Seanad Éireann - Volume 10 - 30 November, 1927
MESSAGES FROM THE DAIL. - INLAND TRANSPORT—QUESTION OF REGULATION AND CO-ORDINATION.
Debate resumed on Motion by Senator O'Farrell.
“That the Seanad is of opinion that the question of the regulation and co-ordination of all branches of inland transport is urgent and demands the earliest consideration by the Executive Council.”
CATHAOIRLEACH: As the President is here I should like to let him know what exactly the position is with regard to this motion. The motion, as originally moved by Senator O'Farrell, contained the suggestion that the remedy for the situation would be the setting up of an independent Ministry or separate department for the purpose of dealing with this matter of transport. In the course of the discussion, while there seemed to be very general consensus of opinion that the rest of the motion was desirable there was some question and controversy as to the remedy proposed. Another Senator proposed that the matter should be entrusted to a commission, another Senator suggested legislation, and I see that yet another Senator has given notice of an amendment that the subject should be referred to a Committee of both Houses. I am only mentioning these matters so that the President may know that the motion was subsequently amended so as to leave out of it any suggested remedy, the idea being that it might be of advantage to hear what the policy of the Government was in regard to the matter, and that such policy as outlined by them might be such as to commend itself to this House. Consequently if it suits the President the most convenient thing would be that he, having heard the views of the House, might now be heard in return, and then it would be open to any Senator afterwards to continue the discussion and move any amendment he thinks fit.
The PRESIDENT The PRESIDENT
The PRESIDENT: I take it that what I would be expected to deal with would be the motion, and not the amendment?
CATHAOIRLEACH: The principle of the motion was generally accepted  by the House, that is to say, that the matter required urgent consideration. What was not decided was the particular remedy or the method of bringing about the reform required.
The PRESIDENT The PRESIDENT
The PRESIDENT: I shall not concern myself at all with the amendment, which appears to me to be slightly in conflict with the motion. The amendment suggests a Committee, on which both Houses of the Oireachtas should be represented with powers to take evidence, whereas the motion says that the question is urgent and demands the earliest consideration by the Executive Council.
CATHAOIRLEACH: The amendment on the paper was not moved.
The PRESIDENT The PRESIDENT
The PRESIDENT: I much regret that the Minister for Industry and Commerce is not able to be present this evening, nor will he be able to be present for a little while to come. With a matter of this kind he is much more closely in touch than I am, and the Senate must, therefore, have some little patience with me while I endeavour to deal with it. I observed that Senator O'Farrell referred to the importation, or possible importation, of quite a number of buses. He mentioned the possibility of forty being introduced in a short time, and, I inferred from his remarks, although it is not quite clear, that in respect of that he had some misgivings as to whether or not the Government had done all that was possible with a view to having the application of the coach builders for a tariff dealt with.
The application came to the Ministry on 31st January, and it was then referred to the Tariff Commission. The Secretary to the Tariff Commission informed the applicants that a fee of £100 would be required. That fee, I think, was paid four months later. Somewhere about October the applicants were requested to provide a concise statement setting out the scope of the application. As far as a tariff is concerned, or anything in regard to the importation of buses, I assume that the Senator is satisfied——
Mr. O'FARRELL Mr. O'FARRELL
Mr. O'FARRELL: As a matter of fact I was not thinking of the tariff at  all. I gave that as an instance of the feverish haste——
CATHAOIRLEACH: Of the accumulation of vested interests.
Mr. O'FARRELL Mr. O'FARRELL
Mr. O'FARRELL: And the feverish haste in which the orders were given. I was not thinking of a tariff at the time.
The PRESIDENT The PRESIDENT
The PRESIDENT: As far as the motion is concerned it deals with practically two questions, viz., the regulation and co-ordination of inland transport. As far as regulation is concerned the railways and canals are regulated by the Railways and Canals Act. Road regulation is now being considered by the Inter-Departmental Traffic Committee and I presume that it will be admitted that investigation by such a Committee is essential in order to get the information required. Now the Railways (Road Motor Service) Act provides a substantial measure of co-ordination between railways and roads. I understand that working agreements have provided a substantial measure of co-ordination between the canals and the railways, so that the two chief matters mentioned in the resolution have been attended to in one case and in the other case are in the course of receiving attention.
