February 11, 1938 (18th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

On a question of privilege affecting the rights of members of this house I desire, Mr. Speaker, to direct your attention to the telegram that was placed on Hansard yesterday purporting to be sent by the minister of agriculture of the province of Saskatchewan.
In so far as the telegram deals with a contradiction of statements made in this house I do not propose to raise any question at the moment except to say that it may be questioned. On that phase of it which reflects upon one of the members of this house and casts aspersions upon his conduct and his bona tides, I desire to raise a question which I shall not discuss at this time in view of public business, but I ask you, sir, to deal with the matter, and I direct the attention of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to the language of the closing part of the telegram. I think the minister himself will agree that it is not a document that should be placed upon the record; for no one outside of this house has a right, without contravening the privileges of a member of this house, to cast aspersions and reflections upon his honesty or his conduct. However much a man not a member of this house may desire that a misstatement be corrected, the moment he engages in argument in the message he transmits through a member of this house he contravenes the rules of parliament and one of the privileges of this house and of every member of it.
I shall discuss the matter at a more convenient time, but I desire to direct your attention, Mr. Speaker, and the attention of the Prime Minister, to the matter, which is one of very serious moment as far as the privileges of the members of this house are concerned.

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