April 16, 1969

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO

LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Donald S. Macdonald (President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a statement about the business of the house for the next several days. As hon. members know, conversations have been taking place about the orderly disposition of the remaining stages of the passage of Bill C-150, that is to say, the omnibus Criminal Code bill, and also the proposed motion relating to Canada's participation in NATO. As a result of this, I have had two special orders prepared which I would like to suggest to the house with a view to their being adopted.

The first would relate to the debate on Canada's participation in NATO, which has been proposed for Wednesday and Thursday of next week. That order would provide for a motion to be moved by a minister. This could be amended in the usual way as provided by the Standing Orders. The vote would take place at 9.45 p.m. on Thursday. The Wednesday would be a government day, that is to say, from government time, and Thursday would be one of the days allotted to the opposition under the supply provisions of the rules. It would be specifically understood that the debate would not reduce the number of no-confidence debates that can be brought under Standing Order 58 of the house in this part of the session. It would also be stipulated in the order that those participating in the debate, other than the first spokesman of each party, would be limited to 15 minutes. This is of course so that the maximum number of hon. members may participate in the debate.

Under the terms of the second of the orders that I am proposing, the house would allot five days for the remaining stages of Bill C-150, four of these to be given to the consideration of the proposed amendments and the fifth day to be for the debate on the third reading stage. Since most of the notices of amendments relate to clauses 14, 15 and 18 of the bill,

that is, the clauses dealing with the abortion question, it is proposed that two days be allotted for dealing with those amendments, that is, this sitting day and tomorrow.

There are several notices of amendments to clause 7, that is, the clause concerning the gross indecency provisions of the Criminal Code. The proposal is that a day be allotted for those amendments, that is to say, Friday of this week. The fourth day, that is to say, Monday of next week, would be available for the other amendments, and it would be understood that both private members business and the adjournment proceedings would be suspended during the days this debate would be in progress. The final day, that is to say, next Tuesday, would be for the third reading debate.

[DOT] (2:10 p.m.)

My suggestion is that the debate on the amendment will begin today, that all questions relating to clauses 14, 15 and 18 be decided tomorrow evening, and that all other votes at the report stage be deferred until Tuesday afternoon, that is to say the first thing after orders of the day are called. The questions concerning third reading would be put to the house on Tuesday evening.

There is general agreement, I believe, that the house must rely on you, Mr. Speaker, to guide our proceedings so that, within the limits provided by any special order, time is available to the house for the consideration of all the major possibilities suggested by the amendments.

The proposed orders are rather long, but copies have already been circulated to the representatives of each of the parties. If there is agreement in relation to the proposed order on the NATO debate, I would like now to move that particular motion.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Is it agreed?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

I take it, Mr. Speaker, that the order on the NATO debate has been adopted. On that basis I wish to move the motion with respect to the allocation of time to Bill C-150.

April 16, 1969

Business of the House

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I want to make sure that there is understanding of the situation. Is the procedure suggested by the President of the Privy Council relating to the NATO debate agreed to?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

It is so ordered.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

I would therefore like to move the motion with regard to the second of the matters, that regarding the allocation of time to bill C-150.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. W. Baldwin (Peace River):

These discussions have in fact been taking place and the house leaders and the members of the house are faced with the necessity of trying to accommodate a very difficult and complex debate within our existing rules. The suggestion advanced by the government house leader-with certain changes which we think can be made within the framework of the order as it would be made-are acceptable to us. Often we do foolish things in this house-and in this connection I look particularly at the government, although on occasion the epidemic does spread to this side. But I think that if we were to take the number of amendments which have been introduced and which now appear on Routine Proceedings and Orders of the Day and tried to arrange a debate, it would be impossible to do so in an orderly way unless the house showed the common sense, which I am sure it possesses from time to time, and worked out an order of this kind. So, as I say, with the exception I have noted, we would be agreeable to this suggestion.

However if it should happen that the house as a whole were not prepared to accept the order, I hope sincerely that at least we can arrange for an orderly division of the subject matter so that it will be possible for the members of the house who feel they have a contribution to make to direct their attention to a specific subject matter. We hope that under the direction of Your Honour all aspects of the problem can be debated and all the questions on each aspect put at one time.

An examination of the amendments indicates that there is a natural division of the subject matter, so I sincerely hope the house will accept the motion. If it does not, then I hope that under the direction of Your Honour, exercised when necessary, and with the exercise of common sense our debates will proceed in an orderly way directed to one matter at a time.

[Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale) .1

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I, too, should like to confirm that there have been discussions among the house leaders and that we have worked out proposals which members of my party are prepared to accept.

If I may recapitulate briefly, we think it would be a good idea to limit ourselves to four days debate at the report stage of Bill C-150, and in view of the way in which the amendments presented happen to fall, that two days on abortion, one day on gross indecency and one day on all the other aspects would be a fair apportionment of our time.

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Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what I said that I should not have staid, but at any rate I am sure the house understands.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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?

An hon. Member:

Only too well.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

We

also feel that if there are to be a number of recorded votes on the various amendments it would be terribly time consuming to take them one by one as they come along, bearing in mind the amount of time it takes to get members together. We think it would be a good idea to have the votes grouped. Therefore we go along with the proposition that all the votes on abortion be taken tomorrow night, and that all those having to do with the other subjects be taken at the beginning of Tuesday's business. We think this is a good idea, and that it would facilitate dealing with this complex measure, giving an opportunity for full discussion at the report stage of the subjects in which by their amendments hon. members have shown that they are interested.

Like the hon. member for Peace River I should like to go one step further and say that if this proposition is not generally agreed to by the house there is a second line of defence we could adopt. I think there might be some kind of agreement that even if it is desired to carry on the debate on abortion for more than two days we could take two days now and then interrupt the discussion, picking up the abortion clauses for additional debate later on. If this could be agreed on it would be a convenient way of dealing with the question.

Otherwise I should like to draw Your Honour's attention to your authority under standing order 75(10) under which you have

April 16, 1969

power to select or combine amendments or clauses to be proposed at the report stage. If it is your sense of the wish of the house that we should spend a certain amount of time on one subject and then move to another, I hope Your Honour will be governed accordingly. However I hope the proposals we worked out as house leaders will be acceptable to the house as a whole.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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RA

Gérard Laprise

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gerard Laprise (Abitibi):

Mr. Speaker, there have been meetings recently at the level of party leaders, or representatives of every party, and as far as we are concerned, we, of the Ralliement Creditiste, cannot accept the government's offer because it is equivalent to closure, which is unacceptable for members who have been freely elected by their constituents.

On December 20, 1968, if I am not mistaken, the house refused to agree to standing order 16A which was equivalent to a muzzle accepted in advance. Therefore, if we refused this permanent muzzle, so to speak, we will refuse it every time the government will try to force it on us. I want to let the government know that some of my colleagues are wide awake and are determined to resist closure whenever the government will try to impose it.

Mr. Speaker, the government has suggested a limitation of the debate; however, as some amendments may be debated at great length, there may be very little time to consider the other amendments on today's order paper.

For those reasons, Mr. Speaker, I feel that every amendment, whatever the hon. member or the party that moved it, should be considered thoroughly. In fact, certain clauses of Bill C-150 are too important to be passed speedily.

Moreover, as excessive speed is reproved everywhere, and as it is generally admitted that one cannot do things fast and well at the same time, we must reject the government's order for closure.

[DOT] (2:20 p.m.)

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

Mr. Speaker, in light of that I wonder whether the house would entertain the suggestion that was made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. That is to say, without agreeing to any limitation of time for debate of any of the items we might plan the subject matter of the debate for the next five days; deal with the

Business of the House

proposed amendments with relation to abortion this afternoon and tomorrow, and on Friday devote ourselves to the second of the subject matters that were mentioned. Then on Monday next we might devote ourselves to the amendments dealing with the other aspects of the Criminal Code, and on Monday afternoon or evening review whether it is necessary to return to the subject matter of abortion or any other questions-or possibly arrive at an agreement. I wonder whether there is any disposition to handle the amendments in this fashion.

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Subtopic:   DISPOSITION OF BILL C-150-AGREEMENT RESPECTING DEBATE ON CANADA'S PARTICIPATION IN NATO
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RA

André-Gilles Fortin

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Andre Fortin (Lotbiniere):

Mr. Speaker, we do not necessarily accept this motion of the government house leader because it is illogical.

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April 16, 1969