§ Mr. SMITHERS
I wish to ask your guidance, Mr. Speaker, about an incident which happened this morning in the precincts of this House. Members of Standing Committee D were summoned for a meeting at 11 o'clock, necessitating the attendance of permanent officials of the House. Only 19 Members attended, and the Committee was adjourned sine die. Cannot you bring some pressure to bear to persuade Members to attend to their duties, so that those who do attend Committee sittings shall not have the whole morning wasted?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The House has not entrusted me with any power of correction over errant Members. All that I can do is to ask Members who are appointed to Committees to regard that appointment, in the absence of extremely important reasons, as one to be fulfilled.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Would the hon. Member's proper remedy not be to put down a Vote of Censure on the Government for not having a sufficient number of Members present?
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
Is it not the duty of the Government to see that Committees are properly attended, especially when Government Measures are considered?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
So far as the House is concerned, I do not think there is any difference of duty between Members on the Government side and those in any other part of the House. Any remark that I made applies to all.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Is this incident an indication that the Government rota system for its Members has now broken down?