Before I call on the Leader of the House I would like to inform the House that Miss Lane has been appointed Clerk Assistant of the Seanad. I would like to congratulate her on her appointment and wish her the best of luck. She is the first lady to hold such a position since the establishment of the State.
Order of Business.
Before moving the Order of Business I would like to welcome Miss Lane to the staff of this House and also to welcome the precedent established by the appointment of a woman to this position.
It is proposed to order items Nos. 1, 2 and 3. As indicated yesterday, the proposal is that Committee and remaining Stages of No. 1 be taken and completed today. In regard to No. 2, this will be taken if No. 1 is completed before 4.30 p.m. This would mean that with the debate on the Adjournment the House will be able to finish all its business by 5 p.m. As indicated yesterday, No. 3 will be taken at what might have been the lunch break from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
I welcome Miss Lane to the staff of the House and wish her well in her new position. I am sure that she was not picked because she is a woman. I presume there was competition for the job and that she got it on merit. I look forward to working with her.
I should like to be identified with the congratulations to Miss Deirdre Lane. I am delighted she has been successful and I am also delighted that she is the first woman to hold this responsible position. I would like to ask the Leader of the House if No. 5, the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Bill, 1986, which is important legislation, could be taken this week.
I would like to warmly welcome Deirdre Lane on her appointment. It is another first: I was the first women to hold the post of Cathaoirleach. Of course we have only a few weeks to wait again for that appointment. I thought yesterday the leader of the Labour Party in this House had inside information when he congratulated Miss Lane. I wish her well. We are very civilised here and it will continue that way. I wish her the best of luck in her appointment.
I wish to congratulate Deirdre Lane on her appointment and to associate the Independent Members with the congratulations already expressed. On the Order of Business, I would like to ask the Leader of the House if he knows, in the light of recent scandals in London and New York, if there is any proposal to make insider dealings on the Stock Exchange illegal in this country? I fail to believe that the Irish Stock Exchange is populated by saints and the stock exchanges in New York and London have——
It does not arise on the Order of Business.
Will the Leader of the House inquire whether it is proposed to make insider dealing illegal, which is the case in both Britain and New York, but not the case here?
There is no insider dealing in the country — that is the reason.
I should like to welcome Miss Lane and I join with other Senators in being particularly pleased by her appointment as Clerk Assistant to this House. On the Order of Business, the Status of Children Bill has been ordered if time permits. There are 90 very important amendments submitted by the Government and the Bill will be very substantially improved by them. On Committee Stage on this Bill, the point was made that because of the importance of these amendments the House should revert to Committee. I would like to ask the Leader of the House if we can revert to Committee Stage for the Report Stage of this Bill. That being the case, it is not realistic to envisage completing the debate this afternoon even if it does commence, because the amendments are extremely important and will have to be considered carefully by the House. Therefore, I would welcome some indication from the Leader of the House if the debate commences this afternoon when it will be resumed and an assurance that it will be a full Committee Stage debate.
I should like to be associated with the other Senators in welcoming Miss Deirdre Lane as Clerk Assistant. I am very pleased she is the first lady to hold this position. She is well known in other circles. She was a prominent camogie player who won no less than six All-Ireland medals. Her brother, Noel, was a well known player with the Tipperary GAA team for many years. I have worked with Deirdre Lane on other committees for the last couple of years. I am quite satisfied that she is a highly efficient young lady who will fill this post with distinction.
In regard to a number of points that have been raised, in particular points raised in relation to the Status of Children Bill, I agree with Senator Robinson that it is unlikely this will be completed today. When the business today is completed the proposal will be to adjourn until 2.30 p.m. next Wednesday and at that time to take up all the Bills that are substantially advanced. The National Monuments Bill and the Status of Children Bill are at Report Stage and in respect of the Worker Participation (State Enterprises) Bill Committee Stage has commenced. No matter what might happen in the meantime or shortly after that, these Bills should be completed.
In regard to the manner in which the Status of Children Bill will be handled, it was unusual that no amendments were passed on Committee Stage in order to allow the Minister to re-examine these matters. Re-examination has resulted in 90 Government amendments to the Bill. A grouping has been made of these amendments which divides them into seven or eight groups. The proposal that will be made is that the Bill will be recommitted in respect of each of these groups of amendments so that there will be a full Committee Stage debate not on each of the 90 amendments but on each of the seven or eight groups. I have asked that copies of the groupings be made available ahead of the debate to those Senators who are particularly interested in the Bill.
Senator Brendan Ryan raised the question of insider dealing. I am not an insider in the Stock Exchange, in the Cabinet or in the Department responsible for the control of such matters, but I am quite sure that those responsible are aware of the situation and have taken note of the fact that public concern has naturally increased in this country since recent events in the United States and in the United Kingdom.