April 14, 1947

PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

Very well.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR REGULATIONS, PROCEDURE, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

The banking and commerce committee should be commended for the work it has done on this bill, and I think that at least the members of that committee will agree with my statement.

In connection with the matter to which the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario has made reference, I think this committee should be aware of the fact that when this bill was introduced it did not provide for reports being tabled in the house. That serious defect was cured by an amendment introduced in the committee. A further amendment was introduced dealing with the timing of the effect of regulations in relation to their tabling, and publication in the Canada Gazette. There was also a substantial improvement made by the committee to the bill. But there still remains the question of the effective date of expiry of this bill. Section 14 of the original bill provides:

This act shall come into force upon the expiration of the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act, 1945, and shall expire sixty days

from the commencement of the first session of parliament commencing in the year one thousand nine hundred and forty-eight.

That would suffice if we could be positive that parliament would be called' together before the end of January, 1948. The footing upon which this bill was introduced, the footing upon which it was discussed on second reading and sent to the committee was that the bill would not have a life beyond March 31, 1948, under any circumstances unless specifically extended by the house. If parliament should not be called together until late in 1948 the effect of that section as it now stands might be to- extend the effective life of this bill beyond March 31, 1948. Suppose parliament were not called together until the middle of March next, as was the case in 1946; it would mean that the effect of this bill might go on until nearly the end of May. It seems to me that that was not intended. The course which ought to be followed now, the course which I urged unsuccessfully in the committee, is that we should have in this section a provision analogous to that which was inserted in the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act in 1916, when the life of that measure was extended either to March 31, 1947 or to a. date sixty days after the opening of the session of parliament in 1947, whichever was the earlier date. If that were done now we would be assured that this bill would not have a life beyond the date proposed originally by the government, namely, March 31, 1948.

That is a simple safeguard which I urge, and I would hope the government would readily agree to it. That is the footing upon which they brought the bill before us; the limitation on the life of the bill was emphasized by the government on the introduction of the bill. I think the suggestion now made to curb the life of the measure unless extended by addresses of both houses is a proper suggestion. Bill No. 104 is a kindred bill in the sense that it is designed to extend emergency legislation for a limited period. It will be seen that the expediency followed there by the government in introducing the bill is contained in section 7, which reads:

Subject as hereinafter provided, this act shall expire on the thirty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven, if parliament meets during November or December, one thousand nine hundred and forty-seven, 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-eight or on the thirty-first day of March, one thousand nine hundred and forty-eight, whichever date is the earlier: provided that, if at any time while this act is in force, addresses are presented to the Governor General by the Senate and House of Commons respectively,

Export and Import Permits

praying that this act should be continued in force for a further period, not in any case exceeding one year, from the time at which it would otherwise expire and the governor in council so orders, this act shall contnue in force for that further period.

When the government in its own omnibus measure, Bill No. 104, proposes a limitation on the life of the measure in these terms, surely there should not be any hesitation on the part of the government in accepting the suggestion now offered that the life of this bill should be confined to a date either sixty days after the opening of the 1948 session of the house or March 31, 1948, whichever is the earlier. That is a fair proposal and is in line with what the government has already said, and it is certainly in keeping with the section from Bill No. 104 which I have just read. The amendment now proposed does not even go as far as Bill No. 104 in limiting the life of the measure.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR REGULATIONS, PROCEDURE, ETC.
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Mr. Chairman, the hon. member for Eglinton refers to the provisions of. Bill No. 104. There is one difference between the provisions of this bill and Bill No. 104. While Bill No. 104 does expire on the sixtieth day after the opening of parliament or on March 31, 1948, whichever is the earlier date, it may be extended by addresses, one by the House of Commons and one by the Senate. That is a much more expeditious procedure than extension by act of parliament. If extension is to be by act of parliament I think the government ought to have sixty days after the session begins. They should not be so crowded by the insertion of the March 31 date that they would virtually be obliged to open the session in January, though presumably that would be the government's intention. It may very well be that certain export and perhaps import controls would have to be extended beyond the expiration of this bill, in which event another bill would have to be introduced.

