May 23, 1961

STANDING ORDERS


Eleventh report of standing committee on standing orders-Miss Aitken.


TEXTILES-STATEMENT ON LONDON MEETINGS

PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

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

As hon. members are aware, informal meetings were held in London last week among representatives of Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States to consider various problems arising from international trade in textiles. Officials from the crown colony of Hong Kong were also present. It will be recalled that these meetings followed an announcement by President Kennedy of the United States that a conference of the principal textile importing and exporting countries would be called for the purpose of seeking an international understanding in this field which would provide a basis for expanding trade without undue disruption of established industries. The London discussions were the first of a series of consultations in preparation for a broader international conference.

I have now received a report from the Canadian representatives at these meetings, and can report to the house that encouraging progress was made. It was recognized that the problems which have arisen in the field of textiles could best be dealt with on the basis of a comprehensive international understanding. The countries represented at the London meetings pledged their co-operation in seeking such an international solution. Further consultations will now go forward in order to obtain the views of other principal textile importers and exporters and also to seek the co-operation of the GATT and the O.E.C.D.

Hon. members will appreciate that in a matter of this importance and complexity there exist many diverse interests and views. Accordingly, it was agreed that, consistent with maximum efforts for an early solution, great care should be taken to prepare the ground before convening a formal international conference. It is expected that after

this round of consultations has been completed arrangements will be made for a ministerial meeting in the latter part of June.

I should like to assure the house that Canada will be represented at any such meetings, and that in line with our traditional position in these matters the Canadian government will give full and energetic support to this initiative. Our object is to reach an international understanding which will be fair to importing and exporting countries alike, and which will permit trade to expand without disruptive effects on our established industries.

A comprehensive international settlement will, of course, take time to accomplish. Meanwhile we shall continue to seek understandings on particular problems and with individual countries as we have in the case of Japan and Hong Kong. Needless to say, these international efforts are without prejudice to our rights under existing trade agreements to take measures where necessary to avoid injury to particular Canadian industries.

Topic:   TEXTILES-STATEMENT ON LONDON MEETINGS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

Mr. Speaker, the house will have listened with interest to the statement which the Minister of Finance has just made, and I think also the house will have welcomed the statement in connection with the international conference to deal with this difficult, complex and varied question of textiles. It arises out of conditions which are not only national but international in scope and affect the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries all of which have a keen interest in the industry, and this makes the matter one of tremendous importance for Canada. Our country has a large number of textile industries, mostly in the central part of Canada but also in the other provinces, and everything that can be done to assist them will be welcomed on this side of the house.

I must say, however, that press comments on some of the statements that have been made by the Minister of Finance with respect to quotas and other matters have not been too favourable. That is why a conference of this nature is of the utmost importance. We on this side of the house will watch carefully and with keen interest what develops in this field from time to time.

5214 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   TEXTILES-STATEMENT ON LONDON MEETINGS
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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, this group welcomes the interesting announcement made by the Minister of Finance. We are glad to know that Canada is co-operating in an effort to promote comprehensive understanding of this trade problem on an international basis. In our opinion consultation is the proper and logical course to follow. Our trade will benefit and therefore our people as well will benefit on the basis of an agreement reached as the result of international understanding on a most complicated and difficult problem.

Topic:   TEXTILES-STATEMENT ON LONDON MEETINGS
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CAPE BRETON

ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING


On the orders of the day:


LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys. Would the minister, in his capacity as chairman of the coal committee, tell the house whether he has arranged a meeting with Mr. Fairley of Dosco to discuss keeping the coal mines open? If so, when will the meeting be held?

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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PC

Paul Comtois (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Paul Comtois (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys):

I cannot give any details, Mr. Speaker. All I know is that the cabinet is working on the problem and I hope that a statement will be made tomorrow.

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I wonder whether the minister would be good enough to report to the house on the workings of the committee as he has done to the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, according to its issue of Monday, May 22, 1961?

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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?

Joseph-Roland Comtois

Mr. Comiois:

I have not seen that report, and certainly it is not an official report so far as I am concerned.

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Mr. Speaker, the newspaper report which I hold in my hand-

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
Permalink
PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I think the hon. member would not be in order to read the report. The answer has been given that the minister has not seen it.

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I should like to ask a supplementary question. Based on what is contained in this report, to the effect that the minister indicated to the Chronicle-Herald that there was a committee which had two functions in mind and which was working on the problem of such interest to these coal miners, my supplementary question is this. What is the function of the committee, and what is the progress of the work?

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that is the same question that was asked yesterday regarding the

operation of the so-called cabinet committee. As the hon. gentleman knows, information concerning the operations of committees within the cabinet has not customarily through the years been made available to the house. The hon. member is employing another method of seeking to obtain an answer to a question which one other hon. gentleman opposite yesterday endeavoured to have answered.

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. This is not the same question as was posed yesterday. The question which was posed yesterday arose out of a newspaper article of Saturday. This one arose yesterday, and contains a report allegedly made by the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys to the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on the workings of the cabinet committee. If it was proper for the minister to give this information about the functions and work of the committee to the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, surely a question dealing with the matter is in order when raised in this house.

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

It seems to me we are

traversing the same ground we covered yesterday. I take it that the Prime Minister has given the answer of the administration on inquiries about cabinet subcommittees, that it is not customary to give such information and it is not proposed to give the information. To my mind that does not raise a point of order. As I said yesterday, the administration are free to answer questions in whatever way appears to them to be appropriate. That does not raise a debate on whether or not an answer is satisfactory.

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Then, Mr. Speaker, I have a straight question-

Topic:   CAPE BRETON
Subtopic:   ACTION BY CABINET RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   MINE CLOSINGS
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May 23, 1961