Some hon. MEMBERS:
Hon. J. E. MICHAUD (Minister of Fisheries) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 15, to amend the Fisheries Act, 1932.
Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to amend paragraph (b) of section 57 of the Fisheries Act. It is a minor amendment. As the section now reads, it has been assumed in some quarters to mean something different from what apparently was intended when it was passed by parliament. The purpose of the bill is to make the meaning of the section clear to all concerned.
Section 57(b) provides for the payment of compensation by people who build or place in rivers obstructions which prevent the fish from ascending or descending. I am told that when the law was enacted it was intended that an annual sum should be paid by these people. To-day they claim that they can comply with the provision of the act by paying a lump sum, and the purpose of the act is to correct this interpretation.
Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.
Mr. J. T. THORSON (Selkirk) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 16, respecting the status of Canada in time of war. He said: The purpose of this bill is to make clear and declare to the other nations of the world the status of Canada in the event of war. The bill consists of only one section, which declares that: Canada shall not assume the status of belligerent otherwise than by a declaration of war made by his majesty with specific reference to Canada and only on the advice of his majesty's government in Canada. The declaration contained in the bill rests upon the constitutional basis that Canada is a sovereign nation in personal union with the other nations that make up what is termed the British commonwealth of nations, all owing allegiance to his majesty. Canada has complete autonomy over every aspect of her affairs, whether internal or external. This autonomy extends to the declaration of war. The bill defines the only manner in which a declaration of war can place Canada in a state of belligerency, namely if a declaration is made by his majesty with specific reference to Canada and on the advice of his majesty's government in Canada. It is the opinion of a good many Canadians that this declaration of status should be made now, in a time of peace, so that it may be known to the rest of the world. The bill is an assertion of the right on the part of Canada to decide whether Canada is at war or not. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.
On the orders of the day:
Mr. R. E. FINN (Halifax):
Before the orders of the day are proceeded with, I ask leave to move the adjournment of the house for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance. The matter is-
Order. I do not think that at this stage of the proceedings the hon. member is entitled to ask to move the adjournment of the house. The motion should have been made under the head of routine proceedings.
Mr. Speaker, standing order 31
Leave to make a motion for the adjournment of the house (when made for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance) must be asked after the ordinary daily routine of business (standing order 15) has been concluded and before notices of motions or orders of the day are entered upon.
This is before the orders of the day are entered upon. The matter that I desire to bring before the house-although not until I have obtained leave in the parliamentary way -is the dire distress of the lobster fishermen in the constituencies of Halifax from Cole Harbour to Hubbards, which is adjacent to eastern Lunenburg county line, in Queens-Lunenburg, and Shelburne-Yarmouth and southeastern Digby.
Order. It does not seem that there is any regular order of the day. There is a special order of which the subject matter is the address in reply to the speech from the throne. The house having already entered upon the consideration of its business, the hon. member is not in order in bringing up the question at this stage.
Will his honour the Speaker tell me when it should be brought up?
The hon. member should make the motion on the opening of the house, under routine proceedings.
The acoustic properties of the house will have to be improved. We cannot hear.
On the orders of the day: