November 7, 1919

?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Carried.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. J. A. CURRIE (Simcoe North):

I do not think I have exhausted my right to speak further on this matter, Mr. Speaker, before the amendment is put. I have listened with a great deal of attention to a statement made by tie hon. minister, the chairman of the committee, and I would like, before voting on this amendment, to ask him whether he has withdrawn from the position he took in regard to clause C. at. page 48 of the report, which is in this form:

In reference to the question of making further provision for cash grants, gratuities or other financial assistance to be distributed generally on any basis to all ex-members of the C.E.F., your Committee desire there should he no misunderstanding as to their views.

Your Committee having fully discussed and considered the financial position of Canada including the further large sums of money that must be borrowed to carry out the work to which the country is committed cannot see their way clear to recommend to Parliament any proposal that would provide for a further general distribution of grants or gratuities either in cash or credits.

While the minister did not state so directly, he led the House to believe that the Government would recede from the position it took in respect to that clause.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. J. A. CURRIE:

If this report is endorsed by the House as it stands now, and we accept that recommendation of the committee, without any doubt that settles the matter, and all the kicking and arguing that has taken place in favour of granting gratuities or loans to soldiers will have been in vain; the House will have thrown that question aside and approved of the report.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. J. A. CURRIE:

There is no doubt about that. I want to know exactly what we are voting for. I have been too long a member of this House to be led astray by statements that are not definite.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. J. A. CURRIE:

I want to know distinctly whether the Government recedes from that position, that they will make no

further distribution of grants or gratuities either in cash or credits. If the Government does not recede, I intend to support the motion of the hon. leader of the Opposition to send back this report to the committee again, to have them strike out that clause. Then the question will be clearly before the House, and the House and the Government can at any future time take it up again. But if we accept the report, and later again bring the question before the House, we will be met by the statement that once having voted not to give any further credits or gratuities the matter is settled. Let me assure every member here that he will have to meet that position in the country. However, if the minister is prepared to say that the Government does not intend to follow out that recommendation, but is going to leave the door open, then of course it has receded from the position taken from the beginning, and the War Veterans can continue their fight. The hon. gentleman said something about credits. I understand the English language very well, and I can assure him that he will have to state distinctly now, before the vote is taken, that the clause in the report to which I have referred is not going to be binding on the members of this House or on the Government. He has his opportun-, ity to make that statement now. If the vote is to be binding, then I say there is nothing left for those of us who want to see fair play for the soldiers but to vote for the amendment of the hon. leader of the Opposition. That is the question fair and square, and I want an answer from the minister Yes or No. I am waiting for the minister to answer.

Mr. SPEAKER.: It must be understood that the hon. member has concluded his speech.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. J. A. CURRIE:

Oh, no, Mr. Speaker; I am just asking a question.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member having the floor is not entitled to interrogate hon. members in their seats.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. J. A. CURRIE:

I am quite willing, Mr. Speaker, to take a categorical answer from the minister and not a long appeal to his followers to support his views. I want a straight Yes or No.

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

The minister is entitled to speak on the new amendment, and can do so after the hon. member has taken his seat.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Question.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Mr. Speaker, the answer is a very brief one. During the course of this debate the Government has repeatedly stated very distinctly what its policy is on this question of a general distribution of cash grants or gratuities. Nothing I said in my previous remarks would indicate in the slightest degree that the Government had changed its position on that question.

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UNION
UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

Have I answered the hon. gentleman's question?

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. J. A. CURRIE:

We know which way to vote now. That settles it.

Topic:   VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO THE COMMONS.
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UNI L

William Stevens Fielding

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. FIELDING:

I wish respectfully

to urge my hon. friend the Minister of Immigration and Colonization (Mr. Calder) to accept the motion made by the hon. member for Prince (Mr. Mackenzie King). We have heard too much in this discussion of "Government" and "Opposition". May I point out that there is no Government measure before the House? The Government, as a Government, at this moment are not called upon to do anything. We have before us not a report of the Government, but the report of a Committee composed of gentlemen from both sides. That Committee has made certain recommendations. I am not asking the Chairman of the Committee, the Committee itself or the Government-much less the Government, because they are not in the matter as yet; they will come in at a later stage- to recede from anything. I am not asking them to strike out any 'passage of the report. I simply ask the Committee to say, in the light of all that has occurred, in the light of the hundred and one suggestions, good, bad and indifferent, that have been offered: We are not going to be obstinate in this matter; we have expressed our views to the best of our judgment, but if the House wishes us again to talk the matter over, why should we not do it?" The mere suggestion that the report be sent back to the Committee for further consideration reflects on no one; it simply expresses the desire that if any new light has come to us, it be heeded and considered. I hope that the Minister of Immigration will see the matter in that light.

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L LIB

David Arthur Lafortune

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAFORTUNE (Jacques Cartier) (translation):

Mr. Speaker, I could not let this motion pass without expressing my views concerning its merits.

In the county which I have the honour of representing-

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November 7, 1919