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House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was self-government.

Topics

AerospaceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to see that the hon. member is interested in the Canadian Space Agency because it is a very important part of our general science program. We have completed our negotiations with the United States on the space station and later this week I will announce the details not only of the space station but also of the long-term space plan.

AerospaceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, could the minister still tell us whether the reduction in Canada's contribution to this project will have consequences on Canada's ability to conduct experiments in space and what impact this decision will have on scientific progress in Canada in areas such as pharmaceuticals and materials engineering?

AerospaceOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I will be able to provide the member with details respecting some of those concerns later this week.

I assure him that in our preparation of the long term space plan and our negotiations with the United States over Canada's role in the space station we have endeavoured to a very great extent to protect the key interests of Canadian companies in their participation in the space program.

We expect to see the ability of Canada to continue to participate in the space program enhanced by a more general program which emphasizes our important interests in satellite communications, earth observation and remote sensing.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Infrastructure.

Yesterday the minister stated that he would reallocate some of the infrastructure funding to cover the federal share of highway 416. Leeds-Grenville where the construction is to be done is only allocated $4 million under the program.

Will the minister tell the House what areas of the province will find cuts so that he can find the extra $56 million?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, there are some 722 million federal dollars in the province of Ontario for infrastructure which, when we add the provincial and local government shares, means a program of over $2 billion in that province.

There are allocations that are tentatively in the province for different municipalities. There are going to be, however, moneys that will not be taken up in the allocation, and certainly the municipalities are welcome to do that. There will be moneys available for reallocation.

We are committed, if the province brings forward an application for this project, to providing the funds so that we can do this much needed project of highway 416.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, apparently the municipalities are not lining up for this funding under the infrastructure program. There must be something wrong with the program.

Will the government now reverse its decision to add $2 billion to the national debt for a program that is not working?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for that supplementary question because it gives me an opportunity to say that there is in fact very good takeup of the funds. We have now reached the billion dollar mark of the $6 billion program.

We well knew when we entered into this program and with the province of Ontario established September 30 as the deadline for the initial round of applications that not all would be taken up in the initial round. It is a two-year program and we fully expect there will be further allocations. We are committed to providing the funds for 416. The member for Leeds-Grenville in the House has had a lot to do ensuring that much needed project gets going.

TransportOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport and has to do with the request that the Minister of Transport has received from the United Transportation Union concerning the alarming number of derailments that have taken place lately. The minister will have received a letter from the UTU on that matter.

In light of its concern and the concern expressed by a railway carman about changing practices with respect to maintenance and inspection of rolling stock, I wonder if he could tell us what his response will be to this request.

TransportOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member brings a question of great interest to people who work on the railways, people who travel on the railways, people who ship goods on the railways. We have been through an extremely difficult winter.

The incidents that have occurred have been investigated, as the member would know, under the legislative and statutory requirements. We expect to respond to it. Both railways have indicated their very deep concerns about the number of incidents that did occur.

I will make sure, in response to the member's request as well as representations made by the unions and others, that we look very carefully at the matter because it is of very serious importance to anyone who understands what has taken place through this very rigorous winter.

TransportOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

It seems we are going to have a rather full afternoon. I have two questions of privilege which I will hear now.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

June 1st, 1994 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege.

It is obvious that a first draft of a report to the finance committee was leaked to the media. This leaking of a report which had not been considered as of that moment by the committee is a contempt toward the members of that committee who have worked so hard for four months, holding over 60 sessions, hearing witnesses and deliberating.

This is a contempt to Parliament because if documents of this nature cannot be respected, our Parliament cannot function in a fair and equitable way for all members. I would ask that whatever possible be done to get rid of this deliberate leaking of documents in contempt of committees and in contempt of Parliament.

PrivilegeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Before going any further into the question of privilege that the hon. member raises, perhaps it would be more in keeping with the practice that we have had so far if the finance committee were to look into the matter and report to the House itself.

This ruling was made earlier by Speaker Jerome, and if the hon. member would take that under advisement the Chair will continue discussions with the hon. member.

I have a second question of privilege.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, during Question Period, the Minister of Finance, who is normally a gentleman concerned about fair play, hinted, probably unintentionally, that I was the person who leaked the report on the GST. This accusation is without foundation and I would ask that it be withdrawn.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the hon. member, who is the finance critic for the Bloc Quebecois, is an honourable person and I respect him. When he says that he did not leak this report, I believe him and, therefore, I withdraw my remarks.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order of which I have given notice to you and to the parties in the House.

