Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
I rise to a question of privilege. It has reference to a statement which is alleged to have been made by Senator Ralph Horner and which appeared in the Ottawa Evening Journal of April 2. The article is headed, "Western senator recommended Emma Woikin," and the first paragraph reads:
Mrs. Emma Woikin, one of the twelve temporary civil servants charged as a suspect in the investigation of the Russian spy network, was recommended for a government job by Senator Ralph Horner.
"Yes," the Progressive Conservative senator from Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan, to-day told the Evening Journal, "I recommended Emma Woikin-but for the char service-not as a cipher clerk in the code room of the external affairs department."
The senator, a big, bluff and frankly-spoken man, has been "a little annoyed" at the way things have worked out.
The paragraph to which I wish to refer to particularly is as follows:
"The only reason Emma Woikin found her way into a stenographic position, first at the passport office and then in the cipher division of external affairs," said the senator, "was because her father and brothers year after year have voted Liberal for Mr. Mackenzie King."
I asked the under-secretary of state for external affairs if he would give me a statement as to how Mrs. Woikin came to be employed in the Department of External Affairs, and I have the following from Mr. Robertson:
Due to the pressure of work in the passport office in the autumn of 1943. the Department of External Affairs, on September 8, 1943, requisitioned the civil service commission for three additonal clerks grade 2 and two typists grade
2. At the same time, treasury board was requested to establish temporary positions to take care of the new appointees. On September 10, 1943, Mrs. Emma Woikin, who was classified as a typist, grade 1, was assigned by the civil service commission to one of the new temporary posts as no grade 2 typist was then available.
That is the official statement on the matter. I might add that until I heard the name of Mrs. Woikin mentioned in connection with *>
the investigation now proceeding I had no knowledge of there being any person of that name, either in Prince Albert constituency or in the public service of Canada. Unlike Senator Horner I neither recommended Mrs. Woikin for a government job nor was I
requested by her or by anyone to make a recommendation on her behalf. I know nothing whatever about her appointment; it was entirely a civil service matter and procedure.
Subtopic: OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT-EMMA WOIKIN-PRESS REPORT OF STATEMENT OF SENATOR HORNER