Newfoundland National Convention, 4 December 1947, Debates on Confederation with Canada


December 4, 1947

[Mr. Cashin gave notice that he would ask the Commissioner of Finance for detailed statements of revenue by source for the fiscal year 1946-47; and for a comparison of Newfoundland and Canadian tobacco and excise taxes, and postal and telegraph rates. He also gave notice to ask the Canadian government at which rate it would tax amounts received by beneficiaries of life insurance policies]
Mr. Hollett I give notice that I will on tomorrow lay on the table the following enquiry directed to the Canadian Department of External Affairs, through His Excellency the Governor, that is to say:
Whereas under Annex IV, page 16, of the Proposed Arrangements for the Entry of Newfoundland Into Confederation dated at Ottawa, Canada, October 30, 1947, under heading "Probable Expenditures",[1] and passed to this Convention by His Excellency the Governor, there is an item titled "Other Departmental Expenditures, $9,400,000" which it is understood is meant to take care of the cost of extending existing services to Newfoundland in a typical year should Newfoundland enter into confederation;
Now Therefore will the said Department of External Affairs inform this National Convention at the earliest possible moment as to the following:
Are the "existing services" referred to those outlined under heading "Public Services provided by Canada", sections 3 to 6 inclusive, excepting always of course, section 4 sub-section (1) and (2) and section 5 sub-section (1)? If so, what are the allocations in respect of each several service? Or generally, it is desired that an understandable breakdown be made of the amount of $9,400,000.
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, the wording adopted by Mr. Hollett in that question of which he gives notice is different from that used in the other questions. All other questions up to this one have been as from some member of the Convention. This one puts it as from the Convention itself. I have wondered, with regard to all the questions to be forwarded to the Government of Canada, whether those were to be regarded as having come from the Convention or from individual members. In the case of Mr. Hollett's question, it is so worded as to have it come from 946 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 the Convention as a whole, and not merely from one member and I wonder if Mr. Hollett meant it to be that way, or was that a thought that he did not have in mind at all?
Mr. Higgins All questions come from the Convention, sir.
Mr. Hollett Mr. Chairman, if I might reply to that. As you know, the question arises from a meeting of the Steering Committee, which was held yesterday afternoon, and that Committee agreed such information should be obtained. I therefore felt it was proper that the enquiry should be laid on the table to be passed on to the Department of External Affairs. I left it therefore to your discretion, as to whether it should go or not. That's why I worded it that way.
Mr. Chairman Well, Mr. Hollett, and Mr. Smallwood, obviously the final pronouncement upon the matter must of necessity be made by the Information Committee, and anything I say at this time is not necessarily binding upon its members. As I see this question, Mr. Smallwood, I see nothing whatever the matter with it. It begins with the covering words, "I give notice that I will on tomorrow...", and then it goes on to say, "Now therefore will the said Department of External Affairs inform the National Convention...." Here is information sought by a member of the Convention to be placed before the Convention as a whole. I don't see how this can be construed as being a request from the Convention.
Mr. Smallwood No, sir. Read on a little further if you will.
Mr. Chairman "Now therefore will the Department of External Affairs inform the National Convention...$9,400,000."
Mr. Smallwood Yes sir, read on a little further. Mr. Chairman That's all there is to it.
Mr. Smallwood My understanding was that the Convention desires to know something, that those words appear in it. Not the questioner, but the Convention.
Mr. Chairman No, unless I am reading the thing altogether wrong. Here is a question....
Mr. Smallwood Sir, I am not objecting to the question, you understand. As I heard it read, there occurred in it words to the effect the the Convention desired certain information.
Mr. Chairman No, put simply Mr. Hollett requests the Department of External Affairs, through His Excellency the Governor, to furnish this Convention with certain information. He requests it. He requests that certain information be forwarded to this Convention. That cannot possibly be construed as a request from the Convention in toto.... The final say upon the question rests with the Information Committee, but at the moment I see nothing wrong with it.
Mr. Higgins Mr. Chairman, isn't it properly a question for the Information Committee?
Mr. Chairman Yes, except that Mr. Hollett has asked me to express an opinion at this time; and also arising out of the point raised by Mr. Smallwood, I felt I might go beyond my job and express my opinion on it. The matter will come before the Information Committee tomorrow, as I said before.
Mr. Miller Mr. Chairman. I am not quite right on the powers of the Information Committee. Maybe I have developed an entirely different opinion of what its powers were: but as I remember, its duties were to see that there was no repetition of questions. Not only that, but they would direct the questions to the proper division of government, or to the proper government in this case, and, as I remember it, that is as far as their authority went.
Mr. Chairman You are wrong on the second point. The Information Committee can be responsible for directing specifically requested information into the hands of any particular official or officials.
Mr. Miller Well, sir, that's how I remember it. Some questions might be termed "double-barrelled", and the Committee were to send the relevant portion to one department and the same with the balance to the other department; but as I see it they have no power whatever to interfere in any questions that are put by the delegates to this Convention, and that is what is happening.
Mr. Chairman I don't know what you mean by interfering. This Information Committee was appointed, I understand, by my predecessor, Mr. Justice Fox, at the request of the government, who decided that there had to be some sort of a sifting arrangement set up. In fact, if I am properly informed, they declined to answer or to deal with any questions unless they were first dealt with by a subcommittee of the Convention. To that end an Information Committee was appointed by Mr. Justice Fox, and its duty is to avoid repetition and to otherwise facilitate the December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 947 Convention and the government in obtaining any information which may be requested from the government by members of the Convention. But to say that it is the duty of the Information Committee to decide whether or not a question shall go to a particular department, I think that you are grossly misinformed on that point. It is not for us at all. If the question is addressed to the Governor in Commission, it goes to the Secretary of the Commission of Government, and it is his duty, not ours, to have it brought before the department or departments which might be primarily concerned with furnishing the information in question.
Mr. Miller I might say, Mr. Chairman, that originally these questions were put in this manner: "That I do ask the department of government concerned...", and not even any department was named when the question was put, and that, as I understood it, was one of the duties of the Information Committee. Now with regards to the formation of that Committee...
Mr. Chairman It may be your understanding, Mr. Miller, but it is not mine, and that is not how it is going to happen while I am here. We are not going to decide whose province it is to answer these questions. Let it go forward to the Governor in Commission, and let them decide whose province it is to answer it.
Mr. Miller Well, it is all a matter of record, and I do ask, so that I may not in any way conflict, that the secretariat of the Convention be asked to lay that particular motion, or that particular minute that dealt with that somewhat over a year ago, before the members now, so that we can be in a refreshed position on it. I don't want to do anything contrary to your rules, but if that's a motion of this Convention then it is a standing rule of the Convention, and no one can go beyond the authority of that Information Committee.
Mr. Chairman Are you questioning the integrity of the Chair, or the integrity of the Information Committee?
Mr. Miller I am referring entirely to the Information Committee, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman If you want this thing re-opened you will have to have notice of question.
Mr. Miller I will do that.
Mr. Chairman I will require at least 24 hours notice to deal with it.

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

Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, when we rose on Tuesday night we had been discussing Annex IV of the Grey Book, which set forth the Canadian government's estimate of what we would collect from the people in taxes in Newfoundland if we became a province, and also what they estimate they would spend in Newfoundland if we became a province. In the course of the debate, Major Cashin particularly, and Mr. Job also, expressed the feeling that the estimates provided by the Canadian government on those two matters were not sufficiently accurate and comprehensive, or in sufficient detail in some respects. So the feeling seemed to develop amongst some delegates that the matter should be looked into, and for that reason no public or private session of the Convention was held yesterday. Instead a meeting of the Steering Committee was held, and I think I may say that the result of yesterday's Steering Committee meetings was shown this afternoon, when Major Cashin gave notice of these questions bearing on the Canadian government's estimates of what it would collect in the way of revenue from Newfoundland, and in the next place by Mr. Hollett's notice of question directed to the Canadian government, asking them for more details of that amount of $9.4 million which the Canadian government estimates it would spend here. There was a feeling in the Steering Committee meeting that it might take some time for the governments to furnish the information which Major Cashin and Mr. Hollett request ... and that therefore it would be impossible, or at least not very practical, to proceed with the debate on the financial aspects of these terms, or of this Grey Book, until that information is forthcoming, and that we would in the meantime postpone our debate on these financial aspects.
There was a further thought that although it was not practical to go ahead with the debate from a federal standpoint, it might be practical to go ahead with the debate from the purely provincial standpoint, that is what would likely be the 948 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 provincial government's revenues and expenditures, since that that might be ready by Monday next; but that until Monday next it would not be practical to proceed even with the provincial finances. Therefore, as there remained a number of matters of considerable importance in connection with this whole confederation question, a number of matters of importance in the Black Books, we would save time while waiting to receive the information requested if we proceeded to discuss some of these other matters that are in the Black Books, that we have not as yet touched on....
No one wants anyone to begin at the first page of the first volume and plod all the way through to the last page of the second volume. I don't think any one of us or the country would be very much the wiser. So there is no purpose in our doing that, but rather we should take some of the matters that are in the Black Books....
Now in Volume 1, on page 2, there is a list of contents of chapter 3 — functions of certain federal boards, agencies, and offices, etc. I don't know that there would be any particular value to anyone to wade all the way through that, but there are, as I see it, six or seven of these matters that seem as though they might have some importance, which we might take up. I was thinking, for example, of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; another one, the Civil Service Commission; and another, the Foreign Exchange Control Board, and the National Film Board, the National Harbours Board, the National Research Council, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I thought that we might take up these and go through them and then turn to some other matters. New page 105 of the Black Book deals with the first matter.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation exists under an act of 1936. The Corporation has two principal jobs: "(1) To carry on a national broadcasting service within the Dominion of Canada; (2) to regulate and control all programs...."
....I don't know, sir, that there is anything else in that section that is worth reading. It is not a particularly important matter, probably we could move on to another one if no one has anything to say on it.
Mr. Higgins Why not go over to page 137 of the Black Book? It is a very important matter I think.
Mr. Smallwood What is it?
Mr. Higgins Excise taxes.
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, we had a meeting of the Steering Committee yesterday, as you know, and it was agreed that finance and taxes would be held over until we get this information... We have a lot of things in these books that we can take up without going into a question of taxation. I suggest strongly that we drop the matter of taxation now. When it is dealt with let it all be dealt with at the one time.
Mr. Hollett May I rise to a point of order? Not exactly a point of order, but I don't entirely agree with the statement which my friend Mr. Smallwood has made about the agreement reached about financial matters not being discussed. I do agree if he will state this: that the discussion of federal revenues and expenditures would not be discussed, and also a discussion of the matter touching our proposed budget which might be brought in by the Ottawa delegation, but surely this matter which Mr. Higgins has just raised here with regard to customs and excise tariffs, I am sure that would not in any way, shape or form interfere with these two matters.
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, the matter of taxes is certainly covered in revenue. If we are to discuss taxes we have to discuss revenue. That is how revenue is got — through taxation.
Mr. Higgins No, Mr. Chairman, I disagree. We have to find out here what taxes, duties and excise taxes are, and to what things they apply. We don't go into the amounts, we certainly find out what they are and how much they are — not in quantity, but specific items. l think we should know that. We don't know what they are around here, because we have never had them. We have never had excise duties or excise taxes. We have had excise on a couple of things only. Now we have excise duties and excise taxes to consider, and I think we should know what they are.
Mr. Smallwood I agree with Mr. Higgins that we have got to know these things. The only question is, when is the time? It was agreed yesterday, with one man dissenting...
Mr. Higgins There was no disagreement, sir.
Mr. Smallwood It was generally agreed that until this information was obtained this matter would be left over. Now why take it up a bit at a time? Why not wait until all the question is before us and then have a thorough debate on the ques December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 949 tion of revenue and taxation and expenditure?
Mr. Higgins This in no wise prevents your referring to it later on. It is merely letting the house and the people understand what it means.
Mr. Smallwood I understand very thoroughly what Mr. Higgins means. But what is the need for us to debate it now when we are going to debate it thoroughly later on?
Mr. Higgins Well, it is much more important than discussing Canadian broadcasting.
Mr. Smallwood If you don't want to discuss Canadian broadcasting, let's discuss something else.
Mr. Higgins What?
Mr. Smallwood What is the good of deciding something in these private meetings and then go right back on it again? That's why I did not want to attend that meeting yesterday. We attended a meeting the night before, and discussed a lot of things, and then came in here at a public session and turned it right upside down again.
Mr. Hollett Mr. Chairman, may I speak now? I insist, sir, that there was no agreement at all, and I don't want to refer back to that Steering Committee at all.
Mr. Chairman I don't think I should be put in a position where I have to rule on it.
