Mrs. Margaret Konanlz (Winnipeg South):
Mr. Speaker, I should like to be permitted to say a few words on a question of privilege raised in my absence from the house by the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Orlikow). Yesterday afternoon I returned from the United Nations in order to come before the house to answer some of the questions which were asked here last Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday night I sent the Minister of Transport a wire from our Canadian mission in New York, which reads as follows:
Winnipeg Tribune reporter called me at 2.30 p.m. local time today asking me what I had meant in the story of our annual meeting in Winnipeg South at Lois Parkhill November 5, when I said "Mr. Mcllraith showed me the Dixon-Speas report."
I explained that I had made a courtesy call on you while in Ottawa when attending the federal Liberal women's conference. At that time you stated the Dixon-Speas report could not be released and pointed to four volumes on the table behind your desk. The reporter asked me if I had been talking to Ottawa today, to which I said no. He told me of Mr. Orlikow's statement in the house.
Now, there are two points I would like to make. Because of my deep concern over the problem of T.C.A., this summer I went through the overhaul base and visited with the men. On another occasion I met with management. I was shown reports, records and documents, so that when I saw the Dixon-Speas report on the minister's table I well understood this report would probably contain confidential information. At the annual meeting of the Winnipeg South constituency, when reporting on the T.C.A. question I did say, without giving any details, that the Minister of Transport had shown me the Dixon-Speas report. It was unthinking of me to allow any impression that I had seen the report itself.
On reviewing the newspaper stories of our meeting I realized how I must have embarrassed both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport. For this reason, on Tuesday night I telephoned the chairman of my advisory committee in Winnipeg to ask him if at any time I had given any suggestion that I had read the Dixon-Speas report. As 28902-5-301J
a result the following wire was sent to the Minister of Transport from the Winnipeg South Liberal association and a copy was sent to me in New York yesterday morning:
Mrs. Konantz did not say at her annual meeting or elsewhere that she had seen and therefore read the Dixon-Speas report but did say that the five volume report was pointed out to her by the minister. From her conversation with him she could well understand why the information contained in it could not be made public because it would then be available to the competitors of T.C.A.
Yesterday morning the Minister of Transport wired me to come to Ottawa. I have now had a chance to read the questions which were raised in the house on Tuesday. I believe I have given frank answers to them all. I have read the statement made by the Minister of Transport to the House of Commons. Needless to say, it is entirely correct.
Subtopic: MRS. KONANTZ STATEMENT ON REPORT RESPECTING T.C.A. WINNIPEG MAINTENANCE BASE