Order of Business.

Tuesday, 24 January 1984

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 347 No. 3

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[614]The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  By agreement it is proposed that, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, statements in relation to security may be made subject to, (1) with the exception of the Minister for Justice no Member shall make more than one statement, (2) the statements of the opening speakers from the Government and Opposition parties shall not exceed 30 minutes, and (3) the statement of each subsequent speaker shall not exceed 20 minutes and (4), the concluding speaker who shall be a member of the Government, shall be called not later than 6.45 p.m. By agreement there will be no Private Member's Business this week. Business will be interrupted at 7 p.m. today.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  We welcome this opportunity to debate the security situation, a situation that is causing a great deal of worry and anxiety to many people. It is very appropriate that the House should have this opportunity of reviewing the situation objectively and impartially and on a non-political basis. We are all very distressed to notice, a Cheann Comhairle, that you have incurred some personal mishap. I hope that in the circumstances you are not suffering any undue inconvenience in the performance of your duties as Ceann Comhairle.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I thank the Deputy.

Mr. Leyden: Information on Terry Leyden  Zoom on Terry Leyden  I join with those remarks of the Leader of the Opposition. It was unfortunate that the act of running to buy a paper caused you such distress.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I cannot say that this does not arise on the Order of Business but the Chair would not like to see the matter develop.

Mr. Leyden: Information on Terry Leyden  Zoom on Terry Leyden  Can the Taoiseach tell us when the Local Radio Authority Bill will be before the Dáil, whether the Cabinet have considered the headings of the Bill and whether it has been approved in principle by the Government?

[615]The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  The headings of the Bill were considered in connection with its preparation as draft heads so that the Committee on Legislation would have the opportunity of receiving submissions on the Bill. When those submissions have been completed the Government will review them and consider what changes, if any, are needed and then proceed to draft the Bill. I am sure there will be some changes needed.

Mr. Leyden: Information on Terry Leyden  Zoom on Terry Leyden  Is it expected to have the Bill before the summer recess?

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  I should hope so. If the work of the Committee on Legislation in relation to the legislation is concluded within a month, and I should hope that would be the case, it should be possible to complete the work on the Bill with whatever revisions are thought desirable so as to bring it to the House in time to have it enacted before the summer recess. That is the objective of the Government but there are often slips between the cup and the lip in these matters.

Mr. Leyden: Information on Terry Leyden  Zoom on Terry Leyden  Would the Taoiseach agree that it would have been better to have accepted our Bill in June last in which case the legislation would now be in existence?

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  I do not agree. The discussion we have had in terms of the Committee on Legislation and the possibility of the public giving their views on the Bill plus the further consideration we gave to it will ensure that the Bill which emerges finally will be considerably better than the one the Deputy is talking of.

Mr. Leyden: Information on Terry Leyden  Zoom on Terry Leyden  I doubt that.

Mr. Molony: Information on David Molony  Zoom on David Molony  Why did the Deputy not have the Members of his party who are on the Committee do something about it?

Mr. De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  When is it proposed to bring forward the Family Planning Bill as promised by the Minister for Health?

[616]The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  In due course. There is no particular time limit but it will not be before the budget anyway.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  That is very specific.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  In view of the discussions taking place in Europe this week regarding the future of Irish Steel Holdings at Haulbowline, would the Taoiseach allow time for this important issue to be debated in the House, especially in the context of the uncertainly of the future of the 600 or so jobs concerned?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair has ruled previously that that formula is not in order.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  That may be so but I can tell the Chair that the future of that concern is causing grave problems in Cork which is already a stricken area.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Deputy will have to find another way of raising the matter.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  I am disgusted that the Taoiseach should seek to hide behind the protection of the Chair in regard to Irish Steel Holdings.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair deplores that statement.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  It is not in any way a reflection on the Chair but it is a reflection on the Taoiseach who is anxious normally to become involved in answering questions.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Deputy will please withdraw the inference that in some way the Chair is in collusion with someone else in an effort to have something suppressed.

(Interruptions).

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  I read with interest what the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs had to say [617] as reported in yesterday's Cork Examiner. It was a lot of baloney.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I am asking Deputy Fitzgerald to withdraw the suggestion that the Chair is in collusion with someone in suppressing something.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  I did not suggest that.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  But there is a clear inference of it.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  No such inference was intended.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair takes that as a withdrawal of the remark.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  I wish the Taoiseach to inform us when the Government will take a decision on the future of Irish Steel Holdings.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I am not allowing that because to do so would mean that if the Deputy were not satisfied with the answer he would ask another question so that we would be having a debate on the matter.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I wish to raise the matter on the Adjournment.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.


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