Mr. Rodney Adamson (York West):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of personal privilege arising out of an article on the front page of today's Globe and Mail entitled "Denies Red Link Fired Avro Worker Asks Inquiry" by Wilfred List.
First, let me say that the facts as given are absolutely correct. Jackson did come to see me on October 4 and I immediately wrote to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) asking that an investigation be made as to the cause of this man's dismissal and that, further, he be given an opportunity to hear and refute the charges of subversive activity made against him. To this letter I received a reply on October 30 which took the form of a confidential letter to me. The import of this letter was a statement of policy on the matter which was not encouraging but did intimate that a recheck would be made. As this letter was confidential, I shall, of course, not quote it, but I think it is fair to say that there was no intimation that Jackson would be allowed to hear the case against him and have an opportunity of answering.
My first point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, is that, with the exception of the few remarks I have just made, I have informed no one of the contents of the confidential letter. I have been long enough in the security business myself to appreciate the importance of maintaining confidential information, despite the fact that there was nothing in the letter which I consider should have been so classified.
My second point of privilege, and this is not only privilege but a protest, is that this man suffered dismissal from his job and a stigma on his reputation without the opportunity of answering the charges. This, Mr. Speaker, seems to me to be such a destruction of the basic principles of freedom that I am bringing it to the attention of the house so that it may be stopped.
Subtopic: PRIVILEGE, MR. ADAMSON REFERENCE TO ARTICLE IN "GLOBE AND MAIL"