Order of Business.

It is proposed to take business as on the Order Paper, Nos. 2, 3 and 4; and to take the Committee Stage of the Supplementary Estimates listed in No. 3, in the following order:—Votes 2, 6, 8, 10, 24, 72, 75, 3, 29, 33, 35, 44, 49, 55, 56, 58, 61, 54, 42, 43, 71, 65, 64. It is not proposed to allocate time to-day for Private Deputies' Business. A Chinn Comhairle, with your leave——

Has the Taoiseach finished the question of the Order of Business?

I want to say that I object to the motion that Public Business be not interrupted at 9 o'clock to-night. The House is no doubt aware that a number of Deputies of the Fine Gael Party have motions for discussion in Private Deputies' time, although it is the normal practice to allow Private Deputies' time for Opposition motions. I do not know if this flooding of the Order Paper is intended to prevent the submission of motions by Opposition Deputies which might be embarrassing to the Government. I notice that the Taoiseach yesterday stated that the Opposition Party would be given every opportunity to submit proposals, but he was no doubt aware that his Party had taken effective steps to ensure that Opposition members would not be able to submit proposals, that a number of his colleagues had tabled a number of motions, which means that Deputies of the Opposition Party can take no steps in the matter for some months to come.

I do not know whether this is intended as a device to prevent the tabling of motions which would be embarrassing to the Government or whether it is merely the accidental result of ineffective control over members of the Government in their actions in relation to the Dáil. I presume that the Taoiseach knows, however, that this device of the Government Deputies, in fact, deprives the Opposition Party of its most fundamental right, the right to bring forward in this House motions critical of the Government or relating to public interest. Co-operation between both sides of this House in the ordering of Public Business — and we were prepared to co-operate in order to secure its expeditious and efficient discharge —cannot be if these tactics are continued. If the Government occupies Private Deputies' time then the Opposition can occupy Government time. If that is what you want you can have it. If this is a manoeuvre to preclude Opposition Deputies from bringing forward motions then it is not what the Taoiseach suggested in his speech yesterday and his whole declaration was completely hypocritical.

I am opposing this motion, because the tactics of his Party are totally contrary to the Taoiseach's declaration of the attitude of the Government. If they are going to persist in this matter of having Government Deputies monopolising Private Members' time, then we will have the spectacle of the Deputies who proposed the motions voting against their being discussed.

I would like to state most emphatically that what I said yesterday and at other times before that, was in no sense hypocritical but was absolutely sincere and was intended to be given effect to.

I do not know what Deputy Lemass means by "effective control over Deputies putting down motions." If my declaration over the radio meant anything it meant that every Deputy in this House would be free from control. We are anxious to have this Dáil, as I said, a deliberative assembly and, as far as we are concerned, we will give that effective practical action. If any motions are put down by a Deputy of the Opposition Party or of any group in the House, which are in the view of the Deputy of sufficient urgency and importance to take precedence over the other matters on the Order Paper, if he will communicate with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach, then, as far as possible, facilities will be given to have priority in that matter.

I repeat that I meant what I said last night to its fullest extent and I am anxious that there will be nothing in the nature of obstruction or opposition from any group. We want constructive criticism and there will be no stifling of any Deputies.

I do not think that that is good enough. The Taoiseach said that no members of his Party were instructed to flood the Order Paper with Private Deputies' motions so that Fianna Fáil Deputies cannot get in any motions.

I emphatically deny that.

This time is in fact the right of Opposition Deputies; the Opposition is entitled to priority in regard to Private Members' time. If there is going to be a repetition of these tactics, if we are to be obstructed from fulfilling our rights as Deputies, then there will be nothing in the nature of the co-operation between both sides of the House which Ministers say that they desire to have and we will start off by asking the Deputies who submitted the motions to vote now against their being discussed.

Is this attack of Deputy Lemass directed against the Government or is it against the organisation of the Oireachtas in the control of the Order Paper? Surely he has as many facilities as I have to put down a motion on the Order Paper. No case has been made by Deputy Lemass for taking these Deputies' motions off the Order Paper. He wants the priority for his Party which they were accustomed to get in the past and he must not be aware that a change has been made in this House.

That declaration puts the thing in its right light. We refrained from submitting motions out of consideration for members of the Government who had taken over office and who would need time to consider matters. Our consideration in this matter was met by a cheap trick and if this is the way the Government wants things this is the way it will be.

I would like to emphasise again what I have said and I refuse to be drawn into an acrimonious discussion by Deputy Lemass or by any phrase which he used such as "a cheap trick". I am accustomed in the exercise of my profession in the courts to have my word taken in court when I give it, and I expect when I make a statement in this House that Deputies will accept that statement; when I said that Deputies would get consideration in Private Members' time then all decent Deputies in this House will accept that. I do not intend by any mere truculence on the part of Deputy Lemass or anyone else to be deflected from the ideals which I have set before myself and my colleagues. I wish to allow the fullest discussion in the House and there will be nothing in the nature of a cheap trick as Deputy Lemass said. If he wishes anything to be discussed urgently the course which I suggested can be adopted by him.

