Canada, Senate Debates, “Discussions Between Prime Minister of Canada and Prime Minister of Great Britain”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (10 February 1981)

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Date: 1981-02-10
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, Senate Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1981 at 1624.
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SENATE DEBATES — February 10, 1981

[Page 1624]




Hon. Royce Frith (Deputy Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I have an answer to the question of which Senator Asselin gave notice at the last sitting of the Senate. He gave notice that he wanted an explanation from the Leader of the Government, and I quote:

I want to give the Leader of the Government verbal notice of an important question. So I give him notice now that next week I will ask him to make a formal statement on the contradictory statements made in the other place by the Prime Minister and other ministers regarding discussions with the Prime Minister and other ministers of Great Britain about the admissibility of the resolution of the House of Commons and the Senate on the Constitution.

Honourable senators, the answer about the position of the government is that given in the other place—


Hon. Martial Asselin: On a point of order, last week I gave notice that I was expecting a statement from the Leader of the Government. If a statement is issued, I hope he will send me a copy of it in advance so that I can prepare a reply.


Senator Frith: The answer is that which has been provided; it was the same position as that taken by the Prime Minister, but I can quote from what he said. His statement can be found at page 6822 of the House of Commons Debates for February 3, 1981:

From now on the position I am taking in this House, and I hope my ministers will take the same position, is that the British can speak for themselves. I do not think they need the Tory party in Canada to speak for the British parliament or the British government. As far as we are concerned, we have stated our views. I will not enter into any more cross-questioning about private meetings between our ministers, or between the British Prime Minister and myself.

That is all as far as answers are concerned, Mr. Speaker.

Senator Asselin: I will merely say that this is a biased answer and that I was expecting something different from the government.

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