Mr. Hollett If I may, if there was any agreement whatsoever it was the matter of the probable federal revenues and expenditures, and the probable budget that one might conjure up if we became a province. Now these things here to which Mr. Higgins has referred are customs and excise duties which are in effect at the moment, and neither Mr. Smallwood nor myself can alter them, and there is no reason why they should or may be altered before we enter into confederation. These are things which are not relevant to the matters which we cannot discuss before we get certain information asked for; and I insist that Mr. Smallwood is making a misinterpretation, not intentional I suspect, but there are certain things there that our people do not know, and I want them to know, and I hope Mr. Smallwood does that.
Mr. Bailey There is one thing here that struck my mind...
Mr. Chairman If you don't mind, Captain Bailey, I want to settle the matter before we go on. It is with the greatest reluctance that I make any reference at all whatsoever to the meeting of the Steering Committee which occurred yesterday afternoon; but I feel it is correct to say there was no unanimity of opinion as to the procedure to be employed between then, yesterday afternoon, and Monday afternoon next. My impression is that perhaps a slight majority might have had what Mr. Smallwood suggests in mind, but I am quite sure that that was not unanimously agreed to, because one member very emphatically stated that he would not consider himself bound by any such decision, even if it were arrived at; and secondly, it will have to be remembered that a decision of the Steering Committee is not binding upon the Convention at all. It is a recommendation as to the procedure to be followed in a given case, which may be accepted or rejected by the Convention and therefore I do feel there is no useful purpose to be served in debating, or trying to break down the probable revenues and expenditures as set forth in pages l5 and 16 of Annex IV, until the information requested from the various governments and government departments is forthcoming, and Mr. Smallwood introduces his breakdown of the figures in question. But, Mr. Smallwood, while it may very well happen that miscellaneous excise taxes and sources of revenue of $1.5 million is an item included in the probable revenues estimated by the federal government, I think that might be deferred until Monday for the reason that we have decided, at least I think we ought to decide, to defer discussion in this matter. But surely, surely, in discussing the meaning of excise duties, its effect upon the economy of a country is something entirely different from trying to show how the figure of $l.5 million miscellaneous excise taxes and other sources of revenue is arrived at by the federal government. Is there anything wrong in principle in discussing the meaning of excise taxes?
Mr. Smallwood Without reference to actual rates of taxation?
Mr. Higgins No.
Mr. Smallwood How exactly?
Mr. Higgins Why should they be hidden?
Mr. Smallwood Well, they are not to be hidden. I am not trying to hide this confederation thing. I am the last man in Newfoundland to do that.... Let the guilt lie where it belongs, not on me.
Mr. Chairman Now, now, now!
Mr. Smallwood No sir, there is the accusation 950 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 about this thing. If the country wants to know who is doing the hiding they will hear it some day!
Mr. Chairman We don't want any innuendoes at all.
Mr. Smallwood Well, it was thrown at me.
Mr. Chairman Well, the suggestion of Mr. Smallwood is that since this question of excise has to be dealt with by him in the breakdown which he proposes to introduce into the house on Monday, that...
Mr. Smallwood No sir, not on Monday. That's provincial. Federal is the matter under discussion just now. But there is this point. Sir, we have here in this book the Canadian rates of customs and excise taxes on certain goods. Since that was prepared many of these have been changed in Canada.
Mr. Higgins Not downward?
Mr. Smallwood Downward, absolutely. Downward.
Mr. Higgins Can't you tell us?
Mr. Smallwood I can't tell you because I have tabled a question asking the Government of Canada to tell us all the changes that have been made since they gave us this book. There have been these multilateral agreements. Canada has been a party to them. There is a great change in their rates of taxation, downward in some and upward in others, and until we get the actual figures what is the good of debating it now, only to find that we have to debate it all over again when we get the new rates?
Mr. Hollett Isn't this official from Ottawa?
Mr. Smallwood Yes.
Mr. Hollett What have we got to go on then, these are correct?
Mr. Smallwood No.
Mr. Hollett We have got to wait six months until they change their tariffs, is that it? I move that the matter be discussed.
Mr. Chairman The position is that this reflected the factual position at the time it was prepared. It has been suggested by Mr. Smallwood that there has been a change since this was prepared, by the fact that rates have been reduced since that time, and therefore, in order to reconcile the "then" position with the "now" position that he would send a question to the Government of Canada, and I recall his question going forward, and he is awaiting the current information from Ottawa before he can intelligently discuss the question. But if he feels that he cannot discuss that until he receives this information, Mr. Hollett, I don't see there is very much point in going on with it. If we are going to deal with it at all let's deal with it upon the assumption that it reflects the actual position, not as it was six months ago, or as it may be six months time. Let's take the actual position as it is at the moment.
Mr. Hollett Mr. Chairman, may I ask Mr. Smallwood if he enquired of our government if there are any changes likely to be made in these Newfoundland tariffs or excise taxes?
Mr. Smallwood No, I have not.
Mr. Hollett Not interested?
Mr. Smallwood Yes, I am interested; but the fact of the matter is that since the Government of Canada gave us their rates of taxation in certain matters, since we brought the Black Books down here, the Government of Canada has entered into multilateral trade treaties with a large number of countries, and these reductions in tariff rates are taking effect from December 31, this very month. Now in open session here, I tabled a question asking the Government of Canada to give us the correct figures. What is the good of wasting the country's time, and the Convention's time, talking about figures which we know have been changed, until we get the actual changes? Let's put our cards on the table, Mr. Chairman. It is agreed now, right here in this Convention, that whether we like it or not, that we cannot finish before December 15. We have got to come back here in January, and by then we hope to have the information from the Government of Canada that Mr. Hollett has requested, and the information that Major Cashin has requested today: and as by then we will have these corrected figures from the Government of Canada on customs and excise, then isn't it ordinary downright commonsense to put off this question of taxation and revenue until we have all the facts before us? Why take it piecemeal? Why do that when we have so many other things we can ventilate and debate?
Mr. Higgins If the Convention wants, I presume we can have a vote on it.
Mr. Smallwood Oh, you can have a vote on it, and if you have a vote on it I could tell you what the vote will be.
Mr. Chairman Just a minute, Mr. Smallwood, December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 951 please. The actual position is that it is the right of this Convention to raise any question at this time arising out of the terms received from Canada, all of which have been read and the business is before the Chair. I ruled in the beginning and several times since that members would be free to revert back to any clause after and when the document as a whole had been read and considered. Now I do feel that until the information is forthcoming to enable us to make this breakdown, that there is not much point in going on with this debate on the aspects of clauses 7-14 inclusive.... If we are going to debate it should be on the actual position. If these figures are wrong, or at least out of date, I cannot see much point in pursuing it. I am not suggesting you cannot debate it; but unless you are prepared to carry on the debate on the presupposition that the figures here are subject to change, there is not much point.
