behalf of the Prime Minister, it is acknowledged by Mr. J. S. Cross, his secretary; and on behalf of certain other ministers it is acknowledged by people in their office, such as the Minister of Public Works, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of National Defence, the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources, the Solicitor General and the Minister of Veterans Affairs. However, I would specifically point out to the house that the first batch of letters to which I drew attention were acknowledged and signed by the particular ministers. Hence the cabinet can hardly claim that they knew nothing about this particular case.
I do not propose to pursue this matter any further, although if one wished to do so, as the house can see from the various evidence that has been produced, one could make a case which, going beyond this into other detail which is available, would be even stronger. However, I do not feel that there is any point, once you build an impregnable stone wall, in continuing to pile stones on top. This case is so clear and so definite that I will try to conclude by restating the three principal points.
first point is the conduct of the citizenship court in Montreal in this most unusual case where an application is being opposed-that is unusual procedure and it makes it an unusual application-I refer to their conduct in refusing to allow the opposant's attorneys to hear the evidence being given on behalf of the applicant or to have a transcript made of that evidence so that they might be in a position to examine it in detail and to assist the court in arriving at its findings. The second point is the rather amazing expediency and speed with which this particular case was handled. While I cannot give any reason as to why these things may have happened, I know that if I have anyone who has a particularly difficult case of application for citizenship and they are wondering to whom to go, I will certainly recommend the Prime Minister's nephew.
Having established those two facts, Mr. Chairman, we come to the question of this woman's evident lack of desire and lack of intention to live in Canada. That more than anything else is the thing which bothers me in this
case, namely that this lady had not lived in Canada prior to getting her Canadian citizenship, that she is not living here now and that there seems to be no indication whatsoever that she plans to live in Canada. I suggest that it is an improper thing for citizenship to be granted to someone who does not expect to assume as a Canadian citizen the responsibilities of residence here in this country.
Then finally we come to the question of this evidence which I have introduced to the house this morning in connection with a couple of things and certain other evidence which the minister brushed off and personally refused to see, at the same time directing the person who had this evidence to make it his own private case in the courts of Quebec. The minister, having given the woman Canadian citizenship, apparently refused to have anything further to do with the matter and washed his hands of it, despite the well-known fact that it is possible for him to revoke his action. That is the case, Mr. Chairman. It is clear-cut. Would the minister care to answer one question in order to help me?
signed the letter which is in the Feltrinelli file which came from Montreal to Ottawa, which urged particularly fast action on this case before the opposant took certain court proceedings which might prevent the issuance of the naturalization certificate and which I believe was directed to the minister himself?
Yes, Mr. Chairman; I should be delighted to answer that question. That assertion was made to me and I had the files searched. Not content with that, I searched the files myself and I was unable to find any such letter.
I think I can answer the hon. gentleman now. There was a question as to how many Chardin paintings there were which were not identical with but similar to the one that was acquired in the group of four paintings quite recently. I am told that so far as is known there were four. The one belonging to the national gallery was formerly in the collection of the Prince of 67509-472
Supply-Citizenship and Immigration Liechtenstein about which there is a quite interesting history. It was bought by the prince when he was Austrian ambassador in France between 1737 and 1741. The picture itself is dated 1739. It is rather thought to be the first of them, although there is no absolute proof of that. But there is one in the Louvre, as the hon. gentleman has said; and the fact that there is one in the Louvre is of some comfort to the board of trustees of the national gallery. There is one in the possession of Baron Henri de Rothschild in Paris and one in the Nouveau Palais in Potsdam, all reputable collectors.
Then the hon. gentleman asked me about the storage building on Echo drive. I think I cannot add to the answer I gave. I was fairly sure that my answer was right.
Then the hon. gentleman also asked about the war record pictures. I am told that the national gallery does not own them but that it has custody of them.
Then the final question was about these paintings belonging to Professor Bangarth. I am told that on June 22, 1954, Professor Bangarth showed the then director, Dr. McCurry, a painting attributed to Rembrandt, "Portrait of Rembrandt's Mother" and "Interior of an Inn" by David Teniers. I hope that is the right pronunciation. My Dutch is not too good, althought I had Dutch ancestors. The file records the director's remarks: "These are not anything we want to enter into discussion about".
