Business of Dáil.

Notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, in particular Standing Order 25, it is proposed that No. 15 on today's Order Paper and No. 12a on a Supplementary Order Paper be taken today. It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the following arrangements shall apply: 1. Nos. 15 and 12a shall be decided without debate; 2. the Select Committee on Legislation and Security shall meet this evening pursuant to the Order at No. 12a; 3. the following arrangements shall apply in relation to the speeches on nomination of Government: (i) the speech of the Taoiseach and every party leader shall not exceed 20 minutes in each case; (ii) the speech of each other Member called upon shall not exceed 15 minutes in each case; and (iii) Members may share time.

Is the proposal that Nos. 15 and 12a be decided without debate satisfactory?

On a point of order, before No. 12a is put to the House I would like to know whether thought has been given to the composition of this committee. There are five Independent Members who are more cohesive than other groups in the House and we very much wish to be recognised and have some say in that committee. We are the only group that has been left out. I make this request not to make trouble but because it is important. This committee is about the business of this House. It has been ordered by the House and we are entitled to be represented.

My understanding is that the terms of reference have been agreed between the Whips. I am advised — I would like to check this further lest anybody questions it — that other Members of the House may attend the committeee but only those who are duly appointed may vote.

I would say to the Taoiseach, whom I congratulate on his appointment, that while the right to attend is acceptable, I have been around long enough to know the significance of that. In this new era of renewal, open Government and transparency, a representative of the five Independent Members should be present to ensure transparency. If it is possible, I would ask the Taoiseach to try to accommodate us.

As the Taoiseach stated, these matters have been agreed by the Whips but, to assist the Taoiseach and the Independent group, I assume that what Deputy Blaney is seeking is membership of the sub-committee and we have no objection to that.

I thank Deputy Ahern for the approach he has made. I think it would be best for this matter to be discussed further between the Whips in view of the representation that has been made. We should avoid making formal arrangements on the hoof without checking the implications. I suggest that the matter be referred back to the Whips for further examination of this point.

Is that satisfactory?

If the matter is referred back to the Whips and not discussed in the House before we leave this evening it will hold up the work of the committee. Perhaps the House will agree that whatever arrangement the Whips come to will be agreed generally.

It would be better if the matter could be referred back to the House and obviously the Whips should meet quickly, but if that is not possible I suggest that the House agree to Deputy Dempsey's suggestion.

Is it agreed that Nos. 15 and 12a be decided without debate? Agreed. Is the proposal that the Select Committee on Legislation and Security meet this evening pursuant to the Order at No. 12a satisfactory? Agreed. Is No. 3 satisfactory?

No. 3 is agreed but I would like confirmation that the order of this morning, that the House adjourn the debate on the formation of the Government at 7.30 p.m., still stands. We lost some time but I want to confirm that.

Yes, unless it is altered.