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


William Scott Maclaren


Mr. MACLAREN (Huntingdon).

Well, as I understand the rules of the House, when a member moves the adjournment of the House he is entitled to speak upon any subject so long as he does not become abusive to anybody. It can hardly be said by the members of the House that during this session I have been guilty of such an infraction of the rule. I think it is very unfair to interrupt a new member of this House and to disturb him so that he may not be able to go on with his speech. However, when the hon. gentleman interrupted me I was saying that I have some figures which I have compiled, and as some other hon gentlemen have shown themselves to be very anxious to get their words on * Hansard,' I too am anxious that this should go on ' Hansard.' I have always had ,a taste iu the direction of compiling statistics In connection with any organization or work in which I am engaged. At the commencement of the session I took down the names of the members and arranged them alphabetically so that I could easily find them. I noted the number of times that members spoke, although I did not happen to be here all the time. I was only five days absent from my place in the House, and for those days I took the names of members and the times that they had spoken from ' Hansard.' This is the result of the compilation that I have made : I
find that during the session fifty-five hon. gentlemen on the opposite side of the House have spoken and that fifty-nine of the government supporters have spoken. In this calculation I am leaving out the members of the Cabinet. I find that those who are entered upon the books as Independents have all spoken, and some of them at very great length. But, when we come to inquire as to the number of times that hon. gentlemen opposite have spoken, we find that they have made 525 speeches, or an average of about ten to each of these fifty-five members. On the government side hon. members have made 826 speeches, or an average of four to each of them. We are not complaining especially about the length of the session, because I think the session

has been moderately short, but It seems to me If there is anything to be said in regard to the lengthening of the session it is due to hon. gentlemen opposite rather than to those on this side of the House. Then, I had the curiosity to classify the members and to find out how often some of them had spoken. I am not putting down the number of times that a man was on his feet, because I want to show the actual number of times that he has spoken and that would not be a true representation of the facts. Having, with a friend sitting beside me, some curiosity as to the number of times that an hon. gentleman had spoken in regard to a subject which was before the House-the estimates -we referred to * Hansard,' and found, that during one day of ithe session, from three to six, with the exception of half an hour devoted to routine business, and from eight to twelve, with about an hour devoted to routine business, one hon. gentleman felt called upon to stand up and address the House ninety-nine times.

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