March 20, 1911

INTEREST ACT AMENDMENT.

?

Mr. W. D.@

STAPLES (Macdonald) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 146) to amend the Interest Act. He said: The

object of this Bill is to remedy certain grievances which at present exist, more particularly in the western provinces, where there is a great deal of buying and selling of land. For instance, if a farmer wishes to increase the amount of a loan on his land, he is at the mercy of the company which has made the existing loan, and if he desires to pay off the loan, he has to pay the bonus stipulated in the mortgage, which is sometimes very excessive. This measure is proposed for the purpose of remedying these grievances, and making it easier to conduct business in the buying and selling of land in the west.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


-COMMONS

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 138) for the relief of Gertrude Maud Grant.-Mr. Martin (Regina). Bill (No. 140) for the relief of Mary Hamilton Johnston.-Mr. Tolmie. Bill (No. 141) for the relief of Dalton Mabel Stapleton.-Mr. Tolmie.


ANGLO-AMERICAN ARBITRATION TREATY.

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Before the Orders of the Day are taken up, I notice that a good deal of interest is being exhibited at the present time in the suggestion of Sir Edward Grey as to the desirability and the possibility of obtaining an arbitration treaty between England and the United States. As this would appear to be a matter of very great and far-reaching importance, in which I have no doubt Canada as well as the mother country and the United States is interested, equally with all other civilized countries in the world, I would like to ask the government if they have had any communication with the Imperial government or with the United States government on this subject, and if so, if they have anything which they can communicate to the House and through the House to the country?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

The government has received no communication whatever, either from the Imperial authorities or from the United States on this very important subject; but I have no hesitation in adding that if it were in the power of Canada in any way to help towards such a laudable object, we would be only too glad to do so.

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THE GOVERNMENT'S TRADE POLICY.

CON

William Henry Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Lisgar).

Mr. Speaker, on Friday last I asked the Prime Minister a question which you, Sir, cut off, so that he could not answer. It was in connection with a matter brought up by the hon. member for Dauphin (Mr. Campbell), that is, a speech made by the hon. member for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt), in regard to which the Prime Minister said:

The statement made by the hon. member for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt) was quite consistent with our policy, it was nothing new, and he had perfect authority, not only he but every member of the Liberal side, to make that statement.

I asked the right hon. the Prime Minister, what I would like to repeat now, whether his remarks also applied to the British preference?

Topic:   THE GOVERNMENT'S TRADE POLICY.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I think, Mr. Speaker, that our policy is generally well known; but if it needs to be further explained, it will be in the Budget speech of the Minister of Finance.

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CON
CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

If I understood correctly the Prime Minister's statement in reply to the hon. member for Dauphin, it was that every Liberal member had the liberty of making the statement, it being the policy of the government. Would not the members of the opposition have the same liberty?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Yes; and I would hope they would avail themselves of it.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

This suggests the question : About what time may we expect the

Budget speech to be delivered?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The House has been occupied so long in a discussion which has taken the form of a Budget debate that we have not been able to reach the Budget proper. It will be brought down, however, at an early date.

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QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE-MR. NEELY.

LIB

David Bradley Neely

Liberal

Mr. D. B. NEELY (Humboldt).

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the patience of the House for a few moments on a question of privilege. In a somewhat heated incident which occurred in the House on Friday afternoon, of whieh the member for Dauphin (Mr. Campbell) and myself were among the chief actors, a statement was made by the member for Dauphin which I did not catch at the time, but which I find reported in the public press of the country, and also in the Unrevised ' Hansard. As this statement, or insinuation, contained in a certain question asked by the member for Dauphin, reflects very seriously on my honour as a member of this House, and has been sent broadcast throughout the country, I think it only fair that it should be taken into consideration. On page 5669 of ' Hansard ' appears the following statement:

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CON

Glenlyon Campbell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAMPBELL.

