April 25, 1921

UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Earlier in the session, Mr. Speaker, in response to a question from the hon. member for Russell (Mr. Murphy), I gave briefly some of the subjects that had been presented for discussion at the proposed Prime Ministers' Conference to be held in London in June of this year, and I intimated that should the agenda become at any time more complete or definite I would feel it my duty to so advise the House.

Last October I concurred in a proposal made by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom that there should be held not later than June next a meeting of the Prime Ministers of the Empire. Since the last meeting at the Peace Conference in Paris there has been no opportunity for personal and direct consultation between the Prime Ministers on the broad issues of policy in such external matters as may be of common concern. Views were exchanged more than a year ago concerning the holding of such a meeting during 1920; but it was concluded at the time that this would be impracticable; and the same conclusion was reached when, later in the year, one of the other Dominion Prime Ministers suggested a meeting immediately following the first Assembly of the League of Nations. It now appears that the middle of June next is a feasible date for all concerned.

The proposal was made and accepted last October on the basis that the June meeting would be of a special and preliminary character having in view the necessity of discussing-

(1) Preparation for the special Constitutional Conference contemplated in Resolution 9 of the Imperial War Conference of 1917 to be held at a later date, this pre-

paratory discussion to include such questions as the meeting place, date, composition and agenda.

At the same time it was considered that the June meeting would afford an opportunity for discussing certain other matters of common concern which are of an urgent or important nature, such as-

(2) A general review of the main features of foreign relations, particularly as they affect the Dominions.

(3) The question of the renewal of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, which is indeed only a part of the general subject of foreign relations, but which is especially urgent since under the terms of the Alliance a decision should be reached this year.

(4) Preliminary consideration, preparatory for the proposed Constitutional Conference, of some working method for arriving at a common understanding as to policy in such external affairs as concern all parts of the Empire.

Since that time various other subjects have been suggested for inclusion in the agenda of the June meeting. These subjects, however, in view of their technical character and of the fact that they are not of the same urgency, would seem to belong to the agenda of the Imperial Conference proper whenever its next regular session is held; and since it is very desirable that the special meeting of prime ministers in June-which is not a meeting of the Imperial Conference-should not be of a prolonged character, it seems unlikely that any considerable attention can be given to such questions, which represent an extension of the original programme. The Canadian Government have already expressed a doubt as to the inclusion of some of these questions.

These additional questions, the first two of which were proposed by the Governments of Australia and India respectively, and the remainder by the British Government, are as follows:

(5) Inter-Imperial communications by land, sea and air.

(6) The position of British Indians in other parts of the Empire.

(7) Naval, military and air defence.

(8) The recommendations of the Overseas Settlement Conference recently held in London.

(9) The development of civil aviation.

(10) The reports of the Imperial Shipping Committee appointed as a result of resolutions 11 and 24 of the Imperial War Conference of 1918. '

(11) The findings of the Technical Commission appointed to discuss the question of Imperial Wireless communications.

(12) The question of German reparations, including the division as between the various parts of the British Empire of any amounts received.

(13) Imperial Statistical Bureau.

(14) Imperial patents.

In these circumstances it will be seen that the proposed agenda cannot be regarded as a hard and fast arrangement. It seems most likely that no subjects will be discussed that are not included in the above list; but on the other hand it seems most unlikely that all of these questions can be taken up, or indeed, in the view of the Canadian Government, that more than the first four will be closely discussed. Circumstances may develop which will render conclusions desirable on some of the other subjects. In respect of many of them, it would seem that the meeting could do no more than take cognizance of proposals to be considered later.

Later on as the result of the communications that passed between the leader of the Opposition and myself, I agreed that a day should be set for discussion-I think I agreed previously as well-or for an opportunity for discussion to be offered to any hon. members of this House who desired to make observations on the agenda or on the course that the representative or representatives of Canada should pursue at the conference, I now give notice that on Wednesday the House will be moved into Committee of Supply and such opportunity will then be afforded.

Topic:   PRIME MINISTERS' CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY RIGHT HON. ARTHUR MEIGHEN
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L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

May I ask the right hon. gentleman a question? He has given four subjects which he states have been definitely settled as subjects to be submitted for the consideration of the conference. No one of these four subjects relates to Imperial defence. On the other hand, the Prime Minister of Great Britain has stated in the British House of Commons that the whole scheme of Imperial defence will be considered at that conference. Can my right hon. friend give us any further information as to that subject?

Topic:   PRIME MINISTERS' CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY RIGHT HON. ARTHUR MEIGHEN
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No, there is no other information that I can give. It has been placed on the agenda by the British Government. It has been submitted by them as one of their proposals with regard to the agenda, and that, doubtless, is the basis for the statement made by the Prime

Minister of Great Britain. The subjects which I have mentioned will not constitute the full agenda of the Imperial Conference.

On motion of Mr. Meighen, the House returned to the Order: " Questions."

Topic:   PRIME MINISTERS' CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY RIGHT HON. ARTHUR MEIGHEN
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QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk). Mr. GEORGE ARNOULT LANGLOIS


MATAPEDIA VALLEY HIGHWAYS

L LIB

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure) :

Laurier Liberal

1. Has the Government received any petition or communication asking for the improvement of the few miles of highway in the Matapedia Valley leading to and from the Interprovincial bridge at Matapedia between Quebec and New Brunswick and along the Restigouche river from Matapedia to Cross Point, Quebec, leading to and from the Interprovincial ferry operating between the two provinces above-mentioned under a Dominion Government license? If so, what action does the Government intend to take in the matter?

