March 12, 1915

LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

That being so, I presume there will be no objection to the Committee on Public Accounts taking this matter up with the others, because correspondence connected with it appears in the printed report.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

There will be no objection, so far as the purchase of the submarines is concerned. If any further motion is necessary I shall be willing to accept it.

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CON

William Foster Garland

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. F. GARLAND (Carleton, Ont.):

I do not wish to take advantage of the present occasion to make any extended

remarks on the subject referred to in this motion. I cannot pretend to have the knowledge myself of the proper procedure in cases of this kind; but I have been informed that it is not the practice to refer matters to the Public Accounts Committee until they appear in the Public Accounts; consequently there would be good grounds why the House might well vote down the present motion. I have, however, from the first, requested that such a step be not taken; but, on the contrary, that every facility be offered those who think they have found any cause of offence in me to prove such offence in the quickest possible way.

I have no desire to anticipate anything which should properly be brought out before the Public Accounts Committee; but it is only just to myself, in view of the careless and reckless attacks made upon me, that I should state very briefly such facts as will make my own position clear. I will not go into the evidence upholding such facts until the proper time comes, but I say to those who have been quite ready and willing to attack without taking the trouble to investigate, that the evidence will come in due course.

First of all, since I have become a member of Parliament, I have not been in any way whatever interested in contracts with the Dominion Government, and have never been and am not now, directly or indirectly, by understanding, secret or otherwise, or in any other way whatever, interested in the dealings which Mr. Powell had with the Militia Department, or with any department.

Having been informed that certain goods manufactured in the United States were required for the Militia Department, and believing as I do now that these goods could only be purchased through a Canadian agency -and would only be sold through a Canadian agency, I recommended Mr. Powell as such Canadian agent. My belief as above stated was and is in my opinion absolutely correct. I understood at the time that only a comparatively small purchase from the firm in the United States was to be made. I believed Mr. Powell to be dependable, and still believe him to be so, and I recommended him because, in my judgment, he was dependable and a fit and proper person to so recommend. If such recommendation is a wrong one on my part, then I will ask that all recommendations be similarly inquired into.

I have seen reports and statements to the effect that I misrepresented the profits being made by Mr. Powell on the con-601

tract. I deny flatly any such accusation, and I challenge the most rigid inquiry.

It is, I think, to be regretted that parties who so flippantly make such charges have, so far as I can see, no corresponding responsibility, and very little to lose.

It is only my desire to bring this matter to an investigation and conclusion as quickly as possible that leads me now to demand that any one who wishes to make such a charge, make it now in a manly way across the floor of the House and on his responsibility as a member of Parliament.

With the question as to deductions made by the Militia Department against Mr. Powell I have no concern; it is a matter entirely between him and the Militia Department.

I have absolutely nothing to conceal in the matter, and have entire confidence that the House, or any committee of the House, will treat me with absolute lairness, which is a great deal more than a partisan press and certain interested parties on the outside have done.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I think my hon. friend (Mr. A. K. Maclean) has made this motion a little wider than I intended. I think the words, " in relation thereto," should follow where I have indicated in the paper. That might possibly have the effect of not including in the motion this matter of submarines to which the hon. metmlber for St. John alluded. I am perfectly willing to have that matter also referred to the Committee on Public Accounts if the hon. member for St. John desires.

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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

Mr. Speaker, the remarks of the hon. member for Carleton, Ontario, might possibly leave the impression that this was especially directed against him and might leave myself under the imputation of being particularly interested in the affair to which he has referred, hut did not desire to request the appointment of a special committee and make a charge in the manner usually followed in such cases. I may say that my motion is merely to have placed before the Public Accounts Committee the correspondence mentioned in the motion.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

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ASSISTANCE TO HOMESTEADERS- FEED FOR STOCK.


