If the hon. gentlemen's friends will agree, I think the suggestion is a good one, but I am a little afraid that the Bill would be subject to still some criticism because it is of such a character that there must be many varying opinions regarding many of its provisions.
Well, I have been always in the hands of the House.
Mr, MONK. I think there is something in the suggestions of my hon. friend, in view of the position we are in in relation to the end of the session. I am afraid he will take up considerable time with the
Bill. The Bill has for its object to extend restrictions, as the minister has stated. Many details of it can be disposed of easily. But I think it is a great pity that the Bill was not brought on sooner. It is a condition that has existed ever since I came into this House that important measures are brought in only afteT prorogation has been determined upon. But I desire that the Bill should be gone on with, and I think we can put it in shape with a small committee.
I do not like the reference of a Bill like this to a small committee. The discussion in the House is a great educator to the members of the House. We do not all follow a Bill of this kind as closely as my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) or my hon. friend from Lennox (Mr. Uriah Wilson) who has given it special study. For my part, I prefer hearing the discussion in order to get acquainted with the character of the Bill. I may give my special attention to some other measure, while other hon. members devote their attention to this, and I want to get the benefit of their researches and the benefit also of whatever the minister has to say. 1 believe that is the feeling of many hon. members. I am not one of those willing always to accept the dictum or opinion of other hon. members without giving some consideration to the matter. The first minister informed me to-night that prorogation will take place not later than the 19th. It does not make any difference whether we are to spend another half day on this Bill or not, because prorogation i3 going to take place at that time.
While there is a great deal in what my hon. friend from Halton (Mr. Henderson) has said, yet, when the sub-committee brings in its report-, if he wishes to ask a question a member of the committee will be able to satisfy him in a moment or two why a certain decision was arrived at, while the discussion across the floor of the House may take an hour or two.
I think it would be a disadvantage to have a large committee. The House will be sitting, and as the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson) has said, members desire to be in the House and know what is going on.
I think this Bill is of such an important character to the whole country, that the representatives of the people generally should have the privilege of hearing the discussion and of participating in it. It seems to me that this is a matter which should not be referred to a small committee, but which should be threshed out in the House. The further welfare of the country is vitally concerned in this Bill. The measure is lengthy as well as important. It would be better that it should stand over for another year rather that it should be dealt with in a sub-committee, and, perhaps, hurriedly pushed through the House as a result of their report. I confess that I cannot consider favourably the suggestion of my hon. friend.
I share the feelings of the hon. member for Digby in this respect. It is Monday night, and twelve o'clock. Not many, members are here now, but I hardly think that that can be taken as a fair index of the interest that may be expected to be displayed in this Bill. Some of us have read the measure through, and some are looking forward to the full discussion from an educational point of view. There are many members absent, who, I think, will be disappointed if they have not an opportunity of hearing the explanation given by the minister on the various clauses as the Bill goes through.