March 5, 1914

LIB

Louis Joseph Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. GAUTHIER (St. Hyacinthe):

Will you allow me, Mr. Chairman, to state along what lines this discussion is taking place? Our contention is that an officer has been dismissed improperly. The hon. minister assumes the responsibility of this dismissal, saying: I dismissed that man because I had affidavits justifying such a course. To that we reply: Had you granted an enquiry, we would have shown that the charges brought forward against the officer whom you dismissed were without any foundation.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   P.EVISED EDITION COMMONS
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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

The point of order which you have just decided, Mr. Chairman, was, perhaps well taken, but I think that we were perfectly justified-and I think the Chairman will uphold me in this-in asking the hon. minister to read to the committee the evidence upon which he based the dismissal of a government employee who had previously asked him for an investigation, and to whom an investigation was refused. The hon. minister read two documents which he first called affidavits, but which turned out to be solemn declarations. In these two solemn declarations the only evidence afforded is that the men who signed them heard the deposed employee, at some time or other, discuss politics. What the dismissed employee said, what arguments he put forward, in the interests of what candidate he expressed those arguments, was not stated. Are these the only affidavits the minister has, or are there other sworn declarations in connection with the same case?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   P.EVISED EDITION COMMONS
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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel (Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL:

There are more than those two.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   P.EVISED EDITION COMMONS
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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

I think this committee is entitled to hear the reading of the other affidavits upon which this man was thrown out of office.

Mr. Nantel: I shall now read a solemn declaration made by Mr. Edouard Roberge

and received by Mr. Thomas Legare, S.C. commissioner for the district of Arthabaska: Canada,

Province of Quebec,

County of Megantic.

X, the undersigned, Edouard Roberge, a merchant of the city of Sherbrooke, do solemnly declare:

X have for over twenty years been acquainted with Mr. I'rfifontaine, of Lyster, Megantic Co., the inspector of Weights and Measures. Ever since I have known hint, he has always been to my knowledge an ardent Liberal partisan, and I remember that in the early part of September, 1911, in the hall of an hotel in Thetford Mines, he discussed with me political questions in the presence of several persons, and that on that occasion he was defending the policy of the Liberal party.

And I make this declaration believing it conscientiously to be true, and knowing that it has the same force and the same effect as if it was made under oath, under the Evidence Act of Canada.

And I have signed,

Edouard Roberge.

Received by me, at Thetford Mines, this seventh day of February, 1913.

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Subtopic:   P.EVISED EDITION COMMONS
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THOMAS LEGARE,


S. C. Commissioner for the district of Arthabaska. Those are the affidavits on which I dismissed Mr. Prefontaine. Mr. BOIVIN [DOT] In accordance with the rules of the House, the hon. minister will, I expect, lay on the table the affidavits he has just read.


CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel (Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL:

Certainly, they form part of a return which was to be brought down to-morrow in answer to an address.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLONDIN:

I do not think the rule is the same when we are sitting in Committee of the Whole.

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Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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LIB

Lucien Turcotte Pacaud

Liberal

Mr. PACAUD:

Was Mr. Prefontaine

given an opportunity of asserting whether or not this evidence was true or untrue? Were the declarations submitted to him''1

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Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel (Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL:

These are solemn declarations ex parte. I took the responsibility of dismissing this man because the evidence convinced me that I was justified in doing so.

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Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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LIB

Georges Henri Boivin

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

Was the minister reading from the original affidavit, or from the return which has been brought down?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel (Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL:

The return.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

Now that the evidence is all in, perhaps we can proceed to make a little progress, and adjourn.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

We have just begun with the evidence. Can the hon. Minister of Inland Revenue give the committee a state-

ment as to the success or failure that has been met with in connection with the experiments in the manufacture of peat?

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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CON

Wilfrid Bruno Nantel (Minister of Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NANTEL:

That is not under my

department.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I wish to obtain some information from the minister in connection with some correspondence I have received with regard to wood alcohol and methylated spirits. I intend to ask him about certain officials, what they have done and what their particular work is. I think we should also have full information as to the amount of spirituous liquors manufactured in Canada, the amount collected from each distillery, and what it costs to collect these amounts. We should have the same information in regard to the breweries, including the total output of each brewery and the total consumption of beer in the Dominion of Canada. This information is particularly interesting in view of the fact

10 p.m. that a large gathering of persons in Ottawa this week are discussing these very questions, and that the hon. member for Dundas (Mr. Broder) has a motion on the order paper with regard to the sale of cigarettes. I would suggest to the hon. gentleman leading the House that, with the understanding that we could discuss later some of these matters, we might pass the first item for the hon. Minister of Inland Revenue.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

Let us pass a few items.

Topic:   SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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LIB
CON

Robert Rogers (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROGERS:

I do not think my hon. friend will be able to obtain any information that will be of interest to him in so far as the congress that is assembled in Ottawa this week is concerned, but I am sure my hon. friend the minister of Inland Revenue will be only too pleased to bring down any information he may have with respect to the questions my hon. friend has asked.

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Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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LIB

George William Kyte

Liberal

Mr. KYTE:

I would suggest that the minister bring down also a correct return of the dismissals in his department. A return was brought down sometime ago and from the discussion this evening that return is evidently absolutely incorrect. Persons are set down in this report as having resigned or been dismissed because their services were no longer required whereas, as a matter of fact, they were dismissed on account of partisanship. I think the minister should be prepared with that corrected return the next time he applies for Supply.

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Subtopic:   THOMAS LEGARE,
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March 5, 1914