March 15, 1951

PRIVILEGE

REFERENCE TO REPORT IN "NO MORE WAR", MARCH 1951 DR. J. G. ENDICOTT

LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. G. A. Cruickshank (Fraser Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. I am mentioned in a newspaper-I believe it is published in Ontario-entitled "No More War". The portion I should like to quote reads as follows:

In response to presentation of a petition endorsed by half a million electors, George Cruickshank, M.P., rivalling Mr. Ferguson in degrading the reputation of parliament, wrote: "Further to your brief of

February 20, Dr. J. G. Endicott has my full permission to take a jump into lake Ontario."

My question of privilege is, Mr. Speaker, I am sorry he did not take the jump.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO REPORT IN "NO MORE WAR", MARCH 1951 DR. J. G. ENDICOTT
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RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES CHANGE IN PERSONNEL OF STANDING COMMITTEE

LIB-PRO

William Gilbert Weir (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. W. G. Weir (Poriage-Neepawa) moved:

That the name of Mr. Byrne be substituted for that of Mr. Lafontaine on the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.

Topic:   RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES CHANGE IN PERSONNEL OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.


AUDIBILITY OF DEBATE-REPORT OF MR. SPEAKER ON AMPLIFICATION SYSTEMS

LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

For some time hon. members of this house, together with members of the press gallery, have complained about the difficulty in hearing speeches by hon. members who are seated some distance from them. When I was in Europe last fall I visited the seats of government in Italy, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom, to ascertain what system of amplification was being used in the assemblies of these countries, and its effectiveness. I found in Italy, Switzerland and France that members speak from a rostrum; that is to say, the member who is speaking goes either to a central microphone or to one of several microphones in the chamber.

The installation of an amplification system under such circumstances is a relatively simple matter, but it could not be adapted to our parliament. Our system is based on

the British system, of government and opposition facing each other, where hon. members speak from their seats as and when permitted by Mr. Speaker. I was therefore particularly interested in the voice reproduction system which has been installed in the chamber of the British House of Commons. I was informed that the fundamental principle behind the system in the British house is to diffuse sound from miniature loud-speakers at a sound level not greater than that at which a listener will hear if he is within a few feet of the member who is speaking. This is accomplished by microphones suspended over the benches in the chamber and by loudspeakers placed in the backs of the benches.

There are, in all, fourteen microphones. Six of these microphones, at approximately equal intervals, are suspended from the ceiling of the chamber. These are placed just above the front benches of the government and the opposition at a height of approximately eight and a half feet above floor level. The remaining seats in the house are served by eight microphones, four on each side of the chamber, suspended into the chamber on rods which are attached to the lower part of the galleries. In addition to these microphones there is a microphone overhead in the canopy of the Speaker's chair, and also a microphone on the table. The loud-speakers are placed at the top of the backs of the members' benches, and also at the top of the backs of the benches in the galleries at intervals of about four feet. These loud-speakers are circular in shape, and are quite small, having a diameter of about three inches.

The system is controlled by an operator who is outside the chamber but has a complete view of the chamber. When a member rises to speak, he switches the microphone located nearest to the member. The loud-speakers-or, as they may more appropriately be called, the voice reproduction units-close to the member who is speaking, are muted, as here, naturally, he can be heard quite well without the need of the reproduction units. In the adjacent zone the units are partly muted, whereas all the rest reproduce at the level required.

While I was at Westminster the officials of the house very generously gave me of their time in explaining the system to me and I am especially grateful to Dr. Oscar Faber, O.B.E., the consulting engineer, and to Mr. N. Sizer,

House of Commons the assistant chief engineer of the ministry of works, for their kindness and for their patience.

