Yes, but I am trying to be very non-partisan in this matter and to associate the Leader of the Opposition with these proposals in order to acknowledge his paternity for some of them. I have associated him with three; all the others we will have to take responsibility for ourselves. At that time the right hon. gentleman said:
As far as questions are concerned, it is not for me to suggest, but I think that the number of these questions could be greatly reduced; and if we were also to have a self-denying ordinance that, under ordinary circumstances, we would not go over half an hour on questions before orders of the day we would save 15 full days in an ordinary session without, as I see it, losing any ground that might be gained through questions or in any way interfering with the rights of the Opposition.
I am sure we are all in agreement with that. I apologize for making these references when the right hon. gentleman is unavoidably absent from the Chamber.
Although I believe my right hon. friend is correct and that the question period could be made more effective if it were shortened, I also feel it is necessary that the question hour be a regular feature of House business. There have been occasions during the debate on the report of a committee when we have lost the opportunity for a question hour and for other routine proceedings. This is so, as hon. Members know, because under our existing rules motions are among the first items to be considered each day, and the proposal for concurrence of a committee report is considered under motions. If the committee's report should be controversial, debate may continue, as it has continued, and in recent years, for a number of days, and the question period,
May 19, 1985
which comes after motions, is never reached. We had that experience in the last session. To meet this difficulty, Mr. Speaker, we propose that if a motion has been considered for a day and then adjourned for further consideration later, it shall be taken up thereafter under Government orders; that is to say, after the normal question hour.
Subtopic: EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic: PROVISION FOR CONSIDERATION OF ESTIMATES AND ALLOCATION OF TIME