Dáil Éireann - Volume 319 - 20 March, 1980

Order of Business.

The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take business in the following order: Nos. 3, 8, 4 and 9 (Resumed). The House will sit this evening until 8.30 p.m. by virtue of the order made on Wednesday, 12 March, 1980. Ní bheidh aon sos.

Mr. Cluskey: On the Order of Business, could I ask the Taoiseach when he intends naming the extra Ministers of State?

The Taoiseach: In due course.

Mr. Cluskey: Can the Taoiseach tell us to what Departments they will be assigned?

The Taoiseach: I cannot even at this stage tell the House who they are.

Mr. Cluskey: Can the Taoiseach not tell us to what Departments they will be assigned. Would the Taoiseach not agree that it is somewhat peculiar to make a decision to appoint five new Ministers of State if he does not even know which Departments need them.

An Ceann Comhairle: We cannot debate that now; the time will come for such an opportunity.

[210] Mr. Cluskey: It highlights the political nature of the appointments.

Mr. P. Barry: Last week I had a question down to the Minister for Finance asking him to clarify the position about a marginal tax relief in the budget and you, Sir, turned it down very peculiarly on the basis that it was anticipating the budget debate. It is very difficult to debate the budget if we cannot be precisely clear about what the Minister means. This week I had a question down to the Taoiseach asking him about his attitude to the EMS after 12 months of membership and you, Sir, turned it down on the basis that it was anticipating the debate on the budget. With due respect, a Cheann Comhairle, I think that is a ruling—

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy has always been very willing to co-operate with the Chair and he knows—

Mr. L'Estrange: Any man's patience can be tested.

Mr. P. Barry: But I do not get my question answered, Sir.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy knows that it is not orderly, When these questions are turned down they are so turned down for a definite reason. These are matters which can be discussed and elucidation sought in the budget debate.

Mr. P. Barry: I want to continue that happy co-operation we have, a Cheann Comhairle, but it is risdiculous that when I put down a question to the Taoiseach about the EMS it is turned down by you, Sir, on the basis that it anticipates debate on the budget. I do not think that is a fair ruling to any Deputy in the House.

An Ceann Comhairle: All matters which can be raised and clarified on the budget debate have always being turned down. The Chair is not creating any new regulations.

Mr. P. Barry: Yes, but I want the Taoiseach's views on it.

[211] The Taoiseach: May I suggest that the Minister for Finance will be replying shortly to the budget debate and I am quite certain that he will deal with that matter now that the Deputy has raised it.

Mr. P. Barry: I was not interested in the views of the Minister for Finance—I can get them in the budget debate—but I was interested in the Taoiseach's views.

The Taoiseach: The Deputy can take it that the views of the Minister for Finance and my own would be identical.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. P. Barry: Then I take it that the views of the Tánaiste and the views of the ex-Minister for Economic Planning and Development are also the Taoiseach's views?

The Taoiseach: Yes.

Mr. P. Barry: Would the Tánaiste's views be the Taoiseach's?

The Taoiseach: The solidarity on this side of the House is astonishing to Fine Gael eyes.

Mr. G. Collins: Unbelievable.

The Taoiseach: To Fine Gael people.

Mr. P. Barry: Yes, to Fine Gael people.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Fianna Fáil Coalition.

(Interruptions)

The Taoiseach: I could start identifying a few fissures over there.

An Ceann Comhairle: Order, please. Item No.3.

Mr. Cluskey: Would the real Minister for Finance stand up?