Mr. Higgins If there are any changes, we are prepared to make the changes.
Mr. Hollett This is 1945-46; it is as fair to Newfoundland as it is to Canada. It is the Customs returns for 1945-46.
Mr. Bailey I wonder when we received these books if they were sitting at Geneva? Why did not the Canadian authorities make a note that they would be changing their tariffs? We have the official report, but by the time we received it, there was a conference at Geneva by which this will be changed.
Mr. Chairman It may develop that Canada or no other country could forecast the outcome.
Mr. Bailey They could have put in a note that there may be changes.
Mr. Cashin That has been done. The conference has made public the various tariff changes. And Newfoundland made it in the public press a couple of weeks ago. I presume the Canadian changes were not in the press.
Mr. Smallwood I have a table sent by the government of the changes.
Mr. Cashin The Canadian government should have had courtesy enough to know that we were discussing these terms or proposals and they should know that these figures are not sufficient in any way, shape or form. In other words, that thing is a fraud. No member of the delegation to Ottawa can attempt to get up here and discuss the questions to which they should know the answers, and be able to explain to us the various figures in the Grey Book, to the satisfaction of the Convention. I could tell you how long it will take to get the answers regarding the Customs — in my opinion and in the opinion of the experts of Ottawa, it will take six months. Are we going to stay here six months trying to dig up information from Canada ... when it should be here properly made out? There is not a correct figure in the book. These experts at Ottawa faked the figures in this book as far as the Ottawa delegation is concerned.
Mr. Vardy We are trying to base these terms on known facts at the time the delegation was in Ottawa. I fail to see why changes should be brought in except where we find anything in the Black Books which may be wrong; then it is our duty to secure confirmation or contradiction of the facts. There may be changes in the tariffs in Canada, changes in the excise duty. After receiving particulars of the changes we may debate this only to find out 12 months from now that there may be other changes. In reality we are endeavouring to debate what is contained in the Black Books. If we find the figures open to question, we have every right to question them. It is on the basis of these terms of confederation that we must continue our debate. I am agreeable to waiting for particular information. I am not so sure any of the questions asked cover the excise taxes which are really different from tariffs.
Mr. Higgins Is it not correct that any tariff changes, before they can be made, first have to be debated in the Canadian Parliament, no matter what agreement was arrived at?
Mr. Chairman It is not binding upon the signatories unless and until it is implemented by the local legislators.
Mr. Higgins It is quite possible they may not be debated until January, February or March. If we have to wait until that matter comes before the Canadian Parliament to discuss this important matter, where are we going to be?
Mr. Harrington In connection with this matter, the suggestion has come up here as to when the Canadian Parliament is going to discuss tariff changes. There is one question in my mind in connection with this whole business, these Black Books. We have the understanding that there will possibly be changes. What about the Grey Book? The letter says. "I am now in a position to advise 952 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 you regarding the arrangements which the Government would be prepared to recommend to Parliament". I take it this Grey Book has not been recommended to Parliament and even then they must have an agreement among themselves. We have no reason to believe that this Grey Book will be accepted in toto. In that case we have been discussing something that may be ripped to pieces afterwards. I would like to have some clarification on this.
Mr. Fogwill We had no session yesterday, nevertheless I did a little work. It is laid down here that the federal government will collect $2 million in customs and import duties....
Mr. Smallwood If Mr. Fogwill wishes to debate finance, count me out. I will not follow the debate through. Let us take the lid off the debate; either wait for information or let us be frank. We decided we are going to hang the dog until December 15. We have nothing to do.
Mr. Chairman I do not think you have any right to make any such statement implying that all the members, including myself, are hanging the dog. It does not follow at all. Because any member is desirous of seeking information, and we are waiting receipt of further information, we are not hanging the dog. You have no right to arrive at any such conclusion.
Mr. Smallwood I feel like doing some plain talking. I will not do it.
Mr. Hollett Let us hear your plain talking.
Mr. Smallwood You are the last man to talk.
Mr. Hollett Why am I the last man to talk? Let us have it.
Mr. Chairman I think if members would cool down, I would not pay too much attention to what has been said.
Mr. Fogwill I want the people to know the truth as far as taxes are concerned. As far as excise tax is concerned, I do not think there is much difficulty. I do not think the tariff or the Geneva agreement is going to make much difference. Nevertheless the total in the estimates of the federal government is $2 million customs duty; $400,000 liquor tax; $500,000 tobacco tax; $1.5 million miscellaneous excise taxes. Take that $4.4 million — I took the customs returns for 1946 on only nine items, including four items contained in this book and I got $3 million over and above this estimate, which is the estimate of the federal government.
Mr. Chairman That is why I question the advisability of going ahead with the debate at this particular time. Your figures are predicated upon the present set-up, whereas these figures are predicated upon what our probable position will be if and when we became a province of Canada; and because further information has been requested by members.
Mr. Fogwill I am not going to discuss how it is made up; all I want discussed is, what are the taxes? What will each have to pay? I think it is the proper way to talk about it — for instance, 20 cents on a pack of playing cards.
Mr. Smallwood You want to get in a sly dig every once in a while. We are going to have a debate on the financial side. Are we going to spend the next four or five days going over things we have to change, and come back to it again?
Mr. Crosbie I have a lot of sympathy for Mr. Smallwood. He finds himself in this position. He has to debate and pilot through the House figures which he himself does not know how they were arrived at, how they were compiled. He cannot do it. As far as I am concerned, there were certain questions asked from the Canadian government and Newfoundland government concerning the Newfoundland section of this document. Apparently, to kill time, we are going to debate all over again the things we have debated. To me, it does not make sense. I would rather adjourn for a week or ten days than debate that all over again. I move the committee rise now.
Mr. Bailey Are we not to discuss this matter at all now?
Mr. Chairman I have a motion to rise the committee. Is it the intention to adjourn the House?
Mr. Crosbie Yes. Why waste our time here discussing figures which are not correct? That is my attitude. The House does not have to listen to me. We have here a bunch of figures and this country is supposed to vote in the referendum on those terms which are the basis of negotiation with Canada. There is a discrepancy in the figures. Mr. Smallwood says things have changed since the document came down. These figures have to be changed. We have got to get what it will cost the country, where the money will be raised. When we get to revenue and expenditure we will need experts. That means two or three months. Mr. Smallwood admits these figures are wrong. Until we get the answers, we are wasting the country's December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 953 money and my time.
Mr. Newell A couple of days ago we reached a point where individuals had asked questions to which they had not received answers and the answers were necessary. We left it to the Steering Committee to determine the method of procedure. Apparently the Steering Committee did not agree unanimously. While I cannot agree with everything Mr. Crosbie has said, I am certainly in sympathy with him on one point. While I would like to see this Convention over as quickly as anyone else, I do not see the sense of quibbling for four or five days without the information. That is all we did this afternoon — quibbled. Let us adjourn until we have the information to go on with.
Mr. Hollett I disagree with Mr. Crosbie and Mr. Newell. These two Black Books are sent us by Ottawa and we are supposed to do the best we can by telling the people of this country their contents. Although we have asked some questions which have not been answered, and although we have asked questions which never will be answered, I do not believe that is any reason why we should hold up the debate. If you will bear with me, on the particular question I asked today — a breakdown of the $9.4 million — it is absolutely immaterial in one sense except that it would help us to understand a little more. That $9.4 million has to be taken as read; that is not going to be changed, as far as we know. If the question which I asked today has any bearing on holding up the Convention, I here and now withdraw that question. Let us tell the people what is in the books. Let us get it over with; then forget it.
Mr. Chairman I think Mr. Crosbie was fair when he pointed out that it is not possible for Mr. Smallwood to be expected to break down these figures or to give detailed information in respect of matters he has not got the information about. Either he can or he cannot. Only he can decide that. If there are other matters which have no direct bearing upon the questions which have been forwarded, it is rather a pity that the House should rise at this particular time. I suppose they will have to be touched upon if the report has to be fairly debated. I am entirely in the hands of the House.
Mr. Job I would like to say a few words on that point. It seems to me we cannot get ahead with this debate on this Canadian question, because a great many of the figures in this Grey Book are grossly wrong. How can we possibly put that document or anything like it before the electorate? To get the information, I am convinced it is going to take months. Are we going to sit here, keep this Convention sitting all that time, until we get it? Or are we going to do what I think should be done? These figures have been challenged. If we are not going to get the correct information within a reasonable time, I am of the opinion that we should simply vote this thing out. I do not see how we could put before the country figures we have not approved. Major Cashin pointed out one glaring case, these liquor figures, where the estimate given by the Canadian government was $400,000 and it seems it should be $1.6 million. If Major Cashin's contention is correct, those figures generally should be increased by 20%. Surely the basis upon which the offer has been made would be materially changed. They base their offer on the fact that they are expecting to get from Newfoundland $20 million; that is perfectly clear in the Grey Book. If they are going to get $24 million, then surely they could make their offer a better one. I have great sympathy with Mr. Smallwood, and those people who spent a great deal of time on this confederation issue, who have it honestly at heart. But the confederation question would not be dead if we turned it down. It would be impossible, in my opinion, for this Convention to recommend that confederation be placed on the referendum paper, unless we are sure that these figures are correct.... I do not want people to think I am against putting this before the country. I think there are people interested in this and they should have all the information we can give them. If that information is incorrect, we have no right whatsoever to put it before them. I think that is all I have to say about it. I do not think if it was turned down, the time we have put in on it has been wasted. I think it will come in very useful at some future time. I think this whole question of confederation must be a matter of negotiation between governments; it is utterly impossible for us to negotiate, and that is what we will be doing if we go back and say. "Your figures are wrong, based on wrong information".
Mr. Chairman I don't accept that position. If you ask a man for better particulars you are not 954 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 necessarily negotiating. You could say to him, "Well, this thing is ambiguous, and I don't understand it. Would you mind breaking it down and telling me exactly what you mean?" I don't think you are negotiating by the mere fact that you request further information.
Mr. Job I was not making that point, sir; but in any case, the main point that we have got to decide in the next few days is how long it will take to get this information corrected... I don't know what the feeling of this Convention is, but my own feeling is that if it is going to take months, how can we possibly ask the country to wait?
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the gracious and charming things the Hon. Mr. Job has said. I think there is something utterly delightful in the naivete with which he suggests that we might perhaps drop this question of confederation. And on what basis? On the basis that Major Cashin doubts the accuracy of one or two items in this table here compiled. Major Cashin has a right to doubt it. He has directed a question asking the Government of Newfoundland — no, sir, not to break down this same table, that is something completely different. This is a table compiled by the Government of Canada giving the estimate of what revenue they would collect from the people of Newfoundland if Newfoundland became a province. In doing that they have tried to picture Newfoundland's trade as a province, and on that basis they have compiled that table. Major Cashin has asked our government not to picture Newfoundland as a province, but only to picture Newfoundland paying the Canadian rates of tariff on the trade we are now doing, not on the trade that we would do if we were a province. I suggest this to Major Cashin now, that he ask the Government of Canada in respect of this table the same thing that Mr. Hollett has asked the Government of Canada in respect of the table on the next page. Mr. Hollett has asked them to give us more details of what the Canadian government will spend in Newfoundland. Now I suggest that he or Major Cashin, or someone, ask the Government of Canada more detail of the estimate of what they will collect from Newfoundland. If it is suggested that this thing is so hopelessly wrong, let's get at the bottom of it.
Mr. Job How long will it take?
Mr. Smallwood How long? i could suggest an idea on that.... Do we deny that the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Canada is served by outstandingly able financial men. do we deny that? Why we have them in our own Finance Department, a tiny little department. but the Government of Canada is served by some of the ablest economists in the world, not the ablest, but some of the ablest.... Don't think for a moment that when they compiled that table of $20 million they were just pulling it out of the air like a magician. Oh, no! It is based on solid, concrete information. And furthermore, don't suppose that when they got that total of $20 million that they then took all their basic working pages and burnt them. I suggest that it is likely that the individual tables of statistics upon which each of these items are based are still extant, in the various financial offices in Ottawa; and i I suggest that if we sent to them and asked them, politely, because they are a friendly government ... to explain in a little more detail the estimate of $3.2 million a year for income tax that they figure they would get from the people of Newfoundland; if you ask them to explain how they arrive at a figure of $7.5 million a year from Newfoundland in tax on the companies and corporations. I feel that they would give us more detail. If you ask how they come to the figure of $2 million on customs duties and excise taxes, I have little doubt that they would give you that information, and you could have it back here in time for your re-opening in January.
Do you suppose that the Government of Canada ... do you expect that that nation is served by ignorant clowns? Do you suppose they plucked these figures out of the air? Do you suppose they are not based on something, when they know every little nook and comer of our national debt? They know exactly every item of merchandise that comes into Newfoundland, where it comes from, what it costs, and what duties are paid on it. They have a Department of Trade and Commerce with 6,000 employees, one of the world's greatest, and don't think for a moment that this is a table that is faked or fraudulent, or that they imagined it, that it is without foundation. You are talking about a table compiled by the government of a great nation. You can't talk about them as though they were a pack of crooks...
Now I would suggest to Major Cashin, as he December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 955 is genuinely concerned as to the accuracy of these figures making up this total of $20 million, that he can solve the matter and put it beyond doubt. He can ask the Government of Canada, table a question and ask them, will they please give us some of the details on which they worked it out. Mr. Hollett has already done it in regard to the Canadian government figures on what they will spend in Newfoundland. He has not done that exactly, but what he has done is ask for further detail on one item. Here is a table of $26 million or $27 million, that is made up of various items, and one of the items is $9 million that the various federal departments figure they will have to spend in Newfoundland.... The Departments of Agriculture, Fisheries, Transport, Health, and Labour of Canada have to spend money in Newfoundland. Mr. Hollett would like to have the details and he has put in a question. We will get those details. If Major Cashin will put in a question on the details of what taxes they expect to get from Newfoundland we will get it. Then as sensible, practical men we can stand up here and debate this thing to our heart's content, and the people will know the truth. That's the way to do it. In the meantime let's adjourn the Convention and go home and take a rest. I know I need a rest, for one.
Mr. Hickman Mr. Chairman, I think we are doing a lot of yelling and talking about very little. We seem to have overlooked the more important phase of this. We have asked for these questions to be tabled and sent forward, and I think we were agreed that this would take some time to get, and it might not be before we re-assemble in January. I think everyone feels we cannot get out of here without a Christmas recess, but we seem to be overlooking the fact, when we talk about adjourning, that as I understood on Monday we would have some figures to go on with our discussion on a provincial budget, and that's a lot more important than this federal one. This federal one is important because it means the money that the Canadian government will take out of Newfoundland and spend.
Mr. Smallwood And spend?
Mr. Hickman Yes, and spend. But what is more important is: as a Government of Newfoundland, what are we going to get as revenue and expenditure? I think that has a much greater bearing on the people of this country, and they should have every opportunity to know that. Now that debate, as I thought, we had decided to have on Monday. Why can't we forget this? The questions have gone in and we realise we won't get the answers till January. Let's rise and adjourn until Monday, when we can go on with the provincial discussion, and I don't know, but we might be able to finish by December 15.
Mr. Chairman Before you resume your seat, Mr. Hickman, would you mind? Mr. Hollett, I think, feels that there are matters of interest, other than the purely financial questions, which could be dealt with this afternoon.
Mr. Hickman Well, sir, on that, and going back to yesterday's Steering Committee, there was no such agreement on what we would do, if anything, for one good reason mentioned this afternoon, and yesterday afternoon in the Steering Committee — that the Committee can make no agreements binding on this Convention, and there were suggestions that there was much in this that has no bearing on that question of finance; and the suggestion that this should be brought up or not brought up was discussed; and the very point was made the Steering Committee could decide nothing because it would only be the decision of a few, and the other 34 or 35 members could bring up anything they like as long as it is relevant to what we are discussing, which is these books and the Grey Book, and for that reason there was no such agreement made. In fact there would have been no unanimity because there were men in disagreement there.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Hollett is perfectly correct. All I want to say is that I will have to put the motion for us to rise. If it is adopted, it must of necessity mean that those voting for its adoption do so on the understanding that there is nothing further that can be discussed until the proposed breakdown of figures is introduced by Mr. Smallwood sometime next week.
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, if I may, if Mr. Hollett would permit me...
Mr. Hollett I will permit nothing. I have not spoken. I have the floor. I have taken just one word too much from you this afternoon.
Mr. Smallwood You may have to take a lot more yet.
Mr. Hollett I may have to take a lot more yet, but I trust it won't be from you. I don't want any more of that nonsense. I was going to say that I 956 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 think it is a pity to adjourn now and not carry on. I don't care if Mr. Smallwood objects to having the tariff set out. Let's have something else. But I do object to one man insisting that his will shall be carried over 44 men. That's one thing, and I don't care if you take another hour to decide that. I think it is an outright disgrace to adjourn until Monday. Here we have the rest of this afternoon, and the night session, and tomorrow afternoon, and we should not adjourn, but go ahead and get what we are allowed to give to the people out of these Black Books.... These are the only things we can give to the people. We cannot go back to Canada and start to negotiate for better terms. We are not allowed to as a Convention, the delegation was not allowed to. I think it is ridiculous.... I am very much against any adjournment on this matter, and I think Mr. Crosbie might agree to that.
Mr. Cashin Mr. Chairman, I am sorry that I created anything of a furore. I have never done that in my life! But here is the position. I have a lot of sympathy in many ways with Mr. Smallwood. He fostered this delegation to Ottawa in the beginning. They went to Ottawa, and I hold that the delegation came back with an incomplete report. They have made no report whatever as a delegation to this Convention, and this Grey Book may or may not be the result of their efforts in Ottawa; we don't know, because before they left Ottawa this was not in their possession. It was sent here afterwards by the Canadian government through His Excellency the Governor in Commission, and from then it was sent to this office, consequently the delegation which we sent to Ottawa merely came back with the Black Books. Now when we received this document here, and when we go into the figures in it, we find that they have no foundation in fact, and that there is no member of the delegation who is able to properly explain them. Mr. Chairman, surely the members of the Ottawa delegation should be able to get up and explain every item that is in here in connection with the financial situation of both Canada and Newfoundland; but no, what happened was, as I see it, when they adjourned in Ottawa to return to Newfoundland, the Canadian government made up a budget, so to speak, of its own, particularly with regard to federal expenditures, and the Ottawa delegation came back; and when they see this, whilst they might have talked about it up there, they got no information on it as to how it should be spent, is $9.4 million. It means, Mr. Chairman, that the Ottawa delegation fell down on its job, because they should have had all this information, and we should not have to ask any questions at all. Mr. Smallwood pointed out to me that the way I asked these questions this afternoon did not suit him. I am going to ask them the other way at the next meeting of this House, because I want to draft them properly — it took me all night to try to figure out the other one — and ask them on what basis they made them up.
