Dáil Éireann - Volume 331 - 09 December, 1981

Order of Business.

The Taoiseach: It is proposed to take business in the following order: Nos. 14, 15, 4 and 16. Private Members' Business from 7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. will be Item No. 26 (resumed). By agreement, the proceedings on the Second Stage of the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Bill, 1981 and the Rent Restrictions (Temporary Provisions) (Continuance) Bill, 1981 (including, in each case, the order naming the day for Third Stage), if not previously concluded, shall be brought to a conclusion at 5 p.m. today by putting from the Chair the questions necessary to bring them to a conclusion; and in the case of the Youth Employment Agency Bill, 1981, if the proceedings have not already concluded the question necessary to bring them to a conclusion shall be put from the Chair at 7 p.m. today and the question to be put from the Chair shall be (as the case may require) “That (any motions for Financial Resolutions connected with the Bill and not disposed of are hereby agreed to and that) (all amendments set down by the Minister for Labour for Committee Stage and not disposed of are hereby made to the Bill) the Bill (as amended) is hereby agreed to and (as amended) is reported to the House and (all amendments set down by the Minister for Labour for Report Stage, including any requiring recommittal, and not disposed of are hereby made to the [1366] Bill and Recommittal and Fourth Stages are hereby completed and) the Bill is hereby passed”.

I am sorry for the tortuous prose.

Mr. Sherlock: I move, under Standing Order No. 30, a motion for the Adjournment of the Dáil to require the Minister for Agriculture to state what action he proposes to take to preserve the jobs of meat factory workers which are being lost as a result of the export of cattle on the hoof under the present system of EEC subsidy. This must now be deemed a matter of great national urgency and importance.

An Ceann Comhairle: I think the Deputy for having given the Chair notice about this, but I am sorry that it is not a motion contemplated by Standing Order No. 30. Accordingly, I cannot accede to the Deputy's request.

Mr. Sherlock: I find it hard to understand how the Chair would deem not relevant an issue of the closing down of factories and of jobs being lost as a result of the system of exporting live cattle under EEC subsidy. I understand that £280 per head is the subsidy and four cattle farmers have now collected £56 million out of this fund. We will today be asked to vote on the motion to increase by 1 per cent the PRSI of taxpayers who will have to pay to create jobs which are deemed so important at this time.

An Ceann Comhairle: I am sorry, Deputy. I see the Deputy's point and I am very sympathetic towards him.

Mr. Sherlock: The same taxpayers are——

An Ceann Comhairle: I cannot allow a debate on the matter. I have examined the Deputy's request very seriously and very attentively and I am sorry that I cannot allow it. It is not a matter which is contemplated by Standing Order No. 30.

Mr. Sherlock: I want to say that it is the same taxpayers who will now be paying, [1367] through the Exchequer, a subsidy to revive the national herd which is at an all time low.

An Ceann Comhairle: If the Deputy persists he will be disorderly. Whilst I appreciate the matter which the Deputy has taken up, unfortunately it is not one covered by Standing Order No. 30.

Mr. Sherlock: It is not deemed to be of such urgency as to warrant the attention of this House.

An Ceann Comhairle: It is a matter which could be raised by some other means — on the Estimate for Agriculture, or even on the Adjournment. It is not one which can be discussed now.

Mr. Sherlock: 36 jobs were lost in the last year.

An Ceann Comhairle: I must ask the Deputy to resume his seat. I recognise the problem and I see his difficulties. Unfortunately I cannot permit him to discuss the matter further.

Mr. Sherlock: The danger is——

An Ceann Comhairle: Attempting to do so now would be considered disorderly. I hope the Deputy will appreciate that.

Mr. Sherlock: If this matter is defeated, it should be put to the Minister for Agriculture to get the subsidies changed, or to introduce emergency legislation.

An Ceann Comhairle: Items Nos. 14 and 15.

Mr. Haughey: I have not had a chance to talk on the Order of Business.

Mr. Sherlock: A Cheann Comhairle——

An Ceann Comhairle: The matter cannot be considered further. I would ask the Deputy to please resume his seat.

[1368] Mr. Sherlock: I feel so strongly on this issue. At a time——

An Ceann Comhairle: I have to ask the Deputy to resume his seat.

Mr. Sherlock: At a time when jobs are needed——

An Ceann Comhairle: I must ask the Deputy to resume his seat. He is now being disorderly.

Mr. Sherlock: Why should the State allow the subsidy to be paid to four or five people?

An Ceann Comhairle: I am asking the Deputy either to resume his seat or leave the House.

Minister for Agriculture (Mr. Dukes): On a point of order, let me say that I appreciate the approach taken by the Chair in this matter. I understand the Deputy's problem and I will be available at any time to examine this matter with the Deputy.

Mr. Haughey: This is totally out of order. I object to this intervention by the Minister for Agriculture. We have not yet discussed the Order of Business.

An Ceann Comhairle: Does Deputy Haughey wish to say something on the Order of Business?

Mr. Haughey: I certainly do, but I want to hear Deputy Sherlock first.

Mr. Sherlock: A Cheann Comhairle——

An Ceann Comhairle: I am going to have to ask the Deputy to leave the House if he persists.

