Hon. Paul Marlin (Essex Easl):
Mr. Speaker, I take it that I may say something at this stage. I do not intend to oppose this motion except to state that I believe the reason the hon. gentleman is asking that this motion be put forward at this time is that there is difficulty in getting the attendance of members of committees at the appropriate times because so many committee meetings are being held at this stage in the proceedings of the session. For instance, the house begins its sitting at 11 o'clock, and a committee is going to meet at one o'clock. Committees are meeting this afternoon.
This difficulty arises out of the failure of the government to bring forward its legislation at the appropriate time in the session. Members of the opposition who have a responsibility are finding it difficult to discharge that responsibility because of the simultaneous holding of so many committee meetings at a time when important legislation is being discussed in this house. The other day we had a situation in which an important matter dealing with freight rates was being discussed in a committee of this house while the hon. member for Laurier, a former minister of transport and the Liberal critic in transport matters, as well as the Minister of Transport himself were engaged in discussions in this house on amendments having to do with the Canada Shipping Act.
Veterans Affairs Committee
So while I do not object to the request at this stage, I point out that the government has so mismanaged its affairs in the conduct of our proceedings-
Subtopic: FOURTH AND FIFTH REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEE-CONCURRENCE IN FOURTH REPORT