Wednesday, 6 November 1957
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Sweetman: The Deputy has said he is not moving it but Deputy Browne is not here. Is it not usual to give a Deputy a moment or two. I say that even though I might not have any sympathy with the particular motion.
Donnchadh Ó Briain: Sara rachaidh tú ar aghaidh go dtí an chéad rún eile. I should like to point out to members of the Dáil generally that this is the first official intimation the Government has had that these motions were not being moved. I am responsible for seeing to the best of my ability that business runs smoothly in this House.  I had arrangements made for the various Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries dealing with motions Nos. 20 to 26 to be prepared to deal with them as they came around, either to-night or later on. I think it is only fair to expect that Deputies who table motions should, in courtesy to the Government — I understand there is no rule about it—tell the Minister concerned or tell me that they do not propose to go ahead.
Mr. McQuillan: In reply to the Parliamentary Secretary, I want to make it quite clear that the Government received seven days' notice of the fact that motion No. 26 on to-day's Order Paper would be moved immediately after the motion dealing with the United Nations. The intention, when the Dáil reopened on the 23rd October was that motion No. 26 would be moved. Due to a misunderstanding which occurred on that occasion — which, I want to have it on the records of the House, was not due to the staff of the House in any way — that motion had to be postponed and, instead, the second motion on the Order Paper, dealing with a plebiscite on the matter of United Nations observers, was taken. I made it clear last week that, if I received the consent of the other Deputies who had motions on the Order Paper to postpone their motions, it was my intention, immediately after the motion dealing with the United Nations, to move the motion dealing with internee arrangements.
Earlier to-day the Government had sufficient notice of the fact that this motion was coming up to-night because the Government, through some of their representatives, made the necessary inquiries through the Ceann Comhairle's office as to whether it was my intention to move motion No. 26 on the Order Paper and the Government was so informed. There is no doubt whatever that the Government knew that this motion was coming up. It even went so far that the Government suggested that the motion be postponed on the basis that the Minister who was to take the motion was ill.
Mr. McQuillan: That the Minister was ill and, therefore, it would be ungentlemanly, in other words, that this motion should go ahead while the Minister was ill. I want that on the records of the House.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I should point out to the House that we cannot have any debate on this point. The Parliamentary Secretary is entitled to put his point to the House and I have allowed Deputy McQuillan to reply but there cannot be any debate because there is no motion before the house.
Donnchadh Ó Briain: The other point I want to make is that no information came from any Deputy direct to the Government that that would be the position as regards motion No. 26. We did hear rumours, but neither Deputy Russell nor Deputy Murphy, who were responsible for two motions, told us that they were not moving their motions to-night. Neither did Deputy McQuillan.
Mr. McQuillan: The Parliamentary Secretary is not so naive as to suggest that it was necessary for any Deputy to tell the Parliamentary Secretary that he would not move a motion. The Government were well aware of the fact that I would be moving motion No. 26 to-night and were aware of that fact since last week.
Donnchadh Ó Briain: We were not. I do not say it is necessary at all, but it would make for the more expeditious transaction of business if we knew exactly where we stood beforehand, not at 12 o'clock to-day.
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