May 7, 1929

REPORT OF COMMITTEE


Seventh report of the select standing committee on miscellaneous private bills.-Mr. Parent.


PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE


Mr. S. W. JACOBS (Cartier) presented the third report of the select standing committee on public accounts, requesting that the committee be given leave to sit while the house is in session. He said: With the unanimous consent of the house, Mr. Speaker, I move that the report just presented be concurred in.


LIB

PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS-SENATE BILLS


Bill No. 177, for the relief of Claude Frederick Burgin.-Mr. Geary (for Mr. Lennox) . Bill No. 181, for the relief of Mary Addie Linton.-Mr. Geary (for Mr. Lennox). Bill No. 188, for the relief of Marie Rose Beffre Baer.-Mr. Arthurs. Bill No. 195, for the relief of Jeanie Mathieson Howell.-Mr. Hepburn (for Mr. Ediwards, Ottawa). Bill No. 199, for the relief of Gordon Asher True.-Mr. Hepburn (for Mr. Edwards, Ottawa). Bill No. 201, for the relief of Ethel Evelyn Farrow.-Mr. Geary (for Mr. Lennox). Bill No. 210, for the relief of John Alfred Neary.-Mr. Geaiy (for Mr. Lennox). Bill No. 211, for the relief of Charles Storey. -Mr. Geary (for Mr. Lennox). PEACE RIVER RAILWAY OUTLET On the orders of the day:


UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. D. M. KENNEDY (Peace River):

I should like to ask the Minister of Railways if in the near future he can table the report of the engineers who made various surveys last year of the passes between the Peace River country and the Pacific coast; also the correspondence between the government and the Canadian National Railways in connection with the Edmonton, Dunvegan and

British Columbia railway; also the correspondence in connection with the Pacific Great Eastern railway, for which an order passed the house some time ago.

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways): Mr. Speaker, I will have these various returns checked up. In connection with one of them, about which my hon. friend spoke to me the other day, that is, the correspondence with respect to the acquisition of the Northern Alberta Railway by the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National, I am advised that the delay arises through certain correspondence between the presidents of the two railways having been marked " personal " and the necessary permission required to produce it. I do not think there will be any difficulty; it will be merely a matter of delay. In connection with the others, I will have the necessary inquiries made.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   FIRST READINGS-SENATE BILLS
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CANADA'S GOLD RESERVE


On the orders of the day:


LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, is the Minister of Finance in a position to throw any light upon the state of our gold reserve?

Topic:   CANADA'S GOLD RESERVE
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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. ROBB (Minister of Finance):

No, I have not had any report from the department yet. I can assure my hon. friend that we are quite safe.

Mr. MoLEAN (Melfort): I presume there will be enough to provide for the indemnity of the hon. gentleman who has inquired so often recently in regard to our gold reserve.

Topic:   CANADA'S GOLD RESERVE
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WAR MEMORIALS BUILDING


On the orders of the day:


CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY (Argenteuil):

May I ask the Prime Minister if anything has been done in the way of providing a building for the housing and caring of our war memorials? The matter was up last session. As I explained at the time, Canada has a wonderful collection of war memorials, in fact I think a collection larger and more important than that possessed by any other country. The Prime Minister then said:

Up to the present time we have felt that there were other demands more imperative than the demand for a building for the purpose of housing these works of art. I think, however, we must not lose sight of the fact that the collection is a national possession, a very valuable possession, and one which as speedily as possible should be properly housed.

International Peace-Optional Clause

I must say, Mr. Speaker, that I have been much disappointed to find no provision in the estimates for a building for this purpose. The government seems to be able to spend a lot of money for other buildings in Ottawa. It strikes me that a building to house our war memorials is more necessary than some other buildings for which provision is being made. I wish the Prime Minister would be good enough to tell us when he will be able to do something towards providing a suitable building. x

Topic:   WAR MEMORIALS BUILDING
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, as my hon. friend has just said, our collection of national war memorial paintings is without doubt one of the finest that any country possesses, and certainly, I assume, the best collection anywhere of paintings in relation to the recent war. After my hon. friend brought the matter up last session the government did carefully look into the question of the housing of the paintings. We found, as has been represented by my hon. friend, that they were stored, in considerable part, in what is now the basement of the National Museum and Art Gallery. We also discovered that it was not a suitable place for storage, and that it was necessary, if the paintings were to be properly preserved, that they should be stored in a dry atmosphere and in a better environment generally. The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Elliott) and his officers went carefully into the available accommodation in the city and were fortunate in being able to obtain some space in a part of the large Auditorium building. This part the government has leased for storing the paintings. The building is suited admirably for the purpose. It is fireproof, it has a southern exposure, is quite dry, and an even temperature can be readily maintained. From what the director of the art gallery says, I believe it will serve to keep the pictures in perfect condition. So much for the storage. _ _

As for the exhibition of the paintings, that is another matter. Up to the present time the government has not felt it would be justified in asking parliament to appropriate money for an art gallery. There are many public buildings urgently needed. One of them was referred to by the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) only a day or two ago-a building for the Supreme Court of Canada. There are other buildings necessary for departmental purposes, and we feel

we should consider meeting these requirements before undertaking a building for the exhibition of paintings. However, personally, I am not without hope that some public-spirited citizen will be found who one of these days will present the country with a national art gallery.

Topic:   WAR MEMORIALS BUILDING
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INTERNATIONAL PEACE

OPTIONAL CLAUSE-PERMANENT COURT OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE


Miss AGNES C. MACPHAIL (Southeast Grey): Mr. Speaker, in this morning's Citizen the Prime Minister is reported as saying that Canada will not sign the optional clause until the mother country and the other dominions are ready to do so. I should like to know if he is correctly reported?


May 7, 1929