March 28, 1955

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I do not wish to limit the latitude which hon. members may wish to take on this motion but I am asking myself whether it is in order at this moment to discuss whatever one might want to put forward before the committee after it is set up. In some cases when these motions come up there is no debate with respect to the subject matter to which it refers and in some cases there is debate. We had an example of that not long ago when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation committee was created, but I assume it was by general agreement that a debate on C.B.C. policies took place at that time. Unless there is a similar agreement on this occasion when an hon. member makes passing reference to the subject matter I can see no objection to it, but if anyone wishes to deal at great length with a certain subject which he would like to see debated before the committee, I submit he ought to wait until the committee is set up and submit it there.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Speaker, on that point Your Honour knows standing order 38 does provide that a motion to set up a committee is debatable. It is also in order under standing order 38 to debate the reference to a committee of any report or return that has

2442 HOUSE OF

Committee on Railways and Shipping been laid upon the table of the house. As I indicated, the report to which I made reference has been tabled in the house. It so happens I am not a member of the committee but the point I wish to make is that in my view even before this matter is referred to the committee there is something that the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) should do in relation to the crash to which I referred, and I point out again that that crash is covered in the report that is on the table of the house.

I do not ask any concession. I do not ask that I be allowed to deal with this matter on sufferance. I claim with respect that it is in order, just as much in order as it was on the motion regarding the radio committee for hon. members to discuss radio and television policy from A to Z. I feel I should be allowed to proceed with this matter and to make my appeal to the minister, before this motion passes, to set up a public board of inquiry with respect to the crash at Brampton.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member has another opportunity of putting forward that request when the estimates of the Department of Transport will soon be studied. I think that is the time to direct that request to the minister. It is not the responsibility of any of the corporations whose annual balance sheets will be examined by the committee to set up that particular board referred to by the hon. member. It is the responsibility of the minister as Minister of Transport.

As I say, I do not wish to limit the latitude the hon. members may wish to have when we are setting up a committee. There may be general agreement with respect to setting up the committee but if hon. members on a motion to appoint and institute the committee are going to tell the house what they wish to see done by the committee, I think we are putting the cart before the horse.

I do not want to go any further because I do not know if there was some agreement prior to the moving of this motion that there would be some kind of general debate. That was the case with the C.B.C. committee, I think. As far as I can recollect, any time the motion to create the C.B.C. committee was moved there was always a debate on policy and a general debate on C.B.C. operations, but that was not the situation in relation to other committees.

I remember having to stop the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) on a motion concerning amendments to the elections act.

I asked him to wait until the committee was set up and to put forward the suggestions before that committee and not to tell us the

amendments he would like to see enacted by that committee before the committee was instituted.

That is the extent of the remarks I wish to make at this moment. I would like to leave it in the hands of hon. members and ask them to be reasonable so as not to extend too much the latitude which is allowed on these motions.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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SC

Ray Thomas

Social Credit

Mr. Thomas:

On that point, Mr. Speaker, may I ask if concurrence will be asked when the report is brought in after the committee stops sitting? If so, that would give us an opportunity to fully debate the policy of the railway committee. If no concurrence is sought we will have no opportunity of debating it after the committee has finished its work. I suggest we should be allowed to debate it either now or after the committee has stopped.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member, I believe, is thinking of a bill which is presented annually to appoint the auditors for the Canadian National Railways or the first item of the Department of Transport in the committee of supply. It is upon these occasions that policies are discussed as well as operations and various activities which come under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Transport.

As I said, I do not intend to insist upon the latitude being curtailed any more than hon. members would wish to see it curtailed at this point. I think I have done my duty in pointing out that when we are setting up a committee it does not mean we should debate all the things hon. members would like to see the committee deal with on the motion to appoint the committee.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Speaker, I do not offer this as an argument or as a defence, but I think perhaps I might point out that I indicated to the leader of the house on Saturday afternoon-and there is one member in the house who was present on that occasion -that it was my intention to raise this matter on this motion this afternoon, and no objection was taken. Earlier I had thought perhaps I would do it as a grievance upon a supply motion, if one ever reached that stage. However, it seems to me that the very fact that the Minister of Transport (Mr. Marler) at this moment is moving that the affairs of Trans-Canada Air Lines be referred to a special committee gives me the right to ask him, before he asks that his motion pass, to take further action with respect to this matter to which I have drawn attention.

As I was about to point out, a few days after the crash last December the minister

himself announced that there would be a public inquiry. A report to that effect appeared in the Globe and Mail of Wednesday, December 22, 1954. That report indicates that the minister was quite definite that there would be a public inquiry. He pointed out that first of all there would be an inquiry by a technical board within the department, and he indicated that the results of the examinations by that technical board of inquiry would be turned over to the public board. According to Harvey Hickey, who wrote the dispatch, the minister said that no effort would be spared toward achieving this end, the end being the ascertaining of the relevant facts in relation to this crash.

