Order of Business.

Thursday, 28 June 1984

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 352 No. 5

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The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  It is proposed to take Items Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14, Vote 40 and Votes 22 to 27. By agreement the Dáil shall sit later than 5.30 p.m. today and not later than 11 p.m. and the hour at which business is to be interrupted shall be 10.30 p.m. Also by agreement, and notwithstanding the order of 21 June 1983, the proceedings on Items Nos. 3 to 10, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 1.30 p.m. by putting from the Chair the necessary questions forthwith and successively. The proceedings on the remaining Stages of the Irish Steel Bill, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 4.30 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only amendments set down by the Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism. The debate on Vote No. 40, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 8.30 p.m. and the Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism shall be called on to conclude not later than 8.15 p.m. The debate on Votes 22 to 27, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 10.30 p.m. and the Minister for Justice shall be called on to conclude not later than 10.15 p.m.

Also by agreement, the Dáil shall meet [968] at 9.30 a.m. tomorrow and shall adjourn not later than 6 p.m. and business shall be confined to Estimates for Public Services.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Are the arrangements for today's and tomorrow's business agreed?

Agreed.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I should like to ask the Taoiseach if he is aware of the fact that there was yesterday evening a major incursion by the British army across the Border in County Monaghan. Would he be prepared to make a statement some time today in the House about this matter, particularly in view of the very solemn assurances which had been received quite recently from the British government about incursions of this kind——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  We cannot have a statement. I will allow a question as to whether a statement will be made.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  I am aware of reports of an incursion but I have not received a report on the matter yet. If I receive a report which will be of use to the House I will certainly be willing to consider making a brief statement to the House on the subject. I have no information other than from newspapers that enable me to judge whether the incursíon was of an accidental character or of a deliberate character. Of course there are many accidental incursions on both sides but, if it were a deliberate incursion, the Government would be deeply concerned about it.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  In considering the matter will the Taoiseach keep in mind that only very recently the Irish Government received the most solemn assurances about this type of thing?

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  I am very conscious of the assurances sought and received.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair would prefer that any further comment was left until the matter comes up in a formal way.

[969]Mr. R. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  You will recall yesterday morning, a Cheann Comhairle, on the Order of Business, that I asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs about the promised legislation for the mutualisation of the Irish Civil Service Building Society in view of its proposed take-over by the Bank of Ireland. I did not receive any information yesterday morning but a statement was made later in the day by the Government yesterday which clearly indicates that they are reneging on commitments to introduce this legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Has Deputy Burke a question?

Mr. R. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  Yes, I have.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Would he then please put it?

Mr. R. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  I should like to ask the Taoiseach what has changed since 3 April last and the various other commitments given on various other dates with regard to the introduction of legislation to prevent the Bank of Ireland taking over the Irish Civil Service Building Society and the statement of the Minister at the time which said that the takeover would be inconsistent with the concepts underlying the building society movement?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I have allowed the question——

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  What has changed would appear to be the attitude of the Bank of Ireland, which opens the possibility of the Government's objective in respect of mutualisation being achieved by agreement rather than by legislation. If discussions yield that result then we will be very happy indeed to have achieved our objective without our having to bring the matter before the House. If they do not, of course the matter will have to come before the House.

Mr. R. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  Is the Taoiseach now accepting the principle——

[970]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I am not going to allow a discussion on it.

Mr. R. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  I am not discussing it, but arising from the Taoiseach's reply has he now accepted the principle of a major bank taking over one of the big five building societies? It is a matter of principle which has underlined the whole Bill because we were misled in this House on a number of occasions by the Minister for the Environment.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I appeal to the Members to be guided by the Chair and to accept the Chair's ruling. I have allowed a question on it. I am not going to allow a debate or discussion on it.

Mr. R. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  Let me ask the Taoiseach one question. Have the Taoiseach and the Government changed their view with regard to the introduction of this legislation?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  That is an argument.

Mr. R. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  It is not, it is a principle. A statement issued yesterday indicated that this deal is going to be slipped through when this Dáil is in recess, and that is exactly what they are at.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Burke must accept the Chair's ruling. He has other ways of dealing with it.

