November 4, 1941

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE


PROCEDURE IN PRESENTATION OF STATEMENTS on Canada's war effort and DISCUSSION THEREON


LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. Mr. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

I might perhaps report to the house the outcome of the conference which was held yesterday afternoon between the leader of the opposition, the acting leaders of the two other parties in the house and myself with regard to a suggested procedure to facilitate the business of this concluding part of the session.

As the house is aware, it is the privilege of the prime minister on the orders of the day being called when no question is before the chair to make a statement to the house on a matter of policy or on any important matter. A similar opportunity is extended by courtesy to the hon. member who is the official leader

of the opposition. Yesterday I made a statement to the house reviewing the international situation. It did not purport and was not intended to go further than that. To-day the leader of the opposition desires to make a statement in regard to matters of policy or other matters of general concern and interest. A similar privilege is not, under our rules, accorded to leaders of groups. But if the house is agreeable to having its sitting continued in committee of the whole so as to allow greater freedom of discussion, an arrangement might easily be made whereby, by grant of special permission by unanimous consent, following the leader of the opposition, the leaders of the two groups, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and the Social Credit or New Democracy groups, would have the opportunity of also making statements of a like character. I might say we were all of the opinion that this arrangement would be the best. The house would1 continue to sit in committee of the whole, and the ministers in turn would make their statements on the progress of Canada's war effort. This procedure., if acceptable to the house, would enable hon. members to ask questions and would permit as full discussion as the house might wish in a way that would not be possible with the Speaker in the chair.

In order to make the discussion itself as relevant as possible it is thought that it would be best to have the ministers make their statements one after the other until matters of interest with respect to the war effort of the administration during the period of adjournment have been stated to the house more or less in their entirety. Hon. members would then have before them information which otherwise they might be obliged to solicit by means of question and answer. When the statements have been presented it is proposed that we then begin such discussion as may be desired upon the first statement, and, after discussion upon the matters to which it relates, proceed to the other statements in such order as may seem most advisable. For example, this afternoon, if the house agrees to the procedure proposed, the leader of the opposition, who will speak upon the orders of the day with the Speaker in the chair, will be followed in committee of the Whole by the acting leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation party, and he will be followed by the acting leader of the New Democracy party. On the government side it is proposed to have the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) make a statement, to be followed possibly by the Minister of National War Services (Mr. Thorson). The government would wish to

Privilege-Mr. Roy

have the ministers of defence speak at a time which will enable the three ministers to speak as nearly as may be possible in consecutive order. As hon. members are aware, the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) returned to Ottawa only last night; we would wish to have defence matters discussed together. This arrangement would afford the minister at least some opportunity to prepare himself.

If these suggestions are acceptable to the house, after the leader of the opposition has made his statement, I shall move that the Speaker leave the chair and will suggest that the sitting be continued in committee of the whole with the Deputy Speaker in the chair.

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition: The statement just made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) I think substantially covers the arrangement made yesterday afternoon. It will be recognized that the observance of this arrangement depends almost entirely upon consent; I do not see how we can go on at all unless we come to some agreement. Therefore, while all the details of the matter are not exactly to my liking, I hope the house will concur in what the Prime Minister has suggested.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink

ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY BEQUEST FOB STATEMENT AS TO PRESENT POSITION


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

Before the next order of business is called may I ask the Prime Minister to give to the house and the country, to-day if possible, a brief statement on the present position of the St. Lawrence waterway proposal. If he cannot give that statement to-day, will he be good enough to do so to-morrow?

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY BEQUEST FOB STATEMENT AS TO PRESENT POSITION
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):

I should prefer to make the statement to-morrow. My understanding at the moment is that the agreement has not yet been reported out of committee in Washington, and that therefore it is impossible to say just when or if the agreement itself will be passed, However, I shall make inquiries between now and to-morrow and give the house a further statement then.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE WATERWAY BEQUEST FOB STATEMENT AS TO PRESENT POSITION
Permalink

PRIVILEGE-MR. ROY STATEMENT OF MEMBER FOR GASPE AS TO HIS CHANGE OF SEAT


On the orders of the day:


IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent

Mr. J. S. ROY (Gaspe):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege in order to

make a statement with regard to my change of seat in this house, I am sure the house will be interested to know why I intend to follow hereafter an independent course in this parliament.

A political party is usually composed of men with the same principles, and among whom there is some friendship or brotherly spirit. The Liberal-Conservative party founded by the MacNab-Morin coalition in 1854 was a real partnership composed of some Quebec moderate Liberals and Conservatives, who wished to wipe out old dissensions and form, with Ontario high Tories and moderate Liberals, a party with Conservative tendencies. Mutual respect was at the base of this union of different groups, and as long as MacNab and Macdonald were at the helm the aims and desiderata of French Canadians were not ignored when the party's policies were considered. Friction sometimes occurred, as I am sure it now occurs in the Liberal party, but we managed to preserve mutual respect and to keep a reasonable share in the appointments of high officers in the civil service and in the building of such public works as were required for the trade and commerce of the dominion.

The bonne entente between the two main elements of the Liberal-Conservative party gradually deteriorated. As time went on, French Canadian influence dwindled in the party. This was largely due to the demise of Sir John A. Macdonald. The Liberal party was strongly organized, and it manoeuvred the Conservative party into becoming an English Canadian party in which French Canadian sympathy was forcibly thrown into the background. The present Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) cleverly followed Sir Wilfrid's tactics, and the present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) is using the Minister of Justice for all he is worth. Sir Robert Borden and Mr. Meighen were never able to control the element which is bent on wrecking our efforts to make Canada a country in which three million French Canadians will be considered. Mr. Bennett, now Lord Bennett, was the man who said we ought to be pleased with the concessions granted to us by English speaking Canadians. He went back on the principles of the party which had put him in power, and did more than all the Liberals put together to shake public confidence in political conservatism.

Any French Canadian member of this house who has mixed with the Conservative party as it now exists must realize that he is not a member of their political family. He is at

The War-Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury)

best a tolerated stranger, accepted from necessity and looked at with a certain degree of curiosity. In the opinion of Conservative members he is and always will be a poor relation. His views of Canada are not their views; his ambition for more French Canadian influence in our public life is not their ambition. They are firm in the opinion that we French Canadians are a source of trouble in their endeavours to make Canada an American England. There is no friendship or sympathy between them and us. I may add, however, that a good proportion of English speaking Canadians, particularly the young generation, show us more sympathy, because they have a real sense of true Canadianism.

I have decided to leave them, and I did not do so hastily. For the past few months I have been in consultation with people in Quebec who all expressed the opinion that it is useless for the province of Quebec to make any further attempts to work hand in hand with the Conservative party. Warm sympathy, the main element, is lacking. You all remember the story of the man who called upon an acquaintance. He was first told that the man was not at home; he then forced the door but he was received with a heap of abuse. He went a third time, when he was taken by the scruff of the neck and kicked down the verandah. He then said, "Well, I don't think that man wants to see me." Take out the violence and I think you will see there is something like that in the attitude of the Conservative organizers toward Quebec Conservatives.

It is my intention to stand at the next general election as a Canadian desirous of contributing, in my humble capacity, to the progress of the whole dominion without racial or religious prejudice, recognizing the rights of all citizens and fighting against bigotry wherever it is found.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. ROY STATEMENT OF MEMBER FOR GASPE AS TO HIS CHANGE OF SEAT
Permalink

SOLDIERS' DEPENDENTS

QUESTION OF INCREASED ASSISTANCE AND COST OF LIVING BONUS


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. D. G. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the government if they will consider granting increased assistance to families of enlisted men, consisting of more than two children, and also whether they have given consideration to the granting of a cost of living bonus to the families of enlisted men.

Topic:   SOLDIERS' DEPENDENTS
Subtopic:   QUESTION OF INCREASED ASSISTANCE AND COST OF LIVING BONUS
Permalink
LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

Consideration is being given to those matters, but I am not in a position to make any statement on them at the moment.

14873-256*

Topic:   SOLDIERS' DEPENDENTS
Subtopic:   QUESTION OF INCREASED ASSISTANCE AND COST OF LIVING BONUS
Permalink

CANADA'S WAR EFFORT

INQUIRY AS TO ESTABLISHMENT OF BUREAU OF INFORMATION IN NEW YORK


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Hon. H. A. BRUCE (Parkdale):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the importance of having Canada's war effort more widely known in the United States than it is at present, will the Prime Minister tell the house whether it is the government's intention at an early date to establish a Canadian bureau of information in New York?

Topic:   CANADA'S WAR EFFORT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO ESTABLISHMENT OF BUREAU OF INFORMATION IN NEW YORK
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 matter of how best to have Canada's war effort appreciated in the United States is one to which we have been giving full consideration. No final decision has been reached as yet as to the particular method or places in which that aim may best be accomplished. Personally I cannot think of a better means of making Canada's war effort known in the United States and elsewhere than to have our own press give a full appreciation of it. I believe the press of the United States obtain most of their information with respect to Canada's war effort from what appears in our own press. However I do see the necessity of having information from that source supplemented, and the government is giving attention to the best possible methods.

Topic:   CANADA'S WAR EFFORT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO ESTABLISHMENT OF BUREAU OF INFORMATION IN NEW YORK
Permalink

November 4, 1941