Message from Dáil.
Order of Business.
Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital Bill, 1953—Second Stage.
Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital Bill, 1953—Referred to Joint Committee.
Great Northern Railway Bill, 1953—Second Stage.
Sugar (Prohibition of Import) Order, 1953—Motion for Approval.
Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, 1953—Second Stage.
 Do chuaigh an Cathaoirleach i gceannas ar 3 p.m.
An Cathaoirleach: Tá orm a chraoladh go bhfuarthas an Teachtaireacht seo leanas ón Dáil:—
Tá Dáil Éireann tar éis aontú na leasuithe a rinne Seanad Éireann ar an mBille um Chleachtais Srianta Trádála, 1952.
I have to announce that the following Message has been received from the Dáil:—
Dáil Éireann has agreed to the amendments made by Seanad Éireann to the Restrictive Trade Practices Bill, 1952.
Professor Hayes: Before coming to the Order of Business, might I inquire what legislative programme will we be expected to pass before the recess?
Mr. Quirke: I understand that the Government expect to have the following Bills passed by the Dáil before the summer recess:—Local Elections Bill, 1953, Land (No. 2) Bill, 1952, Health Bill, 1952, Finance Bill, 1953, Courts of Justice Bill, 1952, Army Pensions Bill, 1953, Turf Development Bill, 1953, and the State Guarantees Bill, 1952.
Professor Hayes: In so far as I understand that, I can see there are certain Bills that will have to be passed by the Dáil, but the question which I asked was, what Bills will we be expected to pass before the recess? It is clear that we must pass the Finance Bill and it seems reasonably clear that we will get that before the end of the present month. It is also clear that we must pass the Appropriation Bill and, in the course of what appears  to be the universal practice, we will probably get that before the 24th or 27th of June. The Local Elections Bill has a certain urgency and that will probably be passed in the Dáil to-day. As I understand it, the Health Bill is now in the Dáil, but we have no idea when that will be through.
Mr. Quirke: It is expected that we will have the Health Bill by the end of July and, as far as I understand it, if we get the Second Stage of that Bill here, that will be acceptable. The Finance Bill we will have by the middle of the month and, as Senator Hayes said, the Local Elections Bill will probably be finished in the Dáil to-day. We will have it by next week and possibly we can deal with it on the next day on which the Seanad meets.
Professor Hayes: If it is not intended to put the Health Bill through all stages before the recess, that is satisfactory enough.
Mr. Quirke: It is proposed to take the business to-day as set out on the Order Paper.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time.
Question put and agreed to.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: I move:—
That it is expedient that a Joint Committee of both Houses be appointed to consider the Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital Bill, 1953, being a Bill entitled an Act to limit the personal liability of the members of the Board of Governors of Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital and to provide for certain other matters connected therewith.
Question put and agreed to.
Question proposed: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. Lemass): This Bill, as the Seanad is aware, is designed to give legislative effect to the agreement which was reached with the Ministry of Commerce in Belfast for the acquisition jointly of the G.N.R. and for the maintenance and operation of that undertaking.
Like every public transport undertaking, the G.N.R. Company went through a period of difficulty in the years before the war from which they were temporarily relieved by an increased volume of rail business during the emergency years. As soon as traffic conditions began to approach normality after the war, and particularly on the return of road competition, the company were again faced with serious difficulties. These difficulties assumed serious proportions in 1948 and the company again found themselves, as in the pre-war years, unable to pay interest on their ordinary stock. In 1949 an operating loss of £68,000 was incurred. This was increased to £106,000 in 1950.
The position of the company had been causing concern both in Dublin and Belfast. In August of 1950, on the initiative of Mr. McCleery, Minister of Commerce in Belfast, the position was discussed at ministerial level at a conference held in Dublin. Later in that same year, in November of 1950, and again on Mr. McCleery's initiative, these discussions developed into negotiations of a more formal type. While negotiations were proceeding, the G.N.R. Company informed both Governments formally that they would have no alternative but to curtail services and to reduce staffs and on December 20th, 1950, the company intimated that they proposed to publish a notice that railway services would be discontinued completely from February 1st, 1951.
In January, 1951, following on a further meeting in Dublin, it was agreed that the G.N.R. Company should be informed that the two Governments had decided jointly to acquire the undertaking and that the purchase price would be £3.9 million. It was also agreed then to accept jointly responsibility for the financial results of operating the  G.N.R. Company pending its acquisition. Following the intimation to the company that agreement had been reached to acquire the undertaking, it became clear that difficulty was likely to be experienced in concerting viewpoints and reaching similar agreement as to what should happen after the undertaking had been acquired. Further negotiations at ministerial level did not resolve that difficulty and eventually negotiation was suspended. In the meantime, the proposed purchase price had been rejected by the G.N.R. Company.
Following the change of Government in June, 1951, new negotiations were initiated and led eventually to the agreement which is scheduled to this Bill. When it became clear than an inter-governmental agreement on the general lines of policy was likely to be realised, a meeting was held with the directors of the company who were informed orally, both by Mr. McCleery and myself, that we were prepared to proceed with the compulsory acquisition of the undertaking for the sum of £3.9 million, but that we would have greatly preferred to have proceeded on a basis of agreement.
We told them that if a proposal were made on behalf of the stockholders for a voluntary sale on terms slightly more favourable than the original offer we would be prepared to recommend acceptance of that proposal.
In November, 1951, a ballot of the stockholders was taken by the company at the instance of the directors, who suggested for consideration by the stockholders that if compensation was fixed at the sum of £4,500,000 it should be allocated between the various classes of stockholders on a basis which would provide for distribution per £100 of stock as follows: debenture stock, £89 2s. 6d.; guaranteed stock, £66; preference, £35; ordinary, £28 10s. The majority of the stockholders voted for acceptance of the terms put to them by the directors.
In communicating the result of the ballot to Mr. McCleery and myself, the directors pointed out that neither they —the company—nor the stockholders  had power to sell the undertaking or to offer it for sale, but they intimated that they wished the result of the ballot to be regarded as tantamount to an offer for sale if the necessary statutory powers for that purpose existed.
The offer was accepted subject to the approval of the two Parliaments. The Bill provides in Section 46 for compensation of £4,500,000 distributed in accordance with the scheme of apportionment on which the ballot was taken. Interest will also be payable on debenture stock in the interval between the establishment date and the distribution of compensation subject to a limit of two months.
For the future management of the undertaking it is proposed that a board should be set up consisting of five members appointed by each Minister. The terms and conditions of appointment, including remuneration, will be settled by the Ministers jointly. The joint interest of the two areas is evident in the arrangement that the chairmanship of the board will alternate annually between the members nominated by each Minister to be senior members. Apart from that, the usual conditions will apply to members. A member may be removed from office for stated reasons by the Minister who appoints and a statement of the reasons for removal will be laid before each House.
It is proposed that the title of the present company should as nearly as possible be retained. This has obvious advantages. The name of the new board will, therefore, be the G.N.R. Board. The duties of the new board are set out in Section 7 of the Bill. They will provide that it will take over the undertaking which up to now has been carried on by the G.N.R. Company. The board will inherit the present powers and rights of the G.N.R. Company other than the powers of raising capital. It is a specific duty imposed on the board to secure as soon as may be, taking one year with another, that the revenue of the board shall not be less than sufficient to meet charges properly chargeable to revenue. In other words, the board is to aim at making the organisation pay its way.
