This happens to be a question of the work of the Auditor General, because, as I said a day or two ago, the Auditor General, in the discharge of what he deems to be his duty, includes in his report correspondence which occurs down to the very eve of the meeting of the House. I am not sure that is the wisest possible plan, if we are to get the document promptly. But he desires, and it is a convenience no doubt to the members when the book comes out, that the correspondence should be placed in that part of the book where the particular matter referred to is found, and that keeps a large quantity of printing matter open and undetermined up to the very last day, on the eve of the session.
The copy goes down by stages, it is not matter that goes down all at once, that vast volume cannot be all tumbled into the hands of the Auditor General at once, he prepares his report from time to time. I am not prepared to say, I have not heard any complaint from him as to the time when he receives the copy, but I think the difficulty arises from the fact that the Auditor General, in his desire to do his work well and faithfully, tries to include documents covering a period down to the very eve of the meeting of the House. That is my own opinion of it, and while it is convenient for the members to get the document in that shape ultimately, it inevitably leads to some delay.
The correspondence is a part of the one and the same book, the document we are talking about; and if the Auditor General, in his desire to make these very interesting notes and comments, wishes to bring the book down to a very late date, I am sure he only does so for the convenience and information of parliament. But the plan has its disadvantages.
Of course the hon. gentleman is aware that the Auditor General's Report includes a large mass of documents. When we speak of the Auditor General's Report we speak of the whole printed book. Merely bringing down any special part of his report without all the details would not be a compliance with the statute.
I desire to call the attention of the premier to this fact, that many members who live west and north of Toronto, owing to the fact that there are no Sunday trains on a great many of the branch lines, are compelled to wait till Monday before they can start for Ottawa. So if there is nothing to be done to-morrow, and we have an opportunity of getting home to-night, we will have a couple of days at home without losing an extra day.
If my hon. friend will look at the Votes and Proceedings to-day he will find that the hon. member for East York (Mr. Maclean) has given notice that when the government moves the House into Committee of Supply, he will move a motion of a very important character. We can discuss it to-morrow.
With reference to the Auditor General's Report, if I remember rightly, there is an order of this House that the report shall be published before the 31st of October. Why is not that done? There is also a provision for its distribution before parliament meets.
It may be proper when the Public Accounts Committee is organized to have this subject discussed. With regard to bringing down the Auditor General's Report at the present time, the hon. gentleman knows that we are quite powerless in the matter.
If the House will pardon me, after what the First Minister has said I wish to repeat that I am willing to let the discussion on my motion go over until next week if that will suit the convenience of members. My hon. friend from West Huron (Mr. Holmes) has just come to me and says that he and others of his friends would like it to go over until Monday.
I agree with what the hon. member for Simcoe (Mr. Bennett) has said with reference to the adjournment. There are quite a number of members from the west who would like to return home, and who will necessarily lose Monday from the cause he stated. If some arrangement could be made whereby we would not lose Monday, it would be an advantage for the members from the west.