Thursday, 5 December 1985
Dáil Eireann Debate
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.
Mr. 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: 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: 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: 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  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: 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.
Mr. 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?
Mr. 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  published in time for us to have some consideration of it before that debate?
The Taoiseach: 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.
Dr. 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.
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