May 7, 1952 (21st Parliament, 6th Session)


Stuart Sinclair Garson (Solicitor General of Canada; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)


Mr. Garson:

Mr. Speaker, there is a precedent for the refusal to produce evidence such as that covered by the motion of my hon. friend. This is reported on page 1669, volume II, of Hansard of the session 1939.

Motions for Papers
There is no precedent for the production of such evidence. It is not in the public interest to establish such a precedent by tabling a copy of the evidence as requested by the hon. member.
The right of the commissioner, acting under the authority given to him by the act and under the general supervision of the minister, to engage and discharge personnel at his discretion has over the years proved to be one of the principal factors in maintaining a high level of discipline and efficiency within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Any suggestion that that authority may be questioned would weaken the whole fabric of discipline and control. Likewise, to set a precedent which would allow the examination in a public way of the proceedings of the trial of disciplinary offences would be detrimental to the best interests of the force and the general membership of the force.
Most members of the force are frequent witnesses in criminal cases, as well as being required to make arrests and to exercise such other authority as is given to them by law. To publish infractions of discipline, most of which are of a technical or service nature, would affect adversely the position of the member as a peace officer and leave him open to innuendos and attacks which are out of all proportion to the offence for which he may have at one time been found guilty and punished.
The strict, even severe, standards of discipline insisted upon by the force are well known and are accepted by recruits when they are engaged as well as by older members each time they re-engage. The reputation the force enjoys and is striving successfully to maintain in the face of recent substantial expansion is based very largely on adherence to these standards.

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