November 8, 1919

SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT AMENDMENT.

SESSIONAL, ALLOWANCE TO LEADER OP OPPOSITION.


Mr. R. WIGMORE (St. John and Albert) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 45 to amend the Senate and House of Commons Act.


L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Explain.

Topic:   SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   SESSIONAL, ALLOWANCE TO LEADER OP OPPOSITION.
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UNION

Rupert Wilson Wigmore

Unionist

Mr. WIGMORE:

Chapter 10, section 39 of the Revised Statutes of Canada 1906, reads as follows:

To the member occupying- the recognized position of leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, there shall he payable an additional sessional allowance of $7,000.

The amendment which I propose will read as follows: .

Section 39 of the Senate and House of Commons Act, Revised Statutes, 1906, chapter 10, is amended by striking out the words " additional sessional " in the third line thereof and

substituting therefor the words " additional annual."

When the Act was originally passed I do not think it was the intention that the allowance to the leader of the Opposition should be a sessional allowance, considering the fact that the Prime Minister of Canada is receiving an annual allowance of $10,000 per year, together with his sessional indemnity, and members of the Government are receiving $7,000 together with their sessional indemnities. In the event of two sessions, the Prime Minister receives $15,000 a year while the recognized leader of the Opposition receives $19,000 a year. I think that would indicate that it was the intention of Parliament in passing the Act that the allowance of the leader of the Opposition should be annual the same as that of the members of the Government. That is my explanation.

Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.

Topic:   SENATE AND HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   SESSIONAL, ALLOWANCE TO LEADER OP OPPOSITION.
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PRIVILEGE-STATEMENT BY MR.

PORTER.


On the Orders of the Day: Mr. E, GUSS PORTER (West Hastings): Mr. Speaker, before proceeding with the Orders of the Day, I desire to make a personal explanation in regard to a statement made by the hon. member for Chambly-Vercheres (Mr. Archambault) a day or two ago in the House in discussing the Grand Trunk Acquisition Bill. That statement found its way into the Ottawa Evening Citizen in its issue of the 4th inst. The statement in question is reported1 in that paper, as follows: Mr. Archambault declared that in one in stance the whole Canadian National railways schedule had been interfered with for political purposes. He read letters [DOT] and newspaper articles dealing with the case of R. H. Thompson, of Mont Eagle Valley, Ont., who declared that because the C. N. R. train had been cancelled at Bancroft for the purpose of carrying people to E. Gus Porter's picnic at Marmora, his daughter whom he was taking to hospital at Toronto had died. Neither the Citizen nor the hon. member for Chambly-Vercheres can be accused of originality in regard to this statement as it first appeared in a notorious publication known as Jack Canuck. So long as the report remained with such a disreputable publication as that, or in the hands of the hon. member for Ch.ambly-Vercheres, I did not consider the matter was such as to call for an explanation from myself. Both the statement and the inference from it seemed to be too silly to require any contradiction. But the matter having found its way into Hansard and also into the respectable public press, I feel that in justice to myself, and to the Government managing the railway in question, I should make an explanation. It is said, as I have read, that the whole Canadian National railway schedule has been interfered with for the purpose of helping to make a success of my political picnic. I had no idea that I had acquired any such prominent position, as alleged, that I could have control of the whole Canadian National Railway system in order that I might hold it up and use it for the purposes of my picnic. However, that seems to be the allegation and the statement is just as devoid of truth as the conclusion is lacking in common sense. The facts are that on the day in question I did not have a single thing to do with the regulation or operation of the trains on this branch of railway in any manner, shape or form; nor did the committee in charge of the picnic which was held in my honour at that time. I have made inquiry and I have ascertained the fact to be that not a single train upon that railway altered its regular schedule time on that occasion. The trains ran regularly all day long and no application was made to the railway company to have them alter or change their schedule in that respect. Hon. gentlemen may not know that on the Central Ontario branch of the Canadian National railway the station at Marmora, where this picnic was held, was about two miles distant from the village itself and that for the accommodation of the traffic at the village a branch line has been put in between the main line and the village. On the day in question the last train of the day operating to the south ran into the village and out again, as a pure matter of business and not as a result of any interference by myself or the committee, to pick up the hundreds of passengers living south of the village and to convey them to their homes. The result was that the train was about one hour and a half late, not more than that.; and to convince hon. members that it was not due to any concerted action on the part of myself or the committee, the train left Marmora just as soon as the people could get on board. The train had been advertised to leave at six o'clock, but as a matter of fact it left some twenty or twenty-five minutes before that hour, and did not even wait for the picnic to break up. As regards the death of Mr. Thompson's daughter, I regret that exceedingly, as I am sure every one will, but my regret is still greater in that any hon. gentleman in



this House should make use of an incident of that kind to, as it appears to me, try and make some political capital. The hon. gentleman concludes his reference to this matter with the following language: What must the people of the country think? The hon. member for West Hastings (Mr. Porter), ex-Premier Hearst, and T. W. McGarry must feel proud that the price of the success of their political picnic was practically the murder of a suffering child. All I desire to say in answer to that is, I should he very sorry indeed if I felt obliged to measure my conduct, or my feelings by any standard that might be set up by the hon. member for Chambly-Ver-cheres.


TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND CANADA.


On the motion of Sir George E. Foster, Bill No. 43, respecting a certain convention between His Majesty and the President of the French Republic, dated the 19th day of .September, 1907, and the convention supplementary thereto, and the French Convention Act, 1908, was read a second time, and the House went into Committee thereon, Mr. Steele in the Chair.


L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ERNEST LAPOINTE:

This Bill has not been distributed and I want to see a copy of it before giving my assent to the measure.

Topic:   TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND CANADA.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

The Bill has been distributed in French and English. The measure really explains itself but in a word this is what it means: The Treaty heretofore existing between France and ourselves was subject to determination on a year's notice to be given by either party. The French Government gave the year's notice which would have terminated the Treaty in September, 1919. They gave that notice-in pursuance of -a general policy intended to clear the decks for re-arrangements after the war was over-to all nations with whom the French had treaty agreements. There was nothing in these notifications which denoted a spirit of opposition either to existing agreements or to fresh treaties that might be contemplated-this course was adopted, as I have said, in pursuance of a general policy. Then in order not to have the Treaty lapse while matters were in a confused and unsettled condition, the French Government proposed that instead of a year's notice the Treaty should continue with a notice period of three months, and it is that substitution-having for its object the continuance of the existing agreement until conditions are such that further

CMr. Porter.]

negotiations may take place with reference to our commercial relations-that is provided for in the Bill.

Topic:   TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND CANADA.
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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

I think the only regrettable feature of the matter is that the three months' notice seems exceedingly short. I can quite understand however, as was mentioned in the discussion on the resolution last night, that this is merely following the general policy of the French Government; it is not aimed at Canada particularly.

Topic:   TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND CANADA.
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CON
UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

It is to be regretted that the three months' notice is so short because, as my right hon. friend knows, you can do very little in governmental affairs in that period. However, it is the general policy of the French Government and there is no use our objecting to it.

Topic:   TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND CANADA.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

A short period like three months does interfere with the carrying out of trade on any projected plan. At the same time, as regards France and Canada during the present confused period, there is not very much trade being done in either direction.

Topic:   TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND CANADA.
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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

The present arrangement is better than having the Treaty terminated.

Topic:   TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND CANADA.
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CON

George Green Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE FOSTER:

Yes, and as my hon. friend has said, it is the proposition of the French Government itself.

Bill reported, read the third time, and passed.

Topic:   TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND CANADA.
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GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.

November 8, 1919