Order of Business.

Thursday, 29 October 1992

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 424 No. 6

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Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern): Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is proposed to take Nos. 12 and 13. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders that: 1. On the proceedings of the resumed Second Stage of No. 12 the following arrangements shall apply: (i) the speech of each member called on shall not exceed 20 minutes in each case and (ii) a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a speech in reply not exceeding 15 minutes. 2. The Dáil shall meet tomorrow at 10.30 a.m. and adjourn not later than 4 p.m.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Are the proposals for dealing with Second Stage of No. 12 satisfactory? Agreed. Is the proposal for tomorrow's sitting agreed? Agreed.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  In view of the effect of the continuing political uncertainty on decisions that have to be taken by the Minister for Finance, among others, on important economic matters, would the Minister agree that this political uncertainty should be cleared up by a formal statement by the Government in the House next Tuesday at the latest as to the future of the Government and the future of the legislative programme [1298] agreed between the Taoiseach and Deputy O'Malley?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This is not a matter for the Order of Business. It can be pursued in many other ways in accordance with the procedure of the House.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I could give a list of the promised legislation but I do not want to burden the House with it. A lengthy legislative programme was agreed not long ago in good faith, it appears, between the Taoiseach and Deputy O'Malley. I would like to know if that remains the case and if the Government will make a formal statement as to their future.

Mr. B. Ahern: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The legislative programme will continue. There is no uncertainty and the House later today and tomorrow will continue with the legislative programme.

Mr. J. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  That is an Alice in Wonderland statement.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  In relation to promised legislation, I understand that agreement has been reached that the second Finance Bill will be taken by a committee of this House. May I ask the Minister for Finance when that Bill will be published? Will he confirm that it is extremely important that the Bill be put through the House before 1 January?

Mr. B. Ahern: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Bill will be published within a day or two of 12 November——

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  In time for the election.

Mr. B. Ahern: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  ——and it will be concluded before the end of the year. A number of items in the Bill relate to the Single Market and therefore it will have to be concluded and signed before 1 January.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Will the Minister for Finance indicate to the House whether or not the Taoiseach intends to [1299] bring forward in this House a motion of confidence in his Government, given the statements by him and the counter statements by the Progressive Democrats, and if not, will he at least provide time here for an Opposition vote of confidence?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There are procedures for that purpose. The matter does not arise now.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  This matter is on the Order Paper in my name.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Paddy Harte.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Will the Minister reply?

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

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  As regards the Single Market, which we look forward to on 1 January 1993, he has not indicated to the House and to the people in the Border areas the steps he proposes to take to protect these people against the devaluation of sterling?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I thought Deputy Harte had a relevant matter to raise.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  No, Deputy Harte. The Deputy must raise that matter in another way.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  There are businesses on the line.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It is clearly not a matter for the Order of Business.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  I am asking the Minister——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  No, Deputy, not now. It is not a matter for the Order of [1300] Business. That is clear to me and to the Deputy.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Why does the Minister remain silent?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Please, Deputy Harte.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Surely he owes it to the people in the Border areas——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Harte should resume his seat.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  On Deputy Harte's point——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  On a point of Order?

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  On the same point——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Sorry, Deputy, I have ruled that matter out of order.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  This is in order.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will decide that.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I asked the Deputy if he wished to raise a point of order and he said no.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Would the Minister for Finance not agree that the Government promised legislation to grant assistance to firms in difficulty as a result of the sterling devaluation? Will the Minister say when this legislation will be introduced in view of the fact that many firms along the border are in acute and immediate difficulty, carrying out contracts on which they are losing money? If this legislation is not brought in very quickly firms will go under and many thousands of jobs will be lost.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy has made his point. Has this legislation been promised in the House?

[1301]Mr. B. Ahern: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is not promised legislation; it is a market development.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  It is promised legislation.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I would like your assistance, a Cheann Comhairle, in that I have tried through Dáil Questions, Adjournment Debates and grievance time to get a statement from the Minister for the Environment on the major problem of repossessions and evictions taking place at present but on each occasion I got a letter stating that this matter was not the responsibility of the Minister.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Allen may not challenge my ruling in this fashion.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Who is responsible for the repossessions and evictions taking place at present?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy should check with my office and we will assist him if we can.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Some Minister must be responsible for this matter. They cannot wash their hands of it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am proceeding to item No. 12.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  On a point of order, surely evictions and repossessions have an impact on householders.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  That is not a point of order.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Surely it is the responsibility of the Minister.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is continuing to be obstructive.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  I have tried in the last four months to raise this matter in the House. Householders are being treated savagely by the financial institutions.

[1302]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy should please desist.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  The Minister and you, a Cheann Comhairle——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I must ask Deputy Allen to desist or leave the House.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Hands are being washed of this matter.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy will please desist or leave the House.

Mr. Currie: Information on Austin Currie  Zoom on Austin Currie  You cannot evict him.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is taxing the patience of the Chair.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Charles Flanagan  Zoom on Charles Flanagan  Deputy Vincent Brady is anxious to respond to a matter concerning eviction.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I will call the Deputy in due course.

Mr. J. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  I am not sure if I am in order but I am sure you will not mind, Sir, if I record my appreciation of the selection of Cork as the next venue for the European Song Contest. Congratulations to all those involved in securing this location.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I appreciate the injection of a little humour into our proceedings. I call Deputy Vincent Brady.

Mr. V. Brady: Information on Vincent Brady  Zoom on Vincent Brady  I should like your advice. I have tried by way of the Adjournment process to ask Deputy De Rossa to make a statement in regard to the very serious connotations arising from the allegations in the newspapers this week. Indeed they are sinister connotations——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  My office have already conveyed to you, Deputy, that if there is anything appertaining to serious charges being made against a Member, or Members, of this House there is a [1303] procedure. It should be put down by way of substantive motion and should not be adverted to in this manner.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  At least I stand my ground, unlike Deputy Brady.

Mr. Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  It is very shaky ground.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  In relation to promised legislation——

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy De Rossa is in possession.

Mr J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Fianna Fáil seem to be obsessed with small parties. They get very excited in regard to parties of six members or fewer.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Members are making a mockery of the procedure of the Order of Business.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I am trying to raise a matter in relation to the Order of Business. Deputy Davern was Minister for Education for 13 weeks and it is rumoured that the Green Paper was delayed, not because there were problems in relation to it, but because he has scribbled on it with his crayon.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Davern: Information on Noel Davern  Zoom on Noel Davern  If Deputy De Rossa sends me a sample of his handwriting I will have it tested.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  On a point of order——

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  If this continues I will adjourn the proceedings of the House.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  On a point of order, I find it strange that you did not rule out the remark on the European Song Contest [1304] and did rule out a matter concerning people's livelihood——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is making the House look ridiculous.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  On a point of order——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I am moving to item No. 12.


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