March 16, 1939

LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

I am glad of that. But when a man stands in his place in this house and says, "I will not agree with a majority of the committee; I will not agree with a majority of this house; I will stand alone; I refuse to go," he is bringing to this house something that at least borders on that from which the world is suffering so much to-day, namely the dictatorship of fascism.

Topic:   PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Sit down.

Topic:   PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
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CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

I would ask the hon. member to withdraw the reference to myself with regard to fascism.

Topic:   PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

Oh, no, Mr. Speaker; I

did not accuse the hon. gentleman of being a fascist. I said that in my humble opinion his attitude bordered dangerously upon that from which the world is suffering to-day; because as I understand fascism, it is the dictatorship of one individual who declares his will against that of all others.

We have been told that these expenditures of public money are unnecessary. Well, I think an examination of the plant will give us direct information in regard to what must be done in order to bring into production an instrument or arm of defence such as the Bren gun. There are two other phases of this inquiry by the public accounts committee which I think are important. One is that the instigator of this whole investigation, Colonel Drew, has declared that this plant should be closed; and the leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) has asked this house to cancel the contract. If we are to close the plant or cancel the contract, or consider whether or not we should do so-and' these are issues that are definitely presented to the public of Canada for consideration to-day- surely we should go and look at what we are going to close and understand what we are going to cancel.

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CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

You will never close it.

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LIB
LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

I am inclined to think my hon. friend will suffer from that difficulty in connection with a great many phases of the activities of the committee.

Mr. MaeINNIS: This is the dictatorship complex coming out now. Let me tell my hon. friend that at the moment he is not in the city council of Vancouver.

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LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

We appointed a steering

committee. That steering committee met. The hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. MacNeil) is a member of that committee, and I am sure he will agree that I am stating the general idea of that steering committee, which was agreed upon this morning and which will be reported to the general committee to-morrow morning.

Mr. MaeINNIS: Then we will decide tomorrow morning.

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SC

James Alexander Marshall

Social Credit

Mr. MARSHALL:

I should like to ask the hon. gentleman whether all members of the steering committee were notified of this meeting which was held this morning.

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LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

All were notified and a

majority were present.

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SC

James Alexander Marshall

Social Credit

Mr. MARSHALL:

I understand that I am a member of that committee, and I want to state positively on the floor of this house that I received no notification of the meeting.

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LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

There is another feature

of this expense problem. Any member of that committee who does not think public money should be expended on this trip does not need to file a bill of expense; so that the total expense-and I think I can speak for the Liberal members of that committee-will depend upon the bills filed by the members of the committee from other parties in this house. There will be no expense as far as this side of the house is concerned.

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LIB
LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

Anyone who would suggest a joy ride to Toronto at this time of the year has a strange conception of what a joy ride ought to be.

I do not want to prolong the debate,'which has continued much too long, but the events which are occurring to-day in Europe should

cause members of this house and the members of the committee to recognize a sense of responsibility, which every Canadian should realize is involved in every feature of our defence program. The time has come when the defence of Canada, as part of the British empire and one of the democracies of the world, should rise above the partisan desires and political ambitions of men who would sacrifice defence in the hope of gaining party . advantage. With regard to what has been said about the expense of this proposed trip of the committee to Toronto, let me ask hon. members of the house: What about the loss the Dominion of Canada has suffered as a result of the tactics of the instigators of this inquiry?

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

And the Bren gun.

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LIB

Gerald Grattan McGeer

Liberal

Mr. McGEER:

My hon. friends complain

about the S400 expense to go to examine what is admitted to be an investment of

5840.000. an investment which is to produce arms which are essential for the defence of Canada. But this investigation and the manner in which it has been conducted has probably cost the workmen of Canada some

550.000. 000 in war contracts which would go for the defence of the British empire.

Topic:   PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. The hon. member is getting away from the subject matter of the debate.

Topic:   PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
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SC

John Charles Landeryou

Social Credit

Mr. LANDERYOU:

Getting away? -he

has gone.

Topic:   PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
Subtopic:   MOTION FOB CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT
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March 16, 1939