January 26, 1911 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Henry Horton Miller



It does not necessarily mean that all the members who are not present are neglecting their duties, because, as a matter of fact, every member of the Banking and Commerce Committee is also a member of at least one other committee, and many of them members of two or three other committees. Several of these committees meet at the same time. Yesterday there were meetings of the Committees on Agriculture, Banking and Commerce, Public Accounts, and Printing, and many of the 130 members of the Banking and Commerce Committee were actually in attendance on these other committees. It would be very desirable if we could get every member of the Banking and Commerce Committee to attend and take an interest in the business of that committee. The hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) said just now that he would take this discussion as a warning to himself that he ought to be more constant in attendance on this committee. If so, that would bring about a very good result because the hon. gentleman is a member of this committee, and not very constant in his attendance. In saying this I am not implying that he is in any way neglecting his duties because no doubt, when not present at the meetings of this committee, he is doing possibly better work in connection with his public duties elsewhere. But that is also the position of many other members of the committee. The whole matter was carefully discussed in the committee on Wednesday morning, and both sides were unanimous in the opinion that the quorum ought to be reduced. Under present conditions, and that no doubt applies to many other committees, if business is to be proceeded with at all the chairman has to see a quorum when really there is none. Rather than have the committee do business in that irregular way, it would be better to have the quorum reduced.

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