April 13, 1962

PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George H. Hees (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Yes, Mr. Speaker. This government has made efforts over the past years to generate trade for Canada and Canadian producers in every part of the world. The United States is a very large and lucrative market which we want to penetrate as much as we can. We have made tremendous efforts to penetrate that market by sending trade missions to the United States and encouraging individual businessmen to go there and sell their products. This is just one further example of the effort of this government to help sell Canadian products for Canadian producers. In this case we are bringing United States buyers to Canada in quite large numbers so they can see for themselves the fine products which Canada produces for them to use in their own country.

Topic:   AIR LIFT OF U.S. EXECUTIVES TO CANADA
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NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

Mr. Fisher:

I just want to ask the minister if he could comment on the report that in order to achieve this he had to threaten to pay for having these people up here himself.

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PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

No, Mr. Speaker.

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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. G. J. Mcllraiih (Ottawa West):

A supplementary question. Is the minister sending an air lift to Cuba as well?

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PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

I think that question deserves the kind of answer which it will not receive.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Martineau in the chair.

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SECRETARY OF STATE


Public Printing and Stationery- 740. Printing and binding official publications for sale and distribution to departments and the public-further amount required, $200,000.


NDP

Walter George Pitman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pitman:

Last night before the committee rose there was some discussion which had to be cut off with regard to the work being done by the queen's printer in connection with the printing and distribution of the Canadian Bill of Rights. We in this party feel that the bill of rights was probably one of the proudest achievements which parliament has been able to carry out over

the past century. However, I think the worst thing which could be done is to associate this achievement with any particular party or prime minister.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Nonsense.

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PC

David James Walker (Minister of Public Works; Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; Minister responsible for National Capital Commission)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Walker:

On a point of order, would the hon. member indicate if it is not our Prime Minister and the Conservative party who should be given any credit for it? The Liberals opposed it for 22 years.

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PC

Paul Raymond Martineau (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

That is not a point of order.

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NDP

Walter George Pitman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pitman:

It is obvious that what the minister has said is right. This is something which was introduced into this house by the Prime Minister, but surely it was passed by this parliament and endorsed by all the members of the other parties. When such a document is being published at public expense I think it would be better understood if it were not partisan.

This is by no means the first bill of rights which has been drawn up. There is, for example, the constitution of the United States of America. The reason this receives the respect of all people is that it is non-political; no political party has made it a special area of concern.

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PC

Joseph Slogan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Slogan:

I wonder if the hon. member would feel that the children in the United States reciting the Gettysburg address are participating in a partisan activity?

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NDP

Walter George Pitman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pitman:

Surely not; but I have no knowledge that the government of the United States produces copies of the Gettysburg address at the public expense and sends them out to the school children.

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PC
NDP

Walter George Pitman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pitman:

This document must surely be looked upon with approval by Liberals and by members of the New Democratic party. It must be capable of being hung in the homes of all people. It must be capable of being hung in school rooms and looked upon with pride by people belonging to all parties and of all persuasions. I would hope, therefore, that the queen's printer would change the format which has been used.

Some days ago I placed a question on the order paper in relation to the use which is being made of the bill of rights. In one supermarket in Toronto copies were being dispensed as part of a promotion campaign for selling toothpaste. I am not going to blame the government for this, and I am not sure that the format used by the queen's printer was being used in this instance. Surely if we want this document to receive the respect of people of all political persuasions we do

not want the name of any political personage on it. That should be the rule of thumb with regard to all such documents when they are produced at public expense.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinion):

Last night we heard a statement from the hon. member for Leeds concerning a particular document published by the queen's printer bearing the signature of the Prime Minister in relation to the enactment by parliament of the bill of rights. The hon. member for Peterborough has proceeded this morning to add his contribution to the most extraordinary statement made last evening by the hon. member for Leeds. The hon. member for Leeds is new and he may be very gullible but he should not, I think, attempt to go very much further in his political career making the kind of statement he made last night unless he has checked his facts first. The hon. member will find it is a good practice to check facts before assertions are made in this House of Commons, and I commend the same advice to the hon. member for Peterborough.

I wish to make two points in relation to this matter. We are speaking here of a document printed by the queen's printer and made available by him to the public. I wish to speak first of all of the commercial aspects of the matter; then I wish to deal specifically with the objections taken by these hon. members to the use of the signature of the Prime Minister on a government publication.

The first fact that 1 think is worthy of the attention of the committee is that this is not a publication that is costing the taxpayers of Canada so much as one cent. The hon. member for Leeds put this matter before the committee last evening as though public funds were being used in an improper manner with a view to publicizing the photograph and signature of the Prime Minister. Surely the hon. member does not object to the assertion that the Prime Minister introduced the bill of rights in this house.

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LIB
PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming (Eglinion):

With no help from the Liberal opposition, Mr. Chairman; none whatever. Of course it was parliament that enacted the bill of rights; only parliament could. During 22 years in office hon. members opposite had not only made no effort to introduce a bill of rights but they had opposed efforts made by the present Prime Minister when he was in opposition to introduce and enact a bill of rights. When the Prime Minister in 1960 introduced the measure to enact the bill of rights in this country, was there any assistance from hon. members opposite? No, there was not, Mr. Chairman.

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LIB

April 13, 1962