June 25, 1924

LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I said that the hon. gentleman was the self-constituted protector of the honour of the House.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON
LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Why ask me that? If the hon. member does not like the appellation he need not accept it.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

The hon. member will not answer the question and therefore I will not press it. Now, the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Cannon) stated that I did not exhibit the same amount of zeal during the years I had been in parliament that I have done on this particular occasion, to safeguard the honour of members of parliament. He did not however cite, nor can he cite, one single case that came to my knowledge or attention which I negljcted to bring to the notice of parliament. It is simply a bald statement without any foundation in fact.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB
CON
LIB
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

There was never any charge brought on the floor of the House and no investigation was held.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

No one brought any

charge at all. Reference has been made to books written by the Right Hon. Winston Churchill and by Lloyd George. The book written by Churchill gave away certain things, if I may use that expression, and it is significant that Churchill has never been in the British parliament since he wrote that book, and parliament has never had an opportunity of bringing him before its bar. And so far as Lloyd George is concerned, he has never been accused of giving away state secrets; I defy any man to produce any record to prove that he has ever done so. What is the use of referring to such matters to determine the question which is involved here? It seems to me nothing but stage play; it does not answer nor touch the question at all. Let us be manly in this matter.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

The hon. member for Dorchester and one or two others have advanced what they term the human argument. I am not objecting to that, but the argument does not apply in a case of this kind. To put it in a word, they say that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Murdock) did nothing more than thousands of others would have done in the same circumstances. Do hon. members realize that this parliament is not the keeper of the conscience or the honour of the thousands of other men who are out in the country ? There is only one Minister of Labour here and the conduct of that minister in so far as it touches the honour of parliament is in the keeping of this House. Parliament must therefore investigate matters of this kind, and when a minister or a member of parliament transgresses the rules, or sullies the traditions of parliament, or impinges upon its honour, we must take cognizance of such conduct. To use the argument that thousands or tens of thousands of others would have done the same thing does not make one bit of difference to the case as it stands.

Now, just one word in reference to what the Prime Minister has said touching the precedent he cited in the case that occurred in 1891. He did not state the name of the case but I think I know it; I think he had reference to the Rykert case.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No, it was

the case of Hon. John Haggart.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

Will the Prime Minister

say that the punishment was not applied?

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No; the government of the day even refused to investigate the charge, holding that the offence if proved would not show that Hon. John Haggart had violated any law, and that no precedent could be cited to afford a ground for his removal even if the charge could be proved.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

That is what I expected the Prime Minister to say with reference to the Haggart case, but that is the reverse of what this parliament did. The facts as disclosed before parliament in that case did not constitute an offence in the first instance in the opinion of the House, and an investigation was refused. In this case however the facts do constitute an offence in the opinion of every hon. member of the House who has voted for the investigation.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

If hon. members were of

the opinion that the investigation would amount to nothing at all, what would be the sense of ordering one?

Mr. Murdock and Home Bank

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

What would

the hon. gentleman have said if the government had refused to grant the investigation?

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

If the government had declared that they were satisfied that no offence had been committed, I should say they would be right in refusing to grant an investigation.

Topic:   EDITION
Permalink

June 25, 1924