September 1, 1950

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

REPORT OF DEPARTMENT ON CANADA AND THE KOREAN CRISIS

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to lay on the table a report, in English and in French, of the Department of External Affairs on "Canada and the Korean Crisis".

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORT OF DEPARTMENT ON CANADA AND THE KOREAN CRISIS
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS

LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I owe an apology to certain hon. members of this house in respect of the arrangements made for the sittings of the house, and I should like to make that apology publicly. These hon. members have called to my attention some ambiguity in the language I used here on Tuesday, as reported on page 2 of Hansard, and told me they took it to mean that I was not asking that the house sit tomorrow if the bill dealing with the resumption of railway operations was disposed of.

I am sorry there was any misunderstanding as to that. In speaking as I did on Tuesday I was not trying to impose upon the house my views as to what might be the best way to proceed, but was endeavouring to get something definite which would represent what was generally desired by the members of the house. On Monday I had drafted a certain motion in that regard, and Monday evening had the advantage of meeting with the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) and the leaders of the other groups, to whom I gave copies of the draft motion which had been prepared. The next day representations were made to me that hon. members probably would not be prepared to commit themselves to three sittings a day beyond the time required to dispose of the railway legislation. I was under the impression that that was the only point in the draft motion to which any exception was apt to be taken, and I had the motion redrafted to provide that the three sittings a day would continue only during the time required to deal with the railway legislation; and I made no other change.

When I spoke as is reported on page 2 of Hansard, the only thing I had in mind was to 09 262-8i

point out that this objection to three sittings a day had been taken and that the motion originally prepared had been intended to provide three sittings even on Saturday, but that I had taken out that provision except for the railway bill. Some hon. members have told me they were under the impression that

1 had taken out everything beyond the provision of the rules for normal sittings, and that I would have to ask the house for another commitment to do anything beyond that. I did not realize this. When I presented the motion I read it as it appears on page 4 of Hansard, and I was under the impression that its terms were understood by everyone. I am told that it was not thus understood by certain hon. members. I am very sorry there was any possibility of ambiguity in the language that appears on page 2 of Hansard, and certainly I do not want to appear to be taking advantage of any misunderstanding. I would hope that if anyone wished again to take the sense of the house on this question, you, Mr. Speaker, would permit that to be done. Naturally I would hope that the decision might be the same and that we would sit tomorrow and Monday. As a matter of fact I had another conference with the leaders yesterday morning, at which we discussed whether or not it would be appropriate to sit on Monday, and I believe my recollection is correct that it was agreed that since we were sitting on Saturday it would be just as well to sit on Monday, since that is what we usually do on legal holidays, except those having high religious significance. So I would hope that even if the question is put again the same conclusion might be reached, because I think a great many hope that at this special session we might be able to dispose next week of all that requires to be done, and not too hurriedly at that; for this is by no means the last time parliament will meet. But so that there may be no possible feeling that anyone is being held to something that he did not understand, if any hon. member wishes to have the sense of the house expressed again I would hope, Mr. Speaker, you would find it possible to allow that to be done.

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

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver East):

greatly appreciate the remarks the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) has just made. He referred to what he said as reported on pages

2 and 3 of Hansard, and it would appear from

Business of the House

that that after Bill No. 1 had been dealt with the question of the sittings of the house would again be referred to the house. I have no objection to sitting on Labour day, and I have no great -objection to sitting three times a day. I do believe, however, Mr. Speaker, that the matters we came here to discuss are of such importance that they should not be discussed jn an atmosphere similar to getting in the -harvest before it rains.

- The. Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) both made important speeches in this house yesterday. They referred to the matters with which we shall have to deal. I imagine they made those speeches after a great deal of study, and after receiving considerable help from the staffs of their departments. I believe it is asking too much of the members of this house, if they are to give those matters the consideration they should receive, and having always in mind the fact that the young men of this country are already dying in the struggle that is now taking place, to sit in this house for eight hours a day six days in the week.

I can understand the members desiring to return to their homes. If it is put on that basis, I do not think there is anyone in this house who has more reason for wanting to get home quickly than I have. I live in the finest province in Canada, with its towering peaks and green grassy glades which may be enjoyed wherever you are. But if hon. members have any doubt about the province, there can be no doubt that my city is the most beautiful. I do not want to put this on too personal a basis, but my family relations are such that it is always a pleasure for me to be at home. On all these bases, therefore, I say there is no one in this house more anxious to get home and enjoy family life than I am.

I say that this government is not being fair to the people of Canada if it forces us to deal with these -matters under pressure. I would suggest to the members-I do not want to say anything now that might get the members on the government side on edge so that they will not agree with me, because the members on my own side are in agreement with me-that if they do not think it is desirable that they should discuss the matters before us now, surely they should allow the opposition- members of this house to do so. I am surprised at the opposition members who complain so frequently about the failure of this government to use parliament, but who cheer when it is said we are only going to be here for a week.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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?

An hon. Member:

Who did that?

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

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Maclnnis:

You are in a better position to see than I am. That was what happened when the Prime Minister said we might get through next week. I ask the Prime Minister at least to let us have Saturday, so that we might have a little time to deal with the important matters that his ministers put before us yesterday.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, I have not yet had an- opportunity to submit this whole question to a caucus of our members, but from what I have been able to gather from talking with individuals I feel that they are in accord with the sentiments expressed by the -member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis). They do feel that there are matters which have been placed before us that require most -careful consideration. We are not going to say we should not sit on Saturday, because if in its wisdom the house decides we should sit on Saturday we shall fall in with that decision. I point out that we have not yet had a chance to give -collective consideration, as a group, to the speeches delivered yesterday containing matters of government policy.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

No motion having been submitted to you, Mr. Speaker, I have none to submit, fLater]:

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

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, I have been requested to ask you if you would accept, without notice, a motion dealing with the business of the house.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I believe it was the unanimous view of the house that a motion should be accepted if one were made. One was not made, and I therefore proceeded with other business. I understand now that when the house adjourns today it will stand adjourned until tomorrow at three o'clock in the afternoon.

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

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I think the -matter was decided rather hurriedly. Would you accept a motion, if I made it, that when the house adjourns tonight it stand adjourned until three o'clock on Monday?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I am in the hands of the house. The motion would have to be presented by leave of the house. Has the hon. member leave to present the motion?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I understand that the house is prepared to give the hon. member leave to make a motion with respect to tomorrow's sittings.

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

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Then, Mr. Speaker, may I move now:

That when the house adjourns this day, it do stand adjourned until Monday next at three o'clock p.m.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is the house ready for the question?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Question.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SATURDAY AND HOLIDAY SITTINGS
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September 1, 1950