It is proposed to take item No. 2—the Defence Forces Bill. Private Deputies' business will be taken at 9 p.m.
Order of Business.
Could the Tánaiste say if it is proposed to sit on Friday?
This week, no.
Perhaps the Tánaiste could inform us as to what the intentions of the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Local Government are in regard to legislation dealing with public authorities?
Action, as indicated during the Second Reading debates of these Bills, is proceeding and proposals for legislation will be produced in due course, but I could not say when. Ministers were so busy over last week-end that I could not get full reports from them.
Perhaps the Tánaiste would later define "in due course" a little more closely.
Am I to take it that the House will not meet on Friday of this week?
Is the Tánaiste in a position to indicate the days on which it is proposed that the House should meet next week?
Discussions are proceeding with the Whips, arising out of the fact that St. Patrick's Day falls on a Wednesday this year and bearing in mind the need for the completion of the discussion on the Vote on Account and the enactment of the Central Fund Bill in time to get it to the Seanad before the end of the month, and it is possible that there may be some agreement as to sittings and a timetable prepared in that connection.
Will the Book of Estimates be available this week?
The Book of Estimates will, I understand, be available this week.
Are we to take it that the Tánaiste hopes to finish the Vote on Account before 17th March?
He is not as optimistic as all that.
No. The suggestion is that an arrangement might be made to enable the Central Fund Bill to get to the Seanad in such time as to give the Seanad a reasonable period to consider it and that the House might not meet in the week in which St. Patrick's Day falls because of the inconvenience to Deputies, due to the fact that it falls on Wednesday.
The discussion on the Vote on Account could carry on for the following week?
Certainly, but not for the whole of the following week, if the Seanad is to get a reasonable time.
Has the Tánaiste looked into the question of taking Motion No. 15 on the list of Private Deputies' motions which I brought to his notice last week?
I am afraid we have not considered that.
Will the Tánaiste look into it?
We will consider it, but I should not like to hold out any prospect of its being taken out of its order.