Seanad Éireann - Volume 114 - 08 October, 1986

Order of Business.

Mr. McDonald: It is proposed to take Nos. 1, 2 and 3 today. No. 3 is the resumption of the Private Members' motion.

Mr. Lanigan: We would like to know the Order of Business for tomorrow. Is it proposed to continue with the Control of Clinical Trials Bill, if not completed, and the Status of Children Bill tomorrow morning? If the Second Stages of these two Bills are completed today, what is the Order of Business for tomorrow? I agree with the sentiments expressed by Senators who try to raise matters of public urgency. I hope that in the future we will be able to organise ourselves so that matters of extreme urgency can be debated in the House under Standing Order 29. It should not be left to Ministers to decide whether motions can be taken under that Standing Order.

An Cathaoirleach: I do not agree with that statement. It is the Chair who has decided. I accept full responsibility for it.

Mr. McDonald: I should like to respond to Senator Lanigan. It is anticipated that the Control of Clinical Trials Bill, 1986, will conclude this afternoon. We expect to continue with the Status of Children Bill, 1986, in the morning. After lunch tomorrow, we will take the report of the Joint Commitee on Women's Rights, the portrayal of women in the media, and the report of the Joint Committee on Small Businesses, the insurance problems of small businesses.

An Cathaoirleach: Senator McAuliffe-Ennis on the Order of Business. I am [205] sorry I called the Leader of the House before you caught my eye.

Mrs. McAuliffe-Ennis: I would like to know when the National Monuments (Amendment) Bill, 1986, will be proceeded with? It is important that this Bill should proceed in view of recent alarming events. In the light of the current situation which means that many issues are left in no-man's land, I am anxious that this Bill should be brought before the House and debated fully at the earliest possible date as a matter of urgency. Should time permit tomorrow, consideration should be given to proceeding on to this item in view of the urgency and the nature of the matter involved.

Mrs. McGuinness: Arising out of what the Acting Leader of the House has said about tomorrow's Order of Business, I understand that the Status of Children Bill is to be taken in the morning until lunch time. Is it envisaged that that will be the end of the Second Stage debate or will it be allowed to carry over to next week if there are further speakers offering?

Mr. Lanigan: I want to ask the Acting Leader of the House when it is proposed to take the Air Pollution Bill conjointly with Item No. 7, the debate on the report of the Joint Committee on the Secondary Legislation of the European Communities on acid rain. It is essential that we debate these two points because of what happened during the summer at Chernobyl and what has been happening on an ongoing basis with the Nirex projects in England, with Sellafield and the latest very serious accident in the Atlantic involving the Russian submarine. Taking those two motions together is of the utmost and urgent importance.

Mr. Killilea: I am rather disappointed at your ruling on the request by Senator Ross. I am not questioning your ruling.

An Cathaoirleach: That does not arise on the Order of Business.

[206] Mr. Killilea: I was in a similar position. On a point of order——

An Cathaoirleach: It is not a point of order.

Mr. Killilea: I wanted to raise a matter of major importance which was superseded by something that did not matter to us at all. This one does and I am disappointed that it is not to be discussed in this House. I should like to ask you, a Chathaoirligh, to raise another matter. I see that there are a number of notices about on Adjournment Matters. Could the relevant committee make some arrangement whereby Senators who do have important matters for discussion on the Adjournment and where the list is long with consequent delays, could be sent a written reply if they so request.

An Cathaoirleach: That is controlled by Standing Order.

Mr. Killilea: That Standing Order should be amended.

An Cathaoirleach: The representative of the Senator's party should take it up at the appropriate meeting.

Mr. Fitzsimons: Is it intended to adjourn the House for a tea break this afternoon?

Mr. M. Higgins: I should like to know when the Seanad is likely to discuss again legislation on the abolition of capital punishment.

Mr. Cassidy: I wish to know when the Seanad are going to discuss the Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Bill. We were promised here for the last three years by this Coalition Government that we would have this Bill before us. We have been put off on various occasions by the Leader saying that he was going to the Minister. Are these secret negotiations and secret talks going on in relation to this Bill and can they come to some sort of conclusion? Are we going [207] to have this Bill produced at all during the term of this Government?

Mr. McDonald: May I take the queries in the order in which they have been raised. I should like to assure Senator McAuliffe-Ennis that the legislation that she has referred to is listed for taking in this present session, as indeed are both the items raised by Senator Michael D. Higgins and Senator Cassidy.

Mr. Cassidy: There is a report here.

Mr. McDonald: That is in the present term. Senator McGuinness raised the question of the Order of Business for tomorrow. The Leader of the House is leaving time for the Status of Children Bill open-ended, so it is being allocated whatever time is necessary. If that Stage is concluded before lunch time tomorrow, we will then move on to Second Stage, possibly next week. Air pollution as raised by Senator Lanigan and the Joint Committee on Secondary Legislation have been the subjects of two very important reports. We would hope to have them debated in the Seanad as early as possible. I would remind Senators that from our Order Paper there is quite a number of motions from the joint committee for discussion here and on Thursdays we hope to take as many of those as possible.

Mr. Fitzsimons: The Leader did not refer to the adjournment and whether we are having a tea break this afternoon.

Mr. McDonald: Perhaps if the House agrees, we could forego the tea break this evening in order to get as much as possible of the legislation completed.

Agreed.

Order of Business agreed to.