August 29, 1917

LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I am not saying what the cause is.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Because of lack of Government elevators.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

I agree with the hon.

gentleman from St. John (Mr. Pugsley). I will go .as far as the hon. gentleman does in .accusing the Government of all the crimes in the calendar.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

Any more?

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

And then some. They have not provided the elevators, which I think they should have provided at the'ports of St. John and Quebec, and thus more fully employing the railroads running to these ports. I quite agree with him in that, but I am taking the facts as they are, and those facts are that half our grain goes out via the United States. We are not able, under present conditions, to retain the transportation. of our own traffic in our own products. The Hudson Bay route would give us a fair and reasonable opportunity to retain a large proportion of that traffic in our own grain, and for that reason, it

fMr. Oliver.]

seems to me that, under ordinary circumstances, and in normal times, the Dominion of Canada was well warranted in deciding to incur the obligation to construct the Hudson Bay railway.

I have not been arguing upon that question, except as it was raised by the hon. member for North Perth (Mr. Morphy); I have been arguing on the question in its immediate and present conditions, and it is under those conditions I would be compelled to support the Government in taking such measures .as are necessary to. get those rails laid to the waters of the Hudson bay-having come within such a short distance, and there being such a comparatively small expenditure to be made to achieve that end. I would have agreed to drop tihe expenditure on the Hudson Bay railway at the beginning of the war, if that had been, the policy of the country, and the Government, but when it was not their policy, I certainly, as a western man, feel like insisting very strongly that the Hudson Bay railway should receive the same consideration as all the other great enterprises upon which the country had entered previous to the wrar. After having agreed, as we did last night, to an expenditure of upwards of $60,000,000 for the relief of the Bank of Commerce, I think it is not a time when we can quibble or quarrel

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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CON
LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

If my hon. friend (Mr. Currie) insists, I do not wish to convey for a moment the idea that that would be all the expenditure that would be involved, for I have no doubt several hundred millions will be ultimately involved, but last night we specifically agreed to pay out of the depleted treasury of Canada, under war conditions, .subject to an award of- arbitrators, a sum of $60,000,000 for the relief of the Bunk of Commerce, and, under these circumstances, I submit that the subject of the completing of the Hudson Bay railway is not a matter of such comparative magnitude as to entitle the enterprise to be dropped.

Resolution concurred in.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

I desire to call attention to the fact that the debate which has taken place is out of order. I only raise the question because I do not desire a precedent to be established. The debate was upon the question of concurrence, and not upon the motion that the report of the committee be received. Under rule 17 (A) the debate is out of order.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The question raised is one of very great importance as affecting the procedure of the House, and it is one I am sure we would all like to have settled if possible, with a view to having a change made in the rules. I think the Minister of Finance is technically correct, that under Rule 17 (A) we cannot debate concurrence in the form in which it appears on the Order Paper.

It is clear, however, that we can debate the receiving of the report of the Committee of Supply, which is the same thing. But this is where the mistake is made: on the Order Paper the words should be not merely "Receiving report of Committee of Supply, ' but "Receiving and concurring in report of Committee of Supply." If the order is not entered on the Order Paper in that way, there is no item on the Order Paper for concurrence. Rule 40 requires that two days' notice shall be given for leave to present a Bill, resolution or address. This is a resolution, presented by the Minister of Finance, that the report of the Committee of Supply be concurred in. Except with the unanimous consent of the House, he cannot make that motion without giving two days' notice.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

This point has been under my consideration since the order was called, but unfortunately I have no precedent to guide me, inasmuch as the point of order has not been raised since the rule was passed in the year 1913. I am compelled, therefore, to give my own int 'r-pretation of the rule.

With respect to the point of order raised by the Minister of Finance, Rule 17 A provides that the following motions shall be debatable: (1) Motions heretofore debatable made upon routine proceedings (except adjournment motions); (2) and every motion standing on the order of the proceedings for the day; (3) for concurrence in a report of a standing or a special committee; (4) for the previous question; (5) for the third reading of a Bill; (6) for the adjournment of the House under Rule 39 for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance; (7) for the adoption in Committee of the Whole, or of Supply, or of Ways and Means, of the resolution, clause, section, preamble or title under consideration.

