July 15, 1903

IRON AND STEEL BOUNTIES.


The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding) moved that the House will tomorrow go into committee to consider the following proposed resolution : That it is expedient to enact as follows 1. The Governor in Council may authorize payment of the following bounties on the undermentioned articles manufactured in Canada from steel produced in Canada from ingredients 208} of which not less than fifty per cent of the weight thereof consists of pig iron made in Canada, viz.:- (a.) On rolled, round wire rods not over three-eights of an inch in diameter, when sold to wire manufacturers for use in making wire in their own factories in Canada, a bounty of six dollars per ton ; ,(b.) On rolled angles, tees, channels, beams, joints, girders, or bridge, building or structural rolled sections and on other rolled shapes not round, oval, square or flat, weighing not less than thirty-five pounds per lineal yard, and also on flat eye bar Wanks, when sold for consumption in Canada, a bounty of three dollars per ton ; (,c.) On rolled plates not less than thirty Inches in width and not less than one-quarter of an inch in thickness, when sold for consumption in Canada for manufacturing purposes for which such plates are usually required and not to include plates sheared into plates of less width, a bounty of three dollars per ton. 2. The Governor in Council may make regulations to carry out the intentions of the foregoing section. 3. That chapter eight of the statutes of 1890 be so amended as to provide that the bounties on steel and iron authorized by chapter six of the statutes of 1897 shall be continued until the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and seven, and that the rates of such bounties shall be as follows :- (a.) From the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and three, to the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and four, both inclusive, the bounties shall be ninety per centum ,of the amount fixed by the said chapter six of the statutes of 1897 ; (b.) From the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and four, to the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and five, both inclusive, the bounties shall he seventy-five per centum of the amount fixed .by the said chapter ; fc.l From the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and five, to the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and six, both inclusive, the bounties shall be fifty-five per centum of the amount fixed by the said chapter; (d.) From the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred and six, to the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and seven, both inclusive, the bounties shall be thirty-five per centum of the amount fixed by the said chapter. He said : I beg to state that His Excellency the Governor General, having been informed of the subject matter of tills resolution recommends it to the consideration of the House.


PROCEDURE IN REGARD TO ADJOURNMENT.

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. S. SPROULE (East Grey).

Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are taken up, I wish to bring to the attention of this House an incident which occurred last Friday night during your absence in reference to the practice of the House.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I do not know that there is anything so very amusing as to tickle hon. members before they know what I am going to say or whether it gives evidence

of sapieney on their part to make such a demonstration in advance. I refer to the fact that when we reached the stage at which this House was about to adjourn, there was no Speaker or Deputy Speaker present, and the hon. Minister of Finance (Hon. Mr. Fielding), who was then in charge of the House, instructed the Chairman of the committee of the House to take the Chair, and receive the report. Afterwards that hon. gentleman acted as Speaker, and adjourned the House. I am not aware that there is any authority either in law or practice which justifies that procedure. There is nothing so far as I know or can find either in the English rule or in our own giving authority to any member to adjourn the House other than the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker. The practice in England, as also here, is and has been that:

When the hour of adjournment comes either the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker adjourns the House on motion of the senior minister present.

Apparently, therefore, so far as we find, the House cannot be adjourned unless one of the above ofiicials is present except as follows :

If the Speaker calls upon any member to take the Chair, the House being then sitting, and at a later stage the adjournment be moved such member shall have the power to adjourn the House in the usual -way.

Therefore, technically, I assume that the House did not adjourn on Friday night last, really sat during Saturday and Sunday without transacting any business until 3 p.m. on the following Monday. The mace, however, should have remained on the Table. I take up ' Bourinot's Parliamentary Practice ' and I find the following :

That the Speaker ' shall preside at all meetings of the House of Commons.' The 47th section makes provision for his absence for any reason from the Chair for forty-eight consecutive hours. In that case ' until the parliament of Canada otherwise provides the House may elect another of its members to act as speaker, and the member so elected shall, during the continuance of the absence of such speaker, have, and execute all the powers, privileges and duties of the Speaker.' The experience of the old Canada assembly showed the necessity of having such a provision in the Act, in case of the illness of the Speaker. For instance, on one occasion the House had to adjourn for some days, when the clerk had communicated to the House the fact of the Speaker's indisposition.

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LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I suppose the bon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) will conclude with a motion ?

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPRODLE.

I had not intended to do so, but if necessary, I will do so.

Mr. SPEAKER, It would be more regular.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Then I shall move one.

The House of Commons had no deputy speaker before the session of 1885 ; but, in pursuance of a statute in that behalf, whenever the Speaker Mr. SPROULE.

from illness, or other cause, was obliged to leave the Chair, he called upon a member to take his place for the time being, and every order made and thing done under these circumstances was declared valid and effectual.

In 1885 the House adopted the English practice as far as possible with respect to the appointment of" a Deputy Speaker. The chairman of committees, appointed at the beginning of every session as hereinafter set forth, acts as Deputy Speaker in conformity with the provisions of a statute

That is chapter 20 of our statutes

-passed to provide authority for the appointment of a deputy speaker and to give validity to all proceedings while the officer in question is in the Chair.

That Act provided that:

Whenever the Speaker of the House of Commons. from illness or other cause, finds it necessary to leave the Chair during any part of the sittings of said House, on any day, he may call upon the chairman of committees, or, in his absence upon any member of this House, to take the Chair and to act as Deputy Speaker during the remainder of such day. unless the Speaker shall himself resume the Chair before the close of the sittings for that day.

2. Whenever the House shall be informed by the clerk at the table of the unavoidable absence of Mr. Speaker, the chairman of committees, if present, shall take the Chair and shall perform the duties and exercise the authority of the Speaker in relation to all the proceedings of the House, as Deputy Speaker, until the meeting of the House on the next sitting day, and so on from day to day on the like information being given to the House until the House shall otherwise order : Provided,that if the House shall adjourn for more than twenty-four hours the Deputy Speaker shall continue to perform the duties and exercise the authority of Speaker for twenty-four hours only after such adjournment.

3. If at any time during a session of parliament the Speaker shall he temporarily absent from the House, and a Deputy Speaker shall thereupon perform the duties and exercise the authority of Speaker as hereinbefore provided, or pursuant to the standing orders or other order or resolution of the House, every act done and proceeding taken in or by the House in the exercise of its powers and authority, shall be as valid and effectual as if the Speaker himself were in the Chair; and every act done and warrant, order, or other document issued, signed or published by such Deputy Speaker, In relation to any proceedings of the House of Commons, or which under any statute would be done, issued, signed or published by the Speaker if then able to act, shall have the same effect and validity as if the same had been done, issued, signed or published by the Speaker for the time being.

At six o'clock, p.m., on the first of May, 1885, in accordance- with the law, the Clerk informed the House of the unavoidable absence of Mr. Speaker Kirkpatrick, on account of serious illness in his family, and Mr. Daly, Chairman of Committees, took the Chair, and adjourned the House. The Speaker was obliged to be absent for two more sittings, and the Clerk every .day informed the House of the fact as soon as it met, and the Deputy Speaker .took the Chair and read prayers,

When the Speaker enters or leaves the House, the sergeant-at-arnls precedes him with the

mace, which will lie on the Table whilst he is in the Chair, and the House is consequently in session.

Then, with regard to the duties of the Speaker :

It is the duty of the Speaker to preside over all the deliberations of the House, and to enforce its rules and orders of which he is the guardian. He announces the business of the House in the order in which it should be taken up. . . . He receives and puts to the House, all motions that may be proposed by members in accordance with the rules and usages of parliament. He receives messages from the Senate &c., &c.

I claim that in the absence of any specific provision in our rules there is no authority whereby any member of the House or any official can call another member to the Chair, and that there is no person charged with that duty except the Speaker himself, or the deputy speaker in the absence of the speaker. I claim that when a person is appointed as a Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House, when he discharges such duties, he not being called to the Chair of the House, his authority ended there. It is said that where our rules do not specifically provide for carrying on the business of the House we may fall back upon the English rule bearing on the subject, but so far as I can find there is no English rule which would justify what has been done in this case. I desire to ask whether the Speaker has or has not the authority to delegate his powers to some one privately ? Even though that can be done by the Speaker, I draw attention to the fact that in this case it was not done by the Speaker but by a minister of the Crown, who certainly had no authority for doing so. I draw the attention of the Speaker and of the House to this matter so that we may know what is the rule, and so that we may not follow this as a precedent in the future. If it be necessary to make some provision for such a contingency, we should make the provision and not go on in this loose and irregular way. AS I have said, I can find no rule for this even in the' rules of the imperial House of Commons, and in doing what has been done we apparently have gone beyond the rule of the imperial parliament itself. The rule also says that that motion for adjournment having been made by the senior member of the government present, the Speaker shall put it from the Chair and declare it carried and the sergeant at arms shall precede the Speaker with the mace, which is the sign of authority, out of the chamber. That was not done in the present case because the Speaker was not present, and while the sergeant at arms carried the mace to the Speaker's quarters there was no Speaker to follow him as the member who occupied the Chair went off about his business.