It has to do with the fact that we in the New Democratic Party have not been recognized as a party in the House since the beginning of this Parliament. In doing so I am fully aware that certain decisions relating to our current lack of party status were taken before you were elected as Speaker.

I am therefore making these arguments with no intention whatsoever of pointing a finger at the Chair or at anyone else for that matter. The fact that we have been seated in the House as if we were independent members is a good example of what I mean. The seating plan took shape before you were elected as our Speaker, but it is only the most concrete symbol of the whole situation that I want to call into question today.

I have not raised this earlier because I thought it was appropriate for the House to become acquainted with itself after the unprecedented upheaval of the last election. This place operates not only on the basis of written rules but also on the authority of a large body of conventions which come from parliamentary practice. I thought it best to wait until the many new members had an opportunity to become familiar with the importance of conventions in the makeup of our day to day parliamentary constitution.

However, with respect to the issue I wish to raise today, the real conventions of this place and the conventional wisdom are not always the same. The recent conventional wisdom has been that the 12-member threshold for party status is a hard and fast rule understood in an unambiguous way by all concerned.

My point today is that the question of party status has in fact been governed by unwritten convention and practice and that the only thing that is hard and fast is the question of which parties qualify for certain moneys. I begin by making it absolutely clear that what I am seeking is not a change in those sections of the Parliament of Canada Act which pertain to money, but a recognition that that statute applies only to money and that all else is a matter of convention, practice and the discretion of the Speaker as the Chair seeks to fulfil its historic role as the protector of the House itself and the minorities therein.

There are no unambiguous definitions of parties in legislation, in the standing orders or in the procedural authorities, and yet parties are essential to the efficient operation of the House. Their officers, leaders, House leaders and whips try to facilitate what all of us do here as we discharge our public responsibilities.

Parties present themselves to the House as parties and are not created or disposed of by the House itself. Our membership in our respective parties is a matter between ourselves, our fellow caucus colleagues, our extraparliamentary organizations and ultimately our electors. We can leave our parties or be asked to leave our parties. We can create new parties, merge two parties into one, as did the Progressives and the Conservatives, or change the name of our parties as we in the New Democratic Party did.

The tradition of this place has been for the Speaker to accept the party affiliation that the parties and the members report to him or her. Yet since the beginning of this Parliament the Chair has not accepted the party affiliation that we in the New Democratic Party clearly possess.

The only possible precedent for this is the way in which the Bloc Quebecois was treated in the last Parliament. All other precedents, including the way the one Reform member was treated prior to the formation of the Bloc, points to the injustice and inappropriateness of the way the NDP is now being treated.

I would ask members to listen to my argument before they judge it. The authority for not treating us as a party has apparently been the Parliament of Canada Act which since 1963 has set out a threshold of 12 members for parties whose officers are granted special allowances and subsequently for parties whose members may sit on the Board of Internal Economy.

My point today is first to show that the wording of the Parliament of Canada Act does not empower or require the Chair to withhold recognition from parties with fewer than 12 members in spite of the conventional wisdom. Second, I am asking the Chair to follow the established practice of recognizing such parties in the House.

Let us then look at the wording in the Parliament of Canada Act. The words in section 62 read that the officers of "a party that has a recognized membership of 12 or more persons in the House" shall receive a variety of allowances. It does not say that a party must have 12 members to be a recognized party and clearly assumes that parties with fewer than 12 members are indeed parties.

In section 50 caucuses that do "not have a recognized membership of 12" are not entitled to have representatives on the Board of Internal Economy but are clearly to be construed as still being caucuses.

These clauses are worded in such a way that the question of other forms of recognition is at worst left open. At best the wording of the statute seems to imply that party as a concept is something independent of numbers and that 12 is the number of seats an already recognized party must have in order to qualify for money but not for recognition as such. Recognition of parties with fewer than 12 members is already implicit in the wording of the statute itself. If the Parliament of Canada Act says anything about official party status then it confirms rather than denies

that party status itself is distinct from the financial provisions of the act.

There being no clear and precise legal definition of party status, we may ask how the financial provisions of the Parliament of Canada Act came to be confused with the acceptance of party status in the House.

Shortly after the passage of the 12-member threshold amendments in 1963, the Ralliement Créditiste divided themselves from the Social Credit Party which was left with only 11 members. In the ensuing debates about the new seating arrangements, the new 12-member threshold was loosely applied to questions of parliamentary practice as the House sought to deal with the fact that two parties had been created out of one, a situation quite unlike the one in which the NDP now finds itself.

Indeed, in the last Parliament the 12-member threshold was also used to deal with the formation of the Bloc out of defectors from the Liberal and Conservative parties, another situation totally different from that of the NDP in this Parliament.

John C. Courtney, a political scientist who published a paper on party recognition in March 1978 in a volume of the Canadian Journal of Political Science , explained the development of the misreading of the 12-member threshold very effectively:

Technically the 12-member threshold in the 1963 act and parliamentary procedure had nothing to do with one another, yet the timing of the events was virtually certain to produce a combination that would lead to the injection of the phrase "recognized membership of 12 or more persons in the House of Commons" into future debates over regulations and statutes dealing with political parties. The term, indeed more specifically the number, would gradually assume an authenticity of its own.

The view that the 12-member threshold constitutes a hard and fast rule in law about party status in this House is in fact an illusion. However, in an illustration of the old maximum that hard cases make bad law, misapplications designed to deal with divided and/or new parties are now side swiping the NDP in the absence of an appropriate will to discern the difference between some previous situations and the situation we find ourselves in at the moment.

A more reliable legislative authority for determining party status can be found in the Canada Elections Act. In sections 24 through 42 of that act, it is clear that parties lose party status not when they fall below the 12-member threshold but only when they fail to file certain documents or when they fail to officially nominate candidates in at least 50 constituencies 30 days before polling day.

Even though there is no question that the New Democratic Party is now a registered party under that act, in the House we are treated as if we were independents, no differently than some other members who do not belong to a party registered under the Canada Elections Act.

To this point, informal arguments against the way we are being treated are often met with the argument that real independents could make a similar claim, that it is a primarily a question of degree and that a line has to be drawn somewhere. If the Canada Elections Act were taken into account this argument would hold even less water than it does now if that were possible.

There is therefore no legal authority, either in the Parliament of Canada Act-

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I have given the hon. member a great deal of latitude in putting forth his point of order and, if I might comment, it is very well researched. I was wondering perhaps if the hon. member could now move to summarize on this particular point of order.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would hope you and the House would realize that this argument takes some time to make. I will move as quickly as I can to the conclusion of my argument. However it is not something that we do every day here and I would like my argument to be heard, if that is possible. I will try to move as quickly as I can.

There is no legal authority, either in the Parliament of Canada Act or in the Canada Elections Act, for withholding recognition from us.

Past Speakers have not, moreover, applied the 12-member threshold to questions of party recognition. I would now like to direct your attention, Mr. Speaker, to a number of the relevant precedents which is perfectly in order with what a good point of order should be like, arguing from precedent.

The first and most relevant precedent is the party status accorded to the CCF after the 1958 election. Electing eight members to the House the CCF was then in a very similar position to that of the NDP in this Parliament.

In 1958 the CCF continued to enjoy its full rights as an opposition party. CCF members were seated as a party in the House and were treated as a party in debate and during Question Period. The party leader was treated as a party leader in debate on the speech from the throne, being recognized immediately after Mr. Pearson and Mr. Diefenbaker. CCF members also sat as full members on committees.

After the 1963 introduction of the 12-member threshold, Speakers regularly interpreted the act as one that granted certain financial benefits to parties with more than 12 members. However that did not take away any other rights of parties that had fewer than 12 members.

On February 18, 1966 for instance, Speaker Lamoureux allowed representatives of the Social Credit Party and the Ralliement Créditiste to respond to ministerial statements under what is now Standing Order 33(1), even though they had only five and nine members respectively. He argued that he did not see how the standing order concerning the right of opposition parties to respond to ministers' statements could be "interpreted in light of the amendment to the Parliament of Canada Act", Hansard , February 18, 1966, page 1435.

The force of the tradition of protecting the rights and status of small parties can be seen again in the treatment of the Social Credit Party after the 1974 election. With only 11 members the Social Credit Party once again fell below the legal threshold of 12 members required in order to receive financial benefits. The Board of Internal Economy nonetheless granted the Social Credit Party $50,000 for research purposes at its meeting of October 22, 1974, a meeting attended by the present Prime Minister and by Mr. Mitchell Sharp.

I am raising this point not to ask for similar financial benefits, but to illustrate how previous Parliaments have protected the rights of small parties so assiduously that they sometimes have ignored the 12-member threshold on financial matters.

In 1979 in a Parliament in which I myself participated the Social Credit Party sent only five members to the House. A striking committee did not include a member from the Social Credit Party although they did sit in the front row of the House, right down in that corner.

There was a motion by the Social Credit member that his party should have a representative on the striking committee. In the ensuing debate on October 9, 1979, it was made clear by the Conservative government and Liberal opposition that what was at stake was not only the particular issue of the membership of the striking committee but also the party status of the Social Credit caucus.

