Order of Business.

Tuesday, 28 June 1994

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 444 No. 5

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The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is proposed to take Nos. 2, 12, 13 and 14. No. 13 shall be taken at 8.30 p.m. and the order shall resume therafter. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that (1) business shall be interrupted at 12.00 midnight tonight; (2) the Second Stage of No. 2 shall be taken today and the following arrangements shall apply in relation to the debate: (i) [965] the proceedings thereon shall be brought to a conclusion not later than 7.00 p.m. tonight; (ii) the speech of the main spokespersons for the Government, the Fine Gael Party, the Progressive Democrats and the Technical Group shall not exceed 20 minutes in each case; and (iii) the speech of each other Member called upon shall not exceed 15 minutes and (iv) a Minister or a Minister of State shall be called upon not later than 6.45 p.m. to make a speech in reply; (3) the proceedings on the Report and Final Stages of No. 12, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 12.00 midnight 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 the Marine, and (4) statements on No. 13 shall conclude within one hour and 30 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: (i) statements shall be confined to the Taoiseach, the main spokesperson for the Fine Gael Party, the Progressive Democrat's Party and the Technical Group, and shall not exceed 20 minutes in each case and (ii) a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a statement in reply not exceeding ten minutes. Private Members' Business shall be No. 26.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  Is it agreed that business be interrupted at midnight.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Was Deputy Bruton's request that his motion be substituted for Private Members' Business accepted?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  The Ceann Comhairle accepted that.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I have no objection to the order in that event.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  Is it agreed that business be interrupted at midnight? Agreed. Are the proposals for dealing with Item No. 2 agreed?

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  We agreed to 20 [966] minutes but on reflection, given the detailed subject matter of this Bill, we would prefer if we were allowed 30 minutes for the speeches from the spokespersons.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I have no problem with that.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  As the Members will be in the House when others will be elsewhere we should facilitate them in any way we can.

Mr. Currie: Information on Austin Currie  Zoom on Austin Currie  It is known as extra time.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  Is that agreed? Agreed.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  At the stage I agreed to it as Whip I did not know I was concerned with the Bill myself. It is most unfortunate timing.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  It is the first time the Deputy ever admitted that.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  Are the proposals for dealing with Item No. 12 agreed? Agreed. Are the proposals for dealing with Item No. 13 agreed?

Miss Harney: Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  It is unsatisfactory that the Taoiseach will not respond to the debate. The questions I placed to the Taoiseach about the Summit have been ruled out of order by the Chair's office on the basis they would pre-empt the debate this evening which is merely statements. The Taoiseach will not be responding. That is unsatisfactory because the Government has many questions to answer regarding its behaviour at Corfu last week.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  Are the proposals for dealing with Item No. 13 agreed?

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Would the Taoiseach be willing to respond to the debate?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Deputies should assume I will anticipate the questions [967] which have been well rehearsed in the media. I have every opportunity to respond to them.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The Taoiseach should show some respect for this establishment.

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I will anticipate them and give answers Deputies might not like to hear. Words used by Deputy Harney such as “petty” and “vindictiveness” rest more readily on her shoulders in relation to her European candidates in recent times. Deputy Bruton paid a visit to the Christian Democrats meeting. He was not very successful and I hope he will take the opportunity to tell the House why he was not successful.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I will.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  That is small mindedness.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  Are the proposals for dealing with item No. 13 agreed?

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Will the Taoiseach respond to the debate? There is no need to make a speech about self-justification.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The Taoiseach will be anticipating Members questions and answering them in advance.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  I ask the Taoiseach not to insult our intelligence even more. Nobody coming into the House can say they will anticipate everything any Member will say. Will the Taoiseach indicate if he will respond to the debate?

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  They are afraid to let the Taoiseach out without a script.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Deputy Bruton does [968] not take up his usual style in recent times of freely——

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  Answer the question.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Is this in order?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is in order to give an answer if Deputies want to listen to it but if they do not, that is fine. Unless they desist from calling the Taoiseach a liar every time they get an opportunity it will not be a successful strategy.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  The Taoiseach is nothing but a miserable——

(Interruptions.)

