Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that the provinces are in much the same position as that in which we in this group find ourselves. Having waited for so many years to get something out of this government, I suppose they felt that when they bad a chance to get a slice of bread they had better grab for the slice. I think that is precisely the reason why some of the provinces were in agreement that this would be the first step. All I am saying now is that I will agree. My own province is certainly right behind this measure but not because they feel that this is the answer and not because they are satisfied with what this government is doing. They are behind it because from bitter experience they know that that is the best we can wring out of a reluctant government at this particular time.
I want to draw to the attention of the house, in order to get the matter into its proper perspective, the fact that in 1919-the hon. member for Vancouver South mentioned it and I am happy that he did so-when the Liberal convention, the convention which selected the late Mr. Mackenzie King as leader of the Liberal party, promised the people of Canada health insurance, they meant health insurance, not hospital insurance. They envisaged and had in mind a comprehensive health insurance scheme for Canada. The promises were repeated over the years. In the early part of the 1940's, during the war years, we know that under federal government auspices an advisory committee of this house was set up, and that in 1943 it brought down a recommendation that the federal government was to meet three-fifths of the cost of a grants-in-aid program to the provinces in order to enable them to enter into a full scale medical health service program with the federal government. Arising out of the studies made at
that time, certain proposals were made. I mention this matter because a statement was made by the minister at an earlier stage in this debate in which he made some reference to the fact that this legislation was far more generous than were the provisions made at that time.
Subtopic: AUTHORIZATION OF PAYMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED REVENUE FUND