January 20, 1970

PRIVILEGE

MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- ACCURACY OF ''GLOBE AND MAIL" REPORT

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 rise on a question of privilege. In this morning's issue of the Toronto Globe and Mail there is a report on certain exchanges that took place in the House yesterday in which there is attributed to me a statement that is the very opposite of what I actually said.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- ACCURACY OF ''GLOBE AND MAIL" REPORT
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

It happens all the time.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- ACCURACY OF ''GLOBE AND MAIL" REPORT
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

Join the crowd.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- ACCURACY OF ''GLOBE AND MAIL" REPORT
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell:

Impossible.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- ACCURACY OF ''GLOBE AND MAIL" REPORT
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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):

The

Ottawa chief of the Globe and Mail has already apologized to me personally.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- ACCURACY OF ''GLOBE AND MAIL" REPORT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- ACCURACY OF ''GLOBE AND MAIL" REPORT
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

I never get any apology.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- ACCURACY OF ''GLOBE AND MAIL" REPORT
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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):

Perhaps he should get his name in the paper too. In any case, I feel that the record should be corrected. The offending sentence in the Globe and Mail reads as follows:

When Mr. Trudeau said he expected to make an announcement "in due course," Stanley Knowles (NDP Winnipeg North Centre) said sarcastically: "I hope the phrase 'in due course' will not take as long as it usually does."

Mr. Speaker, I understand the confusion. In fact, I learned yesterday afternoon there was some confusion so I went to the office of the Canadian Press to find out what that bureau put out over its wire. I have in my hand the words the Canadian Press sent out, which were as follows:

Mr. Trudeau said it is and the government will report to the House "in due course." Stanley Knowles NDP-Winnipeg North Centre said he hopes "in due course" takes as long as it usually does.

Mr. Speaker, 1 am sorry my subtle sarcasm was not understood. When I suggest that "in due course" sometimes takes a long while 1

have in mind a certain commission which was appointed in 1965 and took two years to make its report, following which it took a year for the report to be translated and then there was a white paper which is still before a committee. It is that kind of pace which I would like to see if and when this matter is dealt with. Indeed, if the Prime Minister has any idea of acting on this matter in this Parliament he can count on me to oppose him, all the way.

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

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- ACCURACY OF ''GLOBE AND MAIL" REPORT
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

FINANCE, TRADE AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS CONCURRENCE IN FIFTH REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE

LIB

Gaston Clermont

Liberal

Mr. Gaston Clermont (Gatineau) moved

that the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs, presented to the House on Friday, January 16, 1970, be concurred in.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   FINANCE, TRADE AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS CONCURRENCE IN FIFTH REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.


INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT

MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE-RULING BY MR. SPEAKER


On the order: Motions-Mr. Yewchuk: That the first report of the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development presented on December 16, 1969, be concurred in.


IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

The House will recall that yesterday, when the motion listed in the name of the hon. member for Athabasca was called, the President of the Privy Council raised a point of order concerning the propriety of placing the notice of motion by the hon. member under Routine Proceedings. The basis of the submission made by the President of the Privy Council was that in the absence of any authority from the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development the hon. member for Athabasca

2576 COMMONS

Motion for Concurrence in Report could propose his motion, since it purported to concur in a substantive proposal, only as a private member's notice of motion. Later in his comments the minister suggested that the House should not adopt a practice whereby a private member might raise a substantive question by means of a motion to concur in a report of a standing committee rather than by the other methods provided for such under our Standing Orders.

There may be considerable merit in that position, but on this occasion it is the sole and only duty of the Chair to look at the notice of motion to ensure that it has been prepared in accordance with the practices and usage of this House.

The most important question is whether it is competent for any private member or any unauthorized member of a committee to propose a motion to concur in a report of a standing committee. It is apparent that there is a dearth of precedents to which the Chair may revert for guidance in regard to the question now being considered. At the same time the Chair must not disregard any precedents that in fact exist.

The precedent of May 23, 1932, and that of May 19, 1947, both of which were cited by the President of the Privy Council yesterday, seem to establish the point that a member who is not a member of a committee may move concurrence in a report.

A review of the Journals for 1964-65 will indicate that no fewer than four different members moved concurrence in various reports of the Special Committee on Procedure.

An extensive search of the records of the House has failed to disclose that any objection to a motion made under circumstances similar to those now under review has ever been made. Taking into account these precedents, few though they may be, I am of the opinion that the motion may be proposed by any private member.

The next point to be reviewed is whether the notice of motion has been properly placed on the Orders of the Day. Notwithstanding the persuasiveness of the submission made by the President of the Privy Council to the effect that private members or unauthorized members of a committee should not be able to raise substantive questions in the manner proposed by the hon. member for Athabasca, the provisions of the report of the Special Committee on Procedure, as adopted on July 12, 1955, and recorded at page 944 of the

DEBATES January 20, 1970

Journals for that date, make it obligatory to place a motion to concur in a report under heading "Motions." That provision reads 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 arrangements 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."

The relative words in this citation of course are, "motions for concurrence in reports of any standing or special committee." The motion to concur in the report is, I suggest, in its proper position on the Order Paper.

By way of conclusion I should like to make the following observation and suggestion, if I may. Under our new Standing Orders the standing and special committees have assumed a more important role in the legislative process. For obvious reasons our authorities do not take account of this development. In view of the decision I have taken to allow the motion of the hon. member for Athabasca to stand under motions and in light of the necessary proliferation of committee reports, there is the risk that the business announced each Thursday by the President of the Privy Council could be seriously disrupted by committees who feel their reports should be debated rather than government business. This was the point made very forcibly and clearly yesterday by the President of the Privy Council and it is a difficulty which the Chair fully recognizes. My suggestion would be that the Standing Committee on Procedure and Organization might like to examine this situation to suggest ways in which the business of the House can be arranged in order to reconcile the demand of committees to have their reports brought forward for debate with the requirements of government business.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE-RULING BY MR. SPEAKER
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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

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

Mr. Speaker, there have been some consultations between the parties on this point and agreement reached to stand the hon. member's motion for today's sitting and also for tomorrow. Perhaps I could ask that the matter be allowed to stand.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE-RULING BY MR. SPEAKER
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS AND NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE-RULING BY MR. SPEAKER
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January 20, 1970