March 14, 1939

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

He referred to the Lindsay arsenal in specific terms.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Exactly, and pointed out that we could not use it.

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 Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Let my hon. friend quote correctly from the minister's speech-and not misquote.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

I will read what the minister said in that regard. I quote from page 1758 of Hansard:

Just a comment or two on these findings.

He was referring to the findings of the interdepartmental committee presided over by Doctor Skelton.

As suggested in No. 1, the government is making the maximum use of its own arsenal plants. I say that deliberately. The advice given me by the officials of the Department qf National Defence and by the highest ranking officers, those who are in favour of the principle of public ownership, in regard to the development of the Lindsay arsenal is that until we proceed with the filling group and the ammunition group at Valcartier, until we have made Quebec available, we should not proceed with the development of the Lindsay arsenal as planned for the manufacture of small arms ammunition. It must be kept in reserve. However, since this government came into office the production of our necessities at the arsenals at Quebec and Valcartier has been increased by four, six or seven times. We have made a modest beginning at the arsenal at Lindsay and it is my fervent desire that as soon as possible we should proceed with the further development of the facilities at Lindsay.

Let me now return to what I was pointing out.

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 Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

The hon. member will find it rather difficult.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Here we have provision for a board for the purchasing of armaments. There can be no denial of that. Here is the machinery being set up-a commissioner with three others; provision made whereby they can either call for tenders or have a selected list; a requisition is received from the Minister of National Defence; they arrange a contract; that contract goes to the Minister of Finance; if he approves it is referred to the governor in council, and if they approve it is signed. Now, however much the government may not like it, the fact remains that here is a board for purchasing armaments.

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 ask my hon. friend this question, so that we can get the point perfectly clear? Do I understand he is arguing that, for example, aeroplanes which are required, which are part of the defence equipment, should be made in government workshops; or that searchlights, which are part of the equipment for the defence department, should be made in government workshops? Unless he is arguing that all the equipment and supplies must be manufactured in government workshops, I say that where matters such as these are concerned the government should have a board of this kind if it wishes to control contracts.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

There is no need for me to start telling the government what could be manufactured under public-ownership and what could be manufactured privately. The fact is that things other than aeroplanes and searchlights and equipment of

Defence Purchasing Board

the kind mentioned by the Prime Minister are being manufactured and have been manufactured by private concerns.

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:

Why, certainly.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Bren machine guns, and shells, are being manufactured now by private manufacturers for the government under contract, and nothing was said the other day by the minister to indicate that that policy is to be changed. On the contrary, every indication is that it will be continued. If the Prime Minister says it is not so, I shall be only too pleased to hear it.

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 make the government's policy clear now, so there may be no doubt about it? The government does not propose, with regard to the provision of arms and equipment, to have them manufactured wholly under private industry, nor does it propose to have them manufactured wholly under public ownership. It proposes to distribute the work between the two in the light of the best advice it can obtain as to what would be most in the public interest.

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:

Hear, hear.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

I am very

glad, Mr. Speaker, that some hon. gentlemen opposite can find satisfaction in that statement. I cannot find any satisfaction in it.

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 Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Well, we don't wonder at that.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

It is said that some will be manufactured privately and some under public ownership, in the light of the circumstances, but according to the government the circumstances lately have been such that the bulk have gone to private manufacturers Nothing has been said by the government to indicate that that trend will be reversed, and in view of the increased expenditures expected it would appear that policy will be not only continued but accentuated.

The Minister of National Defence said the other day that one of the greatest arguments against state manufacture was the cost. I have already read the passage in which it is stated that the capital cost of constructing and equipping the additional plants advocated would amount to between thirty and thirty-five million dollars. But in respect of at least two contracts the government is buying the machinery in order to have the munitions manufactured by private concerns. Would it cost any more to buy machinery and have the government manufacture the munitions than for the government to buy the machinery and let private concerns manufacture them? We have three arsenals, and I do not think anybody has suggested that they are working to full capacity. There are railroad shops across Canada which could be utilized for this purpose. Even though it should cost more- and I believe that point is debatable-the confidence created in the minds of the Canadian people would more than make up for any cost which would be involved, to say nothing of the fact that, as I see it, labour conditions among the men employed in government-owned factories manufacturing war materials would be much better than in some factories which will receive contracts through this purchasing board. So I say that no good reason has yet been shown by the Minister of National Defence or by the Prime Minister why these armaments should be secured by purchase from private manufacturers.

May I take a moment or two to point out to the government the price we are going to pay for not having state manufacture of armaments? By the giving of these contracts to private manufacturers we are helping to build up the armaments industiy in this country. We are helping to build up another link in that chain of armament racketeers which now extends around the world because of the blood money they made in the last war, because of the tremendous profits they are making to-day in almost every country- interests which have had a large part to play in the bringing about of international discontent, suspicion and distrust. Sometimes I am alarmed when I look at the figures and realize that Canada is rapidly becoming a munitions dump for the world. We passed in this house a bill to limit the-

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:

"Munitions

dump." What does my hon. friend mean by that?

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Mr. Speaker, it is a military term. A munitions dump is usually a place where they keep large supplies of munitions. I will use the word "arsenal" if the Prime Minister prefers it. I used a term commonly employed; if it is not a parliamentary term I shall very gladly replace it with a more suitable term.

I have here something else from the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, namely the exports of military planes from this country. What do I find? We have heard a great deal recently about the defencelessness of Great Britain and the need to assist her. But I notice that last year, whereas Canadian firms manufacturing military planes and parts exported to Great Britain about $86,000 worth, we exported to Turkey, for instance about $2,000,000 worth.

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 Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Of what?

Defence Purchasing Board

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

Military

planes and parts.

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 Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Military planes?

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