September 1, 1917

LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

The only King my friend knows sits directly to his right, and I do not think he sits for Manitoba.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

But the same King unquestionably, as my friend the judge (Mr. McKenzie) has said, but there is no appeal from the findings with respect to a provincial matter to another tribunal in that sense, so we had to create some tribunal to make the inquiry for this Parliament, and the inquiry it made was an inquiry de novo as to the extent to which, if any, there was any evidence upon which to predicate those findings.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB

William F. Carroll

Liberal

Mr. CARROLL:

Would it not have been better for the Government to have instituted an inquiry de novo to take the evidence either in Manitoba or here, probably by sending the judges to Manitoba, and then have counsel on both sides, and have the judges see the witnesses? Would'that not have been the better course to pursue?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

I am sorry to say that that course would have been entirely unconstitutional. It would not have been within the ambit of our powers to intrude ourselves upon matters which were purely provincial in their character. We have no right to make that inquiry.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

That is exactly what I was desirous my hon. friends would say. They are angry and balked because a public man has not been permitted to lie under an unfounded and unwarranted aspersion upon his character.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

That is the whole story, and I feel quite sure that, with the great wealth of experience that their right hon. leader (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) enjoys, he will be the first man to say that if any machinery can be created and put in motion that will make it clear, not to some other tribunal but to this Parliament, whether or not there is any foundation for the conclusion arrived at with respect to one of its members, that machinery should be used, and used promptly. To that extent it seems to me we are on common ground. Now they complain because the tribunal has found in favour of the hon. ex-Minister of Public Works. That is the whole complaint.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
?

Mr PUGSLEY:

There is no complaint of that.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

I quite understand that the hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugsley) has no complaint as to that, but I am talking now about the hon. member for Carleton and those who take that view.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

I made no complaint

whatever. I care nothing whatever. I complain because we are called upon to pay 85,500 for something that was none of our business, but a purely personal matter between Mr. Rogers and his friends in Manitoba.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

Let me give an

analogy. I am a member of a club. The question of the expulsion of members of clubs engages the attention of the courts in England more than it does here, but it occasionally does so here, as for instance in connection with the Garrison Club of Quebec. This House of Commons is a club. The people have elected us here. The analogy is complete, and this club of members has the right to expel from its membership any member against whom charges are preferred or findings made that would indicate that he was unfit to be a member of this Parliament, or this club.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

In dealing with members of clubs, is it not a judgment of the members of the club itself that is passed upon the erring member, if he does err?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

Precisely, except that the committee of the club is usually charged with the duty of making investigation.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

But Parliament

constituted them a committee to act and to determine that matter because they aTe judicial in their character, and this club, unlike the ordinary social club, is torn into two or more factions by political differences.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

But from that you

must not presume that this Parliament would not fairly try one of its members. That is a wild presumption.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

I am not making presumptions of that character, but I am sure any judicial inquiry is 'to be preferred to one by members torn by distracting questions and partisans in their character admittedly, as we are-and no man has made a stronger statement in respect to that than the hon. member for North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie).

This House, under the authority of the Inquiries Act, has seen fit to create a small committee, consisting of two eminent judges, and charged them with the responsibility-not as my hon. friend suggests, of going down to Manitoba and inquiring into a provincial matter-but of determining whether or not, on the evidence given before that tribunal, there was any evidence to go to the jury of the guilt of the person charged.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Permalink

September 1, 1917