June 25, 1924

CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

It is not possible, to my

mind, for an hon. minister of the Crown to be James Murdock at one moment, in one part of the conversation, and to be the Minister of Labour in the other; it is impossible for him to entirely dissociate himself from one character or the other on the spur of the moment just as he might see fit to do. That, Mr. Speaker, is not possible. The rule goes this far, and it has been cited over and over again: It is if he gets information as a

minister of the Crown; and he was acting there, with Mr. Gordon present, as a minister of the Crown, on official business, and he got information in that conversation. He is there well within the rule, and if that was the only defence that he was setting up, that he got his information from Mr. Gordon, there would be ample and sufficient in that to have him convicted of what I have charged him with, namely, of making use of information that he received as a cabinet minister to his own advantage. In the exact words in which I have charged him, it has been admitted and proved by both Mr. Gordon and the minister that he got that information on that occasion.

Now, the oath goes considerably further than the chairman of the committee would have the House understand. In the very first clause of the oath I read:

You will serve His Majesty truly and faithfully in the Place of His Council in this His Majesty's Dominion of Canada, you will keep close and secret all such matters as shall be treated, debated and resolved on in Privy Council, without publishing or disclosing the same or any part thereof, by Word, Writing, or any otherwise-

It is not necessary for the Minister of Labour to use words in order to violate his oath. It is not necessary for him to disclose these matters in writing, but if his acts and conduct, as have been shown in this case, disclose the fact that he got his information in that way, and acted upon it, it is just as much a violation of his oath of office as if he had disclosed it by word or by writing. He must not do it in "any otherwise", and I submit that after I have dealt with the offence more fully, this House will come to the conclusion-it cannot well come to any other conclusion-that by his acts and by his conduct, apart altogether from anything he has said, he has disclosed the source of his information, and that he has acted upon that information.

It is singular and worthy of remark that after all the attempts at defence that the hon. minister made on the various occasions in the House and committee, he never mentioned, and the committee never heard, of a conversation with Mr. Gordon, the Deputy Speaker, or of the minister acting upon any conversation with him, until the morning after Mr. Daly, the man from Toronto, died. You could not call Mr. Daly. It never was mentioned before, but the next morning after Mr. Daly was dead this evidence was given. It is rather a remarkable feature, to say the least.

Now then, let me come down to the question of the facts, and I want the House to see that the question of fact is proven, as I have said before, right up to the hilt. At the risk of being somewhat tedious, I shall have to take the members of the committee through the various stages, but I shall do it as hurriedly as I can. If hon. members will look at Hansard of May 22nd, they will see what these statements of fact were.

Fact No. 1. That the Home Bank on the 14th day of August, 1923 held a meeting of its directors in Toronto, when it was made evident that the bank must fail unless it received assistance, and this position apparently was known for some time before.

Now if hon. gentlemen will refer to the evidence that was given in this case, they will find on pages 33, 34, 47, 48, 49, and on following pages, that the directors, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Gough, and Mr. Wood all three of them, swore positively and distinctly that on the 10th of August and for some days prior to their visit to Ottawa they knew the condition of the bank. They knew that it had to have help or it would go to the wall, and they had received a written report to that effect, advising them to bring the matter before the government. That is fact No. 1. Now can anybody say that that fact is not proven? I need not argue that further.

Fact No. 2. On the same day, about ten or eleven o'clock at night, certain directors of the Home Bank having proceeded to Ottawa by order of its directorate, to consult the government with regard to obtaining assistance, one or more of the directors met the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) and other members of the cabinet at the

Mr. Murdock and Home Bank

Prime Minister's house, when the disclosure of the bank's affairs was made in such a manner and to such a fearful purpose as to leave the Prime Minister aghast, and under the impression that if demands were made upon the bank within the next few days the bank could not meet them; and assistance was positively and absolutely refused'-on which date the government became fully aware of the serious financial condition of the bank, and on that date the members of the government became aware by the statement of the directors themselves as to what the financial condition of the bank was. There was no pleading want of knowledge after that.

I need only add that that statement of fact is entirely borne out by the evidence of the Prime Minister himself. I can read his evidence, if anybody desires it read. In his evidence the Prime Minister stated that, by arrangement made with the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham), he met Mr. Stewart, the bank director, with the hon. Minister of Railways and the Acting Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) at the Prime Minister's house, and there they discussed the affairs of the bank, and to use the Prime Minister's own words, the disclosure "left him aghast," and under the impression that if demands were made upon the bank within the next day or two it must fail. Now is that fact proven? I undertook to prove fact No. 2. Can anybody say that it has not been proven-for that is what somebody must say in order to arrive at what they are asked to arrive at here.

(3) On the following day, the 15th of August, the cabinet held a meeting having all this knowledge before it, which was doubtless fully discussed. I do not think I need even to state that undoubtedly such an important matter ,is this would be fully discussed. That the cabinet meeting was held there is no doubt whatever. It is sworn to by the Prime Minister himself, sworn to by Mr. Graham, sworn to by Mr. Robb, and is admitted by Mr. Murdock himself. Now, there is the fact proven, as I said before, right up to the hilt.

(4) Not obtaining assistance from the government the directors and the Acting Minister of Finance proceeded to Montreal on the evening of the same day, the 15th August, and consulted financial interests there for the purpose of obtaining help. The interests consulted in Montreal could not give answer until the following morning, the 16th of August, and when they did so, no help being forthcoming, the directors returned to Toronto, and I presume the Acting Minister of Finance returned to Ottawa. Is there any controversy about that?

Mj\ MACKENZIE KING: In the inference which my hon. friend is seeking to draw, does he allege that the cabinet meeting was the result of the meeting held at my house the night before or in any way related to it?

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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

I stated earlier in my

speech that I intended to confine myself solely to matters of fact first and to state the inferences that I thought I was warranted in drawing from them last. Fact number 4 has been proven by the directors and by Hon. Mr. Robb himself. I need not go any further than that.

(5) The next day, the 17th of August, the bank failed and closed its doors, and I need only mention the sickening trail of suffering, poverty, hardship and alleged crime left in its wake.

That has been proven by the statements of the Minister of Finance, Mr. Clarkson, the liquidator, the directors and others. The fact is well known, too well known to be questioned for one moment. The evidence shows beyond any question that from 17th August the bank was insolvent, and it was sworn in evidence by the liquidator that

80,000 depositors and 16,000 shareholders were the sufferers from this condition of affairs.

(6) The Hon. James Murdock had a deposit in the Home Bank, Ottawa branch, savings account, of several thousand dollars from about the 1st July, 1923, to the 15th August, 1923, the day of the cabinet meeting at which the financial condition of the Home Bank was fully known and doubtless was discussed, and on the same day and very shortly after the cabinet meeting adjourned, and just before the dose of banking hours, the Hon. James Murdock withdrew from his deposit in the Home Bank, Ottawa, having knowledge as such minister of its financial condition, thousands of dollars, and leaving only a small sum remaining to his credit, and from which he made further withdrawal, leaving only the infinitesimal sum of $89 there when the bank failed.

This was proved, except only as to the matter of knowledge. I may say that I am reserving the question of knowledge for the last of my argument. I intend to take that up separately, so that the House will have before it all the evidence, so far as I consider it important, upon that one subject as to the minister's knowledge. In the last paragraph I have dealt with the fact: I want to deal with the minister's knowledge from another source altogether. The fact is proven by the evidence of several witnesses; there is absolutely no evidence from any source to contradict the statement of fact that I have made.

Mr. Murdock and Home Bank

(7) That in making such withdrawal the Hon. James Murdock refused to accept a marked cheque in the usual course of business, and demanded cash or legals for the amount of his withdrawal, and it being near the close of banking hours, the strong box of the bank had to be re-opened to obtain the cash which was paid over to the minister.

What took place was this: The minister went into the bank with his cheque and handed it to the teller. The teller handed it to the ledger keeper who marked it and handed it back to the teller. He was asked after the cheque was marked and was current in any bank if he wanted cash. He said he did. The teller had to get the accountant to go into the vault, open up the cash box, count the money, carry it back to the cashier's cage and hand it over. These are the facts brought out in detail in the evidence.

(8) That immediately after such withdrawal the Hon. James Murdock re-deposited the same cash or legals he had withdrawn into another bank in Ottawa to his credit.

That is not strictly accurate. He did not deposit the money himself. The evidence is that he sent the money by his secretary to the Royal Bank and had it deposited in the name of his secretary in trust.

(9) That on the following day, 16th of August, the same legals withdrawn by the Hon. James Murdock from the Home Bank were returned to it by the Royal Bank through the clearing house at Ottawa.

That is proven absolutely by the testimony of the teller of the Royal Bank; there is no contradiction to that.

(10) That the Hon. James Murdock did not use the said withdrawal at that time for any purpose, but deposited it in another bank.

