March 14, 1947

PRIVILEGE

MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13

PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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. .

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

For twenty-five years friends of these so-called "estimable and amiable gentlemen" have done they very best to defeat me in provincial and dominion elections.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

Sir, I do not propose to sit still in this house and allow these words of the minister to remain on record without protest. I respectfully suggest that if you had had those words before you last night you would have made a different ruling. But I understand the rules of the house are such that when a statement of this kind is not required to be withdrawn at the time it is made it cannot be ordered- to be done later. Under these circumstances my only recourse is to present to the minister the actual words he used and then to ask him, as the honourable gentleman we have known him to be, to withdraw them.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

The words I used are on Hansard.

Privilege-Mr. Bracken

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

The words are:

Now it is my opinion-and possibly I might be blamed for imputing motives-that this attempt-

That is the amendment I moved.

-to send this legislation back to the committee of the whole is merely another attempt, coming from the same quarter

That is, the estimable gentlemen the minister referred to.

-to embarrass the government with this legislation.

Mr. CHEVR1ER: What is the matter with that?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

Mr. Speaker, I present those actual words to the minister and ask him to withdraw them. If he is the honourable gentleman we all know him to be, he will withdraw them now.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

On the question of privilege, may I suggest very briefly this to Your Honour. It is not the interpretation which may have been placed by the leader of the opposition upon the words uttered by the Minister of Trade and Commerce that is of significance in this issue. I refer Your Honour now to the actual words uttered by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, as recorded in Hansard, on two different occasions. He could not possibly have made it more explicit that he was not imputing any motives. At page 1355:

Mr. MacKinnon: Mr. Speaker, I am a bit

surprised at the interruptions coming from the portion of the house occupied by the official opposition. I made no charges or no representations against any one of them. They do seem to be taking to themselves-

And again on the same page:

Mr. MacKinnon: Mr. Speaker, I should just

like to set at rest the mind of the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris). I certainly made no imputation against the leader of the official opposition. . . Neither did I make any imputation against any member of this house.

That was made very clear.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

His words do not bear that out.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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LIB

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

Liberal

Air. MACKENZIE:

Mr. Speaker, I make the point with you as a point of order, apart altogether from the question of privilege, that you are governed by the words actually uttered by the speaker at the time and not by any interpretation of those words made by the leader of the opposition.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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PC

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HOMUTH:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I would ask the hon. member to allow the minister to finish.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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PC

James Arthur Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (Souris):

No. That is entirely out of order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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PC

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HOMUTH:

I am rising to a point of order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Sit down.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I would ask the hon. member to resume his seat and wait until the minister has finished his explanation.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

With great respect, Mr. Speaker, I was speaking to a point of order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MB. BRACKEN-REQUEST FOR WITHDRAWAL OF REMARKS MADE IN DEBATE ON MARCH 13
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March 14, 1947