March 26, 1931 (17th Parliament, 2nd Session)


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)



Yes, the 12th of March, and with the Easter vacation following so soon thereafter, it means that we will be well on into the year before we make much headway with the business of the session. Having regard to the fiscal year, I do not think parliament was ever before summoned so late. I remember that when the recent Liberal administration came into office in
192.1, it was the month of March when parliament was called together, though not as late as the 12th of March. The government of that day, however, was formed at the end of December; the present government came into being in the early part of August. It should have been possible for the administration to have arranged for the meeting of parliament in the month of January, or at the latest in the month of February.
Speaking on this subject, I would suggest to whatever government may be in office at any time the wisdom of bringing members together in the month of January, and arranging in due course for an Easter recess of a reasonable length. There is much to be said for an Easter recess of at least ten days or a fortnight, especially where parliament has been sitting for two or three months prior to that time; the ministry needs an opportunity of the kind in order to keep abreast of departmental and sessional duties, and to hon. members as well a short interval in which to give quiet thought to matters under dis-,cussion is all to the good. Excepting as to the lateness of the summoning of parliament,
I have not any criticism to offer with respect to the adjournment now suggested in view more particularly of the circumstances which the Prime Minister has mentioned.
Might I say to my right hon. friend, however, that he will probably be asking for interim supply before the adjournment. We shall endeavour to accommodate him, blit I hope he will also at the same time accommodate the house to some extent. There are on the order paper, many notices for the production of papers. I would ask that when the rules are being suspended to permit of interim supply being passed, the government also ask for suspension to permit of these motions being passed upon by the house, in order that the papers may, if possible, be brought down before the Easter adjournment. It would be of assistance to us to have the material called for in the notices of motion to look over during the recess.

Full View