Dáil Éireann - Volume 392 - 07 November, 1989

Priority Questions: Motion.

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Mr. V. Brady): I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, with effect from Tuesday, 14th November, 1989, and until the adjournment of the Dáil for the Easter Recess, 1990

(1) Questions nominated for priority shall be placed on the Order Paper before other Questions to members of the Government, other than the Taoiseach, to be asked on the same day;

(2) the sequence in which Questions nominated for priority are placed on the Order Paper shall be decided by lottery; and the number of such Questions which each group may nominate for answer on any one day shall be determined with reference to the following rota—

An Grúpa

An Líon Ceisteanna

Group

No. of Questions

Lá 1:

Fine Gael

3

Day 1:

Fine Gael

3

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Páirtí na nOibrí

1

The Workers' Party

1

Lá 2:

Fine Gael

4

Day 2:

Fine Gael

4

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Lá 3:

Fine Gael

3

Day 3:

Fine Gael

3

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Páirtí na nOibrí

1

The Workers' Party

1

Lá 4:

Fine Gael

4

Day 4:

Fine Gael

4

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

[1723][1724]Lá 5:

Fine Gael

3

Day 5:

Fine Gael

3

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Páirtí na nOibrí

1

The Workers' Party

1

Lá 6:

Fine Gael

4

Day 6:

Fine Gael

4

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Lá 7:

Fine Gael

3

Day 7:

Fine Gael

3

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Páirtí na nOibrí

1

The Workers' Party

1

Lá 8:

Fine Gael

4

Day 8:

Fine Gael

4

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Lá 9:

Fine Gael

3

Day 9:

Fine Gael

3

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Páirtí na nOibrí

1

The Workers' Party

1

Lá 10:

Fine Gael

4

Day 10:

Fine Gael

4

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Lá 11:

Fine Gael

3

Day 11:

Fine Gael

3

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Páirtí na nOibrí

1

The Workers' Party

1

Lá 12:

Fine Gael

4

Day 12:

Fine Gael

4

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Lá 13:

Fine Gael

3

Day 13:

Fine Gael

3

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Páirtí na nOibrí

1

The Workers' Party

1

Lá 14:

Fine Gael

4

Day 14:

Fine Gael

4

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Lá 15:

Fine Gael

3

Day 15:

Fine Gael

3

Páirtí an Lucht Oibre

1

The Labour Party

1

Páirtí na nOibrí

1

The Workers' Party

1

Lá 16:

Tosóidh an róta arís.

Day 16:

Rota to recommence.”.

The motions before the House today arise from proposals which were agreed recently by the Committee on Procedure and Privileges. While these proposals are primarily the concern of the Opposition parties, the Government nevertheless support them on the basis that they are fair to all sides of the House and have the support of the vast majority of its Members.

The purpose of the motions is to allocate Priority Questions and Private Members' Time between the various Opposition parties on the basis of their numerical strength in the Dáil. They were designed by CPP to reflect the fact that Fine Gael have 55 Deputies, while Labour and The Workers' Party have 15 and seven Deputies, respectively.

The motion on Priority Questions provides that out of every ten questions put down, Fine Gael will be able to nominate seven, Labour two and The Workers' Party one. The rota is arranged over a 15-day cycle so as to ensure that The Workers' Party will have an opportunity of putting down a Priority Question to each member of the Government over a period of time. The motion also proposes that the sequence in which the questions will appear on the Order Paper will be decided by lottery and that Priority Questions will be taken before lottery questions, but after questions addressed to the Taoiseach.

The motion on Private Members' Business provides that over a period of 11 weeks, Fine Gael will nominate the business on eight occasions, Labour twice and The Workers' Party once. It is proposed that these new arrangements will [1725] remain in force initially up to the 1990 Easter recess.

As I have already mentioned, CPP agreed on these allocations strictly on the basis of the number of seats which each party hold in the Dáil. While Private Members' Time and Priority Questions were only allocated on a proportional basis for the first time in the last Dáil, this is not a new concept to the House. The committees have always been constituted so as to reflect the relative strengths of the parties participating in them, while Members are elected to the Dáil in the first place on a system of proportional representation.

I would like to emphasise at this point that these proposals do not reduce in any way the amount of time being allocated either to Private Members' Time or to Question Time. Opposition Deputies will continue to have available to them the same amount of time which they always had. What the motions seek to do is simply to organise that time in a reasonable manner.

I would like to stress again that the Government have no direct input into the matter. Our position is that we are prepared to support the proposals which are fairest to all sides and in deciding our stance we have taken account of the wishes of the vast majority of Deputies in the House, as well as the deliberations of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges.

Since the Dáil resumed on 24 October last, the Government have introduced a number of procedural reforms, all of which will improve the workings of the House generally, but some of which I am sure will be of particular benefit to individual Deputies. The Dáil has already formally requested CPP to recommence their work in preparing proposals for televising proceedings. The working group, which was established for this purpose, are also examining Dáil procedures and will be proposing reforms, where they are considered necessary. Already, arising from a suggestion which I put to the working group, a new Adjournment Debate procedure has been introduced which, in my opinion, makes that debate [1726] more relevant. In the past, the half-hour period set aside for the debate was not often fully utilised. I am sure Deputies will agree that the two 15-minute debates which we now have every day is a far more productive arrangement.

I am sure that over the next few months, the working group will be bringing forward other procedural reforms which will benefit Members on all sides of the House.

The Government accept CPP's opinion that the present proposals represent the fairest way of distributing Private Members' Time and Priority Questions among the Opposition parties. In view of this, I recommend the motions to the House.

Mr. Dukes: The order of the House which we made today provides that speeches on these matters will be allowed for six minutes. Deputy De Rossa appears to feel there is a danger in that he will not be allowed to speak for very long. I have the pleasure of telling Deputy De Rossa that what I have to say will not take me anything like six minutes.

The arrangements we have before us for Priority Questions and Private Members' Time are based——

Proinsias De Rossa: Will the Deputy share his time with us?

Mr. Dukes: If the Deputy stopped interrupting me I would be finished very quickly and there would be no question of sharing my time at all.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Perhaps the Deputy should not look so invitingly at them.

Mr. Dukes: I may be looking at them but I can assure you I am not inviting them. The arrangements we have before us are based on the respective strengths of the Fine Gael Party, the Labour Party and The Workers' Party in this House. I should like to point out that under the arrangements provided for Priority Questions, Fine Gael will have 69 per cent of the questions in each cycle. We [1727] have 71 per cent of the seats of the parties in Opposition and I regard that arrangement as being scrupulously fair.

Mr. Rabbitte: Change the rules when it suits you.

Mr. Dukes: For Private Members' Time, for example, the proposed cycle will give Fine Gael just under 73 per cent of the total time for 71 per cent of the Opposition party seats. I regard that also as being scrupulously fair. I should like to point out to the House that my colleague and Whip, Deputy Jim Higgins, has bent over backwards to ensure that the arrangements are fair and that the other parties are facilitated by them. We have gone as far as we can to accommodate the wishes of other parties.

As I have said, these arrangements are scrupulously fair and should not, therefore, be used as an excuse by anybody in this House for making very thinly veiled threats to disrupt the business of the House.

Mr. Howlin: I suppose the issues we are debating now in a very brief debate are ones which do not normally merit debate in the House. Notwithstanding that, they are issues of the most fundamental importance. The Opposition parties have little enough chance to impact on legislation and the use of Questions and Private Members' Time are two key avenues open to parties in Opposition to portray their policies, to affect the way the Government are handling affairs and to bring issues of public importance on the floor of this House.

In relation to the two motions before the House now, a considerable amount of debate was involved in those motions with each individual party in Opposition obviously approaching the ordering of a motion on the basis of——

Mr. Rabbitte: Excluding The Workers' Party.

Mr. Howlin: ——at least having a reasonable percentage of time for their [1728] own party relative to their Dáil strength. That has always been the basis of motions of this sort. In fact, the particular Standing Orders have been subject to change from time to time to reflect the strengths of the Opposition parties in this House.

In relation to Private Members' Time, in particular, it is an important vehicle for parties in Opposition and maybe this debate will give us an opportunity to again look at how the Government react to Private Members' Time. From my recollection, in recent years the only legislation which was accepted by the Government from the Opposition benches was the Judicial Separation Act.

It is normal practice in many other parliaments that a proportion of Bills enacted come from Opposition Deputies and, on occasions, from Government backbenchers. The Labour Party have used their Private Members' Time, scarce as it has always been, to the optimum effect in recent years. It was through Private Members' Time that we defended, and forced the Government to rethink the position on the National Social Services Board. It was thanks to a Labour Party Private Members' motion that the board remains in existence. It was Private Members' Time that was used to defend Barrington's Hospital and haemophiliacs who suffer from AIDS and to seek compensation for them.

