January 29, 1963

PC

Gordon Campbell Chown (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Shall the amendment carry?

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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LIB

John Carr Munro

Liberal

Mr. Munro:

I did not have the dubious honour of hearing what the hon. member for Port Arthur had to say. However, if it was anything similar to his usual remarks, I do not think I missed a great deal.

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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Amendment agreed to.


PC

Gordon Campbell Chown (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Shall the clause as amended carry?

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

I was very much interested in the amendment which has been accepted by the government. However, I think we may have overlooked the fact that in establishing-

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Campbell Chown (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order. The amendment is carried. Shall clause 3 as amended carry?

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

No. I am speaking on the clause as amended. We have now had considerable discussion on what I would consider to be the 27507-3-205

establishment of half of the council, namely the half that produces the ideas and brings forth the representations from the various organizations and agencies of this country. If this is really going to be a planning board, I think it should have a planning section. In order to do this I suggest that we must have on the board people who have special qualifications in the matter of planning. This board should be a continuous thing. There should be attached to the board people who have high technical skills in planning our national economy, who have knowledge of economics and of the various technical fields with which the board will be dealing. For this reason I should like to move an amendment to clause 3, establishing the clause now amended as subclause 1 and adding subclause 2 to read as follows:

At least one half of the members of the board shall consist of persons with professional, technical, academic or scientific qualifications.

I believe that this amendment is important in order to give continuity and in order to establish a board which will have available to it the advice required in order to put into effect the ideas that will be produced by the representatives of the labour movement, the business community and the other organizations which the government has now agreed will be asked by the governor in council to make representation to the board. I think this amendment will provide a balance between the two sections of the board, namely the planning section and the idea section. I believe this amendment, if accepted will strengthen the board and will eliminate some of the problems which have developed in other boards where this principle has not been given effect.

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Campbell Chown (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Is the committee ready for the question?

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell (Carleion):

The hon. gentleman has made a plea that the board should in one half of its membership consist of technically qualified persons. Superficially that suggestion may be attractive. If one looks at the matter superficially, it would appear that you should have certain experts as members of the board. However, when one analyses the matter he finds that the place for the experts surely is with the technical staff itself, something which is provided for in another clause of the bill to which the committee will come at a later stage.

If the hon. gentleman's amendment were to carry, one would have difficulty in interpreting what is professional, what is technical, what is academic and what is scientific. One would also have the further difficulty of determining what balance there should be

3242 HOUSE OF

National Economic Development Board between professional, technical, academic and scientific. The words themselves, in my opinion, are not mutually exclusive. Indeed,

I see no reason why one who is academic should not also be professional or why one who is scientific should not also be technical. In that respect the amendment perhaps presents some difficulty with regard to interpretation.

What I suggest to the committee is that the discretion and the power which will exist in the governor in council under subclause 1, particularly with the amendment making it representative of trade unions, farmers and other groups, will better enable the representative character to be carried out and will not confine the membership to the extent that is suggested by this amendment. In the mutual exclusiveness of the various four functions here I suggest there is something which ought not to be accepted by the committee.

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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NDP

Thomas Rodney Berger

New Democratic Party

Mr. Berger:

I rise to support the amendment that has been placed before the committee by the hon. member for Timiskaming. We in this party believe that if we are going to have a genuine planning board, it must include not only representatives of economic groups who will of necessity serve on a part time basis, but also planners trained in economics, statistics and various other fields; planners who will be able to devote their full time to planning the future of the economy; who will be able to lay down a blueprint for Canada's economy; who will be able to chart a course in order to make sure that Canada's economy does not run upon the shoals of recession and depression.

We believe this means we must have full time people on the planning board who are doing the planning, who work together with representatives of economic groups, representatives appointed by those economic groups. We believe these planners must be full time people giving their full attention and directing their whole activities to genuine planning. If this board is going to work we believe the amendment that has been offered to the committee by the hon. member for Timiskaming is absolutely essential.

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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LIB

John Robert (Jack) Nicholson

Liberal

Mr. Nicholson:

Before we vote on the amendment I think there is something we are entitled to know from the minister. This afternoon he assured us that there had been discussions between representatives of industry and commerce on the national productivity council and representatives of labour on the council and that they had agreed that their views had been taken into consideration before this bill was brought in. If that is so, can the minister explain why the president of the national productivity council

would pose such a question as that contained in Canadian Business which I just read. Surely the committee is entitled to know that before we vote on this amendment or before we vote on the clause.

