Wednesday, 16 October 1991
Dáil Éireann Debate
An Ceann Comhairle: Before coming to the Order of Business, I propose to deal with a number of notices of motion under Standing Order 30 from Deputy John Bruton and Deputy Dick Spring. I observe that the notices relate to somewhat similar subject matters and I propose to call the Deputies in the order in which they submitted their questions to my office. I now call on Deputy Dick Spring to state the matter of which he has given notice to me.
Mr. Spring: Thank you, a Cheann Comhairle, I did give notice to your office this morning that under Standing Order 30 I intended to raise what I believe to be a specific and important matter of  public interest requiring the urgent consideration of this House. The matter I set out is as follows: that Dáil Éireann deplores the failure of the Taoiseach to answer an extensive range of questions relating to his personal involvement in recent events, that Dáil Éireann deplores the failure of the Government to publish its agreed review of the Programme for Government, and, accordingly, that Dáil Éireann hereby decides that the confidence debate scheduled to begin today shall be postponed until tomorrow to enable proper consideration to be given by every Member of the House to the revised Programme for Government. I reiterate, Sir, that as I stated in this House, to the best of my knowledge, there is still disagreement between the Government parties on matters of taxation——
An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy, this is not in accordance with the notice you gave me. I now call on Deputy John Bruton to state the matter of which he has given notice to me. Deputies should confine their statements to the notice submitted to me.
Mr. J. Bruton: I should say, Sir, that this is not a similar matter to that raised by Deputy Spring. I hereby request leave to move the Adjournment of the Dáil in accordance with Standing Order 30 for the purpose of discussing the fact that the Taoiseach has refused to answer questions lawfully tabled to him in respect of the following matters: the involvement he had in the sale to University College, Dublin, of Carysfort College; details of any communications he has had with Dr. Michael Smurfit or with Mr. Dermot Desmond on the proposed Telecom Éireann site at Ballsbridge; dealings with the Minister for the Environment concerning the Feltrim/Kinsealy drainage scheme; if he intends to require open tendering for all contracts placed by semi-State bodies for consultancy services and transmission of information relating to Irish Helicopters from Irish Helicopters to a rival firm, Celtic Helicopters. These are matters of public interest requiring urgent consideration as envisaged by the Standing Order and on which the Taoiseach has refused to answer questions.
An Ceann Comhairle: Having considered the matters fully, I do not consider them to be contemplated by Standing Order 30. Therefore, I cannot grant leave to move the motion in either case. I should state that the matters to which Deputies Bruton and Spring refer can be discussed throughout the course of the confidence motion to come before this House.
Mr. Spring: On a point of order. Sir, as we stand in this House about to discuss a motion of confidence in the Government, I do not believe that even the  Government backbenchers are aware if there is a programme for Government.
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