June 29, 1920

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Will it be

brought down in the afternoon?

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   UNE 29, 1920
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I think I can promise

that it wil be brought down. It was, if I remember rightly, directed to Sir George Foster, Acting Prime Minister.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   UNE 29, 1920
Permalink
L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

Will the hon. member permit me to say that his memory as regards telegrams is better than it was last year.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   UNE 29, 1920
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

My hon. friend's remarks are not even pertinent, nor are they clever.

Scandal No. 11 is:

That the general viewpoints and desires of the former chairman-

What they were I do not know.

-were well known by various hon. members connected with your Cabinet and especially by the Hon. Mr. Calder.

That is, they actually knew them, and I suppose we are to investigate whether this terrible, grievous charge is true, that Mr. Calder particularly and other members of the Government actually knew the viewpoints of Judge Robson. It is an awful thing if they did, is it not? Scandal No. 12 is:

That many of the hon. gentlemen composing your Cabinet saw in the former chairman's resignation an opportunity almost beyond their expectations to minimize the activities of the Board of Commerce and to prepare for its demise, and that several of them repeatedly undertook to thwart the board's desired activities by quiet and hidden restrictive opposition since that time.

Quiet and hidden! What would be the method of disproving that? "Quiet and hidden restrictive opposition!" Why, in the first place, there is a law conferring certain powers and imposing certain duties on a boaTd, a law written and planted on the statute books, known to the board when they took office, a law with the operation of which nobody can interfere, a law which they have the courts of the land at their disposal to enforce.

Mr. JACOB'S: Under the law the Governor in Council can prevent the acta of the board becoming effective.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   UNE 29, 1920
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Not a single action of the board wias ever reversed on an appeal. Certainly we ooiuM have adted in that way by sitting in appeal over the judgments of the board, but the fact is undented Wat we

never in a single case modified or reversed a judgment of the hoard. AM the board had to do was to take tlhe law and enforce it. A member of the Government was just as powerless -as any member of the public to interfere, and if there was interference, all the board bad to do was to invoke the process of the law against the interference. Why did they not do that? The Board of Railway Commissioners is in exactly the same position, -and I would like to see any member of the Government or any one else undertake to interfere with them! But what is this "quiet and hidden restrictive opposition?" I presume it means dreaming dreams against them or something of that sort. How would anybody succeed in that? How can you put your hand on that and say what you are going to p-rove and what you are going to disprove? A scandal! Let any bon. member or any one else get np and charge against a member of this Government, any act at all that went to impede the process of that law, and he will not wa-it very long to have tha-t investigation. Let him tell us wih-at the act is. Let Mr. Murdock do it. If no one is prepared to do it, why use this extravagant language? Why this passion for superlatives? Everything that comes up i-s the "greatest," "most terrible" thing ever heard of in a Parliament. We hear th-ait times without number. Why not let us in some way measure our language to the facts?

No. 13 is:

That the Civil Service Commission has been-

Another -scandal against the Government.

-in the past few months in its relations to the Board of Commerce acting under suggestion, as nothing else can possibly explain the series of handicaps, delays, perversions and misrepresentations that the Board of Commerce has been confronted with in trying to secure the assistance it required.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   UNE 29, 1920
Permalink
?

An hon. MEMBER:

Absent treatment.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   UNE 29, 1920
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEJGHEN:

I -suppose, absent treatment. He says: "Because we do not agree with the Civil Service Commission's decisions and its attitude towards us, because the attitude of that. commission is so very bad, because there are misrepresentations, perversions and handicaps, because of all that there must have been some suggestion," and that is -a scandal. Does the hon. member really think that .does credit to Mr. Murdock? Let him read in the hoard's own report the correspondence between the Civil Service Commission and this board, and I do

not think he will find anything discreditable to the Civil Service Commission in any way. As between the two parties to the argument, he may, perhaps, think the Board of Commerce had the -better of the argument. I understand many think the Civil Service Commission were undoubtedly right throughout; but to say that there were these handicaps, misrepresentations and so on is nothing but a libel against the Civil Service Commission. It has nothing to do with us. What does- he say that we did? If he will charge that any one here sought to influence the Civil Service Commission against the board, and tell us what he did, neither he, nor any hon. member opposite will wait very long for an inquiry to be granted. So th^t is scandal No. 13.

Then scandal No. 14:

That on the 28th day of January, 1920, when this Board issued a declaration challenging the right of the Cabinet-

I will abbreviate that. It is this. The Canadian Manufacturers' Association objected to certain regulations issued by the board in the form of questionnaires that had to be answered, and they appealed to the Governor in Council. Mr. Murdock says that if it had not been for the fact that the board exposed the whole thing in the press, the Government would have granted the appeal, and that is a "scandal."

