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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 30 Jun 1999

Vol. 507 No. 3

Order of Business.

The Order of Business today shall be as follows: No. 6, Revised Estimates for Public Services, 1999; No. 7, Supplementary Estimates for Public Services – Votes 26, 38 and 39; No. 8, motion re Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms; No. 9, motion re Food Aid Convention, 1999; No. 10, motion re protection for EU citizens by diplomatic and consular representations; No. 11, motion re establishment of an emergency travel document; No. 35, Horse and Greyhound Racing (Betting Charges and Levies) Bill, 1999 – Order for Report and Report and Final Stages; No. 36, Courts (Supplemental Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 1999 – Second Stage (resumed) and Committee and Remaining Stages; and, No. 2, Intoxicating Liquor Bill, 1999 – Order for Second Stage and Second and Remaining Stages.

It is also proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that: (1) the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. and business shall be interrupted not later than 10.30 p.m.; (2) No. 6, Revised Estimates for Public Services 1999, and No. 7, Supplementary Estimates for Public Services – Votes 26, 38 and 39 – shall be moved together and decided without debate by one question which shall be put from the Chair and any division demanded thereon shall be taken forthwith; (3) Nos. 8, 9, 10 and 11 shall be decided without debate; (4) the Report and Final Stages of No. 35 shall be taken today and the proceedings thereon, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 12.30 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Agriculture and Food; (5) the Second and Subsequent Stages of No. 36 shall be taken today and the following arrangements shall apply: (i) the proceedings on Second Stage, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 5.15 p.m.; (ii) the proceedings on Committee and Remaining Stages, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 6.45 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform; and (6) the proceedings in the Select Committee on Justice, Equality and Women's Rights on the Immigration Bill, 1999, if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 9 p.m. by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform or a Minister of State nominated as substitute on his behalf, and the select committee shall send a message to the Dáil today in relation to the completion of its consideration of the Bill. Private Members' Business shall be No. 71, motion re Proposal for a National Infrastructure and Settlement Plan (resumed) to conclude at 8.30 p.m.

There are six proposals to put to the House. Is the proposal for the late sitting agreed?

No. I cannot agree to this proposal until the Government makes a statement on what it is prepared to do about the financial difficulties of the Vantastic service and the tremendous inconvenience and loss that this is causing to the people concerned.

I will allow a brief question when we dispose of the six proposals on the Order of Business.

The House should not agree to adjourn at 10.30 p.m. until it receives a satisfactory answer from the Minister which he can give now. If it is satisfactory, we will agree to the proposal.

I share Deputy Bruton's concerns. It would be appropriate for the Minister, before we agree to the proposal for the late sitting, to indicate what the Government is likely to do in this matter.

I met the group last night and had discussions with the Ministers concerned. A means has been found of overcoming the financial difficulties by way of savings in a number of Departments. The group is to present detailed documentation today. That is the reason its members went home last night and did not hold a vigil.

Why was that not done last week?

They are still there this morning.

They had planned to stay for the night but when agreement was reached they undertook to present detailed documentation today when the matter will be resolved. We are happy with this. The previous Government and the European Regional Development Fund made grants available in 1996. There has not been assistance in the meantime with the result that the group is now in financial difficulties.

The Government has been in office for two years. It took a demonstration outside Leinster House by disabled people to get it to act. It is a disgrace.

The immediate problem is being dealt with. I have undertaken to present a memorandum to Government to resolve the matter long-term.

It is a sad commentary on the Government's caring approach that people had to picket Dáil Éireann to get something so basic as the ability to leave their homes to go to work.

We cannot debate the matter now.

The Government let the service collapse.

I did not fully understand the commitment made by the Minister. May I take it that as and from today the service previously enjoyed will be fully restored?

Yes. The group indicated—

Yes or no?

—that if the current financial difficulties are overcome the service will continue until the end of January. In the meantime the overall position can be examined. The Minister for Public Enterprise, Deputy O'Rourke, is preparing a document on transport for all.

The Minister should not confuse the issue.

Will money be given now?

The question of how the service will fit into that document needs to be addressed.

On a point of order—

We must move on. I have allowed a brief discussion which strictly was not in order. Is the proposal for the late sitting agreed?

