March 22, 1901

PAPERS RESPECTING TELEGRAPH CONSTRUCTION.

CON

Charles Hibbert Tupper

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir CHARLES HIBBERT TUPPER.

I move that the papers brought down to this House under order, 18th February, 1900, respecting telegraph construction, be referred to the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts. Now that the hon. Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) has returned from North Bruce, I would like to call his attention to some papers that have gone astray-many things go astray. By an understanding between him and myself some accounts in connection with this matter were already before the Public Accounts Committee. They were not laid on the Table of the House, that being an unnecessary formality. But one of the officers of the Auditor General's Department, Mr. Reid, was subpoenaed to attend, as he was the auditing officer. Before attending the next meeting of the committee he was desirous of looking over certain books. On inquiry at the Public Works Department, Information was given that these documents had been sent over in compliance with this order of the House, to be brought down. No doubt, they are under the charge of the hon. minister, and I would be very much obliged if he would give immediate orders so that the Auditor's officer may see the books. I do not wish that they be formally laid on the Table, as that is not necessary.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I have a box full of papers in my room. They will be brought down.

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CON

Charles Hibbert Tupper

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir CHARLES HIBBERT TUPPER.

So far as I am concerned, the original understanding is quite sufficient. I know that the papers are of considerable bulk. If the hon. minister will allow the Auditor's officer to see these books of account, that is all that will be necessary.

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The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

With the greatest pleasure.

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Motion agreed to.


FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 87) to amalgamate the Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway Company, the Winnipeg Transfer Railway Company (Limited), the Portage and North-western Railway Company, and the Waskada and North-eastern Railway Company, under the name of the Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway Company.-Mr. McCreary. 1881 MARCH 22,1901 1882 Bill (No. 88) to incorporate the Canadian Nurses Association.-Mr. Clarke-by Mr. Horsey. Bill (No. 89) respecting the Grand Falls Water Power and Boom Company.-Mr. Costigan. Bill (No. 90) respecting the Dominion Burglary Guarantee Company (Limited)- Mr. Bickerdike.


CANADIAN ORDER OF NURSES.

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I move for leave to introduce a Bill to incorporate the Canadian Order of Nurses.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I may say that a Bill has already been moved to incorporate the Canadian Nurses Association.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

1 merely raise the question whether the Bill was regular. 1 understand it was only introduced in blank, and consequently was no Bill at all.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I did not see the Bill when it was presented a few moments ago, and I do not have an opportunity of seeing whether Bills are printed or in regular form.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The Bill introduced by the hon. member for North Grey is only a blank form, is, consequently, no Bill at all, and I raise the question of his right to introduce a Bill in that form. I understand the rules do not allow it.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

No doubt the rule does not allow a Bill to be introduced which is not in regular form. But, a few moments ago, a motion was made to the same effect as the one made just now by the hon. member ; that motion was carried, and the Bill was read a first time without any objection being made to it. I did not look to see whether it was printed and otherwise regular ; because the hon. gentleman knows that a Speaker is not always able to see whether a Bill is printed or not. Therefore, a motion having been carried of the same nature as that made by the hon. gentleman, X do not feel that I can admit this motion.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I rose at the time to take objection to it, but another gentleman was on his feet, and I was obliged to sit down, and could not enter my objection until the motion was carried. Therefore, I had, to wait for another opportunity.

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TRANSLATION OF THE DEBATES- QUESTION PUT BY MR. ETIIIER.


