May 22, 1908


On the orders of the day being called :


LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Hon. GEO. P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals).

There is a matter which was brought up in the House a day or two ago of sufficient importance to demand a reply.

Topic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

The hon. gentleman can only bring this matter up at this stage with the consent of the House.

Topic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM.

It is in reply to a question asked bv the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. It. L. Borden). Writh the con-

Owen Sound Dredge and

Construction Co

Windsor Dredging Co..

sent of the House I wish to make just a few observations. The other day the hon. leader of the opposition read from a despatch in one of the newspapers, which I noticed afterwards had very large headlines over it, that a portion of the Transcontinental Railway in the vicinity of La Tuque had been badly damaged by flooding and that it would probably be necessary for the location of the line to be changed or for the roadbed to be very materially raised. I immediately inquired into the matter and I have a memorandum from the district engineer in charge which, I think, in view of the publicity that has been given to the statement, should be read. This is a letter which ,has been placed in my hands by the chairman of the commission. It was addressed to him yesterday by the district engineer.

Ottawa, May 20, 1908. Hon. S. N. Parent, Chairman.

Dear Sir,-In answer to your inquiry concerning the despatches published in the newspapers as to the flooding of the Transcontinental Railway in the vicinity of the St. Maurice river, I have to confirm the reports in so far as they allude to the exceptionally high water experienced this year, not only on the St. Maurice river, but also on all the other rivers and streams in my district, and to give the most unqualified denial to the reported damages caused to our railway by these same floods. There is not one foot of track under water in my district extending from the New Brunswick boundary to Wey-inontachene on the St. Maurice river. The reports seem to have originated through the flooding of an embankment at La Tuque which had been built temporarily, and which was not within seven feet of the grade laid down on our profiles. Owing to the extreme floods this year, it might be prudent to build concrete substructures of some of our bridges higher than we originally intended to protect our steel superstructures later on from possible damages bv ice and log jams, but I am glad to say that not one dollar's worth of damage has been done so far to the structures and culverts in district ' B,' neither will it be necessary to change one foot of our adopted location.

Yours truly,

(Sgd.) A. B. DOTJCET, District Engineer, ' B.'

QUEBEC TERCENTENARY-POSTAGE

Topic:   NATIONAL TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILWAY.
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STAMPS.

LIB

Armand Renaud La Vergne

Liberal

Mr. ARMAND LAVERGNE.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Postmaster General (Mr. Lemieux) if the souvenir postage stamps to be issued in connection with the tercentenary are still under consideration and if any decision has been readied especially with regard to the question as to whether the stamps are to be printed in both languages.

Topic:   STAMPS.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. RODOLPHE LEMIEUX (Postmaster General).

It is not customary in matters of this kind to give to the public, before tlie day of Issue, the nature of the Mr. GRAHAM.

stamp to be issued, but soil I may say to my hon. friend (Mr. A. Lavergne) that I will be in a position to make a statement very shortly. I intend that the stamps shall be issued the very day the tercentenary begins. Otherwise I would have no objection to give my hon. friend and the country a description of the stamps.

Topic:   STAMPS.
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LIB

Armand Renaud La Vergne

Liberal

Mr. A. LAVERGNE.

I do not want a description of the stamp. But I put two questions to the minister lately and I want to find out if the two languages are going to be used. Am I not entitled to an answer ?

Topic:   STAMPS.
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LIB

BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Carleton).

Mr. Speaker, might I make inquiries as to the necessity of notice of motion to confirm reports of an important nature which are presented to this House before these reports shall be confirmed. I observe that one was moved yesterday without notice, a report of the Committee on Debates of Ja rather important character, and in order that the practice may be known in future I would venture to bring the matter to your attention that you may lay down, for the information of the House, the correct practice for the chairman of these committees to observe in making such motions. I am not doing this for the purpose of finding fault with the particular report confirmed in this instance but merely to safeguard notice to the House in order that there may be a proper discussion, if discussion is necessary, of these matters.

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. L. P. BRODEUR (Minister of Marine and Fisheries).

Perhaps I may be permitted on this point to say shortly that when I was Speaker of the House it had been established as the practice that when reports came from committees they should not be concurred in on the same day, but that notice should be given that upon some future day a motion to concur in these reports would be made. If it were possible to adopt this practice I think it would be very much better for the members of this House.

