Order of Business.

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 605 No. 4

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The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is proposed to take No.18, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann for a Council Decision on the exchange of information and co-operation concerning terrorist offences, back from committee; No. 19, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Planning and Development Regulations 2005; No. 28, Veterinary Practice Bill 2004 [Seanad] — Report and Final Stages (resumed); No. 2 , International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) Bill 2005 [Seanad] — Second and Subsequent Stages; No. 29, Driver Testing and Standards Authority Bill 2004 — Second Stage (resumed); No. 30, Health and Social Care Professionals Bill 2004 [Seanad] — Second Stage (resumed).

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. tonight and business shall be interrupted not later than 10 p.m.; No. 18 shall be decided without debate; the proceedings on No. 19 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a con[1062]clusion after 65 minutes and the following arrangements shall apply: the speech of a Minister or Minister of State and of the main spokespersons for the Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order, shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case, Members may share time and a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed five minutes; the proceedings on the resumed Report and Final Stages of No. 28 shall be taken today and shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 6 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; the following arrangements shall apply in relation to No. 2: the proceedings on Second Stage shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 9.30 p.m. tonight, the opening speech of a Minister or Minister of State and of the main spokespersons for the Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and the Technical Group, who shall be called upon in that order, shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case, the speech of each other member called upon shall not exceed ten minutes in each case, Members may share time and a Minister or Minister of State shall be called upon to make a speech in reply which shall not exceed five minutes; the proceedings on the Committee and Remaining Stages of No. 2 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 10 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 Transport.

Private Members’ Business shall be No. 56, motion re G8 Summit and overseas development aid (resumed), to conclude at 8.30 p.m.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  There are five proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for the late sitting agreed to?

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  It is not agreed. This schedule brings to 17 the number of items guillotined or taken without debate, which is hard to justify. We are providing for a late sitting despite the House deciding to rise as early as 1 July. Can I remind the Ceann Comhairle that this is the fourth revised schedule of business this week? The Government now proposes on Friday to introduce a Bill and take all Stages. This is the fourth time the Government has put through all Stages of a Bill in a single sitting without notice to the Opposition. For those reasons, I cannot see how it is acceptable for the Taoiseach to cause the House to rise so early and, at the same time, introduce an Order of Business that requires us to sit until 10 p.m.

Question, “That the late sitting be agreed to” put and declared carried.

[1063]An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 18, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann for a Council decision without debate, agreed to?

  12 o’clock

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  We have no report from the committee’s deliberations on this motion. I have had no sight of it. It is imperative that we have a full debate on what is an important element of the overall EU action plan. This has implications for our security, our civil liberties and our human rights. All these matters are affected by the content of the proposition and, more importantly, in the context of the EU action plan which was introduced four years ago and yet the House has never debated it. It is irrelevant of what one’s view may be of its content. Whatever opinion I may have, others may have one that is totally contrary. On principle, the House should be addressing the proposal. The greater number of Members simply do not know what it contains or what effects it may have on the rights of citizens of this State and other EU member states. The House should not permit something to go through on a nod and a wink without Members fulfilling their duty of proper inspection. That is why I again object to No. 18 proceeding as proposed.

Question, “That the proposal for dealing with No. 18, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann for a Council decision without debate be agreed to” put and declared carried.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 19, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Planning and Development Regulations 2005 agreed? Agreed.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 28, conclusion of Report and Final Stages of the Veterinary Practice Bill 2004 agreed?

Mr. Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  The proposal regarding No. 28 is not agreed. While Deputies Upton, Crawford and I are supposed to be debating the Report Stage amendments in the House, we are also supposed to be attending a meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture and Food to discuss Teagasc’s closures of profitable offices around the country. It is impossible for us to be in two places at once and we indicated this to the Whip earlier.

Mr. Kelleher: Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Why did I not hear about it?

