April 21, 1902

ORTHODOX RUSSO-GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH.


Mr. FRANK OLIVER (Alberta) moved that the report of the Committee on Standing Orders on a petition of the Right Rev. Tikhon for an Act of incorporation under the name of ' the Bishop of the Orthodox Russo-Greek Catholic Church ' be referred back to the said committee for obtaining their recommendation for the introduction of the Bill, notwithstanding rule 49.


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Mr. A. A. C.@

LaRIVIERE (Provencher). This petition lias already been twice referred to the Standing Orders Committee. The first time the committee reported that the rules of the House had not been complied with, and then my hon. friend from Alberta (Mr. Oliver) moved that it be referred back to the said committee for reconsideration. The committee has reconsidered the petition, and instead of amending their first report, they call the attention of the House to further objections to the petition, to the fact that the petitioner is not a British subject, and is not living in the British possessions, but that he is a resident of San Francisco, and an alien, as he admits himself in his petition. Now I do not know whether my hon. friend expects that this committee will stultify itself by making a different report than that which it has already twice made. Moreover, I do not know that the rules of the House will admit that this report may be referred back to the same committee without giving any reasons therefor. There is no reason adduced, there is no instruction asked to be given to the committee. The committee has considered the question twice very attentively, and I may say that the officers of the Crown were present at its meetings. In the first place the Solicitor General (Hon. Mr. Carroll), and in the second place both the Minister of Justice (Hon. Mr. Fitzpatrick)! and the Solicitor General were present, and the last report of the committee was made, in fact, at the suggestion of the Minister of Justice himself. 1 am not usually a supporter of the government, but on this occasion

I think I will have to support them. I am not at all objecting to the incorporation of the Russo-Greek Church, but I think this should be done in a regular way, in such a way that the people who are most interested should know what is taking place. We are asked to incorporate a bishop, a foreigner, who resides in San Francisco, and who claims to be Bishop of the Greek Church in North America and of the Aleutian Islands, he wants to be recognized as such in his petition, and he wants to control the Greek Church in Canada. While my objections are perhaps not relevant to the point of order, I desire to say that in this very important matter we ought to make haste slowly. The committee has taken all these questions into consideration and found everything irregular. The petition itself that came before the Committee on Standing Orders is not even endorsed by the member who presented it to the House, there is no responsible name to the petition, it is irregular in every way, and we cannot expect that the Committee on Standing Orders will stultify itself by reconsidering for the third time a question they have already sufficiently considered. I am not a member of that committee, and, contrary to the statement made by my hon. friend the Minister of the Interior (Hon. Mr. Sifton), I did not take advantage of my position as a member of the committee to bring about the report which was made. I was there as a private member, and I was there as a representative of a portion of the population that it is sought to incorporate without their knowledge. I have one or two thousand of these people In my riding, and it is for that reason that 1 protest against the way things are arranged, and the way in which the incorporation has been sought. I raise the point of order, Mr. Speaker, and I ask your decision upon it.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

May I make a statement, or at least give the hon. member some information in regard to the motion that I have made ? I understood him to say that it was indefinite, that the Bill was asked to be reported without consideration. My motion asks that the Bill be referred to the committee for the purpose of getting the committee to recommend' the Bill for the consideration pf the House. We understand that that was the understanding of the House, and I supposed it was the understanding of the committee. There has been a mistake somewhere, I think. The committee has reported on the Bill, but has not reported the Bill, which I understand was the intention of the committee. The report of the Committee on 'Standing Orders may be found on page 338 of the Votes and Proceedings, and is as follows :-

In obedience with the Order of the House of the 15th instant, your committee have again taken into consideration the petition of the Right Reverend Tikhon, of the city of San Francisco, California, bishop of the Orthodox

Russo-Greek Catholic Church, for North America and the Aleutian Islands, for an Act of incorporation. The attention of your committee having been drawn to the fact that the petitioner in this case is, by his own admission, an alien, living in a foreign land, and desiring as such to be created a corporation sale within the Dominion of Canada, they beg to report the same for the information of your House.

