June 25, 1924

LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I am not going to denounce anybody. The question is whether we are going to submit to malicious argument, by gentlemen who are endeavouring to convict a man who is not guilty. I sat in that committee; I listened to the evidence, and there was a denial of the matter by Mr. Murdock. The only trouble is that these gentlemen who tried the case would like to call Mr. Murdock a perjurer and they dare not do so. The answer he gave when he was asiked if there was any other information is unequivocal. He said that he had received no further information from any other source. These gentlemen would like to say that he is a perjurer; but they dare not say that because James Murdock is too well known throughout the country, and the people know , that he would not perjure himself. But these gentlemen desire to take a roundabout way of saying that. If what they argue were the case, two members of parliament would not be able to speak together, or two -members of the cabinet would not be able to consult one another about private -business without trespassing -on the dignity of parliament. Such arguments are childish. If -the hon. member for Dorchester, (Mr. Cannon), as the ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) has said, has spoken barnyard stuff, I say that this is childish stuff that is being spoken, and if I were allowed by the rules of the House, I would say in some cases, dishonest stuff, and wilfully dishonest, but I am not allowed to say it.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I would not be justified in remaining silent when such language is used in this House. This is a flagrant breach of the rules of debate. I have never witnessed such disgraceful condulc-t in parliament as I have on the part of some hon. gentlemen during this debate. If an hon. . member is to be allowed to say that but for the rules he would refer to the conduct of hon. members of this House as dishonest, then we might as well abandon all rules and allow parliament to be a mere burlesque.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I never said that. I said

"statements," not "conduct." There is a difference. If I could by a circumlocution use the word "dishonest," I would repeat it. I have nothing to take back as far as that goes.

Mr. Murdock and Home Bank

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr. Marcil, Bonaventure):

The rule is that an hon.

member must not endeavour to say indirectly what he has no right to say diredtly, In the present case, I understand the minister is giving an explanation which I trust is satisfactory.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No. He has made no

explanation whatever. The rule might as well be abandoned.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr. Marcil, Bonaventure):

I understand thalt the Minister of Customs and Excise said that he had no intention of referring to the conduct of hon. members as being dishonest. He said that what he referred to as dishonest was Statements.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

My right hon. friend called me to order because he said I had charged hon. members on the other side with dishonest conduct. When I used the word "dishonest," I said I am very sorry it was not parliamentary; that I would like to use it, ' but I could not. Therefore, if I used it, I would take it back. As far as the word "conduct" is concerned, I used the word "statements."

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Might I ask how long

this is to go on?

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr. Marcil, Bonaventure):

I understand it to be merely

an explanation. The hon. member is withdrawing the word.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

He is substituting the

word "statements" for "conduct."

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The Minister used the

word "dishonest."

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I used it, but I take it

back. With my limited knowledge of the English language, there was no other word at my command which I could use.

Certaines de mes expressions ne sont peut-etre pas parlementaires, lorsque je parle en anglais. Eusse-je employe ma langue ma-ternelle, j'aurais pu enoncer clairement toute ma pensee; que les subterfuges, les sophismes et les insinuations dissimulees ne constituent pas un plaidoyer juste et raisonnable.

No charge was proven. A malicious accusation has been brought and they want us to convict a man on a mere suspicion. It is not circumstantial evidence that they bring, but mere suspicion, and as long as I shall sit in

this House or on that committee, I may err,- and I am willing to own up to my errors- but I will never commit the crime of trying to induce my fellow members to condemn a man who is innocent.

Mr. E. GUSS PORTER (West Hastings!: Mr. Speaker, if I may be allowed just for a few moments to close the debate, it is not my intention to argue the case at any length; but some statements have been made during this debate that I think it only fair and right that I should have an opportunity and should take the advantage of explaining. The Minister of Customs and Excise (Mr. Bureau) was a member of the committee investigating this matter, and he was exceedingly anxious, if one may judge from his statements made in committee, that the investigation should be carried on in a dignified manner, just such a dignified manner as he has exhibited in the House to-night. The words he used as reported on page 18 of the inquiry are:

Hon. Mr. Bureau: If we are going to have a parliamentary inquiry, let it be dignified, and let not these little subterfuges come before this tribunal. We want to know everything.

A point of order was being discussed and I said:

Mr. Porter: Before you make your ruling, may I say a word? I do not want controversy over this question. I am not here determined to prove my case at all hazards. That is not my object.

Hon. Mr. Bureau: Oh, tut, tut.

That is the same dignity shown by the hon. member who has just spoken. I shall not take time to refute the statements of evidence by the hon. member, because he has not in a single instance where he quoted the evidence, quoted it as it is printed in the record. Wrhere he quoted the evidence he did not read from the record and I am contradicting the statement he made.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I rise to a point of order.

I quoted the evidence from page 77 of the report of the committee of June 6, 1924, and if there is any word that I have not correctly quoted the mistake will appear in Hansard in due course.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

The hon. member made a statement which I am contradicting. He did not read from the record although I asked him to do so when he made the statement.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I read from the report

of the proceedings of June 6, at page 77

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

The hon. member also

charges that I am the self-constituted guardian of the honour of the House.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

Well, what is wrong with

that? I want to know from the hon. member what is wrong about my constituting myself the guardian of the honour of this House. Does he complain of that?

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink

June 25, 1924