April 25, 1944

INCOME TAX

POSTPONEMENT UNTIL AUGUST 31 OP BALANCE OWING ON QUARTERLY INSTALMENT BASIS


On the order of motions:


LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. C. W. G. GIBSON (Minister of National Revenue):

I should like to clarify the previous statement I made on March 27 concerning the extension of time for the payment of income tax by individuals. Strictly interpreted the statement would exclude those taxpayers who pay their taxes on the quarterly

instalment plan. I should like to make it clear that taxpayers who have estimated their tax on a quarterly instalment basis, as required by the Income War Tax Act, will be granted until August 31 to pay, without interest, any additional tax that may be owing over and above what was estimated.

Topic:   INCOME TAX
Subtopic:   POSTPONEMENT UNTIL AUGUST 31 OP BALANCE OWING ON QUARTERLY INSTALMENT BASIS
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CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS


The house resumed from Tuesday, March 7, consideration in committee of the report of the special committee on the revision of standing orders, Mr. Bradette in the chair.


LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

The first amendment proposed is to standing order 9, which at present reads as follows:

Upon a division, the yeas and nays shall not be entered upon the minutes, unless demanded by five members.

The amendment proposed is as follows:

And every member present in the chamber when the question is finally put by Mr. Speaker shall be obliged to vote, and if he does not vote Mr. Speaker shall call upon him to vote and his name shall be recorded accordingly. - If he persists in not voting he may be named by Mr. Speaker for having violated a standing order of the house.

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, I do not know whether the procedure you are now adopting is that which was agreed upon unanimously at a previous sitting, when this report was discussed. But it would appear that this procedure would bar any general discussion with respect to this matter, and I rather fancy one or two hon. members in any event would wish to make some general observations before going into the more limited discussion on the amendments to the various standing orders.

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to make a very short comment upon what has been said in this matter. I believe the hon. member who has just taken his seat (Mr. Pouliot) is somewhat beside the point when he refers to the first part of the report as being a preamble. It is not a preamble, except in a very general sense. Certainly it is not a preamble such as one finds at the beginning of a bill.

But the hon. member is quite correct in his statement that when a committee of this kind reports it thereupon ceases to exist. That will be found in paragraph 664 of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, which states:

If a committee at the conclusion of their inquiry, make a final report to the fiouse, the sittings of the committee are assumed to have been closed, and if further proceedings were desired, it would be necessary to revive the committee.

That does not matter so much at the moment, except that I believe Mr. Speaker . told us the last time the matter was discussed that the committee might further consider the matter and make further representations. That, of course, would be impossible under the circumstances.

The leader of the opposition raised a further point of order. He said that some members might wish to speak on the general aspect of the report. I would also point out that in the earlier part of the report-which the chairman appears to have ignored, because he begins in the middle of it, at page 4-recommendations

are made. What are we going to do with them?

I say that there is a definite recommendation by the committee, which reads as follows:

We therefore recommend that, when the yearly estimates have been brought down, one day a week be set aside for consideration of supply.

Then there is the further definite recommendation :

Our recommendation is that, when there is reason to believe that debate will be protracted, parties and groups recognized in the house shall confer and make arrangements-[DOT]

And so on. It provides that groups shall get together and do something about it, a procedure which I submit is quite illegal.

There are two definite recommendations. What are we going to do about them? Because, the amendments to the standing orders having been considered, I presume the thing will conclude. Or are we to go backwards and begin again? Would it not be better to do as the leader of the opposition has suggested, namely, begin at the beginning and deal with all the recommendations, after having a general debate? The debate was by no means concluded when the matter was up some time ago.

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Mr. Chairman, might I say a word for purposes of expedition. It will be noted that on March 7 Mr. Speaker closed the debate, as it appears at page 1262 of Hansard, with these words:

I therefore suggest that the committee report progress and ask leave to sit again on another day when, if the committee so desires, we may deal with the amendments which are printed on pages 149 to 152 of Votes and Proceedings.

I am suggesting that if we make the progress which I am assuming we would make in connection with the specific amendments to the rules of the house, we should vote upon them as soon as we can. We can give some indication as to whether we are against them or in favour of them, and have some action in the matter.

Ten specific recommendations are made by the committee. I believe the committee was unanimous in respect of most of them. But on the other hand I do not think it would insist upon any if the house were against them. In my view the essential procedure this afternoon is to find out upon what the house agrees, and to do it with all possible expedition. I do not think debate will help us much in regard to these specific recommendations. I suggest we leave the generalizations and the introductory features mentioned, so that we may deal with the specific amendments suggested by the committee.

Rules of the House

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

May I speak again on a point of order? In my view it would be unfortunate if this debate were to be extended to any great length.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I cannot hear the leader of the opposition.

