May 23, 1956

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulion:

If he spoke three times, perhaps it is three times as debatable as any other motion.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Mr. Ilsley himself spoke and there was an interjection by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. Then Mr. Ilsley continued. He was interrupted by Mr. Smith of Calgary West, who took the floor. Then Mr. Ilsley spoke again. Mr. Knowles spoke again. Mr. Ilsley spoke. Then Mr. Knowles made an interjection. Then Mr. Ilsley spoke again.

This was not a debate as we understand it, where a member speaks to a question only once. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre will agree with me, I am sure, that this debate took place with the indulgence of the house upon a motion moved by the hon. member with respect to an extremely important measure, namely the Transitional Measures Act, and that it is evident-because if the motion was really debatable, all the rules of debate were violated during that particular debate by members speaking two

4270 HOUSE OF COMMONS

Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation or three times to the same question-that the debate took place because of the climate which prevailed in the house at that time and by unanimous consent.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

No, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member for Eglinton may say no, but I cannot conceive that a Speaker would allow the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre to propose a debatable motion, then allow the then hon. member for Calgary West to speak three or four times and even the then minister of justice himself to speak three or four times and the original mover of the motion, without closing the debate, himself to speak again two or three times.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

With respect, Mr. Speaker, may I say this. You say that the then hon. member for Calgary West, Mr. Smith, spoke several times. With great respect, may I say that I think that is a misapprehension. If you will look at page 2209 you will find that he asked a question. That was all he did the first time.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

He said he spoke.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Just a minute. If you will look at page 2210, Mr. Speaker, you will find that he spoke in opposition to the motion. At page 2212, all he did was to throw in from his seat an interjection which Hansard caught. That was all he did. He said, "I am agreeing with you" in reply to an observation made by Mr. Zaplitny. This was not a free-wheeling discussion, Mr. Speaker, with all the rules waived. There is not a word said here to indicate that there was any consent on the part of the house that there was to be a free discussion on a motion that was not otherwise open to debate. With respect, Mr. Speaker, in your attempt to give a quick reading to some seven pages of Hansard under the pressures of the moment I think you have not correctly followed the discussion. With great respect, I do not see how anybody could hope to absorb the course of this discussion which is reported on seven pages of Hansard in the time that you have had available.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Including the hon. member who is now speaking.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Fortunately not including the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Pickersgill), because in 1948 we were spared his silly interruptions. There were in the house in those days people who knew something about the rules and Right Hon. J. L. Ilsley was recognized as an authority on the rules.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. Shall we discuss the point of order? Was the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre going to say something?

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I was in the middle of saying something.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I take it that the hon. member for Eglinton had not concluded his remarks. Will he speak to the point of order?

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

That is correct, Mr. Speaker. I was observing that the member on the government side at that time who participated in that debate, namely Right Hon. J. L. Ilsley, then minister of justice speaking for the government, was recognized as an authority on the rules. There was on his part no objection whatever. There is not a suggestion, not a word on his part, to indicate that the motion was not debatable. On the contrary he takes note of the fact that no notice was given, and he is speaking to the motion with the handicap of not having that notice. But he uses these words, "I presume I may now speak to the motion". What could be plainer than that, Mr. Speaker? There is the voice of the government on that occasion, and an authoritative voice having regard to the knowledge of the rules of the house.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Mr. Speaker, I may be a

very new member of the house and I may not know the rules very well. But when the hon. member said that Mr. Ilsley drew attention to the fact that this was done without notice, it seems to me that he implied that in the ordinary course it would require notice. Even in the short time during which I have been in the house I have seen a great many things that were contrary to the rules done in this house by general consent, though it was quite tacit consent. It is perfectly obvious that is what happened on this occasion. I should like to disabuse the mind of any hon. member who thinks there is any unanimous consent to go on with the debate on this motion today, because I for one would never give it.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Mr. Speaker, you were in the house on that occasion. You were a member of the house at that time. We have all this talk now conjuring up something that did not exist at the time, namely the idea of consent. Mr. Speaker, will you bear in mind the fact that this was a contested motion and that it resulted in a division in the house. There was no consent at all to its being proceeded with. On the contrary, it was formally contested, and it resulted in a division. Let there be no more silly talk about this debate having proceeded on the basis of consent. Talk of that kind comes from people who were not even in the house at the time.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Your Honour will observe, because you have the Hansard in front of you, that Mr. Ilsley's reference to not having notice was a case of laying the foundation for the fact that his remarks had to be extemporaneous. He said in the next sentence- I have not the Hansard in front of me but I am familiar with the passage-that accordingly he had not had any more time than the time during which I had been speaking to collect his thoughts about this issue. He did not refer to lack of notice as an objection to the motion at all.

