March 1, 1960

NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE

REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE

PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

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

That items numbered 242 to 255 inclusive, as listed in the main estimates 1960-61, relating to the Department of National Health and Welfare, be withdrawn from the committee of supply and referred to the standing committee on estimates, saving always the powers of the committee of supply in relation to the voting of public moneys.

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.


VETERANS AFFAIRS

REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE

PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

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

That items numbered 457 to 482 inclusive, and 495 to 497 inclusive, as listed in the main estimates 1960-61, relating to the Department of Veterans Affairs, be withdrawn from the committee of supply and referred to the standing committee on veterans affairs, saving always the powers of the committee of supply in relation to the voting of public moneys.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REFERENCE OF ESTIMATES OF DEPARTMENT TO STANDING COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.


INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE

PC

Robert Hardy Small

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. H. Small (Danforth) moved

that the first report of the standing committee on industrial relations, presented to the house on Thursday, February 25, be concurred in.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

Jean-Paul Deschatelets

Liberal

Mr. J. P. Deschateleis (Maisonneuve-Rose-mont):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to move an amendment to this motion, but before doing so I wish to say a few words in explanation.

On Thursday last, February 25, the standing committee on industrial relations met for organizational purposes. There was no definite agenda before the committee, and there was discussion as to the advisability of requesting from the house the right to sit while the house itself was sitting. The hon. member for Essex East made a motion-

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   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 must question whether it is proper to refer to what took place in committee before the committee has reported. I

suppose this is a report of the committee, and in so far as what the hon. member is saying relates to this report it would be in order. Perhaps there is some contrary view. I just raise the question.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

Jean-Paul Deschatelets

Liberal

Mr. Deschateleis:

I appreciate your remarks, Mr. Speaker. If I understand correctly we have now a motion before us for the adoption of a report. This motion is, I submit, a debatable one. The report itself contains two items. One has to do with printing, and the other is a request to sit while the house itself is sitting. I am endeavouring to keep my remarks in line with the second item, to wit, the right to sit while the house is sitting.

The hon. member for Essex East expressed the view that if the committee should sit while the house is sitting it should study the problem of unemployment. The Conservative members of this committee were in favour of a request to sit while the house is sitting, but they, and especially the hon. member for Essex West, opposed the motion to study unemployment.

In dealing with this request to have the standing committee sit while the house is sitting I should like to refer to Hansard of February 15, 1954 at page 2102, where the present Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) who was then the private hon. member for Prince Albert and a member of the opposition, had this to say:

A committee set up to study and report on unemployment would hear evidence of those who are warning this government and the country of the need for action now.

If this suggestion the present Prime Minister advanced at that time, was standing on only one leg, it is surely standing on two legs today when we have twice as much unemployment as we had at that time.

The motion before the house now seeks to grant the standing committee on industrial relations the right to sit while the house is sitting. We have no objection to this provided that the committee studies the problem of unemployment which has reached a state of national emergency.

I propose to move an amendment, but before doing so I should like to appeal to the Prime Minister and to each and every hon. member of this house. Let us take this golden opportunity to instigate action. This may be the last opportunity we will have during this session. We should not only grant this

Industrial Relations Committee standing committee the right to sit while the house is sitting, but at the same time we should empower it with full authority to investigate the most serious domestic problem facing Canada today.

I therefore move, seconded by the hon. member for Gatineau (Mr. Leduc):

That the said report be not now concurred in, but that it be recommitted to the standing committee on industrial relations with instruction that they have power to amend the same so as to recommend that the committee not sit while the house is sitting until the definite subject of unemployment is referred to it for study.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   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 have been asked to accept an amendment which to my mind is out of order. It is open to the house to amend the motion to accept the report of the committee which is before the house. The report of the committee reads in part as follows:

Your committee recommends:

1. That it be empowered to print, from day to day, such papers and evidence as may be ordered by the committee, and that standing order No. 66 be suspended in relation thereto;

That is one part. The other part reads:

2. That it be granted leave to sit while the house is sitting.

As I understand the procedure it would be in order to adopt the report in part or to amend the report within its terms, but the rule of relevancy applies equally to a motion to amend the report of a committee as it does to any other amendment. The proposed amendment goes beyond the committee's report, in that it seeks to give a new instruction in these words:

-that they have power to amend the same so as to recommend that the committee not sit while the house is sitting until the definite subject of unemployment is referred to it for study.

