June 2, 1925

CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I rise to point

out one instance of petty politics that I hope will be remedied when I call attention to it. Since this government came into office leading Conservative papers have been struck from the file of papers kept in the Paris office.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am astonished.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I thought my hon. friend would be surprised to hear it. I would ask him to look into it and see that the usual list is returned. Speaking from recollection, I think the only Toronto papers were the Globe and the Star. That might appeal to some of my right hon. friend's followers, but I think it would hardly appeal to him that an office supported by public money should be carried on in quite that way. I drew the commissioner's attention to it, and he said he had nothing to do with it at all. Of course, if we are to understand that this is the way in which the game is to be played, it is quite all right, but I thought I had only to mention it to my right hon. friend to have it corrected.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am very much obliged to my hon. friend for bringing the matter to my attention, because this is the first intimation I have had of it. I cannot understand why the commissioner is not perfectly free to order what papers he likes, or at any rate he would probably ask the deputy head of the department, and I cannot conceive that the deputy minister, who has been in the office right along until the last few months, would have put any Conservative paper, or any other paper, off the list. I agree with my hon. friend that there ought to be strict impartiality in the matter.

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PRO

George Gibson Coote

Progressive

Mr. COOTE:

What are the duties of the Paris agency? Are they of a business or diplomatic nature?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I should say largely business, and quasi-diplomatic. There are matters that come up with the French government that are dealt with through the Paris office. There are also a great many matters of a business nature which are also dealt with through that office. Canadians visiting Paris on different matters find the office, I think, very helpful in enabling them

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to get in touch with different persons connected either with the government or with business firms they wish to meet. The office, in fact, is open for any purpose which will be of real service to the country.

Mr. WOODS WORTH: In diplomatic

affairs does Canada deal directly with France or through the Colonial Office?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It depends upon the importance of the matter. For the most part communications with France would be through the Foreign Office of Great Britain, via the Colonial Office at the present time.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I can set my hon. friend's anxiety completely at rest. So far as Paris is concerned, Canada is extremely well represented. The present aommissioner, Mr. Roy, is most efficient, painstaking and courteous to everybody. So far as his status is concerned, I would tell my hon. friend from Winnipeg that his status really depends far more upon the man than upon the title, and Mr. Roy has won for himself quite a unique position in Paris. There is no governmental door of the French government that is closed to him, and whatever form the final deliberations go through, there is no difficulty whatever that Mr. Roy experiences in carrying on that business. In fact, I have been told by people in Paris that he really was a much more useful representative than many more highly ornamental and more highly paid representatives; in other words, that the work was done. Whether he be called a representative, ambassador, charge d'affaires or anything else, he does his work well.

There is just one more matter I would like to mention. The office is .in an excellent building in Paris, but there is really not enough room. There are two more rooms required there in order to look after the work, because there is a lot of work done, both of a diplomatic and business nature.

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Item agreed to. Canadian representation in the United States, $60,000.


CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Do you not

think we might very well rest at this point, Mr. Chairman?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Let us pass

this item, and then rest.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I do not know that this is an item that we can pass. We are not using the money, as I understand. What did we spend last year?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It is true we

did not use all of it last year. $12,000 covered the total outlay, but the government does intend to have more extended representation at Washington in the near future.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I really think

in this case the government ought to be saved from itself, and I would like to help them in saving a little money here. I suppose Mr. Mahoney is still engaged at Washington. He is a very excellent representative, and I do not know of any interest, business or anything else, that is suffering at the present moment because he is there instead of a ornate, more highly titled and far more expensive, and more or less useless representative of this country.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Well, well.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

My hon. friend

says, Well, well. I use the terms advisedly; I mean just What I say. I mean that at the present time, without throwing away money on frills or anything else, we are having our material business interests well looked after by that gentleman. I know he looked after them well when we were in office, and I assume he is still doing it or he would not be there. It is not very far from here to Washington, and my genial friend the Minister of Justice has taken several trips there. They like him down there, and he likes the trip, and it is very, very easy for him to go whenever somebody a little more formidable in appearance and armed with greater dignity and more titles is required. Whenever it is necessary, my hon. friend is always on the job. He can go down, and does go down, and I think he has done pretty well. I really think, Mr. Chairman, if the government press this vote, it is really a vote of want of confidence in the Minister of Justice, because he may well be looked upon as our ambassador, plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary so far as Washington is concerned. I think we should leave him in that position at this time. Certainly I do not want to object to him or his activities. But, seriously, Mr. Chairman, I would think that the government might very, very well leave things as they are now, and reduce this vote to the amount we are using, namely $12,000. I would ask the government to let this item stand, because if they persist, I am afraid we will have to say something on it, fairly extended too.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I would say to my hon. friend that when the government came into office they found an appropriation

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of I think $80,000 for representation at Washington which my hon. friends had voted, and the item was out at that time. It is true that up to the present time the government has not carried out the course which was proposed by hon. gentlemen opposite of having a minister plenipotentiary at Washington, who was not only to represent Canada but to take the place of the British ambassador in his absence. We thought that went a 'little bit further than we would care to go, but- we felt that the interests of Canada would be well served if we had a minister plenipotentiary at Washington. It has not 'been convenient up to the present time to make that appointment, but the government hopes to be able to make it very shortly. Certainly this amount will be required if that appointment is made. If we were to reduce it we would have to abandon the idea of appointing a minister. We do not wish to abandon that idea-in fact we want to implement the promise we have made that a representative will be appointed. I say frankly to my hon. friend that it has not been as easy to secure the person we would wish to have as representative as it might appear to be. Anyone going to Washington has to spend a good deal of money to reside there and the appropriation the government is asking from parliament it not of a kind to invite a person without means to undertake the duty and expect to have that equipment which is necessary if an office is opened and carried on as it should be in the capital of a great country like the United States. Unfortunately in our external relations up to the present, so far as Canada is concerned, we have rather had to rely upon men of private means to fill these positions. But it does not always follow that this is the course the country would -wish to see pursued generally. I think we should pay a sufficient amount to a representative of Canada abroad tio fill the position in a dignified and proper way, regardless of what his own personal fortunes may be; and I submit that this is the lowest amount with which the goverment could hope t/o undertake the opening of a residence for a minister at Washington.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

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pointment immediately by appointing an Ambassador to Paris. And is not that logical? What particular reason would the government have-

Mr. MAfcKENZIE KING: Was that the

view of Sir Robert Borden when he introduced the resolution?

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I am perfectly

free to state-I have already stated-that I never adopted that view, and that the cabinet never implemented that resolution.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The cabinet

asked the House for the appropriation.

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June 2, 1925