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

George Clyde Nowlan (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

I apologize to the hon. member for Vancouver Centre for not having answered his question earlier. I overlooked it unfortunately when I was on my feet a moment ago. All I can say in reply to his question is that this bill was drafted after full consultation with the chairman of the productivity council. He approved of the draft. We discussed it with him. He sat in for hours and hours while the bill was being drafted. I am not responsible for what may appear in any publication, as the hon. member knows. However, I think any difficulty which has arisen as a result of this article is more apparent than real. As I said, I can give the hon. member and the committee assurance of the fact that this whole matter was given careful consideration with the member who is a good friend of the hon. member for Vancouver South, and a good friend of my own, namely the chairman of the productivity council, and he approves of this draft. As I said, I am not responsible for what appeared in a Canadian business publication but I can assure the hon. member there is no difficulty on that score.

As far as the amendment moved by the hon. member is concerned, I suppose nothing could be more innocuous. It provides that at least one half of the members of the board shall consist of professional, technical, academic or scientific people. I am sure everybody in this chamber tonight is either professional or academic or scientific or technical, either a technical politician or a technical farmer or something of that kind. I could not think of anything more innocuous. However, the hon. member for Hamilton East has moved an amendment which the government has accepted and that amendment says that the government shall appoint these people after consultation with these various groups. I think perhaps there is some conflict between the two amendments.

We have accepted the amendment of the hon. member for Hamilton East. As far as I am concerned I could not care less, but I do not think this amendment amounts to anything more than words. I am not prepared to accept or reject it but I would point out that we have already accepted the amendment of the hon. member for Hamilton East.

Amendment (Mr. Peters) negatived: Yeas, 71; nays, 82.

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Campbell Chown (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

I declare the amendment lost.

Clause 3 as amended agreed to.

On clause 4-Appointment of chairman.

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray

Liberal

Mr. Gray:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to inquire from the minister why the words "during good behaviour" have been included in subclause 1 which now reads as follows:

The chairman of the board shall be appointed to hold office during good behaviour for such term not exceeding ten years, as is fixed by the governor in council.

I raise this point because it is my recollection that the words "good behaviour" are missing from the similar clause in the bill establishing the Atlantic development board. According to the Minister of National Revenue, who presented the Atlantic development board bill, the reason for leaving out those words was, as found on page 2519 of Hansard for December 10 last:

-an advisory board which we hope would consist of outstanding men who would be giving their services without remuneration. I believe such men should not have a clause in the bill reflecting on their behaviour.

Then he went on to say:

Men who are donating their services should not be hamstrung with a phrase reflecting on their behaviour.

Am I to infer from this that it is the intention of the government to appoint men of lower calibre to this board than they have appointed to the Atlantic development board?

National Economic Development Board

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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NDP

Arnold Alexander Webster

New Democratic Party

Mr. Webster:

-began an editorial in this fashion, and I promise you, Mr. Chairman, that I shall not read the entire editorial:

Chronic unemployment is the ominous symptom of very deep seated troubles in the Canadian economy and unless there are basic changes in business thinking, in labour attitudes and in government policies it is doubtful, indeed, if Canada can grow and prosper.

That is the beginning of an editorial entitled "Wanted-A National Ministry of Foresight". The writer goes on later to advocate the appointment of a federal ministry of planning under a minister, of course. But I do remind you, sir, that the new board will be obliged to provide the Minister of Finance with the following as set forth in the words of the bill itself:

It shall be the duty of the board to furnish to the minister all such advice and information as will best assist the government of Canada in furthering a high and sustainable rate of economic growth in Canada, the strengthening of Canada's international financial and trade position and the achievement of the highest possible levels of efficient production and employment so as to ensure rising standards of living in all areas of Canada-

May I suggest that a board of this importance to the welfare of Canada needs a chairman who has the prestige and the authority of top cabinet rank, and in our view the most appropriate one is the Minister of Finance. Therefore I am pleased on behalf of this party to move:

That clause (1) be deleted substituted:

and the following

"(1) The minister shall be board."

chairman of the

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Campbell Chown (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Shall clause 4 carry?

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray

Liberal

Mr. Gray:

Will the minister answer? May I have an answer?

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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PC

George Clyde Nowlan (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

No.

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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NDP

Arnold Alexander Webster

New Democratic Party

Mr. Webster:

Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment to submit to subclause 1 of clause 4. The purpose of this amendment is to strengthen the bill. It is designed to give the board the status which it merits in the public administration of this country. If property constituted and effectively administered the board could become the most important agency ever established by any Canadian government. However, to perform this outstanding service and to attain this status the chairman, in the opinion of the New Democratic party, must have at least cabinet rank. I wish to submit a rather surprising witness to substantiate the point I am making. More than a year ago the Financial Post, which is usually friendly to the government_

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR DEFINITION OF DUTIES, APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, ETC.
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January 29, 1963