Mr. Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  The solution is to restrict the discussion on the closure of the Teagasc offices [1064]to 30 minutes so we can facilitate the passage of this legislation. I ask the Government to look at this again and provide us with the facility to address both the legislation in the House and the issue in the committee meeting, rather than conducting both matters at the same time.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I will ask the Whip to contact the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Agriculture and Food with a view to arranging something. The time of the debate in this House cannot be changed but perhaps the committee can change the time of its meeting.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  If the Whip had not changed the time from last week to this week, this could have been facilitated. However, it has been chopped and changed without any discussion taking place, even though the committee meeting has been scheduled for the last four weeks.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is an important issue.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Is the proposal for dealing with No. 28, conclusion of Report and Final Stages of the Veterinary Practice Bill 2004 agreed? Agreed.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 2, conclusion of Second and Remaining Stages of the International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) Bill 2005 agreed?

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  I wish to put on the record of the House that the use of the guillotine in this widespread manner on a long list of Bills is simply unacceptable. It is bad parliamentary practice and is relatively new, particularly since, as my party leader, Deputy Rabbitte stated earlier, the House is breaking for three months. Hence, if the House wishes, there is plenty of time to have a debate without guillotining the Bill.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  I also wish to object to the application of the guillotine once again in respect of a number of items, including the last one. It is uncalled for and is unnecessary. As a preference, the Government should allow the opportunity for full participation by Members and the guillotine is wrong in principle unless there are specific reasons for it. I acknowledge that such reasons have presented themselves in the past, but in the normal course, it should not be the Government’s first option.

Question put: “That the proposal for dealing with No. 2, Second and Subsequent Stages of the International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) Bill 2005, be agreed.”

[1063][1065]The Dáil divided: Tá, 68; Níl, 53.

Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Ahern, Bertie. Information on Michael Ahern  Zoom on Michael Ahern  Ahern, Michael.
Information on Noel Ahern  Zoom on Noel Ahern  Ahern, Noel. Information on Barry Andrews  Zoom on Barry Andrews  Andrews, Barry.
Information on Seán Ardagh  Zoom on Seán Ardagh  Ardagh, Seán. Information on Niall Blaney  Zoom on Niall Blaney  Blaney, Niall.
Information on Johnny Brady  Zoom on Johnny Brady  Brady, Johnny. Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  Browne, John.
Information on Joe Callanan  Zoom on Joe Callanan  Callanan, Joe. Information on Ivor Callely  Zoom on Ivor Callely  Callely, Ivor.
Information on Pat Carey  Zoom on Pat Carey  Carey, Pat. Information on John Carty  Zoom on John Carty  Carty, John.
Information on Donie Cassidy  Zoom on Donie Cassidy  Cassidy, Donie. Information on Michael Collins  Zoom on Michael Collins  Collins, Michael.
Information on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Zoom on Beverley Cooper-Flynn  Cooper-Flynn, Beverley. Information on John Cregan  Zoom on John Cregan  Cregan, John.
Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  Cullen, Martin. Information on John Curran  Zoom on John Curran  Curran, John.
Information on Noel Davern  Zoom on Noel Davern  Davern, Noel. Information on Noel Dempsey  Zoom on Noel Dempsey  Dempsey, Noel.
Information on Tony Dempsey  Zoom on Tony Dempsey  Dempsey, Tony. Information on John Dennehy  Zoom on John Dennehy  Dennehy, John.
Information on Jimmy Devins  Zoom on Jimmy Devins  Devins, Jimmy. Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  Ellis, John.
Information on Michael Finneran  Zoom on Michael Finneran  Finneran, Michael. Information on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Dermot Fitzpatrick  Fitzpatrick, Dermot.
Information on Seán Fleming  Zoom on Seán Fleming  Fleming, Seán. Information on Mildred Fox  Zoom on Mildred Fox  Fox, Mildred.
Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher  Gallagher, Pat The Cope. Information on Jim Glennon  Zoom on Jim Glennon  Glennon, Jim.
Information on Noel Grealish  Zoom on Noel Grealish  Grealish, Noel. Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  Hanafin, Mary.
Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  Harney, Mary. Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on Seán Haughey  Haughey, Seán.
Information on Jackie Healy-Rae  Zoom on Jackie Healy-Rae  Healy-Rae, Jackie. Information on Máire Hoctor  Zoom on Máire Hoctor  Hoctor, Máire.
Information on Cecilia Keaveney  Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  Keaveney, Cecilia. Information on Billy Kelleher  Zoom on Billy Kelleher  Kelleher, Billy.
Information on Peter Kelly  Zoom on Peter Kelly  Kelly, Peter. Information on Seamus Kirk  Zoom on Seamus Kirk  Kirk, Seamus.
Information on Tom Kitt  Zoom on Tom Kitt  Kitt, Tom. Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Lenihan, Brian.
Information on Michael McDowell  Zoom on Michael McDowell  McDowell, Michael. Information on Tom McEllistrim  Zoom on Tom McEllistrim  McEllistrim, Thomas.
Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness  McGuinness, John. Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  Martin, Micheál.
Information on John Moloney  Zoom on John Moloney  Moloney, John. Information on Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  Moynihan, Donal.
Information on Michael Moynihan  Zoom on Michael Moynihan  Moynihan, Michael. Information on Michael Mulcahy  Zoom on Michael Mulcahy  Mulcahy, Michael.
Information on M. J. Nolan  Zoom on M. J. Nolan  Nolan, M.J. Information on Éamon Ó Cuív  Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív  Ó Cuív, Éamon.
Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl  Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  O’Dea, Willie.
Information on Liz O'Donnell  Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  O’Donnell, Liz. Information on Dennis O'Donovan  Zoom on Dennis O'Donovan  O’Donovan, Denis.
Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Batt. Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Ned.
Information on Fiona O'Malley  Zoom on Fiona O'Malley  O’Malley, Fiona. Information on Tim O'Malley  Zoom on Tim O'Malley  O’Malley, Tim.
Information on Tom Parlon  Zoom on Tom Parlon  Parlon, Tom. Information on Peter Power  Zoom on Peter Power  Power, Peter.
Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  Roche, Dick. Information on Mae Sexton  Zoom on Mae Sexton  Sexton, Mae.
Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  Smith, Brendan. Information on Noel Treacy  Zoom on Noel Treacy  Treacy, Noel.
Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  Walsh, Joe. Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Woods, Michael.