As hon. members know, when the minister, on February 22, tabled the report of the technical board of inquiry and the other documents related thereto he said that although it had been his original intention to follow this inquiry by a technical board with a public hearing, he had changed his mind. He gave his reasons for that decision briefly when he said this, as reported at page 1375 of Hansard:

Having regard to the exhaustive inquiry made by the board and the positive nature of its findings, I have come to the conclusion that no useful purpose would be served by setting up a public board of inquiry as I originally contemplated.

That means, Mr. Speaker, that there is no dispute over my statement that it was the original intention of the minister to have the two inquiries, one by technical people within the department and the other by a public board.

Hon. members will recall that, a day or two later, I asked in the house whether, in the light of certain comments made by the president of the Canadian air lines pilots' association, the minister would reconsider the matter and have a public board. His offhand answer was no, and nothing seems to have been done about the matter since that time. It is my contention, Mr. Speaker,- and that is the reason that I feel that I should have these few minutes in which to speak on this matter now-that the minister should go back to his original intention and set up a public board.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Will the hon. member permit a question?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Certainly.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I agree with him about having a public inquiry, but could not this matter be inquired into by this committee being set up, composed of members of parliament able to hear the evidence and thereby come to a conclusion?

28, 1955 2443

Committee on Railways and Shipping

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

The committee could inquire into the matters that were raised a few minutes ago by the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell) but it seemed to him appropriate to make those observations on this motion here in the house. It is my contention, Mr. Speaker, that this is a matter of such serious importance to one individual, namely the pilot concerned, and to the public that, bearing in mind the original intention of the minister, I should be permitted to make now on the floor of the house this public appeal to the minister to go through with what was his original intention. That is what I am doing now, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I am trying to be just as generous as I can possibly be. I have been listening attentively to the hon. member's remarks but I must confess that, in my humble judgment, I do not see how the hon. member can be in order in asking the Minister of Transport to proceed via a board of inquiry on this motion. I do not want to argue with the hon. member indefinitely about procedure, but may I say this. We are setting up a committee to investigate the accounts and estimates and bills relating to the Canadian National Railways, the Canadian National (West Indies) Steamships, and Trans-Canada Air Lines. Because of the fact that T.C.A. accounts are mentioned in the motion the hon. member says, "I am going to ask the Minister of Transport to set up a board of inquiry to go into the matter of the crash at"-was it Moose Jaw?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Brampton.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

In any event, with respect to some crash that took place and that he has mentioned, and the pilot who was involved. I cannot see it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Speaker, how is it that we had a two or three day debate on the motion to set up a committee on radio broadcasting? What is the meaning of standing order 38 which reads in part as follows:

(1) The following motions are debatable:-

Every motion . . .

(j) for the appointment of a committee,

(k) for reference to a committee of a report or any return laid on the table of the house . . .

If it is in order to debate the proposal to set up a committee-which means that one can argue for it or against it-surely in doing so it is in order to discuss matters that relate thereto, as well as matters covered in reports that have been laid on the table as indicated in that motion. In this case the T.C.A. report has been laid on the table and the report, at pages 6 and 13 thereof, makes reference to the crash that occurred

2444 HOUSE OF

Committee on Railways and Shipping on December 17 near Brampton, Ontario. Just as there has been wide discussion of things that some members felt the government should do about radio, with those long appeals for a separate regulatory body and things like that which had not been mentioned in the motion but which some members felt were relevant to the question, I submit that in the same way it is relevant to the affairs of Trans-Canada Air Lines for me to say that, in my view, there has not yet been a proper and satisfactory inquiry into the crash that took place at Brampton last December and which is mentioned in the accounts and reports that are to be referred to the committee. I admit, as I said a moment ago, that I could have raised this matter as a grievance on a motion to go into supply. Your Honour is nodding your head. If the upshot of all this is that you compel me to cease going ahead with this matter, that is when I shall do it. But it seems to me that it is relevant to this question and that it might be better, in the long run, if I finished the speech now rather than having to start it all over again when we reach that other stage in our proceedings.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Of course, the hon. member having gone so far, if one is to be practical I suppose we might as well allow the hon. member to conclude. But my difficulty is that if I allow the hon. member to take a sideroad as far as relevancy is concerned, then I must allow all hon. members to do likewise if they wish to do so. That is my problem. At this moment I am somewhat puzzled. I know that some agreements are made and discussions of a general character take place on motions of this kind. I have indicated one, namely the motion to set up the committee on the C.B.C. But I submit that, by agreement, hon. members should not change the rules that it is my duty to ask hon. members to observe. In discussing a motion to set up a committee for a certain purpose, I do not see how it could be relevant to ask the Minister of Transport, before he sees this motion passed, to create a board of inquiry to investigate a crash in a certain district. I do not see it, but I will let the hon. member carry on a little further and see whether my mind cannot be changed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Speaker, I have every respect for the statement you have just made that your mind cannot be changed, because I am equally convinced that this subject is relevant. However, in view of what you have said, I will make my remarks shorter than I had otherwise intended in the hope that,, if not today certainly within the next few days, the minister will respond to my request and [Mr. Knowles.l

set up a public board of inquiry, thus making it unnecessary for me to raise the matter again. If the matter is not dealt with satisfactorily in the next little while, I may find it necessary to raise it again on the motion to go into supply.

