July 16, 1942 (19th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Joseph Sasseville Roy


Mr. J. S. ROY (Gaspe):

I offer my sincere thanks to the house for its support in these circumstances of my request for a secret session in order to discuss these very important events which have occurred and still are occurring in the lower St. Lawrence. I have asked several times for a secret session, mostly since the torpedoing of three ships that occurred a week ago last Sunday. In each instance the Prime Minister, as he has done to-day, and the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services, asked me to give him the information I have. I understand from the Prime Minister that he needs the information in order to make his decision on my request.
First I should like to recall that I have in the past communicated information to the government in regard to this matter, and many times in the house I have asked for some protection, some defence works at Gaspe and on the coast. Since the first torpedoings on May 11 and 12, at the instance of the Prime Minister, I have written letters to the Minister of National Defence, and copies of those letters were sent to the Minister of ' National Defence for Naval Services and the Minister of National Defence for Air. In those letters I was saying this-I shall quote only a few parts. This letter was dated Ottawa, May 15, 1942:
Most of the gasoline and oil stocks are imported down there by boats in ordinary 50-gallon drums. Therefore some measures should be taken to prevent the landing of the submarines for purpose of getting gasoline and supplies. There is no guard whatsoever between Gaspe and Rimouski, a distance of about 250 miles. As it is, it remains a wide open gate for the enemy to perpetrate its depredations.

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