Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
It was announced last night, Mr. Speaker, that the first order to be called today would be the one which appears as No. 3 on the order paper with respect to the Geneva agreement. The purpose of calling that order today was to enable the subject matter of the trade agreement to be referred to the banking and commerce committee. The procedure in the house has always been to pass the second reading in the first instance, before assigning a bill by direction of the house to one committee or another. But hon. gentlemen opposite expressed the view earlier that it would be helpful if, before being asked to vote on the second reading, the subject matter could be referred to a committee, and the committee on banking and commerce was the committee agreed upon.
I just wish to point out, in order that this will not become a precedent, that it is quite exceptional to refer the subject matter of a resolution to a committee before the resolution itself has been voted upon. In order that the matter may be proceeded with in a regular way I would move, seconded by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent), the following motion, which serves the same end:
That the subject matter of the general agreement on tariffs and' trade, including the protocol of provisional application thereof, together with the complementary agreement of October 30, 1947, between Canada and the United States of America, be referred to the standing committee on banking and commerce.
This is not a resolution and therefore no notice is required; if carried it will be an order of the house. But hon. members will see that it is to carry out the purpose that was intended, namely, to enable the house to have the subject matter of this agreement referred to the banking and commerce committee.
Tariffs ami Trade
Subtopic: REFERENCE OF SUBJECT MATTER OF GENEVA TRADE AGREEMENT TO BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE