April 28, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


William Scott Maclaren


Mr. W. S. MACLAREN (Huntingdon).

Mr. Speaker. On account of the agitation which has been going on throughout the Dominion, particularly during the past year, with reference to the tariff question, I think it is the duty of every member of this House to place himself on record as to what he considers is the best fiscal policy for this country. There are certain deterent influences, Sir, which might prevent a person not much accustomed to public speaking from addressing this House at this time. I mentioned last year, and the same thing applies this year, that one very deterent influence especially for young members, is the lack of attention which is paid to speeches i in this House, and the very few members who remain in the Chamber while the debate Is going on. There is another influence which may perhaps deter some members from speaking much in this House of Commons. It is this. If the mathematical calculation of our friend from West Elgin (Mr. Robinson) is correct, the expense of running this House is $28 a minute, and some of us may be afraid to score up a very large bill against the Dominion, for fear our electors may call us to account for it when we return home. For instance, the hon. member for Pictou (Mr. Bell) who closed the debate last evening ran up a bill of $3,380, if the calculation of the hon. member for Elgin is correct. Some of us may have some doubt as to whether the speech was worth it or not, but that is a matter for the hon. member to settle with his constituents.

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