April 11, 1935

CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

-and we should find out how it happened.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

The members of a royal commission are sworn on entering upon their duties, and I am informed that the oath was administered to each member of this royal commission.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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CON

William Walker Kennedy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. W. KENNEDY (Winnipeg South Centre):

On a matter of privilege, as chairman of the royal commission on price spreads, I wish to refer to a statement made by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) in this house on Tuesday, relating to the matter of reports as to the deliberations and findings of the commission getting into the public press. Without reading it in full, I wish to refer to this part of the right hon. gentleman's remarks. Speaking on the 9th instant, the leader of the opposition stated:

I should like to suggest also when the government are considering the legislation that is to be based upon the recommendations of this commission, with respect to unfair practices and unethical proceedings, it might consider whether it is not possible to enact some legis-

Price Spreads Commission

lation which will prevent unfair practices and unethical proceedings on the part of the chairman of committees of this House of Commons when dealing with price spreads and mass buying, and on the part of some member or members of royal commissions when they are dealing with the same subjects.

In the first instance, I wish to point out that I was not chairman of the special committee of this house dealing with the matter of price spreads and mass buying. I was appointed chairman of the royal commission on price spreads on October 29 last, and throughout the deliberations of that commission I continued to act as chairman. The commissioners met on Tuesday morning last and signed their report at eleven o'clock. At four o'clock on Tuesday afternoon the report of the commissioners was handed by me to the Hon. Mr. Hanson, Minister of Trade and Commerce. Up to that time no authority was given by the commission as such, or in any way as a commission, for the release of any portion of that report or anything in respect to its deliberations. Since the question is raised in the house, naturally it reflects upon all members of the commission. It reflects upon the staff of the commission. I think that at this time it would be unfair for me to enter upon any denial or any statement, so far as I am personally concerned, inasmuch as such a statement would just bring it down to ten more members of the commission who would have to make statements. But I am in entire accord with the point of view expressed by the leader of the opposition and as expressed by the Minister of Trade and Commerce as to the impropriety-

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

The

Minister of Justice.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Winnipeg):

-the Minister of Justice-as to the impropriety of such a report getting into the press before it was tabled. Speaking for myself-and for the members of the commission, as far as I know -I would welcome a complete investigation into the question, by what method or through what channels that report was published. I would point this out also. Not only was the publication of it unfair to the commission as such, and unfair to the staff personnel, but it was unfair to a large section of the press as well. Representatives of the press came to me as chairman, time and again, pointing out that certain information was appearing in the press and asking for reports. I told them my views on the matter, and those views I have maintained throughout. Yet some sections of the press obviously had exact copies of parts of the report and published them, while other sections of the press had not the

same facilities. Let me say this. Personally, as chairman of that commission, I regret the publication of its report in part, in advance of the complete publication. I would welcome a full and complete investigation.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley

Liberal

Mr. J. L. ILSLEY (Hants-Kings):

I think I should be permitted to add a word. I am wholly in accord with the sentiments expressed by the chairman of the commission, the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Kennedy). I think I am expressing what is in the minds of myself and my colleagues on this side, the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. Young), the hon. member for Toronto West Centre (Mr. Factor) and the hon. member for Bellechasse (Mr. Boulanger), when I say that we would like to have an investigation into this whole occurrence, so that the public may know in what way this matter got into the press prematurely.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Samuel Factor

Liberal

Mr. SAMUEL FACTOR (Toronto West Centre):

May I add this word? When I

was in Toronto on Monday night, I read in the Toronto Daily Star of that same afternoon a complete report of all the recommendations of the price spreads commission. I want to assure the house that so far as I am concerned I at no time gave any information to any member of the press in reference to any of the contents of the report or the proceedings of the commission.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Who is the Judas?

Mr. OSCAR L. BOULANGER (Bellechasse) : Lest some hon. members may think

I am the guilty party, I wish to assure the house that I am not guilty.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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CON

Jean Louis Baribeau

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. JEAN LOUIS BARIBEAU (Champlain) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I wish

to assure you that I am not the guilty party and I would welcome an investigation to find out who he is.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT (Translation):

We are

proceeding by elimination!

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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CON

Alexander McKay Edwards

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. A. M. EDWARDS (South Waterloo):

As this seems to be a sort of testimony meeting, as a member of the royal commission I want to say that I have not yet seen the summary that appeared in the press and I do not expect to see it until the report is tabled in the house. I know nothing at all about these reports that have got out.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. E. J. YOUNG (Weyburn):

As the

member of the commission who has not signed the report, I wish to express my hearty approval of everything that the chairman and the other members of the commission have said.

Butter Returned to Canada

Mr. M. C. SENN (Haldimand) I just want to add my word. This process is rather a narrowing down, and if I do not, as the rest have done, make a categorical denial, I am afraid some suspicion might fall upon me. However I want to say, as the rest of the members of the commission have done, that at no time have I given out any information regarding the character of the report.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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CON

Thomas Bell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMAS BELL (Saint John-Albert):

As I think I am the last one on the list, I may be considered guilty if I do not make a denial. I am heartily in accord with the remarks made by the chairman of the commission.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Winnipeg):

Following

up my .previous observations, I think the action of the other members of the commission in themselves individually making denial, relieves me from the reservation that I made at the opening of my remarks when I said that I did not want to enter a denial because I thought that to do so might carry some implication. I feel myself relieved now from that reservation, and I beg to state to the house without evasion, equivocation or mental reservation of any kind that as chairman of the commission I neither gave out any report nor any authorization therefor, nor had I any personal knowledge in any way, shape or form of how any report or reports got into the press.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Are there any other members of the commission who have not yet declared in the house where they stand on this question?

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Peace River.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. D. M. KENNEDY (Peace River):

I have not given out any part of the report nor have I discussed it with anyone.

Topic:   PRICE SPREADS COMMISSION
Subtopic:   PUBLICATION OF REPORT IN THE PRESS IN ADVANCE OF PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT
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ARGENTINE CORN


On the orders of the day: Mr. ECCLES J. GOTT (South Essex): If I might be jtermitted to change the subject, I would like to direct to the government a question which concerns thousands of farmers in the counties of Essex and Kent. It is necessary that I should make some explanation. Last year we grew in those two counties six million bushels-


CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would ask the hon. member to put his question.

Topic:   ARGENTINE CORN
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April 11, 1935