In the past the Government did not have much regard for motions from the Opposition benches except when they were forced into positions of being defeated. Since this Coalition will probably always outnumber the Opposition, unless the two parties in coalition are forcibly wrenched apart by circumstances in the months and years to come, I appeal to them to think again on how they react to Private Members' Business. They should think positively of the important contribution that can be made from outside the Government benches and to accept Private Members' legislation when it makes sense, when it is logical and when it is thought out.

The Labour Party put forward a different proposal in relation to the ordering [1729] of Priority Questions. The proposal I put to the Committee on Procedure and Privileges was accepted by all parties in Opposition. My proposal was that Fine Gael would have three Priority Questions on a daily basis, that the Labour Party would have two and that The Workers' Party would have one. Unfortunately, the Government did not accept that proposal because it would have meant an extra three minutes in Private Members' Time. I deeply regret that the Government could not have found it in their hearts to accept that. Had they done so some of the rancour that has been expressed since that would have been avoided. On reflection, the motions before us, inasmuch as they accurately reflect the relative strengths of all the parties in the Dáil, give fair play to each Member. It is as individuals that we are elected to serve our constituencies in the House.

Proinsias De Rossa: I hope to give one minute or so of my time to Deputy Garland, if I can manage to say what I have to say in the time available. The Workers' Party consider these two motions to be an outrageous assault on the rights of our Deputies and the two motions will therefore be opposed in the strongest possible manner by our party.

One motion seeks to change the rules with regard to Priority Questions so that The Workers' Party will only be entitled to ask a Priority Question every second day. The other motion seeks to sanction the allocation of Private Members Time in such a way as to discriminate in a very blatant manner against The Workers' Party. What is clear from these two motions, which have the approval of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party, is that these three parties are conspiring to attempt to restrict the rights which The Workers' Party are entitled to as a Dáil group defined under Standing Order 89 — a status which we won fairly and squarely by having seven TDs returned in the June contest. At a time when there is a widespread demand for Dáil reform to make the House more [1730] relevant and give Deputies a greater say, these motions are an insult.

It is clear from a reading of Standing Order 37 on Parliamentary Questions and the Dáil debates when the original motion to establish the Priority Question system was introduced back on 28 May 1985, that it was never envisaged at any stage that a qualifying group would be excluded from the Priority Question system on certain days. Indeed, it is worth quoting what the then Government Chief Whip, Deputy Seán Barrett, said in the debate. Deputy Barrett explained that the Priority Question system was being introduced so that `groups in Opposition could ask the Minister or Ministers not more than five Priority Questions'. Replying to the debate Deputy Barrett said:

We were not trying to get at anybody. If The Workers' Party succeed at the next election in electing more than seven members they will have the right to participate in Priority Question time the same as anybody else.

If the Deputy reads the motion he will find that the questions asked in Priority Question time rotate. The largest party ask the first question, the next largest party in Opposition have the right to ask the second question and if there is a third party or group they are entitled to ask the third question. There is nothing loaded in favour of the major party or group in Opposition. All the Deputy has to do is persuade others who are Independents in the House to join with him in a group of seven and over ... to deal with Private Members Time and Questions in priority time. That is all. The alternative is to get more people elected.

That quotation is from column 2406 of the Official Report of that date. However, in the same debate Deputy Mac Giolla, who spoke for The Workers' Party accurately forecast what was going to happen when he said, “If we get more Deputies into the House the rules will change again”.

Since The Workers' Party have been represented in this House we have made [1731] extensive and effective use of Dáil Questions to raise issues which are of concern to the people who elected us. Proportionately we ask far more questions than any of the other parties. We are always being reminded by the other parties that we have less than 10 per cent of the Opposition Deputies. But, look at the ordinary oral Questions tabled to the Minister for Labour last week. Of the total of 21, 11 came from The Workers' Party. On the previous day one-third of all ordinary oral Questions to the Minister for Industry and Commerce came from The Workers' Party.

The other parties seem to resent the effective use by The Workers' Party of Question Time. They cannot interfere with ordinary Questions, which are anyway subject to the uncertainty of the lottery system, without restricting the rights of their own Deputies, so they are conspiring to change the rules on Priority Questions.

