April 20, 1967

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT

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. Mcllrailh (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, in accordance with the provisions of standing order 15A, I made the proposal that the question of allocation of time for the committee of the whole stage and all remaining stages of procedure on Bill No. C-243, being item No. 107 on the order paper, be referred to the business committee.

The members of the business committee had discussions for three days on this matter, in accordance with the provisions of that standing order, and on Tuesday, April 18 I reported to the house that the committee had been unable to reach unanimous agreement on the question referred to it. On Tuesday, April 18 I also gave notice that on the next Thursday I would move for an order providing for the allocation of time. All this appears in Votes and Proceedings of that day. I now propose to make that motion.

As hon. members know, standing order 15A provides for a business committee which has the task of setting up a timetable for debate on a bill. The two-fold assumption behind that order is that all parties will want debate and discussion so that the thinking of the house and the country will develop and mature, and also that all parties will want the house to do its duty by rendering a decision regardless of what individual members may think that decision should be. It is inevitable that there will be differences of opinion. To devise an allocation of time balancing these differences is precisely the task assigned to the business committee. That task it sought to perform, but it was unable to reach the necessary unanimous agreement.

Therefore it now becomes the right and indeed the responsibility of the government under standing order 15A to take the step of providing the opportunity for the house to make a decision on the additional time the house should take in further discussion of the remaining stages of this bill.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Winnipeg South Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. What stage are we at now in the proceedings of the house? I understand that Your Honour called motions. I do not see anything on the order paper to indicate that the minister has an opportunity to speak at this time.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member is quite right. I have been expecting the minister to make a motion.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

What has the minister been talking about?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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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

Mr. Mcllraiih:

It has become clear-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Starr:

Order.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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PC

Jay Waldo Monteith (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Monieilh:

Make your motion.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I suggest to the minister that he make a motion. I understand there may be a debate on the motion-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

-and perhaps the minister can leave his comments until then.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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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

Mr. Mcllrailh:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. I move, seconded by the Minister of Transport (Mr. Pickersgill):

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

That an order be made allocating the time on the committee of the whole stage and all remaining stages of procedure on Bill C-243, an act to amend the National Defence Act and other acts in consequence thereof (as amended), being government order No. 107 on the order paper, and that the motion will provide that two days shall be allocated for the completion of discussion on the committee of the whole stage on Bill C-243, an act to amend the National Defence Act and other acts in consequence thereof (as amended), and that one day shall be allotted for the completion of the third reading stage on the bill.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on another point of order. I understand fully that last Tuesday the minister gave notice of this particular motion, and that it appeared in Votes and Proceedings to which I drew attention yesterday. However, it does not appear on today's order paper. I wonder, sir, whether you would give a ruling on this question. Is it permissible simply to give notice of motion

April 20, 1967

Proposal for Time Allocation and then, without following the normal custom of the house, to move the motion verbally the next day or some subsequent day without anything appearing on the order paper for the information of members? I am not sure there is any rule governing this procedure, but the custom of the house over the years has prevented members of the house from being taken by surprise.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

It has been the practice to disclose the government's intentions in the order paper, and the same has applied to private members. Private members who give notice of motion with regard to the introduction of a bill place that notice in Votes and Proceedings, then the order paper brings it to the attention of the house on some subsequent day. Is some special dispensation being granted to the Minister of Public Works or to any member of the government, because in the past we have been accustomed to another procedure than that followed by the minister today? I would ask Your Honour's ruling on this important point; because if Your Honour reaches a decision that this may happen, then in future any of us will be free to give notice of motion, have it appear in Votes and Proceedings and then, at our choice, raise it orally when motions are called.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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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

Mr. Mcllraith:

Mr. Speaker, in addressing myself to the point of order just raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre I should like to read standing order 15A (5), as follows:

If the chairman of the business committee reports that the committee has been unable to reach a unanimous agreement-

Which was the case in this instance.

-or if the committee fails to report within the time specified by section (3) of this standing order, a minister of the crown, notwithstanding the provisions of standing order 41, may give notice of motion that at the next sitting of the house, provided that day is not a Wednesday, he will move that an order be made allocating the time for the item of business or stage thereof.

As I indicated when I first rose, notice of motion was given on Tuesday. The motion was to be made on Thursday because the standing order provides it cannot be moved on a Wednesday. Paragraph 6 of the standing order reads:

A motion of which a minister has given notice under section (5) of this standing order shall be made during routine proceedings.

Then the order goes on with other matters not relevant to the point at issue. In the light

of the standing order it will be seen that I have followed exactly the procedure set out in it. This being so, I respectfully suggest that the procedure envisaged by standing order 41, which is specifically exempted from applicability to this motion, has no bearing and I am in order.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

In so far as the point raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre is concerned, I have been giving some thought to this problem which I felt might be raised. Standing order 41 reads:

Forty eight hours notice shall be given of a motion for leave to present a bill, resolution or address, for the appointment of any committee, or for placing a question on the order paper; but this rule shall not apply to bills after their introduction-

I will not read the whole of the standing order. We should remember that the provisional standing order suspends the provisions of standing order 41. Section 5 of standing order 15A not only dispenses with the requirement for 48 hours' notice with respect to a motion for time allocation; it also renders inoperative the ordinary machinery for putting a notice on the order paper. Hon. members will note that a similar procedure with respect to notice will be found in standing order 33.

Section 6 of standing order 15A reads in part as follows:

A motion of which a minister has given notice under section (5) of this standing order shall be made during routine proceedings.

I suggest to hon. members and I believe there is doubt about the interpretation of these words "routine proceedings". They must be interpreted in the light of the recommendation made by the special committee on procedure in 1955, which was concurred in by the house and recorded at page 944 of the Journals for July 12, 1955, as follows:

That motions for concurrence in reports of any standing or special committee, for the suspension of any standing order, or such other motions made upon routine proceedings, as may be required for the observances of the proprieties of the house, the maintenance of its authority, the appointment or conduct of its officers, the management of its business, the arrangement of its proceedings, the correctness of its records, the fixing of its sitting days or the times of its meeting or adjournment shall be listed, when notice is required, called and disposed of under "motions".

In view, therefore, of the provision of the standing order and the interpretation which I think is the only one possible, I cannot accept the contention of the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre.

April 20, 1967

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Of what use is the order paper, then?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR TIME ALLOCATION RESPECTING DEFENCE ACT AMENDMENT
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April 20, 1967