July 4, 1947

PRIVILEGE

MR. TOWNLEY-SMITH-NEWSPAPER COMMENT RESPECTING WHEAT PRICE


Mr. F. W. TOWNLEY-SMITH (North Battleford): Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. My attention has been called to an editorial appearing in the Winnipeg Free Press of June 26, which reads in part as follows: . Speaking on June 21 at Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Mr. F. W. Townley-Smith, C.C.F. member for North Battleford, criticized the United Kingdom-Canada wheat agreement at $1.55 and the guaranteed minimum price for all wheat of $1.35 per bushel. Mr. Townley-Smith was not opposed in principle but he argued that the price as fixed in the agreement and the five-year compulsory pool were too low.


LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I would suggest that the hon. member quote only the relevant part, and then state his question of privilege.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. TOWNLEY-SMITH-NEWSPAPER COMMENT RESPECTING WHEAT PRICE
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

He did not get time to do it.

Mr. TOWNLEY-SMITH: I wish to state that I discussed the agreement but did not criticize it, and also that the last sentence, namely, that "Mr. Townley-Smith was not opposed in principle but he argued that the price as fixed in the agreement and the five-year compulsory pool were too low" is a misstatement because it is incomplete. What I really said was that if the prices of other things that farmers had to buy were to be allowed to skyrocket, then the price of wheat and wages should be allowed to go up with them. With this correction, the remainder of the Press Press editorial is quite pointless.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. TOWNLEY-SMITH-NEWSPAPER COMMENT RESPECTING WHEAT PRICE
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

As usual.

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MR. POULIOT-EDITORIAL IN MONTREAL "DAILY . STAR"-UNITED NATIONS

IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. JEAN FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege based upon the fundamental free-

dom of speech. As a member of parliament today I went before the human rights committee and drew the attention of hon. members to the following extract from an editorial published in the Montreal Daily Star of Wed1-nesday, June 25. It states:

Were the characters involved in this episode other than they were, this debate would assume national importance.

The debate was about the united nations organization, and the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church) and I expressed honest views in the debate. Here is the commentary of the Montreal Daily Star:

It would be rightly interpreted as a resurgence of old-style isolationism-the kind of doctrine which above all else brought on what Mr. Churchill has called "the unnecessary War." It will be so interpreted in Moscow and elsewhere: for the students of public opinion in those parts can hardly be expected to know very much about the irresponsibility of Mr. Church, Mr. Pouliot and their strange allies from Alberta.

This morning I went before the committee for protection of freedom of speech. Perhaps there was a little exaggeration in my calling the owner and chief editor of the Montreal Daily Star a bum, but there was much less exaggeration in my language than in their description of the hon. member for Broadview and myself as irresponsible.

My contention is this, that the human, rights committee serves no more purpose than an umbrella made of only wire. Everything is gone out of it. I asked them for protection and I did not get it. I was referred to the house. I protest most strongly against the uselessness of that committee.

Topic:   MR. POULIOT-EDITORIAL IN MONTREAL "DAILY . STAR"-UNITED NATIONS
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PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

I have not seen the reference in the Montreal Star but I want to tell the hon. member for Temis-couata that I do not pay any attention to what that newspaper says. I found out years ago that there is no use trying to answer a newspaper; they always have the last word. As far as I am concerned I do not care what they say. My position can be explained in the house. I contend that there has been a flat failure of the UNO and I gave my reasons for it. This paper or its columnists never report what is said here in the house. President Roosevelt when 'attacked called some of them calumnyists.

Topic:   MR. POULIOT-EDITORIAL IN MONTREAL "DAILY . STAR"-UNITED NATIONS
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PAUL TRIQUET, V.C. WINNERS OF VICTORIA CROSS FROM CONSTITUENCY OF RIMOUSKI

LIB

Gleason Belzile

Liberal

Mr. GLEASON BELZILE (Rimouski):

The Evening Citizen of July 3 states: '

Canada's first French-speaking winner of the empire's most coveted award, the Victoria Cross,

Business oj the House

Lt.-Col. Paul Triquet, of Cabano, Que., has retired from the Canadian army after twenty-one years' service.

We are all very proud of Colonel Triquet, but I should like to have it on the record that we are also very proud of two other Victoria Cross winners who came from the constituency of Rimouski. They were Captain Jean Brillant and Corporal Joseph Kaeble, who won the Victoria Cross in 1918 and 1917.

Topic:   PAUL TRIQUET, V.C. WINNERS OF VICTORIA CROSS FROM CONSTITUENCY OF RIMOUSKI
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

MORNING AND SATURDAY SITTINGS

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Hon. members may have noticed that I have had placed on the Votes and Proceedings of yesiterday the notice of a motion for the house to sit in the mornings next week at eleven o'clock from Wednesday until the end of the week and on Saturdays thereafter. If I can be given unanimous consent, I would move the motion this afternoon so that hon. members will know at once just what to expect. Otherwise I will leave the motion over and move i't on Monday. May I ask the house if I have unanimous consent?

