December 11, 1974

OFFICIAL REPORT


FIRST SESSION-THIRTIETH PARLIAMENT 23 - 24 Elizabeth II


VOLUME IH, 1974-75 COMPRISING THE PERIOD FROM THE ELEVENTH DAY OF DECEMBER, 1974, TO THE FOURTEENTH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1975, INCLUSIVE INDEX ISSUED IN A SEPARATE VOLUME


Published under the authority ot the Speaker of the House oi Commons by the Queen's Printer for Canada 28626-IV2 Available from Information Canada, Ottawa, Canada



Wednesday, December 11, 1974


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

TABLING OF FOURTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS

LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has laid upon the table the fourth report of the Clerk of Petitions.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   TABLING OF FOURTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS
Permalink
LIB

John (Moody) Roberts

Liberal

Mr. John Roberts (St. Paul's):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In accordance with Standing Order 67 which says that a petition may be read if required, and citing citation 343 of Beauchesne's which says that a member clearly has the right to ask that a petition be read-and this privilege, like many others, is subject to the approval of the House-I would ask that you now request the House to give unanimous approval to the reading of this petition which is quite short.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   TABLING OF FOURTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member may be correct, in that the petition is quite short; however, I am not aware whether other hon. members have had the opportunity to examine its contents. The hon. member is correct when he suggests he has the right to ask that a petition be read. This is an unusual procedure; however, it is supported by precedent in that an hon. member presenting a petition does have the right to ask that it be read, whereupon the House may give its consent. In any event, there are other conditions precedent to that which surround the presentation of a petition, not the least of which concerns the language of the petition and any reflection it might have upon a decision taken either by this House, the government or by other bodies.

Personally, I have grave concern, after examining the contents of this petition, whether or not it conforms with all those conditions. Under the circumstances, I would propose to defer any decision on the hon. member's request until tomorrow at this time, in order to give hon. members an opportunity to comment or to contribute in respect of the suggestion that the petition be read, not simply because of this petition in particular but because I think the House ought to direct itself to the question of whether or not comments or commentary ought to be introduced in this chamber in this way with respect to decisions and positions which have been taken by the Canadian government.

The idea of petitioning the House of Commons to take certain action is, of course, standard practice. However, to

include in the petition comments or reflections upon positions and decisions already taken by the government is a bit of a departure. Therefore, before we begin such process or encourage it in any way, I would invite hon. members to make a contribution on the question of whether or not the Chair should have a disposition to ask for the consent of members. Therefore, I would propose to take note of the hon. member's request and make a decision on it at this time tomorrow.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   TABLING OF FOURTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS
Permalink

PRIVILEGE

PC

Roch La Salle

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Roch La Salle (Joliette):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to rise on a question of privilege relating to statements made yesterday by the hon. member for Temiscamingue (Mr. Caouette), on the allotted day, with reference to conflict of interest.

The hon. member for Temiscamingue made statements that suggest that every member is at fault, that his personal interests come first before those of his riding.

Mr. Speaker, I want to quote the text of two extracts of the hon. member's speech to justify my question of privilege. Among other things, he said:

In my opinion, not many members would vote if we made a careful scrutiny of the interests of all members of parliament because every one of them tries to find some benefits outside the House.

And a little further, he said, and I quote:

... and political party organizers do so ...

He did not say who.

Under the circumstances, and since these general allegations have been made in a way that cast reflection on all those, near or far, who are connected with politics, I would urge the Chair to ask the hon. member for Temiscamingue to clarify his statement, and even to make some charges, if need be, instead of suggesting and leading the public to believe that politics is a dirty trade, which would be most unfortunate.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   MR. LA SALLE-REFERENCE TO REMARKS OF HON. MEMBER FOR TEMISCAMINGUE
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

If there are no other members who wish to make a contribution in respect of the question of privilege, I would have to note that this question of privilege is not followed by a motion which would require action by the Chair but is basically in the form of a request that the hon. member for Temiscamingue (Mr. Caouette) clarify and specify the members to whom he might have been referring in the remarks complained of. Under the circumstances, that request remains on the record and may be clarified at some other time if the hon. member is so