 On the establishment of the board the property of the company, except for land, but including the Dundalk works, will be transferred to the board. The land in this State except the Dundalk works will vest in the Minister for Industry and Commerce but the Bill will operate to grant to the board the right to occupy and use the land for the purpose of carrying on the undertaking.
The company's land in the Six County area will vest in the Ulster Transport Authority, but under legislation introduced in Belfast the board will have the right to occupy and use that land also. As a corollary to the use of land vested in the Minister for Industry and Commerce here or in the Ulster Transport Authority, there will be an obligation on the board to maintain the property and to discharge outgoings on it.
The preservation of the Dundalk works as the main workshops of the undertaking and the maintenance of the substantial volume of employment given by the works in Dundalk has been one of our main objectives throughout the negotiations. I may say that of the company's 7,278 employees, more than 1,000 are employed in the Dundalk workshops. A provision is included in the Bill requiring the board to comply with any direction which may be issued to them by the Ministers on matters of policy. The terms of the joint direction providing for the future management and operation of the Dundalk works have already been agreed.
A letter in identical terms will be issued to the new board on its constitution from the Minister of Commerce in Belfast and from the Minister for Industry and Commerce here. I read the terms of that letter to the Dáil when introducing the Bill, and it will probably suffice if I summarise them for the information of the Seanad. The joint direction will provide that the Dundalk workshops will be maintained as the main workshops of the whole system. The board must, however, run the workshops on business lines and contracts may be placed elsewhere if commercial considerations justify that course. When, however, the board are estimating the weight  of the commercial considerations arising in any particular case, they must have regard to their obligation to maintain the workshops and the placing elsewhere of contracts which might permanently reduce the scope of the workshops or cause a diminution of employment must be approved by not less than seven members of the board. Similarly, any extension of the workshops or any proposal to dispose of part of the workshops must be approved by not less than seven members of the board.
Under existing legislation maximum rail and road charges on the G.N.R. system may be increased only with the sanction of a ministerial Order. The House will remember that under the Transport Act, 1950, C.I.E. were left completely free to make such charges as they may think fit. In the case of the G.N.R. it was felt that the board should be given a greater degree of discretion as regards its charges than is at present exercised by the company. In the special circumstances of the case, however, and particularly in view of the fact that the board's charges in the Six Counties would be subject to the Six County transport tribunal, it was decided that some measure of control should be retained here also. The Bill, therefore, provides in Section 12 that the board must give to the Minister one month's notice in advance of any proposal to make a general increase in charges and such increase may not take effect if the Minister, within that period, notifies the board of his disapproval.
The G.N.R. Company may not at present terminate a railway service unless authorised to do so by an Order under the Railways Act, 1933. There is also a statutory procedure to be followed in the Six Counties in the case of the closing of a line in that area. A number of the company's rail services is operated through both areas and one of the most difficult problems that arose during the negotiations was to devise a procedure for the termination of such common services, if at any time their termination should be considered desirable, without having recourse to two distinct procedures. The common service railway lines  which are listed in the Fourth Schedule to the Bill are: Dublin— Belfast, Cavan—Portadown, Dundalk —Derry via Clones and Enniskillen and Bundoran Junction to Bundoran.
Under Section 23 of the Bill it is provided that services over any of these lines between this State and the Six Counties may not be terminated except with the agreement of both Ministers. The Ministers, before coming to a decision on any proposal to terminate a common service, may seek the advice of the chairman of the transport tribunals in the two areas. The chairman of the transport tribunal here, jointly with the chairman of the Six County tribunal, may engage the services of other persons to assist them in considering a proposal. They may also hold a public inquiry.
It may be that one Minister is prepared to authorise the termination of a common service but that the other Minister considers it should be continued. In such an event the board is required to continue the service but the Minister who has withheld his consent becomes liable to make good any loss sustained by the board by the continuance of the service. In the case of other railway lines it is provided in Section 24 that public notice will be given of a proposal to terminate a service and in the event that objections are made the proposal will be referred to the transport tribunal for decision and thereafter the procedure followed will be similar to that which applies in the case of the closing of a C.I.E. line.
It is recognised in the Bill that the termination of a local service in either area might have repercussions in the other area and for that reason there is provision for consultation between the Ministers on any matter of mutual interest before a local service can be terminated. If a service is continued in the Six Counties, that is to say, a local Six County service, as a result of a request from the Minister for Industry and Commerce here, then we are required to undertake to make good any resulting loss. A corresponding provision is included in the Northern legislation.
I have already referred to the financial  difficulties of the present company and to the joint undertaking which was given to them in January, 1951, to meet the losses of the company between that date and the completion of the acquisition proceedings for this present period pending the establishment of the new board. It was agreed that the Six Counties should meet 60 per cent. of the losses on railways and that we should meet 40 per cent. In addition, it was agreed that we would be responsible for the results of the company's road operations which are entirely in the Twenty-Six Counties area, getting credit for any profit and being liable for any losses. That, however, is only an interim arrangement.
One of the first tasks which will confront the new board will be to devise and to submit to both Ministers a scheme for the apportionment of profits or losses of the undertaking. The scheme of apportionment will be made in accordance with certain general principles which are included in an agreement to be made between the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Commerce as set out in the First Schedule to the Bill. It is accepted as a general principle that each area will be responsible for the results of the operation of the undertaking exclusively in that area.
Where profits or losses cannot so readily be apportioned—as, for instance, the services of the management staff or the expenditure and receipts resulting from the transport of goods between one area and another —it is agreed that they shall be equitably apportioned between the parties. The proposal is that the board of the company will be required to prepare a scheme of apportionment. The Ministers, by agreement, may alter or amend that scheme. If the Ministers fail to agree in any respect on the alteration or amendment of the scheme, then the scheme comes into operation in any event within six months. When a scheme of apportionment has been adopted, it will remain in force for a period of three years and subsequently revision is to be made at three-yearly intervals.
The arrangements for providing further capital required by the board  are a logical development of the proposals for vesting the assets of the company. All land in this State, with the exception of the Dundalk works, will vest in the Minister for Industry and Commerce. The moneys required for the development of lands or premises in this State, other than the Dundalk works, or for the acquisition of chattels for use in or in connection with such land and premises will be provided by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, and the proceeds of any sale of such land or premises or chattels will accrue to him. Moneys required for similar purposes in the Six Counties will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Commerce, and the proceeds of the sale of assets there will accrue to that Ministry. Money needed for the acquisition of railway rolling stock or for the purpose of the Dundalk works will be provided in equal shares by the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister of Commerce. Similarly, the sale of rolling stock or of assets used in connection with the Dundalk works will accrue to the parties in equal shares.
The subscription of capital for the road services, all of which are operated here, will be a matter exclusively for us. These financial arrangements are all included in the agreement and legislative effect is given to them in the various sections of the Bill. The agreement may not be amended for a period of five years. The rights and obligations of the Ministry of Commerce may be exercised by the Ulster Transport Authority and will, I understand, be so exercised.
There is a provision in Section 33 for the payment of interest on advances made for the purchase of assets by the board. Whether interest will, in fact, be charged may have to be considered in the light of the circumstances prevailing when the advances are made. It is important, however, that the full cost to the community of maintaining the services should be apparent in the board's accounts.
