April 27, 1955

PRIVILEGE

MR. JOHNSTON (BOW RIVER) REFERENCE TO STATEMENT IN OTTAWA "JOURNAL"

SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. C. E. Johnston (Bow River):

On a

question of personal privilege, in the issue of the Ottawa Journal of Tuesday, April 26, the Canadian Press reported me as having said, and I quote from the newspaper:

Mr. Johnston raised his protests in opposing a bill to extend provisions of Alberta's health plan to residents of national parks in the province.

Of course that is quite contrary to the facts. I shall refer to one part of my speech which is indicative of what I said on many occasions during that speech. I am quoting from page 3131 of Hansard:

As I said when I started my remarks, we are all grateful to the minister for bringing in this legislation-although it is only his job-and making it possible for the people of Banff to have hospital service.

That makes quite clear the stand on which I took on the matter. There are many other references which give the same impression, but I shall not bother to read them.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. JOHNSTON (BOW RIVER) REFERENCE TO STATEMENT IN OTTAWA "JOURNAL"
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MISCELLANEOUS PRIVATE BILLS


Fourth and fifth reports of standing committee on miscellaneous private bills.-Mr. Hunter.


QUESTIONS

CARIBOU-WOOD ISLAND FERRY

LIB

Henry Byron McCulloch

Liberal

Mr. McCulloch (Pictou):

When is work expected to start on the ferry to be built in Pictou, Nova Scotia, for operation between Caribou and Wood Island?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CARIBOU-WOOD ISLAND FERRY
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LIB

J. G. Léopold Langlois (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Langlois (Gaspe):

It is expected that work in the shipyard will commence in July, 1955.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CARIBOU-WOOD ISLAND FERRY
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CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION

PC

Mr. Fulton:

Progressive Conservative

1. Did the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration make a trip to the Pacific coast during the Easter recess of parliament?

2. Was this trip for the purpose of official business? If so, what were the details of the business, and when and where was it transacted?

3. Was the government railway car used by the minister on this trip? If so, who were the occupants of the car?

4. Between what points and by what route was the car moved on this trip, and what was the duration of the trip?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
Sub-subtopic:   TRIP BY MINISTER
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LIB

Mr. Pickersgill: (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

1. Yes.

2. Partially. The minister inspected offices of the immigration branch in Victoria, Vancouver and Calgary; the Indian affairs branch in Vancouver and Calgary; the citizenship branch in Vancouver; and the national film board offices in Vancouver and Calgary. He received a delegation on Indian affairs at Calgary; inspected a new citizenship reception centre at Calgary and addressed the Women's Canadian Club of Calgary on citizenship. These duties occupied every working day not spent in travel.

3. Yes. The car was occupied by the Minister of Fisheries and two of his children and by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, his wife and four children.

4. From Ottawa to Vancouver by C.N.R. and from Vancouver to Ottawa by C.P.R. From April 6 to April 18, 1955.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
Sub-subtopic:   TRIP BY MINISTER
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CURRIE REPORT

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

With respect to the 18 types of accounting irregularities in No. 11 works company R.C.E. found by the chief auditor of the Department of National Defence, as summarized in the Currie report:

1. When was each of these irregularities found and reported on by the auditor?

2. What action. In detail, was taken as a result of his findings in each case, and when?

3. What action, in each case, was taken following the submission of the Currie report, and when?

4. Were any changes in personnel made as a result of these findings and actions, and if so, what changes?

5. After the actions and changes referred to in parts 2, 3 and 4 were taken or made, if any, what further or continuing investigations were made with respect to the administration of this company, and when?

6. What were the results or findings in each case?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CURRIE REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   ACCOUNTING IRREGULARITIES
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LIB

Joseph-Adéodat Blanchette (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Blanchette:

No. 11 Victoria 1951

Cost accounting records are of little value because certain

essential data are not included.

(a) Distribution of casual labour was not prepared by civilian pay May to Sep due to pressure of work in the section.

(b) Indirect costs not charged.

(c) Stores not yet priced have not been included in cost accounting records.

(d) Quarterly inventory reconciliations are not prepared.

It is difficult to get personnel to do the job as required. A clerk grade one was authorized, but the job requires a clerk grade three. With four incompetents in I j years it was impossible to get the job done properly. Recent authority has been received to upgrade this job to 2A.

Type 18: No. 11 Chilliwack 1952..

No cost accounting has been done since Julyl951. Itis planned to commence next fiscal year if a finance clerk can be trained in time to set up records.

A clerk has been trained and records set up and difficulties are being overcome. Consolidated report 1 Aug 1951 to 31 Jan 52 was compiled and submitted and report for February was submitted 10 March.

Type 19: No. 11 Victoria 1951

Unit personnel are of opinion that staff is not sufficient to maintain cost of accounting records.

See irregularity No. 17.

Type 20: No. 11 Chilliwack 1952...

No. 11 Vancouver 1952

One hourly casual labourer employed as full time storeman and clerk.

Command have been endeavouring to regularize part V establishment of Coy. Pending approval it is proposed to obtain authority to employ this man against a military vacancy.

Two casual labourers misemployed, one as draughtsman and one as a clerk.

A sgt draughtsman was posted and there was no trained person to replace him except a civilian. The other employee is only employed part time as clerk when work load becomes too great.

3212 HOUSE OF COMMONS

Questions

3. Shortly after the submission of the Currie report, the judge advocate general, at the request of the Minister of National Defence, examined each of the instances of irregularity mentioned in appendix B. His report of his investigation is contained in minutes and proceedings of the special committee on defence expenditure No. 11, 5 March 1953, pages 288-297.

With respect to No. 11 works company, there were 32 instances of irregularity, classified under 18 types, reported by the chief auditor. The judge advocate general found that in nine instances there had been no violation of regulations or instructions; in these instances the chief auditor had either commented on errors in accounting or on the manner in which records were kept or had made recommendations. In the remaining 23 instances, the judge advocate general found no evidence of culpable neglect; in these cases it appeared that breaches of regulations arising from improper motives had not been committed and the persons concerned had been reasonably zealous and conscientious. There was, therefore, no ground for taking legal action in any of these instances.

Nearly a third of the instances reported by the chief auditor were, in the judge advocate general's opinion, the result of a shortage of staff. The remainder were very largely understandable errors, honest misinterpretations of regulations, bookkeeping errors and other minor breaches of regulations; in other instances the explanation provided by command or army headquarters was considered reasonable. In only one case had there been any loss (a refrigerator valued at $80) and a full investigation was unable to find the missing article or to establish any responsibility for the loss.

Following the tabling of the Currie report, many improvements were pressed forward in the army works service as a whole, as well as in No. 11 works company. Regulations governing works procedures, financial accounting, stores control and general administrative procedures were reviewed to provide a closer control over the type and quality of work being done, expenditure of funds and the holding of warehouse stocks. Surplus and stockpiled stores were withdrawn from works services units and sent to engineer stores depots for retention. Warehousing facilities at works units were improved.

The Currie report recommended that real property records be brought up to date as quickly as possible. It was calculated that this project would require three years to complete and it has been steadily pressed forward.

Questions

Shortage of staff had been a major difficulty. A new army works services establishment was approved and the civil service commission made every effort to fill vacancies with qualified personnel. In particular, as recommended by the Currie report, estimators were employed. Special courses have been conducted to train new personnel in their duties. Recruiting and training of personnel has been a lengthy process and the results are only now being felt.

An inspection and audit group has been established within the directorate of works and frequent inspections have been carried out.

4. Yes. Two administrative officers, three works officers, two estimators, three stores officers and twenty-eight clerks, storemen and foremen were added to the company.

