April 27, 1911


Charles Joseph Doherty

Conservative (1867-1942)


The 12th December, 1910. Mr. Lanctot is asked:

Q. I do not understand this account, Mr. Lanctot; this account is from the Mount Royal Color and Varnish Company, Limited, of Montreal, to the Department of Marine?- A. This is the account that was sent to the Department of Marine and Fisheries to replace the materials I had got from the Department of Marine and Fisheries. I will explain how it was done: After having sent my cheque to Mr. Papineau on the 22nd of November, 1910-which was Tuesday or Wednesday, I believe-the following Saturday, I think, I came from Ottawa to Sorel. I saw Mr. Papineau at the Department of Marine who told me:

That is a little remarkable. He does not go to Mr. Papineau to get his bill but he saw Mr. Papineau, and the latter said to him.

-'You have an account for paints; you had some paint; you had some material from Mr. Jean-Baptiste Page. Here is his account.'

Q. He had the account?-A. Yes, he had the account. He told me: 'You want to return these goods, do you not?'

That is not an offer to return them.

-' I said: ' Yes, as it was understood with Mr. Page.'

Q. At what date did this take place?-A. I could not say exactly at what date. I know it was a Saturday, at all events.

Q. How many days had elapsed from the time you had sent your cheque to the time you had this interview with Mr. Pagd?-A. I do not know. It was the following Saturday or the Saturday after or the fortnight after

That was either the first Saturday or a fortnight after he had the interview with Mr. Papineau.

-I coud not say exactly. It was not very

long after anyway.

Q. Then it was the following Saturday, or the Saturday a week following?-A. I suppose so. Perhaps I saw him on the street; I do

not remember. Mr. Papineau told me: 'I will send Mr. Page's account. I will give a requisition to get the same quantity and the same quality of material from the factory to correspond with the material you got from the shop.'

Q. I repeat my question. Did you receive an account from Jean-Baptiste Page for the paint that was furnished to you?-A. I tell you it was sent to Mr. Papineau. I do not remember having seen it. ,

Q. Will you, if you please, answer directly to my question and say if Mr. Page furnished you with an account?-A. I do not remember. At all events if I got an account from Mr. Page, I took it to Mr. Papineau. Mr. Papineau sent a requisition for the same quantity and the same quality to the same factory and the goods were shipped to Sorel and I paid the freight for the carriage of the goods from Montreal to Sorel. . .

Q. Will you explain, Mr. Lanctot, how it is that on the 22nd of November, 1910, you had settled, according to your statement, with the Department of Marine and Fisheries for the sum of $375, amount of your cheque for the work done by the men at your house and you did not settle on the same day for the material and paint furnished?-A. It is because I was not to pay for the material. I had borrowed it and 1 was to return it. . [DOT]

Then below:

Mr. Papineau paid the factory and I reimbursed Mr. Papineau.

So that, unmistakably, he had not paid Mr Papineau on the 6th December. Thus, I say whether this understanding with Mr. Papineau was or was not before the 6th December, it is clear that he had not paid for the material before the declarations were made, and clear that he was not to pay for the material at all but was to return it. I think the letter does say that he was to return it. The testimony of Mr. Papineau shows that there was quite a long delay, shows that it was in December. This is what Mr. Papineau says at page 109: He is asked about the painting of

the house:

When did you see Mr. Lanctot in connection with this account, Exhibit No. 20?

That is for painting.

A. Well, I saw him-at the time of receiving the letter. I expected to see him within a few days and then I acknowledged the receipt.

So that on December 2, when Mr. Papineau acknowledged the receipt, he had not yet seen Mr. Lanctot.

When I saw he was not turning up in Sorel I acknowledged the receipt of the letter,

I hope the hon. member is satisfied that he had no arrangement previous to the 2nd of December.

-and a few days afterwards I had occasion to see him in Sorel and I mentioned the account.

That is the second, the day on which Mr. Papineau wrote, and he had not yet any

pretense of a settlement. Four days after that, on the 6th, Mr. Lanctot was in Ottawa. He can hardly on the interval have made a settlement, And even if he had, was it right that he should say he had made a settlement long before the 30th of November? It is inconceivable he should have done that if he were trying to tell the truth.

-'which account, the account Mr. Champagne had given you?-A. The account for material. I told him I thought the best plan would he to have the same quantities of material returned to the department. He was quite willing that I have that done for him.

Q. That was the last communication you had with him on that subject?-A. I do not recall a'ny other.

Q. Well, in writing you, for instance, inclosing the cheque to pay for the mens' time did not he also tell you there would be an account for material, for paints? Did he say anything about that?

A. I do not think he said anything, but I knew it about the same time.

Q. Then you knew it from Mr. Champagne? Well then he agreed to return the materials to the department?-A. Yes.

Q. Well, how were the materials got?-A, About the same time

That is, about the time the settlement was made-about the 12th December, I put it at:

-about that time there was the manager of the Mount Royal Paint and Varnish Company-

Q. Mr. Lamontagne?-A. Mr. Lamontagne- happened to be in Sorel and as he was one of the men supplying material for the department at one time and another, I gave him a list of what we required; you see the list was according to that memoranda.

Q. The memoranda of Mr. Champagne? Exhibit No. 20?-A. Yes. Mr. Page, so that Mr. Lamontagne agreed to send the goods to the department, and I gave him my personal cheque.

Q. Have you any cheque with you, Mr. Papineau?-A. Yes. Then at the next

Q. Will you exhibit your cheque?-A. Yes.

And the -cheque is dated 12th of December, and the goods were charged on the 12th, and delivered, I think, on the 13th. So, I think I was making no mistake in saying that not only was there no payment but there was no settlement with Mr. Papineau when Mr. Lanctot wrote that letter. In the second place, the minister himself says that he would not have undertaken to say a word to Mr. Blondin, if that hon. gentleman had gone to him, about the lawfulness or unlawfulness of what had happened, what he would have told him was that the goods had been paid for. Well, of course, if that settled- matters we would not be here this evening. But the whole point is that we do not settle an unlawful appropriation of goods by paying for them. This is what the minister says on the subject, I quote from the portion of his evid-Mr. DOHERTY

ence which hears on Mr. Blondin's conduct. The minister (Mr. Brodeur), is being examined by Mr. Laflamme:

Q. Well now, just one question: from the 22nd of November up to the 6th of March, did Mr. Blondin ever inquire from you directly or indirectly, verbally or in writing, personally or through outside parties, whether or not the labour had been paid as well as the material ?

