March 30, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Irvine



After the very happy spirit which has developed, Mr. Speaker, it is not necessary for me to prolong the debate. The good spirit began to develop after the brilliant presentation of the case by the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) who concluded by saying, "It is not yet too late to do something"; then the Prime Minister followed and exhibited a spirit of sympathetic interest in the great problems of the nation which I think was

Penitentiary Act
helpful to all who listened to him; and, finally, the leader of the Progressives made a concrete suggestion, which was endorsed by the hon. Minister of Finance and accepted by the Prime Minister. I do not know if the course suggested will result in a solution, as a matter of fact I do not contend that any government can find an absolute solution for any problem, but I am very glad to see that so much interest has been created in this particular case.
In summing up the debate I wish to make it quite clear that I did not suggest the appointment of a royal commission. I have just as little faith in royal commissions as have hon. members on this side of the House. I never suggested that. But I have to a very great extent got all that I was trying to secure in the suggestion which has been made. It seems to me however, that it was not fair on the part of the hon. Minister of Labour to claim that the Government has the right to make a stipulation to the miners that it does not make to the other side concerned in this row. The hon. Minister of Finance suggested, if I heard him correctly, that they had the right to exact from both parties a promise to accept the finding of the commission. I think that is reasonable; but to expect that the men alone shall make that promise does not seem to me at all fair.
I am delighted that throughout this prolonged debate there has been no incursion into party politics, but that the question before the House and the country has been discussed in such an excellent spirit and with such excellent results.

Topic:   SO, 1922
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