There is also very close contact between the Ministries of the various Departments having control of the different activities of traffic, namely, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Finance and, then, there is the Executive Council, for considering any difference or settling any points which might arise and call for settlement.
So far as the resolution is concerned, the Government would have no objection whatever to its being passed, having regard to what I have said. But, in the first place, the question of regulation and co-ordination, in the one case has been attended to, and in the second case is in the course of receiving attention. It may be that there are some misapprehensions regarding what is called co-ordination. I do not know whether it was intended by Senator O'Farrell that there should be an allocation of traffic in this matter of co-ordination.  This term has been largely used in the newspapers. I do not know that anybody has ever examined it for the purpose of presenting to the public what is actually meant. But I presume there is some dissatisfaction in the minds of people that the bus traffic, as it is called, is not regulated in as strict a manner as the railway routes. But it must be remembered that when regulating anything you must have something to regulate, and the bus traffic has not, even at the moment, assumed very gigantic proportions. There are cases in which there are abuses, such as the speeding of those huge omnibuses. I gathered, from the statement made by Senator O'Farrell, that that was one of the matters with which he was concerned. It is a matter which does not exactly fall within the purview of the Ministry for Industry and Commerce: it is a matter largely dealt with by the Ministry for Justice, and it is just one of those items in connection with the whole economy of omnibus traffic that is, at present, being examined. As I have said, quite a number of items of information in connection with this matter require elucidation, and the purpose of the Inter-Departmental Committee will, I believe, provide data upon which the various Ministries concerned will ultimately base any recommendations they may make to the Executive Council.
Legislation to deal with the allocation of traffic is not a matter on which I think I could promise any early introduction of a Bill. I do not think, at the moment, it is likely that any such Bill will be introduced. Meanwhile, as I have said, the Railways Act, the Road (Motor Services) Act and the Departmental Committee have provided and are providing for the ascertainment of the necessary information that will enable the various Ministries concerned to make whatever recommendations they consider advisable, and if necessary to introduce legislation.
Mr. FARREN Mr. FARREN
Mr. FARREN: I think there was general agreement that there was necessity for consideration being given to this problem which has arisen. It is quite true, as the President said, that the introduction of the bus service and the motor service is of recent growth, and that we have hardly reached the  fullness of the problem, if I might say so. But undoubtedly there is a problem that needs attending to. It is the opinion of people familiar with these things that it should be attended to immediately, and that there should not be four or five Ministries dealing with this matter. For instance, it appears to me, it is a ridiculous thing that the Ministry for Justice should be responsible for the inspection of motor buses. Trade unions have been agitating for close on 30 years that there should be proper inspection of every vehicle licensed to carry passengers. There is not proper inspection given of a large number of vehicles plying for hire in the streets of the cities and towns of the country to-day. There is not enough of inspection now. If there is a serious accident the cry will go up when it is too late: “Why was there not proper regulations for inspection?” I put it to Senators is any ordinary member of the Civic Guards a fit and proper person to inspect buses plying for hire, as to their suitability and as to their being in a proper condition for the purpose of carrying the large number of passengers that they do to-day. As a matter of fact, a large number of these buses have only one entrance, and that is by the front. Everyone knows when a fire takes place in one of those buses it is generally in front that it breaks out, and if such a fire occurred I should be sorry for the people inside.
