As hon. members know, last Thursday the government house leader announced the anticipated order of business for this week and, in accordance with his forecast, Wednesday and Thursday were set aside for the purpose of considering an opposition motion.
A question of procedure has arisen in that under a special order of the house the sitting is suspended tomorrow, Tuesday, January 28, in order to enable hon. members to participate in the work of the various standing committees.
Subsection 4(a) of Standing Order 58 provides as follows:
Twenty-four hours' written notice shall be given of an opposition motion on an allotted day or of a notice to oppose any item in the estimates.
The question that has arisen is whether or not the notice referred to in the Standing Order can be filed on a day when the sitting of the house is suspended. In my opinion it is open to hon. members to file their notices tomorrow or, indeed, on any day when the sitting of the house is suspended as distinct from being adjourned. I would advance the following reasons for adopting this attitude.
In the first place, the Standing Order itself states that 24 hours written notice shall be given. A similar provision is also to be found in subsection 5 of standing order 75 for the filing of notice of amendments to be considered at the report stage of bills. It seems to me it should be open to hon. members to file notices of their questions for the order paper and notices of motions or bills they may have in mind; and, generally, it should also be open to the government to file their notices without losing the day. There is also the desirability of placing hon. members'
questions on the order paper, so that it may be circulated to the various government departments concerned without unnecessary loss of time.
In reaching this conclusion I would make the general observation that the house is not in adjournment; its sitting is merely suspended so that hon. members may attend to their committee responsibilities.
In order to conform with the proposed changes Votes and Proceedings will be printed tomorrow in a revised format. There will be no order paper on Tuesday, but Wednesday's order paper and Hansard will be renumbered to reflect the new procedure.
[DOT] (2:10 p.m.)
Sub-subtopic: FILING OF NOTICE ON DAY SITTING IS SUSPENDED-RULING BY MR. SPEAKER