February 22, 1915

NEW MEMBER.


Mr. SPEAKER informed the House that the Clerk of the House had received from the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery a certificate of the return of Gideon Rochon, Esquire, as member for the electoral district of Terrebonne.


WAR SUPPLIES-COMMITTEE ON BOOTS.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved:

That the name of the I ton. Charles Murphv be substituted for that of the Hon. Rodolphe Remieux on the committee appointed to inquire into all matters appertaining to boots supplied to the Department of Militia.

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Motion agreed to.


EVIDENCE BEFORE COMMITTEES.

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

In reply to a question put to me on Friday last, I stated that

committees have power to swear witnesses without the House authorizing them. I quote from the Revised Statutes, 1906, cap. 10, sec. 25, " an Act respecting the Senate and House of Commons:"

Any committee of the Senate or of the House of Commons may administer the oath to any witness examined before said committee.

I have noticed that motions have been made in the House to confer power on committees to examine witnesses under oath, and I have already stated that I thought this unnecessary. I quote this section of the Act now in confirmation of that view.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

It may be a question as to whether the statute has appli-

.

cation only to a committee that was so authorized by the House, and that may be the reason why motions have been made in the House to confer that power.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

It is quite evident that committees of the House are fully authorized and empowered to administer the oath to a witness because under another clause, sec. 24, the Senate or House of Commons may at any time order a witness to be examined under oath before a committee, provided .the committee had neglected to do so.

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CIVIL SERVICE ACT AMENDMENT.


Bill No. 47, to amend the Civil Service Act, 1908-Mr. Broder-introduced and read the first time.


WAR SUPPLIES AT SALISBURY PLAINS.


Hon. GEO. P. GRAHAM: I notice in a despatch which has beerr given prominence in the leading newspapers, including* the Ottawa Journal of Saturday last, a statement that wagons, harness, Ross rifles, etc., have been discarded in great quantities and left behind at Salisbury Plains. Has the Government any information on that point?


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I do not think we have any such information as that. I shall be able to give my bon. friend full information later. I believe the Princess Patricia regiment did take British rifles, because it was brigaded with a British division, but so far as the Canadian Overseas force is concerned, I have no information whatever that the Ross rifle has been discarded. The long Ross rifle, I understand from the Minister of Militia, is not i j'garded as very suitable for cavalry, not because of the rifle itself, but because of the difficulty of handling a long rifle on horseback. So far as the motor transport is concerned, my recollection is that it was subjected to very severe usage during the four or five months which have elapsed since the force has been in Salisbury Plains, arid it would be desirable, I have no doubt, that new motor transports should be sent to the front as quickly as possible; but I do not know at the moment how much of the motor transport which was so used has been taken to the front and what proportion has been left behind to be usesd during training by any further expeditionary force that may go forward.

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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The despatch also -refers to wagons and harness having been left behind.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

So far as

wagons and harness are concerned, I am not in a position to speak; but I will get the information later on.

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GASPE-CAMPBELLTON STEAMSHIP SERVICE.

LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES MARCIL:

With your

permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Sir George Poster) regarding the memorial that has been sent to him by the Campbellton Board of Trade, a copy of which has been sent to me by the secretary of the board, regarding the steamship service between Gaspe and Campbellton. As the House is aware from our last discussion on the matter, the minister was under some difficulty in establishing that service last year, and the best that he could do was to establish a long-distance service between Montreal, Quebec and Campbellton. But this does not meet the requirements between Campbellton and Gaspe and of the Bonaventure shore, and so they are asking that the local service between Gasp6 and Campbellton be reestablished. I have no objection to the long-distance service if it can be maintained, but the signers of the memorial are in favour of re-establishing the old semi-weekly service. Would it be possible for the minister, in view of the near opening of navigation, to call for tenders for such service? Has any action been taken in the matter?

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CON

George Eulas Foster (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

It is as the hon. member for Bonaventure has intimated, about the beginning of last year's service the proprietor of the line, a contractor in this ease, died. His estate was not able to carry on the service. We were in the midst of the season before this was decided, and so the best that could be done $t that time was to make an arrangement for weekly service instead of semi-weekly with a line which carried as far as Montreal. ' The document referred to by my hon. friend has been received, and is now being considered by the officers of the department. In a little while I shall be able to come to a conclusion as to what is best to be done, or what is possible under the circumstances.

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PRIVATE BILLS.

February 22, 1915