Order of Business.

It is proposed to take Nos. 15, 16 and 4. Private Members' Business shall be No. 33, motion No. 55.

A Cheann Comhairle——

There is nothing to put to the House, Deputy Dukes.

Deputy Dukes rose.

On a point of order——

I am calling Deputy Dukes.

I am seeking to raise a point of order.

I find it deplorable that the Government have again refused this week to resubmit the Broadcasting Bill to Second Stage in spite of the very clear wishes of this House, consistently expressed ever since the Minister artificially collapsed that Bill. I ask the Taoiseach if, even at this late stage, he would reconsider that decision in view of the fact that the amendments circulated so far by the Minister amount to a totally new Bill compared to the one circulated.

We cannot have a rehash of that matter. Committee Stage of the Bill to which the Deputy has referred is coming to the House tomorrow.Deputy Spring.

That has to be ordered. I ask the Taoiseach if he will reconsider his position on Second Stage of the Bill so that this House can have a proper and complete, democratic discussion on what has turned out to be major legislation with major implications.

It is not in order now.

I wish to make two points. First, in support of Deputy Dukes, I think the facts speak for themselves and, of course, the Taoiseach should reorder the Broadcasting Bill so that we can have a proper debate on it in this House. Second, it is worth recording that the Order of Business which was agreed for today at the Whips meeting of last week was as follows: at 3.45 p.m. the International Carriage of Goods by Road Bill, 1990, on which there was to be a 30 minute debate, to be followed by Committee Stage of the Pensions Bill, 1990, at 7 p.m. by Private Members' Business and at 8.30 p.m. by Report and Final Stages of the Derelict Sites Bill, 1989, to conclude by 10.30 p.m. That is the Order of Business that was agreed by the Whips. Would the Taoiseach explain to the House why it has been changed within the last five to ten minutes?

The matter is relevant, it is on the Order of Business.

That is what I wanted to raised by way of a point of order earlier.

I would have called the Deputy's party anyway.

It is quite within the authority of the Government to change the Order of Business until such time as it comes before the House.

That is nonsense.

I would be very glad to explain to Deputy Spring what has occurred. As he knows, an Order of Business was agreed. It made arrangements for dealing reasonably expeditiously with the Order of Business before us, sitting until 10.30 p.m. tonight and a number of other subsidiary arrangements. Subsequently, we were informed by the Fine Gael Party that they do not propose to agree to that Order of Business and they have withdrawn facilitating the Government particularly with regard to pairs for Ministers who are abroad on official business. In these circumstances, the Government decided, as the Fine Gael Party do not propose to agree to the Order of Business as agreed, that the appropriate thing to do is to recorder the Order of Business in such a way as to bring it entirely within the competence of the Government to order.

The Taoiseach knows perfectly well that the proper response——

We cannot have a debate on the matter now. I am calling Deputy Pat McCartan.

This is not a debate. The Taoiseach allowed his Chief Whip to let five Minister and Ministers of State take French leave——

Deputy McCartan has been called.

The Government Chief Whip knows perfectly well what agreement had been reached and allowed it to slip through his fingers. He is incompetent and the Taoiseach is incompetent and does not deserve any better.


Order, I have called Deputy McCartan.

You take the fingers of your two hands——


Given that the Taoiseach does not have an overall majority to throw me out of the House today, would he not confirm, as he has just said in parliamentary language, that the Government do not have a majority in the House to carry the Order of Business?

Deputy McCartan, for the third time.

If you had called me when I had asked you to I would have spoken.

The Fine Gael Party have, once again, departed from established precedent and practice in this House.

That is not true.


The Taoiseach had ten pairs. If his Chief Whip cannot count past ten he should fire him.

The Order of Business is entirely within the discretion of the Government unless there is a wish to depart from the existing Standing Orders and procedures. As the Fine Gael Party have refused to stand by their agreement——

There were ten pairs.

——and also are seeking to interfere with the conduct of the Government's business by this cheap trick with regard to pairs——

The Taoiseach should stick to his agreement of last week.

——the Government have no option but to order business in accordance with Standing Orders.


The Chief Whip cannot count past ten.

I put it to the Taoiseach that the other proper course available to him is to put the matter to a vote in the House today and let those who have agreed to the Order of Business stand on their word. May I ask the Taoiseach when that news from the Fine Gael Party was conveyed to him and why the other groups in this House were not advised or consulted about this rather drastic change in the Order of Business?

