Finance Bill, 1980:First Stage.

Tuesday, 29 April 1980

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 320 No. 1

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Leave granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to charge and impose certain duties of customs and inland revenue (including excise), to amend the law relating to customs and inland revenue (including excise) and to make further provisions in connection with finance.

—(Minister for Finance.)

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  When will the Bill be circulated?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  On 6 May, 1980.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  When is it proposed to take Second Stage?

Minister for Finance (Mr. O'Kennedy): Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  On Tuesday, 13 May.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  On a point of order, you were good enough to allow the discussion to be re-opened to have the letter read.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  That matter is closed. There is no point of order.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  The letter was not completely read. The Minister has repeated allegations. We want the whole letter read. The Taoiseach intervened to stop the Minister reading the letter.

Mr. G. FitzGerald:  The Taoiseach did not intervene.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  He waved the Minister down.

[131]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The business of the House must continue. Deputy Mitchell will resume his seat.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  I have a point of order.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair has asked the Deputy to resume his seat. We are now dealing with the Finance Bill.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  On a point of order——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Deputy is dealing with a matter which has been disposed of.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  Standing Orders oblige you to allow me to make a point of order.

Mr. Keating: Information on Michael Keating  Zoom on Michael Keating  This is a very sordid episode.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): On a point of order. It arises out of the last matter but I want to submit that it is a point of order. You gave permission for a letter to be read. The Minister for Labour started to read that letter. Before he completed reading that short letter which seemed harmless, there was some noise in the House and the letter was not completed.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair has ruled that we cannot reopen a matter which has been disposed of.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): I am drawing the Chair's attention to this.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair has been too lenient in this whole matter.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): Since then the Minister for Labour has implied that there was something in the letter which he did not read out and he implied that it was to the discredit of the Leader of this Party. I want that put right.

[132]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  We will move on now.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  No.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair has heard so many allegations from its right in the past few minutes that it will not go back on that matter. The Finance Bill, please.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  My name has been mentioned here in a derogatory manner. It has been alleged that I acted improperly. I challenge the Minister of State, who is a townsman of my own, to read that letter.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  And the hundreds he wrote in similar circumstances.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  We are now dealing with the Finance Bill.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  My name has been mentioned as having acted improperly in writing a letter at some stage to the Minister's Department.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Deputy has other ways and means of raising that matter.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  This matter has been raised in the House and I insist that it be dealt with now.

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  When you agreed to have this letter read, the implication was that the total letter would be read and not part of it. That has not been done.

Mr. G. Fitzgerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Because the Deputy could not keep his mouth shut.

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  Read it now. The Minister has been flushed out.

Mr. G. Fitzgerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  It has misfired.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. G. Fitzgerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Do not talk to me about bluff.

(Interruptions.)

[133]Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  As somebody whose name has been mentioned in the House I am now asking the Minister of State to read that letter to the House.

Minister of State at the Department of the Public Service (Mr. Calleary): Information on Seán Calleary  Zoom on Seán Calleary  May I read the letter?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The same type of innuendos and allegations have been made. If the Minister of State wishes to read that letter he has the permission of the Chair to do so. Of course we are now dealing with the Finance Bill.

Mr. Keating: Information on Michael Keating  Zoom on Michael Keating  You are establishing a precedent.

Mr. G. Fitzgerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Which is it to be?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  That finishes it now.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  Read the two letters.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair will adjourn the House if necessary.

Mr. Calleary: Information on Seán Calleary  Zoom on Seán Calleary  Does Deputy O'Toole want the letter read out?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  Deputy O'Toole has demanded that his letter should be read out since it was mentioned. Does he want it read out?

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  I have asked on at least three occasions in the past three minutes to have it read out because I am prepared to stand over what I have written.

Mr. Calleary: Information on Seán Calleary  Zoom on Seán Calleary  The letter was written on 15 March 1976 to Deputy Richie Ryan, Minister for Finance, and reads:

Dear Richie, I am making representations to you on behalf of —— Claremorris, County Mayo. As you know he is Chairman of the Fine Gael District Executive in Claremorris and one of our staunch [134] supporters there for many years. There now exists a vacancy for —— through the Civil Service in the town and I would strongly urge that—— be given this post. I would be greatly disappointed if any from the opposition succeeded in this position. Looking forward to hearing from you.