The other point that I was going to make, Mr. Speaker, was this. Your Honour and all of us are familiar with the practice of Hansard in that it puts members' names in Hansard in full when they are making formal speeches with the Speaker in the chair; whereas they put the member's surname only, just Mr. Fleming or Mr. Pickersgill, as the case may be, when he makes an interruption or asks a question of the member who is still on his feet. Since you have the Hansard in your hand and I have not, is it not correct to say that my name appears in full and so does Mr. Ilsley's; and one or two others may be there in full as well. It means that those so-called repeated speeches by Mr. Smith and Mr. Case were interruptions in the speeches of other hon. members who had the floor. It seems to me that when Your Honour is presented with this situation it is hard to deny that that was a formal debate on a contentious issue which, as the hon. member for Eglinton has pointed out, ended with a recorded division.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

May I add one sentence? May I draw your attention to the fact that every time on these pages the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre appears to have been speaking on the matter he spoke in reply to a question. In every case it was a reply to a question, nothing more; it was not an additional speech.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

It seems to me that there is only one way to settle this and that is to quote the passage in Hansard on which the whole argument is based to contend that this motion is debatable. I say that by virtue of standing order 32 this motion is not debatable, and I would go further and say that the first instance on which it' was contended that the motion had been debated, namely when Mr. Howe moved a motion regarding the dividing of a bill which related to oats and coarse grains, at that time the motion was put to the house but was not debated except for a clarification which had to be made regarding the statement which the minister had made in committee and by virtue of which he had

23, 1956 4271

Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation promised to make a motion to divide the bill later and that motion was defeated. The only other place that has been suggested as a precedent is where a debate took place when the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre moved a motion to give instructions to a committee to divide a bill, and it appears on pages 2207 to 2213 of Hansard.

There are some differences of opinion as to whether or not this was a debate. It appears to me, from a quick reading of the various remarks that were made then, that it was not a debate on the merits of the motion proposed by the hon. member; it was rather a debate relating to the practical value and order of the motion which the hon. member had proposed. Mr. Knowles said:

Before Your Honour accepts the motion that Mr. Speaker leave the chair and the house go into committee of the whole on Bill No. 136, I should like to propose a motion of instruction to the committee. The procedure I wish to follow is identically the same as that which the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) told us the other day it was his intention to follow with respect to Bill No. 135. He indicated at that time that after the second reading of the hill had been passed he would move an instruction to the committee that they have power to do so and so with that bill. It is my intention at this identical stage to move as an instruction that the committee of the whole have power to carry out a certain procedure with respect to Bill No. 136 which is now before us. I do this. Mr. Speaker, under the authority of citation 407 of Beauchesne, third edition, which reads as follows:

"An instruction is a motion empowering a committee to do something which it could not otherwise do, or to direct it to do something which it might otherwise not do. It directs the order and course of the committee's proceedings and extends or restricts the order of reference according to the discretion of the house."

Citation 410 indicates when and where such a motion as I am about to make is in order. It reads:

"An instruction to a committee of the whole is a motion which ought to have the right of way on the question that the Speaker do leave the chair."

I take it that it was on the authority of that citation that the Minister of Trade and Commerce outlined his proposed procedure the other day. It is on the same basis that I now rise. Mr. Speaker. I think it is only fair I should not go any further without indicating the nature of the instruction which I wish to move. I shall move it at this time, seconded by my colleague, the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson):

"That it be an instruction to the committee of the whole that they have power to amend Bill 136 by inserting therein the following section:

Then follows section 2 and subsection 4. Then Mr. Knowles continued:

The Minister of Justice will recognize immediately that this is a point we raised last year when we were in committee on the original bill which was then before us. At that time, since we had the bill before us, it was competent in committee of the whole to move an amendment to section 4. Section 4 was, as I say, at that time before the committee of the whole. This year however we have before us, as the Minister

Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation vi Justice has just indicated, a very simple bill with only one section, and it could be argued that that bill will bring before the committee of the whole only section 7 of the original act. Therefore if in the committee of the whole I were to rise and attempt to move an amendment to section 4 of the original act, it is altogether likely I would be told that section 4 is not before us, and therefore I would not be able to move an amendment to it.

That is my reason for moving that the house now pass this instruction to the committee, giving the committee the authority to take up section 4 and amend it by inserting another section in the bill now before the house.

I draw to the attention of the minister the fact that last year when I proposed this matter I did so on April 17, suggesting a wording which I felt met my point. The minister, although he did not agree with my motion, treated it with respect and asked that the matter stand, and the next day he suggested an alternative wording which is to be found at page 2181 of Hansard of April 18, 1947. The amendment which the minister then said would meet my purpose was:

Then comes the amendment. The hon. member continued:

I accordingly withdrew the amendment in the form in which I had worded it in the first place and moved an amendment in the form in which the Minister of Justice suggested it to me.

I could carry on like this throughout the rest of the speech made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, and if I have to I shall do so. But it seems to me that what the hon. member did at that moment was to make his point that the motion he was proposing was one that was in order and one that he had to make if he were not to be deprived of the right of making some amendments in committee; and at the same time it was meeting the point the Chair might have made that his motion was not to be received because it was empowering the committee to do something which otherwise it would not have the power to do. It is true that the late hon. member for Calgary West, Mr. Smith, at one point asked a question only of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, to which the hon. member replied.

Then Mr. Garfield Case took the floor and said:

From what the Minister of Justice said the other day in explanation of the resolution I understood that the committee of the whole would have an opportunity to discuss any section of the act.

It is not the motion that is being discussed; it is the question of order and the question of the priority of the motion and the practical value of it that is being debated at the time. Mr. Case continued:

I am interested in one particular section. We have been told by the Minister of Finance that the law officers of the crown discovered a provision in the act which even the administration did not know existed, which they said would permit the government to carry out what we have been inclined to call the austerity program. I do not think the government itself expected that the

measure presented and passed last session would delegate such wide powers to the administration. For that reason I think when the committee of the whole is considering this bill clause by clause, or any part of it, we should have the right to seek out and deprive the governor in council of the right to deal arbitrarily with any situation with, which parliament itself should deal.

We have heard a good deal about the legality of the taxes which have been imposed, and so on. By the admission of the Minister of Finance himself the administration must find itself in an embarrassing situation today, when it is asking parliament to condone something which was done on November 17 and which it had or had not legal authority to do. So I think when the committee is considering this bill, if any direction is to be given we should be privileged to review the act and suggest amendments thereto, so we may feel more secure and may know that we are returning to at least some semblance of democratic government.

At this moment Mr. Ilsley took the floor and said that the matter had come before him without notice and therefore he was not as well prepared to discuss it as he otherwise might have been, but he went on to say:

I am inclined to think no harm would be done by giving this power to the committee. What we should do in committee is another matter. Last year I took the view first, I think, that I was indifferent to a similar motion, because I regarded it as an empty gesture: and I think it is not much more than an empty gesture at the present time. The preservation of the regulations of the wartime prices and trade board, exactly as they are contained in the schedule, gives the government full power to revoke individual controls under those regulations at any time they wish. For instance, they could remove any particular commodity from the operation of the regulations. It was for that reason last year that I thought it did not make any difference whether or not a similar provision passed. Finally, however, I stated that as a member of the committee I would vote against it. While expressing indifference as to whether it passed or not, I said I would vote against it, and it was voted down because it seemed to do something that actually it did not do.

The hon. member thinks that if this provision is added to the bill perhaps it will exercise some moral pressure upon the government to keep price controls on a little longer than they otherwise would. But that is the most that can be said for this resolution. In practice it may accomplish absolutely nothing. At the same time I do not think I can oppose the motion. I think the committee ought to have the power to make this amendment to the bill if it wishes. But what position I will take and what position the government will take on the amendment when the hon. member proposes it in committee is another matter.

Those who are more directly connected with the administration of this measure are giving it some attention at the present time. Perhaps there is some reason why it is important now that we do not surround the revocation of this order and the individual provisions of the order with these restrictions. Perhaps there is some reason why we should not now do that. It does seem somewhat illogical that the committee a year ago would vote against a provision like this.

From what I have read it appears obvious that Mr. Ilsley said the motion was an empty gesture, but nevertheless he was not going to oppose it.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

He discussed the motion on its merits.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Well, it is very difficult to differentiate when a debate takes place, especially when it takes place as it did on that particular occasion, the minister supporting it and stating that while he was going to support it he might take a different attitude in committee.

Topic:   NORTHERN ONTARIO PIPE LINE CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CONSTITUTION OF CROWN COMPANY TO CONSTRUCT PIPE LINE, MAKE SHORT-TERM LOANS, ETC.
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May 23, 1956