Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni) moved:
That this House take the necessary steps under rule 86, to search the journals of the Senate in order to ascertain if any action has been taken by the upper house with regard to Bill No. 21, an act respecting Old Age Pensions.
He said: For the benefit of members who
would prefer, perhaps, to see the motion in print I may say that they will find it under "Notices of Motion and Questions" in Friday's Votes and Proceedings. I think this motion is thoroughly in order under rule 86, to which I would refer the House. I admit that of late years it has not been much taken advantage of, it has somewhat fallen into disuse. Nevertheless it still remains there to be available for our protection if we require it, and I think this is one of the occasions on which it should be properly invoked. There are two purposes that will be served by this motion. One, of course, is the very obvious purpose stated in the motion. I think it would be better if the motion had read "what action, if any, has been taken", but nevertheless I suppose the wording will cover the purpose aimed at. It seems a remarkable thing that at present we have no channel whatever whereby this House can receive
official information of the rejection of any of its bills by the Senate, or perhaps I had better adopt the conventional words that have come to be regarded as proper in speaking of the Senate and that is "another place". I had better use these words hereafter. But if any of us were to ask the Clerk to-day what has become of this bill-or any other rejected bill for that matter but decidedly so as far as the present bill is concerned-his answer would have to be officially "I do not know." If a bill is accepted by the other House and is returned here we know when that happens because we receive a message to that effect and the same if it is amended. But if a bill is not accepted no message returns and the Clerk of this House is forced to conclude, by some Sherlock Holmes method, that something has happened to it, and that it has been thrown out. That is the exact procedure to-day. If a bill does not come back from the Senate there are several reasons that might account for it. It might have been lost in transit, or one of the papers, when a clerk was collecting a number to send here from the other place, might have slipped out of the folder, have been picked up by the char-woman and by her, in ignorance of its value thrown into the waste basket. The present bill, to all intents and purposes, is in the same position as if it had been in that category. Human nature is liable to make mistakes and something might have happened to the measure on the journey between the two Houses.
Subtopic: MOTION BY MR. NEILL TO ASCERTAIN ACTION TAKEN BY THE SENATE