Allocation of Time: Motion.

Tuesday, 20 October 1987

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 374 No. 3

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Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy V. Brady): Information on Máire Geoghegan-Quinn  Zoom on Máire Geoghegan-Quinn  I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders—

(1) the Dáil shall sit later than 5.30 p.m. on Thursday next and the hour at which business is to be interrupted shall be 7 p.m.;

(2) the Dáil shall meet on Friday next at 10.30 a.m. and business shall be confined to the motion in the name of the Minister for Finance regarding the 1988 Estimates for the Public Services (Abridged Version) and the 1988 Summary Public Capital Programme;

(3) the proceedings on the Fourth and Fifth Stages of the Local Loans Fund (Amendment) Bill, 1987, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 4.30 p.m. on Wednesday next 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

(4) in the case of the motion in the name of the Minister for Finance regarding the 1988 Estimates for the Public Services (Abridged Version) and the 1988 Summary Public Capital Programme, the following shall apply:—

(a) the speech of the Taoiseach and the speech of the main spokesperson for each of the groups (as defined in Standing Order 89 (1)) in Opposition shall not exceed 45 minutes in each case;

(b) the Minister for Finance shall be called on not later than 3 p.m. on Friday next to conclude the debate;

[642] (c) the speech of each other member called on in the course of the debate shall not exceed 30 minutes; and

(d) the proceedings thereon shall be brought to a conclusion at 3.45 p.m. on Friday next by putting from the Chair forthwith and successively the question or questions necessary to bring them to a conclusion.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  As I pointed out, The Workers' Party were not involved in the discussions on this motion or on the various arrangements that are proposed therein. The first point I would like to make is that this is likely to arise on another occasion. We only know what is decided when see it on the Order Paper on our arrival here. Unlike all the other parties, we are not involved in the discussions. Unless we are involved in these discussions we shall have to raise the matter there on each occasion. We would have to do what we were doing on the last occasion, probably in an even stronger manner, that is, call votes on various issues as they arise here on the Order of Business.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Will the Deputy please get to the point?

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  On this motion we are objecting to paragraph 4 (a) which states that:

The speech of the Taoiseach and the speech of the main spokesperson for each of the groups (as defined in Standing Order 89 (1)) in Opposition shall not exceed 45 minutes in each case.

I am asking that the words, “each of the groups as defined in Standing Order 89 (1)” be deleted and replaced by what would normally be the practice, that is, “the speech of the main spokesperson of each of the parties in Opposition”. That was the position that used to operate here and I am asking that it be restored. We are opposing that section because it is a rather petty restriction deliberately imposed in order to stop The Workers' [643] Party from having the option of 45 minutes' time.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I take it that the Deputy is opposing item No. 9.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  Yes, but if I may conclude ——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I cannot allow the Deputy to speak on indefinitely on this matter.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  I am simply ——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy has made his point. That should be sufficient on the Order of Business. Long speeches on the Order of Business are not in order.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  It is not a long speech. I am only taking two minutes. It is a motion which is before the House. I simply want to put my case rather briefly.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Am I to take it that the Deputy is opposing the motion?

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  I am opposing the motion on the grounds that there are so few parties in Opposition and that The Workers' Party is one of them under the present structure. I am asking that the section be deleted and replaced as I have outlined.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am putting the question: “That item No. 9, as proposed by the Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, be agreed.” Will the Deputies who are demanding a division please rise in their places?

Deputies Tomás Mac Giolla, Proinsias De Rossa, Sherlock, McCartan and Blaney rose.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  As fewer than ten Members have risen in their places, I declare the motion carried. The names of the Members dissenting will be recorded in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Dáil.


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