May 10, 1902

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROTTLE.

Was it not the understanding that Bills which are opposed should not be taken up to-day ?

Mr. B'ELCOURT. I do not thank there was any understanding as to what Bills should be taken up to-day. The committee only adjourned ten minutes ago. and they are to meet again at three o'clock.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I obiect to the Bill going to the committee this afternoon. There is no possibility of forcing it through now and sending it to that committee at once. The hon. leader of the Opposition expressly declared that when a Bill was opposed it must be held over.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

It is claimed that it was agreed yesterday that if a Bill was objected to to-day, it might stand over until Monday. If that be the case, all we have to do is to object to the Bill, but if the House will agree to pass the

Bill now and not have it go before the* Private Bills Committee until Monday, I think that would meet the views of all concerned.

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CON

Adam Carr Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. C. BELL (Pictou).

I think it should be kept in mind that this Bill has already been thoroughly discussed in the committee of the Senate. Every opportunity was there given to parties interested to be heard. These parties were present and amendments were made to meet their wishes, and they expressed themselves perfectly satisfied and undertook to withdraw any opposition. Now it seems to me as if this action taken so hurriedly is intended to destroy any chance of the Bill passing. It cannot be argued that the Bill has not been thoroughly discussed.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

I would like to suggest to the hon. gentleman in charge of the Bill that in view of the position now being taken, lie should agree to its being here referred to the Private Bills Committee, and considered by that committee on Monday. No one can say that he has not had due notice of this Bill. We have been flooded with resolutions passed weeks ago by the association in Halifax, and with literature during the past two months from other sources opposed to the Bill, so that it cannot lie said that at least advantage is taken of any person in the Dominion regarding this legislation, but if objections are made to our dealing with the measure now, 1 think it would only be fair to refer it to tlie committee on Monday, and no good can come of pressing it through at present.

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

I am very loath to accept that suggestion because I feel that the result will be the killing of the Bill.

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CON
LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

The display of temper in tlie House this morning leads me to believe that it is the intention of certain hon. members to kill the Bill. I submit to the sense of justice of the House whether any good reason has been given why this Bill should not be considered in committee this afternoon. If, when the Bill is called in committee, some of the interested parties are not present, and it be claimed that they have been taken by surprise, that is a matter for the committee to deal with. If the committee finds that some parties should lie present who are not here, the committee could let the Bill stand over until Monday. but to refuse to consider the measure now, for no reason except that some people are opposed to it, is not fair. That is a matter for the committee to decide, and which this House is not in a position to decide. If 'it be not considered in committee this afternoon at three o'clock it is going to be defeated. But let it be defeated on its merits and not on mere obstruction.

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Mr. W. F.@

McCREAItY (Selkirk). Some two or three weeks ago I received a letter from Mr. Hugh John Macdonald, the solicitor for the Chartered Association of Accountants of Manitoba, asking me to oppose the Bill. I always supposed, with a large number of other hon. members, that I would have an opportunity to oppose it in the committee, but so far I have not seen it in any Private Bills committee. The association of Manitoba have employed a solicitor to oppose the Bill. He was here yesterday and went home on the understanding that it could not possibly come before the House to-day, and before it goes through the parties opposed to it should be given a hearing. There are also some members of this House not now in their seats who intend opposing this Bill, but did not expect that we would get to it today.

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

I have been appealed to by parties in favour of and against this Bill. I think, in view of the position in which it stands to-day that the Bill might be allowed to go to the committee for this reason. Eminent counsel have been brought from Montreal and Toronto in support of and against it, and if the Bill be not allowed to go to the committee today these counsel will have to remain over at great inconvenience. If it should go to the committee to-day it can be discussed there, and there will then be ample opportunity for discussing it again before the House, and if it be found that parties should have been heard who had not the opportunity of being present, the rules of the House are ample to prevent the Bill going through without full consideration being given everybody interested to be heard. The parties who want to be heard must be heard or otherwise the Bill could not pass, and under the circumstances it seems to me that we should allow the second reading to take place and refer the Bill to the Private Bills committee. .

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I may say that I telegraphed to the parties interested that the Bill would not be before the committee until Monday. Of course I did this ou my own responsibility, but 1 thought it was a fair view to take of the case, as the Bill had not passed its second reading. If the committee would take up the Bill this afternoon on the understanding that the promoters of the Bill will give i:s the assurance that they will riot attempt to take the final judgment of the committee, but allow the measure to stand over for final consideration until Monday, I think that would remove all objections.

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Mr. I@

I told a gentleman who spoke to me that I did not think the Bill could come up in committee to-day, and it was not necessary for him to be here to-day. Further than that, when Mr. BELCOURT.

there was a motion made last night to dispense with the necessity of forty-eight hours' notice before Bills would be taken up in committee, after getting the second reading, I had a most distinct understanding which my right hon. friend the Prime Minister will remember, with regard to all the Bills, that they should not be taken up until those interested had an .opportunity of being heard before the committee. My hon. friend will remember that as far as this Bill is concerned, I should object-not that I have any interest in it-from the standpoint I took last night, to it being proceeded with to-day.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

Would you be satisfied to have it taken up Monday ?

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Yes, perfectly satisfied, but I object to its being gone ou with to-day.

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

Counsel have been brought here from Toronto who are anxious to be heard, and I would be glad to have the committee hear them. The suggestion of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance, seems to me a very reasonable one. We could allow the Bill to go to the committee this afternoon and counsel could be heard, but with the understanding that the committee will not close the matter, but will continue it until Monday, so that the clients of my hon. friend could be heard.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

But the inconvenience is that there would be nobody ou the other side, and it is a little difficult to answer counsel if there is nobody

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

As having charge of the Bill, I will undertake not to have it put through until Monday, but I would very much like to have it considered to-day.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

But is it not a little inconvenient to have counsel addressing the committee with nobody on the other side ?

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

Could they not do all the better if they were unopposed ?

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LIB

Napoléon Antoine Belcourt

Liberal

Mr. BELCOURT.

I think counsel are pretty well aware of the arguments pro aud eon on this Bill.

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May 10, 1902