It is proposed to take Nos. 1 and 8. By agreement, the proceedings on the Second Stage of the Finance Bill will be brought to a conclusion at 2.30 p.m. The Minister for Finance shall be called on to conclude at 2.10 p.m. By agreement also it is proposed that statements in relation to the First Report of the Select Committee on Crime, Lawlessness and Vandalism may be made at 3.30 p.m.
Order of Business.
In view of the increasing public disquiet about the revelations made at the Robinson trial recently in Northern Ireland, is the Taoiseach prepared to make a statement to the House about the matter at some stage today?
Lest the Chair be misunderstood, I ruled this out yesterday but I have received notice this morning under Standing Order No. 38 that the Taoiseach proposes to make a statement today under that Standing Order. That puts the matter in order, and it is now only a question of fixing the time of the statement.
May we take it that Standing Order No. 38 is the one we may invoke in future?
No. It is the one we may use.
When the Leader of the Opposition is a member of the Government he may act under this Standing Order.
Which of the Standing Orders gives us permission to raise something?
There are various ones.
I propose to make a brief statement on the matter at 3.30 p.m.
I should like to ask the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste whether they consider they misled the Dáil last week when they stated they would bring legislation for local radio before the Dáil prior to the summer recess?
That does not arise on the Order of Business.
It relates to legislation. The reason I am raising the matter this morning is that the Labour Party — a case of the tail wagging the dog — stated yesterday that they have their own proposals for local radio. This is in total conflict with the Government's proposals. It is a shot across the bows for the Minister for Communications.
Deputy Leyden will have to find an opportunity, other than the Order of Business, for ventilating this matter.
If the Taoiseach misled the Dáil, surely this is an opportunity for him to put the record in order by stating whether the Bill will be before the Dáil prior to the summer recess or whether he will consult with his Labour colleagues before bringing forward a Bill to suit that minority party in Government.
If the Deputy is making a serious charge against the Taoiseach or against anyone else of misleading the Dáil, he should do so in a formal way, by way of a substantive motion, and not in this disorderly way on the Order of Business.
I am asking the Taoiseach to correct any misleading information he may have given to the House.
The Deputy is out of order. I must ask him to resume his seat.
May I ask the Taoiseach when——
The Deputy may ask when a particular measure will be brought in.
May I ask the Taoiseach when he will bring forward the Bill before Dáil Éireann to regularise local radio?
It is our intention to have the legislation in the House before summer.
That is the end of it.
The comedians are stopping me asking my question. Arising out of the Order of Business, the Minister for Communications told me he would communicate to me answers to questions I raised during the Estimate debate. Would the Minister let me know when I will have the answers particularly about OIE and the mysterious financial conditions that are laid down for running OIE in the future?
It is not strictly in order on the Order of Business but if the Minister wants to answer that he may do so.
In the next day or two the Deputy will have full information.
Would the Taoiseach insist that his Minister for Fisheries and Forestry would agree to the tenders for home grown timber in Fermoy because 100 people are anxiously awaiting——
Will Deputy O'Keeffe please resume his seat?
On a point of order, there is a town in my back yard where the jobs of 100 people are at stake.
The difficulty is that it is not open to the Deputy at this time.
I want your permission, Sir, to raise on the Adjournment the question of the distribution of milk quotas within Ireland with a view to accommodating the special needs of the western region.
The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.
Will the Taoiseach say if the Government have abandoned the idea of setting up a National Development Corporation? If they have not abandoned the idea would he inform the House when legislation is likely to be introduced to set it up?
It is proposed that it will be included in the industrial policy White Paper.
I had a question down to the Taoiseach as I felt he was the appropriate person to answer it but it was transferred to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Will the Deputy bear with me for a moment? That is a problem and I have said on innumerable occasions that the Chair has no control over it.
I appreciate that, but it would be assisting you as well in that I am referring to the Chair's problems. I asked the Taoiseach if he would ask President Reagan to include Ulster. It is unusual that all of the three provinces are included but Ulster is not. They are paying lip service to Ulster while they are in the States and they are not prepared to visit Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan or the Six Counties when they are here.
I do not think the Deputy should be critical of the movements of the head of a foreign friendly state when he is in this country.
If it is left any longer President Reagan will be here. He might be able to answer it himself if it is left in the Department of Foreign Affairs. If the Taoiseach is serious about it, he will take the question.
The Deputy should communicate with——
Could I ask the Taoiseach when the Hours of Work Bill he promised for last term and for this term will be before the House?
I understand it will be introduced in the Seanad next week, which I am sure the Deputy has heard of.
On a point of order, I would like the Taoiseach to elaborate on the remark he made to my colleague. Did I take him to say the other House, you have heard of it?
I do not think it is a point of order.
It is a cheap jibe unworthy of the Taoiseach.
I am not commenting on that but it is not a point of order.
I suggest to the Chair that the Taoiseach should withdraw that snide and uncalled for remark.
The Leader of the Opposition was unable to deal with the blank incomprehension on Deputy Fitzgerald's face that I was able to see.
That is a cheap jibe.
Could I further ask the Taoiseach why he has changed his mind? On the last two occasions when I asked him about the Hours of Work Bill he said it would be introduced in this House.
That can be raised when the Bill is introduced here. It is not in order now. It is a Second Stage matter.
Will you bear with me? I have now been told it will be introduced in the Seanad, the other House of whose existence the Taoiseach thought I was not aware. How can I ask the question because it will not be introduced here for the first time, although the Taoiseach twice promised it would be introduced in this House, in the Chamber from which he was missing on other duties in Rome for very important days of this week.
The position is that, due to business here and the desirability of initiating legislation as soon as possible, we decided to take it in the Seanad, a custom which various Governments have adopted from time to time in relation to many Bills.
What action do the Government intend to take in regard to two Deputies of this House who publicly stated that they refused to pay betting tax?
That does not arise on the Order of Business.
I do not know where else to raise it.
If the Deputy could raise that on the Order of Business he could raise anything.
It is an important matter and the Government should tell us what action they intend to take.