March 3, 1941

PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL REFERENCE TO EDITORIAL IN OTTAWA EVENING CITIZEN OF MARCH 1


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to-day on a matter of personal privilege. It is, I may say, the first time in my seventeen years of membership in various public bodies that I have ever done so.

On Saturday last, March 1, the Ottawa Citizen devoted most of its editorial page to explanations of its attitude and to bitter personal attacks upon me in my capacity as a member of this house.

The first paragraph to which I wish to draw attention appears in the leading editorial on page 32 of the Evening Citizen of March 1. It states:

For saying that the lads after this war, when they come home from overseas, "may know better where to shoot than Canadian veterans did in the years of debt and privation after the last war," the Citizen has been accused in the House of Commons of inciting men in uniform when they return from overseas to use force to obtain what they were after. This twisting of the Citizen's editorial, done by the C.C.F. member for Rosetown-Biggar, M. J. Caldwell, led Mr. Lapointe to say last Thursday that he agreed with Mr. Coldwell. Mr. Lapointe said:

My honourable friend (Mr. Coldwell) sent me that article, not very long ago. It was a subversive article which was published by the Ottawa Citizen on that date, and I may tell him that they will have to answer for it before the courts of the country.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I am accused of dishonesty in this house by twisting the editorial in question and thus leading the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) to say that he agreed with me. As a member of this house, as the acting house leader of this group, the accusation thus made is a grave reflection upon my personal integrity.

To say that I twisted the editorial is a charge which the editor of The Citizen makes falsely in an attempt to escape the consequences of his written word. If there has been any twisting, surely it has been on the part of the Citizen, which is trying to wriggle out of the position in which it finds itself.

The leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) speaking also in this house last Thursday, said:

I read the article and I thought it was more than a borderline case; it seemed to me that it was really an incitement to force.

The leader of the opposition, therefore, placed the same interpretation upon the article as scores of Citizen readers also did.

Privilege-Mr. Coldwell

The article published on January 11 was the subject of press comment in other parts of the dominion. I have, for example, an article appearing in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix of February 18, commenting adversely upon it.

During all this time no explanation, modification or withdrawal of the words appeared. To my mind, no other interpretation could be placed upon an editorial, the first sentence of which was:

The real business of the Bren gun is, of course, to kill-

-and the last sentence of which was:

-When the lads come home from overseas, after some years of service at the real business end of the Bren gun, they may know better where to shoot than Canadian veterans did in the years of debt and privation after the last war.

There appeared to be no possibility of misunderstanding such plain and simple English. I therefore, Mr. Speaker, under the rules protecting members of this house against libellous accusation, bring this to your attention. I do not propose to move for the attendance of the editor of the paper in question at the bar of this house, as I am advised I have the right to do; for undoubtedly the unfounded charge of twisting the editorial in question is a false and malicious accusation of personal dishonesty which infringes upon the rights of members of parliament.

On the same page, 32, of the Evening Citizen, there also appears a reprint of an editorial which appeared in the Citizen of January 22, 1941, and which was a scurrilous attack on my personal motives in public life. Its caption is, "Mr. Coldwell in good company." This reprint was introduced with the following words:

The Citizen's editorial on "The Business End of the Bren" (reproduced in an adjoining column on this page) appeared originally last January 11. The Minister of Justice, Mr. Lapointe, stated in response to a speech by Mr. Coldwell, socialist leader in the house, last Thursday:

"My hon. friend (Mr. Coldwell) criticized the inaction of the department with respect to the article in the Ottawa Citizen. My hon. friend sent me that article, not very long ago."

"Not very long ago" would perhaps mean subsequent to the publication of the following editorial in the Citizen on January 22, with reference to some of Mr. Coldwell's recent political activities.

The suggestion is made that I drew the attention of the Minister of Justice to the Bren editorial of January 11, subsequent to January 22, and from motives of revenge because of the bitter personal attack made upon me by the Citizen on the latter date. Again they accuse me of using improperly my influence as a member of this house to seek

vengeance against the writer of the editorial in question.

Had I been governed by such motives I would not have criticized the suspension of the Canadian Tribune, which assailed me and our movement in the very last issue which I had read prior to making my speech last Thursday. Indeed, as reference to Hansard will show, in drawing the Citizen editorial to the attention of the minister I was endeavouring to secure a change in the regulations by requesting absolute impartiality in, their administration. To infer that I was actuated by motives of revenge is a scandalous breach of the privileges of this house. It is obviously false; for the editorial appeared on January 11, and I drew it to the attention of the minister by letter dated January 13-which he acknowledged personally on January 18- nine days before the Citizen's attack on myself, which appeared on January 22. Thus my action was entirely unconnected with the Citizen's attack on my personal motives and integrity.

My object in raising the matter on Thursday last was not to secure revenge, or even to force the suspension or the prosecution of the Ottawa Citizen, but merely to compare the seizure of a pamphlet consisting mainly of extracts from speeches made in this house by the hon. member for North Battleford, and the suspension of a paper with a small circulation, the Canadian Tribune, with what I considered to be the inactivity of the department in relation to statements made by a widely-read Ottawa daily. The concluding words of my speech criticizing the defence of Canada regulations in several particulars clearly defined both my purpose and intention when I said:

If we are going to have regulations let them be administered impartially, without regard to who breaks the regulations. Then we shall feel that at least an attempt at justice is being made.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I am prepared, ,as all men in public life must be, for editorial comment and criticism by newspapers that disagree with my views. But imputing unworthy motives goes beyond fair and proper comment.

In view of the statement I have just made I would expect that the Ottawa Citizen will give to it tbs same publicity which it gave to its unwarranted insinuations last Saturday.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. COLDWELL REFERENCE TO EDITORIAL IN OTTAWA EVENING CITIZEN OF MARCH 1
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EXPORT OF GAME

PROHIBITION OF SHIPMENTS OUT OF PROVINCE WITHOUT PROPER PROVINCIAL AUTHORIZATION


Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Minister of Mines and Resources) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 16, to control the export of game. Export of Game


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   EXPORT OF GAME
Subtopic:   PROHIBITION OF SHIPMENTS OUT OF PROVINCE WITHOUT PROPER PROVINCIAL AUTHORIZATION
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

The explanation of this

proposed measure is quite simple. Under our constitution the provinces have control over game within their own jurisdictions but they have not control over the export of game from one province to another. Difficulties have arisen in the control within certain provinces of game, especially fur-bearing animals illegally taken within the province, that cannot be disposed of within the province but are taken to another province and disposed of there. The measure seeks to provide remedies for that condition of affairs.

The bill is the outcome of discussions, going back over several years, between provincial and federal game officers. It provides that the legislation shall be brought into effect in any province on proclamation. All the provinces with the exception of Prince Edward Island have signified their approval; indeed several of them have asked for the passage of such legislation as is proposed by the present bill. Prince Edward Island raises no objection, but the government authorities there scarcely think it is required so far as that province is concerned.

Topic:   EXPORT OF GAME
Subtopic:   PROHIBITION OF SHIPMENTS OUT OF PROVINCE WITHOUT PROPER PROVINCIAL AUTHORIZATION
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Does the bill follow the principle of prohibition, or only supervision?

Topic:   EXPORT OF GAME
Subtopic:   PROHIBITION OF SHIPMENTS OUT OF PROVINCE WITHOUT PROPER PROVINCIAL AUTHORIZATION
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

It really introduces the

principle of prohibition so far as furs illegally taken are concerned.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time. QUESTIONS

(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)

Topic:   EXPORT OF GAME
Subtopic:   PROHIBITION OF SHIPMENTS OUT OF PROVINCE WITHOUT PROPER PROVINCIAL AUTHORIZATION
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CANADIAN ARMY-RECRUITING, TRAINING AND COMMISSIONING OF OFFICERS

NAT

Mr. BRUCE:

National Government

1. (a) How many men have received training under the 30-day plan; (b) were the men so trained given an opportunity to enlist for overseas service; (c) how many of said trainees have volunteered for overseas service?

2. Since the announcement of policy of the Minister of National Defence, to the effect that, in future, commissioned officers would be taken from the ranks, (a) how many officers have been enlisted in the Canadian forces; (b) how many of these so enlisted have been taken from the ranks?

3. How many, (a) officers; (b) warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and other ranks were enlisted in reserve units as of February 1, 1941; (c) has an effort been made to ascertain the numbers on the strength of the reserve units (i) officers; (ii) warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and other ranks who are prepared to enlist for overseas service?

4. Have calls for reinforcements (a) officers;

(b) warrant officers, non-commissioned officers

l Mr. Crerar.f

and other ranks been made since December 1, 1940, upon the following reserve units: Queen's Own Rifles of Canada; Toronto Scottish Regiment; Toronto Regiment of Royal Grenadiers; the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry; Irish Regiment of Canada; (c) what were the results with respect to each of said units?

5. Will the Minister of National Defence outline the methods of recruiting, (a) active army; (b) reserve units; (c) veterans' guard?

Topic:   CANADIAN ARMY-RECRUITING, TRAINING AND COMMISSIONING OF OFFICERS
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LIB

Mr. RALSTON: (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

1. (a) 81,986; (b) The names of those who were willing to enlist were ascertained; (c) Number of recruits of 1st and 2nd training periods who expressed a willingness to volunteer for overseas service is 13,736. Returns covering 3rd period not as yet received. Actual enlistments from said recruits not yet known.

2. (a) 581; (b) 344. The difference is

accounted for by appointments in such of the specialist services as engineers, signals, Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, medicals, dentals and chaplain services.

3. (On strength January 31, 1941): (a) 7,881;

(b) 183,015; (c) yes.

4. Toronto Scottish Regiment; (a) Yes; Ob) No; (c) All calls have been met.

Royal Regiment of Canada, previously designated the Royal Regiment of Toronto Grenadiers.

(a) Yes.

(b) No.

(c) All calls have been met.

Queens Own Rifles of Canada

Royal Hamilton Light Infantry

Irish Regiment of Canada.

(a) No.

(b) No.

(c) See answer to (a) and (b) next above.

5. Active Army

When a complete unit is required, an active unit is authorized to be mobilized from a suitable existing reserve unit, and the mobilized active unit will consist of those who volunteer and are accepted1 for service in active formations and units of the Canadian army, which includes service in and beyond Canada. Reinforcements for units of the active army are generally secured by a call on their counterparts, when there are such, in the reserve army. If not sufficient are secured, or when reinforcements are required for units which have no such counterpart, quotas are allotted to districts which call upon reserve units in the districts to supply this personnel. Should these reserve units not be able to supply sufficient personnel in time, the personnel is drawn from those not in reserve units who offer their services, and these are recruited through the district depots.

At times it is necessary to mobilize a special type of unit for which there is no counterpart in the reserve army and in such cases

Questions

the district which contains the particular type of personnel required is authorized to raise the necessary numbers.

In addition, recruiting of specialists and tradesmen is continuous, as generally there are vacancies for these in technical units. These, also, are obtained through the distriot depots.

Reserve Army

Units in the reserve army recruit the necessary personnel up to the authorized establishment by enlisting applicants with the necessary qualifications at their orderly rooms in various armouries throughout the country.

Veterans' Guard

There are two kinds of veterans' companies: (a) Active; (b) Reserve.

The Officers Commanding the active companies throughout the country recruit qualified veterans up to their various establishments.

The method of recruiting for the reserve veterans' guard is similar to that of the reserve army.

Topic:   CANADIAN ARMY-RECRUITING, TRAINING AND COMMISSIONING OF OFFICERS
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CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS-MONTREAL TERMINAL

NAT

Mr. JACKMAN:

National Government

1. What was the total cost of work done on the C.N.R. Montreal terminal during: (a) the three months' period ending March 31, 1940; (b) the three months' period ending June 30, 1940; (c) the three months' period ending

September 30, 1940; (d) the three months'

period ending December 31, 1940; (e) -the one month period ending January 31, 1941?

2. Of the above amounts, how much was paid during each period for steel and other materials imported from the United States?

3. If work has ceased on the Montreal terminal will it be resumed during the war?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS-MONTREAL TERMINAL
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LIB

Mr. HOWE: (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

1. Work on the C.N.R. Montreal terminals was resumed in 1939 under a modified programme designed to meet the immediate requirements of the railway. Detailed information as to work performed during the last calendar year, and cumulative expenditures to December 31, 1940, will be tabled in parliament shortly, as required by the Canadian National Railway Montreal Terminals Act of 1929.

2. Due to the fact that the bulk of the work is being carried out under contract, the prices covering not only materials, but manufacture, fabrication and erection on the sites, the railway is not in possession of information as to amounts paid for steel and other materials imported from the United States.

3. Construction on this project has not been suspended.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS-MONTREAL TERMINAL
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DEBERT, N.S., AIRPORT

NAT

Percy Chapman Black

National Government

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

How many tons of coal have been purchased for use at the Debert airport and military camp, stating the quantity, price per ton delivered and grades, the total amounts paid or payable to each person or firm supplying such coal with unit prices delivered; also total cost of all coal so purchased?

Topic:   DEBERT, N.S., AIRPORT
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Purchases of Coal-Debert Military Camp Purchased by-Contractor Grades Total

Munitions and Supply, local pur. agent-

Wilson Coal Co., Truro, N.S No. 5 shaft, bit. screened (bagged);

Inverness, bit. screened (loose);

Springhill, bit. screened (bagged and loose); Bit. screened coal (bagged); Coal, bit. screened;

Bayview bit. screened; Bras D'Or bit. screened; Springhill screened (bagged) $ 9,832 10

Munitions and Supply, local pur. agent-

Crystal Spring Ltd., Truro, N.S Drummond bit. screened 225 00

Munitions and Supply, local pur. agent-

S. Cunard & Co. Ltd., Halifax, N.S Springhill screened 3 15

Munitions and Supply, Ottawa-

W. G. Rockwell, Truro, N.S Dominion li lump; Bras D'Or mine

run 74,013 45

Munitions and Supply, Ottawa and local purchasing agent-

Wilson Coal Co., Truro, N.S Acadia slack; Milford (Pictou) bit.

egg; Milford bit. egg; coke 4,598 50

Total tonnage for military camp 8,824i tons

Total tonnage for airport 640 tons

Total amount paid for coal, delivered, military camp $ 84,073 70

Total amount paid for coal, delivered, airport 4,598 50

Re unit prices, please see minister's statement on page 461 of Hansard.

Questions

Topic:   DEBERT, N.S., AIRPORT
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NATIONAL REGISTRATION-PROSECUTIONS AND PENALTIES

March 3, 1941