Newfoundland National Convention, 19 March 1947, Debates on Confederation with Canada


March 19, 1947

[The Secretary read the following communication]
The Right Honourable the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs has informed His Excellency the Governor in Commission that he will be glad to receive a delegation of the Convention consisting, as proposed, of its Chairman and six of its members, in order to provide them with an opportunity for raising certain questions with the United Kingdom Government on behalf of the Convention.
As a convenient date, Tuesday, April 29, and the following days is suggested.
Regarding the subjects set out in the resolution on which the delegation wish to seek information, the Secretary of State would be glad if the precise questions which the delegation propose to ask under these heads can be formulated and forwarded to him at the earliest possible date in order to allow time for them to be fully considered before the meeting with the delegation take March 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 369 place. The questions should be supported by explanatory memoranda.
Government House, St. John's, 18 March, 1947.
[On the suggestion of the Chairman it was moved by Mr. Jackman, seconded by Mr. Cashin and carried that the Convention resolve itself into a committee of the whole to consider the communication, and elect by secret ballot a delegation to proceed to England pursuant to Mr. Hollett's resolution of February 28[1]]
Mr. Chairman The most expeditious way to conduct this election will be in the manner in which we conducted it some time ago, There will be no nominations, but each member will vote for six members of this Convention, whomever he chooses, and the six that stand at the top of the list will constitute the delegation.
Mr. Job We elect six men, but there is always a possibility of one of those not being available when the time comes to go. Would it be possible to elect a couple to act as alternates?
Mr. Chairman That is a matter for the Convention to consider. Of course we could always meet again if anyone was ill or otherwise unable to attend.
Mr. Bailey I wonder if the next two highest on the list could not be taken automatically? We could keep count of them, and one would automatically step into the place of the other man if anyone fell out.
Mr. Chairman The only objection I see to the suggestion would be that it is necessary to keep a record of votes cast, and it is usual to destroy the ballots immediately after the count has taken place. It is not usual to disclose the number of votes polled by each member of the Convention. Perhaps some members may not care to have the vote they polled disclosed. I can understand that.
Mr. Hickman Well, you just have the first eight recorded in the order of the total number of votes each had. The ballots could be destroyed but the records could be kept of the eight.
Mr. Chairman We can do that if someone will make a motion to that effect.
Mr. Hickman I make a motion to that effect.
Mr. Reddy I second that.
Mr. Chairman The motion is that the first eight names on the ballot be recorded, the last two to serve as alternates to be used only if one or two of the first six cannot proceed on the delegation. Those in favour please say "aye", contrary "nay" — motion carried.
Mr. Hillier It is generally understood that those who are not prepared to go on that delegation will be excused.
Mr. Chairman If there are any members who feel that they do not care to have their names submitted to the ballot i would like them to take seats at some other part of the House. Perhaps you could sit at the table, you might be useful here in a few minutes time.
Mr. Hillier I would like to have those men stand and have their names recorded.
Mr. Chairman We will record them, but we want to separate them so that there will be no confusion.
Mr. Hannon Mr. Chairman, will these candidates have the privilege of voting?
Mr. Chairman Yes.
Mr. Job There are some members absent.
Mr. Chairman I propose to draw attention to that. Mr. Crosbie, Mr. Higgins, Mr. Butt, Mr. Vardy and Mr. Goodridge are absent. I don't know anything of these gentlemen's whereabouts, except Mr. Crosbie and Mr. Higgins. I knew these two would not be here, so I got in touch with them and they are satisfied to have their names go on nomination. Mr. Butt is also satisfied that his name should be voted upon. As to the other gentlemen I can't offer any explanation as I expected them here today. Will one of the attendants go outside and find out if there are any members in the other rooms?
Mr. Newell Do we vote for six or eight?
Mr. Chairman Six.
