March 23, 1926

EASTER ADJOURNMENT

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:

When this House adjourns on Friday March 26th instant, it stand adjourned until Tuesday April 6th next.

He said: Before the motion is put, may I say to hon. members of the House that the government has no intention of pressing this motion, unless it meets with approval on the part of hon. members. The motion has been made because the government has reason to believe that to most of the members it would be a convenience to have an adjoum-

ment of ten days, which we would have if this motion carries, rather than to be obliged to come back for two days and one-half during that period of time, thereby breaking the adjournment of ten continuous days which would otherwise be possible. The custom has been to adjourn on the Wednesday afternoon before Easter, the House sitting for half a day on Wednesday, and then adjourning until the following Tuesday. I have had occasion to look up the record and I find that in the years 1917 to 1925 the practice has been to adjourn on the Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday are full days and Wednesday half a day. If this motion does not carry, members will be obliged to come back for two days and a half the following week. If the motion carries it will be possible for hon. members to leave the city on Friday night of this week and remain away until Tuesday of the week after next. The government, in view of what has been communicated to its members, has thought that, with that feature drawn to the attention of hon. members, the motion would probably meet with general approval. However, the purpose of presenting the motion at the moment is rather to call forth an expression of the views of hon. members, and if the views of hon. members appear to be against the motion, I would ask that it stand.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

As far as I am individually concerned, and as far as my own convenience goes, the motion would suit me very well, but the members on this side of the House, especially those from the far west and far east, are, if I may be permitted to speak their minds as indicated to me, strongly against this motion. Their reasons are chiefly their anxiety to get on with the business of the session, and added to that there is the fact that the business of the House seems to be a joke to hon. members opposite. There is also the fact that we have just had quite a long recess of about ten or eleven days during which most of the members, I think, availed themselves of the opportunity of returning home, and naturally they do not feel like inviting another opportunity to go back home, spending most of the time, as is necessary, on the way. For these two reasons, the feeling on this side of the House would be against the motion, and I would suggest that, if it is not dropped, it stand, until perhaps a further conference could be had.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. ROBERT FORKE (Brandon):

Personally I would prefer to have the adjournment. It seems to me that out of the ten days there would be only two and1 one-half

Easter Adjournment

days during which we could really be doing any work in the House. I would like to have gone west. If there is any strenuous opposition to the longer adjournment, I am quite willing to bow to the will of the majority, but we would only lose two and one-half working days out of the ten days. The adjournment would be broken by Saturday and Sunday, the legal holidays intervening, and it would 'be only two and one-half days longer than the regular adjournment. During that period there are, of course, five legal holidays. It seems to me it would be to the convenience of all hon. members to have the adjournment for ten days. I think the government have had adjournment enough. They have had two weeks. I have had to remain in Ottawa as have a great many other hon. members. At the same time if there is anything to be gained by it I would be in favour of the longer adjournment. Seeing that only two and one-half days during which we could do any business would be lost, I think hon. members would be well advised to vote for the ten day adjournment. I am quite willing to stay here or I am quite willing to go home.

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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. L. J. LADNER (Vancouver South):

This is an occasion when I wish to say a word or two. I was not able to return to Vancouver during the previous adjournment. I think the public at large and members generally are anxious to get on with the business of the country, for there is a good deal to be done. I myself have a copyright bill which I should like to proceed with and I would urge upon the government the wisdom, even if we have only two and a half days, to let us use all our time in getting some work done. It might mean some personal inconvenience to hon. gentlemen who would like to return to their homes, but that should not stand in the way of public business.

Mr. HARRY J. BARBER (Fraser Valley): As one who took advantage of the last adjournment I may say that I spent ten days in travelling, having only two days at home. To hon. gentlemen in the far west and east who could not avail themselves of the adjournment it would mean much inconvenience: they would have to remain in Ottawa until the re-assembling of parliament. I think that those hon. members from Ontario and Quebec, who have easy access to their homes, should have some consideration for others who come from a distance. We are anxious to proceed with the business of the country, and we hope to make the session as short as possible. We are looking forward to the other end of the session, and we would

rather work now. I for one am very much opposed to a further adjournment.

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CON

Murray MacLaren

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MURRAY MacLAREN (St. John-Albert):

The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has asked for an expression of opinion regarding the duration of the adjournment at Easter. My right hon. leader (Mr. Meighen) has represented the views held by many hon. members sitting on this side of the House, and personally I would wish to emphasize this point, that this is a longer Easter vacation than usual. Let us bear in mind the previous adjournment of eleven or twelve days which we had very recently. In the light of that vacation I submit that the proposed adjournment should be as short as possible, rather than one which will be longer than any we have had in the last five or six years.

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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:

As I intimated a moment ago, it is not the desire of the government to press the motion at all. If I act on the suggestion which has been made to allow it to stand until Thursday, the whips might confer among themselves in the meantime. Let me make it clear that the government is as anxious as any hon. member on the opposite side to proceed with the business of parliament, but we have felt that in matters relating to the procedure of the House there may be occasions when mutual accommodation would also help to expedite business. As to what my hon. friend has just said about the proposed adjournment being longer than usual at Easter, he will recall that parliament assembled this year earlier than is customary. The House met early in the month of January, and for that reason the period of time during which hon. members have already been away from their homes is longer than is usual at Easter. However, it is a matter of meeting the convenience of the majority of members.

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CON

William Alves Boys

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

Speaking from the standpoint of the convenience of members, it seems to me that, whatever is going to be done, the sooner we know what is decided upon, the better, in order that we may be enabled to make our arrangements. If the Prime Minister would permit me to interview the whips of the Liberal and Progressive parties this afternoon, we might come to some understanding and we could know the decision to-night. It would inconvenience hon. members greatly to be obliged to wait until Thursday or Friday to know what the government intended doing.

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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 entirely agree with that suggestion.

Privilege-Mr. Church

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Is it understood that the motion stands, to be considered again later in the day?

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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 it is possible for the government to make an announcement to-night, the motion can be formally put at the next sitting of the House.

Motion stands.

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PRIVILEGE-MR. CHURCH


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L CHURCH (Toronto Northwest) :

I rise to a question of privilege. Last night, at the conclusion of the speech of the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa), I rose to call the attention of the House to a certain statement that had been made with reference to myself earlier in the day by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth), in which he misquoted a speech which I had delivered in Toronto. The hon. member referred to certain remarks of mine as rightly quoted by the non. the Solicitor General (Mr. Cannon) at page 67 of Hansard of the present session, and further put into my mouth these words:

Had we had autonomy we should not have entered the war. I

I never used these words. I have nothing to retract from what I said on that occasion but inasmuch as the hon. member omitted the qualifying text of my speech I desire to quote rather extensively from a report of it. Parenthetically, I may observe, Mr. Speaker, that I would not have risen on this occasion were it not that I was prevented last night from making the explanation when I had a perfect right to do so in view of the fact that I had the floor beyond any dispute. The hon. member for Labelle had moved an amendment which was not seconded, and which it appears was not in proper shape, and he had gone to the clerk's table to have it redrafted as I presume and went around looking for a seconder. I therefore had the floor and I was prepared to make the present explanation then. What the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre said was not altogether correct. He quoted only one sentence and at that not as to the text. I should like to read the following extract from the speech I gave at Toronto in order to make my position clear. I quote:

I am opposed to separatism, changing Canada's status and autonomy. We are proud that Canada is an integral part of the greatest empire the world has ever known. The war has not changed Canada's status. What She has done in the past thirty-five years she has done of her own free will and voluntarily

Canadians have good reason to know that the national status of Canada was a good enough status for more than 400,000 Canadian soldiers to fight for. Canada's present national status in 1914 was a good enough national status for over 50,000 Canadians to die for. That status was good enough for fighting Canadians like the Canadians of St. Julien, The Orchard, Cour-cellette, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and many another field of battle. That status should be good enough for talking Canadians and writing Canadians. The British Empire and the British navy are our friends. The socialists who would wreck the British Empire and the pacifist who would weaken the British navy are our enemies.

I stand on the platform of our late beloved leader, Sir John A. Macdonald, when he said: A British subject I was born, a British subject I will die and I will never see General Election become commander-in-chief of the British forces or take the place of the British fleet to protect our shores. I have more faith in the sentiment expressed by the writer of "Ye mariners of England" and all it stands for than I have in the Monroe doctrine, the League of Nations, or any other similar debating society to safeguard Canada's shores in the future should trouble ever come again, which God forbid.

Canada is not going to be talked out of the British empire, if it could be done, the hon. member from

Labelle and the two gentlemen who call themselves the so called labour party-the whole party and nothing but the party would have accomplished this feat long ago. They are but a vest pocket edition of J. Ramsay MacDonald and his ideals. "Something has been said about holding elections and going to the country for endorsation before sending troops from Canada to participate in Britain's wars. So far as the Toronto sixteen regiments and units are concerned, no legislation nor no election nor no conscription act will be necessary. They will do their duty for the Empire as each separate exigency occurs the same as they have always done in the past."

This and the quotation appearing at page 67 of Hansard is what I said. I am glad to have had this opportunity of explaining my position in the matter.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

In justice to the hon.

member, I may say that I did see him rise last night to address the Chair, but he did so at a moment of suspense. The hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Bourassa) had just concluded his speech with a motion which was improperly drafted, and through the courtesy of the House I allowed him some time in which to have his amendment correctly worded. For that reason I intimated to the hon. member for Toronto Northwest that the hon. member for Labelle still had the floor; otherwise I should have been only too pleased to let him interject his explanation at that moment.

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TRANSFER OF PRISONERS


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Adding-ton):

Is it the intention to transfer some

eighty prisoners from Portsmouth to Stoney Mountain penitentiary? If so, will the

Interim Supply Bill

prisoners be ticketed, as on a former occasion, through the Canadian National Railways office in '.Ottawa, or will the minister issue instructions that the prisoners be ticketed through the Hanley ticket agency of the Canadian National Railways at Kingston, where the business originates, where the entraining takes place, and where the agent of the Canadian National Railways can and must give his personal supervision to the details of the work?

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

I will make the necessary inquiry

and give the information to my hon. friend to-morrow.

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LOCARNO TREATY

March 23, 1926