23 1965

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Number 23 of 1965.


PRICES (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1965


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Amendment of Prices Act, 1958.

2.

Short title and collective citation.


Acts Referred to

Prices Act, 1958

1958, No. 4

Local Authorities (Combined Purchasing) Act, 1939

1939, No. 14

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Number 23 of 1965.


PRICES (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1965


AN ACT TO AMEND AND EXTEND THE PRICES ACT, 1958 . [10th August, 1965.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Amendment of Prices Act, 1958 .

1. —(1) The Prices Act, 1958 , is hereby amended by the insertion after Part III of the following Part:—

“PART IIIA

Temporary Powers for Securing Stability of Prices and Charges.

Provision for temporary measures in relation to prices and charges.

22A.—(1) Whenever and so often as the Government are satisfied that the condition of the national economy is such that it is necessary to maintain stability of prices generally, the Government may by order authorise and empower the Minister to do from time to time any or all or some of the following, that is to say:—

(a) enquire into—

(i) the prices charged for a specified commodity or specified commodities or for any commodities as respects the prices for which the Minister is satisfied that an enquiry should be held,

(ii) the charges made for rendering a specified service or specified services or for any services as respects the charges for which the Minister is satisfied that an enquiry should be held,

(iii) the charges made for carrying out (other than under a contract of service) specified work or any work as respects the charges for which the Minister is satisfied that an enquiry should be held, and

(iv) the charges made for carrying out (other than under a contract of service) a specified process or specified processes or any processes as respects the charges for which the Minister is satisfied that an enquiry should be held,

(b) require manufacturers, wholesalers and importers to notify the Minister of any proposed increases in the prices charged by them for their commodities,

(c) require any person to furnish to the Minister any information in his possession that the Minister may reasonably require for enabling him to exercise his functions under this Part,

(d) require any person to furnish to the Minister any books, documents or records in his power, possession or control that the Minister may reasonably require for enabling him to perform his functions under this Part,

(e) by order fix—

(i) the maximum prices at which commodities or a specified commodity or specified commodities may be sold,

(ii) the maximum charges which may be made for rendering services or a specified service or specified services,

(iii) the maximum charges which may be made for carrying out (other than under a contract of service) specified work,

(iv) the maximum charges which may be made for carrying out (other than under a contract of service) a specified process or specified processes,

and

(f) by order provide—

(i) in relation to all commodities or a specified commodity or specified commodities that the prices charged for the commodity or commodities shall be those obtaining at such time before the making of the order or during such period before such making, as may be specified in the order,

(ii) in relation to all services or a specified service or specified services that the charges made for rendering the service or services shall be those obtaining at such time before the making of the order or during such period before such making, as may be specified in the order,

(iii) in relation to the carrying out (otherwise than under a contract of service) of specified work that the charges therefor shall be those obtaining at such time before the making of the order or during such period before such making, as may be specified in the order, and

(iv) in relation to the carrying out (otherwise than under a contract of service) of processes or a specified process or specified processes that the charges therefor shall be those obtaining at such time before the making of the order or during such period before such making, as may be specified in the order.

(2) An order made by the Government under this section may define or specify a commodity, a service, work or a process in such manner and by reference to such matters as the Government think fit.

(3) An order made by the Government under this section shall remain in force for such period (not exceeding six months from the date of the making thereof) as the Government think proper and specify in the order and shall then expire, unless continued in force by an order made under subsection (4) of this section.

(4) Where—

(a) there is for the time being in force an order (in this subsection referred to as the principal order) made by the Government under subsection (1) of this section,

(b) the Government are satisfied that the condition of the national economy is such that the principal order should be continued in force,

the following provisions shall have effect—

(i) the Government may by order (in this subsection referred to as a continuance order) made before the expiration of the principal order, continue the principal order in force for such period (not exceeding six months from the date on which the principal order would but for the continuance order expire) as the Government think proper and specify in the continuance order, and may thereafter from time to time by order (in this subsection also referred to as a continuance order), made before the expiration of the principal order under the last previous continuance order, continue the principal order in force for such period (not exceeding six months from the date on which the principal order would have expired under the last previous continuance order) as the Government think proper and specify in the continuance order,

(ii) if only one continuance order is made, the principal order shall continue in force until the expiration of the period for which it is continued in force by that continuance order, and shall then expire,

(iii) if two or more continuance orders are made, the principal order shall continue in force until the expiration of the period for which it is continued in force by the last of those continuance orders, and shall then expire.

