Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 2nd Sess, (1 June 1864)

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Date: 1864-06-01
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 2nd Sess, 1864 at 170-171.
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WEDNESDAY,  June 1, 1864

The “dead lock” between the House and the Fourth Estate continued yesterday, so that we are still without any report of the proceedings in this branch of the Legislature. The doors were closed to the public for about an hour and a-half in the afternoon, during which time it was supposed hon. members were discussing the “press” question. No decision, however, was arrived at by the House, nor was any intimation received by the members of the press from the Speaker, regarding the modification of the obnoxious order. Under these circumstances, the reporters again refrained from taking their usual places in the galleries. It was, however, generally believed in the House last evening, after the debate which had taken place, that the matter rested entirely in the hands of the Speaker, and it is, therefore, but reasonable to hope that the difficulty will be adjusted as speedily as possible, without loss of dignity to the House, and without insult to the representatives of the press. Last evening the reporters met in their room, and adopted a series of resolutions for the purpose of explaining their position and vindicating their course, before the public. There was a numerous attendance—all the leading journals of the country being represented.

The resolutions—a copy of which was transmitted to the Speaker, were in the following terms:—

Resolved,—“That the members of the Press in attendance upon the Legislature were, on Tuesday, notified by officers of the House, that hereafter they would be excluded from the reading-room every day, before the hour of twelve o’clock, noon;

“That as this was in contravention of a long-established usage, the members of the Press thought that either an inadvertence had been committed, or the resolution of the House had been inaccurately interpreted;

“That free access, at all hours, to the newspapers and periodicals in the reading-room, is of the greatest utility to the members of the Press in the discharge of their duties, alike towards the House and the public;

“That, under these circumstances, and until the true state of the case could be ascertained, they absented themselves from their places in the galleries with a view to an understanding being come to on the subject;

“That, in pursuance of this view they at once caused a respectful not of enquiry to be addressed to the Speaker on the subject, to which no reply, beyond an acknowledgement of its receipt, has yet to be received;

“That while they do not consider themselves open to the imputation of having attempted to coerce the House into the restoration of a valued privilege thus hastily withdrawn, they desire to protest against the deprivation to which they conceive they have been needlessly subjected.”

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