Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, with much that
the right hon. gentleman has said I, of course, am wholly in accord. I desire first of all to say that since the matter of a general election was first discussed, the conversations that 1 have been privileged to have with the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) have been of the most harmonious character and every effort I think has been made by all who have discussed the subject with him, including my friends to my left, to expedite public business and to discharge our duties as members to the best of our ability, having regard to the public interest as it may be affected first of all by the tariff changes proposed, secondly by the estimates, and thirdly by the impending election. There is a very considerable body of business yet to be disposed of. The discussions that have taken place on the budget resolutions are discussions which I think it will be agreed could not easily be shortened. We realize that the government has a majority behind it for the moment to enable it to put through its resolutions, reluctant though some hon. gentlemen opposite, including the hon. gentleman from Marquette (Mr. Glen) may be to do so; nevertheless, the government has the power so to do, and a frank recognition of that fact may do something to shorten lengthy discussions. It would seem to be improper for us to be standing up in [DOT]every instance and say that we disagree with this or that or the other thing. Rather, a general objection in principle to the measures proposed has I think correctly indicated our position.
With respect to the necessity of expediting an early appeal to the people, I have informed the Prime Minister, as he has indicated, that while we have no agreement, as he has said,
I am anxious, as are those who are associated, with me to the left of the Speaker, in every way possible, to see that the public business is transacted as expeditiously as possible having regard to what I say is the public interest. The suggestion that has been made as to contentious items in the estimates being communicated to the whips prior to discussion commencing in the house will I think do-
Beauharnois Corporation-Mr. Gardiner
much to expedite business. There is a large number of items which must be passed whoever is on the treasury benches. The public service must be maintained, salaries must be paid, fixed charges must be met. All these are purely matters of routine, and we will get rid of them very quickly. There are a few rather disputatious items in the estimates that will involve discussion of, shall we say, administration-a word that I think the hon. member from LisgaT (Mr. Brown) will regard as aptly indicating the situation, although Trench may not say that that is the best word to use in the circumstances.
Subtopic: SATURDAY AND MORNING SITTINGS-CONCLUSION OF SESSION IN ANTICIPATION OF ELECTION