August 6, 1958

VACANCY

PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that I have received a communication from two members notifying me that a vacancy has occurred in the representation, as follows:

Of Arza Clair Casselman, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Grenville-Dundas, by decease.

Accordingly I have addressed my warrant to the chief electoral officer to issue a new writ of election for the said electoral district.

Topic:   VACANCY
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COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE


Fifth report of standing committee on estimates.-Mr. Smith (Calgary South). Ninth report of standing committee on miscellaneous private bills.-Mr. McCleave.


STANDING ORDERS

CONCURRENCE IN SECOND


Mr. J. W. Kucherepa (High Park) presented the second report of the standing committee on standing orders, and moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES SPEAKER'S RULING-MOTION TO RECOMMIT BILL

PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

It may be appropriate at this time to deal with the point of order which was raised yesterday by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam which, as hon. members will recall, was raised when the hon. member for Peterborough presented to the house the seventh report of the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.

The point of order was to the effect that this report was not in accordance with the findings of the committee, and it was suggested by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam that the Speaker should either declare the report out of order or recommit the matter to the committee. Since the point was raised yesterday I have considered the matter at some length, and have had the benefit of the assistance of the Clerk of the house.

The report of the committee was as follows:

Your committee has considered the following bill and has agreed to report it without amendment:

Bill No. S-6, an act respecting Trans Mountain Oil Pipe Line Company.

This report was duly signed by the chairman as having been approved by the committee; moreover, it appears to meet every requirement of our practice in regard to content. It is suggested that on the face of it the report must be accepted as being in order.

The point of order is in effect an appeal to the house from a ruling of the chairman on a proceeding in a standing committee. The regularity of this course is open to question. The only known precedent in this regard arose in 1956 when the chairman of the standing committee on banking and commerce reported that his ruling had been appealed in the committee and he submitted the question to the judgment of the house. As recorded at page 6388 of Hansard for July 24, 1956, the then Speaker in part dealt with the question as follows:

I have to rule now that the appeal from the chairman's ruling should be settled in the committee on banking and commerce and not reported to this house.

Many hon. members who are here today will remember that incident. The Minister of Justice took part in the discussion and supported the view which the Speaker announced, as did a former member, Mr. Stanley Knowles, and as did Mr. Walter Harris and others. I think, in fact, all who spoke to the point of order were in agreement that the chairman's ruling in committee should not be brought to the house by way of appeal but should be settled in committee.

On the other hand, if the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam wishes to appeal to the Speaker rather than to the house it must be stated that there is no known precedent wherein the Speaker of the house has acted either as arbitrator or as judge in connection with the regularity of any proceedings in any committee of the house.

Without passing judgment on any proceedings in committee on this bill, I suggest that it would be dangerous to follow this point of order as a precedent and thus allow members to call into review any or all proceedings in standing and special committees. Such a course would inevitably involve numerous

Committee on Railways, Canals, etc. and interminable discussions which could seriously impair and impede the business of this house.

I find, therefore, that it would not be practicable for the Speaker, nor would it be competent for him, to review a ruling upon the regularity of a proceeding in a standing committee. This decision, of course, does not interfere with or deprive the house of its jurisdiction over its standing committees and their reports.

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CCF

Frank Howard

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

Mr. Frank Howard (Skeena):

Mr. Speaker, in view of your ruling and comments with respect to Bill No. S-6 which has just been dealt with, I think it will be quite in order for the house to deal with the question of recommitting the bill to the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines; and if I am in order in doing so at this time I should like to move that Bill No. S-6, in respect of the Trans Mountain Oil Pipe Line Company, be recommitted to the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines. The motion will be seconded by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam (Mr. Regier).

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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Would the hon. member draft his motion and submit it? While the hon. member is preparing this motion I should be glad to hear any hon. member who wishes to comment on the regularity of these proceedings. We are now engaged in routine proceedings under motions. The motion which is proposed by the hon. member for Skeena is one relating to a bill which has already been introduced into the house, and under standing order 41 notice of such a motion is not required.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

If I may

say so at this juncture, I think perhaps it would be useful to the house if the chairman of the committee, the hon. member for Peterborough, were to explain exactly what took place. I must say that although I am a member of the committee I was unfortunately not able to be present in the house yesterday because of other work, and while the hon. member did make a statement earlier it was a brief statement of the facts, and I think it would be useful if we were given a brief resume of what has taken place.

