asked the Minister for Local Government the date on which responsibility for all financial matters in relation to housing including mortgage rates and rates of interest, became the responsibility of his Department.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Housing Finance.
Since the establishment of the State, the Minister for Local Government has been the Minister primarily concerned with the administration of matters relating to the financing of housing. However, under the Local Loans Fund Act, 1935, the issue rate on advances from the fund for housing and other purposes is a matter for the Minister for Finance.
In so far as building societies are concerned, it has been arranged that as from the 20th March, 1969, the Minister for Local Government will be concerned with certain aspects of these bodies' operations which were formerly administered by the Minister for Industry and Commerce.
Would the Minister agree that it would certainly save excessive excitement if instead of incidents we could have announcements when changes take place? Would it not be to the credit of the House and the Department if we had an announcement in the Press or to the House that this change in functions had taken place?
It was announced in reply to a Dáil question.
Surely the Minister could have given this information to Deputy O'Connell last Thursday evening instead of proceeding to call on all and sundry to engage in fisticuffs?
Deputy O'Connell did not contribute to the debate.
Deputy O'Connell sought permission to ask a question and the Minister refused to give him an answer.
Would Deputy Harte please control himself?
Deputy O'Connell, ably assisted by the Fine Gael Party, succeeded in denying me my right to reply to Deputy Belton's contribution on the Adjournment.
The Minister could have given a civil answer to a straightforward question.
A Cheann Comhairle——
Does Deputy O'Connell wish to ask a question?
I want to ask a supplementary question.
The previous question.
On No. 20?
I should like to know why the Minister refused to state that the responsibility lay with his Department when the question was asked.
The reason was that I was not allowed, due to the interruptions and noise of the Opposition Deputies.
May I take it that the Minister sanctioned the increase by the building societies in the mortgage rates?
No, the Deputy can take no such thing. If the Deputy had been prepared to obey the Rules of Order and allow me the ten minutes to reply, which I am entitled to under Standing Orders, he would have got the information.
May I ask the question now?
Question No. 21.
Who sanctioned the increase by the building societies?
That is a separate question.
Order. Would Deputy Harte please cease interrupting?
May I ask a supplementary question?
Would Deputy O'Connell allow questions to proceed? He has asked two supplementary questions.