A Cheann Comhairle, it is proposed to take Nos. 16 and 17 and Private Members' Business shall be No. 34.
Order of Business.
Could I ask the Taoiseach on the Order of Business if it is his intention during the forthcoming European Council meeting at the end of this week to press for concerted action by the member states of the European Communities to deal with the effects on us of the slide in the value of the dollar?
That is something I will keep in mind.
Could the Taoiseach do a little more than keep it in mind? He will remember that some weeks ago I asked him the same question, or broadly the same question. He assured me at that stage that he would be pressing for any action that could be taken at Community level. This week presents probably the best opportunity he will have.
The Deputy can take it that anything that affects the best interests of this country will be very much to the fore in all my approach to the Summit meeting.
I would like to raise on the Adjournment, Sir, the suppression of a teaching post in the CBS primary school, Tralee, and the consequent increase in class sizes to over 40 pupils.
A month ago I asked the Taoiseach when we would see the ACOT-AFT merger Bill and I was advised at the time that it would be circulated before the end of November. Now that the deadline has been passed could I raise two questions with the Taoiseach? First, when now does he expect the Bill to be circulated and, secondly, does he expect that the Bill will be debated and passed through all Stages before the Christmas recess?
That is the ambition. I was actually under the impression that it had been circulated. It will be circulated in a day or two.
Will it be debated——
If we can possibly get it through before the end of the session, we will.
Could I ask the Taoiseach when it is expected to have the Building Control Bill debated in this House? The Building Control Bill implements the building regulations and eliminates 200 jobs in Dublin Corporation who at present operate the by-law approval system.
Building control is at an advanced stage. It is our intention to introduce it in the near future.
Order, please. Deputy Connaughton.
Could I ask the Taoiseach——
I had called another Deputy and he was on his feet.
In a District Court case in Galway recently a district justice interpreted the Animals Act, 1985, as meaning that farmers cannot bring their livestock onto the roads. I got a written reply from the Minister for Justice yesterday and I do not find——
It does not arise now Deputy.
——any reference to the fact that farmers cannot bring cattle onto the road.
The Deputy will have to find other ways and means of raising that matter.
Can the Chair give me guidance as to how I can raise this matter?
If the Deputy communicates with my office we will facilitate him as much as possible in that regard.
Can I raise it on the Adjournment?
I will communicate with the Deputy in that respect.
Might I ask the Taoiseach whether he will give a commitment that if any part or all of the Extradition (Amendment) Bill, 1987, is beaten we will have an immediate election?
On many occasions I have attempted to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of a question put down to the Minister for Agriculture and Food on Thursday, 12 November and I have also tried to raise it by way of Private Notice Question but you have decided otherwise. May I now appeal to you, a Cheann Comhairle, to give me permission to raise this evening on the Adjournment the plight of the people in Ethiopia?
I will communicate with Deputy Griffin in that regard.
I want to give notice that I wish to raise on the Adjournment the unacceptable delays at the Tallaght health centre in implementing the free fuel scheme for 1987-88 having regard to the increasing fears of the people of the area that the summer will be around before they get their free fuel.
Could I ask the Minister for the Environment if he proposes to circulate the Homeless Persons Bill next week or the week after next? They are the last two weeks that we have in this session to allow him to keep his promise to have this legislation circulated.
The Bill will be circulated this session.
My question to the Minister was would it be next week or the week after next? Since we are so close to those proximate dates perhaps the Minister could give us an indication as to when that might be.
They will all be homeless by then.
It is the intention to circulate the Bill this session and if at all possible the week after next.
May I ask the Taoiseach if his consideration of the establishment of a foreign affairs committee is any further advanced than the considered consideration he announced to the House a few weeks ago?
I have nothing further to add at this stage.
May I ask the Taoiseach if the Government have any proposals for legislation to restructure the finances of local authorities in view of the Taoiseach's firm commitment in this regard before he became Taoiseach?
This was not promised by this Government.
I wish to raise on the Adjournment the cuts in ACOT and AFT.
Would the Minister for Health confirm or deny reports circulating in south-west Cork about the imminent closure of two district hospitals at Schull and Dunmanway——
That is for another occasion, Deputy.
——and are the Department acting in the name of the Southern Health Board in negotiating the closure of those hospitals?
That is for another time.
In view of the Government's decision which was announced on 1 December to abolish An Foras Forbartha at the end of this year, which is now less than 29 days away, can the Minister for the Environment or the Taoiseach say when it is proposed to formally communicate with the staff of An Foras Forbartha as to what precisely is going on?
That does not arise now.
I would like to ask the Taoiseach if he proposes amending existing firearms regulations to control the widespread issue and usage of high voltage shock or stun guns.
That is worthy of a question in a formal manner.
Could I ask the Minister for Agriculture when he intends to announce the national restructuring scheme for dairy farmers having due regard to the fact that many men are now——
This is becoming like an instant Question Time. I am proceeding now to Government business.