Seanad Éireann - Volume 110 - 04 December, 1985

Order of Business.

Mr. McDonald: It is proposed to take Nos. 1, 2 and 4, No. 4 at 6.30 p.m.

An Cathaoirleach: Will there be a tea break?

Mr. McDonald: It is a matter for the House.

An Cathaoirleach: Do you suggest anything?

Mr. Ferris: On the Order of Business No. 3 has already been debated with No. 2. I take it that No. 3 will be discussed jointly with it because they are similar subjects. Separate decisions can be taken on them. I propose we adjourn for tea from 5.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

Mr. Ross: I would like to ask the Acting Leader of the House when it is proposed to take Item No. 15. I asked this question four weeks ago of Senator Dooge. It is about the Bill for the abolition of hanging in this country. Senator Dooge assured the House that he was in communication with the Department of Justice about it and he has not come back to us. Yesterday two people were sentenced to death by hanging in this country. I want to know whether the Government intend this charade of people being sentenced to death and the sentences being commuted, to go on, whether it is intended to keep this on [579] the Statute Book and not enforce it or whether it is intended to accept my Bill for the abolition of hanging and to give time for it. It is a farcical situation that we have this Bill here, that we do not know what Government policy is on it and that the courts are continually sentencing people to death for capital murder and the Government are commuting sentences. I want to see a decision from the Government on this, one way or the other. I have asked about it several times and I have got no answer. We have had a debate for three——

An Cathaoirleach: The Senator is completely out of order. I have let you say what you want. I will ask you to resume your seat.

Mr. McDonald: On the point raised by Senator Ross, the Minister for Justice quite recently made his position quite clear on that issue. It has not been ordered for this week. The Order of Business is as proposed.

Order of Business agreed to.

An Cathaoirleach: Did you include No. 3 on the Order of Business?

Mr. Ferris: It will be taken in the morning.

An Cathaoirleach: They were taken together on the last occasion.

Mr. Ferris: Nos. 2 and 3 are being taken together as happened last week. They are similar subjects. The debate can continue on both of them, but they will be dealt with separately finally.

An Cathaoirleach: Yes, Senator Lynch?

Mr. Lynch: The Leader of the House did propose we take the report on the White Paper. I requested that it would be taken in conjunction with the report from the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Tourism and that was agreed unanimously by the House.

[580] An Cathaoirleach: Nos. 2 and 3 were taken together the last time.

Agreed that Nos. 2 and 3 be taken together.