Order of Business.

It is proposed to take Nos. 1 and 19. It is further proposed that No. 1 shall be taken without debate.

It is agreed then that No. 1, the Report of the Committee of Selection, be taken without debate? Agreed.

Can the Taoiseach inform the House if the Government have received confirmation of the fact that the proposed test of the nuclear power station at Trawsfynydd has now been postponed? Has he received confirmation that that is the actual situation and if not would the Taoiseach take steps to find out the full information?

It is not in order now.

It is a very important matter.

It may well be but there are ways and means of dealing with such matters.

I wish him to inform the House.

If the Taoiseach wishes to intervene that is his prerogative.

Before Christmas this House passed legislation which amalgamated AnCO, the Youth Employment Agency and the National Manpower Service. The practice for many years in this House was that Members on all sides were able to put questions to the Minister for Labour about the activities of AnCO, the Youth Employment Agency and the National Manpower Service. Since the House resumed this session the Minister for Labour has taken the view that because these are now amalgamated in a new body he will not answer questions.

Sorry, Deputy Birmingham, there are more appropriate ways and means of raising this matter.

I am seeking your permission to raise the matter on the Adjournment.

Certainly, I will communicate with the Deputy.

I am sure the Taoiseach would like to join with me in welcoming the decision of the United States Congress yesterday in refusing aid to the Contras and in relation to that matter may I ask him if he would also——

It does not arise now, Deputy. Clearly it does not arise.

——consider the urgent need for food aid to the people of Nicaragua.

Deputy Tom Fitzpatrick is offering.

If you are ruling——

I am sorry, Deputy De Rossa, the matter is not in order now. If the Deputy wants to ventilate his views on that matter there are more appropriate means. The Deputy will resume his seat.

I wish to raise it on the Adjournment.

The Deputy might have said that earlier. I will communicate with him.

Mr. Fitzpatrick

The Taoiseach will be aware that Deputies are receiving many queries about the Homeless Persons Bill. I know that information has been given about it over the last few weeks but I wonder if he could give us a precise date for its introduction and circulation because there is great interest and concern about it?

I will consult the Chief Whip and see when we can give the Deputy a date for its introduction.

Mr. Fitzpatrick

The Taoiseach will be very well aware that it is not alone the Deputy that is concerned about it but there are many people throughout the country who are very concerned about the delay in bringing it in.

Yes. As the Deputy is aware what is perhaps more important or, equally important, with the legislation is the fact that moneys have been provided in the budget to tackle the problem.


Hear, hear.

Mr. Fitzpatrick

This is a specific question.

I have allowed the matter to be raised. That should be adequate.

Perhaps the Taoiseach would be in a position to indicate to the House, with respect to the same matter, if the text of the Bill has been agreed by Cabinet and if it is now with the Parliamentary Draftsman.

There are internal matters of Government workings that really I could not possibly disclose to the Deputy.

Having regard, as reported as recently as this morning, to the Vatican's concern with this Government's progress on the Homeless Persons Bill——

I must dissuade Deputies from attempting to debate the matter now.

In regard to the Deputy's concern——

——would the Taoiseach agree——

The Deputy cannot debate the matter now.

There have been ten specific assurances given to this House by the Minister for the Environment in relation to this matter. We are trying on the Order of Business in relation to legislation which has been frequently promised——

I have allowed the matter to be raised and replied to. It may not be elaborated upon now.

I am aware of the general level of anxiety among Deputies about this matter. I would like to assure the House that the necessary moneys will be provided and that that programme will be put into operation as soon as possible. The legislation will be brought forward as quickly as possible.

(Limerick East): During the last session the Taoiseach promised in a package of legislation a Bill to extend the powers of building societies and then a Bill consequential on that to extend the powers of the Central Bank. When does he expect these Bills to be introduced?

So far as the Central Bank legislation is concerned it is close to completion.

(Limerick East): Does the Taoiseach envisage the controlling Bill extending the powers of the Central Bank being introduced before the extension of powers to building societies Bill is introduced.

Both together. They will run through the House in harness.

Can the Taoiseach or the Minister for Social Welfare advise when the new Social Welfare Bill will be brought forward to the House arising from the provisions of the budget? Has the Government a deadline for the introduction of such a Bill before the House?

The procedure is to bring it forward as quickly as possible. There are time constraints which we will have to adhere to.

Is there any deadline or any date for the introduction of the Bill?

Is the Deputy talking about the Finance Bill?

No, the Social Welfare Bill.

It will be brought in in this session.

It is the Government's intention to have the Social Welfare Bill enacted before this session is completed in order to give effect to some of the changes. In view of the fact that there are only about six weeks left in this session can the Taoiseach tell us when the Social Welfare Bill will be circulated and will he also guarantee that the Opposition will have sufficient time to consider the Bill considering that there are significant changes being proposed this year?

I agree that that would be desirable.

Can you tell us when it is to be circulated?

As soon as possible.

During the last session the Minister for the Environment promised on a weekly basis the introduction of building by-law legislation following on the publication of the Cremer and Warner Report. Can he now tell us when that legislation will be introduced? It has been promised on a weekly basis over the last six months.

I take it that the Deputy is referring to the multi-storey legislation.

You know what legislation I am referring to.

The difficulty is that you keep referring to it by using misnomers. That legislation will be brought before the House during this session.

I would like to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of Question No. 263 of 5 December in my name.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

I ask the Taoiseach that a statement be made to the House on the fruitfulness of the recent fact finding mission to the United States by the Minister of State, Deputy Fahey, on the plight of——

The Deputy will have to find another way of raising that matter.

I would like to raise on the Adjournment the failure of the Minister for Labour to answer questions put to him in respect of matters for which he has statutory responsibility——

That does not arise now.

I wish to raise that matter on the Adjournment.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

I wish to raise on the Adjournment the matter of the ongoing dispute in Dublin Fire Brigade.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

I would like to raise on the Adjournment also the crisis in adult literacy education, particularly in Dublin, because of the fact — I also raised this matter yesterday — that all of the voluntary workers and those on salary are now working without pay and will be working without pay until——

I am aware of the Deputy's concern and I will communicate with him.