March 29, 1932

?

An hon. MEMBER:

We will.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

The responsibility will

be on their own shoulders, if they wish to place themselves in that awkward position. In their eyes might is right. If they wish to extend the operation of the statute, they are welcome to do so, but it is their responsibility.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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CON

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHORT:

Why worry about it?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

I wish the hon. member would tell us what is worrying him.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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CON

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHORT:

Nothing.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

Well then, why does he not keep quiet? What has surprised me throughout this debate is that hon. gentlemen sitting on the other side have kept wonderfully and religiously silent; from the one hundred and twenty of them we have heard nothing; but the moment we put a finger on a sore spot they jump up like so many marionettes, as was said this afternoon. But up to the present not one of them has dared to say where he stands on this question.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

V ou got it on the

vote, didn't you?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

If they have so much to say, why in mercy don't they stand up and make a speech?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

You make one.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

Edgar-Rodolphe-Eugène Chevrier

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

If the hon. gentleman

who is so prone to make these interruptions would speak for twenty minutes only once during the session I would listen to him and say he might interrupt as often as he liked for the remainder of the session. But he is

satisfied merely to grunt, to make these disturbing noises now and then. The Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) says we may extend the operation of a dead statute, but I do not want to be associated with this strange fashion of legislating. I do not know if any of his colleagues, if for instance my hon. friend the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Ryckman) who is also a member of some standing at the bar, is prepared to subscribe to the idea that we may legally extend the operation of a dead statute. On the opposite side there are many men of eminent legal attainments, and I am quite sure that one of the reasons why they have not endorsed the view of the Minister of Justice is that they have some respect for their standing a-t the bar. When the Prime Minister introduced this motion he said he wished to extend the operation of the act. Quite properly he stated even last year that he had some hesitation as to the constitutionality of this procedure. I quote from page 4279 of Hansard of last session:

I will say frankly to the house that in asking what euphemistically is spoken of as a "blank cheque" we are not unmindful that we are asking very considerable from this House of Commons.

I pay the right hon. gentleman this tribute to his legal acumen, that he knew he was skating on thin ice, but was willing to take a chance. This session I find that at page 335 of Hansard he said:

I would not ask this power from any parliament except very reluctantly.

Again I pay him the tribute that he had some hesitation because of his legal attainments and felt that he was on very thin ice. The Prime Minister smiles. I do not wonder at his smiling when he realizes the position he has placed himself and those who follow him. If it were not for the fact that he has such a very accommodating majority behind him he would not dare take such a position. I am confident that before the Privy Council he would never venture to propound such an unsound theory. The Prime Minister brought this motion down for the purpose of amending the statute, but as we hammered away at it he finally found himself on the road to Damascus-and the light started to shine. In the course of the last few days he said-I am quoting from page 1407 of Hansard:

The government is determined it would renew the statute.

The Prime Minister did not say the government were going to amend the statute, but that they were going to renew it. No

Unemployment Continuance Act

one in this house knows better than the right hon. gentleman that there is an absolute difference between renewing and amending a statute. At page 1409 he again used the word "renew." He also said:

I desire that this statute be revived.

Not that its operation be extended, but that it be revived. He knows there is an absolute difference between reviving and amending a statute. At page 1410 he said:

Shall the Canadian parliament through a government supported by a majority in this house-

And a very accommodating majority.

-be permitted to reenact by proper words the legislation of last session?

Not to amend, not to extend the operation,

but to reenact, to do something absolutely new7, to start de novo. Now watch how the Prime Minister is coming down very reluctantly, but he is finally driven to this point. At page 1418 he said:

The use of the appropriate words to enable the principle of the legislation to be made effective.

I submit, Mr. Chairman, that the right hon. gentleman, even with all his legal attainments, took some time to find out that his magic was dead, that there was no process under British law whereby a dead statute could be amended, but instead of coming out frankly he has hedged all along. Now he asks that the operation of this expired statute be extended until the first of May, 1932.

There are many other reasons why I would have opposed the passing of this motion, but I think that one of the soundest reasons is to take the stand that you cannot extend by any recognized legal means-although you may do it by a majority of this kind-the operation of a dead statute.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

As we know,

under this bill power will be given to the governor in council to pass orders in council up to the first of May. May I ask: will any such orders in council have any effect after the first of May, or will their operation cease entirely on that day?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Except for the purpose of enabling payment of balances unpaid on contracts not completed; they would cease to be valid on the first of May.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The Prime Minister refers to orders in council that may relate to money payments. There may be orders in council relating to other matters. I assume such orders in council will have no force and effect after the first of May?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The right hon. gentleman is quite correct. It is proposed in the bill that orders in council shall forthwith be laid on the table of the house.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I understand

that. With regard to payments between now and the first of May is it the intention of the government to initiate new contracts or to make fresh commitments which will run beyond the first of May, or will everything be confined to the first of May?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is a question, Mr. Speaker, which at the moment I cannot answer. For instance, a few days ago a delegation from the city of Quebec waited upon the government, and my right hon. friend's colleagues 'who were present suggested that there should be an extension of time in connection with work which was to be done in that city, which climatic conditions had made it impossible to complete during the winter. The hon. member for Gloucester urged that since spring was coming on, and unemployment was so serious, the matter should be so dealt with. I could not say definitely that pressure of conditions such as those existing in Quebec, for instance, might not have some effect. I was quite convinced, I may say frankly, by the statement of the mayor of Quebec city that they were unable to complete that work, and might not be able to complete it by May 1. They asked for an extension of time, the matter being already reduced to a contract for which authorization was given in the report tabled in this house. I cannot answer that question beyond saying that the necessities of the particular case would have to govern.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My right hon. friend refers to a contract, the terms and extent of which are already known. My question refers to something which at the moment is not known. Between now and May 1 will the administration make any new contracts which will run beyond May 1?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I should like to ask the Prime Minister a question which has already been asked once or twice on the orders of the day. Does the relief commission at Regina take seed grain liens on all crops resultant from seed grain advances, and if so when are they payable?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The question of the character of the security taken by the commission is something between the commission and the provincial authorities, and the dominion has nothing whatever to do with it beyond the fact that we are given to understand, and do understand in advancing the money, that the commission is adequately protecting itself with respect to the crops. I cannot say whether a lien is taken on one or two crops, but my understanding is that the lien has to do with the first year's crop, and in some instances with the second year's crop, but the money is loaned to the province of Saskatchewan, which province is responsible for the arrangements made between the relief commission and the farmers with respect to the collection of the sums so advanced.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT AND FARM RELIEF
Subtopic:   CONTINUANCE ACT, 1932-CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION
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March 29, 1932