Seanad Éireann - Volume 131 - 25 March, 1992

Order of Business.

Mr. Wright: May I welcome back the Leader of the Fine Gael Group here. We are very pleased to see him back.

[1715] The Social Welfare Bill will be taken next week, on 2 and 3 April. Today's business is: Item No. 2, Statements on the cost of motor insurance, which will be taken until 5 p.m.; from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. we will take Item No. 3, the motion on the Appropriation Act; There will be a sos from 6 to 6.30 p.m.; and from 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. we will take Item No. 48, Private Members Business, in the names of the Fianna Fáil group.

Mr. Manning: May I thank the Leader of the House, Senator Wright, for his warm welcome back, which I very much appreciate. I am sure it is not because he gets a slightly easier time from me than from Senator Doyle.

On the Order of Business, I want to raise two points. First, I draw the attention of the Leader of the House to Item No. 49 on the Order Paper in the names of Senator Cosgrave and myself. You may remember that when the interim report on the libel laws and defamation was published about a year ago I put down a motion and was asked to wait until the final report came through. The report is here. It is a matter of great public interest and concern and I would ask that the Leader of the House make time available over the next few weeks so that this House would have the opportunity to debate this very fine report from the Law Reform Commission.

Second, on the question of the Supreme Court decision, we were given indications some weeks ago that we would have a chance to discuss that subject and I understand why we have had to wait until now. It is very clear that Government policy has not yet been formed on this and that there is a need for proper consultation. There is no more appropriate way for consultation to take place than that the views of the Members of this House be canvassed on the matter, and all of us here have views and we want to be constructive. I think that at this stage, it would be in the public interest to have this discussion now on the consequences of that Supreme Court decision. It would help the public debate [1716] because, no matter what happens, unless there is consultation before the decisions are taken, people can say afterwards that whatever happened was foisted on then. I seriously ask the Leader of the House to consider, perhaps next week, putting a day aside for a debate on that Supreme Court decision.

Mr. O'Toole: I raised with the Leader of the House last week the need to have presented to us an outline of the legislation which he intended initiating in this House, and he gave me an indication at that time that he was working on it. I would like to get an update on that; I would particularly like to know when he intends bringing in this legislation or what the story is at the moment? It is important that people have the opportunity to prepare themselves for that kind of legislation.

I also raised last week the question of the reform of the operation of this House and reminded the Leader of his commitment the day he took office to introduce reforms before the end of this month. There is a Committee on Procedure and Privileges meeting this afternoon and I would like to get an indication that he intends bringing forward a very positive proposal at that meeting.

I would like also to raise a technical issue. There is a motion down for debate at 6.30 p.m. this evening in the names of the Fianna Fáil group which defies all understanding. I do not know who put it together where it came from. I was waiting for the wording to follow and then I saw on the front that it was the wording. Could somebody explain to me——

An Cathaoirleach: The Senator is making a speech.

Mr. O'Toole: This is not a speech; it is purely functional to the Order of Business. As I understand it — and I am seeking confirmation of this — the motion we are debating at 6.30 p.m. is that this House debate the energy policy. When this motion is passed next week, when will we debate the energy policy? [1717] Whoever put those words of this motion together, which are total nonsense——

An Cathaoirleach: You have made your point, Senator O'Toole, and I want you to please conclude as there are other items——

Mr. O'Toole: In case you think there is too much merriment on this side of the House, a Chathaoirligh this is only slightly worse than last week when Fine Gael asked us at the end of a six hour debate not to debate something we had just spent six hours debating; now we have had it from both sides.

I would like to make two further points. And I would say to both sides of the House that I notice a very dangerous development in the debating of national issues — and I am making only a passing reference to them — such as UMP, the Shannon stopover and various other issues in the west. There is a very dangerous urban-rural divide coming through in discussions in this House and in other places which is just playing into the hands of those trying to divide public opinion in this country. Problems of the west should be as much concern to the people in the east and vice versa and I would just like to make that plea in regard to any discussisons we might have.

The final point is this. Last week Senator Jackman asked on the Order of Business that we discuss educational matters and we all supported the need for that. We also pointed out that either the present Minister or the previous Minister for Education had yet to grace this House with their presence. Very often when I am discussing education I refer to the problems of class size. I would like today to ask the Members of the House to look at the crowded Gallery behind me and realise that that is just one class in a primary school in Ireland.

Dr. Upton: I support the call for a debate in this House on the implications of the Supreme Court judgment. May I ask the Leader if the Government have any idea what they are going to do in relation to this debate and if it will be [1718] necessary to bring Deputy Haughey back to tell them what they should do?

In relation to the oil slick in the west of Ireland, could we have a debate on that matter. I understand that some country councils in the west are being left to their own devices to solve this problem. That is true, I understand as far as finance is concerned.

Finally, I believe that, at this stage, no Order of Business would be complete without a request for a debate on banking. May I renew my calls for a debate on banking? I am beginning to be at the receiving end of correspondence from bankers. I would not want them wasting paper and their valuable time writing to me about these matters.

An Cathaoirleach: I would prefer if the Senator would continue to call it the O'Keeffe initiative.

Mr. Foley: I appeal again to the Leader of the House to set aside time for a full debate on the air transport services, with particular reference to the Shannon stop-over. I would also ask for time to be set aside to discuss the Culliton report.

Mr. Norris: I would like to make three points. First, I would like to ask the Leader of the House about Item No. 3 on the Order Paper, the Appropriation Act. He said we are resuming on Item No. 3 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. but the unofficial notice circulated by the Whips said “to conclude”. I have valiantly queued up over a number of weeks and have not been able to get in. I would hope that the debate would continue. It may be a little tedious, but there are points some of us would like to have the opportunity to make. I take it that that is only a provisional notice from the Whips and that if everybody has not been included in the debate, it will be continued for just another week.

Second may I support Senator O'Toole's point — I do not think it is entirely a frivolous point — that grammatically the Fianna Fáil motion as it stands clearly precludes discussion of [1719] substantial issues involved, and envisages a subsequent debate.

An Cathaoirleach: It is a matter for the Fianna Fáil Party——

Mr. Norris: Quite, and I would not, of course, challenge their right. I assume that, in order to avoid a nonsense, the discretion of the Chair will come into operation and a proper discussion on this issue, even though not apparently grammatically envisaged, will ensue.

Thirdly, could the Leader of the House give us a progress report on moves to establish a foreign affairs committee of both Houses to the Oireachtas. I feel the sooner this is established the better because it would obviate the necessity that some of us feel to raise matters dealing with foreign policy on the Order of Business. Would the Leader give us some concrete information as to progress towards the establishment of the foreign affairs committee.

Professor Raftery: As you are aware, I asked for a debate on the Britanny Ferries issue. I am disappointed, given the gravity of the situation, that we are not having that debate today. Seventy students from my college and two members of staff, one of whom was a climatologist, Dr. Tyrrell, were on that boat. Their reports and the report of the captain of the boat are in total conflict——

An Cathaoirleach: We will not have a debate or a speech on it now, as the Senator can understand and appreciate.

Professor Raftery: I want to make the point how serious the matter is. Could I ask the Leader of the House to have a debate on it? If we cannot have the debate on the Adjournment tomorrow, then we should at least have a debate on the safety of ferry transport. The comments of both the captain of the ship and of the Department of the Marine are again in conflict, with the captain saying they got permission to go——

[1720] An Cathaoirleach: I said we would not have a debate at this point. I would like to facilitate the Senator, because in fairness, you are making a speech on what is an important issue.

Professor Raftery: Could we have a debate under Standing Order No. 29?

An Cathaoirleach: That is a matter for you to decide, but not on the Order of Business. Any other query to the Leader of the House?

Professor Raftery: That was the query: that we must have a serious debate on this matter. As an island nation we are very dependent on the efficiency and safety of our ferries and recent events do not help to increase our confidence in these issues.

Mr. Costello: May I ask the Leader when the Taoiseach is coming into the House? Does he have any further information as to the date? We are all waiting with bated breath for his arrival.

Second, in relation to the recent tragic deaths in prison and the other attempted death, as a result of which a woman from the women's prison in Mountjoy is seriously ill in the Mater Hospital, may I again ask the Leader of the House if he would approach the Minister for Justice to come into this House and give us his views on what prison reform he envisages to prevent this type of incident happening again?

I would support Senator Norris's call for clarification in regard to when the foreign affairs committee will be established. We badly need it in view of what we see at present, when the Government seem to be touting around Europe the wording for an amendment to the Protocol which the Oireachtas has not seen.

