June 20, 1935

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

PRIVATE BILLS


Third report of the select standing committee on miscellaneous private bills-Mr. Stinson.


CANADIAN GRAIN BOARD


First report of the special committee on Bill No. 98, to provide for the constitution and powers of the Canadian grain board-Mr. Bennett.


BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT


Mr. F. W. TURNBULL (Regina) presented the second report of the special committee on the British North America Act, as follows: The special committee of the House of Commons, appointed to study and report on the best method by which the British North America Act may be amended so that while safeguarding the existing rights of racial and religious minorities and legitimate provincial claims to autonomy, the dominion government may be given adequate power to deal effectively with urgent economic problems which are essentially national in scope, begs leave to present the following as its second and final report. Your committee has held' ten sessions and has heard the opinions of a number of witnesses. Under the instructions of the committee, telegrams were sent to the respective attorneys-general of the nine provinces in the following terms: "The special committee of the House of Commons on the British North America Act desires to have the views of your government with respect to methods of securing amendments to said act. The resolution referred to the committee follows: 'Resolved that in the opinion of this house a special committee should be set up to study and report on the best method by which the British North America Act may be amended so that w-hile safeguarding the existing rights of racial and religious minorities and legitimate provincial claims to autonomy, the dominion government may be given adequate power to deal effectively with urgent economic problems which are essentially national in scope.' While the committee does not object to the personal attendance of a representative of your government it was thought less costly to ask for a wrritten submission. Copies of proceedings have been sent you. Please intimate when we may expect to receive your submission." The following answers were received:- Prince Edward Island-"Your wire March twenty-seventh. Government of Prince Edward Island is of opinion that dominion government should formulate its plan and policy for the purposes intended and that this should be submitted to the provincial governments and afterwards discussed at a conference of representatives of the provinces and the dominion." Signed by II. F. MacPhee, Attorney-General. New Brunswick-"Will wire views as soon as available. Delay unavoidable." Signed by W. H. Harrison, Attorney-General. (New Brunswick views not yet received). Nova Scotia "Our legislature now in session and most difficult to attend to matter of this kind norv in way you suggest. We feel matter should be approached by conferences between representatives of provinces and dominion where each would have the views of the other and ample time to discuss the matter." Signed by J. H. MacQuarrie, Attorney-General. Quebec-"Your telegram received. Surely the committee cannot expect that the views of the province of Quebec will be discussed by a change of telegrams or letters. In a matter of such importance I suggest that a conference of the dominion and the provinces should be held." Signed by L. A. Taschereau, Attorney-General. Ontario-"Province of Ontario does not desire to make any representation before your committee re British North America Act amendment as no good purpose will be served by attempting to advise dominion government at this time." Signed by A. W. Roebuck, Attorney-General. Manitoba-"With further reference to your telegram of the 27th March, to the attorney-general and to his reply of the 5th instant, the government have now had an opportunity of giving consideration to the suggestion that it should make a written submission regarding the subject matter that is before your committee. "The government of Manitoba is of the opinion that the subject matter referred to in the resolution is one of such importance that no written submission, setting out our views in reference to it, should be made without a conference with the other provinces and the dominion government. We would be willing to attend such a conference at any time, with a view to arriving at a definite method of procedure for making amendments to the British North America Act." Signed by John Bracken. Saskatchewan.-"Referring to your telegram of the twenty-seventh day of March wherein you requested the government of the province to make representations either orally or by written memoranda as to the methods of B.N.A. Act-Second Report