Upon my return to Canada, with the consent of the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fournier), I invited Mr. Sizer to come to Canada in order that I could get his opinion as to whether a similar system could be adapted to our chamber. Mr. Sizer, with the wholehearted approval of the British Minister of Works, came to Canada at the end of January and was here for about a week, during which time he consulted with the chief architect and the assistant chief architect and other officials of our Department of Public Works, and also with Dr. Field, of the defence research department. He also made a careful inspection of the chamber, both generally and in detail, and on a number of days was present in our chamber when the house was in session.

Before leaving Canada he was good enough to leave with me a report on his observations, in which he says, in part, that he could see no reason why a system similar to the system now in operation at Westminster would not prove as satisfactory in Canada, and that such a system could be designed on similar lines for our chamber. I also have a report from Dr. Faber, the consulting engineer, and an additional report from Mr. Sizer, which they gave me when I was in England. Mr. Sizer left with me and our departmental officials a number of photographs, together with one of the microphones and one of the loud-speakers.

May I also say that the chief architect's branch of our Department of Public Works, in conjunction with Dr. Field, of the defence research department, has considered the installation in our chamber of a low-level system similar to the one which I have described. The officials of these two departments, I am pleased to say, are very well informed on this system of amplification, and believe that it can be installed so as not to cause any objectionable features from a decorative point of view.

I am satisfied from the investigations that have been made that the only amplification system which would be generally acceptable to the members of our house is one similar to the system now in operation at Westminster. I would not want to ask members to accept my recommendation, nor would I want to assume the sole responsibility for any system that is installed. It has occurred to me that it might be advisable for the house to appoint a committee to examine in more detail the system in the British house. I would be pleased to put at the disposal of the

committee the reports, photographs and equipment which I have mentioned, together with any other information which may be available.

I trust that the information which I have obtained will be of assistance in determining the system of amplification which may be approved, and I can assure hon. members that I shall be pleased to give whatever assistance I can in this regard.

Topic:   AUDIBILITY OF DEBATE-REPORT OF MR. SPEAKER ON AMPLIFICATION SYSTEMS
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Daniel Mclvor (Fort William):

On a

question of privilege, I wish to thank Mr. Speaker for showing us that he has more than sympathy for those who sit in the far corners of this house, in the public galleries, and in the press gallery. He has shown that he is a man of action. We appreciate that fact and hope that he will be long spared to carry on.

Topic:   AUDIBILITY OF DEBATE-REPORT OF MR. SPEAKER ON AMPLIFICATION SYSTEMS
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QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


NEWFOUNDLAND NURSING AND INDUSTRIAL

ASSOCIATION

PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

Is the association known as Nonia (Newfoundland Nursing and Industrial Association) to be permitted to display and sell its products at Gander airport?

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND NURSING AND INDUSTRIAL
Subtopic:   ASSOCIATION
Sub-subtopic:   DISPLAY OF PRODUCTS AT GANDER AIRPORT
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L L

William Moore Benidickson (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transport)

Liberal Labour

Mr. Benidickson:

The matter is still under consideration.

Topic:   NEWFOUNDLAND NURSING AND INDUSTRIAL
Subtopic:   ASSOCIATION
Sub-subtopic:   DISPLAY OF PRODUCTS AT GANDER AIRPORT
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CHURCHILL GRAIN ELEVATOR

CCF

Mr. Knight:

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

1. What is the wheat bushel storage capacity of the elevator at Churchill?

2. How much wheat is in that elevator at this date?

3. What is the drying capacity of that elevator in terms of number of bushels per day?

4. What percentage of that drying capacity is now being used?

5. How much wheat has been dried there since the close of the 1950 shipping season?

Topic:   CHURCHILL GRAIN ELEVATOR
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L L

Mr. Benidickson: (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transport)

Liberal Labour

1. 2,500,000 bushels.

2. 463,000 bushels

3. From 15,000 to 20,000 in 24 hours, depending on the moisture content.

4. None. Elevator not operating-

5. None.

Topic:   CHURCHILL GRAIN ELEVATOR
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QUESTION PASSED AS ORDER FOR RETURN

NAVAL SERVICE

March 15, 1951