Take it back.
-to close off the discussion which arose in connection with the Department of Agriculture at a time when the Minister of Agriculture was unavailable to us, circulating around outside this chamber this afternoon.
Mr. Chairman, on a question of privilege, I have had an opportunity to read over the debates of this afternoon. On a number of occasions reference was made to the fact that neither I nor my assistant was here. My assistant went home yesterday sick. He is in bed sick at home. That is the only reason he is not here. This afternoon at four o'clock I was presented with the report of the board of Regina which is making decisions on what money should be paid to the individual farmers, the complete report, and I spent the afternoon going over that report. The work is not completed simply because I had to come into the house tonight and sit here and wait for this item. I have been waiting here now for it for an hour and a half.
Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):
If the minister would allow me-
I have the floor. A lot of things were said when I was not here. This afternoon I was considering a report that came in at four o'clock, the full report of what is due to the farmers under this vote. All I want to do is to back up what has already been said by the Minister of Finance, that this money is required before any payments whatsoever can be made on these items. If they must stand over until Monday, all well and good; but they could well be passed within the next half hour, and I do not know of any reason why we should not sit here and pass them.
I have one word to say. I am not quarrelling with the decision to carry these over until Monday, but I want to point out what I have pointed out earlier today, namely, that most of the discussion that has come from the opposition on a number of these items is not related to the items; it has been about general policy matters relating to the department. In most cases there has been no particular scrutiny of the particular amount that is asked for, but, as has always been the case in the past, there has been general discussion on policy matters relating to agriculture, veterans affairs, the Prince Edward Island car ferry, or what have you. Now, I will not accept for one moment the
assertion of the leader of the opposition that we are trying to blackmail anybody into doing anything.
I have been putting estimates through the house, including final supplementary estimates, longer than he has been here, and I have never tried to blackmail anybody. The practice that has been followed with respect to bringing down final supplemen-taries and the items that are included in them are in strict accordance with the practice ever since confederation, and when anybody tells me that I have tried to blackmail anybody else I just will not take it.
Mr. Chairman, I will agree that these are presented in exactly the same way that estimates have been presented. They have been presented in a way that was designed to prevent adequate discussion.
He has made a charge of bad faith against the government. I ask you if that is parliamentary.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
I assume that the house will be prepared to give unanimous consent to a detailed consideration of the supplementary estimates on Monday, which is ordinarily private members' day.
I certainly will consent, on behalf of the Conservative members of this house, to proceed with this on Monday, as we are anxious to facilitate the passing of these items.
Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):
One thing I think should be made clear, that has not been made clear, and that is-
Comedians. The house is