Question objected to, but the Chairman allows the question.

Hon. Mr. -Brodeur.-No, he did not.

By the Chairman-

Q. Could he have ascertained by inquiry from you that Mr. Lanctot had paid for the labour -that was done on his house and also had returned to the department -the material which had been supplied to him for that purpose?-A. Yes, Mr. Blondin, being a member of parliament, and making an inquiry of that kind, I would be very glad, of course, to have given him -the information which I bad in my department concerning the matter.

By Mr. Laflamme-

Q. That is to say, you bad on the 6th of March all the information required to inform the House generally

We know the minister did not inform the House generally:

-as well as Mr. Blondin, that the material had not been fraudulently appropriated, robbed or stolen?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. But had been borrowed?-A. Immediately after I got that information, as I told you, I inquired from Mr. Lanctot, and later on from Mr. Papineau, and I was informed that the labour had been reimbursed, had been paid by Mr. Lanctot and that the material had been given back.

Now, if there is -anything in that to satisfy one that the labour and material had been lawfully got, then Mt. Blond-in -should have withdrawn his charges. But to say material illegally got had been paid for or returned, leaves the charge exactly where it was.

By Mr. McDougall-

Q. As I understand, that would be a matter of opinion. You considered at that time the matter to be lawful and others may have considered it unlawful?-A. 1 do not speak of the lawfulness of the matter. -I speak of the information which I had been given.

Q. The information which yon had?-A. Yes.

Q. And the information -which you had consisted of letters of Mr. Lanctot saying that the matter -was all right, that he had borrowed the goods and -had paid for them?-A. Yes. He told me .that it -was true that some men had worked on his house

This also is important as showing -that Mr. Lanctot-different from the impression of the hon. member for Welland-knew that these men were on the pay-lists.

-and were retained on the pay-list, but that he had had reimbursed the money.

Q. And from that you drew an inference?- A. I must say, however, if I remember aright, in all justice to Mr. Lanctot, that he did not think those men were to be put on the list.

Q. And from that you drew the inference that everything was all right. As minister, you were prepared to impart the information to iMr. Blondin or to anybody else that everything was all right?

And here again the minister was guarded.

-A. Without passing judgment on the irregularity of the proceeding, I would have ready to give any member of parliament all the information I had because I thought it was for the benefit of all concerned.

I think that is all that bears on the statement that Mr. Blondin could have got the information if he had asked- for it.

So, the hon. member for Champlain (Mr. Blondin), has been censured by this majority report in this respect, because he did not go to the minister by whom he would have been told that Mr. Lanctot had paid for the work on the 22nd of November, and had returned- the goods some time after. Now, if it were not that sufficient weight, is attached to the fact to build on it -this condemnation of the hon, member for Champlain, I would not refer to it, but it is a signifl-cant fact-which might have influenced the judgment of the hon. member for Champlain as much as the statement -of the minister, which no doubt was perfectly true according to the information he had received

that what the hon. member for Champlain would have learned is that the sending of this cheque with great promptitude on the 22nd of November, the bill being made on the 21st, was singularly coincident with the fact that the minister, on the 22nd of November had sent instructions to Sorel to institute further investigation into the Marine and Fisheries Department. Now, was that a circumstance that would have added, in the mind of the hon. member for Champlain, any very great weight as bearing upon the manner in which these goods were obtained, to the fact that payment had been paid on that very -specific date? All these circumstances would still have remained, that all this thing had been carried- -on in secret without the knowledge oi Mr. Papineau, that there did not exist in any book of the government at any period one single charge to show that Mr. Lanctot had ev-er got anything from the department, that from the beginning to end this thing had been kept concealed- until this date, the 22n-d of November, coincident with the day on which the Minister of Marine sent instructions to Sorel for further investigation.

I am speaking now only from the point of view of the question whether the hon. member for Champlain had reasonable 251

.cause for going ahead. He might well (have thought that there was not much weight to be attached to the fact that payment was made just when the investigation was being started, for work and goods the disposal whereof had been withheld from everybody representing the department up to the 22nd of November. Might he not well have thought, that does not mean much, this payment made just when is coming the time when the people will find out what has been done. You have to look at the position of the member for Champlain, and the reasons he had for forming his opinion on that matter. What would he have had reason to believe had he gone to the minister and got that information? He would simply have got the information that after the thing was all done, when the cat was just coming out of the bag, a payment had been made.

It does seem to me an extraordinary thing that a committee whose standard was so low that it could see no harm in what the member for Richelieu had admittedly done, should suddenly take so lofty a position when it came to be a question -of the degree of prudence which the member for Champlain should have exercised in making these charges If it were not for the eloquent protests of the Minister of Justice, one would have been tempted to think-of course my thinking so might have been attributed to partisanship-but one would have been tempted to think that there had been perhaps a slight grain of partisanship in the balance that he was holding as between these two gentlemen. I must apologize to the House for detaining it so long on this case. I have spoken to this length because I thought it was my duty to do what I could to clearly convey my view of what is the proper conclusion to be reached on this matter, and thus to show at least that I realize how deeply the public interest is involved in parliament coming to a right decision on this important question.

Topic:   S. BARKER, F. D. MONK.

Victor Geoffrion


Mr. V. GEOFFRION (Verchbres).

