April 13, 1933

CON
CON

Albert Joseph Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROWN:

Over and above this $5,000

that Mr. Taylor is going to get as solicitor for the board, do I understand the minister to say that he is also going to receive out of the estimated expenses for the 1933-34 crop year an additional $3,500 for legal fees?

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Provision is made in the

estimates for $3,000.

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CON
CON
CON

Albert Joseph Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROWN:

If Mr. Taylor is such an

eminent lawyer as has been suggested there is no reason in the world why he cannot perform these other services, because his time will not all be taken up performing the petty duties indicated by the minister, and there is no need for giving him that extra $3,000.

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LIB

James Malcolm

Liberal

Mr. MALCOLM:

I do not wish to hold

up the minister's estimates, but as one who has administered this department I am going to say to him that this is the most unjustifiable appointment he has ever made. In the first place, when the Board of Grain Commissioners do run into trouble in the administration of the grain act they want the advice not of Mr. Taylor but of the best solicitor obtainable in Canada. That has been the

Supply-Trade-Grain Act

course that has been followed in the past. Eminent counsel, of course, have to be called in occasionally by governments and by government departments to help them, but the Board of Grain Commissioners, under Mr. Ramsay and the other two commissioners, know the Grain Act from cover to cover, as do many members of this house, and I say to the minister that it is all hooey to talk about needing a lawyer for the issuance of certificates or licences or for anything of that sort, because Mr. Ramsay knows the act perfectly, and its provisions are as clear as crystal to anyone who studies them. If the minister takes the other stand and says that he thinks the farmers of western Canada have a right to legal counsel in presenting their appeals to the board, he is probably justified in the appointment; but if a lawyer is to be appointed to represent the farmers of western Canada I would expect the minister to request of the house that a growers' counsel be appointed and that the expense be charged up to inspection fees. There is no one more interested in the grain act than the grower, and every dollar that we are here voting is repaid to the treasury, out of inspection fees, by those who ship the grain. It is not paid for by the taxpayers at all. This is a service paid for by the grain producers of Canada, and the sooner members of the house realize that fact the sooner will they realize that this expenditure should not be increased unless the people who are producing the grain and paying the fees so request. I never heard of Mr. Taylor as an eminent counsel in Winnipeg to whom any of the boards in the past went for advice. The last chairman of the board, Mr. Leslie Boyd, appointed by my hon. friends opposite, was a lawyer, a man who I consider gave very valuable service to this dominion. I do not think he ever consulted Mr. Taylor when he wanted an expert opinion on anything pertaining to the grain act, nor do I think that any of the other commissioners did. Why this man should be appointed at a salary of $5,000 without the request of those who are paying the fees I cannot understand. Personally I shall not hold up the minister's estimates but I think he is making a very grave mistake.

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

While the minister is recovering-he does not seem to have anything to say in reply-I wish to say, arising out of what was said by my hon. friend from North Bruce (Mr. Malcolm) and the lawyers will correct me if I am wrong, that there is a well known principle in British law that no lawyer can act for two sides of a given

case. He cannot act for both the appellant and the defendant at one and the same time. Some lawyer repeated that axiom to me just the other day, and it is such plain common sense that any kind of layman on the opposite side of this house should be able to grasp it. As a matter of fact, the minister is caught with the goods, and he is hunting in every hole and comer to find an excuse for this appointment. That is what is the matter. We all know the fix he is in. We all know something more, and that is that $5,000 was not the sum first mentioned, nor $6,000, but a good deal more, was it not?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I never heard of anything more than $5,000.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

I did, and that is the information which the hon. gentleman has not got. I think he had better let this item stand until he gets the important information we require, particularly after it has been pointed out, and as we all know, that this $5,000 comes out of the fees which the farmers have to pay on every car of wheat. The farmer pays $2 per car for weighing and grading, and that is what pays for this service. The government is recouped out of these fees. I suppose this vote in the estimates for the Canada Grain Act has been reduced because of this $5,000 that is going to Mr. Taylor, but should it not have been increased instead? It would seem as if the government under their blighting administration of affairs, anticipate a smaller crop next year, that bugs or worms or Tories are going to attack our grain. Out of this sum that is being voted the minister is giving $5,000 to a political henchman, as far as we can make out to-day, for doing what was done for $500 before, and there hon. gentlemen opposite stand, caught with the goods, thinking they were going to sneak this thing through on a quiet Thursday afternoon. My heart was touched at the beginning by the minister's helplessness, and I was inclined to let him go, but he has made such a mess of it that we can now very well afford to sit down and let him mess away at it himself.

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CON

Albert Joseph Brown

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROWN:

I move to reduce this item No. 275. amounting to $2,295,172.20, by the sum of $5,000.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I am quite sure the committee will not expect me to reply to my hon. friend from Melville in the same language and the same terms as he used.

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LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

The minister cannot reply; that is the trouble.

Supply-Trade-Grain Act

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I have stated three times- I stated it in the first explanation that I made, I stated it again, and I repeat it now -that a substantial portion of the time of Mr. Taylor has been occupied in assisting those who are presenting cases to the board; that is, farmers and producers and that class of applicant. The hon. member for Melville suggests that a lawyer cannot act for both sides of the case. Mr. Taylor is not acting for both sides of the case at all. On the one side of the case would be, as I pointed out before, an elevator company or a concern of that kind, and on the other side would be the applicant such as a farmer, producer or shipper of grain in one of the western provinces. The elevator company would have its solicitor to appear before the board, and the board has put into practice the system that I have mentioned of paying a solicitor and getting him to assist the farmer or producer or the shipper, as the case may be, in presenting his case to the board. In that work about half of Mr. Taylor's time, I should judge, is occupied.

My hon. friend from North Bruce, the hon. member for Melville and the hon. member for Lisgar also suggest that the act is so clear and so perfect that anyone can understand it.

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CON
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

It is a large act, an

important piece of legislation, and it is no reflection upon Mr. Ramsay or the members of the board to say that there are many little things which require close study. For instance in a day or two I shall show that there are certain amendments now called for arising out of complexities in the act, if you dike to put it that way, or in connection with matters which were overlooked. It is no reflection upon those who drafted it or the Board of Grain Commissioners. The same thing has occurred in connection with many of the major statutes. But in regard to the large. number and variety of bonds that the act imposes upon the commission to exact from those using the facilities of the board, such as elevators and so on, there is required careful supervision and drafting. Mr. Taylor has been devoting a considerable portion of his time to that work, a work which constitutes valuable service to the commissioners. I am sorry the hon. member has taken the attitude he has shown in committee. Certainly there was no thought in my mind of hiding this item, or of slipping through the grain estimates this afternoon. I am quite willing to ask that the item stand over until some other day, so that we may have a full-dress debate on it for a whole week, if the

hon. member wishes it. However, I tell the committee this, that some few weeks ago we had one of the commissioners in Ottawa. He waited two or three days, during which time I was unable to get my estimates before the house. At that time the attention of the members was directed towards other matters.

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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

No, it was not the budget. I was taking advantage of the presence in the city of one of the commissioners to have my estimates placed before the house to-day. Hon. members opposite must know that it is inadvisable to hold these gentlemen here in the east day after day awaiting the pleasure of the house. It is only for that reason that the estimate was brought on this afternoon. If the committee feels that it is not being treated fairly, I am quite satisfied to ask that the item stand, and I shall go on with other items to which there will be very little opposition.

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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I am not desirous of proceeding contrary to the views of hon. members opposite. I shall undertake to give them ample notice of further discussion on the estimate now before us.

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April 13, 1933