March 9, 1928

RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT

INVESTIGATION OF SUBSIDIARY OF TELEPHONE OR TELEGRAPH COMPANIES


Mr. G. R. GEARY (South Toronto) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 63, to amend the Railway Act, (Investigation of subsidiary of telephone or telegraph companies).


LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Explain.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   INVESTIGATION OF SUBSIDIARY OF TELEPHONE OR TELEGRAPH COMPANIES
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CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

When an application comes before the Board of Railway Commissioners to fix the rates of a telephone or telegraph com-

pany, either by way of reduction or increase of such rates, the- financial condition of the company is a matter of which the board must make itself fully aware, because on the financial condition of the company, its assets and its liabilities, its income and expenditure, is based as a rule the decision of the board as to whether the rates should be increased or reduced. It is suggested that a company such as this may conceal a certain important part of its affairs by the formation of a subsidiary company or the acquiring of another company to which that portion of its affairs may be transferred for treatment.

Under the act there is no jurisdiction in the Board of Railway Commissioners for Canada to investigate the affairs of such a company, that is of a subsidiary or acquired company such as I have described. It is beyond my comprehension why an investigation into the affairs of a company Should stop at the point where that company has transferred a part of its affairs to another company which is a subsidiary or controlled company but which in reality is a part of itself. The purpose of this bill is to remove what I submit to the house is an absurdity by giving jurisdiction to the Board of Railway Commissioners to inquire into the affairs of such a subsidiary or controlled company.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

ANGLO-EGYPTIAN TREATY ' On the orders of the day:

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   INVESTIGATION OF SUBSIDIARY OF TELEPHONE OR TELEGRAPH COMPANIES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

I should like to ask the government if Canada has been consulted with regard to the policy of Great Britain in Egypt.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   INVESTIGATION OF SUBSIDIARY OF TELEPHONE OR TELEGRAPH COMPANIES
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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):

I assume that my hon.

friend refers to a treaty which was in the course of negotiation between Great Britain and Egypt?

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   INVESTIGATION OF SUBSIDIARY OF TELEPHONE OR TELEGRAPH COMPANIES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Yes.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   INVESTIGATION OF SUBSIDIARY OF TELEPHONE OR TELEGRAPH COMPANIES
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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:

The treaty to which my hon. friend has reference was a treaty being negotiated between His Majesty, as representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Egypt. The Canadian government was kept informed of the progress of the negotiations.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   INVESTIGATION OF SUBSIDIARY OF TELEPHONE OR TELEGRAPH COMPANIES
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE BUDGET DEBATE-FORTY MINUTE RULE


On the orders of the day:


LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to speak on what I think is properly a question of privilege. The privileges of the

The Budget-Forty Minute Rule

house are involved, and also the special privileges that some hon. members seek to obtain. Last session we revised the rules limiting speeches to forty minutes and setting eleven o'clock as the hour of adjournment. This was done to shorten debate and expedite the business of the house-a result that we who come from a long distance and have to spend months here are very desirous to obtain. But I doubt very much whether this result will be obtained unless we curb certain practices that seem to me to have grown up during the last few weeks.

While there may be some advantages in the new rules, there are also some disadvantages. It seems to me that the new rules have encouraged the practice-I do not use the term offensively but simply for want of something more apt-of jockeying for position. W'e all understand why hon. members should wish to get first place on the orders of the day. It is more pleasant to speak to a full house and full galleries than to empty benches. Naturally also the member, if he has a weakness for newspaper publicity, has an opportunity to have his vanity gratified. This, I suppose, is inevitable. The reporters are probably limited to so much space, and their copy, I expect, is prepared early in the evening.

We have now been debating the budget for three weeks. In the early days of the debate it might have been allowable to adjourn early because of lack of preparation on the part of hon. members. But at this late stage there is no reason why any member should not be prepared to speak at the time assigned him by the whips. Last Monday I began to speak at ten o'clock. On Tuesday the hon. member for Hants-Kings (Mr. Ilsley) began to speak at ten o'clock. One day last week the hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Spencer) began his speech so late in the evening that he had to complete it next day. But last night, as on some former occasions, the debate was adjourned at ten o'clock. The hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), who was leading the house, said he had no objections if it did not interfere with the arrangement to conclude the debate next Tuesday. But the government is not the only one affected; the privileges of hon. members are interfered with. Possibly the early adjournment last night may debar some hon. member from taking part in the debate.

I realize, Mr. Speaker, that there would be some difficulty in having a hard and fast rule that you could apply with the same impartiality as the forty-minute rule; but I would suggest to the house the impropriety 56103-73

of any member at this late stage of the debate asking for an adjournment at ten o'clock. Could there not be a gentleman's agreement under which any member would be willing to take a sporting chance of what comes to him in the matter of time? I know it has been the custom to allow the adjournment to go to the different parties and groups in rotation, but that custom could still be observed without needlessly prolonging the time of debate or interfering with the privileges of any hon. member.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET DEBATE-FORTY MINUTE RULE
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CON

James Charles Brady

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. C. BRADY (Skeena):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the house to a very difficult situation that affects many of our members under the forty-minute rule. The other evening when I was speaking I sat down at the end of thirty minutes, believing that I had exhausted the time allotted to me. Of course, I had to depend upon my colleagues to let me know when my forty minutes had expired. Now, in order to facilitate the business of the house and enable hon. members to know how their time is passing, I would suggest that on the table there should be an electric button within easy reach of the Clerk by which he could indicate the passage of the forty minutes by switching on near the clocks a green light and a red light at fifteen and thirty-minute periods respectively. Then an hon. member would know when to begin his peroration. An electrician could set up such a device in a short time. It is very difficult for hon. members to keep an accurate check on the hon. gentleman who may have the floor. For instance, yesterday I timed the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) and other hon. members, and found my timing did not agree with that kept by other members.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET DEBATE-FORTY MINUTE RULE
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Albemi):

Mr. Speaker, might I say that this shows the utter absurdity of the rule.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET DEBATE-FORTY MINUTE RULE
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Of course, this is a matter for the house to decide. Personally I would not object to the green and red lights -I know the meaning of the two colours. But I should like the arrangement to be automatic so that I might depend on the clock and not on my own judgment, well remembering the words of Pope:

'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none

Go just alike, yet each believes his own.

I should like every hon. member to rely on the clocks when I have to say time!" Of course, it is understood that the clocks are under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Elliott).

The Budget-Mr. Robinson

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET DEBATE-FORTY MINUTE RULE
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THE CARILLON

CONCERT'S DURINQ THE SESSION


On the orders of the day:


CON

Felix Patrick Quinn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. P. QUINN (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that while parliament is in session this is the only opportunity members have of hearing the carillon, and also in view of the fact that a great number of visitors come to the capital during the session, may I ask the Prime Minister if he will take into consideration the advisability of having the carillonneur give concerts at a stated time each day? I would suggest between 2.30 and 3 p.m. Many members are fond of music, I am particularly; I love to hear the tintinnabulation of the bells.

Topic:   THE CARILLON
Subtopic:   CONCERT'S DURINQ THE SESSION
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March 9, 1928