His own evidence covers that point exactly. He did not use the $4,050 immediately but left it in the bank until the 1st October.

(11) That thousands of depositors in the Home Bank lost their deposits, entailing poverty, hardship and ruin. Many of them lost all they had in the world.

This statement has been fully established by Mr. Clarkson, the liquidator, who has shown the hardship suffered and the losses sustained by 80,000 depositors and 16,000 shareholders. [DOT]

The final fact stated by me is that the Minister of Labour saved his deposit. It has been stated that I said he made a profit. I do not see that there is any difference between saving his deposit from an absolute loss and making a profit. I made the charge in the following words:

The Hon. James Murdock saved his deposit, thus profiting to the extent of thousands of dollars by making use of knowledge confidentially obtained as a minister of the Crown, through the means aforesaid: and in breach of his obligation as a minister of the Crown, and in violation of the honour, dignity and traditions of parliament.

I ask in all fairness, is there a member of this House who can say that one single fact that I stated when presenting the case to this House has not been proven right up to the hilt? Did this House not say by its action in granting me the inquiry "If you can prove these facts a wrong has been done, and the facts should be investigated." Those facts have been investigated. Have I drawn the right conclusion and the right inference from those facts?

I want to put the matter in a logical and succinct manner so that members can follow it easily, and see whether the conclusion I have drawn is a fair one or not. Where did the minister get the information upon which he acted? It does not signify whether he got his information from one source or another, unless he acted upon that information. That is the gravamen of the offence. It is no offence for him to receive the information but if he acted upon that information he committed a wrong. Where did he get the information upon which he acted? I will present the facts which I have proven and if any hon. member of this House will say the facts I have stated have not been proven, I will be glad to have him say so. I am going to assume these facts are proven, and I court any interruption if any hon. member will state that any one of those facts has not been proven. Here is the first fact: The directors of the Home Bank were aware on the 14th of August, 1923, that the bank was insolvent. That was proven by Messrs. Stewart, Gough and Wood, three of the directors. I was prevented from proving the records of the Home Bank. The committee would not allow those records to be put in evidence, but the fact was proven outside.

The second fact is that three directors of the Home Bank were directed by the board of directors to go to Ottawa to see the government. I have underscored those words " to see the government," and to prove that they did go to see the government. I refer hon. members to the evidence of the Prime Minister. He said in his evidence that they came to see him as representing the government, although the chairman of the committee and some hon. members would not have it that way. They wanted to put it that the directors came to see him simply as a cabinet minister and not as representative of the government, and it appears both ways in the

Mr. Murdock and Home Bank

evidence, the reason being no doubt that if they came to see the Prime Minister simply in his capacity as minister and not actually in cabinet there would be more liberty than there would be if they saw him as a representative of the government. But they came to see the government as the Prime Minister stated, on the night of August 14, 1923. Mr. Stewart came to Ottawa, and by arrangement made by the Minister of Railways (Mr. Graham) met the Prime Minister, the Acting Minister of Finance, and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Saunders, at the Prime Minister's home, when a disclosure of the condition of the Home Bank was made. These facts will be found stated at page 40 of the evidence. Hon. members will note that when the matter was discussed at the Prime Minister's house, three of the ministers of the Crown had practically all the information that was necessary to advise them of the condition of the Home Bank at that time. At that meeting it was arranged, on account of the fact that Mr. Gough and Mr. Casey Wood, two of the directors were coming down that night with a more detailed written statement of the condition of the Home Bank, that they were to meet Mr. Wood the following morning. Now there is no getting away from that fact.

Topic:   HON. MR. MURDOCK AND HOME BANK
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Did I understand the hon. member to say that the three ministers who met Mr. Stewart were to meet Mr. Wood?

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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

No, I meant Mr. Robb.

They were to meet Mr. Robb, but Mr. Robb came to the hotel in the morning before they had an opportunity to meet him. That was the point I was coming to. They were to get a more elaborate and detailed statement in writing from the directors, Gough and Wood on the following morning. The cabinet meeting was called for the following morning, the 15th. Before the cabinet met and before going to the cabinet meeting, the Acting Minister of Finance went to the hotel where Messrs. Stewart, Wood and Gough were staying, and there he got, as Mr. Stewart swore, the detailed statement in writing of the affairs of the Home Bank. Then he left Messrs. Stewart, Wood and Gough and attended the cabinet meeting.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

May I correct my hon. friend to this extent, that Messrs. Wood, Gough and Stewart came to my room at the hotel where I was living.

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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

I accept the correction. I think it is immaterial; nothing turns upon it.

Topic:   HON. MR. MURDOCK AND HOME BANK
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

No, but I want to make it clear.

Topic:   HON. MR. MURDOCK AND HOME BANK
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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

The point is that Mr. Stewart says that the following morning the Acting Minister of Finance was good enough to come to their room.

Topic:   HON. MR. MURDOCK AND HOME BANK
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

No, he did not say anything

of the kind.

Topic:   HON. MR. MURDOCK AND HOME BANK
Permalink
CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

He may be mistaken.

That is the way he puts it. He says the Hon. Mr. Robb was good enough to come to his room and make the statement.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

Let us have the evidence

where Mr. Stewart made that statement.

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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

Page 41 of the evidence.

He was cross-examined by myself as follows:

Q. What was done there?-A. A word might straighten this out, Mr. Porter. My visit on the Tuesday night was really for the purpose of arranging for an interview with some member of the government on the following morning when Mr. Wood and Mr. Gough would be there. On the following morning you refer to now, Mr. Robb was good enough to come to my room at the hotel with the deputy minister, and there met in conference myself, Mr. Gough and Mr. Wood.

Q. What was the object of the meeting?-A. To give to Mr. Robb in more detail information that the other directors brought down with them that night.

Q. Was that done?-A. Yes sir.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

My recollection is that Mr. Stewart is wrong. He came to my room. That is not material, however.

Topic:   HON. MR. MURDOCK AND HOME BANK
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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

No. The fact is that the Acting Minister of Finance got the detailed information in writing of the condition of the Home Bank at that time. We have this situation. We have the Prime Minister calling a cabinet meeting and he was present himself. We have the Minister of Railways and Canals at the meeting. He swore so himself. The Acting Minister of Finance was at the meeting, for he swore so himself. The Minister of Labour was there, for he swore so himself. Although the chairman was most assiduous in trying to keep from the committee the fact as to who was at the cabinet meeting, each one of those four ministers, in contradiction to the chairman's ruling, swore that he was present.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I correct my hon. friend at that point? To show the kind of inference that he is trying to leave, may I say that my hon. friend has just used the expression: "You have the Prime Minister calling a cabinet meeting." In other words, he tries to leave the inference that the meet-

Mr. Murdock and Home Bank

mg of the cabinet held on the morning of August 15 was a meeting called in consequence of the interview at my house the night before.

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CON
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon.

friend's words are plain. He says, "You have the Prime Minister calling a cabinet meeting." I wish to make plain to the House that the cabinet was in session the day before, the morning of the day on which Mr. Stewart arrived and had an interview at my house. This was during the summer. We had held a series of meetings; we had not concluded the business of the cabinet on that day, and we continued the business on the day following. The meeting held the day following had nothing whatever to do with the conference held the night before.

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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER:

I am quite willing to accept the statement of the Prime Minister. It is of no importance why the meeting was called. The important fact is that there was a meeting of the cabinet on the 15th August. The Prime Minister, with all the knowledge he had, was there; the Minister of Railways and Canals with all the knowledge he had, was there; the Acting Minister of Finance was there with all the information he had of the night before and with the written detailed report in his pocket, and the Minister of Labour was there. Those are the facts that I wish to bring to the attention of the House. Let us see what each one of these cabinet ministers said in reference to that meeting, and let me turn first to the evidence of the Prime Minister which will be found beginning on page 91. A number of questions were asked in regard to the importance of the matter. He was asked as to the meeting as reported on page 93:

By Mr. Porter:

Q. Then at the very bottom of the page (reading):

" Q. It was of such enormous proportions. . . .

That is the condition of the bank.

. . . . that it appalled you at the time?-A. If it

had been of small proportions, having been told what I had been told about the condition of the bank, I would have felt the government would not be justified in using public funds for purposes of that kind."

At the middle of page 94;

Q. " And that the government."-A. (Reading).

41 -and that the government was being asked to make a deposit of public funds to meet a situation of that kind."

I did not consider the amount, I looked at the principle of it and considered it was impossible to entertain any idea of any amount large or small. I think it is important to make that clear, because

230i

the amount that was asked for, I do not recollect at all; what did impress me was the circumstances that we should be asked to put in any amount.

Q. I take it from your answers as a whole, which I have read and which you have read, that the disclosure which was made to you at that time was of such a serious and important nature, or was of such an important nature that you would naturally desire to consult with your colleagues about it?-A. Yes.

Q. You would not feel justified in withholding that from the cabinet?-A. I felt that Mr. Stewart had spoken to me as a member of the government.

Q. And you would not feel that you were doing your duty in not disclosing that to your cabinet? -A. I shouid certainly wish to confer with my colleagues about it, yes.

There is a statement of the Prime Minister with the information ali in his possession of such grave and serious importance that he would want to consult his colleagues about the matter, that he would not feel justified in withholding it from them, and he goes to council on the morning of the 15th with all that in ni;nd. Could I ask you to believe that the Prime Minister was so derelict in his-duty that he did not bring that matter before his colleagues? His oath of office compelled him to bring that matter before them if he believed that it was a matter that should be brought before them. Do you think he violated his oath? I do not believe it. I refuse to Relieve such a thing as that. He says that he would feel derelict in his duty if he did not bring it before them; that it was a matter of such transcendent importance that he could not keep it from them. Do the people of this country want to believe that the Prime Minister, tihe head of this government, is a man of that character that he would keep such a matter away from his colleagues? Not only had he the facts only the night before, but his colleague, the Acting Minister of Finance had the written documents in his pocket. He took them right from the directors at the hotel to the cabinet meeting. Is it possible that the Acting Minister of Finance would sit still with those documents in his pocket which, he says, he got the following morning, that is the 15th and not bring the matter to the attention of the Prime Minister and his colleagues? Is it believable? Not only that, but the Minister cf Labour was there himself. If the Prime Minister, the Minister of Railways and Canals, the Acting Minister of Finance all desired to consult with their colleagues, as they swore they did with whom would they consult? There is no evidence that anybody else was present but the Minister of Labour. With whom would they consult? Mark the significance of this. He had word from the Deputy Speaker (Mr. Gordon) on August 9 and he went to sleep thereafter and

Mr. Murdock and Home Bank

slumbered soundly and comfortably, never waking up until August 15. Where was he on August 15? There is not a single word or tittle of evidence throughout the whole inquiry that he was anywhere else than at cabinet council. There is not a word of evidence that he met and discussed the subject with anyone else. I say, there is not a word of evidence to that effect and I defy any hon. member to indicate anything of the kind. So there you are. After this peaceful slumber from August 9 t_ August 15, the Minister of Labour woke up very suddenly. What disturbed his rest? Look at his evidence at page 77. First of all the evidence deals with the facts which the minister got from the Deputy Speaker. It proceeds:

Q. I understand, Mr. Murdock, that you said you Teceived that information on the 9th of August?- A. Yes, the 9th of August.

Q. And you allowed from the 9th of August till the 15th of August to elapse before taking any action in regard to the withdrawal?-A. I did not withdraw between those dates. . . .

Q. But it was so important on the 15th-

That was the day of the cabinet meeting, remember.

Q. But it was so important on the 15th that you thought you could not leave it any longer?-A. There were other circumstances that brought the matter to a Lead on the 15th, yes.

Let hon. gentlemen ask themselves how they can square that. The minister went to sleep on the 9th and never woke up until he was at the cabinet meeting, when circumstances arose that "brought the matter to a head." It had not come to a head before; it could not have two heads; but circumstances occurred then which prompted the minister to action. He bad not seen fit to act before, but the matter was brought suddenly to a head then, as he swears himself. And I do not ask the House to believe any one else but him. What did the minister do when the matter did come to a head? He rushed from the cabinet meeting to the bank, the meeting having adjourned at 12.45 p.m.; and before 1 o'clock he had gone down to Sparks street to the Home Bank, had drawn his cheque, passed it in to the teller, the teller had passed it over to the ledgerkeeper, the ledgerkeeper had marked it and handed it back to him, then they had looked up the accountant and there was drawn out of the vault the strong box from which there was counted out $4,000 which was carried to the teller's cage and then handed over to the minister. And all this happened inside of fifteen minutes. A terrible hurry, after the minister had slept froiu August 9 to August 15.

