I hope, Mr. Chairman, that the last statement of the Minister was not an understatement, but I am fearful that his prognostication may prove to be correct. Certainly those on the Banking and Commerce Committee will have, I presume, a relatively long and interesting session in dealing with this Bill if the House and the Committee of the Whole see fit to send it on to that Committee, as I assume will be the case.
As the Minister has said, we have had a Royal Commission dealing with this subject; a Commission which sat for some three years, I think, and brought down a report a few months ago-a lengthy, voluminous and very, very able report. It may be that all hon. Members, as the Minister intimated a few
May 6, 1985
minutes ago, will not agree with all the recommendations in the Royal Commission report, but certainly I would hope and expect that all hon. Members, particularly those who may be sitting on the Committee, will make it a requirement to read that report very carefully and rather intently.
It is not my intention this afternoon, Mr. Chairman, to deal in any detail whatsoever with the resolution which is now before us. The resolution has only four lines; it is very brief. It says "it is expedient to introduce a measure", and so on. "Expedient" in this case, of course, is the usual phraseology. But it is more than expedient; it is necessary by law because, as all hon. Members know, the time has come when we must proceed with the decennial revision of the Bank Act, and that is what is now before us. If we cannot conclude it before the 30th day of June, then certain remedial action will have to be taken; otherwise all banks of Canada will come to a stop and close their doors from the 2nd day of July, and that is something, of course, that could not be tolerated for a minute.
The Minister referred briefly to some points in the legislation that he said would be brought forward. I do not intend to refer to them at all. I think the proper course as far as we in the Opposition are concerned is to await the text which will be brought before us as soon as we have first reading, and then on second reading we can deal in some detail with the various provisions contained in that Bill.
[DOT] (3:40 p.m.)
On the basis of what the Minister said, I have no hesitation in saying that we on this side of the House in the Opposition will support the passing of this resolution. We would like to see the resolution pass at a relatively early date so that we can have the bill before us. I presume it will be a lengthy and voluminous bill probably running to scores and scores and scores of clauses, so we will have ample opportunity to examine those clauses before proceeding to second reading. I think, Mr. Chairman, that is all it is necessary for me to say at this time as far as the Official Opposition is concerned.