March 15, 1946 (20th Parliament, 2nd Session)


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)



I should like to say a further word. I thought I had pretty well answered or adequately answered the questions which my hon. friend had intended to ask me; but may I say to him at once that with what he has said about the importance of securing the freedom of the individual, his right to habeas corpus proceedings and anything else that will seek to preserve individual liberty I am in complete accord, and I would be the last person in this country to wisli to see the liberty of any individual curtailed in any way at all that it is possible to avoid, short of, to use my hon. friend's own words, the safety of the state being the main consideration.
Yesterday I stated that I would wish to make a statement at length on Monday purposely in order that hon. members might have an opportunity before my statement is made to read the interim reports of the commissioners, the two reports which have been tabled. One report has been
tabled only this afternoon. Hon. members have not yet seen that report. I do not believe they have seen any reference in the press to what it contains, and I do ask that hon. members of this house read that report from beginning to close before Monday's discussion on this very serious matter takes place. I would also ask that hon. members read the first report from beginning to close before we proceed with further discussion.
I believe that hon. members will be very deeply impressed by the statements which these reports contain. I would also ask hon. members to remember in reading these reports that they have been prepared by two justices of the Supreme Court of Canada, gentlemen who, above all, would be anxious to maintain in every way possible the, full freedom and liberty of individuals in our country.
With the permission of the house, Mr. Speaker, I move:
That two thousand five hundred copies in the English .language and one thousand copies in the French language of the documents relating to the proceedings of the royal commission, established by order in council P.C. 411 of February 5. 1946, and including the first and second interim reports of the royal commission, laid on the table of the house on' the 14th and 15th of March instant, be printed forthwith, and that standing order 64 in relation thereto be suspended.
As I mentioned yesterday, I arranged to have these reports printed without waiting for the authority of the house, feeling quite sure that authority would be given, inasmuch as I took the course I did for the convenience of hon. members.

Full View