February 28, 1978

?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PROTESTED INCLUSION OF TEXTILES IN GATT TARIFF CUTS- MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PROTESTED INCLUSION OF TEXTILES IN GATT TARIFF CUTS- MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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MEMBER FOR PALLISER TO SIT AS INDEPENDENT

LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I have received an indication from the hon. member for Palliser (Mr. Schumacher) that it is his desire to sit in the chamber as an independent member. After discus-

February 28, 1978

Oral Questions

sions with him, I am now able to advise the House that the seat to be occupied by him in future will be number 265.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   MEMBER FOR PALLISER TO SIT AS INDEPENDENT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   MEMBER FOR PALLISER TO SIT AS INDEPENDENT
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U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION

PC

Allan Frederick Lawrence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Allan Lawrence (Northumberland-Durham):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for External Affairs. I wonder if the government of Canada has given any reply to the government of Argentina with respect to the very sharply implied criticism by Argentina that the Canadian government was dragging its feet on any meaningful government investigation of the Candu agency scandal, as evidenced by the note handed to our government on November 17 last by Argentina.

Why were the contents of that note hidden from the public accounts committee of this House while the matter was still being investigated by that committee? Why did it take from November 17, 1977, to February 21, 1978, before the minister even had the good grace and manners to produce that note for the public accounts committee?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
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LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Donald C. Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, as usual, in starting to ask a perfectly legitimate question the hon. member has to throw in some rather stupid curves which tend to distort the whole issue.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
Permalink
LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Jamieson:

There was no hold-up as far as I was concerned. I think the record will show that we have responded to every request for information made by the hon. member. In this particular case, when we received the note I had to get clearance from the Argentinians to make it available. In addition, there was a period during which, as the hon. member knows, I was out of the country. There was no particular delay or anything unusual. I reject totally and completely the quite uncalled for charge which has been made.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
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PC

Allan Frederick Lawrence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lawrence:

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear the minister's reply with regard to whether a reply had been given to Argentina. Has there been any formal communication between the Canadian government and the government of Italy on this matter? Why, when the key man in the whole Argentinian Candu scandal is an employee of an Italian corporation of which the Italian government is a major shareholder, has there been no pressure put on the Italian government for co-operation and assistance from Canada's so-called partner in this whole matter?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
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LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Jamieson:

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure whether the word "pressure" is an appropriate one, but we have made representations to the Italian government on a number of occasions. I believe the hon. member, or the committee, has had copies of those representations. I think the hon. member also knows that the government of Italy-I am recalling this from memory, but I am reasonably certain I am correct-has indicated that it cannot go beyond what it has already done.

The hon. member is shaking his head. I ask him to give me an opportunity to check the record to be sure. Certainly, verbally, I have been told that there is nothing that can be done. On the other hand, I say to the hon. member-or perhaps, more appropriately, I should say this to the chairman of the public accounts committee-that if the committee has any formula it can devise which would make it capable of being put to the Italian government in a way other than we have already done, I am certainly prepared to do it. Indeed, I will transmit any message the committee wishes to prepare.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
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PC

Allan Frederick Lawrence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lawrence:

Mr. Speaker, because this matter is before the House and is now a parliamentary matter rather than a committee matter, certainly the government owes it to the people of the country and to this House to take the initiative and exercise some leadership instead of dragging its feet all down the line. Swiss legal authorities and even Swiss government officials have informed me that there are a number of ways of proceeding if the Canadian government wants to get at the truth of this matter. The Canadian government could be making other attempts either through Swiss courts, the Canadian courts or the Swiss government, rather than making a single, feeble and half-hearted attempt to break the Swiss numbered bank account secrecy.

Canadian taxpayers' moneys were deposited in Swiss numbered bank accounts. What other attempts has the minister, his departmental officials or the Canadian government taken to find out who received that Canadian money through those Swiss accounts, besides the single, feeble and unsuccessful attempt which has been made?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
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LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Jamieson:

Mr. Speaker, let me first deal with the preamble to the hon. member's question. When the hon. member gets into his debating and argumentative style, quite frankly it is hard to pick the substance out of the tremendous amount of verbiage with which he surrounds the issue.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
Permalink
LIB

Donald Campbell Jamieson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Jamieson:

In so far as his first comment is concerned about the government not having dealt with this matter other than through the committee, surely it has been said repeatedly in this House that it was a matter for the committee. I undertook to do whatever the committee asked. The committee never argued with that proposition. Yesterday the report of the standing committee was issued and the hon. member did not even let 24 hours go by before asking what the government was going to do on another course.

February 28, 1978

I repeat to him that we have made all the representations that as far as we are concerned we have been asked to make- if the hon. member would let me finish-and in so far as we have been able to determine, we have gone through all the channels and made all the representations that we either have been asked to make or which appeared to be open to us to make. I repeat, if the hon. member has been advised by the Swiss of some method through which this information can be obtained, we are as anxious to have it as he is. I think it would have been sensible for him to specify what those methods are. 1 gave him an assurance that if they are open to us, we will pursue them immediately.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   U417) ORAL QUESTION PERIOD EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLEGED CANDU AGENCY SCANDAL-GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
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ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lincoln M. Alexander (Hamilton West):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Solicitor General. Would the minister report to the House and the people of Canada on the investigations undertaken by the RCMP with respect to nuclear sales and the possibility of breaches of Canadian law? I ask this question because the investigation has apparently been going on since the early part of 1977. Has the Solicitor General apprised himself of the situation, and what can he report to us today?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Sub-subtopic:   SALE OF CANDU REACTORS-RCMP INVESTIGATION INTO POSSIBLE ILLEGALITIES
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?

Hon. J.-J. Blais@Solicitor General

Mr. Speaker, 1 am pleased to advise the hon. gentleman that an investigation has been conducted by the RCMP. It is ongoing and is by no means complete, as we have encountered the difficulties described by the Secretary of State for External Affairs, namely, lack of co-operation from the areas within which the amounts are alleged to have been deposited.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Sub-subtopic:   SALE OF CANDU REACTORS-RCMP INVESTIGATION INTO POSSIBLE ILLEGALITIES
Permalink
PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Alexander:

A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. Is the minister aware that it has been reported that Dr. Marvulli, a federal state prosecutor in Genoa, Italy, has raised questions about the fairness of the investigation being carried on by the RCMP which leaves much to be desired? If he is not aware of this, would he follow this allegation through the usual channels in order to determine what type of investigation has been carried on? Would he find out how the RCMP is conducting the investigation and whether inquiries overseas, particularly in Italy, leave something to be desired?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Sub-subtopic:   SALE OF CANDU REACTORS-RCMP INVESTIGATION INTO POSSIBLE ILLEGALITIES
Permalink

February 28, 1978