The motion now before the Chair is that the resolution be read the second time and concurred in. It does not come within any one of the motions which are debatable. I am therefore of the opinion that the point of order raised by the Minister of Finance

is well taken and that the motion is not properly debatable. I did not feel it advisable to raise the point myself without having given it very mature consideration.

With respect to the point of order raised by the member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley) under the (provisions of Rule 40, I am inclined to think that he is in error, inasmuch as the notice for receiving the report of the Committee of Supply has been on the Order Paper for many weeks. I think that that answers the requirement that notice shall be given.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The notice on the

Order Paper is simply that the report of the committee be received. The motion that the report be concurred in is supposed to be moved .by the Minister of Finance.

On the order being called:

Receiving the report of resolutions adopted by the Committee of Supply on July 14, 1917.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

According to Your Honour's ruling, if we wish to debate any subject connected with these resolutions we must do so on the motion that the report be received. But we cannot tell what the report of the committee is until it is read; therefore I respectfully submit that the report should be read before the motion is put; that it be read the first time and concurred in.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The items of the resolution are within the knowledge of hon. members; they are entered in the Votes and Proceedings. A copy of the resolution itself is available to any hon. gentleman who wishes to discuss the matter. It would not seem to me to be putting matters in their proper sequence to give the contents of the resolution before the motion is put. Does the hon. member desire that I should .put the formal motion?

Mr. PUGS'LEY: I do not want to press, a technical point, but there are some items oif Supply which I wish to discuss. There are a great many different resolutions, and unless I know which one is referred to I cannot very well discuss it upon the motion for receiving the report. Perhaps it would be satisfactory if I got a copy of the resolution; I could find it in the Votes and Proceeding's.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Unless the hon. member has in mind some particular item that he wishes to discuss, I prefer that he should not now press me for a ruling on the point. It is my impression that there is no record since Confederation of a motion having 'been made in the House for

receiving of the report of the Committee of Supply. The subject is one of great importance, and I do not wish to be called upon to making a ruling without being able to give the matter very mature consideration. If the hon. gentleman has in mind any particular item that he wishes to discuss, he can obtain particulars concerning it by examining the items to be concurred in.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

We might take the same course, simply for to-day, as was taken in regard to the Hudson Bay item, withom establishing any precedent.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

I am entirely

agreeable to that proceeding by consent. I raised the question only because I did not desire that the precedent should be established.

Resolutions read the second time and concurred in.

Public works chargeable to income-Dredging.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Before this item is concurred in, I would like to call the attention of the Minister of Finance to the fact that there are large amounts for dredging. I would like to point out that the dredging work in Courtenay Bay in the harbour of St. John has been entirely stopped for a great many months, and all the expectations that were held out about five years ago by my hon. friend have not been realized. The people in my constituency are very desirous of knowing why the work is not being proceeded with. Without going into detail in the matter, I would like to ask my hon. friend if he would give me the name of the official to whom I could make application for information on this most important matter. I would also like to know what is the, amount of deposit the Government has. from the contractors. When I was minister I required a deposit of $500,000. I have been told this has been reduced by one-half. I would like to know, as well, whether the contractors have been released from their contract, and whether or not the deposit is still in the hands of the Government. Am I to understand that the Minister of Customs is acting Minister of Public Works?

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

The Prime Minister has asked me to act for the Public Works Department in the meantime. In the supplementary Estimates there are a large number of items for the Public Works Department, and my hon. friend will have all the information he requires in connection with this matter when we take up the Pub-

lie Works Estimates in committee. I would suggest that the item be allowed to pass. The hon. gentleman will have no objection to this, because there is an item covering that work in the Supplementary Estimates.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Does the minister say that one of the items is intended for this purpose? If I were assured of that, I would have less hesitation in acceding to the request of my hon. friend. The fact that nothing has been done, and that rumour states the contractors have been allowed to withdraw their deposit of more than half a million dollars and abandon the work.

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

Is that not what the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) was suggesting should be done- stop all works?

Topic:   COAL SUPPLY IN THE MARITIME PROVINCES.
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE.
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August 29, 1917