March 4, 1910

FISHERIES ACT AMENDMENT.


Mr. TEMPLEMAN moved that the House do, on Tuesday next, go into Committee of the Whole to consider the following proposed resolution: ' Resolved, tliat it is expedient to amend the Fisheries Act, chapter 45 of the Revised Statutes, 1906, by- (a) Defining the standard size of the barrel in which oysters are sold, bartered or trafficked in; (b) Prohibiting the taking, buying, selling, possessing or exporting of fish for the purpose of converting it into manure, guano or fertilizer, or for its manufacture or conversion into oil or manure or other fertilizing product, without a permit from the Minister of Marine and Fisheries; and (c) Providing for the bringing into force, by proclamation, the regulations prepared by the International Fisheries Commission between Great Britain and the United States, now before the House, and to authorize the making of regulations to secure their enforcement, and fixing penalties for their violation. Motion agreed to.


CANADIAN BUSINESS AGENT AT WASHINGTON.


On the orders of the day being called.


CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

I wish to ask a question of the government. I notice in the Toronto ' Daily Star ' an item headed:

Message to Canada from United States lost

for ten Days-Tariff Experts at Washington had Trunks packed waiting for Repfy

from Ottawa that never came-Criticism of British Embassy, which mailed Message-Canadian Attache needed.

Another paper contains the following item in reference to this despatch:

Where we Need a Man.

The Toronto ' Star ' prints a despatch from a correspondent in Washington which lets a little light into the darkness of this difficulty which sprang up so suddenly ten days ago over the question of tariff relations between the two countries. It seems that the American authorities, when they entered on then-work, issued a statement of their operations to the representatives of the countries that might be interested. Naturally, the British Embassy was the only place to serve nptifaca-tion respecting Canada. After waiting a while, not getting any answer, the Americans, with that courtesy which is bred of business training and the business man's allowance for unexplainable accidents, inquired again. Then it appeared that, in Mr. Bryce's absence in the West Indies, the best the British Embassy could do was to write over to the foreign office to see whether this was to be handled on the basis of four trips across the Atlantic between letter and answer, or whether it would be all right for Canadians to handle the business themselves. Fortunately, the foreign office very sensibly left it to Canada herself to settle with the States, and this answer came along about the time the Auipri-cans made their second inquiry. This time Canada was notified, but in the circumstances everybody was afraid to move, because on the one side it looked, from the newspapers, as if Canada was expected to dance to the II ash-ington piping, and on the other side as if Mr. Fielding was on his high horse and wouluii t deign to notice the existence of our big neighbour. By dint of applying good humour and common sense the situation has now been straightened out. But-

If Sir Wilfrid Laurier had to make this week the speech he made one day before Christmas, he might not be quite so certain that the presence of a Canadian representative in Washington is wholly unnecessary in face of the efficiency of the British Embassy. It doesn't so much matter what his title might be, or in what order he would walk in to dinner, but if we had had one reasonably intelligent Canadian stationed in Washington this incident need never have occurred. As it is, apparently nothing but the civility of some democratic American officials saved us from having to argue the case with the maximum rates standing against us. The double crossing of the ocean as a route of communication between Washington and Ottawa is a very interesting survival, but really it isn't business, and it had better be eliminated in the interest of economy. I

I also notice in another paper of an earlier date, referring to the Canadian office in Belgium, and the Canadian offices in Australia, and other places, an article. I ask the government if it is not about time that we should have a business agent in Washington, our nearest trade neighbour.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I have to say in reply to my hon. friend that it may be perhaps opportune to discuss whether we should have an agent in Washington or not. but certainly not for the reasons mentioned in these extracts.

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QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE-SIR FREDERICK BORDEN.

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. MACKENZIE KING.

At the request of my hon. colleague the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) I would ask permission of the House to make an explanation on his behalf. as he is unfortunately unable through illness to be in the House this afternoon. The hon. member for West Elgin (Mr. Crothers) in his speech on March 2, said:

Our minister of war (Sir Frederick Borden) delivered a speech here on February 10, and if hon. gentlemen will look it up, they will see that the hon. minister declared that the resolution that was presented by the Prime Minister last March was the one that was finally adopted by this House, and he puts in on ' Hansard ' just as it appeared when first read by the Prime Minister. Let me read it to you:

The hon. member then read the first part of the resolution as introduced by the Prime Minister, and continued:

You will remember that that is the paragraph as it appeared in the resolution brought in by the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Militia has referred to that as the one finally adopted. But it was not so.

