January 21, 1966

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I understand that negotiations among the different parties in the house regarding the application of the provisional standing orders adopted in the last session are still in progress. If this is the situation the Chair is prepared to wait until Monday to hear arguments on the subject and to determine the position that should be taken in the house.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE


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, I would direct a question to the Minister of Justice and ask him whether in the last few days any order has been passed declaring a state of emergency in this country under the provisions of the War Measures Act.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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LIB

Louis-Joseph-Lucien Cardin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Lucien Cardin (Minister of Justice):

Not to my knowledge, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Well then, Mr. Speaker, if there has not, what justification is there, and what authority is there, to keep a man who has not been tried, Victor Spencer-and I have no sympathy for his alleged conduct -under perpetual surveillance? What is the authority under law that allows the government of Canada to interfere with the rights of a citizen in that way?

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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LIB

Louis-Joseph-Lucien Cardin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Cardin:

Mr. Speaker, there is no specific law or statute that covers the question of surveillance; it flows from the ordinary administration of the law by law enforcement officers. For instance, if a law enforcement officer suspects that crimes have been committed, even though the suspect may not have been convicted of them, or if he suspects because of previous actions that the man might continue to engage in such activities, then it has been the practice to maintain surveillance. This is in the interests of the public. It seems to me that the right hon. gentleman would certainly not deny that right to the police.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Is this surveillance carried on 24 hours a day?

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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LIB

Louis-Joseph-Lucien Cardin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Cardin:

The surveillance is done as the situation requires.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Does the Minister say that such conduct can be justified in any way under the law? Tell me any law which allows surveillance to continue after a government has decided that there is no offence upon which a court should be given an opportunity of deciding whether or not there is a case.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

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

would like to direct a supplementary question to the Prime Minister. In view of the fact that this man has been charged by the minister himself on a national television program and denied any opportunity to prove his innocence; in view of the fact that he has been dismissed and denied the right of appeal, and has lost all his pension rights, does the government contemplate taking any steps which will give this man an opportunity of clearing his name rather than remain for the rest of his life under constant surveillance by the R.C.M.P.? Does the Prime Minister not think that in the interest of justice this man should be given some opportunity to have his innocence or guilt established?

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

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

The hon. gentleman has raised another and far-reaching point to which I should like to give consideration. It may be desirable to make a statement on this subject very shortly.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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PC

Gerald William Baldwin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. W. Baldwin (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Prime Minister about the issue which has just been discussed. Does the Prime Minister assert on behalf of the government that a general right exists to scrutinize and keep under surveillance any citizen, on the basis of what the government thinks that citizen may do in the future?

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

The government has a general right to do what is required and what is within the law to provide for the security of the country. I have already said that I think it will be desirable very shortly to make a statement on this whole matter, and perhaps I may leave it at that.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

This isn't under the law.

86 COMMONS

Inquiries of the Ministry [Translation]

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   CONTINUED SURVEILLANCE OF FORMER POST OFFICE EMPLOYEE
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FAMILY ALLOWANCES

CONSIDERED BY PARLIAMENT DURING PRESENT SESSION


On the orders of the day:


January 21, 1966