May 13, 1921

L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JOSEPH ARCHAMBAULT (Cham-bly-Vercheres) :

I should like to call the attention of the House to what I may call either a direct disobedience of the Orders of the House or a gross neglect on the part of the Government regarding Orders passed by the House. I would first call the attention of the Government to an Order passed on October 20, 1919, regarding the names of the shareholders of the Grand Trunk as they appeared on the books of the company on October 9, 1919. I called the attention of the House on November 10, 1919, to the order for this list, and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) replied that the list was being prepared. On June 10 last, I again called the attention of the House to the matter, and the Minister of Railways and Canals (Mr. Reid^ told me that it would take seven or eight months to get the list. Those seven or eight months have now elapsed.' On June 26 last, I again called the attention of the Government to the matter, and I did not get the list. The list has not yet been filed or brought down. So much for the list of Grand Trunk 'shareholders. .

On April 19, 1920, an Order was passed for a statement showing the number of farmers who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. On April 21, 1920, another Order was passed for a statement showing fines collected under the Inland Revenue Act for 1919 and amounts paid for collecting such fines. On April 26,

1920, another Order was passed for a statement showing the quantity of liquor imported into Canada by provinces since 1913. No returns have been made as regards these orders, although some of them are more than a year old. Is the Government still persisting in its desire to withhold information on these matters?

Topic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Prime Minister) :

As regards the first order, an order for the names of all the shareholders of the Grand Trunk Railway, that order was passed. There did not seem to be any reason that could be advanced why it should not be passed if it was the desire of the House to approve. But this just illustrates what may be done under the present rules. The Government has no means in the world of getting the names of those shareholders except by grace of the Grand Trunk Railway. We immediately set to work to get them, and since that time the Grand Trunk officials have been reminded time and time again that we desire those names. I do not know of any obligation they are under to give them to us, nor do I know of any way in which we can enforce the request. I am still more at a doss to understand what earthly good the information would be when it comes here. It will likely cost a very great deal of money and the cost will have to be borne by the country. All the Government can do is to request the information, and keep on requesting it, and that the Government has done. ,

As to the second, the return showing the number of farmers who enlisted, I presume that that requires going through the whole list of several hundred thousand of the men who enlisted, and possibly it involves inquiry as to different men as respects whom no occupation is given. I can quite conceive that months and months of work would be required for that, and I am again at a loss to understand what value the information will be when received, because many a man, though not a farmer on the day he enlisted, may have been one just a short time before that. Consequently, the information can be of no value. But the preparation of the statement called for will be of great expense, and necessarily means a matter of very great delay. I cannot give particulars as to just what progress has been made towards filling that order, but I have no doubt that every progress possible has been made.

As to the others, I do not know of any reason at the moment why they should not be down. I will make inquiry as to them. I do not recall attention having been called to them since the orders were passed.

Topic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS
Permalink
L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT:

Of course, under the rules I am precluded at this stage from answering the arguments of the Prime Minister, but I would like to suggest that there be brought down the correspondence requesting the Grand Trunk management to make that list.

Topic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I do not know whether there is anything to be brought down or not. I remember speaking to Mr. Bell, the Deputy Minister of Railways, who said that he had requested the list just a short time before I spoke to him, and was continuing to request it. Whether there were letters or not, I do not know.

Topic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS
Permalink
L LIB

Joseph Archambault

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ARCHAMBAULT:

My right hon. friend just said that there were many written requests.

Topic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS
Permalink
UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. gentleman knows that he is not within his rights in cross-examining at this stage.

Topic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS
Permalink
L LIB

GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY NEGOTIATIONS


On the Orders of the Day:


L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. D. D. McKENZIE (North Cape Breton and Victoria) :

I should like to ask the Prime Minister what progress he is making in the negotiations with the Grand Trunk, and if there is any fair chance of getting through the session without any further legislation in connection with that matter.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY NEGOTIATIONS
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Prime Minister) :

The Government received yesterday, through the High Commissioner for Canada, a notification that the Grand Trunk shareholders had authorized the directors to accept the terms fixed by this Parliament in the Bill already passed. ' Consequently, the next duty is to have the agreement which has been prepared, and, I think, in the main assented to-I am not very sure whether all the terms were approved or not-executed by the two parties. When that is done the agreement will be brought down, and, if it is desired, any subsequent correspondence that may have passed.

Topic:   GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY NEGOTIATIONS
Permalink

THE BUDGET

DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.


The House resumed from Thursday, May 12, the debate on the motion of Hon. Sir Henry Drayton (Minister of Finance), that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair for the House to go into Committee of Ways and Means, and the proposed amendment thereto of Hon. W. S. Fielding.


