September 9, 1903

?

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

If the hon. gentleman will allow me, though we have not the arguments or reasons, we have the results in every case.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

We have the amendments. As to that, I may say that I never saw these printed amendments until yesterday, when I saw them in the hands of my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule). I went to the distribution office to get a copy, and was handed a copy by the clerk there, who told me that I could not be allowed more than one copy. I never received a copy through the mail, and some of my hon. friends tell me that they are in the same position. But there is a discussion which has been recorded

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
LIB

Charles Smith Hyman

Liberal

Mr. HYMAN.

The hon. Minister of Justice tells me that he inquired of the clerk of distribution, and was informed that these documents were distributed in the ordinary way.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I do not deny that. I only say that I did not receive a copy. As this discussion is carried on, when a constituency is taken up for discussion my hon. friends on this side must refer to the typewritten copy of what was said, using the two copies which my hon. friend* from South Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart) and myself have at our disposal. They must look through about 350 pages of typewritten matter, which is not indexed. If my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works were asked to state the facts with regard to Lanark, Middlesex or Victoria, he could not do it readily. I have been trying to make an index with regard to the counties which are the subject of disagreement. Then when the question of population c mes up. the census must be referred to. The Minister of Justice has sent me a book which has been prepared in most convenient form for reference. Everything is indexed. and you can turn at once to any given constituency. This is necessary, no doubt, for the minister to have. It is a very convenient book for the hon. minister and his friends to have at their disposal. Then, there is the configuration of the counties which is to be found in the electoral maps of the Dominion, and which we had in the committee. But each one of my hon. friends has not got one of these maps. Besides, these maps are not indexed, and it is diffi-Mr. MONK.

cult to find any given county. Under these circumstances, we must proceed very slowly. Moreover, my hon. friends are obliged to have a set of documents in hand which it is difficult to handle while they are making their arguments to the committee. Now, as we have advanced the work considerably, I suggest agaiii that it is advisable, for the expedition of the work when it comes up again, that we stop now.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

My hon. friend will remember that the chairman of the committee had to work out a great deal of this information from the census returns and other books, and he had a number of copies made showing the ridings, when the change was'lnade, the population, and so forth, and each member of the committee was furnished with a copy. Perhaps my hon. friend has lost his.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I think we ought to have a record of the amendments proposed in the committee respecting the schedules of this Bill. Will the hon. gentleman tell us some of the resolutions moved by the majority that were not carried by the committee? What became of those motions ? Are they on record?

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

We got power from the House to engage a clerk and stenographer, and they kept track of all these things. It is not very likely that the majority of the committee would propose amendments and vote them down. At the same time, propositions made by the majority of the committee were changed from time to time. After discussion, we came to a conclusion and agreed upon what was best to be done. I do not know if there is any record of that. But many changes were made with regard to these constituencies during the long time the committee were at work.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Then some of the motions were defeated by the committee ?

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

They were not all defeated. I think the leader of the opposition said he was anxious to discuss some of those matters with his friends, and desired! the privilege of placing that document in the hands of the clerk of the committee before it was printed, in order to put in some amendments that he might desire to make after consultation with his friends.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

This is a very important Bill, and many of its clauses are contentious and likely to take up several days in discussion. I think the right hon. gentleman should put some person in charge of these volumes and have them indexed for the convenience of members. While this committee was in conference, they asked each member of the House to appear before then and state why their particular county ought

to be changed, or why it should remain intact. Now, we have no evidence of that in this document. If we had an index of that evidence it would save a good deal of time in the discussion. For my part. I must say that the gentleman who drew this Bill, if he had desired to make it ns inconvenient as possible for us to discuss it, he could not have done it more effectually. Take the province of Ontario, which involves 54 sections with several paragraphs. Now, would it be any hardship to put under one head all the constituencies commencing with A, under another all those commencing with B, and so forth, then each man could put his finger on it in a moment. Suppose I ask tlie hon. member for Essex (Mr, Cowan), who has the Bill in his hands, to tell me where Essex is.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
LIB
L-C
LIB

Mahlon K. Cowan

Liberal

Mr. COWAN.