Question put and declared carried.

Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 6 and 7 agreed ? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 8, 9, 10 and 11 agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 35 agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 36 agreed?

No. I compliment the Minister of State, Deputy Mary Wallace, on her quotation from St. Paul's Epistle to the Corinthians –"For now we see through a glass, darkly"– to justify not dealing with the Sheedy case. It is not sufficient to see through a glass darkly in relation to what happened in the Sheedy case, notwithstanding St. Paul for whom everybody in this House has great admiration.

That is not St. Paul.

We are entitled to know what happened in the Sheedy case and why but we are not getting that information. It is not good enough to give pensions to which these people are not entitled by law by special legislation without getting answers.

We are not discussing the Bill, just the arrangements.

I compliment the Minister of State on making a good job of a bad case.

There was an offer of a two hour debate last night but it was not taken up.

The House is being asked at the behest of the majority supported by the Independents to railroad legislation through to give pensions for life to people who were found to be in breach, if not dereliction, of their duties and we are not even being told why.

We cannot discuss the merits or demerits of the Bill now.

Taxpayers who are struggling to pay their bills will never have the money that these people will get. There has not been an explanation. It is a gross dereliction of the fundamental rights of the House.

Members cannot discuss the content of the Bill on the Order of Business. If the Deputy has a question on the Order of Business, he should put it.

I am endeavouring to give the Chair an explanation. The Labour Party is opposing this not to be obstructive but because the Government is ramming through an unjust measure with no explanation—

As I explained to the Deputy, it is not in order to discuss the contents of the Bill.

—as to why taxpayers should pay pensions for life to two judges who were found to be in dereliction of their duties.

I call Deputy Jim O'Keeffe. He cannot comment on the Bill.

Does the Minister accept that the Government is compounding the problem by introducing a guillotine on this Bill?

The Deputy is commenting on the merits of the Bill. Is the proposal for dealing with item 36 agreed to?

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with item 36 be agreed."

Ahern, Dermot.Ahern, Michael.Ahern, Noel.Ardagh, Seán.Aylward, Liam.Blaney, Harry.Brady, Johnny.Brady, Martin.Brennan, Matt.Brennan, Séamus.Briscoe, Ben.Byrne, Hugh.Callely, Ivor.Carey, Pat.Collins, Michael.Cooper-Flynn, Beverley.Coughlan, Mary.Cullen, Martin.Daly, Brendan.Davern, Noel.de Valera, Síle.Dempsey, Noel.Dennehy, John.Doherty, Seán.Ellis, John.Fahey, Frank.Fleming, Seán.Flood, Chris.Foley, Denis.Fox, Mildred.Gildea, Thomas.Hanafin, Mary.Haughey, Seán.Healy-Rae, Jackie.Jacob, Joe.Keaveney, Cecilia.Kelleher, Billy.

Kenneally, Brendan.Killeen, Tony.Kirk, Séamus.Kitt, Michael.Kitt, Tom.Lawlor, Liam.Lenihan, Brian.Lenihan, Conor.McCreevy, Charlie.McDaid, James.McGennis, Marian.McGuinness, John.Martin, Micheál.Moffatt, Thomas.Molloy, Robert.Moloney, John.Moynihan, Donal.Moynihan, Michael.Ó Cuív, Éamon.O'Dea, Willie.O'Flynn, Noel.O'Hanlon, Rory.O'Keeffe, Batt.O'Keeffe, Ned.O'Malley, Desmond.O'Rourke, Mary.Power, Seán.Roche, Dick.Ryan, Eoin.Smith, Brendan.Smith, Michael.Wade, Eddie.Wallace, Dan.Wallace, Mary.Walsh, Joe.Woods, Michael.Wright, G. V.

Níl

Ahearn, Theresa.Barnes, Monica.Barrett, Seán.Bell, Michael.Belton, Louis.Boylan, Andrew.Bradford, Paul.Browne, John (Carlow-Kilkenny).Bruton, John.Bruton, Richard.Burke, Liam.Burke, Ulick.Clune, Deirdre.Connaughton, Paul.Cosgrave, Michael.Crawford, Seymour.Currie, Austin.Deasy, Austin.Deenihan, Jimmy.Dukes, Alan.Durkan, Bernard.Enright, Thomas.Ferris, Michael.Finucane, Michael.Flanagan, Charles.Gilmore, Éamon.Gormley, John.Gregory, Tony.Higgins, Jim.Higgins, Joe.Higgins, Michael.

