November 6, 1945

PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

I am not rising to discuss the merits or demerits of this resolution. As a

Surplus War Assets

matter of fact with its purpose I am ia complete accord. I am sorry I was not here in the early part of the afternoon. I understand there was some discussion as to the consequences of the passage of such a resolution.

I was informed that if this resolution passes this house will be precluded from discussing the subject matter it covers when we are in committee of the whole.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

I am glad to hear hon. members opposite say no. I understand that certain of them said that would not be the case. Now. that may be their intention; but if there is a rule of this house which states otherwise-

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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LIB

William Henry Golding

Liberal

Mr. GOLDING:

There is not.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

-no matter what good will there is over there, we may be so precluded. I now ask whether the government is prepared to give us an assurance that in committee of the whole wre shall not be precluded from discussing the matters that this resolution covers.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

It is a matter for the

Speaker's ruling, and I shall ask the Speaker to make a ruling on the point raised.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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PC

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HOMUTH:

Just a minute. Mr. Speaker, this has to be definitely understood.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. MacKINNON:

Wait for the Speaker.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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PC

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. IIOMUTH:

It has to be definitely

understood that any matters discussed in the war expenditures committee, the public accounts committee or any other committee may be discussed in the house as well. That has been the practice previously; it is a matter of procedure.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

Do you want to drop the resolution?

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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PC

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HOMUTH:

Don't be like that. The little boy from Vancouver must not try to get away with that. I think you would like to have it dropped, because a lot of things are coming up that you would not want brought out.

Mr. MACKENZIE.: It seems that you

would like it dropped.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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PC

Karl Kenneth Homuth

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HOMUTH:

As our leader has said, it must be definitely understood that hon. members are not precluded from discussing in the house any matters which may come before this committee.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

Surely we are discussing two different things. If I understand it correctly, the war appropriation resolution before

the house deals with expenditures that perhaps have not been made as yet; that is the assumption, at least, that the expenditures' have not been made and we are discussing it on that basis. It is an estimate of expenditures that are to be made later. The war expenditures committee will be discussing expenditures that have been made already, transactions that have taken place, so there is no relation at all between the two. I cannot understand all this worry about something that cannot possibly occur.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

I had not finished my remarks when I was interrupted, so perhaps I might be permitted one more minute. I am quite serious when I say I want to see this resolution pass, but I should like to understand what is the position if we do pass it. My information did not come from someone who did not know what he was talking about. It was authoritative; I understood we would be giving up the right to discuss these matters in committee of the whole. All I should like is some reasonable assurance from the government that we shall not be so restricted.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

Mr. Speaker is the person to give that assurance.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

I understand we are not allowed to ask the Speaker direct questions on these things. I know the house can pass the measure anyway, but I thought perhaps we might have the assurance from the government that after it does pass we shall not be precluded from discussing these items in committee of the whole.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

As to the point raised by the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. Macdonnell) and other hon. members I would suggest it would be best to observe the rule that has been followed in the past, and if there is any objection raised in the future it can be considered by the house in due course. The hon. gentleman will see that the resolution gives the committee power to examine witnesses and to report to the house from time to time. Thus at any time the house could hear any complaints or protests made by the committee, and it would be the privilege of the house to give instructions accordingly, as generally speaking the proceedings of a select committee are assimilated, like those of standing committees, to those of a committee of the whole house. So I hope the hon. gentleman will be satisfied with that explanation.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MACDONNELL:

With great deference, Mr. Speaker, it would seem to me that this leaves the matter in a vague position. It

Surplus War Assets

means we are now asked to vote for this resolution, as indeed we want to do, but we are going to leave for determination at some future time the question whether or not we may have this right which we think is so essential.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. ALPHONSE FOURNIER (Minister of Public Works):

I agree with the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis). If we look at the reference to the committee we see that the inquiry is to be into expenditures defrayed out of money provided by parliament for national defence, and so on. The appropriation for war expenditures and demobilization as actually discussed in the house provides the money necessary for these purposes. The inquiry that will be conducted by this committee will be into the expenditure of those moneys provided by the house. There is no conflict at all. In this committee we will not inquire into the amounts we are voting now, except to see in what way and by what procedure they have been expended. There seems to be some confusion ns to the reference before the house, but if it is read it will be seen that the committee is to inquire into the procedures followed or the policies of the government in connection with the expenditures made. Witnesses will be called before the committee to deal with specific subjects. It will inquire into every transaction in detail, and then report to the house if it finds any better way of proceeding in connection with further expenditures. We are not going to inquire into what is being discussed now under the war appropriation measure but we will discuss the expenditure of the moneys which will have been provided by this bill or the bill brought in last year. I do not see that the house is losing any of its rights, or that the occasion will arise when we will be precluded from continuing the debate on the war appropriation bill. They are two absolutely different things. So I really believe the function of the committee as explained by the hon. member for Vancouver East is the correct procedure, and the house will continue to examine into all moneys required by the government for future expenditures.

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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CCF

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

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

On the point of order-

Topic:   DEFENCE AND DEMOBILIZATION
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER EXPENDITURES AND DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS WAR ASSETS
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November 6, 1945