Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, I am anxious to oblige the house. It is entirely a matter of what is likely best to fulfil the wishes of hon. members and best to further public business. The plan on which the government was proceeding was to bring down as soon as possible our financial measures in toto. The estimates are already down. A resolution with respect to the war appropriation has just been advanced a stage from government notices of motion, and will hereafter appear under orders of the day. There is also now upon the order paper a resolution respecting the making of war supplies available for the united nations. In this way we have sought to give the house a complete picture of the sums which the government will ask to have appropriated. The budget will be brought down on Tuesday of next week.
A request has been made that we should establish the standing and select committees as rapidly as possible. Until all the committees are set up and until the house has had the preliminary statements with regard to total expenditures, with the sort of break-down that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition has asked for, so that hon. members may be able to study the details, I do not think we should interrupt the proceedings in order to hold a secret session. If the situation were so pressing that a secret session to discuss other matters would be regarded as more important than proceeding with the government's financial measures for the war, in the manner I have indicated, I would say that we would fix a day for a secret session forthwith; but if there is no situation that is being embarrassed by not having a
Business of the House
secret session at once I think the house would be in a better position to discuss in secret session matters pertaining to the war after it has had before it a complete picture of the financial situation. It is a matter of balancing. I should be glad to talk it over with my hon. friend and other leaders, if they so desire, and see if we cannot perhaps agree on a time that would be best.
Subtopic: REQUEST FOR SECRET SESSION