The difference between
the member for Lake Centre and ourselves is basically over the question whether air services are to be a matter of government policy or whether the government is simply to stand on the sidelines and allow private enterprise to have its own way. I take the position that so far as the legality of the statute is concerned, naturally there should be recourse to the courts; but if the statute stands on legal ground, then it seems to me that the time has come when matters of this sort should be the concern of the people's representatives. What we have here is not, as I see it, dictatorship but rather the extension of the principle of responsible government. What I was trying to say was that as between the minister and the governor in council having the authority it is six of one and half a dozen of the other, and it does not matter to me which it is; but as between the minister having any real say in the matter-the minister or the government, however you put it- and the government merely standing on the side as a judicial body and allowing private enterprise to go ahead and cut its own throat and do a disservice to the country at large, I am in favour of the matter being in the hands of the people.
Under this bill recommendations will be made to the government or to the minister which will involve the expenditure of money. You will have under the provisions of the bill not just a judicial body making decisions as between competing firms but a body making recommendations to the government for the development of airways, and that will involve the expenditure of public money; and once you introduce that element into it you are flying in the face of our whole concept of responsible government if you suggest that the minister or the government should not be responsible for any implementing of the decisions of the board. For that reason 1 think the bill is right when it puts this measure of authority, if you want to call it that, though I call it responsibility, in the hands of the minister.
I am not surprised that my hon. friends to the right find it difficult to understand
this concept. What you have here is an attempt, as far as it goes, to avoid the kind of mistakes this country made when it first launched on the development of our railway systems. In those days the people paid the shot and private corporations netted the profit. In this instance we know from the start that if there is to be a proper and adequate development of this tremendous means of modern transportation, air services, money will have to be provided by the people. It is the people's interests that are paramount, and I take the position, with the Minister of Munitions and Supply, that it should be under the direction and control of the people through their duly elected government.