Hon. DOUGLAS ABBOTT (Minister of National Defence):
The other day in the course of the army estimates the hon. member for Lake Centre asked me to produce any correspondence which might have passed between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Department of National Defence relating to one Mr. Elliott, a former officer in the army. I told him that if there were any letters which were properly producible, I would see that they were produced. My statement in that respect appears at page 5264 of Hansard, where I said:
If there is correspondence between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police which I take it is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, and the Department of National Defence which is properly producible under the order, it -will be produced. If there is
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such correspondence, I do not know why it was not produced. I will look over the files, and if there is correspondence that is producible under that order, I will see that it is produced.
Mr. Diefenbaker: Without any qualification?
Mr. Abbott: Without qualification.
I find that I was in error in my assumption that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is under the Department of Justice. The order calls for the production of correspondence between the Department of National Defence, the Department of Labour and the Department of Justice. There are five letters, three from the commissioner of the Roye! Canadian Mounted Police, and two I think from the deputy minister of national defence in reply to these letters. All the letters are marked '*'confidential" and are not producible under the order. Of course, even if the order did call for the production of such correspondence it would not cover the confidential letters; therefore the letters cannot be produced.
Subtopic: CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN MOUNTED POLICE AND NATIONAL DEFENCE RESPECTING FORMER OFFICER