a fairly long discussion here during the passage of the News Agency Bill on this matter and I think it would be a good day's business for this House if a motion appeared on the paper which would enable a day to be devoted to a discussion of the big important issues involved in Senator O'Brien's amendment. Having said that, I come to the particular position which struck me, arising out of the wording of sub-section (7) (a). Once you grant that it is not desirable that a member of the board should be a member of either the Dáil or Seanad, it is equally desirable that he should not be a candidate. If it is agreed that it is in the public interest that a member of the board should not be a member of the Dáil or Seanad, he should not be a candidate for either the Dáil or Seanad.
I can recall something which was highly undesirable. We had a case here—possibly because of faulty legislation—of a person who was elected to this House and declared elected by the returning officer being disqualified, because of the law as it was, from sitting. As a result, there was a by-election  and the whole procedure of filling the vacant seat had to be gone through. It would be far better if a person in that position were not allowed to be a candidate and the very fact of his being a member of a board should be sufficient for, say, the returning officer or whatever person is in charge, to say that his nomination is invalid, rather than let that person go through the whole process of election and then, after being elected, declare him ineligible. We could have this very undesirable position that you could have a member of the board standing at three or four elections and being defeated each time still staying on the board. I am certain the intention of the sub-section is to provide that members of the board will not be members of the House. It is equally desirable that they should not be allowed to be candidates, once we accept the general principle.
Captain Orpen: I feel that Senator O'Brien has put forward a very convincing case and that it might be even strengthened from the opposite angle, that the Minister, in forming this board, may have great difficulty in finding suitable people. Therefore, nothing should be done to restrict the field of his choice. We admit that the other disabilities, such as bankruptcy and madness, may restrict his choice. Why should we go further and exclude people who, presumably, have wide contacts over the area in which the transport company will operate and who, presumably, will have some experience of affairs? It will be difficult for any Minister to select a suitable board and nothing should be done to restrict his choice of personnel.
Mr. Quirke: I disagree with both Senator Douglas and Senator Hearne on this point. The Bill, though it does not go as far as most people apparently would like it to go, goes at least a little bit of the way. It is quite evident that both Senators Douglas and Hearne, who are reasonable men, would suggest that a man should not be allowed to stand for election at all if he would not be allowed to sit in either House of the Oireachtas. That would be all right, probably, if all the candidates were very wealthy men, who could  make up their minds before they started off at all that they could pull down the blinds on the place and start on a political career and that, if they were not elected, it would not make any difference. That would be a denial of democratic rights. A man who happens to be a member of a board should definitely be allowed to stand if he likes. If he is elected, then he can make up his mind as to whether he will be a politician or a business man.
That is going some part of the way, but I do not think it is going far enough. I believe it is a very sad state of affairs that because a man happens to be a member of the Oireachtas he becomes disqualified there and then for any State board or semi-State board. I do not think that should be so. I believe a very useful purpose would be served if we had a full dress debate on this particular subject. There are certain objections, but I believe they could be overcome. If a man happens to be a member of a board and some question is being discussed in which he is personally interested, it has become the custom, in any boards that I have ever been on, for such a person to stand up and say: “I will have to walk out while this is being discussed, as I have a personal interest”. There must be some procedure such as that whereby a man need not be prohibited from becoming a member of the Oireachtas because he happens to be a member of a State board or a State-sponsored board.
We all know the uncertainty of elections. We all know that a man may go out into an election with an excellent chance as far as he and his friends could judge. It would be a terrible state of affairs if that man had to give up his job and, when he went to the country, the people did not agree on his suitability for the Oireachtas. He would be left high and dry. In the same way, it is really a reflection on the members of both Houses of the Oireachtas to say that we here would deliberately sit down and legislate to exclude from certain very responsible positions members of both Houses of the Oireachtas. It is a matter that needs very serious consideration and I would be all in  favour of a full dress debate on it at any time.
Mr. S. O'Farrell: I also can go part of the way with everybody, like Lannah Machree's dog, and yet agree with none of them. If we are to have democracy, we cannot have the selective democracy that Senator O'Brien proposes by the deletion of these subsections. He wants to make it possible for a member of the Oireachtas to be a member of the board of the new company, to be one of the board of the State-owned, State-controlled railway. If we open the door by deleting these two sections, where are we to stop? Are we immediately to amend all the existing Acts which contain a similar disqualification?
Senator O'Brien put us in very bad company when he quoted the lunatics and the criminals and he could have put us in better company than that. Others who are excluded as well as members of the Oireachtas could be imagined. I could give cases in which other than members of this proposed board are excluded or debarred from membership of the Oireachtas. We have officers serving in the Army, private soldiers, civil servants. These people surely have served their country, they have undertaken to do something just as noble as sitting in the Dáil or Seanad. They are all debarred. If there is to be democracy, open the door to them all, have no barrier, let every man stand for election, provided he is otherwise eligible, and do not debar him because he is employed by the State. You debar one man because he is a State servant, in the Civil Service or as a postman. Here is a State company in which a State-appointed board will be paid by the State, and then Senators are to have a right which a private soldier in the National Army, paid by the State, will not have. Let us have democracy in this whole question and consider whether we should not make everybody eligible for the Dáil and Seanad and for the State boards.
I do not believe that the number of able people in this country is so limited  that the Minister would be practically compelled to select some of his nominees from the Dáil and Seanad. If the Dáil and Seanad, including myself, is the high-water mark of intelligence, he will have a tough job in getting an ideal board. I believe he can manage it easily without drawing on the resources here, if he wants to get a board capable of carrying on the work that will have to be carried out under this Act. If he can get it, why do we want to pretend or suggest or suppose that the retention of these clauses in the Bill will prevent the Minister from finding some unknown ideal man outside the Dáil or Seanad who is equal to all the others? I do not think that any of the boards will collapse, and if there is any member of the Dáil or Seanad who is offered the appointment, he has only to choose whether he will take a seat on the board or whether he will keep his seat in the Dáil or Seanad. He has the choice of one or other of the sides and he is entitled to make it. He should be well content as a member of the board if he makes that choice because I gather from reading the Bill that a member of this board will be fairly well paid. That is why I say that a man in receipt of a salary such as is paid to members of these boards, should be quite content to leave the seat he holds in either of the two Houses. I think that the old principle of “one man one job” which operates in the lower scale of society should operate in the higher scale as well. I think it is a bad principle when the Oireachtas sets up a board and fixes a salary and prescribes the duties that any member should feel anxious to retain his seat in either the Dáil or Seanad, and come back here and sit in judgment on himself.
