March 24, 1916

PRIVATE BILLS.

SECOND BEADING.


Bill No. 69, for the relief of Clarice Smith. Mr. Cash.


MORNING SITTINGS OF THE HOUSE.

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister) moved:

said Mondays Government orders shall have precedence after questions and notices of motions for production of papers.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Are we to understand this to mean that the Government have no more measures to bring down?

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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:

No others besides those that I mentioned to my right hon. friend. There will he some Supplementary Estimates and there may be a measure in connection w'th the Department of Agriculture, as I mentioned to the right hon. gentleman the other day. I am not aware of anything else.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

This motion seems to me premature, for next Monday. 1 have no desire to protract the session; but I would point out tnat there are a good many orders standing in the names of private members which cannot be discussed if this motion carries. My hon. friend from Rouvilie (Mr. Lemieux) has a motion on technical education on which he has had to give way on one or two occasions.

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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

An arrangement was

made with the hon. member for Rouvilie under which he could discuss this subject on the Estimates of the Minister of Labour.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Then, I have no more to say about that. But there are other notices of motion standing in the names of Messrs. McCraney, Carvell, Maclean of Halifax, Sinclair, Burnham, Currie, and others. I think that for the Government to take next Monday would be premature. There would be no objection to their taking the following Monday.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I have just a word to *say with regard to morning sittings. I have not had an opportunity to discuss this matter with my right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition, but personally I question very much the desirability of sitting in the morning. The holding of morning sittings makes our work extremely difficult and tiring; it is simply a means of wearing out the members at the latter part of the session, if they attend to their duties. Besides, it is an interference with the work of the various committees. If more time is needed for our work, I think it would be better for us to meet at two o'clock, leaving the morning free. But what I think would be better still would be to have an understanding between the leaders on either side of the House as to about what time prorogation might conveniently take place, and then let us apply ourselves diligently to carrying on the work of the session. I have

always thought there was no great advantage in morning sittings, for meeting in the morning, afternoon and evening means that everybody is tired out, and the members cannot give the attention to public business that they ought to give.

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LIB

Michael Clark

Liberal

Mr. MICHAEL CLARK:

Personally, I

take a view entirely opposed to that of the hon. member for St. John. My observation concerning morning sittings-and perhaps a medical man has superior opportunities to observe the state of intellect of hon. members than has a member of the legal profession-is that the intellect of members is peculiarly bright in the forenoon, and that, as a rule, we do twice as much work in the forenoon as at any other time. If members did not have the morning sittings towards the end of the session, they would do what they do for a great deal of the previous portion of the session; some of them would go to committees, but a large number of them would sit around, and smoke and hurt their intellects in that way as well as by talking a certain amount dry rot. I think that the old custom of having morning sittings towards the end of the session can be advocated on practical as well as on medical and physiological grounds.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Some committees of great importance are sitting at the present time. I speak particularly of the Pensions Committee, the members of which are desirous of devoting their attention very carefully to the matters under consideration. There are some hon. members of this House who do not go to any committees; therefore it does not make much difference to them whether or not the House sits in the morning. If the suggestion of the hon. member for St. John city is carried out and the leaders confer as to the date when the session should be brought to a conclusion, I am sure that members on both sides will endeavour to see that the public business is got through at that particular date. I am quite sure that under those conditions very much better and more thorough attention would be given to the important subjects that have yet to be considered very seriously before Parliament prorogues.

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

It seems to be

pretty well understood that Parliament will conclude its labours before the Easter holidays. That being the case, I should like to support the suggestion of the hon. member for St. John city that a conference take

place between the right hon. leader of the Government and the right hon. leader of the Opposition. There would seem to be no good reason, if it is the general feeling that we shall prorogue before the Easter holidays, why an approximate date should not be fixed for prorogation. In that event, I think the business of the House could be disposed of rapidly and more effectively without morning sittings than with them.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

I should like to call the attention of the Prime Minister to the motion made by the hon. member for Vancouver (Mr. Stevens), which I had the honour of seconding. I understood that the deputation had obtained from the Premier a promise that ample opportunity would be given for the discussion of this important subject, and that the sense of the House would be taken upon it. I should like to know what the right hon. gentleman intends doing in that regard.

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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 regard to the observations just made by the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil), we did have a second discussion of the subject on the motion of the hon. member for Kings, P.E.I. (Mr. Hughes). Although it was not a very long discussion, it was a very interesting one. I should suppose that further discussion of that question might very well take place on the Bill which the Minister of Justice has introduced. If, however, my hon. friend presses the point and thinks that anything can be gained by having a discussion upon a resolution which is not consistent with the Bill that the Government has brought down, I would not stand in the way of it, because it certainly was understood that there should be the fullest opportunity to discuss the question. I suggest to my hon. friend, however, that no advantage is to be gained from further debating the resolution, in view of the Bill which has been brought down and upon which ample discussion can take place. So far as this motion is concerned, I would be willing for the present simply to give Government Orders precedence on Mondays. If there is any motion upon the Order Paper which is regarded as important, I will see that an opportunity is given to deal with it in some way. I would remind the right hon. gentleman that every one of these motions has been called at least half a dozen times since they were put on the Order Paper; therefore there would be no great hardship in taking Mondays even if

I did not make that arrangement with my right hon. friend. So I would amend the motion accordingly, and leave the question of morning sittings to one side for the moment.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I am very

glad that my right hon. friend agrees to leave the morning sittings for future consideration. I suggest to him, however, that he should give us next Monday. It is true that a good many of these motions have been called several times, but on every occasion but once they were not taken up because other motions were to take precedence over them. I suggest that we have next Monday, .and that the motion take effect the Mtonday after.

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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

Perhaps the House will

allow me to say, in answer to the Prime Minister, that the motion made by the hon. member for Vancouver is entirely distinct and separate from the Bill which has been introduced by the Minister of Justice. Some people would like to know the opinion of the House with regard to this resolution; then we could deal with the Government Bill afterwards on its merits. I should like very much if the Premier could allow us to get the sense of the House on the motion of the hon. member for Vancouver.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

That had

better take place on Monday.

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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:

We can only

take it on-Monday by giving it precedence over the others.

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March 24, 1916