Mr. Chairman, I do not intend to detain the committee long and I shall be reasonably brief as usual. My views on foreign affairs are fairly well known. I stand for an independent foreign policy for Canada. I have stated that repeatedly in this house. I have also expressed my opposition to Canada remaining in NATO and have done so throughout the years. The same situation holds true with respect to NORAD. I stand for support of the United Nations, for Canada doing what it can in the military sense to support the United Nations and also in respect of external aid.
I have also been strongly opposed, as the minister knows, to the war in Viet Nam, particularly after reading the report of a conference former President Eisenhower had with the governors of the states in the United
March 18, 1968
States. He told them that the United States was in Viet Nam because they had to protect the natural resources in Viet Nam which were required by the United States. I have that report in my office. I could never see how they were fighting for freedom and democracy in doing that.
I noticed a report in a trade paper called The Machinist for March 14, which reads in part as follows:
AFL-CIO President George Meany made his usual .good sense last week. He deplored those who say the U.S.A. can't afford costly programs to prevent more trouble in the cities because of the Viet Nam war. Mr. Meany declared:
"Of course, meeting the crisis in our cities will cost much. But.. . Americans are fighting in Viet Nam for the basic principle of free, democratic choice. The perpetuation of conditions which effectively deny full participation in American society by millions of citizens is a betrayal of that principle and an effort to those who are giving their lives for it.
As the minister knows, the executive of the AFL-CIO, including Mr. Paul Hall who is a vice president, supports the policies of the United States in Viet Nam. I am very glad to learn there is a minority in the trade union movement in the United States who are opposed to these policies and are organizing more effectively than in the past to express their opinion.
However, Mr. Chairman, I rise to deal with another matter briefly and that is the question of the failure of the United States government to return Harold Chamberlain Banks to this country and by so doing failing to recognize the terms of our extradition treaty with the United States. In that respect may I say I was reading an article in the Gazette for October 24, 1962 in which it was stated that Mr. Paul Hall blamed Mr. Dodge for rehearsing Sheehan in the evidence he gave before the Norris commission at hearings in Toronto. The article reads in part:
"We don't understand why labour people don't put a bridle on this fellow Dodge,'' he said. "This puts us in a terrible position."
He compared Mr. Dodge with teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. Both wear "a tight halo" thinking that what they do is right even though it may be morally wrong, he added.
Just imagine a man like Paul Hall suggesting that Mr. Dodge would do what he considered was morally wrong. In further reference to Mr. Banks, I had some very interesting correspondence with the editor of the Globe and Mail. Banks is a man whom a great many
Supply-External Affairs Canadians want to see brought back to Canada to serve his term for the injustice he perpetuated on some Canadians. On one occasion the Globe and Mail published an editorial based entirely on a speech I made in the house in which I put his criminal record on Hansard. Mr. Banks sued the Globe and Mail for damages and he got damages to the extent of $3,500 because, in the opinion of the judge, the fair name and reputation of Mr. Banks in Canada had been harmed. The lawyers who conducted the case for Mr. Banks received $2,582.60. They have sent me all the court records and everything else, you see.
I want to deal briefly with this case. I understand that after Mr. Banks' appeal had been rejected by the judge in the United States he changed lawyers from Abraham Brodsky to Abram Chayes, a former legal officer in the state department. In my opinion and in the opinion of a good many people in Canada, the decision of Dean Rusk is an insult to this country. I was very pleased to know that the minister made a protest to the United States. I want to deal with one or two matters in connection with the case. I should like to refer to an article in the Ottawa Citizen for March 15 by Paul Kind. It reads:
Hal Banks, the former Canadian union boss whom a judge once said was made "of the stuff of the Capones and the Hoffas," is again about to walk the streets of the United States.
He has been freed, in effect, by secretary of state Dean Rusk who has rejected Canada's bid to bring the fallen seamen's leader to justice.
Thursday night in this capital it was being whispered that the spectre of American politics had loomed over the attempted extradition of Banks from the United States to Canada.
I know a little more about that than the minister does. I do not mind telling him later.
In a letter to Canadian ambassador Edgar Ritchie, the secretary of state said that he "regretted" that he was unable to order the extradition of Harold Chamberlain Banks.
Banks, 59, a U.S. citizen and former president of the Seafarers' International Union of Canada, will be freed as soon as Rusk's letter containing the extradition refusal is received by U.S. commissioner Salvatore Abruzzo who will issue the release order.
Banks was arrested in New York last August and since then has been held without bail.
Later last year, Abruzzo ordered Banks extradited on a province of Ontario warrant charging him with perjury.
