There is another matter that interests Mrs. Stopford Green and other Senators, and that is with regard to the question of when we take up the discussion of the report of the Joint Committee on the temporary accommodation of the Oireachtas, and what form that discussion ought to be in. I ought to mention that it was before the Dáil to-day, and by practically an unanimous vote they adopted the report, particularly recommendation No. 4, that is, the taking over of the balance of the unoccupied portion of Leinster House. That has been adopted in the Dáil. For the last few days we have had rather a poor attendance of Senators. I do not know whether we had at any time at the outside 25. I know some are leaving to-day. If we meet to-morrow I am afraid we will have a poor House, and I think in the interests of those who are anxious about this matter like Senator Mrs. Green and others, it would be better if we fix this discussion for 11 o'clock on Wednesday when we may very likely have a larger attendance of Senators here.
ACCOMMODATION OF OIREACHTAS.
The reason I was absent was because the President asked me about this matter. He said he would like to be present when the discussion took place, and he would give the Seanad any information he had. I gather from him that 11 o'clock on any day is not convenient to him owing to Cabinet meetings and other matters. It is the President's wish, if possible, to be here when this matter is discussed. I took it that he would be prepared to come on Wednesday, and I asked him to come. Then he told me that 11 o'clock is always a most inconvenient hour for him, owing to having to attend Cabinet meetings.
We could definitely fix to meet at 11 o'clock on Wednesday, and we could take the consideration of this report.
It seems to me that we have postponed this matter so long that it is perfectly futile to have any discussion about it.
I should have thought to the contrary; that now was your time.
You mentioned 11 o'clock. Our usual hour is three o'clock.
Some of the Senators have gone away and I know others are anxious to go, and do not want to sit to-morrow. If I were to sit at 11 o'clock on Wednesday instead of at three o'clock it would be equivalent to sitting to-morrow.
You evidently anticipate a considerable amount of business.
Oh, yes, we will have plenty of work next week.
I propose that we adjourn until Wednesday at 11.
Speaking from the personal point of view, I think that unless we take longer than we usually do, the Committee Stage of that Bill would not take a great deal of time. The drawback is that if we wait to sit until next week, unless we are prepared to sit much longer in the summer (if you would call the present weather summer) the Report Stages of Bills would come very quickly after the Committee Stages, which a good many Senators feel is a mistake. With regard to meeting at 11 o'clock, I know it is the point of view of some business men that it is exceedingly difficult to get here by that hour. It can be done with an effort, but by the time letters are delivered and attended to, if we are sitting the whole day it is decidedly inconvenient. I would suggest that we should sit at 2.30 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week, and we could then do our business without meeting at 11 o'clock.
A businessman from the country has to come up the day before, and there is no question of 11 o'clock for him. I think 11 o'clock is an excellent hour to meet.
I agree that for the Seanad to meet at 11 o'clock on every day except the first meeting in the week would be a great advantage to people from the country. Many trains come in at 1.30 or 2, and in that way 11 o'clock would not be an accommodation for country Senators on the first day, but it would on others.
Another and a serious difficulty, particularly from my point of view, is this. We have a number of committees meeting on a number of different days. We find it extremely difficult to meet, and next session we will find it much more difficult—when we will have many sittings of Private Bill Committees. If the Seanad were to meet at 11 o'clock, and the Dáil at 3, these Committees would not be able to meet at all.
I was not suggesting that we should alter the hour, except in this emergency that we are faced with for the next few weeks.
I propose that we sit to-morrow at 11 o'clock.
I doubt if you would be able to get a quorum to-morrow, and if you were to sit at 11 o'clock you have no business that would take up half-an-hour except the consideration of this Report regarding the Oireachtas. The President thinks he can help us with regard to that, and he could not be there at 11.
We could get through the Committee Stages of some of to-day's Bills.
I do not think that there are any amendments to any of these Bills which we took to-day. Up to the present no amendments have been put down for any of these Bills.
Question: "That the Seanad adjourn until 11 o'clock on Wednesday"—put and agreed to.
The Seanad adjourned at 5.30 p.m.