I say that the Civic Guards are not the proper people to inspect these buses and that the buses are not receiving proper inspection; that a proper emergency door is not provided, that the windows are not tested and that these buses are not in a proper condition for travelling long journeys from Dublin to Cork or Belfast or Limerick. I say there should be a proper system of inspection such as that provided by the Board of Trade officers, which could be properly carried out. As I understand it the railways are subject to Board of Trade inspection and certain regulations are laid down and must be complied with before passenger trains are allowed to leave the platform. It is quite a common thing to see every day from any railway platform men coming along with hammers tapping the wheels of the train. Is there any such examination  in the case of buses plying for hire in Dublin and district? I say that there ought to be, and I go further: I say that these vehicles should be inspected by competent mechanics who understand their business, and not by the Civic Guard. When this motion was before the House last week it was agreed that the question of the setting up of a separate Ministry should not be proceeded with. In re-forming the Government offices after the last general election the Department of Posts and Telegraphs was put in charge of a Parliamentary Secretary. I would be perfectly satisfied if all these traffic problems were grouped together and put into that Department, under the responsibility of one man, because I think it is not right that five or six different Departments should deal with different aspects of the problem.
The question of national waste was mentioned last week, by Senator Bagwell, I think. I agree that it is national waste to have numbers of people competing for the same traffic on the same routes. I was astonished when I read in the newspapers a few weeks ago that a railway company was proposing to run a bus service on a road parallel to their own system, from Bray to Wexford. If that is not national waste I do not know what is. No doubt the Railways Company would answer by saying that the competition is forcing them to do that, but I think that is the whole problem that ought to be considered. The question of national waste also arises in the case of that railway with a splendid works at Inchicore, with men capable and competent to make any class of vehicle, whether it be an engine, a railway carriage, or an omnibus, and yet this same company, with its employees working four days a week, are sending to England for forty buses. It appears to me to be national waste—forty buses being ordered by a railway company which owns a magnificent works, with skilled artisans who are only working four days a week, and with machinery and everything necessary, at least for the building of bodies; I will not refer to the chassis, as I am not competent to deal with that, but I do say that there are plenty of men in the employment of  that company in Dublin quite as competent as anybody else to build bodies, and I think it is pure national waste to send away an order for forty bodies.
Another matter to which I would like to refer is the question of somebody with the duty of seeing that people who are plying for hire with all these different types of vehicles should be responsible for third-party insurance. I think it is an absolute scandal that people should be plying for hire with buses all over the country and risking the lives of their passengers every day in the week—when there is no proper supervision on these buses— and that if anything happens to a breadwinner that he should become maimed for life when coming home from his work, his wife and children will have to suffer because of the neglect of somebody in some department. I think it is the duty of the State to see that everyone plying for hire, more particularly the owners of these high-powered vehicles, should be compelled by law, before licences are issued to them, to take out third-party insurance. I think it is the duty of some department to see to that, and that is why I say it is wrong for five different departments to be responsible for little bits of this problem; it is a job that ought to be handled by one department. I do not care what Minister gets it, but I say, it is of sufficient importance, and the problem is growing to sufficient dimensions to warrant some Minister being made responsible for every aspect of it.
The President has said that the matter was considered as far as railways and canals were concerned, but I think that the motion was not intended to deal so much with railways and canals as with the growing problem of road traffic. It is growing and will grow. I am not opposed to bus traffic; I rather welcome it, because I believe it has been a great boon to people in rural areas. It is a great boon to people who had to walk five or six miles to a railway station to get into Dublin, even when they live only ten miles from Dublin.
People in Swords had to walk three or four miles to Malahide station, wait for a train, and spend the whole day in order to do half an hour's business in Dublin. It is a great thing for these  people, and for people in the rural areas, whose doors are now passed by buses, who had many miles to go to railway stations. In some cases people had no railway stations near them at all. Take Graiguenamanagh, a fine thriving business town, with a good population but no railway service. The nearest railway is, I suppose, five or six miles from it. So that the bus has been a great blessing and boon to people in rural areas. I am not opposed to it. I want to see it developed, and if it is being developed I want proper protection for the public, and I want one Minister to deal with and look after the interests of the public.
