Will the hon. member allow me another word?
Will the hon. member allow me another word?
I speak with no authority for the Progressive group, but I say that this group has confidence in the hon. member for Peace River. Will the hon. member for Brandon deny that?
Will he say that we
have no confidence in the hon. member for Peace River?
I told you we have.
Then why rise to deny the statement I have made?
I simply wanted to say that
we did not want the hon. member to speak for the Progressive group; let him speak for himself.
So far as that goes I
can speak for the Progressive group. Now I come to a consideration of the subamendment moved by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth). I am sorry indeed that the hon. member is not in his seat, because I want to make some personal references and I hesitate to do so when he is not here.
He is here.
I hope he will come
in before I am through.
He is behind the curtain.
Mr. WILSON (Vaudreuil):
I am not
Now there is only one useful purpose which can be served by the subamendment so far as I can see, and that is to whitewash the whole filthy proceedings and to prevent the members of this House from having an opportunity to vote on the original amendment, which in my opinion is the crux of the whole debate. If the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre or those whom he represents want to evade the real issue why do they not stand up and vote directly against the original amendment? That, in my estimation, is the manly thing to do.
There are some things I find difficult to understand in regard to the action of the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. Just what does he want to do by this subamendment? Does he 'Object to the recommendations of the committee that a number
of civil servants who have come under a cloud in this affair should be dismissed? Does he Object to that? Not at all. He does not object to that, because he adds another name to the recommendation for dismissal. He is satisfied that a number of civil servants should be dismissed from their positions; he is content to have them thrown to the wolves for their part in the corruption; but when it comes to members of parliament on both sides of the House what does he say? He proposes to delete from the amendment every single word in condemnation or censure of the actions of the government and proceeds to whitewash the whole thing. But that is not in accordance with what the hon. gentleman said in his speech. I could quite understand the motive of the hon. gentleman in moving this subamendment if he were prepared to vindicate the government, to wash them and leave them white as the driven snow. I could quite understand his action if he were prepared to do that. ' But the statements in his speech prove otherwise. At page 4922 of Hansard I find the following:
Again we have brought 'before us the conduct of the former minister, Mr. Jacques Bureau, and let me say, as far as I am concerned, that the worst thing the .present government has done in connection with the whole matter was to put that gentleman in the Senate.
I quite agree with the hon. member in that regard. And by the way, I am glad to see that he is here now. I am sorry to have discussed him while he was absent, but I will repeat some of what I said for his benefit.
I cannot let this opportunity pass without protesting against the unequal justice that prevails in connection with our laws. Petty thieves, even young boys, are sometimes given months or years in gaol.
He goes on:
What is the penalty for debauching a governmenta senatorship!
Then referring to some other members of parliament, he said:
But I think most of the members here would agree with me .that action such as Mr. Robichaud took in writing a letter asking for leniency on the ground that a certain man who was convicted was useful to the party is absolutely inexcusable, and in the interest of establishing what I believe to be a .higher standard of political morality in this country I think we are bound to say so.
Again I heartily agree with the hon. member. Then he makes some other references to Mr. Boivin, Mr. Duff and Mr. Boys. The original amendment does not condemn the government or these members in nearly as strong language as the hon. member does in his speech, and yet in the same breath he moves an amendment to the original amendment, the purpose of which is to delete every
Customs Inquiry-Mr. Campbell
bit of that condemnatory or censuring language from the original amendment. Could anything foe more inconsistent?
No hon. member in this House has talked humanitarianism more than the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth); no one has protested more vehemently in this House and out of it against social injustice than the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre; no one that I know of in the Dominion of Canada has protested so vigorously as has the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre against discrimination in the enforcement of our laws- and again I say I honour him for it. But what does he propose to do in this amendment? He concurs in the dismissal of all those civil servants who have been guilty of minor crimes, but he applies the Whitewash brush to all the officials higher up who were guilty of the major crimes.
Mr. TV OODSWORTH:
Does the hon. member characterize the statements which he has just read from my speech as whitewash?
Not at all, Mr. Speaker.
I was pointing out the inconsistency of the hon. gentleman in condemning these men in his speech and yet moving to delete from the main amendment every single word of censure on the same men.
May I ask the
hon. gentleman-and I do so because I know him very intimately-if he would mind discussing the points that I was trying to urge in that speech.