September 30, 1974

OFFICIAL REPORT


FIRST SESSION-THIRTIETH PARLIAMENT 23 Elizabeth II


VOLUME I, 1974 COMPRISING THE PERIOD FROM THE THIRTIETH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 1974, TO THE FIFTH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1974, INCLUSIVE INDEX ISSUED IN A SEPARATE VOLUME


Published under the authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons by the Queen's Printer for Canada Available from Information Canada, Ottawa, Canada



Monday, September 30, 1974


FIRST SESSION-THIRTIETH PARLIAMENT


The twenty-ninth parliament having been dissolved by proclamation on Thursday, May 9, 1974, and writs having been issued and returned, a new parliament was summoned to meet for the dispatch of business on Monday, September 30, 1974, and did accordingly meet on that day. Monday, September 30, 1974 This being the day on which parliament is convoked by proclamation of His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada for the dispatch of business, and the members of the House being assembled: Alistair Fraser, Esquire, the Clerk of the House, read to the House a letter from the assistant secretary to the Governor General informing him that the Honourable Bora Laskin, Chief Justice of Canada, in his capacity as Administrator of the Government of Canada would proceed to the Senate chamber to open the first session of the thirtieth parliament of Canada on Monday, the thirtieth of September, at ten thirty o'clock. A message was delivered by Major A. G. Vandelac, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows: Members of the House of Commons: It is the desire of the Honourable the Deputy of His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada that this honourable House attend him immediately in the chamber of the honourable the Senate. Accordingly, the House went up to the Senate chamber, when the Speaker of the Senate said: Honourable Members of the Senate, and Members of the House of Commons: I have it in command to let you know that His Excellency, the Administrator of the Government of Canada does not see fit to declare the causes of his summoning the present parliament of Canada until the Speaker of the House of Commons shall have been chosen according to law, but this afternoon, at the hour of three o'clock, His Excellency, the Administrator of the Government of Canada will declare the cause of calling this parliament.


ELECTION OF SPEAKER

LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

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

Mr. Fraser, at this point-

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
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?

An hon. Member:

The same old bunch!

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

The same old bunch, Mr. Fraser, but a little more numerous this time.

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

At this point in the opening of the thirtieth parliament we are engaged in the election of a Speaker. Few people outside this House realize how basic the choosing of this officer is to the functioning of this institution and to the course of our mandate for the next few years.

The qualities which a Speaker is supposed to possess are truly formidable. I doubt that anyone outside of politics would consider for a moment stepping into a position which demanded so much. My predecessor, the late Lester B. Pearson, when nominating a Speaker, described his qualities in the words of Socrates. Referring to the requirements for a judge, the Greek philosopher said: "Four things belong to a judge; to hear courteously, to answer wisely, to consider soberly and to decide impartially."

It is fitting that the Speaker of the House of Commons should seek inspiration from these wise words. At various times in our history, there have always been some exceptional men to take on the very difficult task of conducting with fairness and self-control the proceedings of colleagues with very decided and widely different political convictions. We are all aware of the courage and the wisdom, the experience and the sense of humour that this task requires.

Regardless of his background and of his political affiliation, the designated candidate is in duty bound to serve the members of parliament from all areas and of all political parties. This duty is fundamental.

On the other hand, during the proceedings of the House, members of parliament are equally in duty bound to cooperate fully and entirely with the Speaker, and I am certain that all join with me in wishing great success to the holder of this position. During three parliaments, Mr. Lucien Lamoureux served the House of Commons with the greatest distinction, in a most polished manner and with remarkable firmness.

It is difficult to find all these qualities in members of either official linguistic group. However, we always do, which undoubtedly proves the value of our system.

It is therefore with great pleasure and pride that I move that Mr. James Jerome be Speaker of the House during this parliament.

Mr. Jerome is a member of the government party. According to tradition, the Prime Minister designates the candidate to the position of Speaker and his nomination is moved according to the traditional rules.

September 30, 1974

Election of Speaker

Mr. Jerome is particularly well-prepared for the office of Speaker. He has practised law and during the last few years, he has spent a great deal of time looking into delicate social problems in his constituency of Sudbury, Not only has he applied himself to serve his constituents better, but he has also tried to participate more fully in parliamentary life by striving systematically and successfully to learn the official language which was not his mother tongue.

He has acquired the sensitivity, the shrewdness that can be called the sense of Parliament. Indeed, since his election in 1968, he has followed very closely the proceedings of the House. For two years he was Parliamentary Assistant to the President of the Privy Council, the Government House Leader. All hon. members will no doubt agree with me that such an experience is in itself an excellent preparation for the responsibilities of the Chair.

But Mr. Jerome's contribution as Chairman of the Justice Committee was also most remarkable. In that capacity he demonstrated not only his legal expertise and political ability, but also his fair-mindedness in difficult situations, where no partisan pressure could make him alter the decisions he felt were well-founded.

The Speakership of the chamber is serious business. Naturally, the cornerstone is fair play. But it also requires toughness, equanimity, compassion and the ability to laugh, not just with others, but at oneself. Anyone who has enjoyed the companionship of Mr. Jerome in his years in parliament knows his ability to find a spark of laughter in even the most tense and difficult times.

Mr. Fraser, I frankly look upon this parliament as a challenge and as an opportunity. I have asked my colleague, the leader of the House, to explore realistically with his counterparts in other parties ways in which we can smooth out the procedures of the House of Commons to make them more meaningful both to the members and to the public. I sincerely hope we can work together toward an accommodation. I know there are divisions among us as to the route we should be following. I know that one of them concerns the concept of a permanent Speaker. My objections to the idea are common knowledge and have been for years, and they have been shared by some hon. gentlemen in the opposition. But in the process of studying possible reforms, the government does not have a closed mind on any of them, and these propositions can be discussed in specific ways in the appropriate parliamentary committee.

However, today my thoughts and intentions are directed toward an individual whom I strongly hope all members of the House will support, knowing as we do the strains and challenges that will accompany his acceptance.

Mr. Fraser, it is a privilege for me to move, seconded by the hon. President of the Privy Council (Mr. Sharp) that James Jerome, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Sudbury do take the Chair of this House as Speaker.

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Fraser, at this time I should like to say a few words to the House. The Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) invited me to second the motion he has just put before the House. I should like to say a few words in explanation of the fact I declined to second the motion. I fully agree with the Prime Minister and other members of the House about the importance of this great office. I have attached great importance to the achievement of what I call, perhaps imprecisely, a permanent Speaker, a Speaker who continues in office regardless of changes of government, a Speaker who is completely free of partisan politics once he is elected to this House by the House.

For this reason, I asked my party's association in the constituency of Stormont-Dundas not to present any candidate against Mr. Lamoureux at the 1968 election. Following his election, I was honoured and pleased to second his appointment.

The agreement concluded with the Stormont-Dundas association was designed to find other means to succeed in appointing a permanent Speaker and it provided the association with the right to choose a candidate in a new election.

Between the election of 1968 and the election of 1972, the Prime Minister and I had discussions to explore an alternative method of achieving what I had in mind, and what others had in mind, which was a method alternative to that by which the associations in the Speaker's constituency would be denied the right to nominate a candidate. These discussions were not fruitful, much to my regret. Mr. Lamoureux ran in the election of 1972. He was opposed by a candidate from my party. Mr. Lamoureux ran as an independent and was elected. Following the election of 1972, the Prime Minister discussed with me a choice of Speaker and indeed a Deputy Speaker. There was no difficulty and we reached an understanding and agreement. I felt this was a substantial step forward, and compensated in part at least for the earlier failure to agree on a method of securing a permanent Speakership and a method of completely removing the Speaker from partisan politics on his election.

Following the election of July and prior to the calling of this session I read in the press that the Prime Minister would propose Mr. Jerome's name as Speaker; but there was no consultation, no prior knowledge, despite any suggestions in the press to the contrary. There is no need here to go into the details or to take you, Mr. Fraser, or the House through a controversy between the Prime Minister and myself following the announcement of the Prime Minister's intention. There was no consultation. In my judgment, in the absence of such consultation, this was a substantial step backward from the position we had achieved through 1968 and 1972.

Mr. Fraser, I can hardly exaggerate my personal disappointment at this turn of events. In these circumstances, as I told the Prime Minister, I could not second the nomination of Mr. Jerome. Mr. Jerome, of course, will receive the full co-operation of myself and members of my party as he discharges his difficult and very important responsibilities of presiding over this House. I hope, as the

September 30, 1974

Prime Minister has indicated here this morning, that we can again take up the question of achieving a permanent Speakership totally removed from partisan politics once a Speaker has been chosen for this high office by this House.

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
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NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa-Whitby):

Mr. Fraser, at the outset I am tempted to make quite clear that we were not consulted in this process either. In the past 18 months or so, we had grown accustomed to being consulted on a number of matters.

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
Permalink
NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

Perhaps this is a sign of the times. On a more serious note, on behalf of the New Democratic Party, I should like to indicate our support for the nomination of the hon. member for Sudbury (Mr. Jerome). In assuming this high office he is, of course, following an exceptional man, Mr. Lamoureux, who combined to a great degree the exceptional qualities of wit, intelligence and impartiality. It is our hope that in assuming his duties the hon. member for Sudbury will maintain those high standards established by Mr. Lamoureux. We wish him well.

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   OFFICIAL REPORT
Subtopic:   ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic:   MR. JAMES JEROME, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF SUDBURY
Permalink

September 30, 1974