I ask the minister to read the record. I know what he has seen in his experience in connection with public accounts. The committee has now adjourned until next Wednesday. On Wednesday an effort will be made to have it meet on Thursday alt ten o'clock, and on Friday at ten o'clock. Surely hon. members remember that the public accounts committee, when an opposition was investigating the Arctic accounts, sat for days and weeks and it dragged into a month before they got all the horrid details brought to the attention of the public. We are going to endeavour to do the same thing this year and to do so means that the will of a majority is not going to impose itself against the right to investigate the public accounts of Canada which represent moneys paid by the people of Canada and not by any one party. Let that be clearly understood.
Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Alinister):
I fail to see just exactly what the leader of the opposition has been asking for. I understood that the request of the hon. member for West Hamilton (Mr. Bell) was that a certain report, which is before the house at the moment, should be amended before it is accepted.
May I interrupt the Prime Minister just a moment? As the Prime Minister rose to his feet, I think the hon. member for Quebec West was about to say something further, and possibly he was about to express his acquiescence in what I had asked for. If that is the case, we can make progress.
If other members of the committee are agreeable, it will facilitate matters, but the chairman who signed the document ought to know, before that document is changed, if there is an intention to alter it. I should not think we would be losing very much time if the motion were to stand over for another day. If it can be settled at the moment, so much the better. I object, however, to my hon. friend taking advantage of a discussion of the kind when a certain courtesy is being asked of the government-
why my hon. friend the leader of the opposition should lose his temper over it. It is not as serious as all that. The government is entirely in accord with the view of my hon. friend that the public accounts should be investigated whenever it is thought desirable to have them investigated, and that the fullest opportunity for investigation should be given. No one takes any other view.
It is possible that we can arrange to meet my hon. friend in the way that has been suggested, but if the other members of the committee have some substantial reason for not acquiescing in my hon. friend's request at the moment, we shall have to ask him to let the matter stand until to-morrow, and in the interval I will get into communication with the chairman of the committee.