Mr. Sherlock: The people who have been——

An Ceann Comhairle: I am not going to consider it further. I will now go on to the next item unless Deputy Haughey wishes to raise a matter on the Order of Business.

[1369] Mr. Sherlock: If the taxpayers who are going to have to pay to subsidise——

An Ceann Comhairle: I am sorry, the Deputy cannot continue. He must resume his seat while I am standing or else leave the House.

Mr. Sherlock: Why, a Cheann Comhairle?

An Ceann Comhairle: Because there are other opportunities to raise this matter, but not under this Standing Order. I appreciate the Deputy's problems. I have explained to the Deputy that he has other opportunities. I am very sympathetic towards him. The Standing Orders are for the orderly procedure of this House and Deputy Sherlock must abide by them the same as any other Deputy in the House. The Deputy is now being disorderly. He will resume his seat or leave the House.

Mr. Sherlock: This is something that the State should do something about.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy will be out of the House for the entire day if he does not resume his seat now.

Mr. Sherlock: We could have this whole thing debated. This meat should be processed and sent out——

An Ceann Comhairle: I am now asking the Deputy to leave the House.

Mr. Sherlock: I feel that as a Deputy of a constituency where this situation exists I will have to persist in having this matter raised.

An Ceann Comhairle: If the Deputy does not conform he will be suspended for a week.

Mr. Sherlock: I think that I——

An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy has always been most courteous and we never had any problem but the Deputy must understand my position. I have to abide [1370] by Standing Orders. The Deputy cannot claim any special privileges with regard to this. The problem is not covered by Standing Order No. 30.

Mr. Sherlock: On what grounds is it not covered?

An Ceann Comhairle: Because it has not arisen suddenly. The Standing Orders are there. The problem mentioned by the Deputy has not arisen suddenly. I would ask the Deputy to resume his seat now and I will explain it to him. I have examined it very thoroughly and with great sympathy. Unfortunately this problem is not one covered by Standing Order No. 30. There are other means at the Deputy's disposal and I will be glad to discuss them with him. But this is not one covered by Standing Order No. 30. I will be glad to facilitate the Deputy in every way possible but not with regard to Standing Order No. 30. I will be glad to talk to the Deputy about it. But could we go on with the next item of business, please?

Mr. Dukes: On a point of order, I appreciate the Deputy's problem and the difficulties of the problem.

(Interruptions.)

An Ceann Comhairle: Is it a point of order?

Mr. Dukes: It is. The suggestion I am making to the Deputy——

Mr. Wilson: It is a statement.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister for Agriculture, on a point of order.

Mr. Dukes: I have just made the point and I would like to repeat what I said before, that I will examine this matter——

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Haughey: On the Order of Business, we are reluctantly accepting this Order of Business. But I want to point out to the Taoiseach that the Minister for [1371] Labour this morning circulated 14 amendments to the Youth Employment Agency Bill and we have only two hours in which to take this Bill. While we are anxious to facilitate the Government on legislation of urgent importance such as this Youth Employment Agency Bill and also the Rent Restrictions Bill I must protest that asking the House to deal with an important piece of legislation with 14 amendments in a matter of two hours is not a good way to legislate. I want to point out to the Taoiseach that of the amendments circulated this morning one is utterly meaningless. I would direct the Taoiseach's attention to the amendment that it is suggested be made to section 14:

In page 6, subsection (2), line 46, to delete “or” and substitute “or”.

We are anxious to facilitate the Government on matters of importance but I would suggest that this is a slovenly way of doing things. If the Government are not prepared to do their business in a more efficacious manner than this they cannot count on our co-operation.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Haughey: I am protesting at the discourtesy to the House and at the slovenly way of doing important Government business.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. Gene Fitzgerald: I want to raise on the Adjournment the subject matter of Question No. 629 on yesterday's Order Paper, the huge number of applicants for the £9.60.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Killilea: I have asked consistently on the last three sittings to have the subject matter of Question No. 1 on last Wednesday's Order Paper raised on the Adjournment as a matter of extreme importance.

[1372] An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. S. Brennan: Along with Deputy Niall Andrews of South Dublin I seek to raise on the Adjournment the question of the complete failure of the Minister for Education to provide post-primary education for the pupils in the Knocklyon area of South Dublin.

Mr. J. Mitchell: The Deputy should refer that to Deputy Wilson. He was the Minister five months ago.

An Ceann Comhairle: The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.

Mr. Sherlock: I am sorry to rise again on this.

An Ceann Comhairle: We are now going on to items 14 and 15.

Mr. Sherlock: This involves jobs. If this cannot be debated here there is something radically wrong. I am going to persist because I feel so strongly about it.

An Ceann Comhairle: I am asking the Deputy to leave the House or I will have to have him named.

Mr. Sherlock: I have to say that if this Dáil is not prepared to debate, as an emergency measure, this issue of the closing down of a meat factory at a time when unemployment is so high then there must be something radically wrong with the order of priorities.

An Ceann Comhairle: I am asking to have the Deputy named.

Mr. Sherlock: I want action taken. I believe action could be taken.

(Interruptions.)

The Taoiseach: It is with reluctance that I name Deputy Sherlock.

(Interruptions.)