March 23, 1936

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

No, I had not seen it, I was not in the house.

Topic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL SINCE OCTOBER 23, 1935
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I take- my right hon. friend's word for that. However,

Privileges and Elections

I do not think he is surprised that, in view of the responsibility I have with respect to the production of public documents, I do not accede to a request which involves creating a precedent as far-reaching as the one he proposes. May I say to my right hon. friend that, if he will indicate the particular subjects on which he wishes to get information, the government naturally will take his request under consideration and accept the responsibility for either refusing or granting it. We are anxious to accommodate him whenever it is in order so to do with the fullest information possible in regard to all proceedings of the government. But I must respectfully decline to grant the present request, which is in the nature of a resolution for omnibus authority to obtain access to pretty much everything which has been done by the privy council, since the present government came into power, and is of record in the offices of the privy council.

Topic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL SINCE OCTOBER 23, 1935
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The government have been passing them every day this session.

Motion negatived.

Topic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL SINCE OCTOBER 23, 1935
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PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS

STATUS OP SPEAKER OP COMMONS BETWEEN DISSOLUTION AND NEW PARLIAMENT-PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO RETENTION OR DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved:

That the standing committee on privileges and elections be instructed to inquire into, study and report on, the usages, customs and practices respecting the status of the Speaker of the House of Commons during the period of time which may elapse between any dissolution of the House of Commons and the assembly of a new parliament, and in particular the rights, prerogatives, privileges, jurisdiction and duties ordinarily and customarily exercised by the Speaker under such circumstances in previous years in Canada;

And, also, the status of clerks, officers, messengers or other persons attendant on the House of Commons, distinguishing between such persons as are permanent officers and such as are temporary and those whose duties are of a sessional character;

And the right and proper procedure to be adopted with respect to the retention or dismissal of any such employees;

And that the committee have power to print such papers and evidence from day to day, as may be ordered by the committee for the use of the committee and members of the house.

Topic:   PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   STATUS OP SPEAKER OP COMMONS BETWEEN DISSOLUTION AND NEW PARLIAMENT-PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO RETENTION OR DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES
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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, there are two matters to which I wish to direct the attention of the house in dealing with this resolution. First, it is the custom in the mother of

parliaments when a question of privilege is discussed to have the Prime Minister a member of the committee. For the time being he is supposed to have a greater interest than anybody else in the maintenance of the privileges of parliament, because he has control of the government of the day. It will be recalled perhaps by hon. members that when Mr. Churchill in the British house made a statement regarding the attitude taken by the Lancashire board of trade-at the instance, it was said, of Lord Derby-a committee was set up and Mr. MacDonald in fact presided over the deliberations of the committee on privileges in which the matter was investigated. That is the first question. I am not quite sure whether the Prime Minister is a member of the committee on privileges and elections.

Topic:   PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   STATUS OP SPEAKER OP COMMONS BETWEEN DISSOLUTION AND NEW PARLIAMENT-PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO RETENTION OR DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No.

Topic:   PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   STATUS OP SPEAKER OP COMMONS BETWEEN DISSOLUTION AND NEW PARLIAMENT-PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO RETENTION OR DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

At any rate, it is a large committee. Usually matters of this kind are set down for a committee on privileges smaller in number than the one we have here.

The second question is as to whether or not the motion is sufficiently comprehensive to permit an investigation regarding the dismissal of employees in the early part of this year, and the employment on a tentative basis of their successors. As I read the motion it is probably broad enough for that purpose. I have no objection to offer to the resolution; for I had proposed when the committee was organized to ask that it consider the matter, and I have taken certain preliminary steps for the purpose of getting information to enable me to do so, subject to what I have said as to whether or not the motion is sufficient. I take it that it is sufficient to enable all questions of that kind to be gone into. I see no objection to the matter being considered, remembering however that we have a statute which the committee cannot construe, but which must be interpreted ultimately by a court of law. Presumably some of those who were dismissed this spring will bring action against the Speaker to ascertain whether or not he had any such power as that which was exercised. That is a matter of interpretation of the statute, and one with which the committee cannot possibly deal.

Topic:   PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   STATUS OP SPEAKER OP COMMONS BETWEEN DISSOLUTION AND NEW PARLIAMENT-PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO RETENTION OR DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I thank my right hon. friend for suggesting that I should be a member of the committee on privileges and elections. It is a standing committee of the house, and I notice in looking over past records my right hon. friend, while Prime

European Situation

Minister,, was not on that committee. I imagined I would be following a precedent which would appeal to him as a good one if I followed his example in not placing myself on the committee at the time it was constituted. If there should be something in what my right hon. friend has said as to the desirability of the Prime Minister being on the committee, in the event of some situation arising in the committee which might materially affect matters of procedure or authority with respect to the House of Commons I shall be glad to hold myself in readiness and, if the committee so desire later on become a member of it. However I have no doubt that in so far as I am able to limit the number of obligations I have to meet each day it will the better serve the interests of all others concerned, as well as my own interests.

As to my right hon. friend's observations to the effect that he is not sure whether the motion is broad enough to cover all points he may have in mind, or those which other hon. members may have in mind, I would direct the right hon. gentleman's attention to what I said on February 13, when I was giving the house an assurance as to the desire of the administration to make the reference as broad as might be desired by all parties. I am reported at page 179 of unrevised Hansard as follows:

If the reference is not broad enough when it is submitted by the administration, and if it appeals to the house as being desirable to make it any broader. I give every assurance that the desires of the house will be acceded to.

I doubt if it is possible to go farther than that.

Topic:   PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   STATUS OP SPEAKER OP COMMONS BETWEEN DISSOLUTION AND NEW PARLIAMENT-PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO RETENTION OR DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I think that is right. May I say a word in explanation of what I meant when I made the suggestion as to the Prime Minister being a member of the committee. The Prime Minister's duties are so onerous that ordinarily his being a member of the committee on privileges and elections would be out of the question, but when there is involved a point respecting the power and usages of the House of Commons itself, with relation to the Speaker and employees of the house, I think a distinction must be made. I believe it was in consequence of that view that Mr. MacDonald presided over the special committee on privileges which dealt with the case of Mr. Churchill. That action was taken because it was considered a matter of great importance to the house itself.

Topic:   PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Subtopic:   STATUS OP SPEAKER OP COMMONS BETWEEN DISSOLUTION AND NEW PARLIAMENT-PROCEDURE WITH RESPECT TO RETENTION OR DISMISSAL OF EMPLOYEES
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Motion agreed to.


BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

EASTER ADJOURNMENT

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved:

That when this house adjourns on Wednesday, 8th of April, it stand adjourned until Monday, 20t,h April, next.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EASTER ADJOURNMENT
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Motion agreed to.


MANITOBA RELIEF CAMPS


On the orders of the day.


CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, may I direct

a question to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers)? I have a communication from the building trades council of Winnipeg in which it is stated that men are being taken from the relief camps and are working at the Minto street barracks at very low wages. Some of them are doing mechanics' work for twenty cents a day. The complaint is made that in this procedure there is an evasion of the fair wages law of Manitoba. Has this matter been called to the attention of the minister, and if so what is the government's policy in connection therewith?

Hon. NORMAN McL. ROGERS (Minister of Labour) : Mr. Speaker, this matter had

not been brought to my attention previously. I thank the hon. member for placing it before me and I assure him that I shall look into it immediately. Possibly he would give me a precis of the lettergram he has just quoted.

Topic:   MANITOBA RELIEF CAMPS
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EUROPEAN SITUATION

March 23, 1936