The board will be required under Sections 19 and 35 to keep all proper and usual accounts and to furnish any further accounts or information that may be required. In addition, an annual report on the operations of the  undertaking must be submitted. The audited accounts together with the auditor's report on them and the annual report on operations will be presented to the Oireachtas. The Minister will have power under Section 18 to make an investigation into the operations of the undertaking exclusively in the State and to make an investigation jointly with the Minister of Commerce into matters of common interest.
On the establishment date, the existing staff of the G.N.R. Company will be transferred to the employment of the board, their present rights and privileges being adequately safeguarded. In the event of the termination of a railway service, employees whose employment is terminated or whose conditions of employment are worsened will be eligible for compensation. In the case of employees resident in this State the position will be in accordance with the scale applicable to C.I.E. employees in similar circumstances.
The superannuation rights of existing employees of the company are preserved under the Bill and there is power to make new schemes or to revise an existing scheme. The terms and conditions of service of rail and road employees will continue to be settled in accordance with agreements made between the undertaking and the appropriate trade unions.
The obligation of distributing the compensation of £4,500,000 will devolve on the present G.N.R. Company. When they have discharged that obligation the continued existence of the company will become unnecessary. Its existence will then be terminated by an Order made by the Minister for Industry and Commerce.
I have outlined the main provisions of the Bill. Its terms, as the House will have observed, are, except for those of purely local relevance, identical with the Bill which was passed by the Parliament in Belfast. The Seanad will appreciate, therefore, that amendments can be made only in agreement with the Belfast authorities. Any amendment in our draft will probably  also mean an amendment in theirs. Because of this when recommending the measure to the Dáil I asked Deputies to refrain from pressing amendments unduly, and I am glad to acknowledge the co-operation which I received. I now make the same request to this House and I recommend the measure for their acceptance.
The position in respect of the Six County Bill is that it has been passed by the Parliament in Belfast and is, like our measure, now under consideration by the Senate there. It is contemplated that the two Bills will become Acts some time during the course of the present month and come into operation early next month. I have great pleasure in recommending the adoption of this Bill.
Professor Hayes: In the first place, I think the Minister should be thanked for such a very clear and detailed exposition of the terms of this Bill. I agree that the Bill is one which must be accepted as a whole. There may be, from the point of view of some people, desirable amendments but the Bill, as the Minister's speech showed so clearly, is the result of very long and patient and detailed negotiations and cannot now be altered, except by way of altering the agreement. There may be small details which concern ourselves alone but, with regard to the general provisions of the Bill, it cannot be altered.
I think the Minister's speech was a model of what a speech on this kind of Bill ought to be. He dealt with the facts as the Bill deals with the facts —hard facts and facts which are sometimes both unpleasant and unpalatable. The Bill reflects great credit on the Minister and his predecessor in office here and the Parliamentary Secretary in the previous Government who, owing to special circumstances, was obliged for a time to take up the duties of a Minister for Industry and Commerce. Of course, it also shows not only how people can co-operate from Belfast and Dublin but also how, in Dublin itself, with different Governments and different policies, on an economic matter of this kind, there can be continuity and unity and harmony and co-operation.
 One could be tempted into various side issues on this Bill. The G.N.R. itself, in its course from Dublin to Belfast, is a very excellent illustration of the peculiarities and absurd anomalies of the Border. The railway winds in and out of the Border for a very short distance several times and illustrates that, in fact, the Border is a political line and has no roots in history, geography or economics. Having said that, it is true that certain problems arise—problems that have to be solved and that cannot be solved by speech-making. This Bill, like some other Bills which we have had, shows an excellent attempt to come to a conclusion with regard to economic matters. The problem in this Bill is essentially an Irish problem. It is not a Northern problem, a Southern problem, or a Western problem and it is not, in any sense, a British problem. It is a problem which concerns Ireland, all Ireland, and one which Irishmen in this particular Bill have taken what one sincerely hopes are successful steps to solve.
The prosperity of the G.N.R. Company in the future will depend upon various factors but, above all, it will depend on the economic progress that we can make on both sides of the Border. We should not leave this Bill without stressing that, with regard to economic matters, this island is a unit and that, as far as economic progress is concerned, we rejoice when economic progress is made in any part of Ireland and we regret depression in any part of the country. Whatever political orators may say on occasions of heat, there can be no doubt that injury to one part of the island is very much the concern of the rest of the island. That being so, we require the maximum of co-operation and goodwill in the economic sphere.
This Bill, and similar Bills with regard to electricity supply and with regard to certain drainage developments, prove that economic co-operation to solve these problems is possible and that it can and has taken place without the abandonment of any political or constitutional views.
The legislation which we have here and the work that went into it on the  part of Ministers and officials before it came before the Dáil and the Parliament in Belfast prove that there are stern realities to be faced and that these realities can be faced and solved only by sitting down together and keeping, as the Minister kept so admirably to-day, to the economic and financial matters that are concerned.
It is, therefore, a matter of congratulation for the Minister and for ourselves that we are considering this measure to-day. It reminds us that if we are not brothers in arms with certain people in the North and not brothers in loyalties, we are all too often perhaps brothers in distress, because the circumstances of this railway were very distressing before this legislation was undertaken. To meet the economic forces which are pressing upon us all, we need both very hard work and mutual advice and assistance. This Bill is an excellent example of how that can be done, and I hope it will have an easy passage through the House. I should like to express the hope also, and I think I am expressing the view of everybody in the House when I say it, that the patient labour put into it by everybody concerned will bear fruit in the prosperity of the G.N.R.
Professor Johnston: I would like to join in the well-deserved congratulations which the Minister has received for producing this Bill after a long period of incubation. I think the permanent officials, both here and in Belfast, also deserve a considerable measure of congratulation. I am aware of the difficult and complex problems they had to solve, and I think they have probably made the best possible decision in a very difficult situation, which was perhaps made as difficult as it is because of the policies and impolicies of former Governments and Parties in this area and also in Northern Ireland.
If there are any reservations in the congratulations I wish to extend, they are somewhat a matter of ancient history and I merely want to put them on record before passing on to more immediately important matters. I think we did the best we could in this Bill in  a very difficult situation, but I hold very strongly the view that the stockholders both of C.I.E. and the G.N.R. have got rather a raw deal from their fellow citizens. The situation is that the G.N.R. system is absolutely necessary to the economic life of this whole island. If it were not there, it would have to be put there and to put it there in present conditions would cost something like £30,000,000. That would be the replacement value of the property. Another method of valuing it for compensation would be to consider the break-up value of the property—what they could get if they could sell the land, equipment and everything else they possess in a free and open market. That has been expertly estimated at something like £10,000,000. Yet, in the final result, we find that there was only one purchaser for the railway, which could no longer be carried on by the proprietors, and that purchaser was able to acquire the property for £4,500,000.
That was a very attractive deal for the purchaser, but a matter of somewhat doubtful propriety from the point of view of the proprietors, and if a similar transaction took place in a matter of ordinary relations between private citizens, we would take a very poor view of the morality of the proceeding. In fact, it seems to me to illustrate the principle that there is one moral law for the State and perhaps a different moral law for private individuals in their economic relations with one another—as Shakespeare has put it: “What in a captain is but a choleric word, that in a private is flat blasphemy.” Perhaps there is something to be said for that point of view, but I am not disposed to say it.
The stockholders have made the case that they are in equity entitled to compensation by way of interest, especially on debentures, not for the brief period of two months as contemplated in the Bill, but for the whole of the period since 1951 when the two Governments took over the effective supervision of, and financial responsibility for, the railway and it would be only fair that, by agreement with both Governments, there should be some modification of the Bill so as to meet that very  equitable claim on the part of the proprietors.
Having made the best of a bad business, I think we now have to get down to the problem that confronts the G.N.R. under its joint management in the future. It will still have its difficulties and we will still have our problem of public transport. Those members of the House who have read the Ibec report, that very valuable report on our general economic situation and outlook, must have noticed that the authors of that report made a somewhat humorous and ironical comment on our transport problems. They say that many undeveloped countries suffer from an absence of public transport and think that all would be well if only they could get a modern rail and transport system. They then go on to suggest, at page 66, that there might be some value in arranging for missions from these undeveloped nations to visit Ireland where they might discover that the presence of a highly developed rail and road system can generate almost as many problems as it solves.
They illustrate that point by showing that the cost of our multiplicity of transport facilities, both road and rail, is out of all proportion to the increase of real wealth that has taken place in the country in the past 30 years. The cost of transport in our country is a higher proportion of the total volume of business passing than it is in Britain or the U.S.A. In 1949, it was £19.6 million out of a gross national expenditure of £396.3 million or 5 per cent. of the whole, while, in the case of Great Britain, the proportion was 3½ per cent. and in the case of the U.S.A. 2.2 per cent. In other words, the fundamental transport problem is that there is not enough use made of available transport facilities, especially public transport facilities, and they add, finally, that many of the current problems would be eased if the volume of internal traffic were to grow sufficiently to provide for a greater and more effective use of existing transport facilities.
It, therefore, comes down to this, that the ultimate solution of the problem of transport, both C.I.E. and G.N.R., is more production in both areas of the country, and, I would add,  happier relations and more co-operation between the owners of private transport and the management of public transport, because I suspect that there are a great many people using privately-owned transport vehicles in connection with their own business who could and should give up these transport vehicles or use them only for bringing goods to and from the nearest public transport centre.
In regard to the problem of the future of the G.N.R. in general, I think these financial problems would be greatly eased and improved if we could develop closer economic relations between Northern Ireland and this part of the country. Partition has worked only too effectively in diminishing commercial relations between North and South, but the fact of the matter is that as things are now we seem to sell considerably more goods in Northern Ireland than Northern Ireland sells in this part of the country. The figures in the Ulster Year Book for a recent year show that in 1945 imports from this part of the country to their area were £9,250,000. Exports from their area to our area were only £2,000,000. In other words, we provide a much less valuable market to them than they do to us, and both markets ought to be capable of considerable expansion.
I seem to remember a time when potatoes grown in County Tyrone were regularly exported to Dublin and were very much appreciated when they got to Dublin. I doubt very much whether any potatoes from that part of Ireland are now brought to Dublin and, if they did attempt to come here, I suspect they would meet with a tariff or an obstruction of some other kind. Would it not be a good idea if we could encourage the Tyrone people to restore their former export market to Dublin? I merely mention that as typical of a new commercial intercourse that it ought to be the policy of both areas to encourage and develop. If it could be done in that way it certainly would greatly improve the financial position in both areas and in the G.N.R.
There is one question I would like to ask the Minister arising out of Section 28. It says that the general  management of the joint board should aim to make it pay its way one year with another: “...taking one year with another the revenue of the board shall not be less than sufficient to meet the charges properly chargeable to revenue.” The new concern will be liable for a capital endowment of £4,500,000. I want to know what rate of interest they will have to pay on that capital before the possibility of working out its annual net profit arises at all. Will it be the rate of interest which the Government must pay for the money it made available or is it anywhere stated in the Bill what rate of interest they should pay on the use of this capital?
The general policy implied in this Bill is one of functional co-operation, and it is an example of many recent acts of the same kind of co-operation which I think must command the approval and support of every person of goodwill in both parts of the country. I used to say that, in spite of the fact of Partition, three very powerful links bind together North and South and these might symbolically be referred to as God, mammon and the G.N.R. The organisation of the Churches goes out of its way to ignore the existence of a Border; the banking system is largely an all-Irish banking system, and is not unduly inconvenienced by the existence of the Border; and there remains, I hope, and will always remain this other link, the G.N.R.
This policy of functional co-operation, that is, of dealing with each problem on its merits as it arises, each problem that concerns the welfare of the people in both areas, is one that has much support in both parts of the country and, I think, increasing support in Northern Ireland itself. We here cannot help regarding all our relations with Northern Ireland from the point of view of how do they react on the Partition problem and will they tend to bring about that much-desired reunification of the whole country. Undoubtedly if we are to have a policy for dealing with Partition, this kind of policy is by far the best approach to dealing with it.
At the same time I would say that  there are certain psychological dangers attached to being too conscious of the Partition aspect of the case and not concentrating enough on the merits of the particular problem that we are trying to solve. I think the policy of functional co-operation should be pursued with sincere goodwill for its own sake and without too much conscious advertence to its possible effect on the larger issue of Partition.
Although I attempted to read the Minister a moral lecture in the earlier part of my remarks, I do not regard myself as a moral philosopher, but I do vaguely remember from certain studies in that subject made many years ago, the criticism of the doctrine of hedonism. It says: If you pursue pleasure directly with a conscious concentration on obtaining a maximum of pleasure, you are quite likely to fail in the final result, and that the only way to get pleasure is to concentrate on other concrete interests in which you are genuinely interested, and that pleasure and happiness may come about automatically as a result of your genuine interest in other matters. The catch phrase used to say the best way to get happiness is to forget happiness and concentrate on various creative pursuits.
In the same way, the best way to deal with Partition is to forget about it and concentrate on all these other objectives we have in mind. If I might take another analogy from golf, a subject in which the Minister is more than a little expert: the golden rule in golf is to keep your eye on the ball; in this case the ball is the particular concrete problem that happens to be of concern to the people in both North and South. If we constantly lift our eyes with reference to the larger issues of Partition, we are quite likely to pull the ball into the rough or slice it into some other inconvenient setting. If we keep our eye on the ball we may hit a series of shots along the fairway and in the end, almost to our own surprise, inadvertently find ourselves on the green of unification; perhaps in this case I should say the orange and green of unification.
If we pursue a policy of functional  co-operation as part of a general philosophy of Irish nationalism I can, in the words of Parnell, foresee no limit to the success of such a policy and I would certainly set no bounds to what it might achieve. If this new joint venture with the G.N.R. Company is, as I hope it will be, a success, we will find ourselves bound to the North by a link of steel and in that connection might I quote a certain poem that originated in the past with the Young Ireland Movement which says:—
“In fortune and in name we're bound
By stronger links than steel;
And neither can be safe or sound,
Save in the other's weal.”
I think we know the philosophy of Irish nationalism which is contained in these lines. If we look for it, we will find it admirably expressed in the nationalism of the Young Ireland Movement and we see it also expressed in the terms of the 1916 Proclamation. That is the kind of Irish nationalism which might yet win all Ireland to a common national allegiance, but, if I may say so, it is not consistent with the kind of nationalism which is proclaimed, promoted and preached by the Anti-Partition League and still less with the kind of Irish nationalism associated with an organisation known as Maria Duce.
An Cathaoirleach: Would the Senator not come back to the Bill before the House?
Professor Johnston: I think we should in all our dealings with the people on the other side of the Border have a philosophy of all-Irish nationalism. I think a policy of functional co-operation, such as we have in this Bill, is consistent with such a comprehensive and consistent all-Irish philosophy of nationalism.
Mr. Baxter: It would, I feel, be unbecoming that this Bill should pass through the House without some comment coming from a member in the area concerned, an area which must be particularly concerned in the future of the G.N.R.
I am in full agreement with the measure and I know I speak for many  people in my native county and, indeed, in that particular part of the Republic who are so interested in this railway over a great many years. I have travelled many thousands of miles over this railway and I rejoice that we have this Bill before us as a demonstration that there are people in every part of the country who realise that in certain fields you can do better work for all Ireland by working together than you can by working in different units. Something like this had to be done, because the G.N.R. undertaking was severely threatened to such an extent that unless the Governments came together and did something about it, it was going to close down.
Perhaps one might have to agree that to some extent the Bill, as Senator Johnston suggested, does an injustice to many of those who are shareholders and that they are not getting a fair return, but there is much to be said also from the other point of view. I believe that if the Governments were not prepared to enter into this field there was then no knowing what the value of the property would eventually be to the shareholders. It is difficult for us here to try to do what is absolutely equitable until we know the position. Agreement has been reached between our Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister of Commerce in Belfast Parliament and nobody is now going to do anything to torpedo that measure.
Senator Johnston has stated many things which very few people would refute. I think it would be unwise for us down here to think that there is anything more in this measure than just what we are putting into it. The Northern Minister of Commerce is a hard-headed businessman and what he has done was done only on a basis of a business arrangement and it is well that we should all appreciate that fact. However, it is a very good thing and it is a field, perhaps, that might be better cultivated and it is probably an approach to which we do not give sufficient attention.
We will now have a railway maintained and operated by a board consisting of representatives of the Government in Belfast and of the  Republic, but it must be remembered that that board cannot make this railway a proper and economic unit unless they are able to get the goods to carry on both sides of the Border. I suggest that this matter of production to supply the goods for transport is one which might well be taken up by the Ministers on both sides. To get that increase in goods for transport definitely means that there will have to be much more production and there is a problem there which could be usefully tackled. There are plenty of opportunities for increased production in this country and I hope that there will be enough common sense to see that discussions are opened on that problem in relation to their effect on the G.N.R.
Senator Johnston expressed the view that the people of the North were buying much more from us than we are from them. It is good to know that we have so much here that is of value to the people of the Six Counties that they are prepared to come and buy it. We know there are many traders in the North who come here to our fairs and markets to buy our live stock and bring them across the Border for transport to Britain. It is true that there is a good deal of legitimate and illegitimate trade across the Border. I say illegitimate trade because one, at night, might see hundreds of pigs in certain areas of the Border which nobody is prepared to claim at certain critical moments of the night.
There is much here that we can sell to the North, but there is a market down here also for many of the products of the North. If that were developed it would provide a greater flow of traffic for the G.N.R. In past days there was a good deal of agricultural produce from the fields of Tyrone which used to find a market in Dublin, but that market is now being supplied from the counties adjacent to Dublin. There are, however, other products in the North which could find a market here. There are industrial products in the North which in other days were transported down here and found a ready market. That market could be opened to them again if the people in the North want to open it. They have  the key and if we wish they would turn that key and make this market available to themselves once more. It is a problem for all of us.
I feel, with those who have spoken— and with many who are not going to speak because there is no question of divided views—that this is something which the Governments had to do. The G.N.R. is essential to the life of the country—I believe it is essential. It has given very good service in the past and it was a reasonably efficient organisation. I hope that this legislation will rejuvenate that railway system. Other people may say it cannot compete. I believe it still can compete. It may be that under the scheme of reorganisation there will have to be readjustment with regard to staff—a number of readjustments, which we here are not capable of discussing or of understanding.
I have heard in the past a number of complaints voiced frequently and loudly regarding the internal administration of the G.N.R. Now it is coming under new control and we hope that there will be given to the travelling public an efficient service at a reasonable cost; that they will show how an efficient organisation can be managed; that they will give to their staffs what is fair and reasonable; that there will be equity in relation to the administration of the organisation; that promotion will be considered on the basis of efficiency and service and we might, perhaps, urge also that this railway system can only prosper when whole fields on both sides of the Border are better cultivated and when there is an outpouring from these fields of such an abundance of produce that the goods transported over the G.N.R. will give the railway a business to do that they have not been doing for many years. Perhaps it may be that the men who have started now to give new life to the railway will see the necessity for carrying their labours further.
As far as this House is concerned, I am certain we welcome what has been accomplished, and while it is true that the initial effort was made by  Mr. McCleery in the days of Mr. Lemass's predecessor in office, I think we will all agree that Mr. Lemass as Minister for Industry and Commerce has handled this whole affair with the dexterity that we know he is capable of when he has a difficult task to perform.
Mr. Summerfield: I had not intended to speak on this Bill but, after all, it is a very important one and I feel, because of my association with road transport interests, I should be one of those heartily to congratulate the Minister and his staff on the excellent work they have done in attempting to solve what is, I might say, a very difficult problem.
In spite of some rather provocative statements by the last two speakers, I have no intention of opening up a general discussion on transport generally. But it is true to emphasise this: that many of the troubles of the G.N.R. —there were troubles with our own system down here, too—were due to the fact that they were operating with uneconomic loads due to obsolete equipment in many cases and to other factors such as being handcuffed to obsolete rating and classification systems.
I heartily wish the new board complete success in their job. I believe that with the acquisition of modern and more economic rolling-stock and given a more elastic service, that the railway systems North and South, will attract more traffic without having to clamour for the extermination of privately-owned transport. After all, the business community is a hardheaded section of the community. If the public transport systems can give me in my various undertakings a more economic transport system than I can operate myself, I will give them all my traffic to-morrow. I hope we will always have the right to operate privately-owned transport at our own wish and discretion.
I wish for this Bill complete success and, for the new board, that faith which will make it a success. If they go into the pros and cons of this entire problem and, perhaps, seek advice from outside, they can put before the public  such a system of transport which will, in my belief, attract that form of business which will make the scheme a success. I conclude as I began, by heartily congratulating the Minister on what I believe is an excellent piece of work for the entire country, a further acceptance of economic realities and a further dispelling of political illusions which kept us apart.
Mr. O'Donnell: I am quite sure that for the Minister this must be a unique occasion. I think I have never heard him praised so loudly and, while I would not like to disrupt that, because I believe that anything that makes for progress between North and South is to be recommended, I would like to make one point not recorded by previous speakers.
In that section of Ulster which uses that type of transport, we have had a good deal of rural industries for years past, particularly in that section of Donegal which borders on Derry. They all use the railway for the transference of the finished articles to Dublin. I hope the Minister will see that the board will arrange that the rates which are applicable to the carrying of goods for that section of the country will be at the same level as those operating on the North Ulster section of the same railway. There have been fears among some industrialists up there that this new company may increase rates and make things more difficult for the industrialists situated mainly in the Gaeltacht areas to carry on. I am only expressing the fear; I hope it will never be a reality. I am sure the Minister will see that the board will not allow that to happen.
There is just one other thing I would ask the Minister. In the very highly industrialised area of SouthEast and South-West Donegal, where goods are shipped through from Derry, there are sometimes delays in the transmission of goods, due to customs formalities, and I hope that something will be done by the new company to see that goods made in one section are not unduly delayed in transmission to the other section. That is the only point I want to make. I join in the chorus of congratulations to the Minister and  his predecessors on the accomplishment of something which is, I hope, the symbol of a new Ireland.
