Newfoundland National Convention, 28 November 1947, Debates on Confederation with Canada


November 28, 1947

Report of the Ottawa Delegation Proposed Arrangements for the Entry of Newfoundland into Confederation Committee of the Whole

Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, yesterday we finished reading clause 16, and I wonder if the Convention is ready to go with clause 17?
Mr. Higgins One question only. Would Mr. Smallwood describe the type of ship meant under paragraph I, clause 16.
Mr. Smallwood Oh, that's the ferry on the Gulf. What Mr. Higgins probably has in mind is some discussion that took place in one of the last plenary sessions we had in Ottawa, where I think Mr. St. Laurent, the chairman of the plenary sessions, gave us verbally a part description of a boat that he said their steamship advisers figured might be the kind of boat that they would put on the Gulf. There was nothing final about it, nothing in writing; it was merely a description by word of mouth... I have forgotten the specifications and dimensions that they spoke of tentatively, but I do remember that Mr. Higgins, who sat next to me whispered, "Well, Joe, it looks to me as if they are willing to give us anything we ask for." He was very pleased with the possibilities of the tourist trade in Newfoundland, and I was very pleased, at least at the thought that a fine ferry boat would be put on the Gulf the kind of boat that would bring tourists and their cars across the Gulf. I think that's what Mr. Higgins is referring to.
Mr. Higgins Yes, that is what I was referring to. I wonder, would it be possible if Mr. Smallwood's memory later on might help him in giving us a description?
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Bradley has apparently been interested for years past in ships and shipping, I am sure when he gets back he will be able to repeat these details and specifications because he was very interested in these from the technical standpoint. I don't know much about ships and shipping, and I was not in a position to judge. Mr. St. Laurent, I believe, read from a written memo that had been handed to him by the Canadian government shipping people, but if Mr. Higgins would wait until Monday, Mr. Bradley will be here.
Mr. Chairman Is that quite satisfactory?
Mr. Higgins Yes, sir.
Mr. Hickman Have they got the plans drawn up already?
Mr. Smallwood No, that would be sort of taking the bull by the horns. It was this: knowing the Gulf as they do, and the boat we have had on the Gulf, and with their general knowledge of steamship service and practice, their steamship people ... worked out something on paper, something in general of the type of ship that might be needed for that purpose.
Mr. Ballam Mr. Chairman, the CNR delegation, assuming that if and when we become a province they would have to take all these things into consideration, considered the matter of a ferry on the Gulf; and because of that the Canadian government went into just what kind of an outfit they would put there, and that was where they got the idea of making an estimate of what it would cost. The kind of boats they anticipate would cost about $2.5 million, and would take 30 cars, and give a daily service back and forth. That's a lot better than we get now. But that is what they anticipated, and that is exactly what they told us in this session.
Mr. Higgins I am waiting for Mr. Bradley's memory!
Mr. Ballam I am not worrying about Mr. Bradley. You were there, and you heard it, and you said it was fine.
Mr. Cashin I wonder if Mr. Ballam could tell us if, at the time they were discussing the ship across the Gulf, they took up the matter of a subsidy that they might or should have paid us in the last 20 years across the Gulf?
Mr. Ballam If we become a province we would not need a subsidy.
Mr. Cashin No, we will get a lot of things for nothing then.
Mr. Smallwood The other day when Mr. Ballam was absent for a day, I was trying to remember which of the delegation it was that had the conversation with Commander Edwards, who was telling us how he had been in Newfoundland and knew our railway system well, and this member of the committee said to him in a friendly way, "What would happen if the CNR took over 884 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 our railway, would we get any improvements?" Then Commander Edwards went ahead. I wonder if Mr. Ballam would care to give us a rough outline of what Commander Edwards said?
Mr. Ballam No, I will not say what Commander Edwards said to me. It was off the record, a conversation while we were walking the streets. But Commander Edwards was in Newfoundland years ago and spent four days on the Gaff Topsail stuck in the snow, and he has been down around the lighthouses and wireless stations, and you know half of these things in Newfoundland are looked after by the Canadian government. He is the Deputy Minister of Transport, and what he said to me was just between ourselves and is not on the record, and I would not repeat it here.
Mr. Cashin But Mr. Ballam, did l understand you to say that this ship or ferry that they are going to put on the Gulf is going to cost $2.5 million?
Mr. Ballam Yes, but that's a small one to start. They have a $6-7 million one at Prince Edward Island; but it would be foolish to build a big one and put it on the Gulf when we have not the cars, etc. We hope to have a road from Corner Brook to Port-aux-Basques by the time this ferry is built, and we will look after our own affairs after that; but if you fellows get wise enough to build a road all across the country then we will have a $7 million ferry!
Mr. Smallwood Could we go on to clause 17?
Mr. Chairman Are the members ready to proceed?
Mr. Smallwood Clause 17: Government Employees:
(1) Employees of the Government of Newfoundland in services taken over by Canada as provided for in clause 5 above will be offered employment in the corresponding Canadian service under the terms and conditions governing employment in that service, but without reduction in salary or loss of pension (superannuation) rights acquired under Newfoundland law.
(2) Canada will make all necessary payments in respect of such pension rights and may deduct from any subsidies payable to the Province of Newfoundland any payments made in respect of pensionable service of such employees with the Government of Newfoundland.
(3) Pensions of employees of the Government of Newfoundland superannuated or retired on pension before the service concerned is taken over by Canada will remain the responsibility of the Province of Newfoundland.
I don't know that there is a great deal of explanation called for there...
Mr. Higgins May I query you a little on that before you go further?
Mr. Smallwood Certainly.
Mr. Higgins Are employees of the Newfoundland Railway and the radio broadcasting system, using two illustrations, employees of the Government of Newfoundland, or employees of these corporations?
Mr. Smallwood I think in this clause there is no doubt whatever about it. "Employees of the Government of Newfoundland in services taken over by the Government of Canada, as provided in Clause 5 above", and they are listed in clause 5 above. What are these? The Newfoundland Railway, the public radio broadcasting system, etc.
Mr. Higgins But they may be employees of the government.
Mr. Smallwood They are employees of the government, and they are defined in both...
Mr. Chairman I would remind you, Mr. Higgins, that the corporate status that the Railway possessed up to 1934 or 1935 was taken away when all the assets of the Railway were, by special act, vested in the Commissioner for Public Utilities...
Mr. Higgins Are all these employees now regarded as civil servants?
