Mr. ROBERT GARDINER (Acadia):
thought that probably the Prime Minister would make some explanation of this resolution, but as he has not done so, I desire to take up the time of the house for a few minutes to discuss it.
This is what we term a double-barrelled resolution, containing two subject matters of importance. To that we take objection. We believe that when two such matters as are contained in this resolution are to come before this house for discussion, they should be separated into two different resolutions, so that the house may be in a position to accept the one and reject the other if it sees fit.
So far as the first part of this resolution is concerned, if the Prime Minister has it in his mind that certain estimates should so to
Rules of the Home
certain standing committees, we approve of that suggestion. This matter was discussed at some length in the house last year, and the Prime Minister made some promise at the time that the government would take into consideration the advisability of sending certain of the estimates to standing committees in order to expedite the business of the house. I am glad that the Prime Minister has taken this, perhaps the first, opportunity of introducing this matter to the house. So far as the second part of the resolution is concerned, I am rather doubtful of this proposal. It is proposed that private bills after going to a standing committee shall be placed on the order paper for third reading. It would appear from this resolution that on these private Ibills the house will not go into committee of the whole, and consequently the members of the house as a whole will not have the opportunity of securing the information that perhaps will be secured in the standing committees. To that we take objection.
I would like to call the attention of the house to an anomaly that this proposal is going to create if it is carried through. We are all here representing various constituencies, and in the final analysis every member of this house is on an equality, but when it comes to the question of bills introduced by private members for private persons or corporations, such bills have precedence over bills of a public nature that are introduced by private members, and under those circumstances, no matter how desirous any member of this house may be of trying to secure the passage of needed legislation of a public nature, he is to all intents and purposes blocked by the rules of the house. If there is going to be an opening up, to facilitate the passage of private legislation through this house by ensuring that it shall be voted upon,
I submit to the Prime Minister and to the house that the private member introducing public legislation should be put on a parity with the private member introducing private legislation. We have no objection to this matter going to a committee for consideration, but if that committee in its report makes a further discrimination as between public and private legislation, we in this corner of the house are going to take very strong objection to it. .
Subtopic: PROPOSED REFERENCE OF CERTAIN ESTIMATES TO COMMITTEE-THIRD READING OF BILLS