September 11, 1939

CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

Might I ask if the expense of these commissioners will come out of this appropriation?

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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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:

That is what I was intimating, yes.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

Although we have a sincere desire to cooperate with the government in passing legislation, if I correctly interpret the provisions of this section we feel that the government is going pretty far in expecting cooperation with regard to the provisions of this section and that we must make a protest in connection therewith. I read the first part of section 7:

War Appropriation Bill

The Minister of Finance shall make a report to_ the House of Commons on or before the thirtieth day of June, 1940, or if parliament is not then in session, within the first fifteen days of the next session-

What is the "next session"? That is the next session after the thirtieth day of June, 1940. To illustrate my point, let me assume that a general session of this parliament was convened on the twelfth of next January and prorogued on June 29, 1940; this house would have no report with respect to this vast expenditure of money, under this bill, until the next session after that came along in the ordinary course of events, in 1941. This in turn would mean that, unless this parliament through the exigencies of war or something of that kind extended its own life, we would have no knowledge under this measure as to how this money was spent or what contracts were let or anything else until after there was a general election in this country. I find it. difficult to believe that such is the intention of the government. If it is, I desire to protest against it. I think that provision should be amended so that a report will be brought down within fifteen or thirty days, or whenever the government deems advisable, after the convening of the next session of parliament.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

The appropriation is for the fiscal year which ends March 31, 1940, and the books are not really closed-it is not possible to close them-until some time after that. For instance, during the month of April expenditures may be charged to the previous fiscal year. So it was thought necessary to give May and June for getting the report of the Minister of Finance ready for presentation to parliament. Therefore it was provided that he should make that report on or before the ^ end of June if parliament were then in session; if parliament were not then in session he would have to make it at the earliest opportunity, which would be the beginning of the next session of parliament.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

1941.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Which would be 1941. The expenditures are, of course, subject to the usual audit and so forth, but we must remember here that we are talking about a vote for the fiscal year ending March 31. Therefore I do not think we should be called upon necessarily to present the report to the house before the end of the fiscal year, and this is the earliest reasonable opportunity that the report could be presented after the end of the fiscal year.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

I submit that the reasons given by the minister are not tenable in the circumstances of this case, and I will try

[Mr. Lawson.l

briefly to state why. In the first place, the government is asking for an extraordinary sum of money for an extraordinary purpose and under extraordinary conditions, when we are being given practically no details as to how this money is to be spent. By reason of these conditions we are quite willing to give this blanket power and authority to the government.

But the very section in itself belies any necessity that the fiscal year must end and the payments must be made, because if the minister will look at paragraph (b), he will see that the intention is to bring down, not only particulars of "the moneys expended under the authority of this act," but-

(b) all known financial commitments which have been entered into but which have not come for payment before the first day of May, 1940.

I suggest to the government that, in view of the wide powers granted by this legislation, and in view of the fact that this money is going to be expended in large part for the purchase of supplies and so forth, the government would be most anxious to bring down a report, even if it were only a temporary one, at as early a date as could reasonably be expected after the opening of the next session, at least a report in conformity with paragraph

(b) of section 7 of this bill. I therefore suggest that the section might have its whole intention changed so as to meet the views I have suggested, if the words after the word "or" in line 20, namely the words "if parliament is not then in session," were omitted.

I see where that also might leave the matter open to misconstruction. Would this meet the purpose?

Within fifteen days of the next session of parliament and in no event later than June 30, 1940, the Minister of Finance shall make a report to the House of Commons.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

That would be more in the nature of an interim report, and I do not think I am prepared to agree to that. This house has full powers , of moving for returns and getting all necessary information in the usual way. I have before me the act that was passed in 1914, and there was in it no provision of any kind whatsoever for making a report to parliament.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

It would be better iff the minister left the provision as in 1914.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CON

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HOMUTH:

Supposing we let it go

as it is, and we ask for returns and are told that it is not in the public interest to give such returns, where would we be then? In order to keep the confidence of the people in what is being done I think we ought to have a report.

War Appropriation Bill

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I am content to strike the

section out if that is the wish of the committee.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I think it would be far

better with the section struck out than as it is. In all probability the House of Commons will meet, say in January. If I may judge from the experience in the last war, that session will probably not last as long as ordinarily, which means it might last a couple of months, as did the session following the special session in the last war. If this provision is left as it is, it would mean that June 30 is the earliest date for a report, and the House of Commons would probably be prorogued or dissolved before that date. I think it would be far better to leave the clause out altogether, as in 1914.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I move the deletion of the

clause. It was merely put in to give the house some check on us.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

We have the same check;

we can ask for returns.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I do not think the minister

can move that. He should ask one of his colleagues.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Secretary of State of Canada; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

I move

that clause 7 be struck out.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink

Motion agreed to. On section 8-Publication of orders and regulations.


LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I shall ask one of my colleagues to move that this clause be struck out. At the time the bill was printed it was thought that publicity for all the orders and regulations made under the authority of this measure would be desirable. But upon consideration it is quite clear that it might be very dangerous to have a provision of this kind in the bill, because it is likely that some orders and regulations made under it should not be made public. Therefore my colleague the Minister of Transport will move that this section be deleted.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I so move.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I can quite understand that there may be regulations made to give effect to the provisions of this bill, for instance under section 2, subsection 1 (b) for "the conduct of naval, military and air operations in or beyond Canada"-many regulations may be made which it is not expedient to publish in the Canada Gazette. But certainly regulations which have the force of law and which come into effect in Canada should be published in the Canada Gazette in order that Canadians

here may know what the law is so that they will not inadvertently break the regulations or infringe the law.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Permalink

September 11, 1939