Perhaps I should say to the committee that it was our first plan with regard to this bill to make the period longer than a year, because we anticipate that the contracts with Great Britain will run for longer than a year. They will not expire on March 31, 1948, or within sixty days after the opening of the next session. I assume that the government will get power in some way or other to carry out these contracts. They have power to discharge their obligations for one year under the Agricultural Products Act. I assume that parliament will in some way or another enable the government to carry out the contracts they have made with Great Britain. I should think it would be highly probable that some

CMr. Fleming.]

export controls and perhaps some import controls might be required beyond the period of this bill.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR REGULATIONS, PROCEDURE, ETC.
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

When the minister says contracts with Great Britain, is he referring in a general way to all contracts or to certain special contracts?

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR REGULATIONS, PROCEDURE, ETC.
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I am referring to the ones referred to time after time in this house, such as bacon, beef and cheese and that type of contract. I would anticipate that some export and perhaps import controls would be required beyond the period covered by this bill, but we purposely made the bill for just one year so that we would be obliged to come back to parliament to present the situation as it then existed at the opening of the next session. We thought that was a reasonable thing to do when we would in all probability be requiring an act of parliament, not merely an extension of the present act by addresses of both houses, such as might be possible with regard to some of these other acts. With regard to this act, if there is any extension, it will in all probability be by a new act, and it may be a very much restricted measure, with a very much limited list and so on. If we are to have an act of parliament it is reasonable, I think, to ask for sixty days after the opening of the session.

I rose merely to point out that there is a difference between this bill and the act dealing with the continuation of transitional measures, in that if that act is continued it will be by addresses of both houses, a procedure which requires a very much shorter time. Therefore the effect of putting in March 31, 1948, as a date is much less confining, much less serious so far as the house is concerned in that case than it would be in this measure.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR REGULATIONS, PROCEDURE, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

May I remind the Minister of Justice that when the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act was extended in the 1946 session that was the form of the amendment accepted. The government had originally proposed that the life of that measure should be extended to a date sixty days after the opening of the 1947 session. An amendment was introduced in the house to confine the life of the measure to the earlier of two dates, that date or March 31, 1947, and the amendment was accepted. If that amendment was acceptable I fail to understand why the same amendment to this bill should not be equally acceptable. It will not make any difference in the life of the measure, but it is a safeguard to the house, in being asked to give these extraordinary powers to the government, that they will not be extended indefinitely but will expire on a fixed date.

Emergency Powers

The minister may say he expects the house to meet in early January, in 1948. He may quite sincerely expect that now. But there is no commitment on that. Even at the time when the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act was under discussion the Prime Minister, while he indicated it was the intention of the government to summon parliament to meet in January, would not give a binding commitment to that effect to the house. The government nevertheless accepted an amendment to the same effect as that now proposed by the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario. Surely it would be reasonable to accept it.

The minister says that if an extension is to be made by act of parliament the government should have more time. But surely we are not going to have a great volume of emergency measures of this kind facing parliament at the opening of the 1948 session. The whole tenor of the remarks made by the government on that theme is that they are aiming at doing away with many of these measures before that time comes. Surely there will be no difficulty in taking whatever measures are necessary on the part of the government to extend the life of this bill, if parliament thinks it necessary to extend it, if the bill runs until March 31,

1948. It seems so perfectly reasonable.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR REGULATIONS, PROCEDURE, ETC.
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

It seems reasonable also to say that sixty days is not required to get legislation through this house, but it must always be borne in mind that many members feel that other legislation has priority and is more important. It is to be remembered also that there is a speech from the throne, and just at this very time there are members who have differing views as to what legislation should be brought forward first. I repeat what I said before, that I think the government ought to have sixty days at the opening of the session within which to get legislation through. The situation might be different if it were a matter of addresses, because legislation has to go through three stages in this house and three in the other, and addresses may be passed in an hour in this house and in an hour in the other, as was the case this year.

I do not see what my hon. friend is so alarmed about. We have always called parliament together early in the year and I expect, and I think that hon. members who were on that committee expect, that probably some export and import controls will be required beyond this period. Certainly some of the contracts with Great Britain run beyond that period. Perhaps some will be required beyond the period, and there will have to be some legislation, and it ought to be legislation. It

should not be addresses, because the bill will in all probability be a very different kind of bill, and it seems to me that sixty days is a reasonable time.

What is feared here is that we are going to carry on export and import controls a few weeks longer than we otherwise would, and that we must be cut back rigidly for fear that something terrible will happen. That is not the way we operate at all. It is not the way we have operated in the past or plan to operate in the future. All we ask for is a reasonable time after parliament meets to get legislation through if we need it, and we think we need it.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR REGULATIONS, PROCEDURE, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

The government has control over the date on which parliament is called together, and therefore the government controls the life of the measure,

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR REGULATIONS, PROCEDURE, ETC.
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

It is far-fetched to think that our worry about this measure will control the period at which we call parliament together.

Amendment (Mr. Macdonnell, Muskoka-Ontario) negatived on division.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR REGULATIONS, PROCEDURE, ETC.
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Section agreed to. Bill reported, read the third time and passed. EMERGENCY POWERS continuation op certain orders and


REGULATIONS


The house resumed, from Wednesday, April 2, consideration of the motion of Mr. Ilsley for the second reading of Bill No. 104, to provide for the continuation of certain orders and regulations of the governor in council for a limited period during the national emergency arising out of the war, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Fleming.


LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Before the question is put,

Mr. Speaker, I should like to raise a point of order on the amendment. The amendment was moved the day before the house adjourned, and it is found in Hansard of April 1, at page 1937. It reads:

That all the words after "that" be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

"While recognizing that the said bill deals with some matters such as old age pensions and veterans in the civil service which do not depend for constitutional validity on the existence ot an emergency and some other matters which can only be dealt with by this parliament on the basis of an existing or apprehended emergency; and while willing to support properly dratted legislation dealing with such matters;

This house is unalterably opposed to the enactment of a measure to continue indiscriminately the sweeping powers of the presently existing boards outside the control of parliament."

Emergency Powers

I find in the third edition of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Buies and Forms, page 229, citation 659, the following:

An amendment purporting to approve the principle of a bill and at the same time enunciating a declaration of policy cannot be moved to the second reading. It must oppose the principle of the bill. When the natural products marketing bill was up for second reading, on the 24th April, 1934, a member moved in amendment, that "this house, while prepared to support legislation for assisting the orderly market's of natural products, is unalterably opposed i. - i.6 1enactment of any compulsory measures which delegates to unnamed and undetermined individuals, groups or organizations, sweeping powers over the production and trade and commerce of the nation, etc." The Speaker ruled tnis amendment out of order because it did not challenge the principle of the bill and it anticipated the committee stage. On an appeal, the house sustained this decision by a vote of 103 to u2.

This amendment recognizes, or undertakes to place the house on record as recognizing the necessity of many of the provisions of the bill. It states that the house is unalterably opposed to the enactment of a measure to continue indiscriminately the sweeping powers of the presently existing boards outside the control of parliament. That is, there are some provisions of some of the orders in council to which the amendment takes exception. That, I submit, is a matter for amendment in the committee stage, and the amendment does not enunciate a principle contrary to or at variance with the principle of the bill at all. If anything, it approves the principle of the bill, but simply states that the house is opposed to the enactment of a measure to continue indiscriminately the sweeping powers of the existing boards outside the control of parliament.

If the amendment does not mean what I construe it to mean, if it means that the bill is bad, then it may be merely an expanded negative and bad on that ground. But I think that the first ground I state is the proper ground. I do not think there is any precedent for an amendment such as this. If the debate is to continue tonight I do not care whether the point is decided tonight, but I do not think I should allow the matter to be proceeded with without raising a point of order and having Your Honour's ruling upon it.

Topic:   REGULATIONS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

It is interesting to hear the Minister of Justice raise a point of order on this bill two weeks after the amendment was introduced, and certainly on the third day that the house has been in session after the amendment was introduced. After two and a half sessions in this house, I do not profess at all to be an authority on the rules of the house, but I contend that it is a fundamental

rule that, if a measure or an amendment is objectionable on the ground of procedure, objection to it must be taken promptly.

Topic:   REGULATIONS
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LIB
PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

That principle has been enunciated frequently in this house.

Mr. ILSLE"i : The rule is that it must be taken before the question is put.

Topic:   REGULATIONS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

And I am making the point that this objection has not been taken promptly and that it should have been.

Topic:   REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

It was not taken promptly, but it was taken before the question is put, and that is the rule.

Topic:   REGULATIONS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. FLEMING:

I am making the point that the objection should have been taken promptly and that has not been done. That is my first point.

The next point is this. It is interesting to hear the Minister of Justice take objection on the ground that his leader must have been wrong in 1934. If the minister says that the amendment I have introduced is out of order, then he must say that the point on the amendment taken by his leader in 1934, if it is a proper precedent, is not well taken.

Topic:   REGULATIONS
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

It was decided that it was out of order.

Topic:   REGULATIONS
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April 14, 1947