May 28, 1956 (22nd Parliament, 3rd Session)


John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prince Albert):

Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the

a matter of urgent public importance, namely the subordination by the government of the office of chairman, and that raises the position of the government as the primary issue in this motion. It is drawn expressly for that purpose because our opinion is that it is the government that has offended in this case and that position is not met by the reference which Your Honour has made.
I submit, Mr. Speaker, that when we are called upon to carry forward debate, even under the very limited extension of the right of debate that has been implied by the Prime Minister's statement this afternoon, we would be doing so without disposing by an orderly discussion of an issue which is of concern to every hon. member here. The role of Speaker and the role of chairman of the committee is of just as much concern to me and to every private member as it is to those who occupy that office. This is part of the whole procedure of parliament. What we are complaining about is the extent to which this government has shamelessly subordinated the office of chairman to its personal interests. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the motion by notice is one which is limited expressly to the condemnation of the chairman as its primary purpose, whereas our motion is clearly drawn to deal with a situation in which the government has exercised its authority to damage an office which is of immense importance not only to the members of this house but to all the people of Canada.

Full View