June 26, 1925

CADET TRAINING


Mr. J. S. WOODSW'ORTH (Centre Winnipeg) : The Minister of National Defence promised me some information as called for by an order of the House of June 4. I should like, if possible, to get that information before the close of the session.


LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

He is not particularly active this morning.

Topic:   CADET TRAINING
Permalink

CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT

CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


Hon. T. A. LOW (Minister of Trade and Commerce) moved the second reading and concurrence in amendments made by the Senate to Bill No. 113, respecting Grain.


PRO

Charles Wallace Stewart

Progressive

Mr. C. WALLACE STEWART (Humboldt) :

Mr. Speaker, I desire to enter a protest against the concurrence of this House particularly in one of the amendments made by the Senate to the bill as it was approved of in this chamber. I refer to the amendment made to section 140.

It is not necessary for me, Mr. Speaker, to emphasize the fact that throughout western Canada, where the great bulk of our wheat is produced, the opinion is prevalent that the process of mixing, which is a process adopted by those who market the grain, and not by the producers, is detrimental to the best interests of the producer in that his grain thus mixed reaches the final market in a condition not as pure, and with a grade not as high, as that which it has when it leaves the farm. When the bill was before this House I moved an amendment to section 140 which required that grain coming out of the mixing elevators

Elections Act

should be judged on a standard equal to that in Winnipeg, not on the lowest of the standards that is passed in Winnipeg, but on the average of that standard. That amendment was approved by this House, but the upper body, in its wisdom, has seein fit to reject that amendment that this House approved of, and to insert in its place a section which does not require that the grain coming out of the mixing elevator shall be of a grade equal to the average grade of the grain passing inspection at Winnipeg.

It is my opinion, Sir, that if the grain as it comes from the mixing elevator were required to be of a standard equal to the average of the standard on which the farmer's grain is inspected, at least the greater part of the objection to mixing would be done away with. I am informed by those who are well acquainted with this process of mixing that to require the mixing elevators to reach such a standard would practically do away with their business; the profit would be gone, and consequently mixing to a great extent would be stopped. If that would be the result, then, Sir, I would be willing to take the result of my amendment and I submit to this House that the producers of Canada would be behind us in that stand. If the profit is secured by bringing the grade lower than the average of the grade the farmer secures, the mixing elevators are taking an undue profit out of us and damaging our product before it reaches the final market.

It is said that my amendment is impracticable, that it could mot be worked. Well, Sir, if that is true I submit this, that it is a good way to prohibit something that should not be carried on. It is a fact that there are every year a number of bushels of low grade grain produced, and a very considerable quantity in some years. I am of the opinion that the privilege to mix this grain is a special privilege granted to companies operating elevators with a license to engage in this process, as a system by which this low grade grain is 'absorbed into the market with perhaps greater facility; but if iin absorbing the lower grades of grain we are to seriously deteriorate the higher grades of our grain and lower its value in the ultimate market-the Liverpool market-I submit we are doing something that is wholly contrary to the best interests of the producers. All that the amendment that was made in this House called for was that the product from the mixing elevator should be equal to the average of the grade which the farmer secures for his product from the farm. We are granting not only a special privilege in mixing, but if

we approve, as the government mow moves to approve, of the amendment made by the upper chamber, we are also granting a special privilege to the mixing elevator enabling them to ship out a product which is lower in grade than the average which the producer himself receives.

In making this protest, Mr. Speaker, I speak for at least the majority of those sitting around me, and I believe a very considerable majority, and we want our protest om record because we represent in this House first of all the producers of this country.

Motion agreed to on division; amendments read the second time and concurred in.

Topic:   CANADA GRAIN ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
Permalink

DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT


The House resumed from June 25th consideration in committee of Bill No. 148, to amend the Dominion Elections Act-Mr. Copp -Mr. Gordon in the chair. On section 5-Use of provincial voters' list.


LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I would like to make sure as to the meaning of the words "provincial lists" in this section. Under the law as it stands, all elections for the Dominion House -I am referring now to the province of Ontario-would be held under lists used in provincial elections unless they were more than two years old. For example, should an election be held this fall we could not use the provincial lists used in the last provincial election and some other provision would have to be made. I understand that a list would be prepared from another list which would be used with or without revision at a provincial election commenced at the same time as the election under this act. That is, under conditions such as would prevail if we had an election this fall, with no old provincial lists available because they are more than two years old, we would then, I understand, have to take as a basis a list which would be used by the provincial government for the purpose of making a new list. If that is the case then I assume we would have to fall back upon what I would term the municipal lists, that is, lists prepared by the municipal officers as a basis for making a new list. In line 2 of subsection (a) it says: "Every urban registrar shall transfer from such provincial lists," and so on. Ordinarily I think the layman would call that a municipal list, and what I am concerned about is whether when we speak here of "provincial list" it does refer to the list that is prepared by the municipal officers, so that it may be definitely understood that in case of an election this fall or before a pro-

Elections Act

vincial election is held, our election list in Ontario will have as its basis the lists prepared by the municipal officers.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

I put that question to the Chief Electoral Officer and he informs me that the term "provincial lists" refers to the lists made up according to the laws of the province for use in connection with the provincial elections. Provincial list does not necessarily mean a list made up by the province. It is made up by the municipalities and the list made up in that way would be the one used for provincial elections.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB
LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Yes. I wish to move the following amendment:

That section 5 of the bill be amended by adding thereto as subsection 3 the following:

" If any question arises as to whether any list, or which of two or more lists, prepared under the laws of a province, should be used pursuant to such laws at a provincial election commenced at the same time as the election under this act, the Chief Electoral Officer may direct the use under this section of such list as should in his opinion be used, and such list shall be used accordingly."

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Daum Euler

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

If a list is found unsuitable will the Chief Electoral Officer have authority to change the whole basis, that is, make a change in the lists as used generally, or only in regard to the municipality in which the disability exists?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Just in relation to the municipality where the disability exists.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink

Section agreed to. Bill reported. Mr. COPP moved the third reading of the bill.


LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. WILLIAM IRVINE (East Calgary):

Mr. Speaker, I have on previous occasions, presented to the House as clearly and forcefully as I could the discrimination which subsection 1 of section 10 of the Dominion Elections Act imposes on organized labour. I have shown that owing to the nature of the trades union organization it is impractical for every trade union of every city to become incorporated for political purposes as is required by the act. In addition to the difficulty presented by the nature of the organization itself, I have shown that the constitu-* tion of the international trades union movement is an added barrier to the compliance of unions with clause 10 of the act. I introduced a bill early in the session to repeal the section in question. The government defeated that bill on the ground that to repeal the section would open the door to corruption, a view-

point which, if warranted by facts, is a damning indictment both of the wealthy people and of the common people of the country. The implications of this view are that certain wealthy people are both capable and desirous of corrupting the electorate, and also that the masses of the people are corruptible, and that both require the grandmotherly supervision of a statutory declaration. I use the term "statutory declaration" advisedly, for not only do I dissent from the view that our wealthy people who subscribe to election funds do so for the purpose of corruption, and that the average man is corruptible by such funds, but I hold the view that it would be, comparatively speaking, an easy matter for wealthy corporations to contribute through individuals for election funds notwithstanding the fact that such is prohibited by section 10 of the Act. Indeed I would not be surprised if in the next election a very great deal of the election funds for all parties should come from corporations- all parties, of course, with the exception of the Labour party. I have not much hope of the Labour party securing very heavy donations from the industrial controllers of this country or from the financial institutions. In any event, clause 10 of the Dominion Elections Act is only an impious statutory declaration. I believe it is violated by all concerned in every election, yet not a single prosecution has ever been instituted under its provisions. I submit to the House that to retain a section in an act which cannot be enforced-no; worse than that, which invites its own violation-is to bring law itself into disrepute. In fact, a law which people regard as one to be got around is more detrimental by far to parliamentary dignity than a shirtsleeves statesman to the presence of whom objection has been taken.

Now, Mr. Speaker, my colleague and I, believing that every individual or group of individuals, rich or poor, should be free to contribute funds for political purposes, providing that such funds be expended in legitimate channels or within the provisions of the act in this regard, accordingly made an attempt to repeal this legislation. But the government prevented us. Then we tried to amend the offending section by moving an amendment which would exempt labour unions. Having been defeated in our attempt to exempt all classes from the prohibition of the clause referred to, we took a course which would exempt labour alone, not however in any sense desiring class advantage but because labour unions are put to a greater disadvantage in violating the provision than any other class. But in this too we were defeated in com-

Elections Act

mittee of the whole. I now make a last effort to remove from the Dominion Elections Act, the discrimination against labour unions. But before moving an amendment to the bill before the House I desire to call the attention of organized labour throughout the country to the fact that the right hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) and those around him have expressed their willingness to repeal clause 10 or, failing that, to support the amendment which I moved in committee. The leader of the Progressive party (Mr. Forke) and his followers have expressed themselves also in a fashion similar to that of the opposition. For some strange reason rot yet given to parliament the government and their supporters doggedly refuse to add one phrase to a single clause of a single act which would remove an injustice to which labour is subjected.

Why is this? Is it because the government desires to hamper the political activities of labour men? One would be justified under the circumstances in that conclusion. But this petty oppression, in addition to being far from harmonizing with the theoretical principles of Liberalism, will not drive labour from the political field, although it will be a very considerable inconvenience. Perhaps the reason for the government's opposition to this amendment is that it was moved 'by the labour representatives in this House. I am loath to attribute to the government of Canada an attitude of mind as cantankerous and unfair as that. However, the fate of the amendment which I am about to move is in the hands of the government. I make an earnest-appeal to the common sense, the fairness and the generosity of the administration to support it. But if the government persists in its bovine obstinacy it must be lacking in these qualities to which I have appealed.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Does my hoD. friend think that an expression like " bovine obstinacy " is calculated to induce the government to change its point of view?

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

I have merely described as best I can the attitude so far shown by the government.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The government is always prepared to meet hon. gentlemen opposite but will absolutely refuse to consider anything brought forward in a spirit such as characterizes this amendment.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT
Permalink

June 26, 1925