If the hon. member (Mr. Taylor) rises to a personal explanation he should be heard.
Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.
I would like to ask whether it is in order for a minister of the Crown to charge or to insinuate that a member of this House has connived at the forging of the telegram.
The hon. gentleman is allowed to give a personal explanation.
Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to state that the Minister of Justice is entirely wrong.
I). TAYLOR. The minister says that this telegram originated in the ' Daily Mr. AYLESWORTH.
Columbian ' and as I have already informed the House it originated in the Vancouver ' News-Advertiser ' which takes the despatches which the ' Columbian ' does not and it was copied from the ' News-Advertiser ' by the ' Columbian ' word for word.
Of course, I am not able to enter into the secrets of the hon. gentleman's sanctum in British Columbia. I must naturally take things as I find them, and on the front page of this Daily ' Columbian ' of New Westminster of February 18, 1909, I see this remarkable evidence of the enterprise of that great organ of public opinion. I see that there is a telegraphic despatch from Ottawa direct to the Daily ' Columbian.'
Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.
Mr. J. D. TAYLOR.
I ask for your ruling, Mr. Speaker, whether the Minister of Justice, having been informed that he is wrong, is permitted to continue to insult me as he is doing ?
In this paper
Take it back.
The hon. member (Mr. J. D. Taylor) is permitted to make a personal explanation. The minister is now referring to an article in a newspaper, which is quite a different matter.
I find on the face of this newspaper article, Mr. Speaker, no indication that it is copied from any other organ of public opinion, no credit given to the enterprise of the other newspaper, which may have been at the expense of having this message sent across the continent. But a despatch dated Ottawa, February 18, appears in the issue of the 'Columbia' of the same date. It appears as if it were a special despatch sent to that newspaper-not, it is true over any special or private wire, but an ordinary piece of telegraphic news due to the enterprise of that newspaper itself; and but for explanations which I understand have been given to the contrary, I certainly would have supposed, I certainly did suppose when I read that article that it was what it professed to be, and that it was truthfully purporting to give to its readers the understanding that that newspaper had a special correspondent at headquarters in Ottawa to whom it was indebted for this information. Be that as it may, however, that article came to be published in the Daily ' Columbian,' the point is precisely the same. Whether or not there was an error in telegraphing, whether or not there was something taken out of the telegram after it reached the Daily ' Columbian ' and
something else put in instead, whether or not that message was improved by someone, influenced by motives of misguided political zeal, however it was, this newspaper published the statement that the Minister of Justice was driven to say that Mr. Chief Constable Macintosh was the person who had conveyed that information to the department which the department ought to have known from the beginning. Nor is this all, Mr. Speaker, because side by side with the telegraphic despatch to which I have referred, in the adjoining column and under equally staring headlines, we have the result of another piece of enterprise on the part of this newspaper, in the form of interviews purporting to have been had on the day in question with Chief Constable Macintosh and with Mr. ex-warden Bourke. May you understand exactly, Mr. Speaker, the enterprise of this newspaper and the way in which public opinion is worked up on this great question in British Columbia. There is a telegraphic despatch, which, when it comes to be published in a newspaper, is unaccountably erroneous, and which attributes to Chief Constable Macintosh the giving of information to the department with which Chief Constable Macintosh had never any concern in the world. Immediately thereafter the industrious reporter sets out for Chief Constable Macintosh to interview him, and not unnaturally Chief Constable Macintosh gives the whole story an utter repudiation, saying that he had never testified anything of the kind. Then the newspaper tells you:-That is a sample of the kind of statement you get from your Minister of Justice, and accordingly a half column is built up of rosy phrases in which the Minister of Justice and his department are held up to the scorn of an outraged British Columbia, because statements of this notoriously untrue character are actually made by the Minister of Justice of Canada from his place in the House of Commons. Nor does the enterprise of this newspaper stop at this point. Not only have we the effect of an interview with Mr. Chief Constable Macintosh, but we have also the effect of an interview with Mr. ex-warden Bourke, who, according to the newspaper says: ' now the
public of British Columbia can see what reliance can be placed on the information which the Minister of Justice receives from his subordinates in regard to penitentiary matters in British Columbia.' And again the moral is pointed, and again the newspaper drives home to its readers the great truth that the whole management of public affairs under this administration is rotten to the core and ought to be changed; that no dependence whatever can be placed on the officials of the department. This is I a sample, this is an illustration; and upon [DOT] 58
I such foundations is built the whole edifice which the hon. gentleman has erected with regard to the escape of this convict Miner. No sooner had this newspaper published statements purporting to have been made by ex-warden Bourke as to what disclosures he could make if he saw fit than a letter was written to him, which appears on the pages of ' Hansard,' in which he was asked to say what statements he could make which he had not made at the time he was sworn to tell the truth and the whole truth in regard to this matter; and promptly there came by way of answer from Mr. Bourke this letter, written in his own hand, New Westminster, B.C., Feb. 6, 1909.
Sir,-I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 30th nit., requesting information I may have regarding the escape of Bill Miner, that I have not already disclosed, and in reply I wish to say that, so far as my memory serves me, I gave you at the investigation and in my previous reports all the facts of which I was in possession.