Oral Answers to Questions — Canadian Cattle Embargo.

– in the House of Commons on 10th May 1922.

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Photo of Mr William Shaw Mr William Shaw , Forfarshire

50 and 52.

asked the Lord Privy Seal (1) if he can now fix the date for the promised discussion of the Canadian cattle embargo question;

(2) if, in view of the promises made to Canada and the keen interest taken in this matter throughout the Dominion, he will, in arranging for the discussion, so fix the date as to make it possible for the Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Churchill) to be present?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

No, Sir. I cannot yet name a day for this discussion, but I shall certainly hope to fix a date at which it will be possible for my right hon. Friend to be present.

Photo of Mr John Sturrock Mr John Sturrock , Montrose District of Burghs

May I ask whether we shall have a discussion on this important matter before the House rises for Whitsuntide, in view of the very great interest manifested?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I cannot undertake at the present time to give any pledge as to when the discussion can take place. We must make progress with Government business before I am asked to find a date for non-Government business.

Mr. THOMAS:

If a date is fixed, will the right hon. Gentleman leave the judgment of the House free, and not put on Whips?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I said that long ago.

Photo of Mr John Sturrock Mr John Sturrock , Montrose District of Burghs

Is it not the case that the Government gave a very definite pledge with regard to the question of Canadian cattle, so that it is really a, matter of Government business?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

The Government announced that they were not prepared to introduce legislation this Session, in the present state of agricultural opinion in this country and of the agricultural industry. Under those circumstances, it is not Government business. I did undertake that I would find an opportunity, not necessarily a whole day, for the discussion of the subject, but that must be when we have made real progress with Government business.

Photo of Captain William Benn Captain William Benn , Leith

Does the right hon. Gentleman say, that whatever Resolution this House passes, the Government does not propose to pass legislation?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I did not say that. [An HON. MEMBER: "Will you take action?"]

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I should like to see the Resolution, and to know what is the action of the House. The decision of the Government was that they would not be responsible for introducing legislation this Session in the present state of the great mass of agricultural opinion, and the present difficulties of the agricultural community, but that if the question came before the House they would not put on the Government Whips, or make the decision one on which the fate of Governments depends.