Liam Ó Buachalla: May I say that this matter is not by any means a new one in this House? If Senator O'Brien cares to look back over the records of the House for some years he will find that some of his colleagues, now on the other side of the House, spent a great deal of time on this side making the case against the right of  a Minister to appoint members of the Oireachtas to State or semi-State boards. Whether the present Minister has anything to add to the case his colleagues made against that procedure time will tell, but so far as the amendment is concerned, I think the approach of Senator Hawkins is the better one. This issue is far too big to be settled in the case of this Bill. We would have an inconsistency of a very grave nature. We would have members of the Oireachtas entitled to become members of this board while members of the Oireachtas would be precluded from being members of other boards. Senator Hawkins' suggestion, to my mind, is the reasonable one, that action should be taken later on to have the whole matter investigated. May I remind the Seanad that for a long time the Order Paper of Dáil Éireann during the régime of the last Government contained a motion in the name of the then Taoiseach asking that an inquiry should be held and that a commission should be appointed comprising members of all Parties to consider what restrictions, if any, might be imposed on Ministers and members of the Oireachtas with regard to their participation in activities outside the Dáil and the Seanad? I think it would be a step in the right direction if we got back to the idea that this whole question calls for investigation, and if nothing more were to come from Senator O'Brien's amendment than that our attention should be directed to that important matter, the interest of the Dáil and Seanad would be well served by his action in putting down the amendment. Consequently, my feeling is that we should not incorporate this amendment in the Bill because of the inconsistencies which would arise. I hope that, as a result of the discussion, some investigation will be made and some decision reached as to the rights of members of the Government and Seanad to take part in activities of a commercial nature outside of Parliament.
Mr. Colgan: I rise in opposition to the sentiments expressed by Senator Professor George O'Brien in his amendment. Public institutions such as Parliament and others are open to  much criticism and, of course, in this country criticism, particularly if it is criticism of the Oireachtas, has become something of the nature of a national industry. We have to realise that if we want to convince the man in the street that we do our business above board here, we have to be like Caesar's wife, above suspicion. I suggest that if we set out on a policy of setting up institutions or boards and creating jobs—I use the word jobs in no offensive way—the man in the street will certainly have something to say if we give these jobs to members of either House. We will be accused of jobbery pure and simple. I think it is a sound principle that no member of either House of the Oireachtas should hold a position, particularly a paid position on any board set up by the State. Otherwise we will be in the position of enabling people to say that we are creating a job and appointing one of our own people to it. I suggest that we would not stand for that in any other walk of life and we should not try to do it here. Very nasty things could be said if we did it and if you examine the position you will find that we would all end up as a body of policemen holding positions in the Government in power. If members of the Oireachtas on these boards are in the position of coming here and debating, as members of the Oireachtas, matters that affect only the Oireachtas and are not proper to be discussed by members of the board, the business would go from bad to worse. This principle has been enshrined in legislation over the years and I am not impressed by Senator O'Brien's reference to place-men. I think it is sound logic and it is an essential safeguard that the reputation of members of the Oireachtas should be above reproach when we pass legislation creating boards carrying paid positions. We should certainly not attempt to put in members of the Oireachtas which has created these boards, because we would simply be leaving ourselves open to criticism and we get enough of that at present without adding to it.
Mr. M. Hayes: I found myself in agreement with a great deal of what has been said, particularly by Senator  Hawkins, on the general question. It is a very large question, and it is mixed up with the eligibility of certain people for the Dáil, as well as for public posts. When the Electricity Supply Board was set up not only were members of the board precluded from membership of the Oireachtas, but the employees of the board were also so precluded. As well as these two questions, there is a further question whether politics is not a full-time employment, and more particularly whether membership of the Dáil is not a full-time employment. I take it that the prohibition is fundamentally based on the notion that an employer and an employee are two different persons, and since Parliament is in the position of being the employer, roughly speaking, a member should not also be in the position of being an employee, and therefore, that a member of the board should not be a member of the body which ultimately governs the board. But, although that is a very excellent, logical principle, there are certain difficulties arising, as we see things developing. For example, the more power the State takes, the more boards you set up, without arguing whether they are nationalised boards or not, the more semi-State companies you set up, the more people you make ineligible for the Dáil, the more you narrow the field from which members of the Dáil and Seanad are selected. Therefore, the more power Parliament gets, the more it is narrowing its own field for selection of its own members. That again is something which we might very well discuss.
I would like to suggest, with bated breath, that perhaps the proper arrangement, if one could come to a decision as to a really vocational Seanad, would be that members of the Dáil should not be eligible but that members of the Seanad should. But, of course, I am far from proposing an amendment to that effect because I can see its effect in the Dáil.
Another reason is, as Senator Colgan has just said, the political suspicions which are prevalent and the wrong views that are taken about Deputies and Senators. It is thought  ordinarily that business men are honest, that trade unionists are honest, that engineers are honest but that, somehow or other, when they become members of the Dáil or Seanad, they in some way are inoculated with dishonesty, so that Senator Colgan, in his capacity as trade union official or leader, or Senator Summerfield as a business man, are all right outside, but that when they come in they are inoculated with some virus which makes them no longer dependable. That is not the case, and we could do a great deal ourselves to prevent that kind of opinion from being as widespread as it is.
For example, in this House you have university representation. I can speak as one who does not represent a university. You may easily have elected to the House from either of the universities a distinguished engineer or a very distinguished accountant or a very distinguished person who may be eligible for a board, and there is the difficulty that you are narrowing down the field. I do not agree at all with Senator Séamus O'Farrell, who said that the Minister would easily manage to appoint a board. I do not think that is any Minister's experience.
Mr. M. Hayes: I think it is not the experience of any Minister, since 1922, that when he wants to get even five or six people to do something, it comes easy to him. Quite the reverse. This is a very small country, which labours under considerable disabilities, some due to history, some due to other circumstances, and it is not so easy to find the people you want to do a particularly difficult job.
For example, take one former member of this House who is now dead and who was alluded to by the Minister at the opening of the Portarlington Station, Sir John Purser Griffith. I take that example as a man who was a member of this House and who is no more and who was universally regarded  as an excellent Senator, an excellent citizen and an excellent engineer, but, as long as he remained a member of the House, you could not appoint him. Therefore, there is something to be said perhaps for having the kind of Seanad which would enable you, if you liked, to appoint Senators to be members of boards.
The truth is that, at this stage, to adopt this amendment would be very inadvisable because, as Senator Hawkins pointed out, you would be deciding the case, without adequate discussion, with regard to one particular board and that would not do, I think. So that, while the matter would be well worth discussing and should be discussed by itself on a motion which would enable the question of eligibility as well as sitting to be discussed, the amendment is not practicable and the other House would not pass it, if it were passed here. I do not think we ought to pass it simply referring to this particular Bill and not on the question of general principle.
Mr. Quirke: I do not think there is any great support for the amendment but, notwithstanding that, Senator George O'Brien will go down to posterity as the saviour of the individual members of the Oireachtas. I would like to think with Senator Colgan that all members of both Houses of the Oireachtas should be above suspicion and if, as the result of this amendment, we can bring about a situation wherein all members of both Houses of the Oireachtas will be above suspicion then Senator O'Brien's amendment will have served a very useful purpose.
With regard to the filling of positions on any particular board, I agree with Senator Hayes that it is a very difficult job for any Minister. I would sympathise with the Minister who to-day has to fill a board to run any one of the big undertakings we have if he is to be restricted by one thing and another as he is at the present time. I am in agreement with Senator Hayes that if this situation were to continue long enough, so many people would be restricted that there would be nothing left to pick from but  mentally deficient people. That may be an exaggeration but it is within the bounds of possibility. If you were to continue such restrictions you could eventually get to that stage. I know that some people think that there are quite a few of them in already. I am quite serious when I say that it is a dangerous system if pursued over a sufficiently long period. We had one example recently in this House where, in order to fill a particular board, a man had to be called upon to resign from the Seanad. Whether we agree with him or not or whether I agreed with him always or not, most people would have to agree that he was a very useful member of the Seanad. I refer to Mr. Luke Duffy.
