Mr. C. G. POWER (Quebec South):
Government's Right to Office
That the Speech of His Excellency the Governor General to both houses of parliament be taken into consideration on Monday next, and that this order have precedence over all other business of the House except government notices of motion and introduction of bills, until disposed of.
To this motion the leader of the opposition (Mr. Meighen) moved an amendment, the concluding paragraph of which is as follows:
That those who now assume to be His Excellency's advisers have among them no prime minister with a seat in either House of Parliament, and under such circumstances are not competent to act as, or to become, the committee of parliament, commonly known as the government, or to address parliament through His Excellency, and their attempted continuance in office is a violation of the principles and practice of British constitutional government.
That is the amendment which is now before us. May I s'ay in passing that inasmuch as this amendment delays the consideration of His Excellency's most gracious Speech I should imagine that it ill becomes the Tory party, the defenders of the prerogatives of the crown, to be so discourteous to His Excellency as to refuse to answer his Speech to the Commons and to the Senate. But there is more than that. What is the real effect of the amendment of the right hon. leader of the opposition? The effect as I understand it is this: If the amendment carries, the consideration of the Speech from the Throne is postponed forever. There is no longer any Speech from the Throne. In what position would we be then? My right hon. friend would become Prime Minister. Would he ask His Excellency to come down to the Senate and make a new speech, and say that the old Speech was all wrong; or would he be able to get it before this House? I do not think there is any machinery which would enable my right hon. friend to bring any further discussion before this parliament. Parliament would be dissolved; our session would be one of ten days. The leader of the opposition must either ask for a dissolution and go to the country, or ask for a new session and bring in a new speech. Or will he promise to take the old Speech?
Subtopic: MOTION FOR PRECEDENCE-GOVERNMENT'S RIGHT TO RETAIN OFFICE