Mr. Chairman, I should like to take this opportunity to call the minister's attention to the rather irregular way the R.C.M.P. carries out certain investigations.
I have been told that, with the help of the food and drug branch of the Department of National Health and Welfare, the R.C.M.P. makes investigations in establishments where pharmaceutical products are sold, especially in retail drug stores. Yet, the way the constables do their work, they should not be called investigators but instigators. Indeed, under false pretences, they succeed in getting special drugs from people who act in good
faith, professional pharmacists whose only care is to exercise their profession conscientiously and do their duty by serving the public well.
Constables present themselves as sick people and pretend they have forgotten their medical prescription or that they are strangers visiting relatives and that they urgently need the drugs. They play on the druggist's sympathies so that the latter, moved by their plight agrees to give them without a prescription, drugs which call for one.
Mr. Chairman, I should like to draw the minister's attention to two particular cases which happened recently in the Sherbrooke district, in the province of Quebec. R.C.M.P. constables went to a drugstore and told the pharmacist that they were on a trip and did not have a medical prescription for certain drugs they wanted. Out of sympathy for those supposedly sick people, the druggist gave them 12 tablets. Needless to say, that in both cases, the R.C.M.P. laid charges against the pharmacists who are highly respected in the profession and who render great services to the public. They were brought before the court and had to pay a nominal fine but it remains, sir, that this use of false pretence with druggists who act in good faith, who are conscious of their obligations, is what I would call a disgusting behaviour, if it did not reflect upon those who use such means to succeed in their investigations.
Consequently, I would ask the Minister of Justice if he could not impress upon the R.C.M.P. that its constables who are in the employ of the Department of Justice should not instigate honest people to break the law.
Mr. Chairman, since I am not a lawyer I feel I am in an advantageous position to make this second point which I should like to bring to the attention of the hon. members of this house. The general public are sometimes justified in complaining about the slowness of court proceedings. Indeed, people who have to go to court, sometimes have to wait one, two and even five years before their cases are heard and passed upon. Such a delay in the proceedings is highly prejudicial to the taxpayers, that is to the Canadian people, and especially to those whose interests are at stake.
I personally know people who suffered serious money problems before they could obtain justice.
I would therefore ask the Minister of Justice whether he could take steps to increase the number of judges so that justice could
be rendered more expeditiously, thus insuring better protection and greater justice to the Canadian people.