Dáil Éireann - Volume 303 - 15 February, 1978

Agricultural Credit Bill, 1977: Fifth Stage.

Question proposed: “That the Bill, as amended, do now pass”.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Enright will understand that at this time he can make only a brief statement and it must be on what is in the Bill.

Mr. Enright: I intend dealing very briefly with what is in the Bill. This is an important Bill. It is wide-ranging, but I will confine myself to one very important matter. It is in connection with section 10, which deals with the directors of the ACC. It states:

[1361] (1) The number of directors of the Corporation (including the chairman) shall not be less than three or more than seven.

It deals with their appointment and finally with their remuneration and states:

(3) The remuneration of the chairman and the other directors shall be determined from time to time by the Minister for the Public Service.

I want to deal with the remuneration paid to the chairman of the ACC. I put it to the House that his remuneration should be a sum adequate to enable him to act in a wholetime capacity.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: There is no sum mentioned in the Bill and the Deputy's point that the chairman should be adequately paid has been made. I am sure everybody agrees on that, but that is not what is in the Bill. We can deal only with what is in the Bill.

Mr. Enright: What is is in the Bill deals with the remuneration of the chairman.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: It does not mention a figure so we cannot propose that that figure be increased or reduced.

Mr. Enright: On a point of order——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Please, Deputy Enright.

Mr. Enright: Briefly then, I want to get across to the House that the remuneration of the chairman should be such as to enable him to act in that capacity full time. It should enable him to devote his wholetime care and attention to policy-making in the ACC. It should be such that he can prepare policy and pursue it and can be there daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as representing the Minister to oversee the day to day running of the ACC.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Deputy is now suggesting possibly new functions for the chairman that he may not already have.

[1362] Mr. Enright: He has not.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: If he has not the Deputy cannot suggest them at this stage. The Deputy can deal only with what is in the Bill.

Mr. Enright: A Leas-Cheann Comhairle——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I hate to interrupt the Deputy but it is only what is in the Bill——

Mr. Enright: I am dealing with remuneration. I am not making much headway——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I am afraid the Deputy is not, because he is on something that is not in the Bill.

Mr. Enright: The remuneration of the chairman is in the Bill. For a person to act in a fulltime capacity for perhaps a limited number of years he may perhaps have to give up a considerable amount of his own time. There may be a period in which he is not active in his own business. He must be adequately rewarded for the time he is absent from his own business. When he returns, his business may have depreciated. The remuneration he receives while acting as chairman should compensate him adequately for that. Too many of our semi-State bodies have part-time directors. They should have full-time active chairmen.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: That does not arise on the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.