[1065]Níl
Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  Allen, Bernard. Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen  Breen, Pat.
Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Broughan, Thomas P. Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  Burton, Joan.
Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton  Connaughton, Paul. Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Costello, Joe.
Information on Jerry Cowley  Zoom on Jerry Cowley  Cowley, Jerry. Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  Crawford, Seymour.
Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy  Deasy, John. Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Durkan, Bernard J.
Information on Damien English  Zoom on Damien English  English, Damien. Information on Olwyn Enright  Zoom on Olwyn Enright  Enright, Olwyn.
Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  Gilmore, Eamon. Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Gogarty, Paul.
Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Gormley, John. Information on Tony Gregory  Zoom on Tony Gregory  Gregory, Tony.
Information on Tom Hayes  Zoom on Tom Hayes  Hayes, Tom. Information on Michael D. Higgins  Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  Higgins, Michael D.
Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  Howlin, Brendan. Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  Kehoe, Paul.
Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  Kenny, Enda. Information on Kathleen Lynch  Zoom on Kathleen Lynch  Lynch, Kathleen.
Information on Pádraic McCormack  Zoom on Pádraic McCormack  McCormack, Padraic. Information on Finian McGrath  Zoom on Finian McGrath  McGrath, Finian.
Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath  McGrath, Paul. Information on Paddy McHugh  Zoom on Paddy McHugh  McHugh, Paddy.
Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  McManus, Liz. Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell  Mitchell, Olivia.
Information on Arthur Morgan  Zoom on Arthur Morgan  Morgan, Arthur. Information on Catherine Murphy  Zoom on Catherine Murphy  Murphy, Catherine.
Information on Gerard Murphy  Zoom on Gerard Murphy  Murphy, Gerard. Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  Naughten, Denis.
Information on Dan Neville  Zoom on Dan Neville  Neville, Dan. Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
Information on Aengus O Snodaigh  Zoom on Aengus O Snodaigh  Ó Snodaigh, Aengus. Information on Fergus O'Dowd  Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd  O’Dowd, Fergus.
Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  O’Keeffe, Jim. Information on Brian O'Shea  Zoom on Brian O'Shea  O’Shea, Brian.
Information on Séamus Pattison  Zoom on Séamus Pattison  Pattison, Seamus. Information on Willie Penrose  Zoom on Willie Penrose  Penrose, Willie.
Information on John Perry  Zoom on John Perry  Perry, John. Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  Quinn, Ruairi.
Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  Rabbitte, Pat. Information on Seán Ryan  Zoom on Seán Ryan  Ryan, Seán.
Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  Sargent, Trevor. Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  Sherlock, Joe.
Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Shortall, Róisín. Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  Stagg, Emmet.
Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton  Stanton, David. Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  Timmins, Billy.
Information on Liam Twomey  Zoom on Liam Twomey  Twomey, Liam. Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton  Upton, Mary.
Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Wall, Jack.  

