February 14, 1949

REPORTS AND PAPERS


Convention of the world meteorological organization, Washington, October 11, 1947.- Mr. Pearson. Interim report of the organization for European economic co-operation.-Mr. Pearson. Interim report of the Fraser river diking board for the period since its inception on July 22, 1948, to January 31, 1949.-Mr. Howe.


CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT

AMENDMENT RESPECTING PAYMENTS TO PRODUCERS IN CHURCHILL AREA

CCF

Percy Ellis Wright

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

Mr. P. E. Wright (Melfort) moved

for leave to introduce Bill No. 17, to amend the Canadian Wheat Board Act, 1935.

He said: The only change made by this bill is to insert the words "or Churchill" in the appropriate place in two sections of the act, as underlined in the bill. The effect of this change will be to permit producers in the area accessible to the port of Churchill to get the advantage of the cheaper freight rate to Churchill, wherever such cheaper rates apply.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING PAYMENTS TO PRODUCERS IN CHURCHILL AREA
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GAME EXPORT ACT

AMENDMENT AS TO ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. MacKinnon (Minister of Mines and Resources) moved

the first reading of Bill No. 14 (from the Senate) to amend the Game Export Act.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   GAME EXPORT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT AS TO ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Sub-subtopic:   OATH OF OFFICE TAKEN BY GAME OFFICERS
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CULLERS ACT

REPEAL OF CHAPTER 39 OF REVISED STATUTES

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce) moved

the first reading of Bill No. 15 (from the Senate) to repeal the Cullers Act.

Topic:   CULLERS ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHAPTER 39 OF REVISED STATUTES
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. Cruickshank:

Explain.

Topic:   CULLERS ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHAPTER 39 OF REVISED STATUTES
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

One does not explain a Senate bill.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   CULLERS ACT
Subtopic:   REPEAL OF CHAPTER 39 OF REVISED STATUTES
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AMENDMENT OF CHEESE AND CHEESE FACTORY

IMPROVEMENT ACT, AS TO PREMIUMS, ETC.

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Right Hon. J. G. Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture) moved

the first reading of Bill No. 16 (from the Senate) to amend the Cheese and Cheese Factory Improvement Act.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   AMENDMENT OF CHEESE AND CHEESE FACTORY
Subtopic:   IMPROVEMENT ACT, AS TO PREMIUMS, ETC.
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NEWFOUNDLAND

TERMS OF UNION WITH CANADA

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. Si. Laurent (Prime Minister) moved:

That, whereas by a memorandum of agreement entered into on the eleventh day of December, 1948. between Canada and Newfoundland, the terms of union of Newfoundland with Canada were agreed to. subject to approval by the parliament of Canada and the government of Newfoundland:

And whereas the terms of union provide that they shall come into force immediately before the expiration of the thirty-first day of March, 1949, if His Majesty has theretofore given his assent to an act of the parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland confirming the same;

And whereas the terms of union have been approved by the parliament of Canada;

A humble address be presented to His Majesty the King in the following words:-

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty:

Most Gracious Sovereign:

We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the House of Commons of Canada in parliament assembled, humbly approach Your Majesty, praying that you may graciously be pleased to cause to be laid before the parliament of the United. Kingdom a measure containing the recitals and clauses hereinafter set forth to confirm and give effect to the terms of union agreed between Canada and Newfoundland;

An act to confirm and give effect to the terms of union agreed between Canada and Newfoundland.

Whereas by means of a referendum the people of Newfoundland have by a majority signified their wish to enter into confederation with Canada;

And whereas the agreement containing terms of union between Canada and Newfoundland set out in the schedule to this act has been duly approved by the parliament of Canada and by the government of Newfoundland;

And whereas Canada has requested and consented to the enactment of an act of the parliament of the United Kingdom to confirm and give effect to the

Newfoundland

said agreement and the Senate and House of Commons of Canada in parliament assembled, have submitted an address to His Majesty praying that His Majesty may graciously be pleased to cause a bill to be laid before the parliament of the United Kingdom for that purpose;

Be it therefore enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows;

1. The agreement containing terms of the union between Canada and Newfoundland set out in the schedule to this act is hereby confirmed and shall have the force of law notwithstanding anything in the British North America Acts, 1867 to 1946.

