Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs: Motion.

I move:

(1) That it is expedient that a Joint Committee of both Houses of the Oireachtas (which shall be called the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs) be appointed consisting of 25 members of Dáil Éireann and 5 members of Seanad Éireann excluding theex officio members of the Committee referred to in paragraph (7).

(2) That the Joint Committee shall have power to appoint sub-Committees and to delegate any matter comprehended by paragraphs (4), (8), (9) and (10) to a sub-Committee.

(3) That the Select Committee of Dáil Éireann shall consider the Estimates for Public Services submitted to Dáil Éireann in respect of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and report thereon to Dáil Éireann and the Select Committee shall have power to appoint a sub-Committee for this purpose.

(4) That provision be made for the referral to the Joint Committee of Bills initiated in Dáil Éireann by the Minister for Foreign Affairs or a Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Bills initiated in Seanad Éireann by the Leader of the House and originating in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

(5) That the report of the Joint Committee upon every Bill which is referred to it shall be set down for Report Stage in the originating House.

(6) That in the case of a Bill originating in one House, the motion of referral in the second House shall constitute a Second Reading of the Bill and the debate thereon shall be confined to the general principle of the Bill and where the Third Stage has been dealt with in the Joint Committee, the Bill shall on its receipt in the second House after being passed by the originating House be set down for Report Stage, the First, Second and Third Stages being waived.

(7) That the Minister for Foreign Affairs shall be anex officio member of a Committee or sub-Committee which is considering—

(i) a Bill referred to it, or

(ii) Estimates for Public Services,

and may nominate a Minister or Minister of State to be suchex officio member in his stead.

(8) That the Joint Committee shall consider the impact on equality of policy and legislation in respect of the Department of Foreign Affairs and report thereon to both Houses of the Oireachtas.

(9) That the Joint Committee shall consider such aspects of Ireland's international relations, including its co-operation with developing countries, and such matters arising from Ireland's membership of the European Communities and its adherence to the Treaty on European Union as the Joint Committee may select and report thereon to both Houses of the Oireachtas.

(10) That the Joint Committee shall, in particular, consider:

(i) such programmes and guidelines prepared by the Commission of the European Communities as a basis for possible legislative action and such drafts of regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions of the Council of Ministers proposed by the Commission,

(ii) such acts of the institutions of those Communities,

(iii) such regulations under the European Communities Acts, 1972 to 1993, and

(iv) such other instruments made under statute and necessitated by the obligations of membership of those Communities

as the Committee may select and shall report thereon to both Houses of the Oireachtas.

(11) That any consideration by the Joint Committee, the Select Committee or a sub-Committee of political and security issues relating to Northern Ireland shall be in private session.

(12) That reports relevant to the Department of Foreign Affairs may be referred to the Joint Committee for discussion, observations and recommendations, and the Joint Committee shall report thereon to both Houses of the Oireachtas.

(13) That the Joint Committee shall make an annual report to both Houses of the Oireachtas which shall detail:

(i) the work carried out by the Committee,

(ii) the work in progress by the Committee,

(iii) the attendance and voting records at meetings of the Committee,

(iv) its future work programme, and

(v) such other matters as the Committee deems appropriate.

(14) That the Select Committee, the Joint Committee and each sub-Committee shall have power to send for persons, but information need not be provided to a Committee or a sub-Committee if a Member of the Government certifies in writing that such information is confidential or that its disclosure would be prejudicial to the State's international relations.

(15) That the Select Committee and the Joint Committee shall have power, subject to the consent of the Minister for Finance, to engage the services of persons with specialist or technical knowledge to assist them for the purpose of particular inquiries.

(16) That provision be made for the appointment of substitutes to act for members of the Joint Committee, the Select Committee or a sub-Committee who are unable to attend particular meetings; and that Members of the Oireachtas, not being members of the Joint Committee, may attend meetings and take part in the proceedings of the Joint Committee and of its sub-Committees without having a right to vote.

(17) That Members of the European Parliament elected from constituencies in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) may attend meetings of the Joint Committee and of its sub-Committees; and that other Members of the European Parliament may, at the invitation of the Joint Committee or of a sub-Committee, attend particular meetings. Members of the European Parliament attending on such occasions may take part in proceedings without having a right to vote or to table amendments to Bills referred to the Committee under paragarph (4).

