February 2, 1937

THE LATE HERBERT EARL WILTON

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):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday afternoon I crossed the floor of the house to express to the right hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) and the hon. member for St. Antoine-Westmount (Mr. White) my thanks and those of my colleagues for their expressions of sympathy on the loss which we and our party had sustained in the death of a much revered member of this house, the Hon. Charles Marcil. While talking with, my right hon, friend he handed me a communication he had just received from the press gallery informing him that only an hour or two before one of his own supporters Mr. Herbert Wilton, the member for Hamilton West, had passed away. This word was the more startling in that as late as Friday of last week Mr. Wilton had taken part in one of the debates of this house. I rise to express to my right hon. friend and to those who sit about him the sincere sympathy of all hon.

members on this side of the house in the loss they have sustained. Mr. Wilton had been in the house only a short time. He was returned at the last general election and as a consequence had been here for less than a year. His election at the age of sixty-seven years to represent the city of Hamilton must have been in part a recognition of the public services which for several years he had rendered in the civic affairs of that city, first as alderman and subsequently as mayor. It was evidence as well of appreciation on the part of his fellow citizens of his public spirit as disclosed in the many activities with which at one time or another his life was concerned.

Having been for so short a time a member of this house many of us did not have the privilege of more than a passing acquaintance with Mr. Wilton. However we had the opportunity of hearing him speak on several occasions, and I believe the impression he left on all hon. members was that he was a man not only of pleasant personality, but of high purpose and one who had sincerely at heart the interests of his fellow men. He leaves behind a wife and several children. I am sure the sympathy of this house in the fullest measure will go out to all who have been so suddenly and so greatly bereaved. Again may I express to hon. gentlemen opposite the deep sympathy we feel for them in their loss.

Topic:   THE LATE HERBERT EARL WILTON
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of those who are associated with me, as well as for myself, I wish to express our grateful appreciation of the kind and sympathetic words spoken by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), in his capacity as leader of the House of Commons, concerning the loss we have sustained in the passing of one of our numbers.

I can add little to what has been said by the leader of the government. Mr. Wilton was first known to me last year when he was a candidate for Hamilton West. I learned that he had touched the life of his community at many points. He had been a journalist, which is the kindergarten and high school-very often the university- from which the men who come to this house graduate. He had been a telegrapher and more latterly had been interested in business in a larger way. He had served his city as aider-man and had been an enterprising and devoted mayor. Many desirable improvements were made in the city of Hamilton through his initiative. Mr. Wilton was of a most friendly disposition; he was kind and considerate, and most thoughtful of others. Perhaps that fact,

The late Herbert Earl Wilton

together with the long years of faithful service he had rendered to his fellow citizens, enabled him to survive the deluge of 1935.

We will miss him greatly, not only because of his friendly and kindly disposition but because he possessed what is characteristic of so many of his type, common sense. He had sound judgment and a keen appreciation of public opinion. The people of Hamilton will mourn one who was their friend, and those who have known difficulties and trouble will sorrow greatly because of his passing. We will miss his sterling sense. I recall not long since reading what a great man said respecting a statesman of his day who had not had the benefits of academic training, but who was regarded in his own country as one of the foremost men of his time. This distinguished commentator said: "I would rather have half an hour of his common sense expression of opinion on the problems of my country than the considered opinion of many others for long periods of time." Mr. Wilton was to us not only a valued colleague, not only a friend, but one whose common sense could be said to be a cross-section of the great community in which he lived. His loyalty to Hamilton was perhaps his distinguishing characteristic, and his willingness to help that community in any possible way was always manifest.

We are reminded that in the midst of life we are in death; for it was only on Friday last that Mr. Wilton was in this chamber, and now he has passed from us. I am sure that his wife and children will read with satisfaction and pleasure, tempered of course by their great sorrow, of the fact that in the chamber in which he served so short a time he had made so many friends, and that he merited the views expressed by the right hon. the Prime Minister in the statement which he has made to-day. As our expression of the sense of loss we have sustained is conveyed to the bereaved they will have the assurance of our recognition that he who now has gone from us made some contribution in this chamber to the public life of the country he loved so well.

Topic:   THE LATE HERBERT EARL WILTON
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

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

Mr. Speaker, the late Mr. Wilton did not belong to our group, but he sat in close proximity to us, and I sometimes think that proximity is a rather severe test of a man's qualities. I feel that in the short period he was in the house he revealed himself to us as being friendly and kind. I can think of no other words that would better describe him. We join with the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in tendering to his wife and children our very deep sympathy in what must have been to them the very great shock of his sudden demise.