The Deputy's party do not have more than ten members.

Let us proceed to the Order of Business proper, No. 15, International Carriage of Goods by Road Bill, 1990, Fifth Stage. Deputy Byrne was in possession.

(Limerick East): I wish to raise an item on the Order of Business.

May I express the hope that Members will be very brief in raising matters? A considerable amount of time has been lost already.

(Limerick East): May I ask the Taoiseach what arrangements he is putting in place for debating the departmental Estimates this year? Does he intend having a full debate on the Estimates within the next two weeks, does he intend taking them without debate, or has he got any proposals whatsoever? It is normal that some of the Estimates would be taken before 19 June, today's date.

The general intention is that we will follow the same procedure as last year but, as the Deputy knows; it is a matter for discussion between the Whips.

I seek permission to raise on the Adjournment the failure of the Minister for Social Welfare to provide the full range of dental treatment entitlements to insured workers in County Wexford.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

In the light of newspaper reports yesterday of destruction of archeaological sites throughout the country by private afforestation, I seek permission to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of Question No. 38 in my name on today's Order Paper.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

I seek permission to raise on the Adjournment the disaster facing the sheep industry.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

I seek permission to raise on the Adjournment the harsh treatment meted out by the Department of Social Welfare to members of the Kerry Recycling Co-operative.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

May I ask the Taoiseach, in the absence of the Minister for Agriculture and Food, if he has any information on the packing of English beef in boxes in Yugoslavia——

Please put down a question or raise that matter in a more appropriate fashion, Deputy.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Food, these boxes are then transported to Italy in our name where the beef is sold as Irish beef to the detriment of beef farmers in this country.

This matter is not in order. The Deputy should desist.

This is a very serious matter.

The Deputy should resume his seat forthwith.

I ask the Taoiseach if he has any information on this matter.

Either the Deputy resumes his seat forthwith or he leaves the House.

I have no wish to leave the House but this is a very serious matter.

The Deputy will come to order and obey the Chair.

May I ask the Minister for Social Welfare, in the absence of the Minister for Labour, what steps he has taken to resolve the industrial dispute at his Department which is causing widespread distruption and is affecting Deputies' inquiries with that Department?

Is the Deputy seeking to raise it on the Adjournment?

I ask the Minister to inform the House what steps he has taken to resolve the dispute.

The Deputy may not do so now, it is not in order.

I seek permission once again to raise on the Adjournment the situation which arose in Castlebar two weeks ago when a peaceful protest was violently disrupted. This was an obvious denial of civil rights.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

I wish to raise on the Adjournment the serious situation in the area of Cork known as Gallanes, Clonakility, due to the failure of the Minister to meet the request from Cork County Council for an extension of the sewerage scheme.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

I wish to raise on the Adjournment a very urgent matter regarding the approval by the Minister for the Environment of the refurbishment programme put to him by Dublin Corporation in respect of houses at Cloverhill Road and Clifden Drive, Ballyfermot.

I will communicate with the Deputy.

When may we expect the promised legislation repealing the rod licence legislation, given that prosecutions are continuing?

This matter has been raised very often in the House.

We hope to publish the Bill shortly.

Will we have that legislation before the end of this term? Is it the Government's intention that it will be through the House by then?

The Government, in spite of serious attempts to disrupt their programme, particularly the conduct of the Presidency, by the Fine Gael Party, are doing their very best to complete their programme of legislation.

Ducking defeat.


It is quite clear to Deputy Stagg that the Fine Gael Party do not want me even to conduct a dialogue with him across the floor of the House. Macho is all right but this is going a bit far. I assure Deputy Stagg that the Government will make every effort to complete their programme of legislation to his satisfaction and the satisfaction of the Irish people in general.

With our full support, I am sure.

On legislation, in view of the statement today from the General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions that it is a national scandal that 230,000 workers exist on a wage of £130 or less per week. I would ask the Taoiseach whether we can anticipate legislation on minimum pay levels.

The Deputy knows there is no legislation promised, otherwise he would not ask whether he can anticipate it. It is not promised.

The Minister for Labour promised legislation on part-time workers.

That is not the question posed by Deputy Rabbitte.

It relates to low pay.

It is absolutely related to it.

To what legislation is the question related?