(18) That the Select Committee, the Joint Committee and each sub-Committee previous to the commencement of business, shall elect one of its members to be Chairperson, who shall have only one vote.

(19) That all questions in the Select Committee, the Joint Committee and each sub-Committee shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and voting and in the event of there being an equality of votes, the question shall be decided in the negative.

(20) That every report which the Select Committee or the Joint Committee proposes to make shall, on adoption by the Committee, be laid before Dáil Éireann or, in the case of a report by the Joint Committee, both Houses of the Oireachtas forthwith, together with any document relating thereto which the Committee proposes to publish, whereupon the Committee shall be empowered to print and publish such report and the said document, or documents, as the case may be.

(21) That notwithstanding paragraph (20) where the Joint Committee has completed Committee Stage of a Bill, it shall be empowered to print and publish the said Bill as amended, where appropriate.

(22) That the quorum of the Joint Committee shall be 8, of whom at least one shall be a member of Dáil Éireann and at least one shall be a member of Seanad Éireann, the quorum of the Select Committee shall be 6 and the quorum of each sub-Committee shall be a number to be decided by the sub-Committee when such sub-Committee is appointed.

(23) That no document received by the Clerk to the Select Committee, the Joint Committee or a sub-Committee shall be withheld, withdrawn or altered without the knowledge and approval of such Committee.

I move amendment No. 1:

To delete paragraph (10).

I would point out that I have put down two amendments, Nos. 1 and 2. I propose to delete paragraphs (10) and (11). Paragraph (10) provides the committee with the functions which should be more correctly the functions of a European Affairs Committee. I am, therefore proposing the deletion of that paragraph so that this House may proceed at a later stage to set up a European Affairs Committee, which is essential if this House is to address itself to those issues. I ask that paragraph (11) also be deleted. It is my belief that it is not proper to oblige a committee to address issues relating to Northern Ireland in complete secrecy. I also believe——

I must interrupt the Deputy. I have allowed the Deputy to speak on this issue to a degree but, in accordance with the Order of Business, the notice of motion is not to be debated.

I am about to conclude. I believe that to delete paragraph (11) is the only way to effectively ensure that the terms of reference of the committee it is proposed to establish would provide for open discussion of issues relating to Northern Ireland.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 78; Níl, 12.

  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Dermot.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Ahern, Noel.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Bhreathnach, Niamh.
  • Bree, Declan.
  • Brennan, Séamus.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Broughan, Tommy.
  • Browne, John (Wexford).
  • Burke, Raphael P.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Callely, Ivor.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Coughlan, Mary.
  • Kenneally, Brendan.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Killeen, Tony.
  • Kitt, Tom.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Jimmy.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McDaid, James.
  • McDowell, Derek.
  • Moffat, Tom.
  • Morley, P.J.
  • Moynihan-Cronin, Breeda.
  • Mulvihill, John.
  • Noonan, Michael (Limerick West).
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Keeffe, Batt.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • O'Shea, Brian.
  • Cowen, Brian.
  • Dempsey, Noel.
  • de Valera, Síle.
  • Ellis, John.
  • Ferris, Michael.
  • Fitzgerald, Brian.
  • Fitzgerald, Eithne.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam.
  • Flood, Chris.
  • Gallagher, Pat.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Higgins, Michael D.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Hughes, Séamus.
  • Hyland, Liam.
  • Jacob, Joe.
  • Kavanagh, Liam.
  • Kemmy, Jim.
  • O'Sullivan, Gerry.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Penrose, William.
  • Power, Seán.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Ryan, Eoin.
  • Ryan, John.
  • Ryan, Seán.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Michael.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Upton, Pat.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Woods, Michael.

Níl

  • Clohessy, Peadar.
  • Cox, Pat.
  • Cullen, Martin.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Foxe, Tom.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Keogh, Helen.
  • McManus, Liz.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Quill, Máirín.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Dempsey and Ferris; Níl, Deputies Rabbitte and Keogh.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.

Is Deputy De Rossa pressing his amendment No. 2?

Yes. I move amendment No. 2:

To delete paragraph (11).

Question, "That the words proposed to be deleted stand", put and declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.
Motion put and agreed to.
Message to be sent to the Seanad requesting its concurrence in the Resolution.