Leslie Alexander Mutch (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)
Mr. L. A. Mutch (Winnipeg South):
Subtopic: QUESTION AS TO FACILITIES FOR PARKING OF MEMBERS' CARS
Mr. L. A. Mutch (Winnipeg South):
In reply to the hon. member for Winnipeg South (Mr. Mutch) may I say that the question of parking has been receiving the attention of the Sergeant-at-Arms for some time. As hon. members know, there is only a limited space in the neighbourhood of the parliament buildings which can be made available for parking motorcars. The Sergeant-at-Arms has endeavoured to ascertain how many members have motorcars and wish to park them on parliament hill. There are officials of this house, for whom space has been reserved, who come here regularly, often they arrive earlier than members of parliament, and they are required to stay here very late at night. The question of parking on parliament hill is a problem, just as it is in every city. I can assure hon. members that the Sergeant-at-Arms is doing his best to provide parking facilities for all members. In view of what has been said today, I am satisfied that he will again go into this question.
Mr. C. E. Johnston (Bow River):
Mr. Speaker, on a question of privilege, I too have a complaint with regard to parking on parliament hill. As yet, I have not received one of the tickets mentioned by the hon. member who spoke a moment ago (Mr. Mutch); but I expect that there will be one on my car when I go out in a few minutes, because, if I am not mistaken, I parked in a space reserved for cabinet ministers. I did so because although I drove around the buildings three times, trying to find a place to park, I was unable to find one. Then when I went back to inquire from the mounted
Inquiries of the Ministry policeman where I could hang the car, perhaps somewhere from a tree, he was not even around. I was therefore compelled to park my car wherever I could find an available space.
Why not take it over to the Senate side?
May I point out to you, Mr. Speaker, that one of the difficulties we encounter with respect to parking might be overcome if a little bit more caution were practised by some of the hon. members when they park their cars. On several occasions when I have come to park my car I have found that other members have left their cars parked with the front end over one line and the back end over the other, thereby taking up two spaces instead of one.
They should learn to drive.
I may also say that when I was trying to find a parking space a little while ago, there were two other members who were in exactly the same position. It is absurd that when we come to the hill to park our cars, in order to be here to attend to the business of the house-because I am always here and am never late-there is no space available. I want to register my protest along with that of the hon. member for Winnipeg South.
Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):
Yesterday the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) asked me a rather long question, and in reference to it I said that he had given me no notice of it; whereupon he stated, as reported at page 3265 of Hansard:
I wish merely to point out, with reference to the statement of the minister, that I phoned his office yesterday and advised him of the subject matter of the inquiry which I was to make.
I am sure that my hon. friend will be the first to admit that he did not telephone me at all on Monday. I wish simply to make that point.
On the question raised by the Minister of Justice, I want to agree immediately that I did not contact the minister personally, but I did advise his office. My intention was to ask today, on a question of privilege, that Hansard be corrected so that the statement would read "to advise him" instead of "and advised him"-
-which is what I actually said yesterday when the matter was being discussed.
On the orders of the day:
Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member for Kamloops asked me certain questions, of which I said I would take notice. I said I would get in touch with him in order to get the exact text. This I have done.
This morning the hon. member supplied me with information in which he pointed out that he had asked the following question:
The issue of the Montreal Standard on Monday contains the second instalment of an article "The case of Montreal missing gamblers." In this article it is alleged that Mrs. Balazo, the wife of one of the missing men, appealed to the Minister of Justice and the R.C.M.P. for assistance in tracing her husband and was promised an investigation would be made. That was in February. I would like to ask two questions:
(1) If the R.C.M.P. made an investigation into the case, and if so, with what result?
(2) In view of the allegations of the importation of American gunmen and of the existence of organized crime in Montreal and elsewhere, including counterfeiting and gambling, has the government given consideration to conducting an inquiry into the organized criminal activities in Canada along the lines of the inquiry which has produced such startling results in the U.S.A.?
It will be remembered that I answered the second of these two questions yesterday.
The answer to the first is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were requested by the Montreal city police to publish particulars of the missing persons, Alex and Frank Balazo, in the R.C.M.P. Gazette, a publication which is distributed to all police forces in Canada. Stop notices were also placed in the R.C.M.P. fingerprint files in the event that fingerprint impressions of either of these men were later received.
Mrs. Alex Balazo wrote to the Minister of Justice on January 30, 1951, and asked if any assistance could be given in locating her husband. The letter was passed to the commissioner of the mounted police and was acknowledged by that official. At that time the item on these missing men had already been published in the R.C.M.P. Gazette, but a special notice was then sent to the large R.C.M.P. divisions instructing that investigators in the major cities be alerted in respect to this case.
I believe I should say also that the administration of justice, including the enforcement of the Criminal Code of Canada, by section 92(14) of the British North America Act is exclusively assigned to the provincial authorities, which create provincial and municipal police forces for these purposes.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police provide certain national services which are available to all provincial and municipal forces. These include the police Gazette, the fingerprint bureau, and the firearms registration section. These services are used regularly by other provincial and municipal forces, and it will be noted that they were so used in the present case. Additionally, the R.C.M.P. are always ready to assist when requested by municipal and provincial forces; but if not requested they do not interfere in matters beyond their jurisdiction. Frequently the R.C.M.P. are asked by private citizens to investigate cases which are the primary responsibility of another law enforcement body, and in such instances they simply refer the inquiry to the proper police authority. In the present case, the R.C.M.P. took no action in or about Montreal, but merely used1 their machinery to circularize other police forces and their own personnel.
May I ask the minister whether the R.C.M.P. do not have a special responsibility with respect to counterfeiting, which perhaps would transcend the other jurisdictional boundaries he has described?
That is right. There are one or two exceptional cases of that kind, where the federal government is involved. There is counterfeiting, and then the same would apply where some major robbery took place in a federal department building, or something of that kind.
On the order for motions:
Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roselown-Biggar):
rise to draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to a matter which I believe requires some consideration on your part. I might add that I have hesitated to direct attention at the time to what I believed to be violations of the procedure and the rules of the house because of the risk of being misunderstood! by the member or members involved.
Under standing order 13 hon. members may draw attention to strangers in the gallery for the purpose of requesting their exclusion; but I believe it is a violation of the rules to draw attention to the presence in the gallery of students or persons other than a special or distinguished representative of a friendly country. In the same connection, the practice has grown up recently of hon. members rising on matters of privilege which are clearly not permitted by the rules. I refer specifically to recording the distinctions conferred
House of Commons
on persons, places or constituencies by the winning of sporting and other events or awards.
Some hon. members may be misunderstood when, observing the rules of the house, they refrain from recording the winning of sporting or other events by their constituents, or fail to refer to the presence in the gallery of groups or persons in whom they are interested.
I hope, Mr. Speaker, that both Your Honour and hon. members of the house will realize that in raising this question I am doing so in order that you may give some consideration to the problem and perhaps give some guidance thereon to hon. members so that all may be governed accordingly.