Robert Lorne RICHARDSON

RICHARDSON, Robert Lorne

Personal Data

Party
Unionist
Constituency
Springfield (Manitoba)
Birth Date
June 28, 1860
Deceased Date
November 6, 1921
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Lorne_Richardson
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=94a18b9e-04e7-4862-8162-3d03feae2d0d&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
author, editor, publisher

Parliamentary Career

June 23, 1896 - October 9, 1900
LIB
  Lisgar (Manitoba)
November 7, 1900 - July 20, 1901
IND
  Lisgar (Manitoba)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
UNION
  Springfield (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 168)


June 30, 1920

Mr. RICHARDSON:

As there will probably be no vote, I just want to stand up and say that in my judgment I think something ought to be done for the men engaged in rural mail delivery. In my constituency, where the routes are long and the roads bad, the present terms are a great 'hardship. I would also like to put in a word for the country postmasters, who I think are perhaps the poorest paid officials of the Government.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
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June 29, 1920

Mr. RICHARDSON:

So far as my judgment goes, I would say you co-uld not get a better man-

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
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June 29, 1920

Mr. EOBEET LOENE EICHAEDSON (Springfield):

Mr. Speaker, I cannot afford to allow an occasion of this kind to pass without expressing my views, even although the hour is very late. When the Board of Commerce was appointed, I am quite sure it met with the general approval of the masses of the people of this country. Profiteering had been running rampant for months, and in my judgment that great strike in Winnipeg was to some extent caused by the spectacle of wholesale profiteering. When I reached Winnipeg during that strike, I found practically unanimous opinion amongst not only the better-informed people -but all classes, that an effort ought to be made, if not to control prices, at least to limit profits. When, as a result of the high cost of living inquiry and of the general feeling throughout the country, it was decided that a Board of Commerce should be appointed, I repeat, there was a general feeling of satisfaction that something was at last to he done.

The question came up-who should constitute the members of the Board of Commerce? The -name of Judge Eobson had been mentioned; in fact, I took the liberty of suggesting his name to members of the Government. The judge had said to me a year or two ago that he would like to be identified with some such work as that which was carried on by the Interstate Commerce Commission in the United States. I had remembered that statement, and I recommended Judge Eobson very strongly for the position of chairman. I stated then,-and I believe the opinion that I expressed will be endorsed by ninety-nine per cent of the

people of Manitoba,-that if you held a plebiscite in that province to find the ideal man, Judge Robson would have been selected. He had been a very successful practitioner at the bar; he had make a record for himself as judge, and when the Public Utilities' Commission was created in Manitoba, he was selected as commissioner. He made an admirable record in the service of the people in that high office. He resigned because of some reason of his own which I shall not state here, and he went back into the practice of law. When this position offered and I discussed it with him, he said at first that he would accept. A week or two later, he declined and gave out that he would not accept the position, but in another week or so he reconsidered his decision and communicated with me stating that he would be willing to accept the position. I took the liberty of mentioning the matter to the authorities, and as a result probably of that as much as anything else, Judge Robson was, appointed to the position. He continued in that office for some months. The work of the Board of Commerce did not seem to be as successful as might have been expected, and finally the judge resigned. J understand the reason he gave for his resignation was that he did not think the Act was a valid one, nor that the powers conferred upon the board by the Act which created it were constitutional. Be that as it may, it is my judgment that a man to whom the country looked as unanimously and as confidently as the country did to Judge Robson, should not have resigned upon that pretext, nor for that reason. If the judge came to the conclusion that the Act was not constitutional and did not confer upon him the necessary powers to make the board as useful as it should be, it was his duty to have iso- stated1 the case to the Government and toi have asked for additional powers. I felt extremely disappointed when the judge threw the Board of Commerce over, retired from Ottawa and went back to Manitoba.

