Business of Dáil.

It is 12 o'clock and by agreement of the House this morning it was proposed that the Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach would make a statement.

Deputy Bruton asked me to come back to the House at 12 o'clock. The Whips have had a meeting but have not been able to finalise arrangements for the debate. There appears to be general agreement among the Whips that the debate should start at 3.50 p.m., immediately after Question Time. I propose to consult further with the Whips in the next hour to see if we can finalise arrangements for that debate.

It would be helpful if the Government Whip clarified the scope and subject matter of the debate.

I do not believe I have a mandate in that area. My instructions are to organise a debate. There seems to be general agreement that it will start at 3.50 p.m. It is not for me to speculate on what Members may say in the debate.

All debates deal with a particular subject.

Acting Chairman

I suggest that the Minister of State informs the House at 2.30 p.m. as to the time and duration of the debate. If it is proposed to sit beyond 4.45 p.m. it will be necessary for the House to agree a motion to that effect.

A motion to alter the Order of Business will be required.

I have no problem with 2.30 p.m. if it is agreeable to the House.

Perhaps 2.20 p.m. would be better as questions start at 2.30 p.m.

Acting Chairman

Is 2.20 p.m. agreed?

That would mean recalling the House at 2.20 p.m.

Yes, otherwise we will cut into Question Time.

It will only take a few minutes.

That depends on whether there is agreement. If there is no agreement——

Acting Chairman

How about 2.25 p.m.?

I would prefer 2.30 p.m. if possible. Otherwise we would have bells ringing twice.

Acting Chairman

We will agree on 2.30 p.m.