Mr. Chairman No, not civil servants. It is rather difficult. For example they are not exempted from jury service as the ordinary civil servant would be, but in all other respects they are definitely government employees, because the Railway is a utility owned and operated by the government, and they have not even bothered to superimpose upon the railway operation the status of a corporation. In the case of the Newfoundland Broadcasting Corporation, however, that is something entirely different. I do suggest to you that the employees of the Newfoundland Railway could be, I don't say would be, could be government employees, when employees of the Newfoundland Broadcasting Corporation would November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 885 not be employees of the government in the sense that they would be employees of the Corporation.
Mr. Higgins I merely queried, I don't say yes or no.
Mr. Chairman The Fisheries Board is in a very unique position, because to the best of my recollection, it is the only department of government here incorporated, whereunder it is liable to sue and be sued as an ordinary person. There is no other department... .
Mr. Higgins The radio broadcasting corporation.
Mr. Chairman Well, I have not examined the constitution of the broadcasting corporation, but I have had occasion to examine the constitution of the Fisheries Board many times.
Mr. Crummey The Fisheries Board, as at present set up, cannot operate under confederation. Isn't it an illegal body under confederation, the present Fisheries Board?
Mr. Ballam I can say that they told us that the fisheries set-up we have in this country would be maintained....
Mr. Chairman I would remind you that under the company laws of Canada, if you are going to operate in a single province then of course you take out a provincial charter.... The point is this: if you want the right to do business nationally then you apply for a federal charter, but that does not affect the right of any province to grant to any individual the right to operate in that province, therefore the Fisheries Board, if the set-up is as I see it, would be operating under a provincial law.... If we went into confederation, it would not in any way effect the provincial status that the Fisheries Board charter would then take.
Mr. Crummey Mr. Chairman, my impression was that the Fisheries Board, as it operates in Newfoundland, has the right to import and export. Under the BNA Act, a province has no such right, and naturally the Fisheries Board must go out of operation, but I think, in these terms, it is provided that the Fisheries Board may go under their board as a representative of the New foundland fisheries.
Mr. Chairman ....The Fisheries Board would be hampered from operating within other provinces unless it took out a federal charter, or a series of ancilliary corporations ... but that would not affect its right to operate within the Province of Newfoundland...
Mr. Cashin Mr. Chairman, there's a few questions I would like to ask. I would be glad if Mr. Smallwood would answer briefly. "Employees of the Government of Newfoundland in services taken over by Canada as provided for in clause 5 above will be offered employment in the corresponding Canadian service under the terms and conditions governing employment in that service..." Take the Customs department, which employs 250 people, and collects today over $20 million. When and if we went into confederation with Canada, according to statistics we have here, the customs revenue will be only $4 million. Now are all these employees going to be retained down here, or laid off and offered positions in other parts of the Customs of Canada?... Will they reorganise our Customs ...? Have you any guarantee, in other words, that the men are going to be retained in the Customs service in Newfoundland? I don't see anything here to cover that.
Now the next thing. "Pensions of employees of the Government of Newfoundland superannuated or retired on pension before the service concerned is taken over by Canada will remain the responsibility of the Province of Newfoundland."
I would like Mr. Smallwood to explain what is going to happen to the postal telegraph department particularly. These are practically all over Newfoundland. If the telegraphs are taken over, they will be the Canadian National Telegraphs, which control the system of Canada. Are they going to keep the telegraph offices open in White Bay, Aquaforte and all such places? Are we assured that these communications are going to be maintained or are they going to be cut? There is nothing to show whether they are going to be maintained or whether they are not.
Mr. Smallwood First, the Government of Canada will take over a number of services we now have today, take on quite a number of new men; on top of that they will introduce into Newfoundland a number of services we have not got at all. For those services they have to take on many more men and they have to be Newfoundlanders.
Mr. Cashin Not Canadian?
Mr. Smallwood Under section 63 of the Civil Service Act the Canadian government, except in the headquarters office in Ottawa, must employ 886 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 persons who are ordinarily resident in the province where they are going to employ them. In other words, having taken over the Railway and the employees of the Railway; the broadcasting station and the employees of the broadcasting station; Gander airport and the employees there; the Customs offices' and the postal-telegraph offices' employees, and putting them under Canadian rates of pay; they have also got to establish brand new other federal services in Newfoundland as in the rest of Canada, and in doing so have to take on a large number of new civil servants who will be federal government civil servants. These must be Newfoundlanders.
Mr. Kennedy I question that.
Mr. Smallwood I would be willing to debate it any time at all.
Mr. Kennedy From 1935-37 — I was educated in Canada — I went through Nova Scotia and as far as what Mr. Smallwood said, I know there is no foundation for it at all.
Mr. Chairman There is foundation for it by virtue of the fact that he quoted from the Civil Service Act, section 63. If you are prepared to show that he is incorrect in that, there is some justification for your observation. You have to lay the foundation for the observation.
Mr. Smallwood One of the things that would happen if Newfoundland ever became a province, is that in a number of departments of the Government of Newfoundland there would not be as many employees needed as they have today. Take for example the Auditor General's department which audits everything the government runs. The government would not be running as many things; not as much auditing to be done; therefore the department would not need to be as big. The same thing applies to a number of present government departments. But in view of the fact that the Government of Canada would be introducing quite a number of new federal services that we have not got today and that they would be manning new departments, and must employ Newfoundlanders, obviously there will be many opportunities for men to be engaged in these new departments and for these civil servants in Newfoundland departments that would not no longer be needed.... We discussed that matter. There is a clear-cut understanding that the first men and women to get a chance in the new Canadian federal government departments to be established in Newfoundland, if we become a province, will be Newfoundland government civil servants who no longer are needed by the Newfoundland government because some of the departments would obviously be smaller than they are today. In reply to Major Cashin, all the employees will be offered work in these services taken over by the Government of Canada. It is very clear — it is in clause 17, section 1....
Mr. Cashin What new opportunities of employment or departments are they going to open up here?
Mr. Smallwood Number one is, they have to establish a regional family allowances division. That is one. In every province the family allowance cheques are sent out every month, not from Ottawa, but from the provincial headquarters, so there would be one in Newfoundland.... An unemployment insurance office, a Department of Veterans' Affairs has to be opened. Major Cashin caught me short — I will have to sit down and make a list, I can have that Monday....
Mr. Higgins Are you prepared to say, under section 2 in our budget the delegation estimated, they did or did not take into account all the monies we said we would need?
Mr. Smallwood Not sufficient account. Major Cashin is looking at this from the standpoint of a budget. That is quite right. The budget he will find in the Black Books was drawn here in St. John's by the delegation weeks before we went to Ottawa at all, before we had the benefit of what we learned. That budget in many respects is very much out of date, and an entirely new one will have to be brought in. He would be well advised not to pay too much attention to the budget in the Black Books.
Mr. Cashin I am referring to the Grey Book. What is the revenue?
Mr. Smallwood It was drawn up before we went to Ottawa at all. We did learn quite a bit in Ottawa in our three months.
Mr. Cashin I think Mr. Smallwood will agree, when we start to tackle this, it has to be tackled from a financial angle and we have to look for money somewhere.
Mr. Smallwood We will meet that when we come to it.
Mr. Cashin With regard to section 3: "Pensions of employees of the Government of New November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 887 foundland superannuated or retired on pension before the service concerned is taken over by Canada will remain the responsibility of the Province of Newfoundland." That is being paid at the present time by the Finance Department and amounts to over $202,000 a year. In this book here, it shows it as $101,000. I do not know who drew this up.
Mr. Smallwood We did.
Mr. Cashin You made a mistake of $101,000.
Mr. Smallwood Quite right. We thought that in the departments of the Newfoundland government that would be taken over by the Government of Canada, they would also be responsible for the pensions of the people who were now retired, and not the provincial government.
Mr. Cashin This is the position, when you eventually got around and talked money, they said, "No, we are not going to take this over, nor are we going to take over provincial deficits." You are short $175,000 in interest and sinking fund and $100,000 in pensions.
Mr. Smallwood I do not accept your figures, but I accept the position. You must remember, under clause 3, the pensions refer only to those of people who are not pensioned before the department is taken over by Canada. We have to break down the figures of pensions. We will come to that.
Mr. Hickman I thought these Black Books were official.
Mr. Smallwood Does Mr. Hickman not know that part of the Black Books consists of material prepared by the Ottawa delegation here in St. John's before we went to Ottawa at all?
Mr. Hickman Yes.
Mr. Smallwood That was something we prepared as a delegation for our own information in part, and for the information of the Government of Canada in part; that is not from the Government of Canada; it is from us. That is not official. What is official was put there by the Government of Canada.
Mr. Hickman I want to make it clear, it is not all official in the Black Books.
Mr. Smallwood That sounds dark and foreboding — "It is not all official there."
Mr. Job How much of it is from Canada?
Mr. Chairman How much is emanating from the Ottawa delegation and how much from the Canadian government?
Mr. Cashin We are trying to make up our own budget.
Mr. Smallwood That is the duty of this Convention; not only that, it is the duty of every citizen to have ideas on the possibility of Newfoundland to balance the budget — we can all have ideas on that.
Mr. Hickman How many pages in the Black Books could be regarded as being provided by the Newfoundland delegation?
Mr. Smallwood You will find that in Volume 1, describing appendix 2 — "Memorandum presented at the commencement of discussions", pages 17 to 70 inclusive.
Mr. Ballam Mr. Job worked with us on that.
Mr. Bailey I think what Mr. Smallwood said about employees not being put out of employment through other services being opened is all out of kilter — men going to be taken over by other departments. Take a tidewaiter, I do not see any authority whereby he would be taken over and become an old age pensioner. And those family allowances and so on. I do not see how it can work, myself. I was struck forcibly when I came in here and got the Black Books. I think the work would have been a lot easier if the Newfoundland data had been put in one book and the data from Canada in the other, so we would have an official book. One day we are told it is official, next day we are told it is not official.
Mr. Smallwood We are not told it is not official. In part 1 it says "Memorandum presented by the Newfoundland delegation at the commencement of the discussions." That is not official. It does not pretend to be. Be fair!
Mr. Bailey I am fair. I was told they were official. I think everyone else was told they were official. But it would have been easier if the memorandum only was in one book and to have the memorandum from Canada in the other.
Mr. Butt I wonder if Mr. Smallwood could tell us if the pensions in the civil service are on a contributory basis?
Mr. Smallwood I do not know if I have the superannuation act here. I have it down at my house. It is a magnificent civil service pensions and superannuation scheme; one of the very best of any country. In fact, it might be a good idea if we got a copy of that act for every member of the Convention.
Mr. Butt You say it is one of the best. I am not 888 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 interested in that. I am interested in the fact that civil servants have to contribute towards the pensions. The point is they would have to contribute — today they have not got to contribute. It is something like 5 1/2% or 6%.
Mr. Smallwood You are guessing.
Mr. Butt I am not guessing. The point is, civil servants will have to contribute. Today they do not have to contribute. Another thing, our provincial pensions will be paid by the provincial government?
Mr. Smallwood Yes.
Mr. Butt Which means that the province would have to get a contributory scheme, or we would have part of the civil service getting pensions from the provincial government — one part would be servants of the Government of Newfoundland and the other, civil servants of Canada. One is rich and the other is not so rich.
Mr. Smallwood I appreciate that.
Mr. Butt A good many civil servants will appreciate it too.
Mr. Smallwood Do not make propaganda.
Mr. Butt It is not propaganda. The civil servants will have to contribute to their pensions. I ask you to explain, is it true or is it not?
Mr. Smallwood I have not got the act here. If you want a debate on the civil service of Canada to compare it with the civil service of Newfoundland, we will have it and see who comes out best.
Mr. Butt You can be jolly well sure we will have a debate on it.
Mr. Bailey I was going to refer to this.... Up to now, the Railway paid its pensions out of the earnings of the Railway. Now we find, after the federal government takes over the Railway, although these men have worked hard to make it pay, the province is stuck with the superannuation for another 50 or 60 years before this is finished.
Mr. Smallwood Those pensioned up to the time the Railway is taken over by the Canadian National Railway, not those pensioned after.
Mr. Bailey Although the province has lost the earning power of the Railway, they are stuck with the superannuation.
Mr. Smallwood How would the province lose the earning power of the Railway?
Mr. Bailey The earning power would go to the federal government if they took it over.
Mr. Smallwood If it paid, yes.
Mr. Bailey We take it for granted it is not going to be run at a loss if it can be made to pay. If it does pay, the province is left with these pensions. After all, the pensions should come under the Railway.
Mr. Fogwill Did I understand you to say that the Railway employees now retired on pension, those would become the responsibility of the province?
Mr. Smallwood Certainly...
Mr. Fogwill I thought the responsibility lay with the Railway and not with the Newfoundland government. These people have acquired no pension rights under the Newfoundland law. Who is going to be responsible for all those who are now off?
Mr. Smallwood It is here in section 3, clause 17.
Mr. Fogwill That relates to employees of government who acquired pensions under Newfoundland law. Now, the Railway retired pensioners have not acquired any rights under Newfoundland law.
Mr. Smallwood If I were Mr. Fogwill — he is a railway man and a trade union man — I would not make such a dogmatic statement as that. Whether they acquired them is a delicate matter. I would not brandish it about and broadcast it; it may not be the case. There is a very delicate situation there, as Mr. Fogwill knows. Mr. Fogwill knows the inside story of the pensions of railroaders and the legal position surrounding it. I would not brandish it around by saying, "They have no legal right to a pension." I happen to know.
Mr. Fogwill I am not brandishing anything about. I want to know the truth. We are keeping it dark.
Mr. Smallwood What would happen under confederation in that matter is stated in section 3 of this clause. Let me put it in my words. Newfoundland becomes a province on a certain date; certain men have been pensioned from public services that the Government of Canada would take over on that date. The pensions due those men who had been pensioned, retired on pensions, before Canada took over, their pensions would be the liability of the Government of Newfoundland and not of the Government of Canada. Those who would become pensioned after confederation would be the liability of the Govern November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 889 ment of Canada.
Mr. Miller That is not right ... say a Newfoundland employee has worked ten years with the Newfoundland government; we go into confederation, and he then works ten years with the federal government; he has pension rights after the 20 year period; we will pay his pension for the ten year period as a province and the federal government will pay for the other ten year period?
Mr. Smallwood Yes.
Mr. Miller That is different from what you said.
Mr. Smallwood I said they would pay for the period which they worked for the Canadian government.
Mr. Watton If the Canadian government takes over the various services such as the Broadcasting Corporation, they also take over $100,000 in the Bank of Montreal?
Mr. Smallwood Whatever assets they have.
Mr. Watton It is the plan of the corporation to spend so much of that money on certain things. If the Government of Canada assumes ownership of that money, is there any assurance that that money won't be spent somewhere else in Canada?
Mr. Smallwood No assurance here in the terms, and if any of us, if anyone wishes to look upon the Government of Canada as just trying to bluff us into confederation so that they can fleece us right and left, that is a thing that a man is entitled to believe if he likes, and if that is true then no doubt the Government of Canada once we went in could turn around and lambaste us right away. They could close down the railway here and send it out to British Columbia, they could do all kinds of things! If we think they are a half- decent kind of government, like most governments in the world, then we might reasonably expect that they would give us a half-decent deal; but if they are wholly indecent, if they are just another "Hitler" outfit, they will plunge us down into poverty, they will just suck us dry like a lemon or an orange.
Mr. Butt I wonder if Mr. Smallwood could tell us if they discussed that matter at all in Ottawa, or if anything was said about it.
Mr. Smallwood We did not discuss it. We did not say to the Canadian government, and particularly Dr. McCann, Minister of National Revenue, under whom it comes, "Look, the Broadcasting Corporation has roughly a $100,000 cash surplus in the bank, with which they are going to build a new studio in St. John's, and put up a new transmitter in Grand Falls, and they are doing this, that and the other." What we did say was, "What would be the position under confederation in connection with the Broadcasting Corporation?" We had a discussion on it, and we had a written reply, which you will find somewhere in the Black Books. Their reply was this, "It would become part of the network of the CBC." He said, "We would aim at improving it and enlarging it, and giving the people of Newfoundland a far better average radio broadcasting coverage than they have now." The $100,000 to which Mr. Watton refers, they would spend that and many another with it, right here in Newfoundland, to make a broadcasting service that would cover the entire island, which our corporation does not do now. After all, look at the estimates, look what they spend on that CBC, it is up in the millions a year.
Mr. Higgins Would you personally prefer that we retain it as a province or not? Personally, I mean.
Mr. Smallwood I will put it to you this way. If we became a province and we had to elect our House of Assembly, and I were running as a member and happened to be on the winning side, I would love to have that Broadcasting Corporation as a sort of private toy of my own. Whether that would be good for Newfoundland is another thing. I would hate to see the Broadcasting Corporation become a political tool for politicians. If it becomes part and parcel of the CBC, a national network reaching from St. John's to Vancouver, I think the people and the employees will get a square deal from it. I would not like to see the Broadcasting Corporation become just a tool for politicians, which I am afraid it would if it were controlled by an elected Government of Newfoundland. It is bad enough now with the Commission controlling it. I don't believe one story in one hundred that you will hear of the "dictatorship" and the way the Broadcasting Corporation is used by the government. I think, as a matter of fact, when you look back over the years since it was started, I think the Government of Newfoundland, the Commission of Government, has been very clean and decent about it. I don't think they have used it as a political tool.
Clause 18 — Unemployment Benefits.
Since, under the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1940, and amendments, unemployment benefits are ordinarily available only to workers who have built up reserves by a period of continuous employment in insurable employment, Canada will provide for transitional unemployment benefits as follows:
Residents of Newfoundland in insurable employment who lose their employment within six months prior to the date of union and are still unemployed at that date, or who lose their employment within a six months' period after that date, will be entitled for a period of six months from the date of union or six months from the date of unemployment, whichever is the later, to assistance on the same scale and under the same conditions as unemployment insurance benefits. The rates of payment will be based on the individual's wage record for the three months preceding his loss of employment. The cost of this assistance will be borne directly out of moneys appropriated by Parliament for the purpose and not out of the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
Sir, that sounds a little complicated, but actually it means simply this: any men in Newfoundland who were working in a class of employment that is insured under the act, who become unemployed any time within six months before we become a province, or six months after — ordinarily they would get no benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, because they would not have been paying into the fund, they would not have made any contributions. Now that would be the ordinary position, but this clause provides that they will get the benefits just the same as if they had been insured under the fund, and just the same as if they had been making contributions into the fund right along, just as if they had been in a province right along. They will be entitled to that for six months — if they become unemployed within six months after union. It's a little bit complicated, I think I understand it, but I don't know if I can explain it.
Mr. Fogwill What they will get amounts to exactly 36 days. That is just what they get, 36 days and nothing more.
Mr. Smallwood Oh no, I don't think that is it.
They will receive the benefits for six months. I think Mr. Fogwill has misread that. They will be actually paid unemployment benefits for 24 weeks, is it? Six months.
Mr. Fogwill Oh no, 36 days...
Mr. Higgins Was not the purpose that in the event of any factories or other avenues of employment being closed as a result of confederation, employees would be more or less protected during that period?
Mr. Smallwood It is that I suppose, among other things.... Anyone becoming unemployed within six months before confederation or six months after confederation, he will receive the benefits for six months....
Mr. Fogwill No, Mr. Smallwood, that's entirely wrong. Six months, that is the limit, isn't it? In six months it would only amount to 180 days, and he would get 36 days if he were paying six months, so that is the limit he would get. Tell the truth about it.
Mr. Smallwood I think Mr. Fogwill is completely wrong. He reads it in that way, but I read it in another way altogether....
Mr. Ashbourne I suggest that we have an interpretation from the Chairman of the Convention, if he would not mind.
Mr. Hickman I suggest that Mr. Smallwood put that down as a question.
Mr. Chairman I don't think I ought to be asked to pronounce on it....
Mr. Ashbourne ....I should say, as a layman, that they would be getting unemployment insurance for six months. That is as I take it.
Mr. Fogwill That's wrong.
Mr. Burry As one of the members of the subcommittee that interviewed the department on this, I fully understood it that these unemployed men, for six months after confederation, would receive unemployment benefits for six months. Whatever the legal interpretation may be, that's my clear understanding of the matter, and I maintained that until Mr. Fogwill got up.
Mr. Crummey Being a member of that committee as well as Mr. Burry, I think that clause was put in particularly for those who would lose their jobs if we came into union. Some businesses that are protected now by tariffs would be closed up by virtue of going into confederation, and men would be put out of employment, and this Clause was put in. Under the Unemployment Insurance November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 891 Act they could not get any relief, so they had to put it in as it stands, and my understanding is something like Mr. Fogwill's: under the same conditions as unemployment insurance benefits.
Mr. Chairman Well, I interpret that section to mean, "Will be entitled for six months from the date of union, or six months from the date of unemployment, whichever is the later, to assistance on the same scale and under the same conditions as unemployment insurance benefits"....
Mr. Hickman Mr. Chairman, I think this is rather important, if there were a lot of factories closed down and several thousand or hundred people were laid off. It should be clearly laid down what they would receive, so I think we should get that point cleared up.
Mr. Higgins I don't know if I can clear it up in any way for you. It is my understanding that that particular clause was inserted with the idea that if industry was disrupted during the period immediately prior to, or immediately following confederation, then any insurable person working at that time, who lost employment within six months before or six months after confederation, and were still unemployed at that date, or who lose their employment within six months, are entitled to have six months insurance. There is no question about it at all...
Mr. Hickman I don't want to labour the point. We could, or Mr. Smallwood could have that determined, and the Canadian interpretation put on it, so that we could know exactly what it means.
Mr. Smallwood I will put in a question on that, Mr. Chairman, and get it cleared up...
Mr. Chairman I don't think we ought to waste further time because at Mr. Hickman's request an official pronouncement, if you will, is to be sought and obtained by Mr. Smallwood, so we might continue.
Mr. Cashin Mr. Chairman, do loggers and fishermen come under this thing?
Mr. Smallwood I don't know, frankly, at this moment. Not fishermen, no, but loggers and longshoremen may or may not be in. It is now two months and more since we left Ottawa, and about three weeks before we left they were getting ready to bring loggers and longshoremen in. Whether they are in yet or not, I don't know.
Mr. Cashin The fishermen and loggers are not in, that's the point.
Mr. Job What proportion of our population are into this?
Mr. Crummey There is no possible chance whatever for fishermen and loggers to get any benefit. That was put in primarily for those who would be thrown out of employment by virtue of going into confederation.
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Crummey is entirely wrong there. The date of union is the big thing. When we become a province any person who, under the act, is insured and who becomes unemployed, comes under these benefits. If by then loggers and longshoremen are in the act, if they become unemployed they come under this clause.
Mr. Crummey Isn't that put in there because they thought some industries would be disrupted?
Mr. Smallwood Yes, that's the reason for it, but it's the thing itself that counts.
Mr. Crummey Isn't that the reason Mr. Burry went down to see the Unemployment Insurance Commission?
Mr. Smallwood There was no thought of loggers or fishermen or anything else. How can you put loggers or fishermen out of employment by virtue of coming under confederation?
Mr. Chairman I don't see that there is any point of debating this at the moment. The fact is that it is to be interpreted....
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, will I read the next clause?
Mr. Chairman Are members satisfied to go on to the next clause?
Mr. Smallwood Clause 19. Education.
The Legislature of the Province of Newfoundland will have exclusive authority to make laws in relation to education within the Province, provided that the Legislature will not have authority to make laws prejudicially affecting any right or privilege with respect to denominational or separate schools which any class of persons has by law in Newfoundland at the date of union, but the legislature may authorise any two or more such classes of persons to amalgamate or unite the schools and to receive, notwithstanding such amalgamation or union, their proportionate share of the public funds of Newfoundland devoted to education.
Excerpt from the letter of the Prime Minister of 892 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 Canada:
The Government could not readily contemplate any change in these arrangements which would impose larger financial burdens on Canada. On the other hand, with respect to those matters which are primarily of provincial concern, such as education, the Government of Canada would not wish to set down any rigid conditions, and it would be prepared to give reasonable consideration to suggestions for modification or addition.
All I want to say about that clause is this. In Newfoundland we have had for many years, before any of us was born, a system of education that has grown up based on the beliefs and the ideas and the needs of our people.... It is a system under which the various religious denominations have their own school system. Each denomination has its own schools and these schools are supported by the government out of the public funds, most of them. They also raise money of their own, as we all know.... Clause 19 says that first of all, only the legislature of Newfoundland can pass any laws concerning education if we become a province.... Secondly, they could not pass any law which would affect the rights of the different denominations to have their own schools; their rights are protected and they can go on as long as time lasts because no law can be made to change that. If any two denominations or more should ever wish to unite their schools into one system, their right is protected here and it is left entirely to the people and the legislature of Newfoundland, and no one else can interfere in it. In other words, this clause protects our present school system, leaves it just like it is, unless we Newfoundlanders should ever wish to change it ourselves....
Mr. Chairman They could amalgamate?
Mr. Smallwood Yes, by uniting any two or more schools. If any denomination wishes to go on forever with its own system of schools, their right is guaranteed in clause 19. The Prime Minister has made it quite clear that if Newfoundland wishes to change that clause, if this Convention desired to ask the Government of Canada if they would change it in some way, they are open to receive the request. If far more responsible people than this Convention wish to take up the matter, the way is open.
Mr. Chairman I think it is a closed matter as far as the government is concerned. It is the right of any community to see that its rights shall not be taken away; if they desired to change by amalgamation, that would be brought before the provincial legislature. In either of those cases, I feel that any communication between the Government of Newfoundland and the Government of Canada is futile and absolutely unnecessary.
Mr. Smallwood I do not see it quite that way. Knowing as they do in the Government of Canada what our school system is, they were most anxious to protect our rights as they stand today. So they put in a clause to do that. It does exactly that. But the Prime Minister says, "With respect to those matters which are primarily of provincial concern, such as education, the Government of Canada would not wish to set down any rigid conditions, and it would be prepared to give reasonable consideration to suggestions for modification or addition"... They are open to make it even more binding than it is for the purpose of guaranteeing and protecting the rights of the various classes of persons in Newfoundland.
Mr. Chairman I think you are right on that.
Mr. Cashin I am not conversant with the British North America Act; but is there not something in it covering education?
Mr. Smallwood Yes, would you like to have it read?
Section 93: In and for each province the Legislature may exclusively make laws in relation to education, subject and according to the following provisions:
( 1) Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law in the province at the union.
(2) All the powers, privileges and duties at the union by law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queen's Roman Catholic subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic subjects in Quebec.
(3) Where in any province a system of separate or Dissentient Schools exists by law at the union or is thereafter established by the November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 893 Legislature of the province, an appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any act or decision of any provincial authority affecting any right or privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority of the Queen's subjects in relation to education.
(4) In case any such provincial law as from time to time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due execution of the provisions of this section is not made, or in case any decision of the Governor General in Council on any appeal under this section is not duly executed by the proper provincial authority in that behalf, then and in every such case, and as far only as the circumstances of each case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial laws for the due execution of the provisions of this section and of any decision of the Governor General in Council under this section.
Mr. Cashin What is the idea of clause 19 being put in here? If the BNA Act covers it, why inject it in these terms?
Mr. Smallwood I am afraid section 93 does not cover the points in the clause in our terms. There are two points that seemed and seem to be highly desirable in this country today. One point is this: any denomination that has its own schools must be guaranteed the right to have their schools as long as ever they want them to be so; all the rights they have now must be guaranteed to last forever — to have separate denominational schools and to have them paid for out of the public chest.... On the other hand, if any two denominations who want to unite their two systems of schools ... the right to do that is also in these terms, so that all rights are protected; to stay as they are or to go on to something else. That is left entirely to Newfoundland. The Government of Canada does not want to interfere in the matter. We all appreciate why that is. It is a delicate matter, a matter of conscience, and the government does not want to dicker or interfere or meddle where our conscience is at stake. They want to protect the rights we have without changing them one iota. If there is any change, we Newfoundlanders or our school authorities or heads must change them. I do not think there is much likelihood of that. But the right to do it is guaranteed. If not, the right to carry on is guaranteed.
Mr. Cashin It was not guaranteed under the BNA Act?
Mr. Smallwood It was not guaranteed in section 93. It is a highly complicated and technical matter. All educational authorities and religious authorities are more familiar with it than we are.
Mr. Higgins Does section 93 freeze forever the present setup we have here?
Mr. Smallwood Section 93 would and does — if section 93 applied in these terms, it would mean we could never make any change at all. We must stay as we are forever and a day. If any denominations should ever wish to unite their schools, they could not do it.
Mr. Chairman Unless under clause 4 our provincial statutes under section 93 were found to be inadequate, then the Governor General could intervene.
Mr. Smallwood The Governor General can only intervene where the clause is violated. If the Governor General failed to intervene, or did intervene and the proper authority does not carry it out, then appeal could be made to higher authority, namely the Government of Canada.
Mr. Chairman "In case any such provincial law as from time to time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due execution of the provisions of this section is not made...." Suppose with the passage of time, the system that we have and we retain was found to be inadequate, then where we have made an amending law to bring it into line with subsequent times, the Governor in Council could intervene.
Mr. Higgins My recollection is that there was an interpretation given by the Canadians with whom we spoke. Mr. Smallwood has given that interpretation. I am inclined to suggest it is the correct interpretation.
Mr. Chairman What is the effect of subsection 4?
Mr. Smallwood It is a matter of appeal.
Mr. Chairman Where provincial law is not made?
Mr. Higgins You have the right of appeal to make them enforce it.
Mr. Chairman That is my point.
Mr. Higgins If section 93 passed, and two denominations here decided they were going to amalgamate and any one person of these denominations objected to that happening, then if in spite of that one objection, the province or 894 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 the provincial legislature said, "Go ahead" — section 93 freezes it.
Mr. Chairman In the absence of appeal, it can be decided upon the intervention made by the government at Ottawa?
Mr. Higgins Only to enforce section 93, never to change it. You cannot change it; once you adopt section 93, we are under section 93 as a province forever, and the present setup could never be disturbed at all. Under section 93, the right to amalgamate is not there.
Mr. Chairman No, under section 93, the right to amalgamate is not given. I go all the way with you there.
Mr. Smallwood The difference between section 93 of the BNA Act and this clause in the terms, is this...
Mr. Chairman I know the difference.
Mr. Smallwood I was not saying it for your benefit. The difference is this, under the BNA Act, if section 93 applied to Newfoundland the school system we have now would be frozen upon us. It could never change, the denominations now have schools and would go on having them for all time; no two denominations could unite their schools if they wanted to do so. In the clause in our terms, all denominations are guaranteed the right to go on forever, as long as they want to go on, with their own separate schools. But there is something else added: any two denominations or more that should ever wish to unite their schools, that right is given in this clause. All interests are protected, all conscience is protected; the beliefs of all people are protected; no one is denied any right at all. You can stay as you are, or unite with somebody else.
Mr. Chairman Your point, Mr. Higgins, is that it is frozen, unless this amendment or alteration is cited, by amalgamation between two or more bodies?
Mr. Higgins Yes, unless this present clause is in.
Mr. Chairman I am reading both together. I am reading section 93 in the light of that clause. Therefore under section 93 it is frozen; in the light of that clause, it remains frozen but subject to alteration in the event of two or more communities desiring to amalgamate.
Mr. Higgins And providing further for payment of monies. It is a definite amendment to 93.
Mr. Newell I am confused. Did I understand him to say, on the one hand section 93 freezes the situation as it is now, and on the other hand, under section 93 there is no right of amalgamation? No right?
Mr. Higgins Yes.
Mr. Newell There is the right now. As it is now, it is being done, whether legal or illegal.
Mr. Chairman It was my impression it was frozen; but I think it is the practice that has been followed in Canada since union.
Mr. Higgins I believe it is being done unofficially. I speak subject to correction.
