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Official Languages - Inquiry whether Commissioner's Report will be Referred to Joint Committee - Commons Debates


Mr. Serge Joyal (Hochelaga-Maisonneuve): Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the right hon. Prime Minister. Considering that when the Prime Minister was sitting on this side of the House he expressed several times his intention and agreement to refer the report of the Commissioner of Official Languages to a joint committee of the Senate and the House, and considering that that commitment has been renewed in the Speech from the Throne delivered last October 9 by the Governor General of Canada, is the Prime Minister prepared to refer immediately to a joint committee of the Senate and the House the report tabled by the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada in March, 1979, and not wait for the tabling of the next report which will be presented to the House in March, 1980?

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Prime Minister): Mr. Speaker, I share the hon. member's interest in the discussion of Mr. Yalden's report by a parliamentary committee. I would be prepared to agree to a referral of the last report for consideration by such a committee without waiting for the presentation of the next report.

Mr. Joyal: Mr. Speaker, I should like to put a supplementary question. Could the Prime Minister say whether he intends to refer that report to a committee of the House or whether it will be sent to a joint committee made up of representatives of both Houses?

Mr. Clark: Mr. Speaker, we intend to set up a committee of this House, but I would be willing to consult the hon. member, and other members, and if there is a consensus to set up a joint committee made up of members of the House of Commons and of the Senate, it would be acceptable to the Government.