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Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924

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Number 16 of 1924.


MINISTERS AND SECRETARIES ACT, 1924.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Establishment of the Departments of State.

2.

Ministers to be corporations sole and to have certain powers.

3.

Allocation of Departments of State among Ministers.

4.

Remuneration of Ministers.

5.

Collective responsibility of Executive Council preserved.

6.

The Attorney General.

7.

Power to Executive Council to appoint Parliamentary Secretaries.

8.

Constitution of the Council of Defence.

9.

Powers of Executive Council in respect of statutory bodies.

10.

Expenses of public services payable out of special funds.

11.

Power to Minister to function through agency of another Minister.

12.

Power to Executive Council to redistribute public services amongst Ministers.

13.

Orders of Executive Council to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

14.

Apportionment of funds between Ministers.

15.

Authentication of official documents.

16.

Executive Council to have a seal.

17.

Proof of official Orders, etc.

18.

References to Ministers in existing Acts.

19.

Laying of reports before the Oireachtas.

20.

Short title and commencement.

SCHEDULE


Act Referred to

Civil Service Regulation Act, 1923

No. 35 of 1923

Adaptation of Enactments Act, 1922

(No, 2 of 1922)

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Number 16 of 1924.


MINISTERS AND SECRETARIES ACT, 1924.


AN ACT FOR CONSTITUTING AND DEFINING THE MINISTERS AND DEPARTMENTS OF STATE IN SAORSTAT EIREANN PURSUANT TO THE CONSTITUTION AND DECLARING THE FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND ENABLING THE APPOINTMENT OF PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIES AND FOR PURPOSES INCIDENTAL THERETO. [21st April, 1924.]

WHEREAS it is enacted by the Constitution of Saorstát Eireann that there shall be a Council responsible to Dáil Eireann to aid and advise in the Government of Saorstát Eireann, and that the said Council shall be styled the Executive Council and shall consist of not more than seven nor less than five Ministers, all being members of Dáil Eireann and appointed by the Representative of the Crown on the nomination of the President of the Executive Council with the assent of Dáil Eireann, who shall be collectively responsible for all matters concerning the Departments of State administered by Members of the Executive Council, and shall meet and act as a collective authority:

AND WHEREAS it is by the said Constitution provided that the Ministers who form the Executive Council shall include the President of the Council, the Vice-President of the Council and the Minister in charge of the Department of Finance:

AND WHEREAS it is also by the said Constitution enacted that Ministers other than those who shall be members of the Executive Council may be appointed by the Representative of the Crown, and that every such Minister shall be nominated by Dáil Eireann on the recommendation of a Committee of Dáil Eireann constituted for that purpose, and it is thereby further provided that every such Minister shall be the responsible head of the Department or Departments under his charge and shall be individually responsible to Dáil Eireann alone for the administration of the Department or Departments of which he is the head:

AND WHEREAS it is also by the said Constitution enacted that the total number of Ministers, including the Ministers who are members of the Executive Council, shall not exceed twelve, and that Ministers shall receive such remuneration as may from time to time be prescribed by law but that the remuneration of any Minister shall not be diminished during his term of office:

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORSTAT EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

Establishment of the Departments of State.

1.There shall be established in Saorstát Eireann the several Departments of State specified and named in the eleven following sub-paragraphs, amongst which the administration and business of the public services in Saorstát Eireann shall be distributed as in the said sub-paragraphs is particularly mentioned, and each of which said Departments and the powers, duties and functions thereof shall be assigned to and administered by the Minister hereinafter named as head thereof, that is to say:—

(i) The Department of the President of the Executive Council which shall comprise the business, powers, authorities, duties and functions by the Constitution or by any existing or future Act of the Oireachtas or otherwise conferred on or to be discharged or performed by the Minister, who shall hold the office of and be styled Uachtarán na hArd-Chomhairle or (in English) the President of the Executive Council, and also the custody of and responsibility for all public archives and records and of papers and documents of State and of grants, deeds and other instruments of title relating to the property corporeal and incorporeal, real and personal for the time being vested in Saorstát Eireann and of records of the Executive Council and also the custody of the Seal of the Executive Council and also the responsibility for and control of the official publications of the Executive Council and also the administrative control of and responsibility for such public services and the business, powers, duties and functions thereof as may not for the time being be comprised in any of the Departments of State constituted by this Act.

