Hon. JAMES MURDOCK (Minister of Labour):
I arise to a question of privilege.
Hansard 'at page 2384 records the hon. member for Parry Sound (Mr. Arthurs) last night as having made certain statements referring to myself to which I think it only fair to make brief reference. The hon. gentleman was discussing the very much debated question of Canadians going to the United States and Canadians returning, and he had been reading a statement alleged to have been made by Mr. MaicNeil of the Great War Veterans. On page 2385 of Hansard he proceeds to say:
In this connection I should like to remark that the Minister of Labour stated that many of these people are returning to Canada again and gave figures showing that in 1923, 43,432 returned and in 1924 the number was 43,316. He stated that these figures represented Canadians who had paid the $8 head tax and had obtained a refund on their return to Canada. I am quite sure that the minister, if he thinks the matter over in a sober manner and after due reflection, will not repeat that statement in public, because the figures as furnished by the American authorities of those who have actually returned and received a refund of head tax, during the five months beginning with April 1924 are respectively 265 , 215 , 259, 199 and 190. That is a vastly different story, because those figures constitute less than one-fiftieth of the number claimed by the Minister of Labour. I have other extracts on the subject, but I have no desire to take up time by reading them.
On February 9th, in this House, a considerable discussion along the same lines took place and that evening I sent a night lettergram as follows:
Ottawa, February 9th, 1925.