Order of Business.

The Order of Business today shall be No. 13, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the draft Civil Service code of standards and behaviour – back from committee; No. 14, motion re proposed approval by Dáil Éireann of the Employment Equality Act 1998 (section 12) (Church of Ireland College of Education) Order 2003 – back from committee; No. 20, Immigration Bill 2002 [Seanad] – Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage; No. 2, Arts Bill 2002 – amendments from the Seanad; No. 22, Protection of employees (Fixed-Term Work) Bill 2003 [Seanad] – Committee and Remaining Stages; No. 23, Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2003 [Seanad] – Order for Report, Report and Final Stages.

It is proposed, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, that the Dáil shall sit later than 8.30 p.m. tonight and business shall be interrupted not later than 10.30 p.m.; Nos. 13 and 14 shall be decided without debate; the proceedings on the resumed Report and Final Stages of No. 20 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 1.30 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 Justice, Equality and Law Reform; the proceedings on No. 2 shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 30 minutes and any amendments from the Seanad not disposed of shall be decided by one question which shall be put from the Chair and which shall, in relation to amendments to the Seanad amendments, include only those set down or accepted by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism; Committee and Remaining Stages of No. 22 shall be taken today, and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 6.30 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 Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; the proceedings on the Report and Final Stages of No. 23 shall be taken today and shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion at 10.30 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 Justice, Equality and Law Reform. Notwithstanding anything in public and private Standing Orders regarding the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Charter Amendment) Bill 2002 – (a) Report Stage shall be taken tomorrow on the conclusion of the Order of Business, (b) Fifth Stage shall also be taken tomorrow, (c) opposed amendments shall be decided forthwith; and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously concluded, be brought to a conclusion after 30 minutes; Private Members' Business shall be No. 36, motion re housing (resumed) to conclude at 8.30 p.m.

There are seven proposals to be put to the House. Is the proposal for dealing with the late sitting agreed to? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with Nos. 13 and 14 without debate agreed?

I do not object to this. I raised this matter previously and I would like to have a short synopsis of the committee's findings in order to pass these motions without debate.

As a member of the committee, I want to ask whether the Government has read the committee's concerns about civil servants, particularly senior civil servants who may, on retiring, pass from the public to the private sector and who may deal with the privatisation of State assets. We sought an increase in the sanitation period from one year to two years.

It is a very important point in relation to ethics in public life. Has the Government had a chance to consider that point and the other comments among the detailed observations of the committee?

I take issue with this item. The misunderstanding created by joining these issues is that there is some link between the Civil Service code of standards and behaviour and the Church of Ireland College of Education. It is patently obvious that a mockery is being made of these motions by taking them together.

The motion relates to taking them without debate.

Without debate it may be, but let them be taken in their individual way—

They will be taken in their individual way—

We are being asked to agree on Nos. 13 and 14 or not at all. That makes a mockery of each motion. These simple matters can be dealt with individually, without fuss and more effectively.

As I pointed out to the Deputy, they will be taken separately when they come before the House.

I object again to the procedure in this instance. Perhaps the Chair will use his good offices to reflect on the unsuitability of this practice. These items should be presented individually to be moved without debate rather than lumping them together. That is the critical point. I appeal to the Minister and the Chief Whip, as I did last week, to order business differently from the beginning of the new term.

We are talking about a procedural matter here. First and foremost, these matters were debated in committee, where all groupings in the House had the chance to say whatever they deemed necessary. I will have Deputy Burton's point considered, as I understand some work will go on through the summer on that code of practice.

The committee report—

There is no provision for a second contribution.

On a point of order, we have raised this issue repeatedly—

That is not a point of order. I will allow the Deputy to raise this point later, but not now.

I need to raise it now.

The Deputy cannot raise it now as his party has already made a contribution on the issue.

Question, "That the proposal for dealing with Nos. 13 and 14 without debate be agreed to", put and declared carried.

On a point of order—

I will take the Deputy's point at the end of the proposals. It is not really a point of order but as it is near the summer recess we will take it. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 20 agreed?

I oppose this proposal on the basis of the concept of a guillotine being used.

