March 16, 1939

CON

Joseph Henry Harris

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. H. HARRIS (Danforth):

Mr. . Speaker, I think I was on my feet just as fast as you were. Now that hon. members have decided to come to Toronto, may I on behalf of the city of Toronto issue a royal welcome? I do not know of any other place in Canada where you can spend two or three weeks on a Sunday afternoon any better than you can in the city of Toronto.

To get back to the main motion: Among other things, hon. members will have to consider a plant and the production of machine guns. It has been my pleasure to have known this Inglis organization for some thirty years. Many thousands of dollars' worth of machinery have come from that plant, but perhaps I am not in order in discussing it now that that portion of the resolution has been disposed of. I want to leave this one thought with hon. members of this house. If they will look around this chamber and take away all the frills we have here, they will have before them a room of about the size of the plant they are to visit. There will be a large crane in operation lifting up pieces of machinery; but they must realize that such a plant is not at all suitable for the particular job of work covered by this contract. Hence the necessity of building another plant with low ceilings to accommodate shafting, pulleys and what-not to operate the lathes, and so on, for the production of the precision machine covered by the contract.

It is only my purpose to speak for another thirty seconds or so, but before I take my seat let me say: Come up and see us some time. I have three little booklets which tell a whole lot about the city of Toronto, and I hope that you all have a pleasant time when you do come up to see us.

Motion (Mr. Fraser) agreed to on division.

Topic:   PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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DAIRY INDUSTRY ACT

AMENDMENT TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF THE WORD " BUTTER " TO DESIGNATE CERTAIN PRODUCTS


Mr. J. H. LECLERC (Shefford) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 44, to amend the Dairy Industry Act.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

Topic:   DAIRY INDUSTRY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF THE WORD " BUTTER " TO DESIGNATE CERTAIN PRODUCTS
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LIB

Joseph-Hermas Leclerc

Liberal

Mr. LECLERC:

Mr. Speaker, the object of this bill is to prohibit the use of the word " butter," to the detriment of our producers, in the sale of products which are not butter- for example, peanut "butter."

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   DAIRY INDUSTRY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF THE WORD " BUTTER " TO DESIGNATE CERTAIN PRODUCTS
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PRIVATE BILLS

SENATE BILLS-FIRST READINGS


Bill No. 41, for the relief of Edythe Marjorie Burke Atkinson.-Mr. Heaps. Bill No. 42, for the relief of Marie Louise Rossetti Di Rosa.-Mr. Macdonald (Brantford city).


QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS


st. Helen's island, Montreal, sand deliveries


CADET SERVICES, EXPENDITURES

LIB

Joseph Léon Vital Mallette

Liberal

Mr. MALLETTE:

What amount has been expended by the government on cadet services, per province, for the financial years ending March 31, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938, respectively?

National Defence

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CADET SERVICES, EXPENDITURES
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CAPE BRETON, N.S., GOVERNMENT AIRPORT

CON

Mr. BROOKS:

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Is the government constructing an airport in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia?

2. If so, where is it located, and what are the dimensions and probable cost of same when finished ?

3. From whom was the land purchased, and what price was paid for it?

4. Was any of the land secured from the provincial government of Nova Scotia?

5. If so, how much?

6. What was the price paid therefor?

7. What is the name of the broker or agent who arranged the transfer, and price paid for services, including fees ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   CAPE BRETON, N.S., GOVERNMENT AIRPORT
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NATIONAL DEFENCE


On the orders of the day:


LIB

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

Liberal

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

Yesterday the hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil) asked me this question:

Has the Air Defence Council of Canada communicated with the Prime Minister requesting the resignation of the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Mackenzie) because of unsatisfactory conditions with regard to air defence, as reported in the Winnipeg Free Press of March 10, in a news dispatch over the signature of Major Moore?

I replied at the time that I did not think the question was one to be asked on the orders of the day, but I said that I was not aware of any communication of the kind having been received, which was correct at the time. I have since sought to find out if any communication at all had come to my office, and I find that none has come.

I have also had opportunity for the first time since the question was asked to see the article itself. It invades to such an extent the privileges of this house that I think 1 should say a word with respect to it.

I also have received, wholly unsolicited, telegrams from members of the advisory air council, who are the parties referred to in the article. I think it is right that they should be put on record in answering the question of the hon. member for Vancouver North.

Let me first of all correct his designation of the particular council. He called it the Air Defence Council of Canada. It is the Advisory Air Council, and is so referred to in the article of which he made mention. The 71492-124-1

article appears in the Winnipeg Free Press of March 11 last, and is headed thus: ''Stultified?" Then there is a subhead reading: Advisory Air Council Reported Dissatisfied with Administration.

By Harold Moore.

The article is as follows:

Montreal, March 10 (Special).-It has long been common knowledge that the air defence council of Canada has been gravely concerned over conditions in the department of defence, and the council is now understood to have communicated to the prime minister its recommendation that the Hon. Ian Mackenzie be requested to resign as minister of defence.

The air defence council was appointed more than a year ago by the minister as an advisory body to see that Canada was being provided with adequate air defence. Its well known members have had outstanding experience in military aviation. By their steady application to a difficult task, they inspired in the public some confidence that proper measures are being adopted to give Canada air defence, and raised the hope that a lamentable situation would be corrected. The creation of the council and the selection of its members were offered by the minister himself as an assurance that progress in air defence would be made and that dubious practices in awarded contracts would not be tolerated.

These assurances were felt to be justified by the personnel of a council which includes: Hon. Air Marshal W. A. Bishop. Montreal; Hon. Air Commodore Redford H. Mulock. Montreal; Squadron-Leader A. D. Bell-Irving, Vancouver; Capt. H. J. Burden, Toronto; Squadron-Leader F. C. McGill, Westmount, P.Q.

