May 8, 1929

LIB

Alexander MacGillivray Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG (Saskatoon):

It does not

specify a member of the opposition.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

We thought that the leader of the opposition on occasion might not wish to speak himself but might request one of his colleagues to speak for him, and our intention was to limit the rule to the two leaders or to the two members speaking on their behalf-a member of the government speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister or a member of the opposition speaking for the leader of the opposition. I quite agree with the two hon. members who have spoken immediately before me that it is a time-honoured custom of parliament to allow grievances before supply, but the intention of the rule was to limit speeches to forty minutes, with the exceptions I have indicated.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

I would point out what would seem to be an anomaly if such an interpretation were put upon the

rule. The rule distinctly states that the member speaking in reply, immediately after the minister, shall be included in the exceptions. According to the hon. gentleman's interpretation, we find ourselves in this dilemma: Either the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) was speaking in reply to a minister or else he was speaking absolutely out of order. If he was not speaking in reply to the minister he was not speaking to any motion. It seems to me that he could be speaking only to the motion made by the minister.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Which admits of any subject being presented.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Certainly. So that if the rule should foe that the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre shall be limited to forty minutes then we find ourselves on the other horn of the dilemma, that he was not speaking to any motion at all and was therefore out of order. It may foe that this rule goes further than those who devised it intended it to go; that may very well be. But the rule is as we have it, and it is not just now in point to debate whether the forty minute rule is desirable or not. I cannot see, under the rule as we have it, but that the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, speaking as he was, was entitled to take any time he saw fit in presenting his case.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
CON

George Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEORGE BLACK (Yukon):

As a member of the committee that redrafted the rules, I cannot agree with the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil). My recollection is that the committee intended to allow the first member of the house speaking in reply to a minister to exceed the forty minutes. I understand the tentative ruling to be that the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre is limited to forty minutes inasmuch as his speech is not a reply. The committee did not undertake-and I do not think this house would undertake-to dictate to any member what form his reply should take. If the hon. member chose to say what he did say in reply to the minister's motion that is for him to decide; no matter what he may say, he replies. It may be irrelevant or otherwise ; we all have differences of opinion as to the effect and the advisability of statements made in the house. But no matter what his statement was it was a reply and therefore should not be limited to forty minutes.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. T. W. BIRD (Nelson):

As a member of the committee which revised the rules I remember distinctly both the spirit and the intention behind that rule. There is no doubt

Freedom oj Speech

in my mind that the exception was inserted to safeguard what we have considered to be a very valuable privilege in parliament, namely, that grievances might be discussed on the floor of the house. I was so certain of this that I prompted the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre to the effect that he had more than forty minutes in which to state his grievance. I agree with the hon. member for Bonaventure with respect to his main contention, but I do not agree with him that the committee intended the exception to be confined to the official opposition. That clause was inserted to apply to every member of the house replying to a minister in the technical sense. As a member of this house I have always understood that an hon. member rising to a motion to go into supply was replying to the minister who moved the motion. I have always understood that to be technically so, and I believe the rule was drawn up to give effect to that right. My memory is so distinct regarding the motives and the intention of the committee in this respect that, as I say, I took it upon myself to prompt the hon. member when he was speaking and when I saw that he was being hurried for time.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

Although I have already spoken I should like to make one further comment. The hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens) has raised a point which seems to me to be very relevant. There is no question that it was intended that if a member of the government moved the second reading of an important bill when he would have the right to take more than forty minutes, the member who spoke immediately after him would certainly be entitled to speak for more than forty minutes. But under what rule would he exercise that right? He would have the right under standing order 37, which relates to the member speaking immediately after the minister who moves a government order. It seems to me that inasmuch as a member has that right to speak for more than forty minutes after a minister moves a second reading, the same rule must apply in this instance.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

We have now heard from

four members of the committee who framed the rule and no two of them are in agreement as to what it means.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
LIB

Edmond Antoine Lapierre

Liberal

Mr. E. A. LAPIERRE (Nipissing):

I cannot allow the statement made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre regarding the editor of the newspaper published in Sudbury

Vapaus-to pass without explaining to the members of the house the situation as

(Mr. Bird.]

it exists in that city and in the district of Nipissing. The editor of that newspaper was tried and after a fair trial convicted of seditious libel. The newspaper did not represent the opinion or the sentiments of the Finnish population of northern Ontario. We had in that district a very large number of Finnish families, many of whom are pioneers who have lived in that section of the country for more than a quarter of a century, and their descendants to-day have taken their place along with other Canadians and are engaged in trade, in the professions and in other occupations. They are considered among some of our most desirable citizens. I would point out to my hon. friend that notwithstanding the fact that we have this large foreign population in the district of Sudbury we have been free from strikes for the last twenty-five years. Living conditions among the mining population of northern Ontario are far better and far more comfortable than they were made to appear by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. No class of labourers in Canada receive better remuneration, live under better social conditions or are more prosperous than the mining people of the north, and no class of people have contributed more to the development of that great north country than those who are engaged in carrying on the work of our mines. Many years ago these people realized that it was to their own interest to create living conditions in the mining districts which would attract the very best labour, and the model towns of that district are taken as examples throughout Canada.

We have been free from strikes; we have been free from strife and we have been entirely free from racial or religious disturbances. The Finnish people in our district are not communists or socialists and the people in northern Ontario have failed to be influenced by propagandists who have been sent there to induce the labourers employed in the mines and in the lumber camps to join Communistic organizations. In that way we have kept free from labour disturbances and have succeeded in creating living conditions for that class of people under which they have no reason to complain. I would invite the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre to visit some of the new plants which are being erected at present, before he makes such statements as to the living conditions of the mining men in the north.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I visited some of

the old plants.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
LIB

Edmond Antoine Lapierre

Liberal

Mr. LAPIERRE:

That may be so, but I am inviting my hon. friend to visit some of the

Freedom oj Speech

new plants, and I would direct his attention to the fact that no labour disturbance ever has taken place in our mines.

I will leave it to those better informed to reply to the hon. gentleman with regard to the Hollinger mine, but when I visited that mine a few years ago it compared favourably with any of the hundred mines I have had the opportunity of seeing during the last eight or ten years. I may tell my hon. friend also that the working conditions in our copper and nickel mines to-day are equal to those existing in any other place in the world.

In conclusion I wish to say that the petition which was presented to this house requesting the suppression of that communistic paper published in Sudbury represented the very best elements of our society. It was signed by representatives of all the organizations interested in the welfare and the future development of northern Ontario, and I may say that that section of our Finnish population known as the White Finns-

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

What other colours are there in addition to white.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
LIB

Edmond Antoine Lapierre

Liberal

Mr. LAPIERRE:

I will leave that for my hon. friend to deal with; he knows them better than I do. These people, however, have been absorbed into our population and to-day are just as good citizens as we have anywhere in that north country.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. G. R. GEARY (Toronto South):

There are one or two points arising out of the address of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) to which, as representing at least a part of the city of Toronto, I should refer. Just how the hon. member considered the greater part of his speech to be relevant to the subject he was discussing I cannot make out. His speech was a criticism directed mainly, one gathers, against the courts which tried offenders for breaches of certain clauses of the Criminal Code.

As to the Hollinger mine fatality the hon. member who has just taken his seat, of course, is well versed. I know little of that case, but I do know that within a week of the disaster the Ontario government instituted an inqury under a gentleman who was not a judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario, but who was a judge holding equal rank with judges of that court, Mr. Justice Godson, who at one time was mining recorder. It is not my intention either to commend or to criticize Mr. Justice Godson, but I have no reason to suppose that he, any more than any other judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario, should be subject to unfair criticisms in this house. I have not the slightest doubt

but that he gave his decision in that case after careful inquiry, to the very best of his ability and with absolute conscientiousness. That being so, I think it is too bad now to criticize him. If there is any action which should have been taken following his report I think my hon. friend would be on more solid ground in suggesting it, but he has not ventured to make such a suggestion.

The other case taken up by the hon. gentleman was the one to which the hon. member for Nipissing (Mr. Lapierre) has referred. That is the case of the judge who tried and sentenced an offender under the Criminal Code. With all respect to my hon. friend I do think that no good purpose is served by ex parte criticism in this house of a judge of our courts. It was the integrity of the court to which my hon. friend referred when he read from the Round Table magazine, and if we cannot trust our courts and if we are free to criticize our judges on such grounds I think matters have come to a very serious state. If this house considers it necessary to criticize the judgment of any judge here rather than in the proper courts of appeal, if such there be, the house should so declare, but at the moment the house should follow the rule which says there must be no criticism of a judge in this house. I regret very much that my hon. friend has sought to violate this rule, not only in regard to His Lordship Mr. Justice Godson but also in regard to His Honour Judge Coatsworth, who is a judge of the very highest standing.

The city of Toronto, through its police commission, has issued an order in regard to speeches at -public meetings, with the terms o-f which I am not fully conversant. I do not think my hon. friend himself will defend in this house the doctrines of communism; I do not believe he can see eye to eye with those who profess to follow those doctrines of communism. I may say that no city in Canada is more ardent in defence of the principle of free speech than is the city of Toronto.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

No more so than

many other cities.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

No, I do not say that; I

did not intend to do more than point out the position taken by the city of Toronto, since it has been -more or less attacked this afternoon by my hon. friend. He may say he was not attacking the manner in which the affairs of that city have -been conducted, but from his reading of certain magazines or pamphlets, of which I have never heard but which hap-

Freedom oj Speech

pen to be published in Toronto, which fact he emphasizes, I can only understand that he wishes to take objection to the conduct of public affairs in that city. The police commissioners, who are an independent body, issued an order, to prevent communistic appeals being made-which appeals would have the result of creating disorder-in a language which was not one of the authorized languages of this country, and I think the hon. member will admit that the meeting he mentioned was being conducted in a language which does not come within that classification. I do not defend the action of the police commissioners because I do not know enough about it, nor do I criticize it, but I do say that the action of the chief of police, endorsed by the Board of Police Commissioners, has been apparently sanctioned by the approval of the people of Toronto, and also apparently by the people of the province.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

Has the hon. member

not heard anything of the protests made by citizens of Toronto against the ruling of the chief of police?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
CON

George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GEARY:

No, I have not heard of any, but if the hon. member says that such complaints have been made I am perfectly willing to accept her word.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink
PRO

Agnes Campbell Macphail

Progressive

Miss MACPHAIL:

If the hon. member

had been reading the press he would have seen them.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LIBERTY OF THE PRESS, RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY
Permalink

May 8, 1929