(ii) The Department of Finance which shall comprise the administration and business generally of the public finance of Saorstát Eireann and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, including in particular the collection and expenditure of the revenues of Saorstát Eireann from whatever source arising (save as may be otherwise provided by law), and the supervision and control of all purchases made for or on behalf of and all supplies of commodities and goods held by any Department of State and the disposal thereof, and also the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public service specified in the first part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled an t-Aire Airgid or (in English) the Minister for Finance.

(iii) The Department of Justice which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with law, justice, public order and police, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same (except such powers, duties and functions as are by law reserved to the Executive Council and such powers, duties and functions as are by the Constitution or by law excepted from the authority of the Executive Council or of an Executive Minister), and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public service specified in the Second Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Dlí agus Cirt or (in English) the Minister for Justice.

(iv) The Department of Local Government and Public Health which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with local government, public health, relief of the poor, care of the insane (including insane criminals), health insurance, elections to each House of the Oireachtas, elections to local bodies and authorities, registration of voters, maintenance of public roads, and highways, registration of births, deaths and marriages, and vital statistics and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public service specified in the Third Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Rialtais Aitiúla agus Sláinte Puiblí or (in English) the Minister for Local Government and Public Health.

(v) The Department of Education which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with Education, including primary, secondary and university education, vocational and technical training, endowed schools, reformatories, and industrial schools, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the Fourth Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Oideachais or (in English) the Minister for Education.

(vi) The Department of Lands and Agriculture which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with agriculture and lands, including the fixing of rents and tenure of lands, acquisition by occupying tenants of full ownership by means of public funds, enlargement and other economic improvement of holdings of land, purchase of land for distribution by way of re-sale, relief of rural congestion and like uneconomic conditions, promotion of agriculture by means of educational grants, and of lectures on special subjects, agricultural statistics, forestry, veterinary services, survey and mapping of land, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the Fifth Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Tailte agus Talmhaíochta or (in English) the Minister for Lands and Agriculture.

(vii) The Department of Industry and Commerce which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with trade, commerce, industry, and labour, industrial and commercial organisations and combinations, industrial and commercial statistics, transport, shipping, natural resources, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, including the promotion of trade and commerce by means of educational grants, and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the Sixth Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Tionnscail agus Tráchtála or (in English) the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

(viii) The Department of Fisheries which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with fisheries, including deep-sea fisheries, tidal waters fisheries, coastal fisheries, inland waters fisheries, and industries connected with or auxiliary to the same, and all powers duties and functions connected with the same, and shall include in particular the business powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the Seventh Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Iascaigh or (in English) the Minister for Fisheries.

(ix) The Department of Posts and Telegraphs which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with posts, telegraphs, and telephones, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the Eighth Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Puist agus Telegrafa or (in English) the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.

(x) The Department of Defence which shall comprise the administration and business of the raising, training, organisation, maintenance, equipment, management, discipline, regulation, and control according to law of the Military Defence Forces of Saorstát Eireann, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Cosanta or (in English) the Minister for Defence, and shall be assisted by a Council of Defence as hereinafter provided.

(xi) The Department of External Affairs which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with communications and transactions between the Government of Saorstát Eireann and the Government of any other state or nation, diplomatic and consular representation of Saorstát Eireann in any country or place, international amenities, the granting of passports and of visés to passports, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Gnóthaí Coigríche or (in English) the Minister for External Affairs.

Ministers to be corporations sole and to have certain powers.

2.(1) Each of the Ministers, heads of the respective Departments of State mentioned in Section 1 of this Act, shall be a corporation sole under his style or name aforesaid (which may be lawfully expressed with equal validity and effect whether in the Irish Language or in its English equivalent as set out in the preceding section), and shall have perpetual succession and an official seal (which shall be officially and judicially noticed), and may sue and (subject to the fiat of the Attorney-General having been in each case first granted) be sued under his style or name aforesaid, and may acquire, hold and dispose of land for the purposes of the functions, powers or duties of the Department of State of which he is head or of any branch thereof.

