Q. I have one question. Your statement that you felt it must have been instrument trouble, that is a deduction you have arrived at since the crash?
A. Well, having looked-all I can remember is being so surprised because, as I say, I thought we were at 2,000 feet, and I'm-
Here again there is the dash which means the witness is cut off.
Q. Would you answer my question? It's a deduction you have arrived at since the crash?
A. Oh, yes.
- (Witness withdrawn.)
I submit, Mr. Speaker, that that kind of questioning is not good enough, having in mind the fa'ct that the results of an inquiry of this kind should be fair to the members of the crew and should be fair to the public in the sense that the facts of the case should be brought out if at all possible. That is my submission, Mr. Speaker. It is a great deal shorter than I had intended it to be for reasons that are now obvious to everyone.
Let this be crystal clear. My whole complaint is over the decision of the Minister of Transport not to hold a public inquiry, as was his original intention. I am not levelling any complaint against T.C.A. I have, as we all do, the highest praise for the tremendous safety record of this organization. Indeed I am proud of it as is the minister. I register no complaint against the pilots' association for any arrangement they may have made with Trans-Canada Air Lines. I am not attempting to set myself up as a judge of the technical factors involved in this huge document, though I have read it with a great deal of interest and I have learned a good deal in doing so.
However, it does seem to me that, as an ordinary human being, I have a right to comment on what 61 hours of duty in four days at work, during an elapsed period of six days, would do to anyone. In the light of that I call upon the Minister of Transport to go ahead with his original intention and have a public inquiry set up. I remind him I am not alone in this view. There are a number of newspapers in the country which have expressed this opinion editorially, but I shall not bother to quote from them. I have three such editorials on my desk, one from the Globe and Mail in Toronto and one from the Ottawa Journal. Lest he remind me that those papers do not support the government, even though that should not matter in a case of this kind, I shall tell him I have one from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, which does support the government very strongly. While I have not checked all the newspapers in the country to see whether or not there are others, I have no doubt there are many people in this country who share the view that I have put forward.
I have no doubt there will be discussions on side issues. But the central issue is that the Minister of Transport said initially that, in addition to the technical board of inquiry by officials within the department, there would be a public board of inquiry. In my view the failure of this report to bring out all the facts and to deal with them properly makes it imperative that the minister now go ahead with his original intention.
28, 1955 2447
Committee on Railways and Shipping
Subtopic: RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING
Sub-subtopic: ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING OWNED, OPERATED AND CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT