Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, before the Orders of the Day are proceeded with I desire to draw the attention of the Government to an article which appears in the press of Canada this morning, evidently despatched by the Canadian Press from London, England. It refers to an article in a British paper of the standing of which I have no knowledge, but inasmuch as the article has doubtless, through the Canadian Press, received very wide circulation-possibly world-wide circulation -and as, in my judgment it is defamatory to the honour of Canada I wish to call it to the attention of the Government and ask what action they propose to take in the matter. The article in question refers to the late arbitration on the value of the stock of the Grand Trunk Railway Company and I shall quote a short sentence which reads as follows: .
It is not more than two years since the manipulators of Ottawa, by daring and unscrupulous trickery, befooled this railway organization into an arbitration.
Later it refers to one of the arbitrators, Hon. Mr. Taft, as "a man not likely to be amenable to Canadian political and financial pressure," thereby implying that the Board of Arbitrators was subjected to political and financial pressure in the discharge of an onerous duty. Further on the article says:
If some Central American country swindled British investors out of not less than $48,000,000 by methods which were used in Canada, we think collision with the Monroe Doctrine might be risked in an effort to do something about it.
Whatever may be thought of the merits or demerits of the policy of acquisition I am sure that all the members of the House- of this House and the last-are agreed that nothing but honourable methods on the part of Canada were adopted as between this country and the British shareholders
nothing but the most honourable and fair methods throughout. A newspaper article defaming individuals may perhaps be lightly treated, but such an article defaming a nation, and circulating throughout the world, is not a matter we can afford wholly to ignore. A Government exercises some supervision over such matters in so far as they may impugn the honour of another country. The British Government has its obligations in this regard, the same as the Government of any country. I have not had the opportunity of mentioning the matter to the Prime Minister, nor to the Government, but I call their attention to it now and ask that they advise us now if possible, if not, later, what they propose to do with regard to this article that has gained such worldwide circulation.