Professor Stanford: There is a small point of procedure I want to raise with the Minister. I think it is an unusual, though not unparalleled, situation to have the same Bill before the Seanad of the Republic and the Senate of Northern Ireland at the same time. How are we going to move in this matter? Are we keeping the Bill open to the Final Stage in order to see what the Senate of Northern Ireland decides, or will it be assumed that there will not be any amendments in either House? Exactly what will we do? I should not like the matter to degenerate into some kind of slow bicycle race in which the winner is the man who gets to the goal last. I would like to hear from the Minister how he is going to manage the Final Stages of the Bill.
Mr. Lemass: Naturally, I am very gratified at the manner in which the Seanad has received the Bill. I should like that any credit for its appearance would be shared equally with my opposite number in Belfast, Mr. McCleery. During the course of our negotiations, I developed a very considerable respect for Mr. McCleery's abilities as a negotiator and for the qualities of his departmental advisers. He is what can fairly be described as a tough negotiator who moves only from any position he has taken up when he is convinced that the weight of practical considerations require it. Nevertheless, when so convinced, he does move.
We entered into these discussions as businessmen dealing with a single business problem in which our mutual interests were involved, seeking only a solution of that problem. It is probably because we approached the matter in that way that we succeeded in the end in reaching an agreement acceptable to both of us. I think it is important that during these negotiations personal relationship was established and the habit of discussion in matters of common interest, because it is likely to be useful in the future.
 Like Senator Baxter, I am under no illusion that the passage of this Bill will terminate all problems in connection with the G.N.R. system. In many respects, these problems are only now beginning, and if they should raise questions which can only be settled by joint action with the authorities in Belfast, then the relationship established during these negotiations will contribute something to their settlement.
With regard to the compensation payable to the owners of the G.N.R. Company, I should like, at this stage of the business, to forget everything that happened previously and to rely only on the fact that we received an offer from the owners to sell for £4,500,000, and we accepted that. I could not agree at all that the stockholders other than the debenture holders are entitled to interest upon their compensation from the date of that offer until the payment of the compensation. There could be no case whatever made for the payment of interest out of public funds when the property in which the money was invested proved itself incapable of earning a profit which would permit of the payment. Some Senators were disposed to discuss transport problems in a general way.
Professor Johnston: I see where interest was paid by both Governments in connection with the acquisition of the L.M.S. Apparently interest was paid there all right in respect of the period between the advertising of the agreement and the payment of compensation.
Mr. Lemass: Would the Senator check his facts? As far as I know there was no payment of interest when the County Down Railways were acquired. General transport problems could not be usefully discussed in relation to the G.N.R. One of our ideas is that these problems can be minimised by linking the management of rail and road services in one undertaking. People in the North have a different view. The G.N.R. Company was deprived of operating the road services in the Six  Counties. Its road services were transferred to the Ulster Transport Authority. The board of the G.N.R. were at one time disposed to argue that a large part of their financial difficulties was due to the fact that they had no right to operate road services in the Six County area. Whether that argument was sound or not I do not know.
We know that our public transport services are in difficulty and that wide issues of policy will arise for our consideration and decision in regard to them at some stage. These can, however, be more easily dealt with without reference to the special circumstances of the G.N.R. I know that Senator Johnston will not expect me to follow him over all the routes he tried to open. It is inevitable that Senators should try to relate the agreement which this Bill implements to wider issues of policy, but whether it will have any effect upon these other issues only time will tell. I think we can limit our satisfaction now to the fact that in relation to the limited problems created by the position of the G.N.R., agreement was found to be possible.
With regard to freight charges for goods from Donegal the Bill provides that the board may fix such charges as it thinks fit for services provided by it, but it is only in the event of any general increase in these charges that the Minister has any function. I think it is better in present circumstances to leave our public transport undertakings as free as possible from ministerial control in the matter of charges. We know that the maximum revenue which they can earn at the present time is unlikely to meet the cost of providing these services and that they will be fully conscious of the need to attract business by the manner in which they regulate their charges. If any allegation could fairly be made that rates for one class of traffic were out of line with another, then it would be a matter upon which action could be taken under the provisions of the Bill.
With regard to future procedure, the position at the moment is that we can now proceed to the enactment of  this Bill without risk that any position will emerge in Belfast which would require its amendment by us. The only amendment made in the draft of either Bill followed upon a suggestion in the Dáil about a compensation provision: that has been made.
It would not be feasible to try to march completely in step with the Legislature up there. I think that the danger of any situation arising which would require a further ministerial meeting and an amendment of the agreement is now over. We can, therefore, proceed to complete the enactment of the measure here whenever it is most convenient to us.
Professor Stanford: What would be the procedure here if the Senate in Northern Ireland sprang an amendment to this Bill? What would we do here in such a case?
Mr. Lemass: The Bill started to move towards the Statute Book here before it started in Belfast, but I delayed the stages of the Bill through the Dáil until it had passed the Parliament in Belfast so that there would be an opportunity of making an amendment in the Dáil if the need for it arose. It did not arise and I think that now it is not likely to arise. It is a situation that you cannot completely guard against. In one Parliament or another, the Bill must be passed first.
Professor Stanford: Would it not be well, therefore, to delay the passing of the Bill?
Mr. Lemass: They are at the same stage in Belfast as we are here.
Question put and agreed to.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: When is it proposed to take the next stage?
Mr. Lemass: The next sitting day.
Ordered that the next stage be taken on the next sitting day.
Mr. Quirke: I formally move:—
That Seanad Éireann hereby approves of the Sugar (Prohibition of Import) Order, 1953.
Mr. Lemass: This Order comes up for renewal at this time every year. The Sugar (Control of Import) Act, 1936, empowers the Government to prohibit, by Order, the importation of sugar except under licence. Import licences may be granted only to the Sugar Company under an Order made by the Government. They operate only for one year and must be renewed annually. The first prohibition Order on the importation of sugar was made in May, 1936, and since that time the importation of sugar has been regulated by an annual prohibition Order. It would still be impracticable, in view of price differentials and other considerations, to do otherwise than retain the existing practice for the present.
Mr. Douglas: I take it that the Minister is still of opinion that this matter could not be dealt with other than by the present method?
Mr. Lemass: I thought of that. Circumstances may arise in which some alternative arrangement in relation to sugar may be possible. The present situation was not contemplated in 1936, namely, that most of the imported sugar is imported in a raw state and refined here. That possibility did not occur to us in 1936 and is a factor which would have to be borne in mind because there is a substantial advantage in doing that refining in this country. Nevertheless, we could, at some stage, conceive the possibility of individuals being allowed to import refined sugar for special purposes otherwise than through the Sugar Company. For that reason, I think it is desirable, for the time being, to leave the 1936 Act in its present state.
Question put and agreed to.
