Order of Business.

Wednesday, 11 May 1994

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 442 No. 6

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The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is proposed to take Nos. 2, 4 and 5. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the sitting shall not be suspended at 1.30 p.m.; the proceedings on No. 2 shall be brought to a conclusion within 90 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply in relation to the debate: (i) the speech of each Member called upon shall not exceed 20 minutes; and (ii) a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon not later than ten minutes before the debate is due to conclude to make a speech in reply; and Private Members' Business shall be No. 9 and the proceedings thereon shall be brought to a conclusion at 8.30 p.m.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is it agreed that the sitting shall not be suspended at 1.30 p.m.? Agreed. Are the proposals for dealing with No. 2 satisfactory and agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Private Members' Business agreed? Agreed.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  I would like to raise two issues. The first deals with the operation of the House and the treatment by the Government of business being dealt with in the House and in, committees. This morning a select committee to deal with [1170] the Family Law Bill was called for 11.30 a.m. The Dáil did not meet this morning to allow Members attend the Arbour Hill ceremonies. The Minister for Equality and Law Reform, who is responsible for the Family Law Bill, attended the ceremony and went on to a party political function. As the relevant Minister did not attend the committee, although a Minister of State from a different Department attended in his place, the committee was forced to adjourn as it considered it required the relevant Minister to be present.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I hesitate to interfere in the internal affairs of any committee of the House.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Will the Taoiseach indicate to his Ministers that they have a job of work to do with regared to the committees of the House and unless they are prepared to attend committees they will make a farce of the work of this House?

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Owen, please resume your seat.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  It may be helpful for Members to know that a Fianna Fáil member suggested the adjournment of the committee until the relevant Minister could attend.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  There is a battle of voices opposite.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Taoiseach may wave his hand, but that will not get rid of the arrogance with which his Ministers are treating the business of the House.

Mr. Spring: Information on Dick Spring  Zoom on Dick Spring  That is nonsense.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Deputy Owen, I will not be ignored and I will not tolerate this.

[1171]Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  I wish to raise another point on the Order of Business.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Has the Deputy a relevant matter to raise?

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Will the Taoiseach accept the Fine Gael occupier's liability Bill introduced by Deputy Deenihan some months ago as the Law Reform Commission has now reported on the matter? When will such legislation be introduced? The Taoiseach has given an indication that he will introduce such legislation. He could proceed to introduce our Bill and amend it if necessary.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The Bill is not acceptable and the Government will not proceed with it. We have received the report from the Law Reform Commission.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  It makes the same recommendations as ours.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Some ciúnas would be appreciated, now that the Deputy has decided to be in order having been out of order for a long spell.

Mr. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  That is the business of the Chair.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  There is no need for such tension.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  If we have some ciúnas I will reply to the question.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  If the Taoiseach has respect for this assembly we will show him respect.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Organisations are being given two weeks to make submissions to the Minister for Equality and Law Reform and the Government will [1172] introduce legislation at the earliest possible time.

Mr. Barrett: Information on Seán Barrett  Zoom on Seán Barrett  Another year passes.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Is it at another advanced stage?

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I hope the launch went well. I believe it was in the Shelbourne Hotel.

Ms O'Donnell: Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  As usual.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  It was in Dublin SouthEast.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy in possession cannot be heard.

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Thank you, a Cheann Comhairle. I am pleased the Minister for Enterprise and Employment is present. Does he intend to make a statement about a replacement company for the Fielderest site? Did he make a premature announcement when he said a company was going to make an investment? It is important the Minister makes a statement on this matter. The Minister may make an announcement but the head of Forfás is expected to deal with the catastrophe that arose.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is referring to a matter which is at present being considered by my office.

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Thank you, a Cheann Comhairle. We might be able to table questions on it. I encourage you to allow questions on it.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  On promised legislation, last year the Government defeated a Private Members' refugee Bill and stated it would introduce one. In view of the urgency of the matter and the appalling way in which people seeking refugee status or asylum are being treated under current regulations, when will such a Bill be introduced?

[1173]The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  That Bill will be published this session.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Having regard to stories in two Sunday newspapers to the effect that a much watered down Ethics in Public Office Bill has run aground because of opposition from his party's backbenches, will the Taoiseach indicate when, if ever, it will see the light of day, and in what shape has it come through the backbenches?

Mr. E. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Badly.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I answered this question last week, the previous week and the week before that. Drafting of the Bill is nearing completion and it will be published when completed.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Will the ethics Bill include a provision to prevent Ministers from making claims about employment which they know to be premature——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy should table a question on that matter.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  Will it include such a provision?

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Does the Taoiseach intend to take action to resolve the industrial dispute at Customs and Excise where drug smugglers——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is clearly out of order.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  I am concerned that drug smuggling will be allowed at certain times because of an industrial dispute.


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