April 9, 1943

NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

I think what my hon. leader had in view was brief statements from time to time on the opening of the parliamentary period. We have been in session now for eleven weeks and we have not had anything from the ministry on the state of the war.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

We have not been able to get to it.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Oh, yes, there has been ample time. The ministry has so shaped things to suit its own purposes- I am not saying that in any critical way-

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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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:

May I say to my hon. friend that we are far from having shaped things as we wished ourselves. We consulted with the different leaders and had general agreement in regard to what should be done.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Yes, I am not saying that in any critical way at all; the right hon. gentleman has misapprehended what was in my mind. We have been here since January 27 and have not had a word from the government as to the progress of the war. The Prime Minister has correctly stated that when he did speak with regard to the attitude of the nation toward the war he did emphasize on every occasion-and I give him full credit for it-the critical position of the war and made it clear that he did not want that position to be clouded by discussion of less urgent matters. I tell him that I also have had that in mind. Whenever I have made what might be termed a major address in this house I have emphasized that position,

and I think the message has got across to the people of Canada. Nevertheless I do feel that in recent months the people of Canada and their elected representatives have not been taken fully into the confidence of the government as to the progress of this great world event. That is all we mean and we think we ought to have it often.

Mr. J. II. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge): Inasmuch as the Prime Minister has referred by implication directly to my group I think it is fitting that I should say a word or two. With respect to the discussion of a speech given by Mr. Sandwell the other day, I would point out to the Prime Minister that that question was raised on Wednesday afternoon, and if he will look over Hansard he will find that the proceedings of this house on that afternoon occupied twenty-nine pages, and that the discussion of this speech occupied six pages. The question was raised by two members of my group and we occupied altogether one page of Hansard. In the light of that I think the Prime Minister is rather overstating the case.

A word with respect to this matter of cooperating. I was one of those who conferred with the Prime Minister to lay down a plan, and up to this moment this group has cooperated with the Prime Minister as no other group has done. For the Prime Minister to make any criticism as regards the raising of this question, which to us is one of vital concern, I think is not quite fair.

There is a good deal of loose talk in this house as to what chiefly bears upon the prosecution of the war. Perhaps it would be a good thing for a committee of this house to meet and decide what matters do pertain primarily to the conduct of the war. I find that everyone who speaks thinks that what the other man is talking about has nothing to do with the war but what he thinks important has all to do with the war. In the interests of clear thought both in the house and in the country I think it would be well for us to draft a list of subjects that we consider of vital import in respect to the conduct of the war.

With regard to the matter that was raised, if I am at all able to judge of the significance of things I would say that the speech which was delivered the other day by Mr. Sandwell advocated the accomplishment of an object which is diametrically opposed to the object for which the united nations are fighting. If he gains his objective, all is lost; this war will have been fought in vain. If there is anything that will deaden the enthusiasm of the people

Wheat

in regard to the conduct of this war, it is the discussion of such matters as this, of supranational governments, which need not be discussed while this war is being carried on; if they are not discussed by irresponsible men like Mr. Sandwell, they will not be discussed in this house.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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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:

I should not like to let pass the statement of the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) that, nothing has been said by myself in this house with regard to the progress of the war since this session opened. If my hon. friend will look at my address in the debate on the speech from the throne, he will find that I took a good deal of time to make the position clear as it existed at that time, particularly in regard to such matters as the Casablanca conference and so on. He will find also that I have spoken on other occasions. It is true that I have not put my remarks in the form of special statements, but from time to time, as the opportunity has been afforded and as I thought the occasion required, I have endeavoured fully to acquaint hon. members with the various aspects of the war which I thought should be brought to their attention. I have made some allowance, however, for what I assumed hon. members would know from their own reading, and have not attempted to traverse a great deal of ground which would not have served any useful purpose.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

May I just say to the Prime Minister that in regard to any suggestions on my part, I was only asking that the practice which the Prime Minister himself adopted in previous sessions be restored in this session.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. J. W. NOSEWORTHY (York South):

Apropos of the point raised by the leader of the opposition I should like to ask the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services if he will consider the advisability of giving to this house, at as early a date as possible, some statement regarding the extent of the submarine menace and the steps being taken to offset it. In this connection I should like to direct his attention, if by any chance he has not seen it already, to a devastating editorial on this subject appearing in to-day's Ottawa Citizen.

