February 23, 1928

REPORT OF COMMITTEE


First report of the select standing committee on agriculture and colonization.-Mr. Kay.


PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS


Bill No. 52, respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.-Mr. Speakman. Bill No. 53, respecting the Manitoba and North Western Railway Company of Canada. -Mr. McLean (Melfort). Privilege-Mr. Cahan


TARIFF ADVISORY BOARD

LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. ROBB (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I desire to lay on the table the statement asked for on Tuesday the 21st instant by the hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Adshead).

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PRIVILEGE-MR. CAHAN

CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. C. H. CAHAN (St. Lawrence-St. George):

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of

privilege I wish to call attention to a statement which I made on the budget debate, and which has been the subject of some adverse criticism and also of some very gross misrepresentation. In opening that debate I spoke as follows:

I notice that on the very evening on which the Minister of Finance made his budget speech, another gentleman, who is very prominent indeed or who wishes to be so, in the public life of this country, made a speech in the city ot Montreal in which he claimed to himself and one or two of his associates the full responsibility, and corresponding gratitude ot the public, for all the advantageous results which the Minister of Finance had noted. I do not know and I cannot judge from personal knowledge of the capacity of Sir Henry Thornton as an administrator of the railways of this country, but apparently he thinks that the Prime Minister, the Finance minister and the Minister of Railways are mere lunary satellites who become known to the public only when they stand in the reflected light of his great sun or star. But in this house we must look to the ministers of the government, who have assumed the responsibility of the administration of public affairs in Canada for a statement and explanation of their conduct in the administration of their respective offices, and I think the government and parliament and the people of this country would be better satisfied if Sir Henry Thornton would not so often obtrude himself into matters of which he has only a partial knowledge and no experience whatever.

Forty years ago I sat for some years as a member of the Press Gallery of this house, and therefore I appreciate the onerous duties and responsibilities of correspondents who sit in that gallery, upon whom the public rely for a fair statement of the proceedings of this house. So far as my experience goes, in the majority of cases, the fairness and accuracy with which these proceedings are reported does credit to the impartiality and competency of members of the press who sit in the gallery. But I find that the Ottawa correspondent of the London Advertiser, referring to the words which I have just quoted, sent the following report to his paper:

The outstanding feature of the _ speech delivered in the House of Commons this afternoon by C. H. Cahan, financial critic of the Conservative party, was a biting attack on the Canadian National Railw'ays and Sir Henry Thornton, the president of the government-owned system.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I remark this to the "hear, hears" of hon. gentlemen opposite, that there is not one statement in that entire speech which reflects discreditably upon either the national railways of Canada or upon the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning), who assumes the responsibility in this house for the administration thereof. Further, the correspondent of the London Advertiser proceeds:

Mr. Cahan was the official spokesman of the Conservative party, and presumably he uttered the opinions of the party as a whole when he attacked the national railways.

I think that is an unfair report of the proceedings of this house, and discreditable to the press representative who sent it to his paper, the London Advertiser. I notice also that the Ottawa Journal in dealing with these matters makes the suggestion to members on this side of the house that they should always keep quiet when they are likely to make statements which could possibly be misrepresented by the press correspondents of the house.

If that were carried out, Mr. Speaker, I am afraid the opposition would be entirely failing in the duties which it owes to parliament and to the public.

I would suggest to the right hon. the leader of the house (Mr. Mackenzie King), who in similar matters has had occasion to complain, that some measures should be taken to prevent utter misrepresentations of this character. It is well understood that the press correspondents are in the gallery only as a privilege which is due to the tolerance of this house, and unless we can have a fairer presentation of the proceedings to the public, if will be not only prejudicial to the house, as a house, but it will necessitate, I think, some measures being taken to prevent such misrepresentations being sent broadcast throughout the country.

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PRIVILEGE-MR. FANSHER EAST LAMBTON

PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. B. W. FANSHER (East Lambton):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. Speaking yesterday in the budget debate I said, as reported at page 702 of Hansard:

The third year of that parliament the budget was brought down embodying substantial reductions on farm machinery and other lines, and that budget received the support of the Progressives.

Questions

That statement was challenged by the hon. Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke), who said:

Half of the Progressives voted against it.

I have taken the trouble to look up the records of the house as recorded in Hansard, and I find that only one Progressive voted against that budget.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. This is not a question of privilege.

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SALE AND INSPECTION OF ROOT VEGETABLES


Hon. W. R. MOTHERWELL (Minister of Agriculture) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 51, to regulate the sale and inspection of root vegetables. He said: The purpose of the bill is to consolidate the root vegetables legislation of 1922 and such amendments thereto as may have been enacted since that date. No new principle is involved, the main departure being a provision for the establishment of an advisory board whose duty it will be to advise the minister of any new grades that may be required or of any modifications of old ones that may suggest themselves from time to time. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


DIVORCE COURT FOR ONTARIO


Mr. A. N. SMITH (Stormont) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 27, to provide in the province of Ontario for the dissolution and the annulment of marriage.


LIB
LIB

Arnold Neilson Smith

Liberal

Mr. SMITH (Stormont):

The bill was introduced in the Senate and the object is to empower the Ontario courts to grant divorces in that province, instead of having such cases disposed of in the Senate as at present.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

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February 23, 1928