November 2, 1951

CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE

LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

May I take this opportunity to present the third report of the committee which was appointed for the purpose of suggesting any changes that may be desirable to assure the more expeditious dispatch of public business.

Your committee held a further meeting on Friday, November 2, to consider the results of the three weeks' experiment relating to the hours of sitting of the house and recommends as follows, notwithstanding clause 1 (b) and clause 2 of its second report which was concurred in on Friday, October 26:

That, unless and until otherwise ordered, the following hours of sitting be given a trial for the balance of the present session, commencing on Monday, November 5:

Mr. Speaker take the chair at 2.30 o'clock p.m. on each sitting day except Friday when he takes the chair at 2 o'clock p.m., and unless the closure rule (standing order 39) be then in operation, adjourn the house on each sitting day, except Wednesday and Friday, at 10 o'clock p.m., without question put, with provision for an intermission from 6.IS o'clock p.m. to 8 o'clock p.m. On Wednesday and Friday Mr. Speaker will adjourn the house at 6.15 o'clock p.m., without question put: and, subject to any special orders, the hours set aside for private and public bills under standing order 15 remain the same on Tuesday and be from 5.15 o'clock p.m. to 6.15 o'clock p.m. on Friday.

Topic:   CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE
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LIB-PRO

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

Liberal Progressive

Mr. W. G. Weir (Porlage-Neepawa):

Mr. Speaker, by leave of the house I beg to move, seconded by the hon. member for Grenville-Dundas (Mr. Casselman):

That the third report of the select committee appointed on October 9, 1951, to consider with Mr. Speaker the procedure of this house for the purpose of suggesting any changes that may be desirable to assure the more expeditious dispatch of public business and presented this day be npw concurred in.

Topic:   CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE
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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if this motion is debatable I [DOT] should like to have a word to say. I appreciate the fact that the members of the committee are trying to reform the rules of the house. Since 1940 the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Hansell) and myself have been most insistent that something be done by tvay of amplification of the speeches made

in the house so that they can be heard- why I do not know-by those in the press gallery and others. We have had reports that action was to be taken. Committees have been appointed, and I believe like other committees they have travelled across the world. I am still waiting for the trip that I am to be permitted by the government to take. So far no action has been taken. I do not like the hours of sitting that have been tried out during the present session. I come from western Canada and I cannot go home on Thursdays and come back on Tuesdays. I have to stay here.

I think that a member needs a bookkeeper and comptometer to keep track of the hours that he is supposed to be here. I want to make a suggestion to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and move an amendment if I may. I suggest that we could accomplish the end toward which we are striving very simply by allowing private members to speak only for twenty minutes and permitting members of the cabinet and the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew), which X appreciate is a matter of policy, forty minutes or more, with the consent of the house, to put forward their policies.

I submit that rules such as we have had during the past three weeks would not hold out in any small town council. You do not know whether you are supposed to be here or whether you are supposed not to be here. 1 quite appreciate that this does not make any difference to some members because they are never here anyway, but we from the west who want to get home for Christmas do not appreciate these new-fangled rules which are being brought up by the deputy minister of opposition external affairs from Peel. They just do not make sense as tar as I am concerned.

I probably am not in order, as I seldom am, but I would suggest that we limit the speeches of members to twenty minutes and enforce the rule that there shall be no reading of speeches written by members of the press gallery or of a political organization. I think in that way we could speed up matters considerably. These new suggestions that are being made are a lot of tommyrot because they accommodate nobody. If we cannot devise something to accommodate the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) let us go back to the old rules.

Freight Rates

Topic:   CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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

Mr. Speaker, I should like to say a word on this. I have some sympathy with the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Cruickshank). I feel, as he does, that we should try to establish hours of sitting and not be changing them from week to week, or from day to day, as we are doing under this particular motion. I do not like the idea of sitting until 6.15. In my opinion the best hours of sitting would be 2.30 to 6.00 and 8.00 to 10.00, sitting on Friday evenings as we usually do. With the amount of business that is to be done I do not think we are justified in cutting our hours to the extent that it is proposed to do in this particular resolution.

