November 23, 1909

QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE-THE ROSS RIFLE.

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. SAMUEL HUGHES (Victoria and Huliburton).

Mr. Speaker, I desire to rise to a question of privilege. From answers given by the Minister of Militia to a couple of questions in the House in the last day or two, and the form in which those questions were put, a wrong impression might be created throughout, the country. I would take the liberty of suggesting to the .minister that he get some one in his department to answer the questions placed on the Order Paper in a little more definite manner than these questions seem to have been answered. It is very well known that for some years past a conspiracy or agitation has been carried on in this country by agents, direct and indirect, of concerns in the motherland, with the object of discrediting the Ross rifle and injuring it in this country. That rifle1, Sir, has spoken for itself; it has silenced all critics by the answers it has given on the ranges throughout the world during the past year. As president of the standing committee on small arms for the Dominion of Canada, last spring, before the rifle had been very much distributed throughout the country, and in order that it might reach every riding in the Dominion, as far as possible, and be placed in the hands of competent men who would judge it on its merits, I requested the minister to distribute a number of these rifles amongst the members of this House who would see that they were placed in the hands of expert riflemen in their respective localities, and thus meet

the slanders and falsehoods circulated throughout the country against the rifle. Accordingly, some were distributed. I thought one was issued to nearly every member of the House; but I am very sorry this was not the case. They were issued only to a few members of parliament, with that object in view. It is a very meritorious object, and I trust that the minister will see that a rifle is sent to every riding as an eye-opener and an , object lesson to the critics and slanderers of the rifle.

However, the fact that the rifle has swept everything before it, although only a few were issued, at the Rifle Association meeting in Quebec and Ontario and at the meetings of the Dominion Rifle Associations, where nearly every place on the Bisley team and in the Governor General's match was won by the Ross rifle is proof of its superiority. In every provincial and Dominion match, the Ross rifle has made a name for itself as superior to every other. For the first time in history a rifle-of which only a few were used, less than 20 among 4,000- took more than one haH of the first prizes at Bisley. I make these remarks in justification to gentlemen whose names were brought rather frivolously before the House on a recent occasion when there was no need for levity.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE-THE ROSS RIFLE.
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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. D. STAPLES (Macdonald).

I rise to a question of privilege. I was both amused and surprised at the manner in which the hon. minister answered the question yesterday. He appeared desirous of leaving the impression that I had secured this rifle in a somewhat irregular manner. Let me advise the minister that although he may have had some trouble in recovering certain goods and chattels, he will have no trouble in securing this rifle at any moment. It is now in the hands of a good young marksman in my constituency, a member of the Rifle Association. He has keenly followed all the improvements on this rifle and asked me to try and get him one. I made application to the hon. minister and the rifle was forwarded me. I handed it to, this young marksman, and if the minister wants it back, I can wire and have it back here to-night.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE-THE ROSS RIFLE.
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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Hon. SIR FREDERICK BORDEN (Minister of Militia and Defence).

If I may be permitted to say a word, I wish to say that yesterday a question was put asking for information regarding the distribution of a certain lot of rifles. I gave the information. I said that 12 rifles had been issued to individuals.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE-THE ROSS RIFLE.
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L-C
LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

That goes without saying. The hon. gentleman who asked the question was not satisfied and wanted to know the names. What could I do but give them? There was no intention to cast any reflection on my hon. friend. He Mr. HUGHES.

will look in vain in the answer I gave for any such suggestion or intention. On the contrary, I quite agree with my hon. friend from Haliburton (Mr. Sam. Hughes) that it was a perfectly proper and laudable thing to give these rifles and I was very glad indeed to have had the opportunity of issuing them. As a matter of fact they were issued on receipt. I am sorry if my hon. friend misunderstood my remarks as casting any reflection on him. Quite the opposite was the case.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE-THE ROSS RIFLE.
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CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES

?

Mr. F. D.@

MONK (Jacques Cartier) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 26) respecting the Co-operative Credit Societies Act. He said:

Topic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES
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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK. (Translation).

