It is proposed to take Nos. 15 and 16. It is also proposed that No. 16 shall be taken at 3.45 p.m. and, if concluded before 6.45 p.m. No. 15 shall resume thereafter. It is further proposed that Private Members' Business, which will be No. 25, shall be brought to a conclusion at 8.30 p.m.
Order of Business.
Are the proposals for dealing with Nos. 15 and 16 agreed? Agreed. Is it agreed that Private Members' Business shall be brought to a conclusion at 8.30 p.m.? Agreed.
I have two questions. Will the Tánaiste give an indication when the Taoiseach will report to the House on the bilateral aspects of his meeting today with the British Prime Minister? Will the Tánaiste also indicate whether the House will be provided with an opportunity to discuss the proposals before the board of Teagasc for wholesale closure of research stations in view of the very serious signals this gives about our commitment to agricultural development at a time when we are looking for support from other countries to that end?
I would much prefer if the matters raised by the Deputy were more closely related to the Order of Business.
We need to know for the ordering of business if and when either of these matters will be allocated time for discussion.
The Taoiseach answered the question yesterday about the bilateral aspects and Maastricht.
He referred to Maastricht only.
Will the Tánaiste say whether the Government propose to make time available today to enable the Minister for Labour to give a report on the threatened strike in the ESB and the action, if any, he proposes to take in view of the enormous implications which a second dispute would have?
I should like to assist the Deputy but clearly it does not arise now.
Yesterday I sought to raise a matter concerning the Industrial Relations Act. Will the Tánaiste say when the Minister for Labour proposes to make the order introducing the code of practice under the Industrial Relations Act which was promised in the House about 11 months ago by the former Minister for Labour? Will the House be enabled to debate the order? I know it is not normal practice to debate orders in the House, but this order is important and should be discussed. In relation to the decision of the European Court of Human rights in 1988—generally known as the Norris Case — which obliges the Government to introduce reform of the legislation to allow homosexual acts between consenting adults, when do the Government intend to introduce reforming legislation promised under the revised Programme for Government?
The second matter raised by the Deputy is in order, the first matter was not made clear to us yesterday and perhaps it can be clarified this morning.
Proposals in regard to the second question are in the Programme for Government.
It was promised three years ago.
The Programme for Government is not yet three months old and I hope the Deputy appreciates that.
It is ongoing.
With regard to the code of practice, the order can be made under the 1990 industrial relations legislation.
I understand that but I am asking the Tánaiste when the order will be made. Will it be made, as the Minister for Labour indicated, before the Christmas recess? Will there be time in the House for discussion of the code? I also wish to remind the Tánaiste that the European Court decision was made in 1988.
This matter should not lead to debate. Questions have been asked and we have had clarification.
As the Deputy and the Minister indicated that they regard the matter as urgent, I am sure the Deputy will not have to wait very long.
(Limerick East): Will the Tánaiste say whether the Government have yet fixed a date for the publication of the Estimates?
That question has been asked many times and was answered recently in the House. We are working very hard and very traumatically on the Book of Estimates.
(Limerick East): The flying doctor.
In view of the fact that legislation was promised to be in place by March 1992, when is it proposed to bring the recommendations in the Barrington report for the establishment of new sub-county structures of local government before the House?
That question has also been answered in the House. There will be elections at sub-county level in 1992 and all the legislation will be in place before then.
May I ask the Tánaiste when the Minister for Agriculture and Food will make a statement in the House about the implications of the Teagasc proposals for the horticulture industry and for the staff at Kinsealy?
Deputy Ryan must raise that matter at a more appropriate time.
The matter must be raised in this House.
Deputy Ryan, please desist.
Will the Tánaiste say if the Minister for the Environment will be making a statement today on the case of the missing files at An Bord Pleanála?
Please, Deputy. I am getting down to the Order of Business proper. I understand that leave to withdraw two Bills is requested this morning.