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Doherty) who has just taken his seat was very impressive in his opening remarks. I would be glad if I were able to congratulate him on a change in the length of his addresses; because when he was judge in Montreal his judgments were_ as long, and interminable, and as wearisome to the advocates practising before him, as his speeches are in this House. Sir, the reasons given by the hon. member for Welland (Mr. German) why the majority report should be adopted, have been commented upon at great length. The Minister of Justice has treated exhaustively the legal question, and I will make a very few remarks on a point that does not appear to have been touched by hon. members. The only question for me is

whether the charges made by the hon. member for Champlain have been proved. We are not concerned with the question whether any employees of the Department of Marine and Fisheries in Sorel have exceeded their duty. That might form, if necessary, the basis of another inquiry by another committee; but surely the Committee on Privileges and Elections has been instituted only for the purpose of ascertaining whether members sitting in this House are duly qualified to do so. Now I regret that some newspapers in this country have seen fit to try to prejudice opinion, both in the public and in this House, without having had the privilege, as members of the committee have had, of hearing and seeing the witnesses who were being examined. They have discussed the question mostly on hearsay. But lawyers and judges know that it makes a great difference in forming a judgment whether, you have the privilege of seeing the witnesses when they are examined. They seem to make a kind of hero of the hon. member for Champlain (Mr. Blondin) who has made the charges. What were the charges made by the hon. member for Champlain against the hon. member for Richelieu? I shall read a part of them for the sake of my argument. He charged:

That I am credibly informed, and 1 believe that I can establish by satisfactory evidence:-

That in the course of the years 1908, 1909 and 1910, irregularities, abuses, frauds, malversations and robberies have been committed in the shops and stores of the government of Canada at St. Joseph de Sorel and in the city of Sorel, in the electoral district of Richelieu. . .

That said goods

That is the goods sent- to Mr. Lanetot's house.

Were so fraudulently appropriated to, and said work so fraudulently done at the expense of the government of Canada for the benefit of the said Adelard Lanctot, then and now a member of the House as aforesaid, with his knowledge, assent and approval, the said Adelard Lanctot abusively and fraudulently profiting at the public expense and to the public detriment by his position as member of the House.

I submit that these charges have not been proved. I shall briefly review the evidence in the case. Mr. Lanctot, in 1910, at the date mentioned in the report, was building a house in Sorel. A good many people in this House know and many at Sorel knew that Mr. Lanctot's wife was very ill at Saranac lake. This was known by everybody on this side of the House especially, because we had more friendly relations 'with Mr. Lanctot than hon. members opposite. Being obliged to absent himself often, and having need of painters to finish his house which was ready to be painted, Mr. Lanctot went to the govern-Mr. GEOFFRION.

ment workshops to get painters. Hon. members may laugh as they please at the idea that Mr. Lanctot could not get painters at Sorel. Every member of the committee who wants to be fair knows that it has been proved that there were only three painters in the city of Sorel who were not in the employ of the government at the time, and that two of them were unfit to fill the job and the other could not do it. Mr. Lanctot went to the workshops and tried to see Mr. Papineau and Mr. Papineau being absent, He went to Champagne whom he knew well, and asked him if he could let him have some painters to finish bis work. I need not go minutely into the evidence in the case. He was answered that he could have them, and he said that if Champagne would keep the time of the men he would reimburse the government or that he would pay the men iand was ready to pay them himself every week if necessary. Is it extraordinary that a man should go to an extensive workshop like that in Sorel to get workmen when he could not get them anywhere else? It is done in the great cities, in every place where there are large workshops. It is known also that these large shops employ a great number of workmen in certain seasons of the year, that they do not have so much need for these men at other seasons; they sometimes would prefer to see workmen going out and working somewhere else, but they do not want to send them away, and thus he deprived of their services when they need men. This is done every day. Hon. gentlemen opposite may say that the government ought not to do it. It may be so, but anyhow it is not extraordinary that Mr. Lanctot should have gone to those shops, the only place where he could get those workmen, and he got them. He paid them, the evidence is clear on that point; he got (Some material for which he also paid. Where is the proof of robbery charged by the hon. member for Champlain (Mr. Blondin)? I am sorry to say that the hon. member for Champlain in making such grave charges- against .a colleague in this House had not the courage to offer to resign his seat if he could not prove the [DOT]charges which he had made. There is probably no example in this House or in the parliament of any other country of a member making so grave o. charge as that an hon. member or colleague had rendered himself guilty of robbery, of fraudulently obtaining money or merchandise under false pretenses and not having the courage to say: If I am not able to prove those

charges then I will resign my seat. If the hon. member for Chamipiain had simply said: I hear that there are irregularities

committed in the workshops of the government at Sorel and I ask that they be investigated, well and good; hut he charges

a colleague with fraud and robbery, and he has not the courage (to put his seat in jeopardy. Mr. Lanctot in this House has answered the charges. He made an honest, fair, straightforward! declaration. Witness after witness has been examined by the member for Champlain and his counsel, and all the evidence which we got from them went exactly to prove that the declarations of the hon. member for Champlain were correct. Mr. Blondin declared that he had been credibly informed, but the evidence has raised some doubt in my mind as to whether he was very credibly informed. He got his information from discontented men who had been dismissed from the department, from blackmailers, from suborners of perjury. This has been proved before the committee. We had a witness there who declared that an affidavit had been obtained from him under false pretenses.

