December 11, 1953

PRIVILEGE

MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE

LIB

George Dyer Weaver

Liberal

Mr. G. D. Weaver (Churchill):

On a point

of personal privilege, the other day the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson) made a statement to which I took exception, having in mind certain professional information of which I was aware. In reply to my observations at a later stage, he referred to a statement he had obtained from the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, a copy of which I have since obtained. My point of privilege is that in my humble opinion he referred inadequately to this statement, and I feel that in fairness to the house and myself the statement should be put on Hansard in full.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is it agreed by the house

that the statement of the hon. gentleman should be put on Hansard?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Would it not be better to

make it as an appendix, rather than including a document such as that in the pages of Hansard?

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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The document consists of

about three and a half pages; the first page is not full.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is it the wish of the house

that this statement be inserted in Hansard following the remarks of the hon. gentleman?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I think Your

Honour should make a considered decision in regard to this. There has been a great deal of comment in this house from time to time about the rule, which is very clearly established, against reading speeches. There are exceptions which I think should be borne in mind also; namely, in the case of the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and the Leader of the Opposition. After all, we have traditions which are of some importance, and I am referring to long-established traditions.

For reasons that must be obvious to everyone, there are occasions on which it is

appropriate and very wise that a statement by the Prime Minister, for example, or statements by other members of the cabinet, such as the budget of the Minister of Finance, should be read, where they constitute an expression of government policy involving details that ought to be fully presented in prepared form. This can be done without any suggestion that it is a breach of the rules.

Our parliamentary traditions make it equally appropriate for the leader of the opposition, in any of our parliaments which conduct their affairs under the same historic rules, to read any statement where a basic exchange of ideas is called for. There has been objection, however, to the extending practice of reading prepared speeches..

This rule has been observed more by its breach than by its recognition. No tendency has been shown by hon. members on either side to curtail the use of fairly extensive notes. On the other hand, the danger that has been expressed in this house on earlier occasions is that if this should be extended too far a practice might be adopted which is not consistent with our parliamentary procedure, though consistent with a perfectly proper practice under another type of procedure in the congress of the United States, where there is a rule permitting the filing of statements.

I do not think it is proper for us to criticize in any way a practice that exists under another jurisdiction. We all realize, however, that they are two different systems and we should be very careful in this house not to take any step that would suggest by inference the acceptance of the proposition that statements may be put on record as a substitute for the statement of the member himself, who is expected to express his own opinion in regard to anything that has been said at this time or on an earlier occasion.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The Leader of the Opposition is quite right when he says that speeches should not be read in the house. If there was some leniency shown it was on the throne speech debate, and I am quite prepared to show some leniency again when the budget debate comes up. But as a rule speeches should not be read in the house because members are supposed to express their own opinion and not read from long

Privilege-Mr. Weaver previously prepared essays. With that 1 am in full agreement, but at the moment that is not the point.

Here is the point to be considered at the moment. This is a statement re the assistance given by the mines branch in developing treatments of Flin Flon complex sulphide ore and Flin Flon disseminated ore. The hon. member for Churchill (Mr. Weaver) made a speech the other day. As hon. members know, he is by profession a metallurgist. He discussed the very matters that are mentioned in this statement which was prepared by the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. On the following day, or perhaps the same day, the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson) made reference to this statement and quoted from it. The hon. member for Churchill rises in his place today and says that in fairness to the house and to himself the statement, which he considers was referred to inadequately by the hon. member for Mackenzie, should be placed on Hansard. That is the point, and I think it is quite different from that which the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) has made. This statement cannot be put on Hansard unless there is unanimous consent.

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Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

There is not.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is there unanimous consent?

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Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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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 do not think unanimous consent should be given to this. As a matter of fact the hon. member for Lethbridge (Mr. Black-more) and I had a dispute with reference to some quotation the other evening. Am I permitted, in order to substantiate a statement I may make, to put a file or a book on the record of the house? I think we should stick to our time-honoured practice of not extending the record. While I sympathize with the idea behind this, I think probably the hon. gentleman could do it in a speech on mines and resources or something of that sort. I would not be prepared to give my consent to it, on the ground that I would be giving it without knowing what was in the document.

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PC

Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rodney Adamson (York West):

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the hon. gentleman should be allowed to continue with the statement. One of the engineers of the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys prepared a report, of which only part was read to this house. In my opinion that gave a false impression as to the context of the entire report. The hon. member for Churchill (Mr. Weaver), who is a metallurgist, felt that his judgment and his statement had

been called in question, not by the report but by the excerpt of the report given to this house. I think in fairness to both gentlemen, the gentleman who wrote the report and the hon. member for Churchill, the report in its entirety should be on the record of this house.

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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I still must ask the house if it gives unanimous consent to have this statement printed on Hansard. Is it agreed?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Yes.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Some hon. members say "no". Therefore it cannot be put on Hansard.

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Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraiih:

On a point of order, now that there is no-

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Subtopic:   MR. WEAVER STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO DISSEMINATED ORE
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December 11, 1953