January 23, 1958

REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER


On the orders of the day:


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Mr. G. J. Mc@

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce arising out of part of his remarks earlier today on a question of privilege. My question is, was the Canadian trade mission to the United Kingdom seeking to increase United Kingdom exports on a selective basis or on a general basis? The second part of the question is this. If it was on a selective basis, would the minister tell the house what steel products he was referring to in his remarks made at Cardiff when he was with the mission?

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to note the interest in the work of the Canadian trade mission in the United Kingdom. When the mission was announced in the house the objectives were declared, and they were expressed in general terms as being first to explore the possibilities within the United Kingdom as to the development of their industry and whether or not they were in a position to supply anything to the Canadian market, and second to acquaint the people of the United Kingdom with the potential purchasing power of Canada and its developing capacity.

At no time was any suggestion made that there would be any interference with Canadian manufacturers in this country. We stressed that Canada imported an enormous quantity of goods each year running into billions of dollars. We also stressed the point that 15 years ago Britain's percentage share of imports into Canada was 18 per cent, and that this had been whittled down to 8i per cent-

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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Mr. G. J. Mc@

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order-

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

-under the policies followed by the previous government-

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

This is a point of order.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I will hear the hon. member's point of order.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraiih:

Mr. Speaker, I asked a question of the minister that I believe came squarely within the rules. It was short and to the point, and it asked for information. The question did not give any information but represented a request for information. The minister under the guise of answering my specific question has been wandering around for some minutes with a lot of general remarks on the subject of trade and that sort of thing.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

You do not like the answer.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraith:

Mr. Speaker, I would be quite happy to debate that subject with the minister at any time, but surely there must be some obligation on the minister at this moment to abide by the rules of the house and answer the question asked, or to refuse to answer it if he so wishes and as he has the right to do.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Thomas Miller Bell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Saint John-Albert):

Put your

question on the order paper if you do not like the answer.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraiih:

It is surely not right for the minister to continue with his vague general argument.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Ernest James Broome

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Broome:

Who is rambling now?

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Perhaps the minister would like to refer to the point of order.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Mr. Speaker, I thought I was giving a complete answer to the question raised by my hon. friend. I can understand his alarm when I was drawing attention to the fact-

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. The question, of

course, can be answered in different ways, and I do not know that I should take it upon myself to determine how it should be answered. It seemed to me that the question related to steel products. It is quite true, as the hon. member for Ottawa West pointed out in his point of order, that the answer should be concise in replying to a question asked at this period of the day, and I would ask the minister to endeavour to make his answer as concise as he can.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Mr. Speaker, I had practically finished my answer when I was interrupted by the hon. member on his point of order. I was drawing attention to the fact that Britain's share of imports into Canada had been whittled down from 18 per cent to 8| per cent under the Grit policy over the last 15 years.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

No answer at all.

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraith:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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January 23, 1958