Another of the witnesses had sent a letter to the member for Richelieu trying to blackmail him if he would not get him contracts; others of the witnesses admitted that they had been dismissed from the department, and this is the company in which we find the hon. member for Champlain and by which he was credibly informed that fraudulent acts had been committed. The hon. gentleman from Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) dealt with the question of the independence of parliament, and as usual he pretended he was sorry to have to attack an hon. member on this side of the House, although he is generally very unfair when he is dealing with party questions of the kind; the hon. member (Mr. Monk) pretends that the independence of parliament has been infringed by the acts committed by Mr. Lanctot. Well, I believe that the opinion of the Minister of Justice is the true interpretation of the Independence of Parliament Act, and the hon. member for St. Anne himself admitted that there was no infringement of that Act. I believe that to infringe the Independence of Parliament Act one must make a contract by which he derives some pecuniary benefit from the government-. Suppose a member. of parliament-and I understand that members on both sides of the House do it-should go to the King's Printer and have copies of his speeches printed and pay for them, is he not making a contract and violating the Act if we wanted to put a severe interpretation upon it? I do not wish to be personal, but I would like to ask my hon. friend from St. Anne (Mr. Doherty), who has left the Chamber, whether a judge yfho has descended from the bench and who is paid every year a sum of money by the country is not infringing the Independence of Parliament Act when he sits here and votes the money which is paid to himself? The hon. member comes here and 251J

makes tragedian speeches in which he lifts up his hands and calls to his aid a high moral tone, and he sits in this House and votes the money which is paid to him, but he covers his head with ashes at the actions that have been committed by the hon. member for Richelieu. The delicate conscience of my hon. friends opposite was not touched so much some years ago when one of their friends on their side had some work done in the Department of Maxine and Fisheries at Prescott, when he had a boat painted. He made a declaration which, for my part, I accepted in good faith, and from this side of the House no one lifted his voice to blame him because we accepted that he was in good faith, and that he had paid as he declared he had paid. But his actions were exactly the same, if not worse, as those of the hon. member for Richelieu. We did not raise a row about it. But the delicate conscience of hon. members opposite is touched because a member on this side of the House, by an error of judgment perhaps, has committed similar acts to those committed by their own friends, and in whose case they sat there dumb and condoned the action they are actually blaming now. I wish in ' conclusion to say that I agree with the interpretation of the evidence given by the hon. member for Welland (Mr. German) and with the interpretation of the Independence of Parliament Act given by the Minister of Justice. I believe that the majority of the committee having heard the evidence and weighed it, could not come to any other conclusion than that the hon. member for Richelieu had acted in good faith. The work which he had done by employees of the department was paid for, the material which he got was paid for, everything was paid for, and if any blame-I am not going to say that there should be any blame attached-but if there is any blame to attach to any one it must be to the employees of the department who perhaps exceeded their powders. I will vote for the adoption of the majority report.

Topic:   S. BARKER, F. D. MONK.

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

I wish to ask the hon. member (Mr. Geoffrion) a question.

I was not in the Chamber a moment ago, but I understand that the hon. member made the statement that I had a boat painted in Prescott a few years ago. Did the hon. gentleman make that statement?

Topic:   S. BARKER, F. D. MONK.

Victor Geoffrion



I simply said that I was bo informed. At the time I knew "who the hon. member was, but I do not at the moment know whether it was the hon. member (Mr. Reid), or not.

Topic:   S. BARKER, F. D. MONK.

Some hon. MEMBERS


Topic:   S. BARKER, F. D. MONK.

Some hon. MEMBERS


Topic:   S. BARKER, F. D. MONK.

Victor Geoffrion



If my hon. friend wants to know, I can get the name very soon and give it to him.

Topic:   S. BARKER, F. D. MONK.

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

I heard that my name had been mentioned, and if so I want to say that the statement is absolutely untrue and false.

Topic:   S. BARKER, F. D. MONK.

Thomas Wilson Crothers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. W. CROTHERS (West Elgin).

Apart altogether from the intent of the hon. member for Richelieu, of which I shall speak later, the facts in connection with this matter are few, simple, clear, admitted, and it is not easy to understand intelligent and honest men differing as to the conclusion in law that should be drawn from these facts. The Richelieu river runs in a northerly direction and empties into the St. Lawrence about 45 miles below Montreal. On the easterly side of its mouth is the city of Sorel, containing a population of about 10,000 people, and just opposite, on the westerly side of the river, are the government shipyards and storehouses. The river runs through the constituency represented by the hon. member for Richelieu, who lives in the city of Sorel. The principal officers of the shipyard are Mr. Papineau, who is director, Mr. Terreault, Oscar Champagne, time-keeper, and John Baptiste Page, foreman of painters. The hon. member for Richelieu was building a palatial residence on George street, in the city of Sorel, in the years 1909 and 1910. On or about the 29th of May, 1910-and at present I am only stating facts that are admitted all-Mr. Lanctot went over to St. Joseph de Sorel, and there saw Mr. Champagne and Mr. Page. He asked Mr. Page to send some painters over to this new house that he was building on George street in Sorel. Mr. Page told him he would have much pleasure in doing so if he would get the authority of Mr. Papineau, the director of the shipyard. Mr. Pagd says that Mr. Lanctot promised to see Mr. Papineau and get his authority. Mr. Lanctot admits that he never did see Mr. Papineau. That you will find in his evidence on page 19:

Q. Did that conversation take place on the 29th of May or sooner in the month of May ?

A. I canot say so at present.

Q. Did you ever go to Mr. Papineau's after that to obtain his authorization?-A. No, sir.

Q. You never spoke to him of the matter? -A. No, sir. Mr. Papineau lives opposite my house, at about seventy-five feet from me.

*So that on the 29th of May, Mr. Lanctot saw Mr. Page and Mr. Page told him he would send the painters if he got the authority of Mr. Papineau, he agreed to get the authorization of Mr. Papineau, and he never spoke to Mr. Papineau about it until' the work was all completed in the latter part of November, although Mr. Papineau lived Mr. GEOFFRION.

only 75 feet from. him. He went and induced an inferior officer of the government, Mr. Pagd, to send workmen to paint his house; he knew that while these men were working at his house, extending from the 3rd of June till the latter part of November, between five and six months, the time that they were giving to his house was being charged up against the government, and he knew that the government was paying these men for the work they were doing upon his house. Now, what follows from that? It follows that he, in connection with Page and Champagne, defrauded the government out of money that was paid to these men while they were doing the work on his house. It is no answer at all to say that he agreed to pay the money back afterwards. It follows from these facts that he was guilty of conspiracy with these men to get from the government or the people of Canada the money that was paid to the men while they were working at his house. It follows further that that money was obtained from the people of Canada through this government by false pretenses of Mr. Lanctot and Mr. Page. Now, is that so? The Minister of Marine and Fisheries would tell you that he consented to the payment of this $375, believing the pay-sheets that were sent to him from Sorel, representing that these men during these five months were working on government work. So that the minister was deceived and the money was obtained from the government by false pretenses. Therefore, I say that the hon. member for Richelieu was a party to defrauding the government; he was one of the conspirators for getting the money from the government; he was a party to getting that money from the government by false pretenses. And that is not all; he induced them to take from the government storehouse in St. Joseph de Sorel to his house on George street, in the city of Sorel, some $80 worth of goods belonging to the government of this country. Now, those goods were not loaned. You cannot borrow a thing unless you return that identical thing. There was no intention of returning the thing. The property in it passed forever from the owners, the people of Canada or the government, to Mr. Lanctot's house. In this connection, I want to read a sentence or two from the third edition of James Crankshaw on the Criminal Code of Canada. At page 413, in considering the section of the code which was read by my hon. friend from St. Anne (Mr. Doherty), section 347, he says:

Theft defined.-Theft or stealing is the act of fraudulently and without colour of right taking, or fraudulently and without colour of right converting to the use of any person, anything capable of being stolen, with intent,-

(a) to deprive the owner, or any person having any special property or interest there-

in, temporarily, or absolutely, of such thing, or of such property or interest; or, _

(b) to pledge the same or deposit it as security ; or,

(c) to part with it under a condition as to its return which the person parting with it may be unable to perform; or,

(d) to deal with it in such a manner that it cannot be restored in the condition at which it was at the time of its taking and conversion.

And so by putting the paint and putty on Mr. Lanctot's house, they dealt with them so that they could not return them, and there is no evidence that there was any intention of returning the identical goods that they got from the government storehouse.

2. Theft is committed when the offender moves the thing or causes it to move or to be moved, or begins to cause it to become movable, with intent to steal it.

So that as soon as these goods were taken from the government storehouse the offence was complete.

3. The taking or conversion may be fraudulent, although effected without secrecy or attempt at concealment.

4. It is immaterial whether the thing converted was taken for the purpose of conversion, or w'hether it was, at the time of the conversion, in the lawful possession of the person converting.

In commenting upon this section, at page 413, the learned author speaks as follows:

It is generally laid down that any act whicli is an interference with the dominion and right of property of another is a conversion. A conversion does not mean a destruction of the goods nor does it necessarily import an acquisition of property by the defendant or n total or absolute loss of the goods to the owner, but it consists in any wrongful act by which the defendant deprives the owner of his goods either wholly or for a time. To constitute a fraudulent conversion, the owner must be deprived of his property or money bv an adverse using or holding.

Under the terms of section 347, theft by conversion is committed whenever a person,, already in possession of a specific article of personal property with the owner's consent, fraudulently and without colour of right converts it to his own use or to the use cf any other person than the owner of it, with intent to deprive the owner of it, either temporarily or absolutely, or with intent to deprive any person having any special property or interest therein, temporarily or absolutely, of such special property or interest, or with intent to pledge the same or to part with it under a condition, as to its return, which he may not be able to perform, or to so deal with it that it cannot he restored.

This was what the Act dealt with because in this case it was impossible to return the goods.

The effect of section 347 is to put all persons whomsoever, whether they are or are not clerks, servants, employees, hankers, merchants, brokers, solicitors, factors, agents or bailees, upon the same footing, and to make every person whomsoever, without any distinction, guilty of theft by conversion (or what may, perhaps, he more properly termed embezzlement), when, having become rightfully possessed of something belonging to another, he, instead of handing it over, in specie or instead of doing with it what he was entrusted to do, fraudulently and without colour of right, converts it to his own use or to the use of any other person than the owner. In other words, embezzlement by clerks, servants or other employees, fraudulent conversion by bankers, merchants, brokers, solicitors, factors or other agents, of property entrusted to them for safe custody, &c., and larceny by bailees, are three only of the various ways of committing the offence of theft by conversion treated of by section 347. So that it may not be out of place to briefly review some of the authorities on these three subjects.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that in taking these goods belonging to the people of Canada from an inferior officer who had no authority to give them the hon. member for Richelieu was strictly within the terms of section 347, of the Criminal Code and was therefore guilty of theft. What is the difference between the position occupied by Mr. Lanctot with reference to these goods and that of a man who goes to an inferior officer in a bank-the teller or the ledger keeper and get $1,000 from him saying to him: I will return this money in a week? The teller or ledger keeper had no authority to give him $1,000, he gives him $1,000, he invests that in margins, at the end of the week the $1,000 is not paid and the clerk is arrested and convicted of embezzlement or theft. The intention of both parties was to return the money at the end of a week or at the end of a month. Why, our prisons are full of men who have embezzled thousands and scores of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars intending all the time to return the money. I remember that a short time ago a man from our city stole $287,000 before "being arrested, embezzled it, intending every moment to return it as soon as her made it, but he kept on losing and losing, hoping against hope until finally the whole matter was disclosed and he was sent to penitentiary for twelve years. He did not intend to cheat anybody, he intended to return the money just as this man, admit that if you like, intended to return these material's. He did not borrow these goods, but he got these goods promising to return a similar quantity and a like quality of goods just as the young man who gets $1,000 from a bank intends to return, not that identical $1,000, but a like sum of money in ten or thirty days as the case may be. He fails to do it and he is guilty

Topic:   S. BARKER, F. D. MONK.


Declared before me, the undersigned, at Sorel, the first of March, 1911.