[1065]Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kitt and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Kehoe and Stagg.

[1065]Question declared carried.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  A matter raised by the Taoiseach, on behalf of the Government, has been about competency and this is the last time he will be in [1066]the House before the summer recess unless he turns up tomorrow. Nine of the 13 Bills on the list published by the Chief Whip, which were due to be published, have not been. These include the Abbotstown sports campus Bill, the energy [1067](miscellaneous provisions) Bill, the Foyle and Carlingford fisheries Bill, the sea fisheries Bill, the employment permits Bill, the employees (provision of information and consultation) Bill, the diplomatic relations and immunities (amendment) Bill, the criminal justice (international co-operation) Bill and the tribunals of inquiry (evidence) (amendment) Bill. Only four of the 13 Bills listed have been published. That is an appalling record.

The Chief Whip, after due consideration by the Cabinet, published the work for the Legislature for this session, that is, 13 Bills to be published and debated in the House, but we find at the end of the session that nine have not been published. That is an appalling record in terms of competency. It does down the Chief Whip who struggles away against the vagaries of politics each week. Will the Taoiseach comment on that? Can we have an assurance that when the House comes back, the list of Bills proposed to be published for the autumn session will be realistic and that Deputies will know it is seriously intended to deal with the body of work on the list produced by the Cabinet?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  There are two issues. We have just had a vote on a Bill which passed all Stages in the Seanad where it was introduced and we now want to pass it in the Dáil. It is a short, technical Bill which was opposed even though it helps an Internet based aircraft register which will be based in Ireland. It was opposed not because Deputies were against the Bill but because the Chief Whip is trying to complete Bills from 2004 which have been around for a long time. There is not much point in putting forward a number of new Bills when we cannot even clear existing Bills. We are criticised for guillotining Bills that are not of great significance. If we could clear Bills more quickly here, it would be far better. One of the proposals of the Whip is that we spend more time on legislation, so that we could try to speed up the process.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Rubber stamping legislation is what the Taoiseach wants us to do.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The energy (miscellaneous provisions) Bill will be published in the next few weeks. The Foyle and Carlingford fisheries Bill is also ready for publication. The sea fisheries Bill will be published in July. The employers (provision of information and consultation) Bill is also ready. The diplomatic relations and immunities (amendment) Bill has been approved by the Government and is awaiting publication. The Twenty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill has been published. The medicines Bill, approved by the Government, is awaiting publication. The criminal justice (international co-operation) Bill will be published in July. The Prisons Bill has been published. The tribunals Bill will be published in the autumn. The air navi[1068]gation Bill has been approved by the Government and is awaiting publication. There are four Bills not on the list, namely the British-Irish Agreement (Amendment) Bill, the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) Bill, the Air Navigation Transport (Indemnities) Bill and the Civil Registration Bill, which were taken.

We have published 25 Bills since last summer. We will publish several more over the next few weeks. I thank the House for enacting 22 Bills since last September, which is a large amount of legislation. If we could change the schedule to spend more time legislating, it would certainly help the process. That is the real problem.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  I am not sure what the Taoiseach means by that last remark. It has often been made by some of his Ministers as well. Is he suggesting that we put those Bills through on the nod? Many pieces of legislation that have gone through this House have got inadequate time and scrutiny. The Taoiseach knows that. He has Ministers who would like to dispense with Parliament, make law in their offices and deal with the media outside.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  The next step is dictatorship.

Mr. Rabbitte: Information on Pat Rabbitte  Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy McDowell, is probably giving another briefing at this moment. As far as Ministers like him are concerned, the Dáil is an irritant. Now I hear the Taoiseach wishes to make an assault on one of the few elements of parliamentary accountability, which is Leaders’ Questions. He will try to neuter it before the next parliamentary session.

