March 15, 1927


Item agreed to. Government of the Northwest Territories- salaries and expenses connected with the administration of the territories, etc. Further amount required, $15,000.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

What is this?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I have not the information. I am not sure that this is not to complete a certain amount required for fire purposes.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I do not think so. I had a letter in regard to this matter and I promised to find out what the item was for when it came up. However, when the bill i3 in committee the minister can give the information.

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Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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Item agreed to. Government of the Yukon Territory-amount required to pay compensation to John Mclver in connection with the purchase of placer mining claims situated on Poker creek, Yukon Territory, $3,000.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

What is this?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I have not the information but I will get it.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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Item agreed to. Adjustment of war claims-Department of the Secretary of State. Further amount required, $5,000.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

An hon. member is

anxious to have information regarding this vote, but if later on in' committee an explanation can be given, that will be satisfactory.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

Many of the items in

this list of supplementaries were passed with no explanation given, and before the list was distributed to the committee. I wonder if the minister would go back to item 385 and give an explanation of how it came to be included?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

This item is to authorize and provide for Mr. Meighen's indemnity as leader of the opposition from January 1, 1922 to March 7, 1922, at $10,000 per annum. My hon. friend understands that the leader of the opposition is entitled to that salary. The Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King was paid as leader of the opposition to December 31,

Supply-Secretary oj State

1921, and Mr. Meighen was paid as leader of t'hc opposition from March 8, 1922, the day the House opened, and the present item is to cover Mr. Meighen's indemnity as leader of the opposition in the interval.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

Why is it necessary to

place it in the supplementaries at this late hour, and who was responsible for placing it there?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

I think the reason was that

we did not have the figures until that time. As a matter of fact, we really did not know until later, that Mr. Meighen had not been paid.

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Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Is not the real

explanation the fact that until March 7 of that year we did not know who was going to be leader of the opposition, Mr. Crerar or Mr. Meighen, and as a matter of fact until that date there was no leader of the opposition?

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Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

No, that was not the reason.

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Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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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 think I can

give my hon. friend the explanation. When Mr. Meighen's government resigned and the present administration assumed office in October last, Mr. Meighen continued as leader of the opposition until the time my hon. friend opposite (Mr. Guthrie) was chosen leader of the opposition. Unfortunately immediately after we came into office, Mr. Meighen was informed that no salary cheques could be paid to him as leader of the opposition, or to his secretaries and that he was not entitled further to the use of the frank. When I learned of this, I expressed considerable indignation and said I thought it was quite wrong. It seemed to me that the House would not desire the leader of the opposition to be treated with discourtesy of the kind. I was informed that there was no legal authority to pay Mr. Meighen as leader of the opposition, that the law required that to be recognized as the leader of the opposition he must be a member of parliament, and at the time Mr. Meighen had not a seat. I discussed the matter with Mr. Meighen personally and said I would take the responsibility of seeing that matters were properly adjusted. It was then that Mr. Meighen informed me that he had received no salary as leader of the opposition for the period here mentioned though he had acted as such during that time. I said if that were the case I thought it was equally a mistake; that if he was entitled to the salary he should receive it, and that I would ask the House to vote it, this I now desire to do.

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Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

I am glad we have received this explanation because we in this group were wondering why it was included in the supplementary estimates when the salary of the leader of the opposition is provided for in the House of Commons Act. I would like to go a little further than (that and point out that there is another circumstance which the Prime Minister evidently has not taken into consideration. The government of which the Prime Minister is now head took office on December 29, 1921, if I am not mistaken, and after the general election prior to that Mr. Meighen did not have a seat in the House and had to wait until such time as a seat was opened to him dn order to enter the House. Another circumstance which we must remember is the fact that the party led by Mr. Meighen was not the second largest party in the House and could not claim in any way to be the official opposition. The Conservative party had something like fifty-one members whereas the Progressive party had about sixty-three, and it was not determined until March 6 or 7 which of those two groups would form the opposition. Under no circumstances could Mr. Meighen and the Conservative party claim the opposition benches until such time as the Progressive group had made a decision as to whether or not they would form the opposition. I think it was on March 6 that the Progressive group decided not to become the official opposition, and that information was transmitted not only to the Prime Minister but to Mr. Meighen as well, as leader of the Conservative party. Under the circumstances Mr. Meighen never was the deader of the official oppposition at that particular time. I am not objecting to the amount of the vote, but 1 do think at this late hour of the day and in view of these circumstances it is pretty small to include that sum of money in the estimates.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
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Item agreed to. Resolutions reported, read the first and second time and concurred in.


WAYS AND MEANS

SUPPLY BILL

March 15, 1927