Motion for Late Sitting and Ministerial Rota for Parliamentary Questions.

I move: "That the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. tonight and shall adjourn on the conclusion of item No. 2; (2) proceedings on the nomination of the Government shall be brought to a conclusion not later than 10 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair; (3) at the conclusion of business tonight the House shall adjourn forthwith until Wednesday, 10 February; (4) that until the Dáil shall otherwise order, the order in which questions to members of the Government, other than the Taoiseach, shall be asked in accordance with Standing Order 35 (2) shall be that in which the members of the Government will be listed in the resolution approving of their nomination by the Taoiseach for appointment by the President."

It is now necessary, a Cheann Comhairle, that I should go and inform the President of my nomination so that she may appoint me. I would, accordingly, suggest that the Dáil adjourn until 7.15 p.m. this evening.

Is it agreed that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. and shall adjourn on the conclusion of item No. 2? Agreed. Is it satisfactory that the proceedings on the nomination of the Government shall be brought to a conclusion not later than 10 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair? Agreed. Is it agreed that on the conclusion of business tonight the House shall adjourn forthwith until 10 February 1993? Agreed. Is the motion regarding the rota of questions to Ministers satisfactory? Agreed.

While I have no wish to divide the House a second time on this occasion it is not right that the Dáil should adjourn until February. We have transacted no business in this House for the past two months. The Government, if one is to judge by its programme as published, has a huge volume of legislation that it says it wants to transact. I can understand why the Government is unable, perhaps, to present the budget next week but I cannot understand why the other legislative items on its programme cannot be transacted in this House. I do not believe, given the problems this country faces in regard to currency, interest rates and mortgages, we are giving a good example in this House by adjourning yet again for a further month.

I note the Deputy's remarks. May I take it that the sitting is now suspended until 7.15 p.m. to permit the Taoiseach to go to Áras an Uachtaráin?

As you will have noted in the last few moments, I have expressed my dissatisfaction at the adjournment, but I do not wish that expression of dissatisfaction with the first decision of the new Taoiseach to take away from what I wish to say in congratulation of Deputy Albert Reynolds on his appointment. I wish him well in his work. I wish the members of Government whom he will appoint later this evening, with the approval of this House, well in their work. It is fair to say that everybody wants the Government that is elected today to succeed because the livelihoods of practically everybody, their mortgages and their employment depend on the success of Government policy. Rarely have there been occasions in recent Irish history when the livelihoods of so many people depended on Government action or lack of action as the case may be.

As I will say later in the debate tonight, the Government's policies as published are seriously deficient in many respects. Where those policies are correct they lack the adequate means to achieve them and even where the means exist, as they do in some cases, there are not sufficient timetables or measurable targets to indicate that the means adopted will be fulfilled.

The Government that is now taking office is being formed, as we know, by the Labour Party and the Fianna Fáil Party. I do not believe that the people who voted for either of these parties expected their votes would be used to instal a Government of this kind. While this Government may have the largest majority in this House that any Government has had in the history of the State I do not believe it has the moral authority that derives from a mandate from the people. However, it is the job of the parties who are not forming the Government to provide not just a vigorous, relentless Opposition, but alternative policies. There are different ways of doing things; there are better policies available than those continued in the joint programme that has been recently published. We will be using our strength in this House to ensure that alternative policies are put forward and that an alternative Government to implement those policies is put in place at the earliest opportunity.

Question put and agreed to.
Sitting suspended at 4.40 p.m. and resumed at 7.15 p.m.