Order of Business.

Thursday, 2 July 1992

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 422 No. 1

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[2]The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is proposed to take Items Nos. 2 and 20. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders that: 1. No. 2 shall be decided without debate; 2. The proceedings on the Report and Final Stages of No. 20, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 12.15 p.m. by one Question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only amendments set down or accepted by the Minister for the Environment; 3. Statements shall be made at 12.30 p.m. on the European Council Meeting in Lisbon on 25 and 26 June and the following arrangements shall apply: (i) The statements of the Taoiseach and of the main spokesperson for the Fine Gael and Labour parties [3] shall not exceed 30 minutes in each case; (ii) The statement of each other Member called on shall not exceed 15 minutes; and (iii) the Minister for Foreign Affairs shall be called upon not later than 4.45 p.m. to make a statement in reply; 4. The Dáil shall meet tomorrow at 10.30 a.m. and shall adjourn not later than 4 p.m.; 5. In respect of Vote 40, which shall be taken tomorrow, the following arrangements shall apply: (i) The speech of the Minister and of the main spokesperson for the Fine Gael and Labour parties shall not exceed 20 minutes in each case, and the speech of each other Member called on shall not exceed 10 minutes; (ii) a Minister of State may be called upon a second time to make a speech in reply; (iii) a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon not later than 3.50 p.m. to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed 10 minutes; (iv) In the 5 minutes preceding such reply, Opposition spokes-persons may request the Minister to clarify specific issues during the course of his reply; (v) the Question necessary to bring the proceedings on Vote 40 to a conclusion shall be put not later than 4 p.m. and (vi) if a division is demanded on the Estimate, such division shall be deferred until 6.45 p.m. on Wednesday, 8 July 1992.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is the proposal in respect of No. 1, that No. 2 shall be decided without debate agreed? Agreed. Are the proposals for dealing with No. 20 agreed?

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  No, Sir. It is not agreed. Let me first of all say that I am over 20 years in this House and the only Taoiseach that has shown frequent discourtesy to you, Sir, and to this House by arriving late is Deputy Reynolds. He is the only one who turns up late. That is discourteous to you, Sir, and to the rest of the House.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  The Taoiseach spoke yesterday——

[4](Interruptions.)

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  The Tánaiste is continuingly growling and grumbling over there. If he has something to say he should stand up and say it; otherwise he should stay quiet. I will give way to him if he has something to say.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I find it difficult to maintain order with this degree of flippancy going on. Let us get down to business.

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  The Tánaiste, when challenged, would not get up and say anything. He just grumbled away. He is a cardboard hero.

The Taoiseach spoke yesterday on other legislation and used the words “if he gets the co-operation of the House”. The Taoiseach cannot expect the co-operation of this party and this House if he continues to guillotine both Committee Stages and Report Stages of measures. There are over 40 amendments to this Housing Bill and an hour and a half to deal with them; that is about a minute and a half to two minutes to deal with each one. We are not agreeing to No. 20 being taken in this manner.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  The question of housing is at the top of the agenda of every local authority. It is nothing short of disgraceful that we would guillotine this Bill at Report and Final Stages and deal with it in a matter of a couple of hours. We indicated that to the Government Whip last week. It is nothing short of disgraceful that we have come to the end of the term and a range of Bills are rushed through this House without proper consideration. We would like to oppose the taking of the Housing Bill in this way.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I also am opposing the guillotining of this Bill. There are 38 sections in it. Only two of those sections were dealt with on Committee Stage and we are now expected to deal with the Report Stage in about an hour and a half. [5] We have reached the position now where the guillotine has become the parliamentary norm; it should be the exception. The House needs to seriously look at how it is doing its business. We cannot [6] continue to deal with serious legislation in this offhand way.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with item No. 20 be agreed to.”