Mr. Speaker, the object of this Bill is to enable loan and savings banks, such as are termed ' People's Banks,' and working on co-operative principles, to obtain incorporation under Dominion legislation. The House will remember no doubt that a Bill dealing with cooperation was introduced in the course of last parliament, for the purpose of enabling or authorizing these associations to obtain incorporation under Dominion legislation. The Bill as introduced dealt with co-operative associations as a whole. And, as no distinction was made, it turned out that [DOT] the main objection offered on behalf of some of the provinces and people interested in preventing such legislation from being passed rested on the ground of its being ultra vires.

The House will remember that the retail merchants, who were also formed into an association, opposed the passing of such a Bill. And, while it was unanimously carried through this House, the Bill, after consideration in the Senate, was rejected, mainly on the grounds set forth by the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, that it went beyond the powers granted bv the constitution. Accordingly, it was deemed preferable to introduce two separate Bills, one dealing entirely with people's bank, loan and savings associations. Nobody denies the right of the Dominion government to legislate as regards savings and loan banks. That explains why a separate Bill is introduced as regards credit and loan associations. The labouring classes take a deep interest in this legislation and for the last ten years to say the least organized labour, as I understand, have been requesting from year to year, at their annual meetings, that such legislation in regard to co-operative associations be carried out. The hon. member from Brantford (Mr. Harris), who, representing as he does in this House a large manufacturing centre, is greatly interested in such legislation. proposes, as I perceive at reading the notice contained in the orders of the day,

to introduce a Bill for the incorporation of co-operative producing and distributing as

sociations, these being of great interest to the working classes, in the same way as people's banks.

The House has not forgotten what occurred in regard to the first Bill. The government stated their approval of such legislation; and the Bill was taken charge of by the hon. Postmaster General (Hon. Mr. Lemieux), who at the time had also the Department of Labour under his supervision. He took charge of the Bill, and my right hon. friend the Prime Minister granted us an inquiry which gave most interesting results. We had as witnesses experts in agriculture, university professors, representatives of labour, agriculturists, and even His Excellency the Governor General, who has from the beginning concerned himself with that movement in England, is honorary president of the international co-operative league, and whose evidence was of a most useful character.

This House unanimously voted the Bill of which the government had taken charge; but in the Senate, as session was drawing to a close, and through the pressure which was exerted, as previously stated, on behalf of the retail dealers, whose claims did not appear to me well grounded, the Bill was rejected by a vote of 19 against 18, a number of the senators being away.

I think this is an opportune time for the introduction of these two Bills. The movement, started several years ago, has made great strides throughout all the1 provinces, especially as regards people's loan and credit banks. I may say that in the province of Quebec, there are already in existence over 32 associations of that kind, and that in the same province the number of members of such associations exceeds 15,000. The movement is growing rapidly from day to dav.

Clergymen in all parts of the Dominion who are in close touch with the working classes and farming community, have taken a deen interest in the movement, and especially in the province which I represent, they have in this connection taken the lead with the best results.

I may say to the House that in this Bill we are entrusting the Minister of Labour with the superintendence or control of these associations. That is the rule followed in most countries. In England co-operative associations-and there are many of them

are under the law controlled by the chairman of the Board of Trade, whose duties correspond to those of the Minister of Labour here. In France, that control lies also with the Minister of Labour and provident associations. The same condition of things exists in the neighbouring republic; that is, in those states wdiich have voted similar legislation, in Massachusetts, for instance,

where the Minister of Labour has under his control co-operative institutions. In entrusting these powers to the Minister of Labour, the object is in no way to detract from the prestige or the importance of the duties assigned to the hon. Secretary of State. The latter department has charge of the granting of charters applied for by private stock companies; but such charters as a rule grant important privileges and for their cancellation require going through a tedious and expensive procedure. In this case, the Minister of Labour will have no such duty to fulfil, he will merely be called upon to grant authority for the formation of such associations, and to cancel the same without going through numerous formalities, whenever he thinks it advisable in compliance with the provisions of the Act.

