July 2, 1952

USE OF WORD "ROYAL"

PC

Mr. Stanfield:

Progressive Conservative

1. How many requests for the use of the privilege of using the word "Royal" has the government considered within the past two years?

2. How many such requests have been approved, and to whom were they granted?

3. How many such requests have been refused?

4. How many are still pending?

5. Has the government of Canada or the government of the United Kingdom refused to recommend to the sovereign any such petitions?

6. Are there any conditions on the use of the word "Royal," and if so, what are they?

Topic:   USE OF WORD "ROYAL"
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MOTION FOR PAPERS

CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS-BY-LAWS OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS UNDER CHAPTER 172 OF THE REVISED STATUTES OF CANADA

LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Poulioi:

For a copy of the by-laws of the board of directors of the Canadian National Railways under chapter 172 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1927, as amended.

Topic:   MOTION FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS-BY-LAWS OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS UNDER CHAPTER 172 OF THE REVISED STATUTES OF CANADA
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

The hon. member for Temis-couata, to whom I have just been speaking before coming into the house, has authorized me to say that he is willing to have this notice of motion dropped.

Topic:   MOTION FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS-BY-LAWS OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS UNDER CHAPTER 172 OF THE REVISED STATUTES OF CANADA
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Dropped.

Topic:   MOTION FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS-BY-LAWS OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS UNDER CHAPTER 172 OF THE REVISED STATUTES OF CANADA
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REDISTRIBUTION

READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS


The house resumed, from Tuesday, July 1, consideration in committee of Bill No. 393, to readjust the representation in the House of Commons-Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce)-Mr. Beaudoin in the chair. On section 1-Short title.


PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Chairman, before we proceed with the discussion of this measure may I direct a question which might conceivably limit debate, if there is a possibility of that.

I would point out that we are now still discussing the first section. I suggested the advisability of considering reference back of the constituencies which are particularly in dispute. Before we proceed with any further debate I would ask if the government has given consideration to the proposal made, that this matter be referred back, and that we proceed with the discussion of the estimates in the meantime.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce):

Mr. Chairman, there were two suggestions made last night by hon. members opposite, that by the hon. member for Peel and that by the leader of the opposition. In effect the hon. member for Peel suggested that even at this late date we might reconsider the question of having redistribution effected by an independent commission and, if that were not possible, that there be further consideration of the five or six particular constituencies he mentioned at that time.

With reference to the question of a redistribution commission: this House of Commons settled that, at least for the time being, by a vote last Saturday. I have not interrupted hon. members opposite, after the first one had spoken, by suggesting to you, Mr. Chairman, that they have been out of order. In fact, almost every one who has spoken has made direct reference to a commission.

I do not wish to instruct hon. members opposite on how to act in debate, but I do suggest that when they go further and make the specific suggestion of some other system, namely that of a redistribution commission, they are out of order in this debate. Nevertheless I wish to assure hon. members that the question of a redistribution commission will be given the most serious consideration. There are views which are held by members, and which are strongly held, on both sides of the question.

It is not an entirely open and shut question, one which can be decided overnight, merely by the assertion by hon. members opposite

Redistribution

that another system would be better than the one we now have. And I may say, Mr. Chairman, that I perhaps would be out of order myself if I were to discuss the matter, except that I was asked this question. However, I do wish to say one word about it, and then conclude this part of what I have to say.

Hon. members opposite have spoken in the most glowing terms about the success of what has been achieved in the United Kingdom and in other commonwealth countries. I am just hesitating to ask whether they read the debates of any of the legislatures to which they referred, for if they had I am sure they would not have made the statements they did make.

I am not going to give many opinions, but I am going to place on record one opinion, and then I shall say no more on this point. That is the opinion of the leader of the Conservative party in the United Kingdom, a gentleman who is held in the highest regard in this House of Commons, and whose words I have no doubt are frequently quoted by hon. members opposite. This is what he had to say with respect to a bill introduced by the government following the boundary commission report in the United Kingdom.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

What is the date?

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce):

It is reported at column 3042 of volume 448. He said:

This bill is based on no principle except that of party advantage and has no sanction behind it except the party majority, obtained on false pretences and with an electorate utterly disproportionate to the results produced in the House of Commons.

And so, let me conclude my reference to a redistribution commission by saying this, that it is not a closed question. We can study it and I can assure the house that we will give the most serious consideration to this question of redistribution.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Would the minister allow a question? Had he read that statement before he made the statement to Michael Barkway, as reported in Toronto Saturday Night of this week, that he is in favour of a commission?

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce):

I had read it before I saw the article in Saturday Night, and I made no statement to the writer of that particular article. If he chooses-

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

When the minister said that the question would be reconsidered, did he mean with respect to the present redistribution?

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce):

No; I was going on to say that I have concluded what I have to

Redistribution

say on that point, and I go on to say this: When the house decided last Saturday to proceed without having a redistribution commission for this session at least, it had reference to this particular redistribution.

At the moment I am not going to debate the details of this bill. Complaints have been made about it, and they have been answered most effectively by the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Resources and Development and other hon. members. But bear in mind that there are a great many members who would like to speak on this bill when the schedule is reached having to do with particular constituencies. It will take some time, I understand, to have that discussion. It is therefore the hope of the government that this bill may be proceeded with, to the schedule, at which point we can have specific discussion on specific items.

The leader of the opposition, closing his remarks last night, suggested that we should look at what the Prime Minister had said and, as he put it, see how far we had departed from the course he had outlined. May I read at this time that part of the Prime Minister's observations to which he was referring, although he did not indicate it specifically, as they are reported at page 1419 of Hansard when he was introducing the motion to set up a redistribution committee. At that time he said:

This motion is being submitted to the house in furtherance of the statement I made on March Id about redistribution. I stated at that time that it was at least my view that this matter of redistribution, the matter of the readjustment of representation in the House of Commons, was not a responsibility of the executive branch of our constitutional set-up but that it was a responsibility placed by the constitution on parliament, generally. I pointed out that it had always been the custom for the leader of the majority group in the house to provide an opportunity for members to discharge that responsibility, by submitting a bill for consideration by the house and which was drawn in accordance with the rules then applicable to the matter of readjustment and which, after it had received second reading, was referred to a committee composed of members of all the groups in the house, to determine the schedules that would describe the territorial divisions entitled to return members to parliament.

Now, that is precisely what is being done. We have before us a report of a committee appointed to prepare schedules. It is not the function of the executive of government to draw that bill-at least it has not been since a Liberal government in 1903 changed the procedure which had applied up to that time. Since that time we have always followed the procedure of referring a bill to a committee, and then discussing the report of the committee. The government recognizes that the bill may have imperfections in the eyes of hon. members, and for that very purpose it [Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce) .J

is brought here to the committee where no doubt amendments will be offered. If those amendments commend themselves to the majority of the committee, I have no doubt they will be carried. The place to deal with these matters is on the appropriate schedule by debate and by the decision of parliament, as indicated by the Prime Minister.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Chairman, it is clear that the minister who has just spoken has misapprehended completely the reference to the Prime Minister's statement and the effect of that statement upon the procedure that has been followed. When I suggested yesterday that the government should examine the statement of the Prime Minister I was referring to the statement to which the minister has just referred. What the Prime Minister said was that it was not the responsibility of the executive branch of government to decide what will be done but rather that it is the responsibility of parliament generally. We had a perfectly clear explanation yesterday which by no possible chance could be misunderstood, that Liberal caucuses in the provinces had instructed their representatives what must be done. The word "must" was the word employed in the explanation given to us yesterday.

That is not leaving the responsibility to parliament generally. What I was suggesting in my remarks last night, as on earlier occasions, was that the government let the committee approach this problem in a way that would recognize the very principle that the Prime Minister laid down, that is, that it is the responsibility of parliament generally. What has happened is that the committee has been told what is to be done. There has been a certain discussion back and forth and in certain cases some arguments have undoubtedly received some response, but no doubt was left by the explanations that were given yesterday at the ministerial level as to the extent to which direction had gone to members of the committee.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Nothing to do with what we are talking about.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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July 2, 1952