Hon. ANGUS L. MACDONALD (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services): I have not seen the editorial in to-day's Citizen, but I shall be glad to look at it shortly. As to the remainder of the question, I am governed,

I think, by the arrangement that was made by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) on behalf of the three defence

ministers with the leader of my hon. friend's group, the leader of the official opposition and the leader of the Social Credit group. As I recall that arrangement, it was that there would be no speeches on war matters by the defence ministers until the war appropriation bill came up for discussion, and until the appropriate parts of the bill were reached dealing with the respective departments. The Minister of National Defence, the Minister of National Defence for Air (Mr. Power) and I are all ready, I think, to make statements at any time or to proceed with the discussion of the appropriation measure, whenever the house wishes that done.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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MILITARY HOSPITALS

REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DECISION IN REGARD TO FACILITIES IN WINNIPEG


On the orders of the day.


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles

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

Mr. S. H. KNOWLES (Winnipeg North Centre):

I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Pensions and National Health concerning a matter which must be given immediate attention or it will be too late. Has the minister received a copy of the resolution adopted by the Winnipeg board of trade on April 5, a copy of which I have sent to him, asking for reconsideration of the government's decision in the matter of increasing military hospital facilities in greater Winnipeg, as between Deer Lodge and the Winnipeg General hospital? Further, I would ask the minister what steps he has taken to obtain such reconsideration.

Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Pensions and National Health): I had not seen the resolution referred to by the hon. member until I received the copy he sent me just a few minutes before entering this chamber. In reply to the second part of the question I may inform my hon. friend that this matter has been given most careful consideration not only by the officers of the department over which I preside but also by the war hospitalization committee, and it is their conjoint judgment that the best methods and policies have been pursued in this case from the point of view of economy as well as of the interests of members and ex-members of the forces.

Topic:   MILITARY HOSPITALS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF DECISION IN REGARD TO FACILITIES IN WINNIPEG
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ANNOUNCEMENT OF SALE OF 7,000,000 BUSHELS TO BELGIUM


On the orders of the day:


LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make the following announcement with reference to a wheat sale to the Belgian government.

Oil Bearing Seeds

An agreement has been reached between the Canadian wheat board and the Belgian ministry of economic affairs covering the purchase of

200.000 tons of wheat, or 7,000,000 bushels. This contract was subject to certain financial arrangements which are now completed and a first token payment has been effected. This tonnage will be made available upon demand by the Belgian government, which request will be put forward as soon as part or the whole of Belgium is liberated. The first shipment of

50.000 tons will be made within ten days of

this demand, the remaining 150,000 tons to be shipped during a period of from two to three months later. _

This tonnage represents, in normal times, one-seventh of all Belgian yearly requirements and one-fifth of the annual imports. At the present time it would cover the consumption in bread for two and a half months for the whole of Belgium.

I think I should supplement this announcement by mentioning that this agreement for the sale of 7,000,000 bushels of Winnipeg December wheat futures was entered into last December, but there were certain financial details which could not then be finally arranged and which rendered it impractical to make any earlier announcement. The announcement to be made from London and Ottawa simultaneously, as agreed upon, made no reference to the purchase price. I immediately cabled the Belgian authorities for permission to state the price and have just received their consent. Although negotiations for this sale were commenced last July, an agreement in substance was not reached until December, and the price agreed upon is ninety cents per bushel basis Fort William, with the buyers paying carrying charges at the rate of four-fifths of a cent per bushel per month from that December date.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF SALE OF 7,000,000 BUSHELS TO BELGIUM
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OIL BEARING SEEDS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY IN RELATION TO PRODUCTION


On the orders of the day:


LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Topic:   OIL BEARING SEEDS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY IN RELATION TO PRODUCTION
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

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

Mr. T. C. DOUGLAS (Weybum):

With

regard to the minister's statement as to the desirability of having farmers produce sunflower and rape seed, I regret that it has been made so late, although some may still be interested. -Are any steps being taken by the government to make this type of seed available to farmers? Are any facilities being set up through which they can get it?

Topic:   OIL BEARING SEEDS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY IN RELATION TO PRODUCTION
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April 9, 1943