(2) The Executive Council shall on the recommendation of the Minister appoint the principal officer of each of the said Departments and each of the said Ministers may appoint such other officers and servants to serve in the Department of which he is the head, as such Minister may, with the sanction of the Minister for Finance, determine, but every appointment made under this sub-section shall be subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Regulation Act, 1923 (No. 35 of 1923) or of any Act for the time being in force replacing or amending that Act.

(3) The terms and conditions of appointment of all officers and servants appointed by any Minister shall be prescribed by the Minister for Finance and there shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, or if there be any fund properly applicable by law to such payment, then out of such fund to such officers and servants such salaries or remunerations as the Minister for Finance may from time to time determine.

(4) The expenses of each of the Departments of State established under this Act, to such amount as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Allocation of Departments of State among Ministers.

3.(1) The President of the Executive Council for the time being shall so soon as may be after his appointment as such President determine and declare how many and which of the said Departments of State established by this Act shall be assigned to and administered by the members of the Executive Council to be appointed on his nomination pursuant to the Constitution.

(2) It shall be lawful to assign two or more of the said Departments of State to a single person who in such case shall be appointed to be the Minister head of each of such Departments.

Remuneration of Ministers.

4.There shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas to the President of the Executive Council an annual sum by way of salary not exceeding £2,500 and to each of the members of the Executive Council an annual sum by way of salary not exceeding £1,700 and to each Minister not a member of the Executive Council an annual sum by way of salary not exceeding £1,700 but so that no person shall be paid more than one such salary.

Collective responsibility of Executive Council preserved.

5.Nothing in this Act contained shall derogate from the collective responsibility of the Executive Council as provided by the Constitution notwithstanding that members of the Executive Council may be appointed individually to be Ministers, heads of particular Departments of State.

The Attorney General.

6.(1) There shall be vested in the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann (who shall be styled in Irish Príomh-Atúrnae Shaorstáit Eireann and shall be appointed by the Governor-General on the nomination of the Executive Council) the business, powers, authorities, duties and functions formerly vested in or exercised by the Attorney-General for Ireland, the Solicitor-General for Ireland, the Attorney-General for Southern Ireland, the Solicitor-General for Southern Ireland, the Law Adviser to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and any or all of them respectively, and the administration and control of the business, powers, authorities, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the Ninth Part of the Schedule to this Act and also the administration and business generally of public services in connection with the representation of the Government of Saorstát Eireann and of the public in all legal proceedings for the enforcement of law, the punishment of offenders and the assertion or protection of public rights and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same respectively, together with the duty of advising the Executive Council and the several Ministers in matters of law and of legal opinion.

(2) The Attorney-General may be or become a member of Dáil Eireann, and if he is a member of Dáil Eireann at the time of his appointment he shall not be under any obligation to resign his seat or to submit himself for re-election. He shall hold office so long only as the President of the Executive Council by whom he was nominated continues to hold office.

Power to Executive Council to appoint Parliamentary Secretaries.

7.(1) The Executive Council may from time to time, on the nomination of the President of the Council, appoint so many persons, being members of the Oireachtas and not exceeding seven in number as the Executive Council shall consider necessary, to be Parliamentary Secretaries to the Executive Council or to Executive Ministers, and may at any time remove any Parliamentary Secretary so appointed.

(2) Every person appointed under the next preceding sub-section to be a Parliamentary Secretary shall continue to hold office so long only as he continues to be a member of the Oireachtas and the President of the Executive Council by whom he was nominated continues to hold office.

(3) A Minister who is not a member of the Executive Council may, with the approval of Dáil Eireann expressed by resolution, appoint a person being a member of the Dáil to be his Parliamentary Secretary and may at any time remove a Parliamentary Secretary so appointed.

(4) Every person appointed under the next preceding sub-section shall continue to hold office only so long as he continues to be a member of the Dáil and the Minister by whom he was appointed continues to hold his office.

