March 8, 1962

LIB

Joseph-Alphonse-Anaclet Habel (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. Habel:

May I ask the hon. member a question? He referred to a dissolution during dinner hour. Does he know that in 1958 this house sat for half a day after it had been dissolved by the present Prime Minister?

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS
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PC

Frank Charles McGee

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McGee:

This is a very interesting observation. I presume the hon. member was in the house, in full possession of his faculties, when the house was not in session. I wonder what the hon. member was doing there.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS
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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Azellus Denis (Si. Denis):

Mr. Speaker, I often notice that the hon. member for York-Scarborough is more an expert on capital punishment than on elections. According to the bill there is no question about a dispute after an election; it is only a question of dealing with the date of issuance of a writ. Therefore the elections act will take care of what happens after an election has taken place, and if we want to bring in an amendment to the elections act we will do so.

In answering the hon. member for Victoria-Carleton, who said he makes a difference between the rights of parliament and the

rights of the people, I do not know whether there is much difference between the two. Anyway, he said that the people might not want an early by-election. He says this, of course, because since they have been in power they have lost most of the by-elections.

I would remind the house that as far as the constituency of Labelle is concerned, on January 19, 1960 the then secretary of state was nominated to the Senate-as we see at page 77 of Hansard-and then only two and a half months after, not from the government but from the Liberal side, the hon. member for Gatineau (Mr. Leduc) gave notice to the Speaker that there was a vacancy as far as the constituency of Labelle was concerned.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

How did that vacancy occur?

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS
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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

Because he had been nominated an honourable senator-

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. The hon. member from his seat is posing questions which do not seem to be relevant to the bill.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS
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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

We might forget about it because the honourable senator is not there any more. But two and a half months after, notice was given by the Liberal member for Gatineau. It is amazing that the Conservative party was not in such a hurry to declare vacant the seat in the constituency of Labelle. The by-election took place on October 31, 1960, which was nine and a half months after the seat for the constituency of Labelle had been declared vacant.

It is obvious that delays which are allowed as far as by-elections are concerned are far from being fair to the party in power or the party in opposition, and especially are they not fair to the people of the constituency in which the vacancy has occurred. I am sure that if the bill of the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate (Mr. Pickersgill) is passed-and I do not want to delay it because I want to leave enough time for a vote-it will be much fairer and justice will be rendered to those constituencies in which a vacancy exists.

(Translation):

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS
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PC

Maurice Allard

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Maurice Allard (Sherbrooke):

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the phenomenon of elections is on the Canadian horizon as a huge cloud which will one day burst over the heads of the electorate. The hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate (Mr. Pickersgill) is not unaware of that atmospheric phenomenon. Indeed, he shows great interest in it, since he has introduced this bill on by-elections.

I have listened most attentively to the hon. member's remarks and, although I do not

want to be unkind to him, I must say that during all the time I have been sitting in the house, never have I heard a member defend so badly a bill he has himself introduced and support it with such insubstantial arguments.

Must we conclude that the hon. member is more interested in by-elections than in general elections? Would he be considering retirement in the near future? We are wondering whether he has decided to leave the hustings in order to devote himself to the writing of numerous literary works for the benefit of future generations.

In any case, let us say that we will have a close look at the present elections act and what it would gain through the bill introduced by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillin-gate.

According to the act now in force, a vacancy may occur when one of three things happens: the resignation of a member; the death of a member; or the appointment of a member to another post.

When a member resigns, the Speaker notifies the chief electoral officer, who must issue a writ within six months. Then, it is up to the government to set the date for the byelection.

When a member dies or is appointed to some other function, another member notifies the Speaker, after which the same procedure applies.

If I understand correctly, the purpose of the bill introduced by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate it is to reduce the period I mentioned a moment ago from six months to sixty days and to compel the government to order an election within 90 days after the issuance of an election writ.

We listened carefully to the mover of this bill and he asked that we vote for this legislation.

He spoke as fast as he could and wandered off, as he often does, into political issues, and he is a past master at that sort of thing.

He spent most of his time anticipating the legitimate and justified criticism we could voice in reminding him that when his party was in power they could have taken the steps he considers of such importance today.

