June 14, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


James Layton Ralston


Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Shelburne-Yarmouth) :

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. This afternoon when I was not in the house I understood that the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) delivered an address in which he intimated that I had accepted a brief and that something was represented on the back of that brief, which only means one thing in legal parlance. The custom is among lawyers, particularly in the old country, for a solicitor to furnish a brief to counsel and on the back of that brief to endorse an amount indicating the fee. The imputation which my right hon. friend has made is absolutely unfair, unjust and wholly false, and I submit that it is unworthy of any member of the house, and particularly of the Prime Minister, who is a distinguished member of the bar. I can only think that it was done perhaps in the heat of debate. But I myself have endeavoured to observe the amenities of debate in the past. I have not hit below the belt as my right hon. friend did this afternoon. I call on him to withdraw any imputation whatever that I have been engaged in this matter professionally in any way, or that I have ever accepted or received or expected to receive or am to receive any remuneration or any consideration of any kind which would be represented by an endorsement on the back of a brief.

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