April 29, 1966

PRESENCE IN GALLERY OF SPEAKERS OF LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES

LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

May I bring to the attention of hon. members the presence in the Speaker's gallery today of Speakers from the legislative assemblies of Canada. These learned and distinguished gentlemen and their wives are in Ottawa to attend the annual meeting of the area council of the parliamentary association.

May I, on your behalf, wish them the most cordial welcome.

Topic:   PRESENCE IN GALLERY OF SPEAKERS OF LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES
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JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS

FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE


On the order:


IND

Donald Cameron

Independent Liberal

Mr. Cameron (High Park) (Chairman of the standing committee on justice and legal affairs):

That the first report of the standing committee on justice and legal affairs, presented to the house on Tuesday, April 26. 1966, be now concurred in.

Topic:   JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

Alan John Patrick Cameron

Liberal

Mr. A. J. P. Cameron (High Parle):

I ask

that the motion stand.

Topic:   JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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NDP

Reid Scott

New Democratic Party

Mr. Reid Scott (Danforth):

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Speaker, as a member of the committee the report of which was just asked to be stood. I wonder if you could advise me as to the right of the chairman to stand the report when the committee has asked that it be presented. A very serious situation exists in the committee structure of the house, which appears to be breaking down. It seems to me the only time we can discuss this serious problem is when one of these motions is brought before the house for debate. I wonder if you could advise me how the chairman of the committee can stand the report which the committee has asked him to present.

Topic:   JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

George James McIlraith (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. G. J. Mcllraiih (Minister of Public Works):

Perhaps I could be helpful to the hon. member. The fact is that the business

coming before the house during the last three days has been under motions. By agreement we decided to take these motions as if they were orders of the day rather than in their regular place. The effect of this decision was to permit a question period. If we had taken the motions in their proper place, under motions, that would have eliminated the question period. It seemed to me that it would be contra- to the wishes of the house to take these 33 motions, postpone them and put the other two motions about which the hon. member has inquired ahead of them in order that those motions should retain their position. It seemed to me to be quite unfair to do that.

I must, I think, properly take some responsibility for suggesting to hon. members who had motions for concurrence before the house that they not proceed with them until we completed the debate on the redistribution motions.

Topic:   JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I hope the explanation of the minister has clarified the situation for the hon. member.

Topic:   JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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NDP

Reid Scott

New Democratic Party

Mr. Scoit (Danforth):

It has not clarified it at all, Mr. Speaker, but I guess the situation will have to stand at the moment.

Topic:   JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF CONFERENCE WITH COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make an announcement concerning a conference of commonwealth Caribbean countries and Canada. Following my visit to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago late last year, it was decided to hold a meeting of officials to make preparations for the holding of a conference at the level of heads of government. This meeting took place at Kingston, Jamaica toward the end of January. The representatives of the various commonwealth Caribbean countries and Canada who attended that meeting agreed to recommend that a conference take place in July, from July 6 to July 8, inclusive.

I had indicated our willingness to have this conference in Canada if it was the wish of the other countries concerned, but I had also

4496 COMMONS

Commonwealth Relations made it clear that we would be happy to go to the West Indies if that was preferred. The officials meeting in Kingston agreed to recommend that our offer to hold the conference in Canada be accepted. The officials also made recommendations concerning the agenda. It was agreed that discussions might be held under the following broad headings: trade, development aid, transport and communications, migration, other economic questions, international questions of mutual interest and cultural relations.

I am pleased to report that the Prime Ministers of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and British Guiana have expressed concurrence with the recommendations of the preparatory meeting in Kingston, and that informal indications of agreement have been received from the governments of Antigua, Barbados, British Honduras, Dominica, Granada, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. The conference of heads of government of the commonwealth Caribbean countries and Canada will therefore take place in Ottawa from July 6th to 8th.

This conference, Mr. Speaker, I hope will be the beginning of a process of even closer and more productive consultation and practical co-operation between the commonwealth Caribbean countries and Canada. As such it could well mark a new stage in the special relationship which Canada has traditionally had with the West Indies.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CONFERENCE WITH COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the announcement made by the Prime Minister is in keeping with the course of development through the years. Our relationship with the nations of the commonwealth in the Caribbean has been close, and has become stronger with the passing years. Indeed, when we were in office we brought about a change of attitude in this regard by making provision through parliament for assistance to countries in the Caribbean, ships and the like, so those countries, far separated as they are one from another, would be able to bring about, as we had hoped, a confederation in the West Indies. However, that did not turn out to be the final result. The aid to each of these countries has been separate, one from the other.

