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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 29 May 1946

Vol. 101 No. 8

Order of Business. - Suspension of Standing Order 83.

It is proposed to take business as on the Order Paper: Items Nos. 1, 3 and 2 - No. 2 to be taken at 5.30. If it is completed before 10,30, the debate on item No. 3 will be resumed. In connection with item No. 2, it will be necessary to move a motion which, with the leave of the House, I propose to do now. I move: -

That notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in Standing Order 83, the time allowed for the debate on the motion standing in Deputy Donnellan's name on [1036] to-day's Order Paper shall not exceed a period of five hours in the aggregate.

Motion agreed to.

Am I to take it that the order of business has again been changed? I raised this matter with the Tánaiste on Thursday last when the order of business was announced as the Votes for the Department of Education, the Department of Industry and Commerce and the Department of Local Government. I asked if the arrangement to take the Public Health Bill this week still stood and the Tánaiste said: "If the business ordered is disposed of." I understand that that now is being departed from.

The business of the House is ordered from day to day, and not a week in advance. Apart from that, the Deputy's interpretation of what the Tánaiste said is quite incorrect.

May I ask-----

Does Deputy Morrissey want to run the House? The Government is entitled to run it so far as the order of business is concerned, and the Public Health Bill was ordered for yesterday.

Is the Minister finished? The order of business was announced by the Tánaiste who mentioned the Votes for Education, Industry and Commerce and Local Government.

Last week.

Perhaps the Minister will allow me to put my point and let the Chair decide. The Minister has one record: in 19 years in this House, he has never made a relevant speech and never made a valid point of order.

Satan rebuking sin.

On that announcement being made, I asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce, who was acting as leader of the House on that occasion, whether the arrangement made prior to that announcement that the Public Health Bill would be taken [1037] this week still stood and he said that would depend on whether the business ordered was completed. I merely want to know whether the Government are departing from that now. Perhaps even the Minister for Local Government might be able to answer that question.

The Deputy's recollection is quite incorrect. The only undertaking the Government gave was that given in reply to Deputy Dillon, that is, that the Public Health Bill would not be taken before last week. The Government is quite at liberty in its discretion to order the business of the House for each day as it seems appropriate for that day.

So long as we know where we are - that the Government will fix, arrange and alter the order of business as it pleases.

As it suits Government business.

As it pleases, and without any prior intimation to the House that business ordered for to-day may be completely altered at the whim of a Minister to-morrow. If that is the Government idea of having proper discussion of public business, it is not our idea.

With regard to the statement made by the Minister in connection with item No. 2 on the Paper, I fully agree that five hours is quite long enough, but I should like to know if there is a danger that I may not get sufficient time to reply? Is there a specified time for the mover's reply?

Twenty minutes at least.

It should be 20 minutes at least.

It has been decided that 20 minutes will be given to the mover of a motion to conclude on that motion.

The Deputy wants 20 minutes for his swan song.

It is you who will be crying.

If he were dealing with it, you would not be finished until this day week.

Is it proposed to sit next week?

For four days?

Yes. The House will sit on Tuesday.