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Lemass, Seán F.

Tuesday, 7 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 Nbr. 1


Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Unemployment Proposals.

The Government's plans for increasing employment are set out in the Second Programme for Economic Expansion. As indicated in the Progress Report for 1965, the increase in employment has fal...More Button

It will be recalled that the National Industrial Economic Council recently came to the conclusion that, subject to certain assumptions, the industrial targets set for 1970 by the Second Programm...More Button

It would be very desirable if we could do that.More Button

An examination of the circumstances which have resulted in the employment figures falling short of the targets so far is now proceeding and the results of this examination will be published shortly.More Button

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Trade with Communist Countries.

These are the figures for one year.More Button

Order of Business.

It is proposed to take business in the following order: Nos. 6, 3, 4, 7, 15, 14 — Votes 8 and 9.More Button

Electricity (Special Provisions) Bill, 1966: Allocation of Time.

In regard to Deputy Dunne's——More Button

I am not concluding.More Button

I was intervening to remove certain misapprehensions in regard to Deputy Dunne's complaint that the Parliamentary Secretary moved the motion without a statement. May I say that I had no intimation...More Button

I do not think Deputies should be either naïve or legalistic about this. Every Deputy in the House is, I think, aware that the country yesterday was faced with a situation of critical signifi...More Button

We are entitled to hope that arising out of discussions that are in progress the situation may change and that the necessity to put the proposed legislation into operation will not present itself.More Button

If this does not happen, there is an obligation on the Dáil to look at the situation and to consider the Government's proposal to deal with it. It is not the kind of legislation we like.More Button

There is an obligation on the Dáil to deal with the situation. We cannot allow circumstances to arise in which all the consequences of a complete stoppage of electricity supplies can be inf...More Button

I am quite willing to do that. I do not think it necessary to adjourn. The House could proceed with other business.More Button

The Minister was going to deal with that on the Bill.More Button

If the Deputy does not know——More Button

No. The proposition is that a motion fixing a time for the conclusion of the debate be passed first and then that the Bill be given a First Reading. I am agreeable that after the Bill has been cir...More Button

It cannot be introduced until it is given a First Reading.More Button

When this Motion has been discussed, I am prepared to substitute some other business for an hour, so that Deputies may study the Bill.More Button

We would be doing a greater disservice if we allowed legalistic arguments to stop us from dealing with a critical situation.More Button

I think, in fairness, I should tell the Deputy that each of the Opposition Parties was informed yesterday of the intention to ask the Dáil to dispose of this business today and I was not inf...More Button

Authority to circulate the Bill comes after the introduction of it.More Button

I would like you, Sir, to give a ruling. The advice given to the Government by the Ceann Comhairle's Office was that the motion for the curtailment of time had to come before the First Reading. I...More Button

In that case, I am quite willing to introduce the Bill now and adjourn the motion.More Button

I did not say anything about opposition or support. I said there was no intimation of any opposition to the motion.More Button

(Interruptions.)More Button

I am anxious to solve the mystery if the Deputy will allow me.More Button

My proposition is that we introduce the Bill, give it its First Reading, and then adjourn debate on this motion.More Button

An hour.More Button

The Deputy must take the responsibility for that. We must take our responsibility, too, and our responsibility is to protect the country against a loss of electric power.More Button

(Interruptions.)More Button

I have been advised that the Ceann Comhairle's Office ruled that the motion for the curtailment of time had to come before the First Reading. I now understand that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle says t...More Button

Debate adjourned.More Button

Electricity (Special Provisions) Bill, 1966: First Stage.

I suggest we now take the Landlord and Tenant Bill for an hour.More Button

Because the Minister for Industry and Commerce deals with matters relating to industrial relations.More Button

I suggest that we adjourn this now until six o'clock. In the meantime, the Bill will be circulated and, in the interval, the Landlord and Tenant Bill can be taken.More Button

That is fair.More Button

I would have preferred this procedure in any event— the introduction of the Bill first and then the motion for the curtailment of time—but I was informed that the Ceann Comhairle's Offi...More Button

I would expect that.More Button

Committee on Finance. - Electricity (Special Provisions) Bill, 1966: Allocation of Time.

The trouble is that the Seanad will be meeting, I presume, from 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. I am sure the Seanad would agree to sit after 5 p.m. The Bill would have to reach them before 5 p.m. Would th...More Button

3.30 p.m. I am sure it would be possible to arrange.More Button

I will see about getting agreement in the Seanad to sit late if we agree to 4 p.m.More Button

4 p.m.More Button

It stops at 10.30 p.m. tonight and resumes at 10.30 a.m. tomorrow.More Button

Questions could be taken at 4 p.m.More Button

In other words, we substitute “4 p.m. on Wednesday, 8th” for “10.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 7th”.More Button

The motion will not be discussed. It can be agreed or voted on on that basis.More Button

If a settlement is reached, the Bill will not become effective. The Bill becomes effective only if there is complete disruption of the electricity supply. The motion, as I understand, is now an ag...More Button

I appreciate that. The motion is agreed on the basis of that change.More Button

This is the work of the Dáil.More Button

Committee on Finance. - Electricity (Special Provisions) Bill, 1966: Second Stage.

We have no objection.More Button

I think there are two things involved here. Firstly, there is the question of the Ceann Comhairle's ruling as to the Deputy's amendment being in order and secondly, an arrangement for the circulat...More Button

There must be an interruption of the supply of electricity.More Button

It must happen.More Button

I did not use those words.More Button

As this?More Button

There is.More Button

They have, but they have not used it.More Button

They have these powers.More Button

The Act under which they have the powers is enforceable.More Button

But we have had these strikes. There has never been a stoppage of power.More Button

They have not thought about that.More Button

What does the Deputy suggest?More Button

There was a conference.More Button

Deputy Corish commented on the fact that this Bill which we are now discussing has not been framed as a temporary measure. That is correct, although we hope that it will in the event prove to be a...More Button

Once, therefore, we have taken the decision in relation to this Bill, as we took in 1961, that a complete cessation of electricity supplies by reason of a strike must not happen, then we have to fa...More Button

There are two ways by which the danger of total interruption of electricity supplies by reason of a strike involving critical consequences for the country can be avoided. One is by negotiation of...More Button

So far as the Government are concerned, we would wish to see negotiations for such agreement undertaken. We are prepared to facilitate them if that should be desired or would be helpful and the set...More Button

I think it is unfair to describe this Bill as Deputy Corish did, as directed against the workers, the class of people in our community who are so described, who get their living by working in retur...More Button

We know, and we must accept the fact, that workers employed in a vital service like the Electricity Supply Board possess enormous economic power. They possess a power of life and death over the co...More Button

Let it be quite clear that, as far as the Government are concerned, we are expressing no judgment of any sort upon the merits of the claim put forward by the mechanical fitters now on strike from t...More Button

We know that subsequent to that rejection of their claim by the ESB Tribunal, there were negotiations initiated by the Congress of Trade Unions and others which, however, failed to produce an arran...More Button

The proposition that I think has to be put forward, whether it is implemented by way of legislation or by way of a voluntary agreement such as I envisage, is that in regard to matters of this kind,...More Button

Deputy Cosgrave has said that we have not here as a Government dealt properly with the problem of industrial relations in our society. If he means by that that we have not found a solution of the...More Button

I have been giving a great deal of thought to this. Since the beginning of the year, I have spoken at length in public expressing my ideas on this subject, trying to evoke further discussion on th...More Button

We have proceeded as a Government, certainly in recent years, subsequent to the passing of the Industrial Relations Act and the setting up of the Labour Court, on the basis that workers and their t...More Button

Behind all this was the idea that the Government should not openly and formally intervene in order to resolve industrial disputes. I use these words, openly and formally, deliberately because I am...More Button

(Interruptions.)More Button

Do not be childish about this.More Button

I am trying to deal seriously with this matter and I wish Deputy Mullen would allow me.More Button

I have said that the policy which we have followed heretofore was a deliberate policy of non-intervetion in industrial disputes in order to compel the parties concerned in disputes either to settle...More Button

(Interruptions.)More Button

I know that the Transport Workers Union had a party——More Button

(Interruptions.)More Button

——but surely the effect should have died out by this.More Button

As it was unworthy, I withdraw it. This policy of non-intervention, of setting up the machinery and providing the means by which the parties concerned would get together without any intervention b...More Button

On the other hand, this policy of non-intervention, this policy of setting up machinery for resolving disputes and trying to force the parties either to come together or, alternatively, have recour...More Button

