June 8, 1944

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make the government's position clear along lines similar to those expressed by the leader of the opposition. It was definitely understood I think before we agreed to consider the resolution that the main debate would take place on the resolution and not on the bill. For that reason there has been wide latitude given to the discussion on the resolution which otherwise would not have been given.

I should like to take advantage of this occasion to say that I think the proper procedure in regard to all bills which are money bills should be to have a short discussion on the resolution with a full discussion on the bill. That is what was intended by the rules of the house, but this house has got into the habit recently, I think quite wrongly, of discussing resolutions at great length and then at times repeating the whole or much of the discussion on the bill itself. The resolution preceding a money bill is in the nature of a notice to the house that an important bill is coming down. It was never intended that a debate in any detail Should take place on the resolution. This particular bill has been discussed on the resolution perhaps even longer than it wouldl have been discussed on the second reading.

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

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

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

Mr. Speaker, before the second

reading is given to this bill, and apropos of the remarks of the Prime Minister just now, I should like to say a word about some of the items which I referred to the other night just before the chairman of the committee of the whole asked that the committee rise and report the resolution. I suggested that there were three or four items which had not been called and the chairman felt that I was mistaken. The items to which I referred appear on page 400 of Hansard and he stated that they were called when we were discussing items under the Department of Transport. Since then I have made a further search through Hansard and I feel sure that I was right when I pointed out that there were a number of items which were not called. These items are:

Government employees compensation act-[DOT] Administration, $79,500.

Provision for contingencies, $3,732,364.

Purchase of railway equipment, $24,726,460.

Canadian Wool Board Limited, $5,500,000.

War Appropriation-Mr. Knowles

Those items total S34.038.324. I understand quite well that when the committee reported the resolution we reported favourably on the total amount of money involved, namely, $3,650,000,000. Technically speaking, that means that the committee of the whole gave its concurrence to all that money and thereby to all the items involved. But as hon. members will recall, during the debate in the committee stage there were a number of occasions when hon. members wished to discuss matters not directly relevant to the item before the committee. A member would point out that we were really discussing the resolution which granted this total amount of money, but each time the reply was made that for the sake of convenience the total amount had been broken down into items and that it was more appropriate to stick to the various items. The house agreed to that procedure, but I think every hon. member will agree that involved in such a procedure was the responsibility to call every item.

I do not suggest that there was anything intentional about the failure to call these items. As a matter of fact I have no particular desire to discuss the items to which I have referred. But I think we should be very careful in following a procedure of this kind to see that every item is called. Despite the fact that we are accustomed to voting huge sums of money in this house I do not think we should treat lightly a sum of money which, if my observations are correct, totals more than $34,000,000.

Unless someone can show me in Hansard where these items have been discussed I should like to make two suggestions. The first is that when we are in committee on this bill hon. members should have the opportunity on an appropriate section to ask questions about any of the items that were not called and that the appropriate minister be prepared to answer. The other suggestion I would like to make is in keeping with what the Prime Minister said just now. I would hope that in another year, whatever government may be in power, the procedure for handling this bill will be studied before we come to it. I would hope that we might have a proper schedule, with the items properly numbered, so that what seems to have happened this time need not occur again.

This is no new suggestion; it has been made frequently during the course of this debate; but what has happened underlines, I suggest, the necessity of studying the whole question of procedure in a bill of this magnitude when we deal with it as we have, at the committee stage. This sum of money is very large. We realize that there are other

[Mr. Knowles.1

things at this time which are more important than matters of technical procedure, yet I think hon. members will agree with me that when we are voting sums of money we should do it correctly all the way through, and in accordance with parliamentary practice.

Someone may suggest, as I believe an hon. member to my right said a moment ago, that we had discussed the Canadian wool board. I would remind him that we discussed under the Department of Finance an item of $500,000 for the administration of the Canadian wool board; that item is to be found on page 305 of Hansard; but I am referring to an item of $5^ millions which is found on page 400.

Another reply which might be made is that these items may have been called but since there was no discussion they would not appear in Hansard. In reply to that I would point out that, at least on pages 3578 and 3579 of Hansard, items were called, there was no discussion, and the items were immediately agreed to, but that'agreement is recorded in Hansard. I suggest that if that is the case with some items, items which do not appear in Hansard at all were not called.

I make my two suggestions in this matter; first, that if any hon. members wish to ask questions about items which were not called, they be permitted to do so when the house is in committee on this bill; second, that close study be given to this whole procedure before another year rolls around. I offer in particular the suggestion that an attempt be made to draw up a proper schedule with the items properly numbered, as is done with respect to the civil estimates, so that we may know where we stand throughout the debate.

Before I take my seat I would like to take two or three minutes on another subject, although I shall not go into it at any length. Before this bill passes I appeal to the government in connection with a matter which comes under war appropriation and which was discussed at some length while we were in the committee stage. Perhaps the simplest thing for me to do is to ask the government, particularly the ministers concerned, to study an editorial found in the Winnipeg Free Press on Monday of this week, June 5, dealing with the whole question of the desirability of greater coordination of our medical services. The Free Press is perhaps the most pro-Liberal paper in the country, yet its criticism of the government on this score is so marked that if I attempted to read this editorial in the house I am sure I would be ruled out of order; therefore I shall not attempt it. But the point the Free Press makes, and has made, in fact, through the years, and the point which

War Appropriation-Mr. Michaud

some of us have tried to make in this house, is that what is important in the matter of providing the best possible medical service to our armed forces and to our civilians is not only the total number of beds, but the coordinating of the various medical services, with particular reference to specialist services. Not long ago the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) laid on the table an interesting and extensive report on this whole subject. The gist of it, as I gathered, was that an attempt should be made to arrive at a better coordination of our medical services;, and the Free Press-which I am not very often able to quote in support of a position I may take-suggests that in, view of what is now happening overseas, in view of the necessity of our being ready to provide, not just for a short term but perhaps through the years, the best medical and hospital treatment and care for the members of our armed services, now is the time to study again more seriously this whole question. I will not take longer on it, because it has been presented to the government before; it was presented a few days ago by the hon. member for Pardale (Mr. Bruce) when he asked certain questions as a result of statements made by the director of the Montreal Neurological Institute. I may say that I was not satisfied with the reply which the Minister of Pensions and National Health (Mr. Mackenzie) made on that occasion. I urge that one of the things we must do for the men now engaged in action is to make sure they have the best medical care and the best provision for hospitalization, and I hope that the government will give further consideration to this matter. We feel, notwithstanding arguments which have been put forth such as the upsetting of procedure which has been followed and the danger of establishing new precedents, that this thing has not been properly handled. I make this appeal at this stage of the war appropriation bill, raising only this point on second reading, that the government give further consideration to the recommendations in the report of the medical procurement and assignment board, and that it move in the direction of better coordination of our medical and hospital services.

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

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. J. E. MICHAUD (Minister of Transport) :

The hon. member is certainly labouring under a misapprehension if he thinks that some of the items to which he has referred were not called and approved in committee of the whole. On most of these items I happened to have been in charge, as they were expenditures under the Department of Transport; for example, on page 400 of Hansard, the item referring to Government Employees Compen-

100-228$

sation Act administration, $79,500; then the item relating to purchase of railway equipment, Canadian National Railways, $24,726,460; also, loan to the Canadian National Railways for the development of the Vermilion, Alberta, oil field.

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

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

I am sorry to interrupt, but I did not include that last item.

Mr. MICHAUD; Well, the other two items were certainly called on May 16, and were not discussed, and possibly for that reason do not appear on Hansard, or perhaps they escaped the attention of the Hansard reporter. I may state that Hansard is not the official report of the proceedings of the house; it is the official report of the debates of the house; the journals of the house are the official report and record of what takes place in the house, as reference to rule 252 will show. If it happens that something escapes the attention or the hearing of the official reporter and does not for that reason appear on Hansard, that is not to say that an item which has been before the committee of the whole has not been approved or has not been passed. For that reason I state that all the items chargeable to the Department of Transport appear in the resolution and have been submitted to parliament, and the last of those items were submitted on the evening of May 16.

Mr. JEAN-FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): The other day some questions were asked about what had been said by Major-General Pearkes in Vernon camp. The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) did not disagree with what was said then. To-day in the Montreal Gazette I read the report of a broadcast made by Brigadier Mess. I wonder if he is the man who was formerly appointed with Mr. Leon Trepanier of Montreal to look after the farmer's side? At any rate, he made a mess of his broadcast, and I will read it to you, sir, to show you the state of mind of that gentleman:

"Petticoat Slackers" from Army Scored in Plea for More Recruits

Ottawa, June 7. Speaking of the "vital and urgent need" for "more and more" fighting men to reinforce Canada's invasion army, Brigadier James Mess, deputy adjutant-general in charge of recruiting, to-night criticized several classes of young men who he said were waiting "God knows what for."

i In an address prepared for broadcast on the "headquarters report" programme over a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation national network, Brigadier Mess said:

"I want to appeal to several classes of young men in Canada who are still waiting-God knows what for. They are to be found in industry. They are pretending that their conscience is clear because they prefer to consider

War Appropriation-Mr. Pouliot

themselves as indispensable. They have been deferred for this or that reason, or are hiding away in the bush and making themselves scarce.

"I challenge each and every one of those men to stand betore a mirror, look at himself and put the questions 'Is my conscience clear?' 'Am I really indispensable?' 'Should I not take my proper place at the side of my brother Canadians and let some older man, some woman, do this job that may not, after all, be very intricate or very important?' 'What shall I answer when this war is over when I am asked where did I serve?' 'What shall I say-I didn't have to go, I wasn't needed, I was indispensable behind a plough or in a factory'."

And this is said ironically by that Brigadier.

Brigadier Mess, addressing his remarks to this class of men, asked them what their wives would think of them. "Now she may deter you in a weak sort of way from doing what she knows is your sacred duty, but in the final analysis it is your decision to make. You are the man. You cannot hide behind a petticoat, whether it be your wife's or your mother's."

He added: " . . . Your decision to get into the King's uniform for general service to become trained, skilled and tough is yours to make in this hour of dire emergency."

Sir, I am second to no one in the help I can bring to the armed forces in my humble capacity as a member 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 Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Second to no one in wasting time.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I will ask my hon. friend to keep quiet if he wants to be reelected the next time; otherwise he will be badly defeated.

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

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

That is all you care about, being reelected. What do you care whether he is reelected or not?

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I shall reply to hon. members one at a time. I will deliver the goods to them one by one. My hon. friend knows that he is in very bad shape in his constituency.

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

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

You are the biggest single waster of time in 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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

The hon. gentleman's

laughter sounds false.

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

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

As false as your tears.

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

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

This is shameful. I have here another statement and I am sure hon. members will applaud this. These people are short-sighted-

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

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

They are not afraid to fight for their country, though.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I am short-sighted, Mr. Speaker; I wear glasses but I am short-sighted only physically.

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

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

Mentally too.

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

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

The other day I put a gem on Hansard, at the last sitting-a gem. It was one sentence that was uttered by a man who occupies an official capacity as parliamentary assistant to the President of the Privy Council.

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

James Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

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

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I have put it on the record.

Topic:   WAR APPROPRIATION BILL
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
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June 8, 1944