February 21, 1964

SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

POINT OF ORDER RESPECTING RULING ON SUB AMENDMENT

PC

Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. H. Aiken (Parry Sound-Muskoka):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order concerning the subamendment which Your Honour accepted last night. I wish to make it perfectly clear that in doing so I am not in any way expressing opposition to, or discussing, the subject matter of the subamendment. In fact it was our party which in 1961 set up a royal commission to look into the whole question of medical services in Canada. The report of this commission is expected shortly.

My point is that Your Honour, after expressing grave doubts as to the acceptability of the subamendment last night, rendered a decision at 10.08 p.m. without waiting for hon. members to present their views as to the regularity and relevance of the subamendment. In this particular case I submit that Your Honour's ruling departs from established rulings on the principle of the relevancy of subamendments. With respect, it is the normal custom for Mr. Speaker to ask for the views of hon. members before making decisions on points of order such as the one that was before us last night. In the present case, Your Honour did indicate earlier your doubts as to the relevancy of the subamendment and seemed to indicate then that the subamendment was out of order. Subsequently, without any further discussion or opportunity for hon. members to present their views, Your Honour gave a contrary ruling. I and others of my colleagues were prepared to present certain views, and I know that the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) had earlier expressed his intention of making his views known to the house.

Under the circumstances I would invite Your Honour, with respect, to reconsider your original decision and invite hon. members to present their views on the relevancy of the subamendment. In any event, may I point out respectfully that in such situations a ruling should not be made without calling for the views of hon. members present.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   POINT OF ORDER RESPECTING RULING ON SUB AMENDMENT
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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Last evening I gave my opinion that I had serious doubts about the relevancy of the subamendment. I think the authorities will show that good practice provides that subamendments should be relevant to the amendment. In the past, on the address a certain latitude has been given, not only in debate but in the wording of subamendments. I should like to give the house two examples. In 1952, when Speaker Ross Macdonald was in the Chair, Hon. Mr. Drew, seconded by Mr. Graydon, in amendment to the address moved:

We regret that Your Excellency's advisers

(a) continue to impose excessive, burdensome and unjust taxation;

(b) refuse to eliminate waste and extravagance and to cut down the cost of government;

(c) fail to take adequate steps to deal effectively with inflation and the high cost of living.

Then Mr. Coldwell, seconded by Mr. Knowles, moved in amendment to the proposed amendment the following:

This house further regrets that Your Excellency's advisers have failed to recommend the inauguration of a national health insurance program, with provision for provincial participation.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   POINT OF ORDER RESPECTING RULING ON SUB AMENDMENT
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Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   POINT OF ORDER RESPECTING RULING ON SUB AMENDMENT
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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

In 1963 the main amendment dealt with economic growth, and the subamendment as proposed by Mr. Douglas, seconded by Mr. Herridge, dealt with nuclear arms for Canadian forces. Those are two examples of subamendments which were accepted by the house and which again, in my humble opinion, are open to some doubt as to relevancy. Nevertheless the house accepted them at the time for debate, although they were rejected subsequently.

Last night, when no one rose to object I decided to accept the subamendment, even though I had doubts about its relevancy. In accepting this subamendment I endeavoured to suggest to the house that in future subamendments should be relevant in spite of considerable latitude given in the past. According to Beauchesne, citation 70, paragraph 4:

A point of order against procedure must be raised promptly and before the question has passed to a stage at which the question would be out of place.

My ruling has been made, but hon. members will appreciate that I do not wish to assume more powers than the house gives me; I am, after all, the servant of the house. So I simply leave myself in the hands of the

30 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry house, and if it is thought that other steps should be taken, now is the time to take them.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   POINT OF ORDER RESPECTING RULING ON SUB AMENDMENT
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Winnipeg South Centre):

Mr. Speaker, may I just say this on the point of order. With regard to your remark that no one rose to object, there was no opportunity given to members to rise to object. As is reported on page 71 of Hansard, when you gave your tentative ruling the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre indicated that he had something to say, but he asked whether consideration of this question might be deferred. Your Honour agreed with that, and so did the house.

At the conclusion of proceedings at eight minutes after ten last night Your Honour made a ruling and immediately adjourned the house. There was no opportunity whatsoever for anyone to rise to object, and I should not like the record to indicate that we were negligent in our duty in not expressing our opinions on this point.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   POINT OF ORDER RESPECTING RULING ON SUB AMENDMENT
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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

I thank the hon. member. These matters are not easy; if they were there would be no need for an arbitrator. As reported at page 71 I did say:

If any hon. member would care to comment I would be glad to hear him-

That is what I was referring to.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   POINT OF ORDER RESPECTING RULING ON SUB AMENDMENT
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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Marcel Lambert (Edmonton West):

Just on that point, Mr. Speaker, I think the house was in general agreement that the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Thompson) should be given the opportunity to speak, and for compelling reasons, and that any question as to the admissibility or otherwise of the subamendment would be deferred. It is to this point that I think the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre and the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre were referring, and I think it is to that point to which the attention of the house is being drawn.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   POINT OF ORDER RESPECTING RULING ON SUB AMENDMENT
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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

If hon. members have no further comment I propose to continue the standard procedure of the house. I am, of course, in the hands of the house.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   POINT OF ORDER RESPECTING RULING ON SUB AMENDMENT
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NATIONAL DEFENCE

INQUIRY AS TO THEFTS OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I rise for the purpose of asking a question of the Minister of National Defence in connection with the deplorable armoury break-ins which have taken place. I ask him particularly whether the military authorities have checked fully into the identity of the persons who are the

wrongdoers. Furthermore, I ask him to enlighten the house on the degree of security expected from the storing of weapons and their vital mechanisms separately but in the same building. I also ask him to advise the house whether these break-ins, in the opinion of the government, are the work of an organized group, an organized criminal gang, or are simply isolated or unconnected events.

Kon. Paul Hellyer (Minister of National Defence): Mr. Speaker, I should like to take this opportunity to give hon. members a report concerning the robbery which took place at Shawinigan Falls yesterday morning.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO THEFTS OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Well, Mr. Speaker- I do not want to interrupt the minister, but if he is going to give a lengthy statement possibly we should revert to motions so that the opportunity would be given to the opposition to make some observations on the lack of control in this connection.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO THEFTS OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION
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LIB

Paul Theodore Hellyer (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Hellyer:

I am not making a lengthy statement; it is an answer to a question asked by the right hon. gentleman yesterday and to further questions asked by him this morning.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO THEFTS OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, if this is going to be a long statement we want an opportunity to make some observations about it, and I am sure the house would agree to revert to motions.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO THEFTS OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION
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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Does the house consent to reverting to motions?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO THEFTS OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION
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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO THEFTS OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION
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Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO THEFTS OF ARMS AND AMMUNITION
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February 21, 1964