When the Social Credit motion failed, Speaker Jerome at first decided that the motion obliged him not to grant the Social Credit members party status. On October 10 he did not recognize their leader in the debate on the speech from the throne. His ruling can be found on page 69 of Hansard for October 11, 1979.

The next month Mr. Speaker, your predecessor, Speaker Jerome, revised his position and took into account the important responsibility of the Chair to protect minorities in the House. In debate on an opposition no confidence motion on November 6, 1979, Speaker Jerome recognized the leader of the Social Credit in debate immediately after the other opposition party leaders. He gave an eloquent justification for his decision from which I would like to quote. It is an important piece of evidence because it qualifies the original ruling of October 11 published in the edition of Speaker Jerome's rulings.

I quote: "We ought to be clear at the outset that it is not a transgression of propriety to mention the name of the political party of the members who are involved; it is the Social Credit Party of Canada. Its members are members of this House of Commons and their leader is the hon. member for Beauce. Those are the realities. The vote"-on the striking committee motion-"under no circumstances, may I say, can be taken to pass out of existence a political party, nor can it be taken to render as independent members the group which has been recognized as a party and which has in fact been seated together as a political party. The Social Credit Party exists as a political party and the five members exist as members of that party under their leader".

He went on to say that even though the House had expressed itself on the question of the membership of the striking committee, he had certain responsibilities as Speaker.

Again, I quote Speaker Jerome: "It seems to me that the responsibility of the Chair and the responsibility of the House of Commons is to protect whatever rights minorities do enjoy and therefore it seems to me that I must conclude what it is that the members of the Social Credit Party are entitled to-.I think that what those members are entitled to respects the fact that they are members of a political party so long as it does not give them an advantage that they would not otherwise enjoy as five members and secondly so long as it does not deprive other members of their right to participate in some way". Hansard , November 6, 1979, pages 1008-9.

This is the approach to the question of party status I am asking you to take toward myself and my colleagues in the New Democratic Party in the House. We are asking you to recognize us as a party in the House just as previous Speakers have recognized small parties in the past.

One result of previous Speakers' recognition of small parties can be seen in the seating plans of past Parliaments. I would like to table some of these past seating plans for your consideration. I submit these for your consideration because they show that parties with fewer than 12 members have indeed been designated as parties and seated as parties with representation on the front benches.

I draw your attention in particular to the seating plan dated April 1989 where even only one member, the member for Beaver River, was designated as a member of the Reform Party. As I mentioned earlier however, this designation of the member for Beaver River disappeared with the advent of the Bloc and the decision not to treat it as a party. Currently the nine NDP

members in the House are afforded no such appropriate nomenclature in the seating plan of this Parliament.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member will recognize that he has had every latitude. I have had indications that other members will want to participate in this point of order. I would ask the hon. member to wrap up now.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I will wrap up. However, if I might be so bold as to say on my point of order, if I am being irrelevant or I am not speaking to the point, but I believe that I am-

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. The Chair in no way indicates that the point of order is irrelevant. The Chair has heard a great many of the very relevant arguments the hon. member has put forward. The Chair at this point would ask again respectfully, that the hon. member come to a conclusion. Then we can have other views on this point of order.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I will indeed come to a conclusion.

The weight of almost all the evidence in both law and convention therefore comes down in support of our claim to be recognized in this House as the party that we clearly are. The only precedent that breaks the pattern is the treatment of the Bloc in the last Parliament.

At this point I do not wish to open the question of whether a party that forms between elections as a result of defections from existing parties should enjoy the same status as a party of members who sought election under their party banner. I do not want to enter into that debate.

What I do want to argue is that your ruling on party status should be based on a clear reading of the law and on the overwhelming number of precedents in support of our claim to party status, not on a single problematic precedent that itself broke with all precedent.

I will say what we are asking for so that you are absolutely clear of what I am on my feet about.

We ask first that the seating arrangements be adjusted to seat us as a party with proper precedence given to our leader as a leader and as a Privy Councillor, and that the published seating plan identify us as New Democrats, as is already the case in Hansard .

We ask that we be treated as an opposition party during question period where at present we are recognized only very rarely, systematically denied supplementaries and always relegated to the last question.

I would point out that in the last Parliament the leader of the Bloc was regularly recognized at about two-thirds of the way through question period. I direct your attention to Hansard of 1993 for February 11 and 25, March 9 and 24 and May 4. Therefore, it is clear that the leader of the New Democratic Party has been treated in an unprecedented manner and that due consideration should be given to changing the way our leader has been treated since the opening of this Parliament.

