Order of Business.

It is proposed to take No. 6, and subject to the agreement of No. 6 to take Supplementary Estimates (Votes 3, 13, 21, 32, 40 and 41). It is also proposed to take Nos. 2 and 7. It is further proposed notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that: (1) No. 6 shall be decided without debate, and any division demanded thereon shall be taken forthwith; (2) subject to the agreement of No. 6, Supplementary Estimates (Votes 3, 13, 21, 32, 40 and 41) shall be decided without debate and the questions necessary shall be put forthwith and successively, and any divisions demanded thereon shall be taken forthwith; (3) No. 2 shall be moved and decided forthwith without debate by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall in relation to amendments thereto include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Agriculture and Food; (4) the following arrangements shall apply in relation to the debate on No. 7; (i) the opening speeches of the Taoiseach and of the main Opposition Spokespersons nominated by the Fine Gael and Labour Parties shall not exceed 45 minutes in each case; (ii) the speech of each other Member called upon shall not exceed 30 minutes; (iii) a member of the Government shall be called upon not later than 4.00 p.m. to make a speech in reply not exceeding 30 minutes; and (5) the Dáil shall adjourn today at the conclusion of No. 7.

Is the proposal that No. 6 be decided without debate satisfactory and agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal to take Supplementary Estimates Votes 3, 13, 21, 32, 40 and 41 agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 2 agreed? Agreed.

Since this is likely to be our last session and in view of the fact that the House is not sitting to midnight, would it not be a nice gesture on the part of the House if it broke with convention today and instead of calling on the Minister to reply at 4 p.m. he be called at 4.30 p.m. to enable the five Independents to make contributions?

I wish to support Deputy Blaney. It is very important that the Independent Deputies be heard in the House. Let me make another suggestion which is that the figure of 30 minutes should be reduced to 20 minutes to enable more Deputies to contribute to the debate.

These are matters which may well be discussed by the Whips.

In relation to the suggestions which have been made by the Independent Deputies, I am disposed to providing 30 minutes to allow them have their say. The Whips can meet——

(Limerick East): The Taoiseach will be five short.

The Deputies opposite will have all the time they want shortly so they should not take up the time of the House now. If all other parties are agreeable, we should let the Whips decide how best this can be done.

This party along with others have been more than willing to facilitate Deputy Garland and others in Private Members' time and in other debates during the past few years.

So has everyone else.

It is also the Chair's view that minorities in this House shall be facilitated.

I wonder before we complete the Order of Business——

I have not disposed of the Order of Business yet, Deputy.

Before we do so, Sir, may I refer you to item No. 10 on the Order Paper and suggest in light of the changes in Government personnel that it might be appropriate for the Taoiseach to provide some time for a debate on the report dealing with mergers, takeovers and monopolies?

A studious suggestion.

Let us deal with the Order of Business first. Are the proposals for dealing with No. 7 agreed? Agreed. Is it agreed that the House shall adjourn at the conclusion of the debate on No. 7? Agreed.

Whatever we may disagree about during the next three weeks and pending the formation of the next Government, would the Taoiseach agree that we should, together, send a united signal to the outside world of our common determination to work for a fair and, above all, speedy settlement to the emerging trade dispute between Europe and the United States in view of the appalling consequences for jobs in Ireland both direct and indirect, which might flow from a trade war between two friends?

The Deputy can rest assured that I have already sent that signal, on behalf of the Government, to the Commissioner and everybody else connected with the talks during the past week but I have no objection to a joint statement being issued on behalf of all the party leaders.

I thank the Taoiseach.

Whatever about our concerns for the outside world may I ask the Minister for Finance and the Government to turn their attention to our own immediate world and to publish the Finance (No. 2) Bill to remove the uncertainty which exists in the marketplace at present given that many of the measures are technical in nature and are unlikely to be changed between now and 1 January?

The Government have already decided that the Bill will be published as soon as it is ready, probably within the next week or so, so that everybody will know what we have in mind on the question of investment.

Would the Taoiseach in addressing these important issues consider sympathetically the position Border traders find themselves in? They are in a very difficult position.

At this stage we must confine our remarks to the Order of Business only.

Would the Taoiseach avail of an opportunity in today's debate to confirm that the regional hospital in Tallaght will be built?


We might have meetings on the Black Sea to discuss that one.

May I ask the Taoiseach and the Government in relation to the impending action on the part of the US Government with regard to exports if they will communicate forthwith with the Commission in Brussels to ensure that no country suffers more than any other so far as the penalties which have been threatened and which will probably be imposed today——

We are deviating now from the Order of Business.

I have already done that.

Would the Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs confirm that the deep sadness of the Irish people has been conveyed to the appropriate ambassador in respect of the aid workers who lost their lives in Liberia recently?