Order of Business.

Tuesday, 13 March 1990

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 396 No. 9

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The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take items Nos. 6, 7 and 2. It is also proposed that business shall be interrupted at 10.30 p.m. today. It is further proposed that items Nos. 6 and 7 shall be taken without debate. It is further proposed that in the debate of the Defence (Amendment) Bill, 1990, the following arrangements shall apply:

(1) the speech of the main spokesperson nominated by each of the groups, as defined in Standing Order 89, shall not exceed 40 minutes;

(2) the speech of any other Member called on shall not exceed 30 minutes, and

(3) the speech of the Minister replying to the debate shall not exceed 15 minutes.

Private Members' Business shall be Item No. 26, Motion 52.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is the proposal for a late sitting today agreed? Agreed. [2329] Is the proposal that Items Nos. 6 and 7 be taken without debate agreed?

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  In relation to item No. 7, I wish to oppose the taking of this item without debate. It is a regulation which is being brought before the House regarding health contributions. The legislation provides for this matter to be debated before it is passed in the House and if it had not been considered by this House to be important enough to be debated, it would not have been included in the legislation in this way. I am, therefore, opposing the taking of this matter without debate and I intend to challenge a vote on it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I take it then that item No. 6 is agreed. Is it agreed that item No. 6 be taken without debate? Agreed. Deputy De Rossa is challenging item No. 7 and I shall put that to the House now on the Order of Business, “That item No. 7 be taken without debate.” I think the question is carried.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Vótáil.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The question is: “That item No. 7 shall be taken without debate”. On that question a division has been challenged. Will the Deputies who claim a division please rise in their places?

Deputies McCartan, De Rossa, Sherlock, Rabbitte, Gilmore, Mac Giolla and Byrne rose in their places.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  As fewer than ten Members have risen in their places I declare the question carried.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The names of the Members who rose in their places will be recorded in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Dáil.

I must now ask if the proposals for dealing with No. 2 are agreed? Agreed.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  On the Order of Business, may I ask, Sir, if the Taoiseach intends [2330] to inform the House whether allegations that Maze escapees have been mistreated in prisons in Northern Ireland have been discussed by the Anglo-Irish Conference? Is the Taoiseach aware that two convicted criminals, also Maze escapees, were set at liberty today by the Supreme Court on the basis that previous Maze escapees were mistreated——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This is not appropriate to the Order of Business.

The Deputy knows that very well. It is not Question Time.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  ——and that that kind of nonsense by the UK is standing in the way of proper extradition arrangements?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy must desist. This is making a mockery of the proceedings on the Order of Business.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Things we intend to air and measures we want to take for the safety——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There are procedures laid down in this House for dealing with such matters.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  ——are being flouted. I want to know if the Government are looking at this matter and intend to take action?

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  Given the inaction of the banking regulatory authorities, the lack of resources of the fraud squad and the inaction of the director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the collapse of Merchant Banking Limited, may I ask the Taoiseach to give way and have a debate on that matter?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Again it is a matter that does not arise now.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  In relation to the business of the House it is a very important matter. It is a matter of serious public concern and the Taoiseach intimated three weeks [2331] ago that he would consider debating the matter.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There are questions tabled on the matter, Deputy.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  May I ask the Taoiseach if he will allow a debate on the matter? May I give notice that I wish to raise the matter on the Adjournment.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Yes, indeed, Deputy and I will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  (Limerick East): May I ask the Taoiseach if he would agree to discussions between the Whips so that the announcement on Irish Life could be debated in the House at an early stage?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There are questions on that matter on the Order Paper and they will be dealt with tomorrow.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I have no objection to the Whips talking about it.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  (Limerick East): With a view to reaching agreement?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Surely.

Mr. Ferris: Information on Michael Ferris  Zoom on Michael Ferris  With your permission, Sir, I wish to raise on the Adjournment the lack of speech therapists in Scoil Chormaic, Cashel, a special school?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  May I ask the Taoiseach to state what progress has been made by the ministerial group set up to assess the flood and storm damage? What became of the group? What did this group do? When will the file go to Brussels?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It does not arise now, Deputy.

[2332]Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Perhaps the Minister for the Environment will tell me.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Order.

Mr. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  I think they are waiting for the weather to get fine and nothing will be done.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  On the Order of Business, may I raise two questions in regard to legislation. First, may I ask the Taoiseach or the Minister for the Environment when the Bill promised to give effect to the National Roads Authority will be circulated? Second, may I ask the Taoiseach when he expects the Building Control Bill to be passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The legislation mentioned by the Deputy in his second question is going to the Seanad on Thursday. The National Roads Authority Bill is still under consideration and various aspects of it are being considered.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Did it fall off the bridge on Sunday?

