Dáil Éireann - Volume 39 - 26 June, 1931
In Committee on Finance. - Vote 58—Railway Tribunal.
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. McGilligan) Patrick McGilligan
Minister for Industry and Commerce (Mr. McGilligan): I move:
Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £4,617 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1932, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí eile an Bhínse Bhóthair Iarainn a bunuíodh fé Acht na mBóthar Iarainn, 1924 (Uimh. 29 de 1924).
That a sum not exceeding £4,617 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1932, for the Salaries and other Expenses of the Railway Tribunal constituted under the Railways Act, 1924 (No. 29 of 1924).
There is very little change in the Estimate as between this and last year. There is a slight decrease in travelling and incidental expenses. The Railway Tribunal presented a  report which was put before this House detailing the conclusion of its work up to the end of the calendar year, that is, up to the end of December last. Since then the Tribunal has been mainly engaged in the matter of exceptional rates and the work given to it under the 1924 Act is almost complete. I am again at the point where other difficulties are merged in certain actions which were taken in court. We have to wait for their decision. We are again at the point at which it will be possible, during the course of the year, to cut down membership of the Railway Tribunal.
Mr. Lemass Mr. Lemass
Mr. Lemass: The only point I wish to raise is the delay in effecting the reduction which the Dáil sanctioned two years ago. Examining the most recent proposal issued by the Tribunal, there does not appear to be any exceptional matter which would require a change of the Minister's original contention that reductions might take place when standard charges were fixed. According to that report, standard charges were fixed in January, 1930, and came into operation on the 1st July of that year. Since then the Tribunal has been occupied with routine matters, changing of classification, singling of lines and other things of that kind. There is a possibility that under some new legislation which the Minister proposes to introduce the work of the Tribunal will be increased. The saving could have been made last year or possibly this year, and if a larger Tribunal were found to be necessary the membership could be increased. It seems to me that the Minister must have miscalculated very badly when he got an Act passed through this House in 1929 empowering himself to effect reductions, which Act does not appear to have been given effect to since.
Mr. McGilligan Mr. McGilligan
Mr. McGilligan: I did use a phrase with regard to keeping on the Tribunal at its full membership. It probably was not detailed enough. I said that it had been intended to cut down the members previously, but that certain points taken to the courts in connection with the Tribunal's decision had  to be awaited. I am assuming that the applications that were previously made will be persisted in, and if that is the case there will be an absolute necessity to keep on the three members. Although the point may appear to be one for judicial settlement, it is the type of point we thought would have arisen in the earlier years. I may point out that there is not a considerable saving to be effected by cutting down the number, because the three people here are on a certain basis of payment, and suspended pensions and certain other rights will arise if the rights which they have under this will disappear. There will be some saving, and we will effect it as soon as possible.
Motion put and agreed to.
Dáil Éireann 39 In Committee on Finance. Vote 58—Railway Tribunal.