Mr. S. H. KNOWLES (Winnipeg North Centre):
Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. The privilege to which I refer has to do with a newspaper report concerning a speech of mine made in this house, in which report there was an entirely incorrect statement, as I shall prove by reference to Hansard.
The report to which I refer appears in the Winnipeg Free Press of June 29, 1943. The article is entitled, "Aluminum contract defended by Crerar." The portion which I wish to read is directly within quotation marks and is attributed to the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar). The speech was made, according to this report, at Stonewall, Manitoba, last Monday.
"Suppose the government had taken over the Aluminum Company of Canada, as the C.C.F. wanted us to do, what might have been the result? The international cartel might have denied us the use of bauxite and cryolite, two necessary ingredients, and we would not have been able to produce any aluminum.
"I asked Mr. Stanley Knowles in the House of Commons what he would have done under such circumstances. He gave me no answer."
It is in connection with that last sentence that I rise to a question of privilege-the statement that I gave the minister no answer, which, in the light of the record, to me is misrepresentation. I hold in my hand a copy of Hansard of June 14. On page 3634 I find the following:
Mr. Crerar: Assuming that the government had stepped in and expropriated or taken over the whole enterprise of the Aluminum Company of Canada on the Saguenay river, what would it have done for raw material? All the raw material that is converted into aluminum in the plant on the Saguenay comes from another country, and we do not and could not control that by any expropriation proceedings.
Canada and the War
Mr. Knowles: The answer I make to that is, first, that the raw material comes from Newfoundland and from British and Dutch Guiana, all of which countries are part of or under the united nations.
Then there were certain interruptions, points of order and so on. A little later in the column the Minister of Mines and Resources repeated his question:
Mr. Crerar: The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre offers strong criticism of the government because it did not do a certain thing. I think I am quite within my rights in asking him how he proposes we should have done it. I ask him how he would have done it.
Mr. Knowles: I take it that the minister
has admitted that the aluminum interests had the government on the spot, so that the company could say to the government: This is the world price and you must pay it. And the government agreed to it.
My point, Mr. Speaker, is that the statement that I did not answer the minister's question is entirely incorrect, as Hansard bears out. He asked the question twice, and I gave an immediate answer on both occasions.