April 28, 1952

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

We are waiting for your bright arguments.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON MONDAYS
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

We in this house have now before us for debate the budget, which provides the whole financial authority of parliament and the government for the coming year. The attitude of the government toward the budget debate is displayed by the fact that having brought in the budget the Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) sat here for one day on Tuesday, then dropped the whole thing and left to engage in other activities not in any way related to his responsibilities in this house. The budget debate should not proceed until it is convenient for the Minister of Finance to return to this house.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON MONDAYS
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?

An hon. Member:

Is that a ruling?

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I heard an interjection, "Is that a ruling?". No, Mr. Speaker, it is not a ruling. If the hon. member had been listening he would have heard that I said that the time has come, that the time is long

overdue, when some hon. members of this house on the other side and to my right should listen to suggestions as to what they should do instead of just being rubber stamps for the government.

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Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON MONDAYS
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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

Dictatorship.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I find some interjections most interesting because they are illuminating. I heard from one brilliant member opposite the word "dictatorship".

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnolt:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Recognizing the brilliance of the hon. member who made the interjection, I feel that I should not let the remark pass unchallenged, because it is obvious that, in the mind of the hon. member it is dictatorship if any member of this house should even question the propriety of everything done by the government and supported by those who support it so regularly, including the hon. member who has just interjected the remark.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

He used the word in the Russian sense.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

It is in the mind of at least one brilliant member of this house that it is dictatorship if anyone raises any question about the course followed by the government. If there is any danger of dictatorship-and of course obviously there is none while hon. members and others are free to express their opinions-it is the danger that we let the majority of this house deprive the members of their ordinary rights without just argument and excuse.

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnoii:

Let us get down to business.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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?

An hon. Member:

You are no ordinary member.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I recognize that the hon. member who has just interjected is no ordinary member of this house. We are dealing with members of this house generally and their rights. I have referred to the fact that without explanation or justification of any kind we are proceeding at this time with the budget debate in the absence of the Minister of Finance. That very fact is an affront not only to members of this house but to all Canadians at a time when we are considering a budget that will be the basis of the enormous taxation to be imposed in Canada this year. It is directly relevant to the motion before us.

There can be only one suggested argument in support of such a debate proceeding in the absence of the Minister of Finance. That would be that no matter what argument is put forward, the ears of the government will be deaf in any event. If we have reached

that point, then it would be wise for the government to go one step farther and end the farce by introducing a motion that all debate should come to an end, and let any member who has anything to put forward simply file a written argument and have it appear in the record, because the government does not intend to listen to it in any event.

The reason for the arguments that are put forward is that the government may hear these arguments. We are now dealing with a pattern which has been established, namely, that ministers primarily concerned first make their arguments outside of the house. Then when these matters come up in the house they give scant attention to the members, and, having presented their case do not even bother to listen to the arguments that are put forward. Do not let any hon. member say that the arguments that have been put forward have not been arguments worth listening to. Speeches have been made in the house that should have been listened to by every member of the house and many more members of the government than have ever been here at any time since the budget debate started. Speeches of vital importance have been presented.

There have been speeches made with respect to the deplorable situation in the farming industry, including dairying, and the textile and other industries across the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Yet on many occasions not more than two ministers of the crown have even thought it worth while to listen to these arguments, even though the responsible minister, the Minister of Finance, is not here and apparently has no immediate intention of returning, so far as one can see at the moment.

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?

Mr, Sinnott:

A good by-election speech.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

The motion now before us would end the normal rights of private members who have bills and motions on the order paper. Where is there before the house at the moment a suggestion of any measure presented by the government calling for such urgent attention that the rights of private members should be done away with in this manner?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Edmund William George

Liberal

Mr. George:

What about last Friday night?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I am sorry; I did not hear the hon. member.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Edmund William George

Liberal

Mr. George:

What about last Friday night?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

May I ask what the hon. member said?

Business of the House

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LIB

Edmund William George

Liberal

Mr. George:

Last Friday night we ran out of private members' bills and motions. There were not enough sponsors in the house.

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April 28, 1952