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  To respond to Deputy Burke's sound and fury, but more calmly, the Government's concern in this matter arose from the impact upon the building society system of a situation where a bank takeover of a society which was not mutualised could have the effect of having a building society under bank control which did not have mutualisation. If it is possible to achieve the objective of mutualisation within the framework of this proposed takeover, then we will have achieved our objective. If it is not possible and there is any difficulty about it [971] we will certainly come back to the House. Deputy Burke can be assured of that.

Mr. R. Burke: Information on Ray Burke  Zoom on Ray Burke  They are slipping it through during the summer.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  A major climb down by the Government.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I am calling Deputy Mac Giolla on another matter.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  There are 14 items of business to be disposed of today and I beg Members of the House to allow business to proceed.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  I want to ask the Minister for Education when she intends to bring before the House her controversial proposals on ages for learning. Will it be next week? I understand we are coming back here next week for a couple of days.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I do not know whether legislation has been promised on this.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is just another of these television announcements.

Mr. Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  I do not know if you have seen it, Sir, but it is a publicly issued document which all Deputies got showing new structures for education.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair is not aware that any matter has been promised to be brought before the House by way of legislation.

Mr. Leonard:  I would like to ask the Taoiseach, in view of the statement by the SDLP concerning the opening of Border roads, if he or the Department——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  That is not in order.

[972]Mr. J. Leonard: Information on James Leonard  Zoom on James Leonard  It is information I want from the Taoiseach.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  You will have to put down a question, Deputy.

Mr. J. Leonard: Information on James Leonard  Zoom on James Leonard  I want to explain——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I will not allow it.

Mr. J. Leonard: Information on James Leonard  Zoom on James Leonard  We have consistently in this House made representations regarding those roads.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Leonard is out of order.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. J. Leonard: Information on James Leonard  Zoom on James Leonard  On a point of order, we have consistently here over the last six months——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  That is not a point of order. Deputy Leonard will resume his seat.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  When allegations are made about the Government in the House and they are allowed to be made——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  They are not allowed to be made. I have done my very best to see that they would not be made.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  I accept that you have done your best, but on a point of order——

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  On a point of order, there is a difficulty on which I would ask you to advise me. Deputies occasionally make allegations which are out of order. Despite the most assiduous efforts of the Chair these allegations get through, then there is a difficulty because they are said loudly and the Chair is not in a position to shut them down, nor should he attempt to do so. However, there is a difficulty that allegations are made and one is not permitted to reply to them. What is the [973] appropriate course of action in these circumstances?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair feels that matters are not improved if after a disorderly intervention by one Deputy a Minister or some other Deputy wants to reply to that. First of all, that is achieving the object of the disorderly intervention and prolonging it. If the Taoiseach or a Minister feels that he has been misrepresented I think he has procedures whereby he may make a personal explanation.

Mr. Leyden: Information on Terry Leyden  Zoom on Terry Leyden  Have the Irish people any response to the allegation by the Taoiseach that the Irish people were selfish?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Leyden will resume his seat.

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  If personal explanations are to be made now how many will have to be made before the day is over?

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  If the Deputies of this House want to reduce it to a farce——

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  It is like little schoolboys on the day the school breaks up.

Mr. Kelly: Information on John M. Kelly  Zoom on John M. Kelly  Senile babies. I want to give notice of my intention to raise on the Adjournment a matter I tried to raise yesterday, namely the length of time a group of women were held in custody during President Reagan's visit.

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

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  On a point of order, Sir, you might re-consider your remark about schoolboys in view of the fact that Deputies on this side of the House have sought to raise a very serious matter, namely the [974] complete reneging by the Government on a promise regarding legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Any remark I made was made regarding the general atmosphere here this morning and I do not think it calls for any withdrawal.

Mr. S. Walsh: Information on Seán Walsh  Zoom on Seán Walsh  With your permission, Sir, I wish to raise on the Adjournment the very serious position that exists in the Kilnamanagh area of Tallaght, County Dublin with the non-availability of post-primary education.

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

Mr. N. Andrews: Information on Niall Andrews  Zoom on Niall Andrews  I want to raise on the Adjournment with the Minister for the Environment the question of the turning off of the water supply at Nos. 7 and 9 Seafield Road, Stillorgan.

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

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  Bring your schoolboys to order.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Deputy Fitzgerald will withdraw that remark. He should not associate the Chair with any side in the House.

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: Information on Eugene Fitzgerald  Zoom on Eugene Fitzgerald  Sir, it was you who referred to them as schoolboys.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I referred to no particular side.


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