March 7, 1902

PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE.

LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. D. C. FRASER (Guysborough) moved:

That the first and second reports of the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts be now concurred in. *

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. JOHN HAGGART (South Lanark).

I do not rise to object to this particular motion being adopted only a few minutes after it has been presented to the House. I believe that we should have an opportunity of knowing what these reports contain, and I wish to give notice that I shall object to this procedure in every other case.

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LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. FRASER.

My reason for moving the adoption of the report now' is, that there are but two smali matters referred to in it. The first is the employment of a shorthand reporter, and the second, that certain evidence which was taken before the committee last year be brought down ; and, as the committee may have to meet any day, I did not want it to meet without having this before it. That is the reason I made the motion.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I withdraw the objection in this particular case.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

Because the point of order was well taken.

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?

The PRIME MINISTER.

Before the point of order is taken, I would ask my hon. friend to let the matter stand until Monday or Tuesday, so that we may examine the case. I doubt whether a notice is required to be put on the Order paper in order to make a motion for the adoption of the report.

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LIB
CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I have no objection to the motion; but nearly every day,

reports of committees are adopted a few minutes after they are read in the House. I think this is irregular, and I simply give notice that after this I hope the rule will be enforced.

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Motion agreed to.


FIRST READING.


Bill (No. 31) respecting the Buffalo Railway Company and the International Railway Company.-Mr. Osier.


SUPPLY-PERSONAL EXPLANATION.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding) moved that the House again go into Committee of Supply.


LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. HENRI BOURASSA (Labelle).

Mr. Speaker, before you leave the Chair, I wish to bring before the House a matter that has been talked of a good deal in this House and outside of it, with reference to a statement which I made some days ago as to declarations made by the late Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Sir Louis Davies, in relation I to the abrogation of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, and the settlement of the Alaskan boundary question. A couple of days after I had made that statement I received from Sir Louis Davies the following letter :

The Supreme fcourt of Caaada.

February, 21, 1902. Dear Mr. Bourassa,-My attention has been called to the report of your speech in the House of Commons on your motion for papers in re the Clayton-Bulwer treaty in which you credit me with having made the statement that I 'had spent three months in London trying to get the officers of Mr. Chamberlain to take the part of Canada at the sittings of the Anglo-American Commission.'

May I ask you for your authority for attributing to me such an extraordinary statement ?

Faithfully yours,

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L. H. DAVIES.


As I received this letter just before I was leaving for Montreal, I simply dropped a note to Sir Louis Davies, a copy of which I have not kept, telling him that I would try to satisfy his mind on the matter. So, on the 25th I wrote to him the following letter : House of Commons, Ottawa, February 25, 1902. Sir Louis Davies, Supreme Court, Ottawa, Ont. Dear Sir,-In compliance with the promise I made* you last week, I send you my authorities for the statement which I made in the House in the following terms : And here is the exact statement I made as reported in the official report of the Debates : One of the Canadian ministers, who was on that occasion one of the British plenipotentiaries, the late Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Sir Louis Davies, went to London and passed three months there. For what purpose ? He Hon. Mr. HAGGART. was candid enough to tell us, when he came back from England that-after the Anglo-American Commission had sat for six months, after they were supposed to have at their back the influence of the British government-he, Sir Louis Davies, was obliged to pass three months in London to convince Mr. Chamberlain's officials that they should not side with the American government, but with us.' I go on : My authorities for making such a statement- Hon. Mr. HAGGART. Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order. I do not know under what rule or right the bon. member for Labelle brings into the House a controversy between himself and Sir Louis Davies on a particular subject. The most he could possibly do would be to make a personal explanation of something which he said on a particular day, and as to which he was misrepresented or misquoted; but to read letters which have passed between him and Sir Louis Davies is clearly out of order.


LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I understood, from what has been said so far, that the hon. member for Labelle wanted to make a personal explanation, and I supposed that the letters he has just quoted were simply his excuse for making the personal explanation which he desired to make. I would call the hon. gentleman's attention to the fact that all he can do now is to make a personal explanation, and I would ask him to confine his remarks as much as possible to that.

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Subtopic:   L. H. DAVIES.
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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

Certainly, it is not my intention to do anything else than make gcod the statement which I made and which has been challenged in this House and outside of it, and on which Sir Louis Davies asked me to make a personal explanation in this House. Therefore, I do it, in justice to the hon. gentleman, in justice to myself, and in justice to the House; and I think the House will be pleased to have a full explanation of the matter. I think it is my right to explain for what reason I made the statement, and to prove that the statement was accurate.

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Subtopic:   L. H. DAVIES.
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March 7, 1902