January 5, 1973

PRIVILEGE

MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY

PC

Peter Reilly

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Peter Reilly (Ottawa West):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege affecting all members of the House. Yesterday Your Honour admonished members of the House to co-operate with you by observing, among other things, the traditions of the House. Within minutes of that admonition, "flacks" from the Prime Minister's office were distributing in the press gallery copies of the Speech from the Throne fully four hours before the members of this House were to be apprised of its contents. Indeed, the contents of that speech were in print in at least one Ottawa newspaper fully one hour before the appointed time at which members of the House gathered in the other place to hear its contents.

I suggest to Your Honour that, far from reflecting a chastened or different attitude on the part of the government, this is evidence of the most palpable kind that the government continues to hold this House in contempt.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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PC

Peter Reilly

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Reilly:

In the last parliament members had to walk at least 50 paces off the Hill before becoming nobodies. Now they can achieve nonentity by staying in their appointed places. I believe that the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) owes the members of this House an explanation and an apology.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Of course, the hon. member has not proposed a motion and so the matter cannot be pursued further. According to tradition and custom, certainly the Prime Minister or a minister or a member of the House who is particularly involved in the proposed question of privilege is given the right to reply briefly. I believe that the right hon. Prime Minister is seeking the floor for this purpose. However, I have to repeat that since there is no motion before the House the matter cannot be discussed further.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, anything I say would be mainly by way of seeking guidance. I understand that this practice has been going on-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Never.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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An hon. Member:

It's the same old bunch.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

-for at least 20 years, so we did not initiate anything new here. It has been the frequent policy of various succeeding governments to inform the press of

certain documents. I know it is done with the budget on a lock-up basis.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dieienbaker:

Not at all. That statement is false; that is not the practice.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

It is done on a lock-up basis only, and the Prime Minister knows it.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

I wish the hon. members would get together.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

We are talking about the budget, and you know that.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dieienbaker:

Mr. Speaker, I have a point of privilege.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The right hon. gentleman on a point of order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, we do not have to get together because the statement made by the Prime Minister has no basis in truth whatsoever.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. REILLY-DISTRIBUTION OF SPEECH FROM THE THRONE PRIOR TO DELIVERY
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January 5, 1973