Hon. A. E. KEMP:
Mr. Speaker, I rise for the purpose of discussing for a moment or two a personal matter. In his remarks to this House a few days ago, the hon. member for Carleton (Mr. Carvell) referred to me as being connected with a concern known as the Sheet Metal Products Company of Canada, Limited. I am connected with that concern. I desire first to read to the House a letter I received from that company: t
Toronto, March 10, 1916.
Hon. A. E. Kemp, M.P., P.C.,
Dear Mr. Kemp :
We are in receipt of a, marked copy of Hansard of the 7th instant, in which we find certain references made by Mr. Carvell to this company.
The facts in relation to our transactions with the Shell Committee, briefly, are as follows:
All of the business offered has been through regular channels. No one, except a regular official of this company, has either directly or indirectly, had any negotiations whatever in connection therewith.
Shortly after the war broke out we were asked to make certain articles which were particularly in our line of business, and which we understood were component parts intended for use in making shells for the British Government. We congratulated ourselves on being able to be of some service in this connection, and as opportunity offered we rendered what assistance we could by giving information to other manufacturers, whose experience in a similar class of work was not as broad as ours, resulting, we believe, in increased production on their part, which was most desirable.
We eo-operated with the Inspection Branch of the Shell Committee in affording facilities for training inspectors, whereby they familiarized themselves with their work, thus enabling them to inspect similar work which was being done in many other places, and this service was publicly acknowledged. It was also stated that this plant had been of immeinse value in overcoming difficulties in connection with the manufacture of articles referred to.
The total amount of business received from the Shell Committee, to which reference is made by Mr. Carvel!, is considered small from two standpoints. First, in respect to the total amount of the class of articles required by the Shell Committee, which were distributed through many factories in different parts of the country, and second, it is also unimportant from the standpoint of the volume of our regular business, being approximately but three per cent in the years for which delivery was expected.
We do not know that any useful purpose can be served by making reference to that part of the speech which assumed to deal with the technical side of the question, as those who have not an intimate knowledge In respect to manufacturing processes would scarcely appreciate this phase of the subject. Suffice it to say that what are commonly called " tin cups " are made from twenty-two gauge steel tinned. The articles called " clips " arts made from either brass or steel, in respect to both of which the combined operations, before completion are not less than thirty, all of which require to be of the most precise and exact character, and which fact, as those who know will understand, is common to the manufacture of all classes of ammunition.
The foregoing has reference to two articles. The third article, to which reference has been made, is what are known as " sockets ". We accepted this business for the reason that the information which came to us was that the production of shells was being considerably retarded for lack of this particular part.
The execution of the Shell Committee orders necessitated special concentration and attention of our chief mechanical experts and factory executives, and, to a large extent, impeded operations in connection with our regular business, which under other than war conditions we should have viewed from a different standpoint, being always convinced that breaking into the manufacture of new and intricate articles tends to a condition of affairs which gives unfavourable results.
Yours very truly,
The Sheet Metal Products Co.
of Canada, Limited.
* F. S. Corrigan,
So much for that. So far as the personal remarks of my hon. friend are concerned, I wish to quote from Hansard. On March 7, Hansard, page 1606, my hon. friend from Carleton, referring to me, made this statement :
I And that the Shell Committee purchased from a member of this Government $300,000 worth of goods.
And on Hansard, page 1607, he made the following statement:
I think the Shell Committee wlm were appointed by this Government, for this Government, and acting under the instructions of this Government, surely ought to exhaust every means of purchasing supplies before resorting to the members of the Government themselves.
Then, on page 1634, my hon. friend, still debating the same subject, on his responsibility as a member of this House made the statement that I was the manager of, or managed, this company. In the first place,
I desire to say that i have never at any time in my life received any favours from this Government or from any other Government of Canada. Secondly, for many years before becoming a member of this Government, I had taken no active part whatever in the management of this company. If all the time that I have given to the consideration of the affairs of this company since the war broke out was added together,
I am quite sure it would not amount to as much as half a day. I have not even been in the works of this company since the war broke out. The first specific information I had in regard to these shell contracts, so-called, was when I read the remarks of my hon. friend from Carleton in Hansard. I do not want anything that I am saying, or shall say, to be considered in any sense as an apology because this company accepted this business. If they had refused to accept this business because I was a member of this Government, such action on their part would have received my condemnation. I want to say further, that if I had been the means of having this company refuse to assist in making, munitions for the British Government, I would consider myself an object of contempt in this country,, and I would not, I believe, be considered a decent Canadian or a decent British subject.
Subtopic: SHELL. CONTRACTS-THE SHEET METAL PRODUCTS COMPANY.