On August 11, 1955 the director was approached-that is the present director-by a Mr. Kingsley Jarvis of Norris, Allen Limited, of Toronto, who offered to show the national gallery four pictures: a Rembrandt, a Tiepolo, a Teniers and a Modigliani. The director replied on August 16 that the gallery would be interested in these pictures if the asking price was in line with present market values, and also if the paintings were of the quality of the notes which Mr. Kingsley Jarvis submitted would suggest. I am putting in the given names of these Jarvises so as to avoid as much confusion as I can.
Then, Mr. Kingsley Jarvis replied on August 17 saying the four paintings were then being offered to some other collector but enclosing photographs of two of them. The research department of the gallery recognized those pictures as belonging to Professor Bangarth, and pictures that had already been drawn to their attention. They came to the conclusion from an examination of the photographs and the other evidence that these were not pictures in which the gallery would be interested. I am told that the normal practice is for the gallery, when pictures are offered, to ask to have photographs submitted, to subject them to very
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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration careful scrutiny by experts in the gallery, and if that scrutiny reveals them to be of real interest, then they ask to have the picture itself sent to the gallery at the expense of the gallery for examination. But if they feel there is no real interest and the board would not be likely to buy them, they do not believe it is proper to use the funds of the gallery for this purpose.
Now, there may be one or two other pictures in this collection of Professor Bangarth's of which the gallery has not had photographs, and if there are they would be very glad to examine the photographs and follow the usual procedure. I have no doubt that if Professor Bangarth wanted to bring the pictures to Ottawa himself at his own expense, they would be glad to examine them. I think the hon. gentleman asked me what officials had examined them, and since this is a matter of expertise, I have no hesitation in giving the names of the officials. I would not pretend to take anything but a ministerial responsibility because I am not an expert on pictures. They were Dr. Hubbard and Dr. Dale, both of whom I think are known to the hon. member, and both of whom are doctors of the fine arts.
I am very pleased to hear the answer the minister has given. It answers a number of questions I had in mind regarding these Tillsonburg pictures. I am informed by a letter here that the gallery had seen the actual picture which was purported to be a Rembrandt, as the minister said, and also one by Teniers. Professor Bangarth has a number of other pictures, including a Titian, a Degoya and a number of others. I am assured again, by a letter received the day before yesterday, that these pictures are genuine and he can prove that they are. As the minister knows, I like him am not an expert and I would not know whether or not they were originals.
In view of the fact that these claims are made and apparently in the past they have been represented to the minister by responsible people, I do feel that a glance at a photograph of a picture would hardly be sufficient. I think most hon. members would realize that there is enough controversy very often over pictures, as to whether they are genuine, when people examine the actual pictures carefully, the kind of paint used and that sort of thing. A photograph would hardly be sufficient. The minister has said, as I understand it, that if Professor Bangarth wishes to bring these pictures to the gallery they will be examined.
I have no doubt whatever that would be done. I think the hon. gentleman would agree that we could hardly use
the taxpayers' money to have them brought here unless the gallery was practically certain it was genuinely interested and that the seller would, under the circumstances, have to bear the cost of making the pictures available for inspection. They would certainly be inspected. Of that, I have not the slightest doubt whatever, and inspected by the best expert they have.
I have just one further remark. I am inclined to agree with the minister but I would think possibly, in view of the fact that Professor Bangarth claims these pictures are genuine and if they are they are of obvious value to the gallery, and since it is a very costly and risky thing to transport pictures of this type around the country, perhaps in the near future Mr. Alan Jarvis or some other member of the gallery would be in Toronto and might go over to Tillsonburg to see these pictures. It is not a great distance and perhaps it would be possible for the minister to agree to that.
I do not think I should like to commit other people to go to Tillsonburg. It would give me the greatest pleasure to go up to Tillsonburg at any time because, as the hon. gentleman knows, I have special reasons for liking to go to that neighbourhood whenever I can find an excuse for it. I will draw it to the attention of the director, and I am sure he will do whatever is reasonable.
Mr. Chairman, these estimates were before the estimates committee on April 18 where I made a statement regarding the Department of Labour estimates proper. Then, on August 2 a statement was made by the chief commissioner with regard to the unemployment insurance commission. In addition to that, discussions were held in the estimates committee over quite a long period of time. On June 14 I made quite a long statement and for a full day these estimates were discussed in the house.