Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Ministerial Drivers' Pay.

5.

asked the Minister for Defence the amount paid to each civilian driver employed to drive the private cars of Ministers of State in his Department, from 1 November 1983 to 1 November 1984.

(Dún Laoghaire): The Minister of State in the Department of Defence is also Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and Government Chief Whip. As he is provided with a State car the employment of a civilian driver does not arise.

Will the Minister inform the House what the travelling expenses available to him are costing the Exchequer?

(Dún Laoghaire): I was not asked that question. I replied to the question asked.

Does the Minister know what it is costing? If he does why is he reluctant to disclose the information?

(Dún Laoghaire): The answer to the Deputy's first question was “nil” and I have answered the second question.

If the Minister wants to be evasive he can. I cannot force him to answer my question.

(Dún Laoghaire): I am not being evasive. The Deputy asked the Minister for Defence the amount paid to each civilian driver employed to drive the private cars of his Minister of State from 1 November 1983 to 1 November 1984. I suggest that the Deputy should read the questions he tables before he asks supplementaries.

We should have less of the arrogance from the Minister of State.

There is no need for the Minister to be evasive. The public pay and they are entitled to know.

(Dún Laoghaire): There is no need for the Deputy to be so arrogant and trying to imply that the information I have given is inaccurate.

The Chair cannot tolerate an argument across the floor.