Mr. Speaker, the occasion for the committee rising was that it might be clearly understood what is the proper course to be pursued on days other than Thursday or Friday. I raised the point that we could not go into Committee of Supply on Saturday without a motion put that you leave the chair. My
hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Hazen) said that he was under the impression that it was quite proper for us to go into Supply to-day without question iput, and I think he was sustained in that view by the clerk assistant. The motion passed on the 22nd of June was as follows:
On motion of Sir Robert Borden, it was resolved, that on and after Saturday, the seventh of July, proximo, and on Saturdays* until the end of the ipresent session, the House shall meet at three o'clock in the afternoon; and the order of precedence on Saturdays shall be the same as on Fridays.
I maintain that that does not in any way affect the rule of the House that on Thursdays and Fridays you leave tihe chair without motion put, but on other days the motion must be put.
I am not in a position to give a reasoned opinion at the moment on the point of order Tafsed by the hon. member for St. John. I left the chair, taking it for granted that the procedure on Saturdays would be precisely the same as upon Fridays, and under Rule 17C I left the chair without putting any question.
If the motion of the Prime Minister had been that the procedure on Saturdays shall be the same as on Fridays there would he no difficulty, because the procedure on Fridays is that you leave the chair, Sir, without any question being put. But his motion was not as to the procedure, but as to the order of precedence. The motion simply provided that on Saturdays the same order of business should prevail as on Fridays. As a rule, the Government, at the beginning of a session, takes Tuesdays and Fridays, but on all other days the business of private members has precedence.
one of considerable importance and requires careful consideration, I would prefer to take the matter under advisement and have time to give a reasoned opinion. At the moment, if pressed for a ruling, I would rule that I can leave the Chair on Saturdays without question put.
, Mr. HAZEN: There is no disposition to press your Honour for a ruling at the moment. I think, without prejudice, we might by unanimous consent of the House go into Committee of Supply, and His Honour might be able to give his ruling on the point of order raised next Monday.
I had started to say that a number of years ago, when the Government of Mr. McKenzie was in power, steps were taken to protect the harbour of St. John from storms by the construction of a breakwater extending from Negro Town point on the western side of the harbour across to Partridge island at the entrance of the harbour. That breakwater has been constructed for a certain distance, but there is a gap remaining between the end1 of the breakwater and Partridge island. The intention always was that that gap should be filled, as will be seen by any hon. gen-telman who has curiosity enough to go to the Public Works Department and look at the plans that have been on file there for many years past. An agitation, however, arose on the part of the schooner owners and others, who complained that if the gap was closed thev would have to take a longer route around Partridge island in order' to enter the harbour, and as a result the work was delayed for many years. The agitation has now entirely ceased, and to-day there is no opposition by any interest in the community, to the construction of this work.
It has been talked about for twenty years. There is a universal feeling that the closing up of this gap is essential to the safety of the port and for the protection both of the private wharves and those wharves that have been constructed of late years at considerable expense by this Parliament.
At the present time practically all the vessels coming into the*harbour are propelled by steam or gasolene. There is not a fishing boat that comes up from the island or along the shore that has not a gasolene engine in it, and there is consequently little trouble in running the mile or two extra to get around the island. In addition to that, the schooner trade is not as important as it was in .years gone by. The necessity for this work had been recognized, I think, for very many years past. It has been recognized by those interested in the business of the port, and the construction of the work has been urged from time to time by the Board of
Trade and other public bodies. In 1914, some time before the outbreak of the war, tenders were invited for the construction of the extension to this breakwater. The tenders were received soon after the outbreak of the war. It was stated in the House the other day that the work was not proceeded with because the Government thought the tenders too high, but that was not the case. It was not because of the price at all, if I recollect the circumstances, for the officers of the department considered the price fair and reasonable; but the work whs not gone on with, because the war having broken, out, it was thought desirable to retard construction of all public works as much as possible. Conditions to-day, however, are such that I think it is imperatively necessary that the work should be proceeded with.