THE CHRISTMAS RECESS.

I have to make a statement in connection with the question which Deputy Johnson put yesterday—that is the question in which the interpretation of the word "session" as it occurs in the Constitution was involved. I regret having to inform the Dáil that owing to the absence of certain Ministers—the Vice-President being absent owing to a bereavement in his family—it was not possible to hold an Executive Council meeting, and I cannot give any definite statement on that point. I promised a statement before the end of the week. The second question raised related to the date of the Recess and the Dáil programme will have to be definitely fixed when the Executive Council next meets. I may say this, that it is our aim to adjourn about the end of next week, say about the 12th. It is our aim to adjourn at that time. It is our proposal not to meet before the end of the year, say not until the end of January or the beginning of February. That is the most I can say at the moment. There is just one extra point or two. It may be necessary to resume for a day, or two even, after the adjournment on the 12th—that is, if we succeed in adjourning on the 12th—for the purpose of considering amendments that may come back from the Seanad to Bills proceeding to them now. I would personally like, and will urge on the Executive Council, the advisability of retaining the Dáil in Session until such time as I get a preliminary statements of the views of the experts in connection with the Shannon Scheme.

May I raise the point as to whether the question of the length of the Session is not a matter that might well be discussed with the Committee on Procedure?

I intend to raise the matter at a meeting summoned for Friday morning, the earliest time at which I could get a meeting.