Mr. Newell I am not sure. I do not know enough about it. I know there have been various amendments to the Education Act. But it is my impression that that is covered — the right of groups to amalgamate if they so desire, no compulsion. If that is so, I cannot reconcile the statement that if 93 were in force it would remove our right to have that amalgamation.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Higgins' position is that it remains frozen unless an alteration is desired through and by amalgamation; if you wanted to change what would otherwise be frozen, you would have to have amalgamation, whereupon the authorities would act upon it and allow you to bring about amalgamation.
Mr. Smallwood In reply to Mr. Newell, and to throw a little more light on the matter — you will appreciate that in Ottawa it was one thing to be talking about money but something else again to be talking about matters in which they believe deeply. The last thing we wanted or would welcome would be to run counter to the beliefs or faiths of the people of Newfoundland. Naturally, we had to go pretty deeply into this question. There is a danger, if section 93 applied to Newfoundland, that only two classes of persons would be permitted to have schools — Catholic and Protestant. In other words, the danger would be that all Protestant schools, whether they liked it or not, might be forced to unite. Now there is no good reason why any denomination would be forced to unite or not to unite. The application of section 93 might mean exactly that — forcing that there be only two classes of schools, Catholic and Protestant, whereas what we have is Catholic, Church of England, United Church, Presbyterian, Salvation Army, Seven Day Adventist — I do not know any others, Pentecostal? And with this clause in these terms, any class or November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 895 any denomination that has a school system now or at the time we become a province at the date of union, can go on having that system. They are guaranteed to have them for all time. On the other hand, if any two should wish to unite, that right is also guaranteed them by these terms that are now offered us by the Government of Canada. All the rights of everyone are fully protected in these terms. I do not know if any gentleman in the Convention desires to take advantage of this paragraph in the letter of the Prime Minister where he says, "On the other hand, with respect to those matters which are primarily of provincial concern, such as education, the Government of Canada would not wish to set down any rigid conditions, and it would be prepared to give reasonable consideration to suggestions for modification or addition." I do not know if any one feels sufficiently knowledgeable, sufficiently competent to make any suggestions on it. I would imagine the people most concerned would probably be the ones to offer any suggestions if any were to be offered. I do not know if it is a matter which we as a Convention can do very much about.
Mr. Higgins In the case of union, it would be a matter the government would have to take up — if there was any alteration.
Mr. Smallwood I am not so sure. In the referendum the clause remains as it is now; the people only know the clause that is there now in the terms. It seems to me, if they voted for confederation, the government elected after might not have the authority to change that clause. The time to change it, if it is to be changed, is before the referendum is held.
Mr. Chairman I do not know that that is altogether so. Under this arrangement, if it were to be adopted, it is made elastic and flexible; which is why the Prime Minister goes on to point out that it is not rigid and inflexible. If you want to suggest any alterations, it would naturally be done before union takes place quite irrespective of the manner by which union is effected.
Mr. Higgins We would be negotiating then, would we not?
Mr. Chairman Yes, definitely.
Mr. Smallwood We might not exactly be negotiating. If any member of this Convention or one or more people had a suggestion to make on the question, to ask that that question be for warded to the government of Canada for their reply — that would not be negotiating.
Mr. Chairman It is clear from the Prime Minister's letter that if you want to address any questions, or if you want any alterations considered, they are prepared to take them under advisement. It is one thing to write and ask questions, it is another thing to go back and say you want this altered. That is really negotiating. It depends upon the tenor of the communication addressed as to whether it is negotiating or merely seeking information.
Mr. Smallwood The difficulty is this National Convention is just a temporary thing elected for a certain limited period of time; when that is done we go home. Even at best, we are not all lawyers, not all professional men, in this matter we have no standing. We are not the educators of the country, nor are we the heads of denominations, we are just a crowd of ordinary fellows blundering along as best we can. I suppose this letter from the Prime Minister will have been read outside this Convention; if citizens wished to make representations on the matter, they could do so without being condemned for negotiating or anything of that character. It is not a matter we can do very much about. The offer is there, nevertheless, from the Government of Canada, that it would be prepared to give "reasonable consideration to suggestions for modification or addition". If anyone should care to make any suggestions, I do not suggest it is necessarily the job for this Convention or any member of it.
Clause 20: Defence Establishments. Canada will provide for the maintenance in Newfoundland of appropriate reserve units of the Canadian defence forces which will include the Newfoundland Regiment.
I don't know that there is much I need to say to explain that clause. It is fairly simple.... I suppose that what would happen is that stationed in one or two or three places in Newfoundland would be units of the Canadian defence forces, and that amongst these units would be the Newfoundland Regiment. I talked about that to Mr. Brooke Claxton, the Minister of National Defence. Since he was in Australia attending the peace conference or something between the United States and Britain and Canada and Russia on the Japanese situation, it had to be by wireless that the conversation was carried on between 896 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 Ottawa and Australia, between the members of the Cabinet in Ottawa and Mr. Claxton in Australia. But then Mr. Claxton came back to Canada before we left, and I talked with him, and he said that they would not only establish these military and naval and air force units in Newfoundland, and maintain and continue the Newfoundland Regiment, but that every effort would be made to enlist Newfoundland officers in the units, but above all in the Newfoundland Regiment; I think the idea would be that quite a number of Newfoundlanders with military experience of officer material, would be offered the opportunity to serve in these defence units that the Government of Canada would establish in Newfoundland.
Mr. Hickman Those reserve units, they would be something similar to what they have in Canada? They would not be permanent units, but they would just meet one or two nights a week, and have two or three weeks in camp, or something along that line.
Mr. Smallwood Yes. It's like a territorial army, something like the National Guard in the United States where men go once or twice a week in their off-time to drill, and are given their uniforms; they are not on seven days pay in other words. I suppose its something like a glorified CLB and in the summer they have manoeuvres and go into camp....
Clause 21: Oleomargarine.
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Dairy Industry Act or any other act of the Parliament of Canada, oleomargarine and other substitutes for butter may continue to be manufactured and sold in Newfoundland after union unless prohibited or restricted by the Parliament of Canada at the request of the Legislature of Newfoundland, provided that notwithstanding anything contained in Section 121 of the British North America Act, 1867, no such oleomargarine or other substitute for butter may be exported from the Province of Newfoundland to any other part of Canada except by authority of the Parliament of Canada.
Mr. Chairman Section 121[1] provides: "All articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces."
Mr. Smallwood Yes, that section provides for free trade between Newfoundland and Canada, but in the matter of oleomargarine that would not apply. Oleomargarine, although manufactured and sold in Newfoundland, would not be permitted to go into the rest of Canada while the Dairy Industry Act forbids it.
Mr. Chairman Thank you Mr. Smallwood, that's the point.
Mr. Smallwood There is a very great and continuing pressure from the public of Canada, going on for many many months past and still going on stronger than ever, to permit the manufacture and sale and importation of margarine into Canada.... Anyway, sir, the point is whatever is the case in Canada, whether or not Canada will ever permit margarine to be sold, in Newfoundland it will be permitted not only to be sold, but to be manufactured, and to be exported if we can find a market for margarine in any other country except Canada. I firmly believe that the Parliament of Canada is going to remove the present restriction for all Canada just as they offer in these terms, in this clause; just as they offer to remove that restriction for Newfoundland alone, so they are going to do it for all Canada, perhaps. If they do sir, it seems at least possible that Newfoundland, possessing as she does one of the finest factories in the world making margarine, and I refer of course to the Newfoundland Butter Company ... that the minute Canada removes the restriction, then the Maritime Provinces could, and I believe would, become at once a natural market for margarine manufactured in Newfoundland....
Mr. Fogwill I wonder if Mr. Smallwood could tell us if the general sales tax of 8% will be imposed on the oleomargarine?
Mr. Smallwood As there is no margarine in Canada it is a little difficult to say whether the sales tax does apply or not....
Mr. Fogwill Well, according to this, if we are allowed to manufacture it in Newfoundland it will be legal. Therefore I wish to ask Mr. Smallwood if he would find out that information. It would amount to quite a tidy sum going to Ottawa each year, somewhere around $190,000.
Mr. Bailey I don't think a sales tax would apply in Canada, as it does not apply to butter. While butter in Canada is brought down here ... you will November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 897 find that when it is off of butter it will be off of margarine.
Mr. Smallwood Clause 22 — Economic Survey.
Should the government of the province institute an economic survey of Newfoundland with a view to determining what resources may profitably be developed and what new industries may be established or existing industries expanded, the Government of Canada will make available the services of technical personnel and agencies to assist in the work.
As soon as may be practicable after union the Government of Canada will make a special effort to collect and make available statistical and scientific data about the natural resources and economy of Newfoundland, in order to bring such information up to the standard attained for existing provinces.
I am personally extremely proud of that clause, and in my belief it is incomparably far and away the most important clause in these terms offered by the Government of Canada, and I am not overlooking the importance of the other clauses, family allowances, old age pensions, and the others. I realise how valuable they are, but to those who say that all my thoughts are of the social welfare and social security benefits that might come to us through confederation, and that these are the things I consider to be most important, in reply I say now that we have come to what is far and away the most important clause in this document; and I personally am very proud of it because I was the father of that clause, and the other members of the delegation will agree with me on that. The first time I raised the matter in the plenary session, it was at night, there had been a meeting of the cabinet that afternoon that lasted for five and a half hours. It was the longest cabinet meeting since the war ended.
Mr. Penney I rise to a point of order, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman State your point.
Mr. Penney I contend that Mr. Smallwood spent the time in Ottawa talking about these clauses, and there is no reason why he should take up the time of this Convention talking them over one by one. It is up to the other delegates here to talk about them. It is not up to Mr. Smallwood to spend half an hour to an hour on every single clause in this darn book.
Mr. Chairman Well, Mr. Penney, whether or not Mr. Smallwood spends too much or too little time in the interpretation of any of the clauses, the point is that the procedure was adopted by the Convention as a whole, and therefore he is simply complying with the procedure prescribed by the Convention itself when he reads these clauses.
Mr. Penney There's another side to that, Mr. Chairman, if you will permit me to say so.
Mr. Smallwood To a point of order.
Mr. Penney I am on a point of order.
Mr. Chairman If you don't mind, Mr. Smallwood. There's another aspect to this matter to which I think you want to address yourself?
Mr. Penney That's right, Mr. Chairman. In every other report brought in to this Convention on Newfoundland affairs, the general procedure was for the chairman of each committee to bring in the report and make a general explanation of it and leave it to the delegates to discuss it, and as a consequence...
Mr. Smallwood To a point of order, Mr. Chairman. This gentleman is completely out of order.
Mr. Chairman That is not quite correct, Mr. Penney.... It was pointed out that some mode of procedure had to be adopted. The mode adopted was that the person who should pilot this measure, if you will, through the committee of the whole, should be such a person as appointed by me. In that connection, Mr. Smallwood produced and read from a letter from Mr. Bradley stating his inability to be present, and asking Mr. Smallwood to deputise for Mr. Bradley. I intimated to members at that time that if you vested in me the power to appoint somebody to pilot the terms, then I would appoint Mr. Smallwood. As far as I know the Convention ratified my appointment, and as far as I am now concerned Mr. Penney, however unwelcome it may appear to you, I have to hold at this time that Mr. Smallwood is only following the procedure that he was directed, at the instance of the Convention, to follow, when he was appointed by me during and because of the absence of Mr. Bradley, to proceed with the matter now before us.
Mr. Penney Mr. Chairman, would you allow me to...
Mr. Smallwood Debate your ruling!
Mr. Penney Ask you another question, sir? If I have to sit here all through this rigmarole of stuff and be punished...
Mr. Smallwood Point of order, Mr. Chairman. This man is insulting. This man is completely insulting! Who does he think he is, sir? Does he think his money gives him the right to act like a clown? Who is he anyway? The old fossil!
Mr. Chairman You will both take your seats, please. Take your seat please, Mr. Smallwood.
Mr. Smallwood It is money versus brains, maybe. This man is insulting, I am not going to be insulted. Who does he think he is? I am not going to be insulted by a man merely because he has money. Does he think just because he has money it gives him the right to act like a clown?
Mr. Chairman It is rather late to take issue on the procedure, Mr. Penney. I would remind you we are on clause 22; there is only another clause to be read. If for any reason you were objecting to the procedure which has been employed all the way through, why did you not speak on your rights before?.... I have to enforce the mode of procedure as I understand it....
Mr. Penney I submit to your ruling. But it would be only fair to keep the rest in and let them sit through the sessions too.
Mr. Chairman As long as I have a quorum ... I must go on.
[The committee rose and reported progress. Mr. Higgins gave notice of a question concerning the replacement cost of Newfoundland government property. Mr. Miller gave notice of questions asking whether the federal government would maintain existing railway, coastal boat, telegraph, and postal services without increased cost.
The Convention 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).



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