——which will be particularly concerned with all matters dealing with the development of policy in this regard. This would include matters such as an incomes policy-I hate using that ph...More Button

This view of mine regarding changing of the methods by which the Government have been trying to discharge their responsibility in this regard is based upon a further consideration of certain defect...More Button

It is largely so. I realise that a large number of cases come to the Labour Court which are of comparatively lesser importance but, by and large, in relation to major disputes, the Labour Court's...More Button

The new Government Department which I envisage would also be concerned with labour affairs relating to our State companies. This is an aspect of the matter on which as yet I have some hesitation i...More Button

This also is not, I think, working out as was intended. By and large, most people believe that the State Boards set headlines for private employers. That was not our intention. It was quite the re...More Button

The earlier Electricity Supply Board trouble affecting the electricians was largely attributable to the fact that the ESB departed from that policy by becoming a member of the Industrial Council fo...More Button

A much more fundamental question, and one which Deputy Cosgrave briefly mentioned, is the comparisons made between the remuneration of skilled manual workers and that of clerical workers. It seems...More Button

It is quite true—it was said here this afternoon and it has been stated by the Minister for Industry and Commerce on a number of occasions—that without a great deal of goodwill, no mach...More Button

Our greatest need, therefore, is to change the climate of industrial relations, to change the negative attitude of many employers, which has made it difficult to secure general and comprehensive ar...More Button

Deputy Cosgrave said that the Government have been proceeding too slowly in the preparation of proposals for legislative changes, both in relation to the Industrial Relations Act and the Trade Unio...More Button

In my view, the process of seeking agreement and prompting discussions aimed at getting agreement is in itself a very important part of the whole operation which will ultimately lead, I hope, to th...More Button

I am trying to speak seriously; I hope the Deputy will allow me to do so. It seems to me that when Deputy Cosgrave spoke here this evening about the Government provoking discussion on these matter...More Button

I think there has been a considerable amount of unfair criticism of the Electricity Supply Board this afternoon and, indeed, also of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.More Button

I meant the Minister for Transport and Power. We set up by legislation enacted when I was Minister for Industry and Commerce, and in charge of these matters, the ESB tribunals. At that time this ...More Button

This has created a new situation. If they are not the final court of appeal, then what is the final court? If there is to be no alternative but a strike, then some substitute or some workable for...More Button

We have been discussing this suggestion, and others, with many people and we have found little prospect of getting any common view. Indeed, we have come largely to the conclusion that all these i...More Button

The procedure set up in the ESB meant in effect that the approach of the Board did not matter in the last resort. As we envisaged it, after the 1942 Act, in the last resort, when the matter in dis...More Button

The Deputy knows what I mean.More Button

In the last resort, where there was not initial agreement, the chairman of the tribunal, who was an independent person, would ultimately produce the majority decision which became effective. I agr...More Button

I believe, in relation to the ESB, that the enactment of this Bill will be helpful. I believe, and I hope sincerely, the Government will never have occasion to make an order bringing this Bill int...More Button

Let me express my views. We are all pleased to learn that the situation appears to have eased somewhat. The negotiations today are being resumed tomorrow. While, earlier this morning, it looked a...More Button

We hope it will be a fairy wand and not a big stick.More Button

I do not agree.More Button

I did not say that. Has the Deputy read the Bill? This measure cannot be used unless there is a stoppage of power.More Button

It cannot be used at all.More Button

I was not sure what Deputy Mullen was saying.More Button

I hope I attacked nobody.More Button

That is quite unfair.More Button

Quite the reverse.More Button

Would the Deputy prefer a complete stoppage of electricity?More Button

It is quite clear the Bill does not stop anybody going on strike.More Button

Is that not childish? Was the whole purpose of putting on the pickets not to shut down the power stations?More Button

Is this not a childish argument? This union put on pickets and stopped the power stations and then complained that the ESB did not keep them going.More Button

We are doing it because of what happened yesterday.More Button

The Deputy should read the papers.More Button

I made no comment on the claim at all.More Button

That is not in this Bill. The Deputy should read it.More Button

That is not in the Bill.More Button

I want the Deputy to read it.More Button

The Deputy should have read it before he started to speak.More Button

The Government are concerned only with maintaining the supply of electricity.More Button

Bring it to the Labour Court.More Button

Not very successfully.More Button