May 23, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Scott Maclaren


Mr. MACLAREN (Huntingdon).

I came to this House, in my innocence, with the idea that the object of the debates of this House was to convince somebody of some particular thing, that when a question had been discussed in the committee, that when it had been passed through the committee stage and submitted to the House, or that when some question was raised in the House, hou. members would get up, either on the government side, or the opposition side, and speak for the purpose of trying to convince those who listened to them and the country, that they were right, and that the other were wrong. Well, I have sat in this House time and again and I venture to say that probably no man has been found, in his seat more regularly during this session than I have.
I have listened very carefully to what has been going on ; and I have watched the proceedings of the House closely. 1 have sat in this House when important debates were going on, and while 150 or 160 members would come in for the division, I have found from twenty-five to thirty members present during the debate and of these twenty-five, I venture to say, half of them were writing letters, reading papers, or carrying on conversations. I have heard an bon. member of this House speak for an hour, or an hour and a half, and I venture to say that with the exception of the ' Hansard ' reporters there was not a soul listening to him.

Full View