Mr. Gerard Pelletier (Minister of Communications):
Mr. Speaker, I am unable to answer the second part of the hon. member's question on which I have no information. As for the first part, the government has been aware for a long time, much before the publication of the articles he alluded to, that telephone communications can be monitored because hertzian beams or microwave networks are used on some transmission lines. Because of that danger, of which the government is aware, recommendations are made to all those who have to transmit or receive so-called "classified" information against the use of the telephone to that end. When it is absolutely necessary to use the telephone, as it is in some cases, especially to convey information pertaining to our defence agreements with our allies, very costly equipment is used to code the information at one end and decode it at the other. The Department of Communications is also very much aware of the danger and always requires that the microwave networks are located in such geographical areas as can best be protected against that type of danger. However, I must say to the hon. member that, in view of the present state of science, we will have to wait for the development of communications by optical fiber, or by laser beam, to do away completely with the danger to which he alludes.