Tourist Traffic Bill, 1970: First Stage.

Leave granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend and extend the Tourist Traffic Acts, 1939 to 1968. —(Minister for Transport and Power).
Second Stage ordered for Wednesday, 8th July, 1970.

May I ask one further question? Does the Chair say that this is not an urgent and important matter?

There may be no further speeches on this matter.

Is that the position?

The Chair did not make such a statement. The Chair is bound by Standing Orders.

The intrigues in Fianna Fáil are preventing public discussion on this matter.

I am not going to allow that charge to be made. The Home Secretary of the British Government has just left Northern Ireland and he has responsibility now for decisions that will be crucial between now and the 12th of July and——

And he will speak in the British House of Commons.

——I want to make sure that he be given the opportunity of having these decisions made and made effectively. If after the 12th of July we see a different situation then there will be time for us to consider it.

This is a time of relative calm.

There has been an announcement to bring in a militia, to bring back the B-Specials. Surely that is a matter that should be discussed?

Will Deputies allow the business of the House to continue?

The internal intrigues of the Fianna Fáil Party are preventing this Parliament from——

(Interruptions.)

That is the real truth.

On a point of order, the Chair is aware of the new twist in the violence in the North of Ireland——

Deputies

Chair, chair.

Will the Deputy please resume his seat and allow the business of the House to continue?

There has been a new development in the north——

That is not a point of order.

There is a new development in the north in that there is a tendency towards sectarian violence——

The Taoiseach's motion. Deputy Tom O'Donnell to resume. Will Deputy O'Leary please resume his seat and allow the business of the House to continue?

Surely the business of the House should include a discussion on this serious national issue? This Parliament is being brought into contempt by the Members opposite who refuse to allow a discussion——

The Deputy may not proceed. The Deputy is completely out of order. The Taoiseach's motion, Deputy O'Donnell. If Deputy O'Donnell does not offer I will call another Deputy.

(Interruptions.)

I wish to raise very briefly something which arose out of what the Taoiseach said today.

The Deputy must resume his seat. He is completely out of order.

Deputies

Chair, Chair.

On a point of order, is it in order for Deputy Corish, the Leader of the Labour Party, to state here that this has been organised by the Labour Party? This is what he has stated.

What has been organised?

(Interruptions.)

Organised rowdyism.

In view of the accusation by the Taoiseach——

Will Deputy Keating please resume his seat? This is gross disorder. Deputy O'Donnell on No. 20.

A serious accusation against the Labour Party has been made by the Taoiseach. The Taoiseach anticipated——

Deputy O'Donnell. If Deputy O'Donnell does not offer I will call somebody else to continue.

Which side is the Minister for Transport and Power on? Deputy Blaney says you are to come down on either side.

Is it the position that this Parliament accepts a lower standard of democracy than that obtaining in Westminster and in Belfast? Is that what will be said in Belfast and Westminster?

Will the Deputy please resume his seat? He is being most disorderly.

Will that be the accusation, that the Irish cannot be trusted to discuss their own affairs? That is what they will say.

On a point of order, if the Government party——

No. 20, Deputy O'Donnell. If Deputy O'Donnell does not wish to offer I will call the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

The Deputy has offered several times but the Chair is unable to control the mob on the other side of the House.

On a point of order affecting the whole proceedings of this House and the responsibility of this Parliament to democracy in this country, if the governing party cannot face a debate on this issue, it is not fit to govern.

Is this a point of order?

That is not a point of order.

(Interruptions.)

The question was a fair one and the people are awaiting the answer. Why is this Parliament not allowed to discuss this serious national issue?

What price republicanism now?

I have called Deputy O'Donnell at least four times; if he does not wish to continue I will call the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

On a point of order, every time Deputy O'Donnell rose to speak points of order were raised which the Chair was obliged to hear and there was no fault on the part of Deputy O'Donnell. Your implied criticism of him, Sir, is grossly unfair.

Is it not true that Deputy Cosgrave flagged him down when he offered to speak?

(Interruptions.)

Points of order were raised. The Minister for Finance must realise that he has been two-faced in this whole matter. Deputy Blaney and Deputy Haughey know that. Which side is he on? The side of a job?

I am going to make myself heard now on a point of order.

(Interruptions.)

On a point of order——

Each time I was called upon to speak I rose, but I yielded when some other Deputy rose on a point of order. I understand that to be the normal procedure in the House.

Can the Taoiseach give us any indication of when we may have a debate on this subject?

I said it would be quite wrong for us to have a debate now. The British Home Secretary has visited Northern Ireland and has gone back to Westminister. It will be for Westminister to take certain decisions that will affect the position in the Six Counties. It is only fair on our part to the people of the Six Counties that these decisions can be made in order to help to maintain peace there. If, after that time, the people who have the responsibility do not face up to it, it will be time for us to consider the matter.

The Taoiseach is not facing up. He is dodging.

Has any indication been given as to when decisions may be expected from Westminster on this? Is it the position that we must await their decisions on the matter?

We have been in constant touch. Deputy Dr. Hillery, the Minister for External Affairs, visited the Home Secretary on his way to Luxembourg the other day. We have arranged that a further visit will be sought very soon in order to ensure, if there is any doubt about it, that our attitude will be made fully known to the British Government.

Will it be made known to this House?

I will make a statement if the Deputy wants it.

Will the Taoiseach ensure that no attempt will be made to establish the militia force?

Our views about that will be made known very strongly. Anything we say here would not prevent it.

Would the Taoiseach make a statement now?

I could make a statement but——

(Interruptions.)

Why should the Taoiseach make a statement and the rest of us be silent? That is what the Taoiseach wants. The Taoiseach will not get away with that. We will all have our say.

What about the tourist industry? Why is the Minister not talking about the tourist industry? He is doing absolutely nothing about it.

Deputy O'Donnell, if he wishes to continue.

Let the Taoiseach assure the House that this decision to debate this matter solely depends on his judgment——

(Interruptions.)

We cannot have a discussion on this matter. I am calling on Deputy O'Donnell to continue.

Was any suggestion made by the British Government that the House should not discuss this matter?

There has been no suggestion from the British Government or otherwise that this matter should not be debated in this House. This decision was made by ourselves and nobody else.

Was the decision made at Cabinet level that this matter should not be discussed?

I am not going to discuss what is decided at Cabinet level with Deputy O'Leary.

The Taoiseach is afraid of the 12 men in his own party.

Let us have a vote here and now or any time on any issue. Have a vote now on this or any other issue and test it.

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach will surrender the country to Westminister. The Taoiseach says Westminster have the responsibility and he has none. The British Home Secretary is to rule this country while our Government watches, Pontius Pilate-like, and does nothing about it.

(Interruptions.)

What can we do? What would Deputy Ryan do in the circumstances?

At least Deputy Ryan would be heard.

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach is unable to govern any part of this country or to offer any solution or any help to anybody.

I will hear nothing further. It is not in order to discuss the matter. Deputy O'Donnell, if he wishes to speak, or if not I will call on the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

The Taoiseach said he wishes to make a statement. Will we hear him do so?

Let us hear the statement.

There has been objection to my doing so. Objection has been made.

We cannot have a discussion.

I am entitled to raise a point of order.

The matter is not before the House.

Is it in order for the Taoiseach to ask for Deputy Ryan's suggestion at the same time as he refused to debate the question?

(Cavan): Surely Deputy O'Donnell is entitled to order and to decorum in this House before he speaks? Surely it is the business of the Ceann Comhairle to preserve order so that the Deputy can speak?

I am giving him an opportunity to speak.

We are anxious to hear Deputy O'Donnell.