Mr. Guy Marcoux (Quebec-Montmorency):
Mr. Speaker, without being skilled in procedure, I wish to point out very briefly that it seems that the motion now before us is degenerating into a battle of procedural experts, and this I am not. However, it is my opinion that the procedure adopted by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Gordon) in linking his proposal to other measures is nothing but a move liable to mix up members of the house by having them pass two things at once, while perhaps they would have liked to pass one and reject the other. I know that some members on the government side have already objected publicly in this house to the favoured treatment shown Time and Reader's Digest. If these members changed their minds today, which I do not know, it may be that the Minister himself gave additional explanations. He may even, in caucus or elsewhere, have managed to convince the members on the government side; but he has not convinced all the members, at least not some of the opposition, and that is why I believe some of us shall have to vote against the government, that is for the amendment proposed by the New Democratic Party.
If magazines are not able, on their own, to find readers in Canada, it is because they do not have the required qualities. Why then
Income Tax Act
favour them through special legislation, and that to the detriment of Canadian newspapers?
On the other hand, if the publishers of these magazines have further arguments to bring forward, let them do so before the committee. However, as things stand now, we are totally unable to vote in favour of one measure and against another. As the two proposals cannot be separated, we shall support the proposed amendment of the hon. Member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles).
As regards the amendment being out of order, the decision rests with Mr. Speaker. If he so decides, we must submit to his ruling. If he decides that the amendment is in order, we must then vote and possibly indicate to the Minister of Finance that the house wishes him to change his stand. As a matter of fact, I believe that the statements against clause 4 have been so numerous that the Minister should have at least changed his mind or indicated to the house his willingness to re-examine the problem.
On the contrary the minister has always behaved in the house as if he were connected with the owners of those magazines, and even so, but I am not sure, he could always unburden his heart by telling those companies: "I had made a proposal to you, but the house has decided otherwise. Since we are in a democratic country, we must therefore bow to the house's decision."
This is what we are hoping on the part of the minister and even if it were only to express our views concerning this amendment, I think that part of the members of our group will support the amendment of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.
[DOT] (4:50 p.m.)
Topic: INCOME TAX ACT