House of Commons, 25 February 1890, Canadian Confederation with Alberta and Saskatchewan

1069 [FEBRUARY 25, 1890.] 1070
[...]presentative. That was received on Saturday night; I sent it to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries on Sunday, and he started yesterday at one o'clock for Washington.


Mr. DOYON. (Translation.) Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the day are called, I desire to call the attention of the Government to the fact that I asked, at the beginning of this Session, for the production of the report of the operations of Mr. McLea Walbank as land surveyor of the Indian Reserve of Caughnawaga. The hon. the Minister of the Interior answered me that he had no objection to produce that document. During last Session I made the same request, and I received the same answer; nevertheless, the report has not yet been brought down. Am I to understand that the Government, although having no objection to lay that report before the House, has no intention of doing so? If, on the contrary, it is disposed to produce it, I would desire to know how soon, for I might say that it is not without good reason that I ask for it. I thought the matter had been forgotten, and that is why I have taken this opportunity of recalling it to the Government.
Mr. DEWDNEY. I understand that the hon. gentleman wants to know when the report and the map of the survey of the Caughnawaga Reserve will be brought down. The map is a very intricate one, and it will take a long time to prepare it, and, therefore, I cannot say when it will be brought down.
Mr. DOYON. The hon. Minister will recollect that, in a private conversation with him last Session, I asked for that report, and he told me that if he could not produce it during the Session, he would file it during the recess.
Mr. DEWDNEY. I will bring it down at the earliest possible moment.


Mr. COUTURE. (Translation.) Mr. Speaker, I regret that reasons beyond my control prevented me from attending yesterday's sitting, when the House was called upon to vote on a most important question as regards the agricultural class; I refer to the motion of the hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McMillan), in favor of free importation of seeds not produced in Canada and used for the fattening of animals, the improvement of the lands and for silos. Had I been here, I should have voted for the motion of the hon. member for South Huron, as I understand his proposition is calculated to do immense service to the agricultural class.  


Mr. AMYOT. Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. It has been spread over the country that by voting as we did the other evening against the amendment of the hon. Minister of Justice, I voted for the Bill of the hon. member for North Simcoe (Mr. McCarthy). I did not take the necessary time last Friday to explain my view of the matter, because I desired to enable my colleagues to take the train so as to go to their homes. I was of opinion, first, that all the hon. members in favor of Mr. McCarthy's Bill had to vote against any amendment tending to prevent that Bill from being read a second time; second, that all the hon. members in favor of Mr. Davin's amendment had to vote against any sub-amendment tending to prevent that amendment from being affirmed by the House; third, that all the hon. members opposed to any change being made in the existing law had to vote against the sub-amendment offered by the hon. Minister of Justice, as the would have to vote against Mr. Davin's amendment, and the Bill itself, had they reached a vote. The Bill presented by the hon. member for North Simcoe was struck off the Order paper for the second reading by the adoption of the sub-amendment, and no direct vote was practically taken upon the Bill itself. I have consulted very high authorities on this point, and I may quote Bourinot, our worthy Clerk, who has been so justly honored by the Queen lately, who, at page 130, says:
"If a resolution opposed to the principle of the Bill be resolved in the affirmative, or the motion that the Bill be now read a second time be simply negatived on a division, the measure will disappear from the Order Book."
So that we never had a vote on the Bill itself.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. Oh, yes, we had.
Mr. AMYOT. The meaning I gave to my vote was that I was opposed to any change in the existing law, and I am authorised to make the same statement on behalf of the hon. members for Laprairie (Mr. Doyon), Napierville (Mr. Ste. Marie), L'Assomption (Mr. Gauthier), Joliette (Mr. Neveu), Vercheres (Mr. Geoffrion), St. John's, Quebec (Mr. Bourassa), Chicoutimi (Mr. Couture), and I do not doubt that if the hon. members for Berthier (Mr. Beausoleil), and Chambly (Mr. Préfontaine), were here, they would join in the declaration.
Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT. I desire to call the attention of the Government to the fact that, although the right hon. the First Minister himself indicated some time ago that important changes were likely to be made in the tariff, we have not only not yet got the Budget but have no intimation as to when the Budget is likely to come down. It is important, both to the business of the House and the interests of this country, that the period of suspension should not be prolonged any longer than possible, and the Government ought to be in a position to tell us within a day or two when they propose to bring down their financial statement.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. The hon. the Minister of Finance is not here, and will not be here the first part of the evening unless specially sent for, and, therefore, I cannot speak specifically in answer to the hon. gentleman. But the hon. gentleman must have seen that ever since the Session began, all kinds of deputations have visited Ottawa for the purpose of pressing their various interests on the attention of the Government with respect to the re-adjustment of the tariff. There is too much tendency on the part of the various interests to postpone discussing subjects or calling the attention of the Government to them until Parliament has met, which is really the most inconvenient season for that purpose. Still , they come during that period, and, I think, until this 1071 [COMMONS] 1072 last week we have had deputations here representing most of the industries of this country. Their representations have been carefully considered by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Customs, and I have no reason to doubt these hon. gentlemen will be able very shortly to bring down the results of their examination.
Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT. I will take the opportunity, then, when the House adjourns, or thereabouts, of asking for some information, and the right hon. the First Minister, I understand, will mention to the Minister of Finance what I have said, in order that he may give the information desired. I am aware of the difficulty which the hon. gentleman speaks of, in the matter of deputatious putting off important questions until the last moment, and I do not think it is fair to the Government or the country that deputations should postpone coming here until within a few days of the Budget. Speaking with some little experience, I know it is utterly impossible for a Minister of Finance, or the Minister of Customs, or the Government generally, to make the requisite enquiries in the course of a week or ten days, which is generally the amount of time allowed by these deputations, but that is, to a certain extent, in the Government's own hands, and the sooner they bring down the Budget, the less likely they are to be troubled with these deputations.
Mr. CHARLTON. I would ask the hon. gentleman whether the return asked for by the hon. member for Muskoka has been brought down yet —with reference to the opinion of the law officers of the Crown on the constitutionality of the Jesuits' Estates Bill?.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. It will shortly be laid before the House. His Excellency was bound to ask for permission to bring the papers down, he has that permission, and we will bring the papers down.
Mr. CHARLTON. I would like to make a motion with reference to the printing of this when brought down.
Sir JOHN A. MACDONALD. That is not in order. It will be printed as soon as it comes down, I can tell the hon. gentleman, without a motion.