I refute the suggestion that Private Members' time is the prerogative of the Opposition. Private motions and Private Members' time are the right of every private Deputy in this House. It is in that spirit that I consider the matter and it is in that way the Government will approach it.

We will let the private Deputies concerned vote against the discussion of their motions.

Question —"That Government Business be not interrupted at 9 p.m."— put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 73; Níl, 57.

  • Beirne, John.
  • Belton, John.
  • Blowick, Joseph.
  • Brennan, Joseph P.
  • Browne, Noel C.
  • Browne, Patrick.
  • Byrne, Alfred.
  • Byrne, Alfred Patrick.
  • Coburn, James.
  • Cogan, Patrick.
  • Collins, Seán.
  • Commons, Bernard.
  • Esmonde, Sir John L.
  • Everett, James.
  • Fagan, Charles.
  • Finucane, Patrick.
  • Fitzpatrick, Michael.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Flynn, John.
  • Giles, Patrick.
  • Hickey, James.
  • Hogan, Patrick.
  • Hughes, Joseph.
  • Keane, Seán.
  • Keyes, Michael.
  • Kinane, Patrick.
  • Kyne, Thomas A.
  • Larkin, James.
  • Lehane, Con.
  • Lehane, Patrick D.
  • McAuliffe, Patrick.
  • MacBride, Seán.
  • MacEoin, Seán.
  • McFadden, Michael Og.
  • McGilligan, Patrick.
  • McMenamin, Daniel.
  • McQuillan, John.
  • Connolly, Roderick J.
  • Corish, Brendan.
  • Cosgrave, Liam.
  • Costello, John A.
  • Cowan, Peadar.
  • Crotty, Patrick J.
  • Desmond, Daniel.
  • Dillon, James M.
  • Dockrell, Maurice E.
  • Donnellan, Michael.
  • Doyle, Peadar S.
  • Dunne, Seán.
  • Madden, David J.
  • Mongan, Joseph W.
  • Morrissey, Daniel.
  • Mulcahy, Richard.
  • Murphy, Timothy J.
  • Norton, William.
  • O'Gorman, Patrick J.
  • O'Higgins, Michael J.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F.
  • O'Higgins, Thomas F. (Jun.)
  • O'Reilly, Patrick.
  • Palmer, Patrick W.
  • Pattison, James P.
  • Redmond, Bridget M.
  • Reidy, James.
  • Reynolds, Mary.
  • Roddy, Joseph.
  • Rooney, Eamonn.
  • Sheehan, Michael.
  • Sheldon, William A. W.
  • Spring, Daniel.
  • Sweetman, Gerard.
  • Timoney, John J.
  • Tully, John.

Níl

  • Aiken, Frank.
  • Allen, Denis.
  • Bartley, Gerald.
  • Beegan, Patrick.
  • Blaney, Neal.
  • Boland, Gerald.
  • Bourke, Dan.
  • Brady, Brian.
  • Breathnach, Cormac.
  • Breen, Daniel.
  • Breslin, Cormac.
  • Briscoe, Robert.
  • Buckley, Seán.
  • Burke, Patrick.
  • Butler, Bernard.
  • Childers, Erskine H.
  • Colley, Harry.
  • Collins, James J.
  • Corry, Martin J.
  • Crowley, Honor Mary.
  • Davern, Michael J.
  • Derrig, Thomas.
  • De Valera, Eamon.
  • De Valera, Vivion.
  • Friel, John.
  • Gilbride, Eugene.
  • Gorry, Patrick J.
  • Harris, Thomas.
  • Hilliard, Michael.
  • Kennedy, Michael J.
  • Killilea, Mark.
  • Kilroy, James.
  • Kissane, Eamon.
  • Kitt, Michael F.
  • Lahiffe, Robert.
  • Lemass, Seán F.
  • Little, Patrick J.
  • Lynch, John.
  • McCann, John.
  • McEllistrim, Thomas.
  • MacEntee, Seán.
  • Maguire, Patrick J.
  • Moylan, Seán.
  • O Briain, Donnchadh.
  • O'Grady, Seán.
  • O'Reilly, Matthew.
  • O'Rourke, Daniel.
  • O'Sullivan, Ted.
  • Rice, Bridget M.
  • Ruttledge, Patrick J.
  • Ryan, James.
  • Ryan, Mary B.
  • Sheridan, Michael.
  • Smith, Patrick.
  • Traynor, Oscar.
  • Walsh, Richard.
  • Walsh, Thomas.
Tellers:—Tá: Deputies Doyle and Keyes; Níl: Deputies Kissane and Kennedy.
Motion carried.