July 18, 1946 (20th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative


I think he has, if I may make that reply to the hon. member for Rose-town-Biggar (Mr. Cold well). Such a ruling would mean that I as a member of the House of Commons, but not a member of the committee on veterans affairs, could not ask a question as to the number cf overseas men
Privilege-Mr. Fraser

still to come back to Canada. If this ruling were followed, I could not ask such a question. The same would apply to questions respecting the Department of National Defence. Every question respecting veterans affairs would fall into the same category.
While I do not wish to take up too much time, this is an important matter and I hope that- what I say will be accepted by Your Honour as a constructive suggestion. If this ruling were followed no question could be asked on the whole matter of industrial unrest in Canada until the committee brought in its report. In all fairness to hon. members who are not members of that committee, surely we cannot go so far as to adopt a rule which would debar them from asking such questions.
The other point is that perhaps some day the estimates of all departments will be referred to standing committees. That has been suggested, and it may be that the rules committee will follow the suggestion in its report. But if that is done I would point out to Your Honour that from that day forward you might as well wipe the order paper clear of all questions, because an hon. member would never be permitted, as an ordinary member of the house, to ask a single question if he were not a member of that committee. It seems to me that this interferes with the rights of hon. members who are not serving on committees. If one is a member of a committee he can ask questions; 'but one cannot attend before all committees. If an hon. member has five questions to ask, he cannot be on five different committees at one time.

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