What has been suggested over the years is now being carried into effect. This conference will enable the nations of the Caribbean to meet with Canada and together arrive at still closer relationships between our respective nations. Some of these countries have felt that they ought to join the Organization of

DEBATES April 29. 1966

American States. One or two of them have been strongly pressed by the United States to do so. My own view of the Organization of American States is that we should defer taking any action to join. However, by a meeting such as this we bring these nations together in a common relationship one to another under the crown, thereby assuring the improvement of economic, social and other relationships to bring about that oneness that is so necessary today.

From listening to the Prime Minister I am sure one of the matters which will receive intensive discussion will be that of immigration. During our period of office we removed colour discrimination, in fact or in theory, as one of the elements in immigration by assuring that all immigrants, regardless of their colour or race, would be admissible to Canada because of their skills and for no other reason. That is something that is not well understood in these countries in the Caribbean.

I am sure the discussions that will take place and the counsel that will result therefrom will bring about a feeling of better understanding and a recognition by those countries that Canada's stand in this regard is based not on colour discrimination-because Canada's attitude is that Canada must be colour blind-but on immigration that is founded upon skills and the ability of our immigrants to fit into the national picture.

[DOT] (11:20 a.m.)

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CONFERENCE WITH COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES
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NDP

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

New Democratic Party

Mr. Herridge:

Well spoken.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CONFERENCE WITH COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES
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NDP

David Lewis

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Lewis (York South):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our party I should like to welcome the announcement made by the Prime Minister and, indeed, to express our appreciation at the initiative taken by Canada which leads to these discussions.

It has seemed to me for a long time that Canada ought to have taken a much more active part in assisting these poor countries of the western hemisphere to improve their lot and to become more independent economically and more viable socially. I hope the discussions will lead precisely to that kind of result. I hope Canada will increase immensely the assistance it is prepared to give to the countries in the Caribbean, to help them to develop economically and socially.

I share, on behalf of our party, the emphasis which the right hon. Leader of the Opposition placed on the need to remove every remaining vestige of discrimination against the inhabitants of the Caribbean area who may wish to come to Canada. We are very

April 29, 1966

glad at this first step. We hope it will produce useful results for the peoples of those countries.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CONFERENCE WITH COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES
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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caoueile (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, the statement by the Prime Minister that the relations of Canada with the Caribbean countries are most friendly and that Canada will assist in the economic, social and cultural development of these countries is most pleasing to us.

On the other hand, the Canadian government should not overlook their responsibilities to Canada. We appreciate the fact that meetings will be held between these various Caribbean countries and Canada with a view to studying the possibilities of aid for these countries because our country is in an advantageous geographical position and in possession of considerable wealth. Those countries have resources also. I went to Jamaica a few years ago and I noticed natural resources which cannot be developed without help. That is obvious if you go there.

I am all in favour of helping Jamaica. However, Mr. Speaker, interest-free loans should not be limited to those countries; they should be granted also to our municipalities who need help in Canada and to some of the maritime provinces which would find it advantageous to obtain interest-free loans from the Bank of Canada.

We are in favour of helping those countries but also of helping our municipalities and provinces. I see that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Sharp) finds that a little funny. He knows that it is logical to help our people at home first and then others. We are granting interest-free loans now, when we have to pay interest on money we borrow, and it seems to me that we cannot go any further in that direction.

We are not against helping those countries, but we should start by helping our municipalities and our provinces.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CONFERENCE WITH COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES
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SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

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

As one

who is not yet in a position to reminisce on what my party did when it was in power, and this not being the occasion for political speeches or debate, I will just say I am very pleased with this announcement. I think for too long we have paid lip service toward our responsibilities in the West Indies, and I hope this will be a major step forward in our relations with the countries of the West Indies.

Labour Conditions

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CONFERENCE WITH COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I understand that the hon. member for Hochelaga and possibly the hon. member for Waterloo South would wish the house to return to the presentation of reports. Is this agreed?

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CONFERENCE WITH COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES
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April 29, 1966