Mr. Smallwood Hear! Hear!
Mr. Cashin And if they made them up on the same basis that they made up this $9.4 million, then I will say they are fraudulent. It is all guesswork. I said when this House opened 15 months ago, and I am going to repeat it: there is only one regret I have, that I consented to be a party to this farce.
Mr. Chairman Well I don't know that you ought to say that, Major Cashin. You stated here 15 months ago...
Mr. Cashin Yes, and I am sorry that I have to make a confession about it. This has been the greatest political mistake of my career, to stay here and talk at a mock parliament that means nothing. The power remains with the other people, and we held the glory. I think I made that statement here, and I am going to repeat it now.
Mr. Chairman You made that statement on September 8, 1946.
Mr. Cashin No sir, September 18, 1946, and two days later it was attacked in the House.
Mr. Chairman That's right.
Mr. Cashin And some time later people apologised for making that attack, and now they realise that what I did say at that time was the truth.
Mr. Smallwood Major Cashin will you exonerate me from that? I made the attack, but I did not apologise.
Mr. Cashin I don't care who apologised. It was true anyhow.
Mr. Higgins I apologised.
Mr. Cashin Well, now we have arrived at the stage where the Ottawa delegation came back without a report, and we have got to go on the best way we can, in some way. We have either got to kick this thing out or discuss it. It is going to take us months to get the information. I am December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 957 prepared to ask Mr. Smallwood a question, but before I ask it I want an assurance from the Canadian government that they are going to answer some of the questions that I have already asked them, and until such time ... I refuse to ask them anything further. I am going to wait until I see whether they answer them, but if they don't, then I claim they will be dishonest, and the whole truth is going to come out before very long.
As far as adjourning is concerned it is immaterial to me, but I will say this, in justice to Mr. Smallwood, and I have had something to do with making up an Economic Report, I believe it should be the work of the committee that went to Ottawa to do it. I am exonerating no one, I am taking them as a collective unit. That Ottawa delegation should have been in a position when they returned here to lay the goods on the table as regards our position if we become a province of Canada. That has not been done. There are some things in this Black Book, or one of the Black Books, and I will give you an item just to show you how foolish it is, while I am on my feet. I don't have to look at it. Mr. Chairman, if the members will turn up the finance revenue that they have estimated in that Black Book, we find repayments from the Housing Corporation brought in as prospective revenue for a province. Mr. Chairman, would you ever think anything so silly? Because it is money which should go back to where it was borrowed from, and it is not revenue of the province, it is repayment of loans, and it is not a revenue.
Mr. Smallwood Why not?
Mr. Cashin Because it's not. It can't go on indefinitely, it's capital account. Consequently there's one item alone ... does not exist, because it should be paid back to the surplus, if we have any left by the time this thing is all over.
Now to come to the surplus. I was attacked here, or the Finance Committee was attacked, on our estimates being faked, and here we come to the greatest faker of all in this document. I have said I have sympathy with Mr. Smallwood, because he is piloting this through on behalf of the Canadian government, so to speak, as I was trying to pilot the Finance Report through on behalf of the Finance Committee; and he is taking the position today, in a sense, that he is the Canadian government, and replying to every question we put to him. That should not be his position — it should not have been mine, but we adopted it in the beginning, and have to carry it on to the end. It is immaterial to me whether we adjourn now or any time. I am prepared to stay here forever now. We are accustomed to being here, and the people are laughing at us for being here, because that's all we are, a laughing stock.
There is a matter on which I want to say a few words this afternoon, as people have been blowing off steam, and that's the matter of the public debt.
Mr. Chairman No, not just yet.
Mr. Cashin I am speaking to the members of the committee, and I am entitled to mention this matter, the public debt of Canada. In this book there is nothing regarding the public debt of Canada — nothing. Why? Is that honesty on the part of the Canadian government? They were going to enter into a partnership with Newfoundland, and they certainly put down Newfoundland's debt and pointed out why they were going to take off $64 million or $65 million, whatever it might be; but they conveniently and deliberately refrained from putting in their own public debt, and showing the per capita debt of Canada as against the per capita debt of Newfoundland, and I say that is done deliberately. In view of the fact that we questioned other figures in here, and that this $9.4 million has not been explained properly to this Convention, I am justified therefore in saying that the exclusion of the Canadian public debt from being set side by side with the Newfoundland public debt has been deliberate, because we are going into partnership, Mr. Chairman. And what do we find the Canadian public debt is today? We will use their figures this time, not mine. We find that the total debt of Canada, federally now I am speaking, the total debt is $18,890,359,000.
(Speaker unknown) Gross or net?
Mr. Cashin Their own figures.
Mr. Smallwood Gross.
Mr. Cashin Gross. And its per capita debt is $1,492.89.
Mr. Smallwood Gross.
Mr. Cashin No. Well, where is their sinking fund?
Mr. Smallwood Well, if Major Cashin will allow me, you see that includes their sinking fund. Their net debt is $13 billion.
Mr. Cashin Have you got your Auditor 958 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 General's report there?
Mr. Smallwood The net debt is $13 billion and the per capita debt is $1,100. They have got nearly $5 billion in assets.
Mr. Cashin What are the assets?
Mr. Smallwood I have not got the list here.
Mr. Cashin Well, I am going to tell you some of them. Loans that they will never get returned, to Europe, etc. Billions of dollars they have allowed for relief in Europe — charity if you like, and they have put them down as an asset, and they won't get half of them. No. The per capita debt is $1,492.89, and their provincial debt is $149.06, and the municipal debt is $77.29 per head. Add these three together and you have nearly $1,800 per head in Canada. Now let's have a look at ourselves, and I am going to use the Canadian figures. I am not using mine, because I have been accused of faking mine. Now we have to go and get some of these experts up there to make up ours. No, according to their figures, not Cashin's, our per capita debt is $212.94 per head, and our St. John's city debt is $44.94, say $45.00, that means a total debt for Newfoundland, including the City of St. John's, of approximately $260 per head.
Mr. Smallwood Would you add in the contingent debt?