(Interruptions.)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  That will do. We have finished with it now.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Did he get the job? Did the man get the job?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Deputy is completely out of order.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  If he did not get the job that shows there was nothing underhand or corrupt in it.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  I guarantee that under Fianna Fáil he would get the job whether or not he was fit for the position.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Chair does not want to adjourn the House but will do so if it has to. We are now dealing with the Order for Second Stage of the Finance Bill.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  The man did not get the job.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  When will the Second Stage of the Finance Bill be taken?

Mr. O'Kennedy: Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  On Tuesday, 13 May.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  A letter has been read out in my name. I now ask the Minister of State to say whether or not the person mentioned in that letter got the job.

Mr. Calleary: Information on Seán Calleary  Zoom on Seán Calleary  The Minister of State has not got that information.

[135]Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  That is completely untrue. The Minister of State knows he did not get the job.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  Did the man mentioned in the letter get the job?

(Interruptions.)

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  Did the man mentioned in that letter get the job? Deputy O'Toole's name has been dragged in the mud in this House by a colleague from the same town and I should like to know if the man mentioned in that letter got the job.

Mr. Calleary: Information on Seán Calleary  Zoom on Seán Calleary  The Deputy is not the one who asked for this; his leader asked for it.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  I also asked for it. Did the man mentioned get the job?

Mr. Calleary: Information on Seán Calleary  Zoom on Seán Calleary  I do not know.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  The Minister of State does not want to know.

Mr. Calleary: Information on Seán Calleary  Zoom on Seán Calleary  The information is not on my file.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  Will the Minister of State find out this information for me?

Mr. Calleary: Information on Seán Calleary  Zoom on Seán Calleary  I will.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  That finishes the debate on that matter. I have already called Item No. 1, the Finance Bill.

(Interruptions.)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  When is it proposed to take the Second Stage of the Finance Bill?

Minister for Finance (Mr. O'Kennedy): Information on Michael O'Kennedy  Zoom on Michael O'Kennedy  On 13 May. The Bill will be circulated on 6 May and not before that.

Second Stage ordered for Tuesday, 13 May 1980.

[136]An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  We are now moving on to No. 8 on the Order Paper, Packaged Goods (Quantity Control) Bill, 1980.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  Tomorrow we will have land zoning corruption.

Mr. O'Toole: Information on Patrick O'Toole  Zoom on Patrick O'Toole  The Minister of State can collect his votes.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  Everyday will have something about corruption.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  Deputy Mitchell should leave the House and cease interrupting business.

Mr. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  As a Fine Gael member I will leave the House because there is corruption widespread in the country, in the Civil Service, the police and in land zoning in County Dublin.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  A Commissioner of the Garda was sacked because he was doing his duty and would not promote Fianna Fáil men.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  I want the House to move on to Item No. 8.

Mr. Meaney: Information on Thomas J. V. Meaney  Zoom on Thomas J. V. Meaney  What about the piebald——

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Anything I sold was my own and I bought again. Nobody belonging to me ever robbed banks or anything like that. Anything I had was my own. I sold and bought as good a farm again and I am still there.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Deputy should permit the business of the House to continue.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  I never robbed a bank to get the money to buy that farm or anything like that.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  We have heard enough from the Deputy.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Many of that party in the early days of the State did so when [137] they murdered and shot good Irishmen and were in league with the IRA.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  We must move on to the Bill.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Minister of State should stick to the Packaged Goods Bill.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  This sort of carry-on is a disgrace to the House and to Deputy L'Estrange.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  And to you, Sir.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Deputy should not make any charges against the Chair.

Mr. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Chair should not make charges against Deputy L'Estrange.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  Deputy L'Estrange has been disgraceful for the last 30 minutes.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  Fianna Fáil Governments have been disgraceful for years. What about the £100,000 that was misappropriated? Was that not a disgraceful action on behalf of the Fianna Fail Government?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  It is not good enough that the Deputy should interrupt the business of the House every time he enters the Chamber.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  It was not good enough that they took that money to buy guns to murder fellow Irishmen.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  Does the Deputy wish to be put out of the House?

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  I will go of my own accord.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Deputy's conduct is disgraceful.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  They embezzled [138] £100,000 of taxpayers' money to murder fellow Irishmen.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Seán Browne  Zoom on Seán Browne  The Deputy should leave the House.


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