January 31, 1905

LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I am glad to give hon. gentlemen opposite, and especially the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson), an old friend whom I have seen in this House for many years, all the credit possible. But I would give him even more credit if he had not said so much about being the friend of the farmer. The hon. gentleman doth protest too much, methinks, I believe the farmer will realize that fact. We are not going to discuss the question as to who are the friends of the farmers ; the records of parliament and the records of legislation will prove that better than any protestations the hon. gentleman can make or I can make. But I am glad the hon. gentlemen opposite endorse the Bill which I have the honour to present to the House, and of helping through so far as it has gone. The principle of the Bill after all is the chief thing, and if we can get an unanimous endorsation of the principle of the Bill, I have no doubt the details can be threshed out and made workable by the combined common sense of the

members of this House. The Bill to day, while not so drastic as it was, is probably more to the taste of the people than when it was first introduced, and is more likely to be successful when passed. X trust that when this Bill becomes law and has been in force for a few years, the condition of affairs will be such that we will be able to pass a still more drastic measure, giving greater protection to the purchaser of seeds and greater protection to those who are engaged in the trade. I would be glad to be able to do that in the years to come as Minister of Agriculture.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hr. HENDERSON.

I do not think it lies in the mouth of the Minister of Agriculture to charge me, during the time I have been in this House, now some sixteen or seventeen sessions, with having at any time failed to stand up in the interests of the farmers of this country. Perhaps the hon. gentleman can recollect the time when he opposed a measure in this House that was directly in the interest of the farmers, when he stood up against a measure that was intended to protect the butter interests of the farmers. That is something I cannot be charged with. The hon. gentleman would take half an hour to explain awav that little difficulty. I have (heard him try to do it, but to my mind he failed altogether in accomplishing his object.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

It was all explained away in the elections of 1897. .

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

It is hard to explain away a speech and harder to explain away a vote.

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LIB

Aaron Abel Wright

Liberal

Mr. A. A. WRIGHT.

I am astonished to bear the hon. member for Halton (Mr. Henderson) say that he has improved this Bill by opposing it during all these years. I am sorry that we did not live with him, or he with us, in the days of the children of Israel, when Moses brought down the law on the mount. We would have heard the hon. gentleman cry out '* Wait Moses for a little while until the members of the opposition get a chance at this Bill, and you will see how they will improve it for you.

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CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

This is a new phase of the question. I do not know what kind of seeds they had in those days, I do not know what the hon. gentleman refers to.

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CON
CON

David Henderson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HENDERSON.

He must have an extraordinary idea of legislation. I do not know where he is getting a precedent in those olden days for what we are doing this afternoon. He has not been here all the afternoon.

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?

An hon. MEMBER.

Where was he ?

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?

Mr HENDERSON.

I don't know, perhaps he was out with Moses somewhere. He spoke about my opposing the measure. I never opposed the measure, I do not know

a gentleman on this side who has opposed it. The member for South Renfrew (Mr. A. A. Wright) does not seem to be able to draw a distinction between fair criticism and opposition. The proper way to deal with the Bill in this House is to criticise it. I am not like the hon. gentleman, who merely sits here to register everything that the government proposes, whether it is right or wrong. When the hon. gentleman does that, I do not consider he is acting in the interests of his constituents, because he is simply registering what another man does. I am glad to hear the Minister of Agriculture say that while this measure is not so drastic as the measure of previous sessions, he thinks it will be much more acceptable to the people, and can be more effectually enforced.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

I move that the committee rise, report progress and ask leave to sit again, when we will take into consideration the various sections that we have not dealt with.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I would suggest to the hon. gentleman not to take this up in committee stage again for, say, about ten days. The discussion we have had will go out to the country through the press, and in the meantime we may receive certain suggestions which will serve to make the Bill even better than it is.

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LIB

Sydney Arthur Fisher (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. FISHER.

The hon. gentleman's suggestion is reasonable, but the business of the House may require that we take it up a little earlier.

Progress reported.

On motion of Sir William Mulock, House adjourned as 9.50 p.m.

Wednesday, February 1, 1905.

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January 31, 1905