May 29, 1951

BANKING AND COMMERCE

CONCURRENCE IN FIFTH REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE


Mr. Hughes Cleaver (Halton) presented the fifth report of the standing committee on banking and commerce, and moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


TRADE CONFERENCES ' CANADA-U.K. CONTINUING COMMITTEE, BRITISH WEST INDIES, FRANCE, NEW ZEALAND

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I should like

to make an announcement regarding trade conferences. Last week, as hon. members know, a meeting of the Canada-United Kingdom continuing committee was held here in Ottawa, and during the week end my colleague, the minister of external affairs (Mr. Pearson), issued a short summary of the profitable discussions which took place. Discussions with the British West Indies followed the United Kingdom talks and are now completed.

A delegation of officials of the French government arrived in Ottawa this morning to discuss a number of problems pertaining to trade between our two countries. Members of this delegation spent yesterday in Toronto at the international trade fair, where they were welcomed as honoured guests and were able to see the merchandise of many countries now on display there. This afternoon the French delegation will begin meetings with officials of government departments concerned. It is expected that these discussions will be carried on for two or three days. The tariff agreement completed recently at Torquay between Canada and France was evidence of the desire which exists on both sides to create opportunities for trade.

Tomorrow, May 30, the minister of customs of New Zealand, who is also the associate minister of finance of that country, will arrive in Ottawa to discuss trade problems with the Canadian government. We welcome this timely visit of a distinguished minister of the crown from a sister commonwealth country. Canada has traditionally enjoyed

valuable trade relations with New Zealand, and we hope that the groundwork will be laid at the present meetings for further expansion.

Topic:   TRADE CONFERENCES ' CANADA-U.K. CONTINUING COMMITTEE, BRITISH WEST INDIES, FRANCE, NEW ZEALAND
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RECOMMENDATION OF ANGLO-CANADIAN TRADE COMMITTEE FOR COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in view of the

statement that has just been made by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, and his reference to the discussions with the Anglo-Canadian trade groups, may I ask if further consideration has been given to their suggestion that a commonwealth conference should be held with an aim to increasing trade within the commonwealth?

Topic:   RECOMMENDATION OF ANGLO-CANADIAN TRADE COMMITTEE FOR COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

The continuing committee

made no such suggestion. We think that the work of that committee was a commonwealth conference, as it affected two countries of the commonwealth. We think the meeting with New Zealand will be a commonwealth conference, as it affects two members of the commonwealth. We hope from time to time to meet with other members of the commonwealth to discuss problems of mutual interest.

Topic:   RECOMMENDATION OF ANGLO-CANADIAN TRADE COMMITTEE FOR COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I would point out that I directed my question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce in view of the information he had given us about certain trade meetings. I asked if the government had considered the recommendation of the Anglo-Canadian trade committee, and I understood the minister to say that no such recommendation had been received. I find the following in the Montreal Gazette of May 19:

The Anglo-Canadian trade committee today recommended that commonwealth governments should, at the earliest practicable date, call a commonwealth economic conference to investigate mutual trade problems.

It was to that statement, to which there was general reference subsequently in the press and elsewhere, that I was directing my remarks. The officials, some of whom are now meeting the government, were those who make up this continuing committee. I was directing my question to that committee and to the hope that this recommendation had received consideration.

Topic:   RECOMMENDATION OF ANGLO-CANADIAN TRADE COMMITTEE FOR COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

I should like to set my hon. friend straight on his information. The Anglo-Canadian trade committee is made up

House of Commons

of private citizens of both countries. It has no relation whatever to the continuing committee, which is composed of officials of the two governments with the purpose of discussing trade matters as between the two countries. I have never seen the recommendations of the Anglo-Canadian trade committee. They have never been furnished to the government, as there is no reason why they should be. I have not had the advantage, as my hon. friend has, of seeing them quoted in the press.

Topic:   RECOMMENDATION OF ANGLO-CANADIAN TRADE COMMITTEE FOR COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I point out that I used words in my earlier reference which correctly described this committee, and I would also remind the minister that I directed my earlier question to him in regard to this same statement. I am surprised to find him unaware of the recommendation.

