Seanad Éireann - Volume 133 - 24 June, 1992

Order of Business.

Mr. Wright: Today's Order of Business is Item No. 1. It will be taken between now and 6 p.m. There will be a sos between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. we will take motion 48.

Mr. Manning: On the Order of Business, I ask the House to note the results of the Israeli general election and hope that this will mean a very positive move in the direction of peace.

Mr. B. Ryan: Could I ask the Leader about the possibility of having a debate on two separate issues in the light of recent developments, one, on the Middle East in the light of the extraordinarily good news in the Israeli election where there is a possibility of progress being made, and second, on South Africa in the light of the appalling turn of events that has taken place there? Many of my colleagues — some of them on these benches — showed extraordinary naivety in recent years about South Africa. The real nature of the South African regime has been exposed again and we ought to re-assert the views of Members of both Houses of the Oireachtas on the rights of the people of South Africa to majority rule based on democracy and peace. I ask the Leader to allow time for an urgent debate on South Africa to re-assert our support for the rights of the majority of the people there.

Dr. Upton: I join with the other speakers in expressing my pleasure at the change of Government in Israel. It is very encouraging for the Labour Party in this country to see the election of a similar party in Israel.

Mr. Manning: They are even more right wing.

Dr. Upton: It brings the hope of peace to that country and to the world.

[739] Mr. Dardis: I also welcome the change of the political complexion in Israel. I would point out to Senator Upton through the Chair that the Labour Party in Israel is right of where he rests. Having said that, may I join in the call for a discussion on the general situation in the Middle East? I believe there is a genuine possibility of advancing peace in the area and bringing basic rights to the Palestinian people, which is something we would all like to see.

Mr. Costello: I welcome the results of the election in Israel. We should have a debate on the Middle East in this House. A couple of months ago there was an all-party delegation to Palestine and their experience would be useful in the context of the stated policy in terms of peace of the likely new Government in Israel.

Will the Leader say when we may have the Green Paper on Education and have a debate on it because it is getting more elusive by the day? Finally, have we guidelines in relation to dress in the House because the House has been brought into disrepute——

An Cathaoirleach: That is not a matter for the floor of the House. It is not relevant to the Order of Business and the Senator knows that.

Mr. Costello: We need guidelines on this issue.

An Cathaoirleach: The Senator is out of order.

Dr. Upton: A fashion committee.

An Cathaoirleach: It is not a matter for the floor of this House. Senator Harte will represent you at the Committee on Procedure and Privileges if you want to raise it there. That is where the Senator should raise it.

Mr. Costello: Yesterday when we were discussing the Electoral Bill——

[740] An Cathaoirleach: Is the Senator persisting with this issue?

Mr. Costello: No.

An Cathaoirleach: Then you may ask the Leader a further question on the Order of Business and leave it at that.

Mr. Costello: I am directing my question to the Leader of the House.

An Cathaoirleach: It is not a matter for the Leader of the House and I am sure he will tell you that. It is a matter for the Committee on Procedure and Privileges.

Mr. Costello: It is a matter which should be brought to the attention of the House.

Mr. O'Keeffe: I refer to item No. 48 on the Order Paper and to ask if there is a typographical error in the Fine Gael motion because the name of Senator Kennedy is missing. I congratulate Senator Ross on bringing the Fine Gael Party along liberal lines.

An Cathaoirleach: It is not relevant to today's business.

Mr. O'Keeffe: I am sure it would be appreciated by Senator MacMahon if he were present today.

Mr. Wright: I would welcome debates on the Middle East and South Africa but as I outlined in the last couple of weeks our legislative programme is such that we will have at least ten Bills to deal with between now and the summer recess. I will ask the Leaders and Whips to agree to suspend topical debates for the next couple of weeks on the basis that we have always maintained the legislative programme would take priority. I would welcome such debates but there are seven Bills on the Order Paper at the moment and at least another three or four will be with us before the summer recess.

Order of Business agreed to.