February 2, 1959

MR. SPEAKER STATEMENT RESPECTING READING OF SPEECHES

PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

By leave of the house I should like to read a brief statement on not reading speeches.

At thij stage of the session I think I should recall to the minds of hon. members the well-established rule of this house against the reading of prepared speeches, except for members who are making their maiden speeches, and for certain important statements which have to be made in introducing complicated subjects, such as the budget or an involved piece of legislation.

During the first session of this parliament there were first speeches by many new members and it was perhaps not an appropriate time to invoke the rule too often. But at the present time almost all the new members- all except 11 or 12-have delivered their maiden speeches, and all hon. members might well give thought to the improvement of debate and the more expeditious handling of public business by refraining from the reading of a series of set speeches or essays.

I must say that an observer of the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne, as it has progressed during the past two weeks, might well have thought that the rule required members to read their speeches. He would have seen members preparing a lectern from which to read their speeches by placing two or three thick volumes of Hansard on their desks, perhaps even the volume in which the rule against the practice had been noted. He would have seen others reading page after page of a speech which they boldly held in their hands.

It is clear that members may refer to notes and may read quotations and, as I have said, there are some exceptional cases where reading is allowed. But it is equally clear that members must not read their speeches verbatim, and even in the exceptional cases the whole speech should not be read.

The rule itself and the reasons which support it have been well stated from time to time, and I do not intend to repeat what has been said, but rather to give members one

or two references which will enable them to satisfy themselves on the course which they should follow.

May I refer hon. members to citation 144 in Beauchesne's fourth edition, pages 124 and 125. My immediate predecessor in the chair collected the authorities and precedents in a lengthy statement which he gave to the house on the 31st January 1956. This will be found in the Journals for 1956, beginning at page 92. Hon. members will appreciate that it is not easy for a Speaker to intervene on his own initiative, and that the enforcement of the rule depends almost entirely on hon. members themselves, those who are making speeches and those who are sufficiently interested in preserving the character of parliamentary debates to rise on a point of order when the rule is being infringed.

I have been encouraged to believe that now that the throne speech debate is over, hon. members in all parts of the house are ready and willing to co-operate to the fullest extent in restoring this very sound rule and practice. Those of us who sit in the chair will do our part. We ask for your co-operation, and particularly for your indulgence when we find it necessary to intervene.

Topic:   MR. SPEAKER STATEMENT RESPECTING READING OF SPEECHES
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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

Mr. Speaker, will you enforce that rule?

Topic:   MR. SPEAKER STATEMENT RESPECTING READING OF SPEECHES
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

As I have said, I shall do my part, and I hope that hon. members will cooperate in bringing this rule back into effect.

Topic:   MR. SPEAKER STATEMENT RESPECTING READING OF SPEECHES
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ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS

APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS

PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Donald M. Fleming (Minister of Finance) moved:

That the report of the civil service commission respecting the appointment of an assistant parliamentary reporter, laid upon the table of the house Wednesday, January 28, 1959, be now approved.

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Will the minister explain the purpose of this motion?

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinlon):

Mr. Speaker, this is a matter that comes before the house from the commissioners of internal economy. It concerns a situation which has become somewhat serious in relation to the reporting services of both the house and its committees.

In the particular motion now before the house the individual concerned, Mr. Peter Parsons, was the only person sitting for the

570 HOUSE OF

Appointment of Hansard Reporters examination who was found to be qualified in the view of the civil service commission. He is prepared to come on the reporting staff only if started at the maximum available in this category, and not at the starting minimum. The purpose of this motion, in giving effect to a recommendation from the civil service commission and a recommendation from the commissioners of internal economy, is to start the gentleman at the maximum salary provided.

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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Motion agreed to.


PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Donald M. Fleming (Minister of Finance) moved:

That the report of the civil service commission respecting the appointment of an assistant parliamentary reporter, laid upon the table of the house Thursday, January 29, 1959, be now approved.

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Will the minister explain?

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinion):

In this case the person recommended for appointment as an assistant parliamentary reporter and qualified for the purpose resides in Vancouver, and to induce him to come and take this position it was necessary to agree to pay his expenses in moving from Vancouver to Ottawa. The purpose of the motion is to permit that to be done. Again this is in line with the recommendation of the civil service commission and comes to the house on the recommendation of the commissioners of internal economy. Even the passage of these two motions, Mr. Speaker, will leave the reporting staff of the house and committees somewhat short-handed.

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

What is an assistant parliamentary reporter?

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinton):

The gentleman in question in the present motion-

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

What is an assistant parliamentary reporter?

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinion):

-will serve on the committee reporting staff, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

Why is a motion of the house required?

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinion):

Because of the

fact that financial considerations are involved, that this is something that has occurred with the house in session, and because the commissioners of internal economy have submitted recommendations to the house. In both cases the reports of the commissioners were laid on the table of the house last week and have been printed in Votes and Proceedings.

Topic:   ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY REPORTERS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION REPORTS
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SEARCH AND RESCUE

February 2, 1959