February 18, 1927

COMMITTEE ON STANDING ORDERS


Mr. L. S. RENE MORIN (St. Hyacinthe-Rouville) presented the first and second reports of the select standing /committee on standing orders. He said: I beg to move the concurrence of the House in these reports.


LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I take it, Mr. Speaker, that

this refers only to such bills as passed both Houses at the last parliament.

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LIB

Motion agreed to.


CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

APPOINTMENT OP SELECT STANDING COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING


Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved: That rule 10 of the House of Commons relating to the appointment of the select standing committees of the House be amended by adding to the select standing committees of the House for the present session a select standing committee on railways and shipping owned, operated and controlled by the government, to which will be referred the estimates of the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian merchant marine for the present session, for consideration and for report to the House, provided, however, that nothing in this resolution shall be construed to curtail in any way the full right of discussion in committee of supply; and that the said committee consist of Messieurs Bennett, Cantley, Chaplin, Duff, Dunning, Fiset, Goodison, Harris, Jelliff, Jenkins, Jones, McLean (Melfort), Milne, Power and Stevens. Motion agreed to.


LIBRARY OF PARLIAMENT-JOINT COMMITTEE

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 message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their honours that this House has appointed Messrs. Bird, Bourassa, Carmichael, Chevrier, Cotnam, Edwards (Ottawa), Forke, Garland (Carleton), Geary, Guthrie, King (Kootenay East), McIntosh, Marcil, Neill, Pou-liot, Prevost, Quinn, Rinfret, Stirling, Thompson and Young (Toronto Northeast) a committee to assist His Honour the Speaker in the direction of the library of parliament so far as the interests of the House of Commons are concerned, and to act on behalf of the House of Commons as members of a joint committee of both Houses on the library.

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Motion agreed to.


PRINTING OF PARLIAMENT-JOINT COMMITTEE

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 message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their honours that this House will unite with them in the formation of a joint committee of both Houses on the subject of the printing of parliament, and that the members of the select standing committee on printing, viz., Messrs. Baldwin, Boivin, Charters, Edwards (Waterloo South), Embury, Esling, Evans, Hocken, Hubbs, Lapierre, McIntosh, Marcil, Morrissy, Prevost, Quinn, Raymond, Rennie, Rinfret, St. Pere, Speakman, Steeds-man, Verville and White (Mount Royal), will act as members on the part of this House on the said joint committee on the printing of parliament.

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Motion agreed to.


PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The House

will observe that there are a very large number of these bills. If it is regular, and Your Honour will perhaps rule that it can be done by unanimous consent of the House, the bills might be read collectively and the first readings given in that way, which would save perhaps an hour of our time and would make no difference in the ultimate result.

Bill No. 4 (from the Senate), for the relief of Alice Victoria McGibbon.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 5 (from the Senate), for the relief of John Jones.-Mr. Church.

Bill No. 6 (from the Senate), for the relief of Samuel Paveling-Mr. Edwards (Ottawa).

Bill No. 7 (from the Senate), for the relief of Benjamin Rapp.-Mr. Anderson (Toronto H. P.)

Privilege-Mr. Mackenzie King

Bill No. 8 (from the Senate), for the relief of Bernard Thomas Graham.-Mr. Anderson (Toronto H.P.)

Bill No. 9 (from the Senate), for the relief of Robert Edward Greig.-Mr. Anderson (Toronto H.P.)

Bill No. 10 (from the Senate), for the relief of Daisie Hawkey.-Mr. Speakman.

Bill No. 11 (from the Senate), for the relief of Olive Mary Mead.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 12 (from the Senate), for the relief of Alice Elizabeth Blakely.-Mr. Geary.

Bill No. 13 (from the Senate), for the relief of Ethel Maud Hargraft.-Mr. Young (Toronto (N.E.)

Bill No. 14 (from the Senate), for the relief of Frederic Vinet.-Mr. Geary.

Bill No. 15 (from the Senate), for the relief of Gwendolen McLachlin.-Mr. McPhee.

Bill No. 16 (from the Senate), for the relief of Jessie Evis.-Mr. Arthurs.

Bill No. 17 (from the Senate), for the relief of Max Gertler.-Mr. Casselman.

Bill No. 18 (from the Senate), for the relief of Florence May Hicks.-Mr. Anderson (Toronto H.P.)

Bill No. 19 (from the Senate), for the relief of Ruth May Harrington.-Mr. Edwards (Waterloo South).

Bill No. 20 (from the Senate), for the relief of Edith Maude Bull.-Mr. Kaiser.

Bill No. 21 (from the Senate), for the relief of Joseph Bernard Hoodless.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 22 (from the Senate), for -the relief of Edward Barker.-Mr. Ross (Kingston) .

Bill No. 23 (from the Senate), for the relief of Joan Henderson.-Mr. Ladner.

Bill No. 24 (from the Senate), for the relief of Vina Kennedy (otherwise known as Vina Dorothy Kennedy).-Mr. Matthews. (Toronto E.C.).

Bill No. 25 (from the Senate), for the relief of Aimee Glenholme Young.-Mr. Matthews (Toronto E.C.).

Bill No. 26 (from the Senate), for the relief of Alberta Lutz.-Mr. Rennie.

Bill No. 27 (from the Senate), for the relief of George Frederick Adams.-Mr. Anderson (Toronto H.P.).

Bill No. 28 (from the Senate), for the relief of Edward Saville.-Mr. Anderson (Toronto H.P.).

Bill No. 20 (from the Senate), for the relief of Robert Fisher.-Mr. Jacobs.

Bill No. 30 (from the Senate), for the relief of Dorothy Terry.-Mr. Casselman.

Bill No. 31 (from the Senate), for the relief of Lillie May Brown Nichols.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 32 (from the Senate), for the relief of Hazel Pearle Clarke Pearcy.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 33 (from the Senate), for the relief of Edith Swartz.-Mr. Hocken.

Bill No. 34 (from the Senate), for the relief of James Gilbb Erskine- Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 35 (from the Senate), for the relief of Ernest Johnson.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 36 (from the Senate), for the relief of Maxime Demers.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 37.(from the Senate), for the relief of Ethel Clementina Craig-Williams.-Mr. Lennox.

Bill No. 38 (from the Senate), for the relief of Ida Lula Dupuis Murchison.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

Bill No. 39 (from the Senate), for the relief of Gladys Andrea Boyle.-Mr. Young

(Toronto N.E.).

Bill No. 40 (from the Senate), for the relief of Leslie Ellis Noble.-Mr. Garland (Carleton).

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Subtopic:   FIRST READINGS
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PRIVILEGE-MR. MACKENZIE KING CORRESPONDENCE WITH LORD BYNG


On the Orders of the Day:


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):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a

question of privilege. The matter has reference to an editorial which appears in the Ottawa Journal of Wednesday, February 16, 1927, entitled: The Byng-King Correspondence; Some Secret History. I would have referred to this matter yesterday, when it first came to my attention, had it not been that my colleague, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), was -about to deliver the budget address, and I thought the House would not wish to be detained at that time. I may say that were it not that the article is being copied in other papers throughout this country, -and has also been telegraphed abroad, I would be prepared to treat it with the silent contempt which I accord most of the editorials which appear in the Ottawa Journal in reference to myself. However, -as the article, apart from constituting a reflection on the personal honour of the farmer Governor General of this country, is in the nature of things and as a matter of fact, a fabrication from beginning to end, I feel that as it relates to an important constitutional question, I must make a very clear and emphatic statement concerning it.

I say in the first place that the article in the nature of things is a fabrication, because it implies that the former Governor General was prepared to accord to the Journal the

Privilege-Mr. Mackenzie King

right of listening in on conversations which took place between the Governor General of Canada and the Prime Minister of this country, conversations which in the nature of things were in the strictest confidence. In the second place, it implies that the Governor General was prepared to make to the Journal, or to other persons, statements which he was not prepared to make a matter of official record, and in fact did not make a matter of record in correspondence which admittedly was designed for purposes of official record and to which alone this parliament and the people of this country at the present or at any subsequent time can appeal as the authoritative record. As a matter of fact the article is untrue, as I am in a position authoritatively to state. I shall not read the entire article, but I will refer to one or two pertinent paragraphs. Near the close of the first paragraph the article has the following:

Publication of the letters, however,-

Referring to the correspondence which was laid on the table of the Housemakes it possible, and indeed desirable, to reveal what the letters do not disclose, but what was the very heart and centre of the whole difficulty. The Journal, therefore, herewith presents the exact circumstances which led up to and which justified-the action of Lord Byng.

The action referred to being the refusal of dissolution to myself as Prime Minister last year. I may just note in passing that the use of the words "and which justified" would seem to indicate that even in the mind of the editor of this paper, so far as the official record is concerned, the Governor General's action on constitutional grounds was not justified.

The paragraph that I wish particularly to bring to the attention of the House and to refer to is the following:

To understand and appreciate the position taken by Lord Byng, in refusing Mr. King dissolution, it is necessary to go back to October, 1925. Following the election of that time, which saw Mr. King return to parliament with 16 fewer supporters than Mr. Meighen, Mr. King went down to Rideau Hall and intimated to Lord Byng that he intended to resign. Three or four days later, however, (after he had consulted with his ministers, who told him that he must not resign), Mr. King visited Lord Byng again and told him that he had changed his mind, that he thought it was his duty to meet parliament and to take a chance of surviving a non-confidence motion. Lord Byng, naturally surprised, in view of what Mr. King had said to him at their previous meeting, told Mr. King that he would agree to having him meet parliament, but he added that he thought it should be understood-[DOT]

And then the following appears in italics- *-that in the event of his (Mr. King's) government being defeated, either upon the meeting of parliament, or upon a later date in the session, or in the event of Mr. King finding himself unable to govern, he (Lord Byng) would consider it his duty to call upon Mr. Meighen to find out whether or not he could form a ministry.

The italics end there and the article goes on:

Mr. King said that was perfectly satisfactory.

__ Lord Byng thereupon suggested that Mr. King make this understanding known to his cabinet, and Mr. King said that he would do so. The matter rested there until toward the end of June, 1926.

Following adverse votes against his government in the House of Commons toward the end of June, Mr. King went to Lord Byng-and said that in the circumstances, he would have to advise him to dissolve parliament, Lord Byng at once reminded him of their understanding ...

Fortunately as respects adverse votes against the government, there are the journals of this parliament to appeal to and I repeat what has been repeated time and again, that there was no adverse vote against the government of which I was Prime Minister in the last parliament nor is there record of any to be found in the journals of the House.

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February 18, 1927