Seanad Éireann - Volume 111 - 19 February, 1986

Order of Business.

Mr. Ferris: It is proposed to order Nos. 1, 2 and 5 in that order. It is proposed to suspend the sitting from 5.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. for tea; and, in view of the decision of the House to take the emergency motion of Senator Lanigan concerning Sellafield, the Fine Gael group have generously agreed, after consultation, to defer the continuing debate on their Motion No. 6 until next week. Next week I will propose that we allow them to have the two hours together instead of spreading it over two weeks.

Regarding No. 1, this is a matter of some urgency and, as there are time and date factors involved, I look for the cooperation of the House to get through as much as possible today. If we get through [581] all the Second Stage, I propose that we take the Committee Stage at 10.30 a.m. tomorrow, if the House agrees. The Order of Business is 1, 2, 5 and the emergency debate at 6.30 p.m.

An Cathaoirleach: Order of Business agreed?

Mr. Lanigan: I would like to thank the Cathaoirleach and the House for acceding to my wish to debate the Sellafield matter. I feel we are inhibited in this House at times, because we do not have a Question Time and because of the rules of this House, in that we are not allowed to raise matters of urgency. I am delighted that this debate is being allowed. If anybody else had intended bringing it up on the Adjournment, I apologise to them for raising it in this manner; but it would have inhibited us in the sense that it would have been only a half-hour debate. It is something that deserves more than a half-hour and it is the only way we have of bringing this matter forward.

On the Order of Business, in regard to the Valuation Bill, I believe we are restricted by a time scale and, given the number of speakers and so on we will accede to the wishes of the Deputy Leader of the House that Committee Stage will be taken tomorrow.

I would like to ask, in regard to the National Development Corporation Bill, are we going to take only the Second Stage as far as is possible and, if so, is it intended that we would go on to the Second Stage again tomorrow, and when is it intended, if we finish tomorrow on that Bill, to take the Committee Stage?

The Air Transport Bill and the Air Pollution Bill are two important matters that have to come before us. Is it intended that these two Bills will take priority over anything else in next week's Order of Business. They are Bills that we should give a lot of thought to and I feel the House should be notified at this stage if they will be taken next week or put on the long finger.

[582] Mr. Howard: I should like to raise on the Order of Business the absence of a report from the Committee of Procedure and Privileges on progress or otherwise in relation to the repair of the Chamber roof. This report was promised to us last December; and I am afraid I must comment that the Committee, by their failure in not reporting, are coming dangerously close to deserving some of the criticism I applied to the Board of Works in December.

An Cathaoirleach: Before I call on Senator Loughrey to speak, I would like to say that we have been in touch with the Office of Public Works on numerous occasions. We hope to have the report in the very near future and I think many people will be disappointed when it comes.

Mr. Loughrey: With all the bad news surrounding us, nuclear fall out, dangerous ceilings and, in the other House, divorce, I would like to put something more positive and joyful on the record — our congratulations to Senator Deenihan on his engagement.

Mr. Deenihan: Thank you.

An Cathaoirleach: It does not arise on the Order of Business.

Mr. Cassidy: As one who wore a county jersey I would like to second that.

Mr. Ferris: I would like to associate myself with the congratulations to Senator Deenihan. Unfortunately, his engagement does not arise on the Order of Business. No doubt, my colleague who is interested in show business will have some excellent singers at the wedding such as the McGuigans and so on. I suppose we should congratulate him on that initiative. Without being out of order on the Order of Business, as everybody seems to be in a frivolous mood today, I would like to confirm that it is intended that if the Second Stage of the National Development Corporation Bill is not completed today, we should make an [583] effort to complete it tomorrow after the Committee Stage of the Valuation Bill, 1985. We hope to have completed Committee Stage and all other Stages of the National Development Corporation Bill next week. It is an important piece of legislation. I am trying to hasten it down the road without precluding anybody from contributing on it. Following that, it would be our intention, having had discussions with the Ministers concerned, that the Air Transport Bill, 1984, would be next in line for discussion by the House. This legislation has already been passed by Dáil Éireann and I am anxious to clear the air, so to speak before the Easter recess.

Order of Business agreed to.