He was a very hard worker. He prepared his speeches, and spoke as much as any man could speak in this House, but because of this particular provision he had to resign, and the House has to carry on without his services. If it were discovered, as I am sure is quite possible, that there are people here with very intensive knowledge of various industries, and if they had to resign from the House on being put on boards, eventually we would get to the stage where we would not have in the House the people to give the assistance which would be absolutely necessary in drafting or amending legislation dealing with any of these industries.
Mr. Morrissey: I have to agree that there is probably something to be said on both sides, but I have no doubt in my own mind that the provision in the Bill is the right one. I would like to remind Senators that, apart from the fact that it has been the practice in the State to have a similar provision since the first State company was set up here, namely, the Electricity Supply Board, which was set up in 1927, in respect of all the important boards that were set up under statute. I do not know whether it will influence Senators or not when I tell them that a similar provision obtains in the Six County area in relation to the Ulster Transport Authority, and that there is a similar disqualification in Great Britain in respect of members of the  House of Commons, but not in respect of members of the House of Lords, for some peculiar reason.
There are, I think, many good reasons why members of the Oireachtas should not be eligible to be members of a board such as this. We know that there are bound to be certain political influences at work and I think it is absolutely essential that the members of a very important body such as this should be immune from the controversies of the political arena. It will be very difficult to justify having members of the Oireachtas as members of State boards in future because, as Senators are aware, both Houses of the Oireachtas have been pressing for a considerable time that the working and functioning of State bodies should be brought under close review by the Dáil and Seanad and that opportunities should be provided for the Dáil and Seanad not merely to inspect their balance sheets and financial reports but to express their views on how the functions of a particular State board or authority are being carried out. The members of the Seanad are, I am sure, aware of the fact that the Government have been giving consideration to that matter for a considerable time and that it is its intention to bring proposals at the earliest possible date before the Oireachtas. As a matter of fact when the Bill was going through the Dáil I gave an undertaking that if the Government did not find it possible within a reasonable time to provide machinery which would enable the operations of State boards and companies to be brought under the review of the Oireachtas in some manner, I would if I were Minister for Industry and Commerce provide some machinery whereby the operations of the new Córas Iompair Éireann Board could be brought under review. As Senators will know, I accepted an amendment in the Dáil which will give to the members of the Oireachtas the right to ask for information in connection with the working of the new board on matters other than the ordinary day to day administration.
I do not want to blink the fact— because I think we are all aware of it— that provision will have to be made in  the coming year and maybe for some time afterwards in the Estimates for the new board and several other boards, and thus again the matter will come under review and discussion. I suggest that with all that it would be embarrassing, to say the least of it, for members of the Dáil or Seanad to be members of that particular board and to be sitting in the Dáil or Seanad and perhaps voting in the Dáil or Seanad on their own work, or rather, if you like, on their own lack of work. There must be a pretty sound reason for the fact that this has been the practice since the inception of this State and that this provision should appear in the various Acts that were copied, if I may so put it, in the Six Counties and that it should apply also in Great Britain in respect of membership of the House of Commons. Another point is that if a change is to be made in the general practice this is not the time or the place to make it. It is a matter that can be raised in another way when the whole general principle can be debated and discussed.
Frankly, I think that sometimes it is perhaps a pity that members of the Dáil and Seanad are precluded from membership of boards such as this. I subscribe entirely to the view that members of the Oireachtas could perform very useful functions on many of these boards. I do not subscribe to the idea that a man ceases to have any business or commercial acumen when he becomes a member of the Oireachtas, and we do know that there are certain members of the Oireachtas who are also very successful in commerce and business. I think, however, that Senators will agree that, having regard to all the circumstances and to the tendency to bring the activities of those boards under the closer scrutiny of the two Houses of the Oireachtas, it would be undesirable to have members of the Oireachtas members of the board.
Another point which was raised was the difference in the wording of this particular section regarding rights of nomination. As the Bill was originally introduced in the Dáil by me the wording  was exactly the same as is in the Electricity Supply Board Act, the Tourist Board Act and other Acts but on very strong representations being made in the Dáil on all sides of the House I agreed to amend it in the way in which it now appears. Various points were made. One point was that it was necessary to get a person's formal consent to his nomination and that a man might be nominated without his consent or knowledge and might, therefore, technically be disqualified. One of the other points was that the Oireachtas is the supreme authority and that you could not or should not disqualify a citizen from seeking election to either House of the Oireachtas merely because he was for the time being a member of a particular State board. I think there is a lot in that point. I think that a person should have the right to go forward for election to either the Dáil or the Seanad but in the clear knowledge that if he is elected to either House he must surrender his position as a member of the particular board. May I say in that respect that my experience is that citizens who offer themselves for election to either the Dáil or Seanad and secure that election often have to make much greater sacrifices than ceasing to be members of State boards?
Mr. Quirke: There is one point to which I think the Minister might have referred and that is the suggestion made by Senator S. O'Farrell that it was quite on the cards that a Government may ultimately set up boards so as to provide employment for their friends. The Senator probably did not mean exactly what his words implied. I do not think that any of us would suggest that in any possible set of circumstances in the future any Government would be elected in this country that would go so far as to set up boards in order to provide employment for their own friends. I think that there is a belated tribute which I should pay to the people who now form the Government: even in the great mud-slinging campaign of the spring of 1948 that sort of thing was not suggested and I hope that it will never be suggested.
Mrs. Concannon: During the course of the discussion on the amendment two questions suggested themselves to me to which I would like the Minister to be kind enough to give an answer. One is in regard to the full-time employment of members of the board. That is a thing that would have certain consequences. It is clear from sub-section (3) that that also means whole-time employment.
Liam Ó Buachalla: I want to deal with one or two points on this section. Mrs. Concannon has referred to the first one I wanted to raise, that is, with regard to the board. Is it visualised that the members of this board shall be whole-time executives? If they are to be whole-time executives, has the Minister any idea as to what the remuneration of the persons concerned will be? I think, in assessing the value of the Bill, in assessing the possibility of the new board doing more than the old board has done, it would be important that we should get some information on that matter. The next point I want to raise is in connection with sub-section 6 (a). Mrs. Concannon is quite right in asking whether the restriction applies to the wife of a member of the board to sell or otherwise dispose of any securities which he may hold for his own benefit, whether in his own name or in that of some other person.
Mr. Cosgrave: If the wife held it for his benefit. If the stock was held by his wife for his own benefit then he would not be entitled to hold them. I understood Senator Mrs. Concannon's question to apply to a wife holding stock in her own name for her benefit.
Liam Ó Buachalla: The point will probably reduce itself to a fine legal one as to whether the wife, in holding stock, would hold it in her own interest alone, or whether that interest would not apply to the husband.
Liam Ó Buachalla: I am not clear about it, and I will be glad when the Parliamentary Secretary is replying, if he will make that matter clear. The next thing I want to ask, is whether there is any point in preventing a member of the board from holding stock in the new company. I can quite understand a restriction being placed on him with regard to the holding of stock in some other undertaking, but with regard to Córas Iompair Éireann, there are two points that have to be taken into consideration. The first is, that it is not to be a profit-earning concern. The second is, that the rate of interest is limited, and the third is, that the rate of interest is guaranteed. Why does the Minister think that a member of the board should be debarred from holding stock of the kind in question in the Bill? It seems to me, that we are going a bit too far with this matter, especially in the peculiar circumstances of the new Córas Iompair Éireann.
