Wednesday, 14 October 1992
Dáil Éireann Debate
The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take Nos. 1, 7, 16, 17, 2 and 3. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that: 1. Nos. 1 and 7 shall be decided without debate. 2. The proceedings on the Committee and Remaining Stages of No. 16, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 7 p.m. by one Question which shall be put from the Chair, and which shall in relation to amendments include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Agriculture and Food. 3. In the case of the Second Stages of Nos. 2 and 3: (i) The opening speech of the Minister or Minister of State and the speeches of the main spokespersons nominated by Fine Gael, Labour and the Democratic Left shall not exceed 30 minutes in each case; (ii) The speech of each other Member called on shall not exceed 20 minutes; and (iii) The Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a speech in reply not exceeding 15 minutes. 4. The time limits set out in 3 (ii) and 3 (iii) shall apply to the resumed debate on item No. 17. 5. Private Members' Business shall be No. 22 and the proceedings thereon shall be brought to a conclusion at 8.30 p.m.
An Ceann Comhairle: Are the proposals  for dealing with Nos. 1 and 7 satisfactory and agreed? Agreed? Are the proposals for dealing with Committee and Remaining Stages of No. 16 agreed? Agreed. Are the proposals for dealing with the Second Stages of Nos. 2, 3 and 17 agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Private Members' Business agreed? Agreed.
Mr. J. Bruton: Has the Taoiseach considered extending the parliamentary timetable for consideration of the three constitutional referenda in view of the fact that Ireland is an adherent to the European Convention on Human Rights, of the fact that the European Court of Human Rights will be issuing a judgment on the information issue affecting Ireland on 29 October, and that both the Dáil and the Seanad would wish, in the interests of drafting the most effective and durable wording, to have had sight of this judgment before finalising the wording?
Mr. J. Bruton: Would the Taoiseach not agree that at that stage the Dáil and the Seanad will, according to his timetable, have completed consideration of the referenda and that it will be too late to take anything that the judgment may say affecting the wording of the referenda into account? Is it not unwise that he proposes to finish parliamentary consideration of these three matters on the very day the European Court will issue its judgment?
The Taoiseach: Both the Deputy and the House are well aware of the time table required to fulfil the obligations of the Constitution to hold a referendum on 3 December. That is the agenda and it will be pursued.
Mr. Spring: In view of the importance of Friday's Special European Summit may I ask the Taoiseach if he will take the opportunity to outline to this House the Irish Government's priorities in relation to that meeting? I suggest it might be more appropriate if the Taoiseach would do that in this House rather than at the briefing for journalists on Thursday.
Proinsias De Rossa: In view of the statement made by Mr. Maurice Doyle, Governor of the Central Bank, may I ask the Taoiseach whether it is the Government's intention either at national or European level to seek measures to have currency speculation restricted either by——
Mr. Quinn: May I ask the Minister for Finance, through you Sir, if the discussions which are ongoing with the various financial institutions in this city have been completed in respect of the second Finance Bill; and when we in this House, to which we have been democratically elected, will see that Bill?
Mr. J. Bruton: For the sake of clarification and in regard to the Taoiseach's earlier reply, am I to take it that the Government propose to ignore entirely the European Court of Human Rights' judgment?
Mr. J. Bruton: Why has the Taoiseach chosen an artificial date, which is prior to the issue of this judgment to conclude consideration of the matters in question here, in view of the relevance of this judgment?
Mr. Harte: I seek your guidance, a Cheann Comhairle. Yesterday I tried to table a Private Notice Question about the difficulties traders in Border areas are experiencing as a result of the devaluation of sterling. In view of the deep concern being experienced by people along the Border, will the Government make a statement to show that there is some light at the end of the tunnel——
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