Seanad Éireann - Volume 138 - 09 December, 1993

Order of Business.

Mr. Wright: It is proposed to take Item 1, all Stages of the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill, 1993 and Item 2, Second Stage of the National Monuments (Amendments) Bill, 1993, until 1 o'clock. There will be a sos from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. followed by Item 3, statements on the farm retirement scheme between [1282] 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. On Item 3, I suggest a limit of ten minutes per person.

Mr. Manning: I suggest the Whips organise the length of individual contributions in accordance with the number of speakers offering. We are coming to the end of this session and I am informed that there is a full programme of work next week with a large number of Bills. At the beginning of this session we said, as we say every year, that we do not want a situation where Bills are being rushed through all stages in one day. That is what is being proposed for next week. With an item such as the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill, 1993, there is no difficulty in taking all Stages. However, I want to say now that we will not agree to all stages of Bills being taken in one day next week, unless it is a matter of extreme urgency or the Bill is uncomplicated. I am saying this in advance of the Whips' meeting today.

I pay tribute to those involved in last night's dramatic air-sea rescue operation off the west coast. The bravery of those involved is something we should all appreciate as a community.

Mr. Norris: I would like to join Senator Manning in congratulating those involved in the rescue, particularly the pilot of the helicopter which was flown to Galway.

I welcome the fact that the Interpretation (Amendment) Bill, 1993, has eventually reached the floor of this House. I remind the House that this was originally a Bill I put forward four years ago and I have been urging that it should be taken.

Mr. Manning: That was after Senator Avril Doyle.

Mr. Norris: Yes, certainly, stolen. But at least I put it forward as a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Women's Rights after consultation with the Fine Gael Member who had——

[1283] Mr. Lanigan: That is one way of extending the time for discussion on the Bill.

Mr. Norris: The point I am making is a point of principle, unaffected by the interruptions from my own side, which is that it is ironic that this should happen the week after we had a contribution from the Government side saying it would be a good thing if they accepted legislation from sources other than the Government alone. Here we have the Government once again poaching a piece of legislation.

Mr. Lanigan: Surprise, surprise.

Mr. Norris: It is rather interesting. I would also like to ask if the Leader will provide time for a discussion on the tourism industry. I realise that time is short before Christmas but perhaps it could be arranged for early in the New Year. I am sure the Leader knows about the significant intervention of the Minister for Tourism and Trade in supplementing, if I can use a non-controversial phrase, the work of Bord Fáilte in North America.

Mr. Wright: The Whips will meet afterwards to discuss next week's programme of legislation. In the New Year we will definitely have a debate on the tourism industry.

I would like to put on the record my congratulations to the pilot and his team involved in the rescue operation off the west coast. All the emergency services, including the ESB, must be warmly congratulated on their work during last night's storms.

Order of Business agreed to.