March 22, 1923

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Either on this order or on the order "Questions," I desire to enter a protest against such question as No. 12 being passed as an order for return. If the length of the answer and the cost of inserting it in Hansard is the reason for this procedure, I would say that the answer might be only one word. ,

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

That is not passed as an order for return.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It was so called. Perhaps

it was a mistake; I hope it is.

While I am on my feet I desire also to call attention to the fact that a great number of answers to questions this session, particularly of late weeks, have not been answers at all; they have not even been evasions; in many cases they have been simply a mass of irrelevant words. It seems to me there should be a discussion in this House at an early date of what the obligation of the government is in relation to answering questions. I have questions that I can bring to the attention of the House the answer, or supposed answer, to which does not even bear relation to the subject.

Suppl y-Im migration

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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PRO

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

Progressive

Mr. D. M. KENNEDY (West Edmonton):

I understand that question No. 4 has been passed as an order for return. The answer would not be a very lengthy one, and I think the question ought to be answered in the ordinary way.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am informed in regard to that question that the information has to be gathered from different parts of the country, and that that is the reason why it is passed as an order for return, rather than have the question repeated day after day while we are waiting to get the information.

Mr, T. W. CALDWELL (Victoria and Carleton): I would like to say a word further with regard to questions passed as orders for returns. I spoke of this matter once before this session. The answer to a question that is passed as an order for return is not incorporated in Hansard and is not available in that way to members of the House. True, a copy may be had by applying to the proper authority, but I would point out this: I had a question that was passed as an order for return and the information was brought down, but since then I have had numerous inquiries for a copy of the return and I have had to have a stenographer make several copies. I do not think that is economy at all. Questions that can be answered without being passed as orders for returns, I think should be answered in the ordinary way, so that the information will be available in Hansard to members of the House, especially such questions as No. 4, relating to the Purchasing Commission of Canada which is very important.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The remedy is by applying to the .proper .officer, as the hon. gentleman did. If a number of copies are required for distribution the hon. member might well apply to the committee on Printing. I am quite sure that an application made by the hon. member would be granted by the committee.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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PRO

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

I have no fault to find with the treatment that has been accorded to me personally in this matter, but I think you will realize Mr. Speaker, that members who are sitting on three or four committees and attending committees during the time the House is in session have very little time to spend in galloping around, if I may use that expression from one office to another to hunt up these matters. I think the answers to questions should be prepared as fully and as expeditiously as possible, and should be made available to the members with the least delay,

because we are certainly putting in pretty full time as it is.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance) :

Perhaps I might suggest that members in framing their questions should show equal care, because sometimes questions are needlessly extensive and serve no good in the end, I venture to think.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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PRO

Thomas Wakem Caldwell

Progressive

Mr. CALDWELL:

I realize that is so in some cases, but generally questions are to the point.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
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On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

May I ask when the House may expect the report of the last meeting of the International Labour Conference?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

The report of the last meeting was issued in the Labour Gazette of December or January. I am not sure which.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. gentleman,

maybe, refers to a report of a conference held at Ottawa. I refer to the International Labour Conference.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
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LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

I was referring also to the International Labour Conference.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The report has not been laid on the Table, has it? I made inquiry and I was told it had not been.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MLTRDOCK:

I will ascertain as to that.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS-QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
Permalink

The Hduse again in Committee of Supply, Mr. Marcil (Bonaventure) in the chair. Immigration-outside service-salaries, $700,000.


March 22, 1923