May 2, 1934

CON

Frank Thomas Shaver

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. F. T. SHAVER (Stormont):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. The hon. member for Sherbrooke (Mr. Howard) announced himself as being paired with the hon. member for Stormont, which is incorrect. I voted.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

Charles Benjamin Howard

Liberal

Mr. HOWARD:

I should have said that

I was paired with the hon. member for Gren-ville-Dundas (Mr. Casselman).

Mr. WEIR (Melfort) moved that the house go into committee on the bill.

Motion agreed to and the house went into committee, Mr. Gagnon in the chair.

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Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Mr. Chairman, before we proceed with the bill may I say that I believe this would be the opportune time for me to express my great disappointment in the fact that the government seems to have denied parliament one-half of the facilities usually employed to improve, add to or take away from the provisions of a bill. As hon. members know, in addition to discussion in committee of the whole there are in all major agricultural bills standing committees on agriculture and in other cases special committees. If there ever was a bill which came before this house-I cannot hear myself talking.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

If ever there was

an agricultural bill which was entitled to all parliamentary facilities for careful examination, certainly it must be this bill. Yet at the very outset it would appear that the government has so little confidence in its own bill that it has refused parliament the use of one-half of the facilities provided to afford discussion.

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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:

Still the hon. member

voted for it.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Did I say onehalf? If I did, I was away out, because I should have said that two-thirds of the facilities have been denied us. The committee on agriculture is supposed to know something about agriculture; yet the government refuses to refer the bill to that committee. Secondly I take the ground-and I believe it is well taken-that at least two-thirds of the facilities afforded by parliament, facilities which date back possibly as far as confederation, have been deliberately denied us. I was greatly disappointed in the speech of my good friend the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Weir), because it would appear as though he intended to put this legislation through in some hole-in-the-corner manner when witnesses cannot be called and heard. Everyone recognizes that day by day the House of Commons is becoming more and more the parliamentary and political cockpit of Canada. Is that not a fact? And yet my good friend the minister is inviting this cockpit amicably to amend this bill, detract from it or add to it. How can we hope for a miracle like that to happen? In my pristine simplicity I thought the Minister of Agri-

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culture was inviting us to improve this bill and thanking all of us who had been fortunate enough to contribute something constructive to the debate, and then we were told that there would be only two major amendments made to this bill, giving effect to the suggestions made by my hon. friend from Yale (Mr. Stirling) and by my hon. friend from New Westminster (Mr. Reid). I took that to be the meaning of the minister's remarks.

The Minister of Agriculture has now given us his refusal to refer this bill to the agriculture committee and I look now to the Prime Minister to show cause why this bill is being treated so outrageously different from all the other agricultural bills that have been presented to this house. You see, Mr. Chairman, I am getting fussed up myself. This is not the way to promote good fellowship or unanimity with regard to the bill. The bill is thrown into the cockpit, and the cocks are starting to fight. I find my own feathers getting up at the indignity that is being heaped on agriculture by denying the committee on agriculture which is supposed to know the most about agriculture, the opportunity of helping this bill along. To throw the bill into this cockpit makes the minister's invitation nothing but a hollow mockery. He hopes that there will be constructive suggestions and no controversy. How are we going to escape controversy where we have been having it all along? A committee of the whole is identical with the whole house. It comprises the whole house unless some special or select committee is sitting at the same time. I cannot understand how the hon. gentlemen comprising the government can take this action on a bill which they claim is most important, and deny to this bill those facilities which all the smaller agricultural bills which have been brought before parliament this session have been afforded. There have been four or five submitted, and all of them went to the committee on agriculture. I have the privilege of sitting on that committee, and there was not a voice in that committee raised as loudly as mine is now. I hope that mine is not raised harshly even yet, and I hope that it will not be before I am through.

I am confident that the work of the house would be facilitated by this bill being sent to the committee on agriculture. It is true that the bill could be debated in the house again after coming from the committee. The committee on agriculture has not the last word. The committee of the whole house has the last word on all bills that come before parliament. Yet we are denying our com-

mittee on agriculture the right of looking into this bill.

Why, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) has a little wee bill, not as long as my finger, dealing with just one little controversial question and one non-eontro-versial question, and while it is not in the Department of Agriculture at all-for as the house knows the department is a sort of dual-headed proposition, and the other head is the Minister of Trade and Commerce-he submitted his little wee bill to the committee on agriculture without any urging at all. While I opposed the bill I took the ground that we should let it go through on the second reading inasmuch as the minister was going to afford the best facilities for amending it before the committee on agriculture where we could have witnesses. I supported the second reading of that bill just as I supported the second reading of this bill, and yet this great bill which has been ballyhooed all across the country has been denied the facilities that were afforded to that other little wee bill and to all the other agricultural bills that were brought down this session.

I cannot reconcile the lip professions of the ministry with their actual practice in what they are doing now, and I should be delighted if the Prime Minister would give any logical reason why this bill is being denied the opportunity of being changed for the better in the committee on agriculture that would not apply to any of the other four bills that have been sent to the committee this session.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I should like to back up what has just been said with regard to this bill going to the committee on agriculture or to some special committee. We in this corner asked for that when the matter was under discussion before the second reading. We felt it would be highly desirable that expert witnesses might be called who could give their assistance in elaborating and perhaps modifying some of the clauses of this bill. The Minister of Agriculture a few moments ago told us that the reason this bill did not go to (the committee on agriculture was that it would be fought bitterly by the agriculture committee.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh no.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

By the leader of the opposition.

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CON

William Gordon Ernst

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ERNST:

Surely it is not an agricultural bill.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Well then, the reason it did not go to the committee on agriculture, according to the minister, was that it

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would be fought by the leader of the opposition. There are members in this corner supporting this bill and prepared to support it, and I do not think it is fair to them to disregard entirely their earnest request that this bill should go to a committee where it can be thoroughly considered, with the assistance of experts. We cannot do it here.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

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

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CON

Finlay MacDonald

Conservative (1867-1942)

The CHAIRMAN (Mr. MacDonald, Cape Breton):

I would point out to hon. gentlemen who have urged that this bill should not have been sent to committee of the whole house that the proper time to have made those objections was on the motion to submit the bill to committee of the whole.

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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

And the discussion now is simply reflecting on the action of the house.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I have never pretended yet to know much about the rules; the less you know about them I think the better. But I have been reading up May for another purpose, and I find there that if you want to raise a question of this kind you raise it immediately on going into committee.

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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 the point exactly. This house without a single dissenting voice accepted the motion unanimously, a few moments ago, to go into committee of the whole house on this bill. Nobody raised his voice against it-not a single soul.

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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VALLANCE:

Cannot the motion be rescinded?

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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:

No, it is not going to be rescinded because the house unanimously accepted the motion to go into committee of the whole, and that is where we are now.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I submit that the Prime Minister is entirely incorrect. The motion was to submit the bill forthwith to committee of the whole house. Now either on the title of the bill or on the preamble we can have a general discussion in committee and move to rise and report progress and ask leave to sit again. Once the committee rises and reports progress, the Prime Minister or the minister can immediately move that this bill be referred to the committee on agriculture. So I submit, Mr. Chairman, that the procedure of my hon. friends on this side is absolutely correct.

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May 2, 1934