Page 3213 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013
MADAM SPEAKER: Yes, he has.
Mr Corbell: It would be unprecedented for the Assembly to refuse to allow that process to be embarked upon.
MADAM SPEAKER: Just to clarify—thank you, Mr Coe; and I do acknowledge that I am in the Assembly’s hands here to a great extent—Mr Gentleman has presented the report. The Clerk has it. And it is necessary for that report to be presented so that the minutes can be perused by non-members of the committee.
That being the case, the report is presented. Could the way forward be that at this stage we adjourn the debate on the question that the report be noted?
Mr Corbell: That is a question for debate, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: I am looking for a way forward, because I have been confronted with a problem and I do not know the extent of it, and I think it needs to be deliberated upon. The options are that Mr Gentleman or someone adjourns the debate or, alternatively, that Mr Gentleman speaks to it and then, at the end of his speaking, the debate would be adjourned. I think one of those things would perhaps be the best way forward. I am in the Assembly’s hands as to what you would like to do. Mr Gentleman.
Mr Gentleman: Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to speak to the report. And I—
Mr Smyth interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Can we get more than a sentence out, please, Mr Smyth?
Mr Gentleman: Yes, I will finish. I had intended to speak to the report. The point of order has come up in the meantime and that is what we are discussing at the moment, the point of order.
MADAM SPEAKER: Yes.
Mr Gentleman: So I am happy, now that the report has been presented, to speak to the report and have an opportunity for the debate to be adjourned afterwards.
MADAM SPEAKER: Are members happy with that as a way of proceeding?
Mr Smyth: Does the report, by being tabled, attract privilege? And are we then tabling, in this guise of being able to speak to it, a report that has not been authorised by the committee?
MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, the report has already been circulated out of session.
Mr Smyth: It has been circulated but it has not been tabled in this place.