Hogan, Philip.McCormack, Pádraic.McDowell, Derek.McGahon, Brendan.McGinley, Dinny.McGrath, Paul.McManus, Liz.Mitchell, Gay.Mitchell, Olivia.Moynihan-Cronin, Breeda.Naughten, Denis.Neville, Dan.Noonan, Michael.Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.O'Keeffe, Jim.O'Shea, Brian.O'Sullivan, Jan.Owen, Nora.Perry, John.Quinn, Ruairí.Rabbitte, Pat.Reynolds, Gerard.Ring, Michael.Sargent, Trevor.Shatter, Alan.Sheehan, Patrick.Shortall, Róisín.Spring, Dick.Stagg, Emmet.Stanton, David.Timmins, Billy.Wall, Jack.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies S. Brennan and Power; Níl, Deputies Sheehan and Stagg.
Question declared carried.

Is the proposal for dealing with the Immigration Bill, 1999, in Select Committee agreed to?

No. May I explain why? On previous occasions, the Taoiseach has stated quite clearly that the conduct of the affairs of a committee on Committee Stage is a matter for the committee itself, and that this House has no right to interfere in any way. At the behest of the Government we are now purporting to ram through a guillotine motion on a committee that is still deliberating on most important legislation. A 16 page amendment was submitted by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and is only now being considered. It constitutes an entirely new Bill, two years after this Government took office. It is outrageous that the Government is trying to ram it through in this way. I would like the Minister to respond because we are discussing how the House conducts its business. It is in breach of undertakings previously given.

We cannot have long statements at this stage. I take it the Deputy is objecting to this proposal.

I am asking more than that. Will the Minister indicate in his reply whether the Cabinet considered this matter and why this procedure is now being adopted? Does he not regard it as a most dangerous precedent that undermines the autonomy of committees?

The legislation of which the Government proposes to prevent discussion after 9 p.m. concerns human rights. This immigration legislation affects the human rights of people in this country. It is not right that such legislation should be rammed through the Dáil with, apart from the substantive sections, 45 amendments still to be considered, all of which the Government wants closed off by 9 p.m.

Hear, hear.

That is not acceptable and it is not a proper standard of democracy. It sets an appalling example in regard to Northern Ireland, where we are talking about the need for human rights legislation, that we would put such legislation through this House affecting ethnic minorities without it being properly and carefully discussed, as befits a parliamentary assembly.

For Deputy Quinn's information, it does not create a precedent. It is the duty of the House to make these decisions. The Whip and the committee have endeavoured, through co-operation, to provide as much time as possible. An extra four hours are being provided today, giving eight hours in total. The work is very important and it is important that the Refugee Act, 1996, is brought into operation. The benefits of that are quite obvious. We need a decision before the recess.

I must put the question. The Deputy has made it clear that he is opposing this proposal.

I want to say something directly to the Minister, if I may.

The Fine Gael Party will withdraw all co-operation from the Government if this motion is proceeded with. This is important legislation and if the motion is proceeded with there will be no co-operation.

Question put.

Ahern, Dermot.Ahern, Michael.Ahern, Noel.Ardagh, Seán.Aylward, Liam.Blaney, Harry.Brady, Johnny.Brady, Martin.Brennan, Matt.Brennan, Séamus.Briscoe, Ben.Byrne, Hugh.Callely, Ivor.Carey, Pat.Collins, Michael.Cooper-Flynn, Beverley.Coughlan, Mary.Cullen, Martin.Daly, Brendan.Davern, Noel.de Valera, Síle.Dempsey, Noel.

Dennehy, John.Doherty, Seán.Ellis, John.Fahey, Frank.Fleming, Seán.Flood, Chris.Foley, Denis.Fox, Mildred.Gildea, Thomas.Hanafin, Mary.Haughey, Seán.Healy-Rae, Jackie.Jacob, Joe.Keaveney, Cecilia.Kelleher, Billy.Kenneally, Brendan.Killeen, Tony.Kirk, Séamus.Kitt, Michael.Kitt, Tom.Lawlor, Liam. Lenihan, Brian.

