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Industrial Relations Bill, 1966: First Stage.

Tuesday, 28 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 No. 9

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Leave granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend and extend the Industrial Relations Act, 1946 and 1955.

—(Minister for Industry and Commerce.)

Second Stage ordered for Tuesday, 5th July, 1966.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Could the Minister say in respect of both measures when they will be circulated?

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery During the Recess. I expect Deputies will have them at least one month before they are discussed in the Dáil.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Could the Minister say, as a matter of interest, whether the two organisations concerned have been consulted and whether there will be further consultations?

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery The consultations are still going on. I presume the Deputy means people concerned outside the Dáil?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish Yes.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully What kind of consultations are going on? Surely the Minister is not suggesting that consultations have been taking place with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions? I know that there was one fairly short meeting which touched on it.

[1356]Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery My predecessor had consultations with them at first. Then I had these recent consultations and now Congress is consulting the unions. I think the Deputy should be aware that a meeting has been held.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully I am aware of that, and I am also aware that the word “consultation” is used very freely when it is said that consultations have taken place.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery Is the Deputy not satisfied with the consultations Congress is having with the trade unions?

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully That is a matter between Congress and the unions.

Mr. O'Leary: Is the Minister saying that the documentation in the hands of the interested groups at the moment is the last word on this Bill?

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery The Deputy should be aware that I and my predecessor spoke on these matters and outlined general arrangements which might come under review. We were to receive suggestions from the parties concerned, but as time went on, I found it necessary to produce our proposals and offer these as a basis for consultation. Consultation between me and Congress will be possible only when Congress are ready to proceed and they are making themselves ready by consulting the unions.

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully I should like to be assured that the Minister has in fact had consultation before he introduces legislation in this House and that we shall not have to have the measure withdrawn as happened on two occasions in order to have it rewritten. That is what will happen if the Minister is not very careful.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery The Deputy will bear in mind that this House is intended to legislate and that it will not be prevented from legislating, but we intend to have full consultation and to allow quite a long time for it.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish The Minister will have [1357] further consultations before bringing in this proposal?

Mr. James Tully: Information on James Tully Zoom on James Tully If he means that the House will legislate whether the unions are satisfied with the legislation or not, that may be so, if he has a majority here, but making the legislation work is a different matter. I suggest he should make it work by having more consultations with the people who are interested rather than by rushing a measure through this House.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery The degree of consultation has been limited only by other people. I am waiting for Congress to be in a position to have full consultation with them.

Mr. O'Leary: In fact, what the Minister says is that further amendments may be made and accepted by either side.


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