May 13, 1902

THE CASE OF J. M. HURLEY.

?

The MINISTER OF MARINE A.ND FISHERIES (Hon. James Sutherland).

With the permission of the House, I desire to mention this one matter briefly. When the estimates of the Marine and Fisheries Department were under consideration, the hon. member for West Hastings (Mr.' Porter) stated that he had some information with regard to one of the fish-

eries inspectors taking part in an election. The hon. leader of the opposition also made some remarks, and I gave my promise that I would write to the officer referred to. I wrote inclosing him a copy of the remarks of the kon. member for West Hastings, and have received his reply and also the affidavit of the party who was alleged to have been influenced by this officer to sign the protest against the hon. member. The hon. member for West Hastings has spoken about it once or twice, and if he had been present when the estimates were up I would have been pleased to lay the information before the committee. I believe this should be done, and I think every one will recognize that it is only due to the officer whose conduct has been called in question that his letter should be given. This is the letter :

Belleville, Ont., March 6, 1902. The Hon. James Sutherland,

Minister of Marine and Fisheries,

Ottawa.

Hon. Sir,-I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter, dated Ottawa, March 3rd, respecting the statements made by Mr. Porter, M.P. for West Hastings, that X took an active part in the recent by-election in that riding, and that I solicited the petitioner to sign the petition against him.

In reply to the first statement, I beg to say that I took no part, directly or indirectly, in the recent election contest in West Hastings, nor did I ask any man to vote or not to vote. I may say further that I did not attend any meeting, either public or private.

With regard to the second statement made by Mr. Porter, I beg to say that I dil not solicit the petitioner to sign the petition against him, nor did I ask any one else to sign it nor did any one consult me about signing the petition.

I have the honour to he, sir,

Your obedient servant,

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CHARLES A. BULL PRODUCE COMPANY.
Subtopic:   THE CASE OF J. M. HURLEY.
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J. M. HURLEY,


Fishery Officer. The following is the affidavit of the party referred to : In the matter of the West Hastings Dominion by-election. I, Comellius Mullins, of the city of Belleville, in the county of Hastings, sailor, make oath and say :- 1. That I, am the person whose name is signed to the petition filed herein against the return of Mr. E. Guss Porter, as member for the West riding of Hastings. 2. That I have been advised and believe that certain charges have been made against Mr. J. M. Hurley, Inspector of Fisheries, to the effect that it was by his inducement and representations, I was prevailed upon to sign the said petition. 3. That the said J. M. Hurley did in no wise try, procure or endeavour to procure my signature to the said petition, nor did he have anything to do therewith, nor was the question of election of, or protest against the return of the said candidate ever spoken of by him to me. And it was not on his inducement or procurement, or by ai^y request on his part that the said petition was so signed by me.


C. MULLINS.


Sworn before me at the city of Belleville, in the county of Hastings, this 6th day of March, A.D. 1902. E. J. BUTLER Commissioner, &c., H.C.J. I am sure hon. members will be pleased to know the state of affairs, and no person, 1 am sure, will be more ready than the hon. member for West Hastings to accept the facts with regard to the case.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I am sure that every one will be glad to know that this officer did not take part in election contests. But there is just one observation I would like to make, and that is, that a great many officers of the government have been prepared with evidence equally cogent of their freedom from political partisanship so far as taking part in elections is concerned, but who, nevertheless, have been dismissed without being given an opportunity of making their defence before an impartial or indeed any tribunal.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE CHARLES A. BULL PRODUCE COMPANY.
Subtopic:   C. MULLINS.
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Motion agreed to, and House adjourned at 3.20 a.m., Wednesday.


HOUSE 0E COMMONS.


Wednesday, May 14, 1902.


May 13, 1902