December 18, 1962

NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Chairman, I am wondering what scrutiny the committee gave to this bill, particularly in light of the previous bill which we discussed, in which certain charges were made which were quite easily established. I

notice that in this bill there is reference to investigators. To my mind this always raises the question as to who those investigators are, whether they are licensed by the Senate and have the right granted to them by the Senate to practice their profession. I also wonder whether the Senate has made investigation of these people. I raise this point not only in relation to this bill but also in relation to a number of cases in which investigations took place and perjury charges were laid. Some of the detectives concerned, with whom I am not familiar, have been convicted in various courts in Ontario and in the province of Quebec, and I am wondering whether the committee took the trouble to investigate these particular witnesses to ascertain whether they fell into that category.

Mr. Chairman, this is doubly important because the evidence we are looking at was obtained on January 29, 1962, which is a long time ago. It has been renewed by petition, in which the Senate asked whether the parties wished to go ahead with the case and whether or not during the period which had elapsed between the two hearings the petitioner and the respondent had got together and continued to live as man and wife. This is very important because certainly jurists have indicated that evidence given by detectives has to be closely scrutinized in view of the fact that these people are paid for the information they give. They are not disinterested witnesses; they are paid witnesses. It is interesting to note that in the supreme court of Ontario-

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to raise a point of order. Your Honour was commendably strict, I thought, when we were considering another private bill, in having the discussion adhere strictly to the bill and to the clauses in the bill. I have been listening attentively to the hon. gentleman and he appears to be wandering all over the lot, talking of this case, that case, and the other case. It appears to me that there is only one case before us, and that is the particular case we are discussing. I submit the hon. member should be confined strictly to clause 1 of this bill and to no other.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
CCF

Thomas Speakman Barnett

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

Mr. Barnett:

Mr. Chairman, on the point of order raised by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate, I was listening closely to the remarks of the hon. member for Timis-kaming. While it is true that he did make reference to the fact that investigators were used in various cases, I felt that he was leading directly to an assessment of the particular bill before us and that he was merely comparing the manner in which investigators were used in this case with what was a general practice in connection with such

Divorce Bills

bills. With all deference to the remarks made by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate, I submit that his point of order is not well taken. I think the hon. member for Timiskaming was relating his discussion to the question whether or not it was advisable for this bill to pass through the committee stage at this time.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Rodney Berger

New Democratic Party

Mr. Berger:

Mr. Chairman, on the point of order, I was listening with a good deal of interest to the remarks of the hon. member for Timiskaming, and I appreciated the way in which he was developing in a logical fashion his argument on this part of the bill. The hon. member for Bonavista-Twillin-gate criticized him because he was discussing other cases.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
LIB
NDP

Thomas Rodney Berger

New Democratic Party

Mr. Berger:

I suggest that anyone who, in developing an argument, contrasts and compares experiences in other cases with what has happened in this case is using a perfectly legitimate technique of logic or advocacy. It may be that in the past the hon. gentleman who objected has not been used to listening to well developed, logical arguments; but I think now that he has been exposed to that type of discussion, at any rate since September 27, from the members of this party perhaps he should restrain himself and listen for a while. I think that he would then appreciate that, far from being out of order, the hon. member for Timiskaming was in fact enlightening the committee in a way in which in the past it has rarely been enlightened.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Mr. Chairman, may I say a further word on the point of order. I was not arguing or criticizing anything. I was drawing attention to the fact that the hon. gentleman had not mentioned the clause of this particular bill; that he was talking about a number of other cases. I was just suggesting that the same rules should be applied in one case as in another. I might add, since the hon. gentleman who has just spoken is, of course, so much more experienced than some of the rest of us, that in committee stage of a bill it is not a question of advocacy; it is a question of examining the clauses. The advocacy is done in the house, not in committee. In committee we examine the clauses and stick strictly to the clauses. At any rate, that is what the rules say.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Rodney Berger

New Democratic Party

Mr. Berger:

On the point of order, Mr. Chairman, may I reply briefly to the hon. member who has just spoken. The hon. member will recall that when we were debating the motion for second reading he urged upon the speaker that there should be no advocacy allowed at that stage. Now the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate says that there

ought to be no advocacy at this stage of the bill. I take it that the hon. member feels that there is no room for advocacy in this House of Commons. I realize he has had a great deal more experience in this house and in other spheres of government than many of us here, but I suggest that none of us who are new members of this house ought to be bashful about putting forward what we consider, after reflection, as being legitimate comments about the way in which the business of the house is conducted.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
LIB

