Mr. R. L. BORDEN.
I think these agreements had better be in writing. My hon. liiend the chief whip of the Conservative party came to me to-night after I had [DOT]seen him in conference with the Minister of Justice behind that door, and told me after some previous negotiations, that there was a distinct agreement that the debate should be adjouisned after the member for Pictou had spoken upon condition, to which I consented, that we would go into committee to-morrow night before 12 o'clock.
I told my hon. friend we would probably go into committee before six o'clock, but that we would not make any agreement to that effect, because I had already got into trouble with some of my hon. friends by consenting to vote on last Wednesday night. Six or seven gentlemen on this side of the
House wanted to speak, and I thought they were justly entitled to have that vote postponed till Thursday night, but because the right hon. gentleman insisted, and because I had given my word that it would rot be later than Wednesday night, I told these gentlemen they could not speak. I spoke to every one of them personally, and a good deal of dissatisfaction was caused by my doing so. Although circumstances had arisen which I thought might justify the vote being postponed till Thursday, I had given my word without qualification and I proposed to carry it out and did carry it out. To-night my hon. friend from Leeds (Mr. Taylor) after his conference with the Minister of Justice, was firmly under the impression that an agreement had been arrived at. and he came to me and reported the agreement which had been made and said he was going home, that everything had been arranged. He went and told my hon. friend from South Grey (Mr. Richardson! that | under the arrangement he was entitled to | move the adjournment of the debate. That hon. gentleman did move the adjournment of the debate. When he moved it, I understood from the right hon. gentleman that we would keep on until 11 o'clock. My hon. friend from South Grey waited until 11, and then again moved the adjournment of the debate, but the request was again denied. So after two incidents that amounted, as I understood, to a violation of a distinct agreement made with a member of the hon. gentleman's cabinet, after that I did not ask that the adjournment of the debate should be made. I understood that these gentlemen were apparently departing, either wilfully or otherwise, from an agreement which the Minister of Justice undoubtedly did make and which the Minister of Justice will not deny. All I can say is that so far as I am concerned there will be in the future no arrangement made between the whips as to the date at which any debate is to be adjourned or concluded unless it is put in black and white, so that there will be no question about it. It is a very unpleasant thing to have these questions as to the truthfulness of one side or the other coming up continually, as they have been doing during the past four or five days. So far as I am concerned in the future there will be no more question about it, because I will make no arrangement as to the taking of any vote in this House unless it is put down in writing. Then we will all understand it, and there will be no more of this nonsense of agreements being made and then broken, and our being told afterwards that they were only tentative. How could they be tentative when the negotiations with regard to the adjournment of this debate went on for 15 or 20 minutes, and when finally such an agreement was come to as justified the chief whip in telling me what he did. and in telling what he did to the member for South Grey, and then going
home thinking everything had been fairly arranged ? It is time that agreements of this kind should be placed in such a position that there will be no possibility of these unpleasant disputes.