Order of Business.

It is proposed to take Nos. 16, 6 and 7.

Would the Taoiseach consider very carefully directing the Minister for Education now to say that Circular 20/87 is dead, buried and gone so that the rest of us can——

The matter does not and cannot arise on the Order of Business.

——without fear and apprehension——

The Deputy must find other ways and means of raising that matter. I am sorry Deputy, it does not arise on the Order of Business.

The Taoiseach must ensure that this simple statement is made.

Before agreeing the Order of Business I would like to inform the Taoiseach that if he wishes to make time available in the House today to allow the Minister for Education to make a statement he will have the full co-operation of this party.

May I ask the Minister for Health what plans he has in relation to the National Social Service Board in view of last night's decision?

The matter does not arise now. Deputies will obviously find other ways and means of raising that matter.

Will the Minister clarify the future of the board?

The Deputy may not defy the ruling of the Chair.

Will the Minister answer it?

It is out of order.

May I ask the Taoiseach if the legislation which he had proposed in connection with the abolition of the NSSB next year is not now going ahead?

That matter may not be adverted to now, Deputy. No doubt Deputies will find another opportunity of raising that matter. I will not permit a rehash of last evening's business on the Order of Business.

It is in order to inquire whether promised legislation is now going ahead or not. May I ask——

I will not permit Deputies to circumvent the ruling of the Chair in this matter.

The answer to practically everything that has been asked is no.

On the Order of Business, I understand it is in order——

Surely Deputy Mac Giolla is correct in raising this matter in view of the vote last night. The Government have promised legislation to dissolve the NSSB.

No, Deputy it does not arise now. There are other ways and means open to Deputies to raise this matter.

May I ask the Minister to say when?

It may not be raised now.

May I ask the Taoiseach when it is proposed to introduce the legislation dissolving the NSSB?


I will not permit any attempt to circumvent my ruling in this matter.

On a point of order——

I have said and I repeat again, I will not permit a rehash of last evening's business. If members want to raise the matter to which they refer they may do so by way of ordinary question or other ways and means open to them, but not now.


If Deputies persist I will adjourn the House. I would remind Members that there is urgent business to be done here today.


If the Deputies persist it will leave me with no option but to adjourn the House.

We want to find out if a decision will be——

You will have to find another opportunity.

A Cheann Comhairle——

I will not allow the question to be proceeded with now.

We simply want to know whether on the Order of Business it is in order to make inquiries in regard to legislation which has been promised and whether that procedure is in order.

Has this legislation been promised?



I am not aware that this legislation has been promised.

I am simply asking the Taoiseach whether it is intended to go ahead with the intended legislation.

Can we clear up this matter as to whether the legislation has been promised or not?

No legislation has been promised. On a point of order, may I point out that there is an order of the House about the business for today and a timetable set out, and I suggest we adhere to it.

It is embarrassing.

May I ask the Taoiseach if the Minister for Education circulated a document purporting to suspend in part the controversial Circular 20/87?

I have already ruled that matter may not be raised or processed now.

I am not trying to raise it.

Deputy Quinn, I have ruled that matter out of order.

I am asking that perhaps the Minister for Education would circulate the document to all Deputies in the House and not just to the Fianna Fáil Deputies.

The Deputy has ways and means of ventilating that point of view other than by disrupting the Order of Business.

It is not a disruption.

It is a disruption of the Order of Business.

May I raise on the Adjournment the question of whether the National Social Service Board will remain in operation and when the people involved will be informed?

I will communicate with the Deputy in that regard.

May I raise on the Adjournment the serious issue that has arisen due to the fact that a circular was sent out by a certain Government Department to certain schools in this country at the beginning of this week——

Which shall be nameless.

——ordering that certain teachers would be put on the panel as from 1 January.

The Deputy need not elaborate now.


I am seeking elaboration and clarification.

Is the Deputy seeking my permission to raise the matter on the Adjournment?

I will communicate with the Deputy.

Once again I seek to raise on the Adjournment, with your permission, the subject matter of a Private Notice Question I submitted to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. This was to ask him if, in view of the grave warning contained in the UNICEF report recently published, that if aid is to be effective it must start immediately and continue unabated for 12 months, and in order to avoid death and the mass migration of starving peoples, especially in Ethiopia, he would inform the House if it is his intention to make an immediate response to the UNICEF emergency fund. Furthermore would he impress on his colleague, the Minister for Agriculture and Food, to restore to 1986 levels the grant in aid——

There is a certain insensitivity in this. I appreciate that the Deputy has raised this matter with me on a number of occasions. I am sorry that he is disappointed and I will communicate with him again, I hope, with some better news.

May I ask the Taoiseach when we will see the consumer protection legislation which is required under the EC directive on products liability? I would remind the Taoiseach that the Bill is already in place in the UK where it becomes operative on 1 March.

The legislation is in the course of preparation.

When will it be circulated?

As soon as possible.


In view of the urgency of the matter.

May I raise on the Adjournment the matter of the decision to impose a weekly charge on elderly long-stay patients in geriatric hospitals?

I will communicate with the Deputy.

As long as it does not apply here.

A Deputy

There are no long-stay patients here, only some short-stay ones and a few geriatrics.

With your permission, Sir, may I raise on the Adjournment the Government's decision to abolish An Foras Forbartha and their failure to date to indicate to staff the way in which people are to be deployed, having regard to the fact that the decision will come into effect——

I will communicate with the Deputy.