May 11, 1965

?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES-APPOINTMENT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT OF GOVERNMENT
Permalink
NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Frank Howard (Skeena):

Mr. Speaker, not having had the advantage, as obviously the hon. Member for the Northwest Territories did, of an advance copy of the Minister's statement, it will not be possible for me to go into such great detail in commenting upon it. I should say that I am sure it seems strange to many people in Canada today to realize that there are still Canadian citizens being denied the full opportunity of exercising their franchise. The sooner we can wipe out that stigma of refusing people the right to vote, the better off we will all be.

For years the operation of the Northwest Territories as well as the Yukon has been controlled here in Ottawa. This, of course, has neither allowed for the correct or proper development of northern areas, nor for a true appreciation of the people in these territories and the north country, and the function of Government. It has not allowed these people to obtain complete political and economic freedom. If the Commission can assist in bringing about an attainment of political rights and freedoms, as well as economic rights, for the people of the north, it will have accomplished a great deal.

I know Professor Carrothers and have known him for some time. I know he believes in these freedoms and rights, and I think his choice as Chairman is excellent. He will bring to that Commission a brilliant mind and a tremendous ability to grasp the complexities of almost any situation. It is of paramount importance in respect of any Commission such as this to realize that it must take more than just time and more than just trouble, but that it must bend over backward in attempting to assess the full desires of the people themselves. In no way should there be any attempt to avoid giving attention to the opinions of the people who live in the north because, after all, it is their rights and problems with which we are dealing.

Very often in past years royal commissions, commissions of inquiry, committees of inquiry and the like have delved into aspects of life in Canada. The effectiveness of those commissions, and the fact that many Governments

DEBATES May 11. 1965

in the past in dealing with other commissions have not seen fit to bring many of their recommendations into effect, does not lead me to expect too hopefully that there will be speed and dispatch on the part of the Government in dealing with the situation in the north. All we can do is hope that this will be one Commission of a different character than all the others in that it will act with speed; that it will consult with the people affected, and that the Government will not drag its feet in bringing into full force the rights and freedoms of the people in the north.

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES-APPOINTMENT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT OF GOVERNMENT
Permalink
SC

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson

Social Credit

Mr. H. A. Olson (Medicine Hat):

Mr. Speaker, we in this Party were not given the benefit of any advance notice of this announcement which has been made today. Nevertheless we welcome the announcement that has been made by the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources, particularly because of that part of the terms of reference to the Commission which relates to human rights, and the right of people in the north to exercise their franchise and make their wishes known, as do people in other parts of Canada.

The expansion which should be taking place in the north-well over one third of the total area of Canada-is something that has demanded attention for a number of years, and for this reason we welcome the announcement made by the Minister today to the effect that there is to be another concerted effort to work out programs and policies which will bring to fruition the tremendous potential development of these natural resources in the north. We hope this Commission will operate somewhat differently than certain other inquiries have operated in the past, and that there will be something more than lip service given to the desirability of granting these people the right of determination and the right to develop the natural resources in that area.

In addition to all the other things this Advisory Commission will be looking into, I hope it will not overlook the very valid suggestion that some of this territory ought to be added to existing provinces. A number of suggestions have been made, I understand with the approval of some of the people in the north, to the effect that the boundaries of several of the provinces could be extended to include some of this territory. I also believe, Mr. Speaker, that this Advisory Commission should have included in its terms some refer-

May 11, 1965

ence to the task of examining the Yukon as well as the Northwest Territories.

Generally, Mr. Speaker, we welcome the announcement that has been made today and we wish the commission success. As I said once before, I hope there will be some action and not merely lip service as we have so often seen in the past.

Topic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES-APPOINTMENT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT OF GOVERNMENT
Permalink

SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES

INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, with further reference to the matter dealt with by the Prime Minister I should like to get clarification on one point. Was there co-operation given to the police by both these civil servants? Did they assist the police in the most effective way possible after they were spoken to by the police officers?