My final point, for guidance on this matter let us return to Mr. Jerome's ruling of November 6, 1979. He said regarding the rights of small parties: "Participation in question period is their right, the same as any group of five members. It is not difficult to calculate mathematically what five members are entitled to as a proportion of the membership of the other parties". Hansard , page 1009.

If we apply Mr. Jerome's arithmetic to the situation in this Parliament, NDP members comprise 8 per cent of the opposition members and are therefore entitled to roughly 8 per cent of the opposition questions. By my calculations in a typical week there are some 125 questions and supplementaries posed by opposition members of which we should be entitled to 10. In practice you typically recognize us for only two questions per week. Occasionally you have not recognized us at all, as in the week beginning April 11 and only once have you recognized us for as many as four questions.

We therefore ask that we get the number of questions due to a party of nine members, that our leader be recognized after the leader of the Reform Party, that we be allowed supplementaries, and that we not always be relegated to the last question.

Finally, we ask that in general we be treated as a party under the Standing Orders and that you work with our caucus officers in the customary ways to facilitate the operations of the House. My party colleagues and I are asking only that we not be discriminated against simply because we did not meet an arbitrary threshold of dubious relevance that has not even customarily been applied by previous Speakers to procedures in the House, against which there is ample parliamentary precedent for alternative approaches.

We have every confidence that you will see the merit in our case and we look forward to the results of your review of this question. We are not asking you to rule on this in a hurry, Mr. Speaker. However we certainly hope that by the time Parliament resumes its business in the fall after the summer recess that some changes will have been made along the lines which I have suggested in this point of order.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The point of order is indeed a very important one. That is one of the reasons the Chair gave every latitude to hear all of the arguments.

Are there other interventions? The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I was impressed with the very able argument of the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona on this important point.

I was also amazed because my recollection is that during the last election campaign, one of the pitches the New Democratic Party put to the Canadian public was that they should vote NDP in order that they could have 12 seats in Parliament and therefore be recognized as a party, because if they did not get those votes and did not get those seats then somehow Canada was going to suffer terribly.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

It is.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

It is not. The hon. member says it is but of course it is not. It is doing better than it was. I think that is in large measure because there are fewer New Democrats in the House, but I do not want to get into that. It is irrelevant to the issue.

The fact is there are fewer members of the New Democratic Party here today. The hon. member has raised a point about the representation of the party in the House. Some of those points, Mr. Speaker, are ones you will want to consider when you review the arguments put forward by the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona.

Many of the rulings he has mentioned are accurate citations. However, I think he has ignored, perhaps deliberately, some of the rulings of Mr. Speaker Fraser on this issue in the last eight or nine years. They have significantly altered the thinking in respect of the application of the Parliament of Canada Act to the Standing Orders of the House.

I refer Your Honour to the decisions of the Speakers under Standing Order 33, which as Your Honour recalls allows for ministers to make statements in the House on Statements by Ministers and for the opposition parties to respond to them. The question of who constitutes an opposition party for the purposes of Standing Order 33 has led to the use of the Parliament of Canada Act as the criteria for making that decision.

I note that when this very argument took place in the last Parliament the New Democratic Party fully supported the position taken at that time by the government, by the opposition and by the New Democratic Party as the third party. The position was that one required 12 seats in the House in order to have the right to make a reply to a statement under Statements by Ministers. That effectively excluded the Bloc Quebecois at that time from participating under Standing Order 33.

I would feel much more sympathetic toward the position of the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona had he and his colleagues taken a different position in the last Parliament, but of course they did not. They may have been wrong at the time; we all might have been wrong. I invite Your Honour in considering the matter to review the authorities at that time.

I also think it fair to bear in mind in looking at this that the hon. member says he is not asking for money. He is not asking that the Parliament of Canada Act's financial provisions be applied to his party. I agree with him.

I recall when his colleague, the hon. member for Kamloops, shortly after the election said he was going to put a pitch for money in the House there was a howl of outrage from the Canadian populace. The hon. member for Sherbrooke made the same kind of suggestion, that he should have money for his party and the outrage in the Canadian public was palpable. I received many letters on the subject expressing extreme disagreement with the thought of giving money to these other parties when they had been properly thrashed by the electorate for the poor service they had rendered Canadians in the previous Parliament.

I sympathize with Canadians in their judgment. I agreed with Canadians in their judgment and I, for one, was not prepared to give that additional money. Therefore I am pleased that he has not done that today.

On the other hand, he has raised some points that the Chair ought to consider. They are ones, considering the equities of the situation, that ought to be reviewed very carefully. I invite the Chair to take into consideration everything that the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona said and render a decision to the House that will be fair and equitable as between all the members, based on his submission.