November 4, 1969

NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Don't worry about time allocation.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

James Alexander Jerome

Liberal

Mr. Jerome:

If I may conclude, Mr. Speaker, the important thing is not that there exists in this house a symbolic or ideological difference between one member and another; it is not important that we are worlds apart in our thinking, for indeed it is the very essence of Parliament to come here and take widely opposite positions and confront each other through an intelligent exchange of views and debate-the question is how this chamber is going to conduct itself and how it will be regarded in the eyes of the impatient youth of our country.

The question is: Will we be able to retain the credibility of all the people of our nation, Whether they come from the coast or from the prairies, whether they are from Ontario or Quebec, whether they are young or old, whether they speak French or English, whether they are in management or labour, whether they are citizens of our country by birth or immigrants who have become naturalized Canadians? We cannot retain that

November 4, 1969

credibility if we are afraid of change and stubbornly resist change of every sort just for the sake of resistance.

If we cannot through the orderly and intelligent introduction of innovation and progress in the conduct of the affairs of this country give expression to the restless and revolutionary spirit that exists in our young people, we will have to bear the responsibility for that restless and revolutionary spirit finding its expression on the streets and campuses in the form of disorder, disruption, violence and anarchy.

The challenge is for those opposite who would resist change to stand up and say so, to tell their colleagues to go to the nation and say, as some of them have already said, that their avowed intention is to resist even the few rule changes that we have introduced in this chamber. Then resistance is at the cost of effectively carrying on the affairs of this nation. So I say, stand up and tell the nation that when the next election is called they will promise that if given the mandate and the right to govern this country, their first move will be to remove any limitation or restriction on our time for debate and everyone will under their administration be able to speak in the House as long as he wishes. If that is their position, let them go to the public and say they cannot accept the changes we propose, that they will resist them and fight them with everything they have. We have rearranged the business of this House to make it a place where business can be carried out meaningfully and expeditiously through co-operation. The few basic changes we have made will create a more productive Parliament than the Canadian nation has ever had.

I challenge hon. members opposite to co-operate in bringing about necessary changes. I ask them to consider the very important fact that attracted to this chamber in the last election were about 100 new members. I suggest that those members bear watching and examination, and they will not be found wanting in their contributions to and participation in the affairs of the House. I say to the veterans, to those who have come back time and time again, that if through their stubborn resistance to change they allow this House to stagnate in frustration, let them bear the responsibility for the actions of our young people-those with whom they broke faith- and for what happens to this country in the future

21362-33i

The Address-Mr. Woolliams [DOT] (5:50 p.m.)

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PC

John Howard Lundrigan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lundrigan:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. member if I could have a copy of his prepared text and, second, would he give me the name of the efficiency expert in the Prime Minister's department who was active in preparing the document? I have never before heard so much talk about efficiency. I would like to have the name of the efficiency expert in the Prime Minister's department who prepared the bulk of the text for the hon. member's speech. In that respect it was outstanding and brought to our attention the need for efficiency in this House. Further, could he give us the kind of thinking and philosophy behind this efficiency?

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LIB

James Alexander Jerome

Liberal

Mr. Jerome:

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to attempt to answer that question as best I can. First of all, although inexperienced in this chamber I happen to be one of those who feel it is something of a desecration of the position of a member for him to come into the chamber with a prepared text. It is my view that when a member attempts to participate in debate here he should be prepared to get involved and participate in the interchange of ideas.

For that reason most of the remarks I made were in response to those made this morning by the right hon. gentleman to whom I referred. I had no prepared text; I still have none. I made some notes this afternoon, which are now on my desk-three pages of pencilled notes. My preparation for the speech to which the hon. member has given such adulation began at 11.45 this morning and went on this afternoon. I accept his compliments with the greatest appreciation. Unfortunately, however, I made no further preparation than that, and thus I am unable to provide him with notes.

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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Eldon M. Woolliams (Calgary North):

Mr. Speaker, the sort of speech to which we have just listened provides an introduction for mine. I am going to speak about narcotics. I have for some time been trying to get information from the government on the subject. If anyone has resisted change, it has not been on this side of the House. If the honourable and distinguished member who has just sat down will do me the compliment of listening to me he will learn that I have some recommendations to make. I believe the narcotics problem is a national problem. I believe we must have answers now from ministers. We cannot be put off from day to day with

November 4, 1969

The Address-Mr. Woolliams answers to the effect that the matter is being considered.

