June 8, 1951

?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MORNING SITTINGS ON AND AFTER MONDAY, JUNE 11
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

That being so, then it should be possible-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MORNING SITTINGS ON AND AFTER MONDAY, JUNE 11
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?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

May I suggest to the leader of the opposition that the legislation should not be discussed at this time, nor should the reports of the Massey or transportation commission.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I have placed before the house certain reasons why I believe the business of the house can be so facilitated as not to require a second session of parliament, where we would have a new speech from the throne and an extended debate, with time consumed in discussing matters which could well await the beginning of a regular session at the first of next year.

I come now to the necessity for a motion of this kind, a necessity which presents itself year after year. I know that members of the government do not welcome a statement along these lines, because it has been made before. The reason why we are going to be asked to sit at eleven o'clock every day and to sit every night-we are not opposing it, because we face a situation which has been forced upon us-is that there has been no direction of the business of this house from the day the house met at the beginning of this year. There has been no planning of the debates of this house. We have estimates brought up, they continue for a short time in debate, then that is stopped and they are revived some time later when a completely new debate starts. At the present time there are several departments which have been called, have been debated, then have been debated again after a short time, and will be brought before the house again.

I am quite prepared to concede that it has never been the practice in this house to follow the practice with regard to agreed schedule of debate which has been accepted at Westminster. One reason why we do not even approximate anything of that kind, one reason why members have no way of knowing in advance when any debate is to come forward, is that there is no attempt to plan in advance when important debates will

Business of the House come on. At Westminster-and, after all, we have patterned our course largely on their practice-they know a week or two weeks in advance when a debate is going to take place on any subject of major importance. The members are then able to plan their time accordingly. Members of this house certainly have demonstrated the fact that it is necessary for them to be away on a number of occasions, on duties that undoubtedly are connected with their service here; but when it is necessary for them to be away from the house on those duties it is also desirable that they be able to plan such other appointments with some knowledge of when debates will take place.

We could have disposed of all the business of this house before this time, and no such motion as this would now be necessary if there were some knowledge of when debates were going to come on. I know that it can easily be said that there are so many speeches made in the debate on the speech from the throne and on the budget, but one reason why many of those speeches are made is that there is a cynical certainty in the minds of many members of this house that the government is going to defer a lot of important items until the last, so that the very inconvenience of members may make it possible to rush through those items.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MORNING SITTINGS ON AND AFTER MONDAY, JUNE 11
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

It is all very well for members on the other side who do not like a remark of that kind, and who make noises that do not find their way into Hansard, to pretend that they do not think that is so. But I know that most of them do think it is so, because they have said so to me in discussion from time to time. Every member of this house knows perfectly well that many items of great importance are kept until the end of the session so that the very pressure of the warm days that come in the month of June is likely to make it possible to hasten discussion on what otherwise might be at some times embarrassing subjects.

So far as this motion is concerned, this house can within the next few weeks do a great deal more business than will otherwise be done if the government is prepared to indicate the sequence in which it proposes to take up business, not one day ahead, not two days ahead, but a week or two weeks ahead. " If that is done, members will know that they are going to have the opportunity to discuss a particular subject, and the business of this house will be facilitated.

On this motion we find the only appropriate opportunity to discuss the suggestions that have been made in regard to furthering the business of this house. I submit that

3846 HOUSE OF

Business of the House there is no occasion for a second session this year. Members of this house-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MORNING SITTINGS ON AND AFTER MONDAY, JUNE 11
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An hon. Member:

You did not say that

before.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

In answer to a remark that I

hear from one government supporter that I did not say that before, I did say that before. I am simply repeating what I said when this announcement was made. The members of this house are by now fully aware of the fact that this proposal has been generally accepted by the press throughout Canada, and doubtless by the people who have read that press, as a device to increase the indemnity of the members.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

I rise to a point of

order, Mr. Speaker. I love to call the leader of the opposition to order. I have enough confidence in parliament and in my colleagues of all parties to believe-

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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. Will the hon.

member state his point of order?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

My point of order is

this, Mr. Speaker. I do not think that the leader of the opposition meant, in all seriousness, the suggestion he made that we are here, irrespective of party, for what we can get out of it.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, Hansard will

show quite clearly what I said. What I said was that the members must be aware that the press across this country and those who read the press have drawn the conclusion-

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Subtopic:   MORNING SITTINGS ON AND AFTER MONDAY, JUNE 11
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An hon. Member:

You read only Tory

papers.

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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

-or have drawn the inference that this is a device for double indemnity. After all, I find an editorial in the Montreal Gazette-

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Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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An hon. Member:

What about the Globe

and Mail?

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to refer to this paper, the Montreal Gazette, as one of the most responsible and most experienced publications in Canada. I see that on June 6 there was an editorial with the heading "A Case of Double Indemnity". Then in the Ottawa Journal-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MORNING SITTINGS ON AND AFTER MONDAY, JUNE 11
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MORNING SITTINGS ON AND AFTER MONDAY, JUNE 11
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June 8, 1951