I wish to say a word in connection with this allowance for days of absence. I do not propose to make any motion on the subject, but it is only fair that there should be an understanding as to the different positions of members of the House coming from different sections of the country. Those of us who come from a considerable distance-from west of Lake Superior, from the Maritime Provinces, and from some constituencies in the more remote portions of Ontario and Quebec-are unable to carry on our private business while attending to the public business of the session. It appears that the members who are situated within a night's or an afternoon's railroad run of the city of Ottawa are in a position to carry on their private business while ostensibly attending to their duties in Parliament. Those of us who are not so fortunately situated have nJo right to find fault with tiho-se who-are, provided the exercise "of their liberties does not reflect upon us and do us substantial injury. As a matter of fact, the business of this House is and has been delayed session after session by the fact that such a large proportion of members live within a comparatively short distance of the capital and make it a matter of business to be absent from the House the latter end of the week and the beginning cf the week thereafter. So that during the greater part of the session, instead of doing business five days in the week, we are doing business three days in the week, and sometimes hardly that. That has the effect of lengthening the session unduly; it compels the men who reside at a distance to remain 'here weeks and months longer than they would be required to remain if everybody stayed here and attended to business during the five or six days of the week. The penalty of a fine of $15 for each day's absence was imposed for the purpose of holding members to their work. We relieved them of that fine to the extent
of fifteen days-and it is this fifteen days that has done the damage so far. Now we propose to make that fifteen days thirty days. On the one hand we declare that the interests of the country and the treasury shall be protected by a fine of $15 against each member who is absent from a day's sitting, and then we provide that the fine shall not be paid in respect of fifteen days. Now we provide that the fine -shall not he paid in respect of thirty days. The position is entirely illogical. While it would, perhaps, be ineffective to make any determined opposition to this- vote, I take the responsibility, following the remarks of the member for Shefford (Mr. Boivin), of placing before the House the serious disadvantage to which a large proportion of the members are subjected by reason of the undue exercise on the part of other members of the privilege and advantage of attending to their private business while the session is in progress.