. Now I read that report as reporting the Bill to the House. But I am informed that another construction can be placed upon it, and that it does not report the Bill to the House ; and that therefore the Bill is not and cannot properly come before the House without further consideration by the committee. As I read the report the Bill is reported to the House, but in deference to the views of other parties I have to ask the House to refer it back to the committee so that there may be no mistake.

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LIB

Thomas Barnard Flint

Liberal

Mr. T. B. FLINT (Yarmouth).

As chairman of the committee, I may say that there is a little misunderstanding. The point having been called to the attention of the committee that the petitioner appeared, on the face of the petition, to be a non-resident of Canada, I understood the committee to decide that the point should be called to the attention of the House and that only, as regards notice the petition is all right, but that the point should be called to the attention of the House; therefore, nothing more was said and the petition was accepted with that understanding. Of course, there was a haziness about it. My own impression . is that when it was considered it was the intention that the petition should go before the House in the usual way and that the committee should simply call the attention of the House to that particular point in order that it might be considered by the House. As far as that point is concerned the committee expresses no opinion, but I think it would be well that it should go back to the committee to have the question settled as to whether the committee intended to recommend the Bill in calling attention to that point.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (Hon. Clifford Sifton).

Mr. Speaker, it is perfectly evident from the proceedings which have come before the House in connection with this Bill, that technical objections are sought to be x'aised as against this Bill for the pui'pose of preventing the House from considering its merits. In the first place we had the objection x'aised as to insufficiency of notice. It went back and it was perfectly evident that the notice was substantially sufficient. When the question of the l'esidence of the petitioner was suggested, it was of course admitted by everybody that it was a question either for the House, itself, to consider, or for the House to consider through its committee on private Bills. But, what is attempted now is to prevent the House from considering that fact altogether. This House, itself, Mr. OLIVER.

either in proper session, or through its committee on private Bills, ought to consider objections such as those that have been raised. If the objection to the considei'a-tion of this Bill be l'aised under a rule of the House, then, it is quite clear, that it is not customary to enforce that rule. The precedents upon the subject are quite clear. I would ask your attention, Mr. Speaker, to Bourinot, page 320 :

Aliens, not resident in this country, have strictly no right to petition parliament. In the case of applications for private bills, however, this rule is not enforced. It was agreed in ISIS, at the suggestion of Mr. Speaker Anglin, to receive a petition from the Hartford directors of the Connecticut Mutual Insurance Company, on the ground that it was a mutual company, partly composed of Canadians, and that it was the subject of parliamentary legislation, the company being required to make a certain deposit before doing business in the country. Iu 1883, a petition from certain persons in the city of Portland ir. the state of Maine, asking for an Act of incorporation, was received on the ground that the subject matter came within the jurisdiction of the House, as in the case already cited. The reception of such petitions may be considered as an act of grace.

While a petition has been presented and has gone to the Committee on Standing Orders, I understand that the members of the committee and the promoter of the Bill understood that the Bill was being reported to the House. After It had gone to them, as was quite proper, it was called to the attention of the committee that the petitioner was an alien and they desired to call the attention of the House to the fact, so that the House might consider it and might, in its judgment, agree to the usual grace being extended to this petition. I submit that the House ought not to put this petitioner in the position of not being able to get before ns at all. Having complied with the rules so far as notice is concerned, having done everything that the law requires him to do, and the Bill having been passed upon by the Standing Orders Committee, he should be put in the position of being able to come before the House and of having it decided by the House whether his Act of incorporation should be passed or not. Certainly, he has that right, and every person who comes asking for legislation has that right. If this House decides that it will not extend the usual grace to him but that on the ground that he is an alien it will refuse to give him the legislation which he requires, and I am not going to assume that the House will decide in that way at all, he certainly has a right to have a decision from the House. If it be necessary under tbe terms of the report, as the bon. member for Alberta (Mr. Oliver) has read it-that is a matter upon which yon, Mr. Speaker, will rule-if it be necessary that the Bill shall go back to the Standing Orders Committee in order that the committee may amend this report, I submit, that it is only fair and just to the petitioner that he should

have a decision from this House on the merits of his Bill. .

