May 4, 1916

VACANCIES.

CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the House that I have received communications notifying me that the following vacancies have occurred in the representations, viz.:

Of Edward Arthur Lancaster, Esq., member for the Electoral District of Lincoln, by decease; and

Of James Reid, Esq., member for Electoral District of Restigouche, by decease.

I have accordingly issued my Warrants to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery to make out new Writs of Election for the said Electoral Districts respectively.

Topic:   VACANCIES.
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EXCHEQUER COURT ACT AMENDMENT.


Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 99, to amend the Exchequer Court Act. He said: The purpose of the Bill is simply to extend the jurisdiction of the Exchequer Court so as to enable it to determine questions purely and simply of value. In the past there have been instances where the situation that arose was either that some party or parties put before the Government or some department of the Government a claim with regard to which there could be no room for debate or discussion as to the existence of the claim, hut which was of such a nature that the quantum to be paid could not be agreed upon and was not easy of determination, or that it having been deemed proper that certain property or properties belonging to the Crown should be disposed of by sale or lease or otherwise, the parties concerned and the department concerned were not able to determine what would be the precise value. The purpose of the Bill is to add a clause to the Exchequer Court Act enumerating the matters with regard to which that Court shall have jurisdiction and to add a clause giving it jurisdiction for the purpose of determining the value in cases such as I have referred to. The present difficulty is that in such cases there is no case proper that comes under any of the cases enumerated in the existing section. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


SHELL CONTRACTS.

ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.

LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. F. B. CARVELL (Carleton, N.B.):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to move the adjournment of the House, and before doing so, I want to state that I have given you very short notice. I have given the leader of the Government no notice at all, and I realize that I am perhaps trespassing upon the good nature of the House in taking this course, but my reasons are as follows: A matter occurred this afternoon at the sitting of the Royal Commission when Mr. Johnston was prohibited from cross-examining witnesses on the ground that the scope of the commission was not broad enough to permit of his doing so. I wish here in the most emphatic manner to state that I do not wish to be considered as casting any reflections whatever upon the decision of the commissioners. I simply want to state the facts as accurately as I can. Mr. Johnston rather persisted in the matter, and finally the commission made the statement that it might be advisable to apply to Parliament in order that further powers might be given to them. The only way that I could do so would be to move the adjournment of the House in order to discuss the matter, and the discussion on that motion, as my hon. friends know, would

be a discussion only of the matter itself and, of course, would not decide what might take place in the future. I did not leave the rooms of the commission until ten minutes past one o'clock and I had no time whatever to see anybody. As the House met at two o'clock, I simply handed to Your Honour a very rough draft of my proposal and I had no opportunity of communicating the matter to my right hon. leader or to the Government side of the House.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

I may say in general

terms, that, of course, there would be no objection to the adjournment of the House being moved for the discussion of any question of public importance. My hon. friend presents a statement of what he claims to be the facts as presented at the commission about one o'clock

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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LIB
CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

-when Mr. Johnston was refused the right to cross-examine certain witnesses in connection with the investigation, but my hon. friend can quite understand that we have not all the facts before us. We have not the exact statement as made by the commissioners and the reasons given for their refusal, and I think my hon. friend should at least be satisfied to allow the matter to stand until to-morrow when we shall be pleased to facilitate any proposal he wishes to make with respect to the adjournment of the House for the discussion of the matter, as we shall then have a report before us.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

The routine proceedings have been completed.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

We have not

yet come to the Orders of the Day. Subsections 3 and 4 of the rule are as follows:

(3) The member desiring to make such a motion rises in his place, asks leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, and states the matter.

(4) He then hands a written statement. of the matter proposed to be discussed to the Speaker, who, if he thinks it in order, reads it out and asks whether the member has the leave of the House. If objection is taken the Speaker requests those members who support the motion to rise in their places, and, if more than twenty members rise accordingly, the Speaker calls upon the member who has asked for leave.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

I do not wish to ask you to make a ruling at all-

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Order. (Reading) : " The hon. member for Carleton desires the leave of the House to move the adjournment of the House to discuss a matter of urgent public importance, namely, the enlargement of the scope of the Mere-dith-Duff inquiry." I suppose the hon. gentleman refers to the Royal Commission.

'Mr. CARVELL: Yes, That was written in a great hurry.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

I can only repeat wha/t I said a moment ago, that, in view of the fact that the House would not be in possession of the facts of the case and the actual statements made by the commission giving their reasons for the refusal, whatever they may have been, I think my hon. friend from Carleton will appreciate that he should not press the motion until tomorrow, when, I assure him, everything will be done to facilitate the bringing of it before the House with a view to having the discussion he desires.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Of course I could not refuse the request of my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works, put in such a pleasant tone as he has put it to me; but I would like to impress upon the House the importance of having this matter decided very early. We can quite see that the whole investigation, or at least a very large part of the conduct of the investigation is held up, pending the decision of that question. For instance, the witness under crossexamination was Sir Alexander Bertram, whose examination was delayed or postponed until this matter should be decided. The same question will arise, I think I am safe in saying, in the case of two-thirds or three-quarters of the witnesses that may be called. 'Therefore, if it is to be decided at all, it must be decided quickly. However, if the minister thinks it cannot be discussed to-day, I want to be reasonable, and I comply with his Tequest. I would make this suggestion, however, that possibly an arrangement might be made by which it could be discussed after eight o'clock this evening.

Mr. MEI'GHEN: May I ask the hon. member a. question? Does he intimate to the House that the commission themselves expressed the desire that their powers should be enlarged?

Mr. 'OARVBLL: I would not go that

far. The commission made the suggestion that the application be made to Parliament.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Of their own motion they counselled that application be made to Parliament?

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

The commission themselves made the suggestion of their own motion that if-I want to use the words as nearly as I can,-if Mr. Johnston desired to go into these matters it would be proper to apply to Parliament.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That is very different.

Topic:   SHELL CONTRACTS.
Subtopic:   ROYAL, COMMISSION OF INVESTIGATION.
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May 4, 1916