I venture to suggest to the Dáil an amendment standing in my name on Order 9. I am dealing with the question of a count. The Standing Order as it stand provides that "if, at any stage in a sitting of Dáil Eireann, any Teachta calls the attention of the Ceann Comhairle that there are less than twenty Teachtai present, the Ceann Comhairle, should he be satisfied, on a count, that there is not a quorum, shall adjourn the Dáil until the next ordinary sitting." The amendment I would suggest is that you should put in as an alternative "to insert after the word `until' the words `a later hour, to be named by him, or until."' The object of the amendment is this—and it may result in the saving of a day on more occasions than one— we are all very diligent in our attendance now; but these Standing Orders will be in use, and I hope will continue in use for a very long time. There may come a time when we may not always be so punctual as we have been for the last eight or ten days. People don't always take so much interest in the questions of other people as to come in here when there is a long list of questions, and listening to Ministers giving answers in which they and their constituents do not take any interest. It is quite possible some of us seeing a motion laid down in the paper which we may like to burke, might suddenly, in the midst of the question, five or ten minutes after the Dáil had sat move for a count, and if twenty members were not present the whole day may be lost. The amendment I would suggest may enable the Chairman to adjourn the Dáil, if there are not enough members present—adjourn the Dáil for an hour, or a half an hour, or some reasonable time on the same day to be named by him, when it will re-assemble, and if there is a proper quorum present business will go on, and the day will be saved. I don't want to waste time in putting the amendment, but I do suggest that time is a very important thing for all of us, and not only now, but equally important later on in the Dáil. I venture to suggest that this amendment will receive the approval of the Dáil, and it will do no harm to anyone.
REPORT OF STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE. - ORDER 9.
There is just one point I would like to draw attention to in Order 9:—"If, at any stage in a sitting of Dáil Eireann, any Teachta calls the attention of the Ceann Comhairle to the fact that there are less than twenty Teachtai present." Is that inclusive of the Ceann Comhairle? Do you agree to that interpretation
The Dáil agreed.
The Clerk then read the Rule as amended:—"If at any stage in a sitting of Dáil Eireann, any Teachta calls the attention of the Ceann Comhairle to the fact that there are less than twenty Teachtai present, inclusive of the Ceann Comhairle, the Ceann Comhairle should he be satisfied on a count that there is not a quorum, shall adjourn the Dáil until a later hour to be named by him, or until the next ordinary sitting."