Fitzgerald, Garrett

Wednesday, 15 January 1969

Seanad Eireann Debate
Vol. 66 No. 4

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Address by the President.

Unless there are things indicated.More Button

Order of Business.

There seems to be evidence that one Senator wants to speak.More Button

At least one.More Button

Is there a precedent for the Committee deciding that at a meeting of the Seanad Members shall not speak, without the Seanad considering that? This appears to be the proposal put before us. Has the C...More Button

Who is making regulations governing meetings of the Seanad?More Button

Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Bill, 1969—Second Stage (Resumed).

To describe the debate on the Bill as sporadic would be to exaggerate its continuity. About eight months have elapsed since I was last on my feet in the middle of this interrupted speech. On the pre...More Button

Yes, they were perfectly entitled to have their view, but it did strike me as an eccentric view in relation to my assertion of what I felt very strongly because of my northern associations, that usin...More Button

Certainly.More Button

I cannot follow Senator Ó Maoláin's logic. I am in no way suggesting they should not express their views. If they wish to appear on RTE and describe me as an Orangeman they are very welcome.More Button

Then his views on Partition seem to me even more eccentric.More Button

I am not challenging his right to have it. I am only trying to suggest he had a right to express it. There should be a guarantee of the expression of minority views on RTE because under the present ...More Button

Of course, they should be equally represented. I thought it unnecessary to suggest that. I did not think anyone would quarrel with that, but I know people who would quarrel with the other propositio...More Button

It was not worth it. It was probably some individual reaction which was not of great importance. The matter, however, needs to be clarified. We should know the rules. The wording I have here shoul...More Button

That is absolute nonsense. I have never asked for permission from a Whip in matters such as this. The next area of sensitivity is this question of the giving of directions to the Authority on matter...More Button

I did not.More Button

No. I said there was no intervention in that case.More Button

I was speaking of Vietnam.More Button

Vietnam, Haughey, Boland and Civil Defence? Deal with the cases I mentioned.More Button

Like innuendo, smear campaign.More Button

We do not have a power of direction up our sleeves.More Button

Because of the composition of the board.More Button

Formulate an amendment.More Button

The Leader of one Opposition Party, not the Leader of the Opposition.More Button

If it is in the national interest?More Button

Secretly?More Button

Could the Senator inform me on that? Can he answer his own question?More Button

Does he not think we should know?More Button

But I should like to have the information.More Button

Their last chance.More Button

They know they have nothing to fear from us, you see.More Button

Would the Minister be satisfied with a judge?More Button

Or longer.More Button

Nothing I said I hope suggested that in practice RTE were not getting out to places. I was concerned only with the assertion of principle by the Minister for External Affairs as well as with the fact...More Button

That point did strike me too but I decided to leave it. In the course of this debate there have been a number of tributes paid to Telefís Éireann and also a number of criticisms. God knows they are n...More Button

It is a matter of opinion as to what is fair. If a Minister of State rings up and speaks to a junior official, as was the case of Deputy Haughey in regard to the NFA, somebody other than the Director...More Button

Not in this case.More Button

I am talking of a specific instance because Senator Eoin Ryan accused me of a smear campaign and of innuendo and of not giving concrete examples of where the Government intervened. He went on to say...More Button

I am sorry that Senator Eoin Ryan did not say in the course of his speech what he is now saying. I still say that the intervention of Deputy Haughey was an absolutely fair example of improper interve...More Button

——because it disagreed with the Minister's announcement made in the press.More Button

I am sorry. That is my recollection. Perhaps it is at fault.More Button

I do not think any reason was published.More Button

The Government suppressed information on these interventions. There was no public statement issued. One can go, in the Boland case, on what is published in Maurice Gorham's book, that he agreed to t...More Button

This occurred before the Bill was introduced and is not very relevant to the 1960 Act. This occurred in 1959. There are, therefore, these cases where Ministers intervened in a manner designed to sup...More Button

I have dealt with a number of aspects of the problem of RTE. I have not found a solution to the problem of a telephone call from a Minister to a junior official but it is a problem that needs to be a...More Button

The Senator spoke and I am sure that if he was aware of anything he would have told us.More Button

It is a pity the Senator did not do so. It is not so satisfactory to make the point by way of interruption.More Button

I would refer the Senator to what I said about the difficult position in which a Minister finds himself compared with his own backbenchers or even frontbench Members who are not Ministers. If the Se...More Button

Another argument against the Bill was that it might have the effect of restricting or tying down RTE and that it would be ineffective. Personally, I cannot see how it could be both simultaneously. If...More Button

The Leader of the House is very sensitive on this. Is he referring again to the programme on which there was one of me and five of them and he seemed to think that it was unfair representation——More Button

——because I was equal to the five of them?More Button

I seem to remember that the Members on the other side were very concerned to put forward their views about the language. I was alone but there was too many of me.More Button

Is it the ordinary asking of questions in the panel the Senator is concerned about? I had not noticed this but I am not a great panel watcher.More Button

I am sure if Senator Ó Maoláin makes representations through the usual channels he will get the usual replies.More Button

I appreciate that and see the Minister's view. There is a lot to be said for the Minister's viewpoint. I have the difficulty on committees and councils with public servants where I find that one has...More Button

The word “comment” has a number of meanings. Unfortunately, when you start putting it into legislation you destroy the value of the whole service. If there were an obligation to avoid censorship in t...More Button

I cannot comment on the alleged comment because I did not see that programme.More Button

There is no comment I can make on that.More Button

I appreciate that. We may have interference from all kinds of Fianna Fáil backbenchers and no doubt from some other backbenchers also.More Button

I am sure we all do. The significant thing in the reply from the other side of the House on this debate, such as it was, was the notable absence of statements from the other benches.More Button

There has been failure to comment on the question of the statements of principle made by the Minister for External Affairs and Deputy Lemass, as Taoiseach, and I ask the Minister specifically to comme...More Button

The rules are not communicated to Party Whips. I challenge Senator Ó Maoláin as to whether the Party Whips know about the quarter-hour rule.More Button

RTE. I am thinking about the Thomas Davis Lectures. A speaker, because he is a politician, must not talk for more than a quarter of an hour.More Button

That is the point I raised. I asked the Minister to tell me what the rules are governing the appearances of politicians on programmes.More Button

Regarding the Thomas, Davis Lectures, I may say that the other evening I was talking with some students and one of the points they made was about the total absence of any guidance to them concerning t...More Button

This is something about which we should be concerning ourselves. The Minister's reply worries me even more as we are in a position where there are not even rules which the politicians can know about ...More Button

I am talking about ordinary appearances of politicians on ordinary programmes. There was no answer from the Minister either on the point I raised on the question of expression of a ministerial viewpo...More Button

I am talking more of the ordinary run of programmes—programmes of public information on which I think the viewpoints of both sides concerning Northern Ireland are not adequately represented. I had ho...More Button

The Minister should take some opportunity of stating that publicly so that the public might be reassured as it is something that will be raised again and again. Finally, regarding the national interes...More Button

I cannot accept this from the other side. To reject this Bill would be wrong and the Minister's reason for doing so, my having put forward the case with detachment and impartiality, is wrong. Questio...More Button


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