March 22, 1927

UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

I do not think we are discussing this case from the viewpoint of the ministers. I have no doubt that they know all about their departments and what the estimates are for; but we do not. I have observed that the hon. member for Muskoka (Mr. MicGibbon) and his associates ask a great many questions in supply-many of them perhaps are not of much consequence. While the estimates are under consideration a good deal of political campaigning takes place, and we ask questions which perhaps should not be answered at all. The time of the House is wasted more in that respect than in connection with any other business. Surely we should now refer this question back to the special committee while we deal with the rest of the rules, so that they may draft a rule that will enable us to handle the estimates more efficiently and save the time of the House. The suggestion of the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Ooote) would certainly have this effect, for if members want information on any items they could secure it before the various committees to which those items had been referred. If we were to adopt the suggestion of the hon. member for

Rules of the House

Muskoka there would be no use in bringing the estimates before the House at all. It is suggested that we let the cabinet deal with the estimates; but if there is to be any inquiry as to the particular items, that inquiry should take place in a small committee. I therefore suggest that His Honour the Speaker place this rule before the committee for amendment.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

Don't be in such a hurry

to carry things until we know what we are actually carrying.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

May I say to my hon.

friend that this would involve more than a mere change in procedure? It would affect the principle of the discussion of the estimates in the House when every member is present to scrutinize the expenditure of public money. The question was deemed so important by the hon. member for Athabasca (Mr. Kellner) that he has a resolution on the order paper proposing a reference of the estimates to select committees and I think it should be discussed by the House in the usual way.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Mr. Chairman, I think the suggestion of the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) is a very good one. I would, however, ask him in view of that suggestion if he would assure the hon. member for Athabasca an opportunity for the discussion of his resolution; otherwise the danger is that private member's days may be closed off suddenly and we will find ourselves unable to discuss it. Will the minister give us any assurance so that we may rely upon having such an opportunity?

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

My hon. friend is assuming that I have much more authority than I really have. The House is master of its own proceedings.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

No, I do

not think so. In this case also very often ministerial advice will be accepted, especially when so wisely counselled. I am quite sure the Minister of Justice is too modest,- and I am satisfied that if he consults his colleagues, especially the one to his right (Mr. Elliott) there will be no trouble.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

He is so kind hearted.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

I am sure if he will consult his colleagues there will be no difficulty in securing an opportunity for discussion of my hon. friend's resolution. Otherwise the minister may himself be prolonging debate on this question. Frankly, I [Mr. Irvine.)

am perfectly willing to let it drop if he will grant us a day for discussion of the resolution to which I have referred.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I will submit my hon.

friend's request to the Prime Minister, but I may tell him that there are many private members asking for the same favour for their resolutions, which makes it rather difficult to give a pledge of this kind.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

It simply

arose out of the minister's own suggestion.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I will plead my hon.

friend's case the best I can.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

The Minister of Justice

intimated that some principle was involved, but he did not specify it.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Everyone understood, I

think, even my hon. friend.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

I beg the minister's pardon?

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The principle involved

is that of having the expenditure of money scrutinized in the House by all the members.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

Surely that principle is safeguarded when all the estimates come back to the House eventually.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CON

David Spence

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPENCE (Parkdale):

I do not think

a proposal of this kind would shorten sessions. Imagine, if you can, all the estimates going to the different committees, with your experts in attendance. The result will be that we shall have these committees so busy that they will be asking for permission to sit while the House is in session. We want to be familiar with the estimates of every department, and we would not be under this proposal. For instance, I am a member of the agricultural committee and the private bills committee, and I would know nothing about any other departments. I do not propose to be a member of this House without having some knowledge of what is going on in every department.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

That is right.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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UFA

George Gibson Coote

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. COOTE:

I think I had ample justification for raising this question because two years ago I introduced a resolution asking that such a change be made. That resolution received some support, and the House decided to refer it to the special committee then revising the rules. The statement made by the hon. member for Muskoka I consider astounding: that estimates having passed the cabinet -and I am a little surprised that he has so much confidence in that body-

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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March 22, 1927