March 14, 1938

LIB

Mr. MACKENZIE KING: (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

1. 1930, 4; 1931, 7; 1932, 59; 1933, 26; 1934, 17; 1935, 10; 1936, 13; 1937, 9.

2. The board of review will meet for organization in Vancouver on the 21st March.

3. The board of review will be composed of the following members of the government service: Dr. H. L. Keenleyside of the Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, chairman; Mr. F. W. Taylor, district superintendent of immigration, Vancouver; Inspector G. W. Fish, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Vancouver.

4. Yes.

Motions jor Papers

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   JAPANESE IMMIGRATION-BOARD OF REVIEW
Permalink

QUESTION PASSED AS ORDER FOR RETURN

CCF

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weybum):

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

1. What was the total amount of Government purchased coal by or on behalf of the Department of National Defence for the fiscal years commencing April 1, 1930, to date?

2. What were, (a) the names of the firms supplying this coal; (6) the amount of coal supplied by each firm; (c) the price per ton, and the amount paid to each firm?

3. Were these purchases made by tender or otherwise?

4. What was the type of coal so purchased, and the country of origin?

5. Where coal was purchased under tender, what were the terms of the tenders for each period ?

6. Has any official of the Department of National Defence refused to supply tender forms to any coal dealer in connection with the nurchase of coal during the period from April 1, 1930, to date?

7. If so, what coal dealer was refused, and what were the reasons for the refusal?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   QUESTION PASSED AS ORDER FOR RETURN
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE-COAL
Permalink

MOTIONS FOR PAPERS

CON

Alonzo Bowen Hyndman

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HYNDMAN (for Mr. Brooks):

For a copy of all payrolls in connection with work done on the breakwater at Port Morien, Cape Breton South, Nova Scotia, during the year 1937.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Sub-subtopic:   PORT MORIEN, N.S., BREAKWATER
Permalink

ST. CATHARINES, ONT., CUSTOMS EXCISE CLERK

CON

Frank Exton Lennard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNARD (for Mr. Lockhart):

For a copy of all correspondence, telegrams, petitions and other documents in the possession of the Department of National Revenue, with respect to the appointment of a customs Excise clerk at St. Catharines on August 9, 1937.

oka Indian Reservation

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ST. CATHARINES, ONT., CUSTOMS EXCISE CLERK
Permalink
CON

Frank Exton Lennard

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNARD (for Mr. Walsh):

For a copy of all papers, communications, reports and other documents received by, or sent from the Department of Indian Affairs during the year 1937 from or to any persons in connection with the Indian reservation situated at Oka, Quebec.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ST. CATHARINES, ONT., CUSTOMS EXCISE CLERK
Permalink

QUEBEC, DISTRICT EXHIBITIONS

LIB

Eusèbe Roberge

Liberal

Mr. ROBERGE:

For a copy of all correspondence, letters, telegrams and other documents exchanged between the dominion Department of Agriculture and the provincial Department of Agriculture of Quebec, from November 1, 1937, to date, relating to negotiations between the dominion government and the government of the said province, in connection with district (junior) exhibitions to be held in that province in 1938.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   QUEBEC, DISTRICT EXHIBITIONS
Permalink

CORRESPONDENCE IN POWELL-UNWIN CASE

SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

For a copy of all letters, telegrams and other communications exchanged between the Prime Minister and Major C. H. Douglas with respect to the Powell-Unwin case.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CORRESPONDENCE IN POWELL-UNWIN CASE
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23

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 on and after Wednesday the 23rd March to the end of the session, government notices of motions and government orders shall have precedence on Wednesdays over all business except introduction of bills, questions by members and notices of motions for the production of papers.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23
Permalink
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. A. W. NEILL (Comox-Alberni):

Mr. Speaker, I think this motion is debatable; I also think it is out of order. I also think it is unjust, but of course that is a matter of opinion. Taking the point that it is out of order, the house is governed by certain rules known as standing orders, arrived at by consultation in committee of the whole house, to which we adhere very strictly. Standing order 15 is one of the most important of these. I see that it was first introduced in 1867 and has stood the test of four separate revisions since then. That order prescribes the procedure of the house, and on Wednesdays it says the order shall be as follows: Questions, notices of motions, public bills and orders, government notices of motions and government orders. It does not forbid government orders; it only gives the other business precedence. Now we come along with this resolution which says we are not going to follow that procedure on Wednesdays, and we say nothing whatever about standing order 15. I submit that we ought to repeal or suspend it, or do something about it; otherwise we shall have two conflicting procedures, so to speak. As a precedent I might cite the situation which often arises in this house, when the chairman of a committee moves for the printing of a report, or evidence, or something like that. He always says, " standing order 64 notwithstanding." That has been omitted in this case, though of course that could be remedied on a later occasion.

