April 9, 1945

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I would not presume to override what is implied either in the constitution of the country or by the authority of parliament. When parliament has concluded its business, it then becomes my duty to make an announcement as to the election. To do anything of the kind in advance would not only be assuming authority which my hon. friend, though quite erroneously, has kindly stated I already possess as being the supreme authority; it would be going far beyond that.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO DESIRABILITY OP SPEEDY WINDING-UP OP SESSION
Permalink

INQUIRY FOR RETURN

RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Hon. H. A. BRUCE (Parkdale):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of National Defence, in view of what the Prime Minister has just said, that only a few days more, as we all know, remain of this session. I have asked a number of questions on the order paper; they have been on the order paper for three weeks; also orders for returns have been passed by the house, yet no returns have yet been brought down in answer to my questions. I am anxious to receive these returns before this house dies. I would therefore ask the parliamentary assistant if I may now have copies of all correspondence, telegrams and communications asked by me some twenty-one days ago, passing between General Pearkes and the Department of National Defence.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. D. C. ABBOTT (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence):

That question was passed as an order for a return. Probably the Secretary of State can answer my hon. friend's question.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
Permalink
NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

Yes, it was passed1 as an

order for return.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

That is right.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I should like to know when

the return will be produced.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. N. A. McLARTY (Secretary of State):

I think that the hon. member for Parkdale raised on Friday last the question addressed to the parliamentary assistant, and I had an inquiry made as to the information with regard to General Pearkes. My hon. friend's question, as he worded it on Friday, rather implied that the question which was made an order for a return referred to General Pearkes alone, but actually it dealt not only with General Pearkes but with all his officers in the Pacific command. Under those circumstances I think the hon. member and the house will realize that it involves looking over a large number of files, not only here but at headquarters of the Pacific command. It was the wording of the question itself that makes that imperative and I presume has delayed1 the return to the order of the house.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

There was one other order

for the production of correspondence and instructions. I think that return will be brought down to-morrow.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
Permalink
NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

May I say in reply to the

Secretary of State that the correspondence is all on file, and whether it relates to General Pearkes or his officers is immaterial.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
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LIB

Norman Alexander McLarty (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. McLARTY:

The question was not

limited to correspondence. It refers to information.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

The question referred to is

this, and it was passed as an order for a return on March 26:

Mr. Bruce:

1. Has the Minister of National Defence any information to cause him to believe that General Pearkes and his officers in the Pacific command did not carry out the minister's instructions to put forth their best efforts to induce draftees to go active?

2. If so, what is such information and the grounds for such belief?

3. Is there any information on the files of the Department of National Defence which establishes that General Pearkes did not, with fidelity, discharge his duties in securing the enlistment for general service of home defence personnel under his command?

And so on. Surely that can be answered here and at once. It is all humbug to say that you require a longer time.

War Appropriation-The Army

Mr. MoLARTY: The hon. member for

Parkdale has to do what each member of this house has to do, namely, assume that every department of government is acting in perfectly good faith, and to suggest that it is a matter of humbug when the preparation of the return involves a tremendous amount of work and going through a large number of files is surely not worthy of the hon. member for Parkdale. While he says that it should be answered here and now, he, like every other member of this house, will have to take the answer that is given by the department as to why any necessary delay ensues.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
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NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

Last summer during the session I had an experience of the same kind when I repeatedly asked for returns to questions directed to the Minister of Pensions and National Health, and on the last day of the session I asked if it was too late to bring the returns down that he had delayed until the last day. He got into a state of great annoyance, and the session died and I did not receive those answers. I am afraid that is going to happen again in this case.

Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Yeterans Affairs): In reply to the point just raised by the hon. member for Parkdale, may I say that I was ready with the replies on the last day of the session, but he did not find it convenient to remain here and went home.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
Permalink
NAT

Herbert Alexander Bruce

National Government

Mr. BRUCE:

I was here, but did not receive those replies, because you did not produce them.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
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LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. J. G. GARDINER (Minister of Agriculture) :

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of privilege, and in view of the fact that I am mentioned in the question, I should like to place on the table some correspondence between the Victoria council of the legion and myself in connection with it.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
Permalink
NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

What question is the hon. member referring to?

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. GARDINER:

The question referred to by the hon. member for Parkdale.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN
Subtopic:   RETIREMENT OF GENERAL PEARKES
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WAR APPROPRIATION BILL

April 9, 1945