What did your government do about it?
If hon. members opposite have something to say I will be very glad to hear them after I have finished. If any one of them wants to take me on in a debate on this physical fitness program I should be glad to take him on.
After the Prime Minister had made his statement, one of the leading press writers in Toronto told me: "Jack, look, this is a wonderful idea but politics are going to get into it." I said: "No, you are absolutely wrong." However, I was wrong. The Minister of National Health and Welfare is here. I want to say I have every respect for him as a man, and when the Prime Minister handed him the job of handling the physical fitness program he handed him a tiger by the tail.
Business of the House
I do not know how other hon. members borrow money, but when I have to borrow money to conduct my business I go to the bank. What does the bank say? Does the bank say: "Here are so many dollars, Jack. You can make up your program after I have given you the dollars." No. They say: "Give me a plan and then we will lend you the money". But what did the Prime Minister do? Right out of a hat-and I will make a bet there was no other minister who knew what he was going to say-he promised $5 million, against nothing. The thought was "We will get the plan rolling after we get the $5 million." I am sorry to say the plan does not exist.
Coming back to the politics within the physical fitness program may I say this. As I said previously, I realize that when I am making this statement it is certainly not personal in any way, shape or form. In the beginning when people were asking for information, it was my privilege
I wonder whether the committee would continue for a few minutes in order that we might perhaps finish interim supply.
I am sorry, but if the committee wish to continue for half an hour that is fine with me.
That is fine with me.
The Deputy Chairman:
Order. It being ten o'clock, shall I rise and report progress and request leave to sit again at the next sitting of the house?
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
I wonder if the house leader could indicate how he hopes to have the business conducted for the next two days?
I would advise the hon. member to leave it to the house leader.
I hope it will be conducted in an orderly fashion. I would be quite content to sit here tonight for another hour or two if we could finish interim supply. If not, we shall be obliged to go on with interim supply tomorrow. I urge hon. members to consider the fact that time is beginning to run out and that we should pass this business.
We will adjourn over Christmas and come back on December 27.
I think it is a little bit difficult to go beyond tomorrow, without some knowledge of when this debate will conclude. I should like to make this request for tomorrow on a different subject. I had hoped today at five o'clock to ask the house to give consent to consider Bill C-82 on procedure with regard to divorce, but other private bills which had precedence took up the allotted time. I now put this request before the house. Instead of discussing notices of motions tomorrow at five o'clock could we take under consideration Bill C-82? As far as this party is concerned, it is open to any member to vote as he wishes on it. It is not a party matter. However, we should like to bring this bill forward in order to get on with the question of divorce. This bill seems to present a method which might be tried out by parliament, even if it is not the most satisfactory one. I should like to hear from the other parties whether tomorrow at five o'clock we could consider that bill.
So far as we are concerned, Mr. Speaker, I think I can safely say that we would be prepared to accept the suggestion made by the hon. gentleman on the understanding that this was not just going to be an hour's debate but rather that there was some disposition to reach a determination of this matter. We take the same view as the minister has expressed so far as his friends are concerned, namely that as far as any vote on the bill is concerned, it is up to each individual member to vote as he wishes. We have no position on the bill itself, except that we are prepared to have it come to a determination. However, it does not seem to me that any purpose whatsoever would be served by merely taking an hour appointed for some other purpose just in order to have a futile debate. Speaking for myself and, I think, for my friends I may say that unless there is agreement among the parties to bring this matter to a determination tomorrow, we would be willing, and we think it would be much more sensible, to use the hour in order to enable the government to get through those two or three measures about which the minister spoke earlier, on the understanding that this hour would not be lost if the session progresses later on.
We see a certain problem which the minister has with respect to university grants and this sewage treatment project measure, and I understand that is all that is involved. There is also this bill concerning a railway branch line in New Brunswick which I understand the C.N.R. is just waiting to have passed so that they can provide jobs for some people. We should very much like to do that.
Business of the House
As I say, I agree with the minister that if we can reach a determination of the divorce business in one hour we should be very happy to agree to that suggestion. However, if there is not agreement that it can be determined in one hour I suggest that instead we allow the government to have that hour, not for supply but rather to help the government with these three other measures which I think there is fairly general agreement we should all like to see passed.
We in this group are in accord with the suggestion made by the house leader in this particular regard. We would be prepared to have this bill brought before us tomorrow at five o'clock. We would also hope that it would come to the point of determination during that hour. It is not our intention to debate the bill to any great extent. We would possibly just have one speaker make a brief statement presenting our position on it and then would allow it to pass. However, we would hope that if it was brought forward it would come to the point of determination and that we would have a vote on it.
I recognize the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam.
Mr. Speaker, I thought you said the other day that you did not want members of the various groups getting into this discussion.
These are peculiar circumstances which the Chair will recognize.