That is what the hon. gentleman has been talking about.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

It just shows he does not know. Then, we come to the chairman, who, I presume, has orders to take advantage of the members of the opposition, and just as soon as a member of the opposition takes his seat for the purpose of looking up a point, the chairman declares the item carried. Now, does the right hon, gentleman expect us to make much progress under those circumstances ?

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I would suppose that after the committee had taken power to employ a stenographer and a clerk, a correct record would have been made of all motions moved and carried by the committee. That was the course in 1892 when we had a long committee of inquiry, and a copy of the proceedings was given to every member of the committee and to many members of the House so that we could review the work of the previous day to see what had been done. If it was worth while to employ a stenographer it seems to me that a copy of the report of the proceedings of the committee should have been furnished to the House, because, afterwards, these proceedings must be reviewed by the House. I have heard the argument addressed to hon. gentlemen on this side of the House several times to-night, which seems to be a very improper argument, that this was agreed to unanimously by the committee and that we therefore must not object to it. Are we legislating by committee or by parliament ? Is it .not the usual course that all Bills after going to a committee come back to us and the House then resolves itself into a committee of the whole to consider these Bills clause by clause, and when a clause is under consideration it is the right, no matter whether it is agreed to or not by the committee unanimously or otherwise, of any hon. member to criticise each clause and to move

an amendment >f lie so desires. T'ur; is a right belonging to every member of parliament and he does nothing improper when he exercises that right. We have frequently heard it said across the floor of tins House : You are discrediting your oiwn

men who were members of the committee by challenging what was done. Not by any means. If parliament were only legislating by committee it might be said that such was the case, but surely, in regard to this measure, we must pursue the same course that we do in regard to every measure that comes before the House and every hon. member is within his right and he is only discharging his duty when he criticises every clause of this Bill no matter whether it was unanimously agreed to or otherwise. But, in addition to that, if we were expected to pay attention to what was done by the committee, as we at least on this side of the House desire to do. we ought to have had the record of its work from day to day before us so that in the meantime, before we came to this discussion, we could have made ourselves familiar with it and reached the conclusion we desired to reach in regard to the outlines of the various constituencies that we have to deal with here. I think this omission to supply us with the record was very improper. We ought to have had it indexed as well so that there would be no trouble in turning up the subject that we desired to turn up at a moment's notice, the inability to do which has been a cause of delay. The great bulk of the members of this House have practically little information in regard to what took place in that committee, and yet, when the concrete Bill that has been brought in is placed before us we are expected to pass it en bloc, because 'hon. gentlemen say it has been agreed to by a committee composed of four members from one side of the House and three from the other side. I think that is unreasonable. It has been proposed that we might very properly adjourn to-night because we have done so much. That suggestion was made because of a desire on this side of the House to have a conference amongst ourselves and reach an understanding as to what features or clauses of the Bill we would address ourselves to, because we have been unable to do that owing to the very meagre information which has been given to us. I may say that I only .got the document which embodies the resolutions of the opposition this afternoon. That was the first I saw of it. If it was distributed in our boxes we knew nothing of it, and as a result we jhave had no time to carefully go over it. The Bill may have been distributed, but it only came into our hands yesterday and consequently we had very little time tb consider it. It does seem to me that we would be facilitating the business quite as much if we had an opportunity of talking that matter over amongst ourselves. We did

so in some measure at noon and also after the House rose at sics o'clock and the result has been that we have made much better progress since. The only desire we have is to get a better knowledge of the provisions of the Bill before we are called upon to discuss it in the House.