This involves a guillotine but the Bill is also unrecognisable from the Bill that we started with. There were 34 pages of amendments introduced on Committee Stage and ten further pages on Report Stage, but there was no opportunity for debate or to hear expert evidence. The Human Rights Commission, in the person of Dr. Maurice Manning, complained to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform for denying it the chance to examine the new amendments, yet the Minister presses ahead. This is not the only time that has happened in this term.

Apart entirely from the guillotine, this is not the way to enact complex legislation – giving Opposition Members weighty amendments as they start Committee or Report Stage and expecting them to scrutinise legislation in the public interest. It is unacceptable and I oppose it.

This is the hundredth sitting day of the Dáil and on that basis I calculate we are working a one and a half day week, which is good work if one can get it. To increase productivity the Government is now rushing legislation through, obviously to give the impression it has done a lot, and perhaps has a lot more to do.

More holidays to take.

The way this is being done is completely unacceptable. Amending legislation beyond recognition and then applying a guillotine is making a mockery of the House. It is unacceptable and that is why we oppose it.

I will hear a brief contribution from Deputy O Caoláin. Yesterday he made a very long contribution on this issue by choice and I asked him to wait until today.

I acknowledge the Chair's memory.

A very brief contribution.

Again, I oppose this for the many reasons already articulated. Only five amendments out of 150 have been dealt with and it is outrageous that this matter will not be dealt with substantively. I strongly object.

In an ideal world it would be better not to have such a number of amendments coming at a late stage—

It is on the books since last year.

—but we should bear in mind the importance of the legislation and the necessity of passing it. I have a note from the Minister, Deputy Hanafin, that we spent 23 hours and 40 minutes on the Bill on Second and Committee Stages. I defy contradiction in stating that we have not spent as much time on any other legislation.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. 20 be agreed to."

Ahern, Dermot.Andrews, Barry.Ardagh, Seán.Aylward, Liam.Brady, Johnny.Brady, Martin.Breen, James.Brennan, Seamus.Browne, John.Callanan, Joe.Callely, Ivor.

Carey, Pat.Carty, John.Cassidy, Donie.Collins, Michael.Cooper-Flynn, Beverley.Coughlan, Mary.Cregan, John.Cullen, Martin. Curran, John.

Tá–continued

Davern, Noel.Dempsey, Tony.Dennehy, John.Devins, Jimmy.Ellis, John.Finneran, Michael.Fitzpatrick, Dermot.Fleming, Seán.Gallagher, Pat The Cope.Glennon, Jim.Hanafin, Mary.Haughey, Seán.Healy-Rae, Jackie.Hoctor, Máire.Jacob, Joe.Keaveney, Cecilia.Kelleher, Billy.Kelly, Peter.Killeen, Tony.Kirk, Seamus.Lenihan, Brian.Lenihan, Conor.McEllistrim, Thomas.McGuinness, John.Martin, Micheál.Moynihan, Donal.Moynihan, Michael.

Mulcahy, Michael.Nolan, M. J.Ó Cuív, Éamon.Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.O'Connor, Charlie.O'Dea, Willie.O'Donnell, Liz.O'Donovan, Denis.O'Flynn, Noel.O'Keeffe, Batt.O'Keeffe, Ned.O'Malley, Fiona.O'Malley, Tim.Parlon, Tom.Power, Peter.Power, Seán.Ryan, Eoin.Sexton, Mae.Smith, Brendan.Smith, Michael.Treacy, Noel.Wallace, Dan.Wallace, Mary.Walsh, Joe.Wilkinson, Ollie.Woods, Michael.Wright, G. V.

Níl

Allen, Bernard.Boyle, Dan.Broughan, Thomas P.Bruton, Richard.Burton, Joan.Connaughton, Paul.Connolly, Paudge.Costello, Joe.Coveney, Simon.Cowley, Jerry.Crawford, Seymour.Crowe, Seán.Cuffe, Ciarán.Deasy, John.Deenihan, Jimmy.Durkan, Bernard J.English, Damien.Enright, Olwyn.Gilmore, Eamon.Gogarty, Paul.Gormley, John.Gregory, Tony.Harkin, Marian.Higgins, Joe.Higgins, Michael D.Hogan, Phil.Howlin, Brendan.