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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Without disagreeing with the hon. gentleman, I suggest that the regular course would be to accept the motion if it is in order, as it appears to me to be, after which, the motion being debatable, an explanation could be made before the house decides whether or not to recommit the bill to the committee.

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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Howard C. Green (Minister of Public Works):

On the question of whether or not notice should be given of this motion, standing order No. 41 reads as follows:

Forty-eight hours' notice shall be given of a motion for leave to present a bill, resolution or address, for the appointment of any committee, or for placing a question on the order paper; but this rule shall not apply to bills after their introduction, or to private bills, or to the times of meeting or adjournment of the house.

And so on. Does that not mean that in a case of this kind there should be notice given? It does seem only reasonable that notice should be given to hon. members of the intention to move a motion of this kind. After all, it is interfering with the ordinary business of the house, and it would seem unreasonable that a debate should be precipitated on a question of this sort without some notice being given.

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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Does anyone else have a comment on rule 41?

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CCF

Erhart Regier

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

Mr. Regier:

Mr. Speaker, on this particular point of order, I believe what the minister has omitted is that if the house does not take action without the notice required under ordinary circumstances, the bill could very well reach the committee stage of the whole house and even third reading before those 48 hours had elapsed. Therefore I submit that Your Honour is perfectly right in thinking that the motion is proper at this time. Your Honour in your remarks previously indicated that it is up to the house to decide on what to do with actions that have taken place in a committee set up by the house.

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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I have given some thought to this present matter because of the ruling which I made earlier today. I considered what control the house would have over the matter if it did wish to recommit the bill for any purpose, whether to correct an irregularity, or with instructions, or for any reason whatever. It seems to me in reading rule 41 that the motion would properly be made at this stage of the proceedings. Even though it is a debatable motion it is one of those motions about the routine business of the house which presumably would be disposed of quite expeditiously.

The rule itself requiring notice, standing order 41, as I read it, expressly excludes a notice of motion relating to bills after their introduction, or to private bills. It seems to me this is that kind of motion, and I am disposed to accept the motion and to put it to the house.

Committee on Railways, Canals, etc.

It has been moved by the hon. member for Skeena and seconded by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam:

That Bill No. S-6, an act respecting Trans Mountain Oil Pipe Line Company, be recommitted to the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.

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CCF

Frank Howard

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

Mr. Howard:

Mr. Speaker, if I may I should like to make a comment or two with respect to our reasons for moving this motion, and in explaining it make reference to some of the material which appears in the evidence and in the minutes of the committee of Tuesday, July 29, which incidentally were attached to the report of the committee of yesterday.

I would point out to the house first that our desire to deal with it in this fashion is merely in order that the committee may deal with the question in a regular manner.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Mr. Speaker, may I rise on a point of order. If Your Honour says I should have raised it earlier I must accept your ruling, but I was pondering the matter. I wonder whether in accepting Your Honour's ruling that such a motion could be made without notice-the motion that is now before us-there is not still the additional question of the occasion on which it should be made. I raise the question as to whether it should be made when the bill is again being discussed in the committee of the whole house, at which time I suggest, in light of Your Honour's ruling, the hon. member could move the motion without notice.

I am wondering whether the hon. member by moving such a motion can bring forward a matter for consideration at a time when it would not normally be considered. As I understand it, bills of this nature are normally considered in the hour from five to six o'clock on Tuesday and Friday evenings. My suggestion is that the proper time and the only time the motion could be made would be when it comes up during the course of those hours.

In the light of Your Honour's ruling I accept the fact that a motion can be made without notice, but I think it could only be made at that stage, and that therefore it cannot be made here under motions, which would in effect mean that the bill was being dealt with at a time when it would not normally come before the house.

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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

There may be some force to what the hon. minister has just said. This is a novel matter, as far as I know; at least I recall no precedent at the moment for this sort of motion. I think it would be open to the house to appoint the time when the motion should be dealt with. If the

house will allow me a minute I will consult the Clerk on the point just made.

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August 6, 1958