The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES (Hon. R. Prefoutaine) :
2. The inspector of fisheries has just returned from an inspection on the spot to inquire into the feasibility of building a tunnel through the side of the channel, and he considers the plan would not be effective.
The department is considering the blasting of a passage through the base rock beneath the dam ; but, before undertaking this expensive work, is desirous of obtaining some further information as to the probability of its eventual effectiveness, No time will be lost, however, in doing all that is possible to overcome the obstruction.
Before the Orders of the Day are called I propose to draw attention to an item which appeared In the Ottawa ' Evening Journal ' of yesterday, and which is as follows :
KEEP OUT OF THE CORRIDOR. Haughton, M.P., does not like the Populace.
Two Many Fair Visitors he Say-s in the Buildings.
The corridors of the parliament buildings- not the immediate lobbies of the chambers when -the members or senators are in session-are. as they should be, free and open to every citizen of Canada who conducts himself properly, as all visitors to the buildings do. There are even galleries of the House to which no ticket is required and into which any properly-conducted person can step to listen to the debates.
No one but a member or senator who is endowed with an overweening sense of his own importance and dignity would ever dream of objecting to people having (access to the public portions of a building which is not the private property of members but the property of the country. Even when there are so many visitors as during fair week no one minds if there is a little crush in the corridors, though it must be said that the crowds to-day and yesterday do not make anything like the crush that is to be seen in the lobbies when members .are leaving the chamber at. the close of a sitting or in the corridors on the day of a big debate.
But it seems there is one member of parliament who objects to having the people rub elbows with him, even though such respectable representatives of the general public as attend the Central Canada Fair. The name of *this 302i
gentleman is Mr. Haughton Lennox, who represents the west riding of Simcoe and occupies one of the back benohes on -the opposition side. In spite of the fact that he represents a farming constituency he got up this morning and complained that the .corridors were overcrowded with visitors, so much .so as to make i.t difficult for members to find their way about.
But it seems there is one member of parliament who objects to having the people rub elbows with him even though such respectable representatives of the general public ais attend the Central Canada Fair. The name of this gentleman is Mr. Haughton Lennox.
The name of this gentleman is Mr. Haughton Lennox who represents the west riding of Simcoe and occupies one of the back benches on the opposition side. In spite of the fact that he represents a farming constituency he got .up this morning and complained that the corridors were overcrowded with visitors so much so as to make it difficult for members to find their way about. The complaint of Mr. Lennox is not likely to find much sympathy among his fellow-members, who will recognize the interest felt by .those who rarely have the opportunity to see parliament in session and the right df the electorate to see for themselves what their representatives are doing.
I want to say emphatically, and, fortunately, I can appeal to the record of this House that there is one word of truth in that article. This is a question of privilege not affecting me alone, but affecting every lion, member of this House, because I assume every hon. member wishes to discharge his duty fearlessly and in the best interests of the country. I claim the right, and I think I have the privilege of enunciating my views on any matter affecting the conduct of this House. I had the advantage upon this occasion of having the distinguished concurrence of my right hon. friend who leads the House. I was referring to the fact that owing to the very warm weather of the past few days, it has been found necessary to keep the doors open, and that hon. members of the House have, thoughtlessly, and I am not going to say that I have not been guilty upon occasion as well as anybody else-been in the habit of talking at this door, Mr. Speaker, behind your Chair, and that it was particularly difficult for those hon. members sitting near the door to hear or be heard. What I said was this :
Before we proceed with the consideration of this Bill in Committee, I would d.raw the attention of the right hon. the leader of the government to the fact that it is very difficult for us to hear what is being said in the Chamber, owing to conversations in the corridors outside this door, and I think it would be well to adopt some means to prevent any undue interruption of that kind.
I say that I made no complaint that the corridors were overcrowded with visitors. They were not, as a matter of fact, overcrowded at all. I think there were no strangers in the corridor when I came into the' House at the time the House was meeting, and there was no pretense, as this item endeavours to point out, that any inconvenience was caused to any one. Then it proceeds. Misstatement No. 4 :
Difficult for members to And their way about.
Is there anything in what I said in referring to it being difficult for members to find their way about ? No. 5 :
The complaint of Mr. Lennox is not likely to find much sympathy among his fellow-members.
I made no complaint of the character that is suggested in this item. I maintain, and if necessary will protest, and if protest is not sufficient I will endeavour to insist, that there shall be reasonable order in this House, both in the corridors and here while we are endeavouring to the best of our ability to conduct the public business.
I say that in no offensive sense. When I was mentioning this matter yesterday morning an hon. gentleman who sits near me said ' No. 10.' I did not take that offensive position. I recognize that when a number of gentlemen are together in a room they will engage in conversation and we are not very far from No. 16. I do not want to make the matter a party question. We are all equally interested in having the business of the House proceed without interruption.
I refer to these five specific statements in this item, not one of which I submit is in the slightest degree borne out by any statement I made. An bon. gentleman wishes me to read again what I said.
Judging by the gravity of demeanour and the earnestness of manner of the hon. member for South Simeoe (Mr. Lennox) one would imagine that he actually believed that this was a matter of sufficient importance to take up the time of the House with it for half an hour. This is a habit we are falling into, fjiig pgg(3ii]g of newspaper criticioin upon t!is conduct of. members; and it is a puerile habit and one that should be condemned. What reason has the hon. gentleman to bring before this House the fact that some correspondent or reporter has criticised his speed! ? We are all open to criticism, and we must take it like men. It is a sign of cowardice to take this method to get back at a newspaper reporter-