March 20, 1929

AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT

LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. S. W. JACOBS (Cartier) moved:

That the Auditor General's report be referred to the public accounts committee.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

My recollection is that that

report was referred to the committee some weeks ago.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is my memory of

it.

Agriculture and Colonization

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LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

I was not aware of that fact, and I will ask permission of the house to withdraw my motion.

Motion withdrawn.

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AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION

MOTION FOB ENLARGEMENT OF REFERENCE- PRECEDENCE OF BUDGET DEBATE

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):

During the last few weeks we have been discussing the budget, and at the outset of the debate I introduced a motion to the effect that discussion on the budget should have precedence over all other business save routine. The spirit of that motion, if not the letter, was to the effect that no debate on some new subject should be precipitated into the middle of the debate on the budget. A motion was brought in yesterday to have the house concur in the third report of the select standing committee on agriculture and colonization, and it is apparent that a debate has arisen out of that motion which may be of considerable length, and, as I gather from the different views offered in respect of the matter, it may be contentious in its character. It would be rather unfortunate if the conclusion of the debate on the budget were to be prolonged indefinitely as a consequence of a debate on some other subject intervening. It is I believe, the hope of members of the house pretty generally that the debate on the budget may be concluded before the Easter adjournment. The government does not wish to restrain in any way the right of any hon. member to speak on the budget or on any other matter, but I would suggest that having discussed the budget at the length we have it might be advisable if the matter can be effected by arrangement, to try to conclude that debate before the Easter adjournment. The government does not for a moment ask that the debate on the motion brought in yesterday should be discontinued, but only suggests that the debate on the budget be first concluded and then that it be understood this motion should be considered the next order of business. If any hon. member is going to be prejudiced as to his position in the matter, because of the fact that one member has already spoken, I presume there is nothing to do but to allow the debate on yesterday's motion to continue. But I believe I am expressing the general wish of the house that the debate in that particular be shortened as much as possible so as to permit if possible completion of the budget debate before the Easter recess.

I gathered that the purpose of yesterday's motion was nothing more than to give to the committee wider powers than it now possesses so that when its report comes back 10 the house many of the questions which would arise in the course of the debate would be anticipated, and the hon. members would be in a better position intelligently to discuss the final report. It may be that some arrangement could be arrived at whereby the committee could obtain that increased power and some of the debate on the question be avoided thereby at this stage. May I say again that it is not the wish of the government to shut off any debate on any question, but it is part of the duty of whoever has the responsibility of leading the house to endeavour so to arrange matters that its business may be conducted in the most expeditious manner. I believe the house feels that having been discussing the budget for two or three weeks, it is advisable to conclude that debate before entering upon one pertaining to another subject.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB ENLARGEMENT OF REFERENCE- PRECEDENCE OF BUDGET DEBATE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

In the main I am wholly in

accord with the observations of the Prime Minister. There is no doubt, however, that the motion that was adopted by the house according precedence to the budget debate excepted questions and motions, so that technically the motion of yesterday was wholly in order.

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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:

Not motions.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I think there is no question about the fact that neither questions nor motions were included.

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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:

Notices of

motions. Routine motions remain, but not motions which are debatable.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The debate yesterday

arose out of a routine motion.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

By standing order No.

38. a motion for concurrence in the report of a standing committee is debatable.

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Subtopic:   MOTION FOB ENLARGEMENT OF REFERENCE- PRECEDENCE OF BUDGET DEBATE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is what I regard

as a routine motion. That being so, yesterday, when the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) asked for an adjournment of the debate, I imagine, that he might be enabled to get his papers for the purpose of making such defence as he saw fit with respect to an official of the department under his supervision, and probably because he might desire to make his reply to-day, in which event I gather one of my hon. friends to my left would desire to proceed with the discus-

Grading of Grain-Mr. Malcolm

sion, it occurred to me that he might adjourn the debate so that no time would be lost and we would proceed with the budget. But that is wholly in the hands of the group led by the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) and not a matter in which I can assist the Prime Minister. I fully agree that it is desirable that a debate of this character should be terminated without too much interruption, but we all know in parliamentary life interruptions will occur even in connection with commonplace motions such as a motion for concurrence in a report. We accept that as being so, but if the matter can be carried out in the way I suggest, that would meet the situation.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. ROBERT GARDINER (Acadia):

The house has made great progress since we first met. We took only a very short time in debating the address in reply to the speech from the throne and we saved1 the house a good deal of time in that regard. At that time hon. members did not take the opportunity of discussing problems of importance to the constituencies they represent. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has suggested that it is desirable that we should try to conclude the budget debate before the house adjourns on Friday night. I should like to assist him as far as possible, but at the same [DOT] time there are in this corner of the house many members who wish to debate the budget thoroughly in view of the fact that they did not take the opportunity of debating the address. I would regret it very much if any influence were used for the purpose of curbing debate at this time.

Coming to the question more presently before the house, namely, the motion to concur in the third report of the committee on agriculture, I should like to point out that this question as affecting western Canada, and, I believe, eastern Canada also, is one of the most important that will come before the house this session. Of that I am convinced.

I know of no other question that has stirred the farmers and producers in western Canada to such an extent as has the administration of the Canada Grain Act. In view of the fact that the debate proceeded for some time yesterday afternoon, and remembering also that the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) desired to adjourn the debate primarily for the purpose of securing his papers so that he would be able to take part in the discussion, it would be improper if we were now to curb the debate in any way. I hope, however, that the debate on this question will not continue to any great extent, but I would not suggest to my colleagues

that if they have anything important to say on the matter, they should curtail their remarks in any way.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB ENLARGEMENT OF REFERENCE- PRECEDENCE OF BUDGET DEBATE
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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:

I presume the next order is to proceed with this discussion ; but may I suggest to hon. gentlemen that what the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) has just put forward as a means of trying to meet all parties concerned, is something that should appeal very strongly to everyone, and I hope will appeal to my hon. friends, namely, that it be distinctly understood that there is to be no curbing of the debate on this particular question, but that one of each group address himself to it, and that the debate be then adjourned, to be taken up, when the debate on the budget is concluded, and to be then taken up at any length and with due regard to its great importance.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB ENLARGEMENT OF REFERENCE- PRECEDENCE OF BUDGET DEBATE
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PRO

Milton Neil Campbell

Progressive

Mr. M. N. CAMPBELL (Mackenzie):

I might say, speaking for a number in this section of the house, that certainly more than one would expect to speak in this debate, and it would therefore be impossible to come to any such arrangement.

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Subtopic:   MOTION FOB ENLARGEMENT OF REFERENCE- PRECEDENCE OF BUDGET DEBATE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The suggestion was not to limit the number to one from each group, but rather that the minister might make his defence to-day with respect to the official concerned in his department, and then one of my hon. friends to my left could make his speech and adjourn the debate so that tomorrow another speech could be made and the budget debate finished. It was not my suggestion to curb the debate.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE AND COLONIZATION
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB ENLARGEMENT OF REFERENCE- PRECEDENCE OF BUDGET DEBATE
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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. WILLIAM IRVINE (Wetaskiwin):

The most important thing for us to understand is that the house will deliberate on this question and come to some definite action in good time this session. If this guarantee is given, I do not think we need worry much about the hour.

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Subtopic:   MOTION FOB ENLARGEMENT OF REFERENCE- PRECEDENCE OF BUDGET DEBATE
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March 20, 1929