January 31, 1912

FIRST READINGS.


Bill (No. 89,) to incorporate the Bank of Saskatchewan.-Mr. Knowles. Bill (No. 90,) respecting the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company.-Mr. Clements. Bill (No. 91,) respecting the Kootenay Central Railway Company.-Mr. Clements. Bill (No. 92,) respecting the Manitoba and North Western Railway Company of Canada.-Mr. Cash. Bill (No. 93,) respecting the United Gold Fields of British Columbia (Limited).- Mr. Buchanan. Bill (No. 94,) respecting the Windsor, Chatham and London Railway Company. -Mr. Wilcox.


COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. L. BORDEN (Prime Minister) moved:

That the name of the Hon. H. S. Beland be substituted for the name of Mr. Fortier as member of the Committee on Railways, Canals and Telegraph Lines, and that the name of Mr. Fortier be substituted for the name of Hon. H. S. Beland as member of the Committee on Agriculture.

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Motion agreed to.


COMMITTEE ON OLD AGE PENSIONS.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN moved:

That the special committee to inquire into an old age pension system for Canada, as set forth in the resolution of this House passed on the 24th day of January instant, do consist of Messrs. Bradbury, Buchanan, Burnham, Carroll, Currie, Goodeve, Guthrie, Jameson, Macdonald (Pictou), Mondou, Verville and White (Leeds).

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Motion agreed to.


JOINT COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATION.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

*Mr. BORDEN moved:

That it be resolved, that a message he sent to the Senate to inform their honours that this House will unite with them in the formation of a Joint Committee of both Houses on the subject, of more equally dividing between the two Houses of Parliament the initiation of private and public legislation, with a view to curtailing the length of the sessions; and more particularly to prevent in future the custom known in parliamentary parlance as the ' railroading ' of important measures at the end of the session, and to devise means by which such a result could be obtained; and that Messrs Allans, Barnard, Bennett (Sim-coe), Clark (Bruce), Clarice (Essex), Emmer-son, Kyte, Sevigny, and Wilson (Laval), will act as members on the part of this House on the said Joint Committee.

He said: The resolution which was sent to this House by the Senate is to be found in the Votes and Proceedings of the 26th instant. No doubt it has already come to the attention of my right hon. friend.

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Motion agreed to.


THE WRIT FOR SOUTH RENFREW.

LIB

Alfred Henry Clarke

Liberal

Mr. CLARKE (Essex).

I ask leave of tile House to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance, namely, the vacancy in the electoral district of South Renfrew, and to submit this proposition :

Pursuant to Rule 39 Mr. Clarke (Essex) proposes upon a motion' to adjourn the House, and with its leave, to discuss a distinct matter of urgent public importance, namely: The question of the vacancy in the representation in this House of the electoral district of South Renfrew and of the delay in the issue of a writ for an election to fill the vacancy.

Leave granted.

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LIB

Alfred Henry Clarke

Liberal

Mr. CLARKE (Essex).

Mr. Speaker, for the purpose of discussing this matter I move that this House do now adjourn.' The matter to be discussed is one, I submit, of urgent importance to the interests of this country, namely, the vacancy which has existed in the representation in this House for the electoral district of South Renfrew for nearly two months, and the delay, for which some person must be responsible, in the issuing of the writ in order that the electors of the riding may have their undoubted right to a representative in parliament. It seems to me that the long delay of this matter is a direct violation of the spirit, and I am inclined to think, of the letter of the law in this respect. When we refer to the House of Commons Act, section 5, the procedure is very plain, so plain, one would think, that the writ would issue in a case of this sort almost automatically. That section provides that:

In case of a resignation the Speaker shall forthwith

I emphasize the word ' forthwith.'

-address his warrant to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery for the issue of a writ for the election of a new member, and the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery shall issue the writ accordingly.

With commendable promptitude, upon receiving the resignation, you, Mr. Speaker, did issue your warrant to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery on the 7th December last, and so notified the House that you had issued your warrant to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery for the issue of a writ. I am sure that if the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery had been supplied with the information required from another source he also would have been commended for his promptness in this .respect, but instead of that we have gone nearly two months and the writ has not yet been issued. The reason is one arising in consequence of the Act which provides the

duty to be done by the government before the writ can be issued and that duty is to fix the nomination day and name the returning officer in order that the writ may be issued. That has not been done.

Hon. gentlemen opposite realized that for a breach of the law it would be necessary to give some reason. Two reasons, if they may be called reasons, have been given for this great delay. The first Tea-son was given by the bon. Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid). He went up into the riding of South Renfrew. He could not very well afford to say: We are doing this for the purpose of keeping this riding open; he found and realized the necessity under the law of giving some reason why the electors had been deprived of their rights and why the government had not done their duty in enabling them to send a representative to this House. I only need to refer to the reason, or the pretext, which he gave and I will take it from the organ of the hon. member himself, the Renfrew ' Journal.' This is the reason which that paper reports him as giving:

Dr. Reid said the Liberals had been unfair and ungenerous in regard to the acclamation of Mr. Borden in Carleton county some years ago. They had held back the issuing of the writ until after the House met so as to keep the Conservative leader out as long as possible.

