January 14, 1953

DEFENCE EXPENDITURE

INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxlon (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, on a question of personal privilege, during the debate yesterday I was asked to put on Hansard certain correspondence but I find that I did even more than I was asked to do. As the file had just been handed to me, through inadvertence I put on Hansard a draft of a letter addressed to Mr. Currie which had been prepared for my consideration.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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PC

Arza Clair Casselman (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Casselman:

And marked "confidential".

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

That was the way to mark it at that stage. It was neither signed nor sent. This appears in the righthand column of page 977 of Hansard for January 13, and I hope a correction will be made.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposiiion):

In view of the information

which has been given to the house by the Minister of National Defence, and having regard to the fact that the letter to which he has referred has been placed on the record, I wonder if he would look at it and answer this question. Should not the word "such" in the second line of the second paragraph be "much"?

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

The letter was never considered in such detail as that. It was offered to me, I said I did not agree with the idea, and that was the end of it.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

The minister has misunderstood the nature of my question. I am not questioning the choice of words. I am suggesting that the word that appears here is not likely the word that appeared in the copy that was presented, that the word "much" seems to be the word that likely appeared there, and I am asking the minister if that is not correct.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

I do not see any advantage in editing here a letter that we never decided to send.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Speaker, since this point has been raised, the letter is on record, and it at least is a clear indication of what the minister was thinking at the time and may be very helpful.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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LIB

George James McIlraith (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllrailh:

No, no.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Oh, Mr. Speaker, I am not suggesting in this house for one moment that the minister writes a letter of this kind without thinking.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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LIB

George James McIlraith (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Mcllrailh:

He did not write it. That is the point.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Therefore I have asked-

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. There is nothing

before the house at the present time except a statement by the Minister of National Defence that a certain letter appears in Hansard which he had not intended should appear.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

And which I did not write and did not dictate, and as soon as it was submitted to me I decided that the idea was not a good one. No consideration was given to the language whatever.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Then may I ask the minister how it is that his signature is reproduced in Hansardl

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

I imagine that was added at some stage either by a clerk or a printer, but it was not signed.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   INADVERTENT TABLING OF DRAFT LETTER
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January 14, 1953