On the Order of the Day being called:


LIB

William Ashbury Buchanan

Liberal

Mr. W. A. BUCHANAN (Medicine Hat):

Mr. Speaker, I have had a number of complaints lately that feed for stock is not

being distributed very generously or very expeditiously at the present time. I have brought some of these complaints to the attention of the department, and I will confess that the minister has given them his attention. But these complaints continue to come in, and I am advised that stock is suffering seriously in cases where farmers are not in a position to purchase feed themselves. I am also informed that the feed supplied is being limited to work horses. Consequently cows and farm stock and other kinds are suffering because farmers cannot get feed for them. I would like the minister to outline the exact policy of the department in regard to the distribution of feed in that drouth-stricken area, so that the people there will have a proper appreciation of what is being done.

Topic:   ASSISTANCE TO HOMESTEADERS- FEED FOR STOCK.
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CON

William James Roche (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of the Interior)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. W. J. ROCHE (Minister of the Interior) :

The question of fodder for animals has not been brought to my attention so conspicuously as the question of seed grain. The Commissioner of Immigration in Winnipeg has full charge of the purchase and distribution of grain and of fodder as well. But my understanding is that representations were made to the department to the effect that it would be almost useless to supply seed grain to the farmers if their stock were not kept in a sufficiently good condition to enable the farmers to put their crops in; and, recognizing the force of that argument, the Commissioner of Immigration has engaged to distribute feed oats to supply the horses which are to be used in seeding, both before and during the seeding season. In addition to that, there are farmers who have.been left absolutely with-but any crop in the drouth-stricken area, and who have a certain number of animals absolutely without any fodder. For some months past Mr. Bruce Walker has been distributing fodder to these animals. I do not know exactly the quantity he is distributing, but I understand that all the cases that have been submitted to him have been investigated and he is, in his opinion, supplying fairly generously the amount of fodder required for these animals. To be sure, some unreasonable requests have been received in regard to fodder as well as seed grain, requests to which we could not possibly respond favourably. For instance, we have had requests from men who are owners of 20 head of horses and 30 head of cattle, but have not sufficient fodder for all of them. They thought that all they had to do was apply to the department for fodder and they would be supplied, a request

which, in our opinion, was entirely unreasonable and has not been responded to favourably, because those people had the option of either raising sufficient money on the security of their stock to produce fodder or disposing of some of the stock and feeding the others with the proceeds. I think the policy of the department is that where-ever a limited number of animals are required to be kept by a farmer and they are absolutely deprived of any fodder, the Government should give a certain amount; but, as in the case of the seed grain, we have fixed a maximum amount to be given to any man, and in some cases that has not satisfied the applicants. They are complaining because we would not distribute more than 400 bushels of seed grain as a maximum. There may be some who think that they are not being dealt with as generously as they should be. However, I think that all legitimate demands are being very fairly met.

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QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.

COMMISSIONER DUCHEMIN'S ACCOUNTS.


