August 19, 1946

IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Exactly, sir; and I was just about to read the editorial when you rose. It is under date of August 6, 1946:

Mr. Pouliot has taken cowardly advantage of the privileges of the house to use language and make accusations which he must know would likely submit him ito an action for slander had he expressed himself in similar terms elsewhere. It is surprising that the Speaker, who is so .meticulous about his own privileges, failed to rebuke Mr. Pouliot for abusing the privileges of the house.

-which was done this morning. With all due respect for the Chair, Mr. Speaker-and you know I have the deepest respect for you-

Privilege-Mr. Diefenbaker

I cannot stand for an accusation of cowardice by the editorial writer of this newspaper. The House of Commons has been my battle ground, where I have carried on my fight against the quacks of the medical corps of the army. Of course I made laudable exceptions, but they are few.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. POULIOT-REFERENCE TO EDITORIAL IN TORONTO "TELEGRAM"
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. member will agree that it is against the rules to make a speech on a question of privilege. He should state his point of privilege briefly and then resume his seat.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. POULIOT-REFERENCE TO EDITORIAL IN TORONTO "TELEGRAM"
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IND

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

My point of privilege is that the last man to be called a coward is the member for Temiscouata. If I made those statements in the house it was because in this house I have been fighting for the soldiers who were so badly treated by quacks like Chisholm, and I denounce him. I refer those interested to sessional paper 818 of this session; and I tell the writer of the Toronto Telegram that if he considers Chisholm, the cruel Chisholm, the criminal Chisholm, a great man, he himself is a jackass.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. POULIOT-REFERENCE TO EDITORIAL IN TORONTO "TELEGRAM"
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MR. DIEFENBAKER-REFERENCE TO RETURN RESPECTING CAMP BORDEN ARMY REJECTION OR MEDICAL DISCHARGES


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. DIEFENBAKER (Lake Centre):

I rise once more to a question of privilege in reference to the omission of certain letters from a return brought down the other day having to do with Camp Borden army rejections or medical discharges. I think I can simplify the matter by asking that the letters omitted from the file be produced. I do not want to return to this matter on future occasions, but you, Mr. Speaker, are the custodian of the privileges of parliament; and through you, in support of those privileges, I ask that those letters which were omitted be produced. It is not a matter of anyone's opinion as to whether the letters should be produced, for when the return was passed by this house there were no qualifications. The order was that a copy of all correspondence be produced. The correspondence produced indicates that on March 22 Mr. Robinette gave an opinion in regard to prosecutions being taken in this matter. That appears in the letter of March 26, 1945, from Mr. Miall to the director of mobilization. The same letter is referred to in a letter of April 5, 1945, from Mr. Anderson to Mr. Miall. Secondly, there is the omission of Mr. Robinette's letter of October 12, which is referred to in the communication of Mr. Yarcoe, deputy minister of justice, to Mr. MacNamara, deputy minister of labour. There

is also the acknowledgment of that letter on November 13 from Mr. MacNamara in a letter to Mr. Varcoe, which is as follows: "November 13, 1945-"

Topic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-REFERENCE TO RETURN RESPECTING CAMP BORDEN ARMY REJECTION OR MEDICAL DISCHARGES
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order; I would ask that the hon. member do not read the letter. I understood that he was rising to a question of privilege with respect to certain papers which he says have not been produced. I do not think he should use that as an excuse to read letters into the record.

Topic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-REFERENCE TO RETURN RESPECTING CAMP BORDEN ARMY REJECTION OR MEDICAL DISCHARGES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I submit to your ruling, Mr. Speaker. I was showing that the letters did refer to other letters. There is no need for any show of ill-feeling on the part of my right hon. friend. This is a matter which affects the prerogatives and privileges of parliament; for according to sessional paper 258A, two counsel were of the opinion that the report indicated a prima facie ease.

Topic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-REFERENCE TO RETURN RESPECTING CAMP BORDEN ARMY REJECTION OR MEDICAL DISCHARGES
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. If the hon. member rises to a question of privilege in connection with an order of the house which has been passed for the production of papers, he should state his question of privilege, ask what he wishes, and then resume his seat.

Topic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-REFERENCE TO RETURN RESPECTING CAMP BORDEN ARMY REJECTION OR MEDICAL DISCHARGES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Yes. My question of privilege is this, that law officers of the crown, or counsel, proposed action. The Deputy Minister of Labour first directed postponement of action and finally that action be proscribed. It is because the absence of these letters from the files is in contravention of our rights that I am asking the minister to produce them now.

Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Minister of Justice): My hon. friend speaks about ill-humour. There is no ill-humour at all. There is some regret that he did not wish to wait until I get the memorandum from the law officers in order to give a more complete answer. But since the hon. member insists, I shall give such answer as I can at the present time.

The hon. member complains, first, that an order of the house has not been complied with. The order of the house was for the production of all correspondence between the Denartment of National Defence and/or the Department of Labour, and/or the Department of Justice, and between any one or more of said departments since January, 1944, to date, in connection with certain things.

The hon. member's complaint is that the report tabled referred to four documents which were not produced, and he listed them. The first of them is a letter from Mr. Robinette, K.C., of Toronto, addressed to the Department of Justice. That is not correspondence

Labour Conditions

between the Department of Justice and the Department of Labour or any other department. That is a confidential report made by counsel to the Department of Justice. It always has been the rule there, and so long as I am minister I shall endeavour to have it observed, that counsel whom we consult may give us their report and their opinion in a confidential manner, as lawyers do to all their clients, without feeling that later those reports or opinions will be tabled in parliament.

The next is a letter from Mr. Miall to Mr. Anderson, dated March 26. Mr. Miall was assistant deputy to the Minister of Justice, and Mr. Anderson was another law officer of the Department of Justice. That is not correspondence covered by the order which was made. The order is for correspondence between different departments. It has always been the well-recognized rule that communications prepared for a minister by an official of his department are privileged and are not tabled. There was no reason for making any reservation on this motion because the motion does not call for such documents. The motion calls for correspondence passing between the Department of Justice and/or the Department of Labour and/or the Department of National Defence, and not for intradepartmental correspondence between officials of the Department of Justice.

The third item mentioned is a copy of a letter from Mr. Robinette, K.C. That was a letter addressed by him to the deputy minister of justice and addressed by him as counsel retained by the Department of Justice, and what. I said with respect to the first item applies.

Respecting the fourth item, I have not yet been given an explanation of why it was not presented in the return. It would be a letter of the deputy minister of justice to Mr. MacNamara. I saw the deputy minister of justice about it Saturday morning, but I told him he need not give up his Saturday afternoon to look into it. I called this morning to find out if he had been able to do so this morning, and was told he would have the explanation for me to-morrow morning. So with respect to that item I have not yet the information, and that is because I did not think it was a matter of such urgency that I should ask the staff in the department to work Saturday afternoon to get it for me.

Mr. DIEFENBAJvER: It is not a question of asking the staff to work Saturday afternoon. I have reference to-

Topic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-REFERENCE TO RETURN RESPECTING CAMP BORDEN ARMY REJECTION OR MEDICAL DISCHARGES
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member has

stated his question of privilege, and the Minister of Justice has answered. I will not permit a debate on a question of privilege.

Topic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-REFERENCE TO RETURN RESPECTING CAMP BORDEN ARMY REJECTION OR MEDICAL DISCHARGES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

I do not know whether you will permit me to say anything more, but I will say this, that I submit I have a right to say what the minister has stated is not in accordance with the facts.

Topic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-REFERENCE TO RETURN RESPECTING CAMP BORDEN ARMY REJECTION OR MEDICAL DISCHARGES
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

It is against the rules to debate a question of privilege, and I will not permit it.

Topic:   MR. DIEFENBAKER-REFERENCE TO RETURN RESPECTING CAMP BORDEN ARMY REJECTION OR MEDICAL DISCHARGES
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LABOUR CONDITIONS


TYPOGRAPHICAL DISPUTE-SOUTHAM NEWSPAPERS *-LETT REPORT


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. STANLEY KNOWLES (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, now that the Minister of Labour has tabled a copy of the report of the Card commission, which was made some months ago, will he also table a copy of the report of the Lett commission, which was made more recently, in connection with the typographical dispute?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

I shall be glad to do so, and would point out that a copy of Commissioner Lett's report was forwarded to both parties, and a press release issued on it. I shall table the report, however.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I should like to ask a supplementary question in regard to this matter. I understand the Vancouver Province is a party to this report, and has given notice to. its employees. Will the minister say if he has made an attempt to bring the parties in the. dispute together as recommended in the Lett report?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Yes; I have requested Mr. Justice Richards to endeavour to bring the parties together, based on the findings of the Lett report.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Golding in the chair.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE

August 19, 1946