He had better talk of his honesty? Where is the capital of Saskatchewan? What does it cost to vote for it?

And on the next page the member for Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Hughes), referring to some remarks which I had made in reference to the member for Dauphin, made this statement:

Did he sell the capital of Saskatchewan?

At the moment there was so much confusion in the House that I did not catch the words of the member for Dauphin, and I did not know that he had made use of such words until I saw them in the columns of the public press on the following day. I did catch the word ' honesty ' but the rest of the statement I did not catch; and as it reflects very seriously upon me, as a member of this House, I rise to a question of personal explanation and privilege. If the House will pardon me a moment, I should find it necessary to explain,to some

extent what my hon. friend (Mr. Campbell) referred to. As many hon. members know, it was my good or ill fortune to be a member of the first legislature of the province of Saskatchewan; and one of the .first important questions that came before that legislature was the question of the location of the capital. It so happened that the majority of the supporters of the government of that province came from the northern part of Saskatchewan; and in the west it is well known that the two chief competitors or rivals for the honour of being the capital were the cities of Saskatoon in the north and Regina in the south. I am free to say that, on the part of many of us, our personal inclinations were in favour of Saskatoon; but when we came to Regina and the question came to be decided, we discovered that the government intended to deal with it as a government mdbsure and had decided to make the capital where it had been for many years, in the old city of Regina. Some of us had even gone so far as to express publicly I was not one of them-our preference for the selection of Saskatoon, but as the government had made the choice of Regina a government measure, we decided to support the government rather than insist on our personal preference, and I personally have no regret for the action I then took. In the debate in the provincial legislature a certain member of the opposition twitted government supporters with having supported the government measure against their own sentiment and suggested that coercion had been used by the First Minister of Saskatchewan in order to compel them to do so. He also went so far as to make the insinuation that possibly the first minister, or some one on his behalf, had used other means to induce his followers to support it. But upon being challenged by the first minister to make good his insinuation, he refused to make any charge against any supporter of the government and the incident closed so far as the House was concerned and no reference was made to it afterwards. The opposition press of the province, however, took up the insinuation and published it broadcast. That insinuation was to the effect that the government of Saskatchewan or its prime minister, or some one on his behalf, had used other means than persuasion to influence certain members to support the government in its location of the capital. In the general election which followed, these insinuations were not believed by the people, and the men who were subjected to them were returned to' parliament. It would appear that a lie has sometimes a long life, and these slanderous insinuations were again brought to life in the debate on Friday last by the hon. members for Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Hughes) and Dauphin (Mr. Campbell). It has been my

privilege to serve the constituency of Humboldt not only in this House, the short time I have been here, but during the first term of the legislature ui Saskatchewan, and I want to say to my hon. friend from Dauphin (Mr. Campbell), who has repeated the insinuation, that, so far as I am personally concerned, if he can adduce one particle of proof that, in my public capacity as a representative of the constituency of Humboldt, either in the local legislature or this House, I have ever done anything or cast a single vote for financial reward or hope of financial reward or from any other motive than a sense of public duty, I shall forfeit my seat in this House. I want to go further and say that if, as the representative of the people, he can find one single instance in which I have rendered a service to a constituent of mine, as a public man, for financial reward or hope of financial reward, my seat its vacant in this House. I did make a certain statement with reference to the hon. member for Dauphin on Friday last, which he denied. That statement was that he had said a certain thing in the last local election in the province of Manitoba. He denied having made that statement and I accepted hiiis denial. I accepted it as an acceptance due from one hon. member to another. And to-day I appeal to the hon. gentleman, as an appeal from man to man, that he should either withdraw the insinuation he made or let me know-and I think it is only fair that I should know- what foundation he had for making it. As I have done him the credit of accepting his denial, just as I would accept the statement of any member of this House, I appeal to him either to accept the denial that I make of the insinuation he cast upon me or furnish some proof of it.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE-MR. NEELY.
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March 20, 1911