Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. This morning's Montreal Gazette contains a story entitled "Canada to Buy Two Ferry Engines Here Despite Lower Bid by British Company." This article is inaccurate and unfair and is calculated to do harm to the Canadian company involved. There are two inaccuracies I should like to refer to, the first of which is as follows:
Opposition leader Drew rapped the government today for not awarding contracts to a British firm which had offered the lowest tenders for engines for two new Canadian ferries.
There is only one Canadian ferry involved. The second inaccuracy is to be found later on, and I quote:
The two ferries involved are one which will operate between Sydney, N.S. and Port aux Basques and the other will link Yarmouth, N.S. and Bar Harbor, Maine.
The Yarmouth-Bar Harbor, Maine, ferry is not involved in this transaction. The third statement which is calculated to do harm is as follows:
After describing the consultation with the C.N.R., the Minister of Transport said he thought that Fair-banks-Morse had "influenced" the ultimate decision.
The word "influenced" is in quotations which would indicate that I had used the word in relation to Fairbanks-Morse. The words I used are as follows, and I quote from Hansard which I obtained this morning:
I think the decision of defence production was influenced to some extent by the fact that the Canadian National Railways had had a great deal of experience with the Fairbanks-Morse engines in the operation of their ferry vessels. For that reason the contract went to the Canadian Fairbanks-Morse people.
Therefore it is fairly evident that at no time did I say nor is there anything in Hansard to indicate that Fairbanks-Morse had influenced the decision. As a matter of fact, Fairbanks-Morse had nothing to do with the decision taken.
Subtopic: MR. CHEVRIER REFERENCE TO REPORT IN MONTREAL "GAZETTE"