March 15, 1946

OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT

ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION

?

Thomas Miller Bell

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

Mr. Speaker, before we proceed' with the business of the bouse I wish to rise to a question. affecting the privileges of this parliament. I do not intend^ to discuss their historic background, or to refer to the usages of the British parliament or the statutes of this parliament by which they are established. They will be found, sufficiently outlined in the introduction

to Beauchesne's "Parliamentary Rules and Forms", third edition, 1943, part of which I will quote:

Several acts suspending for a time the Habeas Carpus Act have been passed am Great Britain with the special provision that no member of pairiliiaoneint shall be imprisoned during the sitting of parliament until the matter dn which he stands suspected shall be fi-rst communicated to the house and the consent of the house obtained for liis commitment, or if .parliament be not sitting, then immediately after it reassembles in like manner as if he were arrested on. a criminal charge. This is the general rule. The house is usually apprised of the cause of commitment of a member after his arrest and whenever he *is in custody, in order to be .tried by naval, military, air or courts-martial, or after he has been committed for any criminal offence by a court or a magistrate.

The newspapers report today that Mr. Rose, representative in this House of Commons of the division of Cartier-Montreal in the province of Quebec, has been taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This house has no knowledge of the charge or charges against him. If the suspected offence is indictable under our criminal law, either under the criminal code or by a special statute, then I submit that this house should be informed now of the nature of the charge, in conformity with the established usage.

If the newspapers are correct in stating that the action arises out of a disclosure of secret information laid before parliament, during the war, the offence would appear to be a breach of the privileges of this house and should be a subject of inquiry by the appropriate committee. I am confident that no member of this house, certainly not I or any member of our party, would condone improper or illegal action, by any other member. Bub the privileges of this parliament must be safeguarded no matter who may be involved.

In my opinion the house should require a satisfactory statement from the government now, and I therefore raise the question so that we may receive it today.

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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?

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

Even if the Prime

Minister does not read that important opinion, I think it should appear in Hansard with the general discussion.

Official Secrets Act

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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?

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLDWELL:

I do not think the Prime Minister gave the date of that opinion.

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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?

Mr MACKENZIE KING:

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Perhaps the Prime Minister

would permit me a word before he makes that m-otion?

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes.

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

The Prime Minister has tabled the interim report of the commission to which, he referred yesterday. Ini doing so

Official Secrets Act

he also referred to the arrest of a member of this parliament. He read certain legal opinions with respect to the procedure followed in that arrest, and he referred to a question of which I had given him notice and which I intended to put at the proper time today. I believe everyone will agree that these important developments have justified the bringing up of this matter at this time; therefore, I think I should put on record the question that I had proposed asking. Tire Prime Minister has only partly answered it. The question was as folio,ws:

In answer to questions directed to him yesterday, the Prime Minister indicated he would make a statement on Monday next in connection with espionage.

Since that time a letter has appeared in the press, reported to have been directed to certain members of parliament from one of those already detained in this investigation, complaining of a disregard of his constitutional rights; and, in addition, this morning's press carries a report of the arrest of a member of parliament, while parliament is in session, in connection with a matter related to this investigation.

My question is: In view of these incidents and in view of the consequent mounting public interest in this matter, will the Prime Minister make to-day the statement he proposes to make rather than delay it until Monday?

As I said, the' Prime Minister has made a statement referring to these matters in part. If my question had been answered in the affirmative we would have had a fuller statement. I presume, the matter having gone this far, that the Prime Minister does not feel that he can say any more at the moment. Whether he does or not I should like to say this further word, that the refusal of habeas corpus proceedings, the bolding of men without a legal charge against them, without the right of bail and without the right to have counsel, is a serious matter to all who pride themselves on the principles of British justice. The Canadian people will be behind the government in searching out and in punishing crimes against the state, but the Canadian people are- not in sympathy with any departure from the regular procedures of our courts, established over long years, for dealing with matters of this kind, unless the circumstances are most unusual, such as, for instance, the safety of the state being in danger.

I am sure the house appreciates the information which the Prime Minister has given us to-day; whether he cares to say anything further now is a matter for him to decide.

IMr. Bracken.]

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I should like to say a further word. I thought I had pretty well answered or adequately answered the questions which my hon. friend had intended to ask me; but may I say to him at once that with what he has said about the importance of securing the freedom of the individual, his right to habeas corpus proceedings and anything else that will seek to preserve individual liberty I am in complete accord, and I would be the last person in this country to wisli to see the liberty of any individual curtailed in any way at all that it is possible to avoid, short of, to use my hon. friend's own words, the safety of the state being the main consideration.

