April 5, 1938

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

It is a separate thing. Proportional representation assures the representation of the minority, while the alternative vote makes sure that the majority of the constituents shall elect the member. This is the system that prevailed in most European countries until something happened recently. They have not yet accepted it in Great Britain, although a royal commission, I believe appointed by the Asquith government, reported in favour of both.

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

MacDonald and Asquith spoke against proportional representation.

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

But the Labour majority in the house before 1927 was in favour of the alternative vote. I am sorry that after they got into power they fell from grace and left the Liberals alone in their advocacy of proportional representation and the alternative vote. The responsibility of government seemed to have changed their views with respect to the system, and proportional representation and the alternative vote seem to have been forgotten altogether. While I have no hope that we shall adopt the system in Canada during this session, at least, I think it my duty to say that I have not changed my mind about it and I am still in favour of it.

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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Motion agreed to, and the house went into committee, Mr. Sanderson in the chair. Resolution reported, read the second time and concurred in. Mr. Power thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 91, respecting the franchise of electors and the election of members of the House of Commons. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Mr. Speaker, by leave of

the house I would ask that we revert to Government Notices of Motions in order that

I may move the resolution standing there in my name to set up a special committee. I did not move the resolution earlier in the day on account of certain negotiations going on between the whips with respect to the membership of the committee and because of certain changes that are being made in the language of the resolution.

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

By leave of the house.

The house having reverted to the order for Government Notices of Motions.

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   MEASURE RESPECTING FRANCHISE OF ELECTORS, ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF COMMONS AND PRINTING AND PUBLICATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS
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ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE

APPOINTMENT AND PERSONNEL OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE

LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Hon. C. G. POWER (Minister of Pensions and National Health):

Mr. Speaker, I beg

to move:

That a special committee consisting of Messrs. Bothwell, Brunelle, Cahan, Clark (York-Sunbury), Dussault, Factor. Fair, Glen, Heaps, Jean, MacLean (Prince), MacNicol, McCuaig, McCulloch, McIntosh, McLean (Simcoe East), Mullins, Parent (Quebec West and South), Pelletier, Perley, Power, Purdy, Rickard, Robichaud, St-Pere, Stevens, Stewart, Stirling, Taylor (Norfolk), Turgeon, Turner, Wermen-linger and Wood, notwithstanding section one of standing order 65 in relation to the number of members thereof, be appointed to consider:

1. A certain bill intituled "An Act respecting the franchise of electors and the election of members to the House of Commons," and to make such amendments thereto as it deems advisable;

2. A certain bill intituled "An Act respecting Political Expenditures," and to make such amendments thereto as it deems advisable;

3. Such other proposed legislation relating to elections as may be referred to it by this house;

4. The method used to effect a redistribution of electoral districts in Canada and in other countries;

5. The evidence and report of the special committee appointed in the session of 1936 and reappointed in the session of 1937 to study the Dominion Elections Act, 1934, and the Franchise Act, 1934;

With power to call for persons, papers and records, to examine witnesses and to report from time to time.

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT AND PERSONNEL OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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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):

I apprehend, Mr. Speaker,

that the provisions of the resolution dealing with redistribution do not foreshadow action but are rather for the purpose of ascertaining what have been the methods utilized in effecting redistributions in Canada and in other countries. Am I right in that assumption?

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT AND PERSONNEL OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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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):

In other countries and in

Canada, yes.

Topic:   ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT AND PERSONNEL OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to. Relief and Agricultural Distress


UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF

MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS


The house resumed from Monday, April 4, consideration in committee of the following proposed resolution-Mr. Rogers-Mr. Sanderson in the chair: That it is expedient to bring in a measure to provide assistance towards the alleviation of unemployment and agricultural distress, and for such payments out of moneys appropriated by parliament as may be necessary for all or any of the purposes of the proposed legislation.


CON

William Allen Walsh

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. A. WALSH (Mount Royal):

When the committee rose last evening, I had already covered a certain amount of the ground that I desired to cover. I had already mentioned that I did not consider that the government had done its full duty in waiting two and a half years before giving really serious consideration to some plan of action. I also suggested that it was unfortunate that the present session did not see agricultural distress separated entirely from unemployment as such and placed where it really belongs, namely, under the Department of Agriculture, and unemployment otherwise left to the Department of Labour. I also suggested to the minister that he had allowed himself to be carried away on a flood-tide of verbosity and had given utterance to words which conveyed little or no meaning but were merely pleasant and satisfactory to listen to, words which gave no ray of hope to the unfortunate people who are waiting for something to alleviate their present distress. I believe I also suggested that the method pursued by the present government of allowing commissions to be appointed to do work which properly belongs to a government, is not only costly but gives rise to long delays. Further, I pointed out that hon. members have not been given sufficient time properly to study the proposals brought in by the employment commission.

In referring to statements made by the minister over a period of more than three hours, I was reminded of a similar discourse of shorter duration which he made in the city of Pembroke during the course of the by-election last year. He suggested that a certain member of this house, speaking the previous evening, had given an address which, the minister declared, contained more inaccuracies and misrepresentations than he had encountered, in any speech in years. When I read that statement I regretted that the minister's lack of experience had given him a false idea of facts. I want to assure him that when I deal with facts and figures I get them from reliable sources; I do not try to

make figures represent what actually they do not represent. I know the minister will recognize this sheet, and will realize that if there were any inaccuracies in the speech made in Pembroke by a member of this house, they came direct from the Department of Labour and from nowhere else.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Was that the whole of the speech of my hon. friend-the sheet of paper he has there?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

William Allen Walsh

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALSH:

It contained a very considerable amount of information, as the minister will readily recognize, and the officials of the department will recognize that it took them a considerable length of time to prepare. To show how accurate the minister is, he immediately followed his remark with -this statement:

Where it had been suggested unemployment was increasing, the fact was that 60,000 wage earners had obtained jobs in the last 12 months.

Half-truths are sometimes worse to catch up with than statements which could be otherwise characterized. The minister switches from one phase of the subject directly to another phase of the subject, and then continues :

While Conservative leader R. B. Bennett would criticize in his speech here next Saturday-

He was anticipating the visit of the former Prime Minister.

-the cost of the employment commission, this cost had not-[DOT]

And then he intrudes the little words "to date."

-to date, been more than one-third the cost of the late price spreads commission, Mr. Rogers said.

That is according to the report in this paper. It is a statement made to lead the people to believe that the cost of the employment commission was quite small as compared with the cost of the price spreads commission; but it was made before he had included his estimate of $275,000 to cover their work for the fiscal year upon which at that time we were about to enter. I refer to statements of that kind merely to show that misrepresentations are not confined to one political party. Personally I resent a suggestion that I have deliberately misquoted facts and figures in order to mislead the electorate of Pembroke or of any other part of Canada.

In the same speech the minister seemed to glory particularly in the fact that the courts of Canada and Great Britain had turned down the social legislation of the late Conservative government. He took pride in the fact. He

Relief and Agricultural Distress

pointed out to the people of Pembroke and, through them, to the people of Canada that that legislation had been rejected by the courts, as the Liberals had anticipated, and he was inclined to be boastful about the fact, I should have imagined that he would regret that social legislation instituted by a previous government for the good of the Canadian people had been treated in that way. But he expresses no regrets.

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Well, but what else do I express, if my hon. friend wishes to state the situation correctly?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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CON

William Allen Walsh

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALSH:

He suggests here that:

Instead of advancing social security in this country Mr. Bennett retarded it-

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF
Subtopic:   MEASURE FOR ALLEVIATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT AND AGRICULTURAL DISTRESS
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April 5, 1938