June 13, 1935

LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I am trying to state why-

Topic:   B.C. RELIEF CAMP STRIKERS BEQUEST FOR LEAVE TO MOVE ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member cannot argue the motion. He must stick to the point of order.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I am not arguing the motion, Mr. Speaker, I am stating the urgency. As a matter of fact these marchers are under guard. I would like to know under what authority these men are under arrest.

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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

You can ask that on the orders of the day.

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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member for , Winnipeg North Centre will agree that the statement he has just made is not on the point of order at all.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Surely Mr.Speaker-

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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

It is not in order for the hon. member to discuss the motion. The hon. member surely appreciates that fact. I am willing to give him every latitude in stating his case but he cannot argue the motion at this stage, or until he gets leave of the house to do so.

B.C. Relief Camp Strikers

Topic:   B.C. RELIEF CAMP STRIKERS BEQUEST FOR LEAVE TO MOVE ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
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?

Charles Stephen Booth

Mr. WOODS WORTH:

I am arguing that this is of recent occurrence, that the liberty of the subject is violated, that these men are forcibly detained and under guard, so we are told by the press. Now that is a new matter, and we ought to have the fullest information in regard to it in order to present our case. If that is the policy that is going to be pursued there is bound to be a clash probably resulting in -bloodshed, and I submit that therefore the matter is urgent.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

Mr. Speaker, whatever our views may be as to the merits of the question and -the means that should be adopted to solve it, I think that the motion has the two elements which the rules^ require to permit it to be discussed at this time. First, it is of sufficient importance and, second, it is recent. The other day I voted reluctantly against the ruling of Your Honour but the question to-day is still more urgent and more important than that brought up the other day, especially in view of the apparent conflict which exists between this government and the provincial government of Saskatchewan and which should be settled immediately. I do not think that this House of Commons should be prevented from discussing this matter.

Mr. ANGUS MadINNIS (South Vancouver): Mr. Speaker, there are three conditions precedent to a motion of this kind. First, it must be recent; second, it must be urgent and, third, it must be of public importance. What makes this an urgent matter of public importance is not the trek of the unemployed relief camp workers from British Columbia but the action of this government in stopping them at a certain point. If it is not urgent, why should the government give an order to stop the march? If it is not of public importance, why should the government give an order to stop the march? This order having been given, this matter then becomes a matter for discussion in the house and I contend that the question is perfectly in order.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. JEAN FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata):

Mr. Speaker, I think the point has

been made abundantly clear. We should first define the subject matter of the discussion. Unemployment has been discussed already in the house but that is not the subject matter of this motion. The subject matter is the march of the unemployed and the fact that the government to-ok advantage of the peace, order and good government legislation to change its policies with regard to the unemployment camps. At first these camps

were only for single homeless men, but now they are being used for all the men marching to Ottawa. This second point has not been discussed in the house as yet.

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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

In the first place I want

to thank the hon. member for Winnipeg North -Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) for being good enough to draw my attention to the fact that he proposed making this motion when the house went into session this afternoon and thus giving me an opportunity of considering the matter. I should also like to express a pious wish that the day will soon arrive when the house will so amend rule 31 as to throw the responsibility upon the house and not upon the Speaker for decisions in connection with motions of this nature. However, as the rule now stands it is my duty to decide, subject to appeal to the house, whether or not this matter is one of such urgent public importance as to oom-e under the provisions of rule 31. I may say that I consider that I have already settled this matter, as has the house itself. On May 22 last, the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Ma-clnnis) moved the following motion, to be found on page 2970 of Hansard:

Mr. Speaker, I ask leave under standing order 31 to move the adjournment of the house to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, to call the attention of the house _ and' the government to the acute situation in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, due to the presence in that city of a large number of men from the unemployment relief camps who are destitute and for whom the city authorities can make no provision, creating a situation which endangers the peace.

The motion moved by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre reads:

I beg leave to move the adjournment of the house for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, the situation with regard to the relief camp strikers now marching towards Ottawa and according to reports to be stopped by orders from Ottawa.

I would point out that substantially the same people are referred to in the motion of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre as are referred to in the motion of the hon. member for Vancouver South. The situation concerning those involved is very much the same as existed at the time the hon-. member for Vancouver South moved his motion, the Scene of action having merely moved from Vancouver to Regina. Nothing has apparently arisen since May 22, the date upon which the hon. member for Vancouver South moved his motion, concerning the matters under discussion which would in my opinion warrant me in coming to a different conclusion than I did

B.C. Relief Camp Strikers

on the previous motion. In fact there are now even stronger reasons for ruling the present motion out of order. Three weeks have elapsed since the first motion was moved and there have been opportunities when the subject matter of this motion could have been discussed without recourse to the special provision of this standing order. If I were right on the former occasion, and I think I was, I have greater reason now to rule this motion our of order, which I accordingly do.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I regret very much to have to challenge Your Honour's ruling. It seems to me that possibly your ruling was written before you heard some of the arguments advanced this afternoon.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I shall have to

challenge your ruling.

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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member for

Winnipeg North Centre is quite right. The major portion of the ruling which I gave was written before I heard the argument but there was nothing in the argument which had not been considered before the memorandum was drawn up. I trust the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre intended no reflection upon the Speaker when he made the remark which he did.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

There was no reflection intended. I thought there were one or two points advanced which were not mentioned in the written ruling.

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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member for

Winnipeg North Centre has moved the adjournment of the house, under standing order 31, for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, the situation with regard to the relief camp strikers now marching towards Ottawa and according to reports to be stopped by orders from Ottawa. I have ruled this motion out of order and from that ruling the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre appeals.

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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 to sustain the ruling.

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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 to sustain the ruling.

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CON

Arthur Edward Ross

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROSS:

I was paired with the hon. member for Megantic (Mr. Roberge). Had I voted, I would have voted to sustain the ruling.

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June 13, 1935