(5) There shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas to each Parliamentary Secretary appointed under this Act who shall not by his appointment be declared to be appointed without salary such annual salary not exceeding in any case the annual sum of £1,200 as shall from time to time be fixed by the President of the Executive Council, with the consent of the Minister for Finance: Provided however that the total number of persons who shall at any one time be in receipt of salaries as Ministers or as Parliamentary Secretaries shall not exceed fifteen.

(6) Not more than one Parliamentary Secretary shall be appointed in respect of any one Department of State.

(7) Each of the Parliamentary Secretaries appointed under this section shall by his appointment be assigned to act as Parliamentary Secretary to the Executive Council or to a Minister and shall have such powers and perform such duties as the Executive Council or such Minister with the consent of the Executive Council (as the case may be) may from time to time delegate or assign to him.

Constitution of the Council of Defence.

8.(1) There shall be and there is hereby constituted a Council of Defence to assist the Minister for Defence in the administration of the business of the Department of Defence, but without derogating from the responsibility of the Minister for Defence to the Dáil for all the administration and business of the Department of Defence and for the exercise and performance of all the powers, duties and functions connected therewith.

(2) The Council of Defence shall consist of the following members, namely the Minister for Defence, who (under the style of “Commander-in-Chief”) shall be Chairman of the Council of Defence, and four other members amongst whom shall be distributed the principal divisions or branches of the business of the Council of Defence, that is to say, a civil member being a member of Dáil Eireann who shall be responsible to the Minister for Defence for the finance of the Military Defence Forces and for so much of the other business of the Council of Defence as may be from time to time assigned to him by the Minister for Defence and who shall act as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence and three military members being commissioned members of the said Defence Forces who shall be the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General and the Quartermaster-General and shall be respectively responsible to the Minister for Defence for the administration of so much of the business relating to the raising, training, organisation, disposition, personnel, supply, equipment, armament, management, discipline, control and maintenance of the Defence Forces as shall be from time to time assigned to them or any of them by the Minister for Defence.

(3) The Minister for Defence may specially reserve to himself any of the business of the Council of Defence.

(4) The Secretary of the Department of Defence shall act as Secretary of the Council of Defence and shall perform such duties as may be from time to time assigned to him by the Minister for Defence.

(5) Each of the military members of the Council of Defence shall hold that office at the pleasure of the Executive Council acting upon the recommendation of the Minister for Defence, but in no case for a longer period continuously than three years.

(6) The Council of Defence shall meet and act as a collective body and shall be collectively responsible to the Minister for Defence for all matters entrusted to it in its collective capacity whether by any Act of the Oireachtas or otherwise.

(7) The Council of Defence may, subject to the approval of the Minister for Defence, regulate its own procedure and time and place of meeting but it shall meet whenever required by the Minister for Defence so to do and in any case there shall be at least one meeting of the Council every six months.

Powers of Executive Council in respect of statutory bodies.

9.(1) It shall be lawful for the Executive Council—

(a) by an Order of the Executive Council, to dissolve any Board of Commissioners or statutory body to which this section applies; and

(b) by the same Order to transfer to, or confer or impose on, the Minister or Ministers who is or are head or heads of the appropriate Department or Departments of State concerned with the public services of any Board of Commissioners or statutory body dissolved under this section, all or any of the jurisdictions, powers, duties, and functions of such dissolved Board of Commissioners or statutory body; and

(c) by the same or any subsequent Order to vest in the Minister or respective Ministers who is or are the head or heads of such appropriate Department or Departments of State as aforesaid, all or any part of the lands, hereditaments, tenements and premises situate in Saorstát Eireann and all other property and assets (including choses-in-action) which were on the 6th day of December, 1921, or shall at the time of making any such Order under this sub-section be vested, whether by statute, deed, contract, or otherwise, in or held in trust for any Board of Commissioners or statutory body dissolved by an Order under this sub-section, so that the same shall under and by virtue of such Order without the necessity for any other conveyance or assignment whatsoever but subject where necessary to transfer in the books of any bank, company or corporation become and be vested in such Minister or respective Ministers for all the estate, term, and interest, or respective estates, terms, and interests for which the same were immediately before the making of such Order vested in or held by such dissolved Board of Commissioners or statutory body, but subject to such (if any) trusts and equities as shall affect the said lands, hereditaments, tenements and premises property and assets respectively at the time of making such Order and shall be then legally subsisting and capable of being performed; and

