April 2, 1937

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is a serious issue involved in connection with this. The hon. member showed me the answer he received, which was not an answer to his question at all. He submitted to the clerk before placing it on the order paper a question which contained an extract from a newspaper. The clerk struck it out and put on the order paper a question of his own making, which was not satisfactory to the hon. member; however that has nothing to do with this. But the answer does not deal with the question. The hon. member has shown me the extract from the newspaper, which is in quotation marks, a declaration of policy by the head of the broadcasting commission, for which the government now assumes full responsibility, in view of what was said last session, and the question whether or not that policy is authorized by this government is a proper question.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   ADDRESS BY MR. GLADSTONE MURRAY AS REPORTED IN THE PRESS
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

It is contrary to the British North America Act.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   ADDRESS BY MR. GLADSTONE MURRAY AS REPORTED IN THE PRESS
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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:

As to who

authorized the statement, I would say that the commission made its own statement, without any knowledge in advance on the part of the government. As to the question having been altered by the clerk, I may say the government had no knowledge whatever of that.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   ADDRESS BY MR. GLADSTONE MURRAY AS REPORTED IN THE PRESS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am quite certain as to that. But that is not the question; the question is whether or not that statement made by Mr. Gladstone Murray, shown in quotation marks in the Gazette, is a statement which he was authorized to make. I understand the Prime Minister to say he was not. If he was not he certainly should be dismissed at once.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   ADDRESS BY MR. GLADSTONE MURRAY AS REPORTED IN THE PRESS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

There is a rule of the house which states that answers to questions must be accepted as given.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   ADDRESS BY MR. GLADSTONE MURRAY AS REPORTED IN THE PRESS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

He should be dismissed for making that statement.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   ADDRESS BY MR. GLADSTONE MURRAY AS REPORTED IN THE PRESS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

The government answered the question and it should be accepted as it is. I would have been surprised if some hon. member had not tried to bring up some question of this kind before this session ended. We have been free from it so far.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   ADDRESS BY MR. GLADSTONE MURRAY AS REPORTED IN THE PRESS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Is there any reason why the minister should himself violate the rule to which he has just directed attention?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   ADDRESS BY MR. GLADSTONE MURRAY AS REPORTED IN THE PRESS
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QUEBEC FISHERIES


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Joseph Léon Vital Mallette

Liberal

Mr. VITAL MALLETTE (Jacques Cartier) (Tmanislajtion):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make am inquiry of the hon. the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Michaud). The Montreal Gazette of this morning, April 2, 1937, reports, on page 3, column 3, certain remarks made in the Quebec Legislature yesterday by Hon. Onesime Gagnon, Minister of Fisheries of that province, concerning the relations between his department and the Dominion Department of Fisheries. I should like to know whether the minister has seen these remarks and whether he has a statement to make to this house regarding them.

Topic:   QUEBEC FISHERIES
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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. J. E. MICHAUD (Minister of Fisheries) (Translation) :

I thank the hon. member for having informed me of hie intention to bring to my notice a statement said to have been made in the Quebec Legislature yesterday by Hon. Oinesime Gagnon, Minister of Fisheries, respecting certain words attributed to me by an official of that provincial department. Upon hearing of Mr. Gagnon's statement, yesterday afternoon, I sent him the following telegram.

Informed by telegram that you stated in the legislature that I said to Mr. Gibault, in the course of an interview with him a few days ago: "Not a cent for Quebec." That is contrary to the facts, as can be proved by my deputy minister who w'as present at interview. I said to Mr. Gibault that the province of Quebec could not be treated differently from other provinces whose fisheries are not federally administered and who receive no subsidies or assistance. I told him that we intended to carry out our obligations in respect of the Magdalen island fisheries which, while in Quebec, are under federal jurisdiction.