People who have been criticizing me during the last few days-and they are not all on the opposite side of the House-have said that I should have been asking my questions of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Turner). But one of the big problems is that under the roster system he is not in the House each day to answer questions. Under this system sometimes ministers ignore Parliament and refuse to attend even when they are due to attend.

All of us know that the responsibilities of cabinet ministers are such that they cannot always be in the House. But, Mr. Speaker, ministers are making use of this system to avoid giving answers. Dealing with this narcotic question, I wish to read the answer given to me by the Solicitor General (Mr. Mcllraith) as recorded at page 405 of yesterday's Hansard. The other day I asked him whether he had done any research on the charges faced by young men and women in Calgary. I asked whether he had ascertained the ages of the young people involved and the nature of the charges. His answer showed that he was uninformed.

The Solicitor General has graced this chamber for a long time, but I say to him that as Solicitor General he is not carrying out the functions and responsibilities of his office if he is not prepared to answer our questions. I have no large staff behind me. He has a whole department behind him. If I ask a question about a charge, or about what took place in such and such a place, it is his responsibility to come forward with the answers. In this instance he shirked his responsibility.

The Solicitor General replied to my question on Monday, when western Canadians who had gone home on Friday could not get out of Toronto to be back here on Monday. I will answer the Solicitor General tonight, and I will also answer the previous speaker to show that I believe in reform. I believe drugs have become one of our urgent national problems. We cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand with respect to the problem. This is what the Solicitor General said on Monday:

Mr. Speaker, on Friday last, as reported at page 350 of Hansard, the hon. member for Calgary North asked me several questions concerning the sentencing of seven young people in Calgary on charges involving marijuana. I have looked into the matter and I find that the charges did not involve marijuana: they involved hashish, trafficking in hashish.

This was the answer of the Solicitor General, who had all the necessary staff behind him to find out the facts. But he is not doing the job properly. He is not interested in giving answers; he is interested in arriving at the door of the Senate.

If I may, Mr. Speaker, I would call it six o'clock. However, before I sit down I would like to have permission to read tonight the charges laid in these cases; then we will find out who is setting out the facts.

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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

It being six o'clock I do now leave the chair until eight o'clock p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 6(1).

At six o'clock the House took recess.

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AFTER RECESS The House resumed at 8 p.m.


PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

Mr. Speaker, in the three minutes I had before the recess I introduced my subject, which is the defence and preservation of the greatest asset that we have in Canada-our youth. Although I was not in the House on Monday to hear them myself, I did make reference to the remarks of the Solicitor General. I should like to place on record what I actually said last week and then read the charges obtained from the newspaper. Perhaps we can determine whether the Solicitor General is just making perfunctory answers or is really doing his homework.

On October 28, 1969 I asked the following question:

Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the Prime Minister about the subject of drug use, because it is now becoming a grave national problem. I had hoped to see the Minister of Justice here. Would the Prime Minister be prepared to have his government consult with provincial Attorneys General and Ministers of Education so as to encourage the setting up of an education program in elementary schools, high schools and universities in order that the youth of Canada will be informed and become more knowledgeable about the use of drugs?

I used the word "drugs". The Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) answered:

Mr. Speaker, we share the hon. member's concern about the need to have information disseminated on this important matter.

For that answer I congratulate the Prime Minister.

That is why we have set up a commission under Dean LeDain. We are not considering any specific action along the lines the hon. member has suggested until the commission has reported.

November 4, 1969

May I pause for a moment. While the commission is studying, society goes on. When we read the charges and the ages of the boys and girls who were convicted and sentenced we will find that the process of justice cannot wait for this government. The hon. member for Sudbury (Mr. Jerome) accused us of being against change. I want change-and before I am through tonight I will ask the Solicitor General to get moving. I asked the following supplementary question of the Prime Minister:

I appreciate that the commission is now investigating this question. But since many high school students and young people in our universities are being charged with possession of marijuana and trafficking in the drug-

I want to emphasize that; I do not want to be misquoted and I do not want the Solicitor General to do a "snow" job.

-and many of them cannot afford bail and therefore remain incarcerated, will the government not consider measures to make the law uniform and to make certain that sentences meted out in this country do not vary from province to province?

At the moment sentences vary from province to province. Last week it would have been far better to have been charged in Toronto than in Calgary although it is still Canada, still one nation. The Prime Minister said:

Mr. Speaker, sentencing is not within federal jurisdiction,-

That may be true, but judges are appointed by the federal government. However, that is another field and I will not go into it at this time.

