February 14, 1939

CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Half a dozen resolutions.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

Supply was

the important business.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

So are the others, or

they should not be on the order paper.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

My hon. friend knows very well which is the most important business. Getting on with supply is one of the major obligations of a government. At the end of the session there is an outcry if the government have a great deal of supply left. I do not know whether hon. gentlemen opposite are framing their program in such a way that that may be the position when we get towards the end of this session, but if it is the position it will be entirely their own fault, not the fault of the government.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

That is not fair.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

It is perfectly true. We have not had opportunity thus far to get into supply at all.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

That is not correct. At any time the government, with its huge majority, could have adjourned any debate and gone on with any business.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

We could not have adjourned the debate on the address in reply, because a motion was carried by this house that it should have precedence over everything else. And I ask hon. members what would have been said of the government if we had, as suggested, adjourned the Bren gun debate.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

You did adjourn it.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

However, I am not anxious to get into any controversy or argument; I am simply stating the plain facts. I ask myself, what do the people of this country expect the government to do? Do they expect the government to be governed by private members, or by its own appreciation of the necessity of doing the business of this country?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

To be governed by parliament.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

We have been sent here for the purpose of carrying on the business of this country. The business of the country is not primarily private members' motions, it is the business which the government brings forward.

I come to what the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Blackmore) said, because I agree that this whole situation has a much larger significance than appears in this resolution. He said to-day that many assemblies in the world have been swept out of existence because the people thought they had become incapable of carrying on the business of government. That was his statement. There are a great many people in this country who are busily at work trying to develop a similar agitation against democratic government. I could direct his attention without much difficulty to agitation in some quarters to have it appear that this country is without leaders, that parliament is incapable of carrying on business and that we should have something different. It would be very easy to have the people content to slip into the fascist method of doing business should the country be given the impression that the government, because of the time taken up by private members, has no opportunity to go ahead with the business of the country.

Precedence for Government Business

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) says they have been denied four private members' days this session. We have been denied, by the discussions that have taken place in this house, nine government days.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

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

Mr. HEAPS:

That is not quite correct.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

That is perfectly true. Look at the rules of the house which provide certain days for government business. We have not been able to touch government business on those days set apart as government days. Nine days have gone, some at least of which we should have had for government business.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Was not the Bren gun matter government business?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

It is not government business at all.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

It should not have been.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

An hon. member made a motion to refer the Bren gun contract to the public accounts committee. The government accepted that motion, and the motion should have carried then and the matter sent immediately to the public accounts committee. The time for the discussion, under the rules of the house, would be when the report of the committee came back. Hon. gentlemen would have had all the time they wished at that time to discuss the matter. No one knows that better than my hon. friend.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

No, I do not know any such thing. The time to discuss it was the present time, if we desired to discuss it. That report was the result of a thorough investigation.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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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:

After voting twice against the motion, my hon. friends turned around and supported the motion.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE FOR GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON AND AFTER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
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February 14, 1939