June 26, 1954

CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

I should just like to say that I would agree with the minister's last remark in particular. I think that the extension services are perhaps even more vitally important than are the services provided here in Ottawa. While I risk this comment being out of order at this late date, I would say that the matter of a national library, to my way of thinking, should perform the same function. If we are going to promote national interest and cultural interest in this country, I think we should be building up extension services rather than building up some super de luxe library and national gallery at the

capital. After all the main function of a public library is service to the public. I should simply like to express myself as being in favour of the extension of both services of that type.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
PC

Daniel Roland Michener

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Michener:

As a last question, I should like to ask the minister how he manages to know so much about his department, to lead the house and to answer as well the 16 or 17 letters that he probably receives from every member during the course of the session?

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Shall the item carry?

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

I should like to ask one other brief question of the minister who has, shall I say, the ultimate responsibility. After all, I suppose the ultimate responsibility for any department devolves upon the minister. But, with respect to item 76-

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order. Is item 75 carried?

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Carried.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink

Item agreed to. 76. Payment to the national gallery purchase account lor the purpose of acquiring works of art in conformity with section 8 of the National Gallery Act, $130,000.


CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

I am really helping things along here. Who has the responsibility for the choice of these various works of art? I need not tell the minister that of late there has been some criticism with regard to certain works of art that were purchased. There was some question as to whether they were value for the money expended. Is there a board or is the matter left to the officials of the national gallery or the head of the national gallery himself, or who does that sort of thing?

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

I know there has been criticism but I did not know there had been any criticism directed at the national gallery with respect to the works of art. One of my hon. friend's compatriots objected to the expenditure purely on the ground of economy. I do not think he objected to it on the ground of artistic value.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

What does the minister mean by one of my compatriots?

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

To be exact, I meant the hon. member for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

He is not a compatriot of mine.

An how. Member: Of the same party.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

Let us call him a colleague or something like that, but not a "compatriot".

6S3S

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

I did not intend to use the

wrong word, Mr. Chairman. The purchase of works of art is undertaken for the gallery by the director himself together with his advisers, narrowing the field down and submitting alternatives to the board of trustees for the ultimate choice. It happens that the board of trustees in most cases are persons who are not only well informed on art matters generally but particularly well informed by in many cases having studied the collection concerned. It is true that the director consults the minister before he consults the board in the sense that he wishes to have my agreement with his plans, but I do not try to exercise any taste in the matter. I leave that to the board of trustees, and I am sure they are very competent to carry out the purchases.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

I would point out that this is a very narrow and specialized field and these works of art involve so much money that the purpose of my question was to be sure that the people involved were competent in this field not only on a narrow provincial or even national basis. Most of us are not competent to judge whether a picture is worth $100,000 or $300,000, and while I want to get the best works of art obtainable I am anxious to see that we do not have to pay huge sums on the supposition that these things are something particular when perhaps there might be more care exercised in such purchases.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

I do not think it would be proper to let this item carry-

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

Who is going to have the last question?

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink
PC
PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

In view of the attitude of the Minister of Finance and certain others over things which have been said before with respect to the time allowed for the discussion of this department, I want to make certain it will not be misunderstood or stated in future years that the house must have been satisfied with the time allowed because it carried all the items in this department before six o'clock. We are not satisfied with the time which has been available for the discussion of this department and I say, with all friendliness to the minister, that were it not for the fact that His Excellency is on the way to close the session we would be carrying on and would carry on for some considerable time, probably for another day, the discussion of the affairs of this department before it would have been adequately dealt with. I want it clearly on the record that we are terminating this discussion now because of

Ways and Means

arrangements which have been made for the closing of the session and only for that reason.

Topic:   PROVINCIAL AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Permalink

Item agreed to. Resolutions reported, read the second time and concurred in.


June 26, 1954