March 11, 1910

L-C

Andrew Archibald MacDonald

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. MACDONALD.

Yes. When, in a debate is admittedly out of order, the hon. gentleman discussing the matter makes a personal reference to" another hon. member, I think that other hon. member should have a right to reply. That is the point of order I make. But if you rule that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition Mr. R. L. Borden) can make three speeches out of order and I cannot make one, I accept the ruling.

Topic:   THE LUMSDEN INVESTIGATION.
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LIB

QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.

LIB

Murdo Young McLean

Liberal

Mr. M. Y. McLEAN.

Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are entered upon, 1 ask the permission of the House to say a few words on a question of privilege.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Louder. Come forward.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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LIB

Murdo Young McLean

Liberal

Mr. M. Y. McLEAN.

If it is not out of order, I would say that the acoustic properties of this chamber are so defective that it is impossible for any one at the back of the chamber to hear what is going on at the front, and for any one at the front to know what is said at the back. However, as I said, I wish to ask the indulgence of the House for a few moments while I say a word on a question of privilege. I received from a friend this morning a clipping from a newspaper, a report of a special Ottawa correspondent, and I may say that a similar statement has appeared in several other Conservative papers. Before proceeding to read the statement itself, I may say that the statement is headed with a large scare head as follows :

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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An M.P.

Rebuked by his own Party-M. Y. AIcLean (S. Huron) stirs up an unpleasant scene by interrupting Geo. Clare and declining to be shut up.

The despatch proceeds:

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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George A.

Clare, the German-Canadian representative of South Waterloo, was interrupted by Mr. McLean while in the course of an amiable speech, which was being listened to by the largest attendance seen during the naval debate, since the premier and Air. Borden addressed the House. [DOT]

Air. Clare, who has been in bad health for some time, was obviously speaking under difficulties, and the Conservatives resented the sneer with which Air. AIcLean accompanied his interjected question, ' AVould you favour sending $25,000,000 to England for Dreadnoughts ? '

They shouted ' Oh, oh ' and ' Sit down.' Air. AIcLean refused to sit down, and the hubbub grew boisterous. The Speaker intimated that Mr. AIcLean couldn't break into the debate without Air. Clare's permission, but AIcLean refused to take the hint. He said something which was inaudible, owing to shouts of ' Order, order,' and ' Put him down.'

The premier nodded to the Speaker and gave AIcLean a warning look. Mr. Fielding

also turned round and signed with his hand to McLean to sit down, but the member for South Huron wouldn't.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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LIB

James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

The Speaker:

I have already told the hon. member to sit down. The hon. member for South Waterloo has the floor and cannot be interrupted.

Mr. McLean still endeavoured to proceed, and, amid cries of ' Name him/ the Speaker formally ordered him to sit down.

Mr. Clare then remarked that never in his years in the House had he interrupted any one, and when a gentleman was in poor health, he had always endeavoured to assist him. General applause, in which Mr. Fielding joined, greeted this, and the incident closed.

I am not in the habit of taking very seriously to heart any statements that the Conservative papers or the Conservative politicians may make about or against me, because I know that if I did not say something that was worth while and something that hit hard, they would not pay attention to me. And, Sir, I have been lighting them nearly all my life and I have learned to take hard knocks as well as soft knocks with the greatest equanimity and to return them with interest when I could. But this statement goes beyond what is fair. It accuses me

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh, oh.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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LIB

Murdo Young McLean

Liberal

Mr. M. Y. McLEAN.

If you will wait for a moment-that is one of the things that creates difficulties. I say that, if not by direct statement, at least by insinuation, this accuses me of taking advantage of the hon. member for South Waterloo (Mr. Clare) in order to interrupt and annoy him. Now, I have to say this: that, although the hon. member for South Waterloo represents my native constituency, I have not the pleasure of his acquaintance. I really did not know who he was until he got up to continue the discussion, nor had I the least idea that he was suffering from ill health. Had I known that it is quite possible that I should not have interrupted him, because I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, and my hon. friend himself, that no one could have more sympathy with a gentleman under such circumstances than I would have. But while he was suffering from ill health he was not so ill but that he could pay his attentions to myself as he went along, and not do it in a very becoming or generous manner. However, I will alloy/ that to pass. As the hon. gentleman was proceeding with his argument, an argument which I thought very involved and difficult to understand, I desired, for my own information, to find out just where he was at. I got up, as I think I had a right to do, at least to do what has been done a hundred times in this House, I got up and asked the hon. gentleman if he would permit me to ask him a question, and he replied: Yes, certainly. I submit-165

ted that question, but instead of answering it he proceeded with his argument, entirely ignoring the question. Under these circumstances I again asked him the question, and still he did not reply. My statement of the case is borne out by the official report of the debates which I have on my desk. Now, I think that under the circumstances, if there was any discourtesy it was not on my part, but on the part of the hon. gentleman who, having permitted me to ask him a question, saw fit to ignore it and would not answer either, yes or no. If there was any discourtesy it was on the part of some hon. gentlemen opposite who, when I was exercising my right in this House, endeavoured to howl me down; and, Mr. Speaker, with all due deference to your decision on that occasion, I must say that I think I was perfectly in order.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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Some hon. MEMBERS

Order.