Another matter I want to refer to, and I think I will have some difficulty in referring to it now, since the Minister is away, but I hoped the Minister would appreciate my raising the matter, is that the principle here, that a person should not hold shares, while a member of the board, in an outside undertaking is one to which I subscribe. I have stated my attitude as to whether he should be debarred from holding stock in this particular company while he is a member of the board. When we were debating this Bill on Second Reading I made some  remarks and the Minister made a very strong protest that he never at any time owned shares in Córas Iompair Éireann. Now, it would be a very grave thing on my part if I were to suggest that the Minister at any time held shares in Córas Iompair Éireann, if I knew that he did not hold such shares. Would the Parliamentary Secretary convey to the Minister that I have now asked if the Minister would indicate to me, where in the course of the debate, I did state that he owned shares at any time in Córas Iompair Éireann? That he should have made that statement, that he should have imputed it to me is a very grave matter, and one that he ought to clear up, as soon as possible, and the gravity of it is his statement and his remark—that on my having made that charge against him, I ran away. The words will be found in column 1130, Volume 37, No. 8. May I assure the Parliamentary Secretary, and may I assure the House, that I made no such charge against the Minister? May I also assure the House, that I did not run away? It is known to members of the House, and it is known particularly to my colleagues in the university, that on occasions I must return to Galway for my work. Before I go, it is my practice to indicate to the Leader of the House the fact that I must go, and if not to the Leader of the House, then to somebody responsible, and the reasons why I must go. On the occasion of the Second Reading, I had certain urgent duties to perform in Galway, and I left to perform those duties. I want to make it clear, and I want it to go on record for students who may be investigating those matters later on, that I made no charge against the Minister that he ever held shares in Córas Iompair Éireann. I want to refute, as vehemently as I can, the statement of the Minister that having made that charge against him I ran away.
Again, arising on this question of the ownership of shares or otherwise by members of the board, may I refer to a charge levelled against me by Senator Crosbie who, unfortunately, is absent now? I do not know if Senator  Crosbie addressed a word to me, except on one occasion, and that one occasion, I think, was the evening of the Second Reading when I had to leave for Galway late at night. He asked me on my way out if I were going home. I said I was, that I had to go home. If Senator Crosbie had indicated to me the fact that he was going to make a charge against me, I can assure the Parliamentary Secretary, and I can assure the House, that I would have left no stone unturned to get permission to remain for the remainder of the session. Senator Crosbie indicates that I made a charge that the Minister was involved himself in the scandal of the Great Southern Railway shares. I do not think, in any words that I may have used, that it could reasonably be held that I had charged the Minister for Industry and Commerce, Mr. Morrissey, with being associated in the buying or selling of shares in connection with that particular occasion, the inquiry into the Great Southern Railway shares. What I had in mind, and what was clear, and what Senator Crosbie knew, and what I think everybody in this House knew, was that I was referring to the part taken by the Minister's Party and by certain of the Minister's colleagues in connection with the events that led up to that inquiry. I would ask the members of the House to refer to the report of that inquiry held by three judges. I would refer them, particularly, to page 7, perhaps, as it is very brief——
Mr. Douglas: Is it in order to discuss this matter on this amendment? I did not interrupt the Senator because he was explaining a misunderstanding with regard to his statement, although it did not seem to be relevant, but if we are to be allowed to debate this matter on the section, we should at least know where we are. I respectfully suggest that it is not in order.
Liam Ó Buachalla: May I assure you that it is not my intention to discuss this whole matter? I am making an explanation which I think the House is entitled to get, an explanation which is due from me to the House and which I hope both Senator Crosbie and  the Minister will appreciate. If I may conclude my reference to it, I should be glad to do so by directing the attention of the House to a few lines in the report in question. The reference is the Report of the Tribunal of Inquiry into Dealings in Great Southern Railways Stocks, and the official reference is page 679. On page 7 there is this passage:—
“Mr. Cole, then Deputy for Cavan, who asked in Dáil Éireann the question which proved to be the genesis of our inquiry, and several other Deputies who supported him in the discussion which ensued, were called as witnesses. None was able to depose to any fact which constituted direct evidence of any disclosure of information or to assist us in any way other than by testifying to the existence of rumours of public comment and by adverting to matters of common knowledge upon which they had based their demand for a public judicial inquiry.”
My reference, of course, was to the fact that a colleague of the Minister, with whom he had to consult often in connection with this matter, on his own admission was one of the people who engaged in the making of the charges in Dáil Éireann and who, I submit, did not come very gloriously out of the whole proceeding. I did not say that the Minister for Industry and Commerce, Mr. Morrissey, was personally engaged in the scandal, that he had dealings in stocks and shares of the Great Southern Railways, and I think it was unworthy of Senator Crosbie to have twisted my words in the way he did. I assure the House that I would not refer to it in the way in which I am referring to it were it not for the fact that the charges made by Senator Crosbie got considerable publicity, as did also the charge of the Minister that I had accused him of having shares in the Great Southern Railway. I did not make the charges and I therefore think I am entitled to give this explanation to the House.
Mr. Cosgrave: The only two points which Senators mentioned which I think require any explanation dealt with the disposal of stock by a person who, after the passage of this legislation,  may become a director of the new transport company. The position set out in this sub-section is similar to that set out in respect of a number of other State companies. There was a similar provision in the 1944 Act confined to common stock and a similar provision also applies in respect of directors of the Electricity Supply Board. In that case, it does not apply to the actual holding of stock but refers to an interest in electrical undertakings or an interest in an undertaking which manufactures or sells electrical apparatus. If a director is so interested, he must declare his interest. It is the usual provision in company legislation. Even in the case of private companies, where directors are concerned in some way with a firm or undertaking with which the company has dealings of any sort, they are obliged to declare their interest.
The other point which Senator Ó Buachalla mentioned was in relation to Section 7 (6) (a). He seems to be under the impression that there is some doubt as to whether, if a director's wife holds shares, she is obliged to dispose of them. The section is quite clear that if she holds them for her husband or for his benefit, she is obliged to dispose of them, but if she or any other person holds them for his or her own benefit, they are not obliged to do so. It is only where the shares are held by the individual concerned or by someone else for his benefit that the provision operates.
Liam Ó Buachalla: Has the Parliamentary Secretary any view on the other matter I raised, whether, in this case of Córas Iompair Éireann, there is any particular reason why he should be debarred from holding the stock, in view of the fact, first, that the company is not to be a profit-earning institution?
Mr. Cosgrave: The stock varies in value, and it might be that a director who owned stock would have some  particular knowledge which would enable him, if he thought it was going to depreciate, to dispose of it at a certain time before that depreciation, or, alternatively, in certain circumstances to hold the stock and dispose of it after it had appreciated.
Mr. Cosgrave: The Stock Exchange quotations might vary and I suppose are bound to vary, and in these circumstances a person holding stock who would have the knowledge a director might have, or would reasonably be expected to have, would be placed in an advantageous position in relation to that stock as against an outsider. A similar provision in the 1944 Act in reference to common stock covered that possibility. It is in order to safeguard the interests of the public that this provision is necessary.
Mr. Hawkins: The Parliamentary Secretary did not make it quite clear whether the members of the board would be whole-time or part-time members, nor did he give any indication of what remuneration may be made available to them.
