October 10, 1945

THE ROYAL ASSENT

LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the house that I have received the following communication:

Ottawa, October 10, 1945.

Sir:-I have the honour to inform you that the Honourable Patrick Kerwin, acting as deputy of His Excellency the Administrator, will proceed to the Senate Chamber on Thursday, the 11th October, at 5.45 p.m., for the purpose of giving the royal assent to certain bills.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient servant,

F. L. C. Pereira, Assistant Secretary to the Governor General.

Topic:   THE ROYAL ASSENT
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PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL COMMITTEES OP THE HOUSE-PROVISION OF STANDING ORDERS RESPECTING QUORUM

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise to draw to the attention of the house a matter which I think affects the privileges of the house and the rules of the house.

Yesterday, the hon. member for Rosthem (Mr. Tucker), parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, presented the first report of the special committee on veterans affairs and moved that the report be concurred in.

This committee consists of sixty members. I learned accidentally this morning that twenty-four members attended the meeting of the committee at which the business reported was transacted.

Standing order 65 governs the procedure of select special committees. Paragraph 3 of standing order 65 says:

A majority of the members of a special committee shall be a quorum, unless the house has otherwise ordered.

The house had not so ordered; therefore the presence of thirty-one members was required to transact business. Only twenty-four were present.

The notes on the standing order in Beau-chesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, I think, are quite clear, and indicate that no valid business could be transacted under the circumstances; hence no reports should have been submitted to this house yesterday.

Standing Committees

la this respect, Mr. Speaker, we have followed the interpretatioa of a similar standing order in the British House of Commons; for on July 3, 1907, Mr. A. J. Balfour raised the question of the validity of work done by a committee without a quorum. Mr. Speaker then said this, in part:

It is rather difficult to deal with hypothetical cases but on the assumption that the committee met and proceeded without a quorum, I should be of the opinion that the committee, properly speaking, was never constituted and did not meet, and that none of the work done could be accepted as being the work of that particular committee.

This is an important committee. Its need is urgent. I am not asking the house or you, Mr. Speaker, to rescind the motion of yesterday. I am merely raising the question that these rules which protect minorities in this house should be observed when organizing the work of all other special committees of this house and that care should be exercised by those submitting such reports that the rule for our protection has been complied with. I wish to draw it to your attention so that this may not occur again.

Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans Affairs): I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I am quite in agreement with the point raised by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar. But over a number of years-and I have been in the house for more than fifteen years-for the purpose of organizing in our various committees we have proceeded possibly with a certain amount of disregard of some of the basic rules. It was the intention yesterday to ask the house to validate the routine proceedings of the committee, consisting, as my hon. friend rightly said, of twenty-four members. I think that, to put the matter beyond dispute, to-morrow morning, when that committee meets with, I believe, the quorum now recognized by the house, we had better repeat the proceedings which were gone over yesterday and have everything perfectly in order. I think the point raised by my hon. friend is well taken, but we were anxious to get ahead with the business of a most important committee, and I believe that if we were wrong in law we were right in equity.

Mr. COLD WE'LL: I did not wish to delay the committee.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL COMMITTEES OP THE HOUSE-PROVISION OF STANDING ORDERS RESPECTING QUORUM
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STANDING COMMITTEES


Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans Affairs): I move that the report of the special committee appointed to prepare and report lists of members to compose the standing committees of the house, which I presented yesterday, be concurred in. The leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken) asked me yesterday to hold it over until to-day. Motion agreed to.


POWERS OF COMMITTEES


Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans Affairs) moved: That the standing committees of this house shall severally be empowered to examine and inquire into all such matters and things as may be referred to them by the house and to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon, with power to send for persons, papers and records. Motion agreed to.


PRINTING OF PARLIAMENT


Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans Affairs) moved: That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their honours that this house will unite with them in the formation of a joint committee of both houses on the subject of the printing of parliament, and that the members of the standing committee on printing, viz., Messieurs Adamson, Arsenault, Aylesworth, Baker, Beaudry, Bertrand (Prescott), Bertrand (Terrebonne), Boivin, Bradette. Bradshaw, Brunelle, Campbell, Castleden, Church, Clark, Cote (St. Johns-Iberville-Napierville). Dubois, Emmerson. Fontaine, Fraser, Gibson (Hamilton West), Golding, Halle, Hansell, Healy, Henderson, Hlynka, Kidd, Kuhl, Lacombe, Lalonde, Lapalme, Lapointe. Lennard, MacLean, MacNaught, Maloney, McCuaig, MeCubbin, McCullough (Assiniboia), McDonald (Parry Sound), McGregor, McLure, McMaster, Nicholson, Robinson (Simcoe East), Ross (St. Paul's), Sinclair (Vancouver North), Sinnott, Strum (Mrs.), Tustin, Viau. White (Hastings-Peter-borough). Winters, will act as members on the part of this house, on the said joint committee on the printing of parliament. Motion agreed to.


LIBRARY OF PARLIAMENT


Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans Affairs) moved: That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint _ their honours that this house has appointed the Honourable the Speaker and Messieurs Adamson, Aylesworth, Black (Chateauguay-Huntingdon), Bruce, Cardiff, Castleden, Cloutier, Dion, Douglas, Eudes, Fournier (Maisonneuve-Rosemont), Gauthier (Nipissing), Gourd, Gingues, Herridge, Henderson, Howe, Jaques, Kidd. Knight, Lapalme, Leger, Marrier, Marshall. Matthews (Brandon), McGarry, Mellraith, McKay, Menary, Mitchell, Mullins, Nixon, Pearkes, Probe. Reid, Richard (Ottawa East), Ross (St. Paul's), Skey, Smith (York North), Stephenson. White (Middlesex East), Winkler, Winters. Zaplitny, a committee to assist his honour the Speaker in the direction of the Library of Parliament, so far as the Questions



interests of the House of Commons are concerned, and to act on behalf of the House of Commons as members of a joint committee of both houses on the library. Motion agreed to.


QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk)


RAW CANE SUGAR

SC

Mr. BLACKMORE:

Social Credit

1. In purchasing raw cane sugar during this war, did the sugar administration use a brokerage firm as an agent?

2. If so, is the deputy sugar administrator connected with such firm?

3. What commission was allowed such firm?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   RAW CANE SUGAR
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LIB

Mr. MAYHEW: (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

1. No.

2 and 3. Answered by 1.

Note-The sugar administration has never used any brokerage houses. Canadian brokerage houses are, however, employed and paid by the sellers of sugar exported to Canada.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   RAW CANE SUGAR
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HOUSING ACT-LENDING INSTITUTIONS

LIB

Mr. MACDONALD (Halifax): (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

1. How many lending institutions in Nova Scotia have made application to be listed under the National Housing Act?

2. What are the names and addresses of firms, companies or corporations which have been approved?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HOUSING ACT-LENDING INSTITUTIONS
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October 10, 1945