February 7, 1955

SHAUGHNESSY HOSPITAL, VANCOUVER FISH PURCHASES

PC

Mr. Green:

Progressive Conservative

1. From what firms has fish been purchased for Shaughnessy hospital in Vancouver, during the past two years?

Orders for Returns

2. In each case, what other firms, if any, tendered for the sale of such fish?

3. What were the amounts of the respective tenders including those that were accepted?

HIGHWAY SAFETY CONFERENCE Mr. Knowles:

1. Has the federal government, or any minister thereof, given consideration to inviting the appropriate representatives of the various provinces to meet for the purpose of discussing highway safety programs in order that efforts might be made to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our highways?

2. If so, what is the result of such consideration?

3. Has a tentative date for such a meeting been proposed?

N.H.A. LOANS NEAR AIRPORTS Mr. Knight:

1. Has the government recently issued regulations prohibiting the making of loans under N.H.A. for building in the vicinity of airports?

2. If so, what was the date of the announcement of such regulations?

3. What are the distances from the airports to which such prohibition applies?

4. Has the government announced any regulations tending to protect life in the areas prohibited where residential buildings have already been erected?

5. Near what airports are there such residential buildings, other than government buildings, within the prescribed area?

6. Has the government considered prohibiting future erection of any and all residential buildings within the prescribed areas?

7. If so, what has been the result of such consideration?

MONT JOLI AND RIMOUSKI AIRPORTS Mr. Balcer:

1. What amount has been spent by the Department of National Defence at the Mont Joli airport since 1940?

2. What amount has been spent at the Mont Joli airport by the Department of Transport since its transfer from the Department of National Defence?

3. What are the existing facilities at the Mont Joli airport for commercial transportation such as, runways, lighting, hangars, radio direction, etc.?

4. What amount was spent during the last five years by the Department of Transport at the Rimouski municipal airport?

5. What is the distance by air between the towns of Rimouski and Mont Joli?

FUEL PURCHASES, ATLANTIC PROVINCES Mr. Purdy:

What was the cost of fuel purchased by the federal government for use in each of the four Atlantic provinces, during the fiscal year ending 31st March, 1954, under the following headings: Nova Scotia coal, New Brunswick coal, other Canadian coal, United States coal, other imported coal, fuel oil?

FUR IMPORTS FROM RUSSIA Mr. Pearkes:

1. What quantity of fur, raw and processed, has been imported into Canada from the U.S.S.R. since October, 1953?

2. What is the total value of such furs?

3. Of what varieties are the furs thus imported?

4. What tariff is imposed upon these furs?

5. What Canadian firms purchased pelts from Russia?

6. Have any muskrat skins been imported from any European country? If so, in what quantities and from what countries?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   SHAUGHNESSY HOSPITAL, VANCOUVER FISH PURCHASES
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MOTIONS FOR PAPERS

TRAIN WRECK, AVOLA, B.C.

SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

-

For a copy of all correspondence, letters, telegrams, and other documents exchanged between the Department of Transport, the board of railway commissioners and/or others, pertaining to Mr. A. G. Webster, conductor, relative to a train wreck on Canadian National Railways track at Avola, British Columbia, on May 28, 1942.

He said: I had an early understanding that this motion would stand for the time being.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   TRAIN WRECK, AVOLA, B.C.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Motion stands.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   TRAIN WRECK, AVOLA, B.C.
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QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL, MONTREAL

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

For a copy of all letters and communications since the first day of September, 1954, that have passed between the Department of Transport and the Canadian National Railways respecting the lease of the Queen Elizabeth hotel in the city of Montreal to the Hilton Hotels Corporation.

Topic:   QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL, MONTREAL
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LIB

George Carlyle Marler (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Marler:

This motion asks for the production of correspondence between the Department of Transport and the Canadian National Railways respecting the so-called lease of the Queen Elizabeth hotel.

May I say at once that arrangements concerning the hotel are not a lease but an agreement for the management of the hotel, and with deference I submit that as the management of the hotel is clearly a matter of internal operation of the railway this motion should not be accepted by the house.

As hon. members know, parliament has consistently maintained the view that the management of the railway should not be required to make public information relating to the affairs of the system that their competitor is not obligated to produce.

In the circumstances I would hope the hon. member will agree to withdraw his motion.

Topic:   QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL, MONTREAL
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The motion is withdrawn?