Kenny, Enda.McCormack, Padraic.McGrath, Finian.Mitchell, Olivia.Morgan, Arthur.Murphy, Gerard.Naughten, Denis.Neville, Dan.Noonan, Michael.Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.O'Dowd, Fergus.O'Keeffe, Jim.O'Shea, Brian.O'Sullivan, Jan.Pattison, Seamus.Penrose, Willie.Perry, John.Rabbitte, Pat.Ring, Michael.Ryan, Eamon.Ryan, Seán.Sargent, Trevor.Sherlock, Joe.Stagg, Emmet.Stanton, David.Upton, Mary.Wall, Jack.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Hanafin and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Durkan and Stagg.
Question declared carried.

The question is that the proposal for dealing with No. 22 be agreed to.

Again, this is the use of the guillotine. We will have, at most, two and a half hours or thereabouts to deal with the Committee and Remaining Stages of a Bill transposing an important EU directive into law. There have been substantial submissions from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and from IBEC on these matters. The Government has had years to implement the directive, and it is already well beyond the legal date for implementation. It is grossly unfair that new amendments have been circulated in recent days and that we do not have a proper chance to debate the issues in the short time provided.

I am aware that the European Court of Justice has threatened to prosecute the State for failing to introduce this Bill. On Second Stage, the Minister said he would put forward a major amendment at the heart of the Bill, thus making it almost impossible as an Opposition Deputy to even consider an amendment, knowing that the guts of the Bill would only appear on the day or the day before it got to Committee and Remaining Stages. It is impossible to do business when one cannot amend a Bill because one does not know what the Bill will be until Report Stage.

The only reason amendments are put forward, either by the Opposition or the Government, is to try to improve the legislation.

Question: "That the proposal to deal with No. 22 be agreed to" put and declared carried.

The question is that the proposal for dealing with No. 23 be agreed to."

I am opposed to this Bill being guillotined. There is now a great deal of confusion about this Bill. Every single Member of the House has received correspondence and visits from various sectors interested in the area of liquor licensing, including the Equality Authority, night club owners, hotel owners and licensees. It is not right that this should be guillotined, and I am opposed to it on that basis.

I oppose the taking of this Bill also, which was only introduced in the House two weeks ago and which, I am told up and down the country, is unworkable. Every time one meets people on the street, not just publicans, one is told the Bill is unworkable. If kids are under 14 they can be brought into the pub but if they are over 14 they cannot. It depends which part of the pub one is in or whether one is having a sandwich or a pint. Publicans are made responsible for policing. It switches the processing of discrimination cases from the equality forum to the courts, a move condemned by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Human Rights Commission and the ICCL.

The Bill has been rushed through the House, from start to end, in two weeks. This is not the way to make legislation. I suspect that most colleagues in the House agree with the contention that the Bill is unworkable. It contains very similar measures to those that the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform famously denounced here one night. I remember him saying at some considerable length how—

The Deputy would not want to get into detail on the Bill and should just deal with the reason he is opposing the proposal.

I think he said that we could not have a Horlicks and Ryvita society and this would not be workable, yet now he is pressing ahead with it. The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Deputy Walsh, is as bemused as I am. I am opposing this.

I echo the points made by Deputy Rabbitte. This Bill is being guillotined, but the Bill itself is anti-family, anti-tourism and anti-fun. It does little or nothing to address the problem of alcohol abuse. I object to the guillotine and object to the Bill.

(Interruptions).

Deputy Ó Caoláin without interruption, please.

This Bill, as presented, represents a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform—

(Interruptions).

A Deputy

The Deputy knows all about knees.

It is a cobbled together Bill that does not address the issues—

(Interruptions).

Where does the Government keep its backbench cranks waiting in the wings? Are they all corralled in the Dáil Bar waiting to be brought in to vote? This Bill will not address the fundamental issues that need to be addressed in relation to the abuses highlighted by Deputies on both the Government and Opposition benches. We have to recognise that it will not work.

I have very good reason to remember that it is very difficult to get unanimity when it comes to matters relating to intoxicating drink and habits, cultures, traditions and all the rest of it—

It still did not stop the Minister making a mess of it.

I was just lucky perhaps to survive it all. Having said that, everybody in the House agrees that it is necessary to take some steps to address this problem. In the next 12 months, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform will introduce a consolidating Bill which will cover a range of issues, and Deputies will all have the opportunity to give their views again.

So it is a temporary little arrangement.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with No. 23 be agreed to."