2. This act may be cited as the British North America Act, 1949, and the British North America Acts, 1867 to 1946, and this act may be cited together as the British North America Acts, 1867 to 1949,

Schedule

(Full text of terms of union)

He said: Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a great honour .to have the privilege of presenting to this house the House of Commons' part of a joint address to be presented to His Majesty to confirm the terms of union of Newfoundland with Canada. This is the final act in the proceedings required to be adopted by this house to bring about the union of those two countries. I am sure-and the applause which greeted me when I rose to present this resolution is confirmation of it-that all members -of this house, and the people of Canada and [DOT]of Newfoundland as well, appreciate the historic significance of this final act which we .are now about to accomplish.

The terms of the resolution which you, sir, have read indicate that, agreement having been entered into, ratification by the parliament of Canada and the government of Newfoundland shall come into effect only if His Majesty gives royal assent to a bill of the parliament of the United Kingdom confirming it before March 31, 1949. I have already indicated to the house, and I shall summarize them briefly, the reasons for resorting to this form of procedure.

It is well known in this house and by the public that there were provisions in the British North America Act of 1867 looking to the union of Newfoundland with Canada and setting out the procedure which could conveniently have been followed at that time, and in fact for many years afterwards, to bring about that union-a procedure similar to that followed to bring about the entry into confederation of Prince Edward Island and British Columbia. This indication in the terms of the British North America Act was proof that those who had participated in the conferences which preceded it felt that the ultimate destiny of the people of Newfoundland was to come together with the people of the new dominion for which the British North America Act was to be the constitution.

IMr. St. Laurent.]

When in 1946 and 1947 the proceedings were instituted which are now having their culmination at this time, the conditions were no longer such that the exact procedure provided for in the British North America Act could be followed. It would have required addresses from the houses of the Canadian parliament, addresses from the houses of the legislature of Newfoundland, and a proclamation by His Majesty on the advice of the United Kingdom privy council. There are two reasons why, after the lapse of eighty years, that procedure is no longer applicable.

First of all, the constitution of Newfoundland had been suspended in 1933, and there were no houses of the legislature of that colony. Second, on account of the developments which had been reflected in the terms of the Statute of Westminster, His Majesty no longer exercised the prerogative in respect to Canada on the advice of the United Kingdom privy council; he exercised it on the advice of his Canadian ministers.

The terms of section 146 of the British North America Act being no longer applicable, another procedure had to be resorted to. The precedent which had been set when the parliament of Canada decided to hand over the natural resources to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan seemed to be convenient, and was selected as the one to follow in this instance. This procedure requires action by the parliament at Westminster, and that action I think is appropriate, not merely because it conforms with the precedent of 1930, but also because I believe it is the proper way to dispose of matters of common concern to Canada, Newfoundland and the United Kingdom.

Since 1933, when the parliament of the United Kingdom adopted the Newfoundland act of that year, the government of the United Kingdom has been responsible for the administration of and legislation concerning Newfoundland. While under the Statute of Westminster this parliament has equal rights with the parliament of the United Kingdom to enact legislation having extraterritorial effect, it would not have been proper for this parliament, by legislation of its own, to attempt to bring within its jurisdiction territory now under the legislative jurisdiction of the parliament of the United Kingdom.

There is a second reason why procedure not expressly provided for in the British North America Act was resorted to. If that procedure had been followed there might have been some question as to its legal effect. I am sure that the last thing anyone in Canada or Newfoundland would desire would be any possible doubt as to the legal effect of the terms of union as agreed to and confirmed.

Under the terms of the Statute of Westminster the action of the parliament of the United Kingdom cannot be effective in respect to Canada without joint addresses by our houses of parliament, because section 4 of the Statute of Westminster expressly provides:

No act of parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the commencement of this act shall extend or be deemed to extend to a dominion as part of the law of that dominion unless it is expressly declared in that act that that dominion has requested and consented to the enactment thereof.

Of course no parliament sitting at Westminster would make a declaration of that kind in the preamble of a statute unless it had factual justification. The purpose of these joint addresses is to give the parliament of the United Kingdom factual justification for asserting in the preamble to the act to confirm this union that it is done at the request and with the consent of Canada.