Ahern, Bertie.
Ahern, Michael.
Andrews, David.
Aylward, Liam.
Barrett, Michael.
Brady, Gerard.
Brennan, Séamus.
Briscoe, Ben.
Browne, John (Wexford).
Calleary, Seán.
Callely, Ivor.
Clohessy, Peadar.
Coughlan, Mary Theresa.
Cowen, Brian.
Cullimore, Séamus.
Davern, Noel.
Dempsey, Noel.
Dennehy, John.
de Valera, Síle.
Ellis, John.
Fahey, Frank.
Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph.
Flood, Chris.
Flynn, Pádraig.
Gallagher, Pat the Cope.
Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
Harney, Mary.
Hillery, Brian.
Hyland, Liam.
Jacob, Joe.
Kelly, Laurence.
Kenneally, Brendan.
Kirk, Séamus.
Kitt, Michael P.
Kitt, Tom.
Lawlor, Liam.
Lenihan, Brian.
Leonard, Jimmy.
Lyons, Denis.
Martin, Micheál.
McCreevy, Charlie.
McDaid, Jim.
McEllistrim, Tom.
Molloy, Robert.
Morley, P. J.
Noonan, Michael J.
(Limerick West).
O'Connell, John.
O'Dea, Willie.
O'Hanlon, Rory.
O'Keeffe, Ned.
O'Kennedy, Michael.
O'Leary, John.
O'Rourke, Mary.
O'Toole, Martin Joe.
Power, Seán.
Quill, Máirín.
Reynolds, Albert.
Roche, Dick.
Smith, Michael.
Stafford, John.
Treacy, Noel.
Tunney, Jim.
Wallace, Mary.
Walsh, Joe.
Wilson, John P.
Wyse, Pearse.

Ahearn, Therese.
Allen, Bernard.
Barnes, Monica.
Barry, Peter.
Bell, Michael.
Bradford, Paul.
Bruton, Richard.
Byrne, Eric.
Connaughton, Paul.
Connor, John.
Cosgrave, Michael Joe.
Cotter, Bill.
Creed, Michael.
Currie, Austin.
D'Arcy, Michael.
Deenihan, Jimmy.
De Rossa, Proinsias.
Doyle, Joe. [7]McGinley, Dinny.
Mac Gioila, Tomás.
McGrath, Paul.
Mitchell, Gay.
Mitchell, Jim.
Moynihan, Michael.
Nealon, Ted.
O'Keeffe, Jim.
O'Shea, Brian.
Durkan, Bernard.
Enright, Thomas W.
Farrelly, John V.
Fennell, Nuala.
Finucane, Michael.
Flaherty, Mary.
Flanagan, Charles.
Foxe, Tom.
Garland, Roger.
Gilmore, Eamon.
Gregory, Tony.
Harte, Paddy.
Higgins, Jim.
Howlin, Brendan.
Kavanagh, Liam.
Kenny, Enda.
Lee, Pat.
McCartan, Pat. [8]O'Sullivan, Gerry.
O'Sullivan, Toddy.
Reynolds, Gerry.
Ryan, Seán.
Shatter, Alan.
Sheehan, Patrick J.
Sherlock, Joe.
Stagg, Emmet.
Timmins, Godfrey.
Yates, Ivan.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Dempsey and Clohessy; Níl, Deputies Flanagan and Howlin.

Question declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Are the proposals for dealing with statements agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for tomorrow's sitting satisfactory? Agreed. Are the proposals for dealing with Vote 40, to be taken tomorrow, agreed?

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  In relation to the deferral of Vote 40 in the event of a division being called, as a result of discussions at Committee of Procedure and Privileges yesterday on next Wednesday's sitting I would ask that that matter be deferred so that the Whips can discuss it rather than agree to the last section, the deferral of the vote. I think we can reach accommodation on the matter.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  This matter has been discussed by the Committee of Procedure and Privileges. It arises out of the address to the House by An tUachtarán and I am quite happy to defer it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The latter item in respect to divisions being taken at 6.45 p.m. on Wednesday is deferred for consideration by the Whips.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  How then will we deal with the matter? Will an order be made later today? If an order is not made the vote will take place tomorrow?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I assume the Whips will come to an agreement on the matter and that will be put to the House in the normal way.

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  I want to state how pleased we are on this side of the House that a way forward has been found for Strand Two of the Northern Ireland talks. The urgency with which these talks should be addressed and their importance was underlined by the hideous murders of three young men last night, with another three families being deprived of a wage earner.

Could the Taoiseach outline the arrangement of legislation for next week given that he will be away on Thursday and Friday, there will be an Adjournment debate and the Committee of Procedure and Privileges have decided that the House adjourn after the President's address to the Houses next week? Can the Taoiseach say what other business will be taken next week.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I agree with Deputy Barry in relation to the violent murders in the North of Ireland. I am sure they are deplored by everybody in this House and we unequivocally condemn them. In relation to next week's business, the arrangement for Wednesday is a matter for discussion between the Whips and I will not anticipate what agreement they may arrive at.

