Seanad Éireann - Volume 155 - 30 April, 1998

Business of Seanad.

Mr. Connor: We now have a change to the Order of Business.

An Cathaoirleach: The Order of Business is as proposed by the Leader and the question is decided. There can be no further discussion on the Order of Business.

Mr. Connor: I agree but this is a matter of clarification. The Leader has stated that he does not mind if there is a sos between Second Stage and Committee Stage.

An Cathaoirleach: That can be determined at the end of Second Stage. At the end of Second Stage the question will be put as to when it is proposed to take Committee Stage and that question will be decided then.

Mr. Connor: I do not wish to argue. We have determined that we will take all Stages of the Bill today. It would be helpful if we agreed the length of the sos between Second and Committee Stages now.

An Cathaoirleach: It is normal that such agreements are arrived at by the Whips of the groups.

Mr. Gallagher: It is normal for consultation to take place beforehand as well.

An Cathaoirleach: Consultation between the Whips is not a matter for the House.

Ms O'Meara: It would be useful if the Leader of the House indicated now what length of sos he plans to take at the end of Second Stage.

Mr. Cassidy: I will assess the situation at the end of Second Stage if there are amendments.

Mr. Connor: There is a statutory length of time for a speech on an amendment.

Ms O'Meara: Could the Leader consult the Whips in that regard?

An Cathaoirleach: Whether the Whips want to consult on this is a matter for them.

Mr. Connor: This is unfair to a spokesperson like myself who must draft amendments and have a timescale to do so. It is only fair that we should be informed.

[459] An Cathaoirleach: I assure Senator Connor that I will exercise my discretion in relation to the tabling of amendments.