April 28, 1933

CON

Armand Renaud La Vergne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

Mr. Elliott moves that all the words after the word "that" in the proposed amendment to be known as subsection 3 of clause 4 be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

One of such trustees shall be their chairman. Each trustee shall devote his whole time to the performance of the duties of his office and shall not be an officer of any company other than a company which is comprised in National railways and shall not, during his tenure of office as trustee, become a director of any company other than a company which is comprised in National railways of which he was not a director at the time of his appointment.

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LIB

John Campbell Elliott

Liberal

Mr. ELLIOTT:

Before the vote is taken may I call the attention of the committee to what that means. I assume that they have it pretty well in their minds. This is a very, very important board. They have to administer a property of the people of this country which has cost and is worth many millions of dollars. It will be perhaps the most important board functioning in the dominion, and I submit that what was formerly done by a board of seventeen on the Canadian National Railways, and by a board of about an equal number on the Canadian Pacific Railway, is of sufficient importance and sufficiently onerous to demand the whole time of three of the very best men that can be obtained. That is the object of the amendment. I do not think that this great national asset should be entrusted to three men any one of whom should be permitted to give only part of his time to that work.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I agree with the hon. gentleman. He has explained his amendment quite correctly, but we have made an amendment whereby the governor in council may, at discretion, make all three trustees full-time men. I stated last night, and I repeat now, that as far as I know it is the intention of the government to do that for a time at least, so I am sorry to have to refuse to accept the hon. gentleman's amendment. I shall have to vote against it.

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LIB

Alfred Edgar MacLean

Liberal

Mr. MacLEAN:

This is a very important question. When the bill was before the house before the Easter recess, I had intended moving an amendment that the board of trustees be enlarged from three to five members. I wish to protest against the board being limited to three members. The maritime provinces claim that under the British North America Act they have certain rights which they look to this and all governments to protect. We feel that if a board of trustees consisting of only three members is chosen from central Canada the claims of the maritime provinces may be overlooked. Under the terms of the legislation the trustees have great powers. They may scrap lines or cut down services. In the report of the Duncan commission there is the following finding regarding the old Intercolonial railway:

That to the extent that commercial considerations were subordinate to national, imperial and strategic considerations, the cost would be borne by the dominion and not by the traffic that might pass over the line.

If the trustees put that line on a strictly paying basis, and curtail services until that object is reached, I claim that they will not be playing fair with the maritime provinces, and will not be adhering to the terms set out at confederation. I do not know whether there are to be three or five members, but if I were in order I should feel very much like moving an amendment to the effect that there should be five trustees, one of whom should come from the maritime provinces.

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LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Question.

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CON

Armand Renaud La Vergne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

The question is on the subamendment.

Subamendment (Mr. Elliott) negatived on division.

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LIB

Alfred Edgar MacLean

Liberal

Mr. MacLEAN moved:

That section 4 of part I of the bill be amended by striking out the word "three" in the fifth line thereof and substituting therefor the word "five."

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CON

Richard Burpee Hanson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That is

out of order.

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CON

Armand Renaud La Vergne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

I must inform the committee that subsections 1 and 2 of section 4 have been adopted. We are now dealing with a new subsection, No. 3. Therefore it must be by general consent that we continue.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I rise to a point of order. Surely any amendment to aniy portion of the general section may be moved before that section as a whole has been passed by the committee.

C.N.R.-C.P.R. Bill

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CON

Armand Renaud La Vergne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

The hon. member

would be quite right, as usual, were it not for the fact that when discussion on the bill began it was decided by the committee that the subsections would be considered one by one.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

It was a matter of convenience. But before any general section is passed any hon. member has the right to move an amendment.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

On the point of order,

may I say that under ordinary circumstances I believe the hon. member would be right, and he would have made a very good case. But the chief, and practically the only important point in subsection (1) of clause 4 has been carried by the committee; that subsection states that there shall be three trustees. Therefore I submit that if we vote upon the possibility of their being five we will be acting contrary to the rule.

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CON

Armand Renaud La Vergne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

My decision is this,

subject to the view of the committee, that general consent of the house to an agreement in connection with procedure on the bill supersedes the rules and regulations, and binds me as if it were a rule written in the book. Therefore at this stage I must declare the subamendment out of order.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

On the

point of order-

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CON

Armand Renaud La Vergne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

I have ruled, and the hon. member has already spoken.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

But I

can speak twice to a point of order. With all respect to your ruling, Mr. Chairman, I suggest that you do not carry a section of a bill until the section is carried completely. For the purposes of convenience and, as you say, by mutual arrangement, we did agree to deal with it by subsections. But certainly according to the rules, before section 4 in toto has been passed by this committee, any hon. member has the right to move an amendment to any of the subsections.

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CON

Armand Renaud La Vergne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN:

Apparently I have not made myself clear. The general consent of the committee has the force of a ruling set down in the book. Unless there is general consent of the committee to supersede that ruling, I am bound by it. For those reasons I must deal with subsections as if they were individual sections. I decide that in this instance the amendment is out of order.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Mr. Chairman, is it not a fact that before a final decision is given on the section, after we have gone

through the subsections, you ask the committee whether or not it is prepared to adopt the section as amended. That means that the entire section is before the committee either for acceptance or rejection.

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April 28, 1933