May 13, 1916

LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. CARVELL:

Yes, by two of them,- both the commissioner and the counsel.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Well, I leave that for what it is worth. The hon. gentleman today has studiously worked and his last observation caps his work and assures him of success in making for himself such a reputation, that when he shall rise and make accusations against people, the public will assume that these people deserve praise instead of blame. When the hon. gentleman undertook to make the Teckless attack that he did make this afternoon, he simply placed himself in the position that . when the report of it goes to the public, that knows Sir Charles Davidson and that knows the hon. gentleman, it will draw its own conclusion, and that conclusion will he greatly to the advantage of the gentleman whom the hon. member next chooses as the object of his vituperation. The hon. gentleman says that the Conservative party were represented by counsel. He is in that respect no more unjust to Sir Charles Davidson than he is to Mr. John Thompson- Captain John Thompson-the subordinate of the Minister of Militia. There is the testimony of the Auditor General, the man who has gone into matters that were brought before that commission, and he tells you that there was no matter that he suggested to Mr. John Thompson, the so-called attorney of the Conservative party,

that was not taken up and most thoroughly gone into. Application, I understand, was made for the appearance of counsel on behalf of the Liberal party, not for any individual taking any responsibility, or making any charge whatsoever. That would have opened the door to counsel for the Conservative party and to counsel for the labour party, which ,is a very important party in British Columbia, and which represents an element of very great importance in this country. This commission, which in its nature was a commission of inquiry, would have found itself faced by a large number of counsel, none of them representing anybody who made any accusations, and each one of them trying from different party points of view, to derive some advantage from a proceeding that had no object in the world but to ascertain the truth and which was being carried on by two gentlemen perfectly competent and, the hon. member for Carleton to the contrary notwithstanding, absolutely desirous of reaching that truth.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I hope the minister understood from me that Mr. Taylor, who sought to appear before the commissioner in Victoria to cross-examine witness, did not ask for any remuneration from the Government. The Minister understands that?

Mr. DOHERTY; I understand that.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Does not the minister think that having counsel to cross-examine witnesses is always a most important factor in arriving at the whole truth?

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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:

May I ask the hon. gentleman whether he is aware that the so-called Insurance Commission, part of whose direct task was to drive Sir George Foster out of public life, did not permit Sir George FosteT to cross-examine witnesses by counsel, if my recollection is correct? That was a case in which he was directly attacked, and if some correspondence is ever made public as to the purpose of the late Administration in ordering that investigation, my hon-. friend, I think, will not find it to the credit of those who had the particular motive of which I have some evidence.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mt. PUGSLEY:

Did my right hon. friend approve of that course upon the part of the commissioners to whom he refers?

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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 might have denounced that course and approved this, because there was a man placed in the position of a defendant and not allowed to ap-

pear in court and1 defend himself by counsel before the very commission in whose court t'he attack was 'being made. It would not be possible under the amendment we have made to the Inquiries Act for such a result to be brought about. But it was possible formerly, and full advantage was taken of that possibility.

-Mr. PUGSLEY: I agree with my right hon. friend that if the commission acted in the case to which he refers in the manner described, it was a great impropriety on their part, and I would not justify or defend any commission that would refuse to allow counsel to represent a man who was under accusation. I think it was exceedingly improper if they did so. I desire to repeat the remark I made to the Minister of Justice. I have seen many investigations, and when you have a commissioner with only one counsel to aid him and no counsel to cross-examine, there is the greatest possible danger of having 'the facts misrepresented and the truth concealed, and of an erroneous conclusion being arrived at.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

There was only one counsel, and that counsel was counsel for the people of Canada.

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LIB
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

That man was selected by the commissioner himself, and the purpose of that counsel throughout was to get at the truth. In effect he was prosecuting

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I could point out some other errors made by the commissioner.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

We shall be in a better position to discuss these things when we have the report.

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LIB
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

We will come to the

question of counsel later on. For the mo-

3471 '

ment, when I am dealing with men of unbridled tongues who, with wonderful courage and bravery attacking an adversary that is not here, allow themselves to make diatribes such as my hon. friend from Carleton has made this afternoon, it would at least-

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LIB
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

-it would at least be fair that when one undertakes to stand up and put the defence-so far as he needs it- he might be allowed to make it without interruptions from the hon. member.

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LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order, order.

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CON

Auguste-Charles-Philippe-Robert Landry (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

If the Minister of Justice has no objection to being interrupted the hon. gentleman can ask his question.

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I dee ire always to be courteous. I thought the minister had given me permission to interrupt.

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May 13, 1916