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Request for Release of Hanbook on Ethnic Organizations - Question Period

Hon. Serge Joyal (Secretary of State): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the Hon. Member for his question. When the existence of this document was made public, I asked officials of the Department of the Secretary of State to find out exactly when the data were compiled. According to the cover, it seems the document was updated in 1974, while according to my information, the document was originated as far back as 1960, when another government was managing the business of our country. I therefore asked that any copies that were in the department's possession be destroyed and not be made available to the public, to avoid giving Canadians the impression that the document is still being used.

                    USE MADE OF HANDBOOK
  Hon. Perrin Beatty (Wellington-Dufferin-Simcoe): Madam Speaker, if the Minister has some difficulty locating copies, I can give him the call numbers for the Secretary of State's Library. It was there as of noon today and was consulted by an officer of P.C. Research. I would indicate as well that, if the Minister is not prepared to release the document, I am prepared to release a copy which was inherited by the Clark administration from the Liberal Government, which drew it up. Can the Minister give the assurance to the House, and to groups and individuals portrayed in the document, that no individual was denied rights and that no group was denied funding as a result of the portrayals? If he cannot do that, will he undertake to do research to determine how the document was used? For example, could he determine whether it was used by the Security Service of the RCMP and by the Immigration Department, and will he give some recourse to the groups mentioned in this document by which they may challenge the descriptions which are made of them?

  Hon. Serge Joyal (Secretary of State): As far as I am concerned, Madam Speaker, the list of organizations and persons who received the document was drawn up by the government in power at the time, that is, in 1960. Consequently, if the information was distributed to the various government agencies whose names appear in the opening pages of the document, it was not the present government who took this initiative. I can also assure the Hon. Member that as far as I am concerned, and to the extent of my knowledge, the information contained in the document was never used for the purpose of obtaining financial contributions from, or providing grants to, any of the organizations mentioned.