Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Acting Prime Minister) moved:
That on and after Tuesday, July 23. 1946, until the end of the session, the house shall meet at 11 o'clock in the morning of each sitting day and that in addition to the usual intermission at 6 o'clock p.m.. there shall be an intermission every day from 1 to 3 o'clock p.m.
He said: Mr. Speaker, in proposing this motion it is not the intention of the government to force its own views upon the house, but rather to afford to hon. members an opportunity for making known whether or not they feel that the time has arrived when we should have the house sitting three times a day. There still remains a lot of work to be done. Some of the measures yet to be dealt with seem to be non-contentious. Some of the legislation has already been very carefully considered in the sittings of standing or
select committees and should not take up much mere of the time of the house. There is, of course, other legislation which some hon. members will require to have further debated in the house. It is apparent that no matter how many hours a day the house sits it will still be a matter not of days but of weeks before we can get through the work that remains to be done, giving it that care which it is necessary in the public interest that it should receive.
The question raised by this motion is whether we should at once begin morning sittings and endeavour to give more time to the work of the house than has been given up to the present. I realize that that does not mean giving more time to the business of the session, because the committees have been sitting not only in the morning but even while the house is sitting, as we have noticed from the sparse attendance at times in the house. But a large number of hon. members have let it be known that they thought we should be apt to expedite the work of the house if we began now sitting three times a day. If it is the wish of hon. members that that be done, the adoption of this motion will provide for it. If on the other hand hon. members feel that we should still go on with two instead of three sittings a day, the government will be pleased to have those views expressed and will endeavour to have the decision made one that will appeal to the largest number of hon. members.