May 9, 1911

CON

Charles Joseph Doherty

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY.

Nor do I] and I trust that the hon. member for North Toronto will accept the suggestion already made to him by more authoritative voices than my own, and that he will see fit to withdraw the statement he has made with regard to his intention of not accepting the invitation. I have no desire whatever to make any objection to this vote. I would like, however, to offer a suggestion in regard to the terms in which it is set forth. I make the suggestion, in view of the statement of the hon. member for Argenteuil (Mr. Perley) with regard to the misunderstand-Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

ing that seems to have occurred concerning the nature of this invitation, and which misunderstanding may possibly have had something to do with the method of determining who should be the gentlemen to accept the invitation of the committee of members of parliament on the other side. I notice that the vote is provided for the expenses of the ' parliamentary delegation.' I think, under the circumstances, that it is not absolutely correct to speak of these gentlemen as a ' parliamentary delegation.' I understood the First Minister to say a moment ago that these gentlemen will not be there in any more official capacity than any other member of the House who might be in England, and desire to attend the coronation. They are going, as I understand it, .as accepting an invitation from certain members of parliament on the other side, not, properly speaking, as an official delegation from this parliament, I do not understand that this parliament, as a parliament, took any official step to delegate them. I would suggest that there might be found a modification of the wording of the vote which would make it clear that there is not sought to make any official distinction between gentlemen who may go, other than that these gentlemen who accept the invitation given. I am not prepared, perhaps to express it exactly as it ought to be expressed, but my idea would be met if, instead of saying we were voting money to pay the expenses of a parliamentary delegation, we should say that we were voting money to pay the expenses of members of the Senate and House of Commons attending the coronation, and accepting the invitation of the committee of members of parliament on the other side. I suggest that simply to make it quite clear what I think everybody understands, that there is no intention to make these gentlemen any more official representatives than any other member of parliament who may attend. I think that is no offence to the gentlemen-if I thought it was, I would not make the suggestion. I suggest this as putting on record exactly the facts and leaving no room for misunderstanding as to the relative positions of the members who have been fixed upon to accept this official invitation, and other hon. members who mav attend the coronation.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR.

I have the honour to be one of those nominated on this side of the House on this delegation, and, in case there should be any misapprehension about the matter, I wish to state that, so far as I know there was no information given to the delegates on our side of the House which was not given to the delegates on the other side. I did not know anything about whether there would be money provided to pay expenses or not, and the

MAY 9, 19il

first news I had of it was when I saw it in print in the estimates brought down yesterday. No pressure came from the delegation on this side, so far as I know, to have the vote put in the estimates. If I understand my hon. friend from Argenteuil (Mr. Perley) the objection seems to be that it was not known on the other side that provision would he made to pay the expenses and that if it had been known they would have made a different selection from that which they did make.

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L-C
LIB
L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Might I offer a remark? The statement was made to the members when the question was brought up, and each member was told: You will have to pay your own expenses. I think it went further than not being brought up, and that it was brought up in the way I state.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR.

There seems to have been no authority on the part of anybody to make that statement. If there was any misunderstanding it must have grown up among hon. gentlemen opposite themselves. It should not be too late to rectify it. They ought to be able to agree on five gentlemen on that side to attend this delegation, and if there is any difficulty of that kind, I do not see why it could not be rectified yet, or why they could not make some selection that would suit them all. It is unfortunate if any hard feelings with regard to the selection on that side should exist. There are no such feelings on this side. I believe everybody is quite cordial, and I am glad to say that I was congratulated by nearly every friend around me when my name was given as one of those to go. I will vote against the motion when the vote is put.-I presume my hon. friends on the other side are not talking for the sake of talking, and that they intend to do something more than merely object. In that case, I will join my hon. friends and vote against it. I feel delicate about making any motion, for I do not know how it will affect the gentlemen who have accepted this invitation. I cannot agree with my hon. friend from Victoria and Haliburton (Mr. Hughes). If I understand this matter, the invitation comes from members of the imperial parliament, it is not a general invitation from the House of Commons of England, but from individual members, of whom Lord Rosebery is chairman. It would be natural to suppose that everybody who goes from Canada would receive attention. I suppose there will be thousands of people' from Canada in London, and it would be impossible that these can all obtain

seats in Westminster Abbey to witness the coronation. It would be impossible to grant the same privilege to everybody going from Canada. For my part, I would be inclined to move that the item be struck out.

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LIB

Henry Horton Miller

Liberal

Mr. MILLER.

The hon. member has spoken about hard feeling among the members; I do not think there is any hard feeling upon the part of any one member against any other member on either side of the House. The hon. member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Meighen) has spoken his mind as he had a right to do, honestly and frankly. But I do not think there are many members in this House, or many people in the country, who will agree with him. I do not think that the manner of the invitation from certain members of the House of Commons in England to the members here, and the fact that the representatives from Canada will be entertained by members in England, is a matter that is of any concern to us at all, or that we have a right to discuss. A11 we have a right to discuss is whether this parliament shall or shall not pay the expenses of eighteen members of this parliament to go to England. 1 think that had there been no invitation at all from the old country, it would have been proper for parliament to pay the expenses of a limited number of members of the House of Commons to go with the members of the cabinet who represent Canada in England. I do not think that all the ability that is in this House of Commons is contained in the cabinet. It would have been impossible for all the members of this House to go and for their expenses to be paid by the public; no one would have expected it. As a matter of course it did place those who had to make the choice in a delicate position. No doubt many members of the House who were not selected would have filled the positions equally well. But all could not go. The member for Algoma (Mr. Smyth'e) is one of the newer members of the House, and he and others will perhaps have an opportunity to attend a similar, occasion at a later date. One of the reasons why I justify this vote is that some of the older members of the House of Commons are going. I quite agree with all those who have spoken, that the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster) and the hon. member for Lanark (Mr. Haggart) are certainly two men who ought to be included in any list of those who go; I think we all agree in that. I do not think there will be any bad feeling either in the House or in the country, but that there will be good feeling all round. I think the people generally will be satisfied to see this vote carried.