Yesterday I stated that I would wish to make a statement at length on Monday purposely in order that hon. members might have an opportunity before my statement is made to read the interim reports of the commissioners, the two reports which have been tabled. One report has been

tabled only this afternoon. Hon. members have not yet seen that report. I do not believe they have seen any reference in the press to what it contains, and I do ask that hon. members of this house read that report from beginning to close before Monday's discussion on this very serious matter takes place. I would also ask that hon. members read the first report from beginning to close before we proceed with further discussion.

I believe that hon. members will be very deeply impressed by the statements which these reports contain. I would also ask hon. members to remember in reading these reports that they have been prepared by two justices of the Supreme Court of Canada, gentlemen who, above all, would be anxious to maintain in every way possible the, full freedom and liberty of individuals in our country.

With the permission of the house, Mr. Speaker, I move:

That two thousand five hundred copies in the English .language and one thousand copies in the French language of the documents relating to the proceedings of the royal commission, established by order in council P.C. 411 of February 5. 1946, and including the first and second interim reports of the royal commission, laid on the table of the house on' the 14th and 15th of March instant, be printed forthwith, and that standing order 64 in relation thereto be suspended.

As I mentioned yesterday, I arranged to have these reports printed without waiting for the authority of the house, feeling quite sure that authority would be given, inasmuch as I took the course I did for the convenience of hon. members.

Topic:   OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Subtopic:   ARREST OP MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT-SECOND INTERIM REPORT OP ROYAL COMMISSION
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Motion agreed to. The Governor General


ST. PATRICK'S DAY REQUEST FOR TWO-DAY RECESS


On the order for motions:


SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. ROBERT FAIR (Battle River) :

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the Prime Minister whether immediate provision will be made for a two-day recess so that hon. members of the house and our friends can properly celebrate the seventeenth of March without interfering with our work? I may say that this has been denied us during the war jmars, and now that peace has come we hope that this matter will be given consideration.

Topic:   ST. PATRICK'S DAY REQUEST FOR TWO-DAY RECESS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) :

I can imagine of no 'better way for my hon. friend to celebrate the day of which he speaks than to attend church on that day.

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THE GOVERNOR GENERAL

FAREWELL ADDRESS BY BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

As hon. members are

aware, His Excellency the Governor General and Her Royal Highness the Princess Alice will be taking their official departure from Canada to-morrow. I intimated yesterday that I thought it would be the wish of all hon. members that some expression should be given by both houses of parliament to the appreciation which we all feel of the great services which His Excellency has rendered Canada during the years that he has represented His Majesty in this country. I stated at the time that I proposed to introduce" a motion which would give expression to the feelings which we cherish in common. I have the motion before me and I will introduce it in a moment.

Before bringing forward the motion in a formal way may I say that I am sure all hon. members were impressed yesterday by the reference made by His Excellency in a personal note in the speech from the throne to the relations which he had enjoyed with the ministers of the crown, with members of parliament and with the people of our country. Those relationships, as Lord Athlone stated, have extended over many years and have in many ways been quite intimate. His Excellency said that they had endeared the people of this country to the hearts of the Princess Alice and himself. This afternoon I , should like to say that the sentiments thus expressed by His Excellency are I believe warmly reciprocated towards himself and the

Princess Alice by the people of Canada, and, in particular, by their representatives in this parliament.

Speaking personally, if I may be permitted to do so, I cannot begin to say what a privilege, what a pleasure, what a help in every way it has been to me to enjoy the close association which I have had with His Excellency during the years he has been His Majesty's representative in this country. All the relationships to which His Excellency referred, his relationship to the Prime Minister, to the ministers, to the members of parliament and to the people, have been in most complete accord with the spirit and the letter of constitutional procedure and constitutional practice. They have in addition been of very great assistance to the ministry and to the country at a time of its greatest need.

To mention only one of many good offices, I doubt if one can begin to appreciate what it has meant to have at Government House in these years in the persons of His Excellency Lord Athlone and Princess Alice, the Countess of Athlone, two persons who have given so generously of their time and their thought, not only to matters immediately concerned with the war effort of Canada but also have done so much to welcome to our country in Canada's name so many of the distinguished personages who have visited our country during the last six years. There never has been a time when so many have come to our land from other countries. As an instance of the growth in international relations in that period of time I might mention that when His Excellency arrived in Canada there were only nine missions, four headed by high commissioners from other nations of the British commonwealth and five from foreign powers in the nature of legations or embassies. Today there are some twenty-six in all, five from other parts of the commonwealth and the remainder from foreign countries. This serves to indicate the extent of the development of Canada's international relationships. In connection with important aspects of that development no persons have played a more helpful part than have His Excellency and Her Royal Highness.

I should like to say many things in bidding farewell to His Excellency and Her Royal Highness. I have however expressed something of my own feelings in this address which I am about to ask the house to approve. I believe the sentiments there expressed will accord completely with those of all other hon. members of this house. As my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken), who

The Governor General

has seen the proposed address, has kindly said that he would be pleased to second the motion which proposes it. I shall not say more, but will immediately move:

That whereas the houses of parliament desire to present an address to His Excellency the Governor General on the occasion of the termination of His Excellency's official connection with this country, it be resolved by this house that the said address be presented in the following words:

"Farewell address by both houses of parliament to His Excellency the Right Honourable the Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada.

To His Excellency Major-General the Right Honourable the Earl of Athlone. Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, a member of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Grand Master of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, one of His Majesty's Personal Aides-de-Camp. Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of Canada. May it please Your Excellency:

We, the members of the Senate and of the House of Commons of Canada in parliament assembled, beg leave to convey to Your Excellency an expression of the general feeling of regret with which the people of Canada have learned of the approaching conclusion of your official relationship as the representative in Canada of His Majesty the King.

Your Excellency's period of office has extended over the most eventful years in the history of the world. It must be a source of profound gratification to yo.u, on your retirement as Governor Genera], to realize that your years in Canada have witnessed victory over the enemies of freedom, and the emergence of Canada as a world poWer, with a foremost place among the united nations.

We cannot bid Your Excellency farewell without expressing our grateful appreciation of your helpful cooperation in the tasks of government through these years of constant anxiety. You have, throughout, given unsparingly of your time and thought to sustain and strengthen the morale of the nation at war. By word and example, you brought courage and cheer to the armed forces, to the auxiliary services, and to the workers in all the- fields of wartime production and supply. You lent your support to every worthy national appeal. Universities, schools, hospitals, and other agencies of health, and welfare, have all benefited from your personal interest and concern.

Your extensive travels have given Your Excellency an intimate knowledge of our country, its resources and its potential future. You have seen Canada at work under the tragic stimulus of war. You have also watched its industries being converted to the purposes of peace. We are pleased that you have been able to glimpse the broad expanses of our eonntry and that you have found delight in its scenic grandeur. Your journey's to all parts of Canada, including many" remote areas, have been greatly appreciated. Wherever you have gene, you have been warmly welcome and will be long remembered.

At no time in Canada's history has our country been visited by so many of the leading personalities of the world. Both at Government House in Ottawa, and at the Citadel in Quebec, you have extended warmest hospitality in the name of Canada.

Throughout your life, Your Excellency has given constant proof of devotion to public service. We do not forget that- for seven years you were His Majesty's representative in the Union of South Africa. In Canada, as in South Africa, your unfailing courtesy, your broad and generous sympathies and your wide experience of constitutional government have helped to further the ideals of tolerance and good-will. You have thereby" helped to strengthen national unity, and the ties which bind, in close attachment to the crown, the nations of the British commonwealth.

The presence of Your Excellency" and Her Royal Highness in Canada has also strengthened the place which the royal family holds in the hearts of the Canadian people. We would ask Your Excellency, on your return to the United Kingdom, to convey" to Their Majesties,the King, and Queen, the assurance of Canada's fidelity to the crown, and of the devotion and affection felt by the Canadian people for Their Majesties. We should be pleased if you would also convey to Queen Mary an expression of our kind remembrance. We hope that in the near future Canada may be honoured by a visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Princess Elizabeth and' the Princess Margaret.

In saying farewell to Your Excellency, we cannot express too warmly our appreciation of the helpful pairt so graciously taken by Her Royal Highness the Princess Alice in the discharge of Your Excellency's high responsibilities. The active, generous and sympathetic cooperation of Princess Alice in the performance of your public and social duties has won for Her Royal Highness an enduring place in the admiration and affection of the Canadian people. Your Excellency and Her Royal Highness have been as one, in all you have sought to foster of a high sense of public duty and social responsibility.

To Your Excellency and Her Royal Highness-we extend, on behalf of all Canada, the best of wishes for the future. We hope that, in the eventide of life, you may enjoy together, in health, strength and happiness, the reward of your many" years of devoted public service."

Topic:   THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Subtopic:   FAREWELL ADDRESS BY BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT
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March 15, 1946