A statement more conspicuous for its reckless disregard of truth, I think, it would be difficult to find. But, as I said before, the hon. gentleman realized that he must give some reason and he had to resort to this which he calls a reason for the extraordinary delay. What are the facts in regard to that? He cites as a precedent the matter >of Ciarleton in the year 1905. In that case Mr. Kidd, who had represented that riding since the general election, tendered his resignation in this House and it was accepted on the 20th day of January, 1905. The by-election was held on the 4th February following, and the hon. member (Mr. Borden) was introduced into the House on the 7th day of February. So that, within eighteen days of the time the resignation was placed in the hands of the Speaker the hon. gentleman took his seat in this House. If that precedent had been followed in this case, after this House had resumed at the close of the Christmas vacation, south Renfrew would have had its representative sitting here in parliament. I have always thought that when a new government was elected it would be an improvement upon its predecessor, that instead of copying the vices and errors of its predecessor it would avoid those and imitate its virtues. That has not been the case with the present government. We have had it in other instances, in the Mr. CLARKE (Essex).

matter of patronage and in the matter of advertising for tenders. When they are pressed for reasons they give as their precedent what they call the vices of the former government instead' of what they *call its virtues. It seems to me to be a true saying that the evil which men da lives after them, and that me good is often interred with their bones; so that it would appear that if there were any evils connected with the former government those evils are living after them and are being imitated by their successors. It is all the worse in this particular case because, on account of the fewness of the vices of the former government, the hon. Minister of Customs has had to resort to fiction in order to procure some vices. Not only does he base it upon facts but he invents a condition of affairs and then follows that invention which is not founded upon the facts when he says that ho is imitating a state of facts that never did exist. I have been wondering who the prototypes of the members of the present government were. Most statesmen have some prototype, some great exemplar, that they are proud to follow. I know that my right hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) has chosen the late Mr. Gladstone. He has often referred to him. I have searched through the history of many statesmen and there is only one that I have discovered that I think I might call the prototype of the present government. He was a Secretary of State many years ago. His name is Nicholas Machiavel. He had doctrines. I cannot say that I have found many men who have adopted the doctrines of that Secretary of State. . But it is quite evident we have some followers of that gentleman in the present government. What were some of these doctrines which are being followed? One was that when a new prince was created he should immediately, by fair means or foul, put out of existence any person who might stand in his way. That is being followed. A man who ought to be in this House, a man of experience in this House, but who might be in the way of some hon. gentlemen is proposed by a majority of the people of that constituency but hon. gentlemen opposite immediately adopt the doctrine of Machiavel and try to put him out of the way.

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CON
LIB

Alfred Henry Clarke

Liberal

Mr. CLARKE (South Essex).

And my hon. friends seems to relish the fact that he is not in.

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CON
LIB

Alfred Henry Clarke

Liberal

Mr. CLARKE (South Essex).

His prototype had some other characteristics. One was that a prince or a ruler should not be

altogether good-some parts good, but, if necessary to save his life, then he should have some parts bad. I find in the composition of this Cabinet there are some parts that are bad and they find it is necessary to hold their names and their positions in order to do some things that are decidedly wicked, as instanced in their conduct in this very matter.

Another characteristic was that they must appear to be good, the hon. Minister of Customs goes up to Renfrew, but he does not give them the wickedness that is in his heart and say: we are going to try and kill Graham, but he says: there is a reason, they did not treat the present leader of the government correctly in a former instance and that is a good plausible reason, I will conceal the wickedness in my heart and say we mean to be just as good as they were.

Then there is another reason, perhaos the most far-reaching of all, that a prince, in order to rule well, ought to go to a preceptor who is part man and part beast. I do not know but what we have an illustration of that here, because when the hon. member went to Renfrew he spoke with the tongue of a man, but when, in this House, he is confronted by what he said there and the falsity of the statement, he takes the part of the beast and sits dumb in his seat.

The only fault I find with the hon. leader of the government (Mr. Borden) is that he should have allotted this wing of the government to the province of Ontario. I think the premier province of this Dominion deserved better at the hands of the Prime Minister than for him to have chosen the followers of this eminent statesman from that province. I do not think they represent the ideals of that province, and I think that an apology is owing by the Prime Minister in that respect. Who are the men who are the disciples of Mac-hiavel? You can scarcely think that the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Foster), is responsible for this state of things. He has been a gymnast in his day, but I have heard him here as the apostle of the strictest virtues when he sat on this side of the House and, with the mellowing influences of age, I cannot think that he would be responsible for the subverting of the law for the sake of depriving a constituency of its right.

One cannot think that the Minister of Militia (Mr. Hughes) who comes from that province would be guilty, because who is there _ more valiant in fighting for'fair-play and justice than he is? If he is true to himself he will call out the militia, and see that right is done and that the muzzle is taken off the people of South Renfrew.

I know that my hon. friend from western Ontario, the Minister of Labour, (Mr. Crothers), cannot be guilty. These are not the ideals or the principles of western Ontario. He would not be a true representative of that district if he did not disavow the attempt that has been made here to gag the electors of a prominent constituency in this province. Then the hon. member for Leeds (Mr. White)-much is expected of him. He represents the people who stand for the rights of all parties, for justice and right in this country. He comes from a party in which he was trained up in those principles and I think that the hon. member has it in his heart and if he is allowed will say that those schemes shall not prevail in the province of Ontario, and that common decency and right will be observed.

Then if these are not the disciples where are they? There are only two left from the province of Ontario, one is the Minister of Customs (Mr. Reid), and he appears perhaps to be the leader in this respect. Then we have left only the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Cochrane). The Minister of Railways and Canals so far has exhibited more of the dumb portion of the ruler, because he does not say much in this House, but, none the less, he is credited with representing a very strong element of action. The lion is a very strong animal although he does not speak. The hon. Minister of Railways and Canals came down here with a very strong reputation given to him by his former leader, Sir James Whitney, in the province of Ontario, and from my personal acquaintance with him I did not expect that he would be a disciple of this great statesman of whom I have spoken. But circumstances are suspicious. These are the two, I am afraid, who are to be credited with being the authors of this mischief which has been perpetrated. The Minister of Railways and Canals has, within the past week, appointed a commission to investigate the deportment of the Liberal candidate in South Renfrew, Hon. George Graham, a man who ought to be on the floor of this House when his administration is being discussed, and a man than whom no one is better fitted to watch in this House the hon. Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Cochrane), in his dealings. If the hon. the Minister of Railways was as courageous a man as he is reputed by his former leader to be, he would say: Give me the very strongest critic you have, give me the man who knows most about my department, let him come in here, and let him watch my every movement. But that is not the case here; instead of inviting criticism from the man most able to critise instead of assisting, or at any rate giving fair-plav so that that man may come into this House, we find this effort to prevent him gaining a seat in order that

the House may not have the advantage of his assistance and experience.

Another thing points to the Minister of Railways in connection with the Minister of Customs, and it is not at all satisfactory. I again refer to the hon. member's organ, the Renfrew 'Journal.' That paper says:

A Low appeal from a Cabinet Minister.

Dr. Reid then turned his attention to the good roads movement advocated hr the Conservative government at Ottawa, and the bald way that he handled this .topic disgusted all decent men-who look for something higher than this kind of talk from a cabinet minister. The burden of this part of Dr. Reid's speech was to the effect that South Renfrew should vote for Dr. Maloney and the Borden government would then spend money in this district for good roads. '

It is a little significant that when the Minister of Railways announced the Roads Bill in this House he stated that it was the intention to turn the money over to the provinces, but after this election contest became warm, we find he adds a little clause to the Bill providing that in addition to turning the money over to the provinces the government may spend it themselves. That is the provision of the Bill. Then we find his associate going into the riding of South Renfrew and saying: Vote right and then we will spend this money right in order to help those who vote for us. That is practically the result.

Then leaving that reason, if it may be called a reason, I have another, given by the hon. the leader of the government (Mr. Borden), only two days ago, and I think that a great deal of the virtue which might have existed if this reason had been given six weeks ago, is lost when we remember that although day after day the leader of the opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), has inquired why the writ was not issued in South Renfrew, no suggestion of any obstacle was ever given until two days ago when the leader of the government said there was some trouble about voters' lists. There is no trouble about voters' lists in the organized districts of the province of Ontario, there is always an official list. Section G of the Dominion Elections Act provides:

For the purposes of any Dominion election held within the limits of a province, the voters' lists shall, except as herein otherwise provided, be those prepared for the several polling divisions established, and which, on the sixtieth dav next preceding the day fixed for the nomination of candidates for such Dominion election, were in force, or were last in force, under the laws of that province, for the purposes of provincial elections.

Does the hon. member not know that lists are made up every year in Ontario, except in the cities where registration takes place? Previous to an election there is al-

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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN.

Mr. Speaker, we have listened to a most notable example of what the girl in the play called 'excellent fooling,' .because the hon. gentleman who is inspired by these virtuous and worthy sentiments is one who sat in this House day after day, week after week, and month after month, when periods exceeding by four times the one in this case had elapsed, and he was a,s dumb as the animal to which he has just referred. I am bound to say, with regard to his somewhat confused statement about men and animals, that a certain dumb animal, which spoke on one notable occasion when it stood still in the road, uttered words much more to the point than those which my hon. friend has uttered this afternoon. He seems to be under a misapprehension as to how long the. comity has been 'unrepresented. For what length of time does my hon. friend compute the period?

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January 31, 1912