I think before this goes into effect some further opportunity should be given to hon. members to discuss it. May I say to the hon. member for Fraser Valley and to other hon. members that I agree that the length of speeches might be curtailed to some extent, and I certainly agree with the hon. member in the suggestion he has made with regard to the reading of speeches. But I do not agree that they are written by members of the press gallery; certainly my own are not. I just want to join with the hon. member in the protest he has made with regard to the manner in which hours have been juggled around during the past three weeks.

Topic:   CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE
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Motion agreed to.


RAILWAY LEGISLATION

PERSONNEL OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE

LIB-PRO

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

Liberal Progressive

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

I beg

to move:

That the following members comprise the special committee on railway legislation as provided for in the resolution passed by the house on Friday, October 26, 1951: Messrs. Argue, Ashbourne, Beni-dickson, Brooks, Cavers, Chevrier, Churchill, Cleaver, Diefenbaker. Gillis, Green, Helme, Higgins, Johnston, Kirk (Digby-Yarmouth), Lafontaine, Laing, Low, Macdonald (Edmonton East), Mac-donnell (Greenwood). MacNaught, Macnaughton, McCulloch, Mott, Mutch, Nowlan, Picard, Pinard, Biley, Stewart (Yorkton), Weaver.

Topic:   RAILWAY LEGISLATION
Subtopic:   PERSONNEL OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.


FREIGHT RATES

REPORTED APPLICATION BY RAILWAYS FOR INCREASE IN RATES

CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. H. R. Argue (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, I ask leave, seconded by the hon. member for Moose Jaw (Mr. Thatcher), to move the adjournment of the house under standing order 31 for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, the reported application of the railways of Canada for a further freight rate

increase of between 5 and 6 per cent, and the urgent need for intervention by the government to prevent any such increase prior to the passing of the freight rates legislation now before parliament, and the need for making it clear that the railways should not be permitted to pass their defence surtaxes on to the people of Canada.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   REPORTED APPLICATION BY RAILWAYS FOR INCREASE IN RATES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURN- MENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

This motion made under the provisions of standing order 31 is to move the adjournment of the house for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance. The motion has been read at the proper time and the hon. member has handed me a written statement. It is my duty to determine whether it is in order and whether the matter is of urgent public importance.

First, with respect to whether the motion is in order. It purports to deal with a matter which is before the board of transport commissioners, and if that is so then it is sub judice and under our rules could not be debated.

If there is no application I cannot see the immediate urgency of the matter because it could be discussed on either Monday or Wednesday of next week. I realize that hon. members have spoken already on the amendment to the amendment, but very few hon. members have spoken on the amendment to the address in reply to the speech from the throne and it is possible that there may be other amendments. I am afraid that I cannot allow the motion to be proceeded with at this time.

Topic:   FREIGHT RATES
Subtopic:   REPORTED APPLICATION BY RAILWAYS FOR INCREASE IN RATES
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURN- MENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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COMBINES LEGISLATION

