February 13, 1959

COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE


First report of standing committee on agriculture and colonization-Mr. Stanton.


EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon-Souris):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the chairman of the committee on external affairs, the hon. member for Middlesex East (Mr. White), by unanimous consent I move, seconded by the hon. member for York West (Mr. Hamilton):

That the first report of the standing committee on external affairs, presented on February 12, 1959, be now concurred in.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Mr. Speaker, I understood yesterday from the leader of the house that he was going to make a motion dealing with other matters. I would like to address myself to the motion and perhaps discuss it at the same time, if I am allowed to.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING 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

Mr. Green:

Mr. Speaker, once these motions are dealt with I intend to move that certain estimates be referred to certain committees.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

May I be allowed to present the position of the opposition with respect to the matter that is now before the house?

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I will hear the hon. member after I put the motion. It has been moved by Mr. Dinsdale for Mr. White, seconded by Mr. Hamilton (York West), by unanimous consent:

That the first report of the standing committee on external affairs presented on February 12, 1959, be now concurred in.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Middlesex East for allowing this motion to stand over until today. What I intend to say now is that this motion, if it is passed, will create a serious hardship for those of us who sit in the opposition on this side of the house. I refer particularly to that part of the report which seeks the authority of the house to sit while the house is sitting.

There are many things I could say on the subject matter in general, but I know it is not the intention to have a general debate on it and I shall be brief. I shall say this

only. If the government wished it could, as it did at one period last year, have a number of those committees sitting at the same time. For instance, I am informed that at one stage last year there were as many as six committees sitting while the house was sitting. On the six committees which reported yesterday there are 66 members from the Liberal side of the house. That in effect means this, that if all of us were to attend to our duties in the committees there would be no one, or practically no one, left in the house to look after the business of the house. That is why I say this is taking undue advantage of the position in which the opposition finds itself. I should also like to point out to the government that this is the first time in the last 20 or 25 years at least that the opposition has found itself in such a position.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, no.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Well, let me give the figures and we will see. I am informed that from 1936 to 1940 there were 74 members in the opposition, from 1940 to 1945 there were 67, from 1949 to 1953 there were 75 and from 1953 to 1957 there were 95.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

You mean in all parties.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

All parties. Today in all parties there are 57, I believe, which is a considerably smaller number than obtained in those years. The result is that we are being asked to do now a far greater amount of work than was required at that time, and I think it is unfortunate that the government is giving no consideration to that position.

May I remind the house that the Prime Minister on more than one occasion-I think at least twice-gave some indication to the house that he intended to come to the assistance of those of us who sit in the opposition by providing us with additional help of some kind. That was not forthcoming, and I am not complaining; but what I am complaining about is that we who sit on this side of the house are not in a position to fulfil adequately the three responsibilities we have to fulfil, namely to sit as members of these committees while the house is sitting if the government so decides, to attend to office work involving correspondence and the like which must of necessity be handled in the forenoon, and to sit in the house to attend to our parliamentary duties.

External Affairs Committee

So I ask the government to give consideration to the position in which we find ourselves. It is a condition that perhaps I should not be complaining unduly about from the point of view of representation, but I am complaining about it from the point of view of work. This is simply asking too much of us. I believe I know what the house leader is going to say. He is going to say that they are taking this power now and may not use it, or may not use it until near the end of the session. My reply is that the power should not be taken unless it is intended to use it. It is quite easy for a committee to take this power in the dying days of the session when it is perhaps necessary to do so, but I do want to insist on the fact that if the government desires to have four or five or six committees sit and we have to attend to our duties on those committees, it will be next to impossible to attend to those duties and be in the house at the same time. I ask the government if it will not reconsider the untenable position in which we are placed at the moment.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING 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):

Mr. Speaker, my good friend the hon. member for Laurier (Mr. Chevrier) has made one very significant statement today which should not be overlooked. He has made it official that there has been a marriage between the Liberal and C.C.F. parties. He says they are blood brothers, that they are all one now, and that when it is a question of how the work of the opposition is to be done they are all working together and have not got as many in this brand new party as they would like.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Permalink
CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Winch:

The marriage has not been consummated.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING 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

Mr. Green:

What I am very anxious to hear is the reaction of the leader of the C.C.F. party to this very interesting proposal.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Permalink
CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Argue:

A plague on both your houses.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Permalink
PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

I know that while we were in opposition, although we got along splendidly with our friends of the C.C.F. and Social Credit parties we certainly were never in the position in which the Liberals find themselves today, of trying to take the C.C.F. in and make one party.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

They took you over.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Permalink
PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

May I give them a warning right from the heart. The big danger they face today is that the C.C.F. will take them over in the next few years. Yet every-

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Permalink

February 13, 1959