Tuesday, 23 March 1982
Dáil Eireann Debate
The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take business in the following order. Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1 — Order for Second Stage to be followed immediately by Second and subsequent Stages — 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Private Members' Business from 7 to 8.30 p.m. will be item No. 21. By agreement it is proposed that items Nos. 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16, having been agreed today, to proceed with the Second Stage of the debates on the following Bills: Transport (Tour Operators and Travel Agents) (No. 2) Bill, 1981, Sea Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, 1981, Statute Law Revision Bill, 1981, and Funds of Suitors Bill, 1981.
Dr. FitzGerald: Why is not the appointment of the Committee of Selection on the Order of Business? The matter was raised between the Whips and we understood it would be on today's Order of Business. I wonder why that has not happened.
Dr. FitzGerald: What difficulty arose? The first thing a new Dáil does is to appoint the Committee on Procedure and Privileges whose existence is essential to the life of the House. Why should there by any difficulty about setting up this committee, and why are the Government reluctant to proceed in the ordinary way?
Mr. B. Ahern: As I said, I do not think  there was any difficulty. We discussed a number of matters but there was no agreement to include this item in the Order of Business. If the Deputy wishes to have it included we can do so.
Mr. P. Barry: Usually the first item on the Order Paper is the setting up of this committee. Why was that not done today? The Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach said there was a difficulty. Deputy Seán Barrett, our Chief Whip, said there was no difficulty and he understood this matter would be on today's Order Paper. What is the problem? We want to know.
The Taoiseach: There is no difficulty in nominating the Committee of Selection, which as everybody knows, is a purely nominal procedure. It is because the Opposition have been wasting time and raising matters like this that they are on the other side of the House.
Mr. Fitzpatrick: (Cavan-Monaghan): The Taoiseach stated: “It is proposed to take business in the following order: Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1 — Order for Second Stage followed immediately by Second and subsequent Stages — 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16”. As far as I can see, none of those items relates to a Bill. What is meant by taking the “Order for Second Stage” and taking the “Second and Remaining Stages”? That does not make sense.
Mr. Shatter: I understand that all Stages of the Social Welfare Bill, 1982, are being taken today but I should like to know whether this arrangement has been agreed between the Whips. The first time I saw the Bill was this morning and I presume the same applies to other Deputies. There are some proposals in that Bill which may require amendment, but if the Bill is to be completed today there will be no opportunity for tabling amendments.
Mr. P. Barry: Having the budget on Thursday leaves us in some difficulty as to when the Leader of the Opposition will be opening the debate on the budget. May we take it that the opening speech from the Opposition in this regard will be on Tuesday next, that is, after Question Time on that day.
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