May 11, 1965

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, there was

certainly no intention of that kind. As I understand it, the reason that language was used-

DEBATES May 11. 1965

and indeed it is related to the purpose of the communique itself-was to give publicity to the fact that naturalized Canadians who have perhaps been Canadians for only a few years and who have come from European countries, in some cases from countries behind the Iron Curtain and who have relatives behind the Iron Curtain now, are particularly vulnerable to this kind of pressure.

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

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Hon. D. S. Harkness (Calgary North):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Prime Minister if he is now in a position to answer the question I asked yesterday with regard to what industrial fields this espionage was particularly directed at, and especially what phases of the gas and oil industry seemed to be of interest in view of the fact that the original statement said that a pipe line was one of the matters about which information was being secured.

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

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, I cannot add anything to the details of the communique in this regard, but I can say again what I said in my statement, that notwithstanding the length of time these operations continued no information of any security value was transmitted.

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

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eldon M. Woolliams (Bow River):

supplementary question, Mr. Speaker, and I ask this question because there still seems to be some confusion. Were there more than two or only two Canadian civil servants connected with these negotiations with foreign agents? The Prime Minister spoke of one who co-operated and one who did not. Were there only two?

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

There was only one.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
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?

Malcolm MacInnis

Mr. Donald Maclnnis (Cape Brelon South):

In explaining the activities of the people referred to, the Prime Minister referred to the fact that they assisted. Why then was it necessary, in the last line of his statement on page 1088 of Hansard, to state:

-no action is at this time being taken against them.

Are we to assume from that statement that action will be undertaken at a later date?

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

No, Mr. Speaker, not in respect of any single person, with the possible exception of the man I have mentioned.

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SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. R. N. Thompson (Red Deer):

Mine is a related question and normally should be asked of the Minister of Industry. However, in view of continuing reports of subversive activities, and particularly of the two spies

May 11. 1965

from the U.S.S.R., I should like to direct the question to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister explain how, out of 268 barrels of refined cobalt stockpiled at a Federal warehouse at Deloro since 1959, 245 have been emptied of their cobalt contents and filled with sand? It is interesting to note that the total amount of cobalt involved is in excess of 150 tons. Each of the barrels contained some 1,200 pounds of cobalt with a minimum value of $650,000, and the theft was first noticed when some Federal workers noticed the barrels produced a hollow, drumlike sound when banged. They were opened and found to be empty.

The second question is, when was this amount of strategic material lost? Does the Prime Minister not regard this as still further evidence not only of espionage but of subversive activities being much more widespread than the public or even the Government itself is yet aware?

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

I shall be glad to discuss this matter with the Minister of Industry and perhaps a statement can be made tomorrow or the next day. I should like to look into the matter in the terms in which the question has been put.

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PC

Eric Alfred Winkler (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eric A. Winkler (Grey-Bruce):

I had

a question along the same lines and on the same subject, Mr. Speaker. While the Prime Minister is preparing an answer to that question, could he determine when the last check or last stocktaking was made by Government officials?

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

That would certainly be an important part of the examination.

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Winnipeg South Centre):

My question is not a very serious one, Mr. Speaker. Yesterday the Prime Minister said he was prepared to table or have made an appendix to Hansard the press release concerning subversive activities. No action appears to have been taken as yet. I now ask that that press release be made an appendix to today's Hansard and I ask you, sir, to ascertain the will of the House in that connection.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

I would be glad to do that if it is the desire of the House.

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?

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Does the House give consent?

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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

[Editor's note: For text of press release referred to, see appendix.]

22620-75 J

Inquiries of the Ministry

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister answered several questions that were asked with regard to the espionage ring, if one can use that expression. However, I asked the Prime Minister whether the civil servant who ultimately co-operated or who cooperated had received any payment from the Russian agents before reporting to the Canadian security squad or those charged with responsibility. What was the amount of that first payment he received; because there is a reference to thousands of dollars. What was the amount of that payment? How long did he retain that before his conscience caused him to go to the police officers and reveal these facts? This is a very important thing in determining this man's position.

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

I am not in a position, Mr. Speaker, to tell my hon. friend the date on which he began to receive funds from the Soviet authorities. It is clear that when he was confronted by the police at the beginning of last week he had been receiving such funds. I am not in a position to give more of the details regarding the amount and the time over which these funds were being received. I will look into it.

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NDP

Francis Andrew Brewin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Andrew Brewin (Greenwood):

May I

ask a supplementary question. I should like to ask the Prime Minister in reference to the civil servant whom he has described as gravely ill and who co-operated with the Russians, was this grave illness a natural illness or was it self imposed in any way?

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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

It is a natural illness which would not require to be mentioned in a statement of this kind except that it has a bearing on the investigation which the police are conducting with him and their ability to press him as hard as they might otherwise wish to do in regard to certain information. It is a natural illness.

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ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

May 11, 1965