Thursday, 9 May 1991
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. J. 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: The matters referred to by the Deputy are not appropriate to the Order of Business and, in  any event, we cannot have matters appertaining to the talks referred to here on a daily basis.
Mr. J. 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.
Mr. 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.
Mr. 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: I am not sure that a debate would hold any substance because  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. 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?
Mr. J. 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 — 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?
Mr. J. 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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