January 22, 1957

LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. W. E. Harris (Minisier of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, may I just add one word on the subject that the leader of the C.C.F. has mentioned, namely the attempt the other day to do what is being attempted today. I did not mention the matter at the time because of the answer which you gave to him. However, I want to stress what has always been the understanding of the house since I came here and, from what I can read, has been the understanding on all other occasions. On those occasions when we are in general debates, as on the address and the budget at least, if not others, and perhaps even motions to go into supply, if these particular items for discussion are before the house there is then an opportunity to debate any matter that any hon. member wishes to bring before the house. I admit that the question of

Immigration-C. G. Hanna relevancy sometimes enters into the matter with respect to a particular amendment. Nevertheless, I think it has been the ruling of every successive Speaker in this house that on those general occasions anything can be said by an hon. member and any particular matter can be debated. In other words, any person speaking this morning or this afternoon could advert to this subject and say what he wished with respect to what the government is doing. Since that is the case, I think the rule has always been interpreted in the matter of urgency with respect to a particular matter as a matter of urgency of debate. I am quite sure any member can take part this afternoon and speak on this subject. I feel that any other ruling by Your Honour, if I may say so with respect, would be almost a complete reversal of our previous understanding.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. Earl Rowe (Dufferin-Simcoe):

Before your decision is rendered, I should like to make a few observations on the argument advanced by the Minister of Finance. I thought the argument advanced by the Prime Minister was flimsy, but the flimsiest argument of all has been that put up by the Minister of Finance. Never has a debate on the speech from the throne or a budget debate been interrupted more often by the government itself than in the last few years. As the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Cold-well) has said, a score of members on this side of the house had expressed their opinions on the speech from the throne before this matter arose. It is either a matter of urgency or it is not.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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?

An hon. Member:

National emergency?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

It may not be to you, but it is to a lot of people throughout this country. The national honour of this country is at stake.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

Hon. members may laugh. You have a great country, but you like to keep it to yourself and just let in the persons you like. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration should make a decision on this subject. The hon. member for Kamloops is quite within his rights in raising the matter. As the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar has said, there are members who had exhausted their time on the speech from the throne before this emergency arose. The Prime Minister has chided the hon. member for Kamloops for obtaining information from the solicitor. If we in the official opposition did not obtain information from the press or from friends we would never get it because the government does not

Immigration-C. G. Hanna give us information. Never since confederation has there been a government that has hidden the facts more than this government has. All the way down the line there has been excuse after excuse. What have you to hide?

Why does the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration sit so smug and look so pale when he fears this matter is coming before parliament? Tell us why. It is either a matter of urgency or it is not. If you and I, Mr. Speaker, were in Mr. Hanna's place- God forbid we should be-we have both been embarrassed before but not to that extent-*

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Is this a discussion on a point of order, Mr. Speaker, or is it a stump speech?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I would not like to take your judgment on that because I have heard your stump speeches and I never thought much of them.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I think the hon. member for Dufferin-Simcoe has provided me with ample assistance. I want to say that if the hon. gentleman and I were in Mr. Hanna's place, I am sure he would find a way of talking both of us out of it.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

I am not sure with this government in power.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I have heard the serious remarks made by various hon. members. One of these days I will suggest that standing order No. 26 be amended so that it will leave the entire responsibility for the decision as to urgency in the hands of the house and not put it upon one individual, namely the Speaker. Some hon. members have stressed the fact that the purpose of standing order No. 26 is to have decisions taken. My own interpretation of standing order No. 26 is that it is the one which replaced the old motion for adjournment which was moved in the middle of a debate whenever some member wanted to discuss a matter which had nothing to do with the motion proposed at the beginning of a sitting. Those who have read the old debates will recall that as a debate was proceeding on a certain specific motion and a member would go beyond the field of relevancy of that motion, someone would say you need a motion for adjournment. He would stand up and move it, and the hon. gentleman who had the floor could carry on speaking about a subject which had nothing to do with the motion which had been the subject of discussion at the beginning of that debate. Therefore, because of the abuses brought about by this system, they brought in standing order 26, which used to be standing order 31.