Question proposed: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”
Rúnaí Parlaiminte an Aire Talmhaíochta (Gearóid Mac Phartaláin): Ins an mBille seo tá ceithre fadhbanna dá bhfuascailt trí leasú ar chuid de na hAchtanna Iascaigh. Is feasach do na Seanadóirí gur foráladh san Acht Iascaigh, 1939, líontóireacht breac is bradán i bhfíoruisce a thoirmease agus  gur tugadh éifeacht don fhoráil sin ón gcéad lá den bhliain naoi gcéad déag dachad a hocht amach. Moladh an fhoráil sin go forleitheadúil ag dreamanna deontacha a bhfuil spéis faoi leith aca sa tslat-iascaireacht. Rinneadh dearmad, áfach, ar aon dream amháin i lár na tíre nárbh aon chúrsa spóirt acu an t-iascach ach gurbh an phríomhchuid dá slí mhaireachtálaí. Tá cónaí ar na hiascairí seo ar na hoileáin i Loch Riach ar an tSionainn. Maolaíodh an toirmeasc, roinnt, trí fho-dhlí a dhéanamh trí bliana ó shoin a thug cead dóibh líontóireacht éisc ghairbh a chleachtadh. Níor leor é sin lena gceart féin a thabhairt ar ais do mhuintir Loch Riach; agus níor ghá an toirmeasc ar mhaithe le hiascaireacht na Sionainne i ngeall ar fhairsingeacht an locha. Níor thángthas ar aon chás eile dá shórt agus tá an tUdarás Iascaigh sásta nach bhfuil aon chás eile ann.
Baineann fadhb eile leis an dlí faoi go gcaitear bearna a bheith i ngach cora iascaigh. Ní féidir an dlí seo a chómhlíonadh sna stáisiúin leictreachais sna haibhneacha. Tá deis nua-cheaptha acu chun an t-iasc a chomharthú agus a ligint suas tar éis cuid acu a choinneáil le díol. Má ritear alt a trí den Bhille measfear an deis seo a bheith ina cora iascaigh chun críche an Achta seo.
Baineann Alt a cúig le fadhbanna sa dlí maidir le aibhseacha, lochanna, agus mar sin de, a shábháil ar thruailliú ó nimh agus ábhair dhíobhálacha eile. Tá an fhoráil nua níos leithne agus níos dlúithe na mar a foráladh cheana. Síltear go mbeidh srian daingean leis an gcúis dochair seo don iascaireacht agus an t-alt seo ina dhlí.
Tá réiteach ar an gceathrú fadhb in alt a sé. Míníonn an t-alt seo é féin.
The fact that a short Fisheries (Amendment) Bill comes before Seanad Éireann at this stage when the Fisheries (Consolidation) Bill, 1952 is still under examination by the Standing Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills may perhaps call for some brief explanation. The original intention was that any attempt at large-scale amendment of the  Fisheries Acts should be deferred until the present state of the law had been clearly defined in a Consolidation Bill. This is still my general intention, but within the past year a number of urgent problems have arisen in regard to inland fisheries which cannot well be delayed, and I am advised that if these are now dealt with by this legislation it will be possible to have them incorporated in the Consolidation Bill on the recommendation of the Standing Committee.
Section 2 of the Bill is to enable the Minister to authorise by by-law the use of draft nets for the capture of trout in certain waters, notwithstanding the general prohibition of all net fishing in fresh water effected by Section 35 of the Fisheries Act, 1939, which has been in operation since the 1st January, 1948. The need for this provision has arisen in regard to the waters in Lough Ree on the River Shannon, where all shades of opinion have supported the claim of the islanders in the lake for the restoration of their ancient rights of netting for trout. Such rights as were claimed, were, of course, superseded on the vesting of Lough Ree, as part of the Shannon system, in the E.S.B. under the Shannon Fisheries Act, 1938, and, accordingly, the consent of that board is required before any permissive by-law can have real effect. I have, therefore, with the concurrence of the Minister for Industry and Commerce, secured the assent of the E.S.B. to the present proposal.
While a special case has been made for the restoration of netting for trout in Lough Ree only, it has been deemed advisable to frame Section 2 in general terms. Section 2 provides that certain stringent conditions must be fulfilled before a by-law can be made enabling several owners to grant permission to persons to use nets for the taking of trout in the lakes, the fishing rights of which are vested in them. Even when all these requirements have been fulfilled a further safeguard in the fishery interest is provided in the form of the holding of a public inquiry under Section 4 of the Bill, and the application of the general provisions of the Fisheries  Acts as to publication of and appeal against by-laws affords ample opportunity for representations by interested persons.
The modification of the general provisions of the Fisheries Acts as to operation of fishing weirs proposed in Section 3 is designed to deal with a problem facing the E.S.B. in regard to the salmon fisheries of the River Erne. The board has become the owner of the salmon fishing rights formerly exercised at Assaroe Falls, near Ballyshannon. The fishing weir at these falls was, however, demolished in the course of the hydro-electric construction works, and as matters stand the E.S.B. would have to incur the expense of erecting a new weir in order to carry on the fishing operations formerly practised by their predecessors in title.
As, however, all fish ascending the River Erne must use the fish passes associated with the hydro-electric dams, the common-sense course was recognised to be the taking of a proportion of such fish by means of a suitable device incorporated in the fish pass at Cathaleen's Falls. This cannot, however, be permitted under the existing fishery law, and as the prohibition against taking fish in a fish pass must be maintained in regard to milldams and similar structures throughout the country, it is considered undesirable to modify it in the present case. Instead, it is proposed to declare by legislation that the fishing device which the board proposes to install in the fish pass is to be deemed a fishing weir. This interpretation will, of course, attract the provisions of the Fisheries Acts relative to fishing weirs, but as the number of fishing weirs throughout the country is relatively small, it is possible to say to what extent the proposed modification of the law will have effect.
It may be convenient at this stage to distinguish between the position under the Fisheries Acts of a fishing weir or fishing milldam and a weir across a river which does not incorporate a fishing unit described in the Fisheries Acts as a fishing box. In the former case, every fishing weir or  fishing milldam must have a free gap located in the deepest part of the stream and complying with certain requirements as to dimensions and construction. This free gap must be open at all times to permit ascent of such fish as do not find their way into fishing boxes or traps. On the other hand, a weir or milldam which is not used for fishing must be provided with suitable means to enable salmon to surmount it at all times. No particular requirements are laid down in regard to the design or location of fish passes and, in fact, there is a variety of designs known to fishery engineers in this country from the simple groyne-type fish pass to the ingenious hydraulic fish lift which forms part of the hydro-electric dam at Leixlip on the River Liffey.
What has been said will perhaps serve to explain why it is found necessary for purposes of legislation to regard as a fishing weir the proposed fishing device which is to form part of the Cathaleen's Falls fish pass. Having given this device the status of a fishing weir, it is further necessary to authorise the operation of this fishing weir without a free gap, since the statutory provisions relating to free gaps cannot possibly be applied to such a device which will be no more than a trap fitted in one of the pools of the fish pass.
As an alternative, therefore, to the rather haphazard method of escapement of fish which is achieved in a normal fishing weir through the existence of a free gap, it is intended that this new fishing device should be operated in such a manner as to ensure the release upstream of a sufficient number of fish for the adequate maintenance of stocks. As an exact count will be made of the numbers of salmon taken and released upstream, respectively, it is to be expected that the new system will, in fact, be a great improvement on that of the free gap in ensuring the due maintenance of fish stocks.
Although, as already stated, the need for a provision on the lines of Section 3 has arisen out of a particular problem encountered by the E.S.B. on the River Erne, the section has been drawn in  general terms so that it may be applied to other E.S.B. installations and also, in due course, to weir fisheries which will be transferred to State ownership as provided under Part V of the Fisheries Act, 1939.
As any change in application to a particular river of the existing statutory provisions regarding escapement of fish past fishing weirs is liable to be of concern to fishery proprietors and others with interests in the river concerned, provision is made in Section 4 for the holding of a public inquiry into the desirability of making any Order as proposed. As an added assurance to interested parties, provision is also made for publication of the draft Order which will indicate exactly what conditions are being imposed as to release of fish upstream, and such parties will have the opportunity of lodging objections, if they consider that their interests are not being adequately protected.