Some lion. MEMBERS. Horrible.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I draw attention to this so that we may not get into the habit of doing what we have no warrant for under the rules of this House. I beg to move the adjournment of the House, Mr. Speaker.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. HENRI BOTJRASSA (Babelle).

I am afraid that the motive of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) is not so much to preserve the integrity of our rules as to ventilate a grudge against us all because we did not go on sitting on Saturday and Sunday, for had we sat on Sunday morning he might have an opportunity to address this House on some religious question just as he instructs us on secular questions during all the week days.

I would point out to the hon. gentleman that the English rules have been embodied in our own rules and if he will look at the Revised Statutes of Canada, Chap. 14. he will find the following :

1. Whenever the Speaker of the House of Commons, from illness or other cause, finds it necessary to leave the Chair during any part of the sittings of the said House, on any day, he may call upon the chairman of committees, or, in his absence upon any member of this House, to take the Chair and to act as Deputy Speaker during the remainder of such day, unless the Speaker shall himself resume the Chair before the close of the sittings for that day.

There is no doubt ns to the right of the Speaker to call some one to the Chair, and as to the legality of any act done by the House under the presidency of the member who takes the place of the Speaker in his absence. Under rule 3, the Deputy Speaker has exactly the same right as the Speaker. The rule says that every act done by the Deputy Speaker is as valid as if it was done by the Speaker himself. Therefore, the Deputy Speaker has a perfect right to call any member of the House to take the Chair. The anomaly of the Deputy Speaker presiding over the Committee of the Whole and then acting as Speaker occurs every day. It is well understood that his personality changes for the time being, though happily it does not change entirely, and he has a perfect right to call any member of the House to act as chairman of the committee in presenting the report, and to take from that member the report of the committee while he acts as speaker of the House. Therefore, so far as that point is concerned, I think it is well settled.

Without being too personal, I would remind the hon. member for East Grey (Mr. Sproule) that one who lives in a house of glass should not throw stones at his neighbour, even at the Speaker. If the hon. gentleman is so anxious to observe all the rules of the House, not only in the spirit, but in the letter, I would remind him of another rule which I confess is not observed by every member of the House. That is rule 18, which says :

Every member is bound to attend the service of the House unless leave of absence has been given him by the House.

I would remind the hon. gentleman that not even for the purpose of looking after the prosperity of the great order of whfch he is the grand master

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Grand sovereign.

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LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. BOURASSA.

Oh, yes. I have such republican tendencies that I always forget the bigger titles. Not even in order to preserve the prosperity of that valuable order is a member allowed to take leave of absence without permission of the House, and go to its convention, and there not merely give lessons to the Speaker of this House, but give lessons in politeness to the King. I regret that the hon. gentleman has not chosen another of his colleagues to raise the point of order and give lessons to the Speaker on the observance of the laws in these matters, and I hope that before he again undertakes to teach respect for the laws to the Speaker, he will not again give such an example of rebellion as he has given in the last few days, at the same time breaking a rule of this House.

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

Mr. Speaker, one thing, at all events, is certain with regard to the motion which has been made by my hon. friend, that whether the law has been observed or whether it has been violated, no harm has been done to anybody. My hon. friend has, I think, drawn the true conclusion upon the question, that if the House was not legally adjourned on Friday night, it continued in session until some time between 12 o'clock and 1 o'clock, Monday night or Tuesday morning. The House may have been in session, not only on Saturday, but on Sunday. Even if it was, no harm was done, althougn nobody was present, and the House was adjourned effectively, if not legally. My hon. friend himself, I think, was present on Friday night, when it was adjourned or pretended to be adjourned. At all events, if I understand my hon. friend, he was anxious himself to adjourn. He did not want the House to go on sitting. On the other side of the House the conclusion had been come to that the House had sat long enough, and that a recess should take place. What more could be done ? As I am informed, the only thing to be done was to send for the Speaker, who at that time was in his room ; but the messenger, not finding him immediately, went for the Deputy Speaker. Both came, but it was too late ; my hon. friend from West Huron was too quick for them, and the mace had left the Table. For my part, I acquit the Sergeant-at-arms of any intention of breaking the constitution when he removed from the Table ' that bauble ' as Cromwell styled it. I acquit also the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of not being in the House at the time, they being in their rooms and liable to be sent for at any moment. But let us go one step fur-Mr. BOURASSA.

