April 14, 1970

PRIVILEGE

MR. CROUSE-MINISTERS' OFFICES IN CONSTITUENCIES

PC

Lloyd Roseville Crouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lloyd R. Crouse (South Shore):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege which affects the rights and privileges of every member of this House, and I raise this matter at the earliest possible moment. My question of privilege relates to a return tabled in the Commons yesterday for the Conservative member for Cumberland-Col-chester North (Mr. Coates).

The information given in the Commons return states that 11 of 13 ministers have offices in federal buildings but the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) rents an office at $7,360 a year in his Montreal Mount Royal riding, and the Secretary of State (Mr. Pelletier) rents an office in Montreal Maisonneuve at $1,675 a year. The President of the Privy Council (Mr. Macdonald) and the Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Andras) pay their one-man staffs in their ridings, Toronto Rosedale and Port Arthur respectively, up to $10,000 annually out of the public treasury. The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Olson) is the only minister with a two-member staff in his riding, Medicine Hat. Each is paid up to $5,000 annually.

The Prime Minister's and the Secretary of State's constituency staffers each receive $7,500 annually at the maximum. Other ministers with constituency offices and the maximum publicly paid salaries for their staffers are as follows: The Minister of Finance (Mr. Benson), Kingston, $7,500; the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (Mr. Greene), Niagara Falls, $7,500; the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Cote), Longueuil, $7,500; the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mackasey), Verdun, $7,500; the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mr. Basford), Vancouver Centre, $5,000; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Pepin), Drummondville, $5,000; the Minister of Communications (Mr. Kierans), Montreal Duvemay, $7,500; and the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. MacEachen), the only Nova Scotian, no publicly paid staff.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. CROUSE-MINISTERS' OFFICES IN CONSTITUENCIES
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?

An hon. Member:

There is the economy drive.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. CROUSE-MINISTERS' OFFICES IN CONSTITUENCIES
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PC

Lloyd Roseville Crouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crouse:

Mr. Speaker, in view of the economy drive and in view of these facts as tabled in the Commons I therefore move: That the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections consider whether members of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada holding offices as Ministers of the Crown have violated the provisions of the Senate and House of Commons Act respecting the independence of Parliament by accepting allowances and profits out of public moneys to purposes not authorized by vote of this House.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. CROUSE-MINISTERS' OFFICES IN CONSTITUENCIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. CROUSE-MINISTERS' OFFICES IN CONSTITUENCIES
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member has given the Chair the notice required under the Standing Order, which has given me the opportunity to give some thought to the point raised by the hon. member. As he and other hon. members know, this is not the first time this kind of situation has been brought to the attention of the House. It has been considered by Speakers before me.

The question that has to be decided at the present time is not whether there is a grievance, whether there should be a debate on this matter or whether it should be considered by the House or by a committee at some time, but whether there is a question of privilege. I had the opportunity yesterday of considering in some detail what was the nature of parliamentary privilege. I indicated what I felt was meant by parliamentary privilege and breach of parliamentary privilege.

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

I doubt very much that the privileges of any individual member are affected in the circumstances outlined by the hon. member. I have little hesitation in reaching the conclusion there is no question of privilege which should be studied by the Committee on Privileges and Elections.

The hon. member suggests in his statement or proposed motion that there has been a contravention of the Senate and House of Commons Act. Whether this is correct or not, to my way of thinking this is a point of law rather than a question of privilege. If the hon. member questions the propriety or impropriety of a minister's action, this again, as I pointed out yesterday, can be brought to the attention of the House or discussed by the

5820 COMMONS DEBATES April 14, 1970

Committees of the House House or by a committee of the House only as the result of a substantive motion and cannot be done by way of a motion to refer a question of privilege to the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections. With this in mind the motion of the hon. member will not be put to the House.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. CROUSE-MINISTERS' OFFICES IN CONSTITUENCIES
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE


Sixth report of Standing Committee on External Affairs and National Defence-Mr. Wahn.



Second report of Standing Committee on Regional Development-Mr. Morison. [Editor's Note: For text of above reports, see today's Votes and Proceedings.]


FINANCE

TABLING OF REPORT ON OUTLOOK FOR PRIVATE AND PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN CANADA

LIB

Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. Jean-Luc Pepin (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order 41 (2), I should like to table in French and in English a report on private and public investment in Canada, outlook for 1970.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   TABLING OF REPORT ON OUTLOOK FOR PRIVATE AND PUBLIC INVESTMENT IN CANADA
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POST OFFICE

MONTREAL POSTAL DISPUTE-TABLING OF DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED TO SPECIAL COMMISSIONER

LIB

Charles Mills (Bud) Drury (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Hon. C. M. Drury (President of the Treasury Board):

Mr. Speaker, last week the hon. member for York South (Mr. Lewis) requested the tabling by the government of the documents examined by the special commissioner appointed to look into the trucking contracts for the postal service in Montreal. I have communicated to Mr. Goldenberg the nature of this request and he has forwarded to me all those documents submitted to him which were given to him on other than a confidential basis. I should like to table these.

Topic:   POST OFFICE
Subtopic:   MONTREAL POSTAL DISPUTE-TABLING OF DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED TO SPECIAL COMMISSIONER
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MAIN ESTIMATES 1970-71 RESCINDING OF PREVIOUS ORDER RESPECTING CERTAIN VOTES AND REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE IN MISCELLANEOUS ESTIMATES

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 (Presideni of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions both in the Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs and among representatives of the parties with regard to the work of that particular committee. I think it has been found there is general agreement that the estimates which on February 18 were referred to that committee might better be dealt with by the Standing Committee on Miscellaneous Estimates. Therefore, if the House is in agreement, perhaps the following could be made an order of the House:

That the provisions of the Order of the House made February 18, 1970, in relation to the reference of estimates to the Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs, be rescinded and that the said estimates namely;

Votes 1, 5 and 10 relating to the Department of Finance;

Votes 1, 5, L10, L15, 20 and 25 relating to the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce;

Votes 1 and 5 relating to the Department of National Revenue;

Vote 10 relating to the Tax Appeal Board;

Vote 25 relating to the Economic Council of Canada;

Vote 25 relating to the Tariff Board; be referred to the Standing Committee on Miscellaneous Estimates.

As I say, if that is found to be generally agreeable, perhaps it could be made an order of the House.

Topic:   MAIN ESTIMATES 1970-71 RESCINDING OF PREVIOUS ORDER RESPECTING CERTAIN VOTES AND REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE IN MISCELLANEOUS ESTIMATES
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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):

That is quite correct, Mr. Speaker. That is agreed. It was felt by the committee, since there would be so many thousands of valid objections to the white paper on taxation which would take up the time of the committee, that the time could be better served in that way.

Topic:   MAIN ESTIMATES 1970-71 RESCINDING OF PREVIOUS ORDER RESPECTING CERTAIN VOTES AND REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE IN MISCELLANEOUS ESTIMATES
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April 14, 1970