Topic:   THE LATE HERBERT EARL WILTON
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, during the short time the late Mr. Wilton was in the house he impressed me as being calm, sane, open-minded and progressive. We cannot but regret the loss to us and to those who loved him. May we join our voices to those who have spoken already in his honour.

Topic:   THE LATE HERBERT EARL WILTON
Permalink

CRIMINAL CODE

PROPOSED ABOLITION OF HANGING AS DEATH PENALTY-APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE

LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, by leave of the house, I move, seconded by Mr. Elliott (Middlesex):

That pursuant to the motion passed by the house on January 28, the special committee thereby appointed to study the subject matter of Bill No. 6, intituled an act to amend the criminal code, be composed of the following members, namely, Messrs. Barber, Bertrand (Laurier), Blair, Clarke (Rosedale), Girouard, Hall, Hamilton, Howden, Hyndman, Macphail (Miss), McCulloch, McIntosh, McPhee, O'Neill, Plaxton, Raymond, Sinclair, Taylor (Nanaimo), and Veniot, and that standing order 65 be suspended in relation thereto.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ABOLITION OF HANGING AS DEATH PENALTY-APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE

INSTRUCTION TO SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO STUDY AND REPORT ON METHODS OF EFFECTING REDISTRIBUTION

LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice) moved:

That the special committee appointed to study the Dominion Elections Act, 1934, and amendments thereto, and the Dominion Franchise Act, 1934, and amendments thereto, be instructed to study and make report on the methods used to effect a redistribution of electoral districts in Canada and in other countries and to make suggestions to the house in connection therewith.

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   INSTRUCTION TO SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO STUDY AND REPORT ON METHODS OF EFFECTING REDISTRIBUTION
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. JEAN FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, the question to be considered is the redistribution made in 1933 of the electoral districts of Canada. I should like to make a gift to the library of the House of Commons of a report on all the federal redistributions effected in the province of Quebec between 1853 and 1933. This report contains, first, a list of the 16 counties in which no change for federal purposes was made during that period. Then, a list of former constituencies, to the number of five, which are to-day joined to other electoral districts but which had not been altered since 1853. The next list covers six constituencies in which alterations made as a matter of form only, left the former boundaries intact. The next one comprises two

Elections and Franchise

constituencies enlarged by additions of territory. Then there is a list of fifteen united constituencies. Between 1853 and 1933 three constituencies were given a new name. Six new constituencies were formed outside the urban districts. The report also contains a summary of the changes made in former boundaries of constituencies and a statement giving in slightly greater detail the changes effected at each redistribution. There is appended to it Act 16, Chapter 152, a bill introduced by Hon. Augustin Norbert Morin, on October 1, 1852, to increase popular representation in parliament.

In order to realize the effects of the redistribution of 1933 it is essential to trace the history of each redistribution in each district from 1853 to the present day. The act of 1853 was reproduced in the statutes of 1860 and, in addition to the documents already mentioned, there is the complete text of the description of each electoral district, the original description of each district as given in the act of 1860, and the complete text of all subsequent changes up to 1933. There is also a list of the changes made in the electoral districts of Quebec from I860 to 1903. That is the first part of the report.

The second part gives the history of each redistribution from 1860 on, together with a table showing all the electoral districts of the province of Quebec in 1860 and the description of each one as it appears in the statute of 1860. It will be found on examination that in some cases there has been no change from 1853 to 1933.

After the statute of 1860 we come to the first Conservative gerrymander, in 1872, in which changes were made in three ridings. The art was then in its infancy. Later on, under Sir John Macdonald's administration, a second gerrymander was carried out in 1882 by the statute 45 Victoria, chapter 3, which altered the boundaries of six constituencies.

We come now to 1892 and 1893, when the Conservative party, which was at death's door, effected a shameful readjustment of seats both in Quebec and1 in Ontario. It was a real electoral orgy. The boundaries of 23 ridings were completely altered by removing Liberal parishes from counties to which they had belonged since 1860 and replacing them by Conservative parishes, in order to create Conservative strongholds in Quebec. It is when passing judgment on this shameful legislation of a dying and rotten government which sought to change the electoral boundaries of the old provinces of Ontario, Quebec and the maritimes that Sir Wilfrid Laurier stated on April 29, 1892, on page 1862 of Hansard: "That is a gerrymander with a vengeance."

We now come to 1903. The only alterations the Laurier government made in that year to the gerrymander of 1892 and 1893 consisted in putting back the old parishes in the electoral districts from which they should never have been removed.

