July 28, 1942

NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

The hon.

member did not say that.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I did not say that.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I want to know if he

suggests it.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I said his advice was being

paid for at the public expense, when surely the law officers of the crown could give it without any cost to the public purse.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

My hon. friend said he was paid to advise them that that document should not be laid on the table, and the inference was that the payment had influenced Mr. Campbell in that respect. I want my hon. friend-and I am sure he will-to indicate on Hansard that he had no such intention.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

,1 did not make any such assertion, but if the minister wishes to draw that inference, that is his privilege. I did not wish to insinuate it in any way.

I should like to refer to page 59 of the report, where it is stated:

The statements made by the stevedores on the one hand and the wharf superintendent and a marine surveyor on the other are at variance as to the possibility of loading any of the vehicles in No. 1 hold, the opening to which is only ten inches wider than the length of the smallest case. They are also in disagreement as to the fitness of the vessel's equipment for loading. These statements were not subject to cross-examination, and one of the stevedores made a later statement changing his earlier one.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Read the next sentence.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I will read it. It says:

In these circumstances no finding can be made upon them.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Yes, "in these circumstances no finding can be made upon them". In other words, what the hon. member has read is read for effect.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

It is a fact that the statements of the marine surveyor and the wharf superintendent to whom the commissioner refers were statutory declarations made under the full force and effect of the Canada Evidence Act. May they not therefore be considered much more solemn declarations than any which were accepted and quoted in the report?

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I point out to my hon. friend that it is indicated that they are not accepted, and that no finding was made upon them. The sentence the hon. member

omitted to read indicates that they were not accepted, because the statement is, "In these circumstances no finding can be made upon them". I know that my hon. friend persists in keeping back that sentence.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I might say to the Minister of National Defence that I did not decline to read it.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The hon. member did not read it until he was requested to do so.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I just stopped for a moment to get my breath. I have it underlined in red pencil, to read.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The hon. member took a long breath.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I had no intention of leaving it out, and I did read it. I should like to add that the action of the commissioner in refusing to accept the evidence of Mr. Cooke, a most respected citizen of Vancouver who came to Ottawa to give his evidence, was most reprehensible.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I object to that. Because the commissioner accepted the evidence of one

Hong Kong Inquiry

witness rather than that of another, his action is designated as reprehensible. That is unparliamentary; it should not be permitted and should be stricken from the record.

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LIB

Georges Parent (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The expression used by the hon. member is certainly not one which should be used. I would ask him to withdraw it.

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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I will withdraw it, and substitute the word "incorrect."

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I would ask that it be struck from the record, because it should not appear thereon in connection with the action of a judge of the supreme court, in fact the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

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July 28, 1942