May 5, 1922

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUH MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition) :

I would be inclined

to concur with the hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar). There are not many of the motions on the Order Paper in which this side of the House is specially interested, but there are some that I think it would be unfortunate if they are not discussed through private members' days being shut off. For instance, there is motion No. 14, in the name of the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Shaw), which although it has been down since the 10th of April has never yet been introduced. There is the motion introduced by the hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Irvine)-I do not mention it specially except in this sense, that the discussion of it was adjourned at the instance of the Government awaiting the return of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding). Then, of course, there is the motion set down by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. McQuarrie) which is to be discussed on Monday; and there are other motions that I cannot but think the hon. members interested seriously intended to discuss. Every private members' day has been fully taken up so far except for a short time at the end of some days. I am not attributing the fault to the Government specially that we are not through more of these motions, because they have been called and the members responsible for them have not been ready to proceed; but unless those motions were put down merely to forestall and prevent discussion from another source, it would seem to me there ought to be opportunities for a short discussion of them anyway.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I hope that if the Government endeavours to meet the wishes of my right hon. friend he wili not later on say that we are somewhat late with government business. I might point out to him that in the last session of the last parliament, at the end of seven weeks the government took Wednesdays; we have allowed eight weeks to pass already before doing so, and I think we have been generous in that regard. However, the Government has no wish to prevent private members from having ample opportunity to discuss the motions in which they are interested.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

If I might offer another suggestion, Mr. Speaker, it would be that the Government take Wednesday of next week and leave Monday of the week following for private members, which will allow a full day for discussion. If we adopt my hon. friend's suggestion we will have only three hours in the afternoon to devote to these motions.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

If the Government give Wednesday and Monday of the following week, that would be going as far as it seems wise to go at this stage. If there are important motions which it would be very desirable to take up, we might make special arrangements for their discussion. I would therefore move that the resolution be amended to read: "That after Wednesday, the 10th May, and Monday, the 15th May," and so on.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

That would give two Mondays and one Wednesday?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The following Wednesday and the following Monday

two more days.

Members Paired

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

If this motion passes, will the Prime Minister afford an opportunity to wind up the debate on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Waterways motion standing in my name? As the Government has made no declaration of policy in regard to. the subject matter of this motion, I should like to have the discussion concluded and a vote taken on it.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

That motion has been up three times already. It will probably come up again in the natural order of business.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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Motion agreed to.


AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT

LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) :

The motion standing in my name, Mr. Speaker, is incorrect, the date given being March 31st, 1922, whereas it should be March 31st, 1921. If there be no objection, I will amend the motion accordingly and move:

That the report of the Auditor General and the Public Accounts of Canada for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1921, he referred to the Standing Commiitt&e on Public Accounts.

Topic:   AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT
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Motion agreed to.


PAIRED MEMBERS INADVERTENTLY VOTING


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Liberal

Mr. ANDREW McMASTER (Brome) :

Before the Orders of the Day are called, Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of explanation. Last night I placed myself, or was placed, in a position which requires me to give a word of explanation to my fellow-members. I voted when I was paired with the hon. member for West Hastings (Mr. Porter). I did that because at that time I did not know I was so paired. Early in the session I asked our Whip to arrange a sessional pair for me. He did so. No doubt he remained under the impression that he had informed me of the fact; however, he had not done so, and that led me into registering a vote last night which I should not have done. It was a purely inadvertent action on my part, and I know that hon. members will forgive me for taking up the time of the House in making this explanation, which I think is due to them, to the Whip, and to myself.

Mr. GEORGE W. KYTE (Cape Breton South and Richmond) : I desire to add a word of explanation to what the hon. member for Brome has said. As soon as my attention was called to the fact that he

had voted in violation of the understood pair which he held, I had the pair with the hon. member for West Hastings transferred to the hon. member for South Perth (Mr. Forrester), and he did not vote.

I also desire to offer an explanation in behalf of the hon. junior member for Halifax (Mr. Blackadder) and the hon. member for Drummond and Arthabaska (Mr. Laflamme). These two gentlemen were paired also. The junior member for Halifax voted on the amendment, and as soon as my attention was called to it I communicated with him, so he did not vote on the main motion. The same thing happened with the hon. member for Drummond and Arthabaska. The junior member for Halifax has not been in the House for some weeks owing to the unfortunate condition of his health. He entered the Chamber at the last moment yesterday evening and I had no opportunity to remind him of his pair. I was unable to substitute another pair in his place because at that time the vote was proceeding along the furthest end of the rear row.

I did not observe these hon. members were voting in violation of their pairs because my attention was absorbed in the business of checking off the vote as it was called; otherwise I would have prevented the unfortunate incident. But by way of extenuation I need only cite the fact that the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton) also inadvertently voted. It is evident therefore that these errors may be committed even with the best intentions.

Topic:   PAIRED MEMBERS INADVERTENTLY VOTING
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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. A. BOYS (South Simcoe) :

I do not know whether it is in order for me to add a word or two, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   PAIRED MEMBERS INADVERTENTLY VOTING
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go on.

Topic:   PAIRED MEMBERS INADVERTENTLY VOTING
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CON

William Alves Boys (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

Last night no less than five votes were recorded by hon. gentlemen opposite who were paired. As has been mentioned, one of those votes was put right by the hon. member for South Perth not voting. It is true that the hon. member for West York (Sir Henry Drayton) voted in error. It was noticed at once, and without hesitation I sent word across to my hon. friend (Mr. Kyte) and immediately arranged with an hon. member on this side not to vote, to put the matter right.

Now, I do not know that criticism of anybody will do much good, but it does seem to me that we must have some understanding if the system of pairing is to continue. We must avoid such occurrences in the future, and when these mistakes are

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made they should be rectified in some way, not merely explained. I am glad, of course, to get the explanation, and I must say at once that, so far as I am concerned it has been an ample one. But, unless the vote comes from some hon. member in the last row it is always possible, when a member who is paired records his vote, for a whip to act promptly and to secure some member on his side who will refrain from voting. When it comes to five votes in one night, on the most important division we have had in the House this session, it becomes a somewhat serious matter. I only trust that these mistakes will not occur again. I have taken care to have every single pair initialed by the Chief Government Whip and myself so that there might be no mistakes. As soon as pairs are notified to me I see that they are observed, and if by any chance they are not, steps are taken to have the error rectified before the vote is concluded.

Topic:   PAIRED MEMBERS INADVERTENTLY VOTING
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have allowed this

discussion to proceed because I feel that hon. members would like to have an explanation of what occurred last evening. But I may inform the House that according to British practice, the Speaker, as the spokesman of the House of Commons, ignores the pairs, looking upon it as a matter for arrangement by the parties themselves.

Topic:   PAIRED MEMBERS INADVERTENTLY VOTING
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LIB

George William Kyte (Whip of the Liberal Party; Chief Government Whip)

Liberal

Mr. KYTE:

If I may be permitted to

say one further word by way of explanation, my hon. friend the Conservative whip (Mr. Boys) stated there were five votes which should not have been polled. I wish to explain that the hon. member for Brome (Mr. McMaster) voted on the motion, but he was checked by the member for South Perth who did not vote.

Topic:   PAIRED MEMBERS INADVERTENTLY VOTING
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May 5, 1922