Hon. G. J. Mcllrailh (Minister of Public Works):
Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, in accordance with the provisions of standing order 15A, I made the proposal that the question of allocation of time for the committee of the whole stage and all remaining stages of procedure on Bill No. C-243, being item No. 107 on the order paper, be referred to the business committee.
The members of the business committee had discussions for three days on this matter, in accordance with the provisions of that standing order, and on Tuesday, April 18 I reported to the house that the committee had been unable to reach unanimous agreement on the question referred to it. On Tuesday, April 18 I also gave notice that on the next Thursday I would move for an order providing for the allocation of time. All this appears in Votes and Proceedings of that day. I now propose to make that motion.
As hon. members know, standing order 15A provides for a business committee which has the task of setting up a timetable for debate on a bill. The two-fold assumption behind that order is that all parties will want debate and discussion so that the thinking of the house and the country will develop and mature, and also that all parties will want the house to do its duty by rendering a decision regardless of what individual members may think that decision should be. It is inevitable that there will be differences of opinion. To devise an allocation of time balancing these differences is precisely the task assigned to the business committee. That task it sought to perform, but it was unable to reach the necessary unanimous agreement.
Therefore it now becomes the right and indeed the responsibility of the government under standing order 15A to take the step of providing the opportunity for the house to make a decision on the additional time the house should take in further discussion of the remaining stages of this bill.
Subtopic: MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT