BUREAU FOR TRANSLATIONS
Mr. JEAN -FRAN QOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata) moved for leave to introduce a bill to repeal 24-25 George V (1934), chapter 25, an act respecting the bureau of translations.
The explanatory remarks will be brief and to the point. I leave this child on the doorstep of the government.
Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (Secretary of State):
It is not my intention to prevent discussion of this matter, which can be discussed in many other ways, but I must submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. gentleman is not in order in proposing a bill of this kind. This bill deals with government officials, salaries and the expenditure of money, and it is a well known rule of the house that such a bill can be introduced only by a member of the government after receiving the approval of the governor general. Another point that makes it a bill which it is not in order for a private member to introduce is the fact that its adoption would mean the transfer of authority under which appropriated money is to be spent. The salaries of translators have been voted with the estimates of the Secretary of State's department and have been included as such in the appropriation bill. If this bill should carry it would mean that the esti-12739-22$
mates would have to be transferred from one department to several other departments. For both these reasons I submit that this is a money bill that cannot prop.erly be introduced by a private member. I may say, however, speaking to the point, that full opportunity will be given the hon. gentleman and the house to discuss this matter in another form.
Speaking to the point of order, the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat has said that this is a money bill. What are understood, in the standing orders of this house, by money bills, are bills that contemplate increased expenditure. This bill does not propose one cent more of expenditure; the salaries now paid to the translators will not be changed by this bill. But the control will be different. This is the main point; what we are fighting for is parliamentary control over the officers of this house. It seems most absurd that when, for instance, there are mistakes in the translation of public papers issued by this house, we have to go to a minister of the crown instead of to you, Mr. Speaker, to have the error corrected and the wrong redressed. On the other hand-always speaking to the point of order-I submit that a distinction should be made between a bill involving an increased expenditure of money and a bill that deals with the control of civil servants. In my humble view the Secretary of State (Mr. Rinfret) was wrong when he said that this was a money bill. In fact, there is nothing of that kind contemplated in the bill, everything is left to the governor genera! in council. Personally I am opposed in principle to that form of legislation, but the bill was drafted in that way in order that that very thing should not be complained of. The greater the control we have over the translators the better we follow the general parliamentary rules in force not only here but in all democratic parliaments in the world. Therefore I submit to you that the hon. gentleman who has just spoken, although I regret to say so, is entirely wrong. This is not a money bill and it should be considered on its merits. What I said was not only for the benefit of my colleagues in this house but also for the benefit of the government, because the government is interested in having a better control over the translation work which is done here. I was not surprised at all to see an hon. gentleman on the other side of the house laughing when the matter was brought up, because he has shown a great ignorance of all parliamentary principles since I have been sitting here.
Surely that is out of order.
I think it is out of order.
.Are there any other members who would like to speak to the point of order?
I do not imagine that I am in favour of the bill, but I should like to support the contention of the hon. member who seeks to introduce it. It seems to me that the house has a right to have the bill placed before it. We as members have no idea as to the terms of the bill. We cannot judge whether it is a money bill or not; in fact I do not know whether the Speaker has been given the bill and whether he is in a position to say that it is or is not a bill involving money. It seems to me that when we come to matters of policy, the principle ought to be generally accepted that the house itself should be the judge as to whether or not a bill should be introduced.
Does any other hon. member wish to speak to the point of order?
I will reserve my decision until another day.
CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 5, to amend the criminal code (fines and penalties). new. The bill follows the provisions of the law of England, 1935, 25-26 George V, chapter 46, known as money payments (justices procedure act). Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.
(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk). wheat deliveries
1. Has the equalizing payment for the 1930 wheat deliveries been made?
2. If not, why, and about what date are the arrangements for these (payments likely to be completed?
With regard to the equalizing payments on wheat, reference to which is made in question No. 1, may I say that since the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) made an announcement with regard to the matter perhaps no further reply is necessary. As to the probable date when the payments will be made, it is obviously impossible to give a definite date since the payments cannot be made until after legislation has been passed, but I think I may assure my hon. friend that payments will be made promptly just as soon as the authority is given by parliament. I would therefore suggest that the question be dropped.
The object of this bill is to provide that a magistrate or a judge who under the criminal code imposes a fine on a person may give the accused time to pay, or the opportunity to pay by instalments, after inquiring into the ability of the accused to pay. Owing to five years of depression many people on relief and out of work, or on part time, cannot pay their fines and have to go to gaol, many of them first offenders with families, and some returned soldiers, which is another way of imposing imprisonment for debt. The first section of the bill is partly new matter; all the other sections are entirely