December 7, 1977 (30th Parliament, 3rd Session)

LIB

Charles Mills (Bud) Drury

Liberal

Mr. Drury:

We do, in spite of the "ha". Some people do not seem to understand that. The machine will not work unless this assumption is made, and when the hon. member for Saskatoon-Biggar suggests, first, that reading from a transcript is inadequate and if the minister wishes to be believed and before-by implication-he, the hon. member for Saskatoon-Biggar, and his party will believe the minister, let him table a recording, that is an absence of trust, and I think contrary to one basic rule and that is: an hon. member's word, given in this House, is taken. Unless we operate on that basis the machine will not operate. Parliament will not work.
There is a second fundamental principle against which the hon. member for Saskatoon-Biggar, wittingly or unwittingly,
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Privilege-Mr. Cullen
has offended, and that is that you do not question the motives of other members. The hon. member suggested that he, because of the alleged previous performance of the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mr. Cullen), had every reason to believe that the minister was a tough guy and so forth, and therefore he said those things. That is an example of questioning motives. Instead of examining what was said or not said, or its rightness or wrongness, the hon. member proceeded to try to impugn both the motives and the trustworthiness of the minister.
Unfortunately, recently we saw in Canada, through the polls, a popular referendum taken in which the public was asked in effect, "In matters of security, who would you sooner trust, the politicians or the police?" and the answer came back overwhelmingly, "We would sooner trust the police". I can understand this, and I suggest that unfounded allegations of untrustworthiness, and proceeding on assumptions that the motives and the trustworthiness of politicians should always be questioned, lead to a general public unwillingness to trust politicians, who themselves say they should not be trusted.
I suggest that the House should not follow or adopt rules or procedures which advertise or advocate untrusworthiness on the part of its members.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIVILEGE
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