August 26, 1946


for 1943 On the orders of the day:


LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

May I also take this opportunity of giving information to some hon. members who are particularly interested in the matter of wheat participation certificates for 1943. These payments are actually going out, and the operation will be hurried through to completion. The price of No. 1 Northern is 12-146 cents per bushel. This price covers about eighty per cent of all the other grades.

Topic:   PAYMENT OF PARTICIPATION CERTIFICATES
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IMPORTS FROM WEST INDIES-CONCESSIONS TO CANADIAN CROWERS AND PROCESSORS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Robert Wellington Mayhew (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

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

On Saturday last the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) asked the following question :

In view of the increased price of sugar, which is imported from the West Indies, will the government, with a view to increasing production in 1947, consider granting similar concessions to growers and processors in Canada as has been ordered in the United States?

The answer is: The average laid down cost of West Indies sugar in Canada in Canadian funds is not higher than the sugar administrator's selling price to Canadian refineries. The government announced last spring a special payment of 60J cents per hundred pounds of refined beet sugar produced from the 1946 crop. Policy with respect to the 1947 crop of beet sugar will be announced in due course in the light of the then existing circumstances.

Topic:   IMPORTS FROM WEST INDIES-CONCESSIONS TO CANADIAN CROWERS AND PROCESSORS
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HOUSING


CENTRAL HOUSING AND MORTGAGE CORPORATION- RENTS IN EDMONTON On the orders of the day:


LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. HOWE (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply):

On Saturday last the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming) asked a question with reference to rentals in the Jesuit college apartments at Edmonton. I am informed that the apartments in question are being operated under the home conversion plan and that the present rentals were fixed before extensive alterations had been effected. Now that the work has been completed, the home conversion administration has applied to the wartime prices and trade board to have rentals fixed. A hearing will be held, and 63260-337J

tenants whose rents were fixed before the conversion took place will have the opportunity of making representations before new rentals are fixed.

Topic:   HOUSING
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EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT

CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


Hon. J. J. McCANN (Minister of National Revenue) moved the second reading of and concurrence in amendments made by the senate to bill No. 370, to amend the Excess Profits Tax Act, 1940.


PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. M. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

I just received a copy'of the senate amendments. I wish the minister would explain the effect of these amendments, because I have not been able to get a copy of the original bill. I am not sure what the amendments amount to.

Topic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
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LIB

Robert Wellington Mayhew (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

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

I must admit that I am not in a position to give the necessary information. The minister is not here to-day, and I do not think the parliamentary assistant should be required to make the explanation. I wonder whether this motion could be allowed to stand until the minister returns.

Topic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

If I could get the original bill I might be able to find out what it is all about. I do not think we should be asked to pass these amendments without knowing what they mean.

Topic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

Votes and Proceedings gives the explanations.

Motion stands.

Topic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
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EMERGENCY POWERS

CONTINUATION OF ACT UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 1946, OR SIXTIETH DAY AFTER OPENING OF 1947 SESSION


Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Acting Prime Minister) moved the second reading of bill No. 253, to amend the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act, 1945. He said: On July 5 of this year the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in a statement to the house indicated that a committee of officers of the Department of Justice and other departments had under close and continuous scrutiny the orders in council which derive their authority from the War Measures Act and of the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act, 1945. The purpose of this scrutiny is to reduce to a minimum the num- Emergency Powers