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I am not disagreeing with my hon. friend. I try to speak as loudly as I can on these occasions, so that he will be able to hear. I agree to this extent with the Minister of Pensions and National Health, that perhaps it would be unwise, unless there is some special reason for so doing, to have an extended general debate in the matter. Nevertheless there are a number of members who, if the procedure were directed along more restricted channels, would be deprived of an opportunity to speak. Some hon. members who spoke on the earlier occasion had the advantage of speaking generally, and if the debate were restricted I believe those of us who perhaps now have something to say along general lines would suffer an injustice. I think it would be unfair to make, that restriction, even at the expense of extending the debate a little longer than might normally be required.

When Mr. Speaker on the earlier occasion made his observations at the conclusion of that sitting, I do not think he had in mind any curtailment of the rights of those who might wish to speak in a general way, and in respect of the general aspects of the matter.

The report dealt not only with specific matters affecting changes in the rules, but it went on in some detail to philosophize somewhat in respect of rules generally, and house deportment. It is my belief that we would make just as much headway, and perhaps in the end save considerable time, if hon. members were given leeway in the same manner as obtained on the earlier occasion. I have always felt that when there is an attempt-I am not saying any such attempt is being made on this occasion-to curtail general discussion in the house it takes longer than if we proceed in the regular way. If hon. members have something to say we might as well allow them to have their say at this time. It is my suggestion, in order that the matter may be clarified, that we go on with the general discussion, beginning where we left off on the earlier occasion. Then, having finished that, we could get down to the particular items. I fancy it would not take quite so long then to deal with those items.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

How shall we determine when that debate is finished?

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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LIB-PRO

James Allison Glen (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. GLEN:

When I spoke at the last sitting of the committee in connection with the rules'

I did not intend there'should be any limitation of discussion on the part of any hon. member of the committee. I was concerned, of course, principally with the passing of the amendments that will have to be discussed. The hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) speaks of this as a preamble. It is not a preamble; it is simply the bases upon which the committee is being asked to pass amendments to the rules. When the amendments to the rules are being discussed there is nothing to prevent any hon. member of the committee from referring to what is a commentary on the reasons why the amendments were being asked for. But in view of the attitude of the hon. members who have spoken, which I think is the mind of the hon. members of the committee, I should be willing and agree that there should be the general discussion to which the leader of the opposition has referred. But I would point out that we are still on the first portion of the report, which is, if I may say so, the historical part of the reasons for the amendments. The matters before the committee, after all, are the amendments of the rules. That is the question for the committee. It is a matter wholly within the hands of the committee. Our committee have met and have reported. It is now within the judgment of the committee of the whole whether these few rules shall be amended or not. In so far as the committee is concerned it is entirely in the hands of the committee of the whole, which is now sitting. .

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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IND

Joseph Sasseville Roy

Independent

Mr. ROY:

After listening this noon to the finest music and the most harmonious melodies coming from the tower of the 'parliament buildings, it is painful to be confronted in this chamber with a report submitted for the purpose of restricting some of the most important rights, privileges and liberties of the people's representatives in parliament.

I would have no objection to most of the amendments submitted in this report. For the moment I shall not state any objection I may have to the amendments to standing orders 9, 12, 31, 37, 40, 43 and 44; but I am strongly opposed to the proposed amendment to standing order 49. This amendment completely contradicts the principles set forth in the presentation or preamble, if we can call it that, which appears in the report of the special committee.

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

I would ask the hon. member to speak to the point of order raised by the leader of the opposition. We are discussing the point of order at the present time.

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I believe we should go on with the fullest, frankest and freest dis-

Rules of the House

cussion of this whole matter. Parliament is the place where the people's representatives meet to talk. While the committee which considered the matter had a good chance to go into all the aspects of the proposed changes, a large number of the members of parliament have not had such an opportunity. I believe it will be altogether beneficial to have a complete discussion in this committee, even if it takes us a day or two. Let us remember that the rules as they stand to-day are the result of the experience of our forefathers over hundreds of years. We cannot afford lightly to change them. We should give most careful consideration to every proposed change. I therefore favour allowing complete, frank and general discussion before we proceed with the items.

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NAT

Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. CHURCH:

I believe the point raised is either to call for a general or a clause by clause discussion of this report. There is one point I should like to point out. I think it would save time if we took up the report as a whole first and then considered the list of very moderate changes. The reference to the committee called for a revision of the standing orders of the house. It was a broad resolution and gave the committee the power to go much farther than they have gone. I refer to one matter that does not appear in the list, rule 9. In the British House of Commons under their rule 9 private members and all the members may question the government, ask questions which are not on the order paper, up to a quarter to four. They can practically cross-examine the ministers on any questions of urgent public importance. What is our rule? We have to move on an urgent matter the adjournment of the house and get twenty members to stand up. One may wish to question the government on one of the most important emergency questions that could arise, but unless one gets the support of twenty members one cannot do it. Take a question like housing. I could not ask a question on it to-day under our rules without moving the adjournment of the house and having twenty members stand. Even then the Speaker automatically has the power to say whether in his opinion it is an urgent matter. That I think is unwise. I suggest that general discussion take place first.

Topic:   CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE OF REPORT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS
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April 25, 1944