(d) by the same or any subsequent Order to determine and declare which is or are the appropriate Department or Departments of State for the purposes of this sub-section to or on whose Minister or respective Ministers the jurisdictions, powers, duties, and functions of any such dissolved Board of Commissioners or statutory body shall be transferred, conferred, or imposed as aforesaid; and

(e) by the same or any subsequent Order to make such adaptations and modifications as the Executive Council may consider necessary of or in any British Statute relating to any Board of Commissioners or other statutory body dissolved under this section.

(2) It shall be lawful for the Executive Council—

(a) by an Order of the Executive Council to transfer to and confer or impose on any Minister any of the jurisdictions, powers, duties, and functions of any Board of Commissioners or statutory body to which this section applies, and to declare that the public services and officers concerned with the jurisdictions, powers, duties and functions transferred, conferred, or imposed by such Order as aforesaid are comprised and included in the public services and officers of the Department of State administered by or under such Minister as head thereof; and

(b) by the same or any subsequent Order to vest in the Minister or respective Ministers who is or are the head or heads of such appropriate Department or Departments of State as aforesaid all or any part of the lands, hereditaments, tenements, and premises situate in Saorstát Eireann and all other property and assets (including choses-in-action) which were on the 6th day of December, 1921, or shall at the time of making any such Order under this sub-section be vested, whether by statute, deed, contract or otherwise, in or held in trust for any such Board of Commissioners or statutory body and which were connected with the exercise or performance of any of the jurisdictions, powers, duties or functions transferred, conferred, or imposed by an Order under this sub-section so that the same shall under and by virtue of such Order without the necessity for any other conveyance or assignment whatsoever but subject where necessary to transfer in the books of any bank, company or corporation become and be vested in such Minister or respective Ministers for all the estate, term and interest, or respective estates, terms and interests for which the same were immediately before the making of such Order vested in or held by such Board of Commissioners or statutory body, but subject to such (if any) trusts and equities as shall affect the said lands, hereditaments, tenements and premises property and assets respectively at the time of making such Order and shall be then legally subsisting and capable of being performed; and

(c) by the same or any subsequent Order to determine and declare which is or are the appropriate Department or Departments of State for the purposes of this sub-section to or on whose Minister or respective Ministers the jurisdictions, powers, duties and functions of any Board of Commissioners or statutory body shall be transferred, conferred, or imposed as aforesaid; and

(d) by the same or any subsequent Order to make such adaptations and modifications as the Executive Council may consider necessary of or in any British Statute relating to any Board of Commissioners or statutory body whose or any of whose jurisdictions, powers, duties and functions are transferred, conferred, or imposed by an Order under this sub-section.

(3) So long as any Board of Commissioners or statutory body to which this section applies shall continue to exist, and until the same shall be dissolved under this section, the jurisdictions, powers, duties and functions of such Board of Commissioners or statutory body, or such of those jurisdictions, powers, duties or functions as shall not have been divested or transferred from such Board of Commissioners or statutory body by any Order under this section, and the exercise and performance thereof shall be and remain subject to the direction and control of the Minister who is head of the appropriate Department of State concerned with the public services of such Board of Commissioners or statutory body, and such Minister shall be responsible for the administration of the services of such Board of Commissioners or statutory body, and if any question shall arise as to which is the Minister or appropriate Department of State concerned with any public service for the purposes of this sub-section, such question shall be determined by the President of the Executive Council, whose decision shall be final.

(4) The Boards of Commissioners and statutory bodies to which this section applies are all statutory Boards of Commissioners and other statutory boards and bodies exercising any function of government or discharging any public duties in relation to public administration in Saorstát Eireann, and also any Board of Commissioners established by Order of the Executive Council under Section 7 of the Adaptation of Enactments Act, 1922 (No, 2 of 1922), but this section shall not apply to or affect any university established by Royal Charter or any body corporate similarly established for the regulation of the admission, qualification, and conduct of the members of any profession or business notwithstanding that such university or body is in other respects a statutory body.

