James Garfield GARDINER

GARDINER, The Right Hon. James Garfield, P.C., B.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Melville (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
November 30, 1883
Deceased Date
January 12, 1962
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Garfield_Gardiner
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=b88f8c1a-3837-4be1-8acb-61fedd1a9cc1&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer, principal

Parliamentary Career

January 6, 1936 - January 25, 1940
LIB
  Assiniboia (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister of Agriculture (November 4, 1935 - November 14, 1948)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
LIB
  Melville (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister of Agriculture (November 4, 1935 - November 14, 1948)
  • Minister of National War Services (July 12, 1940 - June 10, 1941)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
LIB
  Melville (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister of Agriculture (November 4, 1935 - November 14, 1948)
  • Minister of Agriculture (November 15, 1948 - June 20, 1957)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
LIB
  Melville (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister of Agriculture (November 15, 1948 - June 20, 1957)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
LIB
  Melville (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister of Agriculture (November 15, 1948 - June 20, 1957)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
LIB
  Melville (Saskatchewan)
  • Minister of Agriculture (November 15, 1948 - June 20, 1957)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 4153)


February 1, 1958

Mr. Gardiner:

So we did carry along throughout the period down to the present day. It has been said, and in fact it was said by the deputy leader of the C.C.F. a few moments ago, that on all but one occasion they had voted for the want of confidence motions. I want to say to him that if every one of the groups in this house, other than the government party, had followed the same course which his party has followed we would have all broken the confidence which we tried to give to the people of this country when we told them we were going to assist the government to carry on for a reasonable length of time. However, we did go on with our undertaking, right through, and my hon. friends opposite like to speak of the motion made a week ago Monday as a silly motion. The deputy leader of the C.C.F. party apparently agrees with them.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
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February 1, 1958

Mr. Gardiner:

I realize, of course, that that is not the basis on which the decision is really made to form a government, the people elected to this house a larger group of Conservatives than they did of Liberals. That brought up the question as to who was going to form a government to carry on during a period when there was not a majority in this house in favour of any party. I realize that, under our constitution, no party has a right to form a government. It is not parties that have the right to form a government. It is

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

the individual in the house who can command a majority and only the individual in the house who can command a majority. It does not matter whether he heads any party or whether he does not. Under our institutions of government, parties are formed only for the purpose of making it possible to have a government that can carry on for four or five years or, in other words, so that we can have a stable government. The people did not make a decision that made that result possible on June 10.

So there had to be some consideration given to it and some discussion of the matter. In spite of some of the things that have been said since that time, I want to say now -and I do not think anyone will ever be able to contradict what I am about to say and base that contradiction on constitutional arguments-that there is only one way in which a Governor General can act, and that is on the advice of his prime minister. I want to say further that if the prime minister of the day had said "Well, we are going to carry on for a while"-the Governor General would have accepted that, but that was not said, and there are certain reasons why it was not said.

The leader of the C.C.F. party on the day after the election-on the 11th day of June-said very distinctly to all the people of this country, over the air and through the press, that he was prepared to support a government that would be formed by the leader of the Conservative party. The leader of the Social Credit group took a similar position, although there was a difference in their respective positions. The leader of the C.C.F. party said in effect that the only person he would support as prime minister in this house was the leader of the Conservative party,-or if he did not say that definitely, he certainly left that inference. The leader of the Social Credit group however made it very clear that which ever party undertook to form a government they would give them the chance to show their wares in this house before that group voted want of confidence.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
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February 1, 1958

Mr. Gardiner:

But there was a difference between the position taken by the C.C.F. and Social Credit, and after both of these parties had made these statements, the leader of the second largest group in the house, the prime minister, made a statement to the press and over the air in which he indicated that if the leader of the Conservative party was prepared to take charge of the government, his party would be prepared to give the necessary support in order to do the things that were essential to be done as a result

of what had happened during the election campaign. The leader of the Conservative party became Prime Minister on that understanding.

We came into the house on that understanding. On the basis I have outlined, of course, the Governor General called upon the leader of the Conservative party to form the government, but, if on the first occasion when we had come into the house-as has been suggested by the Minister of Finance this afternoon-we had voted the government out of office, and the three groups voting together could have done so-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
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February 1, 1958

Mr. Gardiner:

When the Minister of

Finance got on his feet a few moments ago the first remark he made was that the nerves of some people on this side of the house seemed rather frayed and as a result they were taking certain actions. Ever since I was a small boy I have heard people say that when your nerves are frayed, the first thing you do is to go up in the air. Well, that is what the leader of the government did today. This action he is going to take-and I am not in his confidence as to what- that action will be-must have been given just about the same amount of thought as the words which he used during the election. He did not go very far towards carrying out these ideas.

I am certain that the right hon. gentleman did not really know until very recently what he was going to do today, and I am not too sure he knows even yet. He could not have consulted many people about it, because no one else seemed to know what he was going to do, or when he was going to do it, and since he found it necessary to take an aeroplane it may be, though I do not know how high up he went, that he intended to follow that Sputnik which was shot up into the air yesterday and which is now circling the world. He may have been doing that. I do not know. But in any case he did the usual thing that people do when they are nervous

he shot up into the air. Judging by the fact that one of the ministers who accompanied the Prime Minister returned to this chamber some time ago, that 'plane must have been back for some time. At last, the hon. gentleman is here in his place, but he still does not seem to have made up his mind to do whatever it is he may have in mind to do.

It is now five minutes to six, and with the house closing at six o'clock there is very little time left to him in which to say anything about it; and in that short space of time I should like to be able to say to him that he had better be able to show very plainly

just why he is doing this, and all about it, because there is going to be an awful lot of talk about the things that have happened in this session during the next two months.

There are going to be discussions across this country of the kind that were foretold at the time when I spoke on the address. I have gone through this kind of thing before in the province of Saskatchewan in 1929 and again, I repeat, on the same issue as that on which we were switched out this time. In 1929 we did not have a majority in the house and so we did not do what the group did here on this occasion. We did not say to them: such and such things are going to happen. We said: we will meet the members and find out. We met the members in session and were voted out, and we went across to the other side of the house and sat there. The new government sat there for five years. They took every year they had the chance to take, and at the end of that five years after we had discussed all the things they did or did not do in the five years they were there, they did not elect anybody to the house. Just before they went to the country they came to me and asked me if I would drop out of politics and take over the presidency of the University of Saskatchewan. That would have been a very fine thing, but I said this to them: 1 came into politics some years ago, and I am going to stay in politics until my constituency votes me out. And they have never done so.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
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February 1, 1958

Mr. Gardiner:

-at a time when the governor would have to make his choice would be entitled to replace the person who could not command a majority. The leader of that party moving want of confidence would have said, in view of the votes taken in this house, that his party had a majority. The Governor General would say, I must therefore call on him. When the leader of the Conservative party assumed the responsibility of taking over the government of this country, as he did on June 21, he also assumed the responsibility, when the day has arrived that he can go no further in carrying on that government, of saying, because he is in the position where he does not command a majority of the members in this house, he is through.

There is no other way in which he could be absolutely certain of that fact, other than when a vote is taken on a matter of this kind. No vote has been taken, and I understand from the way things are forming up around me at the present moment, that one will not be taken but something is going to happen. When this thing which is going to happen, whatever it is, and if it is dissolution and we go to the country, I want to say to the leader of the government that he has had no right given to him in so far as any action in this house is concerned for the action contemplated at the present time.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
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