May 15, 1964

PRIVILEGE

MR. THOMPSON ANNIVERSARY OF NORWEGIAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. R. N. Thompson (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question of personal privilege. The purpose of my point of privilege is twofold. The first is to draw to the attention of the members of this house and the nation the fact that on Sunday, the day after tomorrow, our good friends, citizens of the free, independent, indivisible and inalienable nation of Norway, celebrate the 150th anniversary of their constitution and declaration of independence.

The Norwegian constitution is one of the oldest existing constitutions of the world and its worth and fundamental, democratic basis have withstood the test of time with only minor change. In fact it stands as an outstanding document guaranteeing the basic human and civil rights, freedom of speech and press and the just rule of law. The constitution of Norway had a dramatic birth on May 17, 1814, in the shadow of events centring around the fall of Napoleon, the result of European power politics, democratic currents of enlightenment and national awakening.

This historic milepost in the history of Norway and democratic parliamentary government will be of much interest to Canadians as we look forward to our own centennial in just three years, and even before that time the repatriation of our constitution to Canadian soil. This being Citizenship day, I am sure the thousands of loyal Canadian citizens of Norwegian stock, a number of whom are in this house, share my own keen interest.

Actually the history of Norway's government goes back more than a thousand years, the country having been unified under a monarchy about 900 A.D. This brings me to my second point. During recent months the veteran Norwegian explorer, Dr. Helge Ingstad, has unearthed definite evidence that the first European settlers on this continent were the Norwegian Vikings, the best known of whom is Leif Ericson, who some 500 years before Columbus settled on the northern tip of Newfoundland. The "Vinland" of those 20220-209

early settlements described in Nordic history has now been verified to have been near the fishing village of L'Anse aux Meadows, near Belle Isle. The foundations of the first buildings, their design, the metal tools and nails have provided archaeological proof that the first colonists of Canada arrived here approximately 550 years before the first French or English colonists. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, having regard to these historical facts, I suggest that the government give consideration to declaring May 17 a national holiday to be known as Leif Ericson day.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. THOMPSON ANNIVERSARY OF NORWEGIAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Out of respect to the origin of many of our fellow compatriots I did not stop the hon. member, but I have serious doubts that this is the proper time for that type of question of privilege.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. THOMPSON ANNIVERSARY OF NORWEGIAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
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MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM

LIB

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Guy Favreau (Minisier of Jusiice):

Mr. Speaker, I must rise on a question of privilege involving the conduct and reputation of all hon. members.

Yesterday, during a speech on a motion introduced by the hon. member for Pontiac-Temiscamingue (Mr. Martineau), the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Pigeon)-

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Righi Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of fhe Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I ask whether, a statement having been made last evening, the minister can rise now on a question of privilege which should have been raised at the time. I have had this same order made against me on occasion. In other words, a question of privilege cannot be the result of afterthought with a full night to think it over.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Righi Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minisier):

Surely the hon. gentleman is entitled to raise a question the morning after a statement is reported as having been made to this house. This is the first opportunity he has had to read Hansard which would confirm what he believed had been said in the house. Surely to prevent a question of privilege being raised so soon after the statement was made would be stretching the rules indeed.

Question of Privilege

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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Marcel Lambert (Edmonton West):

Mr. Speaker, in this regard I would draw your attention to an occasion in the parliament of 1962-63 when a point of privilege arose under circumstances similar to those relating to the one being raised now. The then minister of justice raised a point of privilege and the present Minister of Transport (Mr. Pickersgill) immediately got up and interjected that the then minister of justice had had an opportunity a half hour earlier of raising a point of privilege and, therefore, he was too late. This was the opinion expressed by the present Minister of Transport when he was a member of the official opposition, and it was accepted by the Chair and accepted by the government of the day. I would put it to Your Honour that a point of privilege on a statement made in this house, and heard by the members in this house, must be raised at the time and not the next morning.

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PC

Paul Raymond Martineau

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Paul Martineau (Ponliac-Temisca-mingue):

Mr. Speaker, I should also like to set forth my views on the question of privilege raised by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Favreau). Mav I point out to Your Honour that the minister was in the house yesterday when the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomp-tion-Montcalm (Mr. Pigeon) made his statement and that he even protested, but he did not rise on a question of privilege or propose a motion.

