February 2, 1905

PRIVATE BILLS-EXTENSION OF TIME.

LIB

George Davidson Grant

Liberal

Mr. GEO. D. GRANT moved :

That in accord with the recommendation contained in the report of the Select Committee on Standing Orders, the time for receiving petitions for Private Bills and also the time for presenting Private Bills be extended to Thursday, February 23rd, and Thursday, March 9th, respectively. -

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS-EXTENSION OF TIME.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. S. SPROULE.

So as to elicit an expression of opinion from the right hon. the First Minister, I would point out that the rule providing that petitions for Private Bills shall be presented within a certain time was intended to facilitate the work of the session. If that time be too short, we should amend the rule and give a longer time, but the judgment of the House was that the time limit provided was sufficient. This rule, however, seems to be more honoured in the breach than in the observance, and last session I drew attention to that fact on several occasions. I pointed out that we might as well have no rule as one which we did not follow, and I think the House should either decide to amend the rule or insist on its being observed.

lit. Hon. Sir WILFRID LAURIER (Prime Minister). It is quite true that my hon. friend from Grey has more than once called the attention of the House, and my own in particular, to the fact that the rule in question has been systematically violated. But I do not think that my hon. friend himself ever objected to this first request, which is invariably made, to have the rule extended. Since I have been in parliament it has been the constant practice to allow one extension at least ; but of late years this permission has been extended unduly, and last session we had the Committee on Standing Orders reporting in favour of an extension of time, not only once, but three or four times. But according to practice, this first extension is granted at once.

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CON
LIB

Romuald-Charlemagne Laurier

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The Conlmit-tee on Standing Orders should take notice, however, that the rule will not be extended any further. Of course, there may be exceptions, but if so, each application should stand on its own merits, and only be granted on special grounds. My hon. friend from Grey suggests that the rule should be amended. Perhaps we may have to revise, not only this, but several rules. For instance, we have a standing rule, which is never observed, fixing the recess for dinner from six to seven thirty p.m. By tacit consent, however, we have always extended that recess till eight o'clock. In the present instance, I am glad to see that my hon. friend from Grey agrees with me that there can be no objection to granting this extension, but that henceforth we should refuse all such applications.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.

I cannot quite agree with what has been said by either of the hon. gentlemen. Parliament is here to serve the people, and the people should have all reasonable accommodation in getting the legislation they desire. We are not here to tell the public, you must do this at such a time or you cannot have what you want ; but we ought to afford every reasonable facility to the public for getting the legislation they desire. There may be some very large interests desirous of obtaining legislation ; they may not be able to give the necessary notice, and I think we would be meeting the public convenience by receiving the Bills. I agree with the opinion that an explanation ought to be given, but I still think that it is a good doctrine that we ought to try and accommodate the public in so far as we can in giving them the legislation they may require ; we ought to accommodate them at least to that extent.

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Right Hon. S@

Certainly we ought to try and accommodate the public, but according to the British constitution, and i think also according to common sense, the public is better accommodated when there are rules surrounding that accommodation and which the public need to understand. But my hon. friend is a reformer, and perhaps he wants to accommodate the public without any rules at all. Perhaps he is in favour of some of those corporations who are generally suitors for private legislation.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. TV. F. MACLEAN.

The right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) mistakes my point. The sessions are increasing in length, they are now four or five months long, and sometimes six months. There is no reason why these rules should not be liberalized-but, of course, the right hon. gentleman is always in favour of restriction.

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CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. URIAH WILSON.

The reason of the committee asking for this is this. The sec-ietary of the committee said that the Senate 15

had extended the time to February 23 to receive Petitions and one week longer to receive Bills and if we did not extend the time, all the petitions would go to the Standing Orders Committee of the Senate and none of them to the Commons committee, that is the reason why the committee unanimously recommended this to the House.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. GEO. E. FOSTER.

So much for the discussion on the present subject. But there was one remark dropped by my right hon. friend to which I wish to refer. He intimates that by common consent it has come to be the practice in this House not to assemble after recess until eight o'clock in the evening. If that is so, I am sorry that it is so. I think we lose half an hour of very valuable time. For my part I would much rather meet here at half past seven, which is according to the rules, and leave half an hour earlier, if either end is to be sacrificed. Last night we came here when very important estimates were up ; there was one minister ready to take his place and go on with his estimates. After a while another minister straggled in ; but for quite a while there was scarcely any gentlemen on the other side at all. I am sorry to say that our own side was sparse as well. But the government side is the side that ought to set a good example. I do not think it speaks well to the country when the important business of criticising and passing the estimates for the expenditure come up, that we should not on both sides show our own interest in the disposal of public business by being present. We were here last night, and it was a quarter past eight, or nearly so, before we got to work.

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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

It was after eight, and it seems to me we ought to get to work at half past seven. There is quite enough time [DOT] from six o'clock to half past seven to eat what should be ate at a meal for an ordinary man.

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CRIMINAL CODE-AMENDMENT.

?

Mr. D. W.@

BOLE (Winnipeg) moved to introduce a Bill (No. 23) to amend the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada, 1902, with respect to common bawdy houses.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Explain.

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LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. BOLE.

My reason for introducing this Bill is owing to the fact that a decision of the courts of Manitoba holds that disorderly houses kept by one woman are not liable under the provisions of the Act. The amendment is intended to make houses of this character kept by one woman or more amenable to law and order. The necessity of this amendment is demonstrated in the city of Winnipeg, which I have the honour to represent. In that city disreputable houses conducted by one woman have been established oh some of our best streets, and the

good citizens have in some cases found it necessary to take the law in their own hands, by smashing windows and doors in their effort to suppress such nuisances.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


QUESTIONS.

W. T. R. PRESTON, IMMIGRATION COMMISSIONER.

CON

Mr. URIAH WILSON asked :

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. What was the object of the visit to Canada in the month of October last of Mr. W. T. R. Preston, emigration commissioner in Great Britain ?

2. Was Mr. Preston sent for by tire government, or any member thereof, or did he come on his own initiative ?

3. Is it true that there has been any friction between officials in the High Commissioner's office in London and Mr. Preston ?

4. Have any complaints been made to the government, or any member thereof, or to any of the deputy ministers at Ottawa, or officials of the Department of the Interior, that Mr. Preston has been unduly interfering in the work of the High Commissioner's office.

5. Has Mr. Preston any jurisdiction over any of the staff in the High Commissioner's office, or do his duties confine him solely to immigration work ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   W. T. R. PRESTON, IMMIGRATION COMMISSIONER.
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February 2, 1905