May 21, 1929

REPORT OF COMMITTEE


Eleventh report of select standing committee on miscellaneous private bills.-Mr. Brown.


COMMITTEE ON STANDING ORDERS


Mr. L. S. R. MORIN (St. Hyacinthe- Rouville) moved: That the sixth report of the select standing committee on standing orders, which was presented on the 17th May, be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


COMMITTEE ON MISCELLANEOUS PRIVATE BILLS

LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar, for Mr. Parent) moved:

That the tenth report of the select standing committee on miscellaneous private bills, .which was presented on the 17th May, be concurred in.

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Motion agreed to. Business of the House


BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

VICTORIA DAT ADJOURNMENT-MORNING SITTINGS

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):

Mr. Speaker, the work of

the session has been proceeding fairly rapidly of late. We have exhausted most of the legislation on the order paper with the exception of supply. There are still one or two reports of committees to be received, with possibly one or two bills to be basedi thereon, and maybe another bill or two. I would suggest that on and after Monday of next week the house might begin its sittings in the mornings. I think this an appropriate time to bring the matter to the attention of the house. If there is no objection I would present the formal motion now; if it is desired to enter upon a discussion of the matter I should be glad to have it proceed immediately.

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UFA

Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. H. E. SPENCER (Battle River):

personally, I would object to morning sittings for the reason that those of us who are trying to keep in touch with what is going on find it absolutely impossible to do justice to our work. I agree with what the right hon. the Prime Minister has just said that we are getting on very nicely and if we do not sit in the mornings it will only mean an extra two or three days, or we could possibly start at two o'clock in the afternoon. I would remind the house that it is particularly hard on the Hansard staff who have to sit here working while the house is in continuous session.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

The hon. member for Battle River (Mr. Spencer) who has just taken his seat, apparently mistook the thunderous applause which was given on the appearance of the hon. member for Mount Royal (Mr. White) for approval of his Observations. In view of the fact that we have reached the point we have in connection with legislation and that the major part of the business which must engage our consideration during the balance of the session will be the estimates- I might say here that the government has been very derelict in not proceeding with them earlier in the session-I think we could get in two hours extra work in the morning without very much difficulty. It is impossible, strive as we may, to keep in touch with everything. I do my best but I realize that the government put it over on us very frequently and I agree with the hon. member for Battle River as to the necessity of having several supporters to watch what is going on. I am

quite sure my hon. friend will find it difficult to follow the intricacies of the operations of the mind of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), especially on the tariff, in this or in any other house. Some of my hon. friends have pointed out that it has not been customary to sit on Empire day. The other day I asked the right hon. the Prime Minister whether he expected the house would sit on that day and he said that was the intention. My memory was that the house did sit last year but I never trust my memory in a matter of that kind and I have not looked it up, but there seems to be an opinion on the part of many of our friends that as that day is being kept as a holiday by one-quarter of the world's population it might be well for [DOT] us to reconsider what our attitude should be in the premises.

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LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

Mr. H. B. ADSHEAD (East Calgary):

Ever since I have been in the house we have always had towards the end of the session late sittings while at the early part of the session we have always had a number of holidays. This year we had quite a long Easter recess and now at the end of the session we are asked to hurry along with the result that much legislation will be ill considered. I join with what the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) has said, that we should have the twenty-fourth of May as a public holiday. We observed the holiday on May ninth, I believe some religious or church holiday, and if we observe a religious holiday I do not see why we should not observe Empire day. Not that I am an imperialist by any means; I join with my friend, David Kirkwood in the statement that he belonged to the British commonwealth of nations not because he was an imperialist but because he thought it was the greatest movement for peace which we had ever had.

These things are apparently arranged by the government as the private members of the house would seem to be just pawns in the game. I hope that the next session of the house will be so arranged that we will not have a number of holidays at the beginning of the session and then finally have to resort to morning and Wednesday evening sittings in the effort to rush things through.

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UFA

George Gibson Coote

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. G. G. COOTE (Macleod):

I have been in this house long enough to realize that anything I say will have no effect, but nevertheless I am going to exercise the privilege of free speech. Personally, I have no objection to the house sitting in the mornings when the committee work is finished. Some of us who come from western Canada are

zm

Business oj Me House

particularly interested in the Canada Grain Act and have been attending one or two meetings daily of the agriculture committee. On one or two occasions this committee has sat three times in the one day and we find it impossible to keep in touch with the work which is going on in the house. There is to be a very important meeting of that committee this afternoon and I understand that there will be a motion to go into supply on the Immigration estimates. I am finding it difficult to decide which is the more important matter for my constituency, the question of immigration or the Canada Grain Act, but I suppose I will have to decide that matter before four o'clock. I do protest against this house sitting three times a day while some committees are sitting twice a day, as it is not fair to the members of the committees. We find it difficult now to get a quorum in our committee and I do not think the members of this house should be practically precluded from taking part in what is going on in the house, and that is what will happen should the committees be sitting twice a day while the house is sitting three times a day.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, for nine years I have been looking for an opportunity to support the right hon. the Prime Minister, and at last I have discovered something. I should like to put myself on record as being in favour of morning sittings. As the leader of the opposition has said, it is impossible to keep in touch with all the different committees anyhow. The hon. member who has just taken his seat pointed out that he had a committee meeting this afternoon. If the house were sitting in the mornings conditions would not be different as both the committee and the house would be sitting at the same time. Some of us who have not rented our farms would like to get back to attend to our professional duties, and I am one of those.

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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:

As hon. members know, in matters of this kind the government is anxious to meet as nearly as may be possible the wishes of the house as a whole. With respect to Empire day may I say to my hon. friends that we did feel that probably the greatest service which could be rendered the empire by this parliament on that day would be to put good legislation upon the statutes. However, if there are hon. members who were counting on Empire day as an opportunity to visit their constituencies or to take part in Empire day celebrations of one kind or another, certainly it would be the wish of the administration not to disappoint them in that Darticular.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Has the right hon. the Prime Minister considered that for thirty years, without exception, this House has kept Empire day?

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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 was not

under the impression that such was the case.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

Except once, when it came

on Sunday.

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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:

If my hon.

friend says that such is the fact I will accept his word; I would be willing to accept his word on almost anything, particularly where it relates to Empire day. The government is quite prepared to have a motion presented immediately providing that the house shall not sit this year on Empire day. But might I suggest, seeing this is a matter of accommodation, that the two motions be put at the same time. We shall be losing a day out of this week if we give up Friday. We might as well make up that time next week by sitting in the mornings, and if that is agreeable, I would move:

That when this house adjourns on Thursday the 23rd of May, instant, it stand adjourned until Monday, the 27th of May; and that on and after May 27th instant until the end of the session, this house shall meet at eleven o'clock in the morning and that in addition to the usual intermission at six o'clock, p.m., there shall also be an intermission every day from one to three o'clock p.m.

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May 21, 1929