[Opening prayer by Mr. Speaker. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Presenting Petitions.
Reading and Receiving Petitions.
MR. CLERK: The Petition of Dario Perfumo, Keith Routley and Arthur Smith, praying for the passing of An Act to incorporate Council 1107.
The Petition of Arthur Parker, Hugh Mailey and Clair Halstead and others, praying for the passing of An Act to incorporate the Denturist Association of Manitoba.
MR. SPEAKER: Presenting Reports of Standing and Select Committees.
Notice of Motion.
Introduction of Bills.
MR. W. B. SCARTH, Q.C. (River Heights): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable the Member for Winnipeg Centre, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 84, An Act to amend An Act to Incorporate the Sinking Fund Trustees of the School District of Winnipeg No. 1, and that the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Committee of the Whole.
HON. ERRICK F. WILLIS, Q.C. (Minister of Agriculture and Immigration) (Turtle Mountain): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Minister of Education, Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole to consider the following proposed resolutions -- three in my name; one in the name of the Minister of Labour.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: The House resolve itself into Committee of the Whole and would the Honourable Member for St. Matthews take the Chair.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Is the Committee ready to receive the resolutions?
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Chairman, His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor having been informed of the subject matter of the proposed resolutions recommends them to the House.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Resolution No. 1 -- Resolved that it is expedient to bring in a measure to provide for the establishment of Watershed Conservation Districts to conserve the water resources of the province, the appointment and payment of staff to assist the district boards, the appointment of a Watershed Conservation Commission and the payment of the cost of inquiries and surveys undertaken by the commission.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Chairman, the words of the resolution explain pretty well what is in mind. We had before watershed legislation and this will take its place including within it what we consider to be all the best features of the previous one and giving it additional authority and additional engineering service. The bill will come in detail and then we can discuss it in a much better way.
MR. W. C. MILLER (Rhineland): Mr. Chairman ... will the problems of the Pembina Triangle be considered under this legislation?
MR. WILLIS: They could be.
MR. MILLER: But will they be?
MR. WILLIS: If they request it.
MR. J. M. HAWRYLUK (Burrows): Mr. Chairman, may I ask the Honourable Minister what will be the set up -- how many men will be involved in this commission on permanent basis?
MR. WILLIS: It will depend upon your watershed. They will all be civil servants as far as that's concerned, but in each watershed you will have a special committee of the watershed. This is entirely based on the same arrangement as drainage districts are now, where you have Mr. Griffiths who will be chairman of each one of the boards, then he will have a committee with him, a watershed committee to deal with the municipalities. Almost exactly on the same basis as the drainage boards are at the present time.
MR. T. P. HILLHOUSE, Q.C. (Selkirk): Mr. Chairman, Mr. Minister, is it your intention to have on that board, members of the Department of Agriculture to take into consideration
MR. WILLIS: Yes.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Shall the resolution be adopted?
Resolution No. 2 -- Resolved that it is expedient to bring in a measure to amend The Agricultural Societies Act by providing, among other matters, for ...
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Chairman, these grants have been before the House in the present Session -- increased grants for A Class Fairs, B Class Fairs, and C Class Fairs, including special grants for building and equipment and repairs, and also increase in membership grants which are doubled in most cases.
MR. D. L. CAMPBELL (Leader of the Opposition) (Lakeside): Mr. Chairman, may I ask the Minister if it is the practice of the Federal Government, Federal Department of Agriculture at present to make grants to Fairs for buildings?
MR. WILLIS: A and B Class, but not C.
MR. CAMPBELL: Does this one make grants to A, B and C?
MR. WILLIS: That's right.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Shall the resolution be adopted?
Resolved it is expedient to bring in an amendment to amend The Horticultural Societies Act by providing for an increase in the amount of grants that may be made to Horticultural Societies in respect of the number of members and in respect of prize monies paid by the Societies.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Chairman, this merely increases the previous grants which were increased to 65% where they were 50% before, and the membership grants are increased from $100 to $200 on the basis of 50¢ per member. It was before the House before.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Shall the resolution be adopted? Carried.
Resolved that it is expedient to bring in a measure to amend The Winter Employment Act by making provision for the extension of the period in each year during which projects to provide employment as provided in the Act may be undertaken.
HON. DUFF ROBLIN (Premier) (Wolseley): Mr. Chairman, this would normally be explained by my colleague, the Minister of Labour, who is detained for the moment, but this merely fulfills the undertaking he gave the House a couple of days ago that we would be seeking extension of The Winter Employment Act by one month in accordance with the arrangement between Ottawa and the various provinces. To the best of my knowledge, that is the sole meaning of the resolution that is before us.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Shall the resolution be adopted?
Will the Committee rise and report?
DR. W. G. MARTIN (St. Matthews): Mr. Speaker, the Committee of the Whole House has adopted certain resolutions, and directed me to report the same.
Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member from Winnipeg Centre, that the report of the Committee be received.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Minister of Education, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 80, An Act to provide for the Establishment of Watershed Conservation Districts to conserve the water resources of the province, the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Minister of Education, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 82, An Act to amend The Agricultural Societies Act, the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
HON. STERLING R. LYON (Attorney-General) (Ft. Garry): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Minister of Mines and Natural Resources, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 86, An Act to amend The Winter Employment Act, and that the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Minister of Education, that leave be given to introduce a Bill, No. 83, An Act to amend The Horticultural Societies Act,
and that the same be now received and read a first time.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Orders of the Day.
MR. M. A. GRAY (Inkster): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, may I be permitted to make a brief statement in the House. All of us read in the press -- "Dying woman gives eyes so others might see".
Irrespective of the hot and cold wars which exist in the world today, where lives of human beings are being destroyed at the will of dictators and others, there is still hope for humanity as exemplified by Mrs. Pearl Shuttleworth, a most unusual woman who willed her eyes to others, that they might see. She said -- "By leaving my eyes, I'm doing no more than my duty to my fellow man". The action of this noble woman may come to the attention of some of the leaders in the world today, whose ambition only is to bring death and suffering. I think her noble action in displaying her feelings for her fellow man and faith in the future of human destiny, should be recognized by this House. May the Lord be her inheritance, and may she repose in her resting place in peace.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I am sure that I speak for all the members of the House when I thank the honourable member that has just spoken for bringing this matter to our notice, particularly at this time of the year. I think it remains one of the fundamental truths that the salvation of the civilization that we espoused, depends and always will depend in the last analysis, not on mass movements or on mob psychology, but what each one of us do with our life, and with the things that are given to us in that life. There can be no more dramatic demonstration, I think, of the truth of that point of view, than the personal incident that the honourable member has just drawn to our attention. I am sure that we would all wish to do honour to the courageous lady who is associated with it.
MR. E. GUTTORMSON (St. George): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Education. Are residents in areas classed as remote by the Boundaries Commission, able to come into a division -- is there any way they can do it?
HON. STEWART E. McLEAN (Minister of Education) (Dauphin): Well, as a practical matter, Mr. Speaker, no -- because the remote areas are isolated school districts which are far removed from any adjoining school districts, and couldn't, in the normal course, properly become part of a school division. They are, as the House knows, of course, provided with the same financial grants as are payable to school divisions so they do not suffer by reason of their remoteness from the school division. Theoretically, however, they could if they were close enough to a school division and if they followed the regular procedure, they could become part of the school division.
MR. GUTTORMSON: What steps do they take then?
MR. McLEAN: They would make application, they would have to have the approval of the trustees, the division trustees of the division which they would like to join, and there would be a vote in the school district, in their own school district, of the resident electors, that is in the districts which propose to join the division.
MR. L. STINSON (Leader of the C.C.F.) (Osborne): Mr. Speaker, before Orders of the Day, I wish to direct a question to the Honourable the Minister of Education. It concerns the former school division known as Turnbull Bend School District which has become part of the new Fort Garry division. A dispute has been underway there with respect to what the auditors call "unauthorized purchase". The dispute, I understand, is between the former trustees and the auditors in that district. My question is -- Will the Minister undertake to investigate this matter?
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Speaker, the Honourable the Leader of the C.C.F. Party sent word to my office of his intention of asking this question and I thank him for that. I have before me the annual financial report on the form which is prescribed by law for Turnbull Bend School District No. 2339 for the year ended December 31st, 1958. The return is completed and at the bottom there is the auditor's report which reads as follows - "I/We, the undersigned auditors, report that I/we have examined the books, records and accounts of the School District of Turnbull Bend. All expenditures have been verified by me or us and have been approved by resolution of the board. Receipts by way of taxes and grants have been confirmed directly with the
Department of Education and with the municipal offices concerned. In our opinion the above statements present a true and correct view of the affairs of the district for the year ended December 31st, 1958, and of its transactions during the year then ended, according to the best of our information and as shown by the records of this school district. Signed at St. Norbert, this 14th day of January, 1959." This bears the signature of two auditors, appears to be Robert Pearson and Russ Gregory. And also signed -- "Statements approved - J. E. Wellwood, Chairman" -- looks to me like "Ashton, Secretary - Treasurer".
That is the report that has been filed -- it's in the proper form as required by The Public Schools Act. Evidently along with this return was also filed a mimeographed form which is not an official form so far as The School Act is concerned -- containing much the same information as the other, and bearing the auditor's certificate at the bottom which I read -- "We certify that we have checked the books along with the accounts and payments made. The above statement indicates, according to the best of our information, a correct outline of the operation of the Turnbull Bend School District No. 2339 for the year 1958". This has been signed by the two auditors I have mentioned and by the Secretary-treasurer.
Now on the back of that report there is a further statement in which the auditors -- this is signed by the auditors -- which relates to unauthorized accounts, what they refer to as unauthorized accounts, and also items which they refer to as unauthorized purchases, and they make certain observations there. This however is not their official return. So far as the official return is concerned, they indicate that the business of the school district was properly conducted. I'm not aware of why they would put this information on this supplementary sheet. It would appear to me however, Mr. Speaker, if I may, that of course the question of whether these were unauthorized purchases, are matters of opinion, because that might be the opinion of some of the ratepayers that they were unauthorized. There is certainly nothing inherent in the expenditures themselves which would make them unauthorized, and it would appear to be a matter for the school board. I am having an investigation made as to whether this report was presented to the annual meeting of the school district and will be prepared to advise the House on what information I receive on that and I should think that something would turn on that because by law this annual report is required to be presented to the annual meeting of the school district.
MR. HAWRYLUK: Before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Education. We are all aware that tomorrow is the election of the larger division boards and the question was asked of me -- "What happens to a large section of the teachers who have been under contract under one local board. What will be the procedure after that as far as the issue of contracts for the Grade 9, 10, 11 teachers ... Will they be approached by the new board or what will be the move on the part of this particular election tomorrow?"
MR. McLEAN: It is correct as the honourable member has pointed out, that the election will take place tomorrow, and as soon as the new division trustees have been sworn into office, which will be immediately, they will be authorized to make contracts with teachers for the high school grades, and I would assume that they will proceed to do so immediately. Officials of the Department and myself as well, if I am free to do so, will begin meetings over the weekend with all of the division boards throughout Manitoba at which time we will explain to them their responsibilities with regard to teachers and particularly give them our advice and assistance in that respect.
MR. GUTTORMSON: Before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Provincial Secretary. At the last Session of the House I introduced a resolution urging the government to place slips showing deductions to civil servants. Subsequently the House gave unanimous approval to this resolution. Can you tell me when these stubs will be placed on the cheques?
HON. MARCEL BOULIC (Provincial Secretary) (Cypress): Mr. Speaker, I cannot give the information as to when. It involves technical difficulties but as soon as the equipment is available the stubs will be available.
MR. R. S. CLEMENT (Birtle-Russell): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Agriculture -- more of an enquiry. I was wondering if, as in former years, any arrangements have been made or are being made, or are being considered, about the members making their annual pilgrimage to the Brandon Winter Fair.
MR. WILLIS: Mr. Speaker, I was awaiting official invitation which usually comes from the Member of that area as to whether we are to be invited or not. It is quite important what kind of entertaining we're to get when we go there, as to how many would go, and I am waiting eagerly the invitation following which we will get together and make a decision.
MR. R. O. LISSAMAN (Brandon): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I believe all the members of the House have passes to the Fair and I am sure that ... and the Winter Fair Board would be more than pleased to see the members come. I was a little reluctant to issue an invitation when there is such a great deal of uncertainty in this House. I imagine though the Leader of the Opposition might be particularly interested. He was telling us the other day of the competitions that he had entered and I see there is a hula hoop competition which he might be interested in, so the Minister of Agriculture has now received his invitation.
MR. GUTTORMSON: Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to direct a question to the First Minister. In one of the municipalities in my constituency, there's a certain person going around stating that he has the authority of the First Minister to act on his behalf. On October 14th, council wrote the First Minister asking if this man had this authority and didn't receive a reply; they wrote a subsequent letter and are still waiting for a reply. Could the First Minister answer why the council hasn't received an answer?
MR. ROBLIN: I'd have to look into this and let my honourable friend know. I am sure that if anyone has authority to speak for me that it will be through the proper and usual channels for such authority to be given.
HON. J. B. CARROLL (Minister of Public Utilities) (The Pas): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to lay on the table of the House, the annual report of the Manitoba Board of Censures for the calendar year ending December 31st, 1958.
HON. GEORGE JOHNSON (Minister of Health & Public Welfare) (Gimli): Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to table for the House the annual report of the Manitoba Hospital Services Plan.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, before the ... that I would just like to say that if the House would be willing to proceed with Committee of the Whole and the third reading of the bills mentioned therein, I would then be prepared to move the resolutions standing in my name in respect to Rule 23 as the next order of business.
DR. W. G. MARTIN: Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day, I would like to refer to an important event in our city at the present time. The Children's Festival of the Arts opened this morning in our city and I mention it because it is the first of its kind in western Canada, and it touches many phases of the cultural pursuits of the school children of our province, and I thought that every member of the Assembly would be interested in this festival as it presents music and drama, but particularly because there is on display a wonderful collection of art work by the school children from the first grade to the 12th grade and this exhibition has come from every part of the province. So I mention this today because I think it represents another advance in the educational progress of our province.
MR. SPEAKER: Orders of the Day. Committee of the Whole House.
MR. C. E. GREENLAY (Portage la Prairie): Mr. Speaker, I wish to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Carillon, that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee to consider of Bills Nos. 5, 7, 12, 14, 34, and 43.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. E. PREFONTAINE (Carillon): ... with respect to this bill I'm sorry the Minister of Education is not present.
A MEMBER: The Minister of Education?
A MEMBER: He's on ...
MR. PREFONTAINE: I understand that the school district of Norwood has become or will become very soon the school division of Norwood. This provides for a salary for the chairman of $600 and $500 for the trustees. Well in the legislation that we passed last year it provides for a salary of $450 for the chairman of the school division and $300 for a trustee in a school division. There seems to be a clash here, or there will be a clash if and when the school district of Norwood becomes the school division of Norwood. I would like to know which would
have priority, this bill that we are passing with respect to the school district of Norwood or when it comes a division, if the legislation that we pass with respect to a division will have priority over this one?
MR. McLEAN: Mr. Chairman, you will recall that in the legislation it was provided that where a school district became a school division without the addition of any other land, that the affairs would be carried on by the existing board subject to all their arrangements at that time and now, for example, to illustrate just what I am going to say, the school district of Winnipeg became the school division of Winnipeg and the salaries that were paid to the trustees prior to its becoming a school division would be continued -- I believe they're something of the order of $1,200 to the chairman and such like.
Now, my understanding of the situation with respect to the school district of Norwood is that they, before they became a school division, passed a by-law providing for their salaries, such as indicated here. They are already a school division -- that is by-law first, school division, and now they are asking the Legislature to validate the by-law which they made; which the validation will simply go back to the by-law which they passed, that is if the Act passes, and they would then be in the same position as the school district of Winnipeg and the salaries that would be paid would be those set out in the by-law. They are already a school division. They have become a school division since the time of the passing of their by-law but, of course, evidently according to council's advice they require the validation of their by-law in order for it to be legal so far as they are concerned.
MR. F. GROVES (St. Vital): Mr. Speaker ... that this by-law passed by the Norwood School District on September 8th of last year, before this House had actually considered the school divisions plan?
MR. CLEMENT: Surely, Mr. Chairman, this shows a discrepancy if we're going to have Chairmen of School Boards in Winnipeg getting more than the Chairmen of School Boards in rural parts of Manitoba -- some members who may have to travel 50 miles to go to a meeting -- and these gentlemen live right at home. I think that whatever the price or the remuneration is set, it should be the same across Manitoba or there certainly will be -- every sitting of the Legislature you're going to have some School Board asking us to rescind this Bill and allow them to give their School Chairman more money.
MR. R. TEILLET (St. Boniface): Mr. Chairman, first of all I would like to remind the House that we passed a similar bill last year ratifying a by-law of the School District of St. Boniface which was passed by this House a year ago. Secondly, I do think there is some difference in the job of administration of some of these suburban school districts. Those are the school districts that are taking the heaviest burden of work of administration at this moment. They have had what has been termed "explosive growth in populations"; their problems are tremendous and this little bit of amount of money surely is not too much to ask for the services which take a great deal of their time.
MR. CHAIRMAN: ... preamble, title, the bill be reported.
MR. CLEMENT: Mr. Chairman, you have already reported this bill but I want to make my point clear that I object strenuously to this and I certainly think that in fairness to all the members of all these school boards in rural Manitoba, they are entitled to equally as much as they are in the City of Winnipeg or Norwood, and after all it's only a question of $50.00, and are we going to make this discrepancy for $50.00? I'm sure we'll hear more of it.
MR. CHAIRMAN: [Bill No. 12 was read section 1 to section 5 and passed. ]
[Bill No. 14 was read sections 1 to 3 and passed. ]
[Bill No. 34 was read Section 1 to Section 3 and passed. ]
[Bill No. 48, Sections 1 to 20, was read section by section, clause by clause and passed. ]
MR. J. COWAN (Winnipeg Centre): Mr. Chairman, did you get all those amendments to changing numbers; numbers of the school districts; numbers of the sections?
MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes. Will the Committee rise and report. Mr. Speaker, the Committee of the Whole House has considered certain bills with amendments, and certain without amendments, and have asked me to report.
MR. MARTIN: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Roblin, that the report of the Committee be received.
MR. SPEAKER: It has been moved by the Honourable Member for St. Matthews, seconded by the Honourable Member for Roblin, that the report of the Committee be received.
[Mr. Speaker put the question and after a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. C. E. GREENLAY (Portage la Prairie): I wish to move, seconded by the Honourable the Member for Carillon, that Bill No. 5, An Act to validate By-law No. 3465 of the City of Portage la Prairie, be now read a third time and passed.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Bill No. 7 -- third reading.
MR. GROVES: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member from St. Boniface, that Bill No. 7, An Act to validate By-law No. 42 of the School District of Norwood, No. 2113 be now read a third time, and passed.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Third reading -- Bill No. 12.
MR. M. E. McKELLAR (Souris-Lansdowne): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Swan River, that Bill No. 12 - An Act respecting the Glenboro Medical Nursing Unit District No. 16B, be now read a third time and passed.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Third reading -- Bill No. 14.
MR. N. SHOEMAKER (Gladstone): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Lac du Bonnet that Bill No. 14 -- An Act to validate By-law No. 538 of the Town of Gladstone, be now read a third time and passed.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Third reading -- Bill No. 34.
MR. McKELLAR: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Arthur, that Bill No. 34 - An Act respecting the Rural Municipality of Whitewater and the Minto Cemetery Company, be now read third time and passed.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: Third reading of Bill No. 43.
MR. A. E. WRIGHT (Seven Oaks): Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable Member for Rockwood-Iberville, that Bill No. 43 -- An Act respecting consolidation of the Municipal School District of West Kildonan No. 8; The Municipal School District of Old Kildonan No. 2102; The School District of West St. Paul No. 4; and The School District of Parkdale No. 1927, be now read a third time and passed.
[Mr. Speaker presented the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture, that Rule 23 of the Rules, Orders and Forms of Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba be suspended and that the Provincial Treasurer may present his budget before the debate on the motion for an Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne is concluded.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion. ]
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, it will not be necessary for me to speak at any length on this motion because I think the general substance of it has been before the House for some time. I merely wish to say, Sir, that Rule 23 provides as follows: The Budget shall not be presented until the debate on the motion for an Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne is concluded. This is the rule, Sir, that it is proposed to suspend in order that the budget statement may be given before the Throne Speech debate is concluded.
I think one may say that the origin of this thought is to be found in one of the statements made by the Leader of the Opposition when he was speaking in the Address in Reply in which he requested -- made the suggestion that the government should make a statement on the question of its expenses and its income; how the money was going to be raised in matters of that sort, which will be found on page 51 of Hansard, Volume No. 3, of March 16th, and which has been read to the House before and with which I believe we are all familiar.
In the first instance it was an effort to comply with that request that we formed the idea that the House might be willing to permit this statement to be made before the vote was reached on the Throne Speech Address and that was the genesis of the idea in one sense. But on Thursday last, the House expressed itself in respect to this matter in another way as well, which I think made it perfectly clear that the House, as far as the opposition was concerned at any rate, wished to receive the estimates and to hear the budget statement before they considered the matter of interim supply. The House will recall that we had a very brisk little discussion Thursday afternoon on that point and it was made abundantly clear by the Leaders of the Opposition Parties that they wished to receive the estimates and to hear the budget statement before we had interim supply, either on the old estimates or on the new set of estimates.
I will just read to you, Sir, the sentences that were spoken at that time which I think substantiates what I'm saying now. I'm quoting now from Page 351 of the Hansard of March 26th, last Thursday, and the words were spoken by the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition as follows: "My suggestion would be for the consideration of the Honourable First Minister that the interim supply to be asked for should be attuned to the estimates for the coming year rather than this year, but so far as we are concerned, as long as we have the estimates before us for the coming year we would not stick on that point, if the government thinks that these estimates would be sufficient for them. But the point that we do make most seriously is that we are not prepared to proceed with these estimates without a good deal of discussion, but if we have the full estimates before us for the coming year, which I take it that the Honourable the First Minister has promised us and which the motion that is on the Order Paper certainly seems to portend, then with the full estimates before us, as far as we were concerned, we would be prepared to pass very quickly, under suspension of the rules if necessary, a portion of those estimates and I have no objection to the figure that has been mentioned here of one-quarter of them, or we would even be so willing to co-operate that if that doesn't appeal to the Government and
they want it, perhaps because they don't want to print new interim estimates or something of the kind, we would even be prepared to consider the proceeding along the same lines with these estimates, but what we are most anxious to have is a full estimates before us for the coming year. Now, I must say so, that as far as we are concerned, the whole picture is before the committee. What we want is a full disclosure of the budget and I'm sure that my honourable friend the First Minister has that in mind because that's what he promised to the House."
And then speaking on the same point the Leader of the C.C.F. Party substantially concurred with this proposal and I quote him from Page 352 where he said as follows: "I think the suggestion of the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition that we should now have a full disclosure of the budget including the new estimates is a proper one and I think it would be more realistic to have the interim supply based on the new estimates. It would be an academic sort of debate to have discussion on interim supply based on the old estimates, although if that is the way the government wishes to do it, we are prepared to go along with that." So I think in substance the two gentlemen were in agreement.