Section 4 provides for the public inquiries already referred to under Sections 2 and 3, and needs no further explanation.
Section 5, entitled “Protection of Waters from Pollution”, consists largely of a re-enactment of Section 26 of the Fisheries Act, 1939, as amended by Section 3 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1944, which was inadvertently repealed by the Fisheries (Statute Law Revision) Act, 1949. The amendment made in 1944 took the form of substituting a new section for the 1939 provision. I have been advised that the repeal referred to carried with it the new substituting section, with the result that neither section now remains in force.
The section, as now drafted, contains a new definition of deleterious matter, namely, any explosive or any substance which on entry or discharge into any waters is liable to render the waters poisonous or injurious to fish, spawning grounds or the food of any fish. The prohibition of discharge of deleterious matter, as so defined, will, it is believed, be more satisfactory than the former prohibitions of the discharge of substances described as to their nature rather than as to their  effect on fish life on being discharged into water. As, however, so wide a definition would embrace many substances which are daily discharged from industrial plants and sewerage systems in such a manner as to be quite harmless, provision is made for the grant of licences for the discharge of effluents, subject to conditions which will be set out in the licence. These conditions would cover matters such as rate of discharge and treatment by way of cooling or dilution so as to render them non-injurious to fish life. Moreover, as such provisions must be administered with due regard to the needs of industry and of public health authorities, licences will be granted only after consultation with the Minister for Industry and Commerce or the Minister for Local Government, as the case may require.
Sub-section (7) of Section 5 provides for repeal of two provisions which will be rendered redundant on enactment of that section.
The remaining provision which calls for explanation is Section 6 which, in effect, puts salmon rod licence holders in the Foyle area in the same position as licence holders in fishery districts throughout the State in regard to the obtaining of a second or endorsement licence in another fishery district on payment of a reduced fee of 10/-. The Foyle Fisheries Commission, by regulations made under the Foyle Fisheries Act, 1952, has already adopted this principle by prescribing a 10/- licence fee for any salmon angler who already holds a licence for the same year in a fishery district. Thus, a person who takes out a £2 licence in, say, the Letterkenny fishery district can fish in any part of the Foyle area, comprising the entire former Moville-Derry fishery districts, on payment of a 10/- licence fee.
As the law stands, however, I am advised that the holder of a Foyle area salmon rod licence is not entitled to get an endorsement licence in the Letterkenny district, as the Foyle area is not a fishery district for the purposes of the fisheries Act, 1925. This section removes this anomaly by declaring the Foyle area to be “another district” for the purposes of  Section 12 and First Schedule of the Fisheries Act, 1925. I understand that legislation will also be introduced in Belfast to make corresponding provision as to availability of Foyle area rod licences in Six County fishery districts.
Professor Stanford: There has always been a good deal of tension between the E.S.B. and the fishermen and much of that may well have been unavoidable. On that account I would like to congratulate the Parliamentary Secretary in getting the necessary consent from the E.S.B. for the operation of this Bill. If the E.S.B. are in a conciliatory mood still, I wonder would he consider going a little further? Last spring, members of the House may remember, there were some letters to the public Press and there was a good deal of public comment on the fact that the waters of the Liffey were particularly low at the time when the salmon should have been running up to spawn. That was because the E.S.B. were not prepared at that time to release enough water from their Blessington reservoir to allow the salmon to go up. It was a hardship on the fishermen of Dublin and of the Liffey.
I do not wish to keep the House more than half a minute further, but I just want to ask whether the Parliamentary Secretary would not exercise his tact and conciliatory powers in asking the E.S.B. in future years to be a little kinder to our Dublin fishermen in that matter. I feel that in our present Parliamentary Secretary we have the kind of man who might succeed in doing that where another might not. I simply urge on him that he would gratify many citizens of Dublin if he could solve that small problem.
I wish to add my congratulations to the Parliamentary Secretary on the Bill he has put before us, which shows so much consideration for the niceties of fishing which we could not always expect from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mr. S.T. Ruane: My only objection to this Bill is that as far as I know it  does not loosen the grip that certain people with vested interests have in the fishing stretches of rivers throughout the country. As has been pointed out to me by many young people who derive a lot of pleasure and useful sport from rod and line, though we have got the land of this country and got the landlords out of the country, some of the landlords have retained stretches of rivers which they certainly safeguard, or at least preserve for their own interests. I would like, if not in this Bill, then in some future Bill to be introduced by the Parliamentary Secretary, provision to be made for leaving these stretches open to people who certainly would respect the privileges given them. If that were done, quite a lot of the poaching that occurs along these rivers, where people catch fish with spear and net, would be prevented by those who have an interest in preserving the fish.
Mr. Bartley: In regard to the point raised by Senator Stanford, I want to assure him and Senators generally, that the good offices of the Fisheries Branch will always be available to angling interests in the making of any representations. I think I can say that we have been of considerable help to the organised anglers in various matters.
Professor Stanford: Might I ask if the Parliamentary Secretary was approached on this particular matter?
Mr. Bartley: I was not approached and, I understand, neither was the Department as a fishery authority, but if Senator Stanford has a particular problem in which he thinks we could help, and if he would be good enough to send us on particulars, I can assure him we will give it the most sympathetic consideration possible.
I think that the point raised by Senator Ruane cannot be dealt with on this Bill and I shall make a passing reference to at least some part of the subject to which he has referred. The acquisition of fisheries under the 1939 Act, Part V of which provided for the transfer of what are called transferable fisheries, has not been brought into force. The war intervened and the  matter was shelved. However, I would point out to him—if I may digress—that Part V does not provide for the type of problem which he has mentioned; that is, the acquisition of angling stretches. It does deal with the acquisition of commercial estuarine fisheries and I think that would be in any event a problem which would first have to be dealt with before the one to which the Senator has referred, could be taken up. However, it is a matter which is receiving the attention of the Department.
Question put and agreed to.
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: Next stage?
Mr. Baxter: Is it urgent?
Mr. Bartley: Are there any problems that will require delay in order to consider them? The reason I ask the question is that only two points have been put up to me and I was more or less led to the conclusion that there were no other matters requiring attention.
Mr. Douglas: I think it is the other way around, that it is highly undesirable for the Seanad to take a Bill and put it through all the stages in one day unless a case is made for urgency. There is no opposition to the Bill. It will go through all its stages, but if we do not provide opportunities for  Senators who, unlike myself, do know something about fishing, to submit amendments. I do not think we are doing our duty. On the other hand, as far as this side of the House is concerned, we have always been willing to facilitate if a Minister can make the case that a fortnight's delay would cause any difficulty.
Mr. Bartley: I am not aware of any special difficulty there.
Committee and other stages ordered for next sitting day.
Mr. Douglas: I would like to raise a point—it does not really concern the Parliamentary Secretary—as to whether it would be possible to have some statement in regard to the motions. When we put down motions in the Seanad for discussion the assumption is that they will be debated within a reasonable time. Now it seems that the one thing that is certain if you put a motion down is that it will never be discussed. I think there is something wrong with the position. Motion No. 1 was referred to and there may be special circumstances, but is there any reason why we cannot have discussion on the other motions?
An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Cathaoirleach will go into that matter.
The Seanad adjourned at 5.30 p.m. sine die.