April 3, 1967

PC

Gerald William Baldwin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

What the Minister of Transport said may be true, but I would think that the article the hon. member for Port Arthur is quoting from does comment on proceedings which took place in a committee of this house, and as such the hon. member clearly infringed the rules. A committee of the house is part of the house. Citation 157 (5) of Beauchesne's fourth edition says this:

It is not in order to read articles in newspapers, letters or communications emanating from persons outside the House and referring-

I emphasize "referring":

-to, or commenting on, or denying anything said by a member or expressing any opinion reflecting on proceedings within the house.

When the hon. member quotes from a newspaper article which refers to proceedings in a committee of the house and the hon. member seeks to use that in debate, I submit he clearly infringes this very definite rule.

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please. I think the committee has spent sufficient time on the point of order. I shall refer to the ruling made in the first instance. There is nothing wrong with a member's using an article from a newspaper to support an argument he is making. Perhaps this is a good time to suggest that the hon. member for Port Arthur be allowed to proceed with his remarks.

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LIB

Robert Knight Andras

Liberal

Mr. Andras:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I started by saying that one of the things that shocked me during the deliberations of the committee on national defence was the superficial reporting undertaken by the press. In quoting, as I said quite frankly at the beginning, at great length from the article by Mr. Westell, I was illustrating the difference between superficial and good reporting. Almost everything that Mr. Westell has said is pertinent to this matter, and will add weight to the deliberations of the committee.

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Let us have some quotations from the superficial reports.

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LIB

Robert Knight Andras

Liberal

Mr. Andras:

I am sure we will have those later from the other side of the house.

DEBATES April 3, 1967

For example, General Moncel said this:

In the light of the commitments that are undertaken and which indeed are spelled for us in the White Paper, a unified force has no place. Now if you want to change the commitment to a commitment-I could write one for you if you want- which would call for a unified force, then unification per se is obviously a good thing-

Mr. Westell went on to say that this was the position which the New Democratic Party took from the beginning of the hearings, and it is the position from which they emerged at the end.

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PC

Edward Nasserden

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nasserden:

On a point of order, the hon. member who has the floor is deliberately breaking one of the rules of the house found in paragraph 6 of citation 157 of Beauchesne's fourth edition. In part that says the following:

The rule is quite clear, that the quoting of a newspaper, an author or a book which reflects upon debate before the House, either directly or indirectly is entirely out of order, because members are here to give their own opinion and not to quote the opinion of others ... Members may quote an article or a book stating facts, but a commentary on any proceeding or any discussion in the house, with the object of swinging an opinion to one side or the other, is out of order.

It is clear that the hon. member is contravening the rules of this house.

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?

An hon. Member:

Why not table the newspaper?

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LIB

Robert Knight Andras

Liberal

Mr. Andras:

This was the position which the New Democratic Party took-

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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order, please. I have already stated to the committee and to the hon. member the view the Chair takes with respect to the reading at length from a newspaper article. I invite the hon. member for Port Arthur to now proceed to his own remarks on clause 2 of Bill C-243.

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PC

Michael Starr (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Siarr:

He should resume his seat. He has no ideas of his own.

[DOT] (9:50 p.m.)

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LIB

Robert Knight Andras

Liberal

Mr. Andras:

One of the difficulties is that there is so much of this article with which I thoroughly agree that I would most certainly have not strayed far from it had I used it as a basis for my remarks. If I may, I will continue to quote extracts and quote from the committee reports which are pertinent to the point I was making. One of them is the contradictions in the evidence given by many of the retired officers who appeared before us. On this question of commitments, which the New Democratic Party found to be of such

April 3, 1967

great importance to them during the committee deliberations, the article says:

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Commitments to NATO are not immutable and are, even now, in the process of changing. And there is no clear line to be drawn between forces committed to NATO and those designated for peacekeeping, or restoring peace where limited war has broken out. Finally, there is no agreement among the critics of unification that a unified force would not be useful to NATO.

As Air Chief Marshal Miller said: "I do not think there is any unanimity as to whether a unified force was a good contribution to NATO.

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Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Can the hon. member give us a page reference? On a point of order, the hon. member said he intended to give quotations from the evidence. Will he not give the page reference so that we can follow what he is reading in the evidence and see whether his statements are accurate?

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LIB

Robert Knight Andras

Liberal

Mr. Andras:

I do not think I have time to do the detailed homework for the hon. gentleman.

The air chief marshal was saying he did not think there was any unanimity as to whether a unified force was a good contribution to NATO. Asked if a peace keeping force was compatible with commitment to NATO

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An hon. Member:

Who asked that question?

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LIB

Robert Knight Andras

Liberal

Mr. Andras:

Air Chief Marshal Miller replied:

"Yes, exactly. It can be made up from elements of forces we need for NATO ... I do not see that unification will add or subtract from our ability in any way in this."

The committee spent a lot of its time arguing about commitments, but the picture never did emerge very clearly. Admiral Landymore, for one, was convinced that unification implied a secret intention by Mr. Hellyer to withdraw from international alliances. Mr. Hellyer insisted that the policy remains exactly as stated in the White Paper of 1964-to maintain existing commitments and, in addition, to build up capability for peacekeeping.

The article says, on this point:

Asked whether Canada had intimated to its allies its intention to vary the commitment of the air division, (in Europe) Mr. Hellyer replied: "The modest reduction that is taking place this year has already been agreed. In so far as the future is concerned, we will have to indicate this to NATO, if my memory serves me correctly, in December of this year .. . We are not required to reveal our intention or to discuss our future plans and commitments except at that time... I think that during the course of the year, we will have to decide what to do for the following five-year period ..."

Considerations of foreign policy, obviously enough, influence Mr. Hellyer's position. While the defence committee was meeting, External

National Defence Act Amendment

Affairs Minister Paul Martin told the Senate foreign affairs committee that Canada cannot unilaterally withdraw forces from NATO without seriously endangering the stability of the alliance. But Mr. Martin did not rule out a change in the military commitment.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

On a point of order. The hon. member who now has the floor is deliberately and flagrantly disobeying your instruction and your ruling. He is continuing to read word for word from this newspaper article during the last two or three minutes, in spite of the fact that you have warned him he was not to do so. I would ask you, Mr. Chairman, to see that your ruling is observed.

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LIB

Robert Knight Andras

Liberal

Mr. Andras:

I should like to continue to make my point as to the contrast between the evidence given by the various witnesses, and if in doing so my remarks coincide very closely with this newspaper article in the Globe and Mail of April 3, it is a close coincidence.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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NDP

Francis Andrew Brewin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Brewin:

Is the hon. member reading or not reading excerpts from the article by Mr. Westell in the Globe and Mail?

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April 3, 1967