Order of Business.

Tuesday, 14 December 1971

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 257 No. 10

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[1942]The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  It is proposed to take business in the following order: No. 21, Votes 37, 43, 44, 48 and 49.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Has the Taoiseach yet decided when the Dáil will resume after Christmas?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  The Whips are meeting about arranging the remaining business and the arrangements will determine the date of resumption.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  As far as the remaining business is concerned, everybody can see the amount of work that can be done this week in view of the fact that the adjournment debate will be held on Thursday and Friday.

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I have asked the Chief Whip of this party to make contact with the Whips of the other parties about the Referendum Bill. The outcome will determine the date of resumption.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Does the Taoiseach still contemplate March for the referendum——

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  Is it still the 29th?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  Hopefully, yes.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  ——and to have the legislation passed in time? Could the Taoiseach say what time must his Department have between the final passage of the Bill through the Seanad and the signing of it by the President and the actual holding of the referendum? I assume no preparations can be made by anybody until the Bill is passed.

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  And signed by the President and an order made by the Minister and then not less than 30 and not more than 90 days thereafter.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Is the Taoiseach's hope for a March referendum waxing or waning?

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I am talking about the arrangements that must be made by returning officers in the Department that will conduct it. They cannot engage in any expenditure until the Bill is finally signed.

[1943]Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  Officially they cannot, but they are already doing it.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  What time will be needed?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  The election returning officers are getting their equipment ready all the time to be as ready as possible.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  They are signing for all they are worth now.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  Is the Taoiseach's hope for a March referendum waxing or waning?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I am afraid I am not as clever as the Deputy.

Mr. B. Lenihan: Information on Patrick J. Lenihan  Zoom on Patrick J. Lenihan  The Deputy is a bit obtuse.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan): Could the Taoiseach give us any idea when the Local Government (Planning and Development) (No. 2) Bill, 1969, will be taken in view of the fact that the then Minister for Local Government gave as an excuse for not accepting a Fine Gael Bill at that time that this Bill would be introduced and proceeded with? It was introduced in 1969 and it has been on the Order Paper since.

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I answered a similar question some weeks ago. The Minister indicated there were certain aspects of the Bill he would like to re-examine and to re-submit to the Parliamentary draftsmen. He indicated it would be brought in some time later, perhaps next year.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan): I think the Taoiseach will find that the records show that he gave me that answer about 12 months ago.

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I cannot remember that.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Would the Taoiseach not seriously consider, if he is to have a referendum, having it after the 14th April when the new register becomes operable? It would be the fairest thing. March is the twelfth month of the year as far as the register is concerned and in all fairness when there is such a momentous decision to be [1944] made those who have come on it in the last six or nine months should be given an opportunity of expressing their views.

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  It is something worth taking into account.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  The Taoiseach will consider it?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  Yes.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Thank you.

Mr. Coogan: Information on Fintan Coogan  Zoom on Fintan Coogan  In view of the confusion abroad about the dates of the referendum and the impending VAT——

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  Whatever confusion there is I am sure it is coming out of the Deputy's own skull.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  The Deputy has not a skull like the Taoiseach's in any case.

Mr. Coogan: Information on Fintan Coogan  Zoom on Fintan Coogan  The Taoiseach does not seem to be down with the grassroots. Can the Taoiseach indicate at this stage when VAT will come into force?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  That does not arise on the Order of Business. We cannot discuss everything on the Order of Business.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  The Taoiseach has let the country down. He is allowing Mr. Faulkner do what he likes. There is anarchy in the country and the Taoiseach is doing nothing about it. The Taoiseach is just sitting down doing nothing.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  Order. I am calling No. 21.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  That is what the Taoiseach is paid for.

Mr. Coogan: Information on Fintan Coogan  Zoom on Fintan Coogan  When will the VAT come into force?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  It does not arise. The question is not in order. We are not discussing the value-added tax.

Mr. Coogan: Information on Fintan Coogan  Zoom on Fintan Coogan  The country is in complete disorder.

[1945]Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  The Taoiseach need not talk about anybody's skull.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Is this on the disorder of business?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Cormac Breslin  Zoom on Cormac Breslin  It is on the Order of Business. I am calling No. 21, Vote 37.


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