Order of Business.

Thursday, 9 May 1991

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 408 No. 2

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The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is proposed to take No. 10.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There is nothing to put to the House. Deputy John Bruton is offering.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I want to raise two matters which may not be strictly in order but which, I hope, will be seen as constructive. The Ombudsman recommended that the Oireachtas should take action in regard to the lack of parental leave in the social welfare code for adoptive mothers. Given that the Social Welfare Act has now been passed, has the Minister for Social Welfare any intention of bringing in an amendment to cover this matter? The other issue relates to something which was raised here yesterday and concerns the Brooke talks. I fully understand the Taoiseach's view that a debate would not be helpful but I wonder if he would consider it helpful to at least express the view that it would be worth considering a neutral venue for some of the talks in addition to having talks in Dublin or London, or both.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The matters referred to by the Deputy are not appropriate to the Order of Business and, in [350] any event, we cannot have matters appertaining to the talks referred to here on a daily basis.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Of course I accept that your ruling is correct, I anticipated that that would be your view. However, in both cases the House will acknowledge that what I have raised are issues of substance and, if the House wishes, I am sure the Taoiseach would be prepared to reply.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Surely there are other ways and means of arriving at a consensus in such matters?

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  In regard to the Brooke talks, time is running out.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Having regard to the fact that we are now just 18 months from the completion of the 1992 project, does the Taoiseach intend to make time available or to publish an interim report to the Members of both Houses outlining the progress this country has made in relation to the various directives? It is a separate issue from the intergovernmental conference and it seems to have gone off the agenda.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Is the Deputy referring to the completion of the Single Market?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Yes.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I can give an up-to-date report on that.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I thank the Taoiseach for his response. I suggest that perhaps, if parliamentary time allows, on a relatively non-contentious day, the Whips could arrange for a debate to take place in which the Minister responsible for co-ordination could give a fairly detailed outline of what progress has been made. I understand that considerable progress has been made in a number of areas although that is not widely known.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I am not sure that a debate would hold any substance because [351] it is a factual matter at this stage, it is just a question of getting the directives through and implemented. As an individual member state we are well up in the league of implementation but I will arrange some sort of factual report for Deputies.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  The reason for my query is not so much the completion of the various directives but the perceived impact they will have on our economy, and that is what needs to be understood and debated.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Am I in order in raising on the Order of Business the invitation of the Minister for Finance, speaking on the Ethics in Government and Public Office Bill in relation to the funding of political parties? Have the Government considered this matter and will they, as a Government, invite submissions from the Opposition parties in relation to this issue?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  These matters should be raised in another way and at a more appropriate time.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  On reflection, has the Taoiseach reconsidered the question of involving all parties in Dáil Éireann in a consultative capacity when the Government take part in talks on Northern Ireland?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have ruled on that matter, it is not appropriate to the Order of Business.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Our history in this regard is sad and, apart from Sinn Féin, we are the only party excluded, although for different reasons.

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

Mr. J. Higgins: Information on Jim Higgins  Zoom on Jim Higgins  In view of the fact that we are now well advanced in the final term of this session and that three education Bills were promised to the House [352]— the Colleges Bill, the Dublin Institute of Technology Bill and the University of Limerick Bill — is the Taoiseach still confident that they can be taken within this time span?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Yes, they are all scheduled for this session.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  Will the Taoiseach tell the House when it is intended to introduce legislation to update the powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This matter was referred to yesterday morninig.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  No, yesterday it was in relation to a motion on the Order Paper.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  This matter has been referred to fairly frequently; I cannot promise that it will be this session.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  Will the Taoiseach tell the House — or communicate with me — and say when it is likely to be taken because the Committee of Public Accounts reported on the matter three years ago?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I will give the Deputy the up-to-date position.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Is there a problem in the draftsman's office? Every day there are problems in the House in regard to promised legislation not coming forward. Is the problem in relation to additional staff in the draftsman's office? If extra staff are needed, they should be provided.


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