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Bruton, John

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 Nbr. 1


Order of Business.

It is proposed to take No. 7, motion concerning Private Members' Business; No. 8, motion concerning ministerial rota for parliamentary questions; No. 17, Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Bi...More Button

I am not certain that legislation as such is at issue; the provision of resources and people willing and able to implement existing legislation is the question that needs to be dealt with. This w...More Button

The Government is conscious of the provisions of the Programme for Competitiveness and Work relating to industrial peace during the currency of the programme which, with the partnership appr...More Button

These matters will be the subject of discussion between Government and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions this afternoon and are of relevance to all involved in social partnership. Clearly, the im...More Button

Legislation is not promised and I am not in a position to give any further information on the matter at this point.More Button

I said legislation is not promised on that matter and there is not a proposal to introduce legislation. The Deputy should not seek to add or subtract in respect of what I said.More Button

I did not say what the Deputy suggested; I said in regard to the question of forensic testing, whether or not it would occur, there are rights of defendants as well as rights of possible prosecutee...More Button

The legislation will be introduced in the first half of next year.More Button

In the autumn of this year.More Button

Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 1996: First Stage.

No.More Button

Order of Business (Resumed).

I will answer the Deputy's question if the Chair deems it in order.More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - All-Party Talks.

Was asked: whether he has a particular indicative time-frame in mind for all-party talks.More Button

Was asked: if he will report on the indicative time-frame he envisages for all-party negotiations as outlined in his speech in Finglas in Dublin on 30 April 1996.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 2 together.More Button

The Government believes the principles and procedures set out in the ground rules paper offer the necessary reassurance to all parties that the talks commencing on 10 June will be both meaningful a...More Button

The British legislation provides, as a matter of prudence, for negotiations over a period of up to one year with the option of a second year. As I indicated in Finglas, however, there may be value...More Button

I would encourage all the participants to consider my suggestion carefully in the interests of advancing the all-party talks towards their ultimate objective — a political agreement to underp...More Button

The answer to all the Deputy's questions is yes. I am not aware of any suggestion by any party in the House that those currently engaged in violence or threatening violence should be represented a...More Button

It is very important that there be honest and open discussion of the assumptions which underlie policy positions adopted. The cause of peace is not served by failing to identify honest disagreemen...More Button

There is no difference between making threats and the reality because they have the same political purpose and intimidatory nature. It is very important that there should be neither violence nor t...More Button

The Deputy should read what I said in Mullingar and consider whether she disagrees with it. If she agrees with it perhaps she could explain on what principle she believes such statements should no...More Button

——in regard to the most important issue of all, that is peace on this island. We will not advance the cause of peace by failing to discuss honestly and in a respectful fashion such dif...More Button

I have no problem in meeting any of the political parties who wish to meet me. If the parties in question wish to meet me I will be happy to meet them.More Button

The Deputy has misread my statement. I said that certain changes in law would need to be made with regard to carrying out forensic tests. At present there is no barrier to carrying out forensic t...More Button

I also made the point that, given our written Constitution, there is the possibility that some people might claim their potential defence could be disadvantaged by the absence of such tests. It wo...More Button

There are no plans in the legislation we are preparing for the carrying out of forensic tests on decommissioned weapons. So that the legislation will be consonant with the Constitution, it is nece...More Button

There are those who may believe that legislation on this issue is a simple matter. However, given that we have a written Constitution, there are certain problems which need to be taken into accoun...More Button

In reply to the first question I would refer the Deputy to the Joint Communiqué agreed with the British Prime Minister which stated in regard to the opening of talks on 10 June that all part...More Button

With regard to the Deputy's second question, I cannot say whether there is a hardening of positions for electoral purposes. As we move into an electoral phase there will be a tendency for people t...More Button

With regard to demonstrations of traditional loyalties it is important that people should have respect for those who do not necessarily share those loyalties. Parades should be conducted with resp...More Button

Senator Mitchell and the other members of the international body made a truly remarkable contribution to the peace process. The clarity and simplicity of their report was very helpful to both Gove...More Button

I have no doubt that the Deputy's question is legitimate but it is important not to think in such terms. We must work ceaselessly and energetically to ensure that all relevant parties are present ...More Button

Obstacles such as the precondition of a gesture on decommissioning were preventing agreement on a date for the talks and have been removed. If the maintenance of a cessation of violence was justi...More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Government Task Forces.

Was asked: the number of Government task forces in which his Department is involved.More Button

The Implementation Task Force on Communicating Europe is chaired by Deputy Gay Mitchell, Minister of State for European Affairs at my Department. My Department is also represented at official leve...More Button

I answered the question as posed. I will seek to supply any further information required by the Deputy and I draw his attention to Question No. 45 of 26 March, in the name of Deputy O'Dea, which p...More Button

There is no uniform practice in relation to task forces. Where it is plainly required, a Department with lead responsibility will co-ordinate the project and other Departments will hold subsidiary ...More Button

Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Strategic Management Initiative.

Was asked: if he will report on the discussions, if any, he has had with groups representing civil and public servants in the wake of the publication of the strategic management initiative.More Button

On 2 May 1996, the Government announced details of Delivering Better Government — a Programme of Change for the Irish Civil Service. This programme, which was developed by the co-ordin...More Button

On Wednesday 1 May, senior officials met representatives of the public services committee of ICTU, the Civil Service General Council and the Association of Assistant Secretaries to outline the cont...More Button

A key element in the overall implementation of the recommendations of the report is the participation of staff at all levels and, in particular, the input of front line staff in the development of ...More Button

There is no exact date for its introduction. The legislation is being developed at present and I will inform the Deputy of a likely date as soon as possible.More Button

As responsibility for particular functions is devolved on a specific basis to particular offices, it is likely that the officers responsible will provide explanations of their work on a more freque...More Button

There is a distinction to be drawn between matters for which officials are responsible in terms of executive responsibility for carrying out policy on which it is reasonable for them to give interv...More Button

It is important to make the point that the strategic management initiative document——More Button

I thank the Deputy for reminding me of the resources that are available. The report launched last week sets out in detail for the first time, a statement of the respective responsibilities of Mini...More Button

Under the 1924 Act Ministers are responsible for everything. Given the size of our public service now, this is at variance with reality, but that is the law. Clearly, legal change is necessary to ...More Button

As I have already indicated there are not specific statutory rules governing this matter. As Ministers are responsible for everything, from a legalistic point of view, their consent is necessary f...More Button

I am aware of that.More Button

In regard to the Ministers and Secretaries Act, the Deputy's views are reasonable. As the House is undoubtedly aware, I have offered to consult the Opposition parties on a quarterly basis on the p...More Button

I agree with the Deputy that the names of officials should be given in all Departments. I am sorry to learn that is not the case. I also agree with him that redeployment is important. One of the...More Button

It would be best if the Deputy were to address a question to the Minister for Finance on that matter.More Button

Written Answers. - Appointments to State Bodies.

Was asked: the persons appointed by him to the boards of semi-State companies and other organisations under the aegis of his Department since February 1995; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The information sought by the Deputy was provided in reply to written Question No. 109 of 20 February 1996. Since that date, the following persons have been appointed to the boards of semi-State c...More Button