This address will go to His Majesty as an expression, through their representatives in parliament, of the will of the people of Canada that union is desired and should take place. The terms of the address are selfexplanatory. The house has already sanctioned the principle that there should be such an address, because it has approved the terms of union, the fiftieth of which is that they shall come into effect only if royal assent is given by His Majesty, within the time specified, to an act passed by the parliament of the United Kingdom. Therefore the requirement of an act of the parliament of the United Kingdom has been approved by the house, and the terms of the Statute of Westminster make it necessary, to achieve that end, that there should be the address which is now before the house.

I think it is proper to say that the government, the members of the house, and indeed the Canadian people, are all gratified to find that the matter of the union of Newfoundland with Canada has been dealt with so thoroughly, on such a high level, and with the unanimity witnessed in our proceedings during the course of the last week. It must be a source of satisfaction to those who will soon be our new fellow citizens in this nation that it was the common view of all parties in this house, representing all sections of the Canadian people, that it would be desirable to have the people of Newfoundland become associated with us. Of course the Canadian people have never really thought of Newfoundland as another country, and the fact that they are to become associated with us is, for all older Canadians, a source of particular satisfaction. We have in French a saying which goes like this: Dis-moi qui tu hantes, et je te dirai qui tu es. I was accustomed to thinking that the English

Newfoundland

equivalent was: Birds of a feather flock together, but it is really more than that. If I might venture to translate the French saying it would go something like this: Tell me with whom you are associated, and that will tell me what you are. We of Canada are happy that those who know the people of Newfoundland will be judging us by their knowledge of the sturdy qualities of those splendid people. I hope that the people of Newfoundland will be equally satisfied to be judged by what their new Canadian fellow citizens have been able to achieve during the eighty years which have elapsed since the original confederation.

As I said on a previous occasion in this house, there were many reasons for the close association between the people of Newfoundland and those of our own country-common origin, common adherence to the true principles of democratic liberty, common respect for the dignity of the individual, common abhorrence of any totalitarian or autocratic form of government. These links, derived from our common origin, from common development of our respective social orders, were greatly strengthened by the close association between the young men and young women of our respective peoples during the two great wars, and particularly during the last war. Many of our sons and daughters served with the young men and young women of Newfoundland, some of them in Newfoundland itself, others on the high seas with units of the Royal Canadian Navy based in Newfoundland. If I may be permitted to mention something quite personal, I feel particularly close to the people of Newfoundland by reason of the fact that, during the many months of my son's service in convoy duty on the Atlantic, the units of the Royal Canadian Navy with which he was serving were based in Newfoundland. What was my own experience during those days was the experience of thousands of Canadians. It created a relationship which makes the prospect of common citizenship with those splendid people one that is very pleasant to envisage.

I shall not attempt to summarize the great history of the sturdy people of Newfoundland, wresting their sustenance from the sea, as most of our people, in the early days, had to wrest their sustenance from the forests and the fields. Although there was a difference in vocation, the difference seems only to have created a close relationship between our two peoples. There is a great poet, E. J. Pratt, whom we claim as Canadian but whom Newfoundlanders claim to be a poet of Newfoundland; hereafter, though being a Canadian poet, he will at the same time be a poet of Newfoundland. We are familiar, as they

Newfoundland

are in Newfoundland, with some of his verses. May I read a few lines of one of his poems. Speaking of Newfoundland the poet says: Here the tides flow.

And here they ebb;

Not with that dull, unsinewed tread of waters Held under bonds to move Around unpeopled shores-

Moon-driven through a timeless circuit Of invasion and retreat;

But with a lusty stroke of life.

The lusty stroke of life of the tides that ebb and flow around the island of Newfoundland is repeated in the hundreds of thousands of hearts that beat in the breasts of the people who inhabit that land. It is because we believe in that lusty stroke of life that we are so happy to have them join with us, and to have those who know them judge us by the people with whom we are to be associated. We know that we are receiving into our midst a people stalwart and sturdy, a people with that lusty stroke of life. We hope they feel that they are joining a young and vigorous nation; that by joining it and becoming a part of it they will further the progress of the nation, and that if they do so, they will be rendering a service not only to the Canadian people but also to the men and women of the whole civilized world, because in these times there cannot be too many nations of vigorous men and women truly imbued with the principles and ideals of free democracy. The strengthening of any of them is a service not only to themselves but also to all other lovers of democracy and freedom throughout the world.

Perhaps I might be permitted another personal comment. It is a matter of some satisfaction to me to see the people of that island, the ancestors of so many of whom came from another island in the north Atlantic with which my own ancestors had some connection, become Canadian citizens. I would not mention this if I did not feel that I was but one of thousands, indeed hundreds of thousands, in this country who have for those two islands in the north Atlantic a great admiration and affection.

In addition, I think it is something which all hon. members will feel I am entitled to regard as a reason for great personal satisfaction that on the very morrow of the day I assumed the responsibilities of the office of Prime Minister I was able to continue the work on which my predecessor had been engaged for so long, and to bring it to a successful conclusion. I am sure it will be a matter of satisfaction not only to the members of our party on this side of the house, but to most of the Canadian people, in view of what has been going on for the last decade and more, to be assured of continuity in the undertakings initiated by the

government which has been in office over those years.

Therefore it is with understandable pride, sir, that I move that this address to His Majesty be approved by this house, and, together with that which I hope soon will be adopted in the other place, forwarded by you and the Speaker of the other place to His Majesty as the expression of our continued and continuing confidence in the value to free men and women of British institutions.

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Subtopic:   TERMS OF UNION WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY THE KING
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of ihe Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, it was very properly pointed out that when the terms of the agreement between Newfoundland and Canada were before this house last week there was striking evidence of unanimity in the desire of those who sit here as representatives of the people of Canada that the dream of the fathers of confederation should be fulfilled by the inclusion of Newfoundland within the boundaries of Canada, as they envisaged it in 1864 and in the later discussions which led to confederation. I have made it clear, and in doing so have expressed the desire of those who are associated with me, that Newfoundland should become a part of Canada on terms satisfactory to them and to Canada, and that everything should be done to avoid misunderstanding or discontent which might disturb the new relationship thus established.

I give place to no one in this house in my desire to see the fulfilment of the dream of those who laid the foundation for a great and united nation covering the whole of the northern part of this continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Without elaborating, I have indicated already certain reasons why it seems to me personally that there is a strong sentimental appeal in the thought of Newfoundland becoming a part of Canada. In every way possible-and I feel sure in this I am expressing the sentiment of those associated with me-I would hope to further the union and the spirit of unity of the people of Newfoundland and of Canada as a whole.

Last week we were called upon to deal with a very short bill which had the effect of approving the terms of agreement between Newfoundland and Canada, as settled on the one hand by the representatives of the Canadian government and on the other hand by those appointed to come here from Newfoundland to discuss the terms. Throughout the discussion it was clear that it was the principle of union that was under consideration, and so far as the principle of union was concerned there seemed to be no dissenting voice. In discussing this subject I pointed out that while there had been a great deal of criticism of the course followed in Newfoundland in arriving at the terms of the agreement, it was not for us as representatives of the people of Canada to tell the people of our

sister dominion what they should or should not do, or what they could or could not do in dealing with this subject. I pointed out that the relationship still is directly between Newfoundland and the government of the United Kingdom.

Today, however, we are dealing with the araft of a bill which is to be submitted for consideration to the parliament of the United Kingdom. Therefore the terms of that bill, the way in which it is drafted and the extent to which it conforms to our constitution are matters with which every hon. member of this house must be concerned in reaching a decision as to how he will vote on the resolution now before us.

As was appropriately said by the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) following the introduction of this resolution, there is a background of common history which brings the people of Newfoundland and Canada extremely close together, not only in geographical association but in ties of blood and the intimate contacts which were the result of many joint efforts during the war. The Prime Minister said that amongst our common traditions was an abhorrence of arbitrary action. I feel that this is something we should bear in mind. It is essential that in bringing about the fulfilment of the great vision of union we should do all in our power to prevent anything from happening which will fan the flame of discontent, either in Newfoundland or in Canada. That such discontent does exist, we all know. It is extremely important, therefore, that we examine carefully the constitutional aspects of the resolution now before us.

We start with the proposition that this house has clearly indicated its desire that Newfoundland become a part of Canada. There has been full evidence of the warm sentiments of those who sit in this house, as representatives of the people of Canada, toward the people of Newfoundland, whom they are anxious to welcome as their blood brothers and sisters in this great venture of confederation. At a time, however, when democracy and all the processes of democracy are being tested as never before, it is essential that we observe strictly the principles of democracy, and that in our desire to achieve the result we have in view, we do not disregard the constitutional background of this whole federal structure. In bringing about the fufilment of this desirable result, we should not establish any principle which might weaken the constitutional structure upon which the strength of this nation must depend in the years ahead. We should not tamper lightly with our constitution, simply on the ground that the results are much worth while.