The PRIME 'MINISTER. It seems to me that these objections came at a very late hour. The committee proceeded as all committees have proceeded. They kept a record of their proceedings. They first moved in the House that they be authorized to employ stenographers for the purpose of keeping such a record. When the proceedings were completed and the committee had come to a conclusion the suggestion was made by the bon. leader of the opposition to have typed copies made of the proceedings for the members of the committee. Seven copies were made for that purpose. Then, for the information of the House there was a transcription made of the resolutions moved by the hou. leader of the opposition in which they embodied their policy. This was printed and distributed with the Bill. Seven hundred copies of this have been printed, 200 copies have been distributed to the members of the House of Commons and 81 copies to the Senators. It is probable that while members of the House were very much engaged with another Bill they forgot to look in their boxes for their mail and see that they had 1Jhe information. Now, however, I do not want at all to unduly press hon. members on_the other side of the House. If they want to have a little time to consider their piosition very good ; we will adjourn now, but I would suggest to hon. gentlemen opposite that it would be quite fair to pass the resolution in regard to Carleton after the explanation which has been given and we will adjourn immediately afterwards.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

There is one thing I would like to call the right hon. gentleman's attention to before this is passed. I am quite sure the right hon. gentleman wot, d not conclude that it would be possible to bring down a schedule in the first instance and have the opposition assent to that schedule and have it carried through the House. I do not think the right hon. gentleman would say that that was a fair proposition.

I am going to state to him now that the first cast of constituencies brought down by ihon. gentlemen opposite has not in effect been varied one jot or tittle. The constituencies with one member, the constituencies with two members, and the constituencies with three members as embodied in the first cast are to-day embodied in the Bill. That is a very strong statement to make, but I will ask the Minister of Justice if that statement is not absolutely correct. There is just this variation that instead of Haliburton and Muskoka being together, Victoria and Haliburton are placed together.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

1 repeat the statement that the draft that was made up by the hon. gentlemen opposite in the very first instance, on the 11th of May, has not in substance been altered one jot or tittle. It is as follows :

One member-Glengarry, Prescott, Stormont, Russell, Dundas, Carleton (except Ottawa), Grenville, Frontenac, Kingston, Lennox and Addington, Prince Edward, Durham, Victoria, Peel, Ilalton, Dufferin, Wentworth (except Hamilton), Norfolk, Haldimand, Lincoln, Welland, London, Nipissing, Haliburton and Muskoka, Parry Sound, Thunder Bay.

Two members-Ottawa, Lanark, Leeds, Renfrew, Hastings, Northumberland, Peterborough, Ontario, Wellington, Bruce, Perth, Waterloo, Hamilton, Brant, Oxford, Elgin, Lambton, Kent, Essex, Algoma.

Three members-Simcoe, York, Grey, Huron, Middlesex (except London).

That was the draft given on the 11th of May and I want to call the right hon. gentleman's attention to this that although the f orm of sitting in the committee has been gone through -it has not been changed one particle as a result of those sittings. If hon. gentlemen opposite were right it has not been changed. If hon. gentlemen were wrong in a single division, it has not been changed. I wish to make that statement before adjournment ; and without contending as to Carleton I think it right that the hon. gentleman should know that this is not a state of things that is likely to happen In a fair division.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

It is only right that this committee should be seized of the manner in which that schedule was prepared. It was after considerable discussion in the committee as to what rules should govern its actions. The hon. member would lead this committee) to believe that this was prepared without any consideration or before any committee meetings were held. This was not the case; it was prepared after several conversations had taken place among the members of the committee and it was not expected to lay down wlipt rules should govern the action of the committee but was simply Intended as a guide and as some foundation upon which to work, something which had been agreed upon and to which we would confine ourselves. The proposition was made out at the instance of the chairman for the Information of all the members of the committee. *

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Does the hon. gentleman

say that this was made up after certain deliberations had taken place and after a proposition had come from this side of the House with regard to the unit, &c. ?

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

I say it was made out after we had several discussions as to the unit and as to the way that unit was to be applied and it was only intended to facilitate business. The memorandum was prepared at the Instance

of the chairman and was submitted to the committee for our information.

Topic:   REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Permalink

September 9, 1903