Hon. A. B. COPP (Secretary of State):
I want to assure the hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Irvine) that he has come to wrong conclusions in regard to the attitude of the government in reference to not taking any interest in any matters -that he or his. colleagues bring before the House because of their small representation in this chamber. I
know I am voicing the sentiments of all my colleagues and, I believe, of practically every hon. member. Every hon. member has a number of labour organizations and labour men in his constituency, and I feel that these hon. gentlemen have just as much sympathy with labour as have the special representatives who are with us in this chamber to-day. I know, speaking for myself, if I were to err at all, I would rather err in giving consideration to matters suggested by them because of the very fact that they are not as largely represented as other occupations in this country. I think my hon. friend is entirely wrong 12 noon when he charges hon. members of this House with not being sympathetic to any matters that he may bring before this chamber because of the fact that the representation of labour is not large in this House. The main reason why I would beg for nonacceptance of the amendment moved by my hon. friend is this: This matter has been before the House previously on an amendment when the bill was in committee. It was thought by the majority of this House that the amendment at that time would not be acceptable. This bill was before a special committee on Privileges and Elections which gave consideration to it. The amendment was considered here in committee and a vote taken on it, and I believe the consensus of opinion in this chamber was that we should not relax in any way the securities we have in regard to contributions for political purposes. That is all we have in mind in regard to it. It may be that clause 10 would be much improved by this and other amendments, I am not going to discuss this at the present time; but the reason I take the stand of not accepting the amendment moved by my hon. friend is that the matter has been considered in two or three different ways during the present session, and I feel this is not the time to accept it.
Hon. HUGH 'GUTHRIE (South Wellington) : I regret very much I was not present in the House when the amendment introduced by the hon. member for East Calgary (Mr. Irvine) was up for consideration. My inclination would have been to support the amendment and to strike out clause 10 or those particular words in clause 10 which restrict political subscriptions to associations or corporations expressly formed for the purpose. To my mind, clause 10 is about the most useless and innocuous clause in the Dominion Elections Act. There is in that clause some language which is also in the act. Those particular words:-" other than a company incorporated for political purposes "-were in-
serted in the act to protect a single political organization, the Ontario Liberal Association, which some twenty-five years ago was incorporated for political purposes. If hon. members will refer to Hansard of about twenty-five years ago and again to Hansard of, I think, the year 1907, to the speech of Sir Allen Aylesworth, then Minister of Justice of Canada, they will see that he specifically preserved the right of the Ontario Liberal Association as an association incorporated for political purposes. When the act was up for revision five years ago, we maintained the section, I think almost in its integrity, but in my humble judgment it has been a useless and innocuous section. There are at the present time in Canada many associations incorporated for political purposes. I think the Progressive party have an association in almost every riding in Ontario specifically incorporated under letters patent of that province to enable them to contribute funds to elections. I see not the slightest objection to granting the same privilege to labour organizations in Canada, and I believe they are entitled to have it if they want it. For my part, I am heartily in sympathy with the amendment.
The House divided on the amendment (Mr Irvine) which was negatived on the following division.
Anderson, Kennedy (Glengarry and
Black (Yukon), Lovie,
Brethen, Maclean (York),
Brown, McDonald (Timiskaming),
Elliott (Waterloo), Morrison,
Garland (Bow River), Spencer,
Garland (Carleton), Steedsman,
Good,* Stewart (Hamilton),
Gould, Stewart (Humboldt),
Kennedy (Edmonton), Woodsworth-53.
Bel and, Casgrain,
Bourassa, Delisle, '
Cahill, Denis (Joliette),
Cardin, Denis (St. Denis),
Desaulniers, MacLean (Prince, P.E.I.),
Fortier, Neill, [DOT]
Hughes, Ross (Simcoe),
Hushion, St. Pere,
King, Mackenzie (York), Seguin, .
Lanctot, Sinclair (Queens, P.E.I.),
Lapointe, Stewart (Argenteuil),
Macdonald (Pictou), Woods-60.
(The list of pairs is furnished by the chief whips.)
Topic: DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT