Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Wednesday, 8 Mar 2000

Vol. 3 No. 10

Business of Select Committee.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment apologises for her absence. She is out of town on business and cannot attend and has asked the Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Deputy Tom Kitt, to take the debate. I welcome the Minister of State and his officials.

It has been suggested that we might consider the Bill further on Monday, 20 March. I am awaiting communication from Deputies in that regard, but we will make provisional arrangements to hold a meeting on that date. Also, we will make provisional arrangements to hold a meeting on Tuesday, 21 March.

A meeting on Monday, 20 March does not suit me. We were willing to agree to hold a meeting on Friday of last week but we were discommoded at the last minute.

I do not believe Deputy Owen was prepared to be here.

She was. It was Deputy Owen who proposed that the meeting be held on that day.

Well, someone was not prepared to be here.

There was a problem——

We are not going to make progress if we disagree on the days on which we should hold meetings. I am merely stating that Monday and Tuesday, 20 and 21 March, have been provisionally set aside for meetings. We can decide when to hold our next meeting before we conclude our deliberations tonight.

Is it proposed to sit on the Monday or Tuesday?

It is proposed to sit on both days.

I suggest we hold meetings on the Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is suggested that we recommence our deliberations now and work until 10 p.m. Is that agreed?

Deputy Rabbitte has gone to his office to get his diary because one of the officials asked him about the arrangements for future meetings. He clearly stated that he had a difficulty with tonight's sitting because it was not envisaged that the meeting would end late. In fairness, we should wait until he returns before making a decision.

We shall do that. It has already been agreed that we should continue our deliberations until at least 8.30 p.m. Most Members will be here later because the House will sit until 10.30 p.m. and if we can continue until 10 p.m., well and good. However, we will wait for the various spokespersons to arrive before we make a final decision.