April 15, 1929

PRIVILEGE- MR. POULIOT

LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. J. F. POULIOT (Temiscouata) (Translation) :

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege with reference to an article published in the " Evenement," on April 12, last.

With large headlines this newspaper publishes what follows: Mr. J. F. Pouliot interrupted by cries of "Taschereau, Taschereau" and " who placed the bomb."

The question of privilege refers to the following extract:

An incident

An ever youthful member from ou.r province distinguishes himself at Ottawa by wild sallies against the Prime Minister of Quebec. Last night, the House of Commons clearly manifested that he would be the gainer by becoming somewhat more discreet. His speech interrupted by a devil of a noise, became almost as unintelligible as unintelligent. The opposition having taken up the cry of Taschereau, the Govern-

C.N.R.-Railway and Shipping Committee

ment side replied by applauses. While our fiery member once more sat down, happy of having created a storm. But it was a storm of laughter.

The " Evenement " passes for a business newspaper.

Has it not an upward scale of rates for lostly publicity?

Is it true that the first come, in that newspaper, may be bombarded. Your Honour, for one dollar; Your Lordship, for two dollars; Your Excellency, for three dollars; Your Highness, for four dollars, and Your Imperial Highness, for five dollars.

The downward scale for cheap and popular publicity is in that newspaper very amusing.

Is it true that one may be called a Governor for half a dollar; Colonel for a quarter; that for ten cents they shine your boots, and for five cents they lick them?

From July 1, last, the Quebec government has paid for printing and publicity $9,961.38 to this newspaper, whose president, Mr. J. H. For.tier, the directing soul of the P. T. Legare establishment, loudly clamours for protection so as to sell agricultural implements dearer to farmers.

If this is a business paper it is a slot machine paper.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE- MR. POULIOT
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

A what?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE- MR. POULIOT
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

A slot machine paper. It insinuates that on Thursday last I attacked the Premier of Quebec in the house. In fact I did not. When I asked-referring to Sir Robert Borden-"Who was the greatest man in the Tory party?"-the gentlemen on your left, Mr. .Speaker, answered, "Taschereau, Taschereau". I said nothing unpleasant in reference to him that evening because one of his children was married in .the morning of the same day, and it is on account of that social function that I observed that truce which L'Evenement has not seen fit to respect.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE- MR. POULIOT
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CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE


Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved: That standing order 63 of the House of Commons, relating to appointment of the select standing committees of the house, be amended by adding to the select standing committees of the house for the present session, a select standing committee on railways and shipping owned, operated and controlled by the government, to which will be referred the accounts and the estimates of the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Government Merchant Marine for the present session, for consideration and for report to the house, provided, however, that nothing in this resolution shall be construed to curtail in any way the full right of discussion in committee of supply; and that the said committee consist of Messrs. Bell (St. Antoine), Cantley, Chaplin, Duff. Dunning, Fiset. Geary. Gray, Hanson, .Telliff, Jenkins, McLean (Melfort), Milne, Power and Stevens. I may say that t'he motion is ih exactly the same terms as similar motions adopted in previous sessions.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

Before the motion is put, I wish

to observe that, looking through the proceedings in past years, it occurs to me that as this house" represents the shareholders of the Canadian National system and sets up this committee as a committee of those shareholders to deal with the accounts and the transaction of the business of the system, no limitation should be placed upon the right of the committee to deal with the whole of what I might call the operations of the system during the year, which would arise out of the discussion of the accounts, if construed an a large way, with respect to employment and many other matters which it is uneoessary for me at the moment to mention, but which any shareholder would have the right to discuss in the case of a private company. I take it that this committee should have all the powers which the shareholders of a private company would have in discussing the business of such an enterprise in which they were interested; for the real weakness of our system of government ownership lies in the difficulty of the shareholders in making themselves articulate so far as the transaction of their business is concerned. In other words, this parliament is the nearest approach we have to the shareholders in a private enterprise, and this committee should be regarded as a committee of shareholders to discuss the accounts, the estimates and the transaction of the business of the enterprise during the twelve months for which those accounts are placed before the committee.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I think the description

which my hon. friend has just given of what the activities of the committee should be is a correct description of what the activities of the committee have been in fact in the past______

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

With some limitation.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

-with one qualification which arises from the peculiar condition to which my hon. friend has just referred. The shareholders of a private company would of course be free at all times to discuss any matter affecting the business of the company, but they would also be free to determine that it

C.N.R.-Branch Lines

was not wise for publicity to be given to any particular item of that discussion. More or less frequently in connection with the proceedings of the special committee during my experience of it-and I presume prior to that time also-there have arisen for discussion matters respecting which the management desired that the committee should have full information but which the management did not desire to become public property In all such cases the committee has, I think, agreed to have the information given to the committee itself but not made a matter of record. That has very frequently happened. Perhaps I am exaggerating when I say very frequently," but at any rate it hits happened on numerous occasions, and I do not think there will be any disposition on the part of the management to adopt any other attitude in the future. It is of course a little embarrassing, as my hon. friend will see, because of the broad right of inquiry which parliament undoubtedly has. Parliament could publish from the housetops any and every detail of the Canadian National's business if it so desired; but this is not considered desirable for the same reason that it is not considered desirable in connection with some aspects and details of an ordinary private corporation's business.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

While it is improper

under the rules for me to make further observations, I desire to say to you, Mr. Speaker, that I entirely agree with what the minister has said. So far as the shareholders of a private company are concerned they do not keep records of their speeches to be transmitted to the public; it is merely a shareholders' record. As regards the record, therefore, I am not so much concerned about that as about the powers of the committee to represent the shareholders in their entirety in dealing with the business of the system.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Undoubtedly.

Motion agreed to;

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE
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REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES TO RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING COMMITTEE


Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and Canals): I desire to move that the estimates relating to the Canadian National Railways and the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, previously tabled, be referred to the select standing committee on railways and shipping, owned, operated and controlled by the government. Motion agreed to.


BRANCH LINES-METHOD OF PROVIDING FOR COST


Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and Canals): I desire to make a statement, which I suppose is a question of privilege. I find that the other day I gave a wrong answer to my hon. friend from Bur-rard (Mr. Clark) with respect to an important matter, and I should like to make the correction now. The discussion appears at page 1557 of Hansard. The hon. member asked me whether the cost of all branch lines we were considering was not included in the $53,000,000 of estimates " tabled yesterday." I answered that the proportion for the current year would be so included. I find that answer to be an error. The estimates, which are the authority from this parliament for the expenditure of money, do not contain provision for matters which have been provided for elsewhere by this parliament. I want the error noted so that my hon. friend and others will not be under a misapprehension.


CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 130, to amend the Canadian National Railways Act.


CON

April 15, 1929