May 13, 1953

PRIVILEGE

MR. CHEVRIER REFERENCE TO REPORT IN MONTREAL "GAZETTE"

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

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.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. CHEVRIER REFERENCE TO REPORT IN MONTREAL "GAZETTE"
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PRIVY COUNCIL FOR CANADA

CONGRATULATIONS UPON APPOINTMENT OF MR. SPEAKER AND LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Daniel Mclvor (Fori William):

Hon. Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege. Some people like to have the last word, but this time I want to have the first word and congratulate you and the hon. Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) upon your recent appointments and tell the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) that he is a right honourable Liberal in the best sense of the term.

Topic:   PRIVY COUNCIL FOR CANADA
Subtopic:   CONGRATULATIONS UPON APPOINTMENT OF MR. SPEAKER AND LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
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COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT

ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROSECUTION PROCEEDINGS RE COARSE PAPERS

LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, in making public the report of the commissioner of the Combines Investigation Act relating to a combine in connection with the distribution and sale of coarse papers in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, I stated that as soon as I had examined it carefully and received the opinion of counsel I would make a further announcement as to whether prosecution would be authorized.

The opinion of counsel is that prosecution proceedings are warranted by the evidence, and accordingly instructions to prosecute have been given.

The attorney general of British Columbia has indicated that the provincial authorities would co-operate.

Topic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PROSECUTION PROCEEDINGS RE COARSE PAPERS
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REFERENCE TO PROCEDURE IN TABLING REPORTS

LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):

I should like to give an answer to two questions which were asked by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) yesterday which were in these terms referring to myself as minister:

Has he received from the investigation side with the qualification that in the view of the commissioner the report need not be made public? As the minister knows, there is a section in the act which permits the commissioner to make that kind of a report, leaving it to the minister to decide whether such report should be made public. Has he had any reports of that kind since the act was amended last year?

I take it that when my hon. friend referred to the investigation side and to the commissioner he really meant the restrictive trade

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Combines Investigation Act practices commission in each case. Since the amendment of last year the restrictive trade practices commission is now the only body under the act which makes reports which must be published within thirty days after I have received them unless the commission states in writing that it believes the public interest would be better served by withholding publication, in which case I may decide whether the report either in whole or in part should be made public.

My answer to my hon. friend's question is that neither the restrictive trade practices commission since last year's amendment nor, indeed, for that matter, the commissioner prior to last year's amendment have ever submitted to me a report with the recommendation that it be withheld from publication.

Topic:   REFERENCE TO PROCEDURE IN TABLING REPORTS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might

ask a supplementary question. First, may I thank the minister for making it clear that my questions yesterday did relate to section 19, subsection 3, of the act. My question now is this: Without getting involved in these

technical wordings, would the minister say whether any kind of report is being held back at all by him or by any of the people in the combines investigation branch.

Topic:   REFERENCE TO PROCEDURE IN TABLING REPORTS
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Well, my hon. friend asks these questions and one finds when he examines the wording that-and I am sure he does not intend them that way-they have pitfalls in them. When he says "any kind of report" he must know, from the many explanations which have been made in the house, that when an investigation is started, and then discontinued because there is no evidence to support its continuance, a report is made and always has been made to the minister to the effect that the investigation has been discontinued.

The act has never required that such a report be made public. It has always been treated as confidential; because otherwise a person or a company, or companies, in respect of whom an investigation was being proceeded with would be smeared quite unwarrantedly. The only other reports to which my hon. friend, I think, can be referring as "any kind of report" would be reports of that character, which the act has never required to be made public.

Topic:   REFERENCE TO PROCEDURE IN TABLING REPORTS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

One other question; is the minister satisfied that after the coming election we will not find out something similar to what we found the last time?

Topic:   REFERENCE TO PROCEDURE IN TABLING REPORTS
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

If that is what my hon. friend is worrying about, I am completely satisfied.

Topic:   REFERENCE TO PROCEDURE IN TABLING REPORTS
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QUESTIONS

DEFENCE EXPENDITURES, ROBERVAL COUNTY

PC

Paul Henri Spence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Spence:

Since January 1, 1945, what amounts have been spent in the county of Roberval, by the Department of National Defence and the Department of Defence Production?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURES, ROBERVAL COUNTY
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LIB

Joseph-Adéodat Blanchette (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Blanchette:

I have spoken to the hon. member for Roberval in connection with the subject matter of this question, and he has agreed to have it dropped.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURES, ROBERVAL COUNTY
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Dropped.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURES, ROBERVAL COUNTY
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May 13, 1953