With regard to the unfairness of the thing I would make this comment. There are sixteen resolutions on the order paper which as yet have not been heard even once. My resolution happens to be the third on the list. It will not be reached the day after to-morrow, so it will never be reached at all. I lodged that resolution with the clerk about a month before the house met, which seemed not an unreasonable time. Other members coming along later waited, as was their privilege, until the house met before presenting their resolutions, which by this motion are prevented from being heard. I submit that they should

Business oj the House

be given at least one opportunity to present their views. I agree with what was said the other day by, I think, the hon. member for South York (Mr. Lawson) who suggested that all resolutions on the order paper before a certain date should be heard, or alternatively I would suggest that Wednesdays always be left open for private members. We are supposed to be governed by democracy, and democracy is the expression of the wishes of the people by their elected representatives. While we may not like some of the resolutions -I wholly disagree with some of them- nevertheless I feel like fighting in order that they shall be heard, because in that is involved the right of free speech. If people are not allowed to relate their views, how are the government and the house going to be informed of their wishes? This takes away from private members their rights under the rules to which we all agreed, without saying anything about standing order 15, as I have already suggested. It is taking a little bit more away from our democratic rights. It may not be a very important thing; if none of these resolutions are heard I do not suppose the country will suffer very materially, but there is a danger involved. If this or any government-I am not singling out this government particularly-can come along and simply pass by a majority vote, not by unanimous consent, a resolution of this kind, it is possible to conceive of a government passing a resolution to the effect that members of the opposition should be heard for only five minutes, or only on Fridays, or something like that. There is a danger in that situation against which we should guard. We had better stop the leak in the embankment before it becomes overwhelming.

It has been suggested that this is necessary in order to save time, but I do not agree with that. Right towards the end of the session, when we were extremely busy, I have seen the house adjourn at six o'clock because it happened to suit the convenience of a certain group who wanted to go to a certain dinner, or something of that kind. I have even known the house to adjourn in order to listen to election results. I am not particularly asking the government to allow one more Wednesday in order that I might have my resolution discussed. I am trying to stress the point that here are sixteen members who have put resolutions on the order paper and, because of our peculiar rules, or because the government cuts off the rules, they are not going to be heard. The big parties wonder why the groups in the comer are increasing in volume and number at every election. Per-51952-82

haps it is because people are getting suspicious. They do not see anything done, and they begin to think that democracy has been a failure. It is not that democracy has been a failure; it is that democracy has not been accorded the justice to which she is entitled.

I submit the motion is out of order on the one technical point to which I have alluded, namely standing order 15, and on the wider and bigger point of order, which is not founded on any rule, but on the fact that it is desirable in the name of democracy that resolutions by private members should have an opportunity to be heard during the session.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23
Permalink
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, the hon.

member for Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill) knows, as do other hon. members, that a few weeks after parliament has been in session it is usual for the government to take Mondays and Wednesdays for its business, and that the method which has been adopted in that connection has been that of giving forty-eight hours' notice on the votes and proceedings. When the motion comes before it, the house may either give its unanimous consent or vote upon the motion.

This year in asking the right to take Wednesdays for government business the government is proceeding in the same way as have previous governments and the present one on all former occasions.

As to the suggestion that the motion is out of order may I say to the hon. member that the house has, at all times, control of its own business and may, by unanimous consent, or upon motion after forty-eight hours' notice, make such alterations in the order of business as it deems advisable.