In 1914, under the Borden administration, seven constituencies were reunited, one was divided, changes were made in five others, new boundaries were fixed for six ridings and twelve new electoral districts were created in Montreal.

In 1924, the government then headed by our present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) took steps to have the boundaries of the eighty-year-old federal districts respected. This necessarily involved a rectification of the new provincial subdivisions created in 1922.

We then come to the shameful redistribution of 1933, which did not give the results expected of it by the Tory government of the day which was swept away in the province of Quebec. The important thing, sir, is to have a table showing the population of each electoral district before and after the gerrymander of 1933. I have such a table here, and I add it to the report which I now hand to the clerk with the request that he submit it to the proper person and have it kept in the records of the House of Commons in case it might prove useful.

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   INSTRUCTION TO SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO STUDY AND REPORT ON METHODS OF EFFECTING REDISTRIBUTION
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


COMPANIES ACTS

COMMITTEE OF DOMINION AND PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS NECESSARY TO UNIFORMITY


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. THOMAS VIEN (Outremont):

Mr. Speaker, in November last a conference was held between representatives of the federal and provincial authorities on the question of bringing about a greater uniformity between dominion and provincial companies acts. I should like to ask the hon. the Secretary of State (Mr. Rinfret) if it is the intention of the government to table a report of the findings of that conference.

Topic:   COMPANIES ACTS
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE OF DOMINION AND PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS NECESSARY TO UNIFORMITY
Permalink
LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, I must thank my hon.

friend for being kind enough to give me notice of his question. In the course of a recent debate the hon. member for Kootenay East (Mr. Stevens) also alluded, to this matter. I may say that it is not the intention of the government this session to table an official report of the conference, which has not completed its work, but I have

Companies Acts

here a few notes which it may be of interest to place on record, if the house will permit.

Following a resolution unanimously adopted at the last dominion-provincial conference the Secretary of State convened a committee of officials of the dominion and the provinces to prepare a draft of a new companies act or of amendments to the present act for the purpose of endeavouring to secure uniform laws dealing with companies throughout Canada. The first meeting of this committee was held at Ottawa, November 3, to November 7, 1936. There were present representatives of various departments of the dominion government and representatives of governments of eight of the provinces. British Columbia did not find it possible to have a representative present at the time selected for the meeting, but it is expected that the province will be represented at future meetings.

The committee made excellent progress in a preliminary study of the questions, and the representatives have submitted reports to their respective governments. Subcommittees were set up to deal with particular branches of the subject. Some of these subcommittees have already had meetings to prepare their reports for the consideration of the committee, and others are expected to meet during the next few months. It is hoped that these subcommittees will be able to report to a subsequent committee meeting which will be held during the coming summer or early in the autumn.

The committee reviewed very carefully the prospectus sections of the present Dominion Companies Act and decided to recommend the adoption of prospectus sections which are based very largely on those in the present dominion act. Since the amendments suggested by the committee in regard to the prospectus sections dealt largely with form and not with the substance of these sections, I have not considered it necessary to recommend amending legislation at this session of parliament. It appears possible that the committee, at its next general meeting, may make such further progress as to enable it to submit to the government a draft bill which would deal with other important provisions of the present act, and which might involve a general revision of the act.

In addition to dealing with the question of proposed legislation, the committee has been able to make substantial progress in arranging for a better exchange of information on questions of administration not only of the companies acts but also of the securities acts of the provinces.

[Mr Rinfret.]

Topic:   COMPANIES ACTS
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE OF DOMINION AND PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS NECESSARY TO UNIFORMITY
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

I was interested in the statement made by the Secretary of State (Mr. Rinfret). It will be recalled that the late government, with the aid of Mr. Fraser of Toronto, prepared a draft companies act which was circulated amongst all the provinces because they had agreed to a uniform companies act. The question at issue, which was not settled, was whether or not incorporation should be by letters patent or by what is the equivalent in a very limited sense of letters patent, under the seal of the Secretary of State, or by memorandum and articles of association. The statement made by the minister did not seem to cover that phase of the matter, or what has been done in consequence of the previous agreement to have a uniform act and the steps taken in that regard by the Secretary of State, who engaged Mr. Fraser of Toronto to assist in it.

Topic:   COMPANIES ACTS
Subtopic:   COMMITTEE OF DOMINION AND PROVINCIAL OFFICIALS TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS NECESSARY TO UNIFORMITY
Permalink

February 2, 1937