Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to increase the quorum of the House of Commons from at least twenty to at least thirty members. By doing so, we shall merely re-establish, to the nearest round figure, the proportion stipulated in 1867, when the Commons had only 181 members as compared with our present membership of 262.
I believe this is the first bill to be based on the authority of the parliament of Canada to amend the constitution of Canada in matters exclusively federal, apart from certain specified exceptions, according to the amendment to the British North America Act of December, 1949.
I should like to say that I am indebted to Dr. Maurice Ollivier, our parliamentary counsel, for his help and advice in drafting this bill. Dr. Ollivier is always most helpful to hon. members who seek his advice, but 55704-74
because of the extra time and attention he has given to the drafting of this bill, in the light of its constitutional aspect, I felt I should like to thank him publicly at this time for his counsel and assistance.
Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.