April 11, 1945

PRIVILEGE-MR. ABBOTT REFERENCE TO EDITORIAL IN TORONTO "GLOBE AND MAIL" OF APRIL 11

LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. D. C. ABBOTT (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, I rise for the first time on a question of privilege, arising out of an editorial which appeared in this morning's Globe and Mail, and which is headed "Worst Fraud Still to Come?" The first paragraph reads as follows:

If the figures on conscript reinforcements which Mr. Douglas Abbott, parliamentary assistant to defence minister McNaughton, gave the commons on Monday mean what they seem to mean, the worst of the man-power frauds has still to be faced. In his first report on the reinforcement policy last week Mr. Abbott produced some flattering statistics. The net result was to show that overseas reinforcements for the Canadian forces were 75 per cent above the estimates struck last fall.

I will not weary the house with the whole editorial. A number of figures follow; and the second paragraph concludes as follows:

But on Monday, in answer to questions, Mr. Abbott disclosed thpt only 238 of those 11,836 draftees had gone to the front. He was unable to say how many of these were "converts" or belated volunteers.

I pause there to say that I stated in the , house yesterday afternoon that, of the 238, 237 were not "converts"; and I might suggest to the editorial department of the Globe and Mail that if they would consult with their parliamentary correspondent they might be able to give more up-to-date information.

The editorial continues with a lot more supposed analysis of statistics, and the second last paragraph concludes with this sentence:

And it gives a great deal of support to the evidence that the only draftees to reach the battle areas are those who converted.

The editorial finally concludes:

All that has happened is that 11,836 draftees (less 283 converts) have had a change of residence-from Canada to the United Kingdom. They are being treated as "zombies" there as they are here.

Duration of Parliament

That statement is completely incorrect. The N.R.M.A. men who are sent over are placed in reinforcement units in the United Kingdom, and they are treated exactly the same as other soldiers, general service soldiers. The statement of policy was that there would be no discrimination against them. On arrival in the United Kingdom they take their place in what is colloquially known as "the queue", the line of reinforcements. They first undergo tests as to their standards of training, including some additional weapon training which is restricted in Canada on account of the limited supplies of certain types of ammunition, and undergo hardening training; and when they reach the stipulated standards of fitness and training they are held in readiness to send to any theatre as required to maintain that theatre fully. That procedure is' followed in the case of these N.R.M.A. men as it is with general service men. There is no reason why they should be sent to the theatres ahead of general service men; they go in their ordinary turn.

I have referred to the 238 who had gone to the end of February. I have cabled to England for the latest figures; I have no doubt they will show that some additional ones have gone; and, knowing how anxious the Globe and Mail is to get before the people of this country the true facts with respect to our overseas forces, I feel that I should make this explanation.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. ABBOTT REFERENCE TO EDITORIAL IN TORONTO "GLOBE AND MAIL" OF APRIL 11
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

That is an uncalled-for reflection on a great newspaper.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. ABBOTT REFERENCE TO EDITORIAL IN TORONTO "GLOBE AND MAIL" OF APRIL 11
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DURATION OF PARLIAMENT

MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31


Mr. JEAN-FRANQOIS POULIOT (Temi-scouata): Mr. Speaker, I move the adjournment of the house for the discussion of a matter of urgent public importance. My motion is as follows: Whereas section 50 of the British North America Act, 1867, is enacted as follows: "50. Every House of Commons shall continue for five years from the day of the return of the writs for choosing the house (subject to be sooner dissolved by the Governor General), and no longer." Whereas the return of the last writ for the last general election was on April 17, 1940; Whereas the term of existence of this nineteenth parliament will expire on that date; Whereas, during the first fifteen days of the sixth session of this nineteenth parliament, this house has considered only supplementary estimates for the last fiscal year and appropriations for the three war departments; Whereas all the appropriations of the other departments and the civil estimates have not yet been considered by the house; Whereas the British North America Act, 1867, was passed by the imperial parliament, and whereas it has been the practice of this parliament to seek amendments passed by the imperial parliament to acts passed by the imperial parliament; Whereas the Houses of Parliament at Westminster will adjourn to-morrow until next Monday, April the 16th, for a long week-end; Whereas to-day is the last day when this parliament could make an application for an extension of parliament to give to this house the opportunity to consider in full the war appropriations as well as the civil estimates for the current fiscal year; Whereas in these serious and critical times this country cannot afford to be without parliament being available at a moment's call to meet any emergency; Mr. Pouliot moves that this house shall adjourn to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the extension of the term of this nineteenth parliament to afford it the time and opportunity to consider the war appropriations and the civil estimates for the current year, which amount to billions of dollars.


LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member was

good enough to let me have a copy of his motion before I came to the house, and therefore I had an opportunity to study it carefully.

I must point out that the form of the motion is not in accordance with the practice and usage of this house. It has taken almost the form of a petition and contains references which should be the basis of an argument.

I do not propose to deal with the motion on this ground which might seem to be technical, but I think it would be well that all hon. members of the house should state simply the motion to adjourn for the purpose of discussing a matter or urgent public importance and in effect give as reason that which is contained in the conclusion of the present motion.

On Monday last a motion for the same purpose was moved by the same hon. gentleman, the member for Temiscouata. I dealt with it then simply on the question of urgency as required by the standing order. I came to the conclusion that there was no urgency in the sense directed by our standing order and therefore ruled it out of order.

The present motion is different in form but the conclusion is in effect the same as that moved on Monday last by the hon. gentleman.

Duration oj Parliament

I think the meaning of our standing order has been very well expressed in a statement made by the Speaker of the United Kingdom house which will be found on page 78 of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, third edition, citation No. 180:

Standing order 10 of the United Kingdom house, in force since 1882, also provides that a member may propose the adjournment of the house "for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance." On the 13th of April, 1894, a member asked leave to make that motion to discuss "the neglect of the government to take measures for the relief of agricultural depression during the present session." As forty members rose in support of the motion, debate was allowed, but on its conclusion, the speaker said: "I do not think that, under the standing order of 1882, a motion on a subject of this kind, having such a very wide scope, was ever contemplated. What I think was contemplated, was an occurrence of some sudden emergency, either in home or in foreign affairs. But I do not think it was contemplated-if the house will allow me to state my views-that a question of very wide scope, which would demand legislation to deal with it in any effective manner, should be the subject of discussion on a motion for the adjournment of the house, because, if that was so, we might have repeated motions made by the opposition of the day, not so much in the direction of censuring the government for action which had been taken or not taken, for bringing to notice some grievance demanding instant remedy, as in the direction of wishing to introduce legislation on some particular subject. That is not the purpose of the standing order of 1882, and would, I think, cut at the root of the order."

I have no desire and it would be improper for me to deal with the merits or demerits of the proposal contained in the motion. I think I may be permitted to point out to the house that this motion, if adopted by the house, would subsequently have to take the form of a joint resolution of both houses to be transmitted to the United Kingdom parliament. If the statement made in the motion is correct, namely "Whereas the houses of parliament at Westminster will adjourn to-morrow until next Monday, April the 16th, for a long week-end," the question of time would be a very material factor.

It is however my function to deal with this motion only on the ground of the requirements of our standing order, which is in its effect and almost in its words the same as the standing order of the United Kingdom parliament covering such motions, and in view of the statement made by the Speaker of that house, which I have read and in which I concur, I do not think that the present motion comes within the scope of standing order No. 31, and I therefore rule that the motion is not in order because of the lack of urgency. .

Topic:   DURATION OF PARLIAMENT
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


DEFENCE INDUSTRIES LIMITED-PARRY SOUND

CCF

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

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

1. Are there any conditions of disposal contained in the government agreement with Defence Industries Limited of Parry Sound other than those contained in answer to question given on page 297 of Hansard for March 28, 1945?

2. What are the conditions of disposal in the event of the plant not being sold to Defence Industries or any other purchaser?

