Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved:
That on and after Monday, March 24 next, and all subsequent Mondays and Wednesdays
till the end of the session, government notices of motion and government orders shall have precedence over all other business except questions and notices of motions for the production of papers and private bills on Monday.
May I say that the house has now been in session for a month, and of that time the government has had only two days during which it has had any opportunity whatever of dealing with its own business; all the rest of the time has been taken up with discussions upon motions by private members. The circumstance that the debate on the address was so brief had the effect, not of curtailing private members in the various matters which they wished to bring up, but rather of extending their opportunities. The time which has been allowed this session to private members, I explained the other day, has been exactly what it has averaged within the last three or four sessions of parliament. The records of earlier parliaments will show, I believe that private members were not granted anything like the number of days to which of recent years they have become accustomed.
May I point out that it is quite as much in the interests of hon. members generally, as it is in the interests of the government, that the government should be permitted to get on with the business of the country as set out in its legislative program. Were we to continue at the rate at which we have been proceeding, it is perfectly obvious that we will be here until the time of the imperial conferences when we would have to ask for an adjournment to enable ministers to attend the conferences, and then in order to complete the work of the present session, reassemble later. I do not think any hon. members wish to have their time consumed in that way. The government has no desire to curtail discussion on important questions, but I do submit, Mr. Speaker, that we have already spent enough time on private members motions, and that hon. members should be agreeable to allow the government from now on to proceed with its business.
Subtopic: PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS