Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North
Centre): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. I hold in my hand sessional paper No. 55D, tabled in the house on Friday, March 11. This was brought down in response to an order of the house passed on February 16 of this year pursuant to a motion of mine asking for the tabling of certain documents. I shall try to state my question of privilege as briefly as possible, but there are one or two facts of importance which I must indicate.
Following the passing of the motion I was invited by an officer of the department concerned to go into the office of the minister to examine the file. This was not on a confidential basis. I was told that the reason I was asked to look over the file was that I might indicate any papers which were inconsequential and need not be produced. I did so. I initialed, in accordance with the suggestion made to me, all the papers which were important and which I felt should be produced; and I was assured they would be brought down.
Now that the sessional paper has come down, to my amazement some of the very important documents which I initialed are not included. I could cite a number of them; but to be specific I shall refer to one group, namely, the communications from the regional superintendent of unemployment insurance at Winnipeg to the unemployment insurance commission here at Ottawa-and I may say that there are letters in this sessional paper between officers of various departments and their superiors at corresponding levels. The only difference between the documents produced and those withheld is that most of the documents produced approve the action taken, while those withheld disapprove.
I am sure Your Honour will agree with me, as will the Prime Minister and leader of the house, that an order of the house should be complied with, and that this sessional paper should be supplemented to such an extent as to give the full information required by the order of the house.