On the Orders of the day being called; Mr. D. D. McKENZIE '(North Cape Breton) : Mr. Speaker, I wish to refer to a question of privilege. On the 10th day of June last, from my seat in this House, I made the statement that a certain one of the Royal Commissioners appointed by the Government had received payment to the extent of $128.95 when, in fact, according to the terms of his engagement by the Government he should only have received $21.35. During this session the hon. member for Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair) asked the following question in reference to the observations which I had made: With reference to the charge brought to the notice of the Government hy the member for North Cape Breton on June 10, 1914, as reported on page 5238 of Hansard, that one H. P. Duchemin, of Sydney, N.S., a commissioner appointed to investigate charges against partisan officials, had embezzled over $75 of the public funds in connection with one item of his account, by charging six days remuneration and expenses for less than one day's work, has the Government investigated this charge? The answer given by the Secretary of State is to be found at the bottom of the page, and it is in this form: For the Customs Department, the answer is: The charge made hy the member for North Cape Breton Was looked into by Customs Department and inquired into by Auditor General and found to be not true. The report ot the Auditor General on this matter appears on pages F-48 and F-49 of his report for 1913-14. Mr. Duehemin has heen employed only when cases were sent him for investigation. There are no cases now before him from the Customs Department for investigation. I wish to make a statement to your honour, as a matter of privilege, because I am charged by the Customs Department with having made a statement in this House on the 10th June, 1914, which was not true. I hold in my hand Order in Council No. 2996: Certified copy of a report of the Committee of the Privy Council, approved by His Royal Highness the Governor General on the 3rd January, 1912. The Committee of the Privy Council have had under consideration the question as to the rate of remuneration which should be allowed commissioners appointed or to be appointed to hold inquiries or investigations under the Inquiries Act, chapter 104, of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906. The committee advises that, except in cases otherwise provided for by Order in Council, the fees allowable to a commissioner appointed under the authority of the above-mentioned Act shall not in any case exceed fifteen dollars for each full day's attendance or occupation in connection with the work of the commission, exclusive of the reasonable moving and living expenses of the commissioner, to be allowed where he has to travel for the purpose of executing the commission; and that the said per diem allowance shall be deemed to cover letters and interviews on other days as well as on the days for which the commissioner is entitled to such per diem allowance; and that no further charge be allowed for such letters and interviews; and that a professional man shall not be entitled to any fees or allowances as commissioner to which other commissioners are not entitled as aforesaid. This Order in Council makes it clear that the allowance is |15 a day exclusive of expenses and that any other work that is done incidental to the inquiry is to be included in, or covered by, the $15 per day. I made the statement on the 10th June, 1914, that six different cases were examined into by the commissioner, Mr. Duehemin, on the 6th day of September, 1912, and that for these six inquiries he sent in six separate bills. I hold in my hand the six different returns in connection with these inquiries, handed to me by the proper officials-Sessional Papers No. 6. They are all marked No. 6, but with different letters to identify them. Without making any particular referenceto them beyond stating what they show, I take up the inquiry into the conduct of Captain Roderick McDonald, of New Campbellton, who was specifically charged with partisanship by my friend and former opponent in the last election, Mr. John McCormick. It was unnecessary for Mr. Duehemin or anybody else to inquire what the charge was because it was specifically contained in a letter sent to the department by Mr. McCormick. In this report Mr. Duehemin himself said that he held the inquiry on the 6th inst., that is the 6th day of September, 1912, and he wrote his report to the department on the next day, the 7th, as this document which I hold in my hand shows. I wish your honour to remember, because it comes in afterwards in my explanation, that the report was made on the 7th. The inquiry was made on the 6th and the report on the 7th. The inquiry, and everything connected with it, was out of Mr. Duchemin's hands on the 7th September, 1912. In connection with this inquiry I have his bill. I read the bills before the House on the 10th June, 1914, but I notice that Hansard only took note of one of them. On this occasion, as my Own integrity, truthfulness and good faith are rather impugned in connection with the matter, I would regard it as a favour if Hansard would take them all. The first bill that happens to be here is that in connection with the inquiry into the charge of partisanship against Captain Roderick McDonald, and it is as follows: To travel, issuing notices, subpoenas etc., conducting inquiry re Rod. McDonald, New Campbellton. .. $15 00 " allowance for living expenses.. . . " paid ferry fare " tram fare North Sydney to Sydney Mines " horse hire, Sydney Mines to New Campbellton " paid for use of room for holding inquiries " service- on witnesses " stenographer (copying evidence and reports) -[DOT] " stationery and postage



The next that happens to come in order is the inquiry into the charge of partisanship against Captain George Livingstone. It was not necessary to waste any time trying to find out what the charge was in that instance, because Mr. John McCormick, in a letter bearing date June 10, 1912, specifically and clearly states to the department wha't the charge against Captain Livingstone was, and that charge was transmitted in due course to Mr. Duehemin who inquired into it. I have here in my hand, it having been obtained from the Secretary of State, a report in which Mr. Duehemin says that he held the investigation on the 6th day of September, 1912, and his report is dated on the 7th of the same month. In connection 2 50 0 05 0 05 0 80 0 40 1 00 1 35 0 05



with that inquiry on the same identical day he puts in this bill: To travel, issuing notices, subpoenas, etc., conducting inquiry re George Livingstone, Big Bras d'Or .. .. $15 00 " allowance for living expenses.. .. 2 50 " paid ferry fare v 05 " tram fare, North Sydney to Sydney Mines 0 06 " paid for use of room for holding inquiries 0 40 " service on witnesses l nil " stenographer (copying evidence and reports) 135 " stationery and postage 0 10



