William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)
Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, hon. members will recall that yesterday a bill was introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). When Mr. Speaker proceeded to read it a first time objection was taken. A vote followed, and it was decided that the bill should be read a first time. In my view that was all to the good. I notice however that some of the press are misinterpreting the nature of the vote. I have before me, for example, one newspaper which says: "PM"-I presume that refers to myself
"votes for no secrecy in income tax." I did not do anything of the kind. I voted for the first reading of a bill, to which I think an hon. member is entitled, unless there is something particularly obnoxious to the house in his bill. I cannot imagine anything that would help to do more to destroy the hon. member's bill than to have it read so that the house might know what it contains.
I wish to have it clearly understood that my vote was given simply on the basis of the right of a member to have his bill read the first time. The decision as to the principle would come up on the motion for second reading. However that motion has not yet been made -and I doubt if it will be made at any time this session. What I have said as to my vote applies I think equally as to the votes of many others given at the time.
Subtopic: THE PRIME MINISTER-REFERENCE TO VOTE ON FIRST READING OF BILL, MAY 12