2.. Is any action being taken regarding the Interprovinci-al highway bridge between Cross Point and Campbellton asked for' recently from the Minister of Public Works?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MATAPEDIA VALLEY HIGHWAYS
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NAT L

Hon. Mr. McCURDY: (Minister of Public Works)

Nationalist Liberal

1. No petition nor communication received lately.

2. The matter is still under consideration.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MATAPEDIA VALLEY HIGHWAYS
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QUEBEC SALMON NET LICENSES

L LIB

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure) :

Laurier Liberal

1. Has any understanding been arrived at between the Government of Canada and that of the Province of Quebec regarding the granting of licenses for salmon nets in the tidal waters of said province consequent upon the recent judgment of the Privy Council?

2. Is the Government aware that the Province of Quebec has granted licenses for the present year?

3. What action if any does the Government intend to take in th(s matter in the public interest and that of the fishermen concerned?

4. Is it a fact that the Province of Quebec contends that it is the sole authority having power to grant licenses in such tidal waters because of its jurisdiction over the bed of rivers and bays and the shores generally of that Province?

5. If so, will the Government of Canada recognize the licenses granted this year by the Government' of Quebec?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   QUEBEC SALMON NET LICENSES
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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Hon. Mr. BALLANTYNE:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of November 30 last in the Quebec Fisheries Reference decided that the administration of the fisheries in the navigable waters of the province that are accessible by way of navigation from the sea comes within the purview of the Federal Government. The Government of the Province of Quebec has been informed that the Department of Marine and Fisheries will undertake the administration of the fisheries in such waters from May 1 proximo. Any licenses issued by the provincial authorities will not be accepted as conferring authority to fish. No one will be permitted to fish in the said waters except under license from the Minister of Marine and Fisheries.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   QUEBEC SALMON NET LICENSES
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BAIE DES CHALEURS STEAMSHIP SERVICE

L LIB

Mr. MARCIL (Bonaventure) :

Laurier Liberal

1. Seeing that there has not been any steamship service on the Baie des Chaleurs for some years owing to the fact that no subsidy has been voted, does the Government intend supplying this deficiency by placing one of the boats of the Canadian Mercantile Marine suitable for passengers and freight traffic on that route, between Campbellton, New Brunswick, and GaspS, Quebec, or between Montreal and Compbellton and Intermediate ports?

2. Is the Government aware that for many years these routes were the most attractive and profitable lines in Eastern Canada?

3. Is the Government aware that there has been immense development in Baie des Chaleurs district and that if it were provided with suitable transportation facilities the public interest would be served and the investments made profitable?

1, 2, 3. None of the vessels of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine are suitable for this route.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   BAIE DES CHALEURS STEAMSHIP SERVICE
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HOMESTEAD PRE-EMPTIONS

UNION

Mr. MacNUTT:

Unionist

1. How many pre-emptions have been disposed of since they were available up to December 31, 1920?

2. How many purchased homesteads have been disposed of since they were available up to December 31, 1920?

3. How much cash has been received on account of such sales?

4. How much is still due on account of such sales?

5. Was the money received from such sales to be earmarked to recoup the Dominion Exchequer, for expenditure on the Hudson Bay

railroad?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HOMESTEAD PRE-EMPTIONS
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UNION

Hon. Mr. TOLMIE: (Minister of Agriculture)

Unionist

1. 79,769 of which approximately 17,724 are still outstanding.

2. 8,268 of which approximately 1,633 are still outstanding.

3. On account of pre-emptions $14,431,386.88; on account of purchased homestead, $3,223,304.02; a total of $17,654,690.00.

4. On account of pre-emptions approximately $12,000,000; on account of purchased homesteads approximately $500,000.

5. The amounts received as above have been deposited to the credit of Consolidated Fund on account of Dominion Lands Revenue.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HOMESTEAD PRE-EMPTIONS
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SALES TAX COLLECTIONS

UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

What have the collections through the sales tax been by months since its introduction to March 31, 1921?

Hon. Mr. WIGMORE:

Domestic Importation

June 1920 $ 730,013.72 $ 1,176,567.52July 1920 2,513,083.29 1,171,634.90Aug., 1920 2,887,052.68 1,241,988.92Sept., 1920 3,733,483.77 1,183,093.02Oct., 1920 3,903,493.20 1,116,981.68Nov., 1920 3,469,951.93 1,027,549.73Dec., 1920 3,340,672.10 861,334.50Jan., 1921 2,558,879.65 717,517.33Feb., 1921 2,262,525.46 724,769.48Mar., 1921 2,501,514.16 903,057.39

Total

$27,900,669.96 $10,124,494.47

27,900,669.96

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   SALES TAX COLLECTIONS
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$38,025,164.43 DREDGE "INTERNATIONALE"

L LIB

Mr. BOURASSA:

Laurier Liberal

1. Has the dredge "Internationale," belonging to the Government, been employed since spring of 1919?

2. If so, at what places, what amount of work in cubic yards has been done by the said dredge, and for the benefit of what persons, society, companies or corporation has she been so employed?

3. What is the estimated work done by the dredge "Internationale" since spring of 1919?

4. Has any sum or sums been paid to the Government for works undertaken by said dredge?

5. If so, for what amount or amounts?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   $38,025,164.43 DREDGE "INTERNATIONALE"
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April 25, 1921