Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, I should like to take this first opportunity to rise on a question of privilege to clarify an answer I gave in the House yesterday on the subject of correspondence from members of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. At page 4946 in Hansard I reported that there was no further exchange of correspondence beyond that already tabled by myself in the House on March 17. This correspondence consisted of letters to me from the co-chairmen of the commission dated March 1 and a reply which I sent to them on March 11.
In giving my answer yesterday I was doing so with particular reference to questions from the hon. member for York South who wished me to consider tabling any correspondence relating to the conclusion of the work of the commission which was exchanged between one or both of the joint chairmen and myself or any other minister of the Crown.
On April 5, at page 4898 of Hansard, the hon. member said:
I am interested particularly if there is correspondence which sets out the reasons the commission decided not to produce its final report-all that kind of thing-so that all the information may be before Parliament and the people.
I repeat today that the correspondence tabled on March 17 contained the only letters I personally have received concerning the reasons for the decision of the commission not to proceed with its final report.
Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Peace River asked if I had received a letter from Professor J. B. Rudnyckyj, who was a member of the commission. I indicated I was not aware of such a letter but would look into it and see whether it had been received and might be tabled. I have received this letter and at the appropriate time in the proceedings, perhaps in motions, will be pleased to table it.
I should like to point out to hon. members that Professor Rudnyckyj wrote his letter to me on March 16, several days after the exchange of correspondence between myself and the co-chairmen of the commission. His letter was postmarked March 26, received by my office on March 30 and acknowledged on April 2. I first became aware of it when it was drawn to my attention by the hon. member for Peace River and later by my office.
Subtopic: MR. TRUDEAU-CLARIFICATION OF ANSWER RESPECTING CORRESPONDENCE FROM MEMBERS OF ROYAL COMMISSION ON BILINGUALISM AND BICULTURALISM