Thursday, 13 December 1984
Seanad Eireann Debate
Mr. Ferris: It is proposed to take Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. It is also proposed to take Nos. 6, 7 and 8 together. I want to remind the House that these are being debated together because they are interlinked. I propose that we try to finish those if possible by 5 o'clock and that, one way or the other, they will be taken by 5 p.m. to help clear the Order Paper. We have had three different debating days on this motion.
Mr. B. Ryan: When is it proposed to complete No. 12 which we discussed yesterday, the Housing (Homeless Persons) Bill? We have had about four and a half hours' discussion in 12 months on it. I do not want to appear unreasonable but, on the other hand, I do not think I should have to say thank you for four and a half hours discussion in 12 months. I would like some indication as to whether it is proposed to take it fairly early in the New Year and, hopefully, to complete the Second Stage.
Mr. O'Leary: Could the Deputy Leader of the House indicate whether it is the intention to take No. 11 and complete that Bill before Christmas? I feel it should not be because it is a major Bill. I would like to know what the present intention is.
Mr. Ferris: With regard to the question raised by Senator Brendan Ryan in connection with No. 12, Senator Ryan knows we have quite a full programme before Christmas. This is one of the reasons Private Members' time last night was devoted to his Bill, to assist the passage of as many Stages of it as possible before Christmas. I do not think it would be fair to ask the people who are entitled to a motion to forfeit their Private Members' time after Christmas. It depends totally on the amount of business coming to us from the Government and what our sitting days will be. There is certainly no intention on this side of the House not to proceed as quickly as possible. We feel it is important either to proceed with it or get a substitute Bill. We have to proceed in the House as quickly as possible. I have no doubt that we will try to do that. I could not give a commitment before Christmas.
This brings me to Senator Hussey's question about what programme will be before Christmas. It is proposed to sit next week on Tuesday for a full day, starting at 10.30 a.m., and we will continue on from there to finish whatever business we have. If that takes all day Tuesday, Tuesday night, all day Wednesday, Wednesday night or whatever is necessary we will finish the legislation we have. There is a Social Welfare Bill coming to us next week. It is important to have it completed because it brings certain regulations into law after Christmas.
I have no indication yet of whether in fact the matter raised by Senator O'Leary  will be taken before Christmas. That would be a matter for next week's discussion. It is on our Order Paper but I have not moved it because it has not been agreed yet when to take it. I take his point that it is a very important Bill and will need full discussion. It is intended to adjourn for lunch from 12.30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m.
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