I do not interpret the section in that way at all. It appears to be deliberately and definitely directed towards the question where the offence may be committed. There are no limiting words. At this point I do not want to enter into a legal argument; the matter may not be of great import, because it has been clearly proved that the act has extraterritorial application. However, I do suggest that this is a piece of window-dressing, because it appears, to me at any rate, that the present act has extraterritorial application, by reason of the words:
-the offence shall be deemed to have been committed either at the place in which the same actually was committed, or at any place in Canada in which the offender may be found.
If the offender is brought back to Canada, which must happen before he can be tried, he is then charged with an offence against the act, and that offence may be deemed to have been committed at any place in Canada in which the offender may be found. But he must be found in Canada in order to be tried. The provisions of the English act on which this bill is based are in somewhat the same terms, although not exactly parallel. However, they are intended obviously to give their act extraterritorial application. Section 10(1) of the English official secrets act reads:
This act shall apply to all acts which are offences under this act when committed in any part of His Majesty's dominions, or when committed by British officers or subjects elsewhere.
My criticism of the bill so far is that it accomplishes nothing, or at the best very little. A good deal of publicity and anticipation has been created with regard to its introduction, as though the bill in fact was implementing the recommendations of the royal commission that additional safeguards be provided. The royal commission recommended that there be additional safeguards against espionage and against the communication of information prejudicial to the state. This bill does not provide those additional
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safeguards', in the sense that it makes very little change in the law with respect to the prosecution of persons accused of offences.
I find the bill quite unsatisfactory. What we need is a bill which will provide additional protection against espionage and against the communication of information to foreign powers. The recommendations of the royal commission show the vital need of some such provision. The report of the royal commission makes it terrifyingly clear that we had an elaborate espionage system in this country. It minces no words in telling us that the Russian embassy was the base of that espionage system. It states that that was carried on under three separate agencies, the most important being under the direction of the Russian military attache. We had a spy system in this country and nothing that has happened since indicates that there is any ground for assuming that that spy system has ceased to exist.
I should like to refer to a Canadian Press dispatch which I happened to notice in the Montreal Gazette of yesterday, and which reads:
Soviet Boosts Ottawa Staff
Military attaches are trained observers of three services.
Ottawa, June 20-(CP)-The Russians have boosted the military representation at their Ottawa embassy to five officers in recent weeks, it was disclosed today by the external affairs department. A few months ago the department reported two as the total.
I do not want to say that that article indicates that the espionage system is being built up again, or strengthened, but in view of the clear and specific report of the royal commission, where no words were minced as to the activities being carried on at the Russian embassy, we should certainly be on our guard. These things should warn us that something is still necessary to protect us against this espionage system.
I find nothing in the bill. Other recommendations in the report of the royal commission are to the effect that we need additional safeguards. I should like to refer particularly to recommendations 2, 3 and 6, to be found on page 689 of the report, as follows:
2. That the proper authorities in each service, department and organization take such steps as may be considered desirable and effective, in the light of this report and of the evidence and exhibits, to prevent further unauthorized transmission of information and to set up further safeguards.
3. That all security measures should be co-ordinated and rendered as uniform as possible.
6. That consideration be given to any additional security measures which would be practical to prevent the infiltration into positions of trust under the government of persons likely to commit acts such as those described in this report.
Those recommendations make it clear that at that time the attention of the royal commission was directed to the provision of additional safeguards against a repetition of what they found had been going on. The. necessity of taking those precautions is more important now than it was then, and this bill does not fulfil that requirement.
This matter of security precautions or legislation against espionage and the communication of official secrets is difficult to discuss reasonably, because we are working with a complete lack of factual information as to what is being done. I and others have attempted-I shall confine my remarks to my own attempts-to obtain factual information as to what has been found out as to the extent of this espionage system, as to the extent of infiltration into the government service, and as to the extent of our counter measures and the removal from the government employ of any who were found to be untrustworthy.
So far I have drawn virtually a blank. No answers of a factual nature have been given to the specific questions which were asked, and we are left to go largely on guesswork and speculation. We must work in an atmosphere of secrecy. There is a veil of secrecy over the whole subject, not even a corner of which has been lifted. I appreciate the importance of maintaining security and the difficulty of disclosing security methods, but I cannot agree that it is impossible to give factual information as to the success, or failure if you like, of security measures.
I should like to refer to a couple of questions which were asked in this regard, and the answers which were given. On May 24 the following questions were put toy me and answered, or so-called answers were given, as reported on page 2810 of Hansard,'.
1. Have the Royal Canadian Mounted Police been able to identify all of the 150 persons then resident in Canada, listed in the notebook found as a result of the espionage investigations of 1945 and 1946, containing the name of Klaus Fuchs?
2. If not, how many have they been able to identify?
The minister's answer, while courteous and lengthy, gives no information whatsoever. It tells us what we already knew, that the notebook contained the names of 150 persons said to be resident at that time in Canada. That was a part of the question. We were told that it formed only one item of many thousands of documents seized, and that in this mass of material so seized there were many such notebooks, also desk calendars, memo pads and a lot of other matters not relevant to the question because the question was about a particular notebook. It will be remembered that the suggestion was that certainly the conclusion reached
by many others besides myself was that amongst the 150 names there were, although they may not all have been, some who were involved at one time or another in the business of espionage. The minister went on to say:
The list of the 150 names referred to was carefully checked to ascertain \yhich of these 150 names, if any, were those of persons who could be suspected of espionage or subversive activity. It was found that a limited number of the persons named belonged to either or both of these groups.
