Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923

Billeting in case of emergency.

173.—(1) The Executive Council may at any time or times by order declare that a state of emergency exists in Saorstát Eireann, or in any parts or part (to be specified in such order) thereof and may by the same order authorise any officer, not below the rank of Commandant, to be named in such order commanding any part of the Forces in any part of Saorstát Eireann in which a state of emergency is by such order declared to exist, to issue a billeting requisition under this Section.

(2) Any officer so authorised may issue a billeting requisition under his hand reciting the said order and requiring the chief officer of police to provide billets in such places and for such number of officers, soldiers, and their horses and for such period, as may be specified in the requisition.

(3) The provisions of this Act as to billeting shall apply to billeting under such a requisition as if for reference therein to a route there were substituted reference to such a requisition, subject, however, to the following modifications:—

(a) The occupiers of all public buildings, dwellinghouses, warehouses, barns, and stables shall, as well as the keepers of victualling houses, be liable to billets and the said provisions shall apply as if references to victualling houses and the keepers of victualling houses, included references to such public buildings, dwellinghouses, warehouses, barns and stables and the occupiers thereof;

(b) The powers and duties conferred or imposed on a constable shall be exercised and performed by the chief officer of police, and accordingly for references to a constable in the said provisions, there shall be substituted references to the chief officer of police and for the reference to a Peace Commissioner in sub-section (7) of Section one hundred and seventy-two there shall be substituted a reference to a Court of Summary Jurisdiction, but a chief officer of police in selecting the persons required to provide billets, and in determining the number of officers and soldiers to be billeted on any person shall, so far as practicable have regard to the convenience of the several occupiers;

(c) The prices to be paid to an occupier other than the keeper of a victualling house for accommodation furnished, and food and fodder supplied by him, shall be such as may be fixed by regulations made by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance; and

(d) Sub-section two of Section one hundred and sixty-seven (which defines a route), paragraph (6) of Section one hundred and seventy-two (which relates to the power of a Peace Commissioner to vary a route), and so much of paragraph two of Part I. of the Fifth Schedule to this Act as limits the period during which meals are required to be furnished, and paragraph (2) of Part II. of that Schedule (which requires billets to be made out to the less distant victualling houses), shall not apply.

(4) Any regulations as to prices so made shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after they are made, and if within forty days after they have been so laid either House passes a resolution requesting the Executive Council to annul such regulations, the Executive Council may annul such regulations and the regulations so annulled shall thenceforth become void without prejudice to anything done thereunder in the meantime.

(5) For the purpose of this Section—

The expression “public building” includes any building wholly or partially provided or maintained out of the rates, and any building to which the public habitually have access, whether on payment or otherwise.

The expression “chief officer of police” as respects the police district of Dublin metropolis, means the Chief Commissioner of Police for that district, and elsewhere means a Superintendent of the Civic Guard.

In the case of unoccupied premises this Section shall apply as if the owner were the occupier thereof.

(6) Compensation shall be paid by the Minister out of money voted by the Oireachtas for defence services in respect of any damage caused by any officer or soldier billeted under this Section to the premises in which he is billeted, and the amount of such compensation shall in the event of disagreement be determined by arbitration under the Common Law Procedure Amendment Act (Ireland), 1856, as amended by any subsequent enactment.

(7) The provisions of this Act as to billeting shall, whilst any order from the Executive Council under this Section is in force, apply to women who are enrolled for employment by the Minister as they apply to soldiers; and for the purpose of these provisions as so applied, officers of any troops with whom the women to be billeted are employed and the officer commanding those troops shall be deemed in relation to such women to be their officers and officer commanding, and if any such woman is guilty of an offence in relation to billeting mentioned in section fifty-eight of this Act, she shall be punishable on summary conviction in manner provided by sub-section (2) of Section one hundred and seventy-six of this Act.

Offences in Relation to Billeting.