April 7, 1927

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 on Saturday, April 9th instant, and every Saturday thereafter until the end of the session, the House shall meet at II o'clock in the morning and that in addition to the intermission at six o'clock p.m., there shall also be an intermission from one to three o'clock and the order of business and procedure shall be the same as on Fridays.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. ROBERT GARDINER (Aoadia):

No. I desire to protest against this motion.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

It is only a notice.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

I do not suppose my

protest will do any good, nevertheless I wish t-o make it. I think that the House at the present time is working to the limit of the endurance of hon. members, and in view of the importance of the legislation that has been recently introduced, I think we should have at least one day in the week during which we may have an opportunity of scrutinizing this legislation. In the past there has frequently been introduced into the House, just a few days prior to prorogation, privilege legislation which has proved detrimental to the interests of the people, and the motion now before us may possibly be the means of such legislation going through on this occasion. Last Friday night there came before the House a measure in which the farmers of western Canada are very much interested. I refer to the Grain Act Amendment. The government has contemplated this legislation all session, and only now has it

Saturday Sittings

gone through. It has for its object the restoration to the farmers of very important property rights which had been taken away from -them. We appreciate the fact that the government was anxious to see these rights restored to the farmers, but what I am pointing out is that the legislation went through the House on Friday night without protest. It is now before the Senate, and I am afraid it will not receive there that consideration which it deserves unless reasonable time is given in which to study it. At all events, if this resolution carries, I suggest to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) that when we do sit on Saturday we rise at six o'clock.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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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:

Let me first

say to my hon. friend, in regard to legislation at present under consideration in the other chamber, that the government certainly has no intention of pressing its program in such a manner as to endanger the enactment of any measures that have gone from this House to the Senate. If we have to sit for a considerable time longer than most of us expect to be obliged to, we will see that every opportunity is given the other house to deal in a perfectly satisfactory manner with -the legislation before it. As -to the motion itself, my hon, friend knows, the purpose is, if possible, to have prorogation take place before the Easter vacation. If we sit on Saturday morning, afternoon and evening we shall make considerable progress and be in a position then definitely to determine whether or not we can arrange for prorogation early next week. I would ask my hon. friend to let the motion pass, and if we find during the afternoon on Saturday that we are all exhausted we can then move that thfe House rise.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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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:

Otherwise we

might continue to sit in the evening.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac-Addington):

I wish to register my protest

against sitting on Saturday, even if we have to sit here other days until one or two in the morning, as we have done before. I am in entire accord with the hon, member who leads the Progressive group (Mr. Gardiner) in what he has said and in the reasons he has advanced. They are reasons which should receive every consideration. It is n.ot in the interests of good business that this House should sit on Saturday.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Why aot?

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontena ;):

Why not?

I will give you one reason why I do not

think it is desirable for the House -to sit on Saturday. I can see the possibility-I will not say the probability, but certainly the possibility-of millions of estimates being rushed through on Saturday night when there is a very slim attendance. I am just as anxious as anyone else to see the session come to a close next week, but merely for the sake of attaining that end I will not agree to something that may result in passing hastily through the House millions of dollars of estimates. It would be better to sit until next summer than do that.

Mr. G; R. GEARY (South Toronto): I

wish to associate myself with the hon. member for Frontenac-Addington (Mr. Edwards). At the moment there is a most important bill before the railway committee. Many of us would like to attend that committee but we desire to be in the House at the same time, and this frantic endteavour to clean up business at any cost, in order to get away at a certain fixed date, is not conducive to sound legislation or to the proper conservation of the interests of the people. We should not allow ourselves to be stampeded into rushing through legislation and passing estimates without adequate consideration merely because we desire to prorogue at a given date. There is, I know, a strong desire on the part of everyone to get away as soon as possible; we all share that feeling. Nevertheless, it is a ridiculous spectacle for this country to witness this House, after a session of but two months conducted in an easy manner, passing legislation hurriedly and disposing of the business without full consideration because suddenly, a few days before prorogation, we decide to clean up everything. The House and the committees are meeting simultaneously and hon. members are anxious to be in both places, but this is impossible. If we desired to do so, we might clean up all the business of the House in a couple of days, and I do not know why the country should not conclude that parliament ought to be able to convene at the first of any month, have its committees and the House meet at eleven o'clock each day, sitting simultaneously, adjourning at two o'clock in the morning and thus dispose of the business of the country at the end of the same month.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

So we could.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

An hon. gentleman says, so we could, but that is not my idea of how the business of the country should be considered.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Leader of the Opposition):

The suggestion for Saturday

sittings originally came from me. It would

Civil Service Salaries

meet my convenience either to sit or not to sit on Saturday, but I leave myself in the hands of the House. Hon. members who protest against the motion must remember that in every session for fifty years Saturday has been appropriated during the last week or two, and I think the same thing is true of morning sittings.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

That does

not make it right.

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Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I do not think it has

been any great inconvenience in the past to sit in the morning and have the committees meeting at the same time. As I say, however, it will suit my convenience either to sit or not to sit on Saturday, and if the House desires to continue for a week, two weeks, three or four, I shall be content. I do not believe that we should rush business through at the end of the session; we should fully consider every measure that comes before us. But the bills which have gone through the House this year with little or no debate are bills which were discussed to the fullest extent last session, and there would be little use in repeating those debates on this occasion. There is, I admit, some change in the personnel of the House, but not a very great change, and it has been the consensus of opinion that measures which were passed last year and which failed to receive the royal assent should not occupy too much time this year. We have therefore economized time in that respect. Having made the suggestion originally for Saturday sittings, I rise now merely to say that either arrangement will suit me admirably.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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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:

In view of

what my hon. friend has said I suggest that we allow the motion to stand until to-morrow and in the meantime see if an agreement cannot be reached among all parties.

Motion stands.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY SITTINGS
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DRUMHELLER MINE WORKERS


On the Orders of the Day:


April 7, 1927