Mr. C. W. BELL (West Hamilton):
Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. In Hansard of Friday last I observe, at page 3079, that some remarks were made by the hon. member for West Edmonton (Mr. Stewart), which remarks directly concern myself. They have to do with the occurrences at a convention held at the city of Hamilton the night before. The report in connection with which the hon. member spoke is not identified, but purports to come from Hamilton under date of June 25. In order that I may identify what I have to say, perhaps the house will bear with me while I quote that report. It reads as follows:
Charges that four cabinet ministers in the recent Liberal government at Ottawa had promised to smash the glass industry in Hamilton were levelled by C. W. Bell, K.C., M.P. for Hamilton West, addressing the Conservative convention here to-night in the federal riding of Hamilton East at which M. M. Robinson, sportsman and newspaperman, was chosen Conservative candidate to contest the riding at the by-election, August 10.
Hon. Charles Stewart, Minister of the Interior, and Hon. James Malcolm, Minister of Trade and Commerce in the King government, and two other cabinet ministers had opposed the efforts of Hamilton to build up the glass industry there, said Mr. Bell.
Referring to his efforts to aid glass manufacturers in the city, Mr. Bell said: "This is the truth of the thing.
The report then continues, "In ten or twelve visits," and then follows in parantheses "to
Privilege-Mr. Bell (Hamilton)
government officials at Ottawa"; this is distinctly inaccurate as these visits were made to Ottawa amongst other places. The report continues :
I did all I could. Yet every time I went to them I found that a new flood of propaganda undermining the confidence of their financial backers had been poured upon them.
This went on until one day at Ottawa I was told by Mr. Stewart, the Minister of the Interior in the King administration, and Mr. Malcolm, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, and two other cabinet ministers that they would never let Hamilton get its glass industry. And they said: 'We will smash your d- industry.' "
The hon. member for Antigonish-Guysboro (Mr. Duff) then interjected, "That means ' damned,' " which proves my contention that he and I speak the same language. The hon. member for West Edmonton then continued:
May I say that when a member of the government I never was canvassed by the hon. member for West Hamilton (Mr. Bell) for aid for the glass industry.
There are points on which I disagree with my hon. friend, and those points I propose to mention presently. However, let me say that so far as that statement is concerned, I agree cordially with him; he never was canvassed by me for aid for the glass industry whilst he was a member of the recent government, nor did I ever say so. In so far as this statement, whatever its source may be, relates to the hon. members for West Edmonton and North Bruce (Mr. Malcolm), to that extent it is entirely accurate. The hon. member for West Edmonton continued:
When the present government cancelled by an order in council the duty which was imposed at the September session, I met the hon. member in the Chateau Laurler and had a discussion with him, but that is the only conversation I have had with him with respect to this matter.
Then the hon. member for North Bruce, in his invariably fair manner, said:
Mr. Speaker, may I join with the hon. member for West Edmonton (Mr. Stewart) in saying that I do not wish to doubt the accuracy of the report, but as it is not based on any conversation that I can recall, I am inclined to think that the statement attributed to the hon. member for West Hamilton is not in accordance with the facts.
Under the circumstances which then obtained, I can quite believe that this matter might easily have passed from the minds of both hon. members in question, but it did not pass from mine. The circumstances to which I allude have to do not with the occasion when the glass tariff had been recalled or cancelled, but rather with an occasion some weeks after the breakup of the emergency session in September. At that time the
criticisms which were being made publicly of the efforts to establish industries amounted to a very distinct newspaper propaganda. I made a number of visits to Ottawa, as I made visits elsewhere, in an endeavour to get this industry on its feet. On the occasion to which I am referring I met the hon. members for West Edmonton and North Bruce in the Chateau Laurier. I was sending a telegram and was standing at the stand where telegrams are written, and my hon. friends came along. The hon. member for West Edmonton stood at the end of the stand, and the hon. member for North Bruce stood up against the counter where the telegrams are accepted. Both hon. members started to chaff me about our inability to get going, and presently the hon. member for North Bruce said, "Charlie, you might as well go home, you cannot do anything here; you will never get your glass factory opened." I said, "If you fellows would only leave us alone we could get it opened, but it is this ceaseless, everyday propaganda which is blocking us and we cannot get anywhere." The hon. member for West Edmonton then laughed as he is laughing now, only perhaps a little more heartily.