The hon. member (Mr. Marcil) is quite correct in what he says. That commission incidentally reported in reference to the number of blue-books which were printed and never used, and they made a recommendation in that respect. Recently I submitted to the Joint Committee on Printing of -both Houses a proposal tp reduce the number of some of these publications, and the committee dealt with the matter so far as they could in a report to the House, which was adopted yesterday. I have considered the matter carefully for some time, and it is my view that a committee should be appointed to take up the whole question of printing and distributing reports and parliamentary documents, so that it may be done on a more businesslike basis than is pursued at present. In my judgment, hundreds of thousands of dollars could be saved every year if the printing and distribution of these publications were curtailed. One of the recommendations of the commission to which my hon. friend (Mr. Marcil) has referred was a very good one: it was to the effect that the present system of distributing the blue-books should be done away with. These publications are now carted from the Printing Bureau to the distribution office of the House of Commons, and men are employed
to carry them around to the rooms of the members, who often refuse to take them, and they have to be piled up in the corridors. It was recommended that a post office or postal station should be established in or close to the PrintingBureau, from which officers of the Post Office Department could send the publications by mail, as a supply for the House of Commons and Senate, and thus save a lot of unnecessary labour and expense. Copies of these publications could be kept in a small library or distribution office in theHouse of Commons for the use ofmembers, of the Senate and House of Commons during the session, and a couple of employees could be placed in charge of them. There are now sent to each member two copies of each report published, which are duplicated in the
Sessional Papers, 24 copies of the Trade and Commerce Monthly Report, two copies of the same, in the Customs reports, and two copies of all other reports. It seems to me that there is a great waste of money in this, and that a good business committee composed of one or two of the deputy heads of departments, together with the King's Printer, the Superintendent of Printing, and a Minister of the Crown, would be able to recommend a cominonsense basis on which this distribution should be made. The present system is unbusinesslike and extravagant, and serves no good purpose. I have been told that some of these publications are not taken out of the post office by parties to whom they are granted, and have to be burned, which of course costs money.
Mr. MARCH,: The House is grateful to Mr. Speaker for the attention he has given to this matter, and while the same complaint existed in my time as Speaker I think it has grown even worse since. The French-speaking mepibers of the House have even greater reason to realize the waste, because when the blue-books are printed in English two copies of each are sent to them, and then a year or two afterwards when the translation is made they get another dose of the editions in French. Some of these are technical books and of no earthly use for any general purpo"e. The recommendation of the commission to which I referred, and the further recommendation of His Honour the Speaker tonight, are worthy of the attention of the Government. I wish to know if the minister has taken any action or intends to take any action in the matter.