November 7, 1919

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Mr. McM ASTER@

Six months after the receipt by the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery of the warrant for the issue of a new writ.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

It does not say six months after the vacancy occurs but it says six months after

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Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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Mr. McM ASTER@

After the receipt by the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery-

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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UNI L
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Mr. McM ASTER@

Of the warrant for the issue of a new writ. Just as soon as the member dies, or resigns, the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery issues his writ. But his writ is not acted upon until the Order in Council for the new election is passed by the Cabinet. As I understand it, the purport of the law as amended is that within six months after the issue of the warrant ordering a new election the issue of the writ shall take place.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

It says nothing whatever about the issuing of.the warrant; it says within six months of the time that the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery receives something. What does he receive?

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

He gets the Speaker's warrant. I have sent for the Elections Act. This clause is to be inserted in the Elections Act, and I think if we had the Act here and read this as following immediately after what precedes it in the Election Act, it would become perfectly clear that the vacancy referred to is a vacancy in the membership of the House of Commons. We would also find there a provision as to the Speaker's issuing his warrant to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

If the amendment is

worded properly and the six months dates from that, I can understand it.

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I think it will be so

found, but I have sent for the Act to be certain. The last time I had it, it seemed to read clearly.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

*Mr. FIELDING:

I am content if the

Minister says it is all right.

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I do not want to be

too positive but to me it seemed to be clear.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

If it is dear that the

Speaker's warrant is referred to, that is all right.

M,r. CURRIE: I would suggest that as

the whole Elections Act is to be revised within two or three months there is no use in cutting chunks out of it now and wasting the time of the House. As soon as the war is over the Wartime Elections Act expires and it is possible that within a few months the whole Elections Act will have to be overhauled and amended.

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

I might point out to

the hon. gentleman that we are not now dealing with the Elections Act or any amendments to it. What we are considering is an amendment to the House of Commons Act.

THE CHAIRMAN: Clause 2 of the Bill has been struck out entirely.

tMir. McMASTER: I think paragraph 11

(b) has yet to be dealt with.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

That was adopted

when the Bill was before the iCommittee on a previous occasion.

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UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

We adopted it the

other evening. The Bill merely stood in Committee so that the point in doubt might be cleared up. I might perhaps say that if it should be found that the language is not perfectly clear, although my impression is that it is, I will see that such wording is made in the Bill in the Senate as will remove all doubt. But I will be surprised if my opinion is not correct on that subject.

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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

Perhaps the Senate

may have a little hesitation in undertaking to amend the House of Commons Act, although the Upper House does remarkable things now.

Bill as amended reported.

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

When shall

the said Bill be read a third time?

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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

If there is a possibility of changes in the wording of the Bill being made by the Law Officers of the House, I would suggest that the third reading go over to another day. It would certainly be irregular to make any changes in the Bill after it' has been read a third time.

121i

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L LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

I had understood that if changes were to be made they would be made in the Senate, but if the hon. member insists' the motion for the third reading must stand.

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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

I think that will be preferable.

Mr. Mc'MASTER: May I address you on that point, Mr. Speaker. With all due modesty and deference I suggest that the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. Currie) is wrong if he maintains that the third reading cannot be had at the same sitting of the House at which a Bill has been discussed in Committee. It is true that such procedure is not usual, and it is discouraged by writers on constitutional and parliamentary law, but it is not, as a matter of fact, illegal or unconstitutional.

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November 7, 1919