Ahern, Dermot.Andrews, Barry.Ardagh, Seán.Aylward, Liam.Brady, Johnny.Brady, Martin.Brennan, Seamus.Browne, John.Callanan, Joe.Callely, Ivor.Carey, Pat.Carty, John.Cassidy, Donie.Collins, Michael.Cooper-Flynn, Beverley.Coughlan, Mary.Cregan, John.Cullen, Martin.Curran, John.Davern, Noel.Dempsey, Tony.Dennehy, John.Devins, Jimmy.Ellis, John.Finneran, Michael.Fitzpatrick, Dermot.Fleming, Seán.Gallagher, Pat The Cope.Glennon, Jim.Hanafin, Mary.Haughey, Seán.Hoctor, Máire.Jacob, Joe.Keaveney, Cecilia.Kelleher, Billy.Kelly, Peter.

Killeen, Tony.Kirk, Seamus.Lenihan, Brian.Lenihan, Conor.McEllistrim, Thomas.McGuinness, John.Martin, Micheál.Moynihan, Donal.Moynihan, Michael.Mulcahy, Michael.Nolan, M. J.Ó Cuív, Éamon.Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.O'Connor, Charlie.O'Dea, Willie.O'Donnell, Liz.O'Donovan, Denis.O'Flynn, Noel.O'Keeffe, Batt.O'Keeffe, Ned.O'Malley, Fiona.O'Malley, Tim.Parlon, Tom.Power, Peter.Power, Seán.Ryan, Eoin.Sexton, Mae.Smith, Brendan.Smith, Michael.Treacy, Noel.Wallace, Dan.Wallace, Mary.Walsh, Joe.Wilkinson, Ollie.Woods, Michael.Wright, G. V.

Níl

Allen, Bernard.Boyle, Dan.Breen, James.Broughan, Thomas P.Bruton, Richard.Connaughton, Paul.Connolly, Paudge.Costello, Joe.Coveney, Simon.Cowley, Jerry.Crawford, Seymour.Crowe, Seán.Cuffe, Ciarán.Deasy, John.Deenihan, Jimmy.Durkan, Bernard J.English, Damien.Enright, Olwyn.Ferris, Martin.Gilmore, Eamon.Gogarty, Paul.Gormley, John.Gregory, Tony.Harkin, Marian.Higgins, Joe.Higgins, Michael D.Hogan, Phil.Howlin, Brendan.

Kenny, Enda.McCormack, Padraic.McGrath, Finian.McGrath, Paul.McManus, Liz.Mitchell, Olivia.Morgan, Arthur.Murphy, Gerard.Naughten, Denis.Neville, Dan.Noonan, Michael.Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.O'Shea, Brian.O'Sullivan, Jan.Pattison, Seamus.Penrose, Willie.Perry, John.Rabbitte, Pat.Ring, Michael.Ryan, Eamon.Ryan, Seán.Sargent, Trevor.Sherlock, Joe.Stagg, Emmet.Stanton, David.Upton, Mary.Wall, Jack.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Hanafin and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Durkan and Stagg.
Question declared carried.

Is the proposal for dealing with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Charter Amendment) Bill 2002 tomorrow agreed?

The procedure for dealing with this legislation is laid down in the Standing Orders of this House. The definition of a private Bill is clearly laid down. It states that every Bill promoted for the particular interest or benefit of any person or locality, as distinguished from a measure of public policy, shall be treated as a private Bill. I contend that the RCSI's role is one of public policy. It covers the areas of education and health and has implications for the delivery of health care throughout the length and breadth of this jurisdiction, which affects each and every citizen at some time, and sadly all too many at this juncture.

The process in relation to the Private Members' approach to dealing with legislation, particularly in this instance where we are considering an institution which has major corporate interests and is enjoying tax free status having been registered as a charity, is absolutely unsuitable and unsatisfactory.

We cannot discuss what one might like to say on the Bill.

I tabled 16 amendments for consideration, yet only 30 minutes is being offered to address them. One of the greatest anomalies of all – this is a new process in terms of my experience in this House – is that the amendments are not being appraised and adjudged by the Government but by the promoters of the Bill, an outside body, and they will determine the acceptability or otherwise of the amendments presented by a Member of this House. In what other legislative procedure would any Member in this House accept that process? It is outrageous. Legislation is the preserve of Government, and the role of the Opposition, as the Minister said earlier, is to improve, tighten or oppose it, or whatever the case might be. In this instance an outside agency, the sponsors of the Bill, has the final adjudication over the acceptability or otherwise of the amendments I tabled. I will not have an opportunity in 30 minutes to address them adequately or substantively, nor will I have the chance to engage with the sponsors in this forum. I ask that Members at least accord me the courtesy of listening to what I have to say, as this is an extremely important issue.

The Deputy has made his point.

Deputy Ó Caoláin is right in one aspect. There is a very exact procedure about these Bills. The only point on which he is wrong is that these procedures are being followed to the letter of the law. As far as outside influence or help, in this or other legislation, is concerned, this House benefits enormously from groups and individuals who have an interest in legislation and who have assisted Deputies on all sides of the House down through the years.

May I ask a point of clarification?

I must put the question.

The Minister is inaccurate.

Question put: "That the proposal for dealing with Private Business be agreed to."

Ahern, Dermot.Ahern, Noel.Andrews, Barry.Ardagh, Seán.Aylward, Liam.Brady, Johnny.Brady, Martin.Brennan, Seamus.Browne, John.Callanan, Joe.Callely, Ivor.Carey, Pat.Carty, John.Cassidy, Donie.Collins, Michael.Cooper-Flynn, Beverley.Coughlan, Mary.Cregan, John.Cullen, Martin.Curran, John.Davern, Noel.Dempsey, Tony.Dennehy, John.Devins, Jimmy.Ellis, John.

Finneran, Michael.Fitzpatrick, Dermot.Fleming, Seán.Gallagher, Pat The Cope.Glennon, Jim.Hanafin, Mary.Haughey, Seán.Hoctor, Máire.Jacob, Joe.Keaveney, Cecilia.Kelleher, Billy.Kelly, Peter.Killeen, Tony.Kirk, Seamus.Lenihan, Brian.McEllistrim, Thomas.McGuinness, John.Martin, Micheál.Moynihan, Donal.Moynihan, Michael.Mulcahy, Michael.Nolan, M.J.Ó Cuív, Éamon.Ó Fearghaíl, Seán. O'Connor, Charlie.

Tá–continued

O'Dea, Willie.O'Donnell, Liz.O'Donovan, Denis.O'Flynn, Noel.O'Keeffe, Batt.O'Malley, Fiona.O'Malley, Tim.Parlon, Tom.Power, Peter.Power, Seán.

Ryan, Eoin.Sexton, Mae.Smith, Brendan.Smith, Michael.Treacy, Noel.Wallace, Dan.Wallace, Mary.Walsh, Joe.Wilkinson, Ollie.Woods, Michael.Wright, G. V.

Níl

Connolly, Paudge.Crowe, Seán.Ferris, Martin.Gregory, Tony.Harkin, Marian.

Higgins, Joe.McGrath, Finian.Morgan, Arthur.Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Hanafin and Kelleher; Níl, Deputies Ó Snodaigh and Gregory.
Question declared carried.

We will move on with the Order of Business. I remind Deputies that it is now 12.45 p.m. and there is a lot of business before the House. I ask them to be brief in their questions and to ask something appropriate to the Order of Business.

What do you mean by "something appropriate", a Cheann Comhairle? We always raise appropriate matters on the Order of Business. I wish to raise a matter with the Minister for Defence—

We must get some ciúnas for you first. Deputy Kenny on the Order of Business.

The Freedom of Information Act was introduced in this House in 1997 with a view to giving citizens access to personal and other information. The Government has rammed through changes to that Act. In view of the comments made yesterday by the Information Commissioner and the Ombudsman, the unjust charges now imposed—

Sorry, Deputy, that does not arise on the Order of Business.

I am coming to the point if you will allow me, a Cheann Comhairle. In view of the charges imposed in law by the Government, is it the intention of Government that these charges, which I do not accept, take effect immediately or do they have to wait until the Dáil sits for 21 days, to be given effect by the statutory instrument? No. 60a on today's Order Paper in my name and that of the Fine Gael Party, is a motion to annul with immediate effect Statutory Instrument No. 264 of 2003, Freedom of Information Act 1997 (Fees) Regulations 2003. In view of the comments made yesterday by the Information Commissioner that these charges pose an economic sanction upon citizens and are a discouragement, will Government time be made available to debate the motion?

