March 5, 1936 (18th Parliament, 1st Session)


Right Hon. S@

Mr. Speaker, with respect to
the question of notice, I quite agree with my hon. friend the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) that notice appears on the votes and proceedings of last Tuesday, but it has always been usual, as I understand it, to have the notice appear also on the order paper, and it is not on the order paper to-day. I do not know whether it was left off inadvertently. I have seen some of these notices put at the very first of the order paper when they were of a different category from the usual government notices. However, that is a matter of detail at the moment, and does not make any particular difference.
I should like to suggest to the Minister of Justice that the two matters which this committee was set up to consider are the Dominion Elections Act and the Dominion Franchise Act. It was stated by the minister in the house the other day, and quite properly -I entirely agree with him-that it was better to have these questions settled early in the life of a parliament rather than close to the time of an election. Both of these matters which the committee is going to consider are extremely important. Many things occurred during the last election to show that there were faults in both these acts. Some of them were perhaps not important, although other hon. members may not agree. At any rate those are very difficult matters for the committee to consider; they are of great importance. It will take the committee a long time, and it is right that this should be done early in the life of this parliament. But I submit to my hon. friend that this other subject which he now proposes to add to the duties of this committee is one about which there is no need for hurry. The next census will not be taken until 1941; by that time this parliament will have disappeared and a new one will have been elected, and all that will take place before there can be another redistribution. I feel quite strongly that the duties already imposed on this committee are serious enough, and that the committee should not be embarrassed by having this further subject thrust upon it. It is a different matter altogether; there is no occasion for haste in dealing with it, and I submit for the consideration of the minister and of the government that they should not add this new

subject to the duties of the committee. If they desire to have it discussed, that can be done in the years to come, with plenty of time to spare. I feel quite strongly that it is a mistake to add this subject as an afterthought, to the committee's duties, which are already of very great importance, embracing two very difficult questions.

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