Then I think the Member for Carillon summed the whole thing up when he spoke as follows, as will be found on Page 355: "Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that the argument presented by the Leader of the Government is based on the old adage that 'one bird in the hand is worth two in the bush'. This seems to me to imply that he has no confidence in the undertaking given by the Leader of the Opposition that the leader of this side of the House is ready to allow him to get the money that he needs to operate the province. And he has this definite undertaking, and I think that he should accept it because otherwise some people will be inclined to believe that there is a refusal to give the full consideration of the state of affairs of the Province of Manitoba budget-wise, because the budget is not only a speech with respect to monies and how it will be raised, but a budget is composed of two things: the estimates -- the estimates of the expenditures to be made and also the estimates of how the money is going to be raised. And it seems to me that before any opposition worthy of the name agrees to pass an interim supply it should at least have the full supply before it."
There were more arguments, Sir, and other points covered as well, but it seemed to me that this certainly was the minimum position taken up by the gentlemen in opposition, that they wished not only to have the estimates but also to hear the budget speech. Although we resisted this proposal for some time I frankly say that we eventually agreed to carry on in this way, and we were advised that we should bring in Rule 23 as the first order of government business for today and to deal with that matter so that we could get on the budget proposals. And that is what we are ready to do, Mr. Speaker. We are ready now to make the budget speech as we have given our undertaking that we would. We realize that the parties in opposition have told us that they will not pass interim supply until we have done this, and although we did not feel it was necessary in view of the fact our estimates were based on the previous year's supply, we did agree just the same that we would take their view of the matter and we would proceed in the way that we are proceeding now. So I therefore suggest, Sir, that we can now consider this resolution that is before us and if it is agreed to by the House I will be prepared to make the budget speech.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, with practically everything that the Honourable the First Minister has said I am in complete agreement. I think that the procedure that was adopted last Thursday was certainly the right one, and while it's true that we were anxious particularly to see the estimates themselves, certainly as far as our group is concerned, we're perfectly willing to see the budget debate proceed as well. The only qualification that I make in that regard is that we want to be sure that we also, on this side of the House, will have the opportunity of making our contribution to the budget debate and that at the time, while it is in progress, that the complete disclosure of the financial situation that we have been mentioning at various times will be made so that we have capital supply as well before us; also that we have the facts and figures as to what remains of the capital supply voted last year and all other matters that are necessary to a full discussion of the financial situation of the province.
On that understanding, and I'm very glad to hear that my honourable friend the First Minister has the same point of view on it as we have -- on that understanding we are prepared, as we mentioned the other day, to meet the convenience of the government now in seeing that
arrangements are made to pass interim supply with a minimum of delay. Certainly we will be prepared to do whatever is necessary to see that the work of the Supply Committee is expedited even to the extent of suspension of the rules if that should be necessary so that interim supply can be voted.
Now I am in the same position as the First Minister in that a good bit of what I would have said on this debate, up to last Thursday, was said during the debate at that time on procedure, and so I do not need to repeat what I said at that time. However, I gave notice at that time that it was our proposal to move an amendment to this motion, but an amendment that I said to the House I was sure strengthened it rather than in any way weakening it, and it would make the kind of procedure that all of us are agreed upon more of a certainty than it otherwise would be, because, Mr. Speaker, I take it that all of us have now agreed completely that we are going to have a full budget discussion and that's exactly what we want. And my point, and the point that is raised in this amendment, is that if we did not defer consideration of the Speech from the Throne and any amendments thereto that it could be possible that by continuing that debate that the government might find itself defeated, in which case it might feel inclined to terminate the other discussions, and so the one way I think that we can be certain that the budget debate will proceed fully, without any let or hindrous whatsoever, will be that we should have the debate on the Speech from the Throne or any amendments thereto stand aside until the Committee of Supply and the Committee of Ways and Means perform their work. And so I think that is the position that we are in now, that I take it we have all agreed -- well, there may not be complete agreement from my honourable friend, the Leader of the C.C.F. Party, but as far as we're concerned we will support the government in bringing forward all of these various budget proposals.
So, Mr. Speaker, I think it remains for me only to propose the amendment which you will see is calculated to make sure that the procedure we have agreed upon will not be interfered with by having consideration of the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne interfere in any way with our consideration of the budget debate.
I move, Mr. Speaker, seconded by the Honourable Member for Portage la Prairie, that the motion be amended by adding thereto the following words: -- "and be it further resolved that in order to assure full consideration of the budget, further consideration of the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne or any amendments thereto be postponed until detailed estimates of expenditure, both current and capital, and revenue of the province for the fiscal year ending March 31st, 1960, have been passed by the House, and ways and means for raising of the supply to be granted to Her Majesty for the said fiscal year have been presented to and approved by the House." I think the House will agree that that is the one way that guarantees that we can proceed with the budget debate in the way the House has agreed.
MR. ROBLIN: ... a copy of that resolution that he would please pass me?
[Mr. Speaker read the motion. ]
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I'm afraid I am not going to be able to accept the amendment that my honourable friends have placed before us. I have not had much time to study it, as you know, but it appears quite clear that beside the actual wording that we find in this resolution, there is another aspect of it which, if accepted, I might feel myself bound by, and certain other gentlemen in the House might try to bind me. If this resolution is just read in the terms of the language that is used, it may be thought to have some reason to it. But when those words are studied even in the short time that I have at my disposal, it appears that what is really being said is that some pledge is required that we shall continue to carry on the work of the House and of the committees until all the things done in this resolution have been accomplished. Now, my honourable friend nods his head -- and so I take it that I've interpreted correctly. I point out to the House, Sir, that this is a matter of at least a month, and perhaps more than a month before all these matters are dealt with. We're being asked not merely to conduct the debate on the budget, Sir, which is usually a matter of only a few days -- usually after the three party spokesmen have had their say, the budget debate closes; but we're also being asked to move into Committee of Ways and Means and to carry on indefinitely in that committee. We have no means of knowing whether we will be supported on the budget debate to go into Ways and Means or not. And certainly we can't possibly go into Ways and Means if we are beaten on the Motion for Supply which will come before it, and yet we are being asked
to do so in the terms of this resolution, and it is certainly a moral undertaking to the House to carry on in that way if such a resolution was accepted. Well, Sir, we cannot accept that moral responsibility to the House, and we cannot accept the terms of this resolution.
But I would like to go further, Sir, because I think that the real motive behind this resolution is truly one of want of confidence in the administration. I think it is because some honourable members seem to feel that if we are given permission to suspend Rule 23, and proceed with the budget debate, that we will do something that we won't like. It was said in the debate the other day, and I took particular note of the words on the part of the gentlemen in both political parties opposite, that what they suspected in this motion and the undertakings previously given by the government was a political trick. That was the expression used. The expression was used that we would somehow or other turn this matter and again I quote "to his own political advantage" -- "his", the pronoun in the phrase refers to myself. Other members in the House said, "we're going to hear an election speech and then we'll dissolve on the instant", such as they say was done in Ottawa. And others went on to refer in political trickery in connection with the resolution which has sought to be amended by the amendment I hold in my hand. Well it seems, Sir, that if that is the opinion of the House -- the opinion of the members of the opposite side, it certainly is one of want of confidence in the administration.
But there is another thing which is not strictly bound up in the wording of the resolution but which I think is bound up in the moral implications of it. And that has to do with the question of dissolution and I wonder, Sir, whether this House has any constitutional right to seek to bind itself or to bind the government on the point of dissolution. After all, if we read The Legislative Assembly Act we will find that the Lieutenant-Governor may at any time dissolve the Assembly as he deems it to be advisable, and yet I would feel morally that at least a moral effort was being made here to prevent that prerogative from being exercised. Now it might be said by some -- it's all very well to talk in this high constitutional realm of theory because the Lieutenant-Governor doesn't act by himself, he acts on advice; and what we're really asking is that you shouldn't give him that kind of advice. I say to that, Sir, that there have been exceptions -- there have been cases when the advice of a Premier or the Prime Minister hs not been accepted by the Lieutenant-Governor, or the Governor-General, as the case may be. But I put it to you, Sir, that I'm not seeking to rest my case today on the constitutional implications of that particular point. I merely say that I think that if there were no other grounds against it, it might be considered to be wrong on those grounds. But my main point in opposing this resolution and in opposing the moral question that it poses for us as a government, because I take it, Sir, that if this were passed we would be in the moral position of having given our pledge not to seek a dissolution until we had not only completed the budget debate, but 'til we had gone through the Committee of Ways and Means and all that is implied with that, and the whole of the Committee of Supply, and that is certainly a pledge which I do not think should be given. I put it to you this way, Sir, that any administration -- any administration of whatever particular political stripe is put in office by the people of a province to carry on the government, and there may come time, Sir, when for one reason or another it may appear to the government that it is impossible to carry on the government, there may come a time when it is not considered by those in their seats of authority that they have any right or mandate to carry on the government of the province, because that may certainly be taken from them. They may find that their situation is impossible and if that is the situation, then there is a final arbiter to whom we all appeal -- all of us, regardless of where we sit -- and that final arbiter, Sir, is the electorate of the Province of Manitoba and the people who do the voting. And it seems to me, Sir, that a government has a right, and in certain instances it has a duty to take its appeal to the electorate that put it into office. And I would say that the public has a right to hear that appeal and a right that is absolute and prescriptive and a right that should not be abridged or cut down or curtailed by a resolution such as the one we have here today. That is my opinion, Sir. I think this is a want of confidence motion in the government in the first place; and then secondly, I think it asks us to do something which we have no right, indeed no power, but certainly no right ot undertake upon ourselves. And for those reasons, Sir, I would like the House to know that we will not support this amendment.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Speaker, the motion has been placed before us by the Honourable
the First Minister and an amendment thereto by the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition, and the motion itself calls for the waiving of Rule 23 which, in itself, I think, is somewhat unprecedented. There is a reason for having this rule. It is that the government must show that it has the confidence of the House before it places its financial proposal before us. Now there may be good reasons in this Special Session for waiving this particular rule. The other two parties seem to think so, but I'm not so sure. But it may be a somewhat academic point now because we already have had the estimates tabled and not only the estimates of the expenditures but the estimates of revenue, which it seems to me is something new -- to have them both at the same time -- and even the budget speech itself now would be something of an anti-climax because we already have both sides of the picture. We have the estimates of expenditure and the estimates of revenue. So it seems to be the desire of the other parties to upset all of the rules and customs of this House in this game that is going on. Even before this House met the Honourable the First Minister lifted the veils to some extent on the budget, indicating that there would be no new taxes. I don't think that that was a proper thing to do although I can understand it being a human reaction on his part, because he was under pressure. But I don't think that it is completely ethical on the part of my honourable friend to engage in that type of speech-making before the House opens.
MR. ROBLIN: ... correct you for just a second. I don't wish to quarrel with your point of view, I merely wish to say that the statement was originally made in the Chamber last time. My subsequent statements were references to that statement. Just for the sake of the record, although it probably will not alter your point of view.
MR. STINSON: Well, I thought that the Honourable the First Minister was skating on rather thin ice in this respect, and in England the Chancellors of the Exchequer have been known to resign from their high office for divulging budget secrets outside of the House, but I wouldn't press the point that far in connection with my honourable friend. I just say that he was skating on rather thin ice.