My understanding is that these charges will become effective very soon. There is no opportunity to debate the motion.

The Minister is in charge of the Order of Business on behalf of the Government and he is entitled to order, on behalf of the citizens, that there be a discussion—

The Minister should flex his muscles.

He should flex his muscles and take into account what the Information Commission has said—

You have made your point, Deputy.

—that the Government is imposing unjust charges on citizens that will act as a deterrent to their seeking information in the first instance. How do I move motion No. 60a?

I suggest you do so under Private Members' Business.

Does that mean the Government is refusing to give Government time to discuss this matter?

In respect of the tragedy that occurred yesterday at Crumlin children's hospital, I presume the results of the investigation will be available within a day or two?

That question might be more appropriate to an Adjournment debate or to questions. It is not appropriate to the Order of Business.

I was asking a different question, a Cheann Comhairle. In light of that tragedy, the imminent publication of the Hanly report, the crisis in the disability sector and the promise to the House that even though the disability Bill which my colleague, Deputy O'Sullivan, has been pursuing in the House, will not be published, there was a definite commitment from the Taoiseach that the education for people with disabilities Bill would be published before the summer recess. Will the Minister for Defence agree to reconvene the House for a day or two in early July to discuss the crisis in the health services and the implications of these serious matters – disability, the Hanly report, the tragedy that has happened because of a shortage of trained intensive care nurses at Crumlin hospital and so on? This has caused greater alarm outside this House than any issue that has arisen in recent times.

The education for people with disabilities Bill has been cleared by the Government and it will be published very soon. Our genuine intention was to publish it before the summer recess. We are almost meeting the target but regretfully not doing so. The Bill will be published within a very short time.

There was a debate in the House on health last Friday. We deeply regret the tragedy in Crumlin and extend our sympathies to the family concerned. I am not able to give the House a specific time for the conclusion of that investigation, but it will be concluded as quickly as possible.

I ask for a definite response regarding promised legislation on tribunals. The Taoiseach indicated this morning that such legislation is forthcoming. Will the Minister be more specific and tell the House the type of legislation the Government has in mind?

The type of legislation would not be appropriate for discussion now. What would be appropriate would be whatever legislation is coming before the House and the Minister might have the date the legislation is promised.

The Government has just cleared the Commission of Inquiry, which will be an entirely new system for dealing with problems of that nature. As far as other matters related to the tribunal are concerned, these will have to wait for final adjudication by the Attorney General before anyone in this House can make a positive decision as to the exact nature of the legislation.

I am glad the Minister for Defence is representing the Government here today. In view of the perceived threat to Sellafield by planes under the control of terrorists, is the Minister proposing to introduce legislation or regulations to control the over-flying of planes at sporting events here, given that a plane that cannot be identified entered Irish air space and flew over a major sporting event last Sunday night? We do not know where it came from or who controlled it.

That is not appropriate to the Order of Business.

It could be quite appropriate to the Order of Business. Has the Minister of Defence any knowledge of where the plane came from?

A Deputy

Where were the flight plans?

It could have been a terrorist.

The Deputy will have to find another way of raising the issue.

The only thing I can say is—

I would prefer if the Minister would not answer questions which are out of order.

I wonder if the Minister for Defence is aware that the Tánaiste gave an undertaking in this House that there would be a debate on the three reports on the health service – not just on two reports. Would he respond to the request that the Dáil be reconvened to deal this important issue? On promised legislation, in view of the terrible tragedy that has now occurred, will the Government at the very least bring forward the Nurses Bill? We have a real problem in intensive care nursing and the Government has failed totally to deal with it. Can we bring forward the Nurses Bill to ensure the matter is dealt with?

The heads of the Bill are expected very soon, but it is not intended that legislation will be dealt with until next year. With regard to the various reports on the health services, the Deputy is aware that the Hanly Report was not available, while the other two reports were dealt with. It is an ongoing matter with very substantial changes proposed. There will be an opportunity over the coming months for discussions as to the best way forward.

Deputy Rabbitte asked a very pertinent question in respect of the Hanly Report. We know it was not published when the debate took place last week.

That is repetition by the Deputy.

