Order of Business.

Thursday, 2 June 1994

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 443 No. 6

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[1202]The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is proposed to take Nos. 6 and 14. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that (1) No. 6 shall be decided without debate; (2) No. 14, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 4.45 p.m. and the following arrangements shall apply: (i) the opening statement of a Minister or Minister of State and of the main spokesperson for the Fine Gael Party, the Progressive Democrat's Party and the Technical Group shall not exceed 30 minutes in each case; (ii) the statement of each other Member called upon shall not exceed 20 minutes in each case and (iii) a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon not later than 4.35 p.m. to make a statement in reply and (3) The Dáil on its rising today shall adjourn until Tuesday, 14 June 1994.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Is it agreed that item No. 6 be decided without debate? Agreed. Are the proposals for dealing with No. 14 satisfactory and agreed?

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  This matter is obviously an important one which deals with the question of the Third World debt but given also the importance of the current crisis facing TEAM Aer Lingus, will the Government agree to providing one hour for a debate this afternoon on this issue so that the Minister responsible for TEAM Aer Lingus can make a statement in the House about what he is doing to ensure that the jobs and the company will survive?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Let us dispose of this item first, Deputy, and then perhaps the matter to which you advert——

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I am asking now because we are at the point of approving the running of the Third World debt debate up to 4.45 p.m. I am asking that the last hour of today's business be provided to deal with the TEAM Aer Lingus crisis given that the Dáil is not sitting [1203] next week and, as I understand it, the company has set a deadline of 8 June——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I find it difficult to relate to the matters, however——

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  The Taoiseach might respond and indicate whether the Government is willing to provide time.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Perhaps it is a matter for the Whips. It is distinctly a separate matter. It should not lead to argument now, Deputy.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I am not arguing.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is raising a separate matter.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  The Chair will agree that I am in order in raising this matter.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It is doubtful. As I said, the Deputy is raising a separate matter. How the Deputy can relate that to the matter before the House is difficult to understand.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I am in order in raising a question about fixing a time limit for the debate on Third World debt. I am asking if the Government will provide an hour today for a debate on the crisis facing TEAM Aer Lingus which affects 1,800 jobs and the survival of an important company.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have heard the Deputy.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Given that the House will not sit next week and a deadline of 8 June has been set by the company, will the Taoiseach indicate if he is prepared to allow a one hour debate? We would like to hear what the Minister hopes to do to save the company.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is clearly seeking to circumvent the ruling of the Chair.

[1204]The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  At this stage the Government do no regard it as helpful to have a debate but, if that changes, we will come back to the House later. The Government is as concerned as anybody else about the loss of jobs or the potential job loss in TEAM Aer Lingus. The matter is being delicately handled at present and I do not think a debate in the House would in any way help towards resolving the serious problems that exist. They are not problems which a debate here will resolve.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Are the proposals for dealing with item No. 14 satisfactory and agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for the Adjournment of the House to Tuesday, 14 June satisfactory? Agreed.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Yesterday on the Order of Business and on other occasions the Taoiseach announced he had relinguished all involvement with the family company C & D Foods.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have admonished Members——

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Can he explain how his photograph appears in this week's Business and Finance with his son at a promotion of C & D Foods?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have asked Members to conform to my ruling. The Deputy may not argue with me. The Deputy must put down the magazine.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  I will put it down.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy must refrain from mentioning the matter.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  We were given information yesterday which now appears to be untrue.

Mr. Dempsey: Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Is the Taoiseach not to have his photograph taken now?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The matter to [1205] which the Deputy refers has been the subject of extensive debate.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Taoiseach told us he relinquished all involvement in the company and now we see that in 1991, which is within the last four years——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy must hear the Chair. The Deputy may not challenge me in this fashion.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Chair must also protect us.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Do not reflect upon the Chair in that fashion.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Chair must protect us from hearing information that is not borne out by photographs like this.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have said on many occasions that if serious charges are to be made against persons inside or outside the House it must be done by way of substantive motion. It cannot be done by innuendo and accusation across the floor of the House. I will have no more of it.

Mr. B. Ahern: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Taoiseach cannot have a photograph taken with his family any more.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  Look what happened to Charlie Haughey.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  If the Taoiseach had said this outside the House I would not raise it here but he said it in the House——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy must resume her seat.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  It is under the protection of the Chair that I am asking for clarification of information given to the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Chair has many people to protect in the House.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Chair must protect us. [1206] and there seems to be evidence that the Chair only wants to protect the Government side. The Chair must protect this side of the House also.

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

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Will the Chair let the Taoiseach answer?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  No. The matter is out of order.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Why not? He raised the issue in this House. Why is the Chair protecting him?

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Does the House want an adjournment now? The Deputy has accused the Chair of partisanship. I repudiate that. The Deputy must withdraw that remark.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  My Leader raised a number of questions the other day and none of them was answered. Here we have an example of something that does not bear out what we were told.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have had enough.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Chair may have had enough but we deserve the protection of the Chair also.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy is reflecting upon the Chair in a serious manner.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  I am, because the Chair will not allow the Taoiseach to answer. The Chair allowed him to speak on the Order of Business yesterday.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  These are disgraceful tactics.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  I am sorry if the Chair thinks so.

