October 25, 1968

UNVEILING OF PORTRAIT OF FORMER PRIME MINISTER

IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Hon. members are aware that last evening a pleasant function for all concerned was held on the occasion of the unveiling of the portrait of a former prime minister, Right Hon. Lester Pearson.

Arrangements were made to take a verbatim report of the proceedings, and it is my suggestion to the house that the report be made a part of today's Hansard. Is it agreed?

Topic:   UNVEILING OF PORTRAIT OF FORMER PRIME MINISTER
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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

[Editor's note: For document referred to above, see appendix.]

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PRIVILEGE

MR. SPEAKER-STATEMENT ON ALLEGED ALTERATION IN "HANSARD" REPORT

IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

I have now had an opportunity to look into the alleged alteration of Hansard, raised yesterday as a question of privilege by the hon. member for York South.

I have ascertained that as claimed by the hon. member for York South there has been an alteration in the Prime Minister's spoken words. The words "levying more money" were changed to "finding more money". Upon further inquiry it has been ascertained that the changes were made by the editorial staff of Hansard on their own initiative. Neither the Prime Minister nor his staff were consulted in making the alteration. The explanation given by the editor is that in his view the phrase "finding money" appeared to be more idiomatic than "levying money". This, of course, is a matter of judgment. Obviously the editor's opinion has not met with the approval of all hon. members of the house. At the same time I am sure most members will acknowledge that editorial changes normally tend to improve verbatim reports.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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Right Hon. P.-E. Trudeau@Prime Minister

I see the hon. member for York South shaking his hands. I wonder whether he is going to withdraw his insinuations.

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NDP

David Lewis (Parliamentary Leader of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Lewis (York South):

I do not at

all blame the right hon. gentleman for suggesting that I acknowledge the fact that the change, which I think was substantial, was made by a member of the Hansard editorial staff and not by anyone in the Prime Minister's office, and I do so gladly. May I say I never suggested that the Prime Minister himself was responsible for it. I am delighted as a member of this parliament to learn that the staff in the Prime Minister's office was not responsible, and I gladly acknowledge it.

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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

I am very glad for the acknowledgement, but I read in Hansard of yesterday that the hon. member said this was an abuse of the editing privileges which members of the house have. I think this was a very clear inference, and it was supported by the Leader of the Opposition. Now we find that neither I nor my people had done any editing on this, and I think the accusation was quite wrong.

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PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell:

Why don't you quit while you are ahead?

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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

If this were the rule the hon. member followed he would never quit, because he has never been ahead on this. I said yesterday that I would stand by any word I used because I really did not see the significance of the point of order one way or the other. I am prepared to say I am very glad that the editorial staff of Hansard makes my grammatical errors appear less obvious. I have no objection if they do the same thing for members of the opposition, but I have been told that I have been using an undefendable editing privilege. Now the answer is that I have not, so I suggest that the hon. member for York South and the Leader of the Opposition, who agreed with him, admit that they made a mistake in suggesting I had misused editing privileges. Let us see him answer that.

[DOT] (11:10 a.m.)

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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I rose yesterday to

October 25, 1968

Statement on Alteration in Hansard Report indicate that my recollection of what the Prime Minister had said was the same as that of the hon. member for York South. We now find I was right in this regard, from what you have reported this morning, Your Honour.

I did not understand I was making any imputation against the Prime Minister; I was stating my impression of what the Prime Minister had said. The Prime Minister yesterday disputed what the hon. member for York South said, indicating his recollection was that he had used the word "finding". My impression was that he had used a different word conveying to me a different sense; and with all respect, Mr. Speaker, the word "levying" does convey quite a different impression in this context than the word "finding". I want to make it very clear that I do not want to be associated with any imputation against the Prime Minister. I don't think I have anything to withdraw.

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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

What about the words about the integrity of Hansard?

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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

The integrity of Hansard is the sense of reporting accurately what the Prime Minister had said. I don't want to continue this, but I think it is clear now Hansard did not report in fact what the Prime Minister had said, and I think the matter should be dropped there with the explanation you have given, Mr. Speaker.

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NDP

David Lewis (Parliamentary Leader of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lewis:

Mr. Speaker, I don't really quite know what the Prime Minister is after in his interjection. I said very clearly that 1 was very happy to acknowledge that neither he nor any member of his office staff had made the change. I remind the house, Mr. Speaker, that yesterday instead of the Prime Minister saying, as he ought to have, that he did not quite remember, that maybe I was right but he did not remember, he said very emphatically his memory was that he used the word "finding".

I have expressed and acknowledged clearly my satisfaction as a member of this house that neither the Prime Minister nor anyone of his office staff had made the change. To that extent I believe the Prime Minister's statement yesterday that he had not made it, and I certainly am happy to know the fact today. But if I apologize, as I did, for having suggested anything to the contrary, I think the Prime Minister has an even greater duty to apologize to the house for being so emphatic about the word that was used in Hansard yesterday, which was wrong and which gave

a completely different meaning to his statement.

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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I doubt whether we should pursue the matter further. We have had explanations indicating that perhaps everybody was right yesterday.

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PC

Gerald William Baldwin (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

The Prime Minister is just more sophisticated than he thought he was.

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LABOUR, MANPOWER AND IMMIGRATION


First report of standing committee on labour, manpower and immigration-Mr. Caccia. [Note: Text of the foregoing report appears in today's Votes and Proceedings.f


October 25, 1968