Mr. Cosgrave: They may be either one or the other and the remuneration will be fixed on the basis of part-time or whole-time. The chairman will be whole-time, but the directors may be part-time or may be full-time.
Mr. Cosgrave: That has not been decided. Some of the directors of the Electricity Supply Board are full-time and some are part-time. I think it is about the only exception. Usually, they are all full-time or all part-time. SECTION 9.
“(h) to construct, manufacture, purchase, hire, let, maintain and repair anything required for the purpose of carrying passengers or merchandise by rail, road, sea or inland waterway or otherwise for the purposes of a transport undertaking.”
The purpose of the amendment is to enable the board to carry on the manufacture of articles that may be required for any outside organisation or transport company. Córas Iompair Éireann is equipped with heavy machinery which can turn out articles required from time to time by other organisations which could not be manufactured by any other concern here and which would not be a profitable venture for any other undertaker. We had experience  of that during the emergency, when Bord na Móna were compelled to rely entirely for machinery on what could be assembled in this country. Were it not for the fact that Córas Iompair Éireann was in a position to undertake the work, the turf production by Bord na Móna would have been seriously handicapped through lack of machinery. A point that could be made is that if such an occasion arose in the future the Minister might by Order give authority to Córas Iompair Éireann or direct them to engage in such activity. I hold that it is better for the ordinary working and for the benefit of the company itself to incorporate in this Bill the power to carry out such works. There is no danger whatever that in giving Córas Iompair Éireann such power and authority we would interfere in any way with private organisations, with industries engaged in somewhat the same type of work. As far as I know there is no industry in the country capable of doing the particular type of work that Córas Iompair Éireann is equipped to carry out.
Liam Ó Buachalla: I support this amendment, as this is one of the things that disappointed me when I read the Bill. The suggestion made by Senator Hawkins that we incorporate the words in the amendment is a good one. The effect of the sub-section as it stands will be to handicap the board to some extent, either great or small. The board must see that everything about the organisation is as efficient as possible, and to ensure efficiency it may be necessary to install certain plant. What considerations would weigh with the board in deciding whether they would put capital into this plant? One of the main factors would be the possibility of utilising it to its full capacity. The extent to which the board would feel justified in having people specially trained would depend on the possibility of their being able to employ that personnel to the fullest extent.
In order to utilise this suggested plant in the most economic way, a number of units, say x and y, would need to be produced. The company  itself would need only x units. If it produces only those, it will be working below efficiency and its costs will be unduly high, but if there is a possibility of doing work for industry outside the transport organisation, it may well be that they could get sufficient work to justify going ahead and installing this specialised plant.
I do not think that is an extreme case. As a matter of fact, though we cannot debate it now, it is one of the points that seem to have been overlooked by the people who were selected to investigate the affairs of Córas Iompair, especially when they went to consider such projected undertakings as the chassis factory at Inchicore. We know that an organisation like Córas Iompair must have very elaborate and specialised equipment. We know that the biggest customer in the heavy industry line would be Córas Iompair itself. We know that it would not pay outside engineering firms to install this elaborate plant unless they were to get the orders in toto from Córas Iompair. It is quite understandable that it would not be feasible on the part of Córas Iompair to send out orders to an outside firm. The stuff would be of a very heavy nature and would have to be supplied in their own workshops, convenient to the place where the particular engineering work was going on, the assembly, repair, and so on. It is quite conceivable that industries outside would, on occasion, need to go to an organisation like Córas Iompair to get their requirements. Failing that, they would have to go abroad. We had experience of that kind during the war.
On the Second Reading, I mentioned here that outside industry had to approach the railway companies to have certain work done, and if the railway companies were not in a position to do that work, then industry throughout the country would have suffered very severely. We know there are a few firms who specialise in engineering equipment and that other industries have to go to them, on occasion, to get special work done. I think that during the war, if I remember rightly, the cotton factory in Athlone engaged in specialised engineering work for outside  firms, so that it seems to me that it is unfair to leave this sub-section as it is, because we may be imposing a handicap on the company.
If we do not amend the section in the way that Senator Hawkins has suggested, then it follows, I should say, that it would be illegal for the company to do any work for outside firms. I expect that the Minister will reply that if it became necessary he could make an Order empowering the company to do this outside work. Perhaps that is a good enough way to get over it, but I still think that it is inadvisable to leave that sub-section as it is, and we ought to give the company the power to execute work for outside undertakings other than transport undertakings if the directorate of the company thinks fit. I do not think that there is any fear that an institution like Córas Iompair Éireann would engage in wholesale competition against outside firms—in my view there is no danger whatever of that happening. I am prepared to let the case rest on the arguments I have put forward with regard to the necessity for keeping plant and men working to capacity, and that cannot be done, I hold, in many instances, unless we allow the company to engage in certain activities on behalf of outside industry other than transport undertakings.
Mr. Summerfield: I find myself somewhat in a difficulty in dealing with this discussion. I understand the spirit of the amendment, but I must oppose it, and I hope the Minister will not accept it. This particular clause gives Córas Iompair Éireann power to construct, manufacture, maintain, repair, and supply anything required for the carrying on of a passenger service by rail, road, sea or inland waterway, so long as it is for the purpose of a transport service. But, as it stands, it is a very dangerous one, if it were operated literally. As I mentioned on the Second Reading of this Bill, the interests for which I am a spokesman caused me to approach the Minister and his officials about it, and we received an assurance that while these powers were necessary if the  undertaking were to be successful, it was not the intention that they would be used to the detriment of private enterprise. But it was agreed that, taking the section as it is, the powers are there if the new company decided it would be advisable to use them.
If, in addition to the wording of the Bill itself, you add two other words which greatly amplify the paragraph, it would introduce dangers which, I believe, have not been given full consideration by either Senator Hawkins or Senator Ó Buachalla. We must not forget, in discussing this Bill, with its powers, that the company is, in fact, one that should it incur losses the meeting of the deficiency will have to be subsidised by outside interests, and that it would be putting these outside interests in the extraordinary position of having to subsidise a competitor, and, indeed, a competitor that had no need to worry, in the same way as private business has to worry, about the profit and loss account. If the company incurred a loss the State would make it up, but this paragraph gives the State-subsidised company power to enter into competition with the ordinary citizens of the State who are using their own money and their own skill in private enterprises.
As I said, we approached the Minister and his staff, and I am glad to say that we are satisfied it is not their intention to interpret the clause in its literal meaning; but even so, in ten or 15 years' time, if the circumstances of the time caused the then board to enter into serious rivalry with ordinary competitive business, the power is already there to do it. I am in full sympathy with the remarks of Senator Ó Buachalla that this country badly needs a heavy engineering industry. It may be that ordinary private enterprise cannot supply that, but again— to repeat something I said on the Second Reading—if to suit our national economy we decide that we need a heavy engineering industry and that it requires some support, let us do it as a distinct thing, and do not saddle Córas Iompair Éireann or the Electricity Supply Board with it. If we need it, we need it, and just as we  subsidised other things that we need, let us treat it as a separate and distinct thing. I do urge on the proposer and seconder of the amendment that the literal interpretation of the paragraph contains many grievous dangers, in its present form, for outside business, which may be faced with the competition of a powerful State-subsidised undertaking with superior equipment and with the added fact that any losses that may be incurred will be made up by the State.