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  On the Order of Business may I ask the Taoiseach if he will reply or have the Minister for Industry and Commerce reply to the remarks made last week by the President of the High Court which certainly left the impression that the Minister for Industry and Commerce had misled this House and the public on the sale of ICI?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Rabbitte, please desist. Deputy Rabbitte will now resume his seat. The matter to which he adverts is clearly not for the Order of Business. He must raise it at another time.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  A Cheann Comhairle——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  No, Deputy Rabbitte, I will not entertain you.

[2333]Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  There is an answer on the record of the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Rabbitte will resume his seat or leave the House.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  But surely, a Cheann Comhairle, it is permissible to raise such a matter in this House?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There are procedures for raising such matters, but this is not the time. This is not Question Time.

Mr. Kavanagh: Information on Liam Kavanagh  Zoom on Liam Kavanagh  With your permission, Sir, I wish to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of a Private Notice Question which you, Sir, disallowed, asking the Minister for Justice to make a statement on the recently reported suicide attempt in the women's section of Mountjoy Prison and the allegations that female prisoners were strip searched by male officers?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will communicate with Deputy Kavanagh in respect of that matter.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  In the light of the failure of my Private Notice Question to gain your favour, Sir, may I ask the Taoiseach if the Minister for Justice or indeed the Taoiseach himself is prepared to make a statement before the House on the recent Supreme Court decision last week in the Shelly case which is causing considerable disquiet and confusion.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  That matter does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  May I raise the matter on the Adjournment this evening?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Moynihan: Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  With your permission, Sir, I wish to raise on the Adjournment [2334] the serious concern of the communities in Kenmare, Sneem and Waterville about the development of fish farming in their areas?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  With your permission, Sir, I wish to raise on the Adjournment the case of a five year old child who, because of the closure of the children's ward in St. Michael's Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, has had 19 antibiotics while waiting for a tonsils operation?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  About two months ago I attempted to raise on the Order of Business the failure of the Taoiseach to transfer the portfolio for Agriculture and Food in the absence of the Minister for Agriculture and Food. May I now ask if the Taoiseach intends placing an agency order before the House transferring responsibility for the Department of Agriculture and Food——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  Will the Deputy please resume his seat?

Mr. Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  This is a very serious matter——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  Will the Deputy please resume his seat or I will ask him to leave the House?

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  There is scant regard for the agricultural community in this country.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  Time has not changed the rules on the Order of Business.

A Deputy:  There is a lot of aluminium in the water.

[2335]Mr. Deenihan: Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  May I ask the Taoiseach if it will be necessary to bring forward legislation to give effect to the recommendations, published last week, of the special committees set up to examine safety procedures in our major stadia?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Deputy has indicated that the legislation has not been promised. The Deputy knows that unless the legislation has been promised he cannot raise a question on it.

Mr. Deenihan: Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Will it require legislation?

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  The Deputy is trying to get a promise.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  Ag snámh in aghaidh an easa é sin. Ní féidir é sin a dhéanamh.

Mr. Deenihan: Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  Will it require legislation to put the recommendations in place?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Deputy understands he is out of order.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Put down a Parliamentary Question.

Mr. Byrne: Information on Eric J. Byrne  Zoom on Eric J. Byrne  In view of the fact that regulations under the Air Pollution Act, 1987, have to be brought before the House to give effect to the banning, marketing, sale and distribution of coal in the Dublin area, may I ask the Minister when he intends to bring these regulations before us?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  He cannot do so now, Deputy.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  On a point of order, surely it is the responsibility of the Taoiseach or the Minister to reply to such a question. This legislation has been promised. Surely we are entitled to an answer.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The [2336] Deputy does not have to indicate to me what I know. The Deputy knows that if legislation has been promised it is perfectly in order to raise that matter but it is not in order to raise any other matter.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Regulations form part of legislation and we have traditionally been allowed to raise such matters in the House. There are dozens of precedents.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Deputy appreciates that regulations are not legislation in accordance with what is specified in Standing Orders. If Deputy De Rossa wants to alter that he and other Deputies who feel displeased can do so.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I will not do so now, but I will check on the precedents.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  It will not change, I will be surprised if you can.

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  A Private Notice Question I tabled concerning 260 jobs at Zenith Electronics, Kells, County Meath was disallowed on the grounds that it lacked urgency. Does the roof of this House have to fall in before the matter can be considered urgent? Would it be possible for me to raise this urgent matter on the Adjournment?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Deputy is long enough here, he is a good learner and knows what is urgent and what is not. If the Ceann Comhairle has indicated that it does not qualify, the Deputy is entitled to ask, as he has done, to raise it on the Adjournment and the Ceann Comhairle's office——

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  As these premises only opened on 9 April 1989 surely the matter should carry some urgency.

