June 7, 1943

NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

There should be a decision on these matters. I propose to vote in favour of the tabling of this report as called for by the hon. member for Ottawa West. I consider that this is a matter which should be pressed to the limit and we are prepared to do that.

Topic:   REPORT OF CIVIL SERVICE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

The issue is there and perhaps it should be settled; I do not know. If we are going to set up advisory committees, a great many of them by orders in council, if we are going to set up interdepartmental committees, departmental committees and so forth, every reason for the making public of this report will apply to the reports of those committees. If that is what the government must do in the future, let us have it settled.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

The minister is confusing the issue. This is not an interdepartmental committee. When the minister asks civil servants under him to set up an interdepartmental committee, with a deputy minister or someone else as chairman, the chairman of that committee is in an entirely different position from that of an outsider like Mr. Coon, who was brought in for a definite purpose.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Not a bit.

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LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would call the attention of the house to the fact that we are not in committee.

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PC

George Russell Boucher

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BOUCHER:

Mr. Speaker, I feel that this report should be tabled. This is not a question of government policy, where secrecy should be maintained, where the contents of a report should not be divulged. The civil servants of Canada are affected in connection with their relations as employees of the government of Canada. A request has been made for the tabling of this report concerning civil servants and their employment. Surely the civil servants have the right to know what attention has been given to their representations. Surely they have the right to expect that members of the House of Commons will be acquainted with their conditions and with the result of any investigation that has been held. That should not affect government policy, and there should be no question of government responsibility in keeping secret the contents of this report dealing with the welfare of the civil servants. The members of this House of Commons are definitely inter-

Exchequer Court Act

ested in the welfare of the civil service and should be acquainted with the report of a committee which deals with civil service matters. I call upon the members of the house to ask for the tabling of this report. The civil servants are faithful, true and loyal servants of this House of Commons of Canada, perhaps a little more than of the people of Canada, and the members of the house should take an interest in them so that the civil servants themselves may know that we have a knowledge of their circumstances and are interested in their welfare.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I was paired with the

right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). Had I voted I would have voted for the motion.

In view of the vote which has just been taken, will the Minister of Finance be good enough to table order in council P.C. 2-584 dated January 23, 1943? I was under the impression that it had been tabled, but I am now told that it has not.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Is that the one setting up the committee?

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Yes.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Yes, I will see that it is tabled.

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EXCHEQUER COURT ACT

ACTIONS BY OR AGAINST THE CROWN-STATUS OF MEMBERS OF ARMED FORCES


Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Minister of Justice) moved that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following resolution: That it is expedient to bring in a measure to amend the Exchequer Court Act to provide that for the purpose of determining liability in any action or other proceeding by or against His Majesty, a person who was at any time since the twenty-fourth day of June, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-eight, a member of the naval, military or air forces of His Majesty in right of Canada shall be deemed to have been at such time a servant of the crown. He said: His Excellency the Governor General, having been made acquainted with the subject-matter of this resolution, recommends it to the consideration of the house. Motion agreed to. PRIVILEGE-Mr. POULIOT


REFERENCE TO ARTICLE IN "LE SOLEIL" OF JUNE 5


On the orders of the day: Mr. JEAN-FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temiscouata) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I rise to Man-Power



a question of privilege. On page 8 of its June 5 edition Le Soleil reported as follows the statement which I had made in the house the day before on a question of privilege. Mr. J. F. Pouliot (Temiscouata) at last ended the series of statements on the question of privilege by commenting on an article from the Globe and Mail. Le Soleil goes on: It is known that in moving for the adjournment of the house to discuss the man-power question, Mr. Pouliot has had, especially, the Progressive Conservative party's support. That is absolutely untrue. Three Conservative members only rose when Your Honour put the question to the house. They were the hon. members for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson), for Kootenay-West (Mr. Esling) and for York-East (Mr. McGregor). . Further on, Le Soleil states: The Toronto newspaper to-day hints that the member for Temiscouata had supporters among the Conservatives and that before he introduced his motion he gave notice of his intention to certain Conservative Progressive members. Mr. Pouliot acknowledges that this is true- That is quite untrue. I said the very opposite on Friday last. Le Soleil goes on: -he (the member for Temiscouata) had a visit from a Tory member wbo assured him of his support if he raised the man-power question in the house. Le Soleil further states: Mr. Pouliot then gave him the assurance that he would raise that question. That is the very reverse of the statement I made in the house on Friday. I have just this to say to Le Soleil: If it continues to publish such insinuations I shall ask its readers to cancel their subscriptions, as I did myself with good results twenty years ago.


MAN-POWER POSITION OP DOCTOR W. J. COUPER-REPORT IN TORONTO "GLOBE AND MAIL"


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

I wish to ask the Minister of Labour a question. Press dispatches indicate that Doctor Walter J. Couper, who has been executive assistant to the minister and the deputy minister of labour, and who is reported to have expressed in public dissatisfaction with the man-power policy of the department-a matter which was dealt with, I believe, by some hon. member during the debate-has severed his connections with the department

and is returning to his former position with the International labour office. Will the Minister of Labour kindly inform the house as to whether or not Doctor Couper severed his connections at the instance of the minister or the deputy minister of labour?

Topic:   MAN-POWER POSITION OP DOCTOR W. J. COUPER-REPORT IN TORONTO "GLOBE AND MAIL"
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, I read in last Saturday's Globe and, Mail the news item referred to by the leader of the opposition. I was much surprised that two unfair and unjust implications had been included. One of them was:

It is regarded as significant however that Doctor Couper was the last of some sixteen advisers, all in a more or less technical capacity, who have parted company with the department since Elliott M. Little resigned as director of national selective service.

The other is:

Possibility that Doctor Couper's views on the administration of selective service, and the general situation as to man-power, are at variance with the labour minister is not being overlooked, especially since, no later than the second week in April, he forcefully and clearly expressed his opinions in an address in Toronto on the cause of the labour situation.

I do not think I can give a better answer to the leader of the opposition than to read the text of a telegram dispatched by Doctor Couper on Saturday last after he read the news item about himself in the Globe and Mail. It is as follows.

Ottawa, June 5, 1943.

Editor

Globe and Mail Toronto, Ontario.

It is true that the possibility of my return to duty on the staff of the International Labour Office is currently under discussion. It is not true as implied in Cragg's story that I have broken with the Minister of Labour on the question of man-power policy. I was and am a friend of Elliott Little but that does not affect my views about government policy. If you will obtain from Morley, manager, Industrial Accident Prevention Associations, steno-typist transcript my address from which you purport to quote, you will see that by wrenching statements from their context you create an impression exactly opposite to that which I intended to convey and which I think the full text does convey.

W. J. Couper.

I looked for this telegram in this morning's Globe and Mail, but I did not find it there. I think in fairness to myself-and to Doctor Couper more than myself, because he is not in the house to speak for himself, and in the nature of things cannot be-this newspaper might at least have had the decency to print a retraction of the story of last Saturday.

Censorship

Topic:   MAN-POWER POSITION OP DOCTOR W. J. COUPER-REPORT IN TORONTO "GLOBE AND MAIL"
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June 7, 1943