Expenses of public services payable out of special funds.

10.Wherever the expenses or any part of the expenses of any public service assigned by or under this Act to any Department of State are now payable out of any specific departmental or other public funds other than the Central Fund or moneys provided by the Oireachtas, or any specific departmental or other public funds other than as aforesaid are now applicable to or towards the discharge of the expenses or any part of the expenses of any such public service, it shall be lawful for the Executive Council by Order to do all or any of the following things:—

(a) to provide for the continued discharge of any such expenses as aforesaid or any part thereof out of the funds out of which the same are now payable or which are now applicable to or towards the discharge thereof;

(b) to make all such apportionments of public funds as may be rendered necessary by reason of the allotment by this Act of different portions of any such public service to different Departments of State;

(c) to provide for the winding-up and the payment into or disposal for the benefit of the Exchequer, in such manner as the Minister for Finance may appoint, of the whole or any part of the specific departmental or other public funds out of which such expenses or any part thereof have heretofore been payable or which have heretofore been applicable in or towards the discharge of such expenses or any part thereof as aforesaid, and to declare that such expenses shall hereafter be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Power to Minister to function through agency of another Minister.

11.It shall be lawful for any Minister pursuant to any arrangement or agreement previously authorised by an Order of the Executive Council to exercise or perform any of the duties or public services of any other Minister as agent for such other Minister and without relieving such other Minister of his responsibility for the administration of such public service.

Power to Executive Council to redistribute public services amongst Ministers.

12.(1) It shall be lawful for the Executive Council from time to time by Order to prescribe the organisation of all or any of the said Departments of State and of the business and administration thereof in any manner which may seem to the Executive Council to be expedient or proper in the public interests and in particular to create units of administration to be called offices (divisions or branches) which may be wholly self-contained or not as may seem expedient and to make such Orders consequential on or necessary for giving effect to any such scheme of organisation as the Executive Council may consider expedient or proper: Provided, however, that in the case of any Department of State the Minister in charge of which is not for the time being a member of the Executive Council no such Order shall be made without the concurrence of such Minister first obtained.

(2) It shall be lawful for the Executive Council from time to time by Order to re-distribute all or any of the public services and officers, and the administration, jurisdiction, powers, duties and functions thereof amongst the several Ministers and Departments of State or any of them in any manner which may seem to the Executive Council to be expedient or proper in the public interests, and to make such Orders consequential on or necessary for giving effect to any such re-distribution as the Executive Council may consider expedient or proper.

Orders of Executive Council to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

13.Every Order made by the Executive Council under this Act shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas forthwith, and unless and until a resolution annulling such Order is passed by either House of the Oireachtas within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat after such Order is laid before it, such Order shall have effect as if enacted in this Act, but no such resolution shall operate to prejudice the validity of anything previously done under such Order.

Apportionment of funds between Ministers.

14.If and whenever any question or doubt shall arise as to the apportionment of any lands, moneys, funds, or other property which shall become transferable to or liable to be vested in any two or more Ministers under or by virtue of this Act or any order made thereunder, every such question or doubt shall be determined by the Minister for Finance, whose decision shall be final and conclusive.

Authentication of official documents.

15.(1) The seal of each Minister who is a head of a Department of State established under this Act shall, when affixed to any instrument or document, be authenticated by the signature of such Minister, or of some person authorised by that Minister to act in that behalf.

(2) Every document purporting to be an order or other instrument issued by a Minister who is the head of a Department of State established by this Act, and to be sealed with the seal of such Minister authenticated in manner aforesaid, or to be signed by such Minister, shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such order or instrument without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.

(3) A certificate signed by a Minister that any order or other instrument purporting to be made or issued by such Minister, or by the Department of State for the time being assigned to him, or by any branch or officer thereof, is so made or issued, shall be conclusive evidence of the fact so certified.

