Mr. Andrew Brewin (Greenwood):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege which affects all members of the House. The Standing Committee on External Affairs and National Defence had before it a witness, Mr. Paul Gerin-Lajoie, who is the president of CIDA. During the hearings of the committee he was requested, by a motion moved by the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe (Mr. Wagner), to produce a report of Price Waterhouse, an accounting firm, dealing with the administration of CIDA which is a government agency supported by parliament. It was unanimously resolved by the committee on an amended motion that he should produce to the steering committee of that standing committee a copy of this report so that the steering committee could examine it to see whether it was relevant and important to the committee in advising the House about the affairs of CIDA. The president said he would comply with the wishes of the committee.
Subsequently, a letter was received by the chairman, the hon. member for Lafontaine (Mr. Lachance), from which I should like to quote just one paragraph:
I thought it advisable to bring this matter to the attention of the Honourable Mitchell Sharp, Secretary of State for External Affairs, through whom CIDA reports to Parliament. The minister informed me it would be preferable if the request for this document was made directly in the House of Commons.
Later the committee met and by a vote determined to ask that the report be produced by one o'clock today. The chairman, the hon. member for Lafontaine, has informed me that the report has not been produced.
I think this raises a very grave question of the privileges of the House.