July 6, 1955

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

The ten editors, I say. We should go back to them; they like you.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, I can hardly hear the Minister of Defence Production.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Just carry on, then.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

He said something about ten editors and that we should go back to them. I am not exactly sure what that reference means.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Ask your colleague the hon. member for Greenwood.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

If the minister has only seen ten editorials opposed to the act, then I would suggest his office is less efficient than I had every reason to believe it was. Then we have this statement of the minister as recorded at page 5380 of Hansard, and he really tried to give us the creeps. He said:

You may be greatly relieved that those particular situations are behind me. I can say that now we

have started on a program of development that gives me the shudders, a supersonic plane and a supersonic engine.

Later he said:

We are just moving into the field of guided missiles . . .

Where is there anything in this act that is necessary to carry out the guided missile program, or that having to do with supersonic planes?

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

You would not know.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

The minister says I would not know. I do know that the minister of defence production in Britain, who is responsible for a great deal more production than the minister here, does not need any powers of this kind in order to carry out not only the development of supersonic planes and guided missiles but hydrogen and atomic bombs as well.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

He has the powers.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, you may not have heard the minister. He said the British minister has the powers. That is the trouble. That is why it is so necessary to continue this debate. The minister does not yet realize that the British minister has not the powers, and neither has the head of defence production in the United States. There the powers are defined. I can just imagine what would happen in the congress of the United States if anybody had the temerity to put a bill like this before that body and ask for its adoption. There would not be a chance of it passing. There would not be a chance of these powers passing in the House of Commons at Westminster. If the minister does not yet realize that the provisions in this act to which I have referred do apply to the general powers to take over personal services as well as property of all kinds, and that those powers do go well beyond the other two acts, then that merely shows how little he has appreciated the course that has been followed.

In view of the fact the minister himself emphasizes his failure to understand that the traditional practice is to delegate the powers of parliament only for a precise and definitely limited purpose, and since he does not understand what is involved in that section that specifically creates a presumption of guilt, I think it is necessary to deal with the whole question of the presumption of guilt because that is the very thing for which we have been fighting for a long time. It is that every man shall be innocent under the law until judged guilty by his peers.

I know the minister does not like to go back into distant, ancient history, but there are certain provisions that should be borne in mind. I know that Magna Carta was signed a very long time ago, but hon. members should realize that Magna Carta is the foundation of our law. There are many things included in it that were only of the period and dealt with unhappy events of a time long past. But there were certain fundamental principles that are still pleaded in court today, and that are still an essential, fundamental part of our law.

Section 9 of Magna Carta has a very direct bearing on these wide powers that are conferred on the minister alone, not on the government. These would have been held invalid under section 9 of Magna Carta without some overriding provision. Section 9 reads as follows:

Neither we nor our bailiffs shall seize any land or rent for any debt so long as the debtor's chattels are sufficient to discharge the same; nor shall the debtor's sureties be distrained so long as the chief debtor hath sufficient to pay the debt, and if he fail in payment thereof, not having wherewithal to discharge it, then the sureties shall answer it, and, if they will, shall hold the debtor's lands and rents until satisfaction of the debt which they have paid for him be made them, unless the chief debtor can show himself to be quit thereof against them.

Compare that with the power over debtors or over individuals conferred by this act. Then going on to some of the later sections, I find that section 39 is one that is perhaps the very cornerstone of the modern concept of individual rights. Section 39 reads:

No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against or prosecute him except by lawful judgment of his peers or the law of the land.

Then section 40 reads:

To no one will we sell, to none will we deny or defer, right or justice.

Reading those two sections of Magna Carta-

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Read them to hydro. .

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Read them to Howe.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Even after I have read the sections of the hydroelectric act the minister does not yet understand them.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

I understand that you cannot go to court against hydro.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I pointed out before, and I point out again what I had hoped the minister would understand, that in the case of the hydroelectric provision, it was one which dealt in most explicit terms with cases in

Defence Production Act which there was difficulty about the distribution of power which resulted from the failure of the previous Liberal government in Ontario to provide the power that was necessary under those circumstances.

Section 45 of Magna Carta reads as follows:

We will only appoint such men to be justiciaries, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs as know the law of the land and will keep it well.

But oh, this minister does not bother about that. He wants power to appoint controllers, and inspectors who do not know anything about the law, and that is in direct contravention of the fundamental principle of Magna Carta. I know that is an ancient document, but it was regarded as of sufficient importance by the people of the United States that when they obtained a copy of it they sent it across the United States on what was called the freedom train so the people could see the fundamental charter of American as well as of our freedom. In case any hon. members think Magna Carta is an ancient, dusty document of no application, may I point out that there was a very recent decision in our own courts which came to its conclusion on the basis of the provisions of Magna Carta.

Then it will be recalled that over the years some of the provisions of Magna Carta were forgotten, as they have been forgotten today. The Bill of Rights was passed in 1689. Once again there were difficulties of an immediate nature which have passed into history, and which have nothing to do with the fundamental principles of the responsibility of parliament that were the main concern of those who drafted the Bill of Rights. Let us read some of the provisions of the Bill of Rights, the other great cornerstone of our concept of parliamentary responsibility and freedom. I quote, starting at the second paragraph:

And thereupon the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representation of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties, declare;

1. That the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority without consent of parliament is illegal.

2. That the pretended power of dispensing with laws, or the execution of laws, by legal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal.

Then I pass on to No. 4:

4. That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of parliament, for longer time or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal.

Read those provisions, and then without in any way clouding your judgment by your

5774 HOUSE OF

Defence Production Act opinion of any minister, examine the powers conferred by this act and ask yourselves whether we are doing as the Bill of Rights says, following what our ancestors in like case have usually done. Those people had the temerity-no, those people had the good judgment-to say that they respected the traditions of their ancestors, and respecting those traditions, they laid down certain rules in regard to the full authority of parliament, which we are transgressing if at this time we embed into the permanent laws of the land an act of this nature, with no time limit and with no restraint upon the powers conferred.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Back to Magna Carta again.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
Permalink
PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

It would be helpful if the minister were to speak loud enough for me to hear, because I could then deal immediately with what he said.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Excuse me; I just said to a member who had just come in that we were back to Magna Carta.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Oh, the minister is not interested in Magna Carta nor is he interested in the laws of the present time, so long as he gets the powers he wants. The fact is that it is the powers he is asking for and the powers he demands that are keeping us here at this time. When there is any suggestion that we are here simply because of some whim of ours, let it be said once again that if the government had lived up to its word we would have dealt with this long ago. The government has broken its clear undertaking, and we are sitting here and taking part in this debate only because the government, having first of all said these powers should not be continued is now saying, on the demand of the Minister of Defence Production, "We must have all or nothing." That is the only reason we are still here.

If the right hon. minister is tired of hearing about Magna Carta, if he is tired of hearing about the Bill of Rights, if he is tired of hearing about the rule of law and the supremacy of parliament, then let him carry out the decent undertaking made by this government and this debate will come to an end just as simply as that.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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?

An hon. Member:

"Simply" is right.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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July 6, 1955