May 18, 1943

PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL CANADIAN MINISTER TO WASHINGTON- ALUMINIUM LIMITED

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Yesterday afternoon the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) made a statement to this house in the course of which he read a statement from Hon. Leighton McCarthy in which these words occurred:

Mr. Coldwell says: "He (Mr. McCarthy) is still a director and vice-president of the parent company, the Aluminum Company of the United States."

Mr. McCarthy's answer was:

Mr. McCarthy is not now nor has he ever been a director or vice-president or officer of the Aluminum Company of America.

When I made the statement that he was a director and vice-president of the parent company I miscalled the parent company. I wish to lay on the table of this house an application made by Aluminium Limited to the Montreal Stock Exchange on December 16, 1942, and adopted by the governing

committee on December 19, 1942, which

showed that the Aluminum Company of Canada is a fully-owned subsidiary of the said Aluminium Company, and that the Honourable Leighton McCarthy, K.C., is a vice-president and director of the parent company, Aluminium Limited. I want to put that on the record and to indicate that I shall have something further to say as to the Prime Minister's statement and Mr. McCarthy's statement, when the Prime Minister is in his seat. Yesterday the house and the country were deliberately misled by a concealment of truth. At the moment I wish to absolve the Prime Minister, but someone was concealing the truth.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL CANADIAN MINISTER TO WASHINGTON- ALUMINIUM LIMITED
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL CANADIAN MINISTER TO WASHINGTON- ALUMINIUM LIMITED
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member has stated that there was a deliberate concealment of truth. Does the hon. member mean that such deliberate concealment of truth was by the Prime Minister?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL CANADIAN MINISTER TO WASHINGTON- ALUMINIUM LIMITED
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

No, Mr. Speaker; I said it was not by the Prime Minister. I said there was a deliberate concealment of truth and that I shall have something more to say about it when the Prime Minister is here. I want to table this document.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL CANADIAN MINISTER TO WASHINGTON- ALUMINIUM LIMITED
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Well, let us have the truth; it will hurt nobody.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL CANADIAN MINISTER TO WASHINGTON- ALUMINIUM LIMITED
Permalink

STANDING COMMITTEES

MISCELLANEOUS PRIVATE BILLS-CHANGE IN PERSONNEL

LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Minister of Mines and Resources) moved:

That the name of Mr. Fontaine (St. Hyacinthe-Bagot) replace that of Mr. Lafon-taine (Megantic-Frontenac) on standing committee on miscellaneous private bills.

Topic:   STANDING COMMITTEES
Subtopic:   MISCELLANEOUS PRIVATE BILLS-CHANGE IN PERSONNEL
Permalink

Motion agreed to. Standing Orders


THE WAR

VICTORY OF ALLIED FORCES IN NORTH AFRICA- REPLY OF GENERAL EISENHOWER TO RESOLUTION OF CONGRATULATIONS

LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Minister of Mines and Resources):

Mr. Speaker, several days

ago the house, on motion of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) seconded by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon), unanimously passed a resolution of congratulations to the united forces in North Africa on the splendid victory they had achieved in that part of the war area. There has been received from General Eisenhower a reply to the congratulatory message sent to him, which I should like to read to the house. I may add that .this was addressed to the Prime Minister as Secretary of State for External Affairs:

On behalf of the forces of the united nations under my command I thank the Prime Minister and members of the House of Commons of Canada for their generous resolution of congratulation. Inspired by such sentiments we shall go forward with determination until the allies have achieved final victory.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   VICTORY OF ALLIED FORCES IN NORTH AFRICA- REPLY OF GENERAL EISENHOWER TO RESOLUTION OF CONGRATULATIONS
Permalink

STANDING ORDERS

MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE' IN FIRST REPORT

LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

Mr. W. H. GOLDING (Huron-Perth) moved:

That the first report of standing committee on standing orders, presented on May 14, be now concurred in.

He said: Yesterday the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) raised some question in regard to this report. This was his first statement:

The committee has not given the house adequate reasons why these funds, which are paid legally under the rules of the house, should be refunded to the company.

