Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):
I wish to rise to a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker. It arises out of an interjection made last night by the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply (Mr. Howe) when I was speaking in the debate. The minister questioned the accuracy of some of the figures I had quoted. If hon. members will refer to page 110 of Hansard they will find these remarks reported:
Mr. Howe: What are you talking about?
What about the years 1943, 1944 and 1945?
Mr. Bracken: If the minister wishes to base
an argument upon what happened during the war years when the United States was buying war equipment, he can do so.
Mr. Howe: I am speaking to a matter of
privilege. I do not wish to base an argument; but I wish my hon. friend to tell the truth about it.
Then at another place on page 105:
Mr. Howe: My hon. friend has overlooked
the minus signs. We had a strong balance of trade with the United States in 1943, 1944 and 1945.
I just wish to say, Mr. Speaker, that; the figures I was using were taken from a document published by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics of the Department of Trade and Commerce. We took the records of the exports and imports, separated them, and showed the balance. Since the question has been raised as to the accuracy of the figures I used, and the minister having raised this point about the years 1943, 1944 and 1945, I think the matter should be set straight. The imports from the United States for those three years according to this publication were:
The exports to the United States in those years were as follows:
The difference between the exports and the imports, the unfavourable balance of trade, in each case was as follows:
I raise this question of privilege only because the accuracy of the figures I was quoting was questioned by the minister, and I wanted to explain that the figures were taken from a government document.
Subtopic: MR. BRACKEN-REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON DECEMBER 9