Well, that question came up in the Committee on Private Bills and also in the House, and the expression of the House indicated clearly its desire to hold that power in its own hands and not delegate it to anybody else. The most frequent applications are in cases where the parties allowed the time to elapse within which they had the right to extend the life of their patent by paying the additional fees, and then apply to parliament to have that extension of life which the department is debarred from granting them through their own fault. I have constant application for such extensions but am absolutely powerless. If the government were to undertake to grant an extension by Order in Council, once the delay for granting it has expired, that would be of no effect, because it is distinctly contrary to the law. The parties have to apply to this House to pass a private Bill for that purpose, and the question which the hon. gentleman has put has frequently been discussed both in the Private Bills Committee and the House. Two years ago the question came up of amending the Act in the direction suggested. What I proposed was that after a patent had expired without any commercial use having been made of it, and the inventor subsequently found a chance of utilizing his invention, we should give to the Exchequer Court the power to reinstate such a patent under certain conditions. A Bill to that effect was submitted to a special committee and the committee failed to report on it, and I believe did so designedly. Under the circumstances, I felt that this House did not desire to delegate its power in this respect to anv other body. On several other occasions also, both in the Private Bills Committee and in the House, it has been made clear that parliament does not wish to divest itself of this power.
Does the hon. gentleman recollect any cases which, if not dealt with by himself, were dealt with by an officer of the department who afterwards reported to him, and in which members of this House did appear on behalf of the parties interested.