Mr. BARRINGTON Mr. BARRINGTON
Mr. BARRINGTON: I move the amendment of which I have given notice:—
“To add at the end of the motion the words ‘with a view to the appointment of a Committee upon which both Houses of the Oireachtas shall be represented, with power to take evidence: the Committee to submit proposals as to the best means of dealing with the question.’ ”
CATHAOIRLEACH: Would it not be better to speak upon the motion and suggest this in the course of your speech? I think the general view of the House was that they ought to content themselves as far as possible in getting an affirmance of the principle that this matter was urgent and called for immediate consideration. They were against suggesting how it was to be met, because opinion would certainly differ upon that, as you have seen already. Would it not be sufficient for your purpose to discuss the merits of the motion and then suggest, as Senator Farren has done, that the best way of dealing with it would be to set up a Committee?
Mr. BARRINGTON Mr. BARRINGTON
Mr. BARRINGTON: That is exactly what I would like to do.
CATHAOIRLEACH: That would avoid having a vote on it. If I put your amendment the House would have to vote on it, whereas if you simply discussed the matter and bring this up as your own recommendation you will gain all that you want to get.
Mr. BARRINGTON Mr. BARRINGTON
Mr. BARRINGTON: I think in all  probability that when the House has heard what I have to say on the matter it will agree that it is a very desirable thing, because I feel that there is a vast amount of information that it is necessary and desirable to obtain. I entirely object to the principle, which I think the resolution would contain if it were to pass, as it now stands on the Order Paper, the principle that we are all objecting to, of putting everything on to the Government. In the past there has been far too much readiness in this country to put everything on to the Government, and I think the resolution as it stands rather bears out that idea. All Governments have their limitations, and the chief limitation of our Government is time. The Government consists of a number of more or less overworked Ministers, and I feel we cannot shelve the responsibilities we as well as they have to the country by putting over on their shoulders the solution of this very complicated question. I feel that a great deal more information is needed for its proper solution, and for the protection of the country ratepayers whose condition, bad enough as things are, is likely to be made much worse if the present system, or want of system, is allowed to continue.
There has been a very great departure from the principle which was always acted upon in the past when it was sought to get out of the public rates a subvention to any line of traffic. It will be, probably, news to most Senators that some of our main lines were built by subventions from the rates. Take the Midland Great Western Railway. It was extended into Galway by a subvention from the rates. Many of our other lines were built up in the same way, but, under the system, or, rather, want of system which has grown up in connection with the buses the rates are called upon to pay a subvention to these services, many of which are wholly unnecessary, without any notice whatsoever being given to the ratepayers. In the past, if the rates were to contribute to any service of the kind notices had to be given in the first place to the public at large; notices had to be published; appearances had to be made at what were known as road sessions,  and afterwards at the Board of Guardians interested. Then the question went to the Grand Juries which, in those days, were very practical bodies. Now some English manufacturer very often has an agent over here, is desirous of finding employment for buses, and between them they hatch out a scheme to run buses from some town, we will say, in the west of Ireland to Dublin. They pay a licence for a bus and by negotiation with the various officials or Departments they get the right to run that bus. The first notice very frequently that the ratepayers have of the service is when they see the vehicle on the roads.
There can be no doubt as to the damage buses do to the roads. If any Senator has any doubt as to the mischief they do, I would ask him to take his stand on one of those beautifully-finished roads with a tarred surface. It is fairly slippery after a shower of rain and, on a steep hill, I have seen these vehicles attempting to get up and they literally flay the surface off the road. The roads were originally made at the expense of the ratepayers. They have been re-surfaced by the Road Fund out of the taxes paid by the motor vehicles.
Sir JOHN KEANE Sir JOHN KEANE
Sir JOHN KEANE: Including the buses.