5. (a) Since December 1952 the chief auditor has made eight audits of the company on the following dates:

1953 1954 1955Vancouver March March JanuaryVictoria March February MarchChilliwack March April(b) The directorate of works inspection team inspected the company on the following dates:(1) 23 June to 12 July 1953(2) 7 June to 25 June 1954(c) The command engineer, western command, makes a tour of inspection quarterly.(d) The inspectorate of quartermaster services inspected the company in April 1953 and May 1954.(e) The chief inspector of the Adjutant General's inspectorate inspected the Vancouver detachment in January 1954.(f) Periodic inspections are also made by the commanding officer of the company.6. In reports of audits made since October 1952, the chief auditor has made observations through the normal channels, concerning instances of irregularity, all of a minor nature, in No. 11 works company. A third of these observations have dealt with the condition of property records, while recognizing that the task of putting these records in proper order is a long-term project. The March 1955 audit at the Victoria detachment noted that property records there were now in satisfactory condition.

Some instances were noted of scrap not being taken on charge quickly enough following the completion of works projects. Bookkeeping errors, which did not involve any

Questions

losses, were also reported. One instance of misemployment was observed but it was recognized that suitable employees could not be engaged until a revised establishment had been authorized.

The latest audits by the chief auditor at each detachment revealed that: at Vancouver there had been improvements in the engineer account although the ordnance account was still not acceptable (a determined effort is being made to improve it), at Victoria accounting records were on the whole satisfactory and at Chilliwack accounting records were in good condition although a few phases still required attention.

The new inspections by the directorate of works service inspection team resulted in a number of observations at Chilliwack, Victoria and Vancouver. All these observations were noted and explained and action taken to correct the situation where necessary.

In 1954 the inspection by the inspectorate of quartermaster services resulted in a comment on security arrangements at each detachment. The area commander is studying this matter but the lay-out of the sites makes the cost of complete security prohibitive.

The chief inspector of the adjutant general's inspectorate made five observations after his visit to the Vancouver detachment in January 1954.

A statement concerning the investigation initiated by the commanding officer, which is still in progress, was given to the house by the Minister of National Defence on 21 March 1955 at page 2218 of Hansard.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CURRIE REPORT
Sub-subtopic:   ACCOUNTING IRREGULARITIES
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CUSTOMS ACT APPEALS

PC

Mr. Michener:

Progressive Conservative

1. How many appeals under the Customs Act have been heard and decided upon by the present tariff board since its appointment?

(a) Appeals and/or references by the deputy minister?

(b) Appeals by other parties?

2. How many such appeals have resulted in the reduction of customs duties on imported goods?

3. Concerning the appeals covered by item X (b), above:

(a) How many applications for leave to appeal to the exchequer court have been made?

(b) How many granted?

(c) How many have been heard and decided upon by the exchequer court?

(d) Of those in (c), how many have upheld the decision of the tariff board?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS ACT APPEALS
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L L

William Moore Benidickson (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal Labour

Mr. Benidickson:

1 and 3. Questions numbered (1) and (3) can most intelligibly be answered by one tabular statement, as follows:

Total appeals under the Customs Act lodged with the board since its appointment 150

Of this total, references by deputy

minister were 7

Appeals withdrawn after filing with

board 27

Appeals heard by board and disposed

of 109

Appeals awaiting disposal by board 14 Applications to exchequer court for

further appeal 14

Of these, on behalf of deputy minister 3

Applications granted by exchequer

court 6

Applications dismissed by exchequer

court 5

Applications for leave to appeal,

pending 3

Appeals heard by exchequer court . 6

Appeals disposed of by exchequer

court 4

Tariff board decisions upheld by exchequer court 4

2. In hearing appeals under the Customs Act, the tariff board, sitting as a court of record, takes no cognizance of the rates of duty or the amount of duty properly leviable and collectable. It determines, as the premises may require, either the proper tariff classification or the proper value for duty purposes. Accordingly, no record is kept by the board as to whether or not the effect of its finding is an increase or a decrease in the amount of duty-burden properly to be levied and collected by the customs authorities.

Note: The above tabular statement does not cover appeals before the tariff board under the provisions of the Excise Tax Act.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS ACT APPEALS
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QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS

STUDY OP RADIOACTIVITY RESULTS, CANADA

April 27, 1955