February 1, 1958

LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

-at a time when the governor would have to make his choice would be entitled to replace the person who could not command a majority. The leader of that party moving want of confidence would have said, in view of the votes taken in this house, that his party had a majority. The Governor General would say, I must therefore call on him. When the leader of the Conservative party assumed the responsibility of taking over the government of this country, as he did on June 21, he also assumed the responsibility, when the day has arrived that he can go no further in carrying on that government, of saying, because he is in the position where he does not command a majority of the members in this house, he is through.

There is no other way in which he could be absolutely certain of that fact, other than when a vote is taken on a matter of this kind. No vote has been taken, and I understand from the way things are forming up around me at the present moment, that one will not be taken but something is going to happen. When this thing which is going to happen, whatever it is, and if it is dissolution and we go to the country, I want to say to the leader of the government that he has had no right given to him in so far as any action in this house is concerned for the action contemplated at the present time.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

If he thinks that having had the support of the Liberal party on every occasion which a vote on a motion of nonconfidence was taken, he can now go to the country and say he is doing so because his government is not getting the support of the members of this house, he is going to have to take another look at the people of this country.

. Mr. Pearkes: We are anxious to do so.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

He may find that when he says he is going to the country because he wants to accomplish all these things that were promised during the election and that it was said, if his party was put into power, would be done-

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An hon. Member:

And we have done them.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

I would remind him that they were kept in power and they have not done them.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

We have done too many things to suit you. You do not like it.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

If he is going to go to the country and say, "no one is helping us and we want you to put us back into power so that we can do all these things which we promised to do in the last election", then there are going to be a lot of surprised fellows over there on the other side of the house.

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?

Some hon. Members:

We will still be sitting

here.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

When the Minister of

Finance got on his feet a few moments ago the first remark he made was that the nerves of some people on this side of the house seemed rather frayed and as a result they were taking certain actions. Ever since I was a small boy I have heard people say that when your nerves are frayed, the first thing you do is to go up in the air. Well, that is what the leader of the government did today. This action he is going to take-and I am not in his confidence as to what- that action will be-must have been given just about the same amount of thought as the words which he used during the election. He did not go very far towards carrying out these ideas.

I am certain that the right hon. gentleman did not really know until very recently what he was going to do today, and I am not too sure he knows even yet. He could not have consulted many people about it, because no one else seemed to know what he was going to do, or when he was going to do it, and since he found it necessary to take an aeroplane it may be, though I do not know how high up he went, that he intended to follow that Sputnik which was shot up into the air yesterday and which is now circling the world. He may have been doing that. I do not know. But in any case he did the usual thing that people do when they are nervous

he shot up into the air. Judging by the fact that one of the ministers who accompanied the Prime Minister returned to this chamber some time ago, that 'plane must have been back for some time. At last, the hon. gentleman is here in his place, but he still does not seem to have made up his mind to do whatever it is he may have in mind to do.

It is now five minutes to six, and with the house closing at six o'clock there is very little time left to him in which to say anything about it; and in that short space of time I should like to be able to say to him that he had better be able to show very plainly

just why he is doing this, and all about it, because there is going to be an awful lot of talk about the things that have happened in this session during the next two months.

There are going to be discussions across this country of the kind that were foretold at the time when I spoke on the address. I have gone through this kind of thing before in the province of Saskatchewan in 1929 and again, I repeat, on the same issue as that on which we were switched out this time. In 1929 we did not have a majority in the house and so we did not do what the group did here on this occasion. We did not say to them: such and such things are going to happen. We said: we will meet the members and find out. We met the members in session and were voted out, and we went across to the other side of the house and sat there. The new government sat there for five years. They took every year they had the chance to take, and at the end of that five years after we had discussed all the things they did or did not do in the five years they were there, they did not elect anybody to the house. Just before they went to the country they came to me and asked me if I would drop out of politics and take over the presidency of the University of Saskatchewan. That would have been a very fine thing, but I said this to them: 1 came into politics some years ago, and I am going to stay in politics until my constituency votes me out. And they have never done so.

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LIB
?

An hon. Member:

Too long.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

And I should not be at all surprised if after we get through discussing during the next two or three months the things that this government has done and the things they have not done and the things they said they were going to do and the things they say that they could not even get started in seven months, there won't be many of them back either.

There is nothing new about these things. As I stated a few moments ago, what we do in this house and what we do in legislatures or in the British House of Commons is what has been our practice over the years, and is based upon precedents that are well established, and the precedent in connection with this matter is well established. You must put it on the table of the house, and not only that you must put it in the Gazette. My hon. friend says that all of us who do not get the Gazette should subscribe to it. You do not just subcribe to it. If you are a member of parliament, you get it. When my hon. friend the Prime Minister agrees that is all we have

Dissolution of Parliament to do, that would be a method of accomplishing what he tried to prove to this house earlier when he suggested the Liberals had a document and hid it away some place and did not read it. When I got my copy on March 29, 1957, I made a note on it to send it west. I took it out west and read it. Of course, I had to get it back again and that document is marked, right on the front page, with the word "secret". Of course, I did not read it to the press and to my constituents out west at election time. And then on the second page it is marked "secret" again and, of course, I did not read that document to others.

You will not laugh so much in a moment, but somebody on the other side of the house did read it. I am not going to say it was the leader of the government, but somebody on the other side of the house read it and tore off the blue page and there was still "secret" then when they found that they had ripped off the blue page and there was still 'secret" on the next page, they tore that page off too and then they brought this volume into the house. In that document is every argument, both for and against each consideration and the right hon. gentleman read the arguments for one side and left the other arguments out.

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Some hon. Members:

Shame.

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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

This is a sample of what is going to have to be said to the people during the next two or three months. Now that a document of this kind has been produced and put on the table of the house, every hon. member who sits on this side of the house from this time on will be able to call on ministers to produce any documents which officials of their departments may have given to them, and put. it on the table, with the result that ministers will get a different kind of advice, or very little advice, from men who are in a position to give good advice. They trusted the ministers to whom they gave that advice would read both sides of the question and reach their own conclusions.

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IND

Henri Courtemanche (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Independent Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order, order.

Progress reported.

Resolutions adopted in committee of supply this day reported and concurred in.

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DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT

ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROCLAMATION BY PRIME MINISTER

February 1, 1958