February 16, 1950 (21st Parliament, 2nd Session)


Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, before this motion is put I should like to say that this is a new procedure which we accepted during the war because of the desire of hon. members of all parties to facilitate the business of the house. Again last session it was accepted because we knew the government had a certain program of legislation, and we were anxious to facilitate its consideration.

I believe, however, that this is a precedent which should not be accepted without some protest on behalf of the private members of the house. What it actually does is to interrupt debate on the address and, in a way, to take interest from it and prolong it. I believe that in the interests of debate it would be better to proceed with the debate on the address, and to conclude it, as the normal procedure of the house requires.
I would point out, too, that if interruptions prolong the debate to any extent, the house loses at least one of the private members' days. The rules of the house indicate that the first four Thursdays shall be allotted to private members. Today is the first of those four, and there are three others. If the debate on the address goes beyond the next three Thursdays, then private members will .lose one of the opportunities they have to discuss private members' motions.
I had thought that at this session, which is not one crowded with legislation, in all probability the government would revert to the normal procedure of the house. I wish, therefore, on behalf not only of my own associates but also of other private members who, I know, share this view, to make protest, and to say that I hope once again the house will not accept this as a precedent to be followed in future.

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