The committee on standing orders dealt with this point, and we did. find sufficient reason for making the refund. Last year the committee on standing orders dealt with the bill on July 1, 1942. The bill received second reading on July 22, was considered in the committee on banking and commerce on July 28, and on the same day was reported back to the house without amendment. It was standing on the order paper for consideration by committee of the whole when adjournment took place in January, 1943.

Perhaps I should at this point read the reference in Votes and Proceedings of Friday, May 14:

Your committee has considered an order of the house dated April 2, 1943, viz:

That the said committee be instructed to consider the advisability of exempting the

petitioners for the introduction of Bill No. 54 (letter C of the Senate), "An act to incorporate Canadian Alliance Insurance Company", from the capital stock charge and other charges levied during the last session of parliament, required by the rules of the house, said charges having been paid last session on Bill No. 116 (letter A-4 of the Senate), "An act to incorporate Canadian Alliance Insurance Company" that had received second reading and that stood for consideration by the committee of the whole when prorogation took place in January, 1943".

Your committee has ascertained that $700 was paid last session to the House of Commons by the petitioners, viz., $400 as a charge on the proposed capital stock, and $300 as penalty charges consequent upon the late presentation of the petition in the House of Commons.

Through circumstances beyond their control, the petitioners did not succeed last session in obtaining the act they desired, with the result that they were obliged to renew their application at the present session.

In view of these facts, your committee recommends that the petitioner be exempt from payment of the $700 levied last session, and that that amount be apportioned as follows:

Four hundred dollars to be applied to cover the capital stock charge required on the bill introduced at the present session, viz. Bill No. 54 (letter C of the Senate).

Three hundred dollars to be refunded to Mr. Jean Genest, K.C., of Ottawa, parliamentary agent for the petitioners.

The hon. member also said:

The strange part of it is they suggest in this report that the penalty of $300 should be repaid not to the company but to a private individual.

Topic:   STANDING ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE' IN FIRST REPORT
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Read it all.

Topic:   STANDING ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE' IN FIRST REPORT
Permalink
LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

Mr. GOLDING:

In this instance the private individual in question was acting as parliamentary agent. He was the man who paid in the fees and under the rules it is to him the fees should be returned. I do not think I need read the rule governing that point.

Perhaps the hon. member did not understand the motion throughly when he said the whole fee was to be returned. It was, in a sense; but the $400 having been paid last year on the capital stock, and the bill having failed to go through, we thought it only fair and reasonable that they should be allowed to apply that on this year's bill.

We did give careful consideration to the matter. I can assure the house that in this instance we have tried to do unto the other fellow exactly what we should like to have done to ourselves in similar circumstances.

Reading the hon. member's observations one would almost gather that the standing orders committee had been guilty of some new departure. With that in mind I had the clerk look up the records, and I should like to read the instances in which refunds have been

Standing Ordert

made in the last ten years. They are as follows:

Session Bill Amount

1032-33 Nipissing Central Railway

Company $200

1934 American Dairy Supply Company 200

1934 Firth Brearley Stainless Steel

Syndicate Limited 202

1934 The Bishop of the Arctic 2001938 Central Finance Corporation.. 1,4001939 Central Finance Corporation.. 1,4001942 Sarto Desnoyers-Divorce 100

I think the hon. member also raised the point in conversation with me, that under the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act we would not be permitted to refund these fees unless by order of the house. In answer to that I say that if the house approves the recommendation of the committee, then an order of the house has actually been passed. There can be no difficulty about that.

So far as I know we have not tried to do anything wrong. Every member of the committee is interested in doing his duty. This is the decision of the committee and, as I have said, I hope the house will not be harsh in judging the actions of the committee, when we did try to do to the other fellow what we should like to have done to ourselves.

Topic:   STANDING ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE' IN FIRST REPORT
Permalink
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Mr. Speaker, I have not looked up the rules of the house in regard to this matter, but I have consulted the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act. If hon. members will look at section 34 they will observe at once that this is a special privilege accorded only under exceptional circumstances, and that refunds are never made except by order of the House of Commons. That is the general rule, not the exception. Section 34 reads:

Refunds of public moneys received in respect of proceedings before the Senate or the House of Commons, which are authorized by resolution of the senate or the House of Commons, respectively, or by the rules and standing orders of either house shall be notified by the proper officer of parliament to the minister and shall be paid by him out of the consolidated revenue fund.

