January 25, 1909

CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

If he found it necessary to refer to documents the quotations could be handed into the ' Hansard ' and the Deputy Speaker could act as reviser and strike out anything that might be objectionable in these quotations. That would materially shorten the session. As to the length of speeches, the hon. member who introduces a Bill should be allowed one hour and the gentleman who follows him should be allowed one hour also; the remaining speeches could be curtailed.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

How are you going to justify the three and a half hour speech you made yourself.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

I have seen the error of my ways and have reformed. And with reference to that particular speech, had I been allowed to hand in my quotations to ' Hansard ' instead of reading them-and I may say that these quotations are being used tc-day and were used last session by the government to found legislation upon-had I been allowed to publish them without reading them my speech on the transportation question would not have lasted over twenty minutes. There is an old proverb in the oil regions which might be applied to the speeches in this House, and that is that if a man who is making a speech cannot strike oil in 30 minutes he either has a very bad auger or he is boring in the wrong hole.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I am not only expressing my own opinion, but I am expressing the opinions of a great many people throughout this country. The greatest movements in the history of nations have arisen, not in the parliament itself but around the smithy fires, in the hotel waiting rooms, in the railway cars, and in the comer stores. I have a letter here .'which was written to me at the end of last session by a gentleman who lives at Snowflake, Manitoba, and who left my native town 15 years ago to seek fortune in the west. He is a strong Liberal and he wrote me that a bunch of them were gathered around the big stove in the store the other evening discussing the federal parliament, and the merchants, the commercial travellers, and the farmers there assembled had come to the conclusion that there was too much talk and ballyragging in the House of Commons and that if there was more common sense displayed there would be a better administration of the laws.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Hear, hear.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

Another matter of considerable importance is the question of the health of the members of this House. I do not now refer to gentlemen who have been a number of years here and who have grown up on the foul atmosphere, but the figures which I have compiled show that the average number of deaths in the Canadian House of Commons is greater than in that pestilential climate where they are building the Panama canal. During the last ten years 39 members of this House of Commons have died in harness, which shows a higher average than the preceding 10 year period when the sessions were shorter. I 1 leave it to hon. gentlemen who were here

last parliament to agree with me that with the exception of some old veteran war horses, there is not a man who has sat for four years here who is not ten years older than he was four years ago.

Seme hon. MEMBERS. Hear, hear.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

Now, Mr. Speaker, we should certainly get through this session in three months. I had no intention when I rose to speak for more than ten minutes, but some of the hon. gentlemen who desire to come after me are anxious that I should continue until six' o'clock.

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?

Some Hon. MEMBERS.

Hear, hear.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

I wish to say, Sir, that the greatest speeches that the world has ever known lasted under one hour.

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CON
CON
LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

I would like to ask m hon. friend if I understood him to say that I sold the labour men for a price; is that what the hon. gentlemen said?

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CON

Glenlyon Campbell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAMPBELL.

That is exactly what I said.

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

That is going beyond parliamentary language.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS

Withdraw.

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CON

Glenlyon Campbell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAMPBELL.

If you decide that I should withdraw that expression

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I think it is an imputation that should not be made against any hon. member of the House.

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CON

Glenlyon Campbell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAMPBELL.

I should be very pleased to comply with anything you say, Sir. And perhaps, Sir, at this stage of the game, coming, as I do, from the wild and woolly west, bred and born there and not up to the ways of the effete east, I shall have to put myself in your charge. I can promise you that as far as I can, I will conform to the ways of civilization, and will try not to make it necessary for you to call me to order, if you will promise me that you will not call me to order any oftener than you can help.

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I think the hon. member (Mr. Campbell) will understand that the expression referred to ought to be withdrawn.

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January 25, 1909