It must be very clear to all hon. members that when I said that the amendment, if it were carried, may not serve any useful purpose, I was echoing the words and the reasoning of Mr. Speaker Macdonald; he did go along with the reasoning of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre on March 5, 1952 as it appears on page 23 of the Journals. However, on page 27, the next day, he rose and said:
Since that time I have given further consideration to the amendment and although it may have been technically in order I am rather doubtful of the practical result which would have followed if it had carried. The committee would have reconsidered an amendment which would have necessitated an expenditure of money. But the committee could not have taken any action on the matter without a motion by a member of the government. The government had intimated that it would not propose such an amendment. Accordingly I am doubtful if any useful purpose would have been served by referring the matter back to the committee. The purpose of this statement is to advise the house that, for the reason which I have stated and for other reasons, should a similar amendment be moved on any future occasion, I would not feel myself bound by the ruling which I made yesterday.
I was merely repeating this and this is the reason why I have been troubled about this amendment from the very start. If it were not for this ruling of Mr. Speaker Macdonald I would have said nothing about this amendment. However, why did Mr. Speaker Macdonald, after having made the statement which he did on an amendment of a similar nature at page 23, feel that it was his duty at page 27 on the next day to make the further remarks which I have just read to the house?
Therefore I have been examining and reexamining the point and the conclusion to which I have come is that on a matter of this kind you can just as easily go either way. I could take the reasoning of the Minister of National Health and Welfare and say that is good enough for me and make a ruling along that line. On the other hand, I could take the reasoning of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, because that would be just as good. I could find decisions both ways more or less on a half and half basis. Because of all the difficulties involved
I would like to have more time to go behind the reasons that motivated the statement of Mr. Speaker Macdonald on the very next day after making a ruling.
I would ask the house to go along with the suggestion that I have often made that the amendment be modified by unanimous consent, so that we do not have a dispute on the point of an amendment respecting third reading of the bill giving instructions to reconsider a money clause in a money bill which must necessitate a money resolution at the time of introduction and must be moved by a minister of the crown. I see no reason why the house cannot agree to have the amendment simply read that the bill be referred back for the purpose of reconsidering subclause 2, clause 6, because any member has the right to change a word, or a comma into a colon or a semicolon. So therefore I do not think if the house should agree to have the wording of the amendment changed in that manner, that the point with respect to the financial initiative of the crown would be involved in any way whatsoever. Of course that is left to the unanimous consent of the house. If the house does not wish to give unanimous consent I would not at the moment feel prepared to declare the amendment out of order. Does the house agree that the amendment be changed so as to read that this bill be not now read a third time but that it be referred back to the committee of the whole house for the purpose of reconsidering subclause 2 of clause 6 of the said bill?
Subtopic: AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND