April 12, 1932

LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Some hon. member asked for an explanation of the bill. The change sug-

gested is to give the same rates by law to British Columbia as those given to the east.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT
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PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION


On the orders of the day:


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in discussing the vacancy which exists in the representation of the constituency of Maisonneuve a question was raised as to the proper procedure in the matter of notifying the Speaker of any such vacancy. The Prime Minister took the view that it was an obligation on the party to which the member had belonged to notify the Speaker that a vacancy existed. I stated that I did not hold that view at all, that I thought it was the duty of the government to see that vacancies were filled and to see that the Speaker was notified accordingly. The Prime Minister then said:

... I challenge the right hon. gentleman to name any case in which notice has not been given by the opposition with respect to vacancies existing in constituencies formerly represented by members of their party. That always has been done; it has become a sort of custom.

I replied, speaking at the time without reference to the Journals of the House:

In answer to that challenge I may say that I remember many occasions during the time I was Prime Minister, having vacancies in constituencies brought to our attention, and where we took action as a government without waiting for the opposition to give the notification.

I have since looked up the Journals of the House and by a hasty glance I have come across the following, which are among the number of cases where the Liberal government of the day notified His Honour the Speaker with regard to vacancies which had arisen in constituencies which were represented in this house by Conservative members. From the Votes and Proceedings of January 31, 1923, it will be found that the notification with respect to the death of the Hon. John A. Stewart, a member of the Conservative party for the -constituency of Lanark, wTas made to His Honour the Speaker by the Hon. George P. Graham and the Hon. D. D. McKenzie, both members of the Liberal administration of the day. In the Votes and Proceedings of February 5, 1925, it will be observed that the notification of the vacancy occasioned by the death of Mr. John A. MacKelvie, Conservative member for the constituency of

Home oj Commons-Procedure

Yale, was made to His Honour the Speaker by the Hon. Ernest Lapointe and the Hon. James Murdock, both members of the Liberal administration of the day. In the Votes and Proceedings of January 26, 1928, it will be seen that the notification of the vacancy occasioned by the death of the Hon. James K. Flemming, Conservative member for the constituency of Victoria-Carleton, was made to His Honour the Speaker by the Hon. P. J. Veniot and the Hon. Fernand Rinfret, both members of the Liberal government of the day. In the Votes and Proceedings of June 5, 1929, it will be seen that the notification of the vacancy created by the death of Dr. R. F. Preston, Conservative member for the constituency of Lanark, was made to His Honour the Speaker by the Hon. J. C. Elliott and the Hon. V/. D. Euler, both members of the Liberal administration of the day; and in the Votes and Proceedings of the same day there is record of the vacancy occasioned by the death of the Hon. Dr. J. W. Edwards, Conservative member for the constituency of Frontenac-Addington, and the record shows that His Honour the Speaker was notified of the vacancy by the Hon. J. C. Elliott and the Hon. W. D. Euler, both members of the Liberal administration of the day.

A little earlier, in the course of his remarks, the Prime Minister said that in the case of Athabaska the notice required by law had been given by two members of parliament. Undoubtedly, my right hon. friend was aware of who the members of parliament were who had given notice in regard to the constituency of Athabaska.

I have in my hand the Votes and Proceedings of Thursday, February 4, 1932, and I find the following communication there recorded:

Electoral District of Athabaska

Dominion of Canada 7

To wit J House of Commons.

To the Hon. the Speaker of the House of Commons:

We, the undersigned, hereby give notice that a vacancy hath occurred in the representation in the House of Commons, for the electoral district of Athabaska, , in the province of Alberta, consequent upon the death of the sitting member therefor, John Francis Buckley, Esquire.

Given under our hands and seals, at the city of Ottawa, this 21st day of January, 1932.

George H. Perley (L.S.),

Member for the electoral district of Argenteuil.

R. WTeir (L.S.),

Member for the electoral district df Melfort.

Both hon. gentlemen who signed that notification are members of the Conservative administration of which the Prime Minister

is head. I find, also, looking over the records, that not only was notification sent to His Honour the Speaker by members of the administration with regard to that particular vacancy, but that notification of all vacancies which have occurred since the present government has taken office, with the exception of the one mentioned the other day, in the constituency of Maisonneuve, has been made by members of the administration of my right hon. friend. In the electoral district of Three Rivers-St. Maurice, where a Liberal member had formerly occupied the seat, notification with respect to the vacancy appears in the Votes and Proceedings of March 12, 1931, and is as follows:

Electoral District of Three Rivers-St. Maurice Dominion of Canada 7

To wit J House of Commons.

To the Hon. the Speaker of the House of Commons:

We, the undersigned, hereby give notice that a vacancy hath occurred in the representation in the House of Commons, for the electoral district of Three Rivers-St. Maurice, in the province of Quebec, by reason of the death of Arthur Bettez, the sitting member therefor.

Given under our hands and seals, at the city of Ottawa, this 10th day of March, 1931.

Arthur Sauve (L.S.),

Member for the electoral district of Laval-Two Mountains.

Maurice Dupre (L.S.), Member for the electoral district of Quebec West.

Again, both hon. gentlemen who signed this notification are members of the administration of which the Prime Minister is head. Also, with respect to Hamilton East, notification was made by the Hon. Hugh Guthrie and the Hon. R. J. Manion, both members of the administration.

I think, Mr. Speaker, I should again direct your attention and the attention of the house to the statement which the Prime Minister made in refutation of what I said at the time. The statement was to the effect that in all cases vacancies existing in constituencies formerly represented by members of the Liberal party had been made by members of this party. He added:

That always has been done; it has become a sort of custom.

As a matter of fact, it has never been done as a custom. The Prime Minister, in making that statement, was misleading the house, and I say that he was misleading the house deliberately.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Order.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I rise to a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

House of Commons-Procedure

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Is that so?

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

The concluding sentence uttered by my right hon. friend was distinctly against the rules and order of this house-flagrantly so. I ask that it be withdrawn.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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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:

He has got away with it so long he thinks he can continue.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) will agree that he should not accuse the Prime Minister or any other hon. member of deliberately deceiving the house.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am using language with respect to the Prime Minister which he repeatedly uses with respect to members on this side.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Withdraw.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

If the Prime Minister did not know he ought to have known, and there is every reason to believe that he did know, because he referred to Athabaska in citing his instances.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Withdraw.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I say that the statement made by the Prime Minister was not a correct statement; it was not an accurate statement. He ought to have known it was not an accurate statement, and he should not have made the assertion he did unless he was prepared to prove the statement he made.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Withdraw.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

All that the right hon. the leader of the opposition has now said is parliamentary. I object, however, to his saying that the Prime Minister or any other member has deliberately deceived the house. The right hon. gentleman knows as well as any other hon. member does that that is not parliamentary, and I must ask him to withdraw it.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

When ' the

Prime Minister uses the expression-

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   PROCEDURE IN NOTIFICATION OF VACANCY IN REPRESENTATION
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April 12, 1932