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LIB

Duncan Cameron Fraser

Liberal

Mr. D. O. FRASER (Guysborough).

I think there is only one matter before the House and that is : Does the report convey what the committee agreed to ? I certainly understood that the committee was to report the Bill with the statement that they did this for the information of the House, because the petitioner had, In the petition, represented himself as a citizen of the United States, and that the matter would come up In connection with the Bill. Cer-tainy, I agree that the Bill should not be left with the committee without coming back at all. The question is : Does the report of the committee bring back the Bill to this House ? I think it is very doubtful.

1 think that while I would inquire into the standing of this man that the Bill ought to come back here as the committee agreed and then we will take action. I do not say that I will vote for the Bill, but, if it comes back, it will come back from the committee, and, as I understand, they were to report on the Bill, adding the words that were there. As we have had the report the committee do not report the Bill at all. I think we should have the Bill reported.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

Objection is raised to this motion which has been made by the hon. member for Alberta (Mr. Oliver) and which demands that the report of the committee presenting this petition shall be referred back to the Committee on Stand-Orders. If I understand the situation, a petition was presented some time ago by this reverend gentleman, and was received by the House. The petition has been actually received by the House and has been referred to the Standing Orders Committee. Now, I think also that the petition, even though it be signed by an alien, can be received by this House if the House is disposed to receive it. I see that in many instances, especially concerning private Bills, petitions signed by some aliens have been received. This petition has been before the Standing Orders Committee, a report has been made upon it and the report according to the motion is not satisfactory. I think that the motion to refer back that report to the committee is absolutely in order.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

The only thing referred to this House is a particular fact regarding the Bill, and the Bill is before the committee yet to report on it or not as they see fit - In view of this, I submit with great respect that this motion is entirely irregular. The committee have not technically reported on the Bill, but only on a fact in connection with it, and the House can deal with that or not as they see fit. I submit that there is) nothing in the world to prevent the committee proceeding to deal with this Bill just as if this fact had not been reported to the House.

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Motion agreed to.


GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS-EXPENDITURE PROM 1895.

CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

I wish to give notice that I will move to-morrow the motion which stands in my name.

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The PRIME MINISTER (Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier).

I thought the Minister of Railways was to make his statement to-morrow.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. HAGGART.

Not until after the committee reports.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

Very well.

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YUKON TERRITORY ACT.


The MINISTER OP THE INTERIOR (Hon. Clifford Sifton) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 119) to further amend the Yukon Territory Act. He said : The first section of this Bill changes the wording of the clause which gives the Commissioner ini Council of the Yukon territory jurisdiction, and the effect of the change is that in case of a conflict between an ordinance passed by the Governor in Council and an ordinance passed by the Commissioner in Council, the ordinance passed by the Governor in Council shall prevail. It is simply for -the purpose of avoiding unnecessary litigation where there is a dispute in regard to jurisdiction. The Bill also gives the local council of the Yukon territory the control and regulation of [DOT] the sale of intoxicating liquors in the territory. It will be observed by -the House that that clause does not affect the section in the Act which deals with the manufacture of liquor in the Yukon territory. The second section refers to the sittings of the court. The third section makes an important change in connection with the local council of the territory. It is the view of the government that matters have now arrived at the stage at which a further measure of representative government may be extended to the Yukon territory, and it is therefore provided in accordance with the application of the Yukon council : That instead of two elected representatives in the local council thel'e shall hereafter be five. The fourth section of the Bill amends the clause which relates to the powers of the Governor in Council respecting the territories. The amendment as drawn removes the prohibition as against the Governor in Council imposing a tax in that territory, but I desire to explain to the House that this clause was drafted by error, and I will ask an amendment to be made, the exact terms of which I will announce on the second reading of the Bill.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

How many members will compose the council under this Bill ?

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The MINISTER OP THE INTERIOR.

There are five appointed members now, and

there *will be five elected; with the commissioner.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


April 21, 1902