An Cathaoirleach: You are making a speech, Senator Costello. I am sure the Leader has taken on board your request.

Mr. Costello: Every other country in Europe will be asked to express its views on the matter. In that context too could [1721] we have some indication when we are to have the White Paper on the Maastricht Treaty? Time is getting very short for a comprehensive debate on this extremely important issue.

In relation to Northern Ireland, could we get some information when the debate is going to take place? I think it would be ideal to have the debate on Northern Ireland now while they are in this limbo — before the British election and a new government is in place there. In that situation we should be able to put on the record and express our views on what should happen there. Even though the Green Paper on education should have been before us over a year ago, once again it is being postponed. Could we get some definite information this time, through the Leader of the House, from the Minister for Education as to when we are going to have this Green Paper, because all sorts of developments in education are being precluded——

An Cathaoirleach: You are making a speech. A question, please, for the Leader.

Mr. Costello: I would like the Leader of the House to give us an idea when we will have this Green Paper.

Finally, may I refer the Leader of the House to Motion No. 45 on the Order Paper which deals with the Nicky Kelly case? Once again we have all sorts of rumours and titbits of information. Again, would the Leader ask the Minister for Justice to come clean on the issue and give us a definite statement on how that matter is progressing.

Mr. McGowan: I would like the Leader of the House to provide time for a debate on the development of natural gas here and the consequences of half the country being deprived of having it now or at any time in the future. This is urgent because An Bord Gáis have signed a contract providing for a national gas connection with the rest of Europe. While half the country will have an assured, stable energy supply, coming from as far afield as Siberia, half of Ireland, including the [1722] area you live in, a Chathaoirligh, will never have natural gas, and you and I and others representing that part of Ireland will be at a disadvantage.

An Cathaoirleach: You are making a speech, Senator.

Mr. McGowan: I am not the best at using the divide line——

An Cathaoirleach: I think you are.

Mr. McGowan: I am trying as hard as I can. I would ask again that the Leader of the House would provide time, totally independent of the discussion that will take place on energy policy generally. I think this is of fundamental and vital importance to the country.

Mr. Neville: I support the request for a debate on the Shannon stop-over in view of the statement by Aer Rianta yesterday at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on State-Sponsored Bodies that not one extra tourist would come to Ireland as a result of the change and that, in fact, a hub would commence immediately in Shannon if the uncertainty was taken out of the situation.

I also support the request for a discussion on the prison situation. Last week I asked for this and since then there has been another suicide and an attempted suicide.

Finally, last week I asked for a debate on the report of the Law Reform Commission on the civil law on defamation. I also support that request today as a matter of urgency.

Mr. D. Kiely: Would the Leader of the House have a debate on the recent oil pollution along the Kerry shores, the clearing up of which was at enormous cost to the local authority. I feel very strongly that we should have a debate on this to see who the perpetrators are and to bring them to justice. If people think they can wash out their tanks at sea and pollute our coastline, they have another guess coming. Our beaches in Kerry are [1723] ruined. I am sure if it happened in other countries there would be a similar outcry.

I also support the Senators who wanted a debate on the Shannon stopover. It is now appropriate to have a debate on this very important issue becaue the livelihood of the people in my side of the country will be at stake. I would like to remind people that the west of Ireland does not finish at Galway, it goes all the way down to south-west Cork.

Mr. B. Ryan: It is getting a bit tedious at this stage, but has the Leader any information on the Government's response to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on the Norris case? It is three and a half years since the decision was handed down, and so far we have heard nothing other than a promise last December 12 months from the then Minister for Justice, who was since fired. I hope there is no connection between the two happenings. I also support my colleagues' request for a debate on the Shannon stopover.

An Cathaoirleach: May I correct you, Senator Ryan? It was a Cabinet reshuffle. The Minister was not fired.

Mr. B. Ryan: I am reluctant to argue with the Cathaoirleach about the meanings of words, but if there is a shuffle and I lose my place in the team, I am sacked off the team.

An Cathaoirleach: We are not discussing that at the moment. I am just giving the facts.

Mr. O'Toole: I raised this fact with the protocol section of the Department of the Taoiseach who assured me it was a new Government.

An Cathaoirleach: You all know what I mean.