Was the work permits Bill published this morning? Can we be sure the Minister has read it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The work permits Bill will put the existing employment permit administrative arrangements on a legislative basis. This Bill will be published today.

The point I am making is that we could schedule our business to give more hours to dealing with legislation. The Whip’s proposal is trying to move legislative time from 11.5 hours to 15 hours.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  One would think he was the only one with proposals.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I think we can do it. We often watch interesting debates on the Adjournment at 9 p.m. which could easily be held in the morning and would be of far more benefit to everyone.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  The Minister might turn up in the morning.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Yes. There would be a much better chance of the Minister turning up in the morning and someone might report it. If the House does not wish to change, I am quite happy to continue with the way we operate, even if it represents far more than any other Taoiseach ever did before.

[1069]Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  If the Taoiseach says that often enough, he will believe it.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  We could improve the current situation. If everyone believes that it is fine the way it is, that is all right with me.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  The Taoiseach talks about improving matters in the House. It is strange that the proposals from the Green Party and others, requesting that the Dáil only go into recess for the month of August, requesting sittings on Friday, demanding that the Ceann Comhairle ensures the Taoiseach actually answers questions——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I have no power in that whatsoever.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  We want to change that and give him that power.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  No Chair in the world has that power.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  This Ceann Comhairle will be the first in the world with such a power.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  The point I am making is that the Taoiseach claims to want more time for legislation. We are not stopping him in that and we would welcome that becoming a reality. In the meantime, we are very constrained in what we can do. The claims made about Bills to be published during the Dáil session are not being honoured. Does the Taoiseach agree the claims should be up to and including the summer recess? He claims the energy (miscellaneous provisions) Bill will not be published this week, despite promises to the contrary. We have a serious energy crisis in this country.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy has made his point and is being repetitive.

Mr. Sargent: Information on Trevor Sargent  Zoom on Trevor Sargent  It is a serious point and I raised it under Standing Order 31, but it was not agreed to by the Ceann Comhairle. Will the Taoiseach take back his comment that he wants the parliamentary session extended? Will he acknowledge that nobody is stopping him from extending the time?

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  We must recognise that the Taoiseach’s presence is a critical issue when dealing with Dáil reform. Any package of reforms would have to include the Taoiseach’s accountability to the House on a Thursday. Many Deputies would be open to the idea of extended time at the beginning of the week, if some of the areas to which the Taoiseach alluded could be accommodated, including Private Members’ time. Why should Private Members’ time be confined to Tuesday and Wednesday evenings? There is a tendency in the greater part of the media to ignore much of what is raised. Matters on the [1070]Adjournment could be reconfigured to allow Members, especially backbenchers, a greater opportunity for a more fulfilling participation on the floor of the House.

These are all important matters, but the Chief Whip’s current proposal is all about reducing the accountability of the Government. It is not about enhancing engagement or accountability to the House. The proposal is therefore flawed and will make no progress unless it addresses properly the issues to which I referred.

The very restrictive way in which the Order of Business operates also needs to be examined. There is a failure on the part of the Taoiseach to respond properly to specific questions put to him. The need for debate on critical areas is ignored. A point made on the Order of Business today was completely ignored by the Taoiseach. He gave no response. A Deputy has just left and we must make our own judgment on what the silence represents. We spent much time today debating the NESC report on housing. The Taoiseach has given no indication, six months later, on whether the House will be allowed to debate it. Will the Government provide time in the resumed session in late September? The Members want to address these important issues on the floor of this Chamber. It is incumbent on the Government to provide those opportunities.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I am completely open to suggestions, but with such suggestions, the Opposition Members will want it all their way. They want the Government to accept these things. It does not work that way. If people want to have sensible dialogue, the Whip will be around most of the summer and he will be glad to hear from them. There must be a sense of give and take. People come with a shopping basket and demand what they want. Others will demand something else. We will continue to have what we have had for the 28 years I have been in the House and for the 28 years before that which is Adjournments at night time. Can people not see that nobody takes any notice of them?