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, only one of the two men I mentioned in my statement is a civil servant. In his case co-operation was not given until he was confronted by the police last week with the fact that they knew of his activities, and had known of his activities over many months. All I can say is that in the interests of security it was considered desirable for them to follow those activities without his knowledge, and my hon. friend will know what I mean by that. In the case of the other man mentioned in the communique, he went to the police immediately when he was approached for the first time, and worked with them from that time.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

In the case of this number one man, the one who co-operated, did the police go to him or did he go to the police? Second, what did the Prime Minister mean yesterday when he said, as found at the bottom of page 1,088 of Hansard:

So far as the two persons who have been expelled are concerned, members of the Soviet embassy staff, they are exempt from criminal prosecution in this country by their status.

That I understand.

So far as the others are concerned, they have co-operated with the police in an effective way in bringing this matter to a head, and no action is at this time being taken against them.

Whom did the Prime Minister mean by "the others"? He says that one co-operated. Were there some others who co-operated as well?

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. In my statement I mentioned the fact that a number of Canadians worked with the police in this security investigation. As to the two men mentioned in the communique, one cooperated from the very beginning and the other did not until he was approached. I realize that the language I used, without having the opportunity to know about the question in advance, lends itself to misinterpretation and misunderstanding. As the right hon. gentleman pointed out, it might have been taken to mean that the two mentioned in the communique co-operated from the beginning. I regret that looseness of language, but perhaps it is understandable in the circumstances. In any event the co-operation in the second case did not begin until the beginning of last week.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

One other question. Would the Prime Minister say when this matter was first brought to his attention?

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, I am in some difficulty in mentioning dates and circumstances in a security matter of this kind, but the matter was brought to my attention when our security people felt the time had come to expose it.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
PC

Paul Raymond Martineau

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Paul Martineau (Ponliac-Temisca-mingue):

A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. Will the Prime Minister say who will have the final authority to determine whether proceedings are to be taken against the so-called other Canadian; whether it will be the R.C.M.P., the Minister of Justice or one of his officials, or the Government as a whole?

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

In this situation it will be the responsibility of the Government on the advice of the Minister of Justice.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquiilam):

supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. May I ask the Prime Minister to clarify the point he has just made. Today he has mentioned two persons, one of whom was a civil servant and the other a naturalized Canadian. With reference to his statement of yesterday, and particularly the words "so far as the others are concerned", I take it now that there were more than two persons, since there were more than two persons who co-operated with the R.C.M.P. and one person who did not cooperate with the R.C.M.P. Am I correct?

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

There were two persons who were involved in this matter in the sense that they were in touch with security agents of the Soviet Embassy and operating with them,

1148 COMMONS

Inquiries of the Ministry and I have given the circumstances of that operation on the part of those two. There were a number of other people who were assisting but who were not acting, either with the knowledge of the Canadian security authorities or without their knowledge, with the foreign security agents at all but were assisting in other ways.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

A further supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. Were the "others" to whom the Prime Minister referred who co-operated with the police civil servants? Were they employed by the Government of Canada?

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

I am not in a position to answer that question. I do not want to hold anything back that I can appropriately give to the House, but I should like to make inquiries as to the nature of the operations of the others in detail before I would feel it was my duty to give such information to the House. Perhaps in this kind of situation it might even be desirable as this investigation goes on to have some confidential discussions with the leaders of the parties.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to ask a further supplementary question. With reference to the civil servant who did not cooperate with the R.C.M.P. and who was confronted with this matter only last week, may I ask first of all if any steps have been taken to remove him from his position with the Government and, second, who will make the determination whether prosecution will follow?

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, I answered the latter part of the question by saying that the Government would do so on the advice of the Minister of Justice. So far as the first part of the question is concerned, the civil servant in question, I emphasize again, was not in a job or in a department where he himself had access to any security information. He is now on sick leave, and he is very ill indeed.

Mr. R. Gordon L. Fair weather (Royal): Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Prime Minister, and I want it understood in the best sense of the words I use. What was the point in the Prime Minister's statement in classifying one person as a naturalized Canadian? Does this language not lend itself to a form of innuendo with regard to other naturalized Canadians? Why not just say "a citizen"?

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
Permalink

May 11, 1965