December 13, 1951 (21st Parliament, 5th Session)


Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)


Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to present the fourth and final report of the special committee which was appointed to consider the procedure of this house. Copies of the report have been distributed to the members. There are quite a few points covered in the report, and if the house would prefer it I will try to explain it. The house might then be able to follow it more easily. The report is in three parts. The first part recommends permanent changes which should be made in the rules at this time. The second part recommends a change which should be tried on an experimental basis next year, and the third part sets out other matters which the committee has considered.
Part I recommends that the hours of sitting should be the same in future as they have
been during the latter part of this session with the exception that the dinner recess will be from six o'clock to eight o'clock p.m. There is also a provision that public and private bills will be dealt with on Tuesdays and Fridays from five to six o'clock in the afternoon instead of the former hour, which was from eight to nine o'clock on Tuesdays and Fridays. There is also a provision that on one of the days private bills will have priority, and on the other day public bills will have priority. With that report there is a recommendation that the necessary changes in the standing orders should be made immediately.
Part II recommends that the length of speeches should be 30 minutes instead of 40 minutes. However, I should point out that it does not recommend that the change should be made immediately in this rule, but recommends that it be tried out during the next session, or until otherwise ordered.
Part III sets forth other matters which the committee has considered but upon which a recommendation has not been made. The committee considered whether a debate should be allowed on money resolutions when the Speaker is in the chair, and also whether it is necessary for the minister in moving a money resolution to rise in his place and inform the house that the Governor General has been informed of and recommends the resolution to the consideration of the house. The committee considered, too, whether Mr. Speaker should leave the chair on Wednesday when there is a motion to go into supply or committee of ways and means. Hon. members will recall that at the present time, in order for the Speaker to leave the chair on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays to go into supply or ways and means, it is necessary to have a motion. The committee considered also the question as to whether estimates should be referred to a special committee or standing committees of this house. The general question of the structure of house committees was taken into consideration, as well as the question whether or not the rulings made by Mr. Speaker should be subject to appeal. Consideration was given as to whether those who are not limited to time in the length of their speeches should be limited as to time-
I shall read the last paragraph of the report:
Since your committee has thus far been unable to adopt the final report with respect to these proposals, and since other proposals may be forthcoming, your committee recommends that a similar committee be established as soon as possible after

House of Commons
the commencement of the next session to continue the consideration of changes that may be desirable to assure the more expeditious dispatch of public business.

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