Mr. Smallwood Would it be a good idea to have those declining sit in one row?
Mr. Chairman I am going to try to have them around the table. Some of you gentlemen who can't get seats around the table might be accommodated in those easy chairs at the end of the chamber.
Only those members who are in their regular places are to be voted for. All members who are not in their regular places will not be voted for, but all the members of this House have the right to vote for six, and six only, or you may vote for five, or one; but if you vote for seven you lose 370 NATIONAL CONVENTION March 1947 your whole vote, and if there is any indication on your ballot as to who you may be, your ballot will be discarded.
Mr. Newell Will handwriting indicate such a thing?
Mr. Chairman No, I don't think it is sufficiently well known. In any case members have the right to disguise their handwriting.
Mr. MacDonald Before we vote, is it understood that the members going to the United Kingdom will also be the members of the delegation going to Ottawa?
Mr. Chairman I can't offer any opinion regarding that.
Mr. Smallwood The delegation to Ottawa is sitting around the table.
Mr. Hillier Are you voting for the men to go both to England and Ottawa?
Mr. Chairman I don't know. I am not dealing with the Ottawa delegation at the moment. Now will the Secretary read the names of the members to be voted upon?
[The roll was called by the Secretary: 37 members present]
Mr. Chairman We had better have a list of the nominees.
Mr. Vardy I take it that a member that is absent can be nominated?
Mr. Chairman Yes, unless you know he is not willing to be nominated. I have informed the Convention that Mr. Crosbie and Mr. Higgins have been contacted and you are perfectly at liberty to vote for them. Mr. Butt has since arrived.
[The Secretary made a list of nominees. Total, 24]
Mr. Chairman Does anybody desire to add any other name?
Mr. Ryan I think Mr. Dawe would like to have his name on the list.
Mr. Chairman Have you been speaking to him and is he satisfied?
Mr. Ryan Yes.
Mr. Chairman Very well, there are 25, of whom three are not here present. Now 22 from 37 leaves 15, according to my reckoning.
The secretaries will distribute the ballots. and you will vote on six of the 25 who have been named. The Secretary will call these names again in a minute as soon as the ballots have been distributed. If there are any of you here who might feel disposed to vote for me don't do it, it's unnecessary.
Mr. Ryan Are these proceedings going over the radio?
Mr. Chairman Yes.
Mr. Ryan Why are the people outside not allowed to hear?
Mr. Chairman Because there is a great deal of disorder here, and the proceedings over the radio will be in more orderly fashion. and the people of St. John's will hear them equally tonight with the people of Newfoundland. I think the people of Newfoundland should hear these proceedings.
I am going to ask the two secretaries to take charge of the serutinising of the ballots, and Mr. Ashboume, Mr. Smallwood and Mr. Hannon will assist them. Now gentlemen, here are the names: Messrs. Watton, Hollett, Starkes, Jones, Fudge, Ballam, Reddy, Vincent, Crummey, Burry, Miller, Ryan, Fowler, Roberts, Keough, Butt, MacCormack, Bailey, Harrington, Cashin, Job, Hickman, Crosbie, Higgins, Dawe. Vote for six of these and no more. Just write their names, please, on the sheet of paper which has been handed to you. If any member of the Convention desires the names to be read again at any time before the ballots are collected the Secretary will read them.
Mr. Fogwill, are you willing that your name should be submitted to the ballot for the delegation to England?
Mr. Fogwill Yes, sir.
Mr. Chairman Gentlemen you will add Mr. Fogwill's name to that list.
[The ballot took place]
Mr. Chairman The result of the election is as follows: Messrs. Cashin, Crosbie, Butt. Hollett, Fudge, Keough constitute the delegation. In the event of any of these being unable to proceed to England the following two gentlemen, in the order of names, will take their places: Messrs. Job and Crummey. The motion is to adopt this count. Will somebody move it?
Mr. Ryan I move it.
Mr. Chairman It has been moved and seconded that this poll as declared by the scrutinisers be adopted. Carried.
[The committee of the whole rose. The Convention adopted its report and adjourned]


Newfoundland. The Newfoundland National Convention, 1946-1948 Vol 1: Debates. Edited by J.K. Hiller and M.F. Harrington Montreal: Memorial University of Newfoundland by McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995).



Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Gordon Lyall.

Notes de bas de page:

  • [1] Above, p. 337.

Personnes participantes: