It is proposed that this sitting should be suspended from now until 5.30 p.m. in order to allow Members of the House to attend the meeting of the New Ireland Forum in Dublin Castle. It is further proposed that we should deal with item No. 1, the Land Bill, 1984, from 5.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and that from 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. we should deal with item No. 2, the Housing (Homeless Persons) Bill, 1983.
Order of Business.
In view of the fact that the Forum Report is due out this afternoon, the House should adjourn at least until tomorrow. I do not know exactly what is going to happen in the Forum this afternoon. It is suggested by some people that the meeting will take only one hour. Today is a historic day in the life of this country and the Seanad should adjourn for the day to give people the opportunity to go to the meeting of the Forum and listen to what is being said. If there are any discussions to take place afterwards, Members of the Seanad should be able to be involved in them. We have two items of business this afternoon, the Land Bill, 1984, and the Homeless Persons Bill, 1983. I would not suggest that either of these Bills should not be taken today or that they are not a matter of urgency. However, I feel the Seanad should adjourn until tomorrow, in deference to the fact that today is a memorable day in the history of Ireland and in the history of the two Houses of Parliament.
On the question of the New Ireland Forum, could somebody tell me when those of us who by the deliberate choices of political parties, were excluded from the proceedings of the Forum, including the three Protestant Members of this House, will get a copy of its report?
It does not arise.
The Vagrancy Bill is supposed to be listed for consideration today. I would like to ask the Leader of the House what future he envisages for the debate on that Bill? Thirdly, who was it who supplied the newspapers with a schedule for President Reagan's visit which involved an address to the Joint Houses of the Oireachtas before we had discussed the matter, which I think is in contempt of this House?
It does not arise. It is not a matter for the House.
A number of points have been raised in regard to the arrangements I proposed for today. This proposal was communicated to the Fianna Fáil Party. I did not know there was any demurring from this until Senator Lanigan spoke. Senator Lanigan can be assured that the proceedings in Dublin Castle will last for well under an hour. I have proposed a generous adjournment of three hours not only to cover that period but to give Senators, who will receive a copy of the report, an opportunity at least to give that report a first reading before they are bombarded by other people's interpretations of what is in the report. I still think that the House should meet this evening at 5.30 p.m. to transact the Government business that had previously been agreed would be taken today. Members have had no notice of a proposition to meet tomorrow and I think we should adhere to what I have proposed.
Regarding the two questions Senator Brendan Ryan addressed to me, I understand that all Members who attend in Dublin Castle will receive a copy of the Forum Report and that those who do not attend will find a copy in their pigeonholes this afternoon, as soon after 3 o'clock as possible. In regard to the Vagrancy Bill, I confirm in public what I said in private two hours ago to Senator Brendan Ryan, that I have asked the Department of Justice to complete their examination of this Bill as soon as possible so that they can form an attitude towards it and that it can be debated in this House at the earliest possible date that is convenient from the point of the other business in hand.