Seanad Éireann - Volume 111 - 05 March, 1986

Order of Business.

Professor Dooge: On the Order of Business, it is proposed between 2.30 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. to take Items Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, all concerned with legislation. It is proposed to suspend the sitting from 5.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. From 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. we will take Item No. 5 which is Private Members' Business. There has been some anxiety expressed by Senators in regard to the fragmented nature of some of our debates. The experiment was made of carrying over any legislation on which discussion had been commenced until the Thursday. This has the disadvantage that is interferes with the idea of leaving Thursday completely free for the discussion of reports of joint committees. I propose that we might experiment with an alternative. It is that, if by 5.30 p.m. Items No. 3 or No. 4 has been commenced but not concluded, it may be resumed at 8 p.m. for an hour or so in order to finish it off. A decision as to whether it should be done or not should be made on the suspension at 5.30 p.m.

Mr. Killilea: Does that suggest that you take those items on Wednesday evening?

Professor Dooge: Yes.

Mr. Lanigan: We would go along with the Leader of the House on that suggestion on an experimental basis because the fragmentation of discussion of legislation is not desirable. Could we have an indication of what we will take tomorrow if we get through what we have ordered?

[1013] Professor Dooge: I am glad of the support for this experiment from the Leader of the Opposition. It is something we can decide ad hoc on each Wednesday. With regard to tomorrow it is proposed to take Item No. 6 at 10.30 a.m. the Report of the Joint Committee on the Irish Language. It is proposed after lunch, irrespective of whether No. 6 has been completed or not, to take at 2.30 p.m. the continuation of the debate on report of the Joint Committee on Women's Rights in regard to social welfare and the report of the Joint Committee on Secondary Legislation of the European Communities: Crisis in Farming. The latter two would have been ordered for tomorrow morning, again in the interest of avoiding any fragmentation of debate; but, unfortunately, the Minister for Social Welfare who wishes to contribute to Item No. 7, is taking the Combat Poverty Bill in the Dáil at that time. The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, who has been taking item No. 8, has a long-standing engagement to visit the Lyons Estate of University College, Dublin. That is the reason those are being taken in the afternoon but is is hoped most of them will be completed tomorrow afternoon.

Mr. Lynch: On the Order of Business, approximately a year and a half ago we had a Copyright (Amendment) Bill before this House. This Bill was withdrawn from the House for very good and obvious reasons, the many defects that we saw in the Bill. I pointed out to the Members of the House that the Bill was withdrawn for redrafting. In view of recent reports that a member of the Fine Gael Party was acting as a paid adviser to the Performing Rights Society I would like to know would that have any bearing——

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: The Senator may not make a speech at this stage.

Mr. Lynch: I want to ask a very important question: will that have any bearing on the Bill? Will the Bill be reintroduced into this House and would the Taoiseach make a statement on the matter here?

[1014] Mr. W. Ryan: I would like to ask the Leader of the House when do we propose taking item No. 12, Slaughtered and Detained Animals (Compensation) Bill. I have been asked about this. There appears to be some urgency about it.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach: There is some confusion. Somebody is telling me that we have cleared the Order of Business. I did not take that yet.

Mrs. McGuinness: I wanted to ask the Leader of the House about item No. 10, the Air Pollution Bill, and to inquire when the Government expect to be able to deal with this matter because it does seem that it is a matter of at least reasonable urgency. We have welcomed the introduction of legislation on that facet of our lives and I would be very anxious to see it making progress through the Houses. I would like to know when we hope to take it.

Professor Dooge: On the specific questions raised, there is, as Senator Lynch said, a difficulty in regard to the Copyright Bill. I would like to make it quite clear that no member of the Government is concerned in any way with the Performing Rights Society but there does seem to be a connection of an individual backbench member of the Fine Gael Party. That fact has no bearing whatsoever on Government decisions in the matter. In regard to the question of the Slaughtered and Detained Animals Bill I have made out a tentative order of Seanad business between now and Easter and according to this that Bill might be taken on Wednesday 12 March. It is likely to be ordered as No. 4 on that day so it might not be reached. It certainly will not be reached earlier than the 12th. The probability is that it would be the 19th before it is reached. That Bill and the Health Bill which is a small Bill, will be ordered before the Air Pollution Bill in order that we would get the small Bills out of the way so that we could settle down to a thorough debate on the Air Pollution Bill which I indicated earlier would not be unduly fragmented. The position is that [1015] while the Air Pollution Bill might be taken on Wednesday, 19 March, it is more probable that Second Stage will not be commenced until Wednesday, 26 March.

Order of Business agreed to.