Mr* J. A. C. ETHIER (Two Mountains). (Translation.) Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are called I rise to call your attention to a matter which concerns me personally and which is in the nature of a matter of privilege. Here are the facts which I wish to bring to the attention of the House : On Monday, March 18, I as a member of this House and within my right as such, prepared and placed in the hands of the Clerk of this House the following question :- 1. Is the government aware that, since the beginning of the present session, the translators of the Debates have each day translated into English all the French, and into French all the English by them received for that purpose from the Government Printing Bureau, notwithstanding that the amount of matter for translation is equivalent at times to as much as 128 columns of Hansard, in a single day ? 2. Is the government aware that since the opening of the present session, the translators of the Debates have also corrected and returned to the Printing Bureau each day, all the proofs sent to them therefrom for that purpose, notwithstanding that such proofs amount at times to as much as 125 columns of Hansard, in a single day ? 3. Is the government aware that, up to this date (March 18), the Bureau has sent to the translators of the Debates, matter for translation up to the 12th only, and proofs for correction up to the 11th only ; and that of the French version it has paged and published the Debates up to the beginning of the sitting of March 4 only, notwithstanding that the amount of matter for translation in the hands of the printer is sufficient to bring the work up to the 14th at least, and the paging and publishing up to the 11th ? 4. Is the government aware that the delay in the printing and distributing of the French Hansard is due to the management of the Printing Bureau and not to the translators of the Debates, who labour day by day and even Sundays and holidays, if necessary, in order to translate forthwith as it is received, all matter furnished to them ? 5. Is the government aware that the delays and tardiness of the Government Printing Office in printing the French edition of. the Hansard, is the means of depriving the representatives of the people, the press and the public in general of the advantages they should derive from the steady labour of the translators ? 6. Is it the intention of the Government to put a stop to the delay caused by the Printing Bureau and to secure the paging and publishing, in due time, of the French edition of the House of Commons Debates ? This question was placed on tbe Order paper and it still stands there in my name. It will probably be put on Monday, when comes tbe time for calling it. It seems that, this question has started quite a controversy this week.


LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

(Translation.) Let me call the attention of tbe bon. gentleman (Mr. J. A. C. Ethier) to the fact that be cannot at this stage go beyond a mere recital of tbe facts alleged. I understood that he is now raising a question of privilege, but cannot go into the discussion of the facts without moving the adjournment of tbe House.

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LIB

Joseph Arthur Calixte √Čthier

Liberal

Mr. J. A. C. ETHIER.

(Translation.) I do not intend to provoke a debate on a nues-tion of privilege as I reserve that right for a later stage. Nor is It my intention to go

into a review of the circumstances which gave rise to this question ; but as the public press, and even certain committees of the House have grappled with this question, and as a certain writer in one of those newspapers has thought it proper to anticipate the position of the Debates Committee by misrepresenting the attitude which I had taken, in an editorial which appeared in the columns of that paper yesterday, I deem it my duty to set myself right.

Let me first quote from the last paragraph of an editorial of La Patrie, of March 11th, in reply to two editorials which had appeared in the columns of Le Journal, on the 27tli of February, and on the 8tli instant, respectively. This article, under the heading : ' The Translation of the Debates,'

winds up as follows :-

Le Journal lays the blame on the government and makes it still more responsible for that condition of affairs than the translating staff. The matter ought to be throughly sifted and probed to the bottom once for all, and Justice should be given to whom Justice Is due.

Now, on the 20th instant after this question had been placed on the Order paper and printed, La Patrie, in its daily parliamentary correspondence, struck the right note about the merits of this question.

But on the 21st, that same paper, not in its parliamentary correspondence but in an editorial under the heading :

' The Hansard trouble,' referring to my absence from the House-for, as a matter of fact, ou Monday night I was absent from the House, and in so doing, I have only been using a common privilege to all members of this House, and for which I do not think I am called upon to offer any excuse or explanation. La Patrie, I say, made a statement which was not in accordance with the facts ; and it even contained an insinuation which would show, had it been made with premeditation, that the mind of its author was under a false impression. It reads as follows

Mr. Ethier being absent from the House yesterday, his question in connection with Hansard *was dropped.

Well, Sir, I say without hesitation that the first statement in this paragraph is without any foundation whatsoever, and that the question placed in my name on the Order paper was not dropped. It still remains on the Order paper Just as it stood on Monday, and I say that it is most unfair to put the public mind under such a false impression. Such a way of proceeding would afford me quite sufficient ground for complaint. But the writer goes still further :

Still, it may not - be found without interest to bring together this momentary absence and the action taken yesterday by the Hansard Committee for the purpose of finding out -who supplied the member for Two Mountains with the information on which was based the question placed in his name on the Order papers.

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March 22, 1901