MOTION TO ESTABLISH JOINT COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER INTERIM REPORT


Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice) moved: That a joint committee of both houses of parliament be appointed to consider the interim report of the committee appointed to study combines legislation, tabled in the House of Commons Friday, October 12, 1951; and to consider appropriate amendments to the Combines Investigation Act based thereon. That twenty-six members of the House of Commons, to be designated by the house at a later date, be members of the joint committee on the part of this house, and that standing order 65 of the House of Commons be suspended in relation thereto: That the said committee have power to appoint, from among its members, such subcommittees as may be deemed advisable or necessary; to call for persons, papers and records; to examine witnesses under oath; to sit while the house is sitting, and to report from time to time; That the said committee have power to print such papers and evidence from day to day as may be ordered by the committee for the use of the committee and of parliament, and that standing order 64 of the House of Commons be suspended in relation thereto. And that a message be sent to the Senate requesting that house to unite with this house for the above purpose and to select, if the Senate deems advisable, some of its members to act on the said proposed joint committee. He said: Mr. Speaker, hon. members of this chamber I am sure are familiar with the interim report of the committee appointed to study combines legislation which is referred to in this resolution. This committee, which I shall refer to as the Mac-Quarrie committee, since that is the name of its chairman in order to avoid confusion with the joint committee referred to in the resolution, was appointed by me with the approval of the government in June, 1950. Its terms of reference, to which I shall make detailed reference in a moment, were almost unlimited. Its first act, in July, 1950, was to send out letters to consumer, farmer, labour, industrial, mercantile and other organizations. I shall quote in exact terms the letter of invitation and the press release that relates thereto. The letter is dated Ottawa, July 7, 1950, and reads as follows: Dear Sir: At the session of parliament just concluded the Minister of Justice announced the appointment of a committee for the purpose of studying the Combines Investigation Act. The members of the committee are the Hon. Mr. Justice J. H. MacQuarrie of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia; Dr. W. A. Mackintosh, vice-principal of Queen's university; Professor Maurice Lamontagne, assistant director of the department of economics, Laval university; and Mr. George F. Curtis, dean of the faculty of law of the university of British Columbia. The terms of reference of the committee were given by the minister as follows: "The terms of reference are to study, in the light of present day conditions, the purposes and methods of the Combines Investigation Act and related Canadian statutes, and the legislation and procedures of other countries, in so far as the latter appear likely to afford assistance, and to recommend what amendments, if any, should be made to our Canadian legislation in order to make it a more effective instrument for the encouraging and safeguarding of our free economy. To avoid any possible misunderstanding, I desire to emphasize that no suggestions of amendments are being made to the committee for its consideration. It is the practice, however, to take stock of such acts from time to time to see whether any modifications should be considered in the light of administrative experience, changed conditions or otherwise. It is for such a purpose that this study has been arranged." For its assistance in this study the committee is anxious to receive as soon as posible from organizations, firms and individuals whatever views they may wish to express upon matters within its terms of reference. In order to avoid duplication, notices of the study being made by the committee are not being sent to individual members of organizations. It would be greatly appreciated, therefore, if you would inform your affiliated organizations and individual members, where practicable, of the desire of the committee to secure as wide an expression of views as possible. The committee would welcome representations not only from organizations and members thereof but also from any person who wishes to make comments or suggestions. Combines Legislation Representations may be directed to particular provisions of the laws or may relate to general matters of policy. You may recall that the royal commission on prices in their examination of restrictive business practices- gave particular attention to the practice of resale price maintenance and recommended that careful study be given to this problem from the viewpoint of its effect on price competition amongst wholesalers and retailers. In view of this the committee invites comments on this particular problem as well as on the Combines Investigation Act generally. In particular, the committee would appreciate receiving extended comments on the tentative conclusion of the royal commission on prices as to the effects of the practice upon the public interest. The matter is dealt with in Vol. I, pages 27, 28 and 41, and Vol. II, pages 256 to 259 of the report of the royal commission on prices as published by the king's printer in 1949. All representations received by the committee will be treated as confidential to the committee, and will not be used for purposes other than those of the committee or quoted unless permission is requested and granted. Those making representations, however, may give whatever publicity to them they desire. Communications should be addressed to the committee to study the Combines Investigation Act, Justice building, Ottawa. May I refer again to the desire of the committee to receive representations at an early date and suggest that submissions should be forwarded, wherever possible, by the early part of August. Yours very truly, (sgd.) J. H. MacQuarrie Chairman, committee to study the Combines Investigation Act Then, coincident with the sending out of that invitation, there was a press release dated July 10, 1950, headed "Committee to study Combines Legislation", and reading as follows: The committee recently appointed to study combines and related legislation has made public today the text of a letter inviting the submission of views from all sections of the Canadian public. The letter has been sent to national organizations including consumer associations, co-operative societies, labour unions, trade associations and business and professional groups asking them and their affiliated organizations and individual members to submit briefs. The committee expresses a desire to secure as wide an expression of views as possible and indicates that it would welcome from individuals as well as from organizations whatever views they may wish to submit in this matter. The members of the committee, as announced by the Minister of Justice- Then the press release goes on to indicate who they are, and the terms of reference are also given. As a result of these invitations, Mr. Speaker, the MacQuarrie committee received a considerable number of formal briefs and many informal letters from organizations and individuals, and also held many interviews in relation to those written communications. Certain organizations required more time for the preparation of their material than was at first expected, with the result that the last brief to be received did not come to the committee until December, 1950. As late as



