Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 26, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
18 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, February 26, 1975 Tories grill Munro on harbor scandal OTTAWA Progressive Conservative MPs grilled Labor Minister John Munro on the Hamilton Harbor scandal Tuesday, prompting Prime Minister Trudeau and Finance Minister John Turner to intervene and object to questioning. After heated exchanges in the Commons, Mr. Munro said he has not been called as a witness in a trial of two men in connection with a dredging contract in Hamilton Harbor. Mr. Munro, MP for Hamilton East, and Solicitor- General Warren Allmand both said they have not read the en- tire transcript of a preliminary court hearing in the case. Mr. Allmand said he has read portions and will read more if the RCMP feels he should. The labor minister said he allowed the RCMP to search his files during the July 8 federal election campaign though investigators did not have the correct warrants. Both Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Turner protested questions by Allan Lawrence umberland-Durham) but Commons Speaker James Jerome allowed the Conser- vative MP to continue. Mr. Lawrence had asked the labor minister whether he will be called as a witness in the Hamilton Harbor case, when Mr. Trudeau said: "The minister is not being asked questions relative to his department. This line of prob- ing isn't in the rules of the House and I don't find it very dignified." After the Speaker allowed Mr. Lawrence to repeat the question, Mr. Turner said the Conservative cannot base his questions on newspaper reports. Mr. Lawrence would have to take responsibility for any allegations and put his seat on the line if he was prov- ed wrong. Again the Speaker allowed Mr. Lawrence to continue and Gerald Baldwin, Conservative House leader, accused the government of trying to in- timidate the opposition. "This isn't the first time that his party has been sub- jected to blackmail he said. Conservatives would not be "suppressed by these attempts to muzzle" them. George Kerr resigned as Ontario solicitor-general Fri- day to defend himself against allegations connected with the case. Kenneth Elliott, a former Hamilton harbor com- missioner, and another man have been committed for trial on charges relating to the har- bor affair. Three other men already have pleaded guilty and have been fined. Two other harbor commis- sioners have been named in one of the charges against Mr. Elliott. One of those men- tioned, Joseph Lanza, was Mr. Munro's campaign manager in several elections. Replying to Patrick Nowlan (PC-Annapolis Mr. Trudeau said he is concerned that Mr. Munro may be under investigation. It was also of concern to Mr. Allmand. Mr. Munro said in the Com- mons Monday that any allega- tions connecting him with the harbor scandal are totally false. Tuesday he said that no cabinet documents were taken by the RCMP during the search in his Hamilton office because he kept cabinet infor- mation in Ottawa. Outside the Commons, Mr. Trudeau told reporters that Mr. Munro has assured him he was not involved in the affair. The prime minister also said Mr. Allmand "has kept me up to date and it satisfies me." Mr. Trudeau said the ques- tions in the Commons were out of order. The press could not publish contents of preliminary hearings yet the opposition was permitted to ask questions about them. Ladies' Teens' Wear LADIES'PULLOVERS Assorted styles and colors. Sizes S.M.L LADIES'LONG SLEEVE PANT TOPS Assorted prints, sizes S.M.L....... LADIES'LONG SLEEVE PULLOVERS Assorted styles colors, sizes S.M.L. LADIES'PANTS Assorted prints, broken sizes CACHET PANTYHOSE All nude....... 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Attacks on the capital city have become more intensified. All land and water routes have been closed by the insurgents. Building industry 'king' tight-lipped at inquiry By FRANK MACKEY MONTREAL (CP) The man described as "king" of the Quebec construction in- dustry remained tight-lipped about the affairs of his union when he testified at a govern- ment inquiry Tuesday. Andre Desjardins, 44, the' former union official describ- ed by previous witnesses as the "king" and the "god" of the building trades, failed to expose any of the scandals 'at which he has hinted since the royal commission into construction union freedoms began hearings last Sept. 16. Desjardins, who resigned under fire as vice-president of the Quebec Federation of Labor and of its 23-union building trades council last fail, also balked when asked about his revenues for 1974. "Declared or he aske.d. After a quick conference with his lawyer, he set his last year's earnings at about He set his own worth at 000 though commission docu- Trial told ments, which he refused to recognize, suggested he was worth at least twice that amount. Alternately joking 'and ar- guing his way through his day- long appearance, Desjardins admitted his wife had used 1 about of his money to make loans to several per- sons. She had also received in cash due Desjardins for his role in the purchase of a club by a plumbers' union sports association, he said. He refused to give the com- mission the right to examine his income tax records for the last 15 years. He said his labor federation had been offered a union mo- nopoly on the site of the billion James Bay hydroelectric power project in meetings with government and project authorities in 1972 and 1973. Officials of the James Bay Energy Corporation have con- sistently denied that the meet- ings were preferring to term them "ex- ploratory" sessions. They have also denied ever offering a monopoly to the labor body in return for a 10-year, no- strike contract. Short on details, Desjardins was accused by Judge Robert Cliche, commission chair- man, of performing a "cover- up." He acknowledged having failed to investigate reports of a loansharking network operated by a close friend in a plumbers' union. Judge Cliche berated Des- jardins for knowingly per- mitting loansharks, musclemen and other "ex- ploiters" to operate within the unions under his command. Desjardins had repeatedly threatened, when the inquiry started last year, to blow the whistle on several company executives and politicians, in- cluding provincial cabinet ministers. The former labor leader ad- mitted, however, that he had no incriminating evidence against members of the Quebec national assembly, cabinet ministers or civil ser- vants, within the unions un- der his command. lawyer beaten LIMITID QUANTITIIS ON ALL ADVIRTISIDITIMS is big... Big on Value EDMONTON (CP) The last of six defence witnesses in a trial on charges againsl city lawyer Samuel Doz said Tuesday that a police officer hit Mr. Doz in the face and thew him out in a driveway. William Becker, a neighbor of Samuel Doz, said he used binoculars to watch the con- frontation between Mr. Doz and policemen in Mr. Doz's garage. Mr. Becker testified that a sergeant swung what looked like a bat and broke the win- dow in the car in which the lawyer was sitting. He said the lawyer looked like he headed for the garage door, but was hit on his way out. Two officers previously testified they were slapped by the lawyer when he was being arrested, but Mr. Becker said he saw none of this. Provincial Judge Carl Rolf adjourned the trial to March 10 for closing summations.