March 6, 1928

LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. gentleman has already spoken on, this motion. He can speak only once.

Topic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.


LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

It is understood that a new motion will be presented with the estimates. Is that the agreement?

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STANDING ORDERS

LIB

Louis-Simon-René Morin

Liberal

Mr. L. S. R. MORIN (St. Hyacinthe-Rouville) moved:

That the first report of the select standing committee on standing orders be concurred in

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Motion agreed to.


AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION

LIB

William Frederic Kay

Liberal

Mr. W. F. KAY (Brome-Missisquoi):

With the unanimous consent of the house I beg to move:

That the third report of the select standing committee on agriculture and colonization presented this day be concurred in.

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LIB

Motion agreed to. PRIVILEGE-MR. EDWARDS (Frontenac) On the orders of the day:


CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

I rise to a question of privilege. One week ago to-day in the course of my remarks on the budget I made certain statements which were vigorously repudiated by the Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Forke). Certain comments which have been made by the press with regard to that statement, I think, place me in an entirely wrong light and I desire in a few words to justify the statement I made. On the 28th day of June, 1926, Premier King tendered to His Excellency the Governor General his resignation which was accepted, and the Governor General called on the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen, who signified his willingness to attempt to form an administration. The next morning, Tuesday, June 29, the Progressives met in caucus and passed this resolution:

Motion agreed to by Progressive group:

That we assist the new administration in completing the business of the session;

That we are in agreement of the necessity of continuing the investigation into the Customs and Excise department by a judicial commission ;

We believe it advisable that no dissolution should take place until the judicial commission has finished its investigation in the Customs and Excise department and that parliament be summoned to deal with the report.

The present Minister of Immigration and Colonization stated, as reported in the Globe

Privilege-Mr. Edwards (Frontenac)

of July 5, 1926, that the1 above resolution was passed by the Prqgressives and given to him for his guidance. I make the statement that he conveyed to His Excellency the Governor General the attitude of the Progressives as indicated in that resolution and, what is of more importance, since it appeared in the press, was the fact that it was conveyed to the people of Canada generally. That is my warrant and that is the pledge to which I refer. You can call it pledge, contract, undertaking, or whatever you like; I do not wish to quibble on terms. That is the pledge to which I refer and which I regard as a pledge. It was written and, therefore, a written pledge. It was endorsed by all the Progressives including the leader of the Progressives and, therefore, by the minister himself.

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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

How does the hon. member know?

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

I have the assurance of the hon. gentleman himself and also of other members of the party to that effect. In support of my second statement that that pledge was violated, I say that all you have to do is to scrutinize the votes taken on June 29, June 30 and July 1, which show conclusively that not once in any of those votes-

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I think the hon. gentleman is going further than a question of privilege.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

I respectfully submit that I was charged with making a misstatement in saying that a pledge had been violated. Surely I have a right to say in what respect I was warranted in making that statement and then letting the people judge of the facts. I say that the votes taken on June 29, June 30 and July 1, clearly indicate that not only did the leader of the Progressives at that time not assist the new administration in advancing the business of the session, but on every occasion he did all he could to prevent that administration from carrying on.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. If the hon.

gentleman will allow me, he made a statement in the course of his remarks, and the hon. Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke) also made a statement in reply to the hon. gentleman. According to parliamentary authorities, when a statement is made in the house it is bound to be accepted by every membeT of the house. I cannot allow explanations of the meaning of all the words and declarations used to be brought up on questions of privilege. It would create a

vicious circle which could not settle the question in any event. The hon. gentleman made a clear-cut statement; the hon. Minister of Immigration has also made a clear-cut statement, and in my judgment the incident is closed.

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CON
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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CON

John Wesley Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. EDWARDS (Frontenac):

I presume

the Speaker is presiding. I quite agree with you, Mr. Speaker, that I must accept the statement of any hon. gentlemen in this house, but I would call your attention to the fact that I do not have to accept the statements made by a newspaper, and I was replying to the newspaper's misrepresentation of my attitude.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I think, Sir, you overlook the fact that the Minister of Immigration and Colonization rose to a question of privilege and denied a certain statement. The document that authenticated the statement made by the hon. member for Frontonac-Addington (Mr. Edwards) was then produced by him to show that the memory of the minister was at fault. That is the story.

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March 6, 1928