April 9, 1935

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES


First report of the select standing committee on banking and commerce.-Mr. Chaplin. 2546 COMMONS Elections Act-Alternative Vote Second report of the select standing committee on government railways and shipping owned, operated and controlled by the government.-Mr. Geary.


REHABILITATION OF DROUGHT AREAS

CON

Robert Weir (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ROBERT WEIR (Minister of Agriculture) :

I propose to proceed with the resolution standing in my name in yesterday's votes and proceedings. I realize that it can only be done with the unanimous consent of the house.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

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

No objection.

Mr. WEIR (MeLfort) moved that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following proposed resolution:

That it is expedient to bring in a measure to provide for the rehabilitation of drought areas in the provinces of Manitoba. Saskatchewan and Alberta, and for the appropriation for the said purposes of such funds as may be necessary to carry into effect the proposed legislation.

He said: His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject matter of this resolution, recommends it to the favourable consideration of the house.

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Motion agreed to.


DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT


Mr. W. A. BEYNON (Moose Jaw) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 52 to amend the Dominion Elections Act, 1934. (Alternative vote.).


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

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CON

William Addison Beynon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEYNON:

Mr. Speaker, the object of this bill is to introduce the alternative vote so far as the province of Saskatchewan, is concerned. It is limited to that province for this reason: There is a large body of public opinion in all parts of Canada in favour of some such system of voting, and there is also considerable opposition to it in some sections of Canada. It was thought advisable to introduce the system with reference to Saskatchewan only as an experiment, in order that the people- [DOT]

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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LIB
CON

William Addison Beynon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEYNON:

I will explain that in a moment. Several attempts have been made to introduce such a system of voting for the whole of Canada, but they have always failed largely, I think, because the people are not

familiar with it and do not realize its advantages. It was thought that by experimenting with one province the people would see how it works ou-t, and perhaps they might view it in a different light.

The object of this method of voting is this. It very often happens under the present system that where one candidate is to be elected more than two candidates run, and the candidate elected receives a minority of the votes in the riding. One of the. main reasons for applying it to Saskatchewan, so far as I am concerned, is that I am familiar with the situation in that province. The other reason is that hon. gentlemen opposite have told us, and I have no doubt they were sincere, that in the province of Saskatchewan there is a great preponderance of public opinion in favour of the Liberal party.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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CON

William Addison Beynon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEYNON:

The only danger they face there is that with third parties intervening their vote may be split up, and the Conservative might be elected by a minority vote.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

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CON

William Addison Beynon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEYNON:

While we like to come to Ottawa, as supporters of the government we do not like to come representing a minority of our riding. Of -course if hon. gentlemen opposite are merely boasting; if they want to come down here by a minority vote, that is a horse of a different colour, -but if they have behind them that preponderance of public opinion which we are -told they have, this system of voting will be all to their advantage because it will enable the majority to express their will without allowing some third party to come in and split that majority so that some candidate, receiving only a minority of the votes, may find himself elected.

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Motion agreed to, on division, and bill read the first time.


PRICE SPREADS AND MASS BUYING

PUBLICATION OP REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OP PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT

April 9, 1935