January 31, 1923

LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Under ride 2 the House should have met at 2 o'clock to-day; but as the letter received from the Governor General stated that His Excellency would proceed to open parliament at 3 o'clock, I have come to the conclusion that there would be less inconvenience for everyone concerned if I applied the spirit rather than the letter of the law. I have no doubt that it was the government's intention that the House should meet at 3 o'clock to-day. The rule says that the time for the ordinary meeting on Wednesday should be at 2 o'clock. It may be that opening day is not an ordinary meeting day. At any rate I am satisfied to put such a construction on the rule under the present circumstances. The question came up in 1918 when the House met at 11 o'clock on Monday, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier then made the following remark:

We meet* under conditions of some peculiar novelty. We do not meet under the rules of the House because those rules say that this House shall meet at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. We do not meet under the proclamation of His Excellency the Governor-General, because the Governor-General, while fixing the date of the meeting of Parliament, did not fix the hour. Of course, parliament, though elected by the people, has to be called by the Governor-General. It is within His Excellency's privilege to summon it at any time he pleases, and to fix the hour also. It has pleased him to call parliament for the 18th March, but he has not fixed the hour. He might have said that we should meet at 11 o'clock of the morning or at the same hour in the evening, and we would have to obey his command. I think, therefore, that under such circumstances the House is irregularly called.

The Governor General's proclamation does not state at what hour parliament is to meet. Since the House is to meet to-day, it has to do so in accordance with its rules which state that on Wednesday it should meet at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

As Speaker it is my duty to see that the rules which the House has adopted for its proceedings be observed. I do not think they should be infringed upon, and I would suggest that rule 2 be amended so that the government be given a free hand to open parliament at any time it may deem it advisable in the future.

Mr. SPEAKER read a communication from Mr. A. F. Sladen, Governor General's Secretary, announcing that His Excellency the Governor General would proceed to the Senate chamber at three p.m. on this day, for the purpose of formally opening the session of the Dominion parliament.

A message was delivered by Colonel Ernest J. Chambers, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows:

Mr. Speaker, His Excellency the Governor General desires the immediate attendance of this honourable House in the chamber of the honourable the Senate.

Accordingly the House went up to the Senate chamber.

And the House being returned to the Commons chamber:

Topic:   HOUR OF MEETING
Permalink

VACANCIES

LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the House that during the recess I received communications from several members notifying me that the following vacancies had occurred in the representation, viz:

Of Marie Joseph Demers, Esquire, member for the electoral district of St. Johns and Iberville, consequent upon the acceptance of an office of emolument under the Crown.

Of Hon. William Costello Kennedy, member for the electoral district of the North Riding of Essex, by decease.

I accordingly issued my warrants to the Chief Electoral Officer to make out new writs of election for the said electoral districts respectively.

Governor General's Speech

I have also the honour to inform the House that I received a communication from the Chief Electoral Officer, informing me that in accordance with Chapter 11, Section 10, of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906, he had received communications from several members notifying him of the following vacancies having occurred in the representation, namely:

Of Hon. John Alexander Stewart, member for the electoral district of Lanark, by

decease. .

Of David Arthur Lafortune, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Jacques Cartier, by decease.

Of Lucien Turcotte Pacaud, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Megantic, consequent upon the acceptance of an office of emolument under the Crown.

Of Edward Blackadder, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Halifax, by

decease.

Of Onesiphore Turgeon, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Gloucester, consequent upon the acceptance of an office of emolument under the Crown.

And that the Chief Electoral Officer had accordingly issued new writs of election for the said electoral districts respectively.

Topic:   VACANCIES
Permalink

THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the House that when the House did attend His Excellency the Governor General this day .in the Senate chamber, His Excellency was pleased to make a speech to both Houses of parliament. To prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy, which is as follows:

Honourable Members of the Senate:

Members of the House of Commons:

I am glad to welcome you to a return to your parliamentary duties. In the interval which has elapsed since the last session, I have had the pleasure of extending my travels throughout Western Canada and as far as the Territory of the Yukon. The cordial hospitality everywhere enjoyed by Her Excellency and myself will b? long remembered.

It is gratifying to note that in a period of worldwide trade depression following the Great War, Canada has made substantial progress towards recovery.

The increase in the volume of trade, the diminution of unemployment as compared with last winter, and the restoration of our currency to a position of equality with that of the neighbouring Republic, are indications of the improved situation. The economic condition in European countries makes for embarrassment the world over. A much better situation in Europe will be necessary before we can expect a complete restoration of confidence in business affairs here. In the meantime, the Dominion has much reason for satisfaction with the improvement that has taken place, and with the many evidences of a returning prosperity.

The desirability of obtaining the best available terms for the admission of our products in foreign markets has engaged the attention of the Ministry.

[Mr. SDeaker.l

Conventions have been made to govern trade relations b tween France and Canada and between Italy and Canada. These Conventions will be submitted for your

approval.

Since last session, acting under a Statute of 1919, with amendments thereto, an Order in Council has been passed appointing a Board of Directors to be known as The Board of Directors of the Canadian National Railway Company, having under its control and operation the various lines which go to make, up the system, and also the Canadian Government Merchant Marine. The various units of the system are being consolidated as rapidly as possible. This, it is expected, will increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of operation.

It having been represented that an amalgamation of interests of shipping companies and vessel owners upon the Great Lakes has operated to control freight rates and insurance upon grain shipments in a manner which has deprived agriculturists of much of the benefit to which they were entitled, as well as led to discrimination against Canadian ports and harbours, a Royal Commission has been appointed to investigate and report upon this alleged combine.

