The expenditures for last year were: salaries, $15,680.22; travelling expenses, $7,342.34; publicity, $127,349.71; printing and stationery, $2,728.97; telegrams and telephones, $854.65; miscellaneous, $5,262.34; making a total of $159,218.23. To-day the figures are more than double that, and I see no justification for such an increase in the amount that is being asked for this year.
Mr. LaFLECHE : I hope I can explain it to the satisfaction of my hon. friend. It has been necessary to go farther afield for many commodities that can be salvaged. The whole of Canada is now pretty well covered, and a greater variety of goods is being collected. It is more difficult now to get the quantities of materials required by the different industries in Canada for the simple reason that the bulk of the salvage has been taken off; the back yards have been cleaned out to a much greater extent than they were two years ago. Junk has been picked up and turned in. Fate and bones, while not a romantic subject, are extremely important in providing glycerine which is necessary in making explosives. We have to ask and train the whole of Canada into a routine to save fate and bones on account of the necessity of making available to the fighting nations explosives which are derived from some of the ingredients of fats and bones. Scrap metals of all kinds are also wanted, and rubber; we are far from being out of the
War Appropriation-War Services
woods in regard to rubber. The time will come, and the quicker the better, when it will not be necessary to ask all the citizens of Canada for the sake of victory to turn in their rubber tires and other articles made of rubber. I agree with the hon. member for Camrose that it is difficult to become enthusiastic about salvage. But these materials are of vital necessity in the war. At one time during this war I had the honour of wearing the king's uniform and it was not so easy, I assure the committee, to change from one role to the other. Yet I must express my deep admiration to the citizens of this country who are doing their best in this way to help win the war. I would not be a party to an extravagant organization, nor would I appear before this house if I did not think salvage was necessary.
One more thing. At this moment in the history of the world money is not worth anything compared with the blood of our boys in Sicily who maybe are being killed to-night.
I do not want to hold up the item, and it is getting near eleven o'clock. We all agree with what the minister has said about the comparison between blood and money, but I do not really think that enters into the picture at all.
Could the minister give to the committee, perhaps not to-night but some other night, the value of the materials that have been salvaged, because it may be a pretty expensive job if we are spending nearly $400,000 to get these materials? Is a record kept of the value of the salvage at all?
The minister mentioned rubber. The minister perhaps does not travel extensively throughout the country and may not know how much rubber there is lying around this country. I asked the Minister of Munitions and Supply a few weeks ago why this rubber was not being reclaimed, and he said that the reclaiming plants were overstocked now and that we have not enough plants to care for the old rubber we have on hand. I am not overlooking the fact that we may need rubber just the same.
A word about scrap iron. The farmers have hauled in tons and tons of scrap iron to their various communities. They have to do it by the regulations and at their own expense. I am going to suggest to the minister what I suggested to his predecessor, that it would be a magnanimous thing, and yet only what we might expect, if the railway companies
would at least haul that scrap iron free of charge to some central point where it is needed. The few gallons used by the farmer in hauling in the scrap iron means more to him than one carload in a thirty or forty-car train means to the railways. I make that suggestion and I hope the minister will give it consideration. At some future time-I am not asking the minister to do it to-night- I hope he will also tell the committee the value of the salvage that has been collected in this country.
Mr. LaFLECHE: I shall be very happy to put on the record the information desired by the hon. gentleman. I can give a very rough total figure to-night. We have recorded in the books of the department something over 300,000 tons of salvaged material. It is difficult to put a market value on it. I repeat, when you badly need a commodity in war time, if you have the material the cost is of secondary importance. Nevertheless, I shall bring the information down.