January 20, 1916

CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

There was not a witness who complained .of the buoyancy of those submarines. Admiral Kingsmill's evidence will show that. Who is the gentleman to whose evidence my hon. friend refers?

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Certainly they would not rise if loaded with too many tons of mere freight and neither would the hon. gentleman if he were so loaded. For the purposes for which they were purchased by this Government the submarines were pronounced by every expert to be efficient in every particular. But the point I am meeting is this-and the hon. member for Lambton (Mr. Pardee) had better keep it in mind- the hon. member for St. John asserted, on

his responsibility as a member of Parliament, that no question was asked as to what test the submarines were put to, or as to how they came through the test. The evidence shows that such questions were asked. The hon. member for Lambton says they would not rise. He is in conflict with the hon. member for St. John, but the important thing for Parliament to remember is that a member of this House, on his responsibility as a member, affects to give information to this House when the record shows that that information is entirely incorrect, and on the basis of that information, on the basis of the facts embodied in that information he undertakes to level a charge against an honoured member of the Bench of Canada, Sir Charles Piers Davidson. [DOT]

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Go on.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I am willing to go on as far as my hon. friend wants me to go. What was the next complaint of the hon. member (Mr. Pugsley)?

I was amazed to find that no question had been asked of Sir Richard McBride, or of Mr. Paterson as to the grounds on which the latter had represented that the Chilian Government were not able to pay for the submarines.

Well, now, the amazement of my hon. friend the member for St. John must really have been appalling. Here was Mr. Paterson, the president of a construction company, an engineer I think who had to do with the work of constructing submarines, and the hon. member for St. John is dumb with amazement because that gentleman was not asked as to the financial capabilities of the Government of Chili. Does the hon. member for Lambton (Mr. Pardee )share his amazement? Would he expect Mr. Paterson to be an expert on the financial capabilities of the Chilian government?

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LIB

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Liberal

Mr. PARDEE:

Does the hon. gentlemen expect us in this House, or the people of Canada, to believe that when there was only 1150,000 left to be paid on those submarines, the Chilian Government was so bankrupt that they would default on that amount of money after paying the rest?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It all depends on

whether they wanted the submarines or not. They may have been very anxious and very glad to get the money back; the evidence indicates that they were. But how are we concerned with that? The question is, was it advisable for the Government of Canada to buy those submarines, and were they bought in a clean and honest way? As a matter of fact, the president of the

[DOT]construction company did undertake to give evidence on that point, but he was not asked regarding it, because it would have been foolish for anyone to think that the evidence he would give would be anything but hearsay. At all events he undertook to give evidence as to the desire of the Chilian Government to get away from their contract on some technical difficulty, and to get their money back. But with that we have no concern, except in so far as it flatly contradicts the assertion of the hon. member for St. John. That hon. gentleman was amazed a little more.

I was amazed to find that the Corfimissioner had not asked him whether or not the Chilian Government had practically paid the whole amount of the contract price before the inspection and rejection took place.

The hon. member for Lanfbton now refutes the hon. member for St. John and asserts that there is evidence to show that the Chilian Government had paid $700,000.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

He asserts that they

got $700,000 back and some $14,000 of interest as well.

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LIB

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Liberal

Mr. PARDEE:

I did not refute that

charge at all. I simply asked the hon. gentleman a question as to whether or not, after paying the amount on progress estimates, the Chilian Government would default for $150,000. I did not refute the -charge.

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CON
LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. member

stated that the Chilian Government (who had agreed to pay $818,000) were only about $150,000 behind. Where did lie get that information except from the evidence? '

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No, it was before I

said a word about it that my hon. friend mentioned that.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

- Not at all. Before I reached the subject, and I appeal to Hansard for confirmation, and my memory is pretty accurate- .

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LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN :

It is true, and the hon. member knew from the evidence that it was true that they had paid all but $150,000,

What they had paid they got back. But the hon. member for St. John is filled with unutterable amazement and asserts that they were never asked the question at all. The hon. member for St. John went on:

But further, I was surprised to find that none of these gentlemen were asked to explain why three - cheques were given, why a draft on a Seattle bank was given, and why the amount was divided into two sums, one of which was a note amounting to $500,000 and the other was for the balance out of which the bank charges and exchange were taken.

Well, this is on a par with the rest. In the first place, his facts are incorrect. There were two drafts signed, and subsequently a cheque for some $29,000 that had been in dispute between Mr. Paterson and the Boat Company. But Mr. Paterson was asked the question, and he gave the reason. Does my hon. friend want me to quote it; I have it here in the evidence. Mr. Paterson explained that it was entirely a private matter with himself; that he did not know at the time how much was owing to the Company in respect of the building of the submarines; that he remitted the first draft for $500,000; that he discussed the matter with the bank manager before remitting; that one cheque was given him for the submarines, and that out of it he paid the first draft, not knowing what was owing by the Electric Boat Company in Seattle; that subsequently there was a dispute as to whether the commission should be $40,000 or $70,000, that he remitted the $29,000 odd which was the sum in dispute as

to commission, less the exchange, and that that ended the whole matter. But what is to be thought of an hon. member of this House who, in the face of that evidence of Mr. Paterson, solemnly states to Parliament that no question was asked as to why this money was divided.

Furthermore, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Pugsley) goes on to say:

Not on4 single question was asked in regard to that. All that was asked of these witnesses was: did you pay any graft in Canada? did you pay any graft or commission to anybody in Canada? Well, possibly my hon. friend is satisfied.

Now, I undertake that in at least ten places in the evidence I can show that, not only Mr. Paterson, but witness after witness, was asked as to the disposition of every dollar of that money, that every dollar of it was traced to its ultimate destination, and each witness in the most absolute and unreserved terms stated that

not a cent of commission was paid to anybody in Canada or elsewhere, except the *$40,000 which Mir. Paterson got; every dollar of which he says he kept to himself, except what he paid for expenses.

The evidence is complete, the evidence of Mr. Frost, vice-president of the Electric Boat Company, the evidence of Mr. Taylor, the auditor of the company, the evidence of Mr. Paterson, the evidence of the president of the * Electric Boat Company, and all agree, in response to repeated questions by the commissioner and Mr. Thompson, that not a cent of commission or anything else was paid to any person in this country or anywhere else, or to any association in this country or anyhere else, and that everything in connection with the purchase was regular in every particular. In the face of that, the hon. member states that all they were asked was simply the question: Was any graft paid in Canada?

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LIB

Frederick Forsyth Pardee

Liberal

Mr. PARDEE:

What was the contract

price that was to be paid by the Chilian Government for these submarines?

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January 20, 1916