Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roselown-Biggar):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. The Montreal Gazette this morning has a front page story stating that members of parliament want payment for a session rather than a per diem allowance. The paragraph to which I wish to draw attention particularly states:
This fight for more than the $25 per diem now allowed members for attending this special session was really begun by some C.C.F. members, one of them urging that a sessional indemnity of $4,000 be somehow provided.
The Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) is aware of my view that if the session is adjourned and not prorogued, payment of the indemnity should be suspended during the recess and that the balance should be paid when the session is completed after it resumes next year. However, I believe it is just and fair that members who have been put to inconvenience should receive the usual per diem allowance of $25 when this short session ends; and if the government feels that members should receive an allowance for a few additional days, when they responded to the call to Ottawa and arrived before the session began, I think there could be no objection to that. But I want it to be quite clear that no C.C.F. member has approached me urging payment of a full sessional indemnity for the present session, a suggestion to which I am opposed.
My colleague the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) has stated in the house that during this period of crisis the house should be adjourned, but he has also stated to the Prime Minister that he agrees with him-that is, with the Prime Minister-that this should not involve payment of a full sessional indemnity for this short session.
Subtopic: REFERENCE TO REPORT IN MONTREAL "GAZETTE" OF SEPTEMBER 9