Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, since I have suggested that at least a committee of the house should be established in order to inquire into the charges made, I must welcome the change
October 22, 1969
Company of Young Canadians in the government's attitude as expressed by the minister this afternoon.
Serious charges have been made. The original attitude of the minister seemed to be that a police inquiry and a government inquiry would be adequate. This seemed to me to be a most inadequate and unfortunate response to the serious charges made by persons in very responsible positions at the federal and other levels of government.
I want to make it clear that I certainly support the original aims and purposes of the Company of Young Canadians. It is important that parliament and the public receive answers in respect of some of the charges, and the only satisfactory method under the circumstances appears to be a public inquiry. I trust that the terms of reference of the committee will be broad enough to permit a full review of the Company's activities, thus ensuring that the house will be fully informed as to whether or not the Company and its members are conforming to the purpose for which it was established or whether, on the other hand, they are departing from these purposes.
It is natural, and I understand this, that a company established for the purpose of assisting the underprivileged is bound to create a certain amount of controversy. However if members of the Company have gone so far as to engage in activities designed to undermine municipal governments, as has been alleged, then of course that is a very different story.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I do welcome the change in the minister's attitude and I support the establishment of this committee.