Legislation promised in this House by the Minister for Labour during debate on The Workers' Party Bill dealing with part-time workers.

The Deputy asked a question about minimum wage legislation.

The Taoiseach will understand that it relates to part-time workers.

It will come up for discussion during debate on legislation that is before the House.

I am asking the Taoiseach who, I understand, orders these matters.

If the Deputy address to me a question about legislation which has been promised I shall answer it. The Deputy asked about legislation on a proposed minimum wage. No such legislation has been promised by me or any Members of the Government in this House.

That is regrettable.

It does not make it proper to the Order of Business.

May I raise on the Adjournment a matter I have raised on three or four occasions concerning the imposition of tolls on the Western Parkway at the direction of the Minister for the Environment contrary to the decision of Dublin County Council.

The Ceann Comhairle's Office will communicate with Deputy Rabbitte.

In respect of the Order of Business that has now been abandoned and having regard to the wise advice——

On a point of order, the Order of Business has not been abandoned.The Order of Business is as was ordered but certain arrangements for the expedition and execution of that Order of Business have been changed.

The Taoiseach will perhaps regard it as particularly apposite that my concern is in relation to the amendments from the Seanad, of all places, to the Derelict Sites Bill. There is perhaps a certain irony in the source from which those amendments come and the subject matter to which they are addressed. When is it intended to take these four or five amendments which will enable this House to send this worthwhile legislation to Aras an Úachtaráin?

That will have to be rearranged by the Whips. No. 4 is ordered for today.

Perhaps I could suggest to the Taoiseach in respect of this good legislation that he would ensure that his Whip would co-operate with the Opposition Whips on this matter.

That is precisely what our Whip endeavoured to do but at the last moment Fine Gael withdrew their agreement to that procedure.

He cannot count. It is not true.

No honour.

We have honoured our commitments.

Where are the 15?

I join with Deputy Garland on seeking to raise on the Adjournment with the Minister for Justice the failure of the authorities responsible for law and order, that is, the Garda Síochána, and officials from Mayo County Council to ensure that ordinary citizens going about peaceful protest were protected from attacks from private sub-contractors waving buckets from a JCB that almost killed some individuals in Castlebar in recent incidents.

The Deputy has indicated sufficient for us to know the matter he wishes to raise on the Adjournment. The Ceann Comhairle will communicate with him.


If Deputy Farrelly wants to remain he knows how he should behave himself.

I seek to raise on the Adjournment the need for the Minister for Education to introduce a second ordinary syllabus for leaving certificate mathematics of similar standard but more practical content.

The Ceann Comhairle will communicate with the Deputy.

I seek to raise on the Adjournment the plight of Gaelscoil Íde, Fermoy, County Cork, as the result of a directive given by the Minister and the Department of Education to Cork VEC to dispose of that old school in which the Gaelscoil is accommodated. If this building is sold they will have no accommodation.

The Ceann Comhairle will communicate with the Deputy.

I wish to raise on the Adjournment the misleading response of the Minister for Industry and Commerce to written Questions No. 49 on the Order Paper for Thursday, 14 June.

The Ceann Comhairle will communicate with the Deputy.

I join Deputies Garland and Quinn in seeking to raise on the Adjournment the serious incidents in Castlebar, of which I have seen a very disturbing video tape recording.

The Ceann Comhairle's office will communicate with the Deputy in respect of that hat trick.

In the absence of the Minister for Agriculture, would the Taoiseach tell the House if he has any intention of introducing a new scheme of land reclamation grants to replace the dry land grant scheme which was abolished by the Government two months ago?

The Minister misled the House on that issue.

Is there legislation promised on the matter?

If there is not, there should be, and I should like a commitment from the Taoiseach.

The Chair is happy to note that you took briefing from your colleague on that matter.

Shoulder to shoulder.

Deputy Sheehan, you understand that the matter you raise is not in order.

A Leas-Cheann Comhairle——


Deputy Connor, we need no assistance. The Chair asks you to contain yourself while I listen to Deputy Sheehan. Presently I will listen to you and adjudicate on what you say in accordance with Standing Orders.

Could the Taoiseach answer yes or no?

Deputy Sheehan, I think you realise now that we must proceed with the business ordered.

Is the Taoiseach master in his own ship?


The Deputy should have left that question elsewhere.


A Deputy

Civil rights in Castlebar.