Business of Dáil.

Wednesday, 29 January 1992

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 415 No. 1

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Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  On a point of order, Sir, before the House proceeds to Question Time may I ask whether you consider the privileges of Members of this House are being adequately protected vis-à-vis those of the Executive in so far as on 30 March 1990 this House conferred on the Broadcasting Control Committee responsibility for managing the broadcasting of this House. I understand a decision was taken by the Taoiseach, who is not a member of that committee, that RTE would not be allowed to broadcast Question Time live today. I believe that is a serious incursion on the proper rights of the Broadcasting Control Committee, which is an instrument of this House and that the Taoiseach, who is not a member of this committee had no proper——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This is quite unusual. The Chair commented on the matter to which Deputy Bruton refers this morning and I indicated that in my opinion it was a matter for the Broadcasting Control Committee.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  May I ask Sir, if you are aware that the Broadcasting Control Committee did not meet and that the chairman has refused to convene a meeting of the committee and yet the decision was taken by the chairman, who is a member of the Government, and the Taoiseach——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  These are matters outside my control.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  May I respectfully suggest, Sir, that you are the guardian of this [55] House's liberty — I think this matter comes directly within your remit.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am very well aware of that, Deputy Bruton, and I need not be reminded of it.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  May I submit that as Ceann Comhairle of this House, it is your responsibility to ensure that the Government are not allowed to arrogate to themselves functions that are proper to a committee of this House. May I suggest with the utmost respect that it is up to you to ensure that the privileges of the House are protected in this fashion.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have indicated to the House this morning how it should proceed on this matter.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  There has been no meeting of the committee and yet the decision has been taken.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have no control over that, Deputy.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Sir——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Please, Deputy Bruton, the time has come for questions. I have allowed the Deputy some latitude in the matter——

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Are orders of the House——

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  There is a clear decision on 30 March 1990.


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