It is not the intention of the government to proceed with this vote to-night, but, as my hon. friend knows, a technical rule of the House would prevent us from going into Committee of
Supply on the estimates of any department on Thursday or Friday unless previously some item of those estimates had been called. The purpose therefore of calling this item to-night is simply, that on Thursday or Friday we may take up the estimates of the Customs department.
This item is hardly correct In order that when we come to discuss the vote hon. members will be aware exactly how it should stand, I would ask that an amending motion be made by my hon. friend from Quebec South (Mr. Power).
I move that item 13 be amended by inserting after the word "salaries" the words "including W. Ide, superintendent of staff, at $4,200." These words appeared in the estimates as prepared, but were inadvertently omitted from the printed estimates. The amount of the vote is not affected, this item being already provided for.
Mr. Ide's name was in the estimates as submitted to be printed, but through some error it was omitted. Reference to page 83 will show that the amount is set out in the twelfth line, "superintendent, staff $4,200." It does not increase the estimate at all. I have taken this procedure because last year the same thing happened when the estimates of the Post Office Department were before the committee. The name of Mr. Anderson had been omitted, and a similar motion was made to rectify the mistake, I was the mover of the motion when my friend the present Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) was acting for the Postmaster General.
I do not object at all to my hon. friend moving the motion, but I would direct attention to an incident that occurred the other day when we were discussing certain items. A motion was made by an hon. member on this side of the House directing where the vote should go. It was ruled out of order on the ground that it was not competent far a private member to move such a motion, that it ought to come from a minister of the Crown. If the rule then was applicable to a private member on this side of the House, it would be equally applicable now to the hon. member for Quebec South.
I merely want it distinctly understood that if a similar motion is later on presented by a private member from this side of the House, the present procedure will establish a precedent which will then be in order.