April 10, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)


Mr. Speaker, that is what I am endeavouring to do. but it is rather a large field to cover. However, I will be as brief as possible. I want to point out to the Government that the effect of the article is, in the first instance, a libel not only upon Canada, not only upon the Government of that day and upon the present Government, not only upon Canadian tradition, but something which is still more reprehensible,-an evident attempt by indirect means through the press to force this country into an abandonment of its rights, a veiled threat that unless exactly what the financial press of London thinks ought to be done by this Government in regard to the Grand Trunk is done, no further moneys can be raised in England for the development of Canada.
Now, my submission to the Government, Mr. Speaker, is that this article and this propaganda constitute a direct contempt of court. And other means apparently having failed, I would ask the Government

as to whether or not they are taking proceedings for contempt of court against this newspaper or any other newspaper engaged in similar propaganda. We must bear in mind that the very issue which is dealt with by this newspaper is now before the Privy Council by the express consent of the Canadian Government.
I would further point out this:
Contempt of court by speech or writing may be scandalizing the court itself, or by abusing parties to actions, or by prejudicing mankind in favour of or against a party before the cause is heard.
I am reading from the laws of. England, not from Canadian laws. It is laid down by English cases that:
There cannot be anything of greater consequence than to keep the streams of Justice clean and pure, that parties may proceed with safety both to themselves and to their characters. Speeches or writings misrepresenting the proceedings of the court or prejudicing the public for or gainst a party are contempts. Nothing is more incumbent on courts of Justice than to preserve their proceedings from being misrepresented nor is there anything of more pernicious consequence than to prejudice the minds of the public against persons concerned as parties in causes before the cause is finally heard.
It is pointed out by a well-known authority on English law, that one of the most mischievous things you can have is trial by newspapers when a trial by one of the regular tribunals of the country is going on,-just what we are having in this case.
In view of the authorities, which are perfectly clear, I desire to ask the Government what action is proposed to be taken against the publishers of this article.

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