March 14, 1939

CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

It might be allowed to stand.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Yes.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Has it been decided that an industrialist is to be chairman of the board?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

Not necessarily.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Then the amendment would be entirely out of order, because it refers to an industrialist.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

Just wait until I have finished, please. The last line contains these words: [DOT]

[DOT] .* .be an officer, or a director, of any industrial corporation or company.

Why does it not go further and say a member of any legal firm or any other firm?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

He might be a lawyer and an industrialist.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I shall be glad to give consideration to the point raised by my hon. friend.

Subsection 4 stands.

On section 3, subsection 5-Salary of chairman.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

Could the minister give us any idea what salary it is intended the chairman of this board should receive?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

The government has given no consideration at all to that point.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I should like it very much if the government, which the Prime Minister says has been considering this question for so long, would give the committee something in the way of a general idea as to what they think of the board, as to what kind of board they are going to appoint. I do not think we should be asked to pass this bill without being given some information along those lines. A day or two ago the Prime Minister said the government had been giving consideration to this matter long before the Bren gun contract. Well, the Bren gun contract was given a year and a half ago, so the Prime Minister and the government have had a great deal of time to think over this matter.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I did not say before the Bren gun contract was given; I said before there was any suggestion of an inquiry into the Bren gun contract.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

Well, even that takes us

back to last October, or earlier than that.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

September.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

That is six months ago

now. Surely the government can give us some idea as to what they have in mind. I am asking this for information, not to embarrass the government. It seems to me they

Defence Purchasing Board

must have some idea in regard to the type of people who are to make up this board. Someone asks if the chairman is going to be an industrialist, and it strikes me that he almost has to be an industrialist. He must be someone of that sort, or a corporation lawyer who has been dealing with contracts. It seems to me he is more likely to be an industrialist, with wide experience in manufacturing. Then, in regard to the other three members of the board, surely we should have some information before this section carries.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

If this bill is a direct

result of the recommendation of Mr. Justice Davis, or if that recommendation had something to do with this bill having been brought in, I would remind the minister that Mr. Justice Davis made in his report a specific recommendation that the board should include a corporation lawyer, a representative of labour, and so on. Would the government say that they are thinking of carrying out this recommendation?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

My hon. friend will find that the type of committee recommended by Mr. Justice Davis is entirely different from the purchasing board suggested in this recommendation. If the hon. member will read the report, at page 51 he will find that Mr. Justice Davis recommended a purely advisory committee, whereas this board has definite executive authority. So in that regard the two proposals are quite different.

With reference to the question of the leader of the opposition, I can only repeat that it will be the desire of the government to have some very prominent Canadian citizen, some industrialist or business man, someone with definite experience along the lines of purchasing, at the head of this organization. Who he is to be I do not know, any more than anyone else knows. But I would suggest that the whole success of this purchasing board will depend upon the personality, ability and integrity of its chairman. In regard to the other three members, as I said before no occupational qualification has been laid down, although something was said along this line in the report. I think the others mentioned in the report were a commercial lawyer, an accountant and perhaps a representative of labour, to assist the chairman. However, as yet no definite decision has been made with regard to these occupational qualifications.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

May I point out, Mr. Chairman, that I was not so far wrong when I said the Prime Minister spoke of a body such as this having been considered by the

government before the Bren gun contract inquiry. I will quote what the right hon. gentleman said on March 10, in reply to myself:

Let me say to my hon. friend that before the commission under Mr. Justice Davis was appointed, the government had decided to bring in a bill along the lines of that being brought in to-day.

Let me say further that during the last two years my hon. friend the Minister of National Defence and I have had frequent talks together about this very difficult and complicated matter in relation to existing situations of how far it was wise to go in the opening up of arsenals, the letting of war contracts by tender, and with respect to other matters connected with his department; and repeatedly the Minister of National Defence himself has pointed out that he would welcome having some body independent of the Department of National Defence altogether review the contracts of that department so as to ensure that there would be no opportunity for any kind of profiteering or improper dealing with respect to any of them. It was at the instance of the minister and as a result of the talks he had with me as Prime Minister that in the first instance I appointed the Skelton committee-

The Prime Minister goes back two years, so I was not very far wrong when I said the right hon. gentleman certainly implied that this step had been under consideration by the government since long before the Bren gun contract was let. Of course the Prime Minister has left the back-door open; there is a little bit of doubt as to whether or not he was talking about this board. But, as a matter of fact, that is pretty clear. I thought I met it when I made the remark that the Prime Minister certainly implied to this house four days ago that for two years at any rate they have been discussing this very board.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I say to my hon. friend I cannot understand the smallness of his arguments in some of these matters. He seems more concerned in seeking to find a meaning for words which had never been given to them, or intended, than he does to discuss legislation intelligently. If he thinks his last remark with reference to what I said bears out the truth of anything he has said before, he is perfectly welcome so to construe it. But I can assure him that any impartial reader of Hansard will see that what I have said was quite correct.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OP DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
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March 14, 1939