Subsequently, Banks waived his right to appeal the Abruzzo ruling through the courts, and chose instead to appeal directly to the secretary of state.
I judge he was on sound grounds in doing that.
Ontario sought Banks' extradition on a charge of perjury arising from testimony the former union boss gave before the Norris royal commission on the destruction of the Canadian shipping industry in 1962.
Now, 28 days after the state department hearing Rusk has given his decision. The secretary of state said that the application for extradition presented a "unique problem."
[DOT] (5:50 p.m.)
It certainly did.
In Rusk's words, the extradition was sought on a charge of perjury arising from Banks' "protestation of his innocence in response to a question as to his participation in a conspiracy to commit assault."
There is an extradition treaty between Canada and the U.S. for perjury, but none for assault.
Declared Rusk: "Because the charge of perjury in this case arises directly out of a denial of guilt of a non-extraditable offence, I have concluded that it would not be compatible with the over-all design and purpose of the extradition treaty, which is limited and non-universal in its coverage of offences, to agree to extradition on the unique facts of this case."
Banks was originally convicted in Canada in 1964 on a conspiracy to assault charge arising from the beating of Captain Henry Walsh.
I have talked to that gentleman, Mr. Chairman, and let me tell you that he did get a beating.
The president of the S.I.U. of North America is Paul Hall, a vice-president of the huge A.F.L.-C.I.O. labour organization, on whose Brooklyn-moored yacht Banks lived for several months.
According to this article, Mr. Chairman, there is considerable talk in Washington to the effect that some political influence and pressure have been used in this regard. In any event, I understand that this is the first failure to apply the extradition treaty in 50 years. The Journal for Saturday, March 16 contined the following:
The U.S. state department's move to prevent extradition of labour leader Hal Banks to Canada marks the first executive intervention against an extradition in 50 years, External Affairs Minister Martin said Friday.
As I said before, I am very glad that the minister has protested this action. I have some very interesting information on this case. I have a letter that I will show the minister some time. However, it has been suggested to me by some of the unions to which I am sympathetic, Canadian unions that stand on their own feet and run their own show, that I ask the minister a few questions.
DEBATES March 18, 1968
First of all, would the minister get his officials in Washington to make inquiries whether there was any union influence on this decision because this is an election year in the United States? Second, would the minister get his officials to inquire whether this is retaliation because Canada is giving political asylum to draft resisters? We all know that all western countries have given political asylum to a good number of people who had to leave their own country because they were fearful of not obtaining justice. Third, would the minister also inquire whether any persons or any organization in Canada have made representations to the United States embassy in Ottawa since this matter became an issue? Fourth, would the minister inquire whether Mr. Charles Millard has been in Washington during recent weeks? I am sure that his officials in Washington would have some knowledge on this point.
These are the questions I wish to bring to the attention of the minister. However, before concluding I want to indicate how interested Canadians are in this matter by quoting an editorial that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen last Saturday entitled "Let's Have Hal Banks". It reads as follows:
An extraordinary ruling by U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk leaves Hal Banks a free man. It is an administrative decision that appears more closely related to politics than justice. Canadian proposals that the issue be taken to an international tribunal-possibly the World Court at the Hague-should be pressed.
I should mention in this regard that I am informed that the World Court sometimes takes ten years to reach a decision, so in that event most of us would be dead before we would know what the decision was.
Banks was convicted in Montreal of conspiracy to commit assault-not an extraditable offence. While on bail pending an appeal he fled to the U.S. The Ontario attorney general sought extradition on a charge of perjury. A New York judge granted the Ontario petition after a full hearing. That should have been enough.
But the secretary of state has reversed the decision on the remarkable ground that the alleged perjury was committed in connection with a nonextraditable offence. It is the charge of perjury that is at issue here, not the charge of conspiracy. Rusk has laid himself open to the suspicion that he has been influenced by union pressure during an election year.
Before an international tribunal can hear the case, the U.S. would have to agree. Agreement should be to Washington's advantage. By allowing the matter to be taken out of its hands, it could meet Canada's objections to the Rusk decision, and at the same time argue that it is giving Banks every chance to have his day in court.
March 18, 1968
And he has certainly had plenty, Mr. Chairman.
To do less is to acknowledge that the U.S. is a sanctuary for ruffians wanted in other countries.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I again bring to the attention of the minister that I have discussed this question with people in the labour movement who are very interested in it. Other questions in Canada directly related to this will have to be decided in the near future. I told these people that I would bring these facts to the attention of the minister. As I say, I congratulate the minister for protesting immediately the decision of Dean Rusk and I urge him to do what he can to get at the truth behind this unusual situation.
Topic: BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic: DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS