Written Answers. - Duty on Newsprint.

9.

asked the Minister for Finance whether he received representations from the Dublin Newspaper Managers' Committee on behalf of the five daily newspaper houses, seeking the abolition of the duty on newsprint.

I received representations from the Dublin Newspaper Managers' Committee regarding the duty on Newsprint. I am glad to have this opportunity of removing any wrong impression I may have created yesterday in my speech concluding the Budget debate when I mentioned the newspaper proprietors but had not in mind the Managers' Committee. The representations received were carefully considered but for the reasons I indicated yesterday, I could not see my way to abolish the duty.

Before we resume, may I ask about the Taoiseach's continued absence from the House during the course of this discussion? It shows great discourtesy.

I got no notice of any such question.

When business is being done there is always a Minister present.

I know that some Ministers are across Channel.

There is always a Minister in the Front Bench. It is a Government measure I am moving; that is true.

The Deputy was not present before Questions, when this matter was being debated in the House. His remark is sheer "codology".

The Deputy was present to note the absence of the Taoiseach.

The Deputy has raised this matter in an irregular fashion. He may not raise it in this way.

He will soon be looking for another job in another house.

As a matter of fact, I have a reason that requires my presence outside at this very moment.