One always learns something new on the Order of Business, especially from Senator Lydon.
I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his co-operation on today's business. I join with him and other Members in congratulating President Clinton on his emphatic victory and hope he continues to put Ireland high on his foreign affairs agenda. There is no doubt that his contribution has been a major impetus in the peace process and towards establishing a new ceasefire. All of us send our good wishes and pay tribute to the work of Ambassador Jean Kennedy-Smith. We hope the re-election yesterday of President Clinton will mean four more years for her in Ireland. We would appreciate that.
Since Senator O'Kennedy is being ecumenical, we should also send our good wishes for a speedy recovery to President Boris Yeltsin.
Senator O'Toole asked about a debate on education. I will talk to him to see if it can be arranged. As Senator Quinn confirmed, the debate on currency is on 4 December.
I share Senator Dardis's commendation of the work of the British-Irish Interparliamentary Body. With regard to the food security board I will let him know tomorrow when we can expect the legislation. If it will not be ready for a couple of weeks I have no objection to arranging a debate on the concept of the food security board and related issues. If the legislation is imminent we will not have such a debate.
Senator Dardis and Senator Enright referred to the problems in Zaire. I have no objection to conceding two hours of Private Members' time next week to debate the problems there.
Senator O'Sullivan requested a debate on youth services. I have no information on the Bills she mentioned but I do not think they will be published before the end of this session. I will get further information on them.
I will convey Senator McGowan's point about ESF grants to the Department of Education. Senator Farrell raised the question of local authority funding and there will be a debate on that matter before the end of the session.
Senator Norris raised questions about refugees. I understand that the Refugee Act, 1995, has yet to be implemented and I will get further information for the Senator.
Senator Lanigan made his point and I do not have anything to add. Senator O'Kennedy referred to the BSE related Russian ban on beef from certain counties. I have nothing useful to add. When the Minister said there would be further outbreaks I am sure he meant that, given the nature of the disease and what has happened so far, there would be further instances of it.