(Interruptions.)

Mrs. T. Ahearn: Information on Theresa Ahearn  Zoom on Theresa Ahearn  I seek to raise on the Adjournment the exceptional number of nurses, almost 50 per cent, employed [2337] in a temporary and part-time capacity at St. Joseph's Hospital, Clonmel.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. G. O'Sullivan: Information on Gerry O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gerry O'Sullivan  I wish to raise on the Adjournment the serious concern expressed by the trade union movement about Irish Steel.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  I seek to raise on the Adjournment the serious delay in seeking tenders for the replacement of a pre-Famine school, built in 1835, at Naul, County Dublin. A replacement has been awaited for 11 years.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will be in touch with the Deputy.

Mr. Cotter: Information on William Cotter  Zoom on William Cotter  I request permission to raise on the Adjournment this evening the very serious difficulties being encountered by mushroom growers as a result of a very heavy reduction in profits.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Boylan: Information on Andrew Boylan  Zoom on Andrew Boylan  I wish to raise on the Adjournment the serious consequences that the adverse publicity which County Cavan received in the national media over the weekend, arising out of the failure of the Department of Finance to provide adequate funding to bring about reasonable improvements in county roads, will have for the county.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  I seek permission to raise on the Adjournment the revelation that the £100 million advanced by the [2338] Minister for Finance to ICI is, in the opinion of the President of the High Court, to be lost irrevocably and the implications of having that case pursued in camera.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. O'Shea: Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  I seek permission to raise on the Adjournment the need for the Government to deliver on their commitment to decentralise a Government Department to Waterford.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  On the Order of Business I would like to ask the Taoiseach when the Government will allow the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, Deputy Kirk, to visit south Galway to look at the serious flood damage in that area.

(Interruptions.)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The position has not changed. Does the Deputy wish to raise the matter on the Adjournment?

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  The position is getting worse.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  Does the Deputy wish to raise it on the Adjournment? If not, he must resume his seat.

(Interruptions.)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  Deputy Deenihan, I think Deputy McCormack can survive without your assistance.

Mr. Deenihan: Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan  I thought the water was receding.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  I will take your advice but I will be glad to raise the [2339] matter on the Adjournment seeing that you are advising me to do so.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  It does not guarantee that you will get what you want.

Mr. Currie: Information on Austin Currie  Zoom on Austin Currie  I am sure, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, it is a matter of relief for you, as it is for me, that I do not wish to raise on the Adjournment the signing of the Liffey Valley Order, which was signed last Thursday evening in sudden circumstances.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Jim Higgins  Zoom on Jim Higgins  I seek to raise on the Adjournment the need for the Minister for Education to ensure that the regional technical college authorities in Athlone fulfil their original categorical commitment to 28 second year students doing the national certificate course in plastic engineering that they will be allowed the option to pursue the diploma course in the said faculty.

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  A very good faculty.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Finucane: Information on Michael Finucane  Zoom on Michael Finucane  I wish to raise on the Adjournment the ongoing industrial dispute at Anglo-Irish Meat Processors in Rathkeale in my constituency.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  I want to ask the Taoiseach or the Minister for Health when it is intended to bring legislation or regulations before the House to give effect to EC Directives on food and hygiene which apparently are not being complied with.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  I think Deputy Sherlock has a fair idea that that is not in order on the Order of Business. Is the Deputy asking for permission to raise it on the Adjournment?

[2340]Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  On the contrary, I have been advised that it is in order to raise a question about regulations or legislation to be introduced in the House and for a reply to be given. This question, I would respectfully submit, is in order as regulations are not being introduced to give effect to an EC Directive which, as a consequence, is not being complied with.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  What legislation has been promised?

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Regulations form part of legislation. Surely, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, you must be aware that everything we pass here is part and parcel of the legislation of this State. Let me give one example of when a query in relation to regulations was found to be in order by the Ceann Comhairle. A question by Deputy Quinn to the Minister for the Environment regarding the regulations pertaining to multi-storey buildings was ruled by the Ceann Comhairle to be in order. That is only one example. There are dozens of more.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  I have to quote for the Deputy — and this does not give me any great pleasure — the agreed Standing Orders of this House. The Deputy is aware of the means by which these Standing Orders can be changed so that time will not be wasted in raising questions on regulations almost daily, which are not allowed.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I do not want to delay the House, but I am simply trying to establish the right of Members to raise questions about regulations which have been promised. The fact is that if one is going to apply a rule it should be applied equally to all Deputies.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  This is out of order.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  There are dozens of examples of questions being allowed about regulations.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Deputy is out of order.