The air defence council has not concealed that it met with many obstacles put in its way, and it is claimed to have despaired some time ago of being able to do anything effective so long as the present minister of defence insisted on sustaining elements blocking progress and seeming to countenance practices that have aroused disturbing convictions and suspicions.

Some members of the air defence council have candidly admitted that the situation confronting the council is baffling and unendurable, and they have not concealed their personal disgust and have at times individually threatened to resign.

The views held by the air defence council are no longer any secret, and must be the basis of any communication the council is said to have addressed confidentially to the prime minister. The only inference that can be drawn from that action is that, either the minister of defence and what he stands for must go, or else the air defence council should resign. The council has striven sincerely to do a good job of work, but its members cannot afford to submit to being thwarted by obstacles raised officially and sometimes unofficially.

Then there are some other paragraphs of lesser importance, and the article concludes with the following paragraph:

The air defence council makes no attempt to conceal its condemnation of the hopeless muddle it has discovered.

National Defence

The house will observe that this is a direct statement; it is not an assumption or allegation, but a direct statement. The article continues:

It is freely known to be dissatisfied with an administration at the top that is steadily ruining the fine quality found in most of the junior members of the R.C.A.F. It disparages without having the power to correct favouritism. It is said to demand a clean sweep to permit a thorough reorganization. Its disapproval of very much that has come under its purview is frank and unrestrained. Whether this has been conveyed confidentially to the prime minister may never he revealed, but the council's disapprobation of the present whole administration of the air branch of the department of defence is no secret.

I need not repeat that nothing of any kind such as is suggested in that article has ever reached me from any source whatever. I wish, however, to answer the article by telegrams which have come to me yesterday and to-day from the members of the advisory' air council. Let me repeat the reference in the article to the personnel of the council:

Its well known members have had outstanding experience in military aviation. . . . These assurances were felt to be justified by the personnel of a council which includes:

Then the names are mentioned.

Wholly unsolicited, I received late in the day yesterday the following telegram from Air Vice-Marshal W. A. Bishop, V.C., a name than which there is none more honoured in this country;

Montreal, Que.,

15 March, 1939.

Rt. Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King,

Prime Minister, Ottawa, Ont.

With reference to the questions asked you in the House of Commons this afternoon quoting the Winnipeg Free Press of March tenth last about alleged recommendations of the honorary air advisory committee as to the resignation of the Minister of National Defence or any other person in his department, they are not only absolutely false but entirely ridiculous. As a member of the committee I state with assurance that we are unanimously and strongly n support of the minister's actions and policy ind are confident that everything possible that can be done with the means at his disposal is being most efficiently done.

W. A. Bishop,

Vice Air-Marshal.

Then from Vancouver, British Columbia, I received another telegram, dated March 15, it was from Wing-Commander A. D. Bell-Irving:

Rt. Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King,

Prime Minister, Ottawa, Ont.

Having read article in Winnipeg Free Press of tenth instant relating to air advisory committee and Honourable Minister of National Defence I wish to assure you that as far as

I know the minister has the unqualified support of air advisory committee. Naturally committee hopes that further urgently necessary progress may soon be made in developing this service but report that committee has requested minister's resignation or even contemplated doing so is false and entirely without foundation in fact.

A. D. Bell-Irving,

Wing Commander.

Then from Montreal, also dated March 15, I received the following telegram from Wing Commander F. S. McGill:

Rt. Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King,

Prime Minister, Ottawa, Ont.

The article which appears in the Winnipeg Free Press under date March tenth 1939 stating that the members of the honorary advisory committee for airports matters were dissatisfied with the Minister of National Defence and demanding his resignation has just been brought to my attention. It is hard to understand how a paper of this standing would publish such a false statement without verifying its authenticity and I feel in all fairness to the members of our committee they should at least be forced to retract. We have always found the Minister of National Defence anxious and willing to cooperate and we feel he is the right man in the right place. There is no truth in the report that we asked for the resignation of the said honourable minister.

F. S. McGill,

Wing Commander.

This morning I received the following wire from Air Commodore R. H. Mulock. It is from Montreal:

Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King,

Prime Minister, Ottawa, Ont.

I understand questions were asked in the House of Commons re an article appearing in the Winnipeg Free Press on March tenth. This article insinuates or states that I have criticized the Minister of National Defence and his policies to you. This is absolutely false and contemptible.

R. H. Mulock,

Air Commodore.

There is one other telegram. It is dated Toronto, Ontario, March 16, and was received to-day:

Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King,

Prime Minister, Ottawa. *

Sir: The article in Winnipeg Free Press March tenth stating honorary air advisory committee is dissatisfied with Minister of National Defence is a falsehood and a reflection on our committee. The author and publisher should be severely dealt with for making statements without confirming them beforehand. Our committee is in complete accord with the Minister of National Defence both as to his policy and action. He has kept us informed of all matters pertaining to our service and rendered us every assistance. I speak for myself and the members of the committee when I say that we have nothing but the highest regard for the Honourable Ian Mackenzie.

H. J. Burden.

Defence Purchasing Board

Mr. Burden is a captain in the air force. The five persons from whom these telegrams have been received comprise the complete membership of the Air Advisory Committee. This record speaks for itself.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   REPORTED REQUEST OF ADVISORY AIR COUNCIL FOR RESIGNATION OF MINISTER-STATEMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER
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NATIONAL FILM BOARD


Hon. W. D. EULER (Minister of Trade and Commerce) moved the third reading of Bill No. 35, to create a national film board. Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.


March 16, 1939