February 15, 1961

PRIVILEGE

MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9

PC

Noël Dorion (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Noel Dorion (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. It has been brought to my attention that on Thursday night last the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate made certain remarks pertaining to a declaration which I am alleged to have made in the course of a meeting held at Papineauville in Quebec last October. These remarks appear in Hansard beginning at page 1909. The hon. member attributed to me the following words:

Prime Minister Diefenbaker had promptly closed the door on this immigration-

At this point the hon. member added his own comment-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. Before the hon. member proceeds further would he indicate on what date the remarks which he now attempts to raise as a matter of privilege were made? Was it Thursday?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Noël Dorion (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dorion:

It was last Thursday, but this is the first opportunity I have had to correct this statement because I was absent from the house.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

It is not customary to permit matters of privilege to be raised on statements made in the house in full session unless the exception is taken at the time the statement is made. Yesterday I prevented an hon. member from referring back even one day. Unless there is a grave matter for correction, it would seem to me to be contrary to our practice to go back to matters occurring, in this case, almost a week ago. If any hon. member disagrees with my interpretation of the rules I shall be glad to hear him, but that is my view.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Howard C. Green (Secretary of Slate for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member was not in the house at the time of the attack made by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate. Now the hon. member is in the house for the first time. I submit that he is entitled to rise on a question of privilege and deal with these personal charges which were made against him.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (Bonavista-Twillingate):

Mr. Speaker, since the Secretary of State for External Affairs has chosen to use that language, I may say that no personal attacks whatever were made. I read extracts from the newspapers, sir.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Minister of Veterans Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I was present on the occasion when the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate spoke. I considered the matter of such grave consequence that I rose to a point of order to draw to the hon. member's attention the denial which the Secretary of State had made in November of these various remarks. I believe this is the first occasion the Secretary of State has had to explain his position, and I think he should be permitted to proceed.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Why is it the first occasion?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

If there is a serious question of privilege and this is the first opportunity that has arisen on which it could be raised, I think perhaps I should accept the hon. member's statement to that effect, although it seems to me that anything of consequence would certainly have come to his attention within the week. Would the hon. member give me the page reference?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Noël Dorion (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dorion:

Page 1909, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Would the hon. member state as succinctly as he can the matters complained of?

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Noël Dorion (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dorion:

It is this very serious matter, Mr. Speaker. I believe I am perfectly right in re-establishing the facts. The hon. member attributed to me the following words:

Prime Minister Diefenbaker had promptly closed the door on this immigration-

And here the hon. member added his own comment:

-that is the English immigration-

The hon. gentleman went on to attribute to me the following words:

-and was trying to offset the Liberal angliciza-tion by fostering immigration from Italy.

This is absolutely and completely false.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

I was there when he said it. (Translation):

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Noël Dorion (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dorion:

I believe the hon. member must take my word for it, and I have all the necessary evidence to prove the truth of my statement.

Question of Privilege

(Text):

This is absolutely and completely false. Never, at any time, did I say such a thing, and the comments of the hon. member are consequently unfounded.

As for two other statements attributed to me, I would point out that on November 18, 1960 I gave an explanation to this house. This appears at pages 11, 12 and following of Hansard. Despite this, the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate has ignored the well-established practice of this house that in such circumstances the member's declaration must be accepted.

With reference to Italian immigration, I did not myself approach that problem; I only answered an accusation brought up by a Liberal attending the meeting. Then I stated that this government stands for immigration on a selective basis taking into account the needs of employment and manpower. I can assure the house that my remarks were in no way designed to raise a question of prejudice toward either of the races of Canada. As a matter of fact, I then explicitly indicated that this explanation was not given in any spirit of prejudice.

(Translation):

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Azellus Denis (Si. Denis):

I must say, Mr. Speaker, that those words were spoken in a public debate which I attended in Pap-ineauville-

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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LIB

Azellus Denis

Liberal

Mr. Denis:

-and the words read by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate (Mr. Pickersgill) in the newspaper were the very same that were spoken at that meeting by the Secretary of State.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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PC

Noël Dorion (Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dorion:

This is absolutely false.

(Text): '

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. DORION REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON FEBRUARY 9
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February 15, 1961