When I deal with any
resolution of this house I do not need to go to the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard or anyone else to ask what it is. This resolution speaks for itself. Certainly some of our party got up in the committee and objected on account of the expense. I do not know what the others did. I object on account of the expense-not that it would amount to very much; members of parliament have their passes, so that their expense accounts would not be very large. I submit that if any hon. member wants to visit that plant on Saturday morning he should pay his own way. I do not think this country should have to pay one dollar of expense for a futile visit of this kind. I certainly hope that none of the members behind me will take advantage of this motion to the extent of even one dollar for expenses in connection with this trip. I say this, which is really all I have to say: The whole proposal to visit this plant is ridiculous.
Public Accounts Committee Report
I tried to think out what the purpose of this visit to Toronto could be, and the only conclusion I could come to was that it was a sort of smoke screen, to enable the committee to go up there and then come back and say: "Here is a fine industrial plant." Nobody questions that; I do not know whether it is or not, but I do not question that. It has no bearing at all on the Bren gun debate, which had nothing to do with the plant as it exists to-day. The debate had reference to the plant which was taken over by Major Hahn. It was a boiler plant at that time, and had been closed down-a plant which was not fit at the time the contract was let to produce munitions, as compared with other precision steel plants throughout the dominion which might have been in much better shape to produce the Bren gun. The past debate on the Bren gun had nothing whatever to do with the position of the Inglis plant to-day.
Now it is proposed to have this trip to Toronto, by fifty members of parliament, practically none of whom is an industrialist. One or two members may have sufficient engineering ability to judge a little better than the others, but I should think that forty-five out of the fifty members of that committee have had no industrial training to fit them to judge that plant or what it is doing. This whole proposal. I repeat, is not only ridiculous but is an imposition on the Dominion of Canada if one dollar is charged for the trip. I see no reason, by the way, if individual members wish to go to Toronto and look over the plant for their not doing so. It is interesting to see industrial plants, whether you understand them or not, and frankly, I really understand very little about them. But as to the government paying out money for this trip, and as to the trip serving any useful purpose, I say it is simply out of the question, absolutely and entirely.
Subtopic: MOTION FOB CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT