April 15, 1935

RECESS FROM WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, UNTIL MONDAY, MAY 20

?

Right Hon. S@

If agreeable to my right

hon. friend, I would move the following resolution that stands in the name of the Prime Minister:

That when this house adjourns on Wednesday, April 17th, it stand adjourned' until Monday, May 29th next, at three p.m., daylight saving time.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):

I am pleased that my

right hon. friend has seen his way to follow the correct procedure in the matter of the introduction of the motion, but I am not pleased with the resolution asking for such a long period of adjournment and the little regard that is paid thereby first of all to the wishes of the house, but more particularly to the needs of the country. I do not think it would be proper to let the motion pass without making another protest against the length of time asked for in this adjournment. I am not going to go over the arguments that were advanced in the course of debate a few days ago on this matter, but I wish to say that I do think the character of our political institutions is little by little being very materially changed. There was a time not so very long

Easter Adjournment

ago when it was believed at least in theory that government was carried on by the consent of the governed, but it can hardly be said that such has been the view entertained by the present administration since it took office. There is nothing more apparent than the fact that the government for a long time past has not enjoyed the confidence of the people of the country.

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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

No, no. The right

hon. gentleman is entirely mistaken.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I hear some

hon. gentlemen opposite saying: No, no. I do not know whether it is their hearing or their eyesight that is defective, but certainly after losing nine by-elections in succession they must have had some intimation of the fact that the country has completely lost confidence in them. Not only have they lost nine by-elections in succession, but their party has lost several provincial elections all of which have been fought largely on federal issues.

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CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

I do not want

to interrupt the right hon. gentleman, but I must say I am rather surprised he is starting to discuss this again. We had it under debate for two days. This is simply a reiteration of debate that took place before.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No, no.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

This is a

specific motion dealing with the question of adjournment and apparently the discussion of two days has fallen on deaf ears. I am trying, as I have said, not to reiterate what has been said, but simply to emphasize in a few words the seriousness of the indifference which the government apparently is showing to the needs of the country, to the public interest. A long adjournment at this time does mean-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I notice hon.

gentlemen opposite seem to think I am out of order. If I am, I shall stop, but I do not think I am. It is quite in order to discuss this motion.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. E. N. RHODES (Minister of Finance):

My right hon. friend has been so kindly in his reference to the question of order that I would not have risen to a point of order because the widest latitude is shown to the leaders of the respective parties especially under circumstances such as this, but I feel if my right hon. friend proceeds at any length to debate this motion, other hon. gentlemen could claim the same right. As a matter of fact my right hon. friend is debarred from further debate, because this subject has been 92582-173

debated and decided at this session of parliament.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No, the debate was on an amendment to a motion to go into committee of ways and means.

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

That was the vehicle,

but nevertheless it was a debate. The rule is with respect to debate.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am quite

prepared to abide by the ruling of the Speaker, but I should be surprised if his honour ruled against me in regard to this motion, which is a substantive motion, and I am speaking immediately to it. However, I will relieve my hon. friend's anxiety by saying that I am not going to speak at any length. The point to which I wish to direct particular attention is this, that the public interest is the interest to which this parliament should give first consideration. I submit that the longer we delay permitting the public to express itself with respect to the government that is to carry on the business of this country for the next few years, the more we are going to prejudice the public interest in Canada. Hon. gentlemen know very well that until a general election is over it will not be possible for business to settle down in any normal way, nor will it be possible to hope for the normal and natural revival which we trust will come after a general election. I say this irrespective of the particular government that may be returned. The other day I heard someone refer to the presidential election year in the United States as a year in which very little progress is made with business, because of uncertainty as to what may result at the end of the election. Unfortunately next year will be the presidential year in the United States, there will be uncertainty there, from which this country will suffer in part. But if we are to wait until after midsummer and on into the fall of this year before the general election takes place business in Canada is going to be very materially prejudiced.

One pretext after another has been used by the government for continuing itself in office. After the by-elections of last fall, when we had what was spoken of as a miniature general election and government candidates were not only defeated but slaughtered everywhere, we were told that it was impossible to have a general election then because voters' lists were not ready. When parliament reassembled I spoke about the lists and my hon. friend the Secretary of State (Mr. Cahan) told us that the lists would not be ready until about April 15, but

Easter Adjournment

that they would be ready by that time. To-day is April 15. I think at that time the country had reason to hope that the lists being ready by April 15 it might expect a general election towards the end of April or early in May. Now the revision of the lists is being made, and I suppose we shall be told later that until the revision is completed we cannot hope to have a general election. The revision will probably take until July or August. That means that it will possibly be some time in September when the new government that is elected assumes office or the present government is confirmed in office.

Whether hon. gentlemen opposite are returned to office or another government is elected, it will take some little time after the election before the new administration whichever it may be, can begin to introduce and enforce its policies for the improvement of employment, the relief of unemployment, the furtherance of trade and the like. Also until after there has been a general election there will not be opportunity for any government satisfactorily to negotiate agreements with respect to trade. Until after a general election nothing can be done, for example, with respect to the revision of the Canada-United Kingdom agreements, nor is it likely that anything can be done satisfactorily with respect to a reciprocal trade agreement with the United States. Nor is it probable that any government in Europe, America or Asia will negotiate with the administration in this country until after the people have spoken. That means that with respect to the bringing about of such changes in conditions as can be effected through negotiations with other countries all this will be delayed until on into the fall. Being delayed that long means that winter will be approaching, and that the effect of any arrangements will not be felt until the year following. It will be too late for new markets. I think it is most unfortunate that such should be the case. The election should have been held last year, as hon. gentLemen well know. Now we are prolonging the session, not with a view of suiting the needs or interests of the country, or even considering the interests and the wishes of parliament, but simply to enable a moribund government to perpetuate itself longer in office in the hope that, not yet being able to win as far as they can see yet, something may turn up before the last moment arrives which will help to save the day.

I protest again against this delay because t means that we shall come back at the ..atter part of May, be held here possibly

through the greater part of the summer, and then there will be further delay before the general election. I think there is material enough, with the business on the order paper and what we have now before us in the form of reports, to enable us to continue after a recess of a few days, and thereby expedite the moment at which the people will come into their real and long denied right of expressing their wushes in a general election.

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CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

I do not propose to answer the argument of the right hon. gentleman again or to traverse what we went through the other day. I feel very definitely that the remarks of the right hon. gentleman are entirely out of order, but we simply did not wish to interrupt him, on account of the latitude that is given to the leader of the opposition. Therefore in order not to continue a debate of that kind I do not propose to discuss the matter any further.

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CON

Eccles James Gott

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GOTT:

I was paired with the hon. member for Kent, Out. (Mr. Rutherford). Had I voted I would have voted for the motion.

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CON

George Manning McDade

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McDADE:

I was paired with the hon. member for Laprairie-Napierville (Mr. Dupuis). Had I voted I would have voted for the motion.

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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

I was paired with the hon. member for South Oxford (Mr. Rennie). Had I voted I would have voted for the motion.

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CON

Thomas Cantley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CANTLEY:

I was paired with the hon. member for Richelieu (Mr. Cardin). Had I voted I would have voted for the motion.

Mr. MacDONALD (Cape Breton South). I was paired with the .hon. member for Colchester (Mr. Urquhart). Had I voted I would have voted for the motion,.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I was paired with the hon. member for St. James (Mr. Rinfret). Had I voted I would have voted for the motion.

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April 15, 1935