March 20, 1930

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS

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) moved:

That on and after Monday, March 24 next, and all subsequent Mondays and Wednesdays

till the end of the session, government notices of motion and government orders shall have precedence over all other business except questions and notices of motions for the production of papers and private bills on Monday.

May I say that the house has now been in session for a month, and of that time the government has had only two days during which it has had any opportunity whatever of dealing with its own business; all the rest of the time has been taken up with discussions upon motions by private members. The circumstance that the debate on the address was so brief had the effect, not of curtailing private members in the various matters which they wished to bring up, but rather of extending their opportunities. The time which has been allowed this session to private members, I explained the other day, has been exactly what it has averaged within the last three or four sessions of parliament. The records of earlier parliaments will show, I believe that private members were not granted anything like the number of days to which of recent years they have become accustomed.

May I point out that it is quite as much in the interests of hon. members generally, as it is in the interests of the government, that the government should be permitted to get on with the business of the country as set out in its legislative program. Were we to continue at the rate at which we have been proceeding, it is perfectly obvious that we will be here until the time of the imperial conferences when we would have to ask for an adjournment to enable ministers to attend the conferences, and then in order to complete the work of the present session, reassemble later. I do not think any hon. members wish to have their time consumed in that way. The government has no desire to curtail discussion on important questions, but I do submit, Mr. Speaker, that we have already spent enough time on private members motions, and that hon. members should be agreeable to allow the government from now on to proceed with its business.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. ROBERT GARDINER (Acadia):

We in this corner of the house regret very much this motion. We have on the order paper two or three very important resolutions which we believe it would be in the interests of Canada and this house to discuss. I think probably some of these resolutions are just as important as some of the government business which is awaiting our consideration. I should like to point out to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in the first instance that one Thursday was taken on the opening of this session, leaving only three Thursdays accord-

Easter Adjournment

ing to the rules of the house. That, of course, is more or less usual. Last Monday was taken by our friends to your immediate left, and that deprived private members of another day. I think it is becoming apparent to those who have been in this house for any length of time that the private member is to all intents and purposes a nonentity. We take strong objection to that idea. We believe that it is in the best interests of Canada as of this house that private members should have a greater opportunity of discussing important questions which they believe should be discussed. In the event of this motion carrying, Mr. Speaker, I merely wish to say on behalf of my colleagues in this corner of the house that we will have to take other means of bringing important resolutions before the house.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS
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Motion agreed to.


EASTER ADJOURNMENT

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, with the permission of the house, it might be a convenient moment to announce the intentions of the government with respect to the Easter recess. The government has felt that it would wish the house to take at least a week at Easter as a recess, but having had some interviews with hon. gentlemen directly opposite and with my friends diagonally opposite, I gather that it would better suit their convenience if the time was made either less than or longer than a week, so as either to keep every one here or to enable those who are as far distant a3 British Columbia to reach their homes and return after a brief vacation. Considering the representations that have been made, it has seemed that the convenience of the house generally would be best met if the recess were to be made for twelve days instead of the time originally suggested of a week, and I would therefore move:

That when the house adjourns on Friday the 11th of April, it stand adjourned until Thursday the 24th of April.

Topic:   EASTER ADJOURNMENT
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

Mr. Speaker, the right hou. Prime Minister has certainly put the case for some of our members very concisely. Parliament was a little late in meeting this year, it did not meet until the 20th of February, and many of the members who sit to your left are anxious to conclude their duties as rapidly as possible having regard to their responsibilities as representatives. Their view is that we should sit with a short interval at Easter; that is, adjourn Thursday until the succeeding Tuesday. But, as the Prime Minister has also

said, if we are to adjourn for a week, then that is worse still for at least a dozen members on our side of the house. The suggestion that we should meet on Thursday the 24th April means, of course, that many members will not arrive until the succeeding Monday in any event. Of course, we are anxious to afford every facility possible for the proper transaction of public business. But I cannot, for instance, forget that last year the recess afforded an opportunity for my very delightful friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) to be photographed on the steps of the White House. Far be it from me to deny him the opportunity to be again photographed this year; and doubtless some of his colleagues would like to avail themselves of a similar opportunity lest he monopolize the centre of the stage. But that is the lighter side of the motion for adjournment.

As we all realize, it is difficult to deal with a matter of this kind on a basis that will be fair to all concerned. Especially is that so when you have four or five days intervening before some otf our members can possibly reach their homes from Ottawa, and then after a stay of two days they will have to leave home to come back again. Personally I feel it is the duty of this house to proceed with the public business, and adjourn on Thursday until the succeeding Tuesday. But, as I said, I realize that after all, the government not having its legislation ready on the 20th of February, and ipossibly having two budgets prepared, depending on what another country may do, may find it somewhat difficult to determine exactly what is to be done. Of course, the great cry is, Give us time. "Night or Blueher," was said to have been the cry of Wellington.

Topic:   EASTER ADJOURNMENT
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LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Exactly, my hon. friend is quite right. That is the reason why in this instance we are asking which it is, "Night" or "Blueher". Is it the "Night" of defeat or is "Blueher" the nation to the south of the international boundary? We are not quite certain, but at any rate we do feel sure that history will repeat itself but without "Blueher" there will ibe no victory for the government.

I think the Prime Minister has fairly stated that it is a question of a short adjournment or a moderately long one, a.nd I can only say that the majority of those who sit with me would prefer to have a short adjournment and dispose of the country's business. Others feel that if there is to be an adjournment for a week it should foe at least somewhat longer to enable them to go home. Now that we have

Technical Services

given a second reading to the liquor export bill and thus have the assurance of peaceful relations with our great friends to the south; now that we know their battle squadrons will be in Hampton roads, their army corps disbanded and the submarine no longer a menace to our integrity, perhaps a longer adjournment may be made without grave danger to the body politic.

Topic:   EASTER ADJOURNMENT
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Motion agreed to.


CUSTOMS AIR PORT-CALGARY


On the orders of the day:


LAB

Herbert Bealey Adshead

Labour

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

Mr. Speaker, I have a letter from the city of Calgary requesting me to ask the government if it is the intention of the Minister of Customs to re-create Calgary a customs air port of entry.

Topic:   CUSTOMS AIR PORT-CALGARY
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

That question should be put on the order paper.

Topic:   CUSTOMS AIR PORT-CALGARY
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I have already written to the Minister of National Revenue and received a reply.

Topic:   CUSTOMS AIR PORT-CALGARY
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I'M ALONE ARBITRATION


On the orders of the day:


CON

Finlay MacDonald

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FINLAY MacDONALD (Cape Breton South):

I would like to ask the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) what progress has been made, or what the present position is in connection with the proceedings in the arbitration of the I'm Alone case.

Topic:   I'M ALONE ARBITRATION
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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:

The case is in the hands of counsel. I would like to give my hon. friend an answer that would be somewhat more deliberate than I am in a position to give at the present moment.

Topic:   I'M ALONE ARBITRATION
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March 20, 1930