Mr. Clarkson's letter was
written on the 7th of May and t'he Minister of Labour answered it on the 14th of May, and on that very day it came out before Mr. Justice McKeown in the Home Bank inquiry that the hon. Minister of Labour had withdrawn his money from the bank. He paid it back after the fact had been discovered in an inquiry. And then he endeavours to say, "Oh, out of consideration and compassion for the Home Bank depositors I am doing this." But that is not all. He did not pretend when he was charged upon the floor of the House -which quite possibly might have ended the whole matter-to set up a defence that any reasonable man would say was a defence. He did not say then "Why the Deputy Speaker (Mr. Gordon), told me six days before I withdrew the money about the apparent failure of the bank, and I drew the money out six days after, in consequence of what the Deputy Speaker told me." He gave no excuse or reason of that kind. It was absolutely
Mr. Murdock and Home Bank
withheld from this parliament and from the public. If it is a defence now, why was it not stated at that time? What would any man who desired that the public and this parliament should know the full facts do under these circumstances? Hide it? Hide his light under a bushel? Or would he come out and say, "Here are the facts; if 1 have done wrong I regret it." But no, he kept the facts away from parliament. Then at iast parliament grants the inquiry and he is brought before the committee. He comes before the committee. True he was not bound to appear there, but he did appear. And what did he do? When parliament had forced the matter to an inquiry and the facts were bound to be discovered, he sat there day after day while the inquiry was going on and evidence was being adduced before that committee, and it was only when he must have felt the noose tightening round his neck, metaphorically speaking, and when he thought discretion was the better part of valour, when he thought it was better to come from under cover, he said to me through his counsel, "I would like to make a statement to the commission." He has had the fairest of fair treatment from me, so far as this inquiry is concerned. When he made that proposition I said "Yes, come on and make your statement;" and he did so. He made a statement I hat covers about half a dozen lines in the evidence taken before that committee. Did he tell the whole facts then? He came before the committee when the evidence was closing in upon him, when it was getting closer and closer every moment, and he said, "I did draw my money out of the bank, $4,050 on the 15th day of August." That is the statement that he made. Did that statement set forth all the facts we were after? We knew that fact and had proven it, and had the witnesses there prepared to prove every line and word of the statement made before the House on the 22nd of May. No, he does not see fit to answer that statement. He only added to that such facts as were forced from him on crossexamination, as members of this House will see on reference to the evidence. He did, however, add some things there, and he added some things that are very material. Then he having completed his statement at that time -the third attempt at defence-we went on with the evidence. I was not satisfied to let the matter rest there. I knew that all the facts had not come out, and I went on to prove the additional fact-and I did prove it -that when he took the $4,000 out of the Home Bank and deposited it in the Royal
Bank, he deposited it in the name of his secretary, Miss McCool. Why? Another attempt to evade discovery, to hide it away somewhere where it would not be so easily discovered. He felt the importance of this because again he said to the committee: "I should like to come in and make a statement; I should like to clear this up." If it needed clearing up, why did he not clear it up in the first instance? Why did he not tell the whole story, the whole facts? He was again allowed to come into the witness box and to add a fourth edition to the defence that he was trying to make to this charge.
It turned out that when he made the deposit in the Royal Bank he deposited it in the name of his secretary in order that she might draw this money out.
Topic: HON. MR. MURDOCK AND HOME BANK