Before the business is proceeded with, is the Taoiseach in a position to state whether the Dáil is going to rise to-day, if it finishes the business arranged, and what is going to happen after that? Is he in a position to indicate what arrangements have been made with regard to the general election?
The General Election: Announcement by Taoiseach.
If the business, as arranged, is finished, the Dáil will rise to-day. I will give the House certain dates which I have here. It is my intention to advise the President so that on the 31st May he may issue his direction for the holding of a general election. His proclamation may be issued on the 31st May. That would leave the 9th of June as the last day for receiving nominations. In accordance with the schedule I have prepared, the 22nd June will be the polling day and then the outgoing Dáil, the present Dáil, would have to be dissolved not later than 8th July. The House is aware that it will be dissolved as soon as the Clerk of the Dáil is able to inform us that he has got returns for all the writs.
Is there any arrangement whereby candidates other than Fianna Fáil candidates will get a reasonable supply of petrol for the purpose of conducting the general election?
That is quite a different thing.
Well, I shall raise the matter on the Appropriation Bill.
I do not think so.
The same facilities are available for all candidates.
Is the Minister aware that turf lorries have been used for the purpose of getting people to Fianna Fáil conventions?
I know that there are political organisers going through County Dublin in private motor cars.
That is quite irrelevant.
Facilities have been given to all political Parties to use a number of private motor cars, and an allowance of petrol for the use of these cars has also been given.
When were they given?
They were given to the various Parties, including Clann na Talmhan, or is that the Deputy's Party?
The Minister need not show his spite any further.
Did the Deputy expel the Party, or did the Party expel him?
I think the Minister will find that the people will expel him at the election.
Coming events are casting shadows before but must not overshadow to-day's business.
Is the question of the conducting of the coming election not a matter of importance?
The question of the conduct of the election does not arise.
Well, I give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Appropriation Bill.
Might I point out that it might be better to hold the election on the 23rd instead of on the 22nd June, as the 23rd is Wednesday, which is a half day in many areas.
I think it would be better to hold it on the 22nd.