Having taken as deep an interest in the board as I did, I conferred very frequently with the other members of the board, Mr. O'Connor and Mr. Murdock, and I may say that I formed a very set opinion that these gentlemen were perfectly sincere and desirous to make a success of the work. I have rarely met a man who seemed' more thoroughly sincere, who took himself more seriously and was mo-re anxious to be of service than Mr. Murdock. I met both him and Mr. O'Connor quite frequently because the control of newsprint had been

placed an the hands of the board!, and for a time I was brought into constant contact with him. I had learned of the Hugg letter; I had also learned that before Judge Robson retired-so these other commissioners informed me-he had made an arrangement with them to resign in a body, and thus put an end to the Board of Commerce. That is -the statement that both these other members of the board made to me. They said that they did not suspect Judge Robson at that time; they thought he was acting with perfect sincerity; but when this letter sent -by J. B. Hugg, K.C., of Winnipeg was found on Judge Robson's desk, they made up their minds that he was trying to betray the board, and consequently they changed their attitude, decided that they would not .resign, but that they would stand loyally by the board.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
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June 29, 1920

Mr. RICHARDSON:

I had frequent intercourse with both these gentlemen, and I could see that they were not satisfied because this correspondence had not been laid on the table of -the House, especially as it furnished an explanation for partial failure to- accomplish as much as was expected. Parliament had called for it; all the circumstances, including the Hugg letter, and the arrangement to secure the resignation of all, had, I understand, been stated in the correspondence, and these two commissioners -were dissatisfied; they seemed unhappy; they got the impression, rightly or wrongly, -that they were not being properly treated. They believed that if Judge Robson had betrayed the board in the manner that they had -suspected and that, to some extent at least, seemed to be revealed by the correspondence-, that correspondence should have been made public, and if Judge Robson had done wrong, he should1 have taken the consequences of his acts. My judgment has always been that the Government made a mistake in not presenting that correspondence to- Parliament. I.t is after all ektremely significant that the judge should have appealed -to the Government that it would be unfair and an injustice to him to 'publish the correspondence. I understand that he represented that these men were at enmity with him; that they were actuated by extreme malice, and that he thought under the circumstances it would be unfair that this correspondence should be made public. I am satisfied that the Government had1 no improper motive in withholding the correspondence. I do not think they had; I

believe they were actuated with the idea that perhaps after all it was not fair to Judge Robson to publish the correspondence. I think they sincerely 'believed that Judge Robson, who enjoyed1 such an enviable reputation for honour and probity, had done nothing in connection with the board inconsistent with that fine reputation. I believe the Government entertained that view sincerely. I do not assert that the Hugg letter which is before us is proof that the judge was guilty of any wrong act, but to say the least it is a suspicious circumstance. The Government certainly had no reason that I could ever see for withholding the publication of the correspondence. I repeat that I believe the Government would have been -well advised to have laid the correspondence promptly upon the Table of Parliament and let Judge Robson take whatever consequences might follow.

Now, I talked quite frequently with Mr. Murdock, and I cannot help thinking that he did the public a service when, in his resignation, he presented the correspondence to the people of Canada. Mr. Murdock sincerely believes, so far as my judgment goes, that Judge Robson has betrayed the board. I believe that was Mr. O'Connor's view also; and they naturally felt that the Government should have made the correspondence public and sustained the board. When Judge Robson resigned, it is true, a reference was being prepared to the Supreme Court. But so far as the public knew,, the constitution of the board was perfectly natural and legal. It was my judgment that, from the public expectation, from the fact -that there was so much to do, and the fact that profiteering was still rampant in the land, the Government would have been well advised to appoint immediately a successor to Judge Robson and let the board proceed as far as it was able to. I believe it is still the Government's intention to do that, and it would be a profound mistake if a new board were not appointed. I believe that two or three- virile, honourable business men of probity can be -secured in this country to continue the work that the Board of Commerce was designed to perform.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
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June 29, 1920

Mr. RICHARDSON:

- who desired sincerely to -serve the people in the position he -held.

Topic:   BOARD OF COMMERCE.
Subtopic:   RESIGNATION OF MR. MURDOCK DISCUSSED ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY.
Full View Permalink