The reason I am not satisfied with the report tabled by the minister which was made by the technical board of inquiry is that, although it puts the blame for the accident on the so-called or alleged negligence of the pilot, I feel that the board itself has been negligent in not including in its report all of the facts of the case. Some hon. members may have seen the statements I have made to the press regarding this matter and will be familiar with what is in my mind. Precisely because I have made statements to the press I do not need to spell it out quite so fully here.

The report suggests that there was really no element of fatigue that could lead to the alleged negligence of the pilot. In my view the report goes out of its way to make out that the pilot had not had too difficult a week previous to the time of the crash. I have in mind particularly the statement on page xv of the report which says:

Approximately one week prior to the flight in question Captain Ramsay returned from leave. During the ensuing week he made one round trip to Bermuda and two round trips to Tampa, involving a total flying time for the three trips of 43 hours. He was off duty for two days, on Tuesday and on Thursday, the day prior to the flight in question. Captain Ramsay spent Thursday evening quietly.

Anyone who reads those few sentences will gain the impression that the captain of this trip had had not too hard a week. He had had, so the report seems to suggest, a week involving only three trips. Actually the words are "approximately one week" and the reference is to "three trips". The fact of the matter is that in a period of six days Captain Ramsay made four trips. The report suggests in the sentences I have just read that he had had two days off before the trip to Tampa which resulted in the crash on the way back. True, it does say that those two days were Tuesday and Thursday, but the way in which the report glosses over what had happened on Wednesday is, I suggest, a case of negligence, on the part of the authors of this report.

The fact of the matter is that this pilot had made a trip on Sunday from Montreal to Toronto, on to Bermuda and back to Toronto. On Monday he made a trip from Toronto to Florida and back to Toronto and Montreal. On Wednesday he made a trip from Montreal to Toronto, on to Florida and back to

Toronto and Montreal. On Friday he was making the same trip again when the crash occurred. I have gone into this matter very thoroughly both by studying the T.C.A. timetable which was in effect at the time and by making a thorough study of the transcript of evidence, which is over 550 pages, which was laid on the table of the house as sessional paper 187-A. I find that in that period of six days-

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member again but this time I am afraid it will be for good.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Speaker, I am not going to ask to be on sufferance here. References are made to this crash in the report which was laid on the table of the house. With the greatest of respect, Mr. Speaker, I suggest that we not treat each other with formal courtesy. I ask you to rule whether I have the right to make this speech now or have not. If I do not have the right now, I shall make it as soon as there is an opportunity on the motion to go into supply.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

If I may intervene for a moment, it seems to me my hon. friend has said too much for his statements to be allowed to go without rebuttal. He has stated that fatigue entered into the situation. I am prepared to show that there was no fatigue, and I think my statement should go out along with the hon. member's. If there are going to be charges of improper operation made here, we had better thresh them out.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Q. Are there any circumstances at all that you are aware of which would increase the possibility of human element failure on this particular approach?

A. I don't just quite understand that, what you mean by that.

Q. Well, was there any stress that you were under in any way-you or any other member of your flight crew?

A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. The human element fails in general when it is overstressed. There is usually, I believe, some explanation why the human element fails. Did you feel on this approach that you were overloaded? Were you under stress during the approach?

A. No, I didn't. To the best of my knowledge it was, you might say, just another let-down.

Q. You had no apprehensions yourself?

A. Not knowingly.

Then, there is some reference to a written statement which the captain had prepared which was to be accepted to be included in the evidence. Similarly, Mr. Speaker, over on page 291 there is a series of questions which were put to Miss Deruchie, the stewardess, about the flight. As I read these questions they seem to me to be, like the questions I just quoted which were put to Captain Ramsay, what are called leading questions. Up to this point all the questions had been with regard to flight matters, technical matters, and then all of a sudden comes this form of questioning which is more or less an assertion to the witness that it must have been the human element if no equipment is found to be at fault. Listen to this questioning of the stewardess:

Q. Perhaps one final question. If it can be established that all equipment was functioning normally and that there was nothing wrong with any instrument or altimeter, the cause of the accident then immediately becomes personal, human error on the part of the flight crew. This being the case, in order to help your flight crew, anything that you can say that might explain why they failed would be of enormous value both to them and to this board of inquiry and to aviation in general.

A. I know of nothing unless the captain had an attack of something, the same as the first officer and myself had.

Q. Nothing whatever in his appearance during the whole of this day would lead you to feel he was unwell or tired or under any strain or worrying about anything?

A. Oh, no, he's always a very gay boy. We had our meal together in the coffee shop and he looked around the souvenir counters. No, nothing abnormal there.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT
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March 28, 1955