[1207]Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  The disgrace is over there.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I have informed Members of the House on many occasions, personally and by letter, how we should proceed at this time. No Member can imply they are not aware of the proceedings on the Order of Business, yet we have this constant defiance. Certain Members take the view that they can raise what they like on the Order of Business. I disabuse them of this notion. They cannot raise these matters on the Order of Business. It is disorderly to do so and I cannot have it.

(Interruptions.)

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Absolute nonsense.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  What about the dagger Deputy Haughey got? It is nothing like the Jaguar that Deputy Reynolds got. Morning after morning Deputy Spring comes into this House——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The procedures must be obeyed.

Mr. Callely: Information on Ivor Callely  Zoom on Ivor Callely  This is a disgrace.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  This matter will not go away. It is time we had a proper debate in this House.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  No questions have been answered.

Mr. Callely: Information on Ivor Callely  Zoom on Ivor Callely  It is disgraceful behaviour.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  There are no votes in that game. Come off the stage.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  What happened to open Government?

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Tánaiste is hiding his head in shame.

[1208]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  It seems to me that Members——

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Respect the Chair.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Taoiseach does not respect it very well.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  ——are in flagrant violation of the procedures on the Order of Business. They know that and the Chair is accused of partisanship when he applies the rules.

Mr. Lenihan: Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  They are only a rabble; they are not an Opposition.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Callely: Information on Ivor Callely  Zoom on Ivor Callely  Can the Taoiseach not be seen promoting Irish companies?

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  It has reached the stage where we cannot call a spade a spade.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  If the Deputy standing has a relevant matter to raise I will hear him, but I will not hear him on the matter I have ruled out of order.

Mr. M. McDowell: Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  As regards promised legislation, I understand we were promised legislation last night by the Tánaiste in relation to nationality and citizenship. Do not tell me it was not promised.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  Was legislation promised?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  No.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  There is a split already.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  No legislation was promised in this House as yet. An interdepartmental committee is sitting to update every aspect of the scheme and, in due course, when the Government has decided on it, if legislation is to be introduced it will be brought before the House.

(Interruptions.)

[1209]Mr. M. McDowell: Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  Do I understand that the promise given by the Tánaiste has been withdrawn 24 hours later?

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  We cannot have argument.

Mr. M. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Do not twist his words.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  Stand up Deputy and tell us.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Where are all the high ideals the Deputy had when he sat in those benches?

Mr. M. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Read the record. Deputies will not be too proud of it.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  The Deputy was bought for a very small price. What happened to him between the time he was here and then over there?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy should restrain himself.

Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn: Information on Máire Geoghegan-Quinn  Zoom on Máire Geoghegan-Quinn  He finds it difficult.

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

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Does the Government think this is over?

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Will the Taoiseach explain whether promised legislation means when he states it in the House or when the Tánaiste agrees on something——

Dr. Woods: Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The Deputy should know by now.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  Will the Taoiseach clarify the matter? On the question of the Dáil adjourning——

(Interruptions.)

[1210]Mr. Connor: Information on John Connor  Zoom on John Connor  Let the Deputy speak without interruption.

Mr. M. McDowell: Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  The Tánaiste was very cross the other day with the Taoiseach.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  He gave Government Deputies a clean bill of health.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  On the question of——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  This is not Question Time.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  ——the House adjourning——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  That matter has been agreed and the Deputy cannot ask a question about it.

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  In view of the fact that the House is adjourning may I ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry to tell us today if farmers in Donegal will be paid——

Mr. Callely: Information on Ivor Callely  Zoom on Ivor Callely  Good man.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  I had this problem yesterday. Are we to have a repeat performance from the Deputy today?

Mr. Harte: Information on Patrick D. Harte  Zoom on Patrick D. Harte  I am making a plea. The House will adjourn today. Will the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry confirm that the cheques are in the post or are the farmers going to be paid at all?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy must resume his seat.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Is the Taoiseach repudiating the undertaking given by the Tánaiste last night to bring in legislation to review this disgraceful scheme?

Ms O'Donnell: Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  He just has.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Taoiseach must be [1211] relieved that the Dáil is not sitting next week.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Inspector Clouseau may put something together.

Mr. M. Higgins: Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  The Deputy is watching old films.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The old are the best.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. J. Mitchell: Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell  Notwithstanding the fact that I am a candidate in the European Elections, I will try to be orderly. May I ask the Taoiseach if it is envisaged that the Ethics in Public Office Bill will be enacted before the summer recess and whether it will contain provisions to deal with the issues raised on the Order of Business today and on previous days?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Treacy  Zoom on Seán Treacy  The Deputy need not elaborate now.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  No legislation has yet been promised in the House. It is very unlikely that the Government would have completed its consideration——

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Deputy referred to the Ethics in Public Office Bill.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  The Bill has already been published.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Sorry. If Deputy McDowell paid more attention to the need for foreign investment it would be more helpful to the House than the sneering in which he engages.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Perhaps the Taoiseach should listen to the questions which are asked.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is most unlikely that the Ethics in Public Office Bill will be enacted before the summer recess but, as I have said previously in the House, it is a matter for the Whips to get together and ensure it is debated at the earliest [1212] possible time. The Government has no problems with this debate.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  The Teflon Committee.


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