Order of Business.

Tuesday, 11 December 1990

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 403 No. 8

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The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is proposed to take No. 16. It is also proposed that business shall be interrupted at 11 p.m. Private Members' Business shall be No. 30.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is the proposal for the late sitting agreed? Agreed.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Will the Taoiseach give [1716] an assurance that the proposed Government competition legislation will be introduced before the Christmas recess in view of the fact that it would be extremely dangerous for Irish industry and agriculture if the proposed Goodman rescue, which involves rescuing the banks who lend money to Goodman as well, goes ahead because it is based on the making of excessive profits because of lack of competition——

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

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  It is strictly relevant.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Chair decides these matters.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I am asking about promised legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is this promised legislation?

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Will the Taoiseach give an assurance that the promised competition Bill which has——

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  On a point of order, the legislation is promised and I have already indicated when it will be dealt with.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  In view of the fact that this legislation is now extremely urgent, in view of the proposal to make excessive profits to repay the banks who unwisely lent money to the Goodman Group, this legislation should be introduced not, as the Government have in mind, some time next year but immediately. Otherwise this will be a seven year rip-off of Irish agriculture.

Deputies:  Hear, hear.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There is a tendency to debate this matter, which is not in order.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I have already indicated that the Government regard this as very important legislation in its own right, [1717] apart from its application to any particular situation. It is major legislation, complex in its substance, and every effort is being made to bring it forward as rapidly as possible, particularly having regard to the drafting difficulties involved. It will be brought forward as quickly as possible in the next session.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Not quickly enough in the circumstances.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  Has the Taoiseach had an opportunity to consider the matter raised on Friday morning last, the appointment of a Minister for Defence? Can he indicate when he intends to do so?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I have nothing further to add.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Will the Minister for the Environment confirm newspaper reports this morning that an Environment Protection Agency Bill is to be published today? Secondly, can I have an assurance that the Bill will be circulated to Members before it is released to the public press?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Of course.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  Can the Taoiseach say when the Minister for Labour intends to bring in the part-time workers Bill which we have heard about week after week?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is hoped to circulate it before Christmas.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  And take it next session?

Mr. G. O'Sullivan: Information on Gerry O'Sullivan  Zoom on Gerry O'Sullivan  In view of the statement in The Cork Examiner this morning by a spokesperson for the Department of the Marine that the Fisheries (Amendment) Bill could be withdrawn, if necessary, for further consultation, can the Minister indicate whether or not he wishes to withdraw the Bill at this stage?

Minister for the Marine (Mr. Wilson): Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  No.

[1718]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Doubtless we will have an opportunity to discuss that when the Bill comes before us again.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Have the Government any intention of presenting their own paper with regard to economic and monetary union, or political union, and, if so, will they allow a discussion on the Government's position on that matter in the House before the paper is presented?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy should raise that in a more appropriate manner.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Do the Government have any view of their own about economic and monetary union or do they have any view about political union? Are they simply waiting for others to determine the agenda, without shaping the agenda themselves? Have we a Government in so far as Europe is concerned at all?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Bruton, please.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I am in a difficulty. Deputy Bruton is completely out of order, he is talking rubbish——

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  In order to comply with the rules of order I cannot deal with the particular species of ridiculous argument Deputy Bruton has put forward.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Taoiseach cannot deal with it, period.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  If the Deputy knew anything about it and was in any way in touch with reality, he would know that we have a very definite position, fully articulated and——

Mr. S. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Will the Taoiseach let the rest of us know.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  —continually advocated in the Council of Europe.

(Interruptions.)

[1719]Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  There is no one else in Ireland who believes that.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Please, Deputies.

Mr. Byrne: Information on Eric J. Byrne  Zoom on Eric J. Byrne  Will the Taoiseach tell us when he intends to bring forward the Bill that was promised to update the 1932 Transport Act?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I am not sure what the Deputy is talking about, but if he is talking about transport legislation I will let him know the exact position about it.

Mr. Creed: Information on Michael Creed  Zoom on Michael Creed  In relation to promised legislation, in view of the continued breach of EC rules by the operations of the district milk boards, when is it intended to publish the text of a national milk agency Bill?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I would like to try to decipher the Taoiseach's reply to my earlier question. I take from it that the Environment Protection Agency Bill is to be circulated today. I understand that there is to be a press conference held by the Minister for the Environment early this afternoon. Can we know at what hour between now and this afternoon the Bill will be made available to the Members of the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Bill will be circulated as soon as possible to Members.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have allowed the Deputy pursue this matter. He has repeated himself on this subject twice this morning. I am calling Deputy Madeleine Taylor-Quinn.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  I am trying to get an answer. Will we have the Bill before the press conference?

