June 26, 1925

CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Mr. Symington, though,

was down here for some time after the inquiry was all over, and had plenty of time to put his account in.

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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I wonder he did not ask

for something on account, being a lawyer.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I fancy it is likely he

has. But it does not look to me as though the government was anxious that the amount be brought down. As a matter of fact the whole employment of Mr. Symington or of anybody else was wholly unnecessary. I have read the report of the inquiry, and if he had been employed by Sir William Petersen he could not have served the interests of Sir William Petersen's end of the contract more. He served apparently as counsel for the government through the whole matter. Now, the one other thing I wish to ai for is this: that at the same time I receive an answer to the question which is on the order paper, No. 2, which asks what sums in addition to the estimates the government has requested parliament to authorize payment of in government measures during the session of 1925. Nobody would suggest I have not right to that.

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LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

I am inclined to think the

Secretary of State (Mr. Copp) answered that question to-day.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

He has not, because I

brought it up. Not only did he not answer it, but the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), using language which I think he ought to regret, expressed the view that I had no right to it because I could go to work myself, dig into it and get it. As everyone knows, the purpose of questions is to get, not the authority of some individual, but the authority of government for data. That is what I have asked for several times in this House and that is what I want now to ask. If I have the minister's undertaking that that will come to-morrow, I will accept that.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

What department does it come under?

319i

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It does not come under any special department except Finance. It is not difficult to get. I know I could do it. Any official of the government could do it in half an hour. It is not to avoid the work I am asking it; it is because I want the authority of the government behind the answer, which I am entitled to have, which the people of Canada are entitled to have, and which as a representative I ask for. The purpose of questions is just that purpose.

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LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

So far as my own department is concerned, I can assure the hon. gentleman I will be very glad to do it, but I cannot speak for all the departments.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

All anyone has to do is to go over the bills that are here-they are all introduced in the Commons, not in the Senate-and from those bills compile the answer. I do not ask a minister to do it. I ask that it be done by a proper officer, and I want the undertaking of the government that it shall be done. The question was asked in abundance of time.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

It should

not be very hard to answer it.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The Minister of Justice told me I could do it myself very quickly. He fails to realize what the real purpose of questions is. If anyone will give me that undertaking on behalf of the government, I am satisfied.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

I will take it up in the morning for you.

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PRO

Robert Gardiner

Progressive

Mr. GARDINER:

Now the minister has satisfied the right hon. leader of the opposition, would he satisfy the House to the same extent? Can he give the information now?

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. member is

quite right. I was a little bit selfish in speaking for myself. It is the House that requires the information, not myself, and I think it should be given before the House adjourns, so that it will go on the record and everybody can see it. I do not know whether it is the purpose to sit to-morrow or not. If it is not, I can see it will be difficult to have the information go on the record but if we sit to-morrow, will the minister undertake it will be in such form that it will go on the record?

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

All right, I accept that.

Supply-Trade and Commerce

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PRO

Edward Joseph Garland

Progressive

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

I am puzzled to know how it is going to go on the record if it is not produced until to-morrow. Do I understand that questions that remain unanswered and orders for returns that remain unfilled may be filled during the recess, or do they simply lapse?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

If the House meets tomorrow, even for the purpose of prorogation, the minister can read it, or he can ask Hansard to take it as read. Then it goes into the record. If the House does not sit tomorrow, I do not see any way of getting it into the record. The hon. member knows who is responsible for that. The government is responsible.

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LIB

Thomas Andrew Low (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. LOW:

I would be very glad to send to the hon. member (Mr. Garland, Bow River) a copy of the letter I send to the leader of the opposition.

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June 26, 1925