Mr. BARRINGTON Mr. BARRINGTON
Mr. BARRINGTON: Including the buses. As soon as the roads have been finished and have a fine surface, they are handed over to the ratepayers to maintain. These roads have to be maintained out of the already overburdened rates. The ratepayers will not get a loan for the purpose. They will not get any further grant, so that it is out of taxation these roads must be kept in order. That means a very heavy contribution. It is difficult to know what the upkeep will amount to. These are questions that deserve a lot of consideration and inquiry before a proper solution can be arrived at, and the President has stated this information is being collected at the present time by an Inter-Departmental Committee. To come back to the question of the contributions to the railways, many of them were beneficial, many of them were paid back in full with interest. It does not seem to me to be a  reasonable thing that the ratepayers should be now asked to supply a permanent way for buses, and then maintain it and get no contribution from the profits of these buses. It is obvious that there must be profits. If not there would not be so many people competing. That is another question that requires very careful consideration. I do not think it is outside the bounds of possibility that some of the officials— and the Government have many very capable officials—would be able to make a reasonable calculation as to the damage that these vehicles do to the roads, and find out what would be a reasonable contribution that they should make out of their profits towards the repairs which enable them to earn these profits.
On these grounds I ask Senator O'Farrell to accept the amendment. I think it will take some little time to ascertain the information, but it is necessary to obtain it in the interests of the ratepayers, who are very hard pressed, and who find it almost impossible to fulfil their obligations. I say that there are many facts to be ascertained, and that useful suggestions could be made as to the conditions under which persons should be permitted to use the roads on such a large scale for private profit, without contributing any portion of the profits to the ratepayers supplying the means of earning them.
Mr. DUFFY Mr. DUFFY
Mr. DUFFY: I rise to support the motion, not because I am opposed to the bus services, but because I believe the proper development of the bus traffic is essential for the development of the rural areas.
CATHAOIRLEACH: Are you supporting Senator Barrington's suggestion?
Mr. DUFFY Mr. DUFFY
Mr. DUFFY: No, the motion.
CATHAOIRLEACH: If Senator Barrington wants to move his amendment it must be seconded.
Sir THOMAS ESMONDE Sir THOMAS ESMONDE
Sir THOMAS ESMONDE: I second amendment. I have certain views on this question generally that I feel inclined to express. As far as I could follow the discussion, the Seanad generally was of opinion that this question should be inquired into without delay.  With that view I cordially agree, and I am very glad to hear from the President that an Inter-Departmental Committee is examining into it. No doubt, eventually it may be found advisable to amend the law or to bring in new regulations. That will be a matter for the Executive, and we can discuss that question fully when it arises. This is really a very much bigger question than has become apparent during the course of the debate. Many sections of the public in this country are vitally concerned with a solution of the present difficulty, and they may be vitally concerned in its future development. It appears to me that one section of the community has not yet been sufficiently represented. I read the discussion that took place in the Seanad and the various contributions that appeared in the newspapers, and it does not seem to me that the section that is really most concerned in a proper solution of the difficulty, namely, the taxpayer—either the national or the local taxpayer—has been properly represented or has so far made itself vocal. The taxpayer, national or local, it appears to me must bear the greater part of the weight of whatever solution is arrived at eventually, and I hope that as he is so vitally concerned, he will not be forgotten in whatever inquiries that take place. Then you have the railway shareholders, who are vitally concerned in the preservation of what capital is left to them. They are in the main the greatest developers of this country, and that fact should be borne in mind in whatever solution is eventually arrived at. Then there is an important section of the community —the railwaymen—who are concerned with the preservation of their means of livelihood. That is what they are up against, and we cannot blame them. Then you have the motorists, who contribute a very large amount of taxation towards the upkeep of the roads. They have claims that ought to be considered. Finally you have the motor industry. We live in the 20th century, and we know perfectly well that the development of this country to a very considerable extent will depend upon the development of that industry. The motor industry as such has an undoubted claim for proper and full consideration.  All these categories of people, to my mind, have legitimate and proper claims for consideration in connection with the solution of this important question.
