Order of Business.

It is proposed to take Nos. 3 and 9. It is also proposed that the Dáil shall sit later than 9 p.m. today and business shall be interrupted at 10.30 p.m. It is also proposed that all Stages of No. 3, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 7 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only amendments set down by the Minister for the Environment. It is further proposed that, under Standing Order 41, statements regarding the winding up of Fóir Teoranta shall be made at 8.30 p.m., that no speaker shall exceed 20 minutes and the order shall not resume. Private Members' Business shall be No. 23 and No. 35, motion 45.

Is the proposal——

A Cheann Comhairle——

May I put the question concerning the Order of Business?

Before you put the question, Sir——

Deputy Dukes on the Order of Business.

I would like to ask if the Government will not reconsider this Order of Business in the light of a series of unco-ordinated statements, indeed in some cases contradictory statements and even going as far as last Friday hysterical statements by the Taoiseach, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for the Environment about the prospects for interest and inflation rates and if they will consider making time during the day to add into the Order of Business some time to discuss these issues.

This is not an appropriate intrusion into the Order of Business.

I am asking if the Government would not consider this an appropriate addition to the Order of Business.

The Order of Business is before the House.

It has been agreed between the Whips.

Since this was agreed between the Whips. I have heard, for example, the Taoiseach, last Friday on his way to Japan, ask the housewives of Ireland to make sure that inflation did not happen. I would like to know if the Government——

This is not in order. Deputy Dukes knows that it is not in order.

——know something about inflation and interest rates that they are not telling the rest of us about. If so, will they say it in the House, not on the radio, and not ask the housewives to save their bacon from inflation.

Is the proposal for the late sitting——

I am asking if the Government would not agree that they should insert this addition into the Order of Business.

The Deputy must find another way of raising these matters. It is not in order to do so now.

I am asking——

Deputy Dukes, please desist.

I am asking for this addition to be put in.

The Deputy has made his point. He ought not continue to maintain disorder in the House.

I am asking if the Government will reply.

The Chair has no function in this matter and the Deputy knows that.

Will the Government agree to insert this additional item into the Order of Business for today?

The Deputy's Whip has agreed to this. We must have some order.

On Friday the Taoiseach had to descend to asking the housewives of this country to save you lot from inflation.

Is the proposal for the late sitting today agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 3 agreed? Agreed. Are the time limits proposed for dealing with statements regarding Fóir Teoranta agreed? Agreed.

On the Order of Business, Sir, now that you have for some reason which is beyond me prevented the Government from answering the question about whether to insert this item into today's Order of Business——

Let us be fair about such matters, Deputy Dukes.

——I would like to ask——

This is getting beyond the Chair now.

I would like to ask the Government——

These kinds of attacks upon the Chair are becoming a bit much for me.

It is not an attack upon the Chair. The Chair has said nothing at all about inflation or interest rates. Will the Government make time available during the course of this week to discuss their apparent prospects or forecasts for inflation and interest rates?

These are primarily matters for the Whips to decide. Deputy Spring.

May I take it that the Government will have that issue discussed by the Whips?

Deputy Spring.

Can the Government say whether or not they will have that matter discussed by the Whips and if not, why? Are they hiding? Are they running away? All it needs is a simple yes or no answer.

As I presume, a Cheann Comhairle, you will not allow me to raise the Japanese version of GUBU in this House today, I would like to raise on the Adjournment the shortfall of funds in the Southern Health Board.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

A Cheann Comhairle, you disallowed a Private Notice Question of mine relating to the two deaths in the vicinity of a psychiatric hospital in Carlow last week. I cannot understand how this matter lacks urgency. There are many precedents where loss of life——

I have given my reasons for disallowing your question and you may not pursue the matter now. If you need any further elaboration my office is at your disposal.

The matter is urgent and I ask you to——

The Deputy may not engage in argument with the Chair.

I wish to raise the matter on the Adjournment.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

For the eighth time I should like to attempt to raise on the Adjournment the deepening health crisis in Tralee general hospital which has resulted in the closure of 13 long stay beds, and the imminent closure of a further 30 out of a total of 120 long stay beds. The out-patients' physiotherapy department which administers 10,000 treatments per year will close next Monday——

I will communicate with the Deputy and he need not elaborate now.

A public meeting was held in Tralee last night—

Please, Deputy Deenihan.


The Chair will not be intimidated.

(Limerick East): Will the Tánaiste make arrangements to inform the House as soon as there is a decision regarding interest rates? Will the Minister for the Environment stop “talking up” interest rates before the decision is made?

I am not sure this is a matter for the Order of Business as it does not advert to legislation.

The Government are throwing away all the progress we made.

(Limerick East): I am simply asking the Minister for Finance to inform the House as soon as there is a decision regarding a rise in interest rates. We are tired of reading about decisions in the newspapers.

That is good coming from the Deputy.


Questions should be put down in regard to these matters. This is not Question Time and I will not allow it to be turned into a mini-Question Time.

Ask P.J. Mara about it.

I wish to raise on the Adjournment the crisis in second level schools because of the failure to make proper provision for the successful introduction of the junior certificate course.

I will be in touch with the Deputy concerning that matter.

I wish to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of Question No. 23 on today's Order Paper.

I will communicate with the Deputy concerning that matter.

Will the Tánaiste say whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce the agreement recommended by an all-party committee on the distribution of lottery funds——

This has nothing to do with the Order of Business and the Deputy will have to raise it in another way.

Ministers are giving out cheques——

Please, Deputy Farrelly, desist.

The health service is in a critical state.

I wish to raise on the Adjournment the inordinate delays in An Bord Pleanála caused by the failure of the Minister for the Environment to make adequate staff available and to streamline some of the procedures which are within his scope under regulations.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

When will the Government allow a special debate on the matters relating to the Defence Forces?

Was the Deputy here last week?

This matter was dealt with by the Taoiseach in a very fair way and I understand that discussions are taking place on a suggestion in regard to this matter.

Will it take place soon? Will the Tánaiste consult his leader?


Order, please. I am now proceeding to deal with the Order of Business proper.

Deputy S. Barrett rose.

Deputy Barrett, please allow me to get on to the Order of Business.

I wish to raise on the Adjournment the forced closure of the Irish Association for Victims Support because of lack of funding.

I will be in touch with the Deputy concerning the matter.

Can the Tánaiste say whether the Government will be introducing the promised legislation to implement the recommendations of the commission on electoral boundaries in this term?

The Deputy has referred to that on numerous occasions.

It is promised legislation although I was nearly thrown out of the House on a previous occasion for establishing that.

We are now moving to Item No. 3.