The next in order is the case of Roderick McLeod. The investigation, according to the report as I have it here, was on the 6th day of September, 1912. It was made simply ai.d clearly in a letter written by Mr. McCormick, so that no time need be wasted in looking up what the charge was. The bill in connection with that investigation is attached to the papers and it reads as follows: To travel, issuing notices, subpoenas, etc., conducting inquiries $15 00 " allowance for living expenses.... 2 50" ferry fare 005" horse hire 1 00 " paid for use of room for holding inquiries 0 40 " service on witnesses 1 00 " stenog:apher (copying evidence and repots) 135 " stationery and postage 0 05



The next in order is that of D. J. Morrison. The charge is made clearly and distinctly by my hon. friend, Mr. McCormick, in a letter dated July 6, 1912, and sent in due course to Mr. Duchemin for inquiry, so that there was no need of wasting any time finding out about it. I find that he took evidence of two lines and three words, and that finished the whole inquiry, and he sent in his bill in connection with that. It will be noted that it is the same day as the other: To travel, issuing notices, subpoenas, etc., conducting inquiries $15 00 " allowance for living expenses.. .. 2 50J' ferry fare 0 05" horse hire 1 00 *" paid for use of room for holding inquiries 0 40" service on witnesses 1 00 " stenographer (copying evidence and reports) 135 " stationery and postage 0 Ou Total $21 35 The next that happens to come to nay hand is that of Roderick Bain, an inquiry held upon the same day and at the same place, with the same witnesses and in the same room. In connection with which I find this bill: .To travel, issuing notices, subpoenas, etc., conducting inquiry re Roderick Bain, New Campbellton, N.S. 15 00 " allowance for living expenses.. .. 2 50" paid ferry fare o 05 " Paid tram fare, North Sydney to Sydney Mines 0 05 " horse hire, Sydney Mines to New Campbellton 080 " paid for use of room for holding inquiries 0 40" service on witnesses 1 00 " stenographer (copying evidence and reports) 1 35" stationery and postage 0 05 The last one is that of H. G. McKay; for an investigation held in the same place and on the same day, with the same witnesses, the same room, and crossing the same ferry. He does not set out the items as clearly as in the other. He says: Allowance $15 00Living allowance 3 00Witnesses, typewriting, etc. . . 5 40 That is the full record of the charges that were made, and I have satisfied I think, the House-and Mr. Duchemin does not deny it-that all these services were performed the same day. I have pointed out what Mr. Duchemin's explanation is, and it is the explanation upon which the Customs Department thought they were safe in making the statement that I made a false representation to the House when I intimated that too much money was paid for this inquiry. In the Auditor-General's Report, 1912-13, Part F, Finance Department, there appears on page F-48 some correspondence about this matter, which I read: Audit Office, Ottawa, June 13, 1913. Sir,-With regard to the investigations held by Mr. H. P. Duchemin for your department, 1 presume your attention has been called to the statement made in the House of Commons by Mr. McKenzie. M.P., on the 23rd ultimo 0p- 10981, Hansard) that " on the 6th September last Mr. Duchemin held six investigations between three o'clock and six o'clock in the afternoon in a house at New Campbellton, or Big Bras d'Or, and rendered six separate and distinct bills, amounting to over one hundred dollars for three hours' work." His account, dated 31st October last, shows that he charged for six days' services for portions of September 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, lrth and 12th in conducting investigations at Little Bras d'Or and New Campbellton. In view of the discussion in the House, I should like a statement in full detail from Mr. Duchemin showing how this time was occupied during the six days charged for. I am, sir, your obedient servant, E. D. Sutherland, for A.G. The Commissioner of Customs. To that the Department of Customs replied: Department of Customs, Ottawa, June 26, 1913. Sir,-I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 13th instant, in which you call attention to a statement on page 10981 of Hansard, with reference to investigations made by Mr. H. P. Duchemin, and enclose h'ewi'h a copy of Mr. Duchemin's report rn this subject. I have the honour to be, sir, Your obedient servant, John McDougald, Commissioner of Customs. The Auditor General. I will read Mr. Duohemin's reply, which is not long, and before I read it I wish to draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, and the attention of the House, to the fact that Mr. Duchemin explained here that he was working in connection with these investigations at Bras d'Or during the 11th, 12th and 13th of September, 1912, when in fact his own reports obtained from the department would have left his hands on the 7th, or one of them as late as the 9th, but all were clear of him before the 11th. I may point out that the date, 2nd September, is four days before the inquiry at Little Bras d'Or. His explanation is: Sydney, N.S., June 21, 1913. Dear Sir,-Replying to your favour of tne 17th instant, I beg to furnish details asked for by the Auditor' General, as follows: Sept. 2, 1912.