Business of Seanad.

I propose an amendment to the Order of Business, that business be interrupted at 10.30 p.m. this evening and that Committee Stage of this Bill be resumed at a time to be determined on tomorrow's Order of Business.

Is the proposal for dealing with No. 6 agreed?

We object to that. The Order of Business was agreed and everybody made arrangements today. We are not acceding to the request that the Order of Business be changed at this stage. We have people who will be let go tomorrow and we are talking about having people back again. It may inconvenience many people but the Order of Business was agreed here this morning and to change it at 10.30 p.m. is a bit much.

It is without consultation.

There has been no consultation whatsoever.

The situation is one of ministerial availability and the fact that at this stage and after opening up the debate earlier today and resuming at 7.30 p.m., we have reached amendment No. 27 of 130 amendments. It does not seem technically feasible to reach all those amendments this evening. Neither is it in the tradition of this House to put in place a guillotine. Therefore, what we propose is to interrupt business tonight and resume with an opening time and no closing time tomorrow. That seems to be in the interests of this House.

On a point of order, we have not just reached amendment No. 27. We have dealt with at least another 50 amendments because they have been discussed with other amendments. I reckon there are only about 20 or so amendments remaining.

The Acting Leader is proposing that the Order of Business be amended to interrupt this business at 10.30 p.m. and to resume tomorrow with the Bill. That amendment has been moved——

My understanding of what the Acting Leader said was that we would get further information on the Order of Business in the morning, which does not necessarily imply that the debate will be held tomorrow. This Bill deserves two days and I am not sure it should follow tomorrow but that is a matter for the Leader and the Whips.

On a point of order, both sides could approach it in this sense. The Order of Business was ordered today. I do not know if the word "conclude" was used on the Order of Business. In that sense, the House could decide to finish its business at some stage. On the other hand, the point made by Senator Cummins is correct. It might be unfair for people who have already made diary arrangements for tomorrow afternoon in that sense. Perhaps that is the in-between position. Some closing time should be agreed tonight but that the debate would not necessarily resume tomorrow afternoon. That is unfair on people.

To be helpful, I was suggesting that the matter be addressed on tomorrow's Order of Business. If it is possible to follow through on it tomorrow, there would be a willingness to do so. However, if there are difficulties with that, we will discuss the matter further. As of now, there is a need to interrupt the business and continue the debate at a time to be determined.

Have we an undertaking from the Leader that it will not dealt with tomorrow?

On a point of order, will the Acting Leader undertake to consult with the leaders prior to the Order of Business tomorrow?

We have to ensure that whatever appears on the Order of Business has proper consultation and has been agreed with the leaders.

With the group leaders?

Is that agreed?

Senators

No.

Is it in order to point out that people have come here especially and are waiting for this? It is not fair to them.

We are all waiting for it.

There are people here who have been waiting all night.

I move that the debate on No. 6 be interrupted at 10.30 p.m. tonight.

Question put.
The Seanad divided: Tá, 22; Níl, 12.

  • Boyle, Dan.
  • Brady, Martin.
  • Butler, Larry.
  • Callely, Ivor.
  • Carty, John.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • Ellis, John.
  • Feeney, Geraldine.
  • Hanafin, John.
  • Keaveney, Cecilia.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
  • O’Brien, Francis.
  • O’Malley, Fiona.
  • O’Sullivan, Ned.
  • Ormonde, Ann.
  • Phelan, Kieran.
  • Walsh, Jim.
  • White, Mary M.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.

Níl

  • Bradford, Paul.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Cummins, Maurice.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • McFadden, Nicky.
  • Mullen, Rónán.
  • Norris, David.
  • O’Reilly, Joe.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • White, Alex.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Fiona O’Malley and Diarmuid Wilson; Níl, Senators Maurice Cummins and Joe O’Reilly.
Question declared carried.