Wednesday, 27 January 1988
Dáil Eireann Debate
The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take items Nos. 9 and 10. It is also proposed that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. today and shall adjourn not later than 12 midnight to enable the Financial Resolutions, with the exception of the General Financial Resolution, to be concluded. It is further proposed that No. 9 shall be taken without debate. It is further proposed that following the Budget Statement of the Minister for Finance and the statements of the spokespersons of the parties in Opposition, the sitting will be suspended for 30 minutes. By agreement, there will be no Private Members' Business this week.
Mr. Dukes: I hope, Sir, I am not anticipating your normal procedure in seeking the agreement of the House on the various items set out here but, there is a matter which, with your permission I wish to raise on the Order of Business.
I put down a Private Notice Question to the Taoiseach arising from the extraordinary statement made by the British Attorney General on Monday last. The question was disallowed and I do not intend to question your ruling, Sir. It was disallowed on the basis that the Taoiseach intends to make a statement tomorrow. I suggest we might have a more informative series of statements in the House tomorrow if we had been allowed to tease out the issue with the Taoiseach during questions today.
 The second point I want to make is that no doubt arrangements will have to be agreed between the Whips for those statements. Since this is a matter of some concern to me and my colleagues in my party, I can give notice that the only arrangement I will agree to will be one which will provide at least for a statement to be made by me in addition to the statement by the Taoiseach.
The Taoiseach: I am aware of the widespread feeling there is in the House about these issues and I can assure you, Sir, and Deputy Dukes, that it would be my wish to facilitate Deputies to the greatest extent possible in discussing the matters. I will be glad to arrange for the Chief Whip to contact the other chief Whips with a view to making suitable arrangements.
Mr. Blaney: On the Order of Business, in view of the comments made by Deputy Dukes and the Taoiseach's reply, when the Whips are agreeing this matter, may I ask that cognisance be taken of other Members of this House whose views neither the Leader of the Opposition nor the Leader of the Government represent.
An Ceann Comhairle: I want agreement to the Order of Business as outlined by the Taoiseach. Is the proposal to sit later than 9 p.m. today and not later than 12 midnight agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal to deal with No. 9 agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal that following the Budget Statement of the Minister for Finance and the statements of the spokespersons of the parties in Opposition, the sitting will be suspended for 30 minutes agreed? Agreed.
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