ber of such orders in actual operation. Each of these orders has been carefully considered with the departments more directly concerned. Appropriate action has been recommended to secure the elimination of all orders which are no longer essential to ensure an orderly transition from war to peace. In his statement the Prime Minister divided existing orders into several categories, and gave the number of each. These figures represent the situation which obtained at the time they were compiled, as the committee continued its analysis and action was taken on its recommendation. The volume of orders in council appearing in each classification naturally varies. On July 5 the Prime Minister referred to a total of 7,103 orders under emergency powers. Since that time the committee has reviewed twelve more orders in council, while a further seventy-two orders in council have been passed under the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act and tabled in the house, of which twenty-six merely revoke other orders in council, but those have not yet been reviewed and included in the tabulation. Accordingly the total number of orders in council passed pursuant to the emergency powers to August 15 was 7,187. There was one passed on Saturday which was tabled here. It is of course difficult to have these tabulations right up to the minute. Of this number 4,207 have been revoked, have expired or are spent. This means that 102 have ceased to have effect since July 5. Some twenty-six orders are in process of being revoked immediately. Some 616 are to be allowed to expire with the expiry of the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act, 1946. It is considered that one hundred orders can be reenacted under the authority of existing statutes not of an emergency character. To this end departmental officials are at present taking the necessary action. The outstanding treasury board minutes under the emergency powers authorizing war duty supplements for government employees now number 1,531. These have been considered and placed in three categories: those granted for special duties which have now come to an end, and the war duties supplements will also come to an end. Then there are those in respect to which special duties for which the supplement was originally granted will continue indefinitely. In this case the civil service commission is being asked to examine each individual case and make appropriate recommendations as to what change in classification the civil servant concerned should receive. Then there are supplements about which some doubt existed as to whether the special duties involved can be definitely or finally classified as apt to continue indefinitely. Each one of these is receiving separate consideration. All these will be dealt with, and I may say at once with respect to this whole matter that some five or six weeks ago instructions were sent to each department to examine every one of the orders and to have ready for consideration not later than the end of this year bills for- legislation wherever the government might feel it would be proper to recommend legislation to parliament to take the place of the emergency power. The remaining orders in council are those which the Prime Minister indicated as constituting the real body of the government's existing emergency power. They number 709. Of this number approximately 225 have been in substance placed before the house during the present session in the form of draft legislation relating to such subjects as war crimes, unemployment insurance, reinstatement in civil employment of discharged members of the forces, control of atomic energy, control of explosives, air and navy cadets, control of narcotics, compensation to veteran airmen, and then the large body of orders in council which were dealt with by the veterans affairs committee and which provided for the demobilization and rehabilitation of members of the armed forces. The remaining 484 orders in council are the measures which may continue to be classed as emergency powers at the close of this session. This total includes orders in council which merely amend other orders appearing in the group. The subject matter was outlined in general terms to the house by the Prime Minister in his statement of July 5. As he then indicated, while world conditions remain critical it is not possible to state for what periods of time each of the powers conferred by this group of orders in council may be required. In some cases statutory authority may have to be sought at the next session. As I have indicated to the house, these orders in council are under constant review and will be dispensed with at the earliest opportunity compatible with the national welfare. I do not know whether the house would wish to have tabled the classifications that have been made. There are quite lengthy lists of the numbers of the orders, their date, and a sort of summary statement of what they deal with. First, there is the list of the twenty-six .of which the repeal is being arranged immediately or is in process of taking place. Then- there is a list of 225 which it is felt can be disposed of en bloc as having been provided for by legislation enacted by parliament at this session. Then there is a list of 100 which Emergency Powers the interdepartmental committee, presided, over by the Solicitor General, are recommending to be reenacted under other powers existing in general statute to the end sought. They are regulations which can be continued under powers that existed prior to the coming into operation of the War Measures Act, and the recomimendation. there is that they be taken out of that category and each placed under the general statute to which it properly appertains. Then there are 268 of another category. That appears to be a large number, but there are very many of them-which are just amendments of other orders and with respect to which there will have to be a recommendation by the government to parliament at the next session to enact legislation. They are the orders relating to the labour code; the wartime prices and trade board; rent control; the control exercised over cereals or other food products with respect to which the government of Canada has entered into contracts with other governments. They exist by virtue of the powers resulting either from the War Measures Act or from the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act, but they will be required beyond the period when the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act will normally expire; and it is with respect to those that, the Prime Minister made the statement, which I understood at the time met with the pretty general approval of the house, that the government would ask to have the term of fifteen days after the opening of the next session extended to sixty days so that they could be dealt with by parliament at the opening of the next session instead of having to be dealt with at this session. If I have the permission of the house I will table, without asking to have it included in Hansard, two copies of these lists, so that any hon. member who may wish to consult them will have an opportunity of doing so. Without going into the merits of emergency powers or anything of a controversial nature, I will submit without further argument that it would be in the interests of dispatch to have the amendment provided for by this bill, extending from fifteen to sixty days the duration of emergency powers after parliament meets at its next session, passed at this time so that it will not be necessary to have additional legislation to deal with these matters at this session. There is this other consideration. At this time, if we were not to have this extension, we would have to provide for all possible contingencies and would have to ask parliament. to adopt more legislation than is apt to be required at the time parliament meets again I wish to remind hon. members that the Prime Minister stated positively that it was the intention of the government at that time, and it still is, to have parliament meet towards the end of January, 1947, for the next session. We are conscious of the fact that hon. members made that quasi-undertaking a condition of the position they took when the Prime Minister announced in July that there would be this request to extend the duration of emergency powers until sixty days after the next session opens. I would therefore hope that at this time it will be the pleasure of the house to adopt this amendment and leave us under the existing impression that we have to do our best to get rid of this wartime legislation just as quickly as it is compatible with orderly reconversion to do so.


PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

I rise on this occasion not to comment on the administration of the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act., but rather to state our position with respect to the bill now before us. As hon. members know, a year ago when this measure was brought in here we objected to it very strongly. We are still as much opposed to it as we were then; and if this measure were a measure to extend the duration of this act we would oppose it as strongly now as we did then. As the minister has indicated, if the house should meet in the middle of March next year this measure under the existing statute would terminate at the end of March. Under the new bill it would terminate at the end of March if the house met in January. The measure gives the governor in council power to do by order in council what ordinarily would be done by this parliament. That is the reason we objected to it. There was some intimation when the question was raised in June or July of this year that if there was an undertaking that the house would meet in January rather than in March there would not be strong objection taken to the measure. The reason for that was this. If we meet in January and the act continues in force until sixty days after the house meets, the act will be no longer in force than if the house met in the middle of March with the act continued in force for fifteen days as now provided Under these circumstances we did not object and are not now objecting to the bill.

But when we reach committee stage I am going to offer an amendment, which I think the government can accept, because it does not alter the spirit of the amendment moved by the minister. I see no reason why a measure of this kind should be tied to a movable date. Why should we say that this

Emergency Powers

measure remain in existence for fifteen days after the house meets when we do not know when the house will meet? The amendment I shall propose at that time will be this:

To add after the word "forty-seven" in line 14 the following words:

"or on the thirty-first day of March, one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven, whichever date is the earlier."

The clause would then read as follows:

(1) Subject as hereinafter provided, this act shall expire on the thirty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred and forty-six, if parliament meets during November or December, one thousand nine hundred and forty-six, but if parliament does not so meet it shall expire on the sixtieth day after parliament first meets during the year one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven, or on the thirty-first day of March, one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven, whichever date is the earlier.

That amendment does not alter the stated intention of the government, but it does fix a definite date of termination of this measure if the house should not meet in January.

In passing let me say I sincerely trust that, on other grounds as well as on this, the government will plan to see that the house meets next year not later than January.

Topic:   EMERGENCY POWERS
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF ACT UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 1946, OR SIXTIETH DAY AFTER OPENING OF 1947 SESSION
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August 26, 1946