3. W'hat, if any, are the restrictions regarding the use of that plant in the event of its sale to any party other than D.I.L.?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEFENCE INDUSTRIES LIMITED-PARRY SOUND
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LIB

Mr. CHEVRIER: (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

1. No.

2. None.

3. There are no restrictions on the use of the plant unless the purchaser proposes to manufacture explosives using the processes owned by Defence Industries Limited. If the purchaser proposes to use the processes owned by Defence Industries Limited, he is obliged to obtain a licence to use such processes. The terms of this licence are to be arranged by agreement between Defence Industries Limited and the purchaser, and failing agreement, the terms will be fixed by the commissioner of patents.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEFENCE INDUSTRIES LIMITED-PARRY SOUND
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NATIONAL FILM BOARD-STAFF-WAGE CONDITIONS

CCF

Mr. KNOWLES: (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

1. What rate of w'ages does the national film board pay, (a) messenger boys; (b) picture framers?

2. By what scale, or on what basis, are wages paid by the national film board determined?

3. Is any individual responsible for determining the above wages? If so, what is the position of such individual?

4. What provision is made for increases?

5. Is the matter of a rvorker's dependents considered in determining national film board wages ?

Mr. LaFLECHE:

1. (a) Messenger boys are paid $60 per month; (b) None employed.

2. Civil Service Commission rates of wages

are the standard. ,

3. The Civil Service Commission ordinarily, and the government film commissioner when he acts under the authority of the National Film Act, section 12 (1).

4. Salaries are surveyed periodically to determine whether increases are to be recommended.

5. The wage rate is paid according to the job performed.

Questions

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD-STAFF-WAGE CONDITIONS
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HOUSING-AGREEMENTS WITH MUNICIPALITIES, ETC.

CCF

Mr. COLDWELL:

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

1. How many limited dividend corporations have been formed in accordance with the National Housing Act, 1944?

2. HaVe any agreements with municipalities been ' entered into in accordance with the National Housing Act, 1944, and, if so, with what municipalities?

3. Have any grants for research purposes been made in accordance with the National Housing Act, 1944, and, if so, in what amounts?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HOUSING-AGREEMENTS WITH MUNICIPALITIES, ETC.
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

1 and 2. All parts of the National Housing Act except part IV, which relates to home improvement and home extension loans, were proclaimed on January 18, 1945. At that time the Minister of Finance made a public announcement as follows:

"In bringing the National Housing Act into effect, the government also clears the way for the construction of low rental housing projects by limited dividend companies, financed to the extent of 90 per cent by the dominion government, for direct investment by life insurance companies in low cost or moderate cost rental housing projects, for grants by the dominion to the municipalities to assist in slum clearance and for special research projects and community planning. In the main, these are post-war projects . . .".

The limited supplies of materials and labour now available for housing purposes are being used by Wartime Housing Limited mainly to provide accommodation in certain congested areas for dependents of those in the armed forces and returning veterans, by the director of the Veterans' Land Act, by the National Housing Administration for house conversions, and for the construction of houses and apartments in the moderate and lower price ranges.

There have been numerous inquiries and preliminary discussions with respect to the formation of limited dividend corporations and to grants to municipalities for slum clearance, but in no case have negotiations been completed and it is obvious that the number of projects that can be proceeded with immediately is limited by the available supply of labour and materials.

3. No.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HOUSING-AGREEMENTS WITH MUNICIPALITIES, ETC.
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ST. LAWRENCE ICE-BREAKERS

IND

Mr. LACOMBE:

Independent Liberal

1. On what date, in 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 7943 and 1944, did government ice-breakers begin their operations in the St. Lawrence?

2. On what date, in each of the said years, did they reach Montreal?

3. On what date did they begin their operations in 1945, and when did they reach the port of Montreal?

4. Did riparian owners on the St. Lawrence suffer any damage when the ice broke this spring?

5. Has the government investigated into this matter?

0. If so, what was the result of such investigation?

7. If not, will the government institute an investigation so as to define liability in the case of damage sustained by St. Lawrence riparian owners?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ST. LAWRENCE ICE-BREAKERS
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LIB

Mr. MICHAUD: (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

1. To open the channel from Three Rivers to Montreal, ice-breaking operations began: 1939, March 6; 1940, February 26; 1941, February 25; 1942, February 18; 1943, February 12; 1944, February 20.

2. 1939, April 4; 1940, March 22; 1941, March 29; 1942. March 23; 1943, April 8; 1944, March 23.

3. 1945. Began at Three Rivers March 1; reached Montreal March 29.

4. No information.

5. No.

6. See answer to No. 5.

7. No. The government accepts no liability for conditions resulting from weather conditions.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ST. LAWRENCE ICE-BREAKERS
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April 11, 1945