December 21, 1951

CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

I wonder if I might rise to a point of order? I do so with great respect for the hon. member who is now speaking, but it seems to me we have now reached a point in this debate where the rules of debate might be complied with by all of us a little more closely than, is sometimes the case. I thought the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill) did a service last evening when he drew attention to citation 338 in Beauchesne's third edition. If I might presume to say so, I thought Your Honour made an excellent ruling on the point. Citation 338 deals with the situation when there is an amendment to a motion. I need not go over all the ground that the member for Winnipeg South Centre dealt with, but may I just quote the last sentence of that important citation:

In that case the debate that follows is not restricted to the amendment, but includes the motives of the amendment and of the motion, both matters being under the consideration of the house as alternative propositions.

Your Honour ruled, and I thought quite fairly on the point raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre, that when there was a motion and an amendment before the house as alternative propositions it was possible and perhaps desirable, that they should be discussed in relation to each other. But what about the situation when we have a subamendment? There is now before the house a subamendment to the amendment. I admit that the terms of the subamendment are by way of alternative to the amendment, but I would say that although it is possible in discussing the subamendment to discuss its terms in relation to the terms of the amendment, it should not be possible at this

stage of the debate to go behind the amendment to discuss not only the main motion itself but to discuss things which may not even be related to the main motion.

I submit that the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Dinsdale) at the moment is a long way from what is before the house, namely, the relationship between two alternatives, that of the amendment of my leader -and that of the subamendment moved by the Progressive Conservative group. The point of order I raise is this: should not the debate at this time be confined at least to the relative merits of the amendment and the subamendment?

Topic:   COMMONS AFTER RECESS
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, I think the point the hon. member has overlooked is the fact that, at the moment, we are dealing with the amendment as amended by the subamendment. We are not dealing with alternatives, but we are dealing with the amendment as amended.

Topic:   COMMONS AFTER RECESS
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

It has not been amended yet.

Topic:   COMMONS AFTER RECESS
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

The subamendment is before the house, and the subamendment places before the house the proposal that this bill should not be dealt with now. I would point out that this is the proposal put forward by the leader of the C.C.F. party. Then, the subamendment suggests the desirability of considering the wisdom of having a fair trade commission. In considering that, it seems obvious that the whole field affected by this bill must be discussed if we are to know how desirable it is that a fair trade commission should be considered, and how desirable it is also that there should be ample time to consider the details of this bill and its impact upon business generally. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the very nature of this motion by way of subamendment makes very relevant every possible aspect of this problem to which the bill relates.

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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The difficulty is that the debate has been continuing for some time, and I think all members have been discussing the main motion, the amendment and the subamendment. It is extremely difficult at this late date to say that in future members cannot have as wide a latitude in discussion as members who have already spoken. I am glad the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) brought this matter to my attention. Probably if the matter should arise on another occasion I should give further consideration to his point of order. (See Beauchesne's second edition, citation 414). But in view of the fact that the debate has gone on for so long in the manner

Combines Investigation Act in which it has, I doubt if it would be fair to interrupt it at this time.

I see that it is now ten o'clock.

On motion of Mr. Dinsdale the debate was adjourned.

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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

May I make this remark. If it be true that we have been discussing the principle of the bill, the amendment and the subamendment would it not be logical that we vote on those three things at the same time? Before announcing the business of the house for December 27, I want to extend to every member my best wishes for a merry Christmas and a safe return to Bill No. 36, an act to amend the Combines Investigation Act, which will be the first item of business on that day. Then, if it is disposed of, we shall take up the government notice of motion in the name of the Secretary of State for External Affairs, and then all the other bills remaining on the order paper.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, first of all may I reciprocate by joining in the good wishes for Christmas, and hoping that everyone has an extremely happy new year. That brings me to a question that perhaps the house leader could answer. Is it intended to sit on New Year's day?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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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):

I am quite convinced that when we reach that bridge we shall find a way of crossing it-

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

It is only, of course, that it would be desirable for some of the members to know what arrangements they should make. I can only hope that after the government and the members of the house have enjoyed a merry Christmas, the suggestion that has been made will be followed and we shall not be dealing with Bill No. 36 but with other items of business, in which case I am sure we would proceed with expedition.

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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):

So no doubt will remain in the minds of hon. members, the government and the house will proceed with this bill on the 27th.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

On behalf of each hon. member I extend to all the members of this house a wish for a very merry Christmas.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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At ten o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, until Thursday, December 27, at eleven o'clock a.m., pursuant to the order of the house passed on December 21, 1951.



Thursday, December 27, 1951


December 21, 1951