May 16, 1946

?

Mr. COLD WELL@

Mr. Speaker, may I have a word on the point of order? I am referring to standing order 77, and citations 813 and following. That paragraph or citation states:

When a bill comes up for third reading a member may move that it be not now read a third time but that it be referred back to the committee of the whole for the purpose of amending it in any particular.

It seems to me that the house always has authority to govern its own procedure. The fact that rulings of Speakers in different parliaments from time to time have been upheld by those parliaments should not bind subsequent parliaments for ever. We now have before us an amendment to the third reading of the bill which purports to give to the house what most hon. members desired when the bill was in committee. It seems to me that, despite the rulings of former Speakers, upheld by former parliaments, this is a new parliament, and as such it has the right to make decisions as to its own rules and their interpretation. We should not be for ever bound by decisions made in the past.

I submit respectfully that a ruling of this description should not be invoked to prevent a member from bringing before the House of Commons on third reading something which many hon. members desired when the bill was in committee.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

We voted on it.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

I suggest to Your Honour that the amendment of the ho'n. member for Lake Centre should be declared in order.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to dispute the wisdom or otherwise of the suggestion made by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) to the effect that this parliament should not feel bound by decisions rendered by Speakers in former parliaments, and upheld by those former parliaments. Be that as it may, the practice of paying some respect to judicial and parliamentary precedents is worthy of consideration. But on the merits of the question I would submit that, in the absence of any precedent, an amendment such as this could not be properly introduced and appended to a bill.

The bill deals with the right of citizenship, and is intended to provide permanent legislation. This would constitute an attempt, by way of amendment to a bill intended to be permanent legislation, to provide a direction as to what shall be done by somebody not named in the amendment, at this or at some other session of parliament. [DOT]

Let us examine the terms of the amendment. It says:

By adding subsection 2 to section 27 as follows: "27 (2) That when this act comes into force, if parliament be then sitting or if parliament be then not sitting within ten days after the next session begins, the question of adopting a bill of rights, so as to assure the maintenance and preservation of democratic and traditional processes of liberty and of equality under the law of all Canadian citizens without regard to race, creed or colour, shall be submitted to the House of Commons in a resolution to be considered in a select committee properly representative of the entire population of Canada."

What has all that to do with the permanent provisions of the citizenship bill? The hon. member for Yale (Mr. Stirling) has argued that this does not give a direction to the government, that it does not deal with a sovereign power of parliament. That is one of the objections to it. It says that certain things shall be done, but it does not indicate who is to do them, or who is to take any responsibility for doing them. It would provide for the consideration of a bill of rights "so as to assure" and so on; that certain things "shall be submitted to the House of Commons". By whom? Are they to be submitted by the hon. member for Lake Centre? Are they to be submitted by Mr. Speaker, or by the government, or by whom? And this is to be "in a resolution to be considered in a select committee". Who is to introduce that resolution?

Canadian Citizenship

What possible sanction could there be for a provision for this kind in the bill? What can it be, other than a pious hope that there may be another opportunity to discuss this matter of civil rights at this session, and at this time?

On a motion for second reading of a bill something other than second reading may be recommended in an amendment. On a motion for second reading it may be said that, instead of reading the bill, the house should do something else. But when the motion for third reading comes up, it is all or nothing. Thaf is the only question before the house. It can go back to the committee for some amendment to the bill, but it cannot go back to the committee for the house to take some other kind of action.

The only matter which at this stage of the procedure is open for discussion is whether this bill, with or without further amendments which might affect its provision for permanent legislation, be passed. I submit that it would be a very dangerous practice if parliament at one session were to determine, by legislation to be considered in the other place and to be sanctioned by the crown, what parliament should do at some other time. The right of parliament to exercise its sovereign powers exists continuously, and I submit that it is not in order to add to legislation of this kind or any kind a direction as to what parliament shall do at some future date if it happens to be in session when that piece of legislation comes into force, or what it shall do at another session if it is not in session when the legislation comes into force; and that is what the terms of this amendment provide for, without indicating upon whom any duty is cast by the provision itself.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

The arguments advanced by the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent) have, I submit, little to do with the question whether this amendment is in order. They have rather to do with the criticism he offers of the meaning and purport of the amendment. I refer Your Honour to section 708 of Beauchesne, third edition, 1943:

When a bill comes up for third reading a member may move that it be not now read a third time but that it be referred back to the committee of the whole for the purpose of amending it in any particular.

There are various forms in which that amendment may be made. The form I followed was taken from this book, and is to be found in general at pages 337 and following.

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) said that the amendment introduced a new subject. My submission is that it introduces no new subject. Section 27

provides that Canadian citizens shall be entitled to certain rights, powers and privileges. The amendment is to define -what those rights, powers and privileges are. I submit that section 713 of Beauchesne, to which the hon. member for Vancouver Centre referred, has no relevance whatever to the case before us. Section 713 states that an amendment was ruled out on the ground that it was irrelevant in that it affected the sovereignty of parliament. 1 submit that this amendment is relevant because it refers to the question of rights, duties, obligations and privileges, and in no way interferes with the sovereignty of parliament.

