I am asking to deter the third reading to the next sitting of the house, Mr. Speaker, in order for the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Greene) to have sufficient time to give satisfaction to farmers.
As I said when I spoke this evening, I will fight up to the end and farmers will no longer be treated with indifference and contempt. The minister should stop talking and start acting. Let him take action, and we will then give our approval. There will not be any unanimous consent this evening, Mr. Speaker.
I would like to say a word. I think the Minister of Agriculture did make a very sincere effort, as one of the hon. members who spoke pointed out, to provide a long and detailed explanation for the benefit of the house and also of the farmers, particularly those in eastern Canada, and I would ask the hon. member whether, rather than uphold consent now, he would not take the time to read Hansard at his leisure tomorrow or the next day and allow the house to proceed with the passage of this bill.
Mr. Speaker, to answer the minister's question, I will tell him that I do not have to read Hansard. I have been here all day. I have listened to the minister, to his attempts to comfort the farmers; it is only an attempt, as he stated it so well himself. Now, we do not want words but action. We want him to act. If farmers have asked for $5.10, let him give it to them. It is only on that condition that we will agree to third reading tonight.
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. You are fully aware, Mr. Speaker, that to proceed immediately tonight with the third reading of the bill, the unanimous consent of the house is required.
Ways and Means
The hon. member for Roberval (Mr. Gauthier) has withheld his consent. My question of privilege is as follows: standing orders cannot be disregarded. The Speaker is supposed to be here to see that the rules are applied. I would ask you to take into account the objection raised by the hon. member for Roberval and his refusal to grant unanimous consent.
If an objection has been expressed so categorically, Mr. Chairman, I do not see why you should move that the bill be now read a third time, especially when the unanimous consent of the house is required and the hon. member for Roberval refused to grant it.
On the point of order raised by the hon. member for Lapointe (Mr. Gregoire) I should like to call attention to the fact that unanimous consent is not required for the third reading of this bill in circumstances as they are tonight, which are extraordinary circumstances.
Standing order No. 75 states:
Every bill shall receive three several readings, on different days, previously to being passed. On urgent or extraordinary occasions a bill may be read twice or thrice, or advanced two or more stages in cue day.
This is an extraordinary occasion having regard to the special order of the house made yesterday at eight o'clock under which the sittings were extended sharply for a specific purpose, and that purpose was indicated. This is not an ordinary occasion. It is an extraordinary occasion affecting this interim supply bill at this particular time. Perhaps the extraordinary nature of our consideration of this bill is indicated by the time of sitting.
[DOT] (2:30 a.m.)
Perhaps it could be demonstrated more directly by that than by any other fact. We are now sitting at 2.30 in the morning when, in the ordinary course of events, the house would have risen at six o'clock last night, so that we have been sitting some 8] hours since the normal time of adjournment. I would also point out that this morning the house met at eleven o'clock instead of 2.30, the normal time of meeting. I could develop the argument but I think it is clear it is an extraordinary occasion, just such an extraordinary occasion as that rule is intended to cover.
Mr. Speaker, may I just say that the other day the hon. member for Me-gantic (Mr. Langlois), representing the party
April 26, 1967
Ways and Means
to which the hon. member for Roberval (Mr. Gauthier) belongs, gave a firm assurance to the meeting of the house leaders that this session would come to a conclusion on Wednesday night and that interim supply and the other items that were mentioned would be passed. Now the hon. member for Roberval, if he is refusing to give consent, is unfortunately, perhaps not realizing it, breaking the word given by the house leader of his party.
When that word was given it was accepted by the rest of us as binding on our various parties. I gave my word for this party consisting of 96 members and we are attempting to meet our part of that bargain. I think all this goes to show that this is an unusual and extraordinary occasion. If we cannot make these arrangements and have these honourable agreements kept, then of course the institution of parliament cannot run in this way. My understanding was that all parties would abide by the decision reached by their representatives who attended that meeting.
Mr. Speaker, the speaker who just resumed his seat said that I have broken an agreement. I think that the first one to break up an agreement is the minister and I will give my consent on the understanding that the minister accepts our request, that is the request of farmers.
