April 12, 1962 (24th Parliament, 5th Session)

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Yes, Mr. Chairman, I do. I wish to discuss it as calmly as I can. I hope the minister will not rise and interrupt me repeatedly, as it is his practice to do. I was stating that on Friday, March 23 the house concluded consideration of the third set of supplementary estimates and passed the appropriation bill. Then we embarked upon the fourth set of supplementary estimates, commencing with the Department of Agriculture, about five minutes before five o'clock. On Monday, March 26, instead of continuing the supplementaries, as the government should have done and as the opposition asked, they were not called again until Wednesday, March 28. If they had been called at the beginning of that week they could easily have been concluded by March 30 and probably by March 29, particularly as items in nine various departments were passed on March 30.
Having failed to do that, the government should have called the supplementaries on April 2, and they could have been concluded at the latest by April 3. Instead they were held off until Friday, April 6, about one hour before five o'clock, by which time General McNaughton's interview was in the press. In other words the committee was given no consecutive opportunity to dispose of this business.
If one looks at the order of business one will find 10 items were given last night by the house leader as the business for today, the first item having to do with the electoral boundaries commission, and the next having to do with a measure concerning the Senate. I will not go over them all, as they can be found at page 2864 of Hansard. Then this morning about 11.30 the house leader advised that supplementary estimates were coming on.
As I said earlier, we on this side of the house have no objection whatsoever to the calling of these supplementary estimates, but what we on this side of the house to object to is that statements are being made outside of the house, particularly on television last night by the Prime Minister, that we on this side of the house are obstructing and delaying the business of the house. That, sir, is not the fact.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL RESOURCES
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