1. When will a decision be reached by the law officers of the crown regarding the action to be taken concerning allegations against Miss Agatha Chapman made by the royal commissioners appointed by order in council P.C. 411 of 1946 in their final report?
2. Why has no action been taken similar to that against other persons accused by the royal commission?
3. If a decision regarding Miss Chapman's case has already been reached (a) what is that decision; (b) what action does the minister propose to take on the basis of that decision;
(c) when will that action be taken?
Mr. ST. LAURENT: Perhaps I might be allowed to answer this question orally. With regard to the first part of the question I cannot say just on what date final decision will be taken. I discussed the matter again yesterday with the deputy minister of justice. There has been no difference between the course followed in this case and the course followed in other cases. Before charges are laid the deputy minister of justice wishes to have the opinion of outside counsel who will, if a prosecution is instituted, conduct the proceedings. Three of the senior counsel who had been retained for other prosecutions were sought to take charge of this one, or at least their offices were communicated with. It so happened that all three were away on holidays. Then there was a canvass made and it was found that many more lawyers are away at this time than members of parliament. It was with some difficulty that we were able to select a junior counsel to whom the whole of the papers were referred. The day before yesterday the deputy minister received a report from him which is a complete analysis of the facts and which it is desired to have checked by senior counsel The deputy min-
ister told me that the senior counsel he had in mind, who had been spoken to some time ago about this case, would foe back from his vacation on Labour day. No time will be lost in taking such action as may be appropriate, as soon as the ordinary procedure followed by the department can be carried out.
I think that answers the other two paragraphs as well. The second asks why no action has been taken similar to that taken against other persons accused by the royal commission. I believe the explanation I have given answers that. The third paragraph asks if a decision has been made and, if so, what that decision is. A definite decision has not yet been reached, for the reasons I have given, but I can assure my hon. friend that I am as anxious as anyone can be that all these matters be disposed of promptly and in the regular way.