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Seanad Éireann debate -
Thursday, 17 Jun 1993

Vol. 136 No. 16

Order of Business.

It is proposed to take Item 1 from now until 2 p.m. With the agreement of the House we will take all Stages of this Bill today. I suggest that speeches on Second Stage be 30 minutes for opening speakers and 15 minutes thereafter. Item 2 will be taken from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and I am again suggesting restricting speakers to 15 minutes.

I am happy to agree the Order of Business. Yesterday I raised the current problems in Aer Lingus and I again ask the Leader to allow time for a discussion on them. Both Government parties have been briefed but Opposition parties have not. It is my contention that all Members of both Houses are entitled to a briefing — there should be no discrimination. I would appreciate if the Leader could organise a discussion in this House as that would be helpful.

It is important to pick up on a number of issues that have been raised — Aer Lingus, the Opsahl report, East Timor and former Yugoslavia. I get letters every day on the latter issue from international colleagues about teachers in Kosovo, one of the provinces of former Yugoslavia where they are not even allowed to speak their own language. I ask that two or three of those issues be taken one day the week after next to allow people make an input and put their views on the record.

In reply to Senator Manning and Senator O'Toole on the issue of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Tánaiste was away yesterday but the Chief Whip has been in touch with his office on the issues raised. We on this side of the House are keen to ensure that we debate all the issues mentioned, including former Yugoslavia and the Opsahl report. Hopefully, we will have some information on that next week. The debate may be the week after next as next week's business is more or less in place at the moment. Next week's business will be the Broadcasting Bill and the Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Bill. The main Opposition spokespersons were briefed on Aer Lingus yesterday. I accept what Senator Manning said; it is a situation of which everybody should be well informed. The Senator can be assured that I am as keen as he, that we would have a chance to discuss the tragic situation in Aer Lingus.

Order of Business agreed to.