Combines Legislation September the MacQuarrie committee heard oral representation. I understand that they expect to hear one more representation at least on an aspect of their work not related to resale price maintenance when they meet again this month. These delays were as unavoidable as they were unanticipated. They not only consumed time in themselves but they also meant that the members, all of whom were active, busy men in their own fields, had to make the necessary arrangements to get more time away from their own heavy duties. It therefore became clear some time ago that the MacQuarrie committee could not hope to finish its work until the end of the present calendar year at the earliest. The government, however, was of the opinion that resale price maintenance was of such significance that the MacQuarrie committee should be asked to give it priority in its work. In that connection I may say that the fact that the MacQuarrie committee itself had singled out this subject for special mention in its invitation was an indication of the importance which that committee attached to this subject. The government, therefore, asked this committee in September last to make an interim report on this aspect of its study, if it could possibly do so.


PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

What date was that?

Topic:   COMBINES LEGISLATION
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ESTABLISH JOINT COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER INTERIM REPORT
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

It was September 10. This

interim report was made and tabled accordingly.

I believe I should say a word concerning the term "interim" as related to this report, and stress that it refers only to the fact that it has been made before the committee has finished all of its work. But so far as resale price maintenance is concerned, the report expresses the considered views of the committee in a complete and final manner.

The views that were submitted to the MacQuarrie committee were general views upon the subject of resale price maintenance and were not expressions of opinion or representations upon a concrete proposal, much less upon draft legislation.

But now we find that the situation is greatly different. The MacQuarrie committee has reached its conclusions and has made its recommendations which are-as hon. members who have read this report know-of a most specific character. The MacQuarrie committee has recommended in effect that the practice of resale price maintenance should be prohibited. Now, therefore, there is a specific and concrete proposal upon the record.

In the light of this specific and concrete proposal the government has been strongly

urged, by many individual merchants and manufacturers and by the executives of several representative industry or trade associations, to afford them an opportunity to present their views to the government or to a parliamentary committee. The government has decided that it ought to accede to this request but that it is preferable from many standpoints that this presentation of views should take place before a joint parliamentary committee open to the public and to the press of Canada in such a way as to make the information which is presented there available to all concerned, including all the members of this house. The joint committee will therefore be directed to consider the MacQuarrie committee's interim report and to consider appropriate amendments to the Combines Investigation Act based thereon.

The study of this matter by a parliamentary joint committee, with the attention which I feel confident it will get from the press, will tend to develop a much better informed public opinion upon the matter than was possible with the MacQuarrie committee type of inquiry where confidential communications were solicited, which have great value to a committee set up on that basis but which unfortunately do not serve to educate the public. It is true that in its interim report on resale price maintenance the MacQuarrie committee went some distance towards informing public opinion of the arguments made to it for and against resale price maintenance. As hon. members will recall, it summarized these arguments in what seemed' to me to be an admirably objective and judicial manner in the body of its report, as an introduction to its own conclusions based upon these arguments. But I suggest that this summary, admirable as it is, still leaves room for a fuller treatment of the arguments pro and con in the interests of developing upon this subject a public opinion which will be as well informed as possible and which will be of great assistance, I am sure, in the administration of the legislation.

It is the hope and the expectation of the government that this joint parliamentary committee will get its work under way at the earliest possible moment and will proceed with sufficient dispatch to enable the appropriate legislation it is set up to consider to be dealt with by parliament before the end of this session, as forecast in the speech from the throne.

I therefore move this resolution without further discussion in order that the joint committee may get on with its work as soon as possible.

Topic:   COMBINES LEGISLATION
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ESTABLISH JOINT COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER INTERIM REPORT
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November 2, 1951