May 3, 1938

STANDING ORDERS

FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE CONCURRED IN


Mr. S. W. JACOBS (Cartier) presented the first report of the standing committee on standing orders, and moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


ALASKA PACIFIC HIGHWAY

NEGOTIATIONS BY UNITED STATES WITH CANADIAN


On the orders of the day:


CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. J. BARBER (Fraser Valley):

There is a matter to which I should like to draw the attention of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), arising out of a report in the press of this morning to the effect that-

The United States House of Representatives passed and sent to the senate to-day a bill to authorize the president to appoint a five-member commission to negotiate with representatives of the Canadian government "on the prospect of arrangements for building" a

highway from the Pacific northwest to Alaska through British Columbia and the Yukon territory.

The committee is also reported to have said:

Canada's desire to aid cannot be questioned.

Can the Prime Minister make a statement to the house at this time with regard to the matter?

Topic:   ALASKA PACIFIC HIGHWAY
Subtopic:   NEGOTIATIONS BY UNITED STATES WITH CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   GOVERNMENT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF HIGHWAY THROUGH BRITISH COLUMBIA AND YUKON TERRITORY TO ALASKA
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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):

All I can say is that I have seen the press dispatch to which the hon. member has alluded and it is the first and only intimation that I have had of the matter. I have not made any representations as to whait Canada's attitude will be if the subject should come before us for consideration at the instance of the United States.

Topic:   ALASKA PACIFIC HIGHWAY
Subtopic:   NEGOTIATIONS BY UNITED STATES WITH CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   GOVERNMENT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF HIGHWAY THROUGH BRITISH COLUMBIA AND YUKON TERRITORY TO ALASKA
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PRIVILEGE-MR. CHURCH STATEMENTS OF FATHER GRAVEL AND ILLEGAL IMPORTATION OF ARMS INTO QUEBEC ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON MAY 2


On the orders of the day:


CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

I rise to a question of privilege and to correct, under the rules of the house, a report regarding two replies by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) to two questions I asked and placed on the order paper.- I wish to call Your Honour's attention to the fact that the privileges of a member have been taken away by the answers given by the minister. In the first question I complained of a large public meeting held in Quebec city on April 6 and reported at length in the three newspapers of that city, L'Evenement and Le Soleil and another, in which the speaker referred to in the question, Reverend Father Gravel, said:

There must be a revolution. There is no good saying it can't happen here... .1 am for revolution. I will support a revolution that will fight for the independence of this province. Our people must unite and retake the soil which belongs to us.

A lengthy report appeared in L'Evenement of April 6. Practically the same report appears in Le Soleil of the 6th:

When a nation is as sick as this, there is only

one way to save it, revolution___That is the

only remedy which will save us.

Other papers, fifteen in all, had lengthy reports along the same lines, and more details.

Under standing order No. 44, material facts may be cited in order to make a question intelligible. The rule then goes on to refer to the privileges of members; it refers to misquotations. In my question I simply drew attention to a report of a large public meeting in Quebec, and in order to make the question

24S2

Privilege-Mr. Church

intelligible I referred to certain facts-the reports of the meeting. I submit that I was quite within the rules of the house. I did not seek to supply any information to the house but simply to ask a question based on the reports of a meeting which became an unlawful assembly, and therefore the question as I worded it was, I submit, in order. My other question was based on a long report in the Toronto Star Weekly of Saturday, April 23, in a dispatch from Montreal and quoting L'Autorite, in which a scheme to seize Rideau Hall, Ottawa, and the public buildings here was set out at length under a heading Fascist Scheme to Seize Ottawa by Force. These matters I complained of were in many other papers including all our leading Canadian dailies.

Under the rules I was prevented from reading a verbatim report of what the reverend gentleman said. I waited for the government or for some responsible minister to raise this question of public importance and get the real facts and to take action, but nothing was done.

At page 2431 the minister is reported as having made this answer to the first question I asked:

This question serves to show the soundness of the rules of the house to the effect that a question should seek to obtain information, not to supply it to the house.

I repeat, my question did not supply information, but I sought government action; for the information is contained in a two-column verbatim report published in many newspapers. I supplied no answer, only a reference to lengthy press reports. The minister went on to say:

The government is not aware of the facts mentioned by the hon. gentleman-

The occurrences and the meeting to which I have reference in the question were in the minister's own constituency or city and were reported in his own city press. He continued:

-but I know personally that he has been wrongly informed, at least in some important particulars.

I did not make the statement myself which I quoted in the question I asked; it appeared in three newspapers published in Quebec and in others throughout Canada. The mere fact that the minister says that my fears are groundless does not make it so. I simply stated the facts, and as a further question of privilege, I object to untruthful comments in this morning's Citizen and reflections on me. It is in the public interest that in times like

these the government should find out what address this gentleman did make, and examine the press reports and comments, and decide whether any action will be taken in the matter under the law. Section 98 was repealed, but other sections of the code are there with regard to unlawful assemblies and threats of force and revolution.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. CHURCH STATEMENTS OF FATHER GRAVEL AND ILLEGAL IMPORTATION OF ARMS INTO QUEBEC ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON MAY 2
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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would ask the hon. member to state the point of privilege which he is raising and to do so in terms as brief as possible.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. CHURCH STATEMENTS OF FATHER GRAVEL AND ILLEGAL IMPORTATION OF ARMS INTO QUEBEC ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON MAY 2
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

I have received certain information through the mail also, sent to me by revolutionists and others. Am I as a private member to get all these particulars while no one in a responsible position will take any action? I should like to have an answer from the minister as to what he intends to do.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. CHURCH STATEMENTS OF FATHER GRAVEL AND ILLEGAL IMPORTATION OF ARMS INTO QUEBEC ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON MAY 2
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LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice):

I have nothing to add to the answers I gave the hon. gentleman yesterday.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. CHURCH STATEMENTS OF FATHER GRAVEL AND ILLEGAL IMPORTATION OF ARMS INTO QUEBEC ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON MAY 2
Permalink
CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

What about your padlock law?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. CHURCH STATEMENTS OF FATHER GRAVEL AND ILLEGAL IMPORTATION OF ARMS INTO QUEBEC ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON MAY 2
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DOMINION-PROVINCIAL RELATIONS QUESTION AS TO CONSULTATION WITH PROVINCES REGARDING APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION


On the orders of the day: Mr. A. MacG. YOUNG (Saskatoon): I desire to ask the government a question based upon a report which appeared in the Ottawa Evening Citizen of Monday, May 2, of an address by the premier of Ontario before the royal commission on dominion-provincial relations. I quote: "And now may I express a long, deep note of discontent," the premier continued, stating the first notice he received of the appointment of the commission, " came at the breakfast table, from a morning newspaper".... He suggested the objective of the commission bore so directly on the affairs of provincial government that all provinces should have been consulted about the commission appointment. "And I suspect several of the provinces were consulted," he said. My question is: were some of the provinces consulted regarding the appointment of the Rowell commission?


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 may say to my hon. friend that as far as I am able to recall none

Relief and Agricultural Distress

of the provinces were consulted as to the intention of the government to appoint the commission. The decision of the government was reached by itself after careful consideration of the whole matter and announcement regarding the intention of the government to appoint the commission was made in this house, if I remember rightly, in the middle of February. The commission itself was not appointed until August. The personnel of the commission was made known at that time. In the interval representations were made to the government from many sources as to persons who might be considered and these representations were considered. I cannot say at the moment just what these various representations were, but I would say that no single province was treated differently from any other. All were treated exactly alike. I speak subject to correction, but my recollection is that representations were made by a member of the government of Ontario as to a person who might be appointed to the commission, and the name of that person was considered along with other names which were submitted. The Hon. Mr. Rowell was subsequently appointed from Ontario.

Topic:   DOMINION-PROVINCIAL RELATIONS QUESTION AS TO CONSULTATION WITH PROVINCES REGARDING APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION
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NIAGARA FALLS BRIDGE

LETTER FROM ONTARIO MINISTER OF HIGHWAYS TO MINISTER OF TRANSPORT REFERRED TO IN DEBATE ON BILL NO. 15

May 3, 1938