I will say it in a different way. When the report is available, in view of the fact that it is central to the change in the health system that the Government wants to bring about – I am sure the Government has the same target as everyone else, of having a health system that works, based on need – will the Minister respond to the request by Deputy Rabbitte that the Dáil might come back for a day to discuss it?

That has been brought up twice already.

In the six years that the Government has been in office, the price of a modest home in Dublin has quadrupled. This year the price is scheduled to rise by a further €26,000.

Has the Deputy a question appropriate to the Order of Business? He should come to the question because it is almost 1 p.m.

That means a modest home will cost €232,000 at the end of this year. I have looked in vain in the legislative programme for an answer, but could the Minister at least let me know when legislation, which it has been hinted will control speculation on building land, will be brought before the Dáil, in order to give some measure of relief to young people attempting to purchase a home in the future?

There is no specific legislation promised, but I understand the committee on the Constitution will hold public hearings later on this month.

Later today we will see the publication of the Government's accounts, showing its expenditure and tax revenue in the year to date. This will reveal that the Government is spending significantly beyond its budgets in certain areas. I would like to know from the Minister if we will see Supplementary Estimates notified to the Dáil before we go into recess? Clearly there are issues occurring in the spending estimates, and on the tax side, on which the Dáil needs information before the prolonged recess. Will there be a proper statement to the Dáil on these issues?

There will be no Supplementary Estimates this year. It is not unusual in the first six months of the year. If the Deputy recalls, this time last year there was wide speculation that we would be way off the mark by the end of year, yet when the year ended we were dead on target.

Can we take that as an authoritative statement, or just a bit of whistling by the graveyard?

I would be glad if the Deputy kept to the matter under discussion.

There was a great deal of speculation this time last year.

I understand from the reply given by the Minister for Defence that the Education for Persons with Disabilities Bill will be introduced.

That question was dealt with this morning.

Will the Disability Bill be introduced at the same time? As I understand it, there were two Bills mentioned by the Taoiseach. We would like to know the up to date position regarding the Bills. I have another question related to something which is becoming an issue at local level. The enforcement of fines Bill, which will mean that people will go to jail for not paying small fines—

The Deputy may not comment on it now. It is 1 o'clock in the afternoon.

Regarding the enforcement of fines Bill, work is at a very preliminary stage. It is not possible to say when that legislation might be introduced. With regard to the Disability Bill, it has been explained to the House on a few occasions that once the Education for People with Disabilities Bill is published and enacted, as soon as possible thereafter the Disability Bill will be introduced.

Can you give a time?

I cannot give a specific time. The general intention is to try to introduce it before the end of this year if possible.

Considering the disgraceful decision of the United States in trying to force 35 countries to exempt US soldiers and personnel from prosecution in the International Criminal Court by forcing them to sign bilateral agreements—

Have you a question on legislation, Deputy? You do not have to give a preamble. It is 1 o'clock and I am going to move on to the next business.

When is the International Criminal Court Bill due? It is two years since the referendum, and—

Allow the Minister to answer. There are colleagues who wish to speak, and we must conclude the Order of Business.

The autumn.

On another Bill—

I have heard the Deputy on one Bill and I will call him again if time permits.

The Minister probably knows that representatives of the fishing industry are visiting the House today. I ask the Minister about the timing of the Fishery Harbour Centres Bill with regard to the five main fishing ports. Yesterday, as the Minister knows—

The Minister on the Fishery Harbour Centres Bill.

I have not finished the question.

The Deputy has finished the question. The Order of Business is concluding.

Will the regulations which were to come in, which will greatly increase charges at those ports, be deferred until we get the legislation?

I do not think so, but the legislation is not due until next year.

There is a great deal of talk about politicians lying to the electorate in the recent past. In relation to that, is the Defamation Bill coming before the House soon? The issue needs to be resolved so that people can be made accountable without the threat of being sued.

The Bill is due to come before the House in early 2004.

Considering that the Intoxicating Liquor Bill, which we will discuss today, will remove jurisdiction for hearing cases of discrimination in relation to refusal of admission to licensed premises from the Equality Tribunal to the District Courts, I ask the Minister to let us know when the judicial ethics legislation will be introduced.

Where is the EU Rights Directive, because we are now in breach of it? It should have been enacted by this week. It has implications regarding the Intoxicating Liquor Bill which we will discuss today.

Under Standing Orders, answers to questions relating to secondary legislation may be deferred to another day.