August 9, 1956

NATIONAL DEFENCE

REFERENCE TO REQUEST FOR PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE


On the orders of the day:


PC

William Earl Rowe (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. Earl Rowe (Acting Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the alarming revelations expressed by two of Canada's outstanding military authorities, that is by General Macklin at the 25th annual Couchiching conference yesterday, and by General Guy Simonds in a recent interview, does the Prime Minister not believe it would have been advisable for the government to have accepted the recommendations made by the Leader of the Opposition to set up a parliamentary committee to hear these and other authorities who are repeatedly charging his government with dangerous errors, waste, extravagance and misdirected efforts in its defence policy?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO REQUEST FOR PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

That is a matter of opinion. I am not suggesting that the opinions expressed by the opposition were not sincere and intended to be beneficial, but I hope that hon. members will consider that we exercised our best judgment on that suggestion, and we did not think that kind of controversy would be of benefit to the cause of preserving peace in the world.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO REQUEST FOR PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE
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PC

William Earl Rowe (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

A supplementary question: I should like to ask the Prime Minister if he does not consider the statements made yesterday to be most alarming to the Canadian people and something on which we should have a report from the government?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO REQUEST FOR PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

I think they were intended to be alarming by those who made them, but I do not think they have created the alarm in the public mind that was intended.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   REFERENCE TO REQUEST FOR PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE
Permalink

NATIONAL REVENUE

LETHBRIDGE


On the orders of the day:


SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. Blackmore (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of National Revenue, notice of which I have not previously sent him. In

view of the minister's statement on July 27 giving the cost of salaries in the Lethbridge income tax office as $15,620 for 1951 and $17,060 for 1952, has the minister in reading the Holberton letter, a copy of which I put into his hands on August 7, noted that Mr. Holberton positively states that the staff in the Lethbridge office during 1951 and 1952 consisted of only one man and a stenographer? Will the minister tell the house how his informant arrived at the impressive salary costs which the minister gave the house on July 27 in relation to the upkeep of the Lethbridge income tax office, namely $15,620 and $17,060?

Topic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Subtopic:   LETHBRIDGE
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF OPERATING DISTRICT OFFICE
Permalink
LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. J. J. McCann (Minister of National Revenue):

Mr. Speaker, I did receive a letter from the gentleman mentioned and also a copy of that letter from the hon. member for Lethbridge. I see no reason why the matter should promote any controversy at all. I prefer to take the statements of my officials rather than those of an ex-employee of some five or six years ago who has made some contradiction with reference to the accuracy of the reported costs of that particular office. The matter of costs is not at issue; the matter at issue is whether or not the course we have taken of closing the office at Lethbridge is in the best interests not only of the department from an economic point of view but of the taxpayers of southern Alberta, whom we feel will get much better service by dealing with the Calgary office rather than with a suboffice at Lethbridge at which there are but three employees who were not in position to give the type of service we want to give.

Topic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Subtopic:   LETHBRIDGE
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF OPERATING DISTRICT OFFICE
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

No one can express facts any better than the minister has in his recent statement, but that is exactly what we are concerned about. I am asking whether the minister's statement which he gave to the house on July 27 was accurate, and that is also an equally important matter.

Topic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Subtopic:   LETHBRIDGE
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF OPERATING DISTRICT OFFICE
Permalink
LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

To the best of my knowledge the statement is accurate to a nickel. I prefer to take the statement of my officials rather than that of someone who is more or less disgruntled and who was an employee five years ago.

Topic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Subtopic:   LETHBRIDGE
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF OPERATING DISTRICT OFFICE
Permalink
SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

May I ask the minister if he is certain he can rely on the men who prepared the statement given to him?

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Subtopic:   LETHBRIDGE
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF OPERATING DISTRICT OFFICE
Permalink
LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

I have relied on them for years. I would not have anybody in the Lethbridge office on whom I could not rely.

Topic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Subtopic:   LETHBRIDGE
Sub-subtopic:   COST OF OPERATING DISTRICT OFFICE
Permalink

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


On the orders of the day:


PC

Wallace Bickford (Wally) Nesbitt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. B. Nesbitt (Oxford):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to address a question to the right hon. Prime Minister. In view of the news report over the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation this morning that the United Kingdom is reducing her NATO forces in Europe due to the Suez canal crisis by perhaps as much as a division, can the Prime Minister tell the house what effect this will have on Canada's military commitments to NATO?

Topic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO REPORTED REDUCTION IN UNITED KINGDOM FORCES
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. Si. Laurent (Prime Minister):

The news report over the radio may be accurate, but we have not yet received any official information from the United Kingdom that they do intend to reduce their forces in Europe. We prefer to wait until we get official information before we attempt to assess what effect it may have on the forces of the North Atlantic alliance.

Topic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO REPORTED REDUCTION IN UNITED KINGDOM FORCES
Permalink

August 9, 1956