Now we have arrived at the point where we have been discussing now for some time whether we should have a budget speech or a budget debate. And we made it pretty clear -- I think last Thursday -- that from this side, we'd prefer to have a budget debate. Now we have this amendment put forward by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition which would make this pretty firm -- that there would be a budget debate. We got the impression that Thursday afternoon from the Honourable the First Minister that he wanted the privilege of making a budget speech, but he wasn't sure that he wanted to extend the privilege of speaking to anyone else. And when this was put to him from this side, I think the Honourable Member for Flin Flon made it in the most direct way, he sat silent or indicated that the future was unknown. The impression we got was that he wanted to have free speech for himself -- for that side of the House, but would be quite willing to deny it to this side of the House. Now I find it somewhat difficult to follow the gyrations of my honourable friend. At the outset of the Special Session last fall he seemed somewhat pleased to have our support, particularly upon the occasion of your election to office, Mr. Speaker, and then a few days later, on October 31st, he repudiated our support. He said that he wanted to get rid of the "Limpets". Now I took the trouble to look that word up in the dictionary, it being unfamiliar to me, and I discovered that there are actually two definitions. One says that it is -- "a gastropod mollusk - an animal belonging to the sub-kingdom of soft-bodied and usually hard-shelled animal, including limpets, snails, cuttle-fish, and oysters". Now the other definition is that it is a person or state employee who clings to office. Now this unusual word was used in the first instance by that learned gentleman, Mr. Tom Kent, in an editorial in that unique newspaper the Winnipeg Free Press, and my honourable friend the First Minister, who is an apt pupil of both John and Tom, was quick to make use of this derogatory term. And so it was in this manner that he repudiated our support in this House. Now three days earlier he had dared the Leader of the Opposition to throw the government out. That was on October 28th. Mr. Roblin is quoted here as saying, "Your motives are very plain to see - very plain. But you, like your friends opposite, are afraid to face the people. That's the difference between you and me", and then later he said, "You've got Want of Confidence motions before you now, and I dare you to vote for them". A little later on he said, "Put up, or shut up". It was rather indelicate of my honourable friend, who is usually so proper in the use of the English language. Now it would seem to me that he just wants us to shut up.
Now before this House opened this year, I dared to utter some criticisms in public of the actions of the government opposite, and my honourable friend's reply was that he wondered how brave we would be during the Session, so that his mood of beligerency continued. And then on March 23rd, in this House, he pleaded his case, stating that the government should not be dismissed from office on the basis of these want of confidence motions, and he said that the government has a good programme and wanted to have the opportunity of passing it in this House. In addition he said this, "That I propose, Sir, at the first convenient opportunity to lay those financial plans and facts and figures before this Assembly, so that they and the people of this province can judge. Altogether, Sir, I say we do not deserve to be defeated." So that he had come around to the point of pleading his case for remaining in office. He said, "We do not deserve to be defeated". Now last Thursday afternoon he practically was asking to be defeated. So as I said a few moments ago, I find it rather difficult to follow the gyrations of my honourable friend opposite me. He may not have said so in actual words, but his whole attitude showed very clearly what his intentions were. And so, Sir, the issue is clear enough. It might be stated in very simple terms. Are we to have a budget debate or not? And in order to make certain of it, the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition, has placed this amendment before the House. And I would say, Sir, that if the government refuses this and does not reconsider the position taken by my honourable friend opposite, then it becomes evident that they are afraid to discuss this budget. It would seem to me, Sir, that they fear that this budget cannot stand up to analysis, and so by means of parliamentary procedure, and everyone becomes confused over this, including honourable members present, and I'm sure the public becomes very confused about parliamentary procedures -- by means of parliamentary procedure, by changing the rules at this stage of the House -- of the Session, then it becomes evident that they do not wish to have a budget debate.
I think that the statement of the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition is a reasonable one. I think we ought to have a budget debate. We have said, time and again, that we do not wish to hold up supply. The Honourable the First Minister quoted from our speeches from Hansard, which indicated that very clearly. I wondered at the time why he was reading those particular excerpts, because it seemed to me that it strengthened our position -- that we have been making it very clear from time to time that we would not stand in the way of voting interim supply. And my honourable friend would apparently want to create the impression that we are standing in the way of voting interim supply. That, Sir, is not the case. We have no desire to hold back the administration so far as carrying on the work of government is concerned. We have said that we would pass interim supply either on the old basis or on the new, and I think that it would be most unfair of the honourable gentleman opposite if they tried to make a case that we were unwilling to pass supply for the government to pay the bills. The only conclusion that we can come to, Sir, is that the government is afraid to debate this budget and that it will not stand up to analysis, therefore it is their desire to curtail debate and discussion in this Assembly. And I am surprised at my honourable friend who has been the champion of civil liberties and of freedom of discussion when he was on this side of the House, that he would now take the position of wishing to have all of the privileges of presenting material in this House, and of making a budget speech, but of curtailing the right of honourable members on this side to make an analysis of that budget and to continue the debate. I am disappointed in my honourable friend. I thought that be would wish to do things in a constitutional manner, and it strikes me that there have been a great many cases -- a great many instances during the course of this short session of by-passing the rules. But the most important factor, I think, is this desire on the part of our honourable friends opposite to curtail debate -- that is the issue. Are we going to have discussion in this House on the budget, or are we going to have it cut off? Now that is the thing that the First Minister has placed before us, and I think that it's a challenge that we can't back down on. We simply must insist that there be discussion so far as this budget is concerned.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Carillon.
MR. PREFONTAINE: [Mr. Prefontaine began his speech by saying a few words in French. ]
Often, Mr. Speaker, I have been desirous of using my maternal tongue in this House with
the full knowledge that everyone would be able to understand me, and this is one instance right now. I believe that the First Minister reads into this resolution something that is not in it at all. He tells us that if he accepts this resolution he will be binding himself not to dissolve the House until the debate has taken place -- which debate might be a month or until the estimates have been considered -- that might be a month -- and he reads into the resolution that he would be binding himself not to dissolve the House for a month. This is not in it at all. All that is in this amendment is the fact that the discussion on the Throne Speech should not be resumed until we have fully considered the budget -- that's all. And I contend, Mr. Speaker, that the First Minister binds himself to not dissolve the House at least for a few minutes. Himself -- on his own resolution -- he says, "Let's let the rules be suspended so that I might present the budget before we discuss the Throne Speech". He binds himself for at least an hour not to dissolve the House on his own resolution. He gives a moral pledge that between the minute that the rule is changed and the time that his own speech is finished he will not dissolve the House. We want to say to him that he could very well give the same pledge if he wants to, but the pledge is not implied in the motion at all. It is just a resolution to the effect that the Throne Speech debate will not be debated with because that's where the government might be defeated. That's the only reason and the First Minister said so himself the other day. The reasons you amend the rule is because the government might be defeated and we might not have a budget speech. We want to be sure that the government is not defeated before we have a full consideration of the estimates, and I think the First Minister, if he's not afraid to seek consideration of the estimates and the budget, that he should not turn down this amendment. If he wants to dissolve the House he has the full right to dissolve it at any time, even if this resolution is passed -- the government is passed. You have full power to dissolve the House at any time during this month, but you will not have power to be defeated by the Throne Speech debate, and that's all that this amendment means. I say, Mr. Speaker, that it is unthinkable that the First Minister of this Province, a champion of free speech, takes the stand as he does at the present time, and reads into this amendment something that is not there at all. I read into it, he says, that I'm finding myself not to dissolve the house for a month. It's not in there at all. It's just your imagination to my way of looking at it. And I believe, Mr. Speaker, that it is not fair -- the position that he has taken -- because it's not in the amendment at all.
MR. SPEAKER: The Honourable Member for Ste. Rose. Did you wish to speak?
MR. M. N. HRYHORCZUK, Q.C. (Ethelbert Plains): Mr. Speaker, I believe that the situation has been pretty well clarified, but if I may, I would only like to draw your attention to one or two matters that I think have not been stressed so far. The people of this province, in order to have their interests and affairs looked after, elect members to this Legislature, and it doesn't make any difference whether the member sits on the government side of the House, or on the opposition side of the House. His first responsibility is to the people of this province. And we are all here for the same purpose -- that is, to see that the right and proper kind of laws are passed while we are in session. We are here to see that our people are not over-taxed; not asked for more money than they should be; and that in return for the money that they pay into the Treasury of this province, they obtain good and sufficient value. Under ordinary circumstances the procedure in the House, Mr. Speaker, is that the government presents what is known as the Throne Speech and sets out its programme for the coming session. During this Throne debate the opposition can move votes of confidence, and if the same are passed by the House, generally that is the end of the government in power. After the Throne Speech is completed we then have estimates, which set out in fairly detail where the government intends to spend this money, and gives us an idea of how much money they'll be asking for. Now, in the ten years I've been in this House, Mr. Speaker, not at one single session did the government ever say that we do not want to be here a month, two months, or three months because it is going to be too long. We stayed here until every member of this House had an opportunity to question the government on the individual items in the estimates, because it not is only our right; it is our duty; it is our responsibility to the people of this province. After the estimates had been fully discussed and were agreed upon, we had the budget. And again each member who so desired had an opportunity to discuss the matter of the budget as to where this money is coming from. And I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that it is of utmost
importance that each and every member of this House, immaterial of where he is sitting, knows exactly where the money is going to be spent and where it is coming from. Because you have to go back to the people who elected you and give them answers to those questions if you are asked them. And the questions are right and proper. The honourable the First Minister says there's some moral objection to this amendment of the resolution. The amendment is quite plain and obvious in what it desires. All we ask for is to make certain that we have the fullest opportunity to discuss the estimates and debate on the budget.
MR. G. MOLGAT (Ste. Rose): [Mr. Molgat began his speech by saying a few words in French. ]We have before us today, Mr. Speaker, what I believe is a very grave position in this House in Manitoba and it's the question of free speech -- the question of free speech not only for the gentlemen on the far side of the House but on this side of the House as well. We have seen through the debates in the House so far where the rules permitted Cabinet Ministers to make estimate speeches on the Throne Debate.
On Thursday last we had quite an extended discussion when we on this side of the House were merely asking that the debate -- the proceedings of the House -- would permit full and complete discussion of the financial condition of the province. What we are doing now is not at all what has been suggested by my honourable friend the First Minister. This amendment in no way prevents him from dissolving this House. He is free to do that whenever he wishes to do so. All this amendment does -- and if he will read it again and consider it -- he will see that. All it does is it says, "we'll proceed and have a full discussion of the budget; a full discussion of estimates; and we'll make it easy for the government to do this." The government already is asking us to suspend the rule. We are prepared to go even further ... to suspend the rules so as to give full and complete discussion of the budget and the estimates.
Now surely, Mr. Speaker, the First Minister isn't going to suggest that he should be allowed to present his budget speech and then that we, on this side, would not be allowed to make our comments. Surely, we are not going to have position where we have estimates tabled before us and where we won't have an opportunity to discuss them. Those matters are of extreme importance to everyone in this province. Our amendment merely facilitates this. This amendment will facilitate the work of the House and will give the people of this province an opportunity to find out exactly what the situation is.
Mr. Speaker, we had the position in Ottawa a little over a year ago when the Prime Minister dissolved the House without presenting a budget. Our honourable friend across the way does not propose to do that. He proposes to present a budget. What we say is, let's go all the way -- not just the government presenting a budget -- let's have a chance to discuss it. Let's get it out on the table. Let everybody have a free chance. Let us have free speech in this House for both sides of the House.
I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the First Minister should reconsider this amendment first and then the ... is made with regards to it. I'm sure he will see that it is in the interests of the House and in the interests of the people of Manitoba.
MR. D. SWAILES (Assiniboia): Mr. Speaker, I too, am very much surprised indeed at the attitude taken by the First Minister. The situation has been described fairly clearly. We did give a definite undertaking that the interim supply would be passed. We gave that as a definite undertaking from both the groups on this side of the House.