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   UNE 29, 1920
Permalink
L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

Pretty serious.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   UNE 29, 1920
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Well, the -hon. member is at least a master of irony. A serious scandal that any one should say that if he had not published something in the press, the Government would have done differently from what it did-and he suggests that we ought to appoint a judge to find out whether the members of the Government would have decided differently from the way they did decide. The way we did decide, he says, is all right; but he says: " I have to resign because if I had not exposed the whole thing in the press, yon would have decided otherwise." The thing is puerile. Moreover, as the Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) tells me, this was decided before the matter was in the paper at all.

Scandal No. 15 is:

That later records show that the textile manufacturers-

This is really a gem. ,

*-had ample reason to struggle desperately to prevent the true facts from being known to this Board, and that if this Board could have secured the assistance desired a statement of the facts and figures disclosed, followed by a,n

order as the result of the analysis of the statements of affairs sent to this board would have startled and incensed the Canadian people beyond anything that has developed in recent months.

Or to permit a brief paraphrase; the textile manufacturers-this is a charge against the Government-knew that if the board had all the facts, a state of affairs would have been disclosed that would have startled the Canadian people. He says, we do not know all the facts but I know that if we did know them they would disclose a state of things that would startle the people of Canada and incense them. Well, if he did not know them, why did he not get at them and know them? The whole trouble with Mr. Murdock, the whole trouble with the board -and it is the trouble with every department-was that they had not the right to select just the men they themselves put their fingers on at the salaries they themselves wanted to pay. Every minister would like to do that from his own standpoint; he always feels the restriction. But you cannot have patronage and no patronage, and for the life of me I never could see why we should have no patronage in connection with the Railway Commission and everything else and have patronage in this commission. I never could see how we could come and ask Parliament to make that discrimination. And that is the whole trouble with the commission. They thought that they should have had that right; they wanted it. And if any hon. gentleman in this House thinks that they should have had it, let him move the House to that purpose. If we are going to have a Civil Service Commission it must at least preside, in respect of its duties, over all the permanent service of the Government. However, suppose that principle is wrong; suppose that is bad policy. How does it amount to scandal? Suppose the Government is wrong in its whole Civil Service policy; suppose it is wrong that we should have any Civil Service Commission at all and that the Board of Commerce should have been exempt from the provisions of the'Civil Service Act, does that supposition constitute a scandal? Is that a charge to be investigated by a judge or a committee of this House? Why, it is merely a criticism by Mr. Murdock of the correctness of the Government's policy in regard to the Civil Service.

And so, we have ended these long fifteen detailed scandals and grave charges that constitute, in the words of the hon. member for Maisonneuve (Mr. Lemieux), the most fearful indictment ever levelled 286J '

against a Government, in respect of which, he says, the people of Canada, in our towns and villages and townships, are "hanging their heads in shame." Well, do not hon. members recognize that Parliament is entitled to language that at least a little more nearly comports with the facts of the case?

I have ended what I had to^ say. Let me only add this: I do not think that there are any members of the House who are more anxious that Mr. Murdock should put into concrete form, which a court can actually deal with, anything in the way of an allegation against the conduct of any member of this Administration, than are the sixteen or eighteen members of this) Government. I do apprehend that if he does so he will soon find himself in the position of a member of the Ontario legislature who had several changes of mind after he made the faux pas at a picnic in that province. In fact, I think I could; describe one or two of these misty formulations in no better language than to call them rather diminutive Hicksisms.

Motion agreed to and the House went into Committee of Supply, Mr. Boivin in the Chair.

I

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   UNE 29, 1920
Permalink

Salaries and allowances-$11,199,768.


UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

Does the minister gravely propose to go on with these Estimates?

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE-OUTSIDE SERVICE.
Permalink
UNION

Newton Wesley Rowell (Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. ROWELL:

I was about to propose that the committee1 rise and report progress. I make that motion now.

Progress reported.

On the order being called: Receiving report Committee of Supply,-The Minister of Finance:

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE-OUTSIDE SERVICE.
Permalink
UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

Does the Government seriously propose to continue business at this hour? I do not think it is reasonable.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE-OUTSIDE SERVICE.
Permalink
UNION

Newton Wesley Rowell (Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. ROWELL:

I think we had better adjourn. I move the adjournment of tha House.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE-OUTSIDE SERVICE.
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

What business will be taken up to-day?

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE-OUTSIDE SERVICE.
Permalink
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I understood, Mr. Speaker, that we were to have a motion passed by unanimous consent that the. House should meet at 11 a.m.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE-OUTSIDE SERVICE.
Permalink
UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

Oh, no.

Motion agreed to and the House adjourned at 2.25 a.m. Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 30, 1920.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE-OUTSIDE SERVICE.
Permalink

June 29, 1920