February 17, 1953

PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean (Queens):

Especially Saskatchewan. After all, the problem of transportation of fuel is almost non-existent in the case of producing energy from atomic sources, because the amount of fuel required in the form of uranium for atomic power is very small indeed. As a matter of fact, a pound of atomic fuel, even under present-day processes, is equal to 1,250 tons of coal. In other words, in the form of atomic fuel a carrier pigeon could carry almost as much energy as a freight train can carry in the form of coal. Hence the question of transportation is almost non-existent.

Of course the question arises as to whether there are sufficient supplies of the fuel for atomic energy, namely uranium. Uranium is a relatively common element. As a matter of fact, uranium is about twenty times as prevalent as silver, and is about one-twelfth as common as lead. There are very large amounts of uranium in the earth's crust, and the energy which it will provide is much greater than the energy which might be provided from the known store of all other forms of energy-producing minerals, coal, oil, natural gas and everything else put together. Therefore it is not inconceivable that a time might come when our present

sources of energy, coal, oil and natural gas will begin to become exhausted, and if for no other reason than that our economy will have to turn to atomic energy for its support.

When atomic energy is brought into everyday use in this country I hope the benefits which it can bring will be realized. I hope it will be used as a source of cheap power in the areas of this country which need it most. It may be said that a remark of that kind is premature, but it should be realized that with the rapid advances in the scientific field today, atomic energy for ordinary uses may be brought into existence within a very few years.

That being so, Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased indeed to see that this committee to study and examine the operations of the government in the field of atomic energy is being set up. I think it is very necessary, and I believe that it is faced with a greater responsibility than possibly any other committee that ever has or ever will be created in this House of Commons.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE INTO OPERATIONS OF CONTROL BOARD
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT

PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.

LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. J. J. McCann (for the Minister of Finance) moved

that the house go into committee to consider the following resolution:

That it is expedient to bring in a measure to amend the Farm Improvement Loans Act. 1944, to extend its operation for a further period by closing out on March 31, 1953, in lieu of February 28, 1954, the present three year pool of loans guaranteed by the government under the act and by providing for a new three year pool commencing April 1, 1953, and ending March 31, 1956; to provide further that the maximum amount of bank loans made in the new period and guaranteed under the act shall be three hundred million dollars.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

It was suggested that when a motion similar to this was called I should hear representations from hon. members with respect to standing order No. 60. I might say that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) informed me that he could not be in the house this evening after nine o'clock, and it is nine o'clock now. I should like to have his views on the standing order. Also I have recently understood that the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) will be away for the next few days.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I am sure hon. members will regret it when they realize that the reason is that there is sickness in his family. Probably someone else in the C.C.F. party could express the views of that party or would the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre

Farm Improvement Loans Act express his views this evening and members of other parties at a later time?

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member is not speaking to the resolution.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

No; I am speaking to the point of order which Your Honour has suggested might be dealt with on this occasion. The point of order arose in connection with another debate, namely one on the resolution preceding the emergency powers bill; and I believe it is understood that whatever ruling is made now, that debate, when resumed, will be permitted to go on its weary way.

This question as to whether or not there should be a debate, and if so to what extent, on the motion for the Speaker to leave the chair and for the house to resolve itself into committee of the whole on the resolution preceding a money bill, is one that has been before us a number of times in 1952 and 1953. I think it is only fair to say, however, that there was practically no discussion on the point, none that I can dig up at any rate, between 1942 and 1952.

Furthermore, if one reads the debate on the point of order which took place in 1942 he will find that Mr. Hanson, who was then leader of the opposition, said that to his knowledge it had not been raised for twenty years prior to that time. However, despite the fact that the number of occasions this matter has been before us is very few, it has become a quite important issue.

Let me say at the outset that I do not think it is necessary for me, or for any others who take part in the debate, to cover again the ground we have covered in previous debates on the point of order. I can imagine some hon. members in the house saying, "Why do you not apply that rule on other occasions?". There is a difference, and it is that in debates on issues of substance we do hope that we can make some impression upon the minds of other hon. members in the house, and perhaps some impression upon those outside the house who follow the debates.

But in this particular instance, if I may so put it, in a sense we are in court, and it is Your Honour who must make the decision. I think therefore it would be wrong for us to try to cover ground we have covered before, because we know Your Honour has heard our previous representations. In addition, I have no doubt you have reread those debates, and are well aware of all the points we have made.

If I may, then, just by way of summary of the previous arguments I have made, make

2034 HOUSE OF

Farm Improvement Loans Act a brief statement, I would then go on to new material I should like to add. May I say it seems to me quite clear from standing order 60 and from standing order 38 that a motion for Your Honour to leave the chair at this stage of debate is debatable. This is clear not only from standing order 60 and standing order 38, but also clear from Your Honour's own ruling in June of 1952, and from Mr. Speaker Glen's ruling in 1942. Both Mr. Speaker Glen on that occasion, and yourself, when you have dealt with this matter, have said-and there is no question about it-that the motion is debatable. The question you had to face was this: To what extent is the motion debatable?