In all such cases where positive identification proved possible, the entries were then related to and dealt with on the appropriate investigation files. As some of these investigations are still current, it will be appreciated that it would not be desirable to specify the number of persons identified. The majority of the entries in this notebook, however, refer to professional people and others of good repute whose loyalty is beyond question.
The question asked, with reference to these names, in how many cases it had been possible to establish positive identification. It did not ask how many of them were found to be spies or how many were suspected of being spies. It asked for factual information. It asked in how many cases the R.C.M.P. had been able to say: This is the actual person; we know who he is and where he is. That was the only information asked for, and in an answer of three paragraphs the question is evaded and no factual answer is given.
The second question on that subject was:
How many of the 150 Canadians listed in the notebook found as a result of the espionage investigations . . . and containing the name of Klaus Fuchs (a) have been in the employ of the dominion government at any time since June, 1945; (b) are now in the employ of the dominion government?
Again that is a factual question. I did not ask how many spies; I asked how many of the persons listed and identified in the notebook were in the employ of the government since 1945 and are still in the employ of the government. Again the question was not answered. The reply of the minister was:
This question cannot be answered with precision in view of the time covered by (a) and the vagueness of the identifying data available in the notebook.
The time covered by part (a) was simply the period from 1945 up to the present. The answer continued:
It can be said, however, that the number involved was small.
There again we are left with vague and indefinite replies conveying no information on which we can form an opinion whether the security measures now being taken are adequate, and whether an adequate check has been made on the security of the people whose trustworthiness is so vital to the interests of the state. There is no information on which we can form an opinion
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whether a check has been made and whether the steps taken as a result thereof have been adequate to protect the safety of the state.
Another question I asked is to be found at page 3467 of Hansard of June 12, together with the reply made by the Minister of Justice. The question was:
1. In each department or branch of government or board or corporation set up by the government, how many employees, if any, have been discharged or been in any way released for reasons having to do with security?
There are two other parts to the question. Again the minister's answer was courteous and lengthy, but, however courteous and lengthy it may have been, it was a complete denial of information. The minister's answer consisted of a general statement of the government's approach to this question of security within the ranks of government employees. He said that it would be unfair to give the name of a man removed1 from employment with the government on suspicion of being a communist, because it might prejudice his chances of future employment, and that no information could be given. One part of the question had to do with how many in each department, and that is all. The reason for the question was to find out how thorough the check has been, what departments have been investigated and what are the results in terms of figures as to the number of cases in which action has been taken. That would not identify any of the employees in question, if there are any. We are not even told whether the number, if any, is large or small. We are not told anything on which we can form a conclusion whether or not the measures in the bill are adequate.
As to the question of unfairness to a man who is genuinely suspected of being disloyal, I cannot think of anything more prejudicial to him than mere release from his employment. If he seeks other employment, he is bound to be asked what his last job was. He will be asked: Where were you last working? If he says that he had been in the government service he will be asked: What about a recommendation? Why did you leave your job? Can the minister honestly support the thesis that a person who is entirely unable to produce any recommendation or reasons for release from the government service would readily find further employment? I cannot see that the minister's reason for refusing to disclose factual information is a valid one. I did not even ask for names, but merely for factual information as to the number involved. I cannot see that the reason the minister gave for refusing to give the information is anything more than pure fiction.
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As I say, the lack of information makes it extremely difficult to discuss the question of security on a reasonable basis, because we are working in the realm of uncertainty. No one wants a witch hunt, but everyone wants to be and is entitled to be satisfied that adequate measures have been and are being taken. When that kind of factual information is refused, one is left to draw one of two obvious conclusions. Either the investigation is not adequate or the results have been so disturbing that it is not considered in the public interest to disclose them. I suggest that the second conclusion is unfair to the civil service and to government employees generally.
My main anxiety in the discussion of the bill, in previous discussions and questions having to do with security, has been to find out whether adequate precautions are being taken and whether adequate measures have been taken to deal with such breaches of security or such genuine suspicions as have been aroused. We have had no information. We are invited to take it on trust, and when the safety of the state is involved I regret to say that I cannot do so. I want facts and figures to establish the accuracy of what the minister says when he maintains that all adequate and necessary measures are being taken.
What has come out, however, what has been disclosed in the replies that have been made, gives us ground for concern of a different sort. The information that the security officer in the department is the deputy minister, and that he can remove a government employee from his service on grounds of suspicion alone, gives rise to the gravest concern about the methods being followed. This means that the whole security of civil service employment is under attack. One of the greatest advantages of civil service employment has been security of tenure in office. Before I go further I want to say that another reason why I object so strenuously to the secrecy which surrounds this whole thing is that I believe, as I hope the minister will agree on reflection, it is unfair to the civil service and to government employees generally, because it cannot help but create the impression that the results of this security screening have been so disturbing that nothing should be said about it. I certainly do not want to believe that is the fact. I am confident that the loyalty of government employees and those in the civil service of Canada is as high as it possibly could be. But I suggest that the loyalty of the civil service does not need to be protected by this screen of secrecy.
Subtopic: OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
Sub-subtopic: EXTENSION TO EMPLOYEES OF COMMISSIONS, ETC. APPLICATION TO OFFENCES COMMITTED OUTSIDE CANADA