Assembly Standing Orders

Part of the debate – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:45 pm on 9th March 1999.

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Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble First Minister of Northern Ireland, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party 3:45 pm, 9th March 1999

Mr Haughey has a point when he says that the application of 47(4) does not necessarily cover the size of a committee. It occurred to me on rereading the Standing Orders today that 47(4) could be interpreted as relating to the means of selection rather than to the overall size. In the light of Mr Haughey’s argument, it occurs to me that it would be possible, by increasing the size and applying the principle of proportionality, to arrive at a result where all parties where represented. I would have no objection to the spirit of that with regard to the four committees that were identified by the Standing Orders Committee on 2 March. That might be something that could very well be taken back to the Standing Orders Committee.