Notary. The original one, I believe, was -dated the 30th of November. There are others; one by Mr. Pr-oulx, which I will no-t take up the time by reading, though it is in English. He said he was sent for to go to Mr. Lanctot's house; that he went; that his two uncles were present there with him; that Mr. Lanctot then -and there asked him to sign another affidavit saying that the previous one he had signed was untrue, and telling him -that if he did so he would use his influence to get him reinstated in a government job. That i-s set forth in the statement of Mr. Proulx and also in his evidence given before the Committee of Privileges and Elections, and it is corroborated by his uncle. Another statement was by Mr. Peloquin, which I shall not read. There is also one by Mr. A. Sen-eeal, and one by Napoleon Laroche, and one by H. Lambert. There were others in the hands of the lion, member for Champlain, set forth in unrevised' ' Hansard,' of March 6th, but as -they are in French, owing to my defective early education I shall not attempt to read them. But the hon. member for Champlain had these -six or eight affidavits setting forth the facts as I have stated them. With these affidavits in his possession, what was his duty. This committee, or rather a majority of the committee, state that he should have gone to the Minister of Marine an-d Fisheries and asked- him about the whole matter. But what does the Minister of Marine and Fisheries say to us now? He appears before the Committee on Privileges and Elections -and -has no-t a word to say in condemnation of this whole transaction. He was present in that committee, and he quoted from this report of the majority which we have before us, exonerating com-

pletely Mr. Lanctot, justifying this whole transaction, and condemning the hon. member for Champlain for having called public attention to it. And he is the man to whom it is said the hon. member for Champlain should have gone and accept his ipse dixit as to this whole transaction. Well, I was surprised at the Minister of Marine and Fisheries voting for that majority report, for the department, he administers has been in the public eye for several years, and the people to a large extent have lost confidence in the way in which that department is managed. It was found by a commissioner appointed by this government, Judge Cas-sels, that scores and scores of men in the employment of that department had been guilty of defrauding the government. Some of those who were proved guilty were superannuated on large superannuation allowances, one or two, or perhaps a few more, were dismissed. But there were no prosecutions issued against either the bribers or the bribees, although there were scores and scores of cases reported by Judge Cassels of crimes committed against the government and people of Canada, and the Minister of Marine and Fisheries did not see fit to prosecute any one of them. If the law had been enforced in that case we would not have had such an exhibition as we have seen here, in what will come to be known in this_ country as the Lanctot job. Yet the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, it is said, is going to England to represent Canada. It is said that later he may have a seat on the Supreme Court of this country. And that is the man who has been at the head of this Marine Department, and whose record is well known in this House and in this country for the last three or four years in reference to these transactions; and that is the man to whom the majority of this committee suggests that the hon. member for Champlain should have gone when he received these sworn statements showing that this government had been defrauded, and showing conspiracy, showing that money had been obtained by false pretenses" showing theft. And forsooth the majority of the members of _ this committee, intelligent members of this House, come forward with a report and say to the people of Canada: All this is perfectly regular and honest, we subscribe to the whole thing; and we denounce the man who exposed it. Well, I was to a certain extent surprised that the Minister of Marine and Fisheries should vote approval of this whole matter, saying in substance: It is all right, saying to the people of Canada that the department over which he presides permits this sort of thing to be done. Not a word of condemnation of it, but instead of condemnation for these offences and these crimes, there are words of condemnation of the hon. member for Champlain who, in the dis-Mr. CEOTHEES charge of his duty, brought these frauds and these thefts to the attention of this House and the people of Canada. Why, Sir, a majority of this committee suggested that the member for Champlain should have gone to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and got from him-what? A statement of the accused. Affidavits similar in substance were sent to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries in November, and what did he do with them? Why, he actually sent the original affidavits to Mr. Lanctot and asked him what he had to say about them. Did you ever hear of such a thing as that in your life? A man is charged with conspiracy, with defrauding the government, with getting money under false pretenses, with theft, and the papers charging him with all these crimes and offences are sent to him and he is asked what he has to say about them. He makes his reply, and that is what the minister says he was perfectly willing to give to the member for Champlain. The minister was examined before this committee, and he, in answer to leading questions put by council for Mr. Lanctot-because that is the position that was taken there-said over and over again: I was perfectly willing to give Mr. Blondin all the information that I had if he had come and asked me. Now to have taken the course that is suggested, that my hon. friend from Champlain should have gone to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, would have been to take a course like that which the Minister of Finance took when he sent for the manager of the Farmers' Bank and accepted his statement as to the frauds that were charged against him, with all the disastrous results that have followed. What do we do where a man is charged with fraud, with conspiracy? Do we send for him and ask what he has to say about it? And if he declares through his counsel that he is innocent, do we say to him: Depart in peace, may the Lord be with you? If I was surprised a little to find that the Minister of Marine and Fisheries was endorsing this majority report, I was surprised to a greater extent in listening to the Minister of Justice this afternoon. The Minister of Justice told us he was a strong partisan. It was not the first time he has told us that in this House. Whenever he is called upon to defend an indefensible transaction, he prefaces his remarks by telling us that he is a strong party man. Well, Mr. Speaker, I am not aware that any other Minister of Justice having a seat in the government of Canada ever found it his duty to rise in this House from time to time and tell the people's representatives, and through them the people of Canada, that he was a strong party man. Why, Sir, it was not necessary for him to say that. I want to say 7y54 to him now-I am sorry he is not present, but he will read what I have to say-I for one will excuse him from ever repeating that again in this House. It never was necessary. We in the province of Ontario, who have known him for the last thirty years, know well that he has always been a strong party man, one of the most bitter partisans we have in the whole province of Ontario. He is the man who represents the goddess of Canadian justice, who gets up in this House and endorses every word that the majority report contains. He has stated that he has read the evidence over two or three times, and there is absolutely no proof of wrong-doing. Well, Mr. Speaker, what are we to think of that? That the Minister of Justice in this government, the representative of' justice in Canada, declares to the people of this whole country that to get workmen from the government, as these men were got,_ to use them while the government is paying for them, to make false paylists, by misrepresentation to get money from this country, taking the goods and the; property of this country, and therefore being guilty of theft under the law-that he* the Minister of Justice, sees absolutely no wrong in all that. And that does not come from a back bencher, that comes from the representative of justice in Canada and it may be read from the Atlantic to the Pacific as the opinion of the Minister of Justice in this country that any man may treat the government of Canada as Mr. Lanctot has done, and if he be a good Liberal he will have not only the Minister of Marine and Fisheries backing him up in all these transactions, but he will have the representative of the sacred Goddess of Justice rising in this House and justifying him. If I had time I would go over the evidence upon which I found these statements in order that the people might be able to read that evidence, but I shall not do so. I wish to call attention to the intent of Mr. Lanctot. Mt. Lanctot promised Mr. Page and Mr. Badeau that he would see Mr. Papineau and get his authority for the use of these men and for the taking of these goods, but he never did so; he never saw Mr. Papineau although he lived only 75 feet away, just across the road from him. For six months this was going on. He promised to see Mr. Papineau. He was in Sorel over and over again but he did not. Why did he not? Was it because he knew that Papineau would not approve of this if he did see it? Evidence of that will be found on pages 19, 130, 172 and 173. He never spoke to Papineau about paying for this paint, Papineau spoke to him first about, paying for it, and you will find if I remember right, evidence of this on pages 23 and 24. ,Another piece of evidence as to intent is his trying to get these two or three men who made these affidavits, Douaire and Proulx, to sign other affidavits denying what they had asserted in their first affidavits, and promising that if they would make other affidavits denying what they had said, he would use his influence to get them jobs under the government. What does that indicate? How does that affect the question of intent? How does that affect the question of guilty knowledge? In this letter inclosing a cheque for $375 for the men's time, pages 23 and 24, he said nothing about the paint, and that letter was sent on November 22. The account for the paint is dated November 16, as you will find on page 109. This account for the paint taken out of the government stores and going to Lanc-tot's house, amounting to $81.60, is dated November 16. Champagne sent to Mr. Lanctot his account for the wages of the men, $375 on November 22. Nothing was said in that letter of the 22nd November about the paint although the account for it is dated November 16, 12 days before the letter was sent with reference to the_ pay for the men. In his letter to the minister, of December 6, he stated that he had settled for the paint, and that statement was not true. Look at page 177 and you will find Mr. Lanctot's letter to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, dated December 6, 1910. The minister had sent him these affidavits that were made in November, and -what does he say?: This is true; but as soon as their work was finished I reimbursed the department as per understanding with the officers. I did the same with regard to borrowed material. The whole was paid several days before the filing of those documents. Follow the dates: This is dated December 6. If you turn to page 111 you will find, beyond any peradventure, that_ that money was not paid even by Papineau until'December 13, so Mr. Lanctot in his letter to the minister of December 6, declared he had paid not only for the men's wages but for the goods that had been delivered to him, and on page 111 you will find the account for $81.60 paid on December 13 by Mr. Papineau. a week after Mr. Lanctot had said he had paid it, and Papineau's evidence shows that Mr. Lanctot did not pay him until some time after he had paid the company in Montreal. So there you have a statement of facts that is utterly untrue. Remember that he did not mention anything to Papineau, it was Papineau who went to him. This account was sent to Papineau who says he had occasion to see Mr. Lanctot and he told Mr. Lanctot after Mr. Lanctot had sent the account for the men's wages, $375, that the accounts were paid. Mr. Lanctot did not say anything to him about the paint. Did Mr. Lanctot intend to pay