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  The Taoiseach succeeded in making vague references to me and everybody else. He has not answered the question. Will he respond to the debate?

Question, “That the proposals for dealing with item No. 13 be agreed to” put and declared carried.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  As the House is aware there is a serious situation developing in Irish Steel which may conceivably require legislation and certainly statements to be made in the House. Has the Government any plans to keep the House informed and, if necessary, allow a discussion on it because of the impact of the potential loss of jobs in the Cork area?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  That is hardly appropriate to the Order of Business.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Any question of equity injection in Irish Steel would require legislation. The House was recalled during a summer recess to rescue the Goodman Group. Would the Government be willing to consider measures——

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  To rescue the Taoiseach?

[969]The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  There will be no need for that.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  ——to save jobs in Irish Steel with the same urgency?

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  We cannot debate that now.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The Taoiseach must know the results in advance.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I should refer Deputy Bruton to Question Time tomorrow during which the Minister responsible will give a full up-to-date account to the House.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  I see in a newspaper this morning the Taoiseach is credited with saving the whale. Has he any plans to save TEAM Aer Lingus?

Miss Quill: Information on Máirín Quill  Zoom on Máirín Quill  To save Jonah.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  There will be a full debate on that later today.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  I heard the same despair about Aer Lingus.

Proinsias De Rossa: Information on Prionsias De Rossa  Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  Does the Taoiseach intend to get Deputy Cowen off the hook?

Mr. Currie: Information on Austin Currie  Zoom on Austin Currie  It should be “harpoon”.

(Interruptions.)

Ms. O'Donnell: Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  Regarding promised legislation on abortion information and on the substantive issue, in light of media speculation that there is a case in the pipeline similar to the circumstances of the X case will the Taoiseach confirm that the State is not restricting a person from leaving the State for the purposes of terminating a pregnancy and if the Attorney General has been asked to advise any agency of the State in this regard?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  The legislation has not been finalised. It is nearing finality and following that it will be published. I do [970] not propose to comment on any media speculation.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Is the Taoiseach aware that the Government's failure to publish the recycling strategy which he promised in 1993 is likely to result in 60 redundancies in Kerbside in Dublin this summer unless industry is reassured that the Government has some commitment to this issue? That does not appear to be the case at present. This was promised before the recess as was the waste Bill.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  The Deputy cannot make a speech.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  What legislation?

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  The Taoiseach promised before the recess the waste Bill and the recycling strategy.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Work on the waste Bill has progressed successfully. It will be available in the next session.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  The waste Bill was promised before the recess. There will be 60 redundancies in that company.

Mr. Gilmore: Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  It is intended to publish the electoral Bill before the end of this session?

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  It is. It is nearing completion. I know it is the Opposition's prerogative to change from item No. 26 to item No. 27 but it should not be taken as a precedent that motions for Private Members' Business can be changed at the last minute. The House and the Government are entitled to a little more notice than that. While it is the preserve of the Opposition we should be given a little more notice.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Joe Jacob  Zoom on Joe Jacob  I understand the Fine Gael motion was accepted at short notice as an exceptional measure as this is the last sitting week before the summer recess. In the normal course, such a motion would not be allowed.

[971]Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  We did not table this motion last week as it seemed possible at that stage that there would be discussions between the Minister and the unions. It only became clear today that nothing of that nature was being done and, therefore, it was necessary to raise the matter in the Dáil. Hence the motion was tabled today. It could not have been tabled any earlier, otherwise we would have been accused of politicising the issue.

The Taoiseach: Information on Albert Reynolds  Zoom on Albert Reynolds  Adequate notice of a motion is required and, as Deputy Bruton knows, the deadline for putting down a Government amendment is 2 p.m.

Mr. Dukes: Information on Alan M. Dukes  Zoom on Alan M. Dukes  You can run but you cannot hide.

Mrs. Owen: Information on Nora Owen  Zoom on Nora Owen  We were trying to give the Government an opportunity to stop it.


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