The First Minister then asks for the rules to be suspended in order that the budget speech may be made. The amendment simply asks that not only should there be debate on the budget but there should be debate on the items in the estimates. Not merely debate on the budget speech because the debate on the budget speech, as a rule, is not sufficient to place both sides of the case before the people of Manitoba and to get a clear idea as to the monies that are to be spend and as to the source of the monies that are to be provided. I think we have taken a very sound and a logical position. We are simply asking that there should be debate, not only on the First Minister's budget speech, but also on each item of estimates of expense and each item of estimates of revenue. And I think there's a good deal in what the leader of our group has said. First of all, that on at least three occasions in this Session of the House have there been attempts made to curtail debate and the freedom of speech -- this is another one. And finally, that we can only come to the conclusion that the government is afraid of having a full discussion of each item in the estimates.
MR. SPEAKER: Does the Honourable Member for Rhineland wish to speak? I see him on his feet.
MR. W. C. MILLER (Rhineland): Yes, but I hadn't in mind to speak at this time.
MR. R. S. CLEMENT (Birtle-Russell): Mr. Speaker, if no else wishes to say a word or two on this, in my humble way I intend to say but a few words.
First of all, the Honourable the First Minister and myself were both elected here some ten years ago and three times since -- and I maintain that we are elected to this Legislature
and our first and foremost loyalty, I think, is to the people of the Province of Manitoba who elected us. Mr. Speaker, the First Minister has tabled his estimates. They are here before us -- some $120,000,000 worth. He has intimated, Sir, that he will consider this amendment, that has been brought forward by the Leader of the Opposition today, a vote of want of confidence. Now, Sir, I suggest to him that if he cannot justify his estimates; that if he is not sure where the $120,000,000 is coming from to fulfill these estimates; if he thinks more of his political future or his political party than he does of the people of the Province of Manitoba; then I suggest that if he is also afraid to discuss this budget then he takes the easy way out and calls this amendment today a want of confidence.
Mr. Speaker, the First Minister, as is well known, has a very quick temper. His quick temper today has done him a grave injustice, I'm sure. Quick tempers bring on quick decisions. He, like myself, is a business man or he was a business man and I realize that in business a quick decision is very often a mistake, but usually the only one who gets hurt is the business man himself. In this Legislature a quick decision such as he has just made, obviously a very quick one because the amendment was put in front of him and five minutes later he says it is a want of confidence. If it is a want of confidence and he goes through with his suggestion, then I suggest that his quick decision will not only affect him but the 25 members of the Legislature who are sitting around him. And I for one suggest to him, and I'm not going to appeal to him because my position in this Legislature has always been one of fairness -- I have made it my policy not to be a great critic -- and quite frankly I am surprised that the First Minister has taken this decision today, and I do suggest to him that he reconsider that this amendment -- his decision on it -- and I'm sure for the betterment of everyone in Manitoba, it will be the right thing to do. Quite frankly, I don't think he has a justifiable case in the world to take this and make it a want of confidence and go to the people of Manitoba. Quite frankly, if he did and I was a politician -- I don't profess to be one, I'm here to represent the people of the constituency of Birtle-Russell -- and as long as the First Minister is doing a good job over there, why that's all right with me, but I don't see how he can go to the people immediately without considering these estimates. They're there and surely to goodness he knows where he's going to get $120,000,000. If he isn't, my faith in him has been weakened that much more, and quite frankly, I think he does. I don't think we have to stay here for a month as he seems to think we do, and I suggest that he reconsider what his decision has been.
MR. GRAY: Mr. Speaker, I'll only be one minute. I support my leader's contention and I'm prepared to support the amendment irrespective whether it's a want of confidence or not. I would rather be defeated in the next election than give up one inch of our democratic ways -- something which I've given half my life -- half a century of my life to supporting -- something which I value -- something which is very dear to me, irrespective of what happens, whether we are going to dissolve the House -- whether it dissolved today or we sit another five months, irrespective as far as I'm personally concerned but one thing is it's my duty as a member of this House representing the people to protect every inch of the multitude.
MR. GREENLAY: Mr. Speaker, I should like to sort of recapitulate this situation again briefly. My seat mate here, the Honourable Member from Carillon, I think covered it quite well and I think that if the honourable members will look at the resolution -- at the amendment, they will see that what it does is delay the debate on the Throne Speech until after these other things are disposed of. And, Mr. Speaker, that means that insofar as the Throne Speech is concerned it would be delayed, but there is no other restriction or commitment with regard to dissolving the House in the resolution. It merely says that the Throne Speech will be delayed until that certain time.
Mr. Speaker, one other point that I want to stress is the fact that we would be prepared to vote interim supply at any time and again that this resolution -- this amendment only delays the consideration of the Throne Speech. There is no other obstruction; there's no other commitment by the Honourable the First Minister in the resolution.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I don't know if I'm allowed to speak again but there is a Point of Order which I should clear up I think before the vote is taken. The government is not changing its mind with respect to this amendment that is before us. It is in our view want of confidence and we certainly don't intend to support it.
While on the question of the Order of the House after this vote is taken, if we assume,
for example, that this vote is defeated and that we do get to Rule 23 and that passes, on the Point of Order of the House, it was my intention that after the budget speech has been made it would be adjourned presumably by somebody or it could be spoken to right now, and then we would proceed to deal with interim supply. And after that we could adjourn or go back to the Throne Speech because that would not be involved if this amendment did not carry. Now I want to make it perfectly clear, Sir, I'm speaking to the Point of Order that nothing in what I said could be construed as meaning that we would not proceed with the budget address, because as far as I'm concerned we can proceed with it tonight if this amendment is not carried. We can speak to it Tuesday if members want to suspend Private Members' Day and proceed and it was certainly my intention and hope that the budget speech would be continued but in spite of -- that was the Point of Order that we intended to follow provided that the amendment is defeated. But if the amendment is not defeated, it contains what we believe to be a moral pledge which we do not feel we are entitled to take on.
MR. F. L. JOBIN (Flin Flon): Mr. Speaker, if I may say a word or two. I think perhaps if the First Minister were to answer my question that I asked him the other day perhaps the amendment -- I'm not speaking for my leader but perhaps my leader or some of us may consider withdrawing the amendment if you would but give an answer to the question I asked you on Thursday -- and I asked you and I ask you again. And I was dealing with the estimates and I said this, "rather than have assumptions of what the First Minister means, may I ask him does his statement mean that he does not anticipate, even if given the opportunity, of bringing in the detailed estimates for the Province of Manitoba?" He replied, "It would be my hope to place the estimates before the House". Again I asked, "And to deal with them and have them passed if it's within your power?" Now I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that if the First Minister would only give an answer to that, then perhaps this difficulty could be cleared up. And I would like to add to what some of the other members have said here just a short while ago, and perhaps it will be a repetition, but first an observation. It has been charged that the First Minister wants to cut off debate in this House. I don't think that. But I do say this, that it looks like it's a little bit obvious that he's cut off debate from his own members because while we're levelled charges there hasn't been one from that side of the House get up and argue the particular point. So it makes it a little difficult for a member like myself, sitting back trying to be rational and reasonable and see that this House goes through the regular routine, to know just what you've got up your sleeve. We make charges -- you don't counter with them. Now, that's why I suggest that if you'd answer our questions perhaps we could get on with the despatch of business. The other observation -- if the Honourable the First Minister is looking for an election, and I'm speaking personally, if he is and I don't think he in this instance, let him call it, because I'm just as ready as he is in his particular seat and let's have at it, but I don't think that's what he's after.
I think, Mr. Speaker, that we called the First Minister's bluff when we asked for a budget. He called ours -- let's face it -- by saying that he'd bring it in. But the unfortunate part of it is, Mr. Speaker and Mr. First Minister, we want to go all the way. We don't want just a budget debate or a budget speech on the budget debate, we want the whole estimates debated and passed. The First Minister says that supposing the motion of supply was defeated the government ... and having made this commitment that we go through estimates and everything else, if the motion of supply was defeated, how could he give an assurance that he wouldn't dissolve the House? Surely, Mr. Speaker, if we, with the by-passing of Rule 23 can go into budget without finishing the Throne Speech, surely some of us could figure out a way of going into Throne Speech and having a debate on it and not having the motion of supply passed until at least we've got estimates passed. All of these things, I'm sure, can be done. We figured out a way how to get by with Rule 23 and certainly with the proper despatch we should be able to figure out some way to consider estimates.
The First Minister says that is a want of confidence motion. For what it's worth, I sat in on the drafting of this particular motion. This is no more a want of confidence motion than I'm walking on sea right now. This is to get a full discussion of estimates and budget. This is not intended for a want of confidence motion; it's meant to be a want of full debate on all budget matters. I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that before we blow our tops in here and again it's not because I'm afraid of an election -- I'm prepared for an election in my constituency -- but before we blow our tops, why can't we stop and figure this particular matter out? There must be
certainly there must be a way to get around this and I agree with someone that said perhaps it's a little bit presumptuous on the part of the First Minister to read for two minutes this and then declare it to be a want of confidence motion. I would suggest having heard some of the charges that have been levelled -- but let's not make this a blue Monday as we recall what happened because of Black Friday, and I'd like to see the same thing happen to you fellows as happened to our colleagues; but over a matter of procedure, and I'm sure that this is just a matter of procedure and it's not a want of confidence, that we should be able to stop and figure something out and get by. What we want to do in a nut-shell is, hear the Throne Speech debated -- hold it up if we have to by some suspension of rules. Let's get at the estimates and let's hear where these things are that you said, when I said the other day about, "how about your development fund?" and you said, "well, we've got something up our sleeve." I want to know what you've got up your sleeve and we all want to know, and I don't mean that in a funny manner. I mean it in a proper sense.
And so I suggest, Mr. Speaker, surely there is some way to solve this problem without going up in the air on this particular matter.
If I may -- the First Minister says, "withdraw your amendment". I haven't consulted with my leader. Again I repeat, if the First Minister will give us assurance, a verbal assurance, that we will -- if he's able -- put that in if you want -- if you are allowed -- to consider and pass estimates, then it's up to my leader to decide what he wants to do but that's it.
MR. SPEAKER: Are you ready for the question?
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, my honourable friend the First Minister spoke on this as a Point of Order so perhaps I could follow his example, also follow the Point of Order. I think that my honourable friend would be making a mistake if he tests this to the extent that he's apparently intending to do because -- well, I want to see the business of the House proceed and I think we have some business that should be proceeded with even in advance of this. I don't blame my honourable friend for moving first to the item of business -- the suspending of Rule 23, because if that could have gone along as smoothly as I thought it would, it would have cleared the arrangements for introducing the budget and everything else could have gone along as well.
But what I would suggest in all seriousness to the Honourable the First Minister is that it would be wise for him to get one of his members to adjourn the debate at this stage and let us move into Committee of Supply to deal with interim estimates. As far as our group is concerned, the full estimates having been laid before us, we are prepared to expedite the passage of the interim and I would think that that is the one -- that is the business of the House that is most necessary now because some of my honourable friends seem to continue to interpret these discussions as holding up the business of the House, while such is not our intention at all. We do not want to either hold up interim supply or to leave it so late that that huge amount of money, because it is a large amount of money, shall be passed with unseemly haste and, therefore, I think that is the item of business that is most necessary now.
I would suggest to the Honourable the First Minister that he ask one of his members to adjourn the debate and we go on to the motion with regard to supply and deal with interim supply because that, I think, is the one that needs to be done. All of these things can be considered in due course. Now I make that suggestion while I'm on my feet and this may not be on the point of order but while I'm speaking, I can say this, that as far as we're concerned, this is not a trick amendment in any way. It's for one purpose only and that was to expedite the business of the House so that the full discussion of the budget could be proceeded with and it has none of the implications that my honourable friend has suggested.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, the suggestion has been made that we should proceed to interim supply. Well we tried that. We tried it on Thursday and we were told at that time by the very gentleman that just gave us the advice now, and I have his words in front of me, that we should not proceed with interim supply until the estimates and the budget had been made. Now we took that piece of advice at that time and that's what we are trying to do today. Now I suggest that if we want to get on with this business, there is a very simple and easy way to do it. Simply withdraw the amendment that is before us now.
We have been charged, Sir, we have been charged as being willing to ride rough-shod over the members. We've been told that we are going to cut off free speech. It has been
implied that as soon as the debate to the budget speech is made, if it ever gets made, that we are going to "pull the rug" as the case may be, without any evidence to that effect. I stated to the House that it was our intention to proceed with the normal order of business if Rule 23 is suspended as I have moved, and I certainly repeat that statement now. But I must come back to my original position that obviously the gentlemen on the other side have no confidence in our good faith -- no confidence that we have any intention of doing this -- no confidence in anything but the fact that they think we're going to "pull the rug" as soon as the budget speech is made. Well if that is the way they feel, then I think they should vote for this amendment and no budget speech will be made and we can take the issue to the people. But I say that if we want to get on with this, follow the advice that has been given to us in respect to interim supply which must be passed today. I might say, then why does not the Leader of the Opposition simply withdraw his amendment? We will certainly give unanimous consent to it on this side and if he does so, we can proceed to have the budget speech; we will then go into interim supply; and we will continue the debate on the budget in the normal way.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Speaker, speaking on the point of order, under ordinary circumstances I would be called out of order, Mr. Speaker, we have been of the opinion all along that we should pass interim supply. The honourable gentleman who has just spoken has been trying to place some onus upon us on this side of the House which does not belong here because we made it clear that we would agree to passing the interim supply on either the old basis or the new. As a matter of fact, that's one of the points that caused some pretty loud talk here the other day. As I recall it, the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition made it clear that the way was open to do it either one way or the other. Now, he preferred a certain course of action; he made that abundantly clear, that he thought it would be better to do it certain way but he did leave the door open, and I certainly did. So far as we are concerned, we do not wish to deny the government interim supply. And I don't know why my honourable friend insists upon his own way in this thing, -- why he should be so stubborn and intransigent. It's a peculiar thing to me that my honourable friend makes all the speeches on the other side -- no one else says anything. There are a lot of new members here and I wouldn't want to say anything that would offend any single one of them, but it seems to me that some other honourable gentlemen should participate in the debate in the House. There are some good debaters in that front bench.
MR. S. JUBA (Logan): Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable gentleman should be called to order. He's made one speech already.
MR. STINSON: We'll make the Honourable Member for Logan the speaker, I think, Mr. Chairman. And everybody else has been making speeches so I thought I'd better put my little bit in too. Surely we have made it abundantly clear that we are prepared to pass interim supply.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion and after a voice vote asked the members to be called in. A standing vote was taken, the result being:
YEAS: Messrs. Bend, Campbell, Clement, Gray, Greenlay, Guttormson, Hawryluk, Hillhouse, Hryhorczuk, Jobin, Lucko, McDonald, Miller, Molgat, Orlikow, Paulley, Peters, Prefontaine, Reid, Roberts, Schreyer, Shoemaker, Shuttleworth, Stinson, Swailes, Tanchak, Teillet, Trapp, Wagner, Wright.
NAYS: Alexander, Boulic, Carroll, Cobb, Corbett, Cowan, Evans, Groves, Jeannotte, Johnson, Juba, Lissaman, Lyon, McKellar, McLean, Martin, Ridley, Roblin, Scarth, Seaborn, Shewman, Stanes, Strickland, Thompson, Williams, Willis. ]
MR. CLERK: Yeas - 30. Nays - 26.
[Mr. Speaker declared the motion carried. ]
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, I presume you will now put the question on the main motion as amended and as such, I suppose I have the right to close the debate on it. I don't intend to make a lengthy speech, merely to say that I recognize that in the vote that has just been taken that the government has lost the confidence of the House and I very much indeed regret that the House did not see fit to accept the statement of the government that it would proceed with this supply debate. [Interjection]
MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order!
MR. ROBLIN: This statement was made -- my honourable friends can jeer and they'll have the next six weeks to tell the public about it, but we did indicate that we would continue
with the debate; what we did indicate was that we would not accept the motion. However, that's all water under the bridge so I now propose, Mr. Speaker, that after you put the question on the main motion that one of my colleagues should adjourn it and we might proceed, perhaps for a few minutes, to one of the private member's motions -- probably the proposed motion of the Honourable Mr. Gray, the Member for Inkster, in respect of old age pensions, in order to continue the business of the House for a few minutes in an orderly fashion.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. CAMPBELL: I would ask the Honourable the Leader of the House why at this stage he would not wish to go into interim supply because obviously it has to be voted anyway and we're just as prepared as we were before to see that it is proceed with, because whether the Honourable the First Minister intends now to bring in the budget speech or whether he does not since we have the estimates before us, that is sufficient for us to facilitate the passage of supply.
MR. ROBLIN: Well, Sir, the honourable gentleman yesterday was asking me for the budget speech before interim supply and in view of what has happened, although I think perhaps I might make the budget speech, I don't think I properly ought to do so because, as has been stated, we regard this a want of confidence and obviously it would be quite wrong of me to bring in the budget speech at this stage in our proceedings because obviously the House will not continue for much longer. So, therefore, I do not think that in fairness to the honourable members opposite that I should bring in the budget speech at all and, therefore, I am refraining from doing that.
Now, as to the question of interim supply is concerned the government has been defeated and usually it doesn't ask for any money from the House after that has taken place. However, in order to carry out the business of the province in an expeditious way, I think perhaps we might go into Committee of Supply with the understanding that I would like to obtain from the House now -- that we will proceed with the supply on the old basis because I feel it would not be right to ask the House to vote interim supply on the new basis having just declared its lack of confidence in the government, and it must further be understood that as it is on the old basis there will not be the usual opportunity to examine the items in detail that there would normally be. Now if that is agreeable to the House I'm willing to proceed, otherwise I'm not because obviously if we're asked to go into detail on the supplementary supply on the basis of a programme which has just been turned down by the Legislature, that obviously makes nonsense -- that obviously doesn't make any sense, Mr. Speaker, and when my honourable friends have had a time to reflect on it a little more I think that they'll agree that that's the case. But if they are willing to vote supply on the basis that they're simply providing for the pay cheques and things of that description during the interim period on the old basis, then we'll bring it in. But I would like to know what the view is.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Speaker, on the point of order, I would want to point out that when my honourable friend says that it's not usual for a government that has been been defeated, and chooses to call this motion -- our amendment -- a defeat of the government simply because he chose to make it so -- actually I question his judgment in that regard and I do not agree with him, but since he has so declared it then he can take that position if he wishes, and his statement is that a government that's been defeated or has lost the confidence of the House does not usually ask for money to carry on with the business.
I would point out to him that though it's a long time since a government was defeated in the Province of Manitoba, the records are still available and I'm sure that supply on that occasion was voted, so that the practice is not as he suggested in this House. The practice is that supply is voted and I would say for our group that we are still of the opinion, as we were before, that interim supply covers those matters that he has mentioned -- salaries for the Civil Servants; cheques for the old age assistance; disabled people; the carrying on of the public service in general; and any work that is in hand, or that should be in hand during the time that it takes to arrange for a new government to take over, must be provided; and I'm sure in the view of this House shall be provided. But it is much better in my opinion and we would stand quite firmly on this, Mr. Speaker, that that should be done by being voted in the House, and let my honourable friend not try to put the construction before the public that we are in any way
asking his government to finance by special warrant. We are not! We are declaring definitely against that procedure, and interim supply should be brought here, and it will be in the -- and MUST be brought here -- and it will be in the authority of the House itself to decide just how much consideration there needs to be given. Obviously it can not be so far as the interim supply is concerned to take effect on the first of April, there can not be any great amount of discussion. Certainly we can not attempt to hold it up unduly, but there will be certain questions that we will still be wanting to ask. But if the government is prepared to act with despatch and give that necessary procedure the right-of-way, then we can still have interim supply voted by the first of April. But I urge my honourable friend to use the authority that he has as leader of the House to see to it that that matter is given precedence at all stages, and to ask the House -- and as far as our group is concerned we give the undertaking in advance that we will be prepared to give over Private Members Day to the consideration of interim supply -- and we'll do everything we can to facilitate its passing, at all times having due regard to the fact that it too is a lot of the taxpayers' money.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Speaker, there's little left to be said on this point. We must have interim supply come before the House and we are prepared to facilitate the passage of these various items as quickly as possible. I don't see any advantage to anyone in having a quarrel about this. Surely we can agree that interim supply should be placed before the House and that it should be passed. There may be some discussion on certain items, but I doubt very much if it would amount to a great deal because it would be a pretty academic sort of discussion I think, and now that this vote has been taken today and the First Minister has declared it to be want of confidence, then the government has been defeated in this Chamber. But there must be some tidying up done so far as the administration is concerned, and we certainly don't want to be held responsible for denying the government the money to carry on the business of the province.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, in view of the statements that have been made, we'll take advantage of the co-operation of the honourable gentlemen opposite to move into Committee of Supply to consider the interim supply that we require. So I will move, Mr. Speaker, seconded by the Honourable the Minister of Agriculture, that the House will resolve itself into a Committee to consider of the interim supply to be granted to Her Majesty.
[Mr. Speaker read the motion, and following a voice vote declared the motion carried. ]
MR. SPEAKER: The House do now resolve itself into a Committee of Supply. Would the Honourable Member for St. Matthews take the Chair?
MR. CHAIRMAN: Resolved that the sum not exceeding $16,723,405, being the amount of the interim supply estimates for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1960 made before the House at the present Session of the Legislature, be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1960.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, I think that even though we are prepared to have this interim supply voted with all despatch, that perhaps it is not in the minds of anyone on this side of the House that we would deal with the 16 million -- odd, practically $17 million, all in one vote. I think at least that we're entitled to consider the various items that are on here, and personally I don't think that we should consider them in the same way that they would be if it was the usual supply bill. But there are several things that I'm sure that a lot of us want to ask. Even though the matters that have transpired in the last few minutes place a quite different complexion on our proceedings from now on, I think that there are things that the government should tell not only the members of the House here, but should tell to the public, because the public of Manitoba are the ones who are mainly concerned -- the taxpayers. And one of the things that -- I think my honourable friend does not intend to deliver a budget speech now, but at least I think he should tell us at this stage the position of the province with regard to the borrowing that has been authorized up to date. And then, I think that he should tell us the exact position of what has happened with regard to the supply -- the capital supply that was authorized a year ago now. Has that money been borrowed? All of it or part of it? Has it all been spent? The public is certainly entitled to know this and this is the place to find it out. Was all the capital supply that was contained in our current estimates of last year -- $9 million or more I think -- between nine and $10 million -- has that been spent for the purpose for which it was intended at that time?
I notice, Mr. Chairman, that the details that were given in the estimates as we prepared
them a year ago were a great deal more more informative so far as the members are concerned than those that are given for this year's capital supply item. I think we should know what happened so far as those were concerned. Then I think we should have a statement from the Honourable the First Minister, because after all, now that the estimates have been placed before the House we simply can't close our eyes to them, and we should have a statement as to how the surplus that the Honourable the First Minister in his capacity as Provincial Treasurer quotes as $3,400,000 -- odd, as to how that arose. Did it arise through the various tax sources yielding more than had been anticipated, or through the expenditures being less than had been budgeted for, or a combination of both? That -- I think is important that we should know those things. Then I think we certainly should know, and I'm touching only some of these that might be called larger items, or high-lights, -- we certainly should know, either in a general statement or when we come to the Public Works estimates, what has happened with regard to the $33 million of capital supply that was voted at the extra Session in the fall. Now all of those things, I think, should be put before us in complete detail so that we know and the public know the situation in that regard.
And then there's some other items, the estimates that were laid before us. Again we simply can't overlook the information that was contained in there. It gives a very substantial amount for increase of Civil Service salaries. I think that even at this stage and even though we are prepared to go through this stage just as quickly as is proper, that even now we should know the details of what has been done with regard to Civil Service salaries. And while perhaps it is not proper to ask just how almost a million dollars were going to be apportioned, yet certainly we could be told what is proposed in general terms with regard to the Civil Service. I think we should have at least the existing Civil Service salary schedule, if there is one. I think we should be told at least what the senior officers are being paid now -- what changes have been made in those salaries. And we should be told the general plans that have either been put into effect already, or which are contemplated with regard to Civil Service salaries.
Now there are a great many other things that I think we should be told about and while I don't suggest to my honourable friend the First Minister that he should make his budget speech at this stage, because certainly the circumstances have altered in the last half hour, but I do definitely suggest to him that some of these major items and high-lights should certainly be covered, either in a general statement at the beginning or by the various ministers when we get to the appropriate item.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Speaker, what my honourable friend is actually advising me to do is to give the budget speech. Because the questions that he has asked are all questions which are normally covered in the budget speech. And I am afraid that we're not going to, because if we do that we'll get into a terrific hassle as we did before about who can say what, and who's cutting off whose free speech, and all that kind of thing, and I think that it would be unwise for us to venture into an area which we have just been very thoroughly warned off. Because there was an opportunity for you to have had all this information in the usual way, and the House did not see fit to accept it. So I don't think that we should embark on a general discussion of the budget in the way that my honourable friend wishes. There is some information which perhaps can be given in answer to his question in a general way, and I have no objection to doing that, but I certainly can't undertake that we will engage in any general discussion of the government's budgetary position, because that simply doesn't belong in this particular debate or in this committee at the present stage, things being what they are.
Just very generally answering some of the main points of my honourable friend, I can say this, that the surplus of which he talks is a result of two things; underexpenditures in some areas, and an increase of revenue in others. And that's the way the surplus has arisen. Generally speaking, we spent just about in total of what we estimated we would, but as the honourable member knows, these things vary from the estimates that are given. I'll say to him in respect to the debt picture -- I can give him the following information: That -- and there is no reason why this can't be given to the House generally, and that is that during the last few days of my honourable friend's administration with respect to debt, the additions to the debt from April 1st, '58 to June 30th was $23 million -- I'll just deal in round terms. The retirements during the same period were $11 million, being a net increase of 12. During the present administration's period of office from July 1st to March 31st of this year, additions to the debt
were $34 million, retirements were $8 million, leaving a net total of $26 million. Now regarding the $34 million that was placed on the books by this administration, the telephone commission required $9,500,000; the Power Commission required $9,500,000; the Hydro-Electric Board required $3,000,000; and $12,000,000 were used for general purposes. Now, I can also give my honourable friend the following information which may be of some use to him, and that is that of the net $25 million or $26 million which this government raised during its term of office, the average interest coupon was 2.13% and the average cost to the province on weighted terms is 3.641%.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman ... the kind of thing that I think we certainly should have the information on, and I don't want to disagree with my honourable friend the First Minister unduly, but surely we face no problems now that we are in Committee of Supply -- we face no problem about charges that information is being with-held or that free speech is being denied. In the exuberance of a debate some people may say that kind of thing. They have good reason to also, but under the capable Chairman that we have here, I'm sure that we'll all keep within due bounds in the conduct of the debate and there's no question about free speech here in the committee because this is the place that we can speak as often as we like. And we can have a very full and useful discussion of all of these items. And so I don't think that the sense in which my honourable friend mentioned that curtailment of free speech applies at all here in the Committee of Supply, and Mr. Chairman will know that so long as we stick reasonably well to our point that we can ask a good many questions, and certainly I'm sure that the ministers will find it to their own interest to reply.
For instance, on this matter of underestimation -- underestimation of some of the supply that was voted last year -- I think we should, and this can be left until Public Works is reached, but I think we should serve notice on the Minister now that we will want to know whether the road programme was carried out in full. I see the Honourable the Minister of Public Works is not paying the attention that the seriousness of this matter requires, but so long as he takes note of the question, I think it's only right that we should know how much of that road programme was completed; how much money was spent in the process; how much of the capital that was included in our current estimates was used; how much of the capital that was borrowed, whether it was all borrowed and how much of it was used; and then in particular, I am interested in the $33 million that was voted at the fall Session, because if that was all used then I'm going to have to stand up here, and I'll be willing to do it, and say that I guessed wrongly on my honourable friend's capability, because I said, that there was no need of voting so much at that time. In my opinion it simply couldn't be spent during the period that we were facing then. I think we simply must know how much of it was spent. And so I put my honourable friend on notice that we will expect a full disclosure with regard to his expenses.
And then I think we should have some more detail about the ones of the revenues that overran what the estimates were, because that's the best way, I think, to judge as to what will happen in the year that we're approaching now. I don't for a moment suggest that my honourable friend the First Minister should make a whole budget speech, but I do suggest that there are a good many questions that we will want to ask as the items are considered.
MR. ROBLIN: Well, I want to assure my honourable friend that I'm certainly not going to make it in bits and pieces. We're here tonight to discuss whether we're going to vote interim supply or not and if he thinks he is going to draw us into a discussion of our estimates or of our budget, having just been turned down by the House, I'm afraid I'll just have to disappoint him because that information is simply something that we're not prepared to discuss at the present time. We attempted to bring in our budget; we'd have been glad to bring in our budget - the estimates are before the House. [Interjection] All right, but we are simply not going to do here what we were refused the right to do in the other place.
A MEMBER: You can't make that one stick.
MR. CAMPBELL: What my honourable friend is saying that because he's in a bit of a sniff, which he gets quite frequently, that he's going to demand -- he's going to demand that this committee pass $17 million worth of estimates almost in one lump. Well, I can tell him that we've got tonight to discuss these estimates, and we've got all day tomorrow -- tonight and all day tomorrow. And I say to him that he and his ministers had better be prepared to give some answers on these matters because the people of this province will not take kindly to a suggestion that we're going to pass $17 million dollars of estimates here without getting any answers from the ministers at all. And if he thinks that he can take that stand in here and get away with it he's making a grave error.
MR. ROBLIN: We don't take that stand at all, Mr. Speaker.
MR. CAMPBELL: That's exactly what you were taking.
MR. ROBLIN: We realize that this Committee may not wish to grant us the money, and it's entirely at their option to do as they wish, but what must be made clear is that our proposals for the coming year have just been rejected by the legislature. Now my honourable friends may nod their heads but that, nevertheless, is the situation, and in that state of affairs this committee is one which is not in a moral position to enter into a discussion of the proposals of the estimates which they just rejected. Now, I think that's clear. We'll answer any reasonable questions that we can. We certainly expect the honourable gentlemen opposite to ask us all kinds of questions -- it wouldn't be running true to form if they didn't. But we've just been denied the opportunity to make the budget speech -- we don't want to make it in here, and as far as our proposals and plans are concerned, they've been rejected. Now that's the fact of the matter and we'll answer any reasonable questions we can but we simply do not feel that we're under any obligation to discuss our plans and policies for the coming period which have just been turned down.
MR. CAMPBELL: The fact of the matter, Mr. Chairman -- the fact of the matter is entirely diametrically, in fact opposite to what my honourable friend has stated. He chose to not make a budget speech. He got afraid. He lost his nerve about the budget speech, and he lost his nerve about discussing it in here; and the best example of it is that he's afraid to do it now. That's the plain, honest fact about what has happened, and when my honourable friend says that the House rejected the opportunity to have this discussed, it did nothing of the kind. He rejected it, and he alone -- nobody else. He rejected it, and he rejected it because he thought this phoney budget of his wouldn't stand the light of day -- that's why. And we can demonstrate that very completely and my honourable friend says that that having happened -- and it happened because of his action - no other, because he lost his nerve on it -- he says that because of that, that they're not going to -- it wouldn't be morally right for them to go into the big programme. We're not going to ask about the programme that is coming in any detail, but we have a perfect right to ask about what's passed, and that's what we're asking about -- what's happened up to date.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I would like to make it clear, that as we proceed, that any question that is asked -- any discussion has to be frankly and definitely related to the item under discussion at that time.
MR. MILLER: Mr. Chairman, everybody knows that hasn't been the custom in this House at all. When estimates are being considered on the Minister's salary for instance, any question at all pertaining to the department has been asked and answered. And, in case the information was refused, that item stood, and nobody asked for more consideration than the present First Minister, as he very well knows.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Chairman, I don't wish to make your job more difficult, but certainly on the first item of each department, there is very -- a great deal of lattitude allowed. And I
don't think that the Honourable, the First Minister should continue in this frame of mind in which he has put himself today, because I think it's only fair that there should be some discussion of these items, and as the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition has said, it does amount to almost $17 million and surely we are under some obligation on this side to discover what we can from our uncommunicative friend across the way, and I don't think that the First Minister is on very solid ground in this at all. Now, it would appear that he insists at every turn upon having his own way -- I think that's a -- not the right way to conduct the business of this House. He can't expect to get much co-operation form this side, if he insists at every turn of the way-- every turn of the road upon his own particular pet ideas. Surely there is lattitude here for discussion -- so far as we are concerned we are prepared to by-pass the private members' resolutions, the majority of which stand in the names of honourable members of this group; tomorrow, if it should be necessary to discuss the interim supply. It's not our idea to hold it up in any way, but surely there should be time for some reasonable discussion on these items.
MR. SWAILES: Now, Mr. Chairman, I just want to reiterate what was said by the Leader of the Opposition, just to get this on the records, that it isn't this side of the House that has prevented discussion on the budget. That is the side of the House that has prevented the discussion.
MR. ROBLIN: No, no. -- No, no.
MR. SWAILES: Yes, Sir!
MR. PAULLEY: Mr. Chairman, I would also like to add a word or two to this because I think that it was quite within the realm of the government to have, first of all, brought in interim supply before the discussion took place on the debate which it concluded, namely, in connection with Rule 23. The First Minister, as recorded in Hansard, knew full well of certain amendments which might have been produced at that time and disclosed his hand in that, but despite that fact, he still chose to follow the method that he, and I believe he alone, decided to take with the net result that we're in the position that we're now in.
Now, the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition, I think has asked a number of very pertinent questions of the ministry, which relate to last year's estimates and supply, which we passed during the special session. I suggest that it is only proper that this House should be given a resume of expenditures, of estimates and capital supply of the year just ending. I think it's very germane to the subject that we have that information. I think it is rather being petulant on the part of the First Minister to stand up, as he apparently did a moment ago, and said that he is not going to give that to us. It certainly sounded that way over here, and I think that the First Minister should reconsider, particularly in regard to the amount of monies which is still left unexpended, if there be such an amount of the capital supply that was granted in the special session of last year.
Now, we have reiterated -- that various members of this particular group from time to time, not only in the debate that has taken place today but in debates of other days, that we would not stand in the way of interim supply, either based on this estimate that we have before us of last year or the new. By his attitude today, the First Minister has adopted an attitude of not having the quarter of the interim supply based on the new estimates for 1959/60. The action and the results of that is the onus for not having that interim supply on that greater amount is on his shoulders -- and his shoulders alone. And I would suggest, that in all deference to the First Minister, that many of the questions and points that were raised by the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition, and my Leader, should be answered by the First Minister. Certainly he does not have to go into a full budget debate, but the situation being what it is in this House, I think we, as members of this House and as representatives of the voters of the Province of Manitoba, are entitled to know the answers to those very simple questions that were proposed by the Leader of the Opposition.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Are you ready to proceed? Legislation Item 1. Assembly - $51,487; Comptroller-General's Office - $69,497; Legislative...
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, additions to the staff in the Comptroller-General's Office, is that correct?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, none of the additions that the government proposed -- now let me say this a little more carefully, none of the additions that the government proposed, generally speaking for the staff as a whole, as a result of our new policies, are being implemented, because they have been held up pending the approval of our budget. It is possible that there may
have been one or two people added to certain places, as sort of a normal growth based on the previous policy in respect to various matters, but we have not gone out and made those personnel and staff changes which are contingent on the passing of our new estimates because, being in a minority position, we did not feel we would be entitled to do so. So that all the people who are on strength at the present time are on the present establishment.
MR. MILLER: Mr. Chairman...additions in the meantime?
MR. ROBLIN: There may have been some, I will look this up as we go along and tell you if I have that information here. [Interjection] Well no, not in the printing, as far as I'm aware it's -- except for the people who are employed in connection with Hansard.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 4 -- Operation of Recording Equipment -- $300.00.
MR. BEND: I think this is a proper item for in which we could discuss Hansard. Now, two or three times I have made remarks about this printing, and I seem to be the only one so far that has found any difference between our Hansard of this Session and the Hansard of the last. There are several questions I want to ask. First, why do we change now to this small print, because certainly it is not nearly as easy to follow nor as easy to read, and is there some particular reason -- is it a matter of economy or why was the decision made to reduce the size of the print? In other words, I would like to hear some remarks on the other side of the House as to whether this is going to be the Hansard now, as to size of print and so on, as compared to what it was before. I would like to know if I could, what it cost for instance for Hansard for the last session and if this is an economy measure, what it would save in the long run?
MR. BOULIC: Mr. Chairman, the Hansard adopted as for this session reduces the cost by a session of about 10 weeks, which it appears we won't have, by about $10,000.00 -- comparing with what we were using last fall.
MR. BEND: A subsequent question, Mr. Chairman, by using this size of print, I understand that it would save in a 10 week session $10,000.00. That would be $1,000.00 a week, is that it? That it would save?
MR. BOULIC: That is correct.
MR. BEND: Then a supplementary question would be this -- what does it cost then with this typer per week, and what was it costing per week when we used the other type?
MR. BOULIC: I will have to get the definite figures on that, for that year -- this evening I can't give you that answer.
MR. BEND: ... the item stand until this evening?
MR. MILLER: Now I would like to ask the First Minister a question. I notice that he -- when he was quoting excerpts form speeches that the Honourable the Leader of the Opposition made, and the Honourable the Leader of the C.C.F. Party, that he was quoting from a different size. I was just wondering if he is supplied with a size -- with a different size to them, the other Members of the House, or whether that's his own private copy?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, my eyesight is even worse than the eyesight of the Honourable Member for Iberville-Rockwood.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, it isn't the honourable gentleman's eyesight that we've ever questioned in here - it's his judgment -- not his eyesight. But I think that if we're giving notice of questions now, I would like to ask the honourable the Minister to -- if he doesn't have the facts now he can bring them before us tonight, as to the numbers of copies that are made of Hansard -- perhaps he has that one at his fingertips, and how many people -- how many subscribers are there apart from the members of the legislature? I realize that we are subscribers in the best possible way -- how many are there outside? I realize also that there will be a - what we might call a guest list, for courtesy distribution, but I would like to know how many are printed; how many are supplied on a courtesy basis, in addition to those to the members of the House; and how many where there are actual subscribers throughout the Province or elsewhere. If the honourable member isn't in a position to answer that -- he'll have to have his office get the information.
MR. GRAY: Mr. Chairman, may I ask a general question? For how many weeks or months will these sixteen and a half million dollars be sufficient if the ... most necessary expenditures?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, the amount is for 90 days.
MR. GRAY: 90 days?
MR. ROBLIN: Yes.
MR. JUBA: Mr. Chairman ... Under Item 1 I just want to ask a question. That is whether or not there is any change in the indemnity paid to the members of this House? Does it stand as in normal years? And if so, why?
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman, I suppose my honourable friend is asking whether, if we should part company in the next day or so, whether we will get our full indemnity paid. Well now, I've had a look at the Statutes in this respect, and it seems to me that we will - the Statute says that $1,350.00, being part expense and part indemnity, may be paid to the members before the House rises, and that when the House rises the balance shall be due and payable, so I presume that that is the rule under which we are working at the moment.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, if the Honourable the First Minister mininterpreted my honourable friend's question, I think, having in mind what has happened at the City Hall and other places, that he was expecting an increase.
MR. JUBA: Mr. Chairman, there's a good chance I would ask for an increase, but I don't think I deserve it here no more than any other members over there, or this side of the House either. We haven't put in ...
MR. CAMPBELL: We don't - you don't.
MR. JUBA: We haven't put in a full session, Mr. Chairman, and I don't think it's right that we should take the full salary or the full indemnity. Yes, I'm speaking -- Mr. Chairman, I think I reserve the privilege, as any other member in this House to voice and express my opinion in this House. (Hear! Hear!) And I'm expressing my honest-to-goodness opinion, and I don't think that we earn the indemnity that we are allowed for a full session.
MR. CLEMENT: Mr. Chairman ... was to count up the sessions he's been here the last three.
MR. JUBA: Mr. Chairman, I might point out in answer to the Honourable Member for Assiniboia, at least I have the courage of my convictions which you haven't got as far as margarine is concerned.
MR. SWAILES: Mr. Chairman, I demand a withdrawal of that statement.
MR. JUBA: Mr. Chairman, I don't see why I should withdraw that statement.
MR. SWAILES: Mr. Chairman, I demand a withdrawal of that statement -- he's questioning my honour, and veracity in this House. I have stated my position clearly on this particular matter and I believe what I say, and I don't think anyone should construe this as being -- as being dishonour on my part and I think it should be withdrawn. It's questioning my character in this House -- it should be withdrawn.
MR. JUBA: Mr. Chairman, the facts of the case still remain the same.
MR. SWAILES: Now, Mr. Chairman, I'm going to demand that that be withdrawn, and I want to get the opinion of the House on it.
MR. JUBA: Mr. Chairman, I withdraw my statement as far as the House is concerned, but you can't stop me from thinking.
MR. SWAILES: Mr. Chairman, that is providing the honourable member does think.
MR. BEND: I think that the honourable member is quite right when he is talking about his indemnity because he makes about one meeting out of three, if he makes that many, so I can see why he might think that he shouldn't get the full indemnity.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item No. 4 ... Passed. No. 3 -- stand.
MR. CAMPBELL: Would Mr. Chairman explain to us why the man who made the suggestion just how it is that indemnities and margarine get -- is there some proposal that we should be favouring margarine this year?
MR. ROBLIN: My honourable friend, I think there may be an election coming on.
MR. CAMPBELL: That would account for it, with some of my friends that I know of.
MR. STINSON: Mr. Chairman, I'm not rising to make a political point. I -- [Interjection] very good question! I'm wondering about the production of Hansard, and in what manner it could be improved. I know it's a very difficult thing to produce and the people in charge of it have been doing a very commendable job. But it strikes me that there should be a little closer proof-reading done, and I'm not quite sure as to what procedure we should follow in that connection. But there are some very obvious mistakes that appear in Hansard, and I think that if we had a little more careful proof-reading done that they would not appear.
I remember one quite humourous one last fall, that wasn't referred to but it was drawn to
my attention by the Honourable Minister of Education. And, I had said in this House that he should get on with the job, and it came out in Hansard that he should get on with the mob, and it was never corrected, but it just comes to my mind as one typographical error that had a touch of humour to it. But seriously, I think that an attempt should be made to do a little more careful proof-reading in connection with it, because some quite obvious mistakes are printed.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 3. Item 4. Department...
MR. BEND: Mr. Speaker, I asked for that item to stand.
MR. CHAIRMAN: You want that to stand. Well, then we'll leave it -- let Item 3 stand, and Executive Council, Item 1 - $8,500.00.
MR. MOLGAT: Before we leave the item of legislation, I noticed that last year in the estimates, there was an appropriation for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association which is not repeated here and I wonder why that is?
MR. ROBLIN: Nobody went last year, and it kind of looks as if nobody's going this year.
MR. JOBIN: That's for sure! [Interjection] That's right, that's right.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 1.
MR. CAMPBELL: Mr. Chairman, members of the House attending conferences, isn't there an annual donation to the work of the Association?
MR. ROBLIN: Yes, Mr. Chairman, that is so, and if we were discussing the estimates for the coming year, I would tell my honourable friend under what item it appears.
MR. CAMPBELL: Is it in there? ... looked them over that carefully.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Item 1. Passed. Item 2. Passed. Item ...
MR. GREENLAY: I take it this is the one on Federal-Provincial Conference - Item 2? Well, Mr. Chairman, we had some discussion with regard to this matter earlier on in the session, and I only rise now to ask the Honourable First Minister if he hasn't been able to locate some of the correspondence, because he made the statement that he was going to take up something which we had not done, and that was the question of raising the stabilization or the floor. Now, Mr. Chairman, I want to tell him that I have in front of me a copy of a letter which was sent by myself to the Honourable Donald Fleming, under date of March the 7th, and in the third paragraph I should like to read it onto the record -- "you and your colleagues would not, we are sure, deliberately reduce in any way, the relative measure of protection available to the provinces under the tax-sharing arrangements. Yet the interim amendments introduced to the Federal-Provincial Tax Sharing Arrangements Act last January, have unfortunately resulted in such a reduction. It is our view that steps should be taken immediately to correct this situation, and we therefore strongly urge that the federal government, at the first opportunity, amend the Federal-Provincial Tax Sharing Arrangements Act to enable the 13-9-50 formula to apply in the determination of the stabilization payments for 1958/59 as well as in the determination of the rental and equalization payments for that year, so that the present inconsistency in the arrangements will be eliminated and the high relative measure of protection formerly enjoyed by the Provinces under the arrangements will be restored to that."
Mr. Chairman, I also have quotations here -- I don't want to rest on them at length, but I have quotations out of a speech which I made in the House last year -- I'm sorry, this is a speech made by the present Leader of the Opposition, and I also have another letter which was a copy of the letter which was addressed to myself under date of March the 14th, in which the Honourable Donald Fleming tells us that the floor on the stabilization basis will not be moved in accordance with the move of the percentage of personal income. I just wanted to bring this to the attention of the House, because we did make our representations and did our best to have that move along with the change in the formula of basic tax rates, but we were unsuccessful.
MR. ROBLIN: Mr. Chairman ... 5:30, may I just reply to my honourable friend? I don't dispute that he wrote those letters, that's not what I was referring to. What I was referring to was the original presentation made by the province at the conference itself at Ottawa, and in perusing those papers, while I saw the request was made for certain increases in the tax rental payments, there did not seem to be any reference to the floor, which afterwards became a matter at issue. And, it's to that matter that I made reference when I spoke. I do not deny the honourable gentleman afterwards did write, and did speak in this House on that topic.
MR. CHAIRMAN: It's 5:30 ...
MR. CAMPBELL: We put no statement in the -- in our presentation to the government at that time because we never thought of them ...
MR. ROBLIN: That's precisely the point.
MR. CAMPBELL: It is precisely the point that we assumed that the government would carry on with the arrangement that had been made.
MR. CHAIRMAN: It's 5:30, I shall leave the Chair.
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