Now, as a matter of fact, what were the "other circumstances" that induced the minister to withdraw the money? He could have told us in a word if he had dared to do so. He could have told us in a word if it would have helped his case, when he violated his oath to such an extent as to admit that he was at the cabinet meeting. Is there any reasonable conclusion which any fair-minded person can come to other than that the circumstances that moved the minister to action on that occasion had arisen in the cabinet meeting? If they did not occur there where did they occur? I repeat, the minister could have told us, but he has not done so. There is no suggestion of any other place where he could have got the information; and it is the duty of this House-I want to make this perfectly clear-not to decide this matter only upon the sworn word of the witnesses; it is just as important that the House should draw reasonable lmerenee from the facts and the circumstances that have been elicited as it is proper to consider the sworn testimony itself. That is the duty of every hon. member of this House; and how can any hon. gentleman, in the face of the facts that have been sworn to, draw any other reasonable conclusion than that the minister must have got his information at the meeting?

Is it not reasonable to infer that he acted upon that information therein received? Or, if you will, that he acted upon both the information he got at the cabinet meeting and the information he received from the Deputy Speaker? Is it not a fair inference that he acted at any rate upon both and that he has come within the letter of the charge I have made and has violated his obligation as a minister of the crown? Yet, notwithstanding this, the committee has seen fit to declare not proven the facts I alleged in this House on May 22. Dare any man in this House get up and say that one of those facts has not been proven, and point out wherein it is not proven? But not satisfied with that,-and this is the part I regret most of all-not satisfied with having found as a fact, upon the evidence, what the evidence would not warrant for a moment, indeed totally in disregard of the evidence, that the charge was not proven, in their anxiety to whitewash the Minister of Labour, if I may use that term, they have gratuitously gone away and beyond the commission given them by finding as a fact that the charge has been wholly disproved,-a declaration Which there is not one single word or titt'e of evidence

Mr. Murdock and Home Bank

from start to finish to support. I move seconded by Mr. Stewart (Leeds):

That all the words after the word " the " in the first line be stricken out and the following words be substituted:

committee, having considered the resolution referred to the select standing committee on Privileges and Elections on the 22nd day of May, 1924, as follows:- " Thursday, May 22, 1924.

Ordered,-That the following:-

Mr. Porter, seconded by Mr. Guthrie, moved, That, E. Guss Porter, member representing the electoral riding of West Hastings, in this House, having declared from his seat in the House that he as credibly informed and that he believes he is able to establish by satisfactory evidence that:- The Hon. James Murdock, Minister of Labour, did withdraw from the Home Bank at its Ottawa branch on the 15th day of August, 1923, two days before such bank's failure, thousands of dollars on deposit therein to hiis credit using certain information he had received, as such minister, of the likely immediate failure of said bank, and had received advantage and profit to himself to the extent of such withdrawals, contrary to his obligations as such minister in derogation of his office and the honour, dignity and traditions of parliament, be referred to the select standing committee on Privileges and Elections of this House to inquire fully into the said allegation with power to send for persons, papers and records, to examine witnesses under oath or affirmation, and that the said committee do report in full the evidence taken before them and all other (procedure on the reference, and the result of their inquiries to this House for such action thereon as this House may determine.

Attest.

W. B. Northrup,

Clerk of the House of Commons."

and having heard the evidence given by all witnesses submitted in support of the charge contained in said resolution and all evidence and statements made in answer thereto, and examined all exhibits filed on such inquiry, beg leave to report as follows:-

(1) That the charges contained in the said resolution have been proven and sustained.

All which is respectfully submitted.

made some statements, however, which I think I should take the time of the House to correct. When the operations of the committee were over, the hon. member for West Hastings moved the adoption of the report as prepared by himself, and stated that though he had a speech prepared in support of if he did not intend to make it then, but would reserve it for another occasion. So the lesser lights on that committee argued the case on behalf of the hon. gentleman's contention, and I thought to-day, after listening to his remarks, that I could very well understand why he had not made that speech on the former occasion. I believe he felt that it was a speech that would not stand, to use a French expression, being "rechauffe." I believe he felt that after having made it once he could not make it a second time, and I believe that with that every one who heard his remarks this afternoon will pretty consistently agree. He did the best, however, in my opinion, that any one could do in support of a very bad case and of a forlorn hope. He made some statements regarding Mr. Murdock which I believe even he, upon reflection, will feel like retracting. He stated that Mr. Murdock could have made a statement before the committee in the beginning, but did not do so. Now he knows as well as every other member of the committee, and as every one who will read the evidence must know, that Mr. Murdock was in the committee prepared to make his statement when the proceedings of the committee first began, and desired to do so.

Topic:   HON. MR. MURDOCK AND HOME BANK
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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

But did not say so, nor did anybody else.

Topic:   HON. MR. MURDOCK AND HOME BANK
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LIB

June 25, 1924