As I have previously stated, the most serious objection with which we were met was that based on the ultra vires character of such legislation. It was claimed that this parliament was without jurisdiction, although it was acknowledged at the same time that as regards loan banks, such business being in the nature of banking and finance, the Dominion parliament, no doubt, had jurisdiction. However, it seems to me that this parliament has jurisdiction as well as regards co-operative producing and distributing associations. In the first place, we are authorized to legislate in regard to agriculture. Now, it is more particularly the farming community who are anxious that sufch legislation be enacted and who will benefit by it. That legislation will be enforced throughout the country and will prove of great assistance to the farmers. As regards the industrial classes, it seems to me we have jurisdiction as well. Undoubtedly we have the right to legislate with the object of insuring the welfare and development of the country as a whole, though we would be debarred trom legislating in the same fashion for the exclusive benefit of one province. That is the view taken to-day even bv those who objected to the proposal as first submitted.

Dominion legislation in this connection is necessary for the following reason: There are nine provinces in the Dominion, and as such a movement requires to be forwarded on uniform lines, it is important that the Dominion government be in a position to act efficiently. Wherever that movement has taken foot, it has developed in marvellous fashion. Is it not desirable that such happy results be extended to the whole Dominion? In the absence of Dominion legislation, this movement would lack uniformity and cohesion. Two provinces only have legislated in this respect, and they have done so on different lines; apart from these two cases, there exists no legislation emanating from the provinces in this connection. If all the provinces were to legislate in this

regard, we would some day be confronted with nine different systems emanating from as many legislatures. It would be impossible to collate uniform statistics, since each province would have its own system. Now, if this House voted this Bill, the movement no doubt would be greatly accelerated and extended owing to this Dominion legislation. I conclude, Mr. Speaker, by stating that those requesting such legislation are increasing in numbers from day to day. The benefits of co-operation are making themselves felt more strongly throughout the world. I hope that the government and the House, as thev have already done, will enact this legislation, and that no further check will be put upon it bv the Upper House. '

Bill read a first time.

Topic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES
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SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to ask when it is intended to have the committees organized. No committee has been organized yet.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Immediately.

Topic:   SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES.
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SUPPLY - INTERCOLONIAL RAILWAY TRAIN SERVICE.


Mr. FIELDING moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Before the House goes into Supply, I would like to ask the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) whether he has received a resolution of the Board of Trade of Dartmouth in regard to the present train service, both passenger and freight, between Windsor Junction and Dartmouth! I have under my hand a copy of that resolution-it is rather lengthy-I have no doubt the minister has had communication of it. In effect, it declares that the recent changes in the train service have completely demoralized business conditions, both as regards passengers and freight; that it has accomplished the maximum of inconvenience with the minimum of economy ; that under present conditions the train service probably costs more than it did formerly, and it is not giving nearly as good accommodation to the public. Not only is_ there alleged to be greatly additional inconvenience so far as the transportation of freight is concerned, but there is an almost intolerable inconvenience to persons residing at Waverly, and elsewhere on the line, who desire to go to Halifax or to Dartmouth and do business for a day, and return to their homes the same night. I will not inflict the whole of this resolution upon the House at the present, but I would only ask the minister whether he has taken the matter into consideration, and whether he thinks that any changes could

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

be made. I realize that the Intercolonial management has been placed in the hands of a commission, that a great deal of discretion must be left to them in such matters, and I would not be inclined lightly to interfere, with them. But if the representations in this resolution, the terms of which seem to have been very carefully considered, and the condition of affairs are such as are described here, then I think the members of that commission ought to take up the matter at once and endeavour to give to the people of Dartmouth and all along that line to Windsor Junction some better train service than they have at the present time, particularly as .it is alleged in the resolution that this could be done without adding one dollar to the cost of operating the line beyond what it amounts to at present.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

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

I may say in reply that I have no recollection of receiving such a resolution. If it has been received, it has been transmitted at once to the Board of Management. Since handing the Intercolonial over to the Board of Management I have not interfered in any way with the manner in which they choose to run that railway. I have given them some suggestions but they have had control of the situation and of the management of the trains. I may say that the general superintendent, Mr. Brady, who has charge of the transportation, is one of the best transportation men in the Dominion of Canada, I believe he lias few superiors in America as a transportation man, and I am sure that any representations that may be made ^ to him will receive due consideration. I will make inquiry at the department, and if the resolution lias been received and has not been transferred to the board, I will see that it is done at once.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

In order that there may be no doubt about the minister receiving it,* I will send him a copy of it across the floor of the House.

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Motion agreed to, and the House went into Committee of Supply. Department of Indian Affairs salaries, $111,825.


November 23, 1909