December 11, 1974

Privilege-Mr. Stevens

disposed. However, it being a request that a general comment about the conduct of some members be clarified and specified, I have to hold that it falls outside the ordinary definition of a question of privilege. In any event, since it is not followed by a specific motion which requires action by the Chair, I would have to rule that there is nothing further the Chair can do about the matter at this time.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   MR. LA SALLE-REFERENCE TO REMARKS OF HON. MEMBER FOR TEMISCAMINGUE
Permalink

THE MINISTRY

PC

John Douglas Reynolds

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John Reynolds (Burnaby-Richmond-Delta):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a matter of urgent and pressing necessity. Despite the Trudeau government's avowed determination to exercise moderation in government spending in order to avoid generating inflationary pressures, and despite requests that Canadians practice voluntary restraint in consumer spending also to avoid generating inflationary pressures, in August, 1974, the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Trudeau) authorized the purchase and has recently taken possession of a new limousine with a purchase price of $83,530.44.

In view of the fact that the Prime Minister's $75,000 limousine is almost new, and in view of the fact that CPI figures released today show that inflationary pressures are not abating, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Prince George-Peace River (Mr. Oberle):

That the House requests the Prime Minister to take immediate action to sell one of these two luxurious limousines in an effort to demonstrate to the people of Canada that curbing inflation is a critical and sincere priority of the present government.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   THE MINISTRY
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE OF LIMOUSINE FOR PRIME MINISTER'S USE-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Sell the two if you want.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   THE MINISTRY
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE OF LIMOUSINE FOR PRIME MINISTER'S USE-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I regret that in the remarks of the hon. member it is not altogether clear- as a matter of fact, it is not clear at all-what the grounds are upon which he seeks the attention of the House to this important matter. The hon. member said he was rising on a matter or urgent and pressing necessity. However, although that language in contained in Standing Orders 43 and 26, his remarks do not relate to either of them. Although there may be some suggestion of privilege, the hon. member's remarks do not relate to a question of privilege. Under the circumstances, I do not think that the Chair can take any action.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   THE MINISTRY
Sub-subtopic:   PURCHASE OF LIMOUSINE FOR PRIME MINISTER'S USE-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
Permalink

PRIVILEGE

PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Sinclair Stevens (York-Simcoe):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege which concerns the most important and fundamental privilege of this House. I refer to the exclusive right of this House to grant supply. Last night that privilege was trampled upon by the government through actions of the government House leader and the Minister of Finance (Mr. Turner).

In speaking to this motion I would point out that I rose on a similar question of privilege concerning the time-span that we had to consider the supplementary estimates in the Standing Committee on Miscellaneous Estimates. At that time I suggested we had unreasonable time in which to consider the expenditure of $1.75 billion. Last evening, without notice given to the leader of this party, clause 5 was inserted in appropriation Bill C-42 which gave the government power to raise a further $2.5 billion in loans.

I would point out that only last March the government secured the power to increase its indebtedness by $3 billion. In short, coupling the two powers, the government has caused this parliament to increase the borrowing limit by $5.5 billion since last March. I point this out because I think it was indeed unfortunate last night that the matter was included in Bill C-42 without notice as, I believe, when we reached committee of the whole stage there was great confusion regarding the actual rights of each member of the House to question clause 5 which had been included. I mention that there was one request for an explanation from a member of our caucus; other members in the opposition questioned the matter, and there was a vote. But during committee of the whole stage the Chairman of the committee made it clear that there could be no debate. I suggest that the agreement that there be no debate was made on the understanding that Bill C-42 would include only items in Supplementary Estimates (B). But in fact it included this extra clause 5.

If I may, I would like to outline my reasons for thinking that what transpired last night must fall. I say this because I believe it is wrong for parliament to submit to this type of procedure.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   MR. STEVENS-PROCEDURE ADOPTED WHEN DEALING WITH SUPPLY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
Sub-subtopic:   MR. STEVENS-PROCEDURE ADOPTED WHEN DEALING WITH SUPPLY
Permalink

December 11, 1974