Thursday, 18 July 1985
Seanad Eireann Debate
Professor Dooge: It is proposed to order Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4. No. 1 is the Nurses Bill and the Minister for Health is anxious that the Second Stage debate on this Bill, which we have had with us for some months, should at least be launched before the recess. It is proposed that there should be one speech from each side of the House and then the Second Stage debate would be adjourned until September or October. Also it is proposed to take No. 2, the Combat Poverty Agency Bill on Report, on which there are Ministerial amendments, some of them meeting amendments brought forward on Committee Stage.
In the course of the last few months or so, a number of undertakings were given by the Deputy Leader of the House and myself in regard to the discussion of matters before the recess. These included the report of the Joint Committee on Marriage Breakdown, the Housing (Homeless Persons) Bill and the question of a fuller debate on developments in the European Communities. There is some difficulty with all three of these on hand, but it was indicated to me by Senators who had expressed an interest that No.  5, developments in the European Communities, should be left until the autumn. I think we should discuss the other two matters today. I put them down in the order in which they have been for some time but I have no strong views about the order in which Nos. 3 and 4 should be debated, and if the House wishes to debate them in the reverse order I have no objection.
Mr. B. Ryan: Let me follow on from the Leader of the House and suggest that there is no reasonable logic to suggest that we should deal with legislation as a unit. Also, since my Homeless Persons Bill has been around for some time and since the debate is coming towards the end of its Second Stage at least, let me request the House that the Order of Business should be 1, 2, 4 and 3, in other words that the Housing (Homeless Persons) Bill be taken before we resume the debate on marital breakdown. I propose that formally as an amendment to the Order of Business.
Professor Dooge: I am happy to accept that amendment, so we will debate Nos. 1 and 2, then take up No. 4 and then, assuming that that debate finishes before 5 p.m., go on to No. 3. In regard to No. 25, it is not customary in the last sitting days of a term to take Private Members' Business, but I think this motion, since it is a cross-party motion, might well be taken by agreement as the first motion of the new session before we settle down to our rotation system. Accordingly, I see no reason why it should not be taken when we resume on 25 September.
Mr. J. O'Toole: I understand that the reason that Senator Brendan Ryan's Homeless Persons Bill has not been taken  and has been shelved for so long is that a Government Homeless Persons Bill is on the way. Either the Leader or Deputy Leader of the House indicated to us here that it was at the draft stage and would be on the Order Paper inside the next few weeks. We will have to straighten this out. It is not fair to Senator Ryan if he is not going to get in with his Bill and we will be having another Homeless Persons Bill in the autumn brought in by the Government. We want some clarification on whether the Homeless Persons Bill which the Government intend to bring in will be with us in the autumn.
Professor Dooge: On that point of clarification, as I reported to the House, a Bill has been drafted and that Bill is before Government. I understand that the Government have to give it final consideration before it is published. I do not think it would be appropriate for this House to adjourn without dealing with this Private Members' Bill that has been on our Order Paper for a considerable time. If the Second Stage of the Private Members' Bill is completed today, I would be proposing that the Committee Stage be postponed until, say, early November, by which time there is no reason why the Government Bill should not have been published and discussed in the public arena.
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