With reference to this passage I have received from Sir Frederick Borden the following- communication:

My dear Mackenzie King,-Thanks for your kind letter directing my attention to Mr. Crother's reference to my speech. I had hoped to be able to bring the matter up in the House to-day and notified Mr. Crothers accordingly. Unfortunately after making the attempt, I have had a return of lumbago and must keep quiet. I am anxious to_ have the correction made in my speech, and it has occurred to me that you might bring the matter up for me to-day, so that the necessary instructions may be given to ' Hansard to substitute the resolution which I read for the one published erroneously.

The speech itself carries with it the proof that I read the resolution finally adopted by the House. .

As a matter of fact I had the resolution adopted March 29, 1909, and Mr. Borden's amendment to the motion for the second reading of the Navy Bill (February 3, 1910) respectively pasted on separate sheets of letter paper just like the duplicate I am sending herewith. At six o'clock recess I handed them to the ' Hansard ' boy telling him he need not return them. They were not used by ' Hansard ' in extending reporters' notes, but the resolution of 1909 was erroneously clipped from * Hansard * of March 29, 1909, at the end of the premier's speech instead of at the end of the debate of that day.

I have a most distinct recollection of reading the resolution in which I had marked the words ' speedy ' for special emphasis and remark.

The proof-reading was done by me but was limited to my own words. I did not think of proof-reading the extracts. When I took the proofs to the ' Hansard' room, I mentioned the fact that I had not read the extracts, &c., &c., and was told that it was not necessary as special care was taken to read and compare them.

Tours very truly,

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F. W. BORDEN.


I wish also to read the following letter addressed to Sir Frederick Borden from the chief reporter of ' Hansard,' the letter speaks for itself: Ottawa, March 4, 1910. Dear Sir Frederick Borden,-In reply to your inquiry in regard to the resolution quoted by you in your speech of February 10 last as having been passed unanimously by the House on March 29, 1909, and referred to by Mr. Crothers in his speech of the 2nd instant, I would like to say that I find on inquiry, that, by mistake made in this office in copying the resolution from Hansard ' of 1909, the resolution, as moved originally by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, was erroneously inserted in the report of your speech instead of the resolution as finally adopted by the House, which was the one you did quote. The erroneous substitution of the one resolution for the other appears not to have been detected in the revision of the report, and hence is continued in the revised edition of the debates. While regretting the mistake, I beg to say that in these matters the chief reporter has no responsibility. I am, Very respectfully yours, ALBERT HORTON, _ , . , „ Chief reporter. Sir Frederick Borden, K.C.M.G., Minister of Militia and Defence. I have to ask, Mr. Speaker, on, behalf of the hon. the Minister of Militia and Defence, that you give instructions to 'Hansard, to have the necessary corrections made in the report of his speech.


CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS.

The statement just made by the hon. Minister of Labour from the hon. the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) does not of course challenge any remark which I made in my observations the other night, and therefore does not call for any reply from me. My observations were not based entirely on what the Minister of Militia said, but also upon a statement made, as reported in the Toro11*? ' Globe,' by the hon. the Minister of Justice (Mr. Aylesworth) to the effect that we on this side had approved of the resolution passed last March, prohibiting in any event the granting of a naval contribution towards the maintenance or construction of the imperial navy, and it occurred to me that the Minister of Justice is labour-

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. KING.

ing under the same misapprehension as was the Minister of Militia. However, I do not desire to add anything further than to express my very sincere regret that the absence of the hon. Minister of Militia, and express the hope that he will soon be fully restored to health, and resume his duties in this House.

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PRESS GALLERY.

CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

I notice in the ' Albertan,' a prominent newspaper published in Calgary these words:

It may be a question whether or not the members of parliament really earn their salary for attending the sessions of the Dominion parliament, but there can be no denying the fact that the reporters in the press gallery-

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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

Does the hon. gentleman wish to put a question? The custom at this stage is to bring up only questions concerning the business of the House, or of an urgent character. Other questions are brought up by notice under the rules of the House. The matter may be brought up on the motion to go into Supply, but that motion is not yet made.

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CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

There is no one, Sir, more desirous of upholding your authority and the dignity of the House than I am, and I consequently bow to your ruling.

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THE GERMAN SURTAX.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Has the attention of my hon. friend the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding) been called to a rather curious error in the last memorandum brought down in respect of our trade relations with Germany? The minister will notice that in the statement he brought down it is declared that a kilogram is equivalent to 220 -4 pounds.

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. W. S. FIELDING.

That is a typographical error. My attention was not drawn to it, but I shall now see that it is corrected. It is in the punctuation.

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?

Mr. R. L.@

* BORDEN. No it is in the omission of the words ' one hundred ' it should be one hundred kilograms.

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March 4, 1910