Topic:   RECOMMENDATION OF ANGLO-CANADIAN TRADE COMMITTEE FOR COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
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RULES RESPECTING STRANGERS IN THE GALLERY AND SUBJECTS OF QUESTIONS OF PRIVILEGE- ASKING OF QUESTIONS-READING OF SPEECHES

LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

May I be permitted to make a statement at this time. A few days ago the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) brought to my attention a practice which is becoming very common in the house of hon. members rising on so-called questions of privilege. This irregularity has also been brought to my attention by other hon. members from time to time throughout the session, and more especially during recent weeks. It has also been the subject of unfavourable comment in the press.

There are only two types of questions of privilege. One affects a member personally and is a matter of personal privilege, and the other is one which affects the privileges of all hon. members of the house. It is neither a question of personal privilege nor one which affects the privileges of all hon. members to inform the house that an athletic organization or any organization, or any citizen or citizens, have brought distinction to a member's constituency by winning a championship. Nor is it a question of privilege to bring to the attention of the house the fact that certain school children or others are in the gallery. No reference should1 at any time be made to the gallery except on the occasion of the attendance in the gallery of a distinguished representative of another country. It is highly improper at any other time to refer to the gallery. If the practice continues, either of referring to championship teams or to school children in the gallery, every hon. member will feel called upon to do likewise when occasion arises, as otherwise he will feel that his constituents may think

fMr. Howe.]

that he is ignoring them. May I therefore suggest to hon. members that they refrain in the future from making these references.

There is another matter to which I think reference should be made at this time. It is with respect to the procedure regarding the asking of questions. I would refer hon. members to standing order No. 44. This standing order provides for the placing of questions on the order paper, which is the usual procedure, and should be followed whenever possible.

It has nevertheless been the practice in our house to allow a certain number of oral questions, and it is not my purpose to discourage members from asking questions of the proper type, as I feel that these questions create a more lively interest in the business of the house. These oral questions are asked when the orders of the day are called, and are frequently asked without notice. I would, however, emphasize that these oral questions should be asked only in connection with very urgent and important matters-of public concern, and only if it would not be in the public interest, to place them on the order paper and receive answers in accordance with the method provided for in the standing orders. They should always be brief. No debate is permitted, and the reply should be as concise as possible. The questions should not be prefaced by the reading of letters, telegrams, newspaper extracts or preambles of any kind. See Beauchesne's third edition, paragraphs 297, 298. I ask the co-operation of hon. members in observing these rules.

While I am making these references, may I also take the opportunity of thanking hon. members for the co-operation* which they have given; me in* my endeavour to enforce the rule which prohibits the reading by private members of previously prepared speeches. On February 20 of this year I reminded hon. members of the rule, and for a short time it was generally observed. However, during the debate on the budget a very considerable number of members reverted to the undesirable practice of reading their speeches. The reading of long speeches, especially by private members, would not be tolerated at Westminster, and I might point out that we would be required to follow the usages and customs of the British house if our standing orders did not prohibit the reading of speeches. The House of Commons is not a debating society nor an assembly which is gathered together to listen to the reading of essays. It is a forum where members may express themselves freely in accordance with the established rules on all matters of public interest.

I believe that during this session fewer speeches have been read than in former sessions, but I am very hopeful that the practice of reading speeches, except in the case of government statements or important statements by the leader of the opposition or by leaders of other groups, will be wholly discontinued.

Topic:   RULES RESPECTING STRANGERS IN THE GALLERY AND SUBJECTS OF QUESTIONS OF PRIVILEGE- ASKING OF QUESTIONS-READING OF SPEECHES
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PRIVATE BILL

FIRST READING


Bill No. 335, respecting Industrial Loan and Finance Corporation.-Mr. Macnaughton.


CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

INQUIRY AS TO REPORT OF COMMITTEE SET UP TO INVESTIGATE WRECKS


On the orders of the day:


May 29, 1951