May 31, 1921

UNION
L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Certainly.

Motion agreed to; yeas, 17, nays 16.

Progress reported.

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L LIB
UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would inform the hon. member that there is no motion before thes House.

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L LIB
UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

That would be in order on Friday night, but it is not in order at this stage.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I should just like to say, with the leave of the House, as my hon. friend from Frontenae (Mr. Edwards) has appealed to my fairness-

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

If the hon. member enters into a discussion of the merits of this question, hon. members who desire to reply will have the right to be heard. That being so, I would submit that it is far better for the discussion to remain over till Friday, when the Bill will again come before the House.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

It is on a question of privilege that I desire to speak. I do not want to remain under the imputation of being unfair. I want to explain to my hon. friend from Frontenae why I made the motion. I was informed this morning by the promoter of the Bill, Mr. Norman Guthrie-in fact, he came to me especially to say-that he intended to withdraw the Bill. I am informed there is a desire on the part of the petitioner to withdraw the Bill, and the hon. member for Middlesex has also so informed my hon. friend from Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe). Otherwise I would not have made the motion.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenae) :

If I may be permitted, Mr. Speaker, I wish to say that when a Bill has come before this Hotise, a gentleman outside of this House has no power either to withdraw it or to have it go on.

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CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS


Bill No. 217, (from the Senate), respecting The Calgary and Fernie Railway Company.-Mr. Stevens. Bill No. 218 (from the Senate), for the relief of Susan Lee Johnson Bell.-Mr. McMaster.


UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Hon. J. A. CALDER:

(Minister of Immigration and Colonization): I understand

that the Prime Minister this afternoon-

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Unless the hon. member asks for the unanimous consent of the House, he is quite out of order in speaking at this stage, because there is no motion before the Chair. If the hon. member desires to ask for the unanimous consent of the House, he may do so.

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

I understood that the

Prime Minister made a promise this afternoon-

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

Any promise made by

any member of the House must be subject to the rules of order.

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LAKE OF THE WOODS AND OTHER WATERS


House again in committee on Bill No. 216, respecting the Lake of the Woods and other waters, Mr. Boivin in the Chair.


L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

When the committee rose at six o'clock we had reached clause 2 of the Bill which was under consideration.

On section 2-declaration that certain works are for the general advantage of Canada.

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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I will promise the

committee that my remarks on this Bill will be of the briefest sort, but as the Bill presents some difficulty, I do not wish to cast a silent vote thereon. I am sorry the hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Molloy) is not in his seat, because I wish to congratulate him most heartily on the very able speech he delivered on this Bill this afternoon. Was the question that which the hon. member considered it to be, I would say "Amen" most heartily to what he said. If the question to be debated in this committee was a conflict of interest between Mr. Backus and the citizens of Manitoba, I am sure there is no member, on this side of the House at least, who would not espouse with fervour the cause of the citizens of Manitoba. I have not the pleasure of knowing Mr. Backus, but from all I hear about him I should consider that he was a gentleman whose acquisitive faculties had been fully, if not over developed, and that his proceedings and manner of conducting business in this country did not altogether cause him to be a subject for emulation or to be followed. We do not desire any special privilege for Mr. Backus. Our desire should be to treat this question with the sole object of seeing how best this great actual and potential water-power, with its head-waters in one province, and a great part of its lower course in another province, can best be used, not for the benefit of the citizens of the one province or of the other, but to the best advantage of all the citizens of Canada who live within a distance sufficiently near to this water-power to be able to take advantage of it. That appears to be the question. How can this question best be settled? We have contradictory statements of fact by hon. members all of whom no doubt spoke with the utmost good faith, and with the utmost desire to enlighten, and not to confuse the members of this

committee. We have heard the hon. member for Port Arthur and Kenora (Mr. Keefer) state that to pass this legislation is to endanger the whole industrial life of northwestern Ontario. We have heard the hon. member for Provencher most eloquently state that it is most vital to the interests of the people of Manitoba that this should pass.

In connection with this subject we have had two Bills introduced and for ease in discussion I shall call them Bill No. 1 and Bill No. 2. Bill No. 1 contemplated the passing of concurrent legislation by the province of Ontario, and I am sure that it is a matter of deep regret to the committee that that agreement was not carried out, but that the province of Ontario fell down in their undertaking, and that by reason of that failure, we are here discussing this matter to-night. The Government thought they had arrived at an understanding with Ontario. They have found that Ontario has not implemented its agreement, and to-day the Government is pressing legislation against the strenuous opposition of Ontario, legislation which goes considerably further than the legislation on which the two parties had agreed. The legislation substitutes the will of one of the parties to the agreement to the will of the two parties to theagreement. For the spirit of cooperation, the Government feels that it has to substitute the spirit of force. Instead of insisting upon the bargain made with Ontario they insist upon legislation which goes considerably further. The question before the House is whether or not that is the best way to proceed. I consider it is not the best way, and as we are often, on this side of the House, asked to bring forward some constructive criticism, I propose to outline, with all respect, the course which I think the Prime Minister should follow in this matter. The first suggestion I would make is that this proposed legislation be abandoned on certain conditions. The first condition is that the province of Ontario should undertake, pending further negotiations, that matters should remain in statu quo,. and that no new franchises should be granted to Mr. Backus, or anybody else, while the parties are striving for settlement. While matters are in that state, the parties should remain in their present position. That is my first point, and I think it is in the interests of both parties to the dispute. The next proposal is that the Government should exhaust every possible means of arriving at an understanding with the Government of

Ontario. It is true that the Government had a right to feel somewhat annoyed at the Government of Ontario. The Government thought that they had made a bargain, and they find that the Government of Ontario has not implemented that bargain by carrying through the legislation which was contemplated at the time the bargain was made. I grant that; but I urge the Government to persist in a spirit of agreement and accommodation, and try to arrive at an understanding with the Government of Ontario. The hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Hocken), whom I see directly opposite, smiles.

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May 31, 1921