February 23, 1909 (11th Parliament, 1st Session)


Honoré Hippolyte Achille Gervais


Mr. HONORE GERVAIS (Montreal, St. James) moved:

That the first report of the Select Standing committee on debates be amended by striking out of the third part the words * deferred until the close of the session,' to be replaced by the following words, ' to be printed and published as usual * and that the said report as amended be concurred in.
He said: Mr. Speaker, the object of this report which is being made by the Debates Committee is to do away with the criticism which has been made against the committee with regard to the delay in the publication of the French edition of our ' Hansard.' Complaints have been made since 1893 against the delay in the publication of the French * Hansard.' One of the causes of the delay arises from the fact that the

French edition of the ' Hansard ' has to be made up from the revised English edition. The consequence was that nobody could obtain a copy of the French edition of the ' Hansard ' until fifteen days after the unrevised edition of the English ' Hansard ' had been issued. These complaints were well grounded because, as a matter of fact, the newspaper men in the province of Quebec, as well'as the French speaking citizens of Canada, have been deprived of what they are entitled to, that is, the French edition of the * Hansard ' at the same time that the English edition is issued. More especially have the members of the House of Commons complained of this delay. The object of this report is to go back to the condition of affairs that was in existence in 1893 when the French version of the * Hansard ' was made from the daily or unrevised edition of the English * Hansard.' By adopting this report the result will be that, within twenty-four hours after the issue of the English edition of the ' Hansard,' everybody who wishes to have the French edition will be able to have it because the French ' Hansard ' will then be out. The revised edition both of the English and French ' Hansards ' will be published as usual at the end of the session and everybody will receive bound volumes. By the adoption of this report the House of Commons will get rid of many of the criticisms and complaints that have been made against the Debates Committee. I might assign as another cause of the delay some unwillingness on the part of certain officials of the Printing Bureau to facilitate the publication of the French edition of the ' Hansard,' an unwillingness which has proved to be, as regards one portion of the population of Canada, offensive and sometimes oppressive. It is to do away with that condition of affairs that this report is presented to the House. Now, let us examine the question of expenditure. There will be practically no increase of expenditure, except, perhaps, that the committee will have to appoint another translator, involving an expenditure of $2,100 a year. That is the total expenditure which will have to be incurred should this report be adopted by the House. The translators will have to work from 8.30 a.m. until late in the evening, as they do now. The two proof-readers now employed will be quite sufficient to do the proof-reading and extra assistance will not be necessary. The daily unrevised edition will be published every morning as usual and the translators will make their translation from that edition so that the printing of the French edition can be done during the next day or during the night. Therefore, twenty-four hours after the issue of the English 'Hansard' the French edition will be circulated and the French speaking members of the House will be quite satisfied with that. It is proposed to increase the issue of both Mr. GEEVAIS.
the French and English edition of the unrevised ' Hansard ' and no extra expenditure properly speaking will be entailed by that. The King's Printer and Mr. Shipman, the able foreman of printing, as well as the very clever chief translator, Mr. Larose, attended the last meeting of the Debates Committee and they assured us that work will be carried out as I have explained, that the present printing machinery is sufficient, and that satisfaction would be given to the French-speaking community in this respect. I trust the House will adopt this report without any further delay, and when it is adopted there will be no further complaints against the Debates Committee.

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