Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of ihe Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, I think this would be the appropriate time for me to raise a question which I think should be raised. It has been brought to my attention that seven orders for returns, for which motions were passed by this house, are still outstanding. They cover a period going back to the first session of the present parliament, the last of them having been passed on June 25 of this year. Therefore not one of them is recent. I raise the question because it seems to me a practice has developed of permitting considerable delay in the filing of returns after the house has dealt with the questions. If there is any reason why the returns cannot be made, then it would seem that the appropriate time for that point to be raised is when the motion is before the house. However, if the motion is passed then I think everything possible should be done to comply with a motion which members of the house have supported.
One of the reasons why I am impressed with the necessity for consideration of this matter is that when the parliament came to an end there were forty-three orders for returns outstanding. Under our rules, as I understand the situation, with the termination of one parliament these motions and the orders made with respect thereto became ineffective. We have a situation where there are seven outstanding orders for returns going back to November 14, 1949, the date of the first one, and running through at different intervals up to June 25 of this year. I call this matter, through you, Mr. Speaker, to the attention of the government so that there may be a review of the orders outstanding, and I hope that by tomorrow we may have some assurance as to when these returns will be made.
Subtopic: REQUEST FOR EXPEDITION IN TABLING ORDERS FOR RETURNS