April 20, 1950

CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, the question with which we are dealing is too important to be dealt with in a spirit of levity. We are dealing with parliamentary rules and parliamentary procedure. All our rights and prerogatives in this house depend on the proper use of parliamentary procedure and parliamentary rules of order.

The rule which provides that during the session certain days will be given over to private members' resolutions does not limit the number of those days with the exception of the first four Thursdays in the session. The limitation is usually imposed by the government after taking into consideration the volume of government business that needs to be done and the number of days that have been given to private members' motions.

There can be no fault found with that procedure, provided that private members are allotted a reasonable amount of time. If all private members' days were being taken away at this time I do not believe members of the opposition would find fault with the government. What we do protest against is taking away private members' days next week so that private members will not have an opportunity to speak to their resolutions, and restoring private members' days when outside interests have measures that they want to have dealt with in this house.

That is the question which confronts us. Let me call attention to public bills and orders. The Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) said that he was going to see to it that hon. members were given an opportunity to express an opinion on certain private bills. Hon. members will find that there are a number of public bills and orders on the order paper. I ask the Prime Minister if he is going to see to it that private members who have bills on the order paper will have an opportunity to secure expressions of opinion on those bills before the end of the session, or will the majority of these bills that are on the order paper be allowed to lapse without an opinion being expressed on them? In other words, are outside interests, such as a few financiers in New York, Montreal and Toronto, going to have an opportunity to have matters in which they are interested brought before the house and an opinion expressed thereon, while private members of this house are denied the same opportunity? That is the issue before us this afternoon.

I suggest to hon. members on both sides of the house that before they vote for or against

the motion or the amendment they decide whether their vote will be according to proper parliamentary procedure, and whether they will be defending the rights of the people who elected them to this House of Commons. What I object to in this instance is the manipulating of the rules so that one week we have private members' days, the next week the same days are not private members' days, then the next week they are restored, and so on. Surely that is a violation of the procedure and rules of this house. It is a travesty on parliamentary procedure. I am surprised that such a thing should have happened under the leadership of the gentleman who is now Prime Minister of this country.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Lake Centre):

Mr. Speaker, no one can say that I have been an obstructionist or a filibusterer in connection with these bills.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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LIB

Joseph Miville Dechene

Liberal

Mr. Dechene:

Don't take yourself too

seriously.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I have not spoken on the subject. There is no one who takes himself less seriously than the hon. member who has just interrupted. At no time have I participated in the pipe line discussions, nor was I present when the divisions took place.

After listening to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) today I must say that never have I known a prime minister or a government so energetic in getting something done that they did not care whether it is done or not. That is most unusual. I go back to November 15 last and recall what the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) said to this house, to which I will refer in a moment. The government can dominate us because they have a majority; they can consider as naught the rules of this house because they have a majority; but that is not parliament.

I do not know why private members should be discriminated against in this manner. I agree with what the leader of the opposition has said, that if-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

The leader of the C.C.F. (Mr. Coldwell)-I was speaking of the leader of the opposition-

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

-so hon. members are a little early in their exhibition of levity, even though they do show a high degree of interest in what I am saying.

I am in entire agreement with what the acting leader of the opposition has said in this regard. We are fighting for our rights. We have the right and the people of Canada have the right to have all private bills and

Business of the House all private motions considered on equal terms. The government says that there are no outside influences. I have never seen a government so much given to playing fast and loose with the rules as this government has in connection with the pipe lines. The Prime Minister had an opportunity today to clear up the matter.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Defensive obstruction this is.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Now we hear the voice of the greatest parliamentarian of these times. He regards parliament as just a necessary evil. He regards the debates in parliament as worthless. That is his attitude.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

It depends on who is debating.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

That is true. This is the first time the minister has admitted that there is only one side so far as parliament is concerned. That has always been his attitude; and that is one of the first signs of the idea of a one-party state.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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?

An hon. Member:

Save that for the

convention.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Going back to last

November 15, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, with a cavalier disregard of parliament, said: We are going to get this thing through.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member is quoting me, let him read what I said.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I have just stated what the minister said.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe:

I did not say that.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Well, all one has to do is

read Hansard for November 15, 1949. The minister said: We are going to have this matter voted upon.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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?

Some hon. Members:

Read it.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I am conducting my own argument.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PRECEDENCE OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ON APRIL 24 AND 26 AND EVERY WEDNESDAY THEREAFTER
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April 20, 1950