Mr, SPEAKER. The hon. gentleman cannot discuss a ruling of the Speaker.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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LIB

Murdo Young McLean

Liberal

Mr. M. Y. McLEAN.

All right, Sir, there is no person more desious of obeying the rules of this House than I am. Although I have no personal acquaintance with the hon. member for South Waterloo, I have heard of him frequently, being as he is the representative of my native county. I have nothing but the greatest respect for that gentleman, and nothing would be further from my desire than to annoy him, or injure him in any way whatever. I have only to say in conclusion that I think I cannot be accused of unduly interrupting hon. members in this House, because, although I have been here for the greater part of three sessions. I think this is only the second time that I Have had occasion to do anything of the kind. I may also add this, that if hon. gentlemen opposite have left the hon. member for South Waterloo and myself alone, any difference that had arisen between us would have been settled very amicably.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
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SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.


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


CON

George Halsey Perley (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. G. H. PERLEY (Argenteuil).

On the 24th of February last I asked this question:

Have Canadian vessels carrying freight the right to use the canals of the state of New York? If so, what statute authorizes it? If not, what statute or regulation prevents it?

The Minister of Justice replied:

By the treaty of Washington the government of the United States engaged to urge upon the state governments to secure to British subjects the use of the several state canals connected with the navigation of the lakes or rivers traversed by, or contiguous to

the boundary line, on terms of equality with the inhabitants of the United States, but this government is not aware that such urgency has, up to the present time, been productive of any practical result. The _ matter is,_ of course, not governed by Canadian legislation, and the government is not in a position to answer as to the legislation on the subject (if anv) there may be in the state of New York.'

I judge from this reply that the Department of Justice does not think that at the present time Canadians have a right to use the canals in the state of New York on terms of equality with the inhabitants of the United States, and up to a short time ago that was my own idea on the subject. My reason for bringing this matter up at the present time is that there has been a feeling in this part of Canada, at all events, for a great many years, that the United States did not give us fair play under the treaty of Washington in relation to the canals in the state of New York. It has been generally understood here for many years that we have no right to send a vessel of Canadian register from here to New York city. I remember years ago when I first started business here everybody said that we could not send a vessel of Canadian register through to New York, and I have felt that way about it ever since. However, within the last few months, I have had some talk with the American Consul General here, the Hon. J. G. Foster, on this subject, and he assured me that we were mistaken in our idea, and that a boat of Canadian register could go through all right. I have a letter written by Mr. Denis Murphy, of the city of Ottawa, a gentleman who has been in . the transportation business all his life; it is written to the United States Consul General, under date of March 1, 1909:

Dear Sir,-In reference to our conversation of Friday last, I now have much pleasure in giving you what information I have in regard to the stopping of Canadian barges at the Champlain canal.

About the year 1870 or 1871, the late firm of J. W. McRae & Company built six small barges called the A., B., C., D., E. and F., with the intention of running them through to New York with lumber and having them return with cargoes of coal. The first trip they were stopped at Whitehall and after considerable correspondence and much delay to the barges, they were allowed to proceed with the understanding that in future they would not be allowed further than-Whitehall. These barges loaded coal in New York and came back to Ottawa and were kept in the trade here.

About this time the forwarders here found this class of barge too small for the trade, and the larger barges then were built. These barges were too large to go through the Champlain canal, so that there was never any further trouble from that source. I might state that this one occasion is the only time I Mr. PERLEY.

know of Canadian vessels being stopped at any of the American canals. ,

Trusting this information will be satisfactory,

I am, yours truly,

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
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D. MURPHY.


My impression is that the reason why it was supposed all these years that Canadian vessels could not use the New York state canals on an equality with the inhabitants of the United States, was because of this incident away back in the '70's. I have been unable to find any case of late years where a Canadian boat has been stopped from using the New York canals. The American Consul General in a letter which I received from him a few days ago says: The present constitution of the state of New York was adopted November 6, 1894, and went into force January 1, 1895. Since the adoption of this constitution it is my understanding that the canals have been absolutely free to vessels of all nations. I took the opinion of a gentleman from New York who is conversant with the statutes of that state, and he says that he is unable to find any provision of law or Act of the legislature which discriminates against the free use of the state canals by Canadian vessels. That is his very positive statement. It seems that under this constitution of the state of New York which came into force in 1895 it is provided by article 97: No tolls shall hereafter be imposed on persons or property transported on the canals, but all boats navigating the canals and the owners and masters thereof shall be subject to such laws and regulations as have been,, or may hereafter be enacted, concerning the navigation of canals. This clause in the constitution seems to be a perfectly clear one, and it explicitly abolishes all tolls on persons and property transported on the canals. It seems evident that at least from the adoption of the constitution of 1895 the canals of the state of New York have been free to all comers, including Canadians. The constitution of the state places the management of the canals, and their control and operation as well as their maintenance and repair in the hands of the superintendent of public works in the state of New York.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Are all the canals in question the property of the state or are any of them under private ownership?

Topic:   SUPPLY-RECIPROCAL USE OF CANALS.
Subtopic:   D. MURPHY.
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March 11, 1910