Probably he does not know it.
Nothing could be more
destructive of or injurious to the body politic than that throughout this country men should say there is no difference between the parties, and that it is only a question of a party being in or not. It is neither fit nor meet that a government in order to retain power, for pure expediency should sacrifice the cherished faith of its followers which has existed generation after generation. The party which now proposes this tariff in days gone by has denounced in no uncertain terms the very measures which it now supports. Its leaders have gone throughout the country; they have sat in this parliament and have placed on the pages of Hansard their observations as to the injuries which would come to this country by the adoption of policies such as they now propose in part. They now champion the policies which they have not the courage to resort to in full; they hope however to divert public attention from the lack of confidence now facing them to the acceptance of these principles. I submit, sir, that such an attitude on the part of a government is injurious to this country and it destroys any confidence the public may have in such a government. In this connection may I repeat the words of another:
What is it, Mr. Speaker, that works havoc in human lives, that destroys the noblest of friendships, that blights all that is most sacred in our human relations? It is the loss of confidence that comes through disillusionment, through the broken pledges, the shattered ideals, the lost visions, the vanished faiths, cruel, indeed, it is when that breach in confidence comes between man and man, between friend and friend, between race and race, between nation and nation; but when it comes between a people and its government there is no saying what injury it may ultimately work.
Is there nothing binding in conscience and in honour between those who rule a people and those who have permitted them to be ruled?
Those are the words of the present Prime Minister of Canada, spoken on February 15, 1924. Hon. members opposite do not seem to be booing so loudly. Bearing in mind this solemn admonition of the Prime Minister in other and happier days I now move, seconded by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens):
That all the words after "That" in the motion be struck out and the following substituted therefor:
"while this house welcomes and approves of every measure that will afford to Canadian agriculture, industry, and labour an equal opportunity and fair competition in the development of the rich and varied natural resources of the Dominion, and provide for the extension of inter-empire trade by mutually advantageous
The Bridget-Mr. Mackenzie King
preferences and agreements, with due regard in either case, to the interests of consumers, it is of opinion that the proposals which were submitted by the Minister of Finance on May 1st, are in several important respects so completely at variance with the policies of this government, as heretofore declared by its official leaders in parliament and elsewhere, that this administration having lost the confidence of the country, cannot safely be entrusted with the direction of the fiscal policy of Canada nor the carrying into effect of proposals to which it has heretofore been opposed and which constitute a breach of its solemn pledges to the electorate, and which are deceptive, fail to estimate the financial results of their operations and which create distrust of and contempt for representative institutions."
Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, I do not
intend at this moment to reply to the speech of the hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) except in so far as the speech just delivered and the amendment which my hon. friend has moved in the house this afternoon assert that the government has lost the confidence of the people of Canada, or does not enjoy that confidence to the full with respect to the budget which has been brought down by the hon. the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) and with respect to its other policies.
Perhaps the present is an opportune moment at which to make an announcement to parliament which I think should not be longer delayed.
In the opinion of the government, Mr. Speaker, it is desirable that a general election should be held this year, rather than that we should delay dissolution until the conclusion of another session of parliament during the course of next year. It is true that under the constitution the present administration is entitled to remain in office until November, 1931, provided that meanwhile it continues to enjoy the confidence of parliament, but uncertainty with respect to a general election always is apt to be more or less prejudicial to the business interests of the country, and uncertainty with respect to an election also has its unsettling effect upon the business of parliament. Inasmuch, therefore, as there appears to be general expectancy of an election this year, I venture to say that it is in the public interest that it should be brought on at the earliest possible date.
We are fortunately in the position, with my hon. friend speaking on behalf of the opposition and I myself speaking on behalf of the government, of apparently being in agreement in this particular. My hon. friend to-day, in speaking on the budget, has given the budget itself as a reason why there should be an immediate appeal to the people. Speaking 2419-116i
on the address in reply to the speech from the throne my hon. friend indicated that since there was to be an imperial conference this year he thought there should be an appeal to the people before that conference was held, and on Thursday of last week, referring again to the imperial conference and the imperial economic conference, he stated that he thought it advisable that the people should be given an opportunity to say what administration should send its representatives to those conferences which are to be held in London next September.
May I say, Mr. Speaker, that having in mind the representation of Canada by the present administration at the imperial conferences of 1923 and at the imperial conference of 1926, as well as at the subsidiary conference held in London last year, I believe the people of Canada would be wholly agreeable to having this country again represented by the present administration in the ordinary course of events without the necessity of any appeal to the people in the interval. However, the imperial conference and the imperial economic conference are all-important events, and I believe that the voice of Canada at those conferences will also be most important. I feel sure that the authority of Canada's voice will be the greater by virtue of its being expressed by an administration which has just been honoured with the confidence of the people of the country.
Under the circumstances, I would suggest to my hon. friend the leader of the opposition that he and I meet together as soon as may be convenient to him to see if we cannot come to some agreement whereby the business of this present session can be brought to an orderly and speedy conclusion. It would be my wish to meet as well with my friend the hon. member for Acadia (Mr. Gardiner) and discuss with him the matters which he would wish to have considered for the group which he leads and for those who sit about him. As far as the business of parliament is concerned, I think the house has now before it practically all the legislation which it is the intention of the government to introduce. I understand that there still remain to be introduced some amendments to the criminal code; there may be one or two treaties and features of the report of the subsidiary conference in London of which we would wish to ask the approval of parliament. There are possibly one or two other bills which may be introduced, and there remains of course the work of the committees of the house from which we would hope to have reports, upon which reports certain bills will be based.
The Budget-Mr. Mackenzie King
There are the supplementary estimates still to be brought down, but apart from these items I think the house has now before it a pretty complete indication of all the business which may be expected.
Now that it is known that a general election is to be held this year, having regard to the date upon which the imperial conference and the imperial economic conference are to be held, and the necessity of ample opportunity being given after an election for the preparation of matters to be presented on behalf of Canada at these conferences, I would say that the speedier we can bring to a conclusion the work of this session, and the sooner we can make the appeal to the people, the better it will be for all concerned.
At six o'clock the house took recess.
The house resumed at eight o'clock.
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ADDRESS IN REPLY
I have the honour to inform the house that I have received a message from His Excellency the Governor General, signed by his own hand, reading as follows:
I have received with great pleasure the address you have voted in reply to my speech at the opening of parliament, and thank you for it sincerely.
Government House, Ottawa.
Subtopic: ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ADDRESS IN REPLY
DIVORCE COURT FOR ONTARIO
Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre) moved the third reading of Bill No. 20, to provide in the province of Ontario for the dissolution and annulment of marriage.
Mr. A. N. SMITH (Stormont):
I beg to move in amendment:
That the said bill be not now read a third time but that it be referred back to the committee of the whole with instructions that they have power to amend the same by inserting the following therein as section 3 of the bill, and renumbering section 3 as section 4:
"3. Upon receipt by the Secretary of State of Canada of a duly certified copy of a resolution passed by the legislative assembly of Ontario requesting that this act be brought into force in that province, the governor in council may, by proclamation, declare that this act shall come into force on a date to be named in the said proclamation, not less than three months after the date of the receipt of such request by the Secretary of State."
And that section 3 of the bill be renumbered as section 4.
Stewart (Leeds), Stinson,
White (Mount Royal), Woodsworth,
Young (Saskatoon), Young (Toronto Northeast).-94.
The question is on the
Mr. JAMES ARTHURS (Parry Sound):
In view of the events that transpired this afternoon, I would suggest that this bill 'be left over until another session so that it can be thoroughly digested by the people of the province of Ontario. I still believe that the great majority of the people of Ontario are not in favour of the principle of this bill, and therefore I move, seconded by the hon. member for M usbok a-On ta.rio (Mr. Mc-Gibbon), that this bill be not now read a third time but this day three months hence.
Mr. G. H. PETTIT (Welland):
I move, Mr. Speaker, seconded by the hon. member for Toronto-Scarbaroaigh (Mr. Harris), that the question be now put.
Divorce Court for Ontario
the main motion. The question now is on
Mr. McGIBBON : Mr. Speaker, I direct
vour attention to o'clock. the fact that it is nine
Mr. McGIBBON : Mr. Speaker, again I
direct your attention to the fact that it is now nine o'clock.
Standing order 15 of the House of Commons provides that the business of the house on a Tuesday, being a government day, starts with government notices of motion and continues with government ordeis, public bills and orders, questions and notices of motion, and from 8 to 9 o'clock p.m. private and public bills, the former having precedence.
The motion adopted by the house a moment ago was that the previous question be now put. What is that previous question? Standing order 55 states:
The previous question, until it is decided, shall preclude all amendment of the main question, and shall be in the following words, "That this question be now put." If the previous question be resolved in the affirmative, the original question is to be put forthwith-
Note the word "forthwith."
[DOT]-without any amendment or debate.
I consider that the vote of a majority of the members of the house on the motion which has been put in my bands by the hon.
Divorce Court for Ontario
member for Welland (Mr. Pettit) is of the nature of a mandate, and that whether or not it is after nine o'clock the procedure must be completed and the vote on the main motion must be taken forthwith. I shall therefore now put the main motion. It is moved by Mr. Woodsworth and seconded by Mr. Evans that Bill No. 20, to provide in the province of Ontario for the dissolution and annulment of marriage, be now read a third time. Is it the pleasure of the house to adopt the motion?
Mr. MERCIER (St. Henri):
I was paired with the hon. member for West Hamilton (Mr. Bell). Had I voted, I would have voted against the third reading of this bill.
Mr. Speaker, I wish respectfully to draw to your attention the fact that it is now 9.30 o'clock; when the vote was recorded it was past nine o'clock, the time allotted for private bills.
For the moment I have the floor and I have not finished.
You are wasting time.