Tá–continued

Lenihan, Conor.McCreevy, Charlie.McDaid, James.McGennis, Marian.McGuinness, John.Martin, Micheál.Moffatt, Thomas.Molloy, Robert.Moloney, John.Moynihan, Donal.Moynihan, Michael.Ó Cuív, Éamon.O'Dea, Willie.O'Flynn, Noel.O'Hanlon, Rory.

O'Keeffe, Batt.O'Keeffe, Ned.O'Malley, Desmond.O'Rourke, Mary.Power, Seán.Roche, Dick.Ryan, Eoin.Smith, Brendan.Smith, Michael.Wade, Eddie.Wallace, Dan.Wallace, Mary.Walsh, Joe.Woods, Michael.Wright, G. V.

Níl

Ahearn, Theresa.Barnes, Monica.Barrett, Seán.Bell, Michael.Belton, Louis.Boylan, Andrew.Bradford, Paul.Broughan, Thomas.Browne, John (Carlow-Kilkenny).Bruton, John.Bruton, Richard.Burke, Liam.Burke, Ulick.Carey, Donal.Clune, Deirdre.Connaughton, Paul.Cosgrave, Michael.Crawford, Seymour.Currie, Austin.Deasy, Austin.Deenihan, Jimmy.Dukes, Alan.Durkan, Bernard.Enright, Thomas.Ferris, Michael.Finucane, Michael.Flanagan, Charles.Gilmore, Éamon.Gormley, John.Higgins, Jim.Higgins, Joe.

Higgins, Michael.Hogan, Philip.McCormack, Pádraic.McDowell, Derek.McGahon, Brendan.McGinley, Dinny.McGrath, Paul.McManus, Liz.Mitchell, Gay.Mitchell, Olivia.Moynihan-Cronin, Breeda.Naughten, Denis.Neville, Dan.Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.O'Keeffe, Jim.O'Shea, Brian.O'Sullivan, Jan.Owen, Nora.Perry, John.Quinn, Ruairí.Rabbitte, Pat.Reynolds, Gerard.Ring, Michael.Sargent, Trevor.Shatter, Alan.Sheehan, Patrick.Shortall, Róisín.Stagg, Emmet.Stanton, David.Timmins, Billy.Wall, Jack.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies S. Brennan and Power; Níl, Deputies Sheehan and Stagg.

I am deeply disappointed that the Minister has used a guillotine to interfere with the work of a committee. The establishment of committees has been one of the achievements of recent Dála and they work well. The Select Committee on Justice, Equality and Women's Rights is proceeding rapidly through the Immigration Bill. It was bad for the Government to limit the time a committee may take to consider a human rights issue. The Government will regret the decision taken this morning.

I call Deputy Quinn. We cannot have a debate on this matter.

The Minister, I believe inadvertently, attempted to suggest to the House that the select committee would have eight hours to debate the Immigration Bill. He is perhaps not aware that the Deputies who will be centrally involved in the debate will also have to attend the House to debate item 36, which deals with the legislation to give unwarranted pensions to two former judges, and item 2, the Intoxicating Liquor Bill. The suggestion that the Government is being generous in imposing this guillotine motion and that eight hours of debate is being made available to the committee is untrue. The Minister may not believe a precedent is being created here. However, the permanent officials who advise the Chair will cite this as a precedent and it will be repeatedly invoked as such.

The Minister will live to rue the day.

It is not a precedent. The Labour Party leader should not worry about that aspect.

The officials who advise the Chair work on precedent.

Eight hours of debate has been provided for the select committee, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is not unusual for members of committees to arrange for substitutes when there are concurrent debates in the House.

All the business concerned emanates from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

The Minister also offered to provide more time for debate by starting earlier this morning, but the select committee found that this was not necessary. The Immigration Bill will meet the repeated Opposition demands for the implementation of the Refugee Act. The Deputies on the other side of the House know we are at the close of the session and it is vital that the Bill is passed by the Dáil before then.

It is the Government's decision to end the session this week. We want the Dáil to sit next week.

I raised the following matter on the Order of Business yesterday but the Minister did not know the reply. Perhaps he has had an opportunity to investigate the matter. There is widespread concern that applicants for foreign adoptions are being treated disgracefully by the Eastern Health Board. I understand the Cabinet received a report which it sanctioned for publication almost two weeks ago. It was to be laid before the House. Will the Minister tell the House why the report into the approach taken by health boards to foreign adoption assessments has not been published, when it will be published and whether it will be laid before the House before it goes into recess on Friday? Will he confirm that the report recommends substantial changes to the approach taken by health boards to ensure people who wish to adopt abroad are treated with dignity and commons sense?

That is not relevant to the Order of Business but I will allow it if the Minister wishes to make a brief comment.

I understand the report is being considered and will be published as soon as possible.

The Cabinet approved its publication.

Extensive consultation is being carried out on the adoption contact register Bill.

I did not ask about that.

I mentioned the report.

When the Select Committee on Health and Children debated the Estimates two weeks ago the Minister for Health and Children advised that the report had been approved by the Cabinet for publication. Will the Minister advise when it will be published? The report has been approved and should have been published by now. It is an independent report and it is urgent that its recommendations are implemented. We are entitled to know what the problem is.

The couples involved need to know.

The report will be published as soon as possible. It is being considered further by the Department before publication.

I call Deputy Gilmore.

What is the delay? The Department cannot consider an independent report which the Cabinet has sanctioned. It is ridiculous censorship.

The Deputy should desist. I have given him generous latitude.

The Minister for the Environment and Local Government has for some time promised two substantial Bills – the local government reform Bill and the planning and development Bill. We were told both were to be published by the middle of the year. When will the two Bills be published?

Work is ongoing on the local government reform Bill and it will be published in the early autumn. The planning and development Bill will be published within a few weeks.

The middle of the year has now become early autumn.

(Mayo): At present redundant paramilitaries or convicted criminals can set up their own private security companies. No certification, regulation or checks are in place. An expert group reported to the Minister over 15 months ago in respect of this matter and recommended immediate legislation to regulate this area. Why has it not been treated as a priority?

On 27 July 1998 the Government approved a proposal to give legislative effect to recommendations of the report of the consultant group on the private security industry. Work is ongoing on that and it is not possible to give a date at this stage.

I have it done for the Minister and hope he will accept it.

In light of the funding approval announcement this week for the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Programme Act, 1998, otherwise known as the Walsh US Visa Scheme for the Border Counties and the Six Counties, is there a need to introduce legislation or any other measure in the House to facilitate this scheme?

Legislation is not promised of as far I am aware, but I will certainly check that and come back to the Deputy.

No. 7 on the Order Paper is a raft of Supplementary Estimates. Earlier, the Minister indicated that savings were being found to enable Vantastic to be funded. Obviously, for savings to be found, there must be a virement of money from one Vote to another, which requires a Supplementary Estimate. Which of the Supplementary Estimates for the Departments of Education and Science and Foreign Affairs is being used to fund Vantastic? Unless a Supplementary Estimate is introduced it is my understanding that the Minister's undertakings are not of any value.

I trust that the Deputy wants to facilitate and help the group and that he will do everything in this power to try to achieve that.

That is pathetic.

We want to ensure that it happens.

The Deputy will be aware that under virement it is possible within Votes to make use of subheads when there are savings, provided that there is a related activity within the Department in question.

We have already taken up much of the Order of the Business on this matter. There are other ways in which it can be raised.

There is also the possibility of introducing a Supplementary Estimate later, if necessary.

The Minister said he was involved in this and gave clear undertakings. Before the House ceases to sit, as the Government wishes, on Friday, we want to be sure that the legal steps have been taken to give effect to the Minister's undertakings. He has not been able to tell us under which Vote this saving has been found or what procedure will be used to allocate the money for Vantastic. Before the House takes No. 7, which is a provision for Supplementary Estimates, it is entitled to know whether that motion is adequate to deal with the Minister's undertakings. The Minister should answer that question and not try to call into question the good faith of any other Member in the House.

Just as the Deputy called his into question. Is the Deputy the only one who is allowed to do that?

Nothing would have been done about Vantastic were it not for pressure from the group itself and the Opposition.

