April 18, 1962

PC
PC

David James Walker (Minister of Public Works; Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; Minister responsible for National Capital Commission)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Walker:

Mr. Chairman, on a question of privilege-

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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. Before the minister raises his question of privilege I will hear the hon. member for Halifax on this matter.

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PC

Robert Jardine McCleave

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

Mr. Chairman, I have remained remarkably silent, to the extent that my hon. friends around here are commending me for all kinds of prizes. Perhaps it is because I hold here the Polynesian goddess of justice and she has comforted me in these somewhat bleak moments. I would like to answer the hon. member for Timiskaming on this point. In these cases which I have on the desk there are a number in which unless we grant divorces today children will be born illegitimate. I think it would be a shame if any one of us went forth from here having put that stigma on children.

I would also draw this to the attention of the hon. member for Timiskaming and the hon. member for Skeena. If a child is born illegitimate of an adulterous union, subsequent marriage does not cure that illegitimacy. I make that point. Finally, as I said yesterday, I do not want to enter into recriminations, but I do appeal to the heart of the House of Commons. If ever that heart

was to show itself collectively-and it is only as strong as any one individual's heart-it must be shown at this point.

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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Chairman, a few moments ago we were raising this matter of collusion that quite often appears in these cases. I refer to the arrangement between the parties to a divorce. I was reading certain information that I think gives some indication that this was the case in this particular petition. I would be happy to have information as to why this respondent came before the committee on a subpoena which I would suggest does not exist. There is no machinery to provide it. I presume a subpoena could not be given by parliament and I do not believe it could be given by a committee. We have tried this. Hon. members may recall the case of Eccles v. Eccles a year or two ago. It was the intention of the committee to subpoena the corespondent in that case and also some of the other people concerned. This proved to be impossible. I refer again to the evidence in this case:

Q. Were you issued with a subpoena requiring you to be present today?-A. Yes.

I would suggest-

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John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Chairman, the royal assent is to be given and I suggest that you, sir, report progress. Then we shall continue, after royal assent has been given, so there will still be an opportunity to get this matter cleared away.

If not, I shall then move that the house do adjourn and dissolution will become official, I hope, tomorrow.

I had expected that there would have been a degree of give and take on this. It is apparent there is not going to be. These people who have taken proceedings-the only proceedings that they can take-are going to be denied what parliament provides as a remedy because one political party is determined that unless it gets its way they should be denied their rights.

I would suggest that you report progress and that we proceed to the other place as soon as the Gentleman Usher reports that the Chief Justice as deputy of His Excellency the Governor General of Canada is ready to give the royal assent.

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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard:

I wonder if I can make one comment about what the Prime Minister has just said. Of course, we disagree violently with his suggestion that there is a denial of rights involved here.

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Some hon. Members:

Oh.

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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard:

We would hope that the Prime Minister, in the period between now and when we come back after royal assent has

ibeen given, will think about this matter and make some concrete and forthright proposals -to parliament so that we might consider them at that time.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

The Prime Minister cannot in his position place this house in pawn to meet the wishes of two members in this house and the party to which they belong.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard:

I had intended to rise on a point of order about what the Prime Minister had said, but the applause covered up his sneaking out the back door before I had a chance to do so.

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Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinton):

The Prime Minister did not sneak out the back door. He went to perform the duty of the Prime Minister in relation to receiving the deputy of the Governor General who is coming to give royal assent, and it ill behoves the hon. member to cast a slur of that baseless kind on the Prime Minister. I suggest that if he values his honour as a member of this house he should immediately withdraw that baseless imputation.

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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard:

1 do not want to accuse the Prime Minister unfairly of anything, but he did engage in attacks against me and my party, and before I had a chance to say anything he was gone.

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

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

I think the hon. member will have to accept the explanation given by the Minister of Finance, because he must take it under the rules of this house.

Having said that, I will put the question: Is it agreed that I rise, report progress and ask for leave to sit again later this day?

Progress reported.

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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard:

Is it understood that after royal assent we shall come back and proceed to deal with private bills?

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Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

If the house so decides. This does not put the house into committee. This is simply leaving the door open to return to committee if that should be desired.

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NDP
PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

When shall the committee have leave to sit again?

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Some hon. Members:

Later this day.

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April 18, 1962