[2341]Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  With respect, I am not out of order.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  Because the Deputy says he is not out of order does not make his actions correct. I am telling the Deputy that in my interpretation of my duties in the House he is out of order and I am asking him to resume his seat.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I am not out of order, and simply trying to talk me down does not annul my right to raise a point of order.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  I never tried to talk the Deputy, or any other Member, down. When he is quoting what is right he does not have to lower himself to that. I am calling on Deputy Quinn.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  What I have said is on the record of the House.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  In the interests of the House, and in an effort to be orderly, the House and the Taoiseach in particular, may recall that I asked when the legislation to give effect to the Government's announcement about the banning of bituminous coal would be introduced. The Taoiseach replied that legislation was not necessary because that could be done under regulation. In view of the importance of the announcement it would be in order, and timely, either today or this week if the Government would indicate when the specific regulation required to give effect to that major announcement will be published. That has implications for employment and for the domestic arrangements in many households in this city.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  If the Deputy puts down a question I will be happy to answer it in the normal way at Question Time.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I am quite happy to pursue that route but it is less informative and, frequently, because of the constraints at Question Time, questions do not elicit the information required. May I take it [2342] that the Leas-Cheann Comhairle has put forward the Chair's interpretation and not his? Is it the Chair's interpretation that the word “legislation” refers exclusively to primary legislation and that all forms of secondary legislation are not the proper subject matter of questions on the Order of Business? Is that the clear ruling of the Chair on this point?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  Deputy Quinn, in anticipating me giving a positive reply to that, would be surprised if I did otherwise. The Deputy is an experienced Member of the House and he knows that on the Order of Business questions may be asked only in respect of legislation that has been promised.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  (Limerick East): Is that a “yes” or a “no”?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  On a point of clarification, I should like to know if “legislation”, as interpreted by the Chair is confined exclusively to primary legislation? Does it exclude totally all forms of secondary legislation, including the regulation that must be introduced.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  I have already said “yes”. That is the position as far as I am concerned.

Mr. Byrne: Information on Eric J. Byrne  Zoom on Eric J. Byrne  I should like to remind the Minister for the Environment that there are 250 redundancies being negotiated on the basis of newspaper reports that there is legislation before the House out-lawing——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Deputy is out of order. I am calling Deputy Browne. The Deputy should resume his seat.

Mr. Byrne: Information on Eric J. Byrne  Zoom on Eric J. Byrne  Redundancies are being negotiated on the basis that the marketing, sale and distribution of coal is being outlawed——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  If the Deputy does not resume his seat I shall have to ask him to leave the House.

[2343]Mr. Browne: Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  (Carlow-Kilkenny): I should like to raise on the Adjournment the lack of library facilities for students of the RTC in Carlow.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Garland: Information on Roger T. Garland  Zoom on Roger T. Garland  I should like to raise on the Adjournment the totally unsatisfactory response of Aer Rianta to the legitimate representations of St. Margaret's Community Council regarding the serious noise pollution caused by the opening of the new runway at Dublin Airport.

Minister for the Marine (Mr. Wilson): Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  That is wrong.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle will communicate with Deputy Garland.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  In relation to proposed legislation, I should like to ask the Taoiseach if the Fóir Teoranta (Dissolution) Bill is being proceeded with or being withdrawn in view of the crisis facing many industries, particularly one in my constituency, Sunbeam. Are the Government pressing ahead with that Bill?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Yes.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  That is very disappointing for the many industries who are facing a crisis.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Will the Taoiseach indicate to the House when it is proposed to establish the all-party committee on local authority finance?

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Nearly all-party committee.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  If we could only get co-operation all round we could establish it immediately.

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  It will be a half-caste committee.

[2344]Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I should like to raise on the Adjournment the question of whether the structures of Fóir Teoranta should be used until such time as the legislation dissolving that body is passed by the House. There are many industries, including Sunbeam——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Deputy does not need to elaborate. The Ceann Comhairle will communicate with him.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Many industries, including Sunbeam, are in trouble and they could be helped by Fóir Teoranta.

Mr. Byrne: Information on Eric J. Byrne  Zoom on Eric J. Byrne  Due to the cutbacks in the Dublin Carriage Office there have been fewer inspections of taxis for the last 12 months. I should like to raise that very unsatisfactory situation on the Adjournment.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on James C. Tunney  Zoom on James C. Tunney  The Ceann Comhairle will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  Given that there is all-party co-operation in regard to the proposed committee on crime, I should like to ask the Taoiseach to outline the reason for the delay in establishing that important committee. When will that committee, which has been promised since the Government was formed, be established?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Very soon.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  Will the Taoiseach be more specific? Will it be this week, next week or next session?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  “Very soon” is a fairly exact term; it is very precise.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  It is, but we have been hearing that since Christmas.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Chomh tapa agus is féidir.


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