May 9, 1934

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Yes. I was wondering

why we could not work Wednesday nights.

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

Pierre-François Casgrain (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

We have been working all afternoon, and if more ministers had been in the house we might have had some further explanations. Now we have a majority of council here, so perhaps we can find out what minister will be appointed by order in council to administer this bill. I have asked several of the ministers, but they could not give me any answer. Now I am going to ask the Prime Minister.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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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 will answer you at

once, as soon as you sit down.

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

Pierre-François Casgrain (Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

Very well.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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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 never the practice,

under British constitutional government, to anticipate the action of the governor in council. The hon. gentleman is a student of the constitution, and he should know that.

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

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The practice is to state in the statute which minister will administer it.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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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. That was not followed by the hon. gentleman himself.

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

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

That has not been the practice of the right hon. gentleman, but there is a difference between his practice and the British constitution.

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

May I point out why it is done in this way? Death does sometimes destroy people, and in order that it may be possible to assign to any particular minister the administration of the act this procedure is followed. This is the modern practice with respect to the administration of a bill or a statute. It is administered in the first instance by the minister who takes charge of it, but conditions may change; life is not certain. We simply provide here that action may be taken in this way.

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

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

That is better than the

British constitution.

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

As to the governor in council, I think my hon. friend the ex-Minister of Justice will admit that it is not customary in any parliamentary institution to anticipate by a statement what action might be taken by the governor in council, because possibly the speaker at the moment might not be a member of that council.

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

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Does my right hon. friend remember the eloquence he displayed when he was attacking that procedure? He referred to it as the new despotism referred to by Lord Hewart, the doing by regulation or order in council of things which ought to be done by parliament? My right hon. friend was correct at the time, and I hope he will endeavour to make his actions conform to his views and expressions of opinion at that time. I think my right hon. friend was much better when he was leader of the opposition, even so far as the British constitution is concerned, than he is to-day. Power is spoiling my right hon. friend; really I think he ought to go to purgatory for a short time to purify his constitutional soul.

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

You know, Mr. Chairman, it is so delightful to hear the hon. gentleman speak in these terms, for his genial good humour so much more becomes him than the other attitude he sometimes assumes. When he indicated a moment ago that he thought I was right in the observations which I directed to the house some years ago I only regretted that it took him so long to discover it. I feel perfectly confident that after the same length of time that has elapsed since those observations were made and to-day, he will realize that I am right now. I have no doubt as to that.

I am sure my hon. friend does not desire to confuse this matter with that with which Lord Hewart was dealing. He was dealing with a statute which conferred upon the governor in council the power to legislate, and he said that was going too far. Chief Justice Mulock, of Ontario, took up the matter the other day in an address at a banquet, in which he dealt with it in much the same way. Some of the members of the British government replied to Lord Hewart, pointing out that it is perfectly clear that in these modern days you must have large authority vested in the executive to meet conditions which change every day. We must be able to meet those conditions and that is why regulations having the force of law are passed by the executive. I am sure if the hon. gentleman will just carry his mind back to the administration of law in his time he will realize that without this power it would be practically impossible

Privilege-Mr. Luchkovich

to conduct the government. Supposing you set out your regulations and make them part of the statute; supposing we had done that two years ago-

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

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Naming the minister is what we are talking about.

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

I am dealing with what the hon. gentleman was saying. I think it would be impossible to name the minister.

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

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Designate him.

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

Designating the minister is not, it seems to me, imperative by any stretch of the imagination. It might be desirable, but I have explained why it has not been done. With man's uncertain tenure of life, or for other reasons, it may be desirable to transfer the administration of a statute from one minister to another. That happens frequently in Great Britain; it happened here, for instance, in connection with the mounted police. When I first came to this house in 1911 the Prime Minister administered the mounted police, but they were transferred to the Minister of Justice for reasons that are quite obvious. I could name other statutes the administration of which has been changed from time to time by executive action.

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

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Is there not a [DOT]general statute which empowers the governor in council to make such changes? Did not Sir Robert Borden put through such a statute?

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

Yes, to enable that to be done, and in order that there might be no question it is so stated in this statute as a matter of abundant precaution. I do not think any complaint should be made because this practice has been followed. It is not important; there is no great principle involved. It is a question as to which minister shall administer the statute, and the minister who will administer it will be that minister who, from the condition of his own department, might have the best training to carry on that administration with the least expense to the country. That is all. There is no sinister motive behind it, or anything like that; there is no sinister design, but merely a desire.

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

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The trouble is that parliament is unable to secure any information as to what is going to be done. I do not imply that there are sinister motives of any kind, but surely we have the right to some information before giving our assent to legislation of this kind.

Section stands.

Progress reported.

Topic:   MARKETING ACT
Subtopic:   ORGANIZATION TO IMPROVE METHODS AND PRACTICES IN MARKETING NATURAL PRODUCTS
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May 9, 1934