For these reasons I ask Your Honour to uphold my right to move the amendment.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
PC

George Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

I think it goes without saying that any member of the house has the right to move that' a bill be not now read a third time but that it be referred back to the committee. We are all agreed that that is in order; any hon. member has the right to do that. If the resolution carries, and it is subject to the vote of the house-and unless the majority of the members want it referred back to the committee it will not go to the committee-third reading will be given the bill and it will be passed. This is a motion not to give third reading but to refer it back to the committee of the whole, with instructions, not to do certain things, but that they have power to amend it as follows. They may not choose to follow those instructions at all; this only gives them the power to do so, and it would be entirely optional with them whether they did so or not. It seems to me that the only question before the house is whether this resolution is in order, tha,t the bill be not now read a third time but that it be referred back to the committee.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

May I, on the point of order, with the permission of the house, quote a former Speaker of the house, the Hon. George Black, member for Yukon-Beauchesne, page 497:

On the motion for third reading, an amendment cannot be moved that the bill be referred back to the committee of the whole with the request that certain matters be considered by the government.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
PC

George Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

With all due deference, what the minister has quoted is not in point at all. That was an amendment to refer back with the request that certain matters be dealt with or considered by the government. That has no relevancy to this motion.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

I submit, Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Canadian Citizenship

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
LIB

Walter Adam Tucker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. TUCKER:

I am entitled to give my views on this matter. Surely the day has not come when only certain people approved by the opposition may rise to speak in this parliament.

I submit that any amendment must be relevant to the purpose of the bill, and certainly the purpose of this bill being to set up the status of citizenship and so on, an amendment which says that somebody unnamed shall lay before the house the question of adopting a bill of rights has nothing to do with establishing citizenship. It is irrelevant. An amendment to the bill on third reading must be relevant to the purposes of the bill. I would just like to show what would be the effect of this section if it were passed. It would read that, when it comes into force, as soon as it receives royal assent, and parliament, I assume, being in session, . . the question of adopting a bill of rights, so as to assure the maintenance and preservation of democratic and traditional processes of liberty and of equality under the law of all Canadian citizens without regard to race, creed or colour, shall be submitted to the House of Commons in a resolution to be considered in a select committee properly representative of the entire population of Canada." Shall be submitted by whom? What does it mean? Is it to be submitted by the government, by some private member, by some body in Canada? Surely if this parliament is to speak, it should speak with certainty, so that we may know what we are doing. Surely if we adopt an amendment such as this, we shall make ourselves ridiculous. If we passed it, it would not mean anything.

To summarize, in the first place an amendment should be certain as to its effect. It should be relevant. In the next place I submit to Your Hopour for your further consideration that Beauchesne, paragraph 357, lays this down:

Mr. Speaker Sproule on the thirteenth February, 1913, decided that a proposed amendment which was substantially the same motion as the member had moved on the address in reply to the speech from the throne, was not in order ' because "a motion must not raise a question substantially identical with one on which the house has given a decision in the same session."

I submit that this amendment of the hon. member for Lake Centre is in substantially the same terms as have already been moved in debate on this bill and negatived by the house. The rule against repetitious amendments is applicable to this amendment, which I submit is out of order on that ground also.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

After listening to hon. members on both sides of the house my humble opinion is that the amendment is out of

order. We have before us a motion for the third reading of bill No. 7, an act respecting citizenship, nationality, naturalization and status of aliens, and an amendment to that motion that the bill be referred back to committee of the whole "to assure the maintenance and preservation of democratic and traditional processes of liberty and of equality under the law of all Canadian citizens without regard to race, creed or colour," and that for that purpose a resolution shall be submitted to the House of Commons with a view to adopting a bill of rights. It is my opinion that the bill of rights is so important, as has been expressed by many members of the house, that it should be dealt with in a bill by itself. It is not relevant to the bill now before us for third reading, which is an act respecting citizenship, nationality, naturalization and the status of aliens, to determine what parliament should do on another occasion, and therefore I rule the amendment out of order.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Mr. Speaker, may I respectfully appeal from your decision?

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I was paired with the bon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Maybank). Had I voted, I would have voted against your ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin

Liberal

Mr. BEAUDOIN:

I was paired with the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming). Hal I voted I would have voted to sustain the ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
LIB

Robert McCubbin

Liberal

Mr. McCUBBIN:

I was paired with the hon. member for Middlesex East (Mr. White). Had I voted I would have voted to sustain the ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
LIB

John Watson MacNaught

Liberal

Mr. MacNAUGHT:

I was paired with the hon. member for Elgin (Mr. Coyle). Had I voted I would have voted to sustain the ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
LIB

James Lester Douglas

Liberal

Mr. DOUGLAS:

I was paired with the

hon. member for Queens (Mr. McLure). Had I voted I would have voted to sustain the ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
PC

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I was paired with

the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Bridges). Had I voted I would have voted against the ruling.

NAYS Messrs:

Aylesworth Lennard

Barrett Low'

Black (Yukon) Maedonnell (Mr

Blair Ontario)

Boucher MacNieol

Bradshaw . Menary

Brooks Merritt

Cardiff Murphy

Case Pearkes

Charlton Ross (Souris)

Drope Senn

Fraser Skey

Graydon Smith (Calgary

Green West)

Hackett Stephenson

Hatfield Stirling

Henderson Stokes

Hodgson Tustin

Jackman Webb

Kuhl Wylie-38.

(The list of pairs is furnished by the chief

whips).

Messrs:

King, Mackenzie Beaudry Breithaupt Clark

McDonald (Parry Sound)

Michaud Ross (Hamilton East J Whitman Kirk

Bracken

Adamson

Harris (Danforth)

Desmond

Daniel

Ferguson Cocker am

Harkness White (Hastings-Peterborough)

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
PC

Douglas King Hazen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HAZBN:

Mr. Speaker, I was paired

w'ith the hon. member for Verdun (Mr. Cote). Had I voted I would have voted to support your ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink
PC

Percy Chapman Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

I was paired with the junior member for Halifax (Mr. Macdonald). Had I voted I would have voted against the ruling.

Topic:   CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP
Subtopic:   NATIONALITY, NATURALIZATION AND STATUS OP ALIENS
Permalink

May 16, 1946