There is, however, one matter upon which I am perfectly satisfied, and that is, that we cannot, in whatever solution we arrive at, put either the national or the local taxpayer to any further expenditure. One thing that I can never agree to is the establishment of a new Government Department, Commission, Board, or whatever you may like to call it, for the purpose of dealing with this matter. We have ample machinery of government. We have experts directing our Executive. It is up to them to enforce whatever law is passed by the Oireachtas. Senator Farren thought that the Minister for Justice, as the representative of the police, should not be entrusted with the application of the law. The Minister for Justice, or the police, in other words, are responsible for the administration of motoring and traffic laws in every country. Why should they not be fit and proper persons to administer the law here? I think that that would be the cheapest and most practical way in the taxpayers' interests of putting into force whatever solution is arrived at. After all, these are minor matters. We have to bear in mind the taxpayer and the various people interested in transport. Their legitimate and proper claims ought to be met as far as possible. I repeat that I will never consent to the establishment, at the ratepayers' expense, of a new Government Department to deal with our transport problem. We are perfectly competent with our existing executive machinery to deal with the matter. One thing really necessary is to have an inquiry made into the matter. I hope the President will consider the various aspects from which the question may be viewed, and the interests of the various people concerned in a proper and fair solution of this difficulty. If he does that, and if his inquiries result in legislation being proposed, I can assure him, so long as these points are borne in mind, that he will have my support.
Mr. DUFFY Mr. DUFFY
Mr. DUFFY: I should like to support the motion, not because I am  opposed to bus traffic, but because I believe that the proper development of bus traffic is essential to the welfare of the agricultural community. The railways undoubtedly are beneficial in so far as they deal with large quantities of heavy traffic and even with large numbers of passengers going from one populous centre to another. But there are large areas where there was no adequate transport service in the past. I think everyone will agree that these areas are being opened up by the bus services. A good deal has been said about the injustice of asking the ratepayers to make roads for the buses to come along and destroy them. We ought to be perfectly clear on these matters before we come to any conclusion. I know something about roads, and in my opinion the ratepayers are not spending on the roads anything like the amount of money that they would be spending if there were no motors. In 1913/14 the sum spent out of the rates on the roads was something like £670,000. For 1926-7 the expenditure only went up to £1,073,000, or, roughly, a little over 50 per cent. increase. This year the expenditure will be even lower than that. I do not think any concern in this country can get work done to-day at 50 per cent. over pre-war rates. Not alone have the ratepayers as good ordinary roads as they had in 1913-14, but they have the advantage of up-to-date and first-class roads which have been made out of the funds derived from motor taxation. Indeed the roads are much better than they were in 1913-14, and when the £2,000,000 which has been borrowed for the development and improvement of the main roads is spent, the roads will be improved out of all comparison with what they were in pre-war times.
What sort of roads had we when motorists first began to use them? I remember well that if, at that time, a timber merchant bought a few hundred tons of timber in a certain locality and started to convey it to the railway station, by the time he he had completed the cartage of the timber the roads would be in such a state that the county council had to prosecute him  for excessive damage to them. If 20 or 30 hay carts with loads from 15 cwts. to a ton went along after each other, the roads would be cut in two. You do not hear of anything like that now, and I hold that the duties coming from motorists and lorries are paying for the improvement and that the ratepayers and taxpayers are not paying. This state has not spent £1 on the roads over and above what is paid from motor taxation with the exception of what they spent in the repairs of roads and bridges out of the 6d. rate. There is a lot of exaggeration on this question about the enormous facilities motor bus owners have provided for them. In justice to the ratepayers I hold there is no injustice whatsoever. It may be found after investigation that bus owners could pay perhaps higher taxation than at the moment. If, on investigation, that is so, then I say increase the taxation. If it is found that they are able to run their buses and make enormous profits at low rates, if there is room for increased taxation, that can be remedied without doing great injustice to anyone else.
I heard a good deal, from time to time, about the great injustice done to the railways by charging them rates. One would imagine that the railway concern was not interested in the upkeep of roads. I ask any commonsense man what would the railways of this country do if there were no roads to finish the delivery of the stuff to its destination. Are not the railway people as much concerned with the upkeep as any other people, and why would they not pay rates like any other commercial concern? If they are not concerned with the upkeep of roads, I do not know who ought to be. Every ton of stuff and every passenger have to proceed by road first to get to the railway, and surely no good case could be put up as to why the railway company should escape paying rates any more than any other concern. I believe that regulation of this inland transport is essential, and I believe if it were properly regulated it would be found that the best interests of this country would be served by linking up the road service and the railway service by providing small lorries and small passenger  buses at the principal railway stations throughout the country which should deliver the goods and bring the passengers expeditiously to their homes. Until that is done we will not have efficient and quick transport, and in an agricultural community such as ours, where the majority of the stuff we produce is more or less of a perishable nature, it is essential that we should have quick and efficient transport to get to the markets as quickly as possible. Anyone charged with the regulating of this traffic would have to take into account how far the railways and the bus services of this country could be utilised to give that efficient service.
