April 9, 1929

REPORT OF COMMITTEE


Seventh report of select standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.-Mr. Cahill.


SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES

CHANGES IN MEMBERSHIP

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 beg to move:

That the name of Mr. Gray be substituted for that of Mr. Rutherford on the select standing committee on public accounts, and the name of Mr. Gardiner be substituted for that of Mr. Hocken on the select standing committee on agriculture and colonization.

Topic:   SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES
Subtopic:   CHANGES IN MEMBERSHIP
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Motion agreed to.


SUBSIDY TO NOVA SCOTIA

LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

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

An order of the house was issued yesterday for the tabling of all correspondence between Mr. Rhodes, the Premier of Nova Scotia, and myself concerning the payment of the annual federal subsidy and the special grant recommended by the Duncan commission, and I desire to lay this correspondence upon the table of the house.

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CIVIL SERVICE

SALARIES OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL OFFICIALS


On the orders of the day:


CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Vancouver Centre):

I would like to ask the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) if he is prepared to announce the membership of the special commission which is to inquire into and report on the salaries of the technical employees in the service, and also if his attention has been drawn to a

statement in the Ottawa Citizen of this morning indicating that the report of the Civil Service Commission which was made last year regarding this subject was an unanimous report, and not a partial report as has been intimated by some press despatches.

Topic:   CIVIL SERVICE
Subtopic:   SALARIES OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL OFFICIALS
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

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

I had not the time to read the papers this morning, but I find no fault with that report; my recollection of it is that it was unanimous. I am not in a position at the present time to announce the personnel of the proposed commission.

Topic:   CIVIL SERVICE
Subtopic:   SALARIES OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL OFFICIALS
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PRIVILEGE-MR. KENNEDY

UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. D. M. KENNEDY (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege in connection with an editorial in the Montreal Gazette of Saturday, April 6, entitled Regarding Misrepresentation. I will only-read a few lines from the editorial which I think will be sufficient to indicate the point I intend to deal with. They are as follows:

Nor is the Peace River member any more fortunate in his denial of the statement that, from one of the divisions of the session of 1926, the government emerged with a majority of one, including, his vote. "There never was such a division in that session," he says.

After omitting a few lines, the editorial continues:

Mr. Kennedy attempts to set up a case by referring to the votes cast by him in the "hectic divisions" immediately preceding the dissolution, but those were not the only divisions of the session, nor were they the only "hectic" ones. The government was on the edge of disaster from the very opening day of the session, and while nearly every division was critical, some were much more so than others. There was, for example, the vote on February 2, on Mr. Stansell's motion to adjourn the debate on the customs inquiry, a vital issue then, as later. Perhaps Mr. Kennedy will say that this was not a hectic vote; it is' a matter which we will have to take up with the government which, at the time, regarded the Stansell motion as of such importance as to force a division. A vote was taken, and the Stansell motion was defeated by 119 to 118, and if Mr. Kennedy will look at the Hansard of that year and month and day he will find among the 119 nays the name "Kennedy (Peace River)."

The vote referred to took place on February 2, 1926, and my statement that there had not been such a division came immediately after quoting an article in the Montreal Gazette of March 5, 1928, which read as follows:

But he-

Referring to myself.

-occupied the seat, and when a petition was presented in behalf of the Conservative candidate, Mr. Collins, the government resisted its acceptance and it was not accepted. Mr. Kennedy stayed, justifying 'his action on the

Post Office Department

ground that he had, somewhere or other, lost more votes than had been taken from Mr. Collins. The importance of this episode was revealed in one of the hectic divisions of the session when the government was saved by one vote, including Mr. Kennedy's.

My interpretation of that reference to the resistance by the government, and of the comment that the importance of the episode was revealed in one of the hectic divisions, is that it can refer only to a division taken after the resistance of that petition. I cannot by any stretch of the imagination think that its writer could refer to anything else, and I so understood it in my statement the other day. With that in mind, and having that in mind at the time, I may say that the vote referred to is that of February 2, 1925. The Collins petition was dealt, with or -resisted in the House of Commons, according as we like to take the words of the Gazette, on May 4, 1926, three months and two days afterwards. Throughout that session there was not another division that the government lost by one vote or gained by one vote, except one on the 31st May, 1926. I find that I did not vote on that date. If I remember correctly. Liberals and Conservatives in the customs committee paired with each other and I did not vote at all. The only vote during the session after that date was that of June 25,

1926. on the Woodsworth subamendment to the customs committee report where the vote stood 115 to 117, and where I voted against the government. These are the facts in regard to my position and the statement I made the other day that-

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I rise to a point of order. There is nothing in the statement made by the hon. gentleman that is in accordance with the rules of the house. It does not interest us to know what happened three or four years ago. My point of order is that my hon. friend, if he so desires, can read the whole Hansard for that date, but there is no privilege in that and it is against the rules of the house.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Bourinot, fourth edition,

says:

Members sometimes correct reports of their speeches, or inaccurate statements in the press on the ground of privilege; but these are personal explanations, not matters of privilege, and are allowed only by the indulgence of the house. Sometimes a member raises as a question of privilege what is, at most, merely a question of order. If a member has a serious complaint to make of a newspaper, he should formally move to have it read at the table, and then make a motion in relation thereto, if he desires to have the matter dealt with by the house. If a member rise to make a personal explanation in the English Commons and proceed in the course of his remarks to complain of attacks in a newspaper, he is not allowed to proceed unless he is prepared to take the proper 78594-88

parliamentaiy course. And if a member brings forward a matter of privilege of this character, the motion with which he concludes should be relevant thereto.

This is the old British practice, but in this house generally when a member feels that he is the victim of an inaccurate statement made by the press, he may rise on the ground of privilege and by the indulgence of the house give a brief explanation of the matter.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. KENNEDY
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY:

I have just this to say: that I had no knowledge of any Collins petition pending or otherwise, until it was presented to the house.

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LIB
LIB

April 9, 1929