Wednesday, 22 July 1970
Seanad Eireann Debate
Mr. O'Higgins: I should like to say that I got the impression from time to time during the Committee Stage discussion of the Bill that the Minister felt somewhat irked at the reaction of some Senators in relation to the measure as originally introduced and seemed to feel he was being “put upon” by Senators insisting on putting down amendments and discussing them. I am sincere in saying that despite the impression which the Minister gave me on some occasions he has been very fair-minded in considering seriously the amendments and suggestions made in the Committee Stage. The Minister was big enough to come in on the Report Stage and to meet some of these amendments. If it is any consolation to him for what he might have regarded as an ordeal here during the Committee Stage I want to record my view that the Minister's attitude in meeting us on the Report Stage has immeasurably improved the Bill.
Dr. Belton: I should like to endorse those comments. I endorse what Senator O'Higgins and Senator FitzGerald said about the Minister. I wish the Minister would convey to his colleagues that they might use this Chamber to inaugurate Bills. This might facilitate the work of the Oireachtas. We in this Chamber might not then be waiting until late in December for Bills to come from the Dáil. It might lessen the work of Dáil Éireann if this were done.
Mr. Childers: I thank the Senators  for what they have said. Speaking perhaps ironically and not entirely seriously I must say I was glad to consider all the facts in regard to this Bill. I entirely disagree with the rigid application of the Companies Act to bodies of this kind. If I found myself floundering in the morass of the Companies Act and having to accept the first principle I would have had to undertake a rapid course of legal study before coming to the Seanad. I was determined to have a Bill which applied to bodies of a certain kind, the vast majority of whom are respectable and well-conducted, and I felt it was right to make some compromise by taking some of the advice of the Opposition. The Bill will have been improved by my so doing. I thank the Senators.
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