Mr. H. H. MILLER (South Grey).
I wish to refer to page 6692 of 'Hansard,' April 7. and to call the attention of the House to the following words that occurred in the speech of the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Aylesworth):
There is just one other thing I ought to say in that regard. My hon. friend from South Grey (Mr. Miller) read yesterday a letter I had written to him some two months ago on this subject. I certainly have no objection to his putting the letter on the pages Mr. FRASER.
of ' Hansard ' although I ought to say 1 never expected to see it there, and thought 1 was merely writing to him as one member of the House might write to another what my ideas were with reference to this question.
I shall only occupy probably four minutes of the time of the. House discussing this, and in speaking I am not actuated by any feeling of resentment whatever. I realize that in this matter every man has the right to his own views and I realize quite that those who opposed the Bill had just as good a right to oppose it as I had to vote and work for it. The hon. member for West Northumberland (Mr. McColl), the hon. member for Lincoln (Mr. Lancaster), and the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Sifton) all spoke strongly against the Bill. As far as I am concerned, no feeling of personal friendship will be affected or altered by the action which any man took upon the Bill, nor will I for one moment think of seeking to injure any man politically because he has differed from me in his opinion as to the Bill. While I say that I will not be actuated by any resentment because of any action taken by any other hon. gentleman in what I say; neither will I be restricted in what I say by any party feeling or party affiliation. I do not object to any hon. gentleman differing from me in opinion, but I do like, when I fight a battle, t,o fight it fairly. The Minister of Justice complained that I did a dishonourable thing in making public a letter which it was not intended should be made public. What are the facts? I am sorry that I did not preserve a copy of the letter which I wrote to the Minister of Justice. I presume that he files his correspondence and I think he will have the letter. If he has I would ask him in justice to mvself to produce the letter and read it to the House. I think I stated in the letter that I wrote that a member of the special committee to which the Bill had been referred had requested me to obtain from him his opinion as Minister of Justice as to the jurisdiction of this House in restricting the length of race meetings. At any rate, I remember well that I stated that in conversation to the Minister of Justice. Suppose I did not so speak. I wrote to the Minister of Justice and addressed him as Minister of Justice, and I should also say that the Minister of Justice knew well that I was chairman of the special committee having this matter in hand. Those are the facts and suppose those are the only facts; when I asked the Minister of Justice for his legal opinion, surely the letter I received in reply, not being marked ' personal,' or ' confidential,' was a letter that one might expect to 'use when he was doing what I was, and I would ask, if the opinions of the Minister of Justice, asked for by a member of the
House and given to a member of the House are to be treated as private correspondence, of what value are such opinions? I think I have reason to complain of the reference that the Minister of Justice made in the House. I wish that every statement the Minister of Justice had made to me when I consulted him about this Bill and discussed the Bill with him was, as is this letter, in writing and over his signature. I have a great deal to complain of, I think, as to the treatment of the Minister of Justice in connection with this whole matter. Having discussed.the question with him, as I have discussed it with him and he having made the statements that he did make, and which it would perhaps take too much of the time of the House to discuss, I do say that if I had used the Minister of Justice as he has used me in this matter, I would have thought that I had struck below the belt and that I had not acted either honestly or honourably. That is a plain statement to make, but if the Minister of Justice demands of me. to make the fullest possible detailed explanation of my words I am ready to do so at any time either in this House or outside of it.