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  I would just point out that we will not co-operate in the event of legislation being guillotined through the House next week.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Brendan Howlin.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  There is no need for [9] a Whips' meeting if that is the attitude taken.

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  There is no need for a Whips' meeting if you are going to guillotine legislation. The Whips' meeting is about co-operation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have called Deputy Brendan Howlin and he will be heard.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Wilson: Information on John P. Wilson  Zoom on John P. Wilson  The Deputy should address the Chair.

Mr. Barry: Information on Peter Barry  Zoom on Peter Barry  If Deputy Wilson has something to say he should stand up.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Order, there is an unnecessary acrimonious note entering into proceedings. Let us end it.

Mr. Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  I would seek to diffuse the acrimony by talking about the resolution that was passed with the support of all parties in this House last night. Arising from that can the Taoiseach indicate when the legal advice available to the Government will be given to the House as ordered by the House last night, when the campaign detailed in the motion will begin and when details will be provided for Members of the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I have no doubt that the Minister for Energy will attend to his duties and obligations in the appropriate manner.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I would like to associate myself with the remarks made in relation to the atrocities carried out by the Provisional IRA yesterday in Armagh. The fact that the three people who were murdered may have been members of that organisation in no way reduces the awfulness of the atrocity.

May I ask the Taoiseach if, arising from his remark in the House yesterday with regard to the Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Bill, it is proposed to take all Stages of that Bill next week and, if [10] so, if he will ensure that adequate time will be given to debate it. It is an urgent Bill and I think there would be general agreement that it should be taken next week.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  This is a matter for discussion by the Whips. I hope that Deputy De Rossa, in line with Deputy McCartan, who held up the Bill yesterday and said it could be produced and discussed in five minutes, takes a similar approach to the passing of the Bill in the shortest possible time.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  That means that the Bill will be guillotined next week.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  May I ask the Taoiseach what progress has been made on the promised Bill to deal with rights for persons with a disability, which he indicated in the House he was examining? Also, what is the expected timing of the legislation on the reorganisation of health boards, and is the Taoiseach aware that 1,200 beds will be closed in health boards during the summer?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Let us deal with matters appertaining to proposed legislation.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  These matters appertain to the proposed reorganisation of our health boards.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There is no need to elaborate on the matter.

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  The Minister reopened some of the beds and then closed them again.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The first part of the question does not relate to promised legislation. As regards the second part of the question, the legislation is at an early stage of preparation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Michael Bell.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  In relation to promised [11] legislation, the Taoiseach indicated in the House on a previous occasion that he was considering legislation in relation to the rights of people with a disability.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am not going to be the arbitrator between the Deputy and the Taoiseach in that regard.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  The legislation was promised in the Dáil. Surely I am entitled to raise it here.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  If that is so, you certainly are.

Mr. Bell: Information on Michael Bell  Zoom on Michael Bell  Could the Taoiseach indicate when the promised legislation on the co-ordination of social welfare means testing activity will be taken? Will it be taken next week and, if not, will it be taken in the autumn session?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is more likely to be introduced in the autumn session than in this session.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  On promised legislation, will the Taoiseach confirm that Government plans to allow votes for emigrants have been abandoned?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  That is not promised legislation. It was promised that the matter would be considered, and it has not been abandoned. I said two days ago that there are complex constitutional matters involved in this matter which require much consideration.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  In regard to the Bill circulated this week to extend student grants to mature students from 1 October next, will that Bill be dealt with next week so that it can have effect from next October?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I hope that the Whips can agree to that.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  It will probably be taken in five minutes on Tuesday next. Is that open Government?

[12]Mr. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  Is the Taoiseach aware of the serious delay in Brussels in dealing with Ireland's application for disadvantaged area appeals and the reclassification of the less severely handicapped areas to severely handicapped status? What steps will the Taoiseach take to ensure that a scheme——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Sheehan will doubtless find a way of raising that matter. It is not in order now and Deputy Sheehan should please resume his seat.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The Deputy must have gone home early last night.

Mr. Farrelly: Information on John V. Farrelly  Zoom on John V. Farrelly  A good few of the Taoiseach's lads went home early the night before.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am proceeding with the business ordered.


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