Mr. Gormley: Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  That is because Ministers do not turn up.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Ministers do not take the questions.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  We could switch around the business of the day and make it very productive if people were really interested. I do not mind and would like to see some changes made. It will not matter to me. I will do what I am doing. I was asked to make a change a few years ago and did so. I have been accommodating. It is nice to be here and a great honour. While this is a lovely place to be and all the rest of it, we do not organise it very effectively. That is all I am saying. It will be the same way in 28 years time, which will certainly not concern me.

[1071]Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: Information on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  Zoom on Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin  The Taoiseach will not be here.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is up to Members to make changes or not.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  I was set to extend a warm welcome to the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, but he must, unfortunately, have been bored with proceedings as he left the House.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  He was here for two hours.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  And the Taoiseach was talking for most of the time.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Does the Deputy have a question appropriate to the Order of Business?

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  This is very appropriate to the Order of Business as there is a plethora of legislation on the introduction of which the Minister could have enlightened us. The Postal and Telecommunications Services Bill was on the Order Paper but has disappeared. If the Minister had waited for a further five minutes, he could have told us when he proposes to restore it to the Order Paper.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy has made his point. I call the Taoiseach.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  There is also the energy (miscellaneous provisions) Bill, electricity Bill, electronic communications (miscellaneous provisions) Bill, the natural gas regulation Bill and the Bord Gáis Éireann Bill. While all these are within the Minister’s area of responsibility, he could not stay to give information on them. I was prepared to welcome him to the House. We are not so bad that he should not tolerate us for a little while. I would like a comprehensive answer to my question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  If the Deputy would resume his seat, Deputy Broughan could speak.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  Can the Taoiseach tell the House when or if it is intended to restore the Postal and Telecommunications Services Bill to the Order Paper? While I am on my feet——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Taoiseach should reply on legislation. When will the Bill be brought back?

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Minister who was sitting across the way is responsible for the postal service obligation to deliver to every household and business every working day, and this has broken down.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise on the Order of Business.

[1072]Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  The Ceann Comhairle would not let me raise it on two days last week.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Bill has been taken off the list. The Deputy will need to table a question to the Minister to find out when he wants to restore it.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  It is Taoiseach’s responsibility to ensure that a significant problem is addressed. He is doing nothing about it. The postal service is collapsing while the Taoiseach and the Minister will not lift a finger.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I call Deputy Naughten.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  We did not hear the Taoiseach’s reply.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  In the Taoiseach’s constituency——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Deputy Broughan should allow the Taoiseach to speak.

Mr. Broughan: Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  ——no post has been delivered.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  If Deputy Broughan wants to disrupt the House, we will move on to the next business. It is after 12.30 p.m. and we are moving on to No. 18.

Mr. Gormley: Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  Come on. We are sitting here waiting.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  Questions on promised legislation must be answered.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  If Deputy Durkan and his colleagues behave themselves in the House, the Taoiseach can answer the question.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I answered the question on the Postal and Telecommunications Services Bill but Deputies did not hear me because of interruptions. I said the Bill had been removed from the schedule. If the Deputy wants to find out what the Minister will do, he should table a question. It is not on the current list.

The electronic communications (miscellaneous provisions) Bill is due later in the year while the energy (miscellaneous provisions) Bill will be published during the summer.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten  The Railway Safety Bill was published in 2001 before the previous general election and republished after it in autumn 2002. Committee Stage took place in spring 2003. When will we take Report Stage? While I was led to believe by the Department that the legislation was ready for Report Stage last June, which is a full 12 months ago, it has yet to be brought forward.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Report Stage is a matter for the House.

[1073]The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I understand the Bill is ready and ordered for Report Stage. I will raise it with the Minister.

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  Given the continuing fallout from the Morris tribunal report and controversy on matters requiring clarification, especially the issue of when the Carty summary was available and its substance and the redesignation of a murder investigation into a hit and run accident——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Does the Deputy have a question appropriate to the Order of Business?

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  ——that was telegraphed to nobody for two and a half years, is the Taoiseach prepared to change the terms of reference of the Morris tribunal?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise on the Order of the Business.

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  It is a matter for legislation. There are two options. The first is to change the terms of reference of the tribunal to allow the matters outlined to be investigated and the second is to refer both Morris reports to the Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights, which will meet in July.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That does not arise on the Order of Business. I suggest the Deputy submit a question. Is there any promise to change the legislation?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  There was a promise to debate the report in the House and it was honoured two weeks ago.

