Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to rise today to follow up on a question I asked in the House on November 1. I asked the Prime Minister to have a full inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair and the full Airbus affair. He adamantly refused, laughed it off and the government laughed it off as well. He did that for two weeks until Brian Mulroney himself ordered an investigation.
What concerns me is the management of the file by the current government. We know the Prime Minister received a letter from Karlheinz Schreiber seven months ago, indicating the dealings that he had with Brian Mulroney, the exchange of money, when the money was transferred and when the negotiation happened. For seven months there was no action by the Prime Minister, zero.
This is a letter that calls into question the following of Canadian laws, a letter that should have been transferred to the RCMP immediately. When the same letter was received many months later by the Leader of the Opposition, he transferred it to the RCMP, which opened an investigation within 14 days after it received that letter.
Karlheinz Schreiber said he sent that letter to Mr. Mulroney when Mr. Mulroney was seeking financial help. In the letter to Brian Mulroney he states:
During the summer of 1993 when you were looking for financial help, I was there again. When we met on June 23, 1993 at Harrington Lake, you told me that you believe that Kim Campbell will win the next election....You also told me that...the Bear Head project [a business proposal] should be moved to the Province of Quebec, where you could be of great help to me. We agreed to work together and I arranged for some funds for you.
We have since found out that the funds were $300,000 given in cash, the first $100,000 of that while Mr. Mulroney was still a member of Parliament. Mr. Mulroney was still prime minister in June at that time, and Harrington Lake is an official government residence.
When this letter came into the correspondence unit in the government building, at Langevin Block presumably, it would have gone to PCO and then from PCO logically transferred to PMO. From PMO, logically when something is that sensitive, it would have gone directly to the Prime Minister or to very senior staff, who would have briefed the Prime Minister.
However, that is not what the Prime Minister would have us believe. He would have us believe that this correspondence with Schreiber was dealt with by junior officers at the Privy Council Office.
I invite you, Mr. Speaker, to speak with people who have at one time or another worked at the Prime Minister's Office or PCO. Ask them how a letter like that would be handled. I think they would tell you that they would not walk it across the hall. They would run it across the hall. That letter is very sensitive, very serious and there is no way it would be fluffed off by junior officers. There could be the chance of the Prime Minister being greatly embarrassed, as he did when he went to speak at the dinner honouring Brian Mulroney not too long after that. However, I do not think it was ever thought that this would become public.
If the Prime Minister did not get this information, I can only think of one reason. It would be that he asked not to receive such information for adoption of plausible deniability.
Now that we have all the information, I would ask the government to ensure that Professor Johnston is given the mandate to ensure his public inquiry includes all the activities by the current government in relationship to the Schreiber-Mulroney affair.