Yes, much younger then. Twenty-two years have passed and it is remarkable how much 22 can add to a man's life when he starts out in his late 30s or early 40s.
There are many things in this House that one would want to see changed. My colleague, the Hon. Member for St. John's West (Mr. Crosbie), alluded to something that could happen in the United States Senate which has a singular effect on changing administration policy. It is very difficult to make those changes here, but it should be possible. The ordinary Member on the Government side of the House should be released from the overpowering albatross of Cabinet control,
Security Intelligence Service
of everything that moves or breathes in the Chamber, and so have some independence of thought.
One has only to go back to the books of 1920 describing the lives of the people who were the first bureaucrats, the mandarins in the administration of the Public Service. The philosophy is still the same. Gracious me, I heard an analysis of Bill C-24 on the radio this afternoon. It just happens that I have been very active on the committee hearing that Bill. One can see the almost Machiavellian hand of bureaucratic control that is being imposed through the net of Crown Corporations, not only Crown Corporations of a business type, but the cultural ones in particular. The Government has now reneged on its position. We see now that directors general of the National Arts Centre and people in the Canada Council were intimidated by telephone calls not to object to Cabinet power to appoint. We hope we will get the Minister of Communications (Mr. Fox) before the committee if the Government majority will allow the motion to be put by my colleague the Hon. Member for Rosedale (Mr. Crombie) to the effect that the Minister and his deputy minister appear before the committee. That is as it should be.
I want to see more power and better services for individual Members. I want to thank the officers of the House who have served over the years. One also has to say goodbye to constituents, but one does not do it here because they are not present. As far as that goes, I think I have served them reasonably well as a parliamentarian. I did not have that opportunity, nor could I, nor would I, of being a Member of Parliament and conducting, shall we say, full practice of law at the same time, because I lived 46 hours away by train when I was first elected. Then it became 14 hours' flying time, and it is now three and a half to four hours.
Having said all that, Mr. Speaker, and having said some other things the other night on my motion with regard to the Commissioners of Internal Economy, I would like to say a few words about this Bill. I was torn really, I felt in a dilemma, over the proposal because I felt, and I still do, that ideally it would be better for a civilian intelligence agency to look after that side of the business and for the RCMP to concentrate upon being the federal police force and to carry out any of its duties that might involve the RCMP with the operation of civil intelligence and so forth. I said ideally. There I think I share the opinion of many of my colleagues. But having gone into this Bill rather more deeply in asking questions, particularly the one that was answered the other day by the Solicitor General (Mr. Kaplan) himself as to why does the Director of this agency, why does the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and why do three or four other directors who have the rank of deputy minister now, in the last 15 years and in this case with the implementation of this legislation, report through the Deputy Solicitor General? The answer given to me was fashioned by the bureaucrats. It was self-serving. The Minister shakes his head.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE ACT