I have made my argument as short as possible, because we who have been worried about this have had the assurance as far as the Minister can give an assurance, that it is not the intention to interpret it in the way that it is feared, that it is only giving powers to be used in certain contingencies, and that it is not intended that Córas Iompair Éireann will enter into immediate competition with outside interests in the construction of vehicles and conveyances that would be supplied by other sources in the ordinary way.
Liam Ó Buachalla: It seems to me that Senator Summerfield has missed the point. The fact remains that an organisation like Córas Iompair must of necessity maintain very elaborate workshops and very elaborate plant and machinery, and that it is essential to the efficient and economic running of the organisation that it should retain very highly skilled operatives. Very few organisations in the country could afford to engage in industry to the extent that it would be a worth-while proposition for them to install all the equipment which Córas Iompair has at the moment and which may be installed by Córas Iompair in due course. If there is not in the country an organisation capable of doing certain work, capable of meeting the requirements of industry in general, would it not be far better that we should enable Córas Iompair to do the work required by that outside industry rather than we should have to send abroad for our requirements?
Senator Summerfield knows quite well the type of highly specialised plant, machinery and gear and the type of very highly skilled operatives that  are required all the time in Córas Iompair Éireann. He knows the work such as tempering, milling, turning and so on that has to be done. I want to ensure that where the board thinks it ought to do work of this kind for outside industry it will be allowed to do it, first, because of its national importance and secondly because it may be to the economic advantage of the transport system and the country in general that it should be enabled to take in certain types of work from outside in order to keep its highly specialised plant and operatives engaged to full capacity. If this amendment is accepted, I do not visualise Córas Iompair Éireann going into competition with general engineering firms. I do not believe the board would do that. As far as the board being empowered to engage in competition with outsiders is concerned, I wonder what Senator Summerfield would have to say to paragraph (d), sub-section (1) of the section. Among the powers given to the board are power to store merchandise whether or not that merchandise has been or is to be carried by the board.
I may not be interpreting that properly but it seems to me that that sub-section empowers the board to engage in the business of warehousemen or storekeepers. It might be enabled to build silos, to build storage warehouses. I may be wrong in my interpretation of that but, if I am not wrong, then clearly that sub-section would enable the board to compete with existing organisations. If it is proper to give the board such power in one instance, I do not see that there is any very great harm in giving them the power in regard to the other matters which I consider to be of such tremendous importance from the point of view of Córas Iompair Éireann and from the point of view of the country generally.
Mr. Morrissey: I am not accepting this amendment. I think the powers that are contained in the section are sufficiently wide and certainly as wide as is required at the moment or that will be for some considerable time. I think we are all agreed on the desirability of having, as far as is  practicable, such heavy manufacture carried on in the country, but, of course, there is an obligation on us to see that we will not give powers to a State-sponsored company and a company which, as has been said, may also be State-subsidised, to enter freely into competition with citizens who are already engaged in business and operating entirely on their own and out of their own finances. If it appears at any time to be desirable that additional powers should be given to the board for a specific purpose, then, as Senator Ó Buachalla mentioned, there is power under Section 14 by which the Minister can make an Order giving that necessary authority, subject, of course, to the two Houses of the Oireachtas.
The position is that, as the section stands, it gives us all the liberty and authority that we require to carry on the work which we can foresee will need to be carried on, and there is the further provision under Section 14 which will enable us, by Order, subject to the sanction of both Houses of the Oireachtas, to make any special provision which it may at any time be thought desirable to make. In that way we are safeguarding the two sides. We are ensuring that the board will not be free to enter into competition with existing industries which are run by private enterprise, and, on the other hand, we are taking under Section 14 sufficient power to enable us to provide for any particular industry in which it may at any time be decided that it is desirable we should engage. I think Senator Ó Buachalla may take it that Section 14 will cover sufficiently the point of view he has in mind.
Mr. Hawkins: I just wonder if I misunderstood what Senator Summerfield wished to convey. He referred to a guarantee given by the Department of Industry and Commerce that these extraordinary powers which are given to the board under sub-section (h) would not be given effect to, much less there being any hope of their being allowed to go as far as the amendment would wish that they should be permitted to go. Sub-section (h), as far  as I read it, merely enables the board to do exactly what Córas Iompair Éireann has been doing for years and what any organisation of this kind must be permitted to do, namely, to provide as far as possible their own requirements of buses, chassis, boilers and other equipment essential to their general organisation. But the Minister and the draftsman preparing this Bill thought fit to make provision that, in certain circumstances, it may be in the national interest to permit Córas Iompair Éireann to engage in manufacture, assembling or activities other than the construction, manufacture, purchase, hiring or letting of goods for transport purposes. The Minister asked us to take an assurance that should circumstances arise, where it would be necessary for Córas Iompair Éireann to engage in such activities, the Minister, provided both Houses approve, has under this Bill authority to make an Order. If the position that we foresee should arise, the position for which we are anxious to provide safeguards, immediate action may be necessary.
There may be a time lag during which the interested parties, whether they are a State-sponsored board like Bord na Móna or a private company, are held up for want of some important part of machinery that can only be put together by Córas Iompair Éireann. Such persons must first approach the Minister's Department and convince the people there that the Minister should be encouragaed to make such an Order. After being convinced himself the Minister will probably have to convince his colleagues in the Cabinet. He makes the Order but before it can be given effect to it must be approved by both Houses of the Oireachtas. The Minister admits that it may be necessary for some time in the future as it was in the past for Córas Iompair Éireann to be in a position to undertake works of this nature. Would it not be better therefore that that should be incorporated in the Bill so that there would be no danger of a time lag before permission is given to the organisation, which might have serious consequences? Serious delays can be avoided by giving permission to the  board to engage in the work in certain circumstances. Seven responsible persons with a responsible chairman who have been appointed by the Minister are not going to abuse the powers given in the Bill and will not recklessly enter into competition with private concerns in the country. Senator Summerfield and the Minister admitted that it was important that we should develop our heavy industry. How are we going to set about it? Here we have an organisation, a nucleus to provide training, and should we not encourage it to give us this type of industry? If in the near future we find it essential to set up another State-sponsored company or a subsidiary company to Córas Iompair Éireann or to give Córas Iompair Éireann more authority would we not be doing a good work for the nation? I think there can be no fear that the giving of these powers to Córas Iompair Éireann would interfere with other concerns. In fact it might be a national safeguard.
Mr. Summerfield: On a point of correction, I did not say—it would be presumption on my part if I did—that I received an assurance from Department officials in the nature of a guarantee. I was discussing an important matter which had additional importance because of the sections of the Milne Report which said that to make a chassis line productive, it would be necessary to have an output twice as great as could be used. That is what made me discuss the matter. I got a statement from high officials of the Minister's Department that it was not the intention to enter into competition with outside interests. I would be grossly wrong if I said that I received a guarantee from officials of the Department who did not give me a guarantee. I am not at loggerheads with Senator Hawkins at all on this matter. I am with him in wanting to obtain a heavy industry in the State but that object would be achieved by putting in a simple two line addition saying that in times of national emergency the organisation could undertake any work in the interests of the State. That would be far more straightforward than having an ambiguous  addition to the paragraph which has dangerous possibilities if it were liberally interpreted. Because of the opportunity which the Minister gave his officials to make their views known, the matter was carefully discussed and it was declared that it would be necessary to have in a Bill of this kind powers for possible use under certain circumstances, but there was no intention of interpreting them literally. I said no more than that in my first remarks and I mean no more now.
