Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege: I have just been presiding over a meeting of the coordinating committee of the dominion-provincial conference and have left its proceedings in order to make a statement to the house immediately in respect to a very misleading article which appears in the Ottawa morning Journal of to-day. The entire membership of the conference took strong exception to this article and desired that I should make a statement to the House of Commons . on behalf of all who are present at the conference.
The article is entitled: "Cabinet clash complicates conference. No announcements made after second session." It reads:
When the coordinating committee of the dominion-provincial conference reached the end of another session last night with no public announcements from Prime Minister King, it was confirmed by some of those leaving the chamber that two paramount issues seemed to be complicating deliberations.
1. Reports confirmed by several provincial premiers of disagreement among Prime Minister King and two of his colleagues;
2. Determination, not unexpected, of the nine provincial premiers to make not the slightest retreat from their stand on provincial rights.
A little further on in the article it says:
On the point of disagreement among the dominion ministers, it was described by the provincial men as "a clash".
May I say that all provincial premiers and all members of the dominion government who were present at the conference are united in saying that, they know nothing of a clash having taken place between myself and any of my colleagues. As a matter of fact there has been nothing of the kind. I make that statement emphatically. May I add that there has been nothing that I am aware of, and that I think any of the premiers on the coordinating committee are aware of, which has in any way complicated the proceedings that have been, 47696-163J
I am happy to say, going forward so amicably and splendidly since the opening of the conference.
I am authorized to make this statement by the entire group that are to-day discussing these dominion-provincial questions, and discussing them, I think, in an exceptionally able and amicable manner.
Until the committee of the conference concludes its proceedings no statement will be given out. When a statement is given out it is one that will be approved by the entire conference. I hope, therefore, that so far as the public of Canada are concerned they will draw their inferences with respect to the proceedings of the conference from the official statement which may be issued by the conference itself when it has concluded its proceedings.