-Travel Sydney to Sydney Mines, conferring with Mr. McCormick and arranging docket of cases; going over charges of local complainants arranging for places of hearing; for service of witnesses, etc. Also issuing subpoenas, notices and communicating by mail with local complainants from Sydney, in re Little Bras d'Or, Big Bras d'Or and Mew Campbellton cases; sitting at North Sydney to open hearing, J. J. McDonald case. Sept. 4, 1912.-Further conferring with Mr. McCormick, Sydney Mines, and Mr. McDonald, North Sydney, in re Little Bras d'Or case; sitting at North Sydney, J. J. McDonald case (continued). Sept. 5, 1912.-Travel Sydney to Sydney M'nes, taking evidence in Day case, Arseneau and Dunlop cases. Sydney-issuing further subpoenas Big Bras d'Or cases. Sept. 6 and 7, 1912.-Travel from Sydney to Sydney Mines and Big Bras d'Or, sittings for hearings of evidence afternoon and night of the 6th at Big Bras d'Or; return to Sydney on 7th, going over evidence and partially preparing reports. Sept. 9, 1912.-Taking adjourned hearing of Arseneau case at North Sydney. Further sitting J. J. McDonald case. Let it be clearly understood that I said nothing at all about the cases of Day, Arseneau and McDonald; I know nothing about these bills and I made no complaint. Sept. 11, 12 and 13, 1912.-Reviewing evidence, making findings, preparing and drafting reports in re the following cases: Arseneau, Dunlop, Day, Rod. McLeod, D. J. Morrison, Rod. McDonald, Rodk. Bain and Geo. Livingstone case; going over evidence in J. J. McDonald case; holding adjourned sitting McDonald case at Sydney, and meeting accused there; issuing subpoenas at request of accused for absent witnesses; further adjournment of bearing taking up McCurdy case with Mr. McCormick, and disposing of same; writing complainants in various constituencies for immediate closing all customs inquiries; conferring with Mr. Douglas and issuing processes re Mc-Aulay, McDonald and Peach inquiries. This is as complete a report as I can furnish at this distance of time from the date of the inquiries. I may say that Mr. McKenzie made some strange errors, during the course of the discussion referred to, in the House of Commons. He stated, for instance, that I had rendered six different accounts, in connection with these investigations. The Auditor General will, of course, know that this is incorrect. I have rendered but two accounts, covering in all eight days, one to your department for six days and another to another department for two. Mr. McKenzie also stated that the six Investigations which he referred to were all held in one afternoon at Little Bras d'Or when, as a matter of fact, they were held at different points, namely, at Big Bras d'Or, at Sydney Mines, and at North Sydney, on distinctly different dates. Further, Mr. McKenzie assumes that the sole work of a Commissioner of Inquiry is the sitting to take evidence, whereas, this is only a fraction- and in most cases a very small fraction-of the amount of time taken up. For instance: You will note that the hearing at Big Bras d'Or included one day to arrange docket, get names of witnesses, find out what evidence they were likely to give and determine to whom subpoenas should issue, fixing place of hearing, etc. Following this, was the sending out of notices, the issuing of subpoenas, the arranging for bailiffs to serve same, etc. He further ignores what is the largest item of all in connection with these investigations, namely, that of travel. Going from Sydney to Big Bras d'Or, holding the investigations, and taking the evidence there and return, alone consumed one and a half days and a night sitting for the taking of evidence. * Further, Mr. McKenzie implied that my accounts have overlapped and that different departments were charged for same periods of time. In this, too, he is, of course, incorrect. My method has been as follows: I have kept strict account of the time during each month in which I have been engaged on the work of my commission. At the end of the month I have made up the exact number of days that I have been engaged on Government business as commissioner, and have determined as v^ell as might be, how this time should be apportioned between the different departments. This apportionment has, for obvious reasons, been S5i!



difficult to make with absolute accuracy as between the various departments. It has, however, been easy for me to determine the precise number of days that I have been doing work of investigator, and I have in no case charged for any more or any less time than I have been so occupied. Sometimes part of a day is charged against one department, and part against another. In determining how much of each day is to be charged against a particular department, I have considered the number of investigations that I have had for the various departments during the itinerary under consideration, and have made the fairest and most; equitable apportionment that I could under the circumstances, as between the various departments. I may say that immediately on receipt of Hansard containing Mr. McKenzie's observations in this connection, I wrote the Hon. Mr. Hazen somewhat fully with regard to the matter. Trusting that the foregoing information will be sufficient for the purpose of the Auditor General, I remain, Yours very truly, (Signed) H. P. Duchemin. I would not for one moment think of taking up so much time of the House, were it not that I was flatly charged, in Hansard of March 3, 1915, with making a mis-statement. Mr. Duchemin says that he was working on these returns on the 11th and 12th of September, 1912, when he is on record as saying that they were out of his hands and sent to the department on the 7th and 9th of that month. When I found those returns, knowing the facts from my local knowledge, I felt that I was perfectly justified in bringing to the attention of the Government the fact that it was overcharged in this connection. The $128 and some cents charged here should he only $21.35. The Government should find out if it has overpaid Mr. Duchemin to that extent, in proportion on the $6,500 or nearly $7,000 that he received. The result of my investigation justifies me in the statement that I have made, and the Customs Department was not justified in charging me with having made a mis-statement.


CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. D. REID (Minister of Customs):

This matter was brought to the attention of the Government by the hon. member for North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie) during the session of 1914. I was very sorry that the hon. member took the opportunity of bringing it up when I was not present. He brought it up when the estimates of the Public Works Department were before the House, and I had not an opportunity of replying to him at that time. If I had had, there would not perhaps have been this misunderstanding. Evidently from the attitude of the hon. member in this House, he

has some grievance, so far as Mr. Duchemin is concerned, and he is a little wrathy over the reply given by the Cus-4 p.m. toms Department. Personally I did not wish to give an answer that would hurt the feelings of the hon. member; but, in answering the question, I had to state that the charges made were either true or untrue. The records in the Customs Department and, so far as I know, the evidence before the hon. member for North Cape Breton, did not justify the statement made by him. I have never seen Mr. Duchemin and I did not know anything about him until I had made inquiries after his name had been brought to the attention of the House I have made inquiries of bon. members on the opposite side of the House who know Mr. Duchemin, and they tell me that he is an upright, honourable, honest man, and that any decision that he would give in any case on which he was acting as judge, would be fair and honest so far as he was able to decide. Therefore was it fair for the hon. member for North Cape Breton shielding himself behind this House, to ask the question he did with reference to .Mr. Duchemin?

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   COMMISSIONER DUCHEMIN'S ACCOUNTS.
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LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

If the minister will

look into the matter he will find that I did not ask any such question.

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   COMMISSIONER DUCHEMIN'S ACCOUNTS.
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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

If the records of Hansard are as I understand they are, the hon. member asked the question foT the hon. member for Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair).

Topic:   QUESTION OF PRIVILEGE.
Subtopic:   COMMISSIONER DUCHEMIN'S ACCOUNTS.
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March 12, 1915