This house now has a vehicle to discuss matters of actuality, some things that arise which hon. members feel should be debated. The net result of it is after the debate has taken place and is concluded the house has to adjourn. It is not a substantive motion although it has been amended once; but the amendment was not voted on. At the end of the sitting the adjournment takes place.

Here is my difficulty. Hon. members will agree that whenever there was a motion to go into supply in the offing or a motion to go into ways and means-they were debatable in sessions prior to last session- whenever the debate on the budget was currently going on, whenever the address in reply was currently going on, I do not think any hon. members can state one specific case where a motion under standing order 26 has ever been allowed by my predecessors or by myself. If there is one I would like to have it cited to me.

The other day when the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar moved this type of motion it was a matter of great importance. I then told him that since we were entering the debate, if the Minister of Finance or any other minister had, under standing order 38(2), stood up on the first day or the second day and said, "Well, tomorrow we shall take up some other business", thereby postponing the continuance of the debate on the address to three, four, five or six days later than the next day-this is what I said on January 9, 1957, as recorded at page 23 of Hansard:

I do not say that he should not be permitted to make his motion again.

I would have allowed the hon. gentleman's motion the following day if the minister on the eve of that day had announced by virtue of standing order 38(2) that he would postpone the debate on the address. Since that did not occur, and we were carrying on the debate on the address, full opportunity was given for a debate on the matter of urgency which was contained in the motion of the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar.

We have two more days for the debate on the address. Some hon. members claim they have exhausted their right to speak. Well, I have the list here before me of those who have spoken on the amendment, the subamendment and the main motion and there is no doubt that there is still a great deal of freedom for the purpose of discussing this matter.

Something has been said about obtaining information. Information may be obtained at question time. As a matter of fact I:

think the hon. member for Esquimalt-Saa-nich (Mr. Pearkes) asked some questions of the minister yesterday and the day before. The Leader of the Opposition has done so as well.

Now, if I do depart today from the previous practice of not allowing a motion under standing order 26 when the debate on the address is currently going on or a similar debate which affords great latitude I will not have justification for having refused the motion' made the other day by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar. What would prevent us from having a motion tomorrow on a subject which may be different? I have to oppose my own personal opinion as to the urgency of debate in this case but standing order 26 is so construed as to leave that responsibility upon myself. Because of the past practice, as I say, of previous Speakers and because of my own' previous rulings 1 regret that I cannot accept the motion.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege, may I point out that you have dealt with one matter of urgency, but is there not another matter of urgency before this house? This house has knowledge that a minister is proposing to take action which would defeat the course of justice. Do we have to sit here-

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I rise on a question of

personal privilege.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. There has been a

question of privilege raised by the hon. member for Greenwood and the minister wishes to rise on a question of privilege himself. I think that we ought to rally ourselves around the decision which I have just made. It may not be a decision which is satisfactory, but nevertheless it is one which I feel I have to make. It may be much more painful to myself perhaps than to any other members in this house. However, I feel that I should not depart from the previous practice which has been established over a period of many years. One of these days I may depart from it, but when I do I wish to be sure that I have had full opportunity to study the implications of a change in the practice.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. Stuart (Charlotte):

Mr. Speaker, if this comes to a vote-

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

There is no vote. I have made my ruling and there is no appeal.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   C. G. HANNA MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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C. G. HANNA REQUEST FOR ASSURANCE THAT DEPORTATION WILL BE POSTPONED


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. R. Pearkes (Esquimalf-Saanich):

Mr. Speaker, will the Prime Minister give the

Inquiries of the Ministry house assurance that Christian G. Hanna will not be deported from Canada until after the date of the application for the hearing of the writ which I understand is on February 1.

Topic:   C. G. HANNA REQUEST FOR ASSURANCE THAT DEPORTATION WILL BE POSTPONED
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. Si. Laurent (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I cannot give any other assurance than the assurance that there will be no departure from the law established by parliament and that every opportunity for the consideration of what should be the proper application of that law will be given.

Topic:   C. G. HANNA REQUEST FOR ASSURANCE THAT DEPORTATION WILL BE POSTPONED
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January 22, 1957