Wednesday, 12 March 2003
Order of Business.
Brian Hayes (Fine Gael)
The Leader will agree that the only way the House can work properly and effectively is when there is a measure of co-operation between the Government and the Opposition in respect of the business of the day. Yesterday was a parliamentary shambles, however, because information that was absolutely germane to the debate was only given at the start of Committee Stage of the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill, the Minister responsible for the legislation was not with us and important amendments could not be tabled because of the timeframe involved. Today it is proposed to guillotine the legislation at 4 p.m. There will be no co-operation from this side of the House on the Order of Business, as has been the case during the past week. I propose once again that No.2 be deleted from the Order of Business.
I stress to the saner Members on the Government side of the House, particularly the Leader, who I know is not behind this, to draw back from this and take time out. We are going through a parliamentary nonsense. Even at this late stage, the Leader should amend the Order of Business, remove Committee Stage of the Bill and engage in meaningful dialogue with the Opposition.