[Caption: Mr. Bennett and Mr. King were never great friends; but nor was there ever any great enmity between the two, as this 1933 picture shows.]

The Doukhobors were a religious sect and had emigrated en masse from Russia at the turn of the century. First settling in Saskatchewan, most Doukhobors later moved to southern British Columbia. But splinter groups developed and one was particularly fanatical. The Sons of Freedom, as they were called, sometimes held protest rallies by holding nude parades. A number of their female members had even stripped at a public election meeting in Trail.
This did not escape the attention of Parliament nor of the Conservative member and former publisher of the Trail News, William Esling. On June 8, 1928, Esling asked the government to consider the deportation of the "radical fanatics."

Hon. Charles Dunning - Minister of Railways and Canals (Regina): Having had some association with that small minority of the Doukhobors in my own province, may I say in all fairness to the thousands of good citizens and members of the universal brotherhood known as the Doukhobors, which is a religious body with very high principles, that to label them all with the sins committed by a few people in Saskatchewan some years ago, or in British Columbia today would be distinctly unfair.

R.B. Bennett - Leader of the Opposition (Calgary South): Is it correct to say that the so-called fanatics, not using that word offensively at all, do not become naturalized?

Mr. Dunning: I think perhaps my hon. friend may be right. I remember on a previous occasion I had reason to look into the matter of deportation. Immediately the question arose having regard to the changes which have taken place in the country from which they came.

William Esling (Kootenay West): My references were to religious fanatics who are today offending the public by exhibitions of absolute nakedness.

The prime minister laughs? I ask him a question. What would he do some morning out at Kingsmere if he were to arise, go out and find on his veranda a half a dozen Doukhobor women totally devoid of all clothing? What would he do?

The Right Hon. William L.M. King - Prime Minister (Prince Albert): I would send for my right hon. friend, the leader of the opposition!

Mr. Bennett: As usual, the prime minister exaggerates. Dispensing patronage outside of his own party has never been characteristic of him at any time!

{Editor's note: Hansard actually records the conversation differently, omitting the references to "women" and "Kingsmere." They also added "and the leader of the Progressive Party" to King's response and reworded Bennett's reply to read: "There would be a riot if you overlooked your own supporters."}

Both Gratton O'Leary 9a local journalist) and John Diefenbaker chastised Hansard reporters for editing the exchange as they apparently did. But in all fairness, it was undoubtedly at the prime minister's request.

Even the tamer version as it now appears in Mansard remains as evidence of the extraordinary and rare exchange between the two elderly celibates, neither known for any sense of humour. Ah what a  PARADE OF BARE NAKED LADIES can do to cure dotage.