Supplementary Estimate, 1976: Leave to Introduce.

I move:

That leave be given by the Dáil to introduce the following Supplementary Estimate for the service of the year ending on the 31st day of December, 1976, namely:—

Vote No. 3 (Department of the Taoiseach).

Is this the motion on which the adjournment debate will be carried? Will the Taoiseach indicate therefore in the course of moving the adjournment debate or the motion for the Supplementary Estimate for his Department he will be moving specific dates on which the Dáil will adjourn and resume?

I will, certainly.

May I ask whether in those circumstances a specific motion for the adjournment will be moved tomorrow by the Taoiseach in conjunction with the moving of the Supplementary Estimate on his Department?

It is the intention that the normal motion for the adjournment will be moved, that the Dáil will adjourn until a specific date. It is proposed to deal with the debate on the adjournment on a token Vote for my own Department, which I have now moved. As the House is probably aware, I understand that the Superintendent has been in touch with the Whips to the effect that there is a reconstruction problem involved in dealing with the Senate Chamber and it is expected that it will take some time. The anticipated adjournment is approximately the normal length of time but it may be a week or two longer.

On that subject, may I ask whether the Taoiseach will be putting a specific motion for the adjournment to the House during or after he introduces the motion for the Supplementary Estimate for his own Department?

It is the intention to follow the normal procedure.

But the normal procedure is not very specific. The Taoiseach may or may not indicate to the House the date on which the Dáil will be adjourned and resumed when he moves the motion for his own Estimate. He may do so in the closing speech. In that event we will want to know in what manner we can propose the adjournment of the House. I understand, after inquiry from the Ceann Comhairle's office, that there is no formal vehicle by which we can move a motion to oppose the adjournment of the House at a specific time. Since I am unable to get the information I require, I may say that it is the intention of the Opposition to oppose the motion on the Supplementary Estimate for the Taoiseach's Department and also to seek a specific motion on the adjournment of the Dáil, which we also intend to oppose if it is intended to adjourn the Dáil this week.

There is no mystery about this. I understood the procedure was to provide a token Estimate for the debate on the Department of the Taoiseach in order to facilitate a debate on the adjournment. The alternative procedure, which has sometimes been adopted, is that there is a debate on the motion "That the House do now adjourn" until a specific date. Personally, I do not care which way it is taken. At a certain stage on Thursday I assume that we will propose that the House will adjourn until whatever is the fixed date. If the Leader of the Opposition prefers a debate that way, there is no difficulty as far as I am concerned.

Can the Taoiseach now indicate when it is proposed to resume in the event of an adjournment on Thursday?

The intention, subject to any revision by the Superintendent of the Houses on the details, is that it will be Wednesday, 13th October.

Would the Taoiseach appreciate that repairs in an ante-room for the Seanad do not necessarily affect sittings of the Dáil?

I gather they do, because apparently it is necessary to have the building vacated.

We need not debate the architectural side of it——

We ought not to have a debate at all at this stage.

I understand from the Superintendent that in order for the job to be properly done he will need three clear months from the date on which the Seanad adjourns.

Is the motion agreed?

Subject to indicating that if the Seanad want to use the Dáil Chamber on alternate days if the business of the nation requires it, then we are perfectly prepared to vacate the Dáil Chamber for the purpose of the Seanad.

Question put and agreed to.