July 10, 1942

LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

On the question which was raised by the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker), I should like to correct a statement which, in the best of faith, I made to the house on a previous occasion. The question arose in a previous debate whether there was some arrangement between the treasury and the Department of Munitions and Supply, or Mr. Bell specifically, about the charging of certain expenses as part of the overhead of companies. I made inquiry at that time from the comptroller of the treasury, who instituted an inquiry himself, and after two conversations with him I was authorized by him to say that no such arrangement had been entered into, or none of which he could get any information.

Morale Building Campaign

Since that time it has turned out that one of the treasury officials did agree that these charges would be a proper charge against the government by the companies and part of their overhead, and that agreement was contained in a letter written by the treasury officer to Mr. Bell.

Mr. DIEFENBAIvER: Well, that letter is not on file either.

Topic:   AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   MORALE-BUILDING CAMPAIGN-REFERENCE TO RETURN TO ORDER OF THE HOUSE TABLED JULY 7
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I would object firmly to the production of that letter because it is an interdepartmental letter, and the reason I am stating this now is that I made a statement inconsistent with it on a previous occasion. It was certainly not my fault, nor was it the fault of the comptroller of the treasury, who made, I am sure, every effort, as I did, to find out exactly what the facts were. I believe I suggested on that occasion that there might have been a general conversation about general principles, because I felt that Mr. Bell would not have made the statement he did in that letter if he did not have something to go on, and I was anxious to ascertain just what there was. It turned out that there was more than a discussion of general principles; there was some communication between Mr. Bell and this somewhat junior treasury officer, with the result that the officer wrote Mr. Bell a letter. I thought that in justice to Mr. Bell, and in correction of what I said before, I ought to state this.

Topic:   AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   MORALE-BUILDING CAMPAIGN-REFERENCE TO RETURN TO ORDER OF THE HOUSE TABLED JULY 7
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I think the minister is quite right in saying that the minister should make that statement in justice to Mr. Bell. But is this house not entitled to the letter from the treasury official to Mr. Bell? I think it is. However, the minister has given the substance of it. The treasury did, rightly or wrongly, concur in this course of action, and the country is going to pay the bill.

Topic:   AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   MORALE-BUILDING CAMPAIGN-REFERENCE TO RETURN TO ORDER OF THE HOUSE TABLED JULY 7
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?

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

Has a junior or a subordinate official the right to commit the government by letter to expenditures? That is a strange thing.

Topic:   AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   MORALE-BUILDING CAMPAIGN-REFERENCE TO RETURN TO ORDER OF THE HOUSE TABLED JULY 7
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I am not just sure of the extent of his authority. But I am informed, and I intimated to the house, that this was probably a proper charge. In the absence of other directions from the Minister of Munitions and Supply, it would be, I think, a proper charge. An hon. member for one of the Toronto constituencies, if I remember correctly, raised that point later in the discussion. A business expenditure for the purpose of increasing production is an expense of production, it is an expense of carrying on business; and that view seems to have

44561-259 !

been taken. On the previous occasion I was not going into the question of the propriety of the charge; I was trying to identify the specific transaction, and I could not, nor could the comptroller of the treasury, find there was any such, until later he found there was.

Topic:   AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   MORALE-BUILDING CAMPAIGN-REFERENCE TO RETURN TO ORDER OF THE HOUSE TABLED JULY 7
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?

Thomas Miller Bell

Mr. COLD WELL:

I was not criticizing the minister personally. I think it is quite proper and courteous of him to make the correction he has made to-day, and we appreciate it. But the point is this: has a junior official the right to commit the department to an expenditure of this description? The minister has answered that question.

Topic:   AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   MORALE-BUILDING CAMPAIGN-REFERENCE TO RETURN TO ORDER OF THE HOUSE TABLED JULY 7
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

I might say that he was not committing the department to an expenditure. To determine whether such an expenditure would be a proper item of cost, the official would look at his general rules. There are very strict rules as to what is, or is not, a legitimate item, and the interpretation given by the junior official recites that that expenditure was a legitimate item. My hon. friend says the public paid the bill. The public did not pay the bill, because, when it was drawn to my attention, I issued instructions that it was not a proper charge to cost.

Topic:   AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   MORALE-BUILDING CAMPAIGN-REFERENCE TO RETURN TO ORDER OF THE HOUSE TABLED JULY 7
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CON

John George Diefenbaker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

And issued an

order in council ratifying everything?

Topic:   AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   MORALE-BUILDING CAMPAIGN-REFERENCE TO RETURN TO ORDER OF THE HOUSE TABLED JULY 7
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

No, the order in council did not ratify anything. If the hon. member will read the order in council he will find that it specifically refers to the future and not to the past. The practice was regularized from that date. But all the money expended up to that time was charged to the aircraft companies, and cannot be passed on to the government.

Topic:   AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Subtopic:   MORALE-BUILDING CAMPAIGN-REFERENCE TO RETURN TO ORDER OF THE HOUSE TABLED JULY 7
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GASOLINE

USE OF TRUCKS BY FARMERS COLLECTIVELY


On the orders of the day:


CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. G. H. CASTLEDEN (Yorkton):

With regard to the regulations as to the use of trucks for transporting members of a family, in many areas throughout Canada, as the minister knows, farmers get together and instead of each one taking his own car to town they use one truck. I believe that the present regulations prevent that practice. I understood the minister was to make a statement to-day, or shortly, on that matter.

Topic:   GASOLINE
Subtopic:   USE OF TRUCKS BY FARMERS COLLECTIVELY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

I was not aware that I was to make a statement to-day. I ascertained that there were carefully drawn regulations on the subject, which I sent to one or more members of

Vocational Training

parliament; and, on the representations of the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) I promised to look into the question as to whether or not a general rule should be made. At the present time permits may be issued in certain circumstances by the regional controller or administrator.

Topic:   GASOLINE
Subtopic:   USE OF TRUCKS BY FARMERS COLLECTIVELY
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WAR RISK INSURANCE

PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION FOR WAR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY


Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance) moved the third reading of Bill No. 56, to make provision with respect to insurance of property against war risks and the payment of compensation for war damage. Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.


VOCATIONAL TRAINING

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES-ADVISORY COUNCIL


The house resumed from Thursday, July 9, consideration in committee of Bill No. 64, to assist in the carrying on and coordination of vocational training-Mr. Mitchell-Mr. Vien in the chair. On section 3-Minister may undertake projects.


July 10, 1942