-unless the hon. member is suggesting that we embark on the unusual course of setting a fixed sentence from which a judge cannot depart and over which he has no discretion.

Then I asked another question, Mr. Speaker, as follows:

The Prime Minister must be aware that in some cases young people are charged under the Narcotic Control Act, in which case they are liable to sentences of 7 to 14 years, while in other cases they are charged under the Food and Drugs Act where the sentence called for is much less.

I will deal with that in a few minutes. The Speaker brought me to order and I said:

Yes, Mr. Speaker, but I had to give a preamble in order that the Prime Minister will be filled in on the law.

I will let it go there for the moment. I asked some further questions and found the Minister of Justice (Mr. Turner) most gracious. I would not have bothered the Solicitor

The Address-Mr. Woolliams General on this subject at all the other day, but under the roster system some ministers are here and some are not. Urgent matters cannot await the will of the Prime Minister or even the Solicitor General. However, on this particular day I was fortunate enough to find my ducks on the pond. The Minister of Justice was here, and naturally I put my questions to him even though the Solicitor General gives the impression that I am not supposed to ask him questions. The Minister of Justice is not supposed to answer any questions -

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An hon. Member:

He is going to withdraw.

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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

On October 30, as reported at page 278 of Hansard I directed a question to the Minister of Justice as follows:

In view of the large numbers of Canadians held, while awaiting trial in various jails, during the July and August summer vacation-

To satisfy some of my Legal friends in Calgary, I was not referring to that city but to Canada. I hope that one particular Justice in Calgary reads that.

-when there is little activity in the courts, would the minister consider calling on retired judges, who are experienced, to assist the courts to clean up these dockets during the summer vacation? Many of these people are unable to get bail or cannot afford it.

I had read in the Globe and Mail that 50 or more young people had been held in jail over the summer because they could not afford bail. This government stands for change but this is going on whilst you are alive; you are governing the country, you are the responsible government. The Minister of Justice replied:

That is a very good idea, Mr. Speaker. I want to say that the administration of justice is constitutionally the responsibility of the provincial Attorneys General.

That is basically true, Mr. Speaker, but let us not hide from the facts. The Narcotic Control Act is directly under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are the responsibility of the Solicitor General. These ministers should not try to pass the buck or do a snow job by passing it on to the provinces. The Prime Minister is hiding under the protection of the constitution while trying to govern the country. He does nothing, protesting that the constitution does not permit him to make a move. I put another question:

Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that many of these people being incarcerated are young men and women charged under the Narcotic Control

November 4, 1969

The Address-Mr. Woolliams Act, which is a direct responsibility oi the minister's department, will he contact these very special Crown prosecutors-

I could name some of them. They are only special because they are prosecutors and not because of any other function they perform, -across the nation to see whether these people can be released on bail? Many of them are high school and university students.

The Minister of Justice answered again. Because he was there that day I do not complain about his answers. He said:

I will take that into consideration, Mr. Speaker.

Now, compare the answers of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice with those of the Solicitor General who has had a lot to say about my charges, both inside and outside the House. Tilings come back to us in this place and we find out what is going on. He tried a snow job. There was even an emissary sent to speak to people in my party.

On October 311 looked around for the Minister of Justice but he was not here, it was not his day. The Solicitor General was here. As reported at page 350 of Hansard the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Winch) asked a question about legal reform. I had read about this hon. member before I ever arrived in this House and I know he is one man who has always stood for reform. In that regard I back him 100 per cent.

[DOT] (8:10 p.m.)

I asked the question of the Solicitor General because his portfolio is closest to that of the Minister of Justice. I do not know whether he is above him or below him. The question is as follows:

I wish to ask a supplementary question dealing with criminal reform, Mr. Speaker. I direct the minister's attention to the Narcotic Control Act. In view of the fact that in Calgary, and the same thing is happening in other cities, seven young people ranging in ages from 16 to 21 yesterday received sentences totalling 29 years on charges involving-

I did not say "possessing."

-marijuana, is it the policy of the government to instruct federal Crown prosecutors to press for sentences up to five years so that this group of young people so incarcerated may be used as a deterrent against the use of drugs-

I did not use the word "marijuana"; I said "drugs." All drugs are included in the Narcotic Control Act. I do not want a snow job done in respect of what I said.

-in the universities and high schools, and is this not a misuse of the law?

Now we come to the perfunctory answer of the Solicitor General:

Mr. Speaker, I think hon. members wil recognize that it is quite impossible for anyone to accept the premises that were added to the question asked by the hon. member. I understand that this question was asked yesterday of the Minister of Justice,-

If the Solicitor General had read what I asked the Minister of Justice he would find I included all drugs under the Narcotic Control Act. However, he wanted to do a snow job because he will not face up to his responsibilities.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

What he really wants to do, Mr. Speaker, is leave the impression that I am trying to misrepresent the facts.

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LIB

George James McIlraith (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllrailh:

So you are. You are doing just that.

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PC

John Howard Lundrigan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lundrigan:

He finally woke up.

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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

I will read on. I will let the record speak for itself because the record does not speak favourably for the Solicitor General. I continue:

A further supplementary question, since the RCMP comes under the minister's jurisdiction. In light of the answer given by the minister, would he at an early date give a full report to the House on the pressing for these sentences imposed on seven young people in Calgary? Is it also the policy of the minister to instruct the RCMP to act as stool-pigeons.-

I do not know whether that is correct or not. The newspapers said it is. The RCMP mixed with the young people. That is how they obtained their evidence. As a trial lawyer, I have always understood when the police did that sort of thing, whether they liked the name or not they were basically acting as stoolpigeons. They are getting in the cake-mix so they will know the ingredients of the cake. Having read my questions and the answers given by the Minister of Justice, the Solicitor General knew that I was dealing with the broad question of drugs. The reason I asked the questions was that I did not have the court docket; I do not carry it around in my back pocket. It is the function of the Solicitor General to know what E.G. McCormick, Q.C., of Calgary is doing. He received a Liberal appointment as a special federal drug prosecutor. It is the Solicitor General's function to have this information available.

When I asked these questions I expected answers from the Solicitor General. If I was in error about the drugs in the charges, he

November 4, 1969

could have stood up and stated so. Instead of that he implied that he had done some work on the question when in fact he had not. He just gave a beautiful, big snow job. I received my information from the newspapers; I have not checked the court docket. If I am wrong in this, it is because I have not checked the court docket. The courthouse has been closed whenever I have been home since this incident occurred. I shall read the sentences handed down to these young people in Calgary to whom I have already referred, which information I received from a leading Calgary newspaper.

The first one is Linda Wattie, age 20; 1J years for trafficking in synthetic marijuana and 1 year concurrent for selling LSD. Allen James McGregor, age 21, architectural student from Calgary; 5 years for trafficking in hashish and 3 years concurrent on each of three counts for selling LSD. William Alberta Godfrey, age 16, student from Calgary; 2J years for trafficking in marijuana. Yet the minister stood in his place on Monday in my absence and said they were not charged in connection with marijuana. I did not say there were not charged with trafficking in marijuana alone but other drugs. I know what is going on, and I hope the minister does. I repeat that Godfrey was 16 years of age.

With regard to Charles Arthur Gibbs, age 17, from Vancouver, B.C., the newspapers state his father is a retired Anglican minister. That cut me deeply because it runs into the roots of my religion. Gibbs received three years for trafficking in hashish. Ross Eric Gagnon, age 20, a welder from Ontario; 2 years concurrent on two counts of selling LSD. William Roy Crews, age 20, welder from Medicine Hat; 5 years for trafficking in hashish and 2 years concurrent on each of two charges of selling LSD. Murray Kenneth Christie, age 21, of Calgary; 5 years for trafficking in cannabis resin, which is hashish. Some of these charges involved marijuana and some involved hashish; yet the Solicitor General, as recorded at page 405 of Hansard, stated:

Mr. Speaker, on Friday last, as reported at page 350 of Hansard, the hon. member for Calgary North asked me several questions involving-

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LIB

George James McIlraith (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllrailh:

You read the word "involving". Quote it correctly.

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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

I don't intend to answer. The minister can make his own speech. I do

The Address-Mr. Woolliams not think he can stand the heat. He should stay out of the kitchen. I continue to quote:

Mr. Speaker, on Friday last, as reported at page 350 of Hansard, the hon. member for Calgary North asked me several questions concerning the sentencing of seven young people in Calgary on charges involving marijuana. I have looked into the matter and I find that the charges did not involve marijuana.

I ask the Solicitor General to stand in his place and say that none of those charges involved marijuana. I am not the Solicitor General; I do not have his staff. Like most hon. members, I get my information from the newspapers. I do not have a large research staff; I have one secretary and sometimes I am lucky enough to have two. Let us get down to brass tacks in this regard.

