Standards and Privilege

Part of Assembly Standing Orders – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 7:45 pm on 9th March 1999.

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Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer 7:45 pm, 9th March 1999

Before calling the next Member may I make a brief plea on behalf of the staff? Members normally expect Hansard to be produced the following day by about half past eight in the morning. That requires us usually to finish our debates about six o’clock, and it is clear that we shall go well beyond that.

An extraordinary richness of language will have to be attended to. We had esprit de corps from the First Minister, Latin from Mr Close, and Welsh and Ullans. I am not sure whether it was Mr Clarke or Mr O’Prey of our staff who gave me the translation from Italian into English as well as from Irish into English. That shows the range of skills at our disposal among the staff. [Interruption] From my recollection of recent Hansards, they seem to be particularly good on that. If the staff are to provide all that, it will take a little time.

Several Members wish to speak, and I call Mr Barry McElduff.