UNION

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

Unionist

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Prime Minister):

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Sure.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

We have not had an explanation in this debate, although it has lasted a week, and it is not that hon. gentlemen have not thought of the matter; it is not that they have not been reminded of it. Speaking in the Budget debate a year ago on this question, I asked them then why they did not move their tariff platform by way of amendment, instead of cutting off the main body and moving merely a section. But I was told that it would come later. I questioned hon. gentlemen angularly opposite, the Farmers' party, as to why they had not moved their platform a'll these years in amendment to the Budget or in amendment to the motion to go into Supply. After struggling hard to get a reason I succeeded in getting a promise from the hon. member for Victoria and Carleton (Mr. Caldwell), who told me that they would move their platform all right, and asked me just to wait and be patient. Well, I have waited another year. We are nearly at the end of another session, but no Farmers' platform has yet been moved in the House. Has the

hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), abandoned the Farmers' platform of November 1918? If he has not abandoned it, why does he not seek the judgment of the House upon it? Why does he not espouse it in this Parliament by acts as well as words? Why does he not seek to put his colleagues and his semi-colleagues on record upon it? Why does he not let the people of the country know just how every member in this House stands as regards that platform? I hope I shall succeed in prodding him up to move it. I have tried long and often. I have been told year after year just to wait for the Budget and I should get their platform. I had one explanation, I think three years ago, from the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark). After an amendment to the Budget had been moved, he came forward in a dramatic manner into Parliament and moved something pretty close to the Farmers' platform. But he found, of course, that there could be only one amendment to the Budget, and so in tears he had to withdraw his motion, lamenting the fact that the rules of the House forbade him to move a second amendment. But what about all the years since? Why did he not at least once get up and move his amendment before some one else intervened? Surely his colleagues directly opposite me are not so discourteous to him-so discourteous that they insist on being the first every year for four years running- that he cannot get his amendment moved at all; and if they are why does he not move an amendment to Supply? We know that my hon. friends opposite have been struggling hard to find amendments to Supply. They have raked all the ash heaps and the garbage barrels of politics-; everything in the way of political shoddy you could think of has been moved in this House in amendment to Supply-everything except their platform. Last night I listened all the time t could to the Chief Whip of the Agrarian party. I heard him pronouncing what the party wanted and what they demanded to have. He said: We demand

free food, we demand free cement, we demand free implements of production. The fact is that is precisely what they do not demand, although in their official platform they have been preaching it for four years. Where do we find free implements in this amendment? Where do we find free food in this amendment? Where do we find free cement? Where do we find a demand for a reduction of duties on boots and shoes in this amendment, where do we find any single

thing that is in the Farmers' platform of November, 1918? But the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Clark) says: We are in the same boat with hon. gentlemen of the official Opposition.

I would like to have been present when this amendment was being fixed up. I would like to have been around when the pruning, and the sandpapering, and the varnishing, were being applied to the verbiage in order to get the amendment in such shape that they could all get in on the vote.

I went through Western Canada last fall. On many platforms I informed the people there of the game the Farmer leaders-all incorrigible party men-were playing. The great number of the audiences were farmers, a great many of them were followers of my hon. friend the member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar), no doubt in the world about that. They know what they want out there, they know they want precisely what I said they wanted in the city of Sherbrooke in the speech criticised so severely by the the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding). They know they want free trade and want it mighty soon; they know they want the Farmers' platform adopted and adopted right away. They were astonished at every meeting, and I was often questioned after I was through whether what I said was really correct-that not one of their representatives in this House had ever had the courage to move their platform here. Now what is the explanation?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Practical politics.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
Permalink
UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Why, of course, practical politics,-a desire to get "in the same boat" with the official Opposition. For that reason they have made themselves a political annex to that party-servile tools and minions of the official Opposition, ready to do whatever they are bid to do. If these Farmer leaders take a stand on a certain question one day they are ready to ^change it the next day if the official Opposition say so-they have done that very thing this session. These leaders are the tools, I say, of the official Opposition-an adjunct, an annex, and a dilapidated annex at that. If the official Opposition say, "We do not want you to run a candidate here," there is no candidate run. If the official Opposition say, "We think we can run a candidate in that county better than you can because you dare not say anything against protection there, let us have that constituency, and you keep

out; our flag is better there than yours,"- in such a case as that the leaders of the Farmers' party obey. But if the official Opposition say, "We cannot get anywhere down in such-and-such a constituency"- for example, in York and Sunbury-"we cannot do a thing there for the life of us. They know us too well. Won't you run a candidate down in York and Sunbury?" Then of course the Farmers run a candidate, and it is the free trade flag and the Farmers' platform flag and the 3,918 platform that are used in York and Sunbury.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
Permalink
IND

Robert Henry Halbert

Independent

Mr. HALBERT:

What about North

York?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE CONTINUED ON THE ANNUAL STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE MINISTER OP FINANCE.
Permalink

May 13, 1921