Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. On page 1355 of Hansard of yesterday the following words are credited to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. MacKinnon):
I do know that certain estimable and amiable gentlemen from the city of Winnipeg came to Ottawa-some of them I think are still here and are likely in this building tonight-with the objective of ruining this legislation, of killing this legislation one way or another. There is no doubt in the world that their first objective was to try to injure it and kill it if possible in the agriculture committee of this house. That opportunity was lost when the members on this side of the house, the members of the C.C.F. party and the members of the Social Credit party announced that they were opposed to this legislation, under all the circumstances, going to the committee on agriculture and colonization.
The minister continued:
Now it is my opinion-and possibly I might be blamed for imputing motives - that this attempt-
The amendment I moved.
-that this attempt to send this legislation back to the committee of the whole is merely another attempt, coming from the same quarter,-
The "estimable and amiable gentlemen" to whom he referred.
-to embarrass the government with this legislation.
At that point, Mr. Speaker, I rose and spoke as follows:
Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. The hon. gentleman is suggesting improper motives.
A moment or two later the Minister of Trade and Commerce spoke as follows:
Mr. Speaker, I very carefully stated that I was not imputing any motives to anybody.
I suggest, sir, that the words just quoted from yesterday's Hansard do impute motives, and do impute them to me. In any event the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris) raised a point of order, and Your Honour made a ruling. When I refer to that ruling I do so with all respect, Mr. Speaker. I have confidence that the rulings you make are your best judgment in the light of matters as you see them. This is what you said:
I listened very carefully to the minister when he was speaking and I listened to the hon. member who rose on a point of order. I do not believe that the minister imputed to the leader of the official opposition any improper motives. I understood that the motives were attributed to outsiders, not members of the house. Therefore, since he did not impute motives to any member of parliament, I do not think I could ask him to withdraw.
I submit, Mr. Speaker, that if you had had before you the words of the minister as they appear in Hansard today you would have given a different ruling.
In any event I need no defence in the province of Manitoba against insinuations such as those carried in the words used by the minister. .
Subtopic: MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13