Mr. Manning: So does Deputy Ray Burke.


[1724] An Cathaoirleach: Could we please move on to the Order of Business? A question for the Leader of the House, Senator Ryan.

Mr. B. Ryan: May I support my colleagues in requesting, not just a debate on the Shannon stopover but, as I said frequently in this House, a debate on the whole issue of regional policy? I would love us to be able to work out a regional policy that worked because then we might be able to tell Europe what we mean by regional policy. The problem is we do not know what we want from Europe because we cannot make one work here. I would love to have a serious debate on regional policy.

Mrs. Honan: I again would like to support my colleagues in asking the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Communications to come into this House and have a debate on air transport. In case Senator D. Kiely thinks Kerry is the only coastline that was polluted by oil, Clare too was polluted by oil. We have an excellent engineer and he has it cleaned up, I hope, by now.

We on this side of the House do not need any lessons or lectures from Senator O'Toole.


Mr. Finneran: I did not think it was a lecture from Senator O'Toole or Senator Norris, but I am a bit taken aback that anything that would be said in this House, or anything on the Order Paper, would confuse them.

In regard to the interpretation of the section of the recent Companies Bill that covered examinership, has the Leader of the House any information from the Minister for Industry and Commerce regarding a change in that legislation in view of the fact that it has been proved to be inadequate to cover the payments arising from the recent problems in UMP? I consider this to be a very important matter. If, in future, an examiner is appointed to a company, then obviously the credibility of people who provide services [1725] to that company will be called into question. Has the Leader of the House had any indication from the Department, the Government or the Minister about a change in that law so that the examiner will have a proper structure to pay people who provide services or products during the period of examinership?

Mr. S. Haughey: I share Senator Dan Kiely's concern in relation to the recent oil pollution on the west coast of Ireland. Yesterday there was a very serious radiation leak from a nuclear power station at St. Petersburg in Russia. I would like an assurance from the Leader of the House that the Minister for Energy will deal with this issue tonight and assure the people that every effort is being made to ensure there is adequate monitoring of radiation levels in this country. I hope the Minister will give us an assurance that the full facts of that radiation leak will be established and that measures will be taken through the EC to ensure that no further serious radiation leaks take place which could affect the entire European population.

Mrs. Jackman: I join with my colleagues in looking for a debate on air transport, particularly the status of Shannon. In relation to Senator O'Toole's comment, the divisiveness is not being created by the people who wish to retain the stop-over or those who wish to abandon it. It is created by Aer Lingus stating in stark headlines that the stop-over is contributing to a job loss of 1,200. These statements are made day in and day out and it is time to clear up Aer Lingus's financial problems for which the stop-over at Shannon is being blamed.

As regards the debate on education, according to today's newspaper, we will not have the Green Paper for some time. It is very important that we have a debate on this subject soon regardless of when we will get the Green Paper, particularly in the light of a report issued the other day regarding the role of the inspectorate at second level. Only once in my teaching career was I visited by [1726] an inspector. I hope these issues will be clarified. Will we ever see the Green Paper? As I said last week, I would like to see a Minister for Education in this House. There is the danger that we might have two or three changes of Minister for Education by the time this Green Paper arrives.

Pól Ó Foighil: Tacaím len a bhfuil ráite ar an dá thaobh den Teach go mbeadh díospóireacht láithreach nó go luath faoi stádas na Sionainne. Glacaim leis go mbaineann an t-iarthar leis an chósta thiar ar fad ó Dhún na nGall síos go Ciarraí agus iarthar Chorcaí. Tá sé ansuimiúil go bhfuil an t-iarratas seo ag teacht ó chuile thaobh den Teach agus go bhfuil sé láidir ann le trí nó ceithre seachtainí anuas. Tugaim tacaíocht chomh maith don iarratas atá déanta le go mbeadh díospóireacht faoi thuarascáil Culliton agus faoin réigiúnachas. Iarraim ar an Cheannaire mar a rinne mé an tseachtain seo caite, deis a thabhairt dúinn na trí hábhar sin a phlé in aon mhórdhíospóireacht amháin.

Mrs. Hederman: I support calls for a debate on air transport and that we look in a dispassionate way at the serious loss of revenue to the country, not only by Aer Lingus but by Bord Fáilte, by not having direct flights from North America into Dublin.