Therefore, I submit to the house that it is too late

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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LIB

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Favreau:

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that if the hon. member had referred to Hansard this morning, he would have realized that a question of privilege could not have been raised yesterday, that it could be raised only this morning.

At page 3276 of Hansard we see that, right after the incident about which I am raising a question of privilege the Deputy Speaker announced that the time allowed for the debate then taking place had expired.

I refer to page 3276 of Hansard of May 14, 1964, right hand column, at the top of the page:

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Pursuant to provisional standing order 47, subsection 2, I must advise hon. members that the time allotted for consideration of this motion has expired, except for two five minute periods, one for a minister speaking on behalf of the government, and one allocated to the mover of the motion who will close the debate.

It is obvious that the first opportunity when an hon. member affected by the charge made yesterday by the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm could rise, was at the beginning of this morning's session, and that is what I did immediately-

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lambert:

Not at all.

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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LIB

Guy Favreau (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Favreau:

-all the more so, since it is when reading over the text of yesterday's official report that it can be seen that if he had not misunderstood the meaning of some words, the hon. member for Joliette-L'As-somption-Montcalm, having had the opportunity to read over what he had said, would probably have withdrawn his remarks, which is what I intend to ask him to do after I have given the following explanation-

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lambert:

No, no, Mr. Speaker, not at all. I rise on a point of order-

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

The minister cannot go on like that, Mr. Speaker, because we have raised the objection that privilege cannot be raised at this time. He has answered himself. He was in the house. He rose on a point of order. If he does not know the rules, he should. It is too late now to have a second thought and a second point of privilege, and I ask for your ruling, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I think it is almost elementary that the Chair has at least to hear the reasons put forward by any hon. member as to why he thinks he has a question of privilege before the Chair can reach a decision. That is why I was listening to the minister.

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Well, now, Mr. Speaker, I very seldom rise to suggest that Your Honour give reconsideration to a matter, but the minister says he has a question of privilege. That question of privilege he had last night. He now admits that. He says he was present but he did not have an opportunity to raise it. A reading of the record indicates that he had the opportunity; and certainly questions of privilege, as Your Honour has pointed out very strongly and definitely, are not to be moved unless they come strictly within the rules.

There is no rule that allows anyone in the house, having looked the matter over and considered it for several hours, having been in the house last evening between eight and ten o'clock, and having been present when the statement was made, to have a night to think it over and now say he rises on a

question of privilege. I am asking Your Honour to make a ruling as to whether you are going to decide that matters of privilege can be raised by anyone who, being in the house, does not challenge the statement at the time by privilege, and then subsequently decides he is going to do so.

That is the essence of the matter. To allow the minister to go ahead and place his statement before the house would be in effect to allow him to present his whole argument, and then have Your Honour determine whether or not it is a question of privilege. My point is that there cannot be a question of privilege raised at this time, and I am asking a ruling on that.

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

On that point, Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that questions of privilege have been raised-and some were ruled out of order-dealing with statements that sometimes have been made days before in the house, and in view of the fact that this question of privilege may require a motion to be made which could not have been made before, surely you are not going to prevent the minister explaining his point of privilege.

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct Your Honour's attention to a precedent of only a couple of weeks ago. On Monday, April 27, the hon. member for Labelle (Mr. Girouard) made a statement in the house, of which I think all hon. members are generally aware. Shortly after he had made that statement I, being in the house at the time, said this:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. I should like to enter a caveat, because after we have had a chance to read what was contained in the statement made by the hon. member for Labelle, some of us may want to raise a question of privilege tomorrow and move the kind of motion which was just suggested.

The next day, April 28, I rose at the opening of the house on a question of privilege and referred to what had been said the day before, which I had by then had an opportunity to read, on the basis of which I moved a motion for reference to the committee on privileges and elections which was allowed, debated and passed unanimously.

I submit that though there is a slight difference in that the Minister of Justice did not enter a caveat last night, there is great similarity between the two cases, and what the hon. gentleman is seeking to do today is exactly what I sought to do on April 28; that is, to raise a question of privilege at 20220-209i

Question of Privilege

the first moment after there has been an opportunity to read the actual words which had been uttered.

Topic:   MR. FAVREAU REMARKS IN DEBATE BY MEMBER FOR JOLIETTE-L'ASSOMPTION-MONTCALM
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May 15, 1964