March 15, 1921

UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I am afraid that when I withdraw it I shall do so with a strong prejudice against the view entertained by the hon. gentleman. Mr. Chairman, I am prepared to withdraw my request that resolution 4 be now read.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The Minister of Justice having withdrawn his request that the resolution be now read, it cannot be considered as having been placed before the committee. My ruling upon the point of order is that the hon. minister was under the rules perfectly justified in asking that resolution 4 be now read by the Chairman, and thus placed before the committee for consideration.

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

May I ask you a question, Mr. Chairman? Could all the ministers call the Estimates of their departments on the same day?

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

If the hon. member

will allow me, I will first cite the rule and then answer his question. Rule 13, paragraph 4, provides that the rules of the House shall be observed in the Committee of the whole House, so far as applicable, except the rules as to the seconding of motions and limiting the number of times of speaking. Rule 31, section 2, provides that whenever Government business has precedence Government orders may be called in such sequence as the Government may think fit. The Estimates are Government business, and when the different resolutions in the Estimates are before the committee they may be called in such sequence as the Government may think fit. In answer to the question asked by the hon. member for Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe), as to whether all hon. ministers could call the Estimates of their different departments upon the same day, I would say that if the committee would consent to dispose of those Estimates with sufficient speed to allow them to do so, the ministers would have that right except on Thursday or Friday when their Estimates have not previously been taken up. This is quite frequently done during the last days of a session. It must be remembered, however, that while any hon. member has the floor, and while any one item is before the committee no hon. minister has the right to propose any other item. When the Minister of Justice proposed that resolution 4 be called, resolution 40 had been carried.

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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Then the only course

which the Opposition would have to follow to prevent a minister from calling the items of any other department would be to keep on discussing the previous item.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The only course is

to continue discussion upon the item then before the committee or move that the committee rise.

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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Guysborough) :

May I point out that the Minister of Agriculture had carried his item and there was nothing before the committee? How could the committee continue discussing something that was not before it?

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

That is precisely the ruling of the Chair. Item 40 having been carried there was nothing before the committee, and the Minister of Justice, under the rules, had the absolute right to propose item 4.

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UNION

March 15, 1921