procedure which this province would suggest in connection with amendments to the Canadian constitution I would say that I have been following with intense interest the proceedings of your committee. The question of what if any provision is to be made for amendment of the Canadian constitution from time to time is a question which ultimately must be decided by conferences between the governments of the provinces and the government of Canada with the possibility of a previous preliminary interprovincial conference. In view of this fact it would appear to be unwise for the provinces to be giving their views before <a committee of the House of Commons. With due deference might I be permitted to suggest that the proper procedure is for your committee to pursue its present inquiry and to make a report to the House of Commons which I presume will either be accepted or amended or merely received without binding the government to 'accept the proposals of the committee and with this report available the provinces could then give consideration as to what attitude they desired to take and perhaps discuss the matter amongst themselves and thereafter join with the federal government in a general conference. The report of your committee would serve as the basis of discussion around which would take place the ultimate solution of this problem. We realize that the question is one of great national importance and should be decided in the welfare of Canada free of all political considerations and we are certainly prepared to do our share towards the facilitating of a'solution but we feel that we must look after the interests of the province and think that the procedure I have outlined would be the proper course for us to adopt at this time." Signed by T. C. Davis, Attorney General. Alberta.-"Re -amendment B.N.A. Act. Alberta government appreciate desire of committee to have views of all provinces before it on this very vital question but considers approach to question should be through interchange of views at interprovincial conference." Signed by Mr. Lymburn. British Columbia.-"Reference your wire twenty-seventh to attorney general requesting written submission from the government of this province to your committee it is the opinion of the government that amendment of the constitution is too important a matter to be deailt with in nranner suggested. It is not thought that satisfactory conclusions can be reached either federally or provinciality until a conference of the provinces and the dominion is held when full discussion may be had and matters properly debated. Other than stating that the right should be secured to amend our constitution in Canada this province respectfully declines to make submission to your committee, neither will it feel bound by any report which may be made by your committee." Signed by T. D. Pattulilo. In no case did the authorities of these provinces signify any desire to present their views to your committee, either in writing or orally. The committee recognizes that there is a divergence of opinion with respect to the question of whether or not the British North America Act is a statutory recognition of a compact among the four original provinces of the dominion and as to the necessity or otherwise of provincial concurrence in amendments. Without expressing any opinion upon that question, the committee feel that in the present case and at the present time it is advisable in TMr. Turnbull.] the interest of harmony and unity that there should be consultation with the provinces with respect to the adoption of a definite mode of amendment or the enactment of amending legislation which niight seriously alter the legislative jurisdiction of the provinces and the dominion. Many interesting suggestions were made. Dr. Kennedy, professor of law at Toronto university, suggested thtit a royal commission should be appointed to study the workings of the act, with a view to recommending a rearrangement of powers if thought necessary. Dr. Ollivier, K.C., LL.D., joint law clerk of the House of Commons suggested that: (a) Obsolete sections should be dropped. (b) Certain sections should be subject to amendment without consultation of the provinces. (c) Certain sections should be amended only with the concurrence of a majority of the provinces. (d) Certain sections might be amended with the consent of one province only. (e) Other sections should be amended only on consent of all the provinces. Dr. Scott, professor of civil law at McGill university, expressed the view that as the dominion parliament represented the population of the provinces, ordinary amendments should be made upon a majority vote of both houses and amendments affecting minority rights should be approved in addition by all provincial legislatures, in order to become law. Professor Rogers, professor of political science at Queens university, suggested that a dominion-provincial conference or a national convention might appoint a committee to draft an amended constitution to be thereafter approved by the conference or convention and subsequently by the dominion and provincial legislatures. He was of the opinion that the question of consulting the provinces was a matter of political expediency rather than one of legal right. Doctor Arthur Beauchesne, C.M.G., K.C., clerk of the House of Commons, would have a new constitution drafted by a constituent assembly composed of delegates representing the various provinces and the dominion, made up of all classes of people. The constitution so drafted woiuld be thereafter adopted by the dominion and the provinces, approved by the King, and the present a-ct thereupon repealed. The committee recognizes the urgent necessity for prompt consideration of amendments to the British North America Act with reference to a redistribution of legislative power and to clarify the field of taxation. It is further of opinion that the conference hereafter proposed should carefully consider the adoption of a recognized yet flexible method of amendment. In view of the fact that the several provinces did not feel it advisable to give the committee the benefit of their views with respect to the method of procedure to be followed in amending the constitution, the committee is of the opinion that before any decision upon the subject matter of the resolution is finally made, the opinions of the provinces should be obtained otherwise, if at all possible, and for that reason recommends that a dominion-provincial conference be held as early as possible in the present year to study the subject matter of the resolution. The proposed conference should have ample time in which to study every phase of the question. Questions In view of t'he above recommendation the committee expressly refrains from recommending any form of procedure for amendment so as to leave the proposed conference entirely free in its study of the question, except that the committee is definitely of the opinion that minority rights agreed upon and granted under the provisions of the British North America Act should not be interfered with. A copy of the minutes of proceedings and evidence is submitted herewith. All of which is respectfully submitted. Mr. BENNETT moved the adoption of the report. Motion agreed to.


RESOLUTIONS TABLED


On the orders of the day:


CON

Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. A. BARRETTE (Bert-hier-Masikin-onge) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to lay on the table of the house copies of resolutions passed by the municipalities of Saint-Damase-de-Brandon and Louiseville, protesting against the imposition of a sales tax of six per cent on vegetables canned by farmers' cooperative societies.

Topic:   RESOLUTIONS TABLED
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QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk).


TUBERCULIN TESTS OF CATTLE-ALBERTA

LIB

Mr. GERSHAW:

Liberal

1. What was the number of tubercular tests made on milch cows in 1934 in Alberta?

2. What was the total number of cows tested in 1934 in Alberta?

3. What was the cost of making the above

tests ? .

4. What was the total amount spent in Alberta in 1934 by the health of animals branch?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   TUBERCULIN TESTS OF CATTLE-ALBERTA
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CON

Mr. WEIR (Melfort): (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   TUBERCULIN TESTS OF CATTLE-ALBERTA
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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-STALLIONS

LIB

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Liberal

1. How many stallions does the Department of Agriculture own?

2. What are the registered names and numbers of each?

3. Of what breed is each?

4. What did each cost?

5. What were the transportation charges, if any?

6. Where are they now located?

7. What fees, if any, are charged?

8. What is paid for the care and keep of each animal?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-STALLIONS
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CON

Mr. WEIR (Melfort): (Minister of Agriculture)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-STALLIONS
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CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, a question was asked yesterday in the house respecting the situation at Vancouver. I beg to read the following telegram received to-day from Mayor Mc-Geer of Vancouver:

C.N.R.-Capital Structure

Yesterday's attempt of mob incited by communist leader to flout constitutional authority and to attack men lawfully at work on harbour commissioners dock Ballantyne pier effectively suppressed. Wish to publicly express the fullest measure of appreciation of all law abiding citizens for splendid cooperation extended to city police by the officers and men of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police force stationed here.

McGeer,

Mayor.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-STALLIONS
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June 20, 1935