November 21, 1932 (17th Parliament, 4th Session)


Abraham Albert Heaps



I am dealing with the question of order. In 1930, I remember, a similar motion was made and was discussed, and there was no question as to the propriety of the motion, after the speech from the throne had been voted upon and an amendment somewhat similar to the one now before us had been discussed. On the motion to go into supply an amendment was moved dealing with unemployment. I will read the amendment to show the difference between the motion made two years ago and the motion now before the house. That motion read:
That all the words after "that" be struck out, and the following he substituted:
"in the opinion of this house the government should take immediate action to deal with the question of unemployment."
I was glad to observe on March 31, 1930, that the present Prime Minister voted for that amendment. I submit that if the interpretation which the right hon. gentleman now endeavours to put upon the rules of procedure is accepted it will narrow discussion to the point where private members will have practically no redress whatever.
The Minister of Justice has referred to the item in the estimates dealing with unemployment. May I read the item, which appears under administration of justice. There are the following headings: penitentiaries, legislation, agriculture, pensions, mail subsidies and steamship subventions, miscellaneous. Then:
Pensions and National Health-unemployment relief-further amount required, $975,000.

It is for unemployment relief only so far as pensioners are concerned, and when we are in committee on that item the Chairman may quite possibly confine the discussion to that one particular aspect of the unemployment situation. We have not yet reached that item in the estimates, but if the interpretation which the Minister of Justice puts upon the rule is sustained, when the general estimates come before the house it will be impossible to raise any question that is not strictly relevant to that particular item. I trust, Mr. Speaker, that on this occasion, as custodian of the rights of private members, you will come to our assistance and rule the amendment in order.

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