Mr. Morrissey: The more we hear from Senator Hawkins and Senator Summerfield the more the Seanad will conclude that the section is meeting the situation in the right way. It does safeguard both parties—the party represented by Senator Summerfield and the party represented by the mover of the amendment. Let me say to Senator Hawkins that the company as well as the Government will be anxious to utilise to the fullest possible extent the equipment and the trained personnel which they have. My view is that they should concentrate on the use of that, at least in their early days, to give us what we have not got at the moment, an efficient and if possible an economic transport system, and I think that their hands will be pretty full with that for a considerable time. The company will themselves be naturally anxious, not only from the national point of view, but from their own, to make full use of their equipment and trained personnel outside purely transport work if it is desirable and if it is going to be profitable and help them to make ends meet.
I should like to say to the Seanad that this Government as well as the previous Government and as far as I can see any Government likely to succeed the present Government will be in favour of the fullest possible development of industry in this country. I think that all of us would desire to see the establishment and progress of a heavy industry. I have no hesitation in saying that if it is clear that private enterprise in this country will not or cannot give us a heavy industry which is considered desirable and essential from the national standpoint then there is no  earthly reason why Córas Iompair Éireann should not undertake that work if they are requested to do so. There is no reason why the Government, either this one or any Government that may follow it, should not ask them to do that or, as someone mentioned, have a subsidiary company if that were thought desirable. I think we should get away from the point of view which is sometimes expressed but which has no real foundation in fact that any Government in this country or any Government likely to be in this country is likely to be other than favourable to industrial development. I think we can agree on that, but while saying that, one must also say that you are not necessarily doing good for Irish industry by erecting a factory just because somebody says that a factory should be erected. You are not necessarily doing good for Irish industry by deciding to erect a factory that will be geared to give an economic output far in excess of anything you require yourself or can dispose of either inside or outside the country. Subject to that, no one could question the desirability of going along the road indicated by Senator Hawkins.
I want to assure you that there will be no such thing as delays under Section 14 and no question of some private citizen coming along to the Minister and saying that such and such a thing should be done and gingering the Minister up. There will be no question of the Government or the Industrial Authority waiting for a particular private citizen to come along to do it. It would be all to the good if a private citizen or a number of private citizens came along prepared to do the work themselves, but if they are not prepared to do it, if it is desirable and if it is considered essential to the national well-being that such an industry should be established, then it will be established.
Mr. Ireland: Might I add a footnote at this point to this sub-section? Senators have been discussing, and they have been looking to the future of heavy engineering in this country, as they put it. Now, might I ask this House, and the Minister, what is  meant by this country in this connection by the words “heavy engineering”? Do not let us forget that one of the greatest heavy engineering centres in the world is situate in the Six Counties, and, in fact, that heavy engineering centre has already gone into the railway field to some extent. They have built Diesel locomotives for the railways in the North, used for shunting purposes mostly, but still they have built them. I just want to say that I hope no legislation will be framed with regard to heavy engineering that will assume that this country consists only of Twenty-Six Counties.
Mr. Hawkins: I do not like to intervene too often, but by way of question, I would like to put it this way to the Minister: If certain circumstances arise to-morrow that Bord na Móna requires a certain type of machinery and work carried out, that can only be carried out in this country by Córas Iompair Éireann, can Córas Iompair Éireann undertake the work on behalf of Bord na Móna as the Bill now stands?
Mr. Morrissey: As the Bill stands it is restricted to transport. That is clear, but unless Bord na Móna wanted it within 48 hours, then, if it is a question of getting it in this country, if it can be managed or made in this country, Section 14 is there.
Mr. S. O'Farrell: Now that the amendment is withdrawn, and before we pass from this section, I should like to make a suggestion. Sub-section (q) empowers the board to do all such things which in the opinion of the board are calculated to facilitate the proper carrying on of the business of the board. Now, Córas Iompair Éireann is no longer a private company. We have been made shareholders in it. It is our company now  and no board can tell us, as they formerly did, if we went to them, that their prime interest is to look after particular shareholders' interests and not those of the travelling public, and that the cattle traders and others must come afterwards. We are now shareholders, and I would like to suggest that a wide interpretation should be given to sub-section (q). I do not know what the hierarchy will be under the new board, or what the different ranks will be, but I presume there will be something in the nature of a district superintendent in various places. I think the board would be well advised if the district superintendent or somebody of that kind were encouraged to make himself approachable to the local people, or that the local people might approach him with confidence whenever they had any suggestion to make or any grievance to put forward, because it would be much better to discuss it with a man on the spot.
It might be a matter of getting a loading bank for cattle or it might be, perhaps, the closing down of a branch line. It might be any one of a number of matters that affected that particular section of the line. If it could be discussed amicably with some local official, who would riddle the wheat from the chaff and then be in a position to recommend some course to the board, it would be much better than private individuals carrying on long-distance correspondence with an unknown individual in Dublin, who would send back routine replies and never do anything.
Is it implicit in that sub-section that the board may engage in the business of warehousing, that it may engage in the business of store-keeping, and that it may engage in that business in competition with such interests as are already established? It seems to me that that is inherent in that sub-section. In view of the Minister's  declaration, that it is not his wish that the board should enter into competition with outside interests, I wonder is there an inconsistency in that or what is the justification for it? The second point I want to draw attention to is in connection with the sub-section we have just been discussing. The sub-section finishes “or otherwise for the purposes of a transport undertaking”. What exactly is the meaning of transport undertaking? Looking at the definitions we get, firstly, the expression “transport undertaker” means any undertaker operating by a public transport service. The expression “transport undertaking” means the undertaking of a transport undertaker. It reminds me of the man who asked what is an archdeacon and was then told “one who performs archdeaconal duties”. We might, then, give some indication of what is the meaning of a public transport undertaking. For instance, would the Minister consider licensed hauliers as being transport undertakers? The next point I want to refer to is in connection with sub-section (m). It seems to me, that the sub-section is a most ideal one, if it means, what I think and what I hope it means. The Minister, I presume, had more than a little hand in the drafting of this Bill. He must be familiar with the implications of all its sections and sub-sections. Could he give us any indication as to what he has in mind with regard to sub-section (m)? For my own part, I should be hoping that it implies, perhaps, the establishment of a school of railway engineering and economics or if we cannot rise to that, the provision of scholarships or cadetships in the organisation for the training of young engineers and future executives, by means of conferring the powers on the board to send young men abroad to study transport and transport economics in other countries. Perhaps, he would give us some indication of what he had in mind when that sub-section was being drafted. As I say, I hope what it means is what I think it means. The next point, and it may seem somewhat like hair splitting, but I think it needs some elucidation, is, in connection with the last sub-section (q). There it says, that the  board is empowered to do such other things which, in the opinion of the board, are calculated to facilitate the proper carrying on of the business of the board. The chapter is headed: “General Powers and Duties of the Board.” Is it understood that this sub-section indicates that the board may do whatever else it thinks fit in order to carry out its powers and duties, as set out in this chapter, or does it relate to the business of the board?
