April 4, 1967

VACANCIES

LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that I have received from the hon. member for Papineau (Mr. Favreau) and the hon. member for Richelieu-Verchdres (Mr. Cardin) written declarations of their intentions to resign their seats in the House of Commons.

Pursuant to section 6 of the House of Commons Act, chapter 143 of the Revised Statutes, 1952, I have directed my warrants to the Chief Electoral Officer for an issue of writs for election of new members for the said electoral districts.

Topic:   VACANCIES
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NATIONAL DEFENCE

FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF

LIB

Paul Theodore Hellyer (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Paul Hellyer (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to rise to make a personal explanation. Yesterday the hon. member for Calgary North raised a question in respect of an alleged statement made by General Allard. He objected to the report attributed to the general criticizing opposition members' motivation in opposing the unification bill. I think it is now clear to all hon. members of the house that General Allard made no such charge. The report which served as the basis for the question raised by the hon. member for Calgary North was an error in translation by the Canadian Press wire service.

In my reply I stated, as recorded at page 14414 of Hansard:

I did not know of the speech hut I have complete confidence in the chief of the defence staff and he is at complete liberty to express himself publicly as he sees fit.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

He is not.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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LIB

Paul Theodore Hellyer (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Hellyer:

I should have added, of

course, that I meant within the general's responsibility as chief of the defence staff. If I had risen again on the subject I would have added this clarification and in addition would have suggested that I would prefer to take

the question as notice until I had an opportunity to determine just exactly what the general had said.

I accept the responsibility for the impression that might quite properly be taken from my words. As I indicated, however, I have complete confidence in the general, and consequently he is not obliged to clear his public speeches with me or the associate minister. At the same time I regret very much the harsh words that were spoken in the House of Commons yesterday, because I am sure no member of this house would want to reflect unfairly on the chief of the defence staff, a very gallant and distinguished public servant.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Hon. D. S. Harkness (Calgary North):

Mr. Speaker, on this same question of privilege I, of course, regret that the Canadian Press dispatch in regard to the statements made by General Allard was incorrect. However, I now have a copy of yesterday's La Presse which gives a different version of what General Allard said, and which has not been denied as being incorrect. I shall not read the report in French. I shall give a translation of it which I have secured.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Some hon. members laugh, so I will read the French and then we will get the translation.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

It reads:

This week end General Jean V. Allard commander in chief of the Canadian army has askedhimself if certain members of the opposition,

"these former ministers", really tell the truth and what they really think when they oppose the unification of the Canadian armed forces.

[DOT] (2:40 p.m.)

The translation which I will give is:

This week end General Jean V. Allard commander in chief of the Canadian army has askedhimself if certain members of the opposition,

"these former ministers", really tell the truth and what they really think when they oppose the unification of the Canadian armed forces.

April 4, 1967

Appointment of Governor General

This is not as flagrant as the report we had yesterday, but I submit that in principle it is basically exactly the same sort of thing complained about; that is, an officer of the armed forces, particularly the commander in chief of the armed forces, impugning the motives of members of parliament in respect of the stands they take in this house. Although as I say the statements are not as flagrant as those reported yesterday, the basic principle is the same and I think this is a practice which must be brought to an end.

Yesterday I asked the Acting Prime Minister to take steps. I am glad the Prime Minister is now back and I would ask that he take steps to see that officers in the armed forces do not make statements of this nature which seriously impugn the motives of members of this house, and particularly members of the Privy Council who are ex-ministers.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Winnipeg South Centre):

Mr. Speaker, also on the question of privilege, I should like to say that I think this statement which has been read out is worse than the one read yesterday. This statement contains a speculation as to whether we are speaking the truth. It is all right for members of the House of Commons to make remarks of that nature, because other members can immediately reply to them and they can be either withdrawn or substantiated. In this particular instance General Allard must substantiate his statement, prepare another apology or provide some explanation as to misquotation. This statement which now appears in the language which he apparently used in the course of his address is one which I consider to be worse than the statement which appeared in the press yesterday.

I hope the Minister of National Defence, with regard to General Allard will exercise the right he has in respect of any officer in the forces and the right that he intended to exercise against Admiral Landymore, whom he accused of making statements which he was not authorized to make. Why must there be a special protection for General Allard? Admiral Landymore was threatened with court martial proceedings. I think it is quite contrary to the custom and practice within the services for the minister to get up and say that General Allard is entitled to make any statement he wishes. Let the minister or the Prime Minister take some action to discipline a person who makes these attacks on members of this House of Commons and makes accusations that they are not telling the truth. This, sir, is what I object to.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   FURTHER REFERENCE TO SPEECH BY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF
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THE GOVERNOR GENERAL

ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF HON. ROLAND MICHENER

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to announce that Her Majesty the Queen has approved my recommendation that Honourable Roland Michener be appointed as Governor General of Canada.

Mr. Michener needs no commendation to this house. We remember well his distinguished service as our respected and esteemed Speaker from 1957 to 1962. He was born in Lacombe, Alberta, the son of Senator and Mrs. Edward Michener. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1920 and proceeded as a Rhodes scholar to Oxford University, where he studied law and obtained the B.A. and B.C.L. degrees. He was called to the bar of England in 1923 and to the Ontario bar in 1924.

Mr. Michener's whole life has been one of public service and in many capacities; in the R.A.F. during the first world war; as a member of the Ontario legislature; as secretary of that province; as a member of this house, and its esteemed and respected Speaker, and as high commissioner for Canada to India and ambassador to Nepal. His dedication to and interest in public service are shared by his wife, who will be of great and experienced assistance to her husband in carrying out his new duties.

The government has been deeply aware of the responsibility placed upon it in recommending to the Queen as her personal representative in Canada a successor to the late and beloved General Vanier, whose services to Canada will never be forgotten and whose passing we lament so much.

The position of governor general has been filled with great distinction during the 100 years of our history by 19 outstanding men, each of whom brought to the office some special quality and all of whom served Canada well. The standards that have been set in the past have been magnificently maintained by the last two Canadian governors general.

We will all, I know, be particularly appreciative of the willingness of Mr. and Mrs. Michener to assume such onerous responsibilities on short notice, in the full knowledge that in the next few months they will be faced with an extremely heavy program of duties in relation to our centennial celebrations.

April 4. 1967

I am sure the parliament and people of Canada will join me in extending to the new Governor General warmest wishes for success and happiness in the high office to which he is being called.

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of

the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, the appointment has not been unexpected. For the past four months it has been very clear from press references that Mr. Michener would be appointed. The appointment will receive widespread approval.

The Prime Minister has referred to the services of successive governors general. At no time in our history has the position of governor general been of more importance than it will in the next few years. Few realize the importance of the office. Many regard it as a sinecure consisting largely of ceremonial duties without constitutional significance. That view, widely held, is not based on experience.

During the time when I was prime minister there were two governors general, Right Hon. Vincent Massey and Right Hon. Georges P. Vanier. During the terms of both in respect for the traditional role of the governor general they were fully consulted as the representative of the Queen has a right to be. He also has the duty to give an opinion to the Prime Minister with regard to those things he believes necessary for Canada.

There are too many who hold the view that the position is obsolete or about to become out of date. Certain press references recently have suggested that Mr. Michener may well be the last governor general of Canada. Believing as I do in the monarchical system of parliamentary government, I see Canada in the second century preserving the form of government we have today.

[DOT] (2:50 p.m.)

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF HON. ROLAND MICHENER
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF HON. ROLAND MICHENER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Indeed, the governor

general not only is the representative of the crown but the symbol of the crown in parliament. He is the linch pin of our whole system of British parliamentary democracy. Beyond his constitutional responsibilities the governor general can wield an immense power and influence for national good and unity, as a rallying point for all Canadians. He can be a stabilizing influence in times of ferment and discord within our country. .

When I say these things I am simply outlining the manner in which the late General Georges P. Vanier carried out his duties. I did

Appointment of Governor General not have an opportunity of saying this at the time of his passing, and I may be pardoned now for the observation I am about to make, that he in his person did more than anyone living to bring about a new concept of unity within our nation.

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF APPOINTMENT OF HON. ROLAND MICHENER
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April 4, 1967