If the minister agrees tonight to grant $5.10 to farmers, especially by not increasing taxes, I am ready for unanimous consent and I will give my consent right away. But something new occurred tonight, the minister did not move from his seat and has not changed an iota to his dairy policy. Because of that, Mr. Chairman, I honestly cannot-I am speaking sincerely-give my consent.
Mr. Speaker, the point of order raised by the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Mcllraith), concerns only a question of procedure.
In regard to the point raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Churchill, this concerns the party of my colleague from Roberval (Mr. Gauthier) and I have nothing to say about that. However, the Minister of Public Works quotes section 75, which reads in part as follower:
On urgent or extraordinary occasions, a bill may be read twice or thrice, or advanced two or more stages in one day.
Mr. Speaker, I shall now ask the Minister of Public Works to read Standing Order 42, which says:
A motion may. in case of urgent and pressing necessity-
This is the point which the minister intends to raise-
-previously explained by the mover, be made by unanimous consent of the House without notice having been given under Standing Order 41.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, under those two standing orders, the house cannot proceed with more than two stages on the same day and the motion for third reading cannot be accepted now unless it is an urgent matter. And if this is an urgent matter, standing order 42 requires unanimous consent.
So, standing order 42 is a very good complement to standing order 75. If it is true that standing order 75 recognizes that there may be urgent cases which would set aside the general rule that no more than two stages may be proceeded with on the same day, then third reading would constitute the fourth stage.
Therefore, as a rule, third reading should not be proceeded with. Standing order 75 says that it can be done if the occasion is urgent; but standing order 42 provides that it may be done in cases of emergency, subject to unanimous agreement.
I merely wish to rectify the point of order the hon. Minister of Public Works raised. I believe standing order 42 is very clear for it completes standing order 75. I admit there can be third reading in a case of emergency but in that case order 42 stipulates that there must be unanimous consent of the house.
As for the agreements which may have been reached, Mr. Speaker, with regard to the point of order raised by the member for Winnipeg South Centre, I was not aware of them and neither was the hon. member for Sherbrooke (Mr. Allard). We knew nothing about them because we did not attend the meetings of the house leaders. We were not even invited. Consequently, we did not know what might happen in the house seeing we were kept in the dark. The two of us, we are the white niggers of parliament. So we are not told when anything happens. The house leaders may decide that the house will sit tomorrow morning at seven o'clock but we would not be here; not having been invited at the meeting, we would not attend.
So, Mr. Speaker, I should like to protest against such methods of decision between
April 26, 1967
house leaders meeting and forgetting the Independents. In the future, if decisions are to be taken, let us be invited and we will be pleased to attend. Then your decisions may be respected.
I should like the government house leader to know one thing: True, there are only two of us. But we are here and we are here to be taken into account. We are only two but, as the hon. member for Sherbrooke said a while ago, we are worth many Liberal members.
Mr. Speaker, I think the point of order which has been raised by the Minister of Public Works and house leader is well taken; that is, it is possible for the house to pass through more than one stage on an urgent or extraordinary occasion. Citation 424 of Beauchesne's fourth edition reads as follows:
"It Is occasionally the custom to pass bills through their different stages at one and the same sitting. That course, however, is never taken except in cases of extreme urgency and with the general assent of the house."
This, Mr. Speaker, is a precedent taken from 1880. Since that time the word "extraordinary" has been included in standing order 75. Therefore, I should like to suggest that the precedent applies to the word "extraordinary" as well as the word "urgent". It does not say there must be unanimous consent by the members of the house that it is an extraordinary occasion. It says there must be general assent of the house that it is an extraordinary occasion.
Therefore, sir, I believe it is quite proper within the rules for Your Honour to determine whether there is general assent that this is an extraordinary occasion and that it is possible to pass bills through more than one stage at the same sitting.
Order, please. In order to give the Chair an opportunity to consider this very interesting point, I wonder whether the house at this time might consider it advisable to go on with the next item of business. Is it agreed that we revert to motions?