Topic:   QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL, MONTREAL
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PC
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member says no, and naturally he expects me to collect the voices. I do not want to offer any objection to that today, but I want hon. members to follow my reasoning and think it over so that they will decide themselves perhaps what they should do in the future with respect to these motions. It is simply this: the house is entitled to get only what it is allowed to get. Bourinot claims that the

house is not entitled to ask for confidential documents, documents of a private nature or for any documents which the minister may decide that it is not in the public interest to produce. When a minister rises in his place and says, "I cannot produce these", and an hon. member says "I would like the opinion of the house to be decided by a vote", it means one of two things; either the member who is now asking that I collect the voices for the purpose of provoking a division does not believe the minister when he says that the documents asked for are not in the public interest to produce, and therefore he is not accepting the minister's word, which in all cases must be accepted in this house. Whenever a member declares a thing to be such and such he declares it on his honour, and therefore his word must be accepted. If, on the other hand, the house should vote upon the motion in an affirmative way, it would mean that although a minister of the crown has declared that it is not in the public interest to produce certain documents, the house would override that and would force the production of confidential documents or documents which it is not in the public interest to produce, and thus the house would insist upon having documents which it is not entitled to obtain.

I would like hon. members to think that over because it seems to me that in most cases, as far as one can look back in Hansard since confederation, that was the decision arrived at. Of course, there was a time when these notices of motions for production of papers were debatable and long debates took place upon them. But all leaders of parties, in or out of power, have always agreed that they should not insist upon production of papers which are declared not to be in the interest of the house to get. See Bourinot, fourth edition, pages 249-254; Todd's Parliamentary Government in England, revised by Spencer Walpole, volume II, pages 157160. See also debates, March 17, 1921, pages 1003-4, volume II, 1921.

Today, as I say, I will just leave these remarks for the consideration of hon. members, and perhaps later on I shall hear comments of hon. members on this reasoning. Does the hon. member for Prince Albert wish to say something?

Topic:   QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL, MONTREAL
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that Your Honour has seen fit to give a summary of the past procedure in giving an indication that any such appeal at this time would indeed be almost in the nature of an appeal from your own view, I am not going to press it at this time.

Motions for Papers

Topic:   QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL, MONTREAL
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I tell the hon. member from Prince Albert that I sincerely appreciate the attitude that he is taking on this particular matter. As I said, I do not want to impose a ruling today, but I should like hon. members to think over carefully what I have said because I do not see how one can get out of it. To me the situation is simply this. You can put on the order paper a notice of motion for the production of papers. If you were to ask for documents that it is not in the public interest to produce, the clerk of orders and notices would tell the hon. member who would like to put such notice of motion on the order paper: "You cannot put it on the order paper; I cannot accept it". You cannot ask for the production of confidential, private or personal documents or those documents that it is not in the public interest to produce. If you ask for documents and the minister says it is not in the public interest to produce those documents, if you do not accept his word it is tantamount to saying that the minister is not telling the truth. If he is telling the truth, there is only one thing to do and that is to have the motion dropped. For today the motion is to be dropped.

Topic:   QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL, MONTREAL
Permalink
PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

May I make a suggestion, Mr. Speaker? I know that I am not entitled to question Your Honour but I make the suggestion that some opportunity be provided for further discussion on the point at another date this session. I take the liberty of suggesting that, as Your Honour has pointed out, in the old days these motions were debatable. It would then be open to the minister to satisfy or to attempt to satisfy the house as to the justification for his position that it was not in the public interest to produce the document. In the same way it would be open to the party seeking its production to try to satisfy the minister and the house that it was in the public interest. Your Honour has pointed out that that sort of debate is no longer permitted. I think it is for that reason that the practice of having a vote on such motions has arisen; because some members of the house may genuinely and sincerely disagree with the suggestion that the matter is against the public interest. Before we appear to accept the suggestion that such motion should not be the subject of division, I would again repeat my suggestion that there be further opportunity to discuss the matter.

Topic:   QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL, MONTREAL
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

May I suggest that nowadays the motions are still debatable, but not when introduced in this way. If the hon. member looks at standing order 51 he will see this:

. . . but if on any such motion a debate be desired, it will be transferred by the Clerk to the order of "notices of motions".

Veterans Affairs

Topic:   QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL, MONTREAL
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COMPETITIVE VALUE OF GAS IN INDUSTRY

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

For a copy of the report made in 1954 by Dr. Hume and Mr. Arch Crozier containing the results of an investigation made regarding the competitive value of gas used in industry.

He said: With the leave of the house may I ask that this motion be withdrawn?

Topic:   COMPETITIVE VALUE OF GAS IN INDUSTRY
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is it agreed that the motion be withdrawn?

Topic:   COMPETITIVE VALUE OF GAS IN INDUSTRY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   COMPETITIVE VALUE OF GAS IN INDUSTRY
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February 7, 1955