Order of Business.

Thursday, 5 December 1985

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 362 No. 7

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The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  It is proposed to take Nos. 18 and 19.

By agreement, item No. 19 shall be taken at 3.45 p.m. today and the proceedings on all Stages shall be brought to a conclusion not later than 5 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 Finance and the order shall not be resumed thereafter.

Also by agreement, the Dáil shall meet at 10.30 a.m. tomorrow and shall adjourn not later than 4 p.m. and the business shall be confined to statements on the Report of the Joint Committee on Marriage Breakdown.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Are the arrangements for the taking of item No. 19 agreed?

Mr. V. Brady: Information on Vincent Brady  Zoom on Vincent Brady  I should like to inquire if the Tánaiste will be making a statement in the House today?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  We should deal with the Order of Business first.

Mr. V. Brady: Information on Vincent Brady  Zoom on Vincent Brady  My question is in connection with item No. 19.

[1312]Minister for Energy (Mr. Spring): Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  I propose to make a statement at 1 o'clock to the House and I presume the Whips will be discussing this after the Order of Business.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  A statement about what?

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  I want to make my position clear on this. I am making a statement to the House because on occasions in the past when I had a statement to make on energy policy and energy matters I held a press conference before the statement and I was accused by the Opposition of not informing the House. I am trying to oblige the Opposition in this regard and their spokesman on Energy will be informed in advance.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Chair would prefer to deal with the Order of Business first. I thought the question was in some way related to the Order of Business. Are the arrangements for No. 19 agreed? Are the arrangements for tomorrow's sitting agreed? Agreed.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Without wishing to be in any way contentious or even tendentious I should like to ask the Minister for Energy if we could have some idea of what the statement is about. I appreciate that he is making this statement in the House rather than outside and for this small mercy we are very grateful, but could we at least have some idea of the nature of the statement so that we may prepare ourselves for the shock, or for the good news, or at least be in some sort of position to respond to the important statement he is about to make? Is that unreasonable?

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  It is slightly, yes. I accept the Deputy's thanks for the small mercy; I am always glad to oblige. If I was to make a statement at 10.30 a.m. I would be now making it, but it is more appropriate that it be made at 1 o'clock, the time the Whips feel it most appropriate. The Fianna Fáil spokesman on Energy will be [1313] informed beforehand and have a copy of the statement to give him time to prepare to make his reply. I do not think I should divulge any further information at this stage.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The House is entitled to know.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I am not going to allow any discussion on this matter.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I do not have any intention of discussing the matter but may I make a passing comment that it is rather extraordinary that we cannot be told even the nature of the statement, whether it deals with Energy, the Tánaiste's business as Leader of the Labour Party, or the new Secretary General of the Labour Party.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  This is developing into argument.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I should like to ask the Taoiseach a question. Have I the Chair's gracious permission to address a rather timid question to the Taoiseach?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Sarcasm does not become the Deputy. The Deputy may ask a question on the Order of Business.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  If the Chair wishes I will try aggressiveness. If my question is out of order I will withdraw it immediately. Is the Taoiseach in a position to help us in regard to the publication of the Book of Estimates for 1986?

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  The Book of Estimates will be published before the end of the session. It will be published within the next couple of weeks. It is being printed.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I understood the Taoiseach to say that it will be published before the end of this session and, as I presume we will be having the usual Adjournment debate at the end of the session, I should like to know if it will be [1314] published in time for us to have some consideration of it before that debate?

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  I have difficulty in answering that question without notice because I am trying to recall various dates. We will certainly endeavour to do so, but I am not in a position to give that assurance at present. I will check that out and see if the present printing timetable looks like allowing that.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I realise it is rather inopportune for me to be asking at this time about the Book of Estimates——

The Taoiseach: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  It is quite reasonable.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  But as the Taoiseach has not had notice about it I will ask the question again tomorrow morning, with the permission of the Chair.

Dr. Ormonde: Information on Donal Ormonde  Zoom on Donal Ormonde  I should like to ask if the Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce and Tourism will take steps to prevent the threatened closure of O'Reilly Foods scheduled to occur tomorrow. The Minister, and his Department, made great play last week in announcing the creation of 28 jobs in Waterford but omitted to say they were going to close 50 other jobs.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  I regret to say that, no matter when the concern is going to close, and I regret to hear of any business closing, it does not arise in this way.

Dr. Ormonde: Information on Donal Ormonde  Zoom on Donal Ormonde  We will be losing 50 jobs in Waterford.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  The Deputy can try other methods. I am ruling his question out of order.


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