February 15, 1929

PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS


Bill No. 27, to incorporate Barclays Bank (Canada).-Mr. Jacobs. Bill No. 28, respecting the Pension Fund Society of the Bank of Montreal, the Molsons Bank Pension Fund, and the Merchants' Bank of Canada Pension Fund.-Mr. Guerin. Bill No. 29, respecting a certain patent of Catelli Macaroni Products Corporation Limited.-Mr. Mercier (St. Henri). Bill No. 30, respecting The Protective Association of Canada.-Mr. Boivin. Bill No. 31, to incorporate The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company.-Mr. Thorson. Bill No. 32, to incorporate The Wapiti Insurance Company.-Mr. Thorson.


RULES OF THE HOUSE

PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING moved:

That the select standing committee on standing orders be instructed to consider the advisability of amending the standing orders so that certain estimates may be referred to a committee and so that bills reported from a standing or select committee shall be placed on the order paper for third reading after having been sufficiently debated by the house.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. ROBERT GARDINER (Acadia):

I

thought that probably the Prime Minister would make some explanation of this resolution, but as he has not done so, I desire to take up the time of the house for a few minutes to discuss it.

This is what we term a double-barrelled resolution, containing two subject matters of importance. To that we take objection. We believe that when two such matters as are contained in this resolution are to come before this house for discussion, they should be separated into two different resolutions, so that the house may be in a position to accept the one and reject the other if it sees fit.

So far as the first part of this resolution is concerned, if the Prime Minister has it in his mind that certain estimates should so to

78594-10J

Rules of the Home

certain standing committees, we approve of that suggestion. This matter was discussed at some length in the house last year, and the Prime Minister made some promise at the time that the government would take into consideration the advisability of sending certain of the estimates to standing committees in order to expedite the business of the house. I am glad that the Prime Minister has taken this, perhaps the first, opportunity of introducing this matter to the house. So far as the second part of the resolution is concerned, I am rather doubtful of this proposal. It is proposed that private bills after going to a standing committee shall be placed on the order paper for third reading. It would appear from this resolution that on these private Ibills the house will not go into committee of the whole, and consequently the members of the house as a whole will not have the opportunity of securing the information that perhaps will be secured in the standing committees. To that we take objection.

I would like to call the attention of the house to an anomaly that this proposal is going to create if it is carried through. We are all here representing various constituencies, and in the final analysis every member of this house is on an equality, but when it comes to the question of bills introduced by private members for private persons or corporations, such bills have precedence over bills of a public nature that are introduced by private members, and under those circumstances, no matter how desirous any member of this house may be of trying to secure the passage of needed legislation of a public nature, he is to all intents and purposes blocked by the rules of the house. If there is going to be an opening up, to facilitate the passage of private legislation through this house by ensuring that it shall be voted upon,

I submit to the Prime Minister and to the house that the private member introducing public legislation should be put on a parity with the private member introducing private legislation. We have no objection to this matter going to a committee for consideration, but if that committee in its report makes a further discrimination as between public and private legislation, we in this corner of the house are going to take very strong objection to it. .

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I thought the resolution

was so worded that no one was likely to take

exception to it. It is not, as my hon. friend has said, a double-barrelled resolution; it is a single-barrelled resolution. All the resolution suggests is that the select standing committee on standing orders be instructed to consider the advisability of amending the rules of the house. That is the motion. There are two subjects being referred to the committee for consideration. The committee may report in whatever way it may think best. It may bring in a report with reference to one subject at one time, and in reference to the other subject at another time, and in vew of what my hon. friend has said, that perhaps would be the preferable way for the committee to report. What I wish to make clear is that the resolution does not attempt finally to determine anything; it simply refers to a committee of this house certain subjects for consideration, and report to the house.

* As to the two particular matters being referred to the committee, I thought the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) was in complete accord with the government in wishing to have each of these matters considered. The first is the advisability of having a special committee to which the estimates in whole or in part might be referred for consideration. An hon member of my hon. friend's own group has at the present time a resolution on the order paper requesting that that very matter be considered.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

His resolution asks that the estimates be referred to committees of the house, not one committee, but several committees, so that the work could be divided up amongst them.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

That is a phase of the matter for the select standing committee on standing orders to take into account. The resolution does not commit the house to any particular form whatever. It is left open purposely, so that members of the standing committee may take into consideration all points of view. I think that answers my hon. friend's objection in that particular.

I had gathered that on previous occasions the house had felt that two very useful objects would be served were the rules amended so that the estimates, or some of the estimates might be referred to a committee or committees, namely that this course would result in a greater control of expenditure, and greater expedition in the matter of voting supply. The intention is not in any way to limit dis-

Privilege-Mr. Euler

cussion in the house, but rather to amplify the means of securing information by enabling members of the house to have the benefit of calling before a committee, and questioning officers of the different departments who are more familiar than the minister himself can possibly be with reasons underlying the request for certain appropriations. That and the saving of time is the sole object the government has in view in wishing to have the estimates considered in whole or in part by a committee or committees.

The other question it is suggested to refer to the committee on standing orders has to do with the procedure in connection with private bills, and is an endeavour to ensure that private bills will be brought to a vote in this house. My hon. friend (Mr. Gardiner) at the la^t session stated that he thought that was something which ought to be done.

I have his words here. He said:

It is true we may require some amendment of the rules. Personally I should like to see all bills come to a vote, and the members of this house supporting legislation that is not in the interests of the people made responsible for their vote.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

That included public as well as private bills.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It may include public bills as well, but it certainly includes all that this motion is intended to cover. I wish to assure my hon. friend that in bringing forward this motion the government had in mind only the endeavour to meet what appeared to be the wish of my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) and the leader of the Progressive party (Mr. Gardiner) and what at the close of last session was promised on the part of the government. I have just had my attention drawn to the fact that a similar suggestion was made by the special committee that amended the rules two years ago. I believe we are perfectly secure in allowing the standing committee to consider both these matters and report upon them to the house. If the report is not satisfactory, it can be discussed when it is before us.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (South Wellington) :

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order

on this discussion. I do not like to intervene, but this is a notice of motion by the government, and I submit that under rule 38 no debate is permissible. The motion either comes

within paragraph (a) of subsection 1 or within subsection 2. The rule reads:

The following motions are debatable:-

Every motion

(a) standing on the order of proceedings for the day, (except government notices of motion for the house to go into committee at a later date).

And this is subsection 2:

All other motions, including adjournment motions, shall be decided without debate or amendment.

This is a notice of motion. The Prime Minister merely gives notice that on a future day he will move such a motion. I submit that the whole debate is out of order.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon. friend will see in the votes and proceedings of yesterday that notice was given yesterday; I am moving the motion now.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I did not know that.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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UFA

George Gibson Coote

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. G. G. COOTE (Macleod):

May I ask the Prime Minister: Would the committee

on standing orders be allowed to make any recommendation with regard to public bills and orders, as well as private bills? I rather gathered that from his remarks.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I would answer my hon. friend first of all by saying that the committee may do whatever it likes-.. There is no desire to restrict the committee in any particular; it controls its own business. In the second place, my motion speaks of bills; it does not say private bills. I think that answers my hon. friend.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS
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Motion agreed to.


PRIVILEGE-HON. MR. EULER


On the orders of the day:


February 15, 1929