Order of Business.

It is proposed to take Nos. 4, 1, 5. Statements on the Joint Communique following the meeting between the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister shall be taken at 3.50 p.m. and the order shall resume thereafter.

It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the proceedings on the Second Stage of No. 4, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 7 p.m.

The following arrangements shall apply in relation to the Statements on the Joint Communique: (i) statements shall be confined to the Taoiseach, the Leader of the Fianna Fáil Party, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Leader of the Progressive Democratic Party and the Minister for Social Welfare; (ii) the statement of the Taoiseach shall not exceed 20 minutes; and (iii) the statement of each other party leader shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case. Private Members' Business shall be No. 14 and the proceedings on the Second Stage thereof shall be brought to a conclusion at 8.30 p.m.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 4 satisfactory and agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Statements satisfactory and agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Private Members' Business satisfactory and agreed? Agreed.

On behalf of Fianna Fáil I welcome, on the eve of President Clinton's visit, the fact that we are able to move forward again on the peace process following last night's Anglo-Irish summit. We fervently hope the international commission and the preamble talks will provide a basis for genuine progress and a way out of the difficulties for everyone. I compliment the Tánaiste and his staff on the robust role they have played in bringing about this development.

I join in congratulating the Government on being able to reach agreement on the joint communiqué with the British Government. It is an achievement and if people want to be pessimistic or to carp, they could find flaws but if they want to be optimistic, it restores the momentum that was lost for some time. I hope the protagonists in Northern Ireland will show courage and will approach the communiqué in a spirit of openness and generosity. If they do we can move the process forward and have a political settlement sooner rather than later.

I thank Deputies for their all party support for the efforts of the Taoiseach and the Government as revealed in London last evening. It is important that we launch the twin track process. It was made clear last night that we want to have all party talks by the end of February. The meeting was particularly important in restoring momentum to the peace process and I am glad of Deputies' support. We are all attached to the peace process and what is necessary is all party support both in Northern Ireland and in the Republic. With everyone's best endeavours we will have all party talks by the end of February to underpin the peace process which is vital to everyone on this island.

I do not want to dispel this new atmosphere of sweetness and light.

The Deputy could not dispel anything.

I wish to ask the Tánaiste a responsible question. I refer him to the Programme for Government where a sensible commitment is given to encourage Ministers and Ministers of State to discuss with Members general proposals for legislation prior to publication. Will he trigger that mechanism to enable us discuss the controversial equal status Bill prior to its publication? We may be able to sort the matter out in committee.

On this responsible question, I have no difficulty with putting the trigger mechanism in place.

Duck, Willie.

In the budget the Minister for Finance introduced a measure for the benefit of the motor industry whereby those wishing to trade in their old model for a new one were given £1,000. Can we expect a similar measure to be introduced when the divorce legislation is published?

That depends on the availability of trophy models.

I do not know what Deputy Power has in mind, but I ask the Tánaiste to bear in mind the continuing crisis at Neodata. He may remember that when in Opposition he raised this matter with me on the Adjournment. It is a serious matter for the great number of female employees who are being treated in a disgraceful manner. I ask the Tánaiste to take a personal interest in it.

We are deviating from the Order of Business.

The Tánaiste is keen to answer.

That may be so, but it is still a question of what is in order at this stage.

As the Deputy is well aware, Neodata has been a good employer both in County Limerick and County Kerry for many years. We have had extensive discussions during the past two years to save the company. Those discussions will continue with the Department of Enterprise and Employment to save and preserve jobs and ensure the success of the company in Ireland.