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  The committee is meeting in July——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy has made his point and is out of order. We must move on as a number of Deputies are offering and I would like to facilitate them. If Deputies continue to disrupt the business of the House, we cannot facilitate further speakers. I call Deputy Gormley.

Mr. Costello: Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello  What is the Taoiseach’s reply on legislation?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Taoiseach has already replied.

Mr. Gormley: Information on John Gormley  Zoom on John Gormley  When will the House take Second Stage of the referendum Bill on the EU constitution?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  As I said recently, the Bill will not be taken during this session. As we are now into the period of discussion, it is unlikely to be taken before the end of the year.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  When will the register of people who are considered unsafe to work with children [1074]be dealt with? In light of a case I have encountered of a young mother of two who has had no financial support since 1 April owing to family dispute, when will the family law Bill be introduced to address the issues involved?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The interdepartmental working group has reported to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on the register of persons who are considered unsafe to work with children and on proposals for the reform of vetting of employees by the Garda. The Minister has appointed an implementation group to advise on implementation and the necessity for legislation. The Departments of Health and Children and Education and Science are in discussion on the establishment of an employment consultancy service. When the process has concluded, they will get back to the legislation. The family law Bill will be introduced next year.

Mr. Sherlock: Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock  When is the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) Bill, which was withdrawn by the Taoiseach, likely to be restored? Will the Taoiseach give a reason as to why it has not been restored to the Order Paper?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The Bill is not proceeding as a Supreme Court decision has been made which has implications for it. Officials have not finished working through the legislation following the decision.

Mr. Kehoe: Information on Paul Kehoe  Zoom on Paul Kehoe  The gaming and lotteries (amendment) Bill has been mentioned on a number of occasions on the Order of Business. The status of the legislation is that its publication is not expected or possible to indicate at this stage. Is there any possibility the Bill can be put on the pink list, or section A, for the autumn recess?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I understand there are a number of policy issues and other aspects of the proposed legislation which are being re-examined. Some aspects of the Bill are being dealt with within the civil law (miscellaneous provisions) Bill while the others are being reviewed.

Mr. J. O’Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  Can we bet on that?

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  The programme for Government promised the establishment of a Dublin transport authority, a Bill for which appeared on the list of promised legislation until quite recently when the Government dropped it. As the Minister for Transport has recently announced his intention to establish an authority, can the Taoiseach tell the House whether this is Government policy again? If so, when can we expect the legislation to establish it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The original Bill on the list was the greater Dublin land use and transport authority Bill. The Government is not proceeding with that legislation and the Minister last week [1075]announced his intention to re-examine another Bill. It is not the same Bill.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I asked if it was now Government policy to establish a Dublin transport authority.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy will have to submit a question to the Minister. I call Deputy Timmins.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  My question is on promised legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy has asked the question on legislation and it has been answered. I have called Deputy Timmins.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  I did not get an answer. I asked the Taoiseach when we can expect the legislation and he wants to answer it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  If the Deputy does not resume her seat, we will move on to the next business.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  Why is the Ceann Comhairle being argumentative? The Taoiseach wants to answer.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Taoiseach has already answered the Deputy’s question.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  No, he has not. I asked a question on legislation.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  All the various aspects of the legislation are being examined by the Minister and it is his intention to bring forward a Bill to tidy up the outstanding matters.

Ms Shortall: Information on Róisín Shortall  Zoom on Róisín Shortall  When?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  As soon as possible.

Mr. Stagg: Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg  That put the Ceann Comhairle in his place.

Mr. Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  When can we expect to see the company law consolidation and reform Bill?

When will the State pay small time creditors in Arklow? Three years have passed——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The first question on legislation is in order.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  Next year.

Mr. Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  When will the many small family businesses in Arklow and south Wicklow be paid?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I call Deputy McManus. Deputy Timmins, we cannot have a debate on the issue now.

[1076]Mr. Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  The State is a 51% stakeholder. When will these people be paid? They have been waiting for three years.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I ask Deputy Timmins to give way to his colleague, Deputy McManus.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I am interested in hearing the answer to that question.