Newfoundland

Particularly is this so in the light of the fact that our basic constitution, the British North America Act, does provide a means by which Newfoundland can be brought into the confederation without any variation from the original terms which were settled in 1867. When I addressed this house on February 7 last, I used these words-and I quote from Hansard of that day, page 294:

It must, however, be remembered that in the house we are called upon only to deal with the steps which Canada will take to bring about confederation. Except for any action by the Canadian government which has not been disclosed and is, therefore, not known to the members of the house, the procedure so far as Newfoundland is concerned is one which affects the people of Newfoundland in their direct relationship with the government of the United Kingdom. We may well regret that -appropriate steps were not taken to assure that there would be no cause for any widespread feeling of bitterness or dissatisfaction, but it is not for us to tell the people of our sister dominion what course they should follow in their own dealings or in their dealings with the government of the United Kingdom.

At the time I made that statement and indicated our support of the principles we were then considering, we did not have before us the terms of the resolution which we are now discussing.

This country became a single nation by agreement of those provinces and colonies which have since entered the Dominion of Canada. They joined to settle the terms and they decided on a procedure by which the various provinces should come into confederation. As has already been indicated by the Prime Minister, the provision was perfectly clear; it is found in section 146 of the British North America Act, under the heading "Admission of other colonies". I think it might be well to read the part of that provision which refers to the procedure:

It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the advice of Her Majesty's most honourable privy council, on addresses from the houses of parliament of Canada and from the houses of the respective legislatures of the colonies, or provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia, to admit those colonies or provinces or any of them into the union,-

There is a further part of the section which I need not read to illustrate the point I wish to make.

If a fully constituted legislative body had been in existence in Newfoundland, nothing more would have been required at this time than the addresses from the parliament of Canada and the legislature of Newfoundland. Upon the presentation of that joint address, no act of the parliament of the United Kingdom would have been required, because the terms of union would have become effective under the procedure simply on the advice of the privy council.

Newfoundland

In this case, a different procedure is being followed. The Prime Minister has indicated that he feels it is a more appropriate procedure in any event, and he has called attention to the principle embodied in section 4 of the Statute of Westminster, a principle which is recognized in the very wording of the resolution now before the house. At the beginning of the paragraph, at the foot of the page of the order paper which contains the form of the resolution, we read these words:

And whereas Canada has requested and consented to the enactment of an act of the parliament of the United Kingdom . . .

This wording was followed for a particular reason. Section 4 of the Statute of Westminster reads as follows:

No act of the parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the commencement of this act shall extend or be deemed to extend to a dominion as part of the law of that dominion, unless It is expressly declared in that act that that dominion has requested, and consented to, the enactment thereof.

So far as Canada is concerned the provisions of section 4 of the Statute of Westminster have been complied with, as was pointed out by the Prime Minister, because it is stated that Canada has requested and consented to the enactment. But in section 1 of the Statute of Westminster we find a definition of the word "dominion" and the various parts of the commonwealth to which that term was to apply. Section 1 reads as follows:

In this act the expression "dominion" means any of the following dominions, that is to say, the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the Irish Free State and Newfoundland.

This section recognized the status of Newfoundland as a dominion, a status which was not changed by the temporary suspension of the legislative authority of Newfoundland by the act of the United Kingdom which appointed the commission of government. I doubt whether any member of this house would suggest that, if the commission of government were dissolved by a further act of the parliament of the United Kingdom, there would be any question that Newfoundland would be restored to the status of dominion which it held at the time the Statute of Westminster was enacted. If that be so, it would seem to me that Newfoundland also should have been in a position to indicate their request for and their consent to the procedure which was being adopted. But it is clear that they are not in a position to follow that course within the provisions of the Statute of Westminster. In the draft act contained in the resolution now before us we find these words:

Whereas by means of a referendum the people of Newfoundland have by a majority signified their wish to enter into confederation with Canada . . .

Those words do not comply with section 4 of the Statute of Westminster; in fact it is impossible-

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Subtopic:   TERMS OF UNION WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY THE KING
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February 14, 1949