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I found the practice to be very much as is laid down by Bourinot. On referring to past proceedings of the House I found that it had been followed almost systematically. The practice is laid down by Bourinot at page 555 as follows :

Many motions for concurrence in reports of select standing committees are brought up without notice and allowed to pass by unanimous consent.

That is frequently the case. Usually I pause for a moment to see if there is any

objection and if there is I intimate to the House that a proper course to adopt is that the matter should be allowed to stand as a notice of motion. The sentence immediately following the one I have just read is as follows :

But in all cases objection may be taken, and it is the regular course to give notice.

It certainly would appear to be the more proper course that notice should be given in all cases.

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. G. H. BERGERON (Beauharnois).

Mr. Speaker, if I may be allowed, on the same subject that was brought up by my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. It. L. Borden) and in reference to which you, Sir, made some remarks, I desire to say that there was a report of a committee made yesterday. The committee was called in the morning at ten o'clock after the House had adjourned at three o'clock on the same morning. Some of the members of the committee had no notice of it. Some action was taken by the committee and the report was moved in the House at two o'clock in the afternoon. We all know that very few members are here at two o'clock on Wednesday afternoon as they have not yet become accustomed to the House meeting at that hour. The report was carried immediately-on the very same day upon which it had been adopted by the committee. Without discussing the merits of the report it seems to me extraordinary that it should be carried so quickly when there has been a report of the same committee before the House for three weeks which has not yet even been considered by parliament. It seems to be somewhat irregular. I understood that the chairman would to-day bring up the report adopted at the previous sitting of the committee. He did not happen to be in the House when the Speaker called for the reception of reports and as a matter of fact this report has not been discussed yet. It certainly looks extraordinary that a report of the same committee and upon a similar subject should be passed hurriedly in the morning and adopted by the House at its opening in the afternoon, while this report which has been before the House for three weeks has not yet been considered.

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux (Minister of Labour; Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX.

Was my hon. friend informed of the sitting of the committee yesterday morning ?

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

I found my notice in the box when I got here in the afternoon. The post office was closed when I left the House late the previous night and I suppose my notice was there, it having been delivered very late apparently, and I got it in the afternoon. What strikes me as most peculiar is that the Minister Finance, when the report was moved yesterday, should have asked the chairman of the Debates Committee : Is that the report my 283 [DOT]

hon. friend called my attention to, and the chairman of the committee said : No. There seems to be something strange in that. Why not discuss the prior report of the committee as soon as possible and let the House get rid of it ? The right hon. the Prime Minister has always been very strong in his attitude in supporting the reports of the committees of the House unless there is something extraordinary in them ; he has always maintained that these reports should be respected, and yet here is a report made by a select committee of the House three weeks ago and it is not yet adopted. The powers of this committee are delegated by the House and it is a slight on the House not to adopt the report. I do not say anything against the report the committee made yesterday as to the merits of the case, but I trust that this report of the same committee made three weeks ago will be considered by the House as soon as possible.

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance).

As to the report of three weeks ago to which my hon. friend refers, when In the House the chairman of the committee proposed that that report should be adopted some time ago, the right hon. the Prime Minister suggested it should stand over. The reason for asking it to stand over is that the report-I am not speaking of the report of yesterday, but the prior report- proposed to increase salaries and make payment for former years, both of which were matters which we thought should receive the consideration of the government, and that the government should have to take the responsibility of approving or disapproving, on the general principle that appropriations of public money should receive the assent of the government. It was for that reason the report was allowed to stand over. That was a good reason and it is only for that reason. It is fair to the chairman of the committee to say that the report of the committee which was adopted yesterday was not open to the same objection as the report which was presented a few days ago.

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Does not yesterday's report involve a charge on the revenue ?

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

No ; the chairman of the committee told me of the report of yesterday before it was presented and I said at once : Are you proposing to increase any salaries. He said, No ; we are proposing to fill a vacancy, this adds nothing to the expenditure ; and I said : If that is the case the objection which was taken before would not apply, and the assurance was given me that it was not a proposal to create any new vacancy or to create any in crease of salary.

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

But it adds to the expenditure ?

Topic:   BUSINESS OP THE HOUSE-CONSIDERATION OP REPORTS WITHOUT NOTICE.
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May 22, 1908