Leon David Crestohl

Liberal

Mr. Crestohl:

On this point of order, I am afraid Your Honour has been deluged more by the experience than by the actual case. I know the hon. member for Timiskaming has no intention of being unfair in what he is saying, but when he speaks about investigators who have been before the courts, investigators who have been convicted, he is speaking in general terms and we have no way of knowing whether these are the people who should now concern us. Unless the hon. member has something to say which casts doubt upon the accuracy or upon the character of these particular investigators, it is not permissible for him to make the statement he made. From his general statements about investigators who have been before the courts or who have been convicted, one might assume he was speaking about investigators who appear in this particular case, in this bill which is now before us, and he might be unfair in doing so although he did not mean to be unfair.

I think my hon. friend from Bonavista-Twillingate was right on the point when he asked that the hon. member should stay closely to the allegations made in the bill and not go far afield, unless there is an association between the statements he has just been making and the present investigators. Otherwise, as I say, it is unfair and an injustice is being done to them.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
PC

Rémi Paul (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

Order. I thank hon. members who have taken part in the discussion on the point of order raised by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate. I think there was a wide discussion. I am sure the hon. member for Timiskaming, with his experience, will try to stay within the limits of this debate.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

I appreciate the remarks which have been made on the point of order. I am trying to follow the advice which has been given me. Unlike many other members of this house, all the legal training I possess has been received in the house itself. I am seeking to argue my point under the eyes of many learned counsel here and, sometimes, I am

confused about the different opinions they give me. However, I understand that in law that is often the situation.

The two gentlemen we are concerned with here are George Roland Foucher, of Montreal, Quebec and Jean Vinet, also of Montreal. I do not know if they have been involved in court proceedings but I think the hon. member for Cartier would agree with me that somewhere along the line we shall have to ascertain which people have been convicted of offences, whether I do it personally outside the house or whether it is done here in the miscellaneous private bills committee or in the committee of the other place. There would, then, be no aspersions cast on those who were left. On the other hand, cases in which those who had been convicted were involved would be thrown out. This question would not be so serious if it were not for the fact that there have been six or eight persons of this sort before the courts in the last six months. I am not in a position to say who they are. Perhaps these two gentlemen are not among them.

Since detectives have been used in this case I think the committee should give consideration to some of the legal opinions which have been expressed on this particular subject. I should like to refer to one which was quoted in the case which arose fairly recently. Power at page 335, puts it thus:

Evidence of adultery given by private detectives is subjected to the most careful scrutiny.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I am rising again on a point of order. Can the hon. member relate what he is now saying to this particular bill? Are the investigators he is talking about people who have anything to do with this case? Has the hon. member ascertained that to be so? If he has not, why did he not go to the miscellaneous private bills committee and find out?

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peiers:

The hon. member who has just spoken draws attention to one of the ignorances of the house in relation to these bills. I do not know this, and until I do they are all suspect as far as I am concerned.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
PC

Robert Jardine McCleave (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

And smear everybody while you are doing it. It is nothing but a smear.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

Every time the hon. member for Halifax stands up in this house he does not smear me, he smears himself. He has cast so many of these aspersions that I suggest people will judge him according to those aspersions.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

After that exchange of compliments could we have a ruling on the point of order I have raised?

Interim Supply

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
PC

Rémi Paul (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

I thank hon. members for the remarks they have made. It is my view that the last comments, in particular, made by the hon. member for Timiska-ming were very far from the principle of the bill. I am sure he could make his observations apply directly to clause 1 of the measure we are considering. In any case he cannot discuss activity leading up to the bill.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

I presume, therefore, that we should proceed to study the evidence given by these gentlemen so that we can judge for ourselves in this particular case. The record tells us:

George Roland Foucher appeared as a witness on behalf of the petitioner and. having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

Q. What is your full name?

A. George Roland Foucher.

Q. What is your age?

Q. Where do you live?

A. Montreal.

Q. What is your occupation?

A. Investigator.

Here, Mr. Chairman, is the point at which I suggest the question should have been asked whether or not the witness has been found guilty of any infraction of the law in relation to his occupation. This question should have been replied to in the negative-*

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Would the hon. member permit me to ask him if that is not precisely the kind of question the late Senator McCarthy used to ask in another committee?

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink
PC

Rémi Paul (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

Order. It being six o'clock shall I rise, report progress and request leave to sit again at the next sitting of the house?

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink

December 18, 1962