March 18, 1915


Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister; moved: That this House shall meet on Saturday, the 20th inst., and on all Saturdays until the end of the session, the hours of sitting and the order of precedence for business to be the same as on Fridays; and that on and from Monday, the 22nd instant, and until the end of the' session the House shall meet each day at 11 o'clock in the morning, and that in addition to the usual intermission at 6 o'clock, p.m., there shall be an intermission from one to three-o'clock, p.m. He said: I make this motion with the view of expediting the business of the session, and with the feeling that hon. members on both sides desire to make the necessary progress. As far as I can gather, the only possible objection to it would be that some of the committees might have to meet while the House is in session. That after all is not a very great inconvenieence as far as a good deal of the business is concerned. It is proposed also that we should meet on Saturdays until the end of the session. That, of course, imposes a very much greater burden upon the members of the Government than upon any other members of this House, inasmuch as Saturday is the day reserved for meetings of Council, and as a matter of fact practically the whole day is taken up for that purpose. Nevertheless, in order that business may be expedited, we will endeavour on convenient occasions to get through with the work usually done on Saturdays. I hope this motion will commend itself to the House.


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Mr. Speaker,

I assume that this motion means that the Government has no more business to bring down and that we have before us on the Order Paper all the business we shall have to deal with this session. Am I right in. that?

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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:

There will have to be a Bill with regard to seed grain. I am informed by the Minister of Justice that it will be necessary to correct some clerical

mistakes in the Redistribution Act of last session, but nothing that affects the substance of the measure. My hon. friends from Prince Edward Island spoke about a motion with regard to the representation of that province, and it is possible I may bring forward a resolution with regard to that. I cannot think of anything else at the moment.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

If the intention of the Government is to bring down no more business than that stated by my right hon. friend-seed grain, the possible amendment of the Redistribution Act, and the representation of Prince Edward Island -I assume that these measures will not be contentious, and therefore I see no objection at all. But if any contentious measures were to be brought forward I should *object very strongly to our sitting in the morning. I am satisfied with the explanation given by the right hon. gentleman. "We now know that what we have to deal with is the programme before the House. With these explanations we on this side of the House-

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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:

With the right hon. gentleman's permission I would interrupt for a moment. The Minister of Justice says that there is necessity for a Bill with regard to the appointment of judges in certain provinces.

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LIB
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The provinces of

British Columbia and Alberta have created new county court or district court districts, and it will be necessary for us to make provision for the salaries of judges for these courts.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

There can be no objection to that.

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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:

And I understand from the Minister of Justice that a small amendment will be necessary to the Winding-Up Act; but that does not involve any controversy.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I wished to-know if there was any legislation of a contentious nature to be expected, and I understand from my right hon. friend that none such legislation is to be brought down. We know now what we have to deal with. Speaking for this side of the House, we have no objection to expediting the end of the session, and to that end to begin morning sittings. There will be some inconveniences with regard to the committees,

but there are always these inconveniences, and we will try to get along. I would suggest that it would be inconvenient to (have a sitting next Saturday, as some members have made engagements which will prevent them being here on Saturday or Monday morning. If the right hon. gentleman will agree not to sit on Saturday next but on the Saturday following, and that the morning sittings shall commence on Tuesday next instead of on Monday, I will agree to the motion.

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

Will not some legislation be necessary in connection with pensions? I have not looked into it particularly, but it did strike me that some further legislation would be necessary on that subject. I would make the suggestion that instead of sitting at eleven in the morning we should begin our sittings at two o'clock in the afternoon.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

I know that would be agreeable to some members, and I am further of the opinion that we should accomplish as much work as by commencing at eleven o'clock.

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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:

I thought I heard some hon. gentlemen opposite suggest that we sit at nine o'clock instead of at eleven.

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LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Eleven o'clock is the hour which has usually been fixed in the past, and I think that would be a convenient hour for members generally.

As to pensions, so far as the troops in Canada are concerned, there is power under the Pensions Act to make the amendments. With regard to the men beyond the seas-we make no distinction as to rate of pensions-I think there is power by Order in Council to deal with them. If it was desired that the proposed Order in Council should be brought down and placed before the House in advance of being assented to by Council we would have no objection. The pension rate has been practically agreed upon after receiving very careful consideration from the proper officers of the Department of Militia and Defence, and from the members of the Government who have had it under consideration a great many times. At present it is in the form in which we shall be prepared to pass it unless we should have suggestions from hon. members on the

subject. We should be glad to consider such suggestions.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I notice by the newspapers that certain railways have been acquired to be operated as a part of the Intercolonial railway. Does not the Prime Minister think that legislation may be necessary?

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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:

The Minister oi Railways and Canals had not brought that to my attention, and therefore I did not mention it as part of the proposed legislation of this session. I shall 'have to make a reserve with regard to my previous answer to the right hon. leader of the Opposition. I am not aware at the moment that any legislation is necessary, but my hon. friend from St. John city (Mr. Pugsley) would probably be better able than I to speak as to that necessity, and I would accept his opinion upon it.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I think it would be necessary. While there was a vote last year for operating the railway, there has been no distinct measure passed by Parliament authorizing the purchase. Therefore, I should think legislation would be required to legalize the operation of the road.

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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:

Will my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) permit a correction of what I said before, by reserving the consideration of that matter? I shall speak to the Minister of Railways about it at the earliest moment. But I should assume that any Bill brought down for the purpose indicated would not be of a controversial character.

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March 18, 1915