Mr. W. J. WARD (Dauphin) moved for leave to introduce a bill respecting the purchasing and disposal of departmental and other supplies and surplus goods.
He said: I have prepared a short statement respecting this bill which will give the House sufficient information for the first reading. The purpose of the bill is to provide machinery for central purchasing of all supplies, materials, goods, stores, and] articles required by the government throughout the country, and for the disposal of surplus goods and junk, the property of the government. This bill simply proposes the re-grouping in a special department of all personnel engaged in this work now under the control of the several departments. There will be no increase in the present cost of performing the duties concerned. On the contrary, there will be a saving, which, it is estimated, will
be ultimately about 40 per cent on the aggregate amount of the salaries at piesent paid. Under the present system each department has an organization to attend to purchasing, and I submit that the number of employees engaged in this work is too large. By bringing them all together, and by not filling vacancies occurring in the process of time the suggested saving of 40 per cent will be accomplished. Therefore, the usual objection of expense in the formation of a new department has no weight in this case, as there will be a decrease and not an increase in the * amount chargeable to civil government. Moreover, in addition to the estimated saving in the payroll, office space, and so forth, a greater economic benefit will result from the obtaining of more advantageous prices because of the fact of centralization.
After careful consideration of conditions prevailing before the war, the salutary effect of the operation of the War Purchasing Commission and' its successors, I am convinced that there is a general difference of 20 per cent in favour of centralized purchasing to the best possible advantage, as against independent departmental purchasing under political patronage.
With this short statement, Mr. Speaker I hope the House will be willing to allow this bill to pass and I will endeavour more fully to explain its value when its second reading comes up.
Motion agreed to.
On motion of Mr. Ward that the bill be read the first time: