January 27, 1953

DEFENCE EXPENDITURE

CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE


Mr. David A. Croll (Spadina) presented the first report of the special committee on defence expenditure, and moved that the report be concurred in.


LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Jean Frangois Pouliol (Temiscouaia):

Before the motion is carried I have just a word to say. If we revert to times gone by, in Hansard of July 3, 1935, at page 4198 there appears the following discussion:

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

-the comptroller of the treasury's office is no good and I protest against this vote-

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

James Horace King

Liberal

Mr. Mackenzie King:

-the comptroller of the treasury took over certain of the functions which formerly belonged to the Auditor General.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Colin Emerson Bennett

Liberal

Mr. Bennett:

No, several of the departmental functions in connection with disbursements.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

James Horace King

Liberal

Mr. Mackenzie King:

The expenditures in that one branch are getting to be very large.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
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LIB

Colin Emerson Bennett

Liberal

Mr. Bennett:

It has control over all the disbursements of the country.

Mortuus adhuc loquitur!

Well, sir, I want to bring to the attention of members of the committee the fact that since Mr. Bennett, not by legislation but by order in council, changed the auditing system of all departments by centralizing them under the comptroller of the treasury, no minister except the Minister of Finance is responsible for any expenditures in any department.

It was not Liberal policy, it was Tory policy, and I opposed it bitterly at the time.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. The motion before the house is to concur in the first report of the special committee on defence expenditure. The committee report is a recommendation to the house that the committee be empowered to print from day to day 750 copies in English and 200 copies in French of the minutes of proceedings and evidence, etc., and to sit while the house is sitting. I do not believe such a' recommendation would permit a general discussion of the matters which have been referred to the committee or a discussion of the procedure in the committee.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

Mr. Speaker, if you permit me, what I said was the preamble of the

argument that I am going to make now. It will be very short and to the point.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Tell us what you have been doing for the last seventeen years if you objected to that policy.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

I will tell the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) that this was one of the most onerous legacies that a subsequent government inherited from the late Mr. Bennett. I know it hurts the Tories, but I am going to make my point. What I am saying is strictly in order, as you will see, Mr. Speaker, and as hon. members will see. I am not a miracle man. I cannot make the blind see, nor can I make the deaf hear. I know that it hurts, and I am sorry. I do not say this to hurt anyone; I say it to tell the truth and to guard against any injustice being done to either one of the Ministers of National Defence.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

May I ask the hon. member

now to discuss the motion. The motion is that the committee be empowered to print from day to day 750 copies in English and 200 copies in French of its minutes of proceedings and evidence, and such papers and records as may be ordered by the committee to be printed, and that standing order 64 be suspended in relation thereto; (2) to sit while the house is sitting. It is only those two matters which can be discussed at this time.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

Mr. Speaker, there is more to it.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Order, order.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

I want the evidence to be

taken by the committee to be in accordance with the elementary rules of justice, and I do not want the committee to sit while the house is sitting to commit any injustice with regard to anyone. It is for this reason, sir, that I bring to the attention of the hon. gentlemen, especially those who will serve on the committee, the fact that hundreds of accountants in the Department of National Defence are not under the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton). They are under the comptroller of the treasury since Mr. Bennett centralized the whole business of government payments.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Order, order.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

I know they will not understand. I have said what I wanted to say, and I thank you, sir.

Topic:   DEFENCE EXPENDITURE
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to.


January 27, 1953