February 3, 1933

LIBRARY OF PARLIAMENT


(Members to act on the part of the Commons) Mr. Speaker and Messieurs Barber, Bertrand, Bourassa, Boyes, Butcher, Carmichael, Charters, Chevrier, Cotnam, Dubois, Dupuis, Factor, Ferland, Fontaine, Fortin, Fraser (Cariboo), Gagnon, Girouard, Guthrie, Hepburn, Irvine, Jones, Lafleehe, Larue, LaV ergne, MacMillan, McGillis, McGregor, McIntosh, Mareil, Peck, Perley, Sir George, Pouliot, Quinn, Rheaume, Short, Smoke, Stirling, Thauvette, Thompson (East Simcoe), Thompson (Lanark), White (London), Wright.-44.


PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT


(Members to act on the part of the Commons) Mr. Speaker and Messieurs Ahearn, Barrette, Black (Halifax), Bourassa, Carmichael, Cayley, Garland (Carleton) Hanbury, Howard, Howden, Lafleehe, Macphail, Miss, Mullins, Ryerson, Semi, Spankie, Spence, Sproule, Thauvette.-20. Mr. RHODES moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


POWERS OF COMMITTEES

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) moved:

That the select standing committees of this house shall severally be empowered to examine and inquire into all such matters and things as may be referred to them by the house and to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon, with power to send for persons, papers and records.

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Motion agreed to.


CANADA GRAIN ACT


On the orders of the day:


LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Hon. W. R. MOTHERWELL (Melville):

May I ask the Minister of Trade and Commerce whether it is still the intention of the government to bring down certain amendments to the Grain Act, as previously announced, more particularly that with respect to the separate grading of garnet wheat.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

It is not thought desirable that any revision of the Grain Act should be proceeded with, and the information that we have secured is not considered completely satisfactory to warrant our proceeding with the particular item referred to.

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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

CONSIDERATION OF ESTIMATES ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY-TEN PER CENT DEDUCTION FROM CIVIL SERVICE SALARIES


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):

May I ask the Prime Minister whether his understanding^ is the same as my own with respect to the taking up of estimates on Thursday and Friday. I understood last night that the Prime Minister wished to proceed to-day with the estimates of the Department of Trade and Commerce and expressed the view that that might have to be by consent. Let me say at once that so far as the official opposition is concerned we are quite agreeable to proceeding to-day with the estimates of that department by consent. My inquiry at the moment is as to whether it will be necessary or not for the estimates of all other departments to be taken up in committee of supply on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday before they can be taken up, except by consent, on Thursday or Friday. I believe that last night, from his remarks, the Prime Minister may have had in mind that the house having taken up in supply some supplementary estimates of the fiscal year 1932-33, we might be considered as having already entered upon the estimates of these particular departments. My reading of the

Business of the House

rule is that unless a department has had its estimates gone into before a Thursday or Friday, it cannot, except by consent, have its estimates considered on a Thursday or Friday, and that this applies to the main estimates of the session and not to supplementary estimates pertaining to a previous fiscal year. If there is any doubt about this, perhaps His Honour the Speaker would give a ruling on the matter.

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime

Minister): It was because I was somewhat uncertain about the matter myself that I mentioned it last night as I did. Had it not been for that uncertainty it would have been unnecessary to have brought it to the attention of the house. The fact is that this house as at present constituted has already resolved itself into committee of supply and that committee of supply has considered the estimates of several of the departments, including Trade and Commerce. It is equally true that the estimates considered were supplementary estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1933, and I was somewhat uncertain as to whether, reading the rule, you could not technically say that the obligation had been discharged when the house was in committee on the estimates of any department on Thursday and Friday, as in fact was the case. It is true that in the early days of this session we passed a motion suspending the operation of the rules, whereby it became possible to have every day regarded as a government day. That is clear. I think it would probably be the sense of the house that it would be a more equitable observance of the rule if we treated the supply that was granted, by referring the items of several departments to the committee, on supplementary estimates, as not having reference to the main estimates. That would strike me as the more equitable view; if I were in the opposition I would take that view. That is the reason I mentioned it last night as 1 did, and by consent we will take up Trade and Commerce and observe the rule hereafter as though the supplementary estimates had not comprised the estimates of any department that had to be referred to the committee for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1934.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

That is entirely satisfactory. My impression is that, at the time the house passed the resolution to which my right hon. friend has referred, a reservation of the kind mentioned was made by the opposition. There is one other point which I should like to have understood between us before we discuss the estimates of the Department of Trade and Commerce. It is the same point that arose last year with respect

to the ten per cent deduction from the salaries of the civil service. As hon. members will have noticed by the estimates, apparently the intention is to continue the ten per cent deduction this year, though I understood last year from the government that the deduction was to be for one year only, and that it would not apply to the present year. I am not raising that point at the moment however. My question now is whether the government should not in the first instance introduce its bill, authorizing the ten per cent deduction and let us settle the matter of principle, which will be necessary on the bill, rather than attempt to settle it item by item as we discuss the estimates.

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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:

It is not proposed to

vote in the aggregate a sum greater than ninety per cent of what the figure heretofore has been. It will be observed that at the end of each item a deduction of ten per cent is made, so that the vote will be only for ninety per cent of the salaries as they were prior to last year. That is my understanding of the situation after the discussion I have had with the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes). I cannot see that it will make any difference inasmuch as the amount available under the action of the committee for the purposes of discharging the public services will be only the sums mentioned in the final estimates, as indicated by the document tabled yesterday. If it would affect in any sense the principle, I could understand there being some importance in passing the legislation, but as it stands I cannot see that it would be necessary to do so.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It does affect

the principle. This house this year has not decided that the salaries of the civil servants shall be cut ten per cent, and until the house does so decide I do not think we should by any act, either implied or otherwise, countenance that action. The same point was raised last year and the government admitted eventually that the course of procedure which I urged should be followed was the correct one. While we were discussing the items under trade and commerce we withheld any which affected salaries until after the government had brought in its bill and the bill had passed this house. All I am asking is that the same procedure shall be followed this year.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. E. N. RHODES (Minister of Finance) :

Mr. Speaker, as my right hon. friend

nas said, we covered this point quite fully last April. Personally I have no objection to the position he has taken, that the better course to follow would be to proceed with the

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bill, but I would point out that strictly to follow that course means that the bill would have to be introduced at the beginning of the session and there might be no opportunity to consider the estimates as long as the house desired to debate that particular bill. There-:ore, it was felt to be in the interest of public business that we should present the estimates to the house in order to provide it with business, it being the intention of the government to bring in immediately a bill to deal with the question of the ten per cent reduction. That bill has been prepared and printed and I hope it will be submitted to the house the first of next week.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I have no desire to delay the procedure in any way, but I would point out to my hon. friend that he has had at least four months in which to prepare the bill. It is not our fault if it has not been introduced ahead of the estimates.

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Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF ESTIMATES ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY-TEN PER CENT DEDUCTION FROM CIVIL SERVICE SALARIES
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February 3, 1933