for the paints at all, Mr. Speaker? His statement is untrue. Then he stated further that there were no other painters at Sorel. Well, there are three or four witnesses to show that is not true. A good deal has been said about the cheque sent for $375. He did not pay Papineau with a cheque. I wonder why? I would like to see that cheque if it every was given; it was not produced.


Thomas Wilson Crothers

Conservative (1867-1942)


And when he wrote to the minister on December 6, that he had paid the wages of the men and had paid for the goods, that was absolutely untrue, and he knew it was untrue when he wrote the letter. Papineau himself had not paid it at that time, or until December 13, and a copy of the receipt is given on page ill, dated Quebec, December 12.

I am very sorry I have not time to refer to some other matters, but the evidence I have adduced as to the intent of Mr. Lanctot will suffice. Why did he make statements that were not true if that intent was honest .all the way through? Why resort to these petty and paltry excuses of there not being painters in Sorel? We have evidence that there are two or three competent painters in that city of 10,000 inhabitants. But suppose .there was not a painter in the whole city of Sorel does that justify his being a party to conspiracy and theft. If his wife was ill we all deeply sympathize with him, but what under1 heaven has that to do with it. That is no excuse whatever for being a party to these offences I have mentioned. Why are these little insignificant side issues brought in; why these false statements made by this man who is now accused? He said nothing to the minister when he sent the letter with the cheque for $375; he knew that the paint had been taken to his house before .that; he told the minister that he had paid it on the 6th December, whereas it was not paid until the 13th of December; he promised to see Papineau, and why did not he see him? These are all ear marks of the fraud and guilt that I have brought to the attention of the House; these are indications that would justify any jury in any part of Canada in finding that on the part of the member for Eiehelieu this was not an innocent transaction. I must now conclude my remarks.

Some hon. MEMBEES. Go on.

Mr. CEOTHEES, No, I have a train to catch, and I cannot stay longer. Let me read whait the Ottawa ' Free Press ' said about this matter on April 20, and mind you, this is the Liberal organ of the capital city of the Dominion. Deferring to Mr. Lanctot, it says:


But what he should have done the moment the charge was preferred against him was to hare resigned his seat and appealed to his constituents for re-election. He could then have been re-elected by acclamation; whether he could do so now is another question.

Where a member of a party in the control of the public business places himself, wittingly or unwittingly, under the penalties of the parliament Act there is only one course open for him to take, and that is what Mr.-Lanctot should have done.

For him to now ask a majority of the House of Commons to excuse his fault is to ask many of them to cancel their own records, and we do not believe that they will do so.

