January 31, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)

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Thomas Hay

Right. Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I may say to my hon. friend in regard to reappointing a committee to revise the rules that, as he is aware, we have had two such committees, in the two previous sessions and, as my hon. friend has just observed, there did not seem to be that measure of agreement between hon. members that one would have wished to see. The government has considered this matter, and we have thought that for this session it might be: preferable to adopt the practice that has been followed in the United Kingdom, of passing, where it is thought necessary or advisable, what are known as sessional orders; that is to say, from time to time special resolutions which will govern procedure on the matters for one session only. In that way it will be possible to test out how a particular order may work. If it is found that it works satisfactorily, it is altogether probable that the rules would be amended in accordance with what had proven to be a wise course to follow. That is the view which the government holds at the moment. In the light of what my hon. friend has said, we would of course be happy to reconsider all aspects of it.
As to the question of arranging the business of the house in as orderly a fashion as possible,
I would say that I thought the conference which was held the other day in my office with the leader of the opposition and the leaders of the other parties was a good begin-ing in that direction-I hope that we may have meetings of that kind as the session goes on with a view to trying to arrange the business so that it will be proceeded with as rapidly and as orderly as possible.
As to the estimates, I have nothing to say at the moment beyond this, that it is a matter to which we shall also be glad to give consideration.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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