Forty-eight hours' notice has been given. Notice was given on Friday last, and appeared in the votes and proceedings for that day. In the regular course the motion appears on the order paper to-day. No exception therefore can be taken on the score of the rules not having been complied with.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23
Permalink
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

What about the standing order?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Exception may be made to a standing order, where it relates to the business of the house, and where the consent of the house is given either unanimously or, if necessary, by vote. The hon. member knows that this is a procedure which has been followed every year he has been in the house. I may say to my hon. friend, what may be a matter of surprise to him, namely that I believe this year the government has

Business of the House

been more generous in the number of days it has accorded to private members than has been the case in almost any year he has been in the house-and he has been here a long time.

The second point raised by the hon. member is that it is not democratic to permit the government to take from private members' days to carry on its business. He has said that in a democracy the elected representatives of the people are sent here to carry on the business of government. I take no exception to that statement, but I would add that the government represents the elected representatives of the people who have been entrusted with the business of government. If, after the people select a government to carry on the business of the country, we were to adopt a rule whereby the time of parliament would be taken up by private members who may not support the administration and who wish to discuss a number of questions of less importance than those the government may wish to present, we would not have democratic representation in the true sense of the word.

The hon. member has said it is necessary to give time for the debate of private motions, so that members may ventilate their views in connection with other matters. May I point out to him that there are many opportunities for ventilating views. When the house is moved into supply it is possible for hon. members to present their views on any question. Again, there is scarcely a subject touched upon in any private member's resolution which would not, at some time, come up for discussion in the committee of supply.

The hon. member has said that there are sixteen more private members' resolutions on the order paper, and that before taking an extra day for government business we ought to run through the list. If that reasoning were to apply, there is no reason why 360 resolutions might not be placed on the order paper, in the names of private members, should there be a desire to block the government in expediting its business.

Far from seeking in any way to limit hon. members in their customary rights, the government has proceeded in precisely the opposite way. We did not give notice for government business to take precedence on Mondays and Wednesdays- until after a larger number of those days had been accorded hon. members than has been the case at any time since 1930. That is the condition, apart from the time taken up in the discussion of the debate on the address.

If the present motion is adopted, seven Wednesdays will have elapsed before any Wednesday will have been taken away from private members. Of those seven Wednesdays, five

will actually have been used as private members' days. The house will notice that in my motion I have not suggested that government notices of motion and government orders should take precedence "on and after Wednesday the 16th March," which would be Wednesday next. I have purposely worded the motion so that it would apply a week hence. I might have done as has been done in previous years, namely insert the date of the 16th March, and then, as a result of a question such as that raised by the hon. members, have conceded an extra week. However, I thought it better to make it apparent at once that we were not seeking to take next Wednesday, but were prepared to give that additional day to private members, thereby making a total of seven Wednesdays since the opening of the session.

May I give the hon. member the figures respecting the Wednesdays which have been

taken since 1932. They are as follows:

Number of Wednesdays elapsed between opening and date on which

Session of Wednesdays taken away

as private members' day

1932 i

1932-33 3

1934 6

1935 5

1936 3

1937 6

1938 7

The same situation applies with respect to Mondays, as the following figures will show: Number of Mondays Session of actually available as

private members' days

1932 5

1932-33 i

1934 4

1935 3

1936 4

1937 2

1938 4

Those are the Mondays which were actually available, apart from the time occupied in the discussion of the debate on the address. Therefore I say that instead of an exception being taken to the request which has been made by the government, in their own interests as well as that of the government, hon. members should be prepared to accept the motion.

We have not been able to proceed as rapidly as we would have liked to with government business. There are many important measures which have to be discussed during the course of the session. I suspect as we get along in the session hon. members will be more anxious to conclude the business of the house than to continue its sittings on into

Canadian Wheat Board

the summer, if not into the autumn. The object of the motion is to try to get on with government business, and it is not in any way to take from hon. members any right or privilege they enjoy as members of the house.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member overlooked paragraph 130, to which the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) referred. But it must never be forgotten that this chamber has complete control of its own procedure. The rule is that if we desire by a majority to change any order, be it standing or otherwise, we may do so. The government must determine its action in the light of its appreciation of the attitude of the members toward the action proposed to be taken. Personally I do not think there is any good reason why we should take more Wednesdays this year than any other year. We have taken as many Wednesdays this year as we have in previous years-more, in fact; and we have taken as many Mondays and Thursdays. I see no reason why the motion should not pass in the terms of the rules.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23
Permalink

March 14, 1938