I wish to call the attention of the House, in- connection with this bill, to Rule 50 dealing with bills relating to trade, which reads as follows:
No bill relating to trade, or the alteration of the laws concerning trade, is to be brought into this House, until the proposition shall have been first considered in a committee of the whole House, and agreed unto by the House.
I find that bills concerning patents and copyright were once considered as relating to trade, but at page 499 of the fourth edition of Bourinot it is stated, after enumerating which bills come within the rule, that-
Bills respecting patents and copyright have been presented without committee.
That is, without the usual resolution preceding their introduction. On the same page there is also the following footnote bearing on this point:
In 1872 a bill to amend and consolidate the patent laws was based on a resolution. But this was an irregularity as the bill merely imposed fees.
I am informed by the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Robb) that the present consolidation is of the same nature; it will impose fees and nothing else. On this assumption I consider that the bill does not come within Rule 50, and therefore he may proceed with its introduction.