Dáil Éireann - Volume 303 - 15 February, 1978

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Ministerial Visits.

9. Mr. M. O'Leary asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of Ministers who will be visiting the US during the period of the St. Patrick's Day holiday; their itineraries; and if his Department has been consulted by the Department of Industry, Commerce and Energy on the planning of their visits.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Arrangements for ministerial visits to the United States around St. Patrick's Day have not yet been finalised. If the Deputy repeats his question on a date closer to St. Patrick's Day I shall be happy at that time to supply the information he requested.

Mr. M. O'Leary: I am not critical about the Ministers' visits to the United States if it will help to expand trade and investment between our two countries. Can the Minister assure the House that, to his knowledge adequate preparations are being made between the Department of Industry, Commerce and Energy and his Department? Presumably if visits by Ministers are to be successful adequate preparation is vital.

[1323] Mr. O' Kennedy: Adequate preparation and consultation by the Department of Foreign Affairs are a matter of priority.

An Ceann Comhairle: Question No. 10, Deputy O'Keeffe.

Mr. O'Keeffe: On a point of order, may I mention that, despite my interest in the People's Republic of China, I did not put down this question?

Mr. M. O'Leary: If I may explain to the Chair, I do not want to see Deputy O'Keeffe's political career ended or affected by this question. I think it is a matter of my handwriting being misunderstood and Deputy O'Keeffe's name being substituted. I apologise to Deputy O'Keeffe.

Mr. O'Keeffe: No apology needed.

Mr. O'Kennedy: I do not want to undermine Deputy O'Keeffe's position or to alleviate Deputy O'Leary's and perhaps the Deputies might prefer to transfer the question.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Let us proceed with the question.

Mr. O'Kennedy: Deputy O'Keeffe alias Deputy M. O'Leary.