Tuesday, 9 December 1980
Dáil Eireann Debate
The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take business in the following order: Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and in No. 9 Votes 36 (resumed), 46 and 38. Private Members Business will be from 7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m., item No. 82 by agreement. As I stated in the House last Thursday, I propose to make a statement immediately after the Order of Business today on the European Council meeting held in Luxembourg last week.
Mr. N. Andrews: I wish to raise on the adjournment the subject matter of road traffic deaths and the possibility of the introduction of an emergency road safety campaign over the Christmas and New Year period.
Dr. FitzGerald: The Taoiseach will be aware of the concern of this side of the House that he might make a statement on the discussions which took place in Dublin yesterday. I understand it is proposed that it should be discussed between the Whips but I take it that the Taoiseach is willing in principle to make such a statement.
Mr. Cluskey: I asked the Labour Whip to contact the Government Whip this morning to find out if the Taoiseach would be agreeable to have a combined statement on the summit meeting last week and the meeting with the British Prime Minister yesterday. Apparently that was not acceptable to the Government. Can the Taoiseach say if he would be agreeable to make a statement to the House tomorrow morning?
The Taoiseach: I should like to put different alternatives to the parties opposite. I am not ruling out tomorrow morning. Perhaps we could discuss the best way of dealing with it. I am not personally aware of the proposals from the Labour Party but I accept the statement of Deputy Cluskey that it is so. At that stage there was a question down from a Fine Gael Party Deputy on this matter and it seemed as if the matter would have to be dealt with in that way. Subsequently the question was withdrawn so a new situation now prevails.
Mr. Cluskey: Would the Taoiseach agree that because of the very considerable difference in interpretation as to what took place at yesterday's meeting it is in the interests of all, particularly the  House and the electorate, that the matter be clarified as quickly as possible?
Mr. Cluskey: When the Taoiseach states there are a number of ways in which the matter could be dealt with, I assume the House is adjourning for Christmas next week and I assume that the Taoiseach is as anxious as everyone else that the matter should be clarified as soon as possible. That would leave two alternatives as far as I see it: either it be dealt with tomorrow by way of statement from the Taoiseach and reply from the leaders of the two Opposition parties, or the Taoiseach would wish us to have a debate on the question. Would the Taoiseach indicate if he is considering having a debate?
The Taoiseach: I am anxious to find out from the Opposition parties exactly what way they would prefer to deal with it. I understand there is no particular request from the Labour Party before us at present.
The Taoiseach: The date of resumption is normally announced in the House on the day we go into recess. With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to make a statement on the European Council——
Dr. FitzGerald: If the Taoiseach would allow me the courtesy to dispute that point, would he consider giving us as much notice as possible of the date of resumption rather than leaving it to the very last day?
Dr. FitzGerald: To consider giving advance notice as to the date of resumption and not waiting until the day the Dáil adjourns before it is announced. It has in the past been notified to us earlier than that.
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