What we understand generally by “the business of the board” is how it conducts its meetings and its general routine. I may be pushing the thing too far, but the Minister will indicate what exactly is in his mind. I think it means how best they may carry out the powers and duties indicated in the section. It seems to me that, having started off describing all that is involved in the section as powers and duties, it would have been as well, for the sake of clarity, to have kept these terms to the end. There may be nothing in it, but the Minister will satisfy us on the point.
Mr. Hawkins: I want to direct the Minister's attention to what I consider to be an omission from the powers prescribed, particularly in relation to the making of proper provision for road transport passengers. We have seen a very great growth of bus services throughout the country and, regardless of what some members of this and the other House may have said in criticism of those services, about the bus services running side by side with the train services, I feel that such criticism is not well-founded. While we have that growth of road transport, we have no attempt whatever to provide any accommodation for the travelling public. An attempt has been made in many cases to have the bus stop at the local railway station, but, in many of the large and smaller towns, the stop is usually at the local public house and absolutely no attempt is being made to provide the facilities with which the travelling public should be provided. If there is not already provision in the Bill, I feel that this is a matter to which the new board should direct its  attention. We are making an attempt to induce tourists to come here. Many of these tourists travel by bus, particularly in the case of organised excursions, and I fear that they will carry away a very poor impression of our efforts to cater for them or for our own people, if some very active steps are not taken to make the provision I refer to.
Mrs. Concannon: I was about to raise that point. The lack of such amenities as Senator Hawkins has spoken of is very badly felt by the people who travel by bus, but sub-paragraph (f) provides that the board shall
I would recommend to the Minister that he should impress on the board that their interpretation of that sub-paragraph should be the provision of the absolute requirements of decency in connection with bus services.
Mr. Honan: This is a matter to which I also intended to refer, because it is very bad down the country. In my own town of Ennis the bus stopping place is the railway station, but the people are supposed to line up outside on the footpath against a wall, and after half an hour they are lucky if they have not got pneumonia, because they are facing the wide Atlantic Ocean. If they could line up inside the station where there is shelter it would not be so bad, but they have to line up outside it, with the result that they are almost sure to get pneumonia before they are there half an hour.
Mr. O'Dwyer: I support the other Senators who have spoken on this matter. There is a very great need for proper accommodation for passengers on the long-distance buses. So far as I can see, no provision of this kind is made. In the case of Limerick the bus terminus has been moved to the railway station, which is a great inconvenience to passengers who have to travel a distance from the town, and it is very hard on elderly people who  have to carry luggage. Under the new arrangement Córas Iompar Éireann ought to provide a proper and suitable terminus in these towns.
Surely that sub-section is very wide. Would it not allow the board to dispose of a branch line without application to the tribunal for which provision is made later on? “Any property”— they do not even have to ask the sanction of the Minister to dispose of “any property.” I think the section is rather drastic. I do not see any limitation—they might even dispose of their locomotives.
Mr. Morrissey: I do not think it is quite as wide as the Senator thinks, but I will have it looked into and see that they cannot dispose of a branch line without applying to the tribunal. Senator Mrs. Concannon was right that the point raised by Senator Hawkins is met by sub-paragraph (f). I am agreeably surprised to find that he is solicitous, even at this late hour, for the bus passengers and the accommodation provided for them. As one who was a victim of it for a long number of years, particularly during the war, I often wished that the eyes of the then authorities were turned towards the comforts and conveniences of bus passengers rather than in more costly and expensive directions.
Mr. Morrissey: The Senator is objecting to having the bus stop transferred to the railway station. We must remember that this new board will be starting from below scratch. They will have to watch their expenditure, while at the same time providing an efficient, and, as far as possible, convenient service for the community. Perhaps if the bus stops, when buses were first introduced, had all been located at the railway stations, we would have fewer bus passengers and more rail passengers. I know that in some places the railway stations are far removed from the local centre of population, but I would say, generally speaking, that it would not be right for the board of this new transport company, having regard to its financial situation, to engage in building new bus buildings in the various towns while there are available excellent buildings which are not being used or not being used to their full capacity. The closer we try to integrate road and rail passenger services, the better. The more rail passengers there are, and the fewer bus passengers there are, the better I personally would like it. However, I agree that it should be, and I hope it will be, one of the main duties of the board to cater in the best possible way for the users of their vehicles, whether they run on the road or the rail. The people are entitled to expect that and, in particular, to expect it from a national undertaking.
Senator Ó Buachalla raised a number of points. On (d), merchandise, I am advised that it is not merely desirable but might be very essential that that provision should be in the Bill. There is similar provision in the Act in the Six Counties. We can conceive many activities in which the board might consider it desirable to engage and which would make it necessary for them to have that power. I mention one— and I do not want any conclusions to be drawn from it, as I give it merely as an example of what might occur. Supposing they decided to enter into this new lime industry, called lime flour or various other names. The company have quarries of their own— whether suitable or not, I do not know —and naturally have transport arrangements and local depots. I do not want anyone to say that I am announcing that they are going to enter into it, but let us assume that they decided to examine that, and decided it was something into which they could enter and which would provide additional traffic, on rail particularly and on road also, and was something that would help them to balance the budget. In that case, it might be very desirable to have this provision.
Apart from that, Senators probably know that in this country we are terribly short of storage. I do not know that there is anything we are more in need of than proper storage accommodation. It cannot be provided very easily, very cheaply or very rapidly. It may be desirable that whatever storage is available on Córas Iompair Éireann property should be utilised to the full.
Mr. Morrissey: No, I do not think so. He also inquired about (m). I think (m) and (n) are self-explanatory. They are pretty comprehensive and my only wish is that the board will make the fullest possible use of them.
Mr. Morrissey: Everything that is there, plus what the Senator himself outlined, if the company think it desirable to do that and can afford it. The other point the Senator made was in relation to the end of (q), the use of the word “business”. It is intended to cover all activities of the concern and is not confined to procedure at board meetings. It is a usual sub-section, which you find in various Acts. Senators will appreciate that it would be utterly impossible to set down in a Bill every conceivable activity.
Question proposed: “That Section 14 stand part of the Bill.”
Liam Ó Buachalla: I notice under sub-section (3) that every Order under the section shall be made with the consent of the Minister for Finance. I just wish to express the hope that the seeking of this consent will be merely formal. If the Minister for Finance is to have any great say in the matter the board will be hamstrung.
Mr. Morrissey: If the Minister for Finance had not any say in the matter the board could not operate at all. He has to provide the money.
Mr. Hawkins: This section gives power to the Minister by Order to confer powers on the board. We take it that included in those powers would be power to take over other transport organisations than those mentioned in the Bill. Provision is made in the Bill to take over the Grand Canal Company. I would like to hear from the Minister whether this covers any undertaking in the event of the board considering it to be in the national interest or in a local interest to acquire it, or that this transport concern would give better service to the areas concerned than the private companies or the present arrangements, whether it is a private company or not.  I have in mind one particular service, a service in which the Minister is very interested as Minister for Industry and Commerce, the present service to Aran. I wonder whether, under this section, he would have power to make an Order transferring the ownership of that service directly to Córas Iompair Éireann.
Mr. Morrissey: I have the power in the Bill to do that if I wish.
Mr. Hawkins: Having the power, I  wonder would the Minister go so far as to say that he proposes to do so?
Mr. Morrissey: Now, now.
Question put and agreed to.
Progress reported, the Committee to sit again to-morrow.
The Seanad adjourned at 10 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, 20th April, 1950.
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