House resolved itself into Committee on Bill (No. 9) further to amend the Adulteration Act, chapter 107 of the Revised Statutes.—(Mr. Costigan.)
(In the Committee.)
Mr. MULOCK. I understand that some persons engaged in the trade of selling agricultural fertilisers have made representations to the hon. gentleman with regard to some of the provisions of this Bill.
Mr. COSTIGAN. They have, but that question will be treated in the Act to amend the Fertilisers Act, and has nothing to do with this Bill. The question of amendments to the Fertilisers Act are entirely distinct from this Act, and the Fertilisers Act amendments will be taken up later in the Session, after I have heard representations from all the parties interested.
Mr. JONES (Halifax). I have received representations from parties interested in fertilisers, but as the hon. gentleman says they are not affected by the Bill under consideration, but will be dealt with in another Bill, I will wait until that Bill is before the House.
On section 4,
Mr. WELDON (St. John). I object to the general principle of amending Acts by simply declaring that certain words are altered or struck out. It makes it very difficult to understand what the law is, and it would be far better to repeal the whole section and re-enact it with the amendment.
Mr. COSTIGAN. The Bill is prepared by the law officers and they, I suppose, take the course which is generally pursued.
Mr. WELDON (St. John). I think it is a vicious principle to adopt. If a new edition of the Revised Statutes were issued to-morrow, it would contain these amendments, and it is difficult to follow them under the present system.
Mr. MILLS (Bothwell). Some years ago this matter was discussed, and it was agreed that, wherever it was proposed to amend a section, the section should be reprinted in the amending Act with the changes inserted in it, and should be altogether repealed in the original Act. That is certainly a much more convenient system to adopt, and one which makes it nmch more easy to interpret the statute.
Sir RICHARD CARTWRIGHT. I remember the discussion referred to by my hon. friend, and there is no question whatever that very great inconvenience arises to laymen, at any rate, if not to lawyers, from the practice to which my hon. friend has alluded. I forget who was the Minister of Justice at that time, but I understood that the Government then promised to set a good example in Bills of their own, and to reprint the amended clause in the Bill. It seems to me that reason and common sense are wholly in favor of that course.
Mr. MULOCK. At present, if any one wants to know what the law is, he has to buy half-a-dozen copies of the Statutes in order to understand one paragraph.
Mr. PATERSON (Brant). Are these reports simply to be published at the option of the Minister, or will all the reports be published?
Mr. COSTIGAN. Yes, all reports will be published.
On section 8,
Mr. WILSON (Elgin). It strikes me that this is a very undesirable clause. We find in this proviso that any individual who, through no fault of his own, may have purchased an article that is ultimately found to be more or less adulterated, is placed in a position that unless he can show that he sold the article as he received it, and that he has at the same time a warranty from the party from whom he purchased this article, he is liable to a heavy fine. But the clause does not even stop there; for if he has a warranty, if he shows that he purchased this article in good faith and understood that it was pure when he purchased it, after proving all this, he is still liable to a fine. Why should a man be placed in that position unless It can be shown that he was in some way responsible, and knew he had an article in his possession that was not pure, and sold it knowing that it was not pure? In that case he should be held responsible;[...]


Canada. House of Commons Debates, 1875-1949. Provided by the Library of Parliament.



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