February 24, 1936

HALIFAX HARBOUR COMMISSION

REC

Henry Herbert Stevens

Reconstruction

Mr. STEVENS:

For a copy of all correspondence, letters, telegrams, orders in council appointing royal commission, report if any of the said royal commission, copy of the evidence taken by the said royal commission, and all other documents and papers appertaining thereto, in connection with an item appearing in the estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1937, as vote No. 227 and reading as folows:-

"To reimburse Peter R. Jack and Chas. A. Ackhurst, one time harbour commissioners at Halifax, for expenses incurred by them in connection with the inquiry into the administration of the Halifax Harbour Commission in 1930, $3,855.10."

Also a statement covering the expenditures, made by the Halifax Harbour Commissioners, which were involved in the investigation or formed the basis of the appointment of the said royal commission presided over by the late Mr. Justice Orde, giving particulars of the amount involved and the firms to whom the said expenditures wrere paid.

Also a statement indicating the disposition of the matter following the death of the late Mr. Justice Orde.

Also a copy of all letters, telegrams, or other correspondence or documents passing between any member of the government or official of the government and the said Peter R. Jack or the said Chas. A. Ackhurst, or their counsel during the years 1930 up to February 19, 1936.

Topic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR COMMISSION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I have no objection to producing the papers asked for, but I am advised by the officers of the department that it will take three or four months of the full time of one stenographer to do the typing.

Topic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR COMMISSION
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REC

Henry Herbert Stevens

Reconstruction

Mr. STEVENS:

I might make a suggestion which would probably lighten the task veiy much. Where the motion refers to a copy of the evidence, which I presume would represent most of the copying, it would be quite satisfactory if a copy of the evidence were laid on the table without going to the trouble or expense of making a special copy of it for the purposes of this return.

Freight Rates on Grain

Topic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR COMMISSION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I am told that the chief difficulty is the last paragraph. There is an immense file of correspondence. Possibly the time could be shortened if my hon. friend would drop into the office and we could discuss what is wanted.

Topic:   HALIFAX HARBOUR COMMISSION
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Motion agreed to.


FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN

DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20


On the motion of Mr. Perley (Qu'Appelle): That, in the opinion of this house, the domestic freight rate on grain and grain products moving from any point in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, to a point in any of the said provinces, or from any point, to another point, in any of the said provinces, be adjusted or reduced to at least not more than three cents per hundred pounds over the existing export rates.


LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Before we proceed with

this order I might draw the attention of the house to the fact that on Thursday last when this motion was called a point of order was raised; I ventured to suggest a certain opinion, and the matter was postponed until to-day. If any hon. member would like to express his views or discuss the point of order I am ready to hear him before I give a final ruling.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Marine; Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Hon. C. D. HOWE (Minister of Railways and Canals):

The statement was made that

there is a very material difference between the subject matter of this motion and the subject matter of the bill presented by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid). I looked into the question rather carefully, and I can see very little difference. It seems to me that if the bill presented by the hon. member for New Westminster were to pass there would be nothing left to debate on the subject matter of this motion. I think that the mover will agree that the question to be discussed here is that of the domestic rates on grain moving westward. As far as the interprovincial movement is concerned, it does not seem to me that there is anything to engage particularly the attention of the house. The export rate on grain to Fort William from any point is known; it is the Crowsnest rate. So far as grain moving between the provinces in that direction is concerned the^rate is in no case higher than the Fort William rate. So that I think when boiled down it simply means that whereas the hon. member for New Westminster moved that the domestic rate on

grain moving westward be equalized with the export rate, this motion provides that the rate on grain moving westward shall be set three cents higher than the export rate. It seems to me that these bills very closely duplicate each other, and that the ruling of Mr. Speaker as first given is entirely correct.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, if this

were a matter of legal argument one might understand the observations of the Minister of Railways (Mr. Howe), but it is a question of reading words. All that is necessary is to read the bill and' the resolution. I shall take the bill first. It deals with traffic "moving westwardly from Fort William, and from all points on all lines of railway west of Fort William, to Vancouver, British Columbia and to ports on the Pacific coast." It deals specifically with traffic from Fort William, or points on all lines of railway west of Fort William, to Vancouver, British Columbia, and to all ports on the Pacific coast. The resolution deals with an entirely separate and distinct matter. H the minister would only take the trouble to read the resolution he would not have been guilty of making the observations he has made this afternoon, because he will find that there is no similarity between them at all, and not a scintilla of evidence to support that view. Let us look at the resolution: "That, in the opinion

of this house, the domestic freight rate on grain and grain products moving from any point"-not Fort William-"in the provinces of"-not Ontario; not Fort William, but "Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia"-that is, traffic moving from those four provinces westward-"to a point"-not Vancouver or Pacific points-"in any of the said provinces,"-that is interprovincial trade -"or from any point, to another point, in any of the said provinces," be adjusted or reduced to at least not more than three cents differential. Now, all one has to do is to read, and I am sure if that is read by the Minister of Railways he will not suggest that these two things are the same.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

Vancouver is not mentioned in the resolution, but surely it is included.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

No.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

But "any point" includes British Columbia and Vancouver. I am of the opinion that the ruling as indicated a few days ago by Mr. Speaker is the proper determination of the point of order, not only because the question raised by the hon. member for New Westminster

Freight Rates on Gram

was there first, but because it is a more effective way to come to an effective result. In other words it would be more effective to have a bill than an academic resolution, or, if you like, a pious wish.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

As a matter of information may I ask which was on the order paper first, the bill or the resolution?

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The resolution was on the order paper first.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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CON

Ernest Edward Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY (Qu'Appelle):

I sent the resolution to the clerk of the house early in the new year. I notice the Minister of Railways (Mr. Howe) spoke of interprovincial shipment, and suggested that it does not matter very much, but may I say that that is an important part of the argument I wish to adduce. I would point out further that the bill introduced by the hon. member for New Westminster provides for equalization, whereas the resolution provides for an adjustment of the differential down to within three cents.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

In answer to the question asked by the hon. member for North Winnipeg (Mr. Heaps) may I point out that no person can put a bill on the order paper until the house meets. The bill standing in my name would have been on the order paper as soon as the dissolution of the last parliament, but I could not do it then.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

But it was not.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES ON GRAIN
Subtopic:   DEBATE AND RULING OP MR. SPEAKER ON POINT OP ORDER RAISED BY MR. POWER ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20
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February 24, 1936