December 10, 1947

PRIVILEGE

MR. BRACKEN-REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON DECEMBER 9

PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

I wish to rise to a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker. It arises out of an interjection made last night by the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply (Mr. Howe) when I was speaking in the debate. The minister questioned the accuracy of some of the figures I had quoted. If hon. members will refer to page 110 of Hansard they will find these remarks reported:

Mr. Howe: What are you talking about?

What about the years 1943, 1944 and 1945?

Mr. Bracken: If the minister wishes to base

an argument upon what happened during the war years when the United States was buying war equipment, he can do so.

Mr. Howe: I am speaking to a matter of

privilege. I do not wish to base an argument; but I wish my hon. friend to tell the truth about it.

Then at another place on page 105:

Mr. Howe: My hon. friend has overlooked

the minus signs. We had a strong balance of trade with the United States in 1943, 1944 and 1945.

I just wish to say, Mr. Speaker, that; the figures I was using were taken from a document published by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics of the Department of Trade and Commerce. We took the records of the exports and imports, separated them, and showed the balance. Since the question has been raised as to the accuracy of the figures I used, and the minister having raised this point about the years 1943, 1944 and 1945, I think the matter should be set straight. The imports from the United States for those three years according to this publication were:

Millions

1943 $1,423,672,486

1944 1,447,225.915

1945 1,202,417,634

The exports to the United States in those years were as follows:

Millions

1943 $1,149,232,444

1944 1,301,322,402

1945 1,196,976,726

The difference between the exports and the imports, the unfavourable balance of trade, in each case was as follows:

1943 $274,404,042

1944 145,903,513

1945 5,440,908

I raise this question of privilege only because the accuracy of the figures I was quoting was questioned by the minister, and I wanted to explain that the figures were taken from a government document.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. BRACKEN-REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON DECEMBER 9
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

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

I do not wish to take part in any debate, but I was going on the balance of payment figures, which include shipmenlts of gold. I think my hon. friend will find that his figures do not include gold.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. BRACKEN-REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON DECEMBER 9
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

That is correct, Mr. Speaker; the gold figures are not published in connection with trade at all. If the hon. gentleman wishes to have the balance of payments I have them here also.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. BRACKEN-REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON DECEMBER 9
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. As hon. members know, at this point in our procedure they have the opportunity to correct anything which has been wrongly stated or incorrectly quoted, but it is not possible for Mr. Speaker to permit a debate. Already I have been very generous to the leader of the opposition, and have permitted the Minister of Reconstruction to reply. I do not think I should permit further debate.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. BRACKEN-REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON DECEMBER 9
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

If I may have your attention for a moment, Mr. Speaker, you agreed to let me say something to correct an error made yesterday by the minister. I am rising now on a question of privilege to correct an error the minister made just a moment ago. He said he was referring to the balance of payments with the United States. That is not wrhat I was discussing when he interrupted me last evening, it was the unfavourable balance of trade, but the minister has now raised the question. The balance of payment figures were as follows, and in each case they also were unfavourable to Canada:

1943 $161,000,000-loss

1944 79.000.000-loss

1945 68,000,000'-loss

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. BRACKEN-REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON DECEMBER 9
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

So what?

Privilege-Mr. Graydon

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. BRACKEN-REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON DECEMBER 9
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MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8

PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Peel):

I rise to a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker, arising out of the matter I raised in the house yesterday at the opening of the sitting. It had to do with a rather grave decision which was made in connection with a matter which went to the root of our whole procedure on Monday, which as you know was bitterly contested in the house. At page 72 of Hansard for yesterday I made the suggestion, which will be found at the bottom of the first column on that page, that the original transcript of Hansard might be the arbiter between Your Honour and myself with respect to what had taken place on that occasion, because evidently there was some dispute about it. I want to raise the question of privilege now on this basis. No doubt Your Honour has seen that original transcript. I have seen it, and I want to say to the house and to you, sir- and I do so with a full knowledge and recognition of my responsibilities in this connection- that having seen that transcript I think you will agree with me that the original transcript and Hansard itself show a marked dissimilarity.

Topic:   MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I wonder if in the past I have not been derelict in my duty concerning the hon. member for Peel. He knows perfectly well the rule which states that the conduct of Mr. Speaker should not be questioned in the house.

Topic:   MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

That rule is very well known. Yesterday and the day before I was very generous to the hon. member, perhaps more generous than I should have been, but I do not think I should enter into any argument with the hon. gentleman before this house. I would ask him to be kind enough to consider the matter closed.

Topic:   MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

If I may continue for a moment, Mr. Speaker, I only want to ask Your Honour this. I do not desire to enter into a dispute or argument. In view of the position you have taken, and in view of the fact that apparently a surgical operation has been performed upon the original transcript of Hansard-

Topic:   MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

-I would ask that the matter be referred to the standing committee on privileges and elections, or to the debates committee.

FMr. Abbott.!

Topic:   MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would ask the hon. member for Peel, for the second and last time, to consider the incident closed.

Topic:   MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

Then I shall have to pursue it in another way and ask that the matter go to the appropriate committee for

investigation.

Topic:   MR. GRAYDON-REFERENCE TO PROCEEDINGS OF DECEMBER 8
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WAR VETERANS

PENSIONS AND ALLOWANCES-MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31

December 10, 1947