January 28, 1953

LIB

Mr. Blanchette: (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

1. The total number of tires for cars stored at central mechanization depot, London, as at 31 December, 1952, was 565. Of this total, 492 were new tires, 49 were reconditioned (these are issued before new tires), and 24 were non-serviceable returned by units to be reconditioned in the army tire plant. All the new tires were purchased during the calendar year 1952.

2. The total number of tires for trucks and vehicles using truck tires such as buses, station wagons, trailers, and artillery equipment stored at central mechanization depot, London, as at 31 December, 1952, was 20,130. Of this total, 15,944 were new, 3,900 reconditioned and 286 non-serviceable. Of the new

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tires, 1,928 were purchased prior to 1949, 1,616 in 1949, 4,503 in 1950, 1,728 in 1951 and 6,169 in 1952.

3. The total number of tires for other vehicles stored at central mechanization depot, London, as at 31 December, 1952, was 4,021. Of this total, 3,620 were new, 342 reconditioned and 59 non-serviceable. Of the new tires, 568 were purchased prior to 1949, 410 in 1949, 1,647 in 1950, 256 in 1951 and 739 in 1952.

Topic:   CENTRAL MECHANIZATION DEPOT
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KOREAN FORCE PERSONNEL

EMBARKATION LEAVE

SC

Mr. Shaw:

Social Credit

1. Were members of the Korean force stationed at Camp Borden in the month of December, 1952, granted Christmas or embarkation leave during December?

2. If so, was provision made by the Department of National Defence to pay the railway and berth fares between Camp Borden and the homes of said members?

3. Were service personnel granted such leave obliged to provide any undertaking respecting the repayment of sums provided to cover the cost of the berths and tickets?

4. If so, what was the nature of such undertakings?

Topic:   KOREAN FORCE PERSONNEL
Subtopic:   EMBARKATION LEAVE
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LIB

Mr. Blanchette: (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

1. Personnel stationed at Camp Borden in the month of December, 1952, warned for duty in the Far East, were granted Christmas or New Year's leave, except for a small number who were not eligible for a variety of reasons (in detention, in hospital, etc.). A number of personnel combined their Christmas or New Year's leave with their embarkation leave.

2. Free transportation, meals and berths were provided for those who took embarkation leave. Free transportation is not provided for Christmas or New Year's leave. Personnel who did not take embarkation leave at Christmas or New Year's will be eligible for it at a later date.

3 and 4. No.

Topic:   KOREAN FORCE PERSONNEL
Subtopic:   EMBARKATION LEAVE
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OIL EXPORT BY PIPE LINE

LIB

Mr. Goode:

Liberal

1. Has any oil company asked permission to export oil by pipe line to the United States, west of the Rocky mountains?

2. If so, has permission been granted?

Topic:   OIL EXPORT BY PIPE LINE
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LIB

Mr. Mcllraiih: (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production; Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

1. No. An application has, however, been received for the construction of a pipe line for export purposes.

2. Answered by 1.

Topic:   OIL EXPORT BY PIPE LINE
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DEFENCE ORDERS, 1951-1952

PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

What was the total value, by provinces, of contracts and defence orders placed by the Canadian

Commercial Corporation and/or the Department of Defence Production for each of the calendai years 1951 and 1952?

Topic:   DEFENCE ORDERS, 1951-1952
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LIB

John Horace Dickey

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

Mr. Speaker, if I may, I should like to answer this question orally. At various times in the past questions such as this have been placed on the order paper bj hon. members, and the minister, the formei parliamentary assistant, and I have explained in this house why it is not feasible to table an answer. The most recent statement ol this position was made by the minister or May 30, 1952, and appears at page 2771 of Hansard as follows:

A question has been raised as to why we do no' publish figures showing the value of projects placec in the various provinces. The simple answer which I have given on several occasions, is tha' we see no value in giving such figures inasmucl as they in no way reflect the impact of the defencf program on the various sectors of the country They do not take into account the large proportior of subcontracting which is inherent in this type o: work. They make no allowance for the source o: raw materials going into the contracts, and ir many cases they are misleading because contract: placed at head offices in Ottawa or Montreal ari often carried out in company plants which may bf located as far away as the east coast or the wes coast. *

This explanation applies directly to th< present question. I should also point ou that full information regarding the letting o all contracts over $10,000 is made public b} the publication every two weeks of complete lists of contracts awarded. This informatior is available to all hon. members.

Topic:   DEFENCE ORDERS, 1951-1952
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AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT

CCF

Mr. Knowles: (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

1. Were any cabinet ministers, deputy ministers government officials, or any other person or per sons, permitted to see a copy of the 1952 report o the Auditor General, at any time prior to its beinj tabled in the House of Commons on Monday after noon, January 12, 1953?

2. If so, what are the names of such persons ant on whose authority were they permitted to see thi report?

3. On what date or dates did any such person: see this report?

4. Were any cabinet ministers, deputy ministers government officials, or any other persons, given j copy of the 1952 report of the Auditor General, o any digest or summary of its contents, at any tim< prior to its being tabled in the House of Common on Monday afternoon, January 12, 1953?

5. If so. what are the names of such persons, an< on whose authority were they given a copy of thi report, or any such digest or summary?

6. On what date or dates were such persons givei a copy of this report, or any such digest o summary?

Topic:   AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

Mr. Speaker, this ques tion relates to a document prepared by thi Auditor General, who is not a governmen official but an officer of parliament. Since thi report is printed under the authority of thi Minister of Finance (Mr. Abbott) and i:

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tabled by that minister, it is of course obvious that it must have been seen by officers of his department before it was tabled in the house.

I do not think it would be appropriate for the government to address to the Auditor General the questions raised by the hon. member with respect to other departments. The Auditor General is always available to appear before the public accounts committee when his presence is desired, and it is open to any hon. member to address to him any question he may see fit to put to him directly.

However, with respect to this question the, Auditor General, on his own initiative, has sent me a memorandum which I perhaps might read to the house in order to supplement this answer. It is as follows:

Ottawa, January 26, 1953 Memorandum to the Prime Minister:

Re Question No. 61 of Order Paper for January 26.

Mr. Knowles asks a series of questions with respect to the handling of copies and "any digest or summary" of the 1952 audit report to the House of Commons. The Minister of Finance is out of town today; therefore I address this memorandum to you.

The report is bound with volume I of the public accounts. Before the book was tabled on January 12, copies were delivered by the printing bureau to the Department of Finance, the audit office and, perhaps, to the joint parliamentary distribution branch. In addition the queen's printer distributes to the official mailing list and also stocks copies for sale. Consequently, a number of departments are involved.

Audit Office

The statutory direction is to make a report to the House of Commons. Consequently, all copies of the printed report which are delivered to the audit office are safekept by the assistant auditor general and myself until the Minister of Finance tables.

Annually, during the preparation of the report, numerous copies of the draft are in circulation throughout the audit office and, as a matter of established routine, supervisors of audit discuss some paragraphs with departmental and treasury officers in order to make certain that:

(a) the text is factually correct; and

(b) notice is being taken of all material facts.

I do not expect departments to concur in my views, but I endeavour to make certain that a fair statement of facts is given to the House of Commons. Paragraphs are brought to the notice of departments by use of clippings from either the draft text or printer's proofs. Whenever a supervisor thinks, after discussion, that a change in text should be considered, he discusses it with me and I decide.

Between August 25, 1952 (the date when I put a draft in circulation throughout the audit office) and October 27 (the date when the order to print was given) various paragraphs were brought to the notice of departmental and treasury officers. It was fortunate that we did so because, after the report was printed, a mistake was discovered by an officer of the Department of National Defence in paragraph 53 (page 23 of printed report). This paragraph deals with contributions to the services

pension account and stated that a total of $7,225,000 was in arrears. The national defence officer pointed out that the correct figure was $1,225,000, and this had the effect of making certain audit comment inaccurate and also some observations in paragraph 61 (page 25), which refers to the same subject. The queen's printer co-operated by reprinting four pages and pasting them in the already bound books. As a result, corrected figures and comment appear in the report as tabled and distributed.

No one likes to refer to his mistakes, but in this instance I'm particularly appreciative of the action of the national defence officer because some paragraphs in the report may be regarded as critical of national defence methods and it would have been easy, by keeping silent, "to put me over the barrel" by reference to the mistake after the report was tabled.

If the decision is to give a composite answer to No. 61,-

That was the number it had the first time it appeared on the order paper.

-so far as the Auditor General is concerned, replies are:

1. No.

2 and 3. Answered by No. 1.

4. Selected paragraphs in draft form were brought to the notice of officers, of agriculture, crown assets disposal corporation, external affairs, finance, national defence, national gallery of Canada, national research council and the treasury between August 25 and October 27. 1952.

5. A verbal direction of the Auditor General to supervisors of audit is to make certain, through discussions with accounting and administrative officers, that facts are accurately and fairly stated, and for that purpose they may show drafts of selected paragraphs to treasury and/or departmental officers.

6. Answered by No. 4.

Topic:   AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

May I ask a supplementary question? If the memorandum answers it the Prime Minister may draw that to my attention. Do I take it from the memorandum which the Prime Minister just read that, in the case of any department to which relevant paragraphs were referred, all of the paragraphs pertaining to that department were referred thereto?

Topic:   AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

No; I take it that it is paragraphs about which information from the department as to the accuracy of factual statements is required which are shown to the audit officers or treasury officers of the department, and that if as a result of that the supervisor finds that any change might have to be made he discusses it with the Auditor General, who decides whether or not a change will be made.

Topic:   AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT
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IRRIGATION

SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER

CCF

Mr. Argue:

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

1. Did the Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture, or any other member or official of the government, either by letter, telegram or verbally, instruct officials of the P.F.R.A. not to appear before the royal commission on the South Saskatchewan river project?

2. If so, for what reason?

Topic:   IRRIGATION
Subtopic:   SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER
Sub-subtopic:   INSTRUCTIONS TO P.F.R.A. OFFICIALS
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?

Mr. Si. Laurenl@

I have the answer here. It is as follows:

1 and 2. The royal commission on the South Saskatchewan river development was established to determine "whether the economic and social returns to the Canadian people on the investment in the proposed South Saskatchewan river project (central Saskatchewan development) would be commensurate with the cost thereof" and "whether the said project represents the most profitable and desirable use which can be made of the physical resources involved".

In pursuing their inquiry, the commissioners were afforded by their terms of reference, as is usual in references of this kind, such assistance and co-operation from all the departments of the government as they thought they might need. That they received such assistance from the P.F.R.A. throughout the whole of their inquiry is evident from the numerous acknowledgments contained in their report. Hon. members can refer, for instance, to pages 9, 43 and 45, where the commissioners make it clear that their task would have been impossible without the material and researches of the P.F.R.A. and the help of P.F.R.A. officials.

This commission was established to get information which the government did not already have and to make recommendations to it. As the commissioners had access to all the records and technical advice of the P.F.R.A., it was not necessary for them to have formal appearances by federal officials at public hearings. The government shared this view and gave this opinion to the officials of the P.F.R.A.

In reaching that conclusion, the government had in mind the fact that it would not be fair to place civil servants in a false position by requiring them to appear publicly and express opinions on matters on which the Minister of Agriculture and the government as a whole had subsequently to reach decisions.

Topic:   IRRIGATION
Subtopic:   SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER
Sub-subtopic:   INSTRUCTIONS TO P.F.R.A. OFFICIALS
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January 28, 1953