Hon. ALBERT SEVIGNY (Minister of Inland Revenue):
Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. I see in the morning papers a report which reads as follows:
Ottawa, June 5.-An extraordinary position of affairs was revealed in a return made this
evening In a volume of correspondence between the iSergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons and Hon. Albert Sevigny, and between the Sergeant-at-Arms and the Justice Department, with regard to a quantity of valuable effects removed from the Speaker's chambers at the House of Commons early in 1916 by Hon. Mr. Sevigny during his tenure? of office as Speaker. It appeared that Hon. Mr. Sevigny had removed a number of handsome pictures and works of art
-which, by the way, is not true.
a Viotrola and a quantity of high priced records, with other ornaments and furniture and had them sent to Quebec.
Col Smith wrote Hon. Mr. Sevigny several times'apparently without getting any response. He then wrote a sharp letter to Hon. Mr. Sevigny, pointing out that he must know that these goods should be in the custody of himself as Sergeant-at-Arms, and that he was responsible for them. Yet in face of repeated requests Hon. Mr. Sevigny had continued to retain them, etc.
This article, published in the Montreal Gazette this morning, is absolutely false; there is nothing in the papers which were submitted to the. House yesterday to sustain those assertions. The facts are as follows. As everybody knows, the Speaker's Chambers were destroyed by fire last year when I was Speaker of the House of Commons-and, by the way, I may be permitted to say that my monetary losses as a result of the fire amounted to about $1,200. Last year when the House prorogued as there were no quarters for the Speaker, I asked the officers of the House if there would be any objection to sending to Quebec certain effects which were in Ottawa at the disposal of the Speaker of the House of Commons during the Tecess. No objection was raised at the time by any of the officers of the House, and, accordingly, instructions were given that certain effects be sent to Quebec. A list of those effects w as made by the Serjoait-at-Arms, and they were sent to Quebec by the Serjeant-at-Arms. On January 8 of this year, I was invited to join the Cabinet and the next day I had to go to Dorchester for my reelection. I was there until the end of January. When I came back I was sick for several days, and when I came to my office in Ottawa I was very busy with my departmental business. When I w.as asked for the first time by the Serjeant-at-Arms to .send back those effects, I told hi.m, in a letter of which a copy was submitted to the House yesterday, that I would send them as soon as I should be back in Quebec. I wrote a second letter to the Serjeant-at-Arms in which I repeated that. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that my intention never was to keep those effects and
that they .were returned to the Serjeant-at-Arms in perfect order.
ALLEGED COMPULSORY RETIREMENT OF CIVIL SERVANTS. [DOT]
On the Orders of the Day.
Subtopic: STATEMENT BY HON. ALBERT SEVIGNY.