Order of Business.

Tuesday, 22 October 1991

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 411 No. 4

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The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is proposed to take Nos. 5 and 4. Private Members' Business shall be No. 30.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  There have been some suggestions over the last few days, upon which some members of the Cabinet have commented publicly, that a reshuffle of the Cabinet is being considered. Could the Taoiseach confirm whether that is the case?

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

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  We still might want to hear the answer.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  It would require that time be provided. I think the Taoiseach is willing to give an answer, perhaps a monosyllable.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This matter can [1249] perhaps be raised at another time in another way, but it is not appropriate to the Order of Business.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  It it can be commented upon elsewhere, it is a pity it cannot be commented on in here.

Mr. McCormack: Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  He wants to keep the lads quiet for another week.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  May I ask the Taoiseach if before the end of this session he will provide Government time in this House for a discussion on tax reform, a subject that has been mentioned in the Programme for Government and which, I believe, has caused some difficulties between the parties in Government? Could I ask him, in a constructive manner, if time will be provided in this House to discuss a whole range of possibilities for tax reform?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  That is a matter that can clearly be dealt with by way of a question.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  A Cheann Comhairle, with respect to you, I do not think——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This does not appertain to legislation promised in this House.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  It probably does not require legislation but rather than having to wait until the budget to see what evolves from last week's discussions, could we have a short debate in this House on tax reform?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I do not think it would be particularly beneficial or appropriate to have some sort of vague discussion of that type. I do not think there will be room for it this session.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I wish to raise two items on the Order of Business. First, the Health (Family Planning) Bill, 1991, Order fo Second Stage, was listed on the draft schedule we received from the Whips last week but it is not on today's [1250] Order Paper. What happened to it? Will it be moved or has it been vetoed yet again? Second, on the Order of Business last week the Taoiseach indicated that he was prepared to have a debate on political and monetary union. Is it intended to have a debate on the two reports we received recently on developments in the European Community? As far as I am aware, we have never had a debate on these reports which were placed before the Oireachtas.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Health (Family Planning) Bill, 1991, will be taken this session.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  This does not answer the question why it was removed from the schedule.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  With regard to the question of a debate on political, economic and monetary union, I still hope we will be able to have such a debate.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  My specific question on the Health (Family Planning) Bill was, why it is not on today's Order Paper. I presumed it was listed and that we were ready to move the Order for Second Stage today. May I ask when the Order for Second Stage will be moved so that the Bill can be circulated?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  This session.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Will it be this week?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  This session.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Will it be next week?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  We have passed Question Time.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  A Cheann Comhairle, I must make this point——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy has asked some relevant questions and got [1251] some replies and he may not make a speech now.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Last week it was agreed that this Bill would be moved this week, it has been removed——

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  The problem may go away.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Has the Minister for artificial insemination vetoed it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is a question of good parliamentary planning.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  Or containing the Minister for Agriculture and Food.

Mr. J. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The Taoiseach would want to plan more than that.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Taoiseach has agreed to a debate on economic and monetary union and in view of the importance and complexity of this matter, would he agree to circulating in advance, perhaps the day before, a draft of the Minister's speech or some written material outlining the main issues so that the debate will be as informed and useful as possible? Would the Taoiseach agree to this as an exceptional measure in view of the importance of this debate?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Deputy will recall that I gave a very full and extensive outline of all the issues involved last July. I am anxious to give as much information as possible to the House but I think it would be taking the House on trust to give a copy of my speech a day in advance. I would gladly do that if I could be assured that this would not be used for base political purposes.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Sensitivity does you great credit.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  In relation to item No. 2, the final report on the Appropriation Accounts for 1987 from the Committee of Public Accounts, may I [1252] ask the Taoiseach if time will be made available to move the motion this week?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I understand the Whips will be talking about that on Thursday.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  May I ask the Taoiseach when the Government propose to introduce the legislation to give effect to the register of interests of Oireachtas Members?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Programme for Government provides that it shall be in operation by September 1992, so it will be taken sometime between now and then.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Will the legislation be published before the end of this session or some time next year?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It will have to be enacted between now and the summer recess.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Is legislation actually necessary?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I always assumed it was but maybe not.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  The Land Commission (Dissolution) Bill has been on the clár for about two years. May I ask the Taoiseach when it is proposed to enact this Bill?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The history of land in Ireland has gone on for a couple of centuries and I suppose we could wait another month or so.

Mrs. Barnes: Information on Monica Barnes  Zoom on Monica Barnes  I note with pleasure that the Bill dealing with the property of married people, which has been on the stocks for centuries, has been included in the Programme for Government. Can we be assured that it will be introduced this session?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  We had this topic during Question Time, Deputy.

Mrs. Barnes: Information on Monica Barnes  Zoom on Monica Barnes  I hope the answer was in [1253] the affirmative and that it will be taken this session.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The legislation on family home ownership?

Mrs. Barnes: Information on Monica Barnes  Zoom on Monica Barnes  It is legislation which recognises women's work in the home and their legal entitlement to protection and to half of the home and its contents.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Family Home (Protection) Bill which is promised is ready but we are awaiting a reserved judgment of the Supreme Court.

Mrs. Barnes: Information on Monica Barnes  Zoom on Monica Barnes  We have been awaiting that decision for years and the legislation should go ahead. Some judges believe that the legislation should emanate from here and not from the courts. I would like that idea to be taken on board.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  That is not the point. Our fear is that the judgment, when delivered, will impinge on the legislation; however it may be possible to proceed without waiting for the decision.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  Will the Taoiseach clarify the situation in relation to the legislation necessary to sell the B & I Line? The Government contracted to sell it to the ICG on 16 January and the deal expired legally on 16 August. It was not on the list of legislation promised for this session. Is it proposed to go ahead with the legislation in view of the opposition of the unions? What is the current status of this legislation?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Has legislation been promised in this area?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  Yes. The desire is to have it this session.


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