There was another one. At the end of the last session, on June 29, 1948, the house divided on my motion for a reduction of an amount of some $27 million which appeared in the estimates for the foreign exchange control board. I merely wanted to correct that inaccuracy on the part of the Minister of Finance. He said that no member-
May I ask the Minister of Finance a question with respect to the Newfoundland estimates? I confess to some concern about this matter, having studied the wording of the so-called Newfoundland estimates after we had them before us at an earlier stage. I think it was clearly understood by all of us that the estimates referred to as Newfoundland supplementaries were for items the whole of which would be spent in Newfoundland. I notice, however, that, for example as to health grants, in each case the item is worded in the same way as the corresponding item in the main estimates. Further, in most cases the wording even in the Newfoundland supplementaries is to the effect that so much is to go to each province, the balance to be distributed amongst all the provinces on the basis indicated in the resolution. I am sure it was the intention, when these items were brought in, that the full amount in the so-called Newfoundland supplementaries would go to Newfoundland. What about the wording of those items? It looks to me as if some trouble may arise. Can the Minister of Finance answer my question?
The only difference between the main estimates and the so-called Newfoundland supplementaries is this. When the main estimates were brought down, Newfoundland was not a part of Canada. It was therefore necessary to bring in estimates for a supplementary amount which represented merely the departmental officials' idea as to what would be expended in Newfoundland to extend dominion government services to that province.
But the effect of filing two sets of estimates is this. The two sets are in effect consolidated, and the general votes for departmental administration, for instance, now extend to Newfoundland. But there has been an additional amount provided, in view of the probability that departmental administration will be somewhat more expensive because it has
to be extended to Newfoundland. The proposal now made in these estimates is the additional four months for Newfoundland and one item of an additional one-sixth to cover the special vote for unemployment relief in that province.
The minister certainly got my point in part, because he indicated that what happened was that the so-called Newfoundland supplementaries will be consolidated with the corresponding items in the main estimates. May I ask him to consider a particular item? I will pick out the one for "mental health grant to assist the provinces".
In the main estimates it is one subdivision of item 276. In the Newfoundland supplementaries it is one of the divisions of 694. The wording is the same in both cases:
Mental health grant to assist the provinces in the prevention of mental illness and in extending progressively the provision of free treatment; to be distributed on the basis of a flat amount of $25,000 to each province and the balance according to population.
But the amount in the main estimates is $4 million, and the amount in the Newfoundland supplementaries is $122,171. The minister has just said that these two amounts will be consolidated. That makes a total amount of $4,122,171. My question is this. Will the minister assure us that by some means the $122,171 will go to Newfoundland? It would appear that once you consolidate those two items you simply have a total amount of $4,122,171 which, according to the wording, must be distributed on the 'basis of two minimum amounts of $25,000 to each province, after which the balance of the consolidated amount, including the amount for Newfoundland, is to be divided amongst the provinces according to population. I submit that that interpretation was not the intention of the government or of parliament. If the minister can give an assurance with regard to this matter, I should like him to do so.
My colleague the Minister of National Health and Welfare will correct me if I am wrong; I have not the Newfoundland supplementaries before me at this moment. But the position in Newfoundland will be exactly the same as that in any other province. As to the amount which is voted in the supplementaries, the legal effect is exactly the same as though it had been originally included in that item in the main estimates.