On December 17 last the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Turriff) asked leave to introduce a Bill intituled ' An Act to amend the Dominion Lands Act.' An objection was raised, on a point of order, that the Bill should have been first considered by a Committee of the Whole before its introduction, on the ground that rule 77 applied to the case. Rule 77 provides that if any motion be made in the House for any public aid or charge upon the people, the consideration and debate thereof may not be presently entered upon, but shall be adjourned to a future day; and then should be referred to a Committee of the Whole House, before any vote do pass thereon. Not having had an opportunity of perusing the Bill at the time the objection was taken, the Bill was allowed to stand in order that this point might be considered. I have looked carefully through the Bill, which contains two clauses, the first of which provides that ' An entrant for
a purchased homestead may, within six months after the date of entry, abandon such homestead and make a second entry, and shall receive credit for the amount of principal paid on the first entry.' The second clause is substantially the same as far as the principle of rule 77 is concerned. I do not find here that any public aid or charge upon the people is provided for. The proposed Act simply provides that an entrant may abandon one lot of land to the government and take up another in lieu thereof, his cash payment to the government simply remaining to his credit on account of the second lot applied for. This is no charge upon the revenues of the country; nor can the substitution of one parcel of land for another be held to be equivalent to a charge or tax. Therefore, I think, the hon. member may introduce his Bill without reference to a Committee of the Whole House.