April 25, 1917

RETURNED SOLDIERS.

REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.


Sir HERBERT AMES (Montreal, St. Antoine) presented the following Preliminary Report of the Special Committee of the House of Commons in reference to the care of and provision for returned soldiers. The Special Committee, appointed to consider, inquire into and report upon the reception, treatment, care, training and re-education of the wounded, disabled and convalescent returned soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces, in accordance with a resolution adopted by the committee, beg leave to present to the House the following Preliminary Report: Your Committee, pursuant to the resolution passed by the House on Wednesday, 7th February last, appointing nine members to constitute the Committee, met on the said 7th February, when the following members, namely, Sir Herbert Ames, Hon. Charles Marcil, Hon. F. B. McCurdy, Mr. W. S. Middlebro, Mr. F. F. Pardee, Mr. Duncan C. Ross and Mr. Donald Sutherland were present and elected Sir Herbert Ames as Chairman of the Committee. The Committee at once proceeded to consider what information could be secured regarding existing agencies of assistance given to disabled returned soldiers and instructed the Clerk of the Committee to request the attendance o£ certain gentlemen of the Military Hospitals Commission and of the Militia Department to appear and give evidence before the Committee. On Thursday, 22nd February, when your Committee again met, the Chairman's attention was directed to what the members of the Committee considered a technical difficulty. Your Committee had not been given, power to send for persons and papers, to report from time to time to adjourn from place to place, to print for the use of the Committee the evidence taken nor could it ask leave to do so owing to the extended adjournment of the House. Obviouslv, there was but one course to follow in order to conform strictly with the rule. All nine members present considered that the inquiry was urgent and that it was the undoubted desire of the House that the Committee should hold immediate sessions. Your Committee thereupon resolved to proceed with the inquiry as if it had been granted leave by the House to send for persons and papers, to report from time to time, to adjourn from place to place and to print for the use of the Committee the evidence taken. Notwithstanding this, your Committeee, during the adjournment, has held ten business sessions at which important testimony was given and statements and papers were submitted by representatives of Returned Soldiers' Associations, Provincial Soldiers Aid Commissions, Military Hospitals, Convalescent Homes and Benevolent Societies from every province of the Dominion. Four sessions were held in Ottawa, two in Montreal and four in Toronto. The inquiry, n respect to the first matter of reference, is almost terminated so far as the hearing of evidence is concerned, and your Committee willbeable to present to the House an Interim Report in the course of three or four weeks. Your Committee therefore recommends to the House the desirability of ratifying the action of the Committee in having proceeded with the inquiry as if the House had granted to the Committee, at the time of its appointment, the various powers and authorities above mentioned, and the Committee further recommends that such powers and authorities be granted for the future work of the Committee, and in addition thereto, that the Com- raittee be empowered to sit while the House is in session. All of which, is respectfully submitted.


CON

Herbert Brown Ames

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HERBERT AMES moved:

That the recommendations contained in the Preliminary Report of the Committee on Returned Soldiers be concurred in, and the action of the Committee in exercising certain powers and authorities referred to in the report, notwithstanding the fact that such powers and authorities were not given in the original appointment of the Committee, be approved and ratified, and that the said Committee is hereby empowered to send for persons and papers, to report from time to time, to adjourn from place' to [DOT] place, to print the evidence taken before the Committee; and that the Committee be authorized to sit while the House is in session.

Topic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS.
Subtopic:   REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE.
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Motion agreed to.


REPORT.


Statistics of Express Companies for the year 1915-Hon. Mr. Cochrane.


RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.

CON

Francis Cochrane (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. COCHRANE moved:

That the names of Messrs. Hartt, Weichel and Bradbury be substituted1 for those of Messrs. Crothers, Fowler and Sir Herbert Ames on the special committee to whom was referred Bill No. 13, an Act to consolidate and amend the Railway Act, and also that the name of Mr. Macdonald (Pictou) be added to the said committee.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT.
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Motion agreed to.


NEWSPRINT PAPER.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

With your

leave, Mr. Speaker, may I ask the Government whether or not an Order in Council was passed during the recess fixing the price of paper to be supplied by manufacturers to publishers, and, if so, whether the Order in Council will be brought down to the House.

Topic:   NEWSPRINT PAPER.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

An Order in

Council has been passed giving the Minister of Customs authority to fix the price of newsprint paper in Canada. The purpose of the Order was to provide an adequate supply of newsprint paper at reasonable prices to the publishers of newspapers. The Order to which I refer was not to become effective until gazetted. It provided that newsprint papers could only be exported by license. That Order was not gazetted, because, upon taking the matter up with the manufacturers of newsprint paper, an arrangement was reached whereby they made a fixed mill price and by

reason of that action it was not thought necessary to enforce the Order in Council. Subsequently, in order to meet a situation which developed, a further Order in Council was passed; under the provisions of which the Minister of Customs was authorized to fix the price of newsprint paper sold in Canada, and an officer of the Government was authorized, if necessary, to take possession of supplies of newsprint paper required by newspaper publishers throughout Canada and to sell at a price fixed by the minister, and distribute to Canadian newspapers. If my Rt. Hon. friend desires that both Orders should be brought down I shall be very glad to lay them upon the Table in due course.

Topic:   NEWSPRINT PAPER.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

This is a very important action, and I imagine it should have been communicated to Parliament as soon as Parliament convened. It is practically amending the tariff, and I should expect the minister to be kind enough to. bring down these papers, the first Order in Council, the agreement with the manufacturers and publishers, and the second Order-in Council.

Topic:   NEWSPRINT PAPER.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

There is no written agreement between the Government and the manufacturers.

Topic:   NEWSPRINT PAPER.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

There is an agreement between the manufacturers and the publishers, as I understood.

Topic:   NEWSPRINT PAPER.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

An understanding was reached whereby $2.50 was fixed as the mill price. I am not aware that there is any written agreement between the manufacturers of news print paper and the newspaper publishers of Canada, but the manufacturers agreed among themselves to fix a price of $2.50 at the mill to supply the Canadian newspaper publishers who have been their customers.

Topic:   NEWSPRINT PAPER.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

As a consequence of the first Order in Council which was passed but not gazetted, and which was not to come into force until it was gazetted, an agreement of some kind was made between the manufacturers themselves or between the manufacturers and publishers. The Government must have had communication of that agreement.

Topic:   NEWSPRINT PAPER.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

The communication which the Government had was that the price had been fixed at $2.50 at the mill, and we did not gazette the Order in Council or proceed further because that price had been fixed. The fixing of the price depended

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on the passing of the Order in Council whose object was to secure to the Canadian publishers of newspapers an adequate supply of news print at a reasonable price.

Topic:   NEWSPRINT PAPER.
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April 25, 1917