March 16, 1979

ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS


The House resumed from Thursday, March 15, consideration of Bill C-42, to provide a means to conserve the supplies of energy within Canada during periods of national emergency caused by shortages or market disturbances affecting the national security and welfare and the economic stability of Canada, as reported (with amendments) from the Standing Committee on National Resources and Public Works, and motion No. 2 (Mr. Lawrence).


PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prince Albert):

Mr. Speaker, I had not in any way anticipated taking part in this debate, but I find it necessary, having regard to the way the rights of parliament are being tramped on, to speak and to speak very definitely and clearly. I am very concerned about the way things are going here. Indeed, I will deal with this on Monday. I find it difficult to understand why within the last couple of weeks a motion I made was not referred to in Hansard but was deleted. It was a motion I moved, seconded by my friend, the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Mazankowski), which now is a complete deletion from Hansard. If we get to the point where motions made in this House can be deleted because they do not meet with the finer sensibility of those in authority, then this parliament ceases to exist.

I am going to deal with that very clearly and definitely because what is happening here today is further evidence of the way in which parliament is being emasculated by this government. I am referring, of course, to the amendment moved by the hon. member for Northumberland-Durham (Mr. Lawrence) in which he asks for the deletion of clause 11(4), which provides that there can be a mandatory allocation of supplies as a result of anticipated shortages, and that there can be an objection raised thereto. Then subclause (4) says:

At fifteen minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government business on the third sitting day following the commencement of consideration of a motion of which notice was given under subsection (2), or at such earlier time as the House of Commons is ready for the question, the Speaker, shall put the question forthwith without further debate.

What is the reason for that? Yesterday when speaking in Vancouver the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) spoke of creeps.

I did not intend to speak today, but when I looked up the meaning of the word "creep', I thought that it aptly described the kind of creeping thing that is creeping into parliament so that more and more this institution is being undermined by a government that has no regard for it.

I was interested in finding the meaning of "creep". I looked it up and found that it is "nervous shrinking or shiver of dread". Certainly the way this government is postponing the calling of an election would indicate that the creeps are over there.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I would ask the minister why he needs this clause and who produced it. What about the rules as they are now? I am going to refer to them. I have quite a bit of respect for this minister. He was at sea during the days of war, and he is still there in the House of Commons today.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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?

An hon. Member:

This is still a war.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I am not going to go into particulars of that nature. Is this clause another attempt to trample on the rights of parliament by gagging the members? What is its purpose? The government already has the power to prevent unnecessary discussion. Why does the minister want this additional power? The government has the closure method and used it during the pipeline debate. In addition the government has the guillotine rule, 75C. Why does it need another power? I have been in this House a long time and in the last few months I have seen the greatest degradation of the rights of this institution that I have seen in all those years. What does the Prime Minister think of parliament? We now have identification badges so members can show themselves as belonging to parliament. After all, we remember what he said about us, that members of parliament were so insignificant that when they got 50 feet away from the House of Commons they were nonentities and non-existent.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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?

An hon. Member:

Nobodies.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

With the aid of these wonderful badges they will at least be able to show that they are members of parliament.

Now what is this government attempting to do? Should I believe the government when it says: Of course, we just want this power, we are not going to use it? I think of the promises that have been made. During the question period I sent out to get some of the reports of promises that we have had from this government. I think of the questions this morning about inflation and rising prices. 1 just do not know how it came about that we have inflation, because in a speech of the Prime Minister on May 20, 1968,1 find that he said:

The government is not broke, but the government-if it wants to have a sound dollar-must sustain a balanced budget.

March 16, 1979

Then he said:

We have a balanced budget and it's going to stay that way-

It is in ways like this that we in the House and the country have been deceived, and this is what causes me to be very suspicious of the explanation concerning this particular subclause.

I could go on and read another promise of the Prime Minister. I have one of his press releases here and this is what he promised:

The government intends to hold down federal government spending and to keep our expenditures in line with our tax revenues. In other words, our aim is to achieve a balanced budget.

The people of Canada were deceived in the last election because they believed the Prime Minister when he said something to this effect: "We will not bring in price and wage controls." The then leader of the Conservative party said that they were necessary. We went down to defeat because the hon. member Halifax (Mr. Stanfield) said what he believed to be the fact. This government lied to the Canadian people.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Is this government any more truthful today when they say that, as far as this clause is concerned, they really do not intend to use it? This parliament is an emasculated parliament. Why is there this rush in these dying days to bring in this particular section? What is the purpose? What is the means? I look across the floor and see the whip of the Liberal party, an intelligent man, and he smiles.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I am glad that his colleagues agree with him because what he is doing is smiling while parliament is being trampled on.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

Samuel Victor Railton

Liberal

Mr. Railton:

I laugh when I hear that from you. I do not smile, I laugh, John.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I will be glad to receive any interruptions. I do not see the hon. gentleman here for York East (Mr. Collenette) who was here just a while ago. I was hoping that he would be here, because he spends most of his time in this House saying no to everything we bring in by way of Standing Order 43. I intended to say some very kind words to him. I was raised in York East and I have a very high regard for the people of that constituency. I just hope that they will rectify the mistake which they made when the opportunity comes.

If we give the Government of Canada the power for which they are asking in this bill and the power contained in the referendum bill, we might as well close this institution now. The opposition will cease to exist.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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LIB

Samuel Victor Railton

Liberal

Mr. Railton:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

What is the hon. gentleman saying? I would like to get those precious words.

Energy Supplies

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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?

An hon. Member:

He is just mumbling.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

With the record of the promises which were made in 1974 and 1968 by the Prime Minister, the Liberal party and the members of the government, I can only conclude that anyone who trusts them when they say they are not going to rule in the House of Commons of parliament can only be suspicious and more than suspicious.

Just in passing I would like to mention that I am concerned about something which happened in the last couple of weeks when a motion of mine-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979 MEASURE TO CONSERVE STOCKS
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March 16, 1979