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CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

I do not wish it to be understood that I object to this vote, I

think it is a right and proper vote, but I do not think it has been managed in the right and proper way. I should feel badly if the hon. member for North Toronto, on account of the discussion this evening, did not take his share of this vote.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I do not think it possible to do so after the statement that the chief whip has made in the House to-night.

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CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

All I can say is that if the hon. gentleman feels hurt at any words I have uttered, it is because I have not the same power of expression that he has.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I think the hon. member knew what he was saying.

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CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

I certainly had no intention of hurting the feelings of anybody in this House. I simply wanted to put myself right in regard to this matter. I have no objection whatever to this vote, I think it is right and proper. The hon. member for Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair) said that we had no reason to think there would not be a vote. For myself I think that when the Prime Minister asked for the names of five members, and did not say anything about a vote, anybody would take it for granted that there would be no vote. That is why I felt justified in saying to the members by whom I was asked that the selection was to be made from those members who intended to go to the coronation any way. I simply rose to put myself right, and to say that a mistake was made by the Prime Minister weeks ago, or months ago, when he failed to say that he intended to bring in a vote for this purpose.

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CON

Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAKE.

I wish to say that in my opinion the attitude taken by the member for Portage la Prairie is a perfectly correct one, and I entirely agree with what he has said. I think that the official representatives of Canada in this parliament are the members of the government who are going to the conference and the coronation.

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CON

John Best

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEST.

I was pleased a week ago last Friday when I heard the Prime Minister say that he had changed his mind, and that he was going to the coronation. I believe that the Dominion of Canada has a perfect right to pay his expenses. But it was distinctly understood, at least I so understood, that any other member who went would have to pay his own expenses. I think that any member of parliament who goes to England and has his expenses paid by the people of Canada, is not doing the right thing. If the government offered to pay the expenses of all the members of this House, I think they would all volunteer to go. I did not know who were the members, with the exception of the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster)

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CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

who were selected to go until he stood up here and said that he was one of them. I was not aware who they were. I do not think this government has any right to pay the expenses of these men.

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CON

Glenlyon Campbell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAMPBELL.

I regret very much that this discussion has taken a personal turn. Members on this side of the House hold George E. Foster, of North Toronto, in the highest personal regard. There is certainly no one that we would rather see go there to represent the Conservative party and the parliament of Canada than the hon. member for North Toronto. It is not in my mind a question of the personality of the members of parliament who will go. That is not the matter under discussion. It was somewhat unfairly stated by the hon. member for Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair) a few minutes ago, that the discussion arose from any dissension with regard to the selection of the individuals. I hope he will reconsider those words, because, speaking for myself, I did not know who were chosen on either side. I want to emphasize what the right hon. Prime Minister said that these hon. gentlemen are going entirely in their private capacity, and they are accepting a private invitation. They are not representing Canada in any way, they are simply going to the old country to take part in the coronation, accepting for a certain time an invitation tendered them by gentlemen who have been members of parliament. They are not representing Canada; then, why ask the people of Canada to pay their expenses? It is the principle to which I object most strongly, and if I have an opportunity I will vote against the proposal. If it carries I sincerely hope that my hon. friend from North Toronto will reconsider his determination.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

I do not know that 1 can agree in every particular with my hon. friend from Dauphin (Mr. Campbell), who has just taken his seat. Inasmuch as. members have been selected from the respective parties and the Senate to go as the representatives of these two Houses to the old country, I cannot agree altogether with the view that they in no sense will represent Canada. As I understand an invitation has come to this country from the members, of the parliament of Great Britain.

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CON
LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

I am stating it as I understand it, and if I am wrong, somebody can correct me when I get through. As 1 understand it an invitation has been sent here from the members of the British House of Commons to a number of men to go from these two Houses and be their guests while in the old country. If that is correct, then they would to a certain extent be the repre-

sentatives of Canada. But whether that is true or not, I do not agree with the principle of making this grant, I have not one word to say against the personnel of the gentlemen selected from the two parties, because I doubt if you could get a better representation of the House of Commons and the Senate, but I do not think that' the principle is a right one, and I wish simply to put on record my protest against the vote.

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L-C

James William Maddin

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. MADDIN.

As I understand the situation, an invitation having come from the Imperial parliament to send 18 representatives from the parliament of Canada, a selection was made in the best judgment of the leader of the government and the leader of the opposition. They go to represent Canada whether they were invited to go or not, which is neither here nor there. They are directed by this parliament to go there for that purpose, they go with the permission of this parliament to represent this country, and if that is so why should their expenses not be borne by this country.

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May 9, 1911