September 9, 1950

SESSIONAL INDEMNITY

REFERENCE TO REPORT IN MONTREAL "GAZETTE" OF SEPTEMBER 9

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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.

Topic:   SESSIONAL INDEMNITY
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO REPORT IN MONTREAL "GAZETTE" OF SEPTEMBER 9
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION


SUSPENSION OF SITTING


PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

With your consent, Mr. Speaker, I think it would be appropriate to raise the question I have in mind at this point. Hon.

members came here for the purpose of assisting, expediting and furthering whatever might be done to enable us to play our part in the common task of preserving peace. On previous occasions the question has been raised as to the necessity of meeting at eleven o'clock in the morning at this stage of the proceedings. In the first place it had not been intended that we should meet so soon to discuss these questions. Probably we should have met much sooner, but the fact remains that the government had not so intended. Now we are being pressed forward as though there were some urgent deadline that we must meet. Today we are being called upon to consider two extremely important measures that will have a wide influence upon the whole economic life of our people. These bills were handed to the members who were fortunate enough to be on hand to receive them-and I emphasize that-just before ten o'clock today. I therefore suggest, through you, sir, to the Prime Minister, in view of the importance of the measures before us, that with the consent of the house we rise until three o'clock this afternoon. That would be the minimum period within which we could possibly give consideration to these bills and to the implications of measures which will have such sweeping consequences in the daily life of all our people.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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

The

protest made by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) is one with which we have sympathy. If the house is going to rise, however, I would suggest to the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister that we resume earlier than three o'clock, say perhaps at two o'clock. This would give us more time to consider these measures.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I do not wish to add any extensive remarks to what I have said, but I strongly urge the Prime Minister not to becloud the discussion of a very important subject at the beginning by any vigorous argument in answer to our contention as to the impropriety of dealing with these bills on such short notice.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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LIB

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

Liberal

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

I am sure no one would wish to have measures of this kind adopted without adequate consideration. On the other hand the suggestion that the house rise at this time to meet again at three o'clock this afternoon would disturb some tentative plans

Business of the House

which we hoped might be realized. I understand that there is a possibility the other place will have considered before 12.45, the bill concerning the defence forces, and that in the course of the morning there might be a letter delivered to the Speaker from Government House informing him that the Deputy Governor General would be present to give the royal assent to that measure at 12.45.

Would it suit the convenience of members, if it is felt that there should be time to consider the terms of these bills-though they are very much in the terms of the resolutions which preceded them-to adjourn and return here at the call of the Chair, but not for anything more than the purpose of proceeding to the other place for royal assent? Then we could meet at three o'clock this afternoon to deal with the ordinary business of the house.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Was it the intention of the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) to make a speech on moving second reading of Bill No. 5?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

No, Mr. Speaker; I have nothing more in the way of a speech than the one I made.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

My reason for asking that is obvious, because if he were going to make a speech we might have it now.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

Would it meet the convenience of all members to meet at the call of the Chair for the purpose of proceeding to the other place, and then meet again at three o'clock this afternoon?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

That would be satisfactory.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

Then I would move-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I wonder if the house would care to proceed so far as calling the orders of the day at this time?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to appear to be pressing the point, but these measures are of the utmost importance. Those who are going to be called upon to deal with them, and accept their parliamentary responsibility in doing so, have an obligation to examine the terms and consider the effect of the words that are used in relation to those two subjects. If we proceed now to the orders of the day I believe, sir, you will realize that we might be engaged for some time in discussions that are not related to these subjects.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Clarence Gillis (Cape Breton South):

May I ask the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) if the arrangements now being made with regard to the sittings mean that we are coming back here to remain until eleven o'clock tonight? Last night the leader of the

house said that these two bills would be considered this morning, and if we got through with them some time this afternoon or this evening the house would adjourn for the remainder of the day.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

That is right.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR TIME TO CONSIDER LEGISLATION
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September 9, 1950