Even the ' Free Press ' would not believe it, 'but I fear we will be forced to believe it by this vote to-night. We will be forced to believe that not only a majority of the Privileges and Elections Committee, but that a majority of the men supporting the government, including the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, including the man who occupies the high and sacred position of Minister of Justice of Canada. I fear we will see every one of them expressing their approval of this very thing that their own organ disapproves of. The Montreal ' Herald,' another Liberal organ says:

What is irritating about the case is that Liberals in and out of parliament are assumed to he ready to defend Mr. Lanctot, to maintain his right to get his house painted by the government's workmen and with the government's paint, because it is supposed that in defending Mr. Lanctot they are defending the Laurier Cabinet. The 'Herald,' for one, does not propose to rest its confidence in the Laurier administration on any such basis. The fact is, indeed, that the house painting was done by connivance between the member for Eiehelieu and subordinate officials at Sorel.

That comes from the Montreal ' Herald,' the great Liberal organ of the city of Montreal :

And that the Minister of Marine was actually demanding the facts about it when the investigation was brought on by Mr. Blondin. And Liberals are expected to testify their confidence in Mr. Brodeur's administration by affirming their satisfaction with what was done, to the injury of the reputation of Mr. Brodeur's department, without his acknowledge and without his approval. It will not down.

That is what the great English speaking Liberal organ in the great metropolis ol Canada says; that this will not down, but so far as that is concerned and so far as they can, it will be downed to-night by the pliable mechanical majority if big enough on the other side of the House.

Evidently Mr. Lanctot, for all the ability he undoubtedly possesses, has failed to realize that a public man is under a responsibility towards those who give him their confidence and towards the leaders and the rank and file of his party.

Not only Mr. Lanetot has failed to realize it, but the majority of the members of the Privileges and Elections Committee have failed to realize it, the Minister of Marine has failed to realize it, the Minister of Justice has failed to realize it, and the Liberal members of parliament and the Prime Minister not only fail to realize it, but actually appear to applaud and support it.

He seems to be content to prove that he paid for the painters' time and replaced the materials used on his place. He does not seem to recognize that it was unworthy of him as a member of parliament to arrange with subordinate officials, without the knowledge of their superiors on the spot, even, to have men working for him whose services were all the time being charged to the Crown and presumably apportioned against some work that had been ordered by parliament. If Mr. Lanetot cannot see the unworthiness of that, he ought to be in some other role than that of a Liberal party leader. Certainly no government, Liberal or other, can be maintained in this country on the principle that its supporters in parliament are justified in such enterprises.

There is the opinion of the Liberal organ of the city of Montreal. Now, Mr. Speaker, I have not heard anything so far from my rigtoit hon. friend the Prime Minister. Is it to be said of him-and it will be said of him and justly said of him what the * Herald ' has said of Mr. Lanetot, and if he votes for the adoption of the majority report he will make himself just as guilty as Mr. Lanetot. I had hoped; yea I have told several of my friends, that while I was not a supporter of the right hon. gentleman, and while I have not as much confidence in him as a great many other members of this House have, yet in the last two or three days I have told in private several of my friends that Sir Wilfrid Laurier would never stand for the frauds and the crimes that were set forth in this evidence, and I really believe he would not stand for it, and I had hoped until the last moment that there would be at least one man big enough on the other side of the House to get up and condemn this transaction. I hope I will hear after I get home to-morrow, that the right hon. gentleman rose equal to the occasion and showed to the people of Canada that he was big enough to protect the best interests of the people of this country which are their moral interests, and to protect justice in this country. And although his Minister of Justice by the address he delivered here tonight degraded the Canadian goddess of justice as she has never before been degraded in this parliament of Canada, I hope I will hear to-morrow that the Prime Minister of this country has risen equal to the occasion and denounced the conduct which I submit, every intelligent and honest and patriotic Canadian must in his *heart condemn.


George William Kyte


Mr. G. W. KYTE (Richmond, N.S.).

Mr. Speaker, I was a member of the Committee on Privileges and Elections, and I attended regularly every sitting of that committee while the subject now under discussion was before us for investigation. I am one of the members of the committee who_ signed the majority report, and I desire to state a few reasons which led me to the conclusion I came to with respect to that report. The position taken by hon. gentlemen who are opposing the adoption of this report is somewhat different from that which was taken by them in the committee. So far as I have been able to appreciate the objections made by hon. gentlemen .who support the minority report, I am led to the conclusion that they no longer contend seriously -that the Independence of Parliament Act has been violated. _

There can be no longer any question of doubt as to that, having regard to the ar-eument addressed to this House by the hon. Minister of Justice this_ afternoon. Having conceded that, what is the conclusion that we must come to with respect to hon. gentlemen opposite? If the hon. member for Richelieu has not * committed an infraction of the Independence of Parliament Act, then it must be that hon. gentlemen opposite are seeking to invoke some higher law, with respect to the conduct of the members of this House which perhaps they are not ready to apply to themselves or to their associates. Another question which was brought into the discussion, and now practically dropped from further consideration is whether the hon. member for Richelieu has fully paid for the services rendered to him by the department at Sorel, and adequately compensated the department for the goods which he borrowed. That point has not been emphasized this evening, but hon. gentlemen who have spoken have said that whether or not the hon. member for Richelieu paid for the labour he received or the material supplied to him, he is guilty of having committed an offence in respect of the manner in which they were procured. With that much conceded, the task which falls to hon. gentlemen supporting this report is very much lightened. We come then to the discussion of the general principles which the hon. member for St. Anne (Mr. Doherty) sought to apply to this case. I must confess that I had not very much experience as a member of the Committee on Privileges and Elections when the sittings commenced to hear the case against the hon. member for Richelieu. I endeavoured to inform myself as well as I could as to what was the action of this House and the action of hon. gentlemen opposite and the action of hon. gentlemen supporting the government, in similar cases. In the course of the address delivered by the hon. member for Vercheres (Mr. Geoffrion) to-night, he made

reference to charges that had been established in the Public Accounts Committee in a preceding session which the hon. member for Grenville (Mr. Eeid) understood as applying to himself. I want to read the following from page 9774, volume 5, of 'Hansard' of the session of 1907-8:



April 27, 1911