Mr. Norris: Hear, hear.

Mrs. Hederman: The debate should not be conducted in a spirit of east versus west or city versus rural. We should be sufficiently mature and grown up to look at what is best for the entire country.

Mr. O'Keeffe: I refer to the call made by Senator Raftery for a debate on the ferries which operate on our seas. I sympathise with what he said but it would be far more prudent for us to await the results of the investigation currently being carried out by the Minister for the Marine and to keep in mind that the Minister said that under the Merchant Shipping Act he can invoke regulations [1727] that will place very stringent conditions on the operation of ferries in this country.

As regards the Culliton report, is it the Leader's intention to have a debate on this report which deals with job creation and the education system? When does he intend to have this debate?

I wish to refer to a very important issue I raised two weeks ago and which was raised by Senator Finneran, that is, the role of the examiner. The examiner is appointed by the High Court; he is acting for and on behalf of the High Court and it was the intention that those supplying services and goods would be paid in full. It now appears that the Act is deficient. Did the Leader receive any answers from the Minister for Industry and Commerce relating to the updating of the present Act?

I again raise an issue I brought up last week — the proliferation of drugs and the Leader omitted to respond. The proliferation of drugs is a very serious matter, especially as a recent report suggests that there is a major increase in the amount of drugs available in this country and in the number of people using them. It is pertinent that a debate be allowed in this House so that we could ask what more we can do to apprehend the dealers in death, as I term them, who are alive and well in this country.

Mr. Hourigan: I support the requests for a discussion on air transport and the debate should include the Shannon stop-over. There is growing tension in that area; there is a mass meeting tomorrow night in Limerick. This highlights the urgency of such a debate, which the Leader has assured us will take place at an early date. The “early date” in my view should be very soon.

I would also like to raise a matter that has not been raised recently, and that is health. I have had reports of experiences which suggest that we need a full debate on health policies. That would help enormously and give us an opportunity to highlight the present position. I acknowledge the Government are doing a good job under difficult circumstances——

[1728] An Cathaoirleach: The Senator is making a speech. A question, please, to the Leader.

Mr. Hourigan: Could we have a comprehensive debate on the health policy and related matters at an early date? Could we have a full debate on the Maastricht Treaty? We are likely to have a referendum on this in the near future and, in support of my request for a discussion, I suggest that the ordinary people do not understand what is involved. They may be familiar with one or two isolated issues which have been raised recently such as the Protocol on abortion, etc., but by and large people are not informed about it. I thank the Chair for his indulgence and ask the Leader for a debate on that issue at an early date.

Mrs. Doyle: Will the Leader clarify with the relevant Minister the location of the new Environmental Protection Agency because during the excellent debate in this House it was established that it would be located in Johnstown Castle in Wexford. However, the Minister for Agriculture and Food is reported in a recent edition of The Cork Examiner as saying it is to be located in Cork. I would like the Leader to clarify that urgently.

An Cathaoirleach: It could go to the midlands.

Mrs. Doyle: A promise was made. I also ask that the location of the new European Environmental Agency be considered for Johnstown Castle as we have excellent facilities and resources there in terms of staff and plant.

What has happened to the Milk (Regulation of Supply) (No. 2) Bill? There is a difficulty with this on the ground, and it is causing practical problems in that winter calving cannot be switched to spring calving by the stroke of a civil servant's pen. The delay of a few months has meant a loss of at least a year on the ground in regulating the situation when one takes the gestation period of the cow into [1729] account. We should look at what is involved and get that Bill moving very quickly, because seriously, major practical problems are being caused by the delay in this House.

Has the Leader given any thought to the many requests for a debate on the Broadcasting Act? I am sure I do not have to say why different Senators on both sides of this House feel such a debate is urgent.

Mr. Cullen: In view of the recent published figures on lawlessness and crime, could we have a debate, as a matter of urgency, on law and order? I appreciate that resources are scarce, but we need to look urgently at the position of the gardaí and the resources they require. If we need more gardaí on the ground they should be provided because if we cannot maintain law and order then the whole fabric of society will break down.

Mr. Fitzgerald: I support my colleagues' call for a debate on air transport, with particular reference to the Shannon stop-over. I ask the Leader to convey our concern at the pollution of the Kerry and Clare coasts. Will he also ask the Minister for the Environment if he will provide finance to clean up the mess?

Mr. R. Kiely: A few weeks ago I asked the Leader of the House if it would be possible to have a debate on public broadcasting. What prompted me to ask that question was the disgraceful “Today Tonight” programme shown a couple of nights earlier. We urgently need a debate on public broadcasting. I read in the newspapers today that in another RTE programme tonight a certain person's private life will be discussed.

An Cathaoirleach: We have no control over individual programmes on RTE.

Mr. Wright: We spent three-quarters of an hour on the Order of Business. Hopefully, the Committee on Procedure and Privileges will deal with reforms today and we will report back after today's meeting.

[1730] Senator Manning mentioned the report of the Law Reform Commission on Defamation. I am sure we will have that debate after Easter. Over the last week or two I outlined an extensive programme of business for the next couple of weeks. We will have a debate on the Supreme Court decision before Easter. The Protocol was agreed by 11 other countries and it is out of courtesy that the Minister for Foreign Affairs is in Europe endeavouring to secure agreement on an amendment to that Protocol. We will debate the decision of the Supreme Court before Easter. I welcome the fact that the Leader of the Fine Gael Party mentioned the consensus there has been so far on this issue. In the interest of the debate this consensus is needed and I hope it will be maintained.

Senator O'Toole mentioned future legislation to be iniatiated in this House. I know of one Bill and hope that soon I will be able to mention at least two or three Bills that will be initiated in the House. I will inform the House of that in the next few days. I have already dealt with the matter of reform. My understanding is that the matter has been dealt with and that we will have agreement today.

As regards the wording of the Private Members' motion, I am surprised by Senators who say they are amazed at what goes down on the Order Paper. I welcome the possibility of a debate in air transport. Senators Foley, Honan and others mentioned that we should have, and there definitely is need for, such a debate. I suggest that, after the Easter recess, we should bring in the Minister to discuss all aspects of air transport and not just the issue of direct flights. There is a need for an overall review of air transport problems post-1992. I give an assurance that we will arrange the wording of the appropriate motion.

I assure Senator Norris that we will have enough time today to deal with the Appropriation Act. As I said, the Minister for Foreign Affairs is out of the country but as soon as he returns I hope to have details of his intentions to set up the committee on foreign affairs. I would [1731] welcome a debate on the safety of sea ferries but we should await the outcome of the recent case. Many Members have views on the safety of sea ferries and other related issues, and we could deal with this after Easter.

I understand from the Taoiseach's announcement in the Dáil yesterday that the White Paper on Maastricht will be ready soon. As soon as it is available, we will avail of an opportunity to debate it. As regards the Nicky Kelly affair, as of today I am assured by the Minister that he has not yet received a report from the Attorney General.

Senator McGowan mentioned natural gas. That issue would affect many areas and we could accomodate a debate on that subject. Oil pollution affects many coastlines and it may be that this House would have suggestions and ideas on how best it should be dealt with.

As regards the role of the examiner under the Companies Act, I will contact the Minister in question to find out if he has had a chance to review the position and role of examiners given recent affairs in various companies.

Senator Haughey mentioned the radiation leak at St. Petersburg. If the Minister is here tonight, he may take the opportunity to give the details he mentioned yesterday in the Dáil and outline what measures he intends to take.

As regards the Green Paper on education, the Taoiseach made the point that two former Ministers made an input into it. There is another Minister in the Department now and he is being given time to make an input. I hope the Green Paper will be published soon.

The Culliton report will be debated on 9 April. It is one of the most important issues we will have a chance to debate and if we need two or three days to debate it, I would welcome that because most Members will have something to say on it. Senator O'Keeffe mentioned having two debates on industrial jobs and education. I do not think there is need to do that. If we provide enough time everybody will have an opportunity to contribute because not only does the report [1732] cover jobs and education, but it takes in regional policy as well.

The availability of drugs was also mentioned. I heard with great concern yesterday and again today, a report on RTE about the availability of drugs in all our cities. At present many drugs are being brought into our cities via the south coast. I am sure we will find a way to debate that issue.

I hope we will have the technicalities in the Milk (Regulations of Supply) (No. 2) Bill ironed out before Easter. I have already given a commitment that there will definitely be a debate on the broadcasting legislation after Easter.

Order of Business agreed to.