The same applies to the allocation of Private Members Time. Over the past eight years, time after time we looked for Private Members Time and were told to come back when we had seven TDs. Now that the people have elected seven Workers' Party TDs we find it is proposed to allocate Private Members time in such a way as to severely disadvantage our party.

I have to say that we are deeply angry and dismayed at the role of the Labour Party in all this. Primarily due to our efforts over the past while significant progress had been made in developing co-operation between our two parties and the Left benefited generally from this in the last election.

Mr. Spring: Except in Dublin NorthEast.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I must advise Deputy De Rossa that his earlier expression of good intent will not apply.

Proinsias De Rossa: I cannot believe that the majority of the ordinary members of the Labour Party are aware [1732] of or approve of what is being done in their name by the parliamentary Labour Party.

Mr. Spring: We have a democratic system.

Proinsias De Rossa: It was the Labour Party who first raised objections to the allocation of Priority Questions which had operated since the June election.

Mr. Howlin: That is not so.

Proinsias De Rossa: They insisted that because they had more TDs than The Workers' Party they must have more Priority Questions.

Mr. Howlin: That is not so.

Proinsias De Rossa: Their petty machinations have resulted in a loss of Questions to the Left in the House and a gain in questions to the Right. That is a fact. The leadership of the Labour Party has, unfortunately, once again disgraced itself.

Mr. Spring: The leadership of the Labour Party has one job which he is doing, not like others.

Proinsias De Rossa: Is this what Deputy Spring regards as leadership of the Left, giving access to more questions to the Right and restricting access by the Left to Question Time? It is disgraceful and we will be opposing the two motions. Of course, as always, we will abide by the Standing Orders of the House. However, we will insist on Standing Orders being applied fairly and strictly.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I regret, Deputy Garland, that I must call on the Minister of State. There is no time left for the Deputy.

Mr. Garland: I should like to protest. Only 20 minutes has elapsed and I suggest that there is plenty of time remaining.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: If the [1733] Deputy resumes his seat I will explain the position to him. Deputy De Rossa indicated that he was prepared to give the Deputy some of his time but there is none of his time remaining. The Deputy can take it that he cannot have what is not there.

Deputy Sherlock rose.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Deputy should resume his seat.

Mr. Rabbitte: It has taken the Leas-Cheann Comhairle more than one minute to explain what is self-evident.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Rabbitte must, reluctantly for him, accept that there are rules in the House. I did not make them; they were made in a democratic fashion by him and I must apply them.

Mr. Rabbitte: This is not a very good example of democracy, with all due respect.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Chair is conversant with democracy in so far as I endeavour to carry out the order of the House.

Proinsias De Rossa: On a point of order, I should like a ruling from the Chair on whether the order of the House confines speeches to groups. It outlines the length of time spokespersons for groups may speak but it does not state that only spokespersons may speak.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Standing Order in respect of this debate states “...each of the groups as defined under Standing Order 89”. Deputy De Rossa will appreciate that under Standing Order 89 one person does not constitute a group.

Proinsias De Rossa: Let me point out to your, Sir, that the speech of the Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach moving No. 7, the speech of the spokesperson for each group and the [1734] concluding speech of the Minister shall not exceed six minutes in each case, but that does not exclude any other Deputy of the House from speaking if time is available.

Mr. Garland: If there is time to speak——

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: We all would wish to make rules for ourselves as we go along. Deputy De Rossa knows that in respect of what we are discussing now, we are talking of a spokesperson for each group. Deputy De Rossa will accept that.

(Interruptions.)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: It is no pleasure for the Chair to be speaking in this fashion, and if Deputy De Rossa with his good intent did not allow him the time he cannot come along now and try to get new rules.

Proinsias De Rossa: I am seeking your assistance in clarifying the agreement made by the House in relation to items Nos. 7 and 8 and I am asking you if it does not read that the speeches in terms of time are confined to spokespersons for each group, but the ruling as we agreed it here a short while ago does not confine the debate to only spokespersons for each group. It confines the debate to 30 minutes and to six minutes for each spokesperson for each group but does not confine speeches of the Members to spokespersons for each group.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Chair is not obliged to explain everything but I say to Deputy De Rossa now that he realises there was provision for six minutes for the Minister of State and six minutes to conclude, which is 12, and a provision of three sixes besides which gives him 30, so how he can indicate to me now that there was also provision for other people I do not know.