In 1942 Mr. Speaker Glen made a ruling that the debate should be directed to the negative of the question. I shall have something to say about that in a moment; but may I jump ahead ten years in the story by saying that Your Honour made the same ruling in 1952. However, you admitted a few days ago that you had found it difficult if not impossible to enforce that ruling. From what Your Honour said a few days ago I gathered you felt there would have to be a new ruling on this question.

Following what Your Honour has said, it seems to me the point to which we must address ourselves is not the question as to whether the motion is debatable, but rather we have to address ourselves to the question of the extent to which it is debatable.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. That is what I said in 1952. I am not so sure now that I was right at that time. I still have to be convinced that I was right at that time. In other words, I am doubtful whether the motion on the second day is debatable.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Well, in the light of those remarks it becomes necessary for me to traverse again some of the ground I thought we had covered. Surely from standing order 60 it is clear that the motion is debatable, if one reads the relevant part, which says:

-and then it shall be referred to a committee of the whole house-

I have picked that out, because that is the point we have reached now-the proposal to refer the motion to the whole house. That act of referring the motion to the committee must be construed with standing order 38 which says that every motion standing on the order of proceedings for the day, except government notices of motions for the house to go into committee at a later date, is debatable.

That exception, of course, refers to the day a minister stands up and announces the

Governor General's approval of a motion placed before the house. That is the only item standing on the orders of the day which is not debatable, according to standing order 38. This motion is not that one that is excluded from the right of debate; therefore I submit that it is included among motions which are debatable.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Does the hon. member suggest that if a purely procedural motion stood on the orders of the day it would be debatable?

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

I would suggest that any procedural motion, if it is the kind of motion that calls for the usual 48 hours' notice and therefore has to appear on the order paper under notices of motions or under government orders, would have to be regarded as debatable. I do not think we can draw that kind of line and use the word "procedural" to exclude from debate any motion that is really a motion of substance.

I was also going to remind Your Honour of what appears at page 164 of Beauchesne's third edition, where Dr. Beauchesne has set out in specific detail the procedure to be followed on money bills. This information comes under citation 435, and it tells in detail how such matters are dealt with. He gives the first day's proceedings, and then the second day's proceedings in connection with legislation of this nature, and he says under item 6:

6. Minister moves that Speaker leave the chair for house to go into committee of the whole on the resolution.

And then No. 7:

Speaker puts question on motion. Debate allowed.

That is surely a very clear statement by the author of the latest book under which we operate in the house. It does seem to me that the authorities make it clear that the motion itself is debatable.

The question is raised sometimes as to whether it is a motion dealing with the substance of the resolution behind the motion that Mr. Speaker leave the chair, or whether it is just a motion for that one event to take place, namely for Mr. Speaker to get out of the chair he is in, and sit somewhere else.

I submit that we have a number of types of debate that take place during the course of a session which are in a sense in the same category, in that we do not direct the debate simply to the technical language of the motion itself. For instance, the session begins with

what is known as the debate on the address in reply to the speech from the throne. The motion put to the house on that occasion is that a message of thanks be sent to His Excellency the Governor General. Once that motion is read I do not suppose any hon. member ever debates whether or not a message of thanks should be sent to His Excellency the Governor General. We recognize in that debate a vehicle for discussion of what is in the address and also for discussion of what is not in the address that hon. members think should be there.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
?

Donald MacInnis

Mr. Maclnnis:

It is the custom.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

As the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis) points out, that is our custom and our practice in that regard. Similarly I would point out that there are occasions, not very often I admit, when we have a motion to adjourn the house under standing order 31. But no one stands up and argues that the house should or should not be adjourned. A debate takes place on the substance of the proposal behind the idea of adjourning the house, a matter of urgent public importance.

Similarly, when we debate the motion to go into supply and hon. members raise grievances or move amendments, or even if they do not move amendments-

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The motion to go into supply is that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the house to resolve itself into committee, but on that motion it is not permitted to discuss anything which it is proposed to consider in committee. The custom in connection with so-called money resolutions is that we discuss with the Speaker in the chair what the house has decided to discuss in committee.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

The point as to what we discuss on the motion to go into supply constitutes another point of order that I would rather not argue at this moment.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I think the hon. member follows me to the extent that on the motion to go into supply an hon. member is not permitted to discuss what the house proposes to discuss in committee of supply.

Topic:   FARM IMPROVEMENT LOANS ACT
Subtopic:   PROVISION TO EXTEND OPERATION FOR A FURTHER PERIOD, ETC.
Permalink

February 17, 1953