(4) Nothing in this Act shall render the affixing of the official seal of a Minister who is the head of a Department of State established by this Act to any order or other instrument (not being a deed, conveyance or other instrument which if made by a person other than a corporation would be required by law to be sealed with the seal of such person) made by such Minister necessary to the validity of such order or other instrument, and any such order or other instrument, unless expressly required by any statute to be under seal, shall be sufficiently authenticated by the signature of such Minister or of the secretary or other officer of such Department of State duly authorised by such Minister to authenticate such orders and instruments.

Executive Council to have a seal.

16.(1) The Executive Council shall have an official seal which shall be officially and judicially noticed.

(2) The seal of the Executive Council shall, when affixed to any instrument or document, be authenticated by the signature of the President of the Executive Council or of the Vice-President or of a secretary or other officer of the Executive Council authorised by the President of the Executive Council to act in that behalf.

(3) Every document purporting to be an Order or other instrument issued by the Executive Council, and to be sealed with the seal of the Executive Council authenticated in manner aforesaid, shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such Order or instrument without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.

(4) A certificate signed by the President or the Vice-President of the Executive Council that any Order or other instrument, purporting to be made or issued by the Executive Council, is so made or issued shall be conclusive evidence of the fact so certified.

Proof of official Orders, etc.

17.Prima facie evidence of any Order, regulation or other official instrument made or issued by the Executive Council or by any Minister who is the head of a Department of State established by this Act may be given in all Courts of Justice and in all legal proceedings in all or any of the ways hereinafter mentioned, that is to say:—

(a) by the production of a copy of the Iris Oifigiúil purporting to contain such Order, regulation or instrument; or

(b) by the production of a copy of such Order, regulation or instrument purporting to be printed under the superintendence or authority of the Stationery Office; or

(c) by the production of a copy or extract purporting to be certified to be true, in the case of an Order, regulation or instrument made or issued by the Executive Council, by a secretary or other officer authorised in that behalf by the President of the Executive Council, and in the case of an Order, regulation or instrument made or issued by a Minister, by the secretary of such Minister or of the Department of State of which he is head or some other officer authorised in that behalf by the Minister to whom such Department of State is for the time being assigned, and it shall not be necessary in either case to prove the signature of such secretary or officer or that he is in fact such secretary or officer or was in fact authorised as aforesaid.

References to Ministers in existing Acts.

18.Every mention or reference contained in any Act of the Oireachtas passed before this Act or which shall be passed in the present Session of the Oireachtas or in any Order, rule, or regulation made or to be made under any such Act, of or to any of the Ministers mentioned in the first column of the Tenth Part of the Schedule to this Act shall be construed and take effect as a mention of or reference to the Minister, head of a Department of State established under this Act, mentioned in the second column of the said Tenth Part of the said Schedule opposite the Minister mentioned in the said first column.

Laying of reports before the Oireachtas.

19.Wherever any statutory board of commissioners or other statutory or public board or body or public authority is by any existing law required to present any annual or other report to the Lord Lieutenant or to Parliament or to any Parliamentary head of any Department of State, every such report shall after the passing of this Act be presented in the first instance to the Minister who is head of the Department of State for the time being concerned with the services or functions of such board, body, or authority, and if such Minister be for the time being an Executive Minister he shall present the report to the Executive Council, which shall cause the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas, but if such Minister be not for the time being an Executive Minister he shall himself cause the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Short title and commencement.

20.(1) This Act may be cited for all purposes as the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924.

(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day as may be fixed by an Order of the Executive Council either generally or with reference to any particular provision of this Act and different days may be appointed for different purposes and different provisions of this Act.

(3) In every case if any person has prior to the actual passing of this Act been acting as and discharging the functions by this Act attributed to the office of any Minister or Secretary constituted by this Act, his acts shall be as valid and effective as if this Act had been already passed at the time when he so purported to act.

SCHEDULE.

First Part.

Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Airgid (The Department of Finance).

The business and functions formerly administered, and discharged by the British Treasury in Ireland.

The Revenue Commissioners.

The Paymaster General and Deputy Paymaster for Ireland.

The Government Actuary.

The Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland.

The Civil Service Commission.

The Commissioner of Valuation and Boundary Surveyor for Ireland.

The Ordnance Survey.

