March 4, 1960

INDIAN AFFAIRS

PETITION WITH RESPECT TO APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE, ETC.

PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that the Clerk has laid upon the table the 19th report of the clerk of petitions: Nineteenth Report of the Clerk of Petitions

Friday, March 4, 1960

The clerk of petitions has the honour to report that he has examined the petition of Carl Hamilton of the city of Ottawa, presented on March 3 by Mr. Howard, and finds that it is not in the form required by the standing orders and practice of this house since the signature of the petitioner does not appear on the same page as the prayer. For that reason the clerk of petitions has the honour to submit that the said petition should not be received.

Respectfully submitted,

Clerk of Petitions

In accordance with the rules of the house, if it is reported that a petition does not comply with the rules it cannot be received.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PETITION WITH RESPECT TO APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE, ETC.
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CCF

Frank Howard

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

Mr. Frank Howard (Skeena):

Mr. Speaker, may I be heard on that point? I assume that the standing order referred to is subsection 6 of standing order 70, which reads as follows:

Petitions may be either written or printed; provided always that when there are three or more petitioners the signatures of at least three petitioners shall be subscribed on the sheet containing the prayer of the petition.

This is the only reference I can find in the standing orders to signatures of the petitioners. You will note that it refers to when there are three or more, and makes no reference to there being one or two petitioners. In this regard I should like to point out how this provision arose. I refer to Bourinot's "Parliamentary Procedure and Practice", the edition of 1884, which makes reference on page 263 to irregularities in petitions, the number of petitioners and so on. It says:

A large number of petitions are not received every session on various grounds of irregularity. The house will refuse to receive a memorial containing no prayer.

This is the relevant part.

Every petition should have the signatures of "at least three petitioners on the sheet containing the prayer."

I would then refer to footnote No. 2, which reads as follows:

The reason of this rule may be understood by reference to a statement of Lord Clarendon (Hist, of Rebellion, II, 357) that, in 1640, "when a multitude of hands was procured, the petition itself was cut off, and a new one framed suitable to the designing hand, and annexed to the long list of names which were subscribed to the former. By this means many men found their hands subscribed to petitions of which before they had never heard."

The reason for the standing order, which makes reference to three or more petitioners having their names on the same page as the prayer, was to overcome the practice of petitioners signing their names to something to which they subscribed and their names then being cut off and attached to another petition which was presented to the house. The purpose was to ensure that when there were three or more petitioners, three of the names had to be subscribed to the same sheet as the prayer to indicate that at least some of the many petitioners had subscribed to the petition itself, and so that their signatures would not be attached to a petition without their knowledge.

I think you will find that is the reason behind subsection 6 of standing order 70 in the standing orders today, and why it only makes reference to when there are three or more petitioners and no reference to when there are only one or two.

That being the case, I think it should be found that this petition meets the provisions of the standing order in all respects and should be received and proceeded with.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PETITION WITH RESPECT TO APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE, ETC.
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I am not sure that I have any authority to consider the acceptance of a petition that has been reported on unfavourably by the clerk of petitions, whose duty it is to certify to the house whether or not the petition complies with its requirements. But in any case I have anticipated that the apparently rather technical objection might be disputed, and I should like to say that in my view the argument the hon. member has just made is not substantiated by the practice in the past.

The rule has been interpreted as though it meant that the sheet containing the prayer must have at least three signatures. Unfortunately the rule is not drawn as clearly as it might be. The rule in the other place is clear because it indicates that is the practice. But our practice has always been

Proposed Legislation

to read the rule as though it meant that where there is more than one signature, at least three of them must be on the page containing the prayer. It is a salutary rule. As all hon. members who have had experience with petitions will appreciate, it is easy enough to sign a sheet with other names on it and not have much knowledge of what the prayer of the petition is.

In support of my view I would cite Bourinot's fourth edition at pages 233 and 234 and at page 235, where Bourinot states as follows:

And the petition should then close with the formal words; "And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray." Here follow the signatures of the petitioners which must be in writing and at least three signatures, if there are so many, must he on the same sheet with the prayer of the petition.

On January 31, 1913 Mr. Speaker Sproule ruled a petition out of order because there were not three names on the sheet containing the prayer. That is found in the Journals of the House of Commons, 1912-13 at page 210.

Bourinot at page 263 of the first edition states as follows with regard to that rule, now standing order 70, subsection 6 to which the hon. member referred:

But this rule is never interpreted as precluding a single petitioner from approaching the house; it simply refers to petitions signed by a number of individuals.

The matter is not one difficult of correction, but I think the better course is to reject the petition at this stage.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   PETITION WITH RESPECT TO APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE, ETC.
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INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT BANK ACT

AMENDMENT TO PERMIT LOANS TO CATERERS TO TOURISTS AND RETAIL MERCHANTS

L L

William Moore Benidickson

Liberal Labour

Mr. W. M. Benidickson (Kenora-Rainy River) moved

for leave to introduce Bill No. C-50, to amend the Industrial Development Bank Act.

He said: The purpose of this bill is to enable the House of Commons to implement in part through a member of parliament outside the cabinet the most helpful, discerning and impressive recommendations in the report of the standing committee on mines, forests and waters of the 1959 session under the experienced and capable chairmanship of the hon. member for Lamb ton West (Mr. Murphy). With equal purpose the bill proposes to aid small business-and presumably most frequently retail business-presently crucified under an unprecedented tight money policy of the government.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

[Mr. Speaker.)

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT BANK ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PERMIT LOANS TO CATERERS TO TOURISTS AND RETAIL MERCHANTS
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DEFICIENCY PAYMENTS

REQUEST FOR ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Leader of the Opposition):

May I ask the Prime Minister whether he proposes to discharge the commitment which he made in the house on March 1, by making today a statement to the house on deficiency payments to western grain producers.

Topic:   DEFICIENCY PAYMENTS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I think the question was dealt with last evening by the house leader. On the conclusion of the supplementary estimates we shall carry on with the agriculture estimates.

Topic:   DEFICIENCY PAYMENTS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, a supplementary question. Is the Prime Minister not aware that he himself said on March 1, "In any event it is the intention to introduce them on Friday"?

Topic:   DEFICIENCY PAYMENTS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, it was. That was our intention; but as Your Honour knows, a great deal of time was taken, several days, on one item of the supplementary estimates, and we naturally expected the supplementary estimates would not take that length of time.

Topic:   DEFICIENCY PAYMENTS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

A supplementary question. Could the Prime Minister say what the words "in any event" mean to him?

Topic:   DEFICIENCY PAYMENTS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR ANNOUNCEMENT OF DECISION
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ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

SUSPENSION OF DEATH SENTENCES UNTIL CONCLUSION OF HOUSE DEBATE


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Harold E. Winch (Vancouver East):

would like to direct a question to the Prime Minister. With certain persons found guilty of homicide and under sentence of death, and with the question of capital punishment being considered by the government and this parliament, may I ask whether any thought is being given to delaying fulfilment of such death sentences until the government and parliament have concluded their considerations of this matter?

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   SUSPENSION OF DEATH SENTENCES UNTIL CONCLUSION OF HOUSE DEBATE
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March 4, 1960