Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, hon. members will recall that I invited my friends the leader of the opposition and the leaders of the C.C.F. and Social Credit parties to meet with me yesterday afternoon at five o'clock to see if we could not together work out a plan that might help to expedite the business of the session. I am happy to say that all were agreed that if hon. members would lend their support it would be advisable to have the house meet from two o'clock until six and from seven until eleven each day from tomorrow until the end of the session. There was some consideration of the question of beginning morning sittings, but it was thought that at least for the present hon. members would prefer to meet for a longer number of hours in the afternoon and evening and have the morning free. If we are hard pressed to get through at the time we hope it may be possible to get through, we shall consider the possibility of meeting on Saturdays as well.
I may say that this plan has back of it the hope and, possibly, the expectation that if all hon. members cooperate we might be able to wind up the business of the house towards the end of the first week of July. That will depend altogether on cooperation between the different parties and the support of their members in the house. To that end we have considered what were the most important measures still on the order paper and the general wish that they should be brought forward as soon as possible. My colleague, the house leader, the Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Mackenzie) announced last night that there would be two important measures proceeded with today, the resolution of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) respecting industrial relations and investigation of industrial disputes, and the resolution to amend the Old Age Pensions Act. How far we can proceed with these measures will depend upon the general consent the house may be prepared to give.
It was thought it would best suit the convenience of hon. members and help to expedite business if we reserved Wednesday evenings and all day on Fridays for the consideration of estimates. By knowing in advance that no government measures other than supply would be taken up on Wednesday evenings and on Fridays hon. members would be in a better position so to arrange their time as to give it to those matters in which they are most interested. On Mondays, it was felt we might take up any measures that are on the order paper. It would not however be the purpose of the government to bring forward on Mondays the most important measures.
I think that covers pretty much the line of agreement that we reached in the course of our conference.
There is a small bill which my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) is interested in bringing before the house as soon as possible, an act to amend the Canadian and British Insurance Companies Act, 1932, and the Foreign Insurance Companies Act, 1932, notice of which appears in the Votes and Proceedings. In order to have it presented to the house today the house would have to give its unanimous consent. If that
House of Commons
can be given the Minister of Finance will introduce that bill first thing this afternoon.
With respect to some of the measures I have mentioned there was also the feeling that if we could have it generally agreed that the discussion would take place on the bills rather than on the resolutions that would greatly expedite the business.
There appears in the Votes and Proceedings of today, Mr. Speaker, a motion that the house meet tomorrow at two o'clock and from then on until the end of the session along the lines I have indicated. As the notice of motion appears there is some lack of punctuation or a small hiatus in printing that might mislead the members, but I will read the motion as it would appear if correctly punctuated and will ask that it be presented to the house immediately. Under the rules of the house this motion does not require any notice:
That on and after Wednesday, June 18 instant, until the end of the session, the house shall meet at two o'clock p.m. of each sitting day; and at six o'clock p.m., Mr. Speaker shall leave the chair until seven o'clock, all notwithstanding any standing order or resolution of the house in relation thereto.