TUARASGABHAIL I DTAOBH CUR AMACH RITEACH I GCOIR BAILE ATHA CLIATH THEAS. - PROCEDURE.

Wednesday, 10 October 1923

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 5 No. 5

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Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Information on Darrell Figgis  Zoom on Darrell Figgis  Before we enter upon the Orders of the Day, there is one matter I would like to raise which would be for the convenience of the Dáil, I think. It will be in your memory that I raised the same matter in the last Dáil on one or two occasions. On to-day's Orders I notice that item 5 deals with the Governor-General's address—there is a motion for a resolution of thanks —and then there are various matters in connection with the Courts of Justice Bill. Inasmuch as there is no definite information before the Dáil as to how long item 5 will occupy our time, Deputies have no method of ascertaining whether items [185] 6 or 7 are likely to arise. Would it not be convenient to enter upon item 5 at, say, about 4 o'clock, and deal with the other items later? A time could be arranged so that whether this earlier business has or has not been concluded, it can be postponed. Then Deputies would be able to know at what hour certain business in which they are interested will be entered upon.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  The allocation of time is a matter for the President.

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  It has been the practice up to this to suit the convenience of Deputies with regard to the Agenda, or any business that has been brought forward. For example, it will be within the recollection of Deputies that certain votes were postponed or allotted to certain days in order to suit the convenience of Deputies.

In that case, unless there was pressing Government business, business pressing by reason of special circumstances, it was not insisted on taking the Agenda in the order in which it was arranged. It was left generally to the Dáil, but, personally, I would prefer if the item on the Order Paper, No. 5, came before the Dáil that it would be only for a short period, limited, say, to half an hour, and that we should then take up item No. 6, or what Deputy Milroy calls the more serious business.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  It would be better, I think, to say that item No. 6 would arise at a particular time, because if what the President wishes were agreed on, that item might come on before 6 o'clock.

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  If the Deputy has an appointment for any particular hour, and if he would tell us the time that the appointment is likely to occupy, we would do our best to convenience him. But if, on the other hand, he has no particular appointment, I would suggest that we allow half an hour for discussion on item No. 5.

Mr. DARRELL FIGGIS: Information on Darrell Figgis  Zoom on Darrell Figgis  The President will be relieved to learn that I have no appointment. I was merely [186] choosing this as an occasion to raise a matter that, I believe, would be for the convenience of the Dáil. I am merely raising it now because this is the first time in which this has occurred in this Session. I, therefore, suggest that certain definite business should be set down on the Orders for the Day at a certain time, and if earlier business has not been disposed of at such a particular hour, then we would be in a position to know exactly at what hour of the day certain definite business is to be entered upon.

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I would like to consult the Government Whip on that matter.

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I do not know what is the view of the Minister as to the relative importance of these matters on the Agenda, but I would have thought that a motion dealing with the Governor-General's address, which, of course, may be regarded as a declaration of Government policy, ought to be allocated something like a reasonable period of time for discussion. To suggest half an hour for a discussion on such a motion strikes me as rather slighting both the Governor-General, the mover of the Address, and the Dáil.

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  I did not mean to limit the discussion on that particular subject to half an hour, but I think Deputy Johnson will recollect that last year it formed the subject of business for a considerable number of days, and it is our intention to allot ample time for discussion on it. The other matter is one of pressing importance, but there is no desire to bring it into relative comparison, in the matter of importance, with the motion of thanks on the Governor-General's address.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Would the President take up item No. 6 at 5.30, or would he prefer to take it earlier?

The PRESIDENT: Information on William T. Cosgrave  Zoom on William T. Cosgrave  5.30 will suit.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Very well. Is it agreed that item No. 6 will be taken up at 5.30?

Mr. JOHNSON: Information on Thomas Johnson  Zoom on Thomas Johnson  I do not know what the line of discussion will take on these other items, but it seems to me to be [187] relegating the discussion on the Governor-General's Address, which will really be a discussion on Government policy, to the background, and I would not participate in the discussion in these circumstances.

AN CEANN COMHAIRLE: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  As there is not agreement, the adjournment of the debate on No. 5 can be moved when it is thought fit to do so.


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