Mr. Cashin I am coming to that too, Mister. You just keep quiet now, I know my stuff on this contingency debt. We had our security for this contingency, and I know what Mr. Smallwood is driving at — Bowaters; Harbour Grace waterworks a few thousand dollars; Placentia, and a few more, but Bowaters is the outstanding one, and I see now it is less than $7 million. Now our own debt is $260 a head, taking in our municipality of St. John's. Theirs, with their provincial and - no, we will figure that they haven't any provincial debt, or any municipal debt; they have $1,492 net debt, we will call it, and take $260 from that and it leaves us what? A $1,230 difference between the two. Now someone take it down if you like, and multiply 320,000 people by $1,200, and you will find a $380 million-odd difference. Now what is happening? Here is the basis of a proposal that Newfoundland would enter union with Canada, figuring that we owe $260 a head, or whatever it is. We say, "All right, we are a wealthy people now, we are prepared to take upon ourselves a further liability, We will wipe out ours and take on a liability of $1,492." But that's not the whole story. A few weeks ago the Dominion of Canada went to the United States to borrow money. We went one time too, to Canada, and were turned down. They went to the USA to borrow some money not long ago, and they got $300 million, and they were looking for $700 million. If, Mr. Chairman, Newfoundland got its just desserts and entered union with Canada on an equal basis, that $300 million that they borrowed from the United States belongs to the Newfoundland people, because it is the difference, between their per capita debt and our per capita debt. You might also say it was on our credit that they were able to raise that $300 million, because they were not able to raise all they wanted on their own. Now with respect to this contingent liability, 1 think we have them here — anyhow, l remember them. Our contingent liabilities are something over $7 million. What are the contingent liabilities of Canada? I can't count them.
Mr. Smallwood $5 billion.
Mr. Cashin Some difference. Multiply that by 320,000, and the other by $12 billion and see what you get. Everything is against us confederating with Canada. Mr. Chairman, I have every sympathy for the Ottawa delegation in one sense, although I criticise them for not coming here with full particulars. I have every sympathy with Mr. Smallwood trying to drive this thing through the House here with such poor information at his disposal, because he has not got any. The Government of Canada gave them no financial information.
Mr. Smallwood Don't pity me too much, because we have a lot of information yet.
Mr. Cashin Well, you had better come out with it in connection with the financial business.
Mr. Smallwood We will do that when the debate starts.
Mr. Cashin When the debate on it starts! As far as I am concerned I am prepared to go ahead with the debate on the financial position now, if you can answer the questions. As a matter of fact we will give the question and see if you can answer it. Can Mr. Smallwood give me and this country a statement of the Bank of Canada and its gold reserve?
Mr. Smallwood No.
Mr. Cashin No, you cannot. Very well. The December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 959 position is this: here in Newfoundland the people and the government have $115 million on deposit down here, and we don't know what reserve of gold is behind it. We are entitled to know if we are going in partnership. I think I told the story of the gold standard in 1932, and how, through manipulation at that time with the Canadian government and the Canadian banks, Newfoundland depositors were deprived of approximately $20 million. As far as I am concerned, I am going to see that that does not happen again, that before this country goes into confederation with Canada, or into confederation with any other country we want to know the state of their affairs, just the same as they know ours. We were told here this afternoon by Mr. Smallwood that the Canadian government knew all about our affairs.
Mr. Smallwood Our trade, our business.
Mr. Cashin Well our trade, our business, how do they know all about it?
Mr. Smallwood They have a High Commissioner here.
Mr. Cashin Yes, and they have had a High Commissioner here since 1941, who laid the seed to bring Newfoundland into confederation, and I mean former Commissioner Burchell. That was his main object, and today he has a continuation in his office here in Newfoundland, and the only regret, Mr. Chairman, that I have is that his office is located in the house in which I live. He left his job and was given a holiday. For what? To go to Ottawa to help the Newfoundland delegation. Now, Mr. Chairman, I propose to make a further speech on this whole affair at some later date, particularly when Mr. Smallwood brings in his provincial set-up, which I understand from him will be on Monday. But in the meantime it is immaterial to me whether this House adjourns until Monday or not. As far as the financial situation is concerned I am prepared to go ahead with it now, and in that respect, if Mr. Smallwood is not prepared to give us the information, and the High Commissioner for Canada comes in here and gives us the information, I am prepared to go ahead with the debate with him, and let him tell the story of Canada's present financial position.
Mr. Chairman, I got an answer to a question yesterday which I placed on the order paper, and I am sorry I have not got it here at the moment. I asked how much the present austerity program recently adopted in Canada will affect the people of Newfoundland. It was no surprise to me. It is going to affect the people of Newfoundland. If you, sir, or me, or any other gentleman. wants to take a holiday in the United States now (and we are entitled to one if we can afford it), some for health purposes, etc., you get $150 of your own money, Canadian money, American money, that's all they will allow you, even though we are probably $20 million in credit in United States currency in Newfoundland. Consequently the people of Newfoundland are being persecuted, so to speak, in order to assist Canada in this present austerity program. That was the question I placed the other day, and to which I received an answer.
Mr. Ashbourne Can't you get more than $150?
Mr. Cashin Well, hold on a minute now.
Mr. Chairman That has absolutely no bearing on the...
Mr. Cashin It has a bearing on the whole situation.
Mr. Chairman No, on the motion before the Chair.
Mr. Cashin I am speaking to the whole confederation issue.
Mr. Chairman The motion before the Chair...
Mr. Cashin As I said a minute ago, in view of the fact that Mr. Smallwood is not ready to continue the debate I am prepared to refrain further this afternoon from any comments in connection with this whole matter, and I am prepared now to support Mr. Crosbie's motion that this committee rise.
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, I appreciate very much what Major Cashin has said, and what Mr. Crosbie has said about rising the committee, for this reason: if I am to bring in certain figures and statistics on Monday, affecting possible and probable provincial government finances, to have the next couple of days to do that would be a great help to me. After all, I don't know that there is much that we could debate between now and Monday that would be very profitable, and it would be a good idea in my opinion, as Mr. Crosbie has suggested, and Major Cashin agreed, that we should rise the committee and then adjourn until Monday.
Mr. Reddy We have heard a lot about the good side of confederation — baby bonuses and old age pensions and all the rest. Now, sir, we come to the dark and gloomy side. I want to hear the 960 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 dark and gloomy side, and the people of Newfoundland want to hear it. I want to hear it now. (Cries of "Hear! Hear!")
Mr. Chairman The motion is that the committee rise and report progress, and ask leave to sit again tomorrow. Is the Convention ready for the question? Those in favour say "aye", contrary "nay". I can't decide. Division of the House.... All those in favour of the motion, stand — 25. All those against the motion, stand — 6
[The committee rose and reported progress, and the Convention adjourned until Monday. December 8]


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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  • 1 Volume II:520. [Volume II is not in The Confederation Debates Collection]

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