August 12, 1944

?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Well, I am talking about a matter of finance, and about the purchasing

board, which is now the Department of Munitions and Supply, but was for a time under the Minister of Finance. It was taken from the present Minister of Pensions and National Health.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

You do not know.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

You do not know a thing about it.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

The minister might say 1 do not know, but I know very well, because he is one of the clients I have defended without charge.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

What an unusual thing!

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

He must remember that I defended him on that occasion, and I was the first one-not the only one-but the first one to defend him about the Bren gun. At the time I was the only one to defend the present Minister of National War Services, who was then deputy minister of national defence. I know my business and my past history, and I can compare it with that of the Minister of Pensions and National Health or with that of the Minister of National Defence, or all those who are not my friends in the cabinet.

I regret that at the present time commitments are made by the perpetual Acting Minister of Finance. I want to know one thing; I have already put the question to the Prime Minister on his estimates, and I was not answered. I want now to put the question in very clear language-and the Minister of Pensions and National Health has nothing to do with it. It is a question which might :be answered by the Prime Minister, or might be answered by the Minister of Finance, or might be answered by the perpetual Acting Minister of Finance. It is a question of wide unrest, and it is this: What is the rule applied to cabinet ministers in connection with sitting on boards?

There seem to be various contradictory procedures. There was the late Senator Dan-durand, who was minister without portfolio, and leader of the government in the senate. He was indicated in the Parliamentary Guide as president of a savings bank in Montreal, a director of the Sun Life Insurance company, and so on. It was all right for him to be a director.

My dear friend the Minister of Mines and Resources is described in the Parliamentary Guide as a director of the Great West Life

Insurance company. I have no objection to that.

Supply-Finance

Then there is the Minister of Justice who said to me that he had resigned as a director of the bank of Montreal as soon as he was appointed Minister of Justice. I do not find fault with him. It was his right to resign, if he wished. It is the right of any minister to be director of any company, so long as it is known by the public.

But what I want to know is: On what date did the perpetual Acting Minister of Finance resign from the board of Barclay's bank, and from the boards of the other coal companies or steel companies, and so on, and so on, which appeared in the reference books, before he was appointed Minister of Finance? On what date did he resign? If it is the practice for ministers to resign from boards, then on what date did he resign from the boards on which he sat from 1935 to 1939, when he was sworn in again as Minister of Finance, and before he became Minister of National Defence, upon the death of Hon. Mr. Rogers?

It would be interesting to have an acknowledgment of his resignation from the companies concerned, banks and so on. Or, if he did not resign-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Order.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I rise to a point of order. This discussion has nothing whatsoever to do with the item before the committee.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB
LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

The ACTING CHAIRMAN (Mr. Golding):

This is the item for departmental administration in the Department of Finance.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Yes. The minister is head of that department, and the perpetual acting minister is the acting head of the department, having control of the whole departmental administration, next to the minister himself. I want to know-and this is vital-what are the connections, if any, between the perpetual Acting Minister of Finance and the department? I want to know more particularly because the Minister of Justice resigned from the board of the bank of Montreal when he accepted his seat in the government-

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Order.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB
LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

The ACTING CHAIRMAN (Mr. Golding):

The Minister of Justice should not be brought into the discussion.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

No, no; I am not saying anything against him. I am praising him for being logical with himself. And I would tell you more than that, sir, that I do not object to any minister's resigning from a board when he is called to the cabinet. I will go even farther than that; I do not object to any minister being on a board, so long as it is publicly known and published in the reference books. But the very moment that publicity in respect of directorships is stopped, I find it wrong.

If it is right for the minister to be on a board, the public has a right to know it, and has more right to know it when it is the Department of Finance. That is my point.

To conclude, I should like to know from the Minister of Finance or from his acting colleague what the rule is regarding the holding of directorships by members of the cabinet. That is my question.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
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August 12, 1944