April 6, 1949

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxion:

The hon. member will agree that, following that, we had a session together in private, discussing matters, which lasted over an hour.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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PC

Lawrence Wilton Skey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Skey:

This letter was written on August 5, 1947. It will be recalled that the house

2402 HOUSE OF

Supply-National Defence was then adjourned. I was not honoured by a reply from the minister. Then, when the next session of parliament was called in 1948,

I sought a private interview with him, upon which occasion I asked him if he would permit me to express to him some ideas I had concerning the defence of Canada. He was kind enough to grant me that interview, but it was at my request and over six months later.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

On August 5, 1947, I was on the way to represent this country at a conference in Canberra, Australia. I could not reply personally, and naturally my secretary replied. But my practice is to reply personally to members of parliament.

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PC

Lawrence Wilton Skey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Skey:

I do not wish to make a point of whether this is or is not a good answer. But even when he did get home he did not bother to reply. Here is what I wrote.

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LIB
PC

Lawrence Wilton Skey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Skey:

We now know that disarmament invites aggression so I am being impertinent enough to suggest that we must be prepared to pay our share of a defence force capable of dissuading would-be aggressors by their very presence.

I made some further statements in the letter, which I could not express better now than I did then. It is because of incidents such as we witnessed yesterday and early this afternoon that hon. members who know anything about the subject of the defence of our country are convinced that the policies now being followed are not proper policies.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Chairman, we have as a witness one of their own experts who recently wrote an article in Maclean's magazine entitled "We do not Stand on Guard". He concludes his article in this way:

From the published and visible evidence it seems unlikely that we are organized to face the problem, much less to solve it.

This was an article by Colonel Goforth, who until a few months ago was one of the government's own experts, advising them in an important branch of the service. With

their own experts as witnesses against them, can any person in this country say that our plea that the minister's defence forces and policy should be examined in an unbiased way is not an honest, sincere and necessary one?

May I call it six o'clock?

Item stands.

Progress reported.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

?

Donald MacInnis

Mr. Maclnnis:

What is the business for tomorrow?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

We will hope for the best.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

Tomorrow we will continue with the supplementary estimates. If they are disposed of, we will then proceed with the second reading of the marketing act bill, now on the order paper. If that is disposed of we will revert to the debate on the budget.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

May I ask the Prime Minister if it is not proposed to go ahead with the motion in the name of the Minister of National Revenue setting up the radio committee?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

Well, there is no desire not to proceed with that. But there is a very keen desire to dispose of these supplementary estimates-and the progress that has been reported to Mr. Speaker hardly indicates that there will be much time tomorrow to do anything else.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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At six o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. [The following item was passed in committee of supply]:


DEPART3VIENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE


Pensions and other benefits-Militia Pension Act-604. Government's contribution to the permanent forces pension fund-further amount required, $3,894,493.



Thursday, April 7, 1949


April 6, 1949