Order of Business.

Tuesday, 23 March 1982

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 333 No. 2

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[156]The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  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: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett 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.

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Mr. B. Ahern): Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I do not think that was agreed, because there was some difficulty, but we will discuss it with the Whips again.

Mr. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  (Dún Laoghaire): My understanding was that this matter would be included in today's Order of Business. I specially asked for it to be included.

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett 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: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  There is no reluctance. We discussed a number of issues and if Fine Gael want it included in today's order of Business, we can include it.

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  What is the difficulty?

Mr. B. Ahern: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  As I said, I do not think [157] 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.

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  It was proposed by us and we understood it was agreed. Now we are told no difficulty arose. May we have a straight answer?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It would be better for the dignity of this House if matters of this sort were left to the Whips.

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter 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: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  This is farcical.

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  Yes, absolutely farcical.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  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. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  If there is no difficulty why did the Government Whips say there was.

Mr. B. Ahern: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  When we were discussing the Order of Business mention was made of the Committee of Selection. There was no disagreement——

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Why is it not on the Order Paper?

Mr. B. Ahern: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  This committee was mentioned during the meeting and a point was raised; I am not sure what the [158] point was, but if the Deputies want it included, we can do so. Is that all right?

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  It should be on today's Order Paper. The Taoiseach is telling us what an experienced politician he is and he knows that this should be the first item.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  We are the Government responsible for ordering the business of this House and I am stating categorically — whether the Opposition like it or not — that we will put it on tomorrow.

Mr. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. 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.

Dr. Woods: Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  No. 1 is a Bill.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  No. 9 is a Bill, as are Nos. 11 and 13.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The paragraph refers to item No. 1 only.

Mr. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan-Monaghan): It did not sound like that to me.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John F. O'Connell  Zoom on John F. O'Connell  It refers to item No. 1.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan 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.

[159]The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Agreement was reached between the Whips in regard to taking all Stages of the Bill today.

Mr. P. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter 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.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Yes.

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  And after I have had adequate time for reflection.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  We shall facilitate the Opposition in every way.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  There appears to be something drastically wrong with the microphone system today.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on John F. O'Connell  Zoom on John F. O'Connell  That is another matter that I shall have investigated.


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