Charles Gavan POWER

POWER, The Hon. Charles Gavan, P.C., B.A., LL.L.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Quebec South (Quebec)
Birth Date
January 18, 1888
Deceased Date
May 30, 1968
Website
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Gavan_Power
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a47e2fa3-277a-47c3-8868-2fc0fdddd05a&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
L LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
  • Minister of Pensions and National Health (October 23, 1935 - September 18, 1939)
  • Postmaster General (September 19, 1939 - May 22, 1940)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
  • Postmaster General (September 19, 1939 - May 22, 1940)
  • Minister of National Defence for Air and Associate Minister of National Defence (May 23, 1940 - November 26, 1944)
  • Minister of National Defence for Air (May 23, 1940 - November 26, 1944)
  • Minister of National Defence (June 11, 1940 - July 4, 1940)
  • Associate Minister of National Defence (July 12, 1940 - November 26, 1944)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
LIB
  Quebec South (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 1532)


May 16, 1955

Hon. C. G. Power (Quebec South):

Mr. Speaker, I am quite willing to answer the question.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   INQUIRY RESPECTING REINTRODUCTION OF AMENDING BILL
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March 11, 1955

Hon. C. G. Power (Quebec South):

Mr. Speaker, at the risk of arousing the derisive laughter of my friends in the corner I think I should take the traditionalist view of this, and repeat what has been said by the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell), that nowhere in our federal elections act is there any mention of any political party. In our experience in the past in trying to draft the elections act we have always carefully avoided mentioning political parties, and for the reason-you may laugh at it-that whatever we may do in practice, members of parliament are sent here to give our constituents the benefit of the best of our judgment and the best of our ability to determine what should be done in the interests of the country as a whole.

Except perhaps during the time when we were occupying the hustings, for many years we have done our best to say that we are non-partisan in our outlook on matters coming before us. It seems almost an insult to tell a man he is a politician. Now, under the guise of a great reform, we are asked to label ourselves as politicians. We will come here and, in the words of some statesman of long ago, we will be all for the party and none for the state.

It seems to me we have not reached the stage in this country where we are going to set up throughout the country political machines and political organizations to which members will become so attached that it will be very difficult for them to take an impartial and non-partisan view of matters coming before the house. If on the ballot paper itself an individual who proposes to become a member of parliament labelled himself, for the time during which he will be a member, as the supporter of such and such a party, it would be extremely difficult for him, both in conscience and in the view of his electors, to say that from now on he repudiates the

Canada Elections Act

pledge he made to his electors when he said he was a Liberal, a Conservative, a Social Crediter, or anything else you may mention.

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PLACE POLITICAL AFFILIATION OF CANDIDATES ON BALLOT PAPERS
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March 11, 1955

Mr. Power (Quebec South):

Quite right; but none of that literature is official, other than being official in the sense of the party. It is not sanctioned by the parliament of Canada, nor by the people of Canada represented in the house by their members.

Up to the present time we have religiously avoided what is suggested in this bill. I remember the trouble we had in framing the elections act in order to have enumerators from two political parties making up the lists. We had to find such language as "a representative of an opposite and adverse political party" if I remember correctly. During the first overseas election-I am not speaking of the one in 1917, but the one in 1940

we refrained from stating the political allegiance of the persons who were candidates. I admit frankly that we received innumerable complaints on that score. But in 1945, if I recall correctly, there was some kind of arrangement made whereby political parties were not recognized but leaders of groups in the house were given recognition. It was stated either on the ballot or in the literature-I think perhaps it was in the literature sent out by the returning officer-that such and such a candidate was endorsed by the leader of the opposition or by the leader of the government, or something of that nature. But I doubt if the word "Liberal" or the word "Conservative" or "C.C.F." was on the ballot, though, in saying this, of course, I am speaking only from memory.

Besides, I doubt if we can here, by legislation, give to the leader of the government, for those of us sitting on this side of the house a copyright on the name "Liberal". I have as much right to call myself a Liberal, even though I might oppose some of the policies of the right hon. gentleman who leads us. In the same way, hon. gentlemen sitting in the opposition can call themselves Progressive Conservatives and still not ask for the endorsation of the hon. gentleman sitting opposite.

Under the circumstances, then, I do not oppose this because it is an innovation, but rather because, in conformity with the customs, the habits and the traditions of our parliamentary institutions, I would strenuously oppose placing on the ballot paper the name of the political party to which a candidate adhered.

Canada Grain Act

Topic:   CANADA ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PLACE POLITICAL AFFILIATION OF CANDIDATES ON BALLOT PAPERS
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March 8, 1955

Hon. C. G. Power (Quebec South):

Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen: It is indeed an honour to participate in this ceremony of tribute to an outstanding parliamentarian, Miss Agnes Campbell Macphail, the first woman member of the House of Commons of Canada.

The very fact that Miss Macphail was the first representative of her sex to sit in this chamber would have placed her in the public eye, irrespective of her personal qualities. But her unique position alone does not explain the respect she won and the influence she played in Canada's national life. Personal qualities of intelligence, courage and unselfish industry were the real factors in her rise to prominence.

At the outset the position of Miss Macphail was difficult indeed. She was at once breaking a tradition and, at the same time, pioneering an advance in the political mores of a nation. Sensational headlines were anticipated: her native dignity precluded the roles of the shrinking violet, the flapper hoyden or the crusading virago.

(Text):

Topic:   APPENDIX
Subtopic:   AGNES CAMPBELL MACPHAIL
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February 8, 1955

Hon. C. G. Power (Quebec South):

As one

who for many years has been urging that estimates be sent to a committee, I rather welcomed the statement made by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris) this afternoon and the discussion which has taken place; but I do believe that there are some things which arise out of the discussion and some perhaps have not been mentioned, which should be clarified by the minister before we finally adopt with enthusiasm his suggestion.

I am somewhat confused as to just what the procedure is to be in the special committee on estimates. I think I should say it would appear that in the minds of many speed is the requirement and speed is what we should be aiming at. I would suggest that really time is not the important element in this as much as efficiency.

With respect to the procedure in the committee, it would appear that all parties seem to be in agreement on one thing anyway, namely, that policy is the business of the government and the responsibility of the minister, and that officers of the department should not properly be questioned on matters of policy. I do not think anyone will deny that under our system of government the minister is responsible for all the details of his administration. He cannot foist on the shoulders of his officers the

Special Committee on Estimates responsibility for his administration any more than the responsibility for the policies that he advocates.

Now, coming to the procedure in the committee, I am inclined to agree with the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Mac-donnell) that the business of carrying on by whispering or sotto voce suggestions will be impracticable if not futile in the narrow confines of a committee room. Pretty nearly all the members of the committee will hear the replies that the deputy minister whispers to his minister and naturally the members of the committee will say: "Well, Mr. Minister, ask him this or ask him that", which would be a sort of three-handed form of questioning which would finally finish up by being a bit ridiculous.

I would say that there should be nothing in the order of reference nor in the intentions of the government to preclude officers of the department from being examined and cross-examined. But I would say this: If any minister believes that he on his own can answer all the questions which an ingenious opposition can put to him, well, then, let him try it.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER CERTAIN ESTIMATES
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