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Subtopic:   MORNING AND SATURDAY SITTINGS
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Peel):

I take it that the Prime Minister is obliged to get unanimous consent before he can move this motion today, and I take it that is his object in ,v'aking the request he has made. Perhaps the house ought to be brought up to date in connection with the ramifications of the whole matter of shortening the time of the session. At the opening of the house yesterday we heard that there were to be some negotiations with respect to Saturday sittings, and I was wondering whether that had been decided upon. I ask that because it w-ould have a direct bearing upon any move made with respect to morning sittings next week.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

With regard to the previous discussions, there was an understanding that we would not meet tomorrow without considering the matter in advance to see if we could reach an agreement. There was no understanding with regard to future sittings. We have reached the point now where, in the light of the circumstances as we know them in connection with bringing the business of the house to a close, the government must itself take the initiative and responsibility. It is for that reason that I have had this motion inserted in Votes and Proceedings to cover the sittings of the house for the remainder of the session.

Hon. members perhaps may not realize that we have been sitting here since the month of January and we are now into July. .Neaf the

close of every session of parliament measures have to be taken to expedite the business. I would point out that not only is the convenience of hon. members of the house to be considered but, as they will have noticed, there is the position of members of the public service including the officials of this house. For six years past the civil servants at Ottawa have not had the opportunity of enjoying summer shorter hours. As long as this house continues to sit, members of the public service in Ottawa have to be on hand. They do not get a chance to enjoy the earlier hours of closing during the summer months they otherwise would have.

I am sure hon. members will be prepared to consider that aspect. There are the employees in the printing bureau, those connected with Hansard and others whom I might name, on whom there is great pressure at this time. I submit that that is something of which account might well be taken, particularly by those who are interested in seeing that as much consideration as possible is shown in as many directions as possible.

So far as the business of the house is concerned, if I thought that there was the slightest reason why we should not expedite matters at this stage, I would be the first not to permit any attempt at hastening the conclusion of the session. However, we know that all important measures have been brought forward. I have asked time and again that if there was an}' particular measure that hon. members wished to have brought forwardi, or if there were any items of the estimates hon. members wished to have brought forward, the government wTould have them brought forward at once. I have had no further requests, and I think that with the items that there are on the order paper, if we have, as I hope we shall have, the cooperation of hon. members generally, we should be able to bring the proceedings of this house to a close next week, and that before the end of the week.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MORNING AND SATURDAY SITTINGS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, this group has no objection to giving unanimous consent to having the motion put today in the terms in which it appears' in Votes and Proceedings, but there are one or two questions I should like to ask. Is it the intention of the government to go through with the labour bill? If it is, I doubt very much if that bill can be got out of committee in time to go through the house. Is it the intention of the government to go through with the bill to amend the Dominion Elections Act which appears in Votes and Proceedings? I would like to know how much we are supposed to get through next week. ' 1

Business of the House

I would remind the house that if we sit from eleven o'clock to one, from two o'clock to six and from seven o'clock to eleven we shall be sitting two hours longer each day than we ever did before, at least in my time in the house. That puts a burden on the staff, the printing bureau and others. If the Prime Minister could give us some information on the matters I have raised, we shall have some idea of what we have to do before we leave here a week from tomorrow.

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Subtopic:   MORNING AND SATURDAY SITTINGS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The government naturally has been concerned with the matters my hon. friend has raised. So far as the Dominion Elections Act is concerned, as the hon. member has mentioned, a number of amendments have been proposed. I do not think, after this session, that there will be a general election before there is another session of the house. For that reason the government has thought it would be preferable that hon. members should have an opportunity of studying these proposed changes to the elections act between this session and the next. Therefore we will not proceed with this measure at this time.

With regard to the labour bill, there are a great many who feel that we ought to get that measure through at once, but there are a very large number who are of the view that perhaps it would be the part of wisdom, in the light of what we know has happened in connection with legislation in some other parts of the world, particularly legislation affecting industrial questions, that it would place hon. members in a better position to deal with that most important question, if we allowed this measure to stand over until another session. Hon. members would then have an opportunity of carefully studying the statements made to and the evidence which has been given before the committee.

Those are the two measures my hon. friend has mentioned. I cannot say offhand whether there will be any others which will not be proceeded with, but I do know the government will seek to accommodate hon. members of the house as long as we are not hindering in any way the essential business of the country.

Mr. GR.AYDON: May I ask the Prime Minister if his remarks about the elections act would apply also to the redistribution bill?

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Subtopic:   MORNING AND SATURDAY SITTINGS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It is important,

I think, that the redistribution measure should be proceeded with at this session.

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PC

Grote Stirling

Progressive Conservative

Hon. GROTE STIRLING (Yale):

Mr. Speaker, I would not wish to say a word to

[Mr MacInnfe.J

impede greater progress in the house, but I am rather in a difficulty with regard to Wednesday next. Some of those associated with me have been endeavouring to arrange a public memorial service for the late Right Hon. Viscount Bennett, and overcoming a considerable number of difficulties we chose noon on Wednesday for that service at Chalmers church. My card has only just reached me, and it is possible that the Prime Minister's card has not yet reached him. But if he would give consideration to putting off the morning sittings from Wednesday to Thursday of next week it would be considered a very courteous thing.

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Subtopic:   MORNING AND SATURDAY SITTINGS
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July 4, 1947