Business of Seanad

Is the acting leader in a position to say whether we can take a gap between the two Stages?

What would constitute a sufficiently expansive gap?

This House must insist upon a gap. This is outrageous and a real abnegation of democracy.

I can act only within the order before the House which states we must take all Stages now. Is amendment No. 1 being pressed?

I will press it if we are to take all Stages now but will press it on Report Stage if that is to follow shortly.

If it proves impossible for Senator Bacik to have her amendment considered within this timeframe, this Bill is probably constitutionally suspect.

Senator Bacik will not be able to submit——

That is an outrage. I demand that we listen to the Acting Leader and that we ask him to ensure the democratic processes are fulfilled.

I call the Acting Leader.

If it is helpful, I do not have a problem in creating a gap between Committee and Report Stages. I was late for the Order of Business and did not realise that both Stages had been ordered. The Bill is relatively short.

Is the Acting Leader making an amendment to the Order of Business?

I do not have a problem with that. There is a suggestion that the House would——

I thank the Acting Leader. A significant point has been won by this side.

I believe the Minister agrees that there should be a time gap.

I am grateful to the Acting Leader for that but I would like to know what type of gap he intends before I agree to it.

To be fair, we would need to take Report Stage on a different day if the Minister wishes to take advice. We would need to put it on a different day, to be fair.

On a point of order, we agree to take the next Stage next week. There is no big issue.

While it is an important issue, it will not take up a full day.

It will be very quick but I would be grateful if the matter could be dealt with next week on Report Stage.

I express my gratitude to the acting leader. This is an important moment for the House.

I might lose my position as acting leader.

Now that peace has reigned, as I indicated I had no problem going into next week, I would not want any of that to suggest we may come back with an agreement on the amendment because, as I said, we considered this previously. We will consider it again and ask that the opinions, rather than the suspicions, of the other side of the House be taken into account.

I propose that Report Stage be taken next week.

Is that agreed? Agreed.