A bill will be submitted to you to safeguard the interests of consumers and producers from undue enhancement of prices or unfair restriction of trade by combines, monopolies, trusts, or mergers.

As a consequence of an agreement entered into between the Government of Great Britain and members of the Canadian Government, the law with respect to the landing of imported animals in Great Britain has been amended by the British Parliament. The removal thereby effected of the embargo on Canadian cattle entering the United Kingdom is a source of general satisfaction. It has materially improved the outlook as regards live stock, and should lead to the re-establishment of a profitable trade with Great Britain.

The adverse conditions with which agriculture generally is confronted in many parts of Canada, despite the abundant crops of the past year, render itdesirable that a special committee, with powers to

make recommendations, be appointed to look into various agricultural matters such as the mixing of grain in private terminal elevators, the marketing1 of farm products, the development of the live stock industry, and the possibilities of further diversification in our Canadian agriculture.

The matter of securing an increasing flow of desirable settlers to develop the large areas still available for cultivation in Canada has had the serious consideration of my advisers. Additional advertising and

general publicity campaigns have been launched in Great Britain and in the United States and, as opportunity offers, will be extended to other lands from which a suitable class of settlers may be attracted. In other particulars, the activities of the Department of Immigration and Colonization are being expanded.

The time for the usual decennial revision of the

Bank Act having arrived, a measure for that purpose will be laid before you.

Having regard to the recent decennial census, a readjustment of the representation of the Provinces in the House of Commons, as required by the British North America Act, is also due. A Bill will be introduced for that purpose.

In pursuance of the announcement made in the Speech from the Throne at the opening of last Session a Postal Conference with the United States was held at Ottawa in the month of December last. The results of the Conference were embodied in a new Postal Convention which has been in force since January 1st. It is a pleasure to record that arrangements

w'ere made not only for extending and improving the international postal service, but also for the conveyance through the United States of parcel mail from Canada to all South American countries.

New Members

The Government of France has graciously offered to the Canadian Government a tract of land of 250 acres on Vimy Ridge, at the site selected for the erection by Canada of a monument commemorating the exploits of Canadian troops in the Great War. This gift has been gratefully accepted, and a bill approving the agreement has been duly introduced in the French Parliament. An appropriate resolution expressing Canada's appreciation of the action of the French Government will be offered for your acceptance.

During the course of the session your attention will be invited to other agreements of an international character and significance, and to other matters requiring legislation.

Members of the House of Commons:

The Public Accounts for the last fiscal year, and the Estimates for the coming year, will be submitted at an early date. A strict economy in all public expenditures continues to be a necessity of the existing financial situation.

Honourable Members of the Senate:

Members of the House of Commons:

Smce you last assembled, Canada has harvested the largest wheat crop in its history, and an abundance of other kinds of grain and fruits. May the Divine Providence which has vouchsafed this basis of our material prosperity guide and bless all your deliberations.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Permalink

NEW MEMBERS

LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the House that during the recess the Clerk of the House received from the Chief Electoral Officer certificates of the election and return of the following members, viz:

Of Alderic Joseph Benoit, Esquire, for the electoral district of St. Johns and Iberville.

Of Eusebe Roberge, Esquire, for the electoral district of Megantic.

Of Joseph T. Rheaume, Esquire, for the electoral district of Jacques Cartier.

Of John G. Robichaud, Esquire, for the electoral district of Gloucester.

Of Richard Franklin Preston, Esquire, for the electoral district of Lanark.

Of Robert Emmett Finn, Esquire, for the electoral district of Halifax.

Topic:   NEW MEMBERS
Permalink

NEW MEMBERS INTRODUCED


Alderic Joseph Benoit, Esquire, member for the electoral district of St. Johns and Iberville, introduced by Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King and Hon. Sir Lomer Gouin. Eusebe Roberge, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Megantic, introduced by Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King and Hon. H. S. Beland. John G. Robichaud, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Gloucester, introduced by Hon. A. B. Copp and Pius Michaud, Esquire. M. Joseph Theodule Rheaume, depute de la cireonscription electorate de Jacques-Cartier, est presente par Sir Lomer Gouin et l'hon. Ernest Lapointe. li Robert Emmett Finn, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Halifax, introduced by Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King and Hon. W. S. Fielding. Richard Franklin Preston, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Lanark, introduced by Right Hon. Arthur Meighen and Hon. Sir Henry Drayton.


OATHS OF OFFICE


Bill No. 1, respecting the administration of oaths of office, introduced and read the first time.-Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King.


REPORTS


Report of the Chief Electoral Officer in conformity with the Dominion Elections Act. -Mr. Speaker. Joint Report of the Librarians of Parliament.-Mr. Speaker.


DEPUTY SERGEANT-AT-ARMS

LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the House that the Sergeant-at-Arms, with my approval, has appointed Louis Charles Panet, Esquire, to be his deputy during the present session of Parliament.

Topic:   DEPUTY SERGEANT-AT-ARMS
Permalink

THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH

LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved:

That the Speech of His Excellency, the Governor General, to both Houses of parliament be taken into consideration on Thurday next, and that this order have precedence over all other business except the introduction of bills until disposed of.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES

LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved:

That a special committee be appointed to prepare and report, with all convenient speed, lists of members to compose the select standing committees of this House under rule 10, said committee to be composed of Messieurs Beland, Copp, Low, Kyte, Papineau, Tolmie, Boys, Johnston (Last Mountain) and Halbert, and that that portion of rule 10 limiting the number of members of the said committee be suspended in relation thereto.

Topic:   SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES
Permalink

January 31, 1923