As the Minister is in the Dáil I propose that we suspend until 7.45 p.m. I apologise to Members.
Business of Seanad
Is that agreed? Agreed.
In view of there being a vote in the Dáil and there is another piece of legislation to be dealt with in the Lower House, I propose that we suspend until 8.15 p.m. I apologise to the Members who have been patiently waiting. To be fair to the Minister she thought she would be finished by now.
At 8.15 p.m.
The Minister, to be fair, did think she would be finished
Some of us have other commitments.
I am in the Members' hands. Not all parties are here. It is an important debate and Members have requested it. The Minister is in the Lower House, there is a vote and, as the Senator knows, there is not a pair. The Minister also has to take another Bill. That is why we had factored in that time this evening, having spoken to the different-----
We were not supposed to be here until 8.15 p.m. either.
I accept that, but I am conscious that not all Members of the House are here in terms of all parties being represented, and we have not had a discussion-----
Anyone who intended speaking is here.
That is true.
In fairness, we resumed at 7.45 p.m., which was the agreement. It is 7.46 p.m. now. I agree with Senator McDowell. The problem we have is that the Minister might not be ready until 8.30 p.m. or 8.45 p.m., and where are we going at that stage?
In fairness, if the Minister is conducting legislation in the other House, she cannot be under massive pressure to run out of the place as soon as she can. Statements can be made at a later stage.
I am willing to co-operate with the Members. I am here and am prepared to stay here, but I appreciate that Members have other commitments too. I apologise to the Members of the House for the change in time. It was after liaising with the Department and the Minister's office that we had reached the original time, but I am happy to adjourn or to suspend until 8.15 p.m., and if the Minister is not here then, we can finish for the day. I am in the Members' hands. I do not want to be seen-----
I agree with Senator McDowell.
We cannot make the Minister come here when she is tied up elsewhere, so I am looking for an alternative proposal.
I suggest that the Leader moves the adjournment of the House until next Tuesday.
It is not next Tuesday, it is 13 June. I am happy to do so if all Members are. For the benefit of Senator Conway-Walsh who was not here earlier, the Minister is tied up in the Lower House with a vote on legislation and then has another Bill to take. The time in the Lower House has slipped from what we envisaged when scheduling this debate tonight. We were aware of there being two Bills in the Lower House but things have slipped in terms of time. I am happy to adjourn the House but-----
Is the Leader proposing that we not take No. 7 on the Order of Business for today?
I am conscious that Senator Conway-Walsh has come in late. I know that people wanted to have this debate because it was requested.
I am agreeable to that provided there is time allowed for it on the first Tuesday we come back, 13 June, and that there be sufficient time for us to debate it because it is a serious topic.
I am happy to do that but, similar to the Order of Business this morning, I cannot commit to the Minister's diary. I would be happy to put the issue on the schedule for that day. As the Senator will know, we had agreed to do that today. I am happy and willing to work with the Members to have the statements rescheduled to 13 June, subject to the Minister's diary commitments.
Is that acceptable to the Members?
Provided that we are guaranteed that-----
There is no guarantee. I cannot give a guarantee now.
-----that it would be discussed at the earliest possible opportunity.
I am happy to do that.
The Leader can give a guarantee of that.
Will the Leader move that we will not take this item of business?
That, notwithstanding the order of the Seanad today, No. 7 not be taken today.
When is it proposed to sit again?
At 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 13 June next.