A great deal of latitude has been given on this matter. I call the Minister for a final reply.

The Deputy can rely on the undertaking I gave.

That is not what Dáil Éireann is about.

That is not good enough.

The group concerned can also rely on my undertaking. The technical amendments are feasible and will be made.

We cannot have a debate on the Order of Business. The matter has been discussed beyond what should have been allowed under Standing Orders. There are other ways to raise the matter today and tomorrow and the Deputy should avail of them.

The Minister's suggestion that the Dáil should not question him and take everything in good faith from him suggests that it has no function at all and that all that is needed is for a Government to give good assurances and everybody else should be happy. I want to know – and it is my job to ask – how the Minister will provide the money. The Minister has not answered that question and his inability to do so suggests that he is hiding something or is lacking in some respect in competence.

Check the files.

The Deputy has made his point.

I told the Deputy and the House that the moneys would be found through savings—

—-within a number of Departments which are directly concerned with this area.

Which ones?

It is tied up in red tape.

The unfortunate aspect of this is that when the Deputy was in Government, he did not do anything to put this together.

We are not in Government.

Now he seems to be quite disappointed that a solution has been found. He had to rely on the Government to resolve it.

My predecessor refused to do anything.

That crutch is worn out. Answer the question.

Check the files.

The Minister cannot understand the question.

The Deputy cannot understand the answer.

I understand the answer perfectly.

I understand that the Minister has said that the Government can identify the savings, but not today. That seems to be the position.

We have identified the savings.

However, the Minister cannot announce them today.

The Deputy asked about the virement within various subheads and I presume he understands—

Give us a clue.

Where? That will not be done.

The Deputy should adjust her hearing.

I have called Deputy Quinn on a new matter. Could we move on, please?

The Amsterdam Treaty provided the incoming President of the European Commission with additional powers. It was voted upon by the citizens of this republic and it also gave the European Parliament additional powers in respect of the composition of the Commission and its ratification. In light of the questions I put to the Minister yesterday, is it the Government's intention before the House rises for the summer, to announce our nominee to the Commission, at least by way of courtesy, so that we can share some of the democratic powers that, under the Treaty were transferred to national and European assemblies?

I will consider the Deputy's remarks. I will convey to the Taoiseach his concerns regarding a difficulty as a result of the House rising for the summer recess.

Deputy Quinn rose.

We cannot have a discussion on the matter.

This is not a discussion.

We are still on the Order of Business and it is approaching 12 o'clock.

It is a long Order of Business and there were two votes. Does the Government accept that the House is entitled to the courtesy—

Many matters have been raised which are not in order on the Order of Business.

Will the Minister convey to the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste that the House is entitled out of courtesy, bearing in mind the new powers given to the Parliament by the Amsterdam Treaty, to be officially informed before it rises about the name of the person nominated by the Government to take up the post of Commissioner?

I will convey the issue raised by the Deputy to the Taoiseach. It is a question of timing from there and the Deputy will appreciate that.

On the issue of the disappeared, I commend the Garda and civilian helpers on their tenacity, commitment and sensitivity in their dealings with the relatives. I hope that this finding will lead to further findings and end this dreadful saga of barbarism and inhumanity.

I am glad the Deputy raised this and I join him in congratulating the Garda on their patient and painstaking work in this area and wish them further success on behalf of the victims.

When will the insurance Bill be published? Will reports that the Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has done yet another U-turn on the disclosure of commissions for selling certain financial products lead to a postponement of its publication? If the Minister does not know the answer to the latter question, will he be kind enough to let me know in due course?

The subject matter of a Bill is not open to question on the Order of Business.

Such disclosures were to be introduced last September but the House was not sitting.

I understand that it will be published during the summer before the next session.

I refer to the alginate industries Bill, which I have raised before.

It relates to the Minister's brief.

The Minister promised a seaweed forum a year ago and we cannot proceed until it has been established. When will it be established?

Is the Minister looking for a mermaid?

It will be established almost immediately. Any difficulties that existed have been resolved. I expect it to happen in the next few days.

(Dublin West): Will the Government make strong representations to the Turkish Government to not carry out the sentence of execution on Abdullah Ocalan?

That matter was raised on the Adjournment last night.

Barr