September 14, 1950 (21st Parliament, 3rd Session)


Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)


Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister) moved:

That when this house adjourns on completion of current business of the session it stand adjourned until February 14, 1951, provided always that if it appears to the satisfaction of Mr. Speaker, after consultation with His Majesty's government, that the public interest requires that the house should meet at an earlier time during the adjournment, Mr. Speaker may give notice that he is so satisfied, and thereupon the house shall meet at the time stated in such notice, and shall transact its business as if it had been duly adjourned to that time.
He said: Mr. Speaker, this motion is drafted in the terms that were used in 1941 and 1942. Of course the date mentioned is a pro forma date which is fixed to be beyond any time when, if nothing occurred requiring parliament to meet earlier, the 1951 session would be commencing. It also provides that, if in the meantime it should appear to the satisfaction of Mr. Speaker that the public interest requires an earlier meeting, he will have the authority to give notice that he is so satisfied and thus bring parliament together again.
By the terms of the resolution he is required to consult with the government in that respect, but that does not in any way imply that he is to be regarded in any other capacity than that which you, sir, assert to the representative of the crown when you take office, that you are the servant of the whole house. Therefore I am sure that Mr. Speaker will be quite prepared at any time to receive representations from any hon. member of the house that 69262-484
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in his view an earlier meeting is required. Of course Mr. Speaker, representing the whole house, would have to consider the reasons urged, and he would have the responsibility of deciding whether or not he was satisfied that the public interest required the house to meet earlier. It would be his decision. Of course he would consult the government, and the government would make available to him all information which it had bearing upon whatever subject was then the topic concerning which it was suggested that the house should meet earlier, but the responsibility for making the decision would be that of His Honour the Speaker, as the servant of the whole house.

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