That makes it quite clear that this is a very exceptional procedure, and that as a matter of right they should not be paid unless strong and substantial reasons are given.

I am aware of the golden rule. I am also aware of the fact that parliament has laid down rules and has established fees. The government has established fees for the incorporation of companies, and unless proper reasons are given for the refunding of any of those fees, they should go to the consolidated revenue fund of the country and stay there.

Yesterday I urged two reasons against this report. The first was as follows:

The committee has not given the house adequate reasons why these funds, which are paid legally under the rules of the house, should be refunded to the company.

What reasons are given? There is the old, time-worn, time-honoured suggestion that through circumstances beyond their control the petitioners did not succeed in obtaining the legislation. That is not a reason. I argued against the remission of the $300 to a private individual. The hon. member has referred to the rules of the house. I am not familiar with the rules of the house in this regard but I understand that they provide for the payment of these fees by the petitioner, whether it be a body corporate, an individual or a body of petitioners. But to refund the amount to a solicitor who may not be one of the, petitioners is, I submit, a departure from the rule, a departure from the practice at all events, and that part of the order at least should be altered.

Having made a protest on what I consider to be proper grounds, I take it that the responsibility goes to the Minister of Finance. The test is: whj' should the house remit a penalty which was imposed legally, and for the reasons alleged in the petition? I contended that no good ground had been asserted in the report of the committee. It now appears from the detailed statement given by the hon. member in his capacity as chairman of the committee

I presume he is speaking in that capacity-that these people not only were late in getting into the House of Commons, but that, because of the action of the government, consideration was not given to the bill after it had received second reading. That is not a ground for the remission of the penalty. In any event the $400 was a fee that should be paid, and the penalty of $300 was imposed for being late in the first instance.

The total amount of $700 has gone into the consolidated revenue fund and has formed part of the revenues of the country for the last year. They now seek to get it back. The officers of the crown and of parliament have expended their time on this matter without any compensation, and the consolidated revenue fund is to be out $700 to which it is legally entitled. They are to be saved $700 when they were derelict in their duty in the first place. I have made my protest and I do not propose to press the matter any further. I am going to leave

Standing Orders

it to the Minister of Finance, but I warn him and the house that this is just one more case of undue leniency.

It will be said that there are cases where people have been given back their fees for one reason or another. The fact is that most of these things go through without due consideration. Every case ought to be considered on its merits. If that is done I venture to say that there will be fewer remissions. I suggest to the Minister of Finance that this is not an instance in which the privilege ought to be exercised. If this penalty had not been imposed with all the sanction of law there might be something in the contention raised, but just to say that there are circumstances beyond the control of the petitioner who did not get all he wanted is no reason at all.

Mr. E. 0. BERTRAND (Prescott): As a member of the committee I think I am in duty bound to say a word, following the remarks of the hon. member for York-Sunbury in regard to this bill. The reason the Canadian Alliance Insurance company was penalized last year was that they were late. When the committee was sitting, their bill was considered, and the full fine was imposed.

It was a company and we did not have much sympathy with them because they were late. The hon. member for York-Sunbury now says that the old time-worn and honoured excuse has been given by the chairman of the committee, that due to exceptional circumstances the bill could not be dealt with during last session. The fact that this bill was not dealt with was not the fault of the

company, it was because of certain circumstances which prevented the government from dealing with it. They introduced theirbill in time this year so that they werenot subject to any penalty. They were in order this year and they asked for a refund of the penalties which had been imposed last year. The hon. member has criticized the recommendation that the

penalty be refunded to an individual. The only course open to the committee was to authorize the refund to an agent of the company. That is the whole story of this refund to the Canadian Alliance Insurance company.

Topic:   STANDING ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE' IN FIRST REPORT
Permalink
LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

Mr. GOLDING:

When I referred to the clerk, I meant the clerk of the committee.

Topic:   STANDING ORDERS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE' IN FIRST REPORT
Permalink

May 18, 1943