Seanad Éireann - Volume 136 - 10 June, 1993

Order of Business.

Mr. Wright: Today's Order of Business is item 1, Committee Stage and Final Stages of the Finance Bill. With the [1182] agreement of the House we will take Part I between now and 1 p.m. There will be a sos between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. We will deal with Parts II and III between 2 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. and with Parts IV, V, VI and VII between 4.30 and 7 p.m.

Mr. Manning: The Order of Business as outlined by the Leader of the House is acceptable, although the idea of getting the entire Committee Stage and Final Stages of the Bill through the House in one day is unsatisfactory and indicates that there is no possibility of our changing anything in the Bill. To be meaningful and real this debate should be stretched over a number of days in Committee.

Mr. O'Toole: We always take the view that the most pragmatic approach is the best approach to getting business done. We indicated yesterday that we hoped business would be finished by 11 p.m. and it was. We are prepared to agree to today's Order of Business as long as it does not prohibit anybody from dealing with any of the sections. There should be flexibility from the Leader if there is an area which requires further debate or if more speakers wish to offer. We recognise that it is a pragmatic approach. We have indicated to the Government side that we do not disagree with the general approach to trying to get business done, but we would ask for flexibility in dealing with that matter.

I hope the Leader in his reply will be able to confirm for the record of the House that the issue of the university Senators' accommodation has finally been sorted out. I would ask him to confirm that work will begin immediately and continue through the weekend so we can move into our new offices next week. I wish to record my appreciation of the commitment he has given.

Mr. Cregan: Common sense is all that is needed.

Mr. Dardis: The Leader has made a reasonable arrangement in his organisation of the time. It is important that [1183] we discuss the various aspects of the Bill and this is a way of achieving that. I would agree with Senator O'Toole that there should be a degree of flexibility. If we need to discuss some aspect of the Bill in detail, we should be given the time to do that. Having said that, I accept that it is a reasonable arrangement.

It would be appropriate, with your permission, to congratulate Peter Sutherland on his appointment as Director General of GATT, which reflects tremendous credit on himself and on Ireland. He has a difficult job to find an agreement but we wish him well in that task. It will be to the advantage of the world economy if such an agreement is reached.

Mr. Neville: I also congratulate Peter Sutherland and wish him well on his appointment. He will do a good job. Garrett FitzGerald showed foresight when he selected Mr. Sutherland as our European Commissioner.

Mr. Wright: The House will agree that flexibility is required. The Minister in question has always been accommodating to the Seanad and I am sure that Members will agree to be flexible.

With regard to the issue raised by Senator O'Toole, I hope we will receive a definite commitment tomorrow morning that the issue will be resolved by the weekend. Next week the issue will no longer be on the agenda.

Order of Business agreed to.