(Text):

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might ask for the unanimous consent of the house to raise a question of privilege which will take ten seconds. I used the wrong expression earlier when I said "tiddley-winks"; I meant "button, button; who's got the button?"

Supply-External Affairs Mr. Speaker: Order. The hour for consideration of private members' business having expired, the house will resume the business which was interrupted at five o'clock.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Martineau in the chair.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HOLDING OF BY-ELECTIONS
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DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


Other payments to international organizations and programs- 629. Purchase and transportation to British Honduras of skim milk powder, canned pork and other supplies for the relief of victims of the hurricane disaster and to authorize reimbursement of the agricultural stabilization board in respect of the purchase of such skim milk powder and canned pork, $70,500. At six o'clock the committee took recess. AFTER RECESS The committee resumed at 8 p.m.


LIB

John Ross Matheson

Liberal

Mr. Matheson:

Mr. Chairman, just before the adjournment I was referring to a statement made by B. R. Sen of India, the director-general of the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations which reveals something of the scope of operations proposed by the world food bank. He suggested it should be used to finance emergency relief and international food reserves as well as national food reserves, the relief of chronic malnutrition, to provide infant pre-school and school feeding, to provide educational fellowships and assist other social development activities and other economic development projects.

Mr. Sen indicated that in the discussions that took place at the food and agriculture organization conference a difference of view was expressed. Some members felt that this fund was only for emergency relief perhaps with the addition of relieving chronic malnutrition, but the other view taken was that its use went far beyond this and embraced the welfare of people in need.

I think it would be of interest if the minister were to place on the record the Canadian view with respect to the purpose of this important body. The world food bank has been endorsed in strong terms by nearly all agricultural organizations. The national farmers union in its brief dated January 31, 1962 spoke of its enthusiasm for the world food program to be developed within the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations.

The dairy farmers of Canada consider that many of their problems will perhaps be resolved by the development of this program.

Supply-External Affairs

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, this vote is not one under which the world food bank should be discussed. I will be perfectly happy to discuss it at the proper time. This is a vote providing $70,500 for the provision of certain goods to British Honduras and the discussion should be limited to that.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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PC

Paul Raymond Martineau (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

I think the point raised by the minister is well taken. The discussion should be limited to this particular item. I trust I will not have to remind hon. members of that on future occasions.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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LIB

John Ross Matheson

Liberal

Mr. Matheson:

I trust I will not be prevented from dealing in my remarks with skimmed milk powder which presents a problem to dairy farmers at this time. There is a holdover of over 50 million pounds and the export situation has been seriously declining this past year. Production of this product this year has been 23.5 per cent over that of the previous year. This is one of the most important elements of Canadian dairy production-

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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PC

Paul Raymond Martineau (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order. I am not discussing what the hon. member has just said and the only point upon which I wish to rule is the relevancy of his remarks at this particular time. I am inclined to take the view expressed by the Secretary of State for External Affairs that it would not be in order to discuss the matters upon which the hon. member is embarking at this time.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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?

Neil Alexander Matheson

Mr. Maiheson:

Mr. Chairman, with respect, as I read it this item of $70,500 covers the purchase and transportation to British Honduras of skimmed milk powder, canned pork and other supplies for relief of victims of the hurricane disaster. Surely we are not limited to a discussion of the hurricane disaster.

Can we know the quantity of skimmed milk powder that was supplied by Canada and at what prices? I am pleased with this item which may indicate a future solution to our problems of surplus agricultural products. I hope I have not gone beyond the limitations of the item in these remarks.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

The following was provided under this item:

350,000 lbs. of skim milk powder at

7 cts. a lb $25,000

85,000 lbs. of canned pork at 17 cts. a lb 17,000

Shipment of pickled mackerel, corrugated roofing and transportation charges on skim milk powder, canned pork, pickled mackerel and roofing 18,000 Reimbursement to R.C.A.F. for aircraft, etc 10,500

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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?

Neil Alexander Matheson

Mr. Maiheson:

May I ask the minister this question. If similar disaster should occur in

the future in places like British Honduras is it anticipated that relief will be provided through the food and agriculture organization?

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   $ 70,500
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

That would depend on the position of the world food bank at that time.

Topic:   HOUSE OF COMMONS ACT
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   $ 70,500
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March 8, 1962