March 29, 1950

VISITORS IN GALLERY-HOLSTEIN BREEDERS FROM ELGIN COUNTY

PC

Charles Delmar Coyle

Progressive Conservative

Mr. C. D. Coyle (Elgin):

Mr. Speaker, we have with us today in the gallery to our left a number of the members of the Holstein breeders association of the county of Elgin, which happens to be the county I represent. Through you I should like to extend to them a cordial welcome and to express the hope that they have an enjoyable time while they are in Ottawa.

Topic:   VISITORS IN GALLERY-HOLSTEIN BREEDERS FROM ELGIN COUNTY
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NATIONAL FILM BOARD

REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS

LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Resources and Development)

Liberal

Hon. Robert H. Winters (Minister of Resources and Development):

Mr. Speaker, on March 8 the hon. member for Peterborough West (Mr. Fraser) asked me if I intended to table the report being prepared by Messrs. J. D. Woods and Gordon on the organization and business practices of the national film board. At that time I had not received the report, and while I did not give a definite answer, I indicated that I expected to table it.

The investigation was undertaken at my request after consultation with Right Hon. Vincent Massey, chairman of the royal commission on the arts, letters and sciences. The terms of reference under which the investigation was conducted were discussed with Mr. Massey, who informed me that they would serve his purpose as well and that the resulting report would be useful to him.

The report has now been received, and I have given preliminary consideration to its recommendations, some of which are along lines on which the government and the board have already been proceeding, others of which will require special consideration by the film commissioner, the board and the government.

Meanwhile, I feel that it would be of advantage to make the report public so that hon. members and others interested may also have the opportunity of considering its recommendations and the reasons given for them. I would accordingly ask the leave

of the house to table a copy of the report. In offering to table it, I should emphasize that it is not a governmental document which there is any obligation to table, and that I should not like my action in this case to be construed in the future as a precedent which would prevent the government from securing confidential expert advice in dealing with administrative problems.

In the present case I think there is something to be gained by discussion of the problems set forth in the report and of the solutions suggested.

I am gratified, and I am sure most hon. members will be equally gratified, by the tribute paid by these experienced business consultants to the achievements of the board and to the high level of service of the board's employees.

The report indicates that where there are weaknesses in the organization and methods of the board, they are in most cases the natural outcome of a rapid period of growth under the exceptional circumstances of war. The situation was aggravated by the obviously inefficient arrangements for housing the board's activities, which were, in turn, the inevitable result of the space problem all government agencies have faced during and since the war.

I shall not attempt today to indicate how far and how rapidly the government will be able to implement the recommendations, some of which incidentally do not call for immediate action. Since I asked Messrs. J. D. Woods and Gordon to make the investigation, Mr. W. Arthur Irwin has been appointed government film commissioner, and, as the report itself suggests, the commissioner should have ample opportunity to review the organization and activities of the board before final decisions are made.

I should like to take advantage of this occasion to say a word about another matter relating to the film board. The screening of the national film board, undertaken last year in conformity with the government's established security regulations, has proceeded to the point where it was possible for me on February 21 to direct the commissioner to inform all government departments and agencies concerned that the board was in a position to undertake work of a secret nature. This of course applies to the Department of

National Film Board

National Defence, and on the same day I advised the Minister of National Defence accordingly.

The screening of all employees of the board has been completed. Action has been taken in the case of a very few employees about whose trustworthiness the board was unable to feel any definite assurance. I hope no hon. member will press for details in the house about these matters, at least not until he has discussed confidentially with me any case that may be giving him concern. The reason is the one I gave the house on December 7, and which I should now like to repeat, namely that:

It would be a grave injustice to such persons- against whom there is no charge of wrongdoing, but merely the absence of satisfactory evidence of trustworthiness-to proclaim their names publicly and thereby injure their reputations and their chances of alternative employment. What I wish to emphasize is that it is not the government which would be hurt by publicity but the men and women whose reliability and trustworthiness are under examination; and nobody wants to be unfair and unjust to individuals.

I think I should make one other point. The process of screening of government employees is a continuous one. There is the usual turnover, with new employees being taken on; but it is the earnest hope of all who have been concerned with this matter that the number of cases of untrustworthiness in the future will be as rare as they have so far proved to be.

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

I should like to thank the minister for tabling the report. I think it is in the interests of the welfare of the national film board for the present and the future. I hope there is more than one copy of it; otherwise members will not have a chance to go through it.

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I do not want any of the details that the minister suggests should not be asked for, but would the minister care to indicate the number of the cases to which he has referred?

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

How many ministers are there over there?

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

Twenty-one.

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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?

An hon. Member:

More than there are on your side.

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
Permalink
LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order.

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Resources and Development)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

Perhaps I should tell the house that during the course of the screening there were some 580 odd files examined, and as a result thereof, and for reasons which could be attributed to the security screening, there were three separations from the board.

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I should like to ask a supplementary question, as to how the screening

was carried on in connection with the three employees of the film board to whom reference -has been made. Were they given a hearing before their employment was terminated? What opportunity did they have to meet the charges, if we can call them charges, that were made against them? Was any such opportunity afforded?

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Resources and Development)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

Mr. Speaker, I said the persons concerned were given every consideration. As I have said before, it is a question of trustworthiness, and in that connection I would refer to what Mr. Ilsley said in the house in 1948, that there are no precise tests by which one can judge the matter of trustworthiness.

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

Were they transferred to

another department, or just let out?

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Resources and Development)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

There was a separation from the board. I have not followed the cases since that time.

Topic:   NATIONAL FILM BOARD
Subtopic:   REPORT ON ORGANIZATION AND BUSINESS
Sub-subtopic:   SCREENING OF EMPLOYEES
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OLEOMARGARINE

PRODUCTION IN 1949 AND EFFECT ON BUTTER CONSUMPTION

LIB

Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Robert McCubbin (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a short statement. Last night, in the course of discussion of Bill No. 17 in committee, the. hon. member for Souris (Mr. Ross) asked some questions as to the manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada. The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) answered and said that the manufacture of oleomargarine in Canada was better than 3 million pounds per month, making an approximate total of 40 million pounds for the year 1949. Some exception was taken to this statement, and the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) asked that the matter be laid over, and requested that I make a statement today.

The total amount of oleomargarine manufactured in Canada last year was 73,958,000 pounds, and owing to the manufacture of oleomargarine the consumption of butter decreased in 1949 compared with 1948 to the extent of three and one-half million pounds per month, making a total of 42,345,461 pounds. It was this figure that the Minister of Agriculture used in his reply to the hon. member for Souris. The remainder of the oleomargarine either went into increased consumption or took the place of lard or shortening.

There were other questions asked by the hon. member for Brant-Wentworth (Mr. Charlton). Unfortunately I have not received yesterday's Hansard yet, and I am not sure of the exact questions. I will try to answer them later.

Topic:   OLEOMARGARINE
Subtopic:   PRODUCTION IN 1949 AND EFFECT ON BUTTER CONSUMPTION
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March 29, 1950