Tuesday, 24 January 1984
Dáil Eireann Debate
The Taoiseach: 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: 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.
Mr. 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?
The Taoiseach: 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.
The Taoiseach: 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.
The Taoiseach: 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. Gene 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: 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.
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