(5) Every order made by the Government under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be published in the Iris Oifigiúil.

Advisory bodies.

22B.—The Minister may from time to time by order provide for the establishment, constitution and powers of bodies of persons to advise him in relation to any or all or some of the powers and functions for the time being conferred on the Minister by virtue of this Part.

Provisions in relation to orders of Minister.

22C.—(1) Where, during the continuance in force of an order made by the Government under subsection (1) of section 22A of this Act, the Minister makes an order by virtue of this Part, the latter order shall, if not previously revoked, expire on the expiration of the order made by the Government.

(2) An order made by the Minister by virtue of this Part may—

(a) define or specify a commodity, a service, work or a process in such manner and by reference to such matters as the Minister thinks fit,

(b) define the conditions by reference to which a maximum price or charge is fixed and fix different maximum prices or charges in relation to different conditions,

(c) relate to the whole State or to a particular area in the State,

(d) fix a maximum price or charge by specifying it or by setting out provisions by means of which it may be ascertained,

(e) contain all such incidental or ancillary provisions (including a requirement that the commodity to which the order relates shall be sold only in specified units of weight or measure) as shall appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for giving full effect to any provision inserted in the order under the powers conferred on him by virtue of this Part or to secure compliance with the order.

(3) The Minister may by order revoke or amend an order made by the Minister by virtue of this Part, including an order under this subsection.

Effect on contracts of orders of Minister.

22D.—(1) An order made by the Minister by virtue of this Part shall not affect the legality of a contract made before the date on which the order comes into force, or of anything done under the contract.

(2) An order made by the Minister by virtue of this Part shall not affect the legality of a contract made on or after the date on which the order comes into force, or of anything done under the contract if—

(a) the contract is made in pursuance of a legal obligation arising from a prior contract made before that date, or

(b) the contract is made by a local authority with an official contractor appointed under section 6 of the Local Authorities (Combined Purchasing) Act, 1939 , as the result of an application made by him before that date.

Offences under this Part.

22E.—If any person contravenes, whether by act or omission, a provision of an order made by the Minister by virtue of this Part or fails, neglects or refuses to comply with a requirement of the Minister under this Part such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section.”

(2) The Prices Act, 1958 , is hereby further amended as follows:

(a) in section 3, by the addition to the section of the following:

“a reference to carrying out work or a process shall be construed as including a reference to agreeing or offering to carry out work or a process or inviting an offer for its carrying out;

a reference to an offer to carry out work or a process shall be construed as including a reference to a notification by a person of the charge proposed by him for its carrying out made by the publication of a list of charges or by the furnishing of a condition or otherwise”.

(b) in section 10, by—

(i) the substitution for paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) of subsection (1) of the following paragraphs:

“(a) the prices charged for the commodity specified in the warrant,

(b) the methods of marketing that commodity,

(c) the charges made for rendering the service specified in the warrant,

(d) the methods of rendering that service,

(e) the charges made for carrying out (other than under a contract of service) work specified in the warrant,

(f) the methods of carrying out that work,

(g) the charges made for carrying out (other than under a contract of service) the process specified in the warrant,

(h) the methods of carrying out that process.”,

and

(ii) the substitution in subsection (3) of “persons selling commodities or of persons rendering services or carrying out work or processes” for “manufacturers or of persons rendering services”,

(c) in section 14, by—

(i) the substitution in subsection (1) of “persons selling it” for “manufacturers thereof” and of “such persons” for “manufacturers”,

and

(ii) the insertion of the following subsection :

“(3) Where the Minister, having considered a report of an Advisory Committee, is of opinion that the charges made for carrying out any work or process by persons carrying it out are excessive owing to causes within the control of those persons or to undue labour costs, the Minister may by order fix the maximum charge which may be made for carrying out that work or process.”,

(d) in section 18, by the insertion in paragraph (α) after “service” of “or work or a process”,

(e) in section 21, by the insertion in subsections (1) and (2) after “service” of “or work or a process”,

(f) in section 24, by the insertion in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) after “commodities” of “or the business of rendering a service or carrying out work or a process”, and

(g) in the Second Schedule, by the insertion in paragraph 8 after “any service” of “or for carrying out any work or process” and after “that service” of “or carrying out that work or process”.

Short title and collective citation.

2. —(1) This Act may be cited as the Prices (Amendment) Act, 1965.

(2) The Prices Act, 1958 , and this Act may be cited together as the Prices Acts, 1958 and 1965.