ther, and let us suppose that both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker were unavoidably absent ; what was to be done under such circumstances ? Was the House to go on sifting for ever, though it wanted to adjourn, and was my hon. friend from East Grey himself to remain glued to his chair though he wanted to leave it ? I think myself that this is a case where necessity knows no law, and common sense must prevail. This is a case where common sense is law and law is common sense. If at any time during the session of the House it happens for any unavoidable cause that neither the Speaker nor the Deputy Speaker is in the House, then the House must go on sitting for ever-, or some means must be found for giving effect to the will of the majority of the members present. I will recall to my hon. friend a precedent to show that when the law is imperfect and insufficient to serve the ends of common sense, the common sense of the House will assert itself. I forget the year, but the incident is well known, and ought to be well remembered by every member of this House. I think it was about 1881 or 1882, when Mr. Parnell was carrying on a policy of obstruction. At that time the cloture did not exist in England. When the House had been in session forty hours or thereabouts, Mr. Speaker Brand took the law into his own hands and put the question to adjourn the House, though it was against the rules of the House as existing at that time, and the question was voted upon and the House was adjourned. I am not aware that his action was ever reprimanded ; on the contrary, I think it was approved of by common consent. There was at the time no law on the subject, but the will of parliament could not be baulked for ever ; so common sense asserted itself, and Mr. Speaker Brand took the law into his own hands. I am not prepared to say whether or not our laws should be amended to meet such a contingency as I have just referred to. I was glad to hear the remarks of my hon. friend, that he has no blame either for the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker, but that he simply wanted to have a fair question answered. Whether or not under the circumstances the proceedings of the House were valid, and whether an adjournment could take place or not, is a matter which I do not consider of very great moment; but if the House considers that there is a question to be investigated, perhaps it would be well to have some expression of opinion upon it from members who take an interest in the question. For my part, I cannot see that any law hasj been violated. I think that under the circumstances the adjournment was perfectly legal. I may say, moreover, that I understand that Mr. Speaker has power to call a member to replace him in the Chair, and that this may take place not only immediately, but in an hour or two hours or three hours-that he can

say to a member, ' I want you to take my place at -9 o'clock or 10 o'clock,' as the case may be ; and I do not think there is any impropriety In his so doing.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

Of course, the Speaker in the Chair is a very different individual, so far as his powers are concerned, from the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker as the Chairman of a Committee ; and while it is quite feasible, I suppose, for a Speaker to call a member to take his place and act as Speaker from that time till the adjournment of the House, it does not follow that the member of the House who has been called to take the chair of the committee as Deputy Speaker can proceed from the chair of the committee to the Speaker's chair, and fulfil all the functions which the Speaker could have fulfilled if in the chair. I think therefore my hon. friend from East Grey is quite right in bringing the matter to the attention of the House,. because it concerns the dignity of the House and the order of our proceedings that the rules should be observed.

There was no occasion at all for any of the jeers in which my hon. friend from Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) indulged, because the matter was brought to the attention of the House in a very dignified and sensible manner by my hon. friend from Grey (Mr. Sproule). The construction placed upon the rule by my hon. friend from Rabelle is most absurd. He says that the rule forbidding members from leaving the service of the House without permission means that they are not to leave the precincts of the House. No one has ever supposed that the rule had ever any such interpretation.

The House was effectively adjourned, and no harm was done, but still it is right that such matters should be brought to your attention, Mr. Speaker, and that we should have your ruling. No blame can be attached to you, Sir, or to your deputy because we have it, on the evidence of my hon. friend, that you were making all possible speed-he does not give the rate of speed, but it may have been a hundred yards in ten seconds-for the purpose of seeing that the House did not continue in session into the Sunday, as my hon. friend from Grey says it did.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding).

' I understand that the hon. member for Grey did not express a desire to have any ruling, or that any action should be taken, but merely drew the attention of the House to the circumstance, so that what did happen, whether regular or irregular, will not be made a precedent. To that extent we all sympathize with the hon. gentleman, but I do not see any particular necessity for a ruling. We may rest content with the assurance that, as my hon, friend from Grey has drawn attention to what took place, there is no danger of its being made a precedent. The purpose which the hon.

member had in vjew has been accomplished, and I have no doubt that he is quite satisfied.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

My intention was not to reflect on Mr. Speaker or on any body else, but simply to point out what did take place in order that a re-occurrence of the incident might be avoided.

Motion (Mr. Sproule) to adjourn, negatived.

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TREADGOLD COMMISSION.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would like to ask the right lion, the Prime Minister whether or not the personnel of the Treadgold commission has been completed by the acceptance of Chief Justice Killam, to whom he referred on a former occasion.

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The PRIME MINISTER.

No, it has not.

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July 15, 1903