I cannot believe that Mr. Gagnon did make the statement attributed to him by this morning's papers. I am still wondering why he should have made use of a subordinate's report to pass judgment on my attitude regarding the administration of fisheries in Quebec, when he could so easily have reported the conversation I had with him, barely a few weeks ago, in his office in Quebw, in the presence of his deputy minister. Hon. Mr. Gagnon certainly cannot say that during that conversation I gave any indication of hostility. On the contrary, I left Ottawa to confer with him regarding the Quebec fisheries, the administration of which is still under his exclusive jurisdiction. This incident goes to show how difficult it is to cast off the old

Privilege-Mr. Stevens

man. If Mr. Gagnon did say about me what this morning's newspapers report, I cannot but think that it was the former T6ry minister rather than the present National minister who was speaking. It seems to me that I have always shown myself ready to cooperate with the Quebec Minister of Fisheries, and this incident can only make more difficult the settlement of a question that should be of far greater interest to the fishermen of Quebec than the provocation of a conflict between the dominion government and the Quebec government.

Topic:   QUEBEC FISHERIES
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PRIVILEGE-MR. STEVENS PROCEEDINGS IN BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 1


On the orders of the day:


REC

Henry Herbert Stevens

Reconstruction

Hon. H. H. STEVENS (Kootenay East):

I rise to a question of privilege. I have been a member of this house for some twenty-six years, and I have always sought to do my duty in the house and on committees as fairly as I can. There are occasions when I have held strong views and supported them as vigorously as I have been able to do, and I do not intend to retreat from that position at any time. In the press this morning is a statement supported by the record of what occurred last night in one of the committees of this house. I shall read the dispatch in the press, and upon that base my protest and question of privilege:

Dunning Hits at "Minority" in Committee Charges Attempt Being Made to Prevent Decision on Bill

Then the dispatch quotes the minister as follows:

I protest against the idea evidently dominating this committee that no decision is to be reached. . . . Parliament has the right to

dispose of a bill as it will, or make no decision, but it is carrying it rather far to prevent parliament deciding for itself.

The bill referred to was the Central Finance bill, which was referred by this house to the banking and commerce committee on Tuesday the sixteenth day of March. I now direct your attention, Mr. Speaker, to the fact that since that date there have been only eleven effective parliamentary days, and obviously the committee could not sit every day. Furthermore a number of other committees are sitting at this time. It is no argument, in referring to the committee, to say that the session is drawing to a close. This has been a short session, and there is ample time in the future to consider all matters before parliament. I can quote from the record as to exactly what the minister said, to support the

fMr. Michaud.]

published statement. I quote- from the stenographic report of the proceedings of the committee last night:

Mr. Dunning: -

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. STEVENS PROCEEDINGS IN BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 1
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Mr. Speaker, I suggest

that there is no report from this committee before the house. I have not the right to quote from the proceedings of a committee, and therefore I presume my hon. friend has not the right.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. STEVENS PROCEEDINGS IN BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 1
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REC

Henry Herbert Stevens

Reconstruction

Mr. STEVENS:

I am speaking to a question of privilege. Under the rules of the house the proceedings of a committee cannot be quoted in the house while the matter is still before the committee. That is perfectly true, but on a question of privilege, when the matter has been published and broadcast in the press, I think a member has a right to quote from the record in order to support the accuracy of his statement. I am in the hands of the Speaker.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. STEVENS PROCEEDINGS IN BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 1
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

I believe my hon. friend has the right to deny the accuracy of the report, but I do not think he can quote the proceedings of the committee.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. STEVENS PROCEEDINGS IN BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 1
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REC

Henry Herbert Stevens

Reconstruction

Mr. STEVENS:

Well, then, Mr. Speaker, I wish to deny it in these terms: At five different meetings of the committee no quorum was obtained until half an hour after the time for which the committee was called. I and a few others appeared at the hour fixed for the meeting of the committee, and on five diffeiremt occasions no quomum was in attendance for at least half an hour after the time fixed. That is one thing. In his statement the minister said it was clear by the votes of the committee. I have not the votes of the committee before me, but I have this record in mind: On one occasion it was

six to eleven; on another it was five to ten-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. STEVENS PROCEEDINGS IN BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 1
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

My hon. friend is again quoting from the proceedings of the committee.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. STEVENS PROCEEDINGS IN BANKING AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 1
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April 2, 1937