That is attaching a condition to the acceptance of the second paragraph of the report. If an instruction is to be given to the committee, notice of it will have to be put on the order paper and the motion moved in the ordinary way, because it is an originating motion, unless it can be brought within the four corners of the rule of relevancy that I have suggested.

That is my view of this amendment. Before dealing with it I should be glad to hear any hon. member who feels that the rules support a contrary view.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

Mr. Speaker, if I may I should like to speak to the point of order and bring to Your Honour's attention one or two points which I believe are relevant. While Your Honour has said that the motion is out of order, you have not given the citation or the standing order under which the hon. member's amendment is out of order. Your Honour has simply said that

[Mr. Deschetelets.l

the amendment is out of order; that it goes beyond the committee's report and that it attaches a condition to a paragraph of the report, notice of which must be given. It is with that statement of Your Honour that I respectfully take issue.

My reasons for stating that this amendment is in order are first of all that it does not go beyond the terms of the report made by the hon. member. It does not go beyond them because it offers in amendment to the two things which are under discussion and which are now before the house, namely power to print a certain number of copies and to sit while the house is sitting, that the power be taken by the committee not to sit while the house is sitting until such and such a thing is done.

What I should like particularly to bring to Your Honour's attention is the motion made by the Prime Minister himself shortly after the establishment of those committees, which I think is germane to the issue. The motion was the following:

That the standing committees of this house be severally empowered to examine and inquire into all such matters and things as may be referred to them by the house, and to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon, with power to send for persons, papers and records.

And so on. What the hon. member is doing now is amending the motion before the house to send this report to the committee and give it the powers that the Prime Minister moved in the motion he made following the establishment of the committees. Therefore, having regard to that motion, the amendment of the hon. member is in order.

There are other points, but I will not take the time of the house to deal with them now; they are contained in citation 291 of Beau-chesne's "Parliamentary Rules and Forms", fourth edition. They are also contained in May's sixteenth edition at page 605, which I will not read because I do not want to take up the time of the house unduly. But I do say that all these citations, sir, point to the fact that where wider powers are being given-and that is not the intention of this amendment; this amendment simply refers the matter back to the committee for consideration of the direction that it should not sit while the house is sitting except to consider the subject of unemployment. The Prime Minister, when he sat in opposition, spoke to a motion by the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra (Mr. Green). So that I will not be accused of misquoting I shall quote from what the Prime Minister said at page 2103 of Hansard of February 15, 1954:

After all, we are $10,000 a year men and women now, and would welcome all the worth-while work we can get to do. A committee such as this-

That was a committee on unemployment.

-would make a sphere of endeavour available to members that could not but be advantageous, that could not but bring forth suggestions which the government might find helpful to meet a situation which is becoming worse.

Then he went on to say:

We are not trying to build up fears that will bring on a depression. What we are trying to do is have parliament make a contribution now, to the end that we shall be able as a nation to compete in the markets of the world and thereby assure employment to Canadians in Canada. That is the purpose of this amendment, and it was in that spirit we moved it.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

What was the amendment?

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   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:

The amendment, sir-

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

On a motion to go into committee of supply, was it not?

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   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:

-was as follows:

Whereas the facts respecting unemployment recently presented to the government by Canada's two largest labour organizations are widely at variance with the statements issued by the government.

Now, therefore, be it resolved that this house is of the opinion that a select committee should be appointed immediately for the purpose of examining into and reporting upon the actual unemployment situation throughout Canada and for the purpose of making recommendations to this house as to short term and long term methods for dealing effectively with this problem.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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March 1, 1960