May 25, 1939

CON

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LOCKHART:

May I have the information regarding the receipts and the surplus? There has been some criticism in connection with the cost, and I should like to know what the surplus was.

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

The revenues were $329,571 and the expenditures $254,421, so that there is a surplus of $75,149.

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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CON

Norman James Macdonald Lockhart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LOCKHART:

I join with the hon. member for Broadview in his criticism because it has been represented that the fees are high. That is a rather unfair accumulation.

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I have not heard any

criticism, and I ought to hear it, although I am not questioning what my hon. friend says. I shall be glad to consider a possible reduction in the fees, but we want to make sure that the service carries itself.

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CON

Thomas Alfred Thompson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMPSON:

What is the Electricity and Fluid Exportation Act, and why the increase of $18,120?

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Electricity is supposed to

be a fluid. The increase is to take care of additional inspectors' salaries, travelling expenses, equipment, et cetera.

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CON
LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Yes. If there are more

inspectors, it means increased revenue. They are doing more work.

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Item agreed to. S80. Motion picture bureau, $150,000.


SC
LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

It is very small, only $18,000, but the expenditure is $74,000.

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SC
CON
LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

There will be some added expenditure owing to the activities we expect the film board to undertake. We are going to make some documentary films, which some hon. -members have urged and which we regard as highly proper. We expect to take over a good deal of the work which in the past has been done by various departments. There was some criticism in one newspaper, writing entirely in ignorance, to the effect that the various departments would continue with the same work they have always done, making their own films. That is exactly what we do not wish to have continued. The film -board has at its disposal an efficient plant for producing pictures, and it is the intention to take over the making of films from various departments. That means an added appropriation. I may say frankly that, with the formation of the film board, it is intended that its activities shall include the making of documentary and educational films. I am of opinion that there is great national work to be done in that direction. I am not intimating that we shall have an enormous increase in expenditures either this year or next year or so long as I am in charge of

Supply-Trade-Motion Pictures

the department, but I do believe that some added expenditure is entirely justified and will return good dividends nationally from the work that will be done. It is intended to make a documentary film, which is a part of the added cost, out of the material gathered in the course of the royal visit. It will make an interesting film comprising pictures taken throughout the country.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

The minister is somewhat of an optimist when he says that other departments will lose their picture-making propensities.

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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

This afternoon he stood blandly in his place while we passed a bill which will substantially duplicate another branch of the department. A few weeks ago we passed bills under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture, one or two of them definitely encroaching upon and duplicating the work of the Department of Trade and Commerce, and here we are voting $150,000, an increase of $61,000, for the picture bureau. As I said when that bill was before us some time ago, the motion picture bureau then in existence was capable of carrying on the work, but we have superimposed upon that organization, at added public expense, two or three high-priced positions-at least they are to be provided for-

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LIB
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

-and I guarantee that next year or the year after,'when we come back, we shall find that very little additional work has been done. I am talking not about the number of reels, but about the official duties discharged. I venture to say that we shall find some departments carrying on subsidiary work which should be under this organization.

Some years ago parliament came to its senses and set up a bureau of statistics and a national research council. Let us take the latter particularly. The national research council took to itself all the scientific work that was being done in a haphazard way by half a dozen different departments. Mark you, Mr. Chairman, it was meant to abolish all duplication and to get rid of the rather inferior method of carrying on the work in the different departments. Parliament established the national research council and splendid laboratories were set up. But what is happening to-day? There is more clandestine scientific work being done by the departments outside the national research council than ever before. It is the old story. Any department or branch of a department

that can develop some little activity within itself, some duty or another which will help to make that branch grow, will do all it can to bring this about so that there will be more employees and the position of the chief will be aggrandized, thus bringing about an increase in salary. That is the whole psychology of the business. I am warning the minister now that by consenting to the invasion of the duties of the Department of Trade and Commerce by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Fisheries, and by setting up this board with increased high salaried personnel, we are wasting public money and duplicating public service. This department over which he presides and the bureau which has been established for some time could have done all this work without that iniquitous bill which we passed a few weeks ago.

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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I do not propose to rehash the arguments I gave on the former occasion, as my hon. friend has done; he has repeated what he said when the bill was before the house. He makes predictions as to what is going to happen. I doubt very much whether he is right. When he speaks of the establishment of a number of high priced technicians he is very wide of the mark. The bill provides for only one additional paid employee. My hon. friend smiles skeptically at that; I can only say, as I think his leader said in connection with another matter, time will tell. The bill is put through in entire good faith, there is no ulterior motive; the whole purpose is to serve the country with a properly equipped film board which will take a wide view, make it its business to serve the country by the promotion of educational films and other activities. Other departments will have no power to act in respect of film making any longer except with the consent of that board. If that board does not do its duty, or if the officials connected with it do not do so, my hon. friend may prove right. My intention is that they shall do their duty, and it is my intention and that of the government to see that the men on that board are capable, qualified and earnest in doing the work they are supposed to do. If they are not, I shall be quite willing to abolish the board. In the meantime I believe it is going to do a very useful work.

Topic:   TRADE AND COMMERCE
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May 25, 1939