I see that my time has
just about expired. I should like to refer briefly to another matter.
When the hon. member for Brandon (Mr. Matthews) rose to speak this afternoon I thought he might deal with the matter about which he questioned the Minister of National Defence a week or two ago; I refer to the destruction in Brandon of material formerly used by the army at the A-4 centre which was closed there a short while ago. The hon. member a couple of weeks ago asked a question on the orders of the day about this. I have received considerable correspondence concerning it. In view of the fact that the hon. member for Brandon had asked the question I have refrained from raising the matter, thinking he would pursue it, and I thought he would certainly do so to-day. Apparently he has accepted the minister's answer, which he made, I believe, on Friday, to the effect that these things-enamel ware, porcelain ware and so on-w'ere destroyed for medical reasons. One of the correspondents I have had in connection with this matter from the city of Brandon is a medical doctor. He of course, as might be expected, ridicules the idea that these things could not have been sterilized, and I may say that the people of Brandon, according to the information I have, and the people of Winnipeg, 130 miles away, are quite indignant over this destruction of goods which could have been used-kinds of goods which are not available for civilian purchase in Manitoba at the present time. I have in my hand a copy of the Winnipeg Tribune of July 7 which contains photographs of some of these go^ds, showing that the axe
The Budget-Mr. Cruickshank
has been put right through them to destroy them and make sure that they could not be used.
I have not the time to go into this matter in greater detail, but the answer given by the Minister of National Defence does not satisfy the local people in Brandon or the people of Manitoba generally, and I think the whole question of the disposal of army and canteen goods calls for further investigation at this stage, so that if there has been anything amiss in this incident the situation will not be repeated. I am perplexed to understand it in the light of the action which this parliament took in setting up the War Assets Corporation. I wonder why it is that these goods were not declared surplus and turned over to that corporation for sale or disposal in some orderly way. It has been called to my attention that some of these articles such as coal scuttles, garbage cans, et cetera, which missed the axe when they were thrown on the dump in Brandon, have been retrieved by Brandon citizens and are now being used. The people are glad to get them and sterilize them and make use of them, because such articles are not available on the market there at the present time. I hope the Minister of National Defence or the Minister of Munitions and Supply will look into this matter further, so that if there has been anything amiss it can be corrected before there is a recurrence of it.
The vote will shortly be taken, I understand. We of this group were prepared to have the debate concluded on June 29-
Subtopic: DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE