Mr. Speaker, I desire to lay on the table certain correspondence exchanged between the Auditor General and the Acting Minister of Finance, asked for by my hon friend from West York (Sir Henry Drayton).
Topic: AUDITOR GENERAL AND ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE
Mr. Speaker, last night my right hon. friend (Mr. Meighen) asked me with respect to a report on ocean rates from Dr. Magill to himself. I mentioned at the time that I had requested one of my colleagues to telegraph Dr. Magill for tihe report. This morning he received the following telegram in reply:
Hon. T. A. Low,
Minister of Trade and Commerce.
Winnipeg, March 10;
Hid not undertake work offered in Mr. Mcighen's letter February 16, 1921, because Hyndman Commission on grain trade appointed about that time.
There appears to have been no report.
With reference to the correspondence which was tabled yesterday on the subject of ocean rates and the correspondence which has been tabled to-day from the Department of Trade and Commerce, which correspondence was requested by the right hon. leader of the opposition, I think the House should have the advantage of perusing it, and I therefore beg to move:
That one thousand copies in the English language and five hundred copies in the French language of the correspondence between the government of Canada and the British government in regard to the subject of ocean rates and especially in relation to the Imperial Shipping Committee laid on the table of the House on Monday, March 9, and one thousand copies in the English language and five hundred copies in the French language of the correspondence from the Department of Trade and Commerce regarding transatlantic freight and passenger rates, laid on the Table thiis day, be printed forthwith, and that rule 74 be suspended in relation thereto.
Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, I certainly
have no objection to the correspondence tabled on the 9th, which I asked for, between the Prime Minister's office and the British government or the Imperial Shipping Committee, being printed. But I know nothing about this subsequent correspondence which has been laid on the table to-day; it was not included in what was asked for by me. I have no personal knowledge of it so far as I know. It is somewhat voluminous and I only had about three seconds to look at it, but I note that many of the letters addressed to the minister are marked "private and confidential" ; I have not noticed whether any of his are or not. It seems to me that probably we would not be acting rightly in having the correspondence published without the closest investigation and perhaps the consent of the correspondents.
I have no objection to the "private and confidential" letters not being brought down, but I think the rest
Miners and Steel Workers
of the correspondence should toe available at the earliest date. It was asked for by my right hon. friend, who requested production of correspondence not only from the Department of External Affairs but also from the Department of Trade and Commerce.
correspondence with the British government or the Imperial Shipping Committee. From what I have seen, this is correspondence written by various people in Canada to the Minister of Trade and Commerce, and is all marked "private and confidential" or "personal and confidential." I have not read any of it.
am not saying any of it is necessarily private and confidential; I have not had time to read any of the letters. We are asked to order the printing and publication on one second's examination. I suggest that as to this correspondence the motion be postponed.
I do not wish to press the motion for the printing; it can be moved to-morrow if my right hon. friend would like to have an opportunity to look over the correspondence. I suggest, however, that the first part of the resolution, in respect to the correspondence laid on the table yesterday and to which my right hon. friend has no objection, be adopted.
That one thousand copies in the English language and five hundred copies in the French language of the correspondence between the government of Canada and the British government in regard to the subject of ocean rates, and especially in relation to the Imperial Shipping Committee, laid on the table of the House on Monday, the ninth of March, be printed forthwith, and that rule 74 be suspended in relation thereto.
Is it the pleasure of the House, by unanimous consent, to adopt the motion as amended?