April 17, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)


John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)


Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. * On Wednesday last I spoke to the Acting Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) with regard to the resolution that has stood in my name on the order paper since the 15th February, and discussed with him the possibility of bringing that resolution forward by amendment to a motion to go into supply. I spoke to him in order to meet his convenience and that I might give some members on his side of the House two or three days' notice of my intention to move such amendment. The minister advised me that he would see the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). On the following day- that is, last Thursday-I wrote the minister the following note:
Have you discussed with the Prime Minister a suitable day for me to move my resolution on a motion to go into Committee of Supply? Could you agree to next Tuesday?

Railway Rates
His reply, endorsed on my note, is in these words:
The government has no objections to your bringing it up on Tuesday next.
Thereupon I advised members in accordance with my undertaking that my understanding was this resolution would have right of way to-day. On Friday I noticed it was stated that the French treaty would probably be taken up to-day, but it was certainly my understanding and the understanding of the other members whom I advised that nothing would come on prior to a motion to go into supply which would prevent my moving an amendment to such motion.
I allowed my resolution to stand on various occasions at the request of the goyemment before the date that government business was given precedence over private members' resolutions, and did so on the faith of undertakings given me by the government that a day would be found for the discussion of the resolution; but each time I have had an opportunity to bring it forward something has intervened to make it impossible for me to proceed. To-day of course it may be said that I can go on after the French treaty is disposed of, but obviously the whole day will probably be taken up with this particular business-my information is to that effect- and consequently consideration of my resolution is again postponed and the convenience of members on both sides is interfered with. I certainly feel that I am entitled to a statement from the government that either a day will be set aside for the discussion of my resolution as a private member's resolution or that on a given date an amendment to a motion to go into supply nothing will be allowed to intervene in the nature of government business.

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