fair, I have no interest whatsover to shield this Mr. MacKinnon; however, the department looked into the matter, and I drew the attention of the officials in my department to the speech of the hon. member for Megantic, the latter was given the reasons why we could not act.
He cannot contend, therefore, that we acted in bad faith. I think that we supplied him with all the explanations which he required. Again, I state that if it can be shown to me that it is
possible to take proceedings against MacKinnon, I am ready, on behalf the Post Office Department to do everything possible. In a number of cases as much as my authority permitted me, I intervened; however, I am not as imprudent as to overstep my powers.
hon. Postmaster General, according to his argument, contend that a person is entitled to roam over the country stating: we shall found an association and you shall contribute $5 towards it? He did this for ten years. No association was ever founded. He can be of no benefit to mail contractors. I have in my possession letters in which this Mr. MacKinnon contends that he is so authorized by the Post Office Department.
The government should have this gentleman arrested, order an inquiry and summon witnesses.
The following is what one letter contains:
In answer to your letter with reference to Mr. Garfield MacKinnon, I must say that he called at my house on December 1, 1932. He stated that he was a mail carrier in Ontario, *working on behalf of mail carriers with the approval of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) who had promised him a salary increase for all mail carriers.
This Mr. MacKinnon, requests a contribution of $5 from all members of the association.
Here is a gentleman, who travels through the rural districts and obtains money under false representations. He makes use of the Prime Minister's name, and contends that he is the president or secretary-sometimes he is president and at other times secretary-of an association which has no existence. A person who obtains $5 worth of goods under false representations, is arrested, and here is a person who, in the county of St. Johns-Ilberville alone, enticed 38 mail contractors out of a 42, and obtained $190-he enticed a few hundreds
in Megantic county-yet the Post Office Department has no authority to have him arrested and take proceedings against him.
the hon. member-I suppose that he expects a reply-I do not think that the department ican take legal proceedings against this person simply because he wishes to found an association and charge $5 to each member. I should like to have the views of the former Postmaster General on this matter. He studied this question himself, when he was Postmaster General and must have reached the same conclusion as I have this evening.
If the hon. Postmaster General will allow me, it is the first time that I hear a minister state that people can roam over our rural 'districts, make false representations and obtain money on the strength of it, it is the first time, I say, that I hear a minister of the crown state that the law cannot reach these people. The hon. Postmaster General stated a short -while ago that it was amazing that this man had not been arrested before. I may say to him that up to this year, it had been impossible to obtain conclusive evidence, dear proof of false representations made by this Mr. MacKinnon. This year, thanks to the activities of the hon. member for Megantic (Mr. Roberge), evidence has been supplied to the Postmaster General, evidence which shows that MacKinnon visited our rural districts, that on three particular occasions he obtained money by threatening the mail contractors that unless they subscribed $5.00 each they would lose their contracts. The hon. Postmaster General has three affidavits in this respect. He is therefore, to-day, in possession of sufficient evidence to have this man arrested. The hon. Postmaster General cannot contend to-day, that under the Liberal regime, we did not carry out our duty.
The hon. Postmaster General must realize that it is always difficult to obtain the necessary proof in such cases, and it is only lately 'that the department has been able to obtain them. There is no doubt that MacKinnon obtained money under false representations. I feel certain that the Postmaster General has not given the question the attention it deserves, we shall again take up the matter to-morrow...