Order of Business.

Thursday, 24 October 1991

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 411 No. 6

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The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is proposed to take Items Nos. 8 and 9.

It is also proposed that the House, at its rising today, shall adjourn until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 30 October 1991.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is that aspect of the proposal agreed?

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  No.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  In regard to the adjournment of the House until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday next, I suggest it would be appropriate that we adjourn until 12 noon on Wednesday in order to begin two and a half hours earlier.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The proposal is that we will sit on Friday next to make up for lost time, from 10.30 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Mr. Garland: Information on Roger T. Garland  Zoom on Roger T. Garland  I am pleased to know we will be sitting on Friday next because we have a lot of work to get through this session. I support the proposal to commence business at 12 noon on Wednesday next.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I take it that the proposal that the House, at its rising [1654] today, shall adjourn until 2.30 p.m. on Wednesday next is agreed? Agreed.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  In view of the fact that apparently the Central Bank did not supply information to the High Court inspectors and claimed that they had legal authority so to do, and in view of the fact that the Minister for Industry and Commerce has indicated that the law in question has to be changed, can the Taoiseach indicate when, and by what Minister, the proposal will come to change the law to ensure that High Court inspectors appointed to examine the Greencore, or indeed any other, case will have access to information in the hands of the Central Bank as well as all other official agencies?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I would prefer that this matter were raised at a more appropriate time.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  May I submit to you, Sir, with respect, that this is promised legislation although admittedly the Minister did not have an opportunity to promise it in the House yesterday. It is promised legislation on the part of the Minister for Industry and Commerce. I should like to know what are the intentions of the Government in regard to that matter, one of considerable urgency.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  What the Minister for Industry and Commerce said yesterday was that if legislation was needed it would be introduced. I want to assure the House that the Government will make sure that these inspectors are facilitated in every possible way, and that there will be no restriction of any kind put on them.

Mr. McCartan: Information on Patrick McCartan  Zoom on Patrick McCartan  Mr. Curran was refused information by the State bank, the Central Bank.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Please, Deputy McCartan, let us hear the Taoiseach.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is not the Deputy's bank or my bank, it is the Central Bank. The Workers' Party might from time to [1655] time become confused between banks here and abroad.

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I want to assure the House that whatever action is required to enable these inspectors to do their job in the way the House would wish them to do, it will be taken.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Very briefly — and I appreciate the latitude you are allowing me, Sir — the Minister for Industry and Commerce said that if the Central Bank's refusal to supply this information to the Greencore inspectors was statutory then legislation would have to be introduced. May I inquire why it is that apparently the Government do not know at this stage whether the Central Bank's refusal was or was not statutory. Surely that is a determinable fact that the Government ought now to know and, therefore, be in a position to decide now whether legislation is necessary.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It is a technical, legal matter whether legislation will be required. My own view is that it will not be required, but whether it is or not I assure the House again that the inspectors appointed by the Minister will be given every necessary authority and facility to carry out their job thoroughly and completely.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Very briefly, may I say——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Let us not make an issue of it now. We cannot debate the matter now.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  This is not a question. If such legislation is deemed to be necessary — and I hope the Government can decide on that within the next 24 hours — my party will sit on any day necessary to ensure that that legislation is put through the House quickly.

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I thank Deputy John [1656] Bruton for that assurance. I am somewhat confused this morning. I thought the rose was the emblem which had been adopted by the Labour Party.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I am surprised that the Taoiseach is so unaware of what is happening in this country not to realise that this is National Rose Week. Obviously he had the window of his car closed when he came through the gates of Leinster House this morning——

(Interruptions.)

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  ——and was not looking left or right to ascertain whether one of these could be purchased in the interests of the charity concerned.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  It is not the rose that is the problem, rather the tulips sitting behind him.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Tulips do not bloom until the spring.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Slugs come out in the spring all right.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  I can understand the lack of awareness on the part of the Taoiseach. Obviously he is more concerned at present with the passing of the baton. On Wednesday the Taoiseach said in this House that the Government were considering whether the Minister for Finance would be instructing his representative at the meeting of Greencore next week to ascertain whether they had confidence in the board of Greencore. Have the Government considered that matter and taken a decision?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I think it is not in order at this stage, a Cheann Comhairle, but I can say that the matter is still under consideration.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  In regard to the inspectors' report and the issue of the Central Bank — I do not know whether [1657] the Taoiseach is confused about banks — but is the Minister for Finance exempted under this regulation? Has the Minister for Finance sought the information from the Central Bank?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  This is getting into detailed argument. The Minister for Finance has powers to direct the Central Bank. That direction has been given. That is what I had in mind when I said that whatever mechanisms are necessary will be availed of to make sure that the inspectors get access to all the information they need.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  This report was made on 28 September.

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

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  A month has gone by since the Taoiseach received this report. Has the Minister for Finance received the information yet?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There are ways and means of raising such matters in this House. This does not seem to be the appropriate time.

Tomás Mac Giolla: Information on Tomás MacGiolla  Zoom on Tomás MacGiolla  Will the Taoiseach bring the reports before the House for debate? It is a very urgent issue which needs to be debated.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  (Limerick East): There were five separate inquiries promised in this House into Greencore. The two under the remit of the Minister for Industry and Commerce seem to be making significant progress and the internal inquiry ordered by the board of Greencore has reported. What is the position of the two inquiries in which the Minister for Finance is involved, the internal inquiry in Finance and the Revenue Commissioners and the inquiry being conducted by the Central Bank in consultation with the Minister for Finance?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  We are getting into matters which are more appropriate to [1658] Question Time. The Central Bank report has been submitted to the Minister for Finance. With regard to the Revenue Commissioners, the matter is ongoing.

Mr. Shatter: Information on Alan Shatter  Zoom on Alan Shatter  With regard to various mutterings in the House, which I am sure the Taoiseach ignores as much as I do, and the outbreak of what the Taoiseach might describe as collective Cabinet irresponsibility, will the Taoiseach be moving the Order of Business next Wednesday?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  The Deputy has an infinite capacity to be facetious.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  In relation to promised legislation, the programme submitted by the Government indicates a Bill to speed up and amend the planning processes. When can we see the Bill? When will it be published?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  It will certainly be taken this session.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  When will it be published?

The Taoiseach: Information on Charles J. Haughey  Zoom on Charles J. Haughey  I cannot say at the moment.

Mr. Byrne: Information on Eric J. Byrne  Zoom on Eric J. Byrne  Has the Taoiseach had time to consult with Deputy Callely, the chairman of the Eastern Health Board, about the proposed legislation to create a new Dublin regional health authority to replace the Eastern Health Board? When may we expect that legislation to be brought before the House?

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

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  The Taoiseach is consulting all the backbenchers at the moment.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan  (Limerick East): Will the Bill to implement the recommendations of the Gleeson Report 31 be before the House this session?

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


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