June 24, 1926

LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOTVIN:

At the time the alcohol was sent to the Dominion Distilleries the minister did not know. The proof that I did not know was that I made the mistake of saying that the alcohol was for blending purposes. I did not know what purpose it was purchased for. It was purchased by the Dominion Distilleries Limited, at 36 cents a gallon, brought into their distillery at that price and it could not leave their distillery without paying $9 a gallon, unless it was sent out as denatured alcohol, when it had no duty to pay.

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The minister stated

the other day:

If it is true that the Dominion Distillers succeeded in evading the law; if it is true that two or three carloads of that denatured alcohol did not reach the United States-

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It being an evasion of

the law.

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOTVIN:

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre stated that three carloads of that alcohol did not reach the United States, and he also said that it might have been used for potable purposes in this country, although it was marked poison and denatured.

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The breach of the law,

according to the ministers' statement, was failure to export it to the United States. He said so. He said three carloads were kept in Canada. The purpose of the purchasers, as known, was to export it to the United States, and the minister knew that for denaturing purposes this class of alcohol could not be sold, under the regulations of his own 14011-315i

department, in Canada except to very limited licensed purchasers. I want to ask in what position is the government of Canada, selling liquor for export to the United States? Because this liquor cannot be imported into the United States under the laws of that country, as known to the Customs department and to the minister. I am not one of those who contend that it is the duty of the government of Canada, or the duty of the people of Canada specially, to go to the extent of making themselves responsible for the enforcement of the revenue laws or any other laws of the United States. The United States will attend to that themselves, but I do say that the government of Canada should not itself become a party to a breach of the American law, and when liquor was sold under conditions that it could be used for no other purpose than to be sent to the United States, against the laws of that country, sold by the government of Canada, that is making the government of Canada a party to the breach of the law of the United States.

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

I rise to a point o,f order.

I absolutely deny the statement that when the liquor was sold to the Dominion Distilleries Corporation Limited, it was sold for the purpose of export to the United States, or that there was any such condition attached to the sale.

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The minister's speech is

strictly in conformity with that inference and nothing else, because he said the breach of the law consisted in not sending it to the United States. He said that in his last speech.

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
LIB

Georges Henri Boivin (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BOIVIN:

I said no such thing. I

was answering the remarks of the hon. member for Vancouver Centre who made the assertion without having any proof in the evidence to support it.

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The minister said:

If it is true that the Dominion Distilleries succeeded in evading the law-

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It is true that three or

four carloads of that denatured alcohol did not reach the United States-

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Is there any other inference in that than that the evasion of the law consisted in the liquor being sent to the United States? And the minister knows that liquor could not have been sold in Canada,, save to licensed purchasers, and for specific and restricted purposes. They would not think of purchasing it for such specific pur-

Customs Inquiry-Mr. Meighen

poses. He knows it could not .be exported anywhere else. You could not export that liquor to reach any other country save in violation of the revenue laws of that country. How could we manufacture the liquor here, send it to another country and pay the revenue charges of that country? No legitimate use, therefore could be made of it for denaturing purposes.

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
LIB

Lucien Cannon (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

Is it not a fact that the minister at that time was discussing with the hon. member for Vancouver Centre, who had assumed that the distilleries were exporting it to the United States-

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink
CON
LIB
CON
LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The member for Vancouver Centre will answer this very thoroughly. There is no escape; but the department must have known the purposes, unless it was to be used for potable purposes, and the evidence shows this liquor was used for potable purposes, not only in Canada, but what went to other places was used for potable purposes, and this country was defrauded out of a revenue of $160,000. Is the government to be able to stand in this House and say "That $160,000 was lost but we are not responsible; what could we have done to collect that money?" If we have a government that cannot look after the collection of the revenue is it not worth while suggesting to them that another government take their place? What did the minister of the department do, after selling that liquor, to see to it that it was used for the purposes for which it should have been used? The answer is, nothing at all. Every hon. gentleman knows that liquor was purchased in order that a fortune might be made out of it by the friends of the ministry, and a fortune was made out of it by the friends of the minister.

Topic:   A. 1925.
Permalink

June 24, 1926