February 13, 1962

LABOUR CONDITIONS

UNEMPLOYMENT


Hen. Paul Martin (Essex East: I ask leave, Mr. Speaker, to move the adjournment of the house under standing order 26 for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the alarming increase in unemployment and the decrease in total employment that occurred in Canada between December and January, as reported in today's release issued by the dominion bureau of statistics and the Department of Labour.


PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member for Essex East has asked leave to move the adjournment of the house under standing order 26 for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the alarming increase in unemployment and the decrease in total employment that occurred in Canada between December and January, as reported in today's release issued by the dominion bureau of statistics.

The question that has to be decided by the Chair-the only question the Chair has to decide-is the question of the urgency of debate. The importance of this matter to the country or to parliament is not what I have to consider, but rather the opportunities there are to discuss the subject matter and whether this is the type of suddenly arising urgent matter which would warrant an interruption of the ordinary routine of business so that it might be discussed.

If I had serious doubts about the question of urgency I would be glad to hear the hon. member for Essex East and other hon. members, but it seems to me that in line with decisions I have made previously on this general question, particularly at a time when the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne had not been concluded, it would be very difficult to make out a case of urgency for any matter of this kind.

I recall that during the last session while the throne speech debate was in progress, reference was made to the question of unemployment. In fact it was the subject of continuous discussion in parliament throughout

the whole session. I think as long as unemployment exists in substantial proportions it will be a subject of discussion in this parliament.

In support of what I have said I offer the following citations. The first is from Beau-chesne's fourth edition, at page 90, citation 100, paragraph 3:

"Urgency" within this rule does not apply to the matter itself, but it means "urgency of debate", when the ordinary opportunities provided by the rules of the house do not permit the subject to be brought on early enough and public interest demands that discussion take place immediately.

On page 91 there is reference to the type of discussion for which the rule might be invoked which I think is worth repeating to the house. I begin on page 91 about half way down the page. The quotation refers to a motion to discuss the neglect of the government to take measures for the relief of agricultural depression. This is what is said by the learned author:

What I think was contemplated, was an occurrence of some sudden emergency, either in home or in foreign affairs. But I do not think it was contemplated-if the house will allow me to state my views-that a question of very wide scope, which would demand legislation to deal with it in any effective manner, should be the subject of discussion on a motion for the adjournment of the house, because, if that was so, we might have repeated motions made by the opposition of the day, not so much in the direction of censuring the government for action which had been taken or not taken, for bringing to notice some grievance demanding instant remedy, as in the direction of wishing to introduce legislation on some particular subject. That is not the purpose of the standing order of 1882, and would, I think, cut at the root of the order."

The only factor which I can see in the hon. member's request which denotes a change of state is that the latest figures of total employment and unemployment are different from those of the preceding period. They suggest a change in trend or proportions the details of which have not been mentioned by the hon. member. But accepting that there is a substantial change as indicated by the figures, then it seems to me the whole subject is one which has already been discussed this session in part in some of the debates, and for which there will be opportunity for discussion as soon as the throne speech debate is resumed.

Therefore my disposition is to rule out this motion as not being within the rule, basically on the ground that the test of urgency of debate has not been satisfied but aso on the

Labour Conditions

ground which I stated previously, that relating to the breadth and character of the problem.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to speak to the question.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I will give the hon. member an opportunity to indicate, but not at length, whether there is any evident error or citation which I have overlooked, but as the hon. member knows I have indicated fairly strongly the opinion that this is not the type of motion that could succeed.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to Your Honour for the care with which you have approached the motion which I have brought to the attention of the house through Your Honour. The urgency of this matter arises out of the opportunity this house now has or will or will not have to discuss the deterioration, as Your Honour has mentioned, in the unemployment situation. This morning we received a Canadian public release-

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I think the protests I hear in the house are well taken. The point that is under consideration is urgency. If the hon. member has any citations which may lead me to change my view, I shall be glad to have them. However, I think the subject matter should not be discussed.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Marlin (Essex East):

I am about to do that, Your Honour. I was stating that I rose because of the release made this morning showing an increase in unemployment-

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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Peter Francis Martin

Mr. Marlin (Essex Easl):

-and I am asking Your Honour to grant me leave to move the adjournment of the house to discuss this matter. In reply Your Honour has pointed out that, according to Beauchesne, for a motion of this kind there must be an application which in Your Honour's apparent judgment does not attend the present situation. Your Honour referred to Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms fourth edition, at page 90 where it is stated as follows:

"Urgency" within this rule does not apply to the matter itself, but it means "urgency of debate"-

I address myself to that very point. It is because of the urgency of debate that I have now made the motion which is before Your Honour. While I am on that subject I would

also call Your Honour's attention to Beauchesne's fourth edition at page 91, where that learned author points out as follows:

In doubtful cases, the question of urgency and of importance are left for the house to decide, by giving or withholding its support.

My argument for urgency of debate is briefly this. The debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne was adjourned on January 25. In spite of all our efforts we have not had from the government any indication when that debate will be resumed. Indeed, every indication points to the suggestion that it will not be resumed at this session of parliament.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinion):

Nonsense.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

In this case the opportunity is therefore not open to us to debate the disturbing unemployment situation revealed in today's press release. There is on the order paper no item that could come before the house before we conclude the debate on the address which would give us the opportunity to raise the present alarming situation. Have we not had from the government an assurance that we would not deal with the estimates until the debate on the address had been disposed of? That is something that cannot be denied.

The urgency of debate is this, Mr. Speaker. If this request is denied, we shall be denied the opportunity of discussing this new serious factor in the unemployment situation in Canada. The atmosphere is charged with all kinds of suggestions-

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
Permalink
PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I followed the hon. member's point and I am prepared to deal with it. If he has any further point to make on urgency, I shall be glad to hear him.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Yes, Your Honour; I am about to make the second point.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 26
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February 13, 1962