May 10, 1939

QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS

IMPORTATIONS OP COAL AND COKE FROM GERMANY

CON

Mr. BROOKS:

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. What are the rates of duty and taxes imposed on importations of coal and coke from Germany into Canada?

2. How much coal has been imported into Canada from Germany in each of the last three fiscal years?

3. How much coke has been imported into Canada from Germany in each of the last three fiscal years?

4. How much of this coal was consigned to ports in the maritime provinces?

5. How much of this coke was consigned to ports in the maritime provinces?

6. How much German coal was imported into: (a) Prince Edward Island, (b) N >va Scotia, (c) New Brunswick, in each of the last three fiscal years?

7. How much German coke was imported into: (a) Prince Edward Island, (b) Nova Scotia, (c) New Brunswick, in each of the last three fiscal years?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   IMPORTATIONS OP COAL AND COKE FROM GERMANY
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

Return tabled.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   IMPORTATIONS OP COAL AND COKE FROM GERMANY
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GREAT WAR REPARATIONS

SC

Mr. KUHL:

Social Credit

1. What was the total amount of the great war reparations collected by Canada from Germany?

2. On what dates were these reparations collected?

3. How were these funds expended?

4. What was the total amount of civil and military claims admitted by the dominion government?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   GREAT WAR REPARATIONS
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MOTION FOR PAPERS

SHIPMENT OF GOLD, STOCKS AND BONDS FOR STORAGE PURPOSES

SC

Mr. ELLIOTT (Kindersley):

Social Credit

1. How many shipments of gold, stocks and bonds have been received in Canada since 1929 to date, for storage purposes, showing amounts, originating point, consignor, consignee, when withdrawn and balances on hand at the present time;

2. What disposition is made of same, while in Canada;

3. What is charged for handling;

4. Whether any time limit is placed on its acceptance.

Topic:   MOTION FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   SHIPMENT OF GOLD, STOCKS AND BONDS FOR STORAGE PURPOSES
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

I do not think this return can be produced. Certain information asked for in it, that with respect to stocks and bonds, obviously is not in the possession of the government, because it is quite competent for persons outside this country to arrange with persons inside the country to store stocks and bonds for them if they so desire. There is 71492-240

no machinery by which the government can secure information as to that point. With respect to shipments of gold, I question very much if it is in the public interest that the information asked for should be given.

Motion dropped.

Topic:   MOTION FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   SHIPMENT OF GOLD, STOCKS AND BONDS FOR STORAGE PURPOSES
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

MOTION FOR SITTING ON SATURDAY, MAY 13

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 Saturday, May 13, 1939, this house shall sit from 11 o'clock a.m., and that the order of business and procedure will be the same on Saturday as on Thursday.

He said: Mr. Speaker, it has been customary as we approach the end of a session for the government to ask the house to sit on Saturdays as well as to have morning sittings. May I say at once that the purpose of the two motions which appear in my name, one to have the house sit on Saturday of this week, and the other to have the house sit in the mornings, beginning tomorrow, until the end of the session, is not in order so to hasten the business of the session that we may prorogue when his majesty is in the city. I have come to the conclusion that with the amount of business that still remains on the order paper it would be difficult for the house, without undue haste, to conclude its business in time for prorogation on Friday of next week. The purpose of the motions, however, is so to advance the business which remains to be done before their majesties arrive in Ottawa as to justify a short adjournment at that time and to render unnecessary a long adjournment over the entire period that their majesties may be in Canada. I believe it is the general wish that such adjournment as may be necessary should if possible be short rather than long.

As I announced some time ago it was the intention of the government that when the house adjourned on Friday of this week it should remain adjourned until June 19 by which time their majesties would have completed their visit to Canada. I still hold the view that for many reasons that might have been a preferable procedure, but I doubt very much if it accords with the wishes of the great majority of hon. members of the house. On the other hand, I do feel that there is a desire on the part of hon. members to bring the business of the house to a close as rapidly as it can be done without impairing in any way what may be necessary in the

3816 COMMONS

Business oj the House-Saturday Sitting

way of discussion. If we sit on Saturday and one or two days next week it should be possible for the house to conclude its business within a very few days after the time fixed for adjournment during their majesties' stay in the capital. The intention, therefore, is not to adjourn on Friday night until June 19, but to have the house sit on Saturday- we are not asking the house to sit in the evening just in the forenoon and afternoon as we did on Saturday last-and then to sit on Monday and Tuesday and adjourn to the time fixed for the royal assent on the following Friday. After the royal assent, it is intended to adjourn again until the following Monday. This means that there will be an adjournment over the time their majesties will be in the capital, but not any longer. I think with that arrangement, considering the progress made during the past few weeks, the house will be near enough to the end of its business to permit of prorogation very shortly thereafter.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR SITTING ON SATURDAY, MAY 13
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. J. MANION (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I must confess that the government change their mind so often that one does not know from day to day exactly what a proposal is going to be when it gets before the house. When we discussed this matter some time ago I said that I thought it would be impossible to get through the business of the house in time to have prorogation by His Majesty the King. I am glad the government recognizes this, according to the statement to-day by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). I said that our party desired to cooperate in every way, because this is an historic occasion; but I pointed out before, and I repeat now, that the business of the house should be attended to without improper haste and without lack of care for the public interest. I should like to point out that the responsibility for the length of the sittings and for proposals of this kind must naturally be the government's. After all the Prime Minister is the leader of the house. It is he and his government that bring in the legislation and estimates and arrange for the appointment of committees. They are in full control of the whole business of the house. This is particularly so to-day when the government has such a large majority, roughly three times the number of the different opposition groups.

I think the government are largely to blame for the fact that we cannot complete our business in time to have the king conduct the ceremony of prorogation.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR SITTING ON SATURDAY, MAY 13
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR SITTING ON SATURDAY, MAY 13
Permalink
CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I am going to deal with the reasons in a moment. The fact is that the important legislation has come down weeks too late. In the speech from the throne, the Prime Minister had his excellency refer to certain legislation that was to be brought down, but exactly two and one half months later, on March 27, the Prime Minister brought down a list of legislation twice as long as the list that had been suggested in the speech from the throne. Most of that legislation was not of any importance, but the most important bills were left too late in the session. Probably the most important bills to be considered this session are those of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) and the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Euler) dealing with the western prairie regions. The bill with reference to the marketing of farm products other than wheat was dealt with only last Thursday although it was introduced long ago. The wheat cooperative marketing bill was dealt with last Thursday. The prairie farm assistance bill, referred to as the bonus for the western prairies, was not dealt with until Friday. The bill of the Minister of Trade and Commerce dealing with an initial payment of 60 cents a bushel on wheat has not been touched at all except in general discussion. None of these measures was dealt with until Thursday or Friday of last week. On top of all that, the government has made very many changes in this farm legislation as brought down. First there was to be a dropping of the wheat board and selling by futures. Then a change was made and we were going to have a wheat board and an initial payment of 60 cents. That was all changed and now the payment is to be 70 cents; and after the slating which the exMinister of Agriculture (Mr. Motherwell) gave the Minister of Trade and Commerce last night-and I would advise him to look it up in Hansard-I would imagine that the advisory committee he recommended will be the next change to be accepted by the government.

Another very important piece of legislation, not brought down until the dying days of the session, was brought down only last Saturday, three days ago, by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning)-his bill to establish a central mortgage bank. To my mind this is a most important and intricate piece of legislation, involving government debentures amounting to $200,000,000. Even in these days, when we deal in astronomical figures of finance, $200,000,000 is not picayune by any means. While this bill, as I pointed out briefly the other day, in a few remarks lasting five minutes, deals

Business oj the House-Saturday Sitting

to some extent with financial institutions that lend money in this country, it does not cover borrowing and lending between individuals, as the Minister of Finance himself admitted; and he admitted also the importance of my suggestion in that regard. I want to make clear that I am not opposing the principle of this bill, but it is so extraordinarily important that I believe it should go to the banking and commerce committee. In these dying days of the session-because they are literally the dying days-a bill of such importance should not be introduced into the house at all. While I am not opposing the principle of the bill, I repeat, it must go to the banking and commerce committee, in my opinion, if it is to be properly dealt with. There the financial corporations, and individuals as well, would have the opportunity to be heard. I have already received protests from financial institutions against the legislation and protests as well from individuals. I do not know what the Minister of Finance has received, but I understand-I speak subject to correction- that a great deal of lending is done in Quebec, not by financial companies but by individuals to individuals. I do not know whether that is so or not, but that is what I was told by a lawyer from the province of Quebec, and if that is true, there is no relief provided by the bill for the people of the province of Quebec.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR SITTING ON SATURDAY, MAY 13
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

If my hon. friend will permit me, he is now discussing the measure itself, and under circumstances which do not permit me to answer in any way. I can neither explain nor answer.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR SITTING ON SATURDAY, MAY 13
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The minister can go ahead and answer; I have no objection. I am simply dealing with the legislation that has been brought down within the last few days and showing how important some of these measures are. I mentioned the bill of the Minister of Finance just to illustrate my point. That bill should go to the banking and commerce committee, where financial institutions could be heard and individuals as well, with a view to working out a plan for taking care of the individual borrower and lender. That is all I wish to say with respect to these important measures that have been brought down by the government too late in the session.

Then there is a huge amount of estimates to be voted, including defence. There has been great talk about the defence estimates, and certainly they will require full discussion. I hope that they will be dealt with at a time when the country is properly represented in the house, not when most of us are away.

There are reports from various committees to be dealt with. Only a moment ago we had 71492-240J

before us the report of the committee on elections. Then there is the radio committee and the Bren gun committee, neither of which has yet reported.

I want to facilitate the business of the house, and so does this party, and I am agreeable, as I think this party is, to the motions as they are at present-there has been a change made by the Prime Minister-to sit in the mornings. I would have objected to sitting in the evening on Saturday, but the Prime Minister says he is not going to suggest that now, although that is how the motion reads. As to next week, I think the majority of our members would be perfectly willing to sit in the mornings on Monday and Tuesday, but there is a great deal of opposition from my followers to sitting on Saturday at all. I do not know how the house generally feels. We are quite willing to abide by the decision of the majority, although we would object to sitting on Saturday evening. If we are to sit at all on Saturday we should not sit on Saturday night, no matter what else we do.

In view of the discussion that is going on throughout this country-perhaps some of it is not very responsible, but there is a body of opinion expressed in conversations to the effect that we are hurrying the business of parliament merely to prorogue. Therefore I think it is very important that we should see that business is carried on in an orderly manner in the interests of Canada.

Before sitting down may I make one further suggestion? If the government will come forward with something more of a constructive nature that is going to help this country, so far as this party is concerned we shall be glad to sit here indefinitely to put it through; but I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the government are out of touch with the people and not in a position to know their wishes. I suggest, finally, that the Prime Minister, when the visit of their majesties is over, dissolve parliament at the earliest possible moment so that we may get a government with a mandate from the people which will do something constructive for the country.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR SITTING ON SATURDAY, MAY 13
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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged to keep on protesting because in this matter the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has already almost completely reversed his position in that he has now virtually given up the idea of prorogation while the king is here. He has also changed his idea of a long adjournment to that of a short one. In these changes I heartily concur. But if this new suggestion of a short adjournment is to be adopted, there is no reason whatever

3818 COMMONS

Business oj the House-Saturday Sitting

for these special arrangements for morning and Saturday sittings. If we are going to come back after a few days' adjournment we can proceed in a more or less leisurely manner.

Some lion. MEMBERS: Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR SITTING ON SATURDAY, MAY 13
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

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

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The second motion -the two were presented together-calls for the house meeting at eleven o'clock in the morning of each sitting day. That means that whether we are here for three or four days, or two or three weeks or a month-

Some hon. MEMBERS, Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR SITTING ON SATURDAY, MAY 13
Permalink

May 10, 1939