(Interruptions.)

[1735] Proinsias De Rossa: Is this during our time to ask Priority Questions? Deputy Garland would have made two speeches since this fracas began.

Mr. V. Brady: It is time for me to conclude.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Not just yet, and that is not the matter of the principle we are discussing. If the House in its wisdom wants to decide now that there can be a change, in so far as there is time available the House may so decide.

Mr. Rabbitte: Deputy Dukes indicated that when he stood on his feet at the beginning of this.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: You cannot always follow the advice of Deputy Dukes if that is what he is indicating. Deputy Dukes on his own cannot speak for the House either. If there is an agreement in the House now that we can accommodate other speakers from now until 4.46 p.m., at which stage I must call the Minister of State, that can be done.

Mr. V. Brady: That was agreed.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: That can be done with the agreement of the House.

Mr. Yates: All this has been taken out of the time for a Second Stage debate on the Child Care Bill which must conclude by 7 p.m. The Minister is going to conclude at 6.50 p.m.

Mr. V. Brady: It is not——

(Interruptions.)

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: If it were, the Chair would not be doing it. There was a total provision of 30 minutes which would mean the Minister of State would be called at 4.46 p.m. and would conclude at 4.53 p.m., so we are still within the time provision of the Order of the House.

[1736] Mr. McCartan: Allow Deputy Garland to speak.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: If the House is agreed. Agreed.

Mr. Garland: In the one minute I have at my disposal I want to say that when I was elected to the House I came here with the intention of playing a very full part in the work of the House and I have endeavoured to do so. Since I came in here I have tabled a number of amendments to most of the Bills on Committee Stage. I have had 50 or 60 Questions put down on the Order Paper. Now I find when it comes to Priority Questions and Private Members' Bills, if I am here for the next five years I will not have a single Priority Question, a single motion or a single Bill. I think that a gross negation of the democratic principles of this House. I call upon this House to make the appropriate arrangements to allow me a little time in this area.

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Mr. V. Brady): I am sorry, at the outset, to say that we cannot have agreement among the Opposition parties but as a Government we will try to facilitate all parties where possible. I thank the Deputies for their comments during the debate. This present Government are and the last Dáil was very responsive to the needs of the Opposition parties in making time available for special debates. This is despite the fact that the Government were committed to pushing through the House their own programme of legislative reforms. Since late 1987, for example, we had no fewer than eight special debates at the request of the Opposition. Deputy Howlin during his contribution complained that the Government were not prepared to extend Question Time by a few minutes in order to facilitate agreements between his party and The Workers' Party on the allocation of Priority Questions.

A Deputy: And Fine Gael.

[1737] Mr. V. Brady: We considered this matter but we decided that the extension, the main purpose of which was to mollify the two smaller Opposition parties, was not justified. In deciding on this we took into account the fact that up to a few years ago the duration of Question Time was only one hour as compared to the hour and a quarter we now have. We also took account of the rights of the individual Members of this House who are not permitted to participate in Priority Questions, as pointed out by Deputy Garland.

Let me say that the Committee on Privileges and Practice have at all times given every consideration to bringing about a satisfactory solution to this problem. We met on a few occasions and the outcome of those meetings was the motion we have before us in the House. Let me also say I am a little surprised at the attitude of The Workers' Party to the proposals here this afternoon. In the last Dáil when The Workers' Party had just four Members they complained they were not being recognised as a full party and sought to be given the same rights as those granted to parties defined by Standing Order No. 89. They expected to participate in every major debate on the same basis as even the largest Opposition party. Now that The Workers' Party have seven Members and are recognised as a party under the Standing Orders——

Mr. McCartan: Change the rules.

[1738] Mr. V. Brady: ——they are still not happy that this is enough.

(Interruptions.)

Mr. V. Brady: They are being afforded the same facilities exactly as are available to other parties recognised by Standing Order 89 subject, of course, to the rules governing proportionality. That is nothing new. That has always been part and parcel of this House.

Mr. McCartan: Where did the rules on proportionality come from?

Mr. V. Brady: Let me point out that we are not changing the rules. The rules have not been changed to restrict the rights of The Workers' Party or of anyone. Standing Order 37 provides that Priority Questions should rotate and this is being done but on a proportional basis which, in our view, is the fairer system——

Mr. McCartan: On a daily basis.

Mr. V. Brady: ——a system that is being proposed in the motion before the House. Again I recommend the two motions to the House.

Question put.

The Dáil divided: Tá, 133; Níl, 10.

Ahearn, Therese.

Ahern, Bertie.

Ahern, Dermot.

Ahern, Michael.

Allen, Bernard.

Andrews, David.

Aylward, Liam.

Barnes, Monica.

Barrett, Michael.

Barrett, Seán.

Barry, Peter.

Belton, Louis J.

Boylan, Andrew.

Bradford, Paul.

Brady, Gerard.

[1739]Cosgrave, Michael Joe.

Cotter, Bill.

Coughlan, Mary Theresa.

Cowen, Brian.

Creed, Michael.

Crowley, Frank.

Cullimore, Séamus.

Currie, Austin.

Daly, Brendan.

D'Arcy, Michael.

Davern, Noel.

Deasy, Austin.

Deenihan, Jimmy.

Dempsey, Noel.

Dennehy, John.

de Valera, Síle.

Doyle, Joe.

Dukes, Alan.

Ellis, John.

Enright, Thomas W.

Fahey, Frank.

Fennell, Nuala.

FitzGerald, Garret.

Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph.

Fitzpatrick, Dermot.

Flaherty, Mary.

Flanagan, Charles.

Flood, Chris.

Gallagher, Pat the Cope.

Harney, Mary.

Harte, Paddy.

Haughey, Charles J.

Higgins, Jim.

Higgins, Michael Daniel.

Hillery, Brian.

Hilliard, Colm.

Howlin, Brendan.

Hyland, Liam.

Jacob, Joe.

Kavanagh, Liam.

Kelly, Laurence.

Kenneally, Brendan.

Kenny, Enda.

Kirk, Séamus.

Kitt, Michael P.

Kitt, Tom.

Lawlor, Liam.

Lee, Pat.

Lenihan, Brian.

Leonard, Jimmy.

Leyden, Terry.

Lyons, Denis.

Brady, Vincent.

Brennan, Mattie.

Brennan, Séamus.

Briscoe, Ben.

Browne, John (Carlow-Kilkenny).

Browne, John (Wexford).

Bruton, Richard.

Calleary, Seán.

Callely, Ivor.

Carey, Donal.

Clohessy, Peadar.

Collins, Gerard.

Connaughton, Paul.

Connolly, Ger.

Connor, John.

[1740]Martin, Michéal.

McCormack, Pádraic.

McDaid, Jim.

McGahon, Brendan.

McGinley, Dinny.

McGrath, Paul.

Mitchell, Gay.

Molloy, Bobby.

Morley, P.J.

Moynihan, Michael.

Nealon, Ted.

Nolan, M.J.

Noonan, Michael.

(Limerick East).

Noonan, Michael J.

(Limerick West).

O'Brien, Fergus.

O'Connell, John.

O'Dea, Willie.

O'Donoghue, John.

O'Hanlon, Rory.

O'Keeffe, Jim.

O'Keeffe, Ned.

O'Kennedy, Michael.

O'Leary, John.

O'Rourke, Mary.

O'Shea, Brian.

O'Sullivan, Gerry.

O'Sullivan, Toddy.

O'Toole, Martin Joe.

Pattison, Séamus.

Power, Seán.

Quill, Máirín.

Quinn, Ruairí.

Reynolds, Gerry.

Roche, Dick.

Ryan, Seán.

Shatter, Alan.

Spring, Dick.

Stafford, John.

Stagg, Emmet.

Taylor, Mervyn.

Taylor-Quinn, Madeleine.

Timmins, Godfrey.

Treacy, Noel.

Tunney, Jim.

Wallace, Dan.

Wallace, Mary.

Walsh, Joe.

Wilson, John P.

Woods, Michael.

Wyse, Pearse.

Yates, Ivan.

Níl

Byrne, Eric.

De Rossa, Proinsias.

Foxe, Tom.

Garland, Roger.

Gilmore, Eamon.

Gregory, Tony.

McCartan, Pat.

Mac Giolla, Tomás.

Rabbitte, Pat.

Sherlock, Joe.

Tellers: Tá, Deputies V. Brady and Clohessy; Níl, Deputies McCartan and Gilmore.

[1741] Question declared carried.