Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 29 May 1974

Vol. 273 No. 2

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Sunningdale Agreement.


asked the Taoiseach whether he intends to hold a referendum or plebiscite on the acceptance or rejection of the Sunningdale Agreement.

The answer is in the negative.

First, may I ask the Taoiseach whether the Sunningdale Agreement as such can be said to exist? Secondly, can the package that was damaged in transit be discussed at some future date——

Will the Deputy please ask a relevant supplementary question?

I thought the breaking of the package must be relevant; I am sorry if it is not, not that I am worried about it being broken. Thirdly, does the Taoiseach hold the view that the whole Sunningdale débâcle was a lot of ballyhoo from first to last?

Question No. 2.

May I ask the Taoiseach if it is his intention to deny information to Members of this House? Regardless of whether they represent a large or a small number, they have been elected to the House, are entitled to be heard in the House and entitled to some courtesy and information.

The Deputy asked me if it was intended to hold a referendum and I said the answer was in the negative. The Deputy has considerable experience and I think he will appreciate that the rest of his supplementaries are quite irrelevant.

I am calling Question No. 2.

Further arising from the Taoiseach's reply, for which I thank him, may I ask what was the purpose of the front bench Member, Deputy Cruise-O'Brien——

This is a separate matter and is quite irrelevant. The Deputy's question deals with whether a referendum or plebicite should be carried out.

Yes, and the information was that the answer was in the negative. I am asking if it is not a fact that the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, Deputy Cruise-O'Brien, when sitting in the Taoiseach's seat and obviously speaking for the Government during the debate on the Sunningdale package or agreement, said that if the Opposition sought a referendum or a general election on the agreement the Government would accommodate them? Is that the actuality of the situation, or is it that the Minister was talking through his hat and that his Leader does not know what he was talking about?

That is more than likely.

I have called Question No. 2.