The hon. member for Sudbury today spoke about the great, Liberal reform party. Let us see what the law says about these matters. I intend to read from the Narcotic Control Act. I suggest to the Prime Minister that we should now encourage a course of action in respect of drugs. I abhor the use of drugs as much as any member of this House of Commons or any member of society. I also abhor the fact the law does not distinguish between one category of offence of trafficking and another. I will explain what I mean by that in a moment. The Statutes of Canada, 1960-61, provide at page 212:

(2) Every person who violates subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

Cases involving possession of marijuana can be tried under the Narcotic Control Act. Persons convicted of being in possession of the drug are liable to seven years imprisonment. If they are guilty of trafficking, they are liable to life imprisonment. If we were dealing with those trafficking adults who selfishly destroy the moral fibre of the youth of Canada, the United States and all over the world, we would be dealing with the real traffickers. I agree that these people should be given a life sentence. I am sure we would all be happy to know that the real traffickers, the adults, the senior people who are making large profits selling drugs of all descriptions to our youth and are destroying the moral fibre of our nation, received this type of sentence. If we could catch up with those people and put them in jail, we could say a prayer of relief tonight and we would be able to sleep with satisfaction. This party stands for the youth of our nation.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

516 COMMONS

The Address-Mr. Woolliams

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PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

I give the government some credit. Section 32 of the Food and Drug Act was amended last year so that in cases of possession a person may be charged by way of summary conviction or by way of indictment. For a first offence by summary conviction a person may be ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 or six months imprisonment; or he may be sentenced to both. The fine may be $2,000, or two years, or both, on subsequent offences. However, it is still possible to proceed by indictment. I will have something to say later about that: The Crown decides the legal course to be taken.

What is happening to our youth? What is happening to the students in high school who are on drugs? I have been told by the youth that one student goes out, possibly a young fellow 16 years of age, purchases $25 worth of marijuana and brings it back. This person does not make any profit; he is merely buying it as an agent so that the others can get it. Next week perhaps another student will do this. That is a different kind of trafficking. It distinguishes from the trafficking wherein adult criminals are using the drug to make large profits and are destroying the moral fibre of our nation. The greatest asset we have is the youth of our nation. This is why I am concerned, Mr. Speaker. The Prime Minister agreed with me that it was an important subject, but not the Solicitor General. Can we wait on this government any longer for action?

I will now turn to the amendments to the Criminal Code. I hope I will be right in this regard because I had to do my research very quickly this afternoon. Section 622 of the Code was not changed. It is a pretty harsh section. An accused who is convicted of an indictable offence calling for punishment of imprisonment for five years or less may be fined in lieu of imprisonment. When liable for imprisonment of longer than 5 years he cannot be fined in lieu of imprisonment. So what happens? We come back to the Narcotic Control Act, and, if they are in possession, seven years is the maximum sentence. So section 622 cannot be used.

[DOT] (8:20 p.m.)

Several years ago I defended some fine young people, scholarship winners from Sanford University, California, in the United States. I shall not give their names, but they were Americans. One of them was the daughter of a very famous writer; the fathers of some of the others were in high places. This

DEBATES November 4, 1969

government talks about reform. Fortunately, in that case I thought the judge was a very reasonable man because he seemed to agree with me. He said to the federal crown prose-cuter: These young people are not criminals; they were out getting their kicks. Actually, they had brought in marijuana from the States and passed it around among other university students, some of them from western Ontario, and they were caught. Fortunately, the R.C.M.P., used their discretion and laid charges of possession only. But under this law, before the Food and Drugs Act was amended the maximum penalty is seven years, so according to the law they would not be able to be fined. But I had a reasonable judge and I suggested he should give them one day in gaol and a $500 fine. He agreed with me and, as hon. members know, under our law from the British a sentence of one day's imprisonment is not actually served.

Today we are facing one of the great national crises of the time. I am no Kinsey who goes out and gets all the answers, but I am told by young people there are high schools and universities in Canada where 60 per cent of the students are on drugs of some kind. That is a high percentage. I shall not name the fellow who came to see me this week. He was 22 years of age and he had quit his job in an insurance company. He said to me: Mr. Woolliams, I have never taken drugs but I am now going to find out the facts because the government is too slow in finding them out. We must save the youth of the nation. I abhor the use of drugs. I wish I could be sure tonight that no one would take drugs in this nation.

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November 4, 1969