Mr. Crawford: Information on Seymour Crawford  Zoom on Seymour Crawford  What about the workers in Belfast also?

Mr. Timmins: Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins  They have been waiting for three years.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Deputy McManus should be allowed to speak without interruption.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  It would be very welcome if the Taoiseach took the opportunity——

Mr. Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  I am reminded of Irish Shipping and the appalling record of the then Government.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  ——to answer Deputy Timmins’s question. In view of the fact that he will not be in the House again I hope the Taoiseach will answer the question Deputy Timmins rightly asked about an area in County Wicklow.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children is launching a major report today on bioethics in the Irish Council for Bioethics in regard to the disposal of human organs. This issue has caused great anguish and distress to many families across the country. When this issue first became known, the Government promised a human tissues Bill. When will the Bill be published?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Taoiseach to reply on the human tissues Bill.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I have a second question. A craven decision was made by the Tánaiste not to introduce risk equalisation which would ensure——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I am sorry, Deputy McManus raised that yesterday.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  ——proper competition in the health insurance market. May I ask the Taoiseach again, since tomorrow we will have——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  That question was dealt with yesterday.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I hope the Ceann Comhairle will give me the same courtesy he gave to Deputy Ó Caoláin to allow me to finish my question.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  Standing Order 26 applies to everybody, even Deputy McManus.

[1077]Mr. Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  It applies to the nobility as well.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We have to move on to the next business.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  Even half the time would be a welcome change.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  No Chair in the past has allowed as many questions on the Order of Business. I expect the Deputy to live within Standing Order 26.

Mr. Roche: Information on Dick Roche  Zoom on Dick Roche  The aristocracy believes the rules apply to the ordinary people.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  The Taoiseach might reply on whether we may have a short debate on the matter of risk equalisation tomorrow. When is this Bill coming back and can we deal with an issue of central concern to people currently subscribing to VHI.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  It does not arise on the Order of Business. Is a debate promised?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  No, the first Bill is not listed.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I call Deputy Quinn.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  I am sorry but it is promised legislation.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is not listed so I cannot tell when it will come forward.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  When will we get it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is not listed so I cannot tell the Deputy when it will be ready. Deputy McManus should table a question to the Tánaiste because it is not on the list.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  That is a stupid thing to say, I cannot table a question to the Minister.

A Deputy:  The Minister will be on holiday for three months.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  The Minister could answer.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  Will the Taoiseach indicate to the House when the promised legislation which is entitled the human tissues Bill——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I call Deputy Quinn.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  ——which was promised by the Government——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  I have called Deputy Quinn.

Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  When will we have it?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  It is not listed.

[1078]Ms McManus: Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus  We are never going to get it.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I will ask the Tánaiste to give Deputy McManus an answer, but it is not listed.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  The Taoiseach misled the House earlier this morning in reply to Leaders’ Questions. Will he take the opportunity before the House rises to correct the record? He may not have been aware of it, but he said in regard to the commitment to overseas aid that the United States had no dedicated target. He was wrong. In the year 2002 in the Monterey——

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Deputy has made his point. That does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  I want to facilitate the Taoiseach. I want to tell him where he was wrong and give him the opportunity to correct it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  We cannot have a debate on the matter. The Deputy has made his point. Does the Taoiseach wish to respond?

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  If you had not interrupted me, a Cheann Comhairle, I would have been finished by this stage.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  The Chair does not interrupt.

Mr. Quinn: Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  In the Monterey consensus, the United States committed itself to the 0.7% ODA target. The Taoiseach may wish at some stage to correct the wrong he told the House earlier today.

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I was advised last week by all the NGOs, who are the experts in this area, that the United States would not state a target. In my meeting with many of the G8 leaders last Friday, they told me that the United States has no target. If it has a target then I am wrong, but it was displayed on an excellent chart and clearly put to me that Condoleezza Rice had refused to quote a target. That was the source of my information. President Clinton was right when he said that if his country did half of what we did, he would be very proud of it.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  They do not break promises at the UN.

Mr. Wall: Information on Jack Wall  Zoom on Jack Wall  Given the major development proposed in regard to the Curragh racecourse, when will the Curragh of Kildare Bill come before the House?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  In the autumn session.


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