The Superintendent of the Teachers' Pension Office.

The Stationery Office.

The Old Age Pensions, save as regards appeals governed by Statute.

The Post Office Savings Bank (administered through the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs as agent).

The Registrar of Friendly Societies.

Second Part.

Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Dlí agus Cirt (The Department of Justice).

All Courts of Justice and the Offices thereof save in so far as the same are reserved to the Executive Council or are excepted from the authority of the Executive Council or of an Executive Minister.

Police.

The General Prisons Board for Ireland and all Prisons.

The Registrar of District Court Clerks.

The Public Record Office.

The Registry of Deeds.

The Land Registry.

The Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland.

Third Part.

Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Rialtais Aitiúla agus Sláinte Puiblí (The Department of Local Government and Public Health).

The Local Government Board for Ireland, including appeals under the Old Age Pensions Acts.

The Inspectors of Lunatic Asylums in Ireland.

National Health Insurance Commission.

The Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Ireland.

Roads Department (formerly Ministry of Transport).

Clerk of the Crown and Hanaper so far as concerned with Elections.

General Nursing Council and Central Midwives Board.

Fourth Part.

Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Oideachais (The Department of Education).

The Commissioners of National Education in Ireland.

The Intermediate Education Board for Ireland.

The Commissioners of Education in Ireland (Endowed Schools).

The Inspector of Reformatory and Industrial Schools.

The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland (business and functions relating to Technical Instruction only).

The College of Science.

The Geological Survey in Ireland.

The National Museum of Science and Art.

The National Library of Ireland.

The National Gallery of Ireland.

The Metropolitan School of Art.

Meteorological Services.

Fifth Part.

Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Tailte agus Talmhaíochta (The Department of Lands and Agriculture).

The Irish Land Commission (including the late Congested District Board for Ireland—Agricultural and Land Branches).

The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland (except the business and functions relating to Fisheries and Technical Instruction).

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries except so far as concerned with the Ordnance Survey.

The Royal Veterinary College of Ireland.

The Public Trustee in Ireland.

The Forestry Commission.

Farm Institutes of or controlled by Government.

Royal Botanic Gardens.

Sixth Part.

Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Tionnscail agus Tráchtála (The Department of Industry and Commerce).

Ministry of Transport (excluding the Roads Department).

The Board of Trade.

Registrar of Companies.

Registrar of Business Names.

Registration of Shipping.

Minister for Labour.

Electricity Commissioners.

Chief and other Inspectors of Factories.

Seventh Part.

Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Iascaigh (The Department of Fisheries).

Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland—Fisheries Branch.

Congested Districts Board for Ireland—Fisheries Branch, and Rural Industries Branch.

The Conservators of Fisheries.

Eighth Part.

Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Puist agus Telegrafa (The Department of Posts and Telegraphs).

Postmaster General.

Ninth Part.

Particular Services assigned to an Príomh-Atúrnae (The Attorney-General)

Chief Crown Solicitor for Ireland.

Chief State Solicitor's Department and all local State Solicitors.

Treasury Solicitor for Ireland.

Parliamentary Draftsman.

Charities.

Estates of illegitimate deceased persons.

Tenth Part.

Ministers named in former Acts.

Corresponding Ministers under this Act.

Minister for Finance

Aire Airgid (Minister for Finance)

Minister for Home Affairs

Aire Dlí agus Cirt (Minister for Justice)

Minister for Local Government

Aire Rialtais Aitiúla agus Sláinte Puiblí (Minister for Local Government and Public Health)

Minister for Education

Aire Oideachais (Minister for Education)

Minister for Agriculture

Aire Tailte agus Talmhaíochta (Minister for Lands and Agriculture)

Minister for Industry and Commerce

Aire Tionnscail agus Tráchtála (Minister for Industry and Commerce)

Minister for Fisheries

Aire Iascaigh (Minister for Fisheries)

Postmaster-General

Aire Puist agus Telegrafa (Minister for Posts and Telegraphs)

Minister for Defence

Aire Cosanta (Minister for Defence)

Minister for External Affairs

Aire Gnóthaí Coigríche (Minister for External Affairs)