April 24, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)



The second
reading could be revived later on. The amendment declares, in the meantime, for its being based on a principle that is adverse to that which hon. gentlemen opposite have embodied in the legislation. The amendment would mean that the bill would not now be read a second time et cetera. May I go on and refer to the question of the principle? Without any question the principle of this bill-one of its principles-is to take away from parliament and to entrust to bodies delegated for the purpose the right of making regulations which would have the force of law and be enforceable by fine and imprisonment; to take that power away from parliament itself and give it to other bodies still to be created. That is a principle that from our point of view completely undermines the authority of parliament. It is, I contend, a principle that should be maintained above all others by the House of Commons. But the bill goes still further and gives to the governor in
council power to restrict trade, to prohibit both imports and exports by order in council. Our contention is that the regulation of trade is a duty which should be performed by this parliament, not delegated to any governor in council. The governor in council should have no more right to place an embargo on exports and imports or to restrict importation or exportation of commodities than to do away entirely with the tariff. The control of the tariff should remain with this parliament. The amendment is declaratory in the clearest terms of the assertion of the willingness of the opposition to have parliament pass the necessary measures for the regulation of trade and marketing, but it contemplates having this done by the House of Commons itself, combined, of course, with the Senate.
In case there should be any question whatever as to principles underlying the present bill being those of taking away from parliament control over trade and over production, also over expenditures arising out of the legislation, and being the principles underlying limited production and restricted trade and the creation of monopolies, let me refer specifically to certain provisions; because as the rule I have just read points out, an amendment may declare principles adverse to or differing from the principles, policies or provisions of the bill. These are some of its provisions. Section 3 provides:
(1) The governor in council may establish a board to be known as the dominion marketing board to regulate the marketing of natural products as hereinafter provided.
With this should be read subsection (a) and
(f) of section 4 which shows how it is "hereinafter provided."
(a) to regulate the time and place of marketing the regulated product, and to determine the manner of distribution and the quantity and quality or grade of the regulated product that shall be marketed by any person at any time, and to prohibit the marketing of any of the regulated product of any grade or quality;
(f) to require any or all persons engaged in the production or marketing of the regulated product to register their names, addresses, and occupations with the board, or to obtain a licence from the board, and such licence shall be subject to cancellation by the board for violation of any provision of this act or regulation made thereunder;
Then section 5 provides:
(1) A representative number of persons engaged in the production and marketing or the production or marketing of a natural product may petition the governor in council to approve a scheme for the regulation of the marketing of such natural product by a local board under the supervision of the board.
(3) Upon receipt of a report from the board recommending the approval of the scheme as submitted or as amended by the board, the minister may recommend the approval thereof,

Marketing Act-Mr. Mackenzie King
and the governor in council may thereupon approve the said scheme and fix the date when the same shall be effective.
Section 6 provides that:
(1) When a scheme has been approved by the governor in council, the minister shall give public notice thereof in the Canada Gazette.
(2) The provisions of the scheme as approved shall have the force of law, and the local board shall, from the date of the publication of the said notice of approval, be a body politic and corporate.
And again section 9:
(1) Notwithstanding that no petition in relation to any natural product has been filed, the minister may, if he is satisfied that the trade and commerce in the said product is injuriously affected by the lack of a local board to regulate such product, at any time propose a scheme for the marketing of such product, and the governor in council may approve of such scheme and authorize the board to administer such scheme directly or through any agency which it may establish. Such scheme shall continue in force until terminated by the governor in council.
12. (1) The governor in council may, by order or regulation published in the Canada Gazette, restrict the importation into Canada of any natural product which enters Canada in competition with a regulated product, and the governor in council shall have power to make regulations to provide for the licensing by the minister of importers, or otherwise to enforce any order made hereunder.
(2) The governor in council may, by order or regulation published in the Canada Gazette,-
(a) provide that any natural product shall not be exported from Canada without a licence;
(b) prescribe the forms of such licences, the terms and condit:ons thereof and the persons who shall have authority to issue the same;
(c) impose penalties for breach of any such order or regulation or of any licence issued thereunder, and, generally, make such provision or authorize the doing of such acts or things as may in his discretion be deemed necessary or expedient for giving full effect to any orders, regulations or licences made or issued hereunder.
Then I refer to section 14:
14. Every person who fails to comply with any order or determination of the board or of a local board or any regulation of the governor in council shall be guilty of an offence and punishable on summary conviction with a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars and not more than five hundred dollars, or to imprisonment not exceeding three months, or to both fine and imprisonment.
In part 2, which deals with investigations, it will be found that very similar powers are given to bodies as yet undetermined. I submit that the reading of these sections leaves no doubt whatever that the principles underlying this measure are first that of limiting production, second that of restricting trade and third doing both these things by creating monopolies with regard to certain products that are

to be marketed. And fourth, all this is to be done, not by an act of this parliament which will leave the matter in a known and finally determined condition when the bill is signed by the representative of the crown and becomes law but by giving these powers to bodies that are still to be brought into existence and giving to the governor in council, rather than having held within the control of this parliament, the power to restrict both imports and exports and the control of all expenditures under the act. Our position, Mr. Speaker, is that we are wholly favourable to the regulation of trade to improve marketing conditions, but that the regulation and marketing should be by act of this parliament in accordance with parliamentary procedure and practice and not by bodies other than parliament itself.
In conclusion may I by way of illustrating what I have in mind direct attention to the amendment that was moved on the second reading of the Unemployment and Farm Relief Continuance Act, Bill No. 24, which amendment came before the house on March 30, 1932, and which Your Honour permitted to remain before the house and to be voted upon as entirely in order. I submit that the present amendment as regards the points at issue, is on all fours with that amendment, which was moved by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) and seconded by the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth (Mr. Ralston). The name of the bill was Unemployment and Farm Relief, that was its purpose. The amendment, which was directed not at its purpose, or name, but at the principles upon which it was based, was as follows:
That this bill be not now read a second time but that it be resolved:
1. That this house has been from the commencement of the session and continues to be ready and willing to consider and vote without delay any money or grant, submitted and asked for by the government for relieving distress and providing employment throughout Canada.
2. That this house cannot surrender the rights of the people of Canada, through their representatives in parliament, to maintain direct control over matters of taxation and expenditure, nor vest in the governor in council or in any other body absolute and despotic powers under the guise of dealing with peace, order and good government, particularly while parliament is in session.
I repeat that as regards the points involved in this discussion the amendment now before the house in regard to this marketing act is on all fours with the amendment which was held to be in order in 1932.

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