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

[1720]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Madeleline Taylor-Quinn has been called.

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Will the Taoiseach say what is the significance of the Government yesterday withdrawing the Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, 1990, from the Order of Business for next Friday, after pursuing it vehemently last Friday to at least commence Committee Stage next Friday?

A Deputy:  Are we trying to get off the hook?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I am sorry to have to tell the Deputy that she is misrepresenting the position to the House. Difficulties have arisen because arrangements made and agreed to by the Fine Gael Party for dealing with this legislation were subsequently reneged upon.

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  That is not correct.

(Interruptions.)

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Absolute lies, that is a lie.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Jim Higgins  Zoom on Jim Higgins  On a point of order, there was a suggestion from the Government Whip that it would be guillotined through and I refused to accede to that request.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This is a matter that might be discussed and clarified by the Whips. It is not in order now.

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  It is a lie.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It is not in order now.

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  On a point of order——

(Interruptions.)

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  On a point of order, the Taoiseach has deliberately misled the House. He has lied to the [1721] House and I am asking him now to withdraw it. The Taoiseach has lied to the House, a Cheann Comhairle.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Taylor-Quinn, please restrain yourself.

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  I am telling the truth.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Do not make accusations of that kind against any Member of this House.

(Interruptions.)

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  I have stated the truth. I am asking the Taoiseach to withdraw what he said.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I must insist that the Deputy withdraw the accusation made against me, which is totally unfounded.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy will be good enough to withdraw the allegation.

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  The Taoiseach has deliberately misled the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Taylor-Quinn, I am sorry, that is an accusation that you may not make against——

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  It is true.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  If the Deputy persists I shall have to ask her to leave the House.

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  A Cheann Comhairle, are you insisting that I leave the House for telling the truth? I am stating the truth. I am asking the Taoiseach to withdraw the false allegation he made in the Chamber.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I must ask the Deputy again to withdraw the accusation. If you are accusing any Member of this House of being a liar per se, you can only do so by way of positive substantive [1722] motion. You must withdraw the accusation or withdraw from the House.

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  The Taoiseach has——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Taylor-Quinn, withdraw the accusation or withdraw from the House.

Mrs. Taylor-Quinn: Information on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  Zoom on Madeleine Taylor-Quinn  I will not withdraw it, a Cheann Comhairle. I will withdraw from the House in protest, because I am speaking the truth and the Taoiseach has spoken an untruth.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Taylor-Quinn, I will hear no more of this. I ask the Deputy to leave the House.

Deputy Taylor-Quinn withdrew from the Chamber.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  May I ask the Chief Whip to explain the position?

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Mr. V. Brady): Information on Vincent Brady  Zoom on Vincent Brady  May I point out that agreement was reached at the Whips' meeting on Thursday morning to take all Stages of the Fisheries (Amendment) Bill on Friday next. On Thursday evening, I was advised by the Fine Gael Chief Whip that Deputy Taylor-Quinn would not agree to that, but agreement had been reached on Thursday morning.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Jim Higgins  Zoom on Jim Higgins  By way of clarification, and I am entitled to clarify the position a Cheann Comhairle——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  You are not entitled to; it is up to the Chair.

(Interruptions.)

A Deputy:  Fair play on both sides.

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Jim Higgins  Zoom on Jim Higgins  The Government Chief Whip and the other Whips meet every week to decide on the Order of Business. Everything suggested for business for the following week is subject to approval and verification subsequently. The Government Chief Whip was told in no uncertain [1723] terms that there was no question of Fine Gael agreeing to all Stages of this very sensitive Bill being taken next week.

Mr. V. Brady: Information on Vincent Brady  Zoom on Vincent Brady  That is not true.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will not allow a debate on it now.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Please, Deputies. Is Deputy McCormack on the same subject Deputy?

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  Yes. The Minister for the Marine assured me in the House during the Second Stage debate that Committee Stage would not be rushed before Christmas. The Minister assured me of that on Thursday evening.

Minister for the Marine (Mr. Wilson): Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  The Minister for the Marine said he was not in any rush.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am calling the next business.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. S. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  In relation to amendments which I understand are being considered with regard to the Housing Act, will the Minister for the Environment immediately do something about the dreadful problems surrounding the travellers? Something should be done immediately to deal with this issue. If it cannot be dealt with by a local authority on local authority basis, it should be dealt with on a regional basis.

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

Mr. S. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  It is a very serious problem.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am calling the Child Care Bill, 1988, Report Stage.


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