One other reason for advocating the regulating of inland transport is this, and I think it is about the best reason anyone could give as to why the particular section of inland transport under the heading of bus service should be regulated. A number of bus services at present throughout this country, because of the very keen competition for traffic, are working their drivers and conductors as much as twelve and fourteen hours per day for very low wages. I hold any man, driving a public vehicle with perhaps 30 or 40 passengers, whose lives are in his charge, and who has to work 12 to 14 hours a day continuously, will ultimately bring about some terrific accident. I believe the reason the hours were regulated on railways was because some very great catastrophies occurred on some of the main lines in England. It was only after the loss of a great number of lives that the people realised it was not right or proper to have a man in charge of a vehicle or train with a number of lives depending on him to be conveyed safely to their destination who worked an unreasonable number of hours. Nature would assert itself in the long run, and eventually perhaps he would fall asleep at his post, with consequences which would immediately bring everyone's attention to bear on the matter. I think the bus services of this country are running the danger of having some very serious accidents of this character because of the long and unreasonable hours which the drivers and conductors are called upon to work. I am not referring  to every bus company at present, because I believe some of them only employ men for eight-hour shifts, but certainly others employ men from 12 to 14 at a time.
There is also this question of third party risk. That should be insisted upon, not alone with the bus services but for every other motor used on our roads. It is not so very many years ago since any mechanically propelled vehicle, travelling on a public road, had to have a man with a red flag walking in front. That necessitated that it could not go at more than a walking pace of three or four miles an hour. I think plenty of people in this Assembly can remember that, and when motors are allowed to come out on the road and proceed at 12 miles an hour, as buses, and 20 miles an hour, as ordinary motor are, some safeguard is due to the general public. I hold the least safeguard you can ask of any man driving such a vehicle at such a speed, is that before getting his licence to use that road he should have an insurance against third party risks, so that if any member of the ordinary public suffers an accident he will have something to fall back upon to compensate him.
There has been a good deal of talk about traffic competition and national waste, and it is usually mentioned that these take place in the country, but it seems to me that in the city of Dublin you have worse waste than anywhere else. I do not know if it is right for us to come to a very sudden conclusion in regard to this matter, because in Dublin you have the Tramway Company, with well equipped tramway services, finding it profitable to run buses side by side with their trams. I cannot understand the talk about unreasonable competition among the bus companies when you find a company like the Tramway Company running buses in competition with their trams. What is the use of talking about national waste and about other companies competing with one another for traffic when you have one company crowding the streets of Dublin with two different sorts of vehicles? This question requires very serious consideration. I think no conclusion can be reached until due consideration has been given to the whole question, and to the interests of  the entire community. I agree with the mover of the motion that our internal transport needs very careful regulating in the interests of the whole community.
Sir JOHN KEANE Sir JOHN KEANE
Sir JOHN KEANE: I move the adjournment of the Seanad until 3 o'clock to-morrow, when I will have the right to continue the discussion.
Mr. O'FARRELL Mr. O'FARRELL
Mr. O'FARRELL: I want to make a  personal explanation. There are circumstances over which I have no control which render it necessary for me to be absent from Dublin to-morrow and Friday. Consequently I hope there will be no misunderstanding if I am not here.
CATHAOIRLEACH: We will not accuse you of running away.
The Seanad adjourned at 6.15 p.m. until 3 p.m. Thursday, 1st December.
Seanad Éireann 10 MESSAGES FROM THE DAIL. INLAND TRANSPORT—QUESTION OF REGULATION AND CO-ORDINATION.