Mr. G. J. Mcllrailh (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce):
Mr. Speaker, I think perhaps I should say something in reply to the question of privilege that has been raised'. I was not advised that a question of privilege was to be raised, or I might have looked up some of the authorities with respect to passing a question as an order for return.
The simple fact of the matter is, however, that the question involves a reactor in the atomic energy project at Chalk River. It was passed as an order for return and sent out to the atomic energy control board in the usual way. I presume the answer will come back in the ordinary manner and will be given in the house.
If there is any guilt at all it is the guilt of trying to be careful with respect to some of these things that involve some degree of security. I am not in a position to discuss the question in detail, because the information is not at hand.
I might also point out that I have had the duty of answering a great number of questions in the house during the last five years, and members who have had questions on the order paper, the preparation of the answers to which appeared to be taking an unusual length of time, have often come to me and asked when they could obtain the answers. In this case there has been no such move. There could easily have been an explanation as to the procedure and possibly a speeding up of the obtaining of the answer. I will certainly try to get the information and give it to the house in the ordinary way.
Subtopic: CONSTRUCTION OF NEW REACTOR AT CHALK