February 7, 1938

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Might I ask my right hon. friend, is a book published when the proofs

are submitted for revision, or is it published when it is printed and distributed?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Presumably both. As a matter of law, it is published when the proofs are sent out.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

It is quite obvious that Doctor MacKay wished to have comments if he sent these proofs to various people, and my right hon. friend himself recognizes that Doctor MacKay was prepared to alter the text before actual publication was made.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The point was, there is no excuse for a man making false statements for a matter of record.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

It is sometimes a matter of opinion whether a statement is false or not.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

There is no question about it; it is a matter of record-printed record too. .

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

As a matter of fact, shorn of some of the extravagant language of my right hon. friend, the substance of his attack on Doctor MacKay is this, that Doctor MacKay wrote a book that the right hon. gentleman did not like, and he joined a commission that the right hon. gentleman did not like. I think that may fairly be said to be the sum and substance of his indictment against Doctor MacKay, and for these offences he is branded as a bitter partisan from one end of the country to the other, in a manner which was calculated to injure him in his profession, and which might well have been actionable in slander if the words used had been used by a private citizen.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I made them publicly, and I am liable to action if he wants one outside of this house.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

You attacked him for being from Ontario, outside the house.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I suppose that is libellous too, is it? I admit it may be libellous in this case.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I have known Doctor MacKay for ten years. He occupies the position of professor of government at Dalhousie university, of which my right hon. friend is a distinguished alumnus.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am a governor as well.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

May I remind the leader of the opposition, in that event, that to hold the chair of government in Dalhousie one is obliged to agree not to participate in any way in political affairs. Doctor MacKay has never made a political speech and has never appeared on a political platform, and yet my right hon. friend says he is a bitter partisan.

The Address-Mr. Rogers

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I go further and say that

Doctor MacKay enjoys the highest respect throughout university circles in this dominion. He has been active in the work of the League of Nations Society and equally active in the work of the Institute of International Relations ; he was chosen by the Carnegie Foundation of the United States to conduct a very important survey of Canadian and American relations. I doubt very much if the reputation of Doctor MacKay is going to be injured seriously by what the right hon. gentleman has said, but at the same time I do feel that something in the nature of an apology or correction is required in the circumstances.

I now turn from this charge to one which concerns me personally. I refer to the charge brought against me by the leader of the opposition because of certain views I expressed on the incidence of the tariff as counsel for the government of Nova Scotia in the economic inquiry of 1934. After listening very carefully to the leader of the opposition on Monday, I concluded I had just fallen short of committing high treason for having stated in very definite terms that the protective tariff had imposed unequal burdens on the several provinces of the dominion. I had turned east against west, and west against east; I had undermined the foundations of confederation, and I was guilty of some measure of moral obliquity because I had become a member of the Liberal administration that had not abolished the tariff. Well, Mr. Speaker, if all this were true it would be a heavy load of responsibility for one person to carry, but perhaps the leader of the opposition will be surprised, and possibly he will be relieved, when I tell him that I have slept reasonably well during the past week, that I have had no overwhelming conviction of sin-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

It took some time preparing the speech, though.

Mr. ROGERS; [DOT]-and my conscience, so far as his charges are concerned, has been quite composed. The basis of these grave charges-and I call them grave even although they were nebulous-was his assumption and his assertion that I had advocated the abolition of the Canadian tariff as the remedy for the maladjustments and inequalities of the protective system in its operation in this country during the past sixty years. My answer is, and I give it in the most definite and unequivocal terms, that I did not advocate the abolition of the tariff, either in the submission made to the Nova Scotia economic

commission or at any other time, and I challenge the leader of the opposition to read the brief and repeat his accusation.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

We will do it later, and in more detail.

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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Well, my right hon. friend had the brief in his hand the other day.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

He did.

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February 7, 1938