May 3, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)


Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal


The Prime Minister may rest assured that we on this side of the House have no objection to prorogation in time to allow the ministers to attend to the business that may call them elsewhere. I would observe, however, that there are a great many items which might be cut out of the sessional programme. We are engaged at the moment on the Budget debate; which is always important, and especially so on this occasion, in view of the circumstances with which we are confronted. The debate which has proceeded now for three days has been very interesting, and not a minute I think has been lost. The whole debate has been conducive to the public interests. There is also on the programme to-day the Inspection and Sale Act, which is important on account of the information it elicits; I suppose that Bill cannot be left over, but if we go on with it, it will take some time, though perhaps not very long. The Minister of Trade and Commerce has another Bill on the Order Paper for controlling exports and imports. I do not know exactly what it is, but it may lead to a very important discussion. Then there is the Civil Service Bill, which is largely technical, and will take one or two sittings to dispose of. The Consolidation of the Railway Act is also a very important and voluminous Bill, and if it is gone on with this session it will take a very long time. Perhaps the Government would let that stand over for another session. Then there is the Canadian Northern Railway Bill. I do not know exactly what it is, but it is important and will require a full explanation and a good deal of consideration. Then there are the
main estimates which, however, are largely advanced, and the supplementaries. So, on the whole, there is still a pretty big programme. I understand, however, why the Government wish to press for an early close of the session, and I can assure them that we on this side of the House shall do nothing except to facilitate business as much as we can.
The only suggestion I would make to the Prime Minister with reference to his motion is that he amend it so that we would commence morning sittings on Tuesday, the seventh o'f May, instead of on Monday. The reason T ask this, is that many members are absent and could not be notified in time for Monday morning's sitting.

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