May 29, 1963

PRIVILEGE

MR. DESCHATELETS REFERENCE TO ARTICLE IN


"GLOBE AND mail"


LIB

Jean-Paul Deschatelets (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. J. P. Deschalelels (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege.

I notice that my name appears on the front page of today's edition of the Globe and Mail in connection with the following:

(Text):

Shortly after the Liberal victory at the polls a dinner that became known as the Ruby Foo's party was held in Montreal. The dinner brought together successful Liberal candidates and Mr. Banks. Among those reported to have attended were public works minister Jean-Paul Deschatelets, Edmund Asselin, member for Notre Dame de Grace, and George Lachance, member for Lafontaine, who acted for Bernard Boulanger, director of the S.I.U.'s welfare plan at the Norris inquiry.

(Translation):

I am amazed that my name should be mentioned in that report since I have never met Mr. Harold C. Banks nor even spoken to him on the telephone. I do not know him and I could not even say what he looks like. Moreover, I have never set foot in Ruby Foo's restaurant and I regret to say that I never had the pleasure of eating out with my colleagues from Notre Dame de Grace (Mr. Asselin) and Lafontaine (Mr. Lachance).

Under the circumstances, I hope that the person who wrote the article will confirm my statement after checking the facts. I must add that the hon. members for Notre Dame de Grace and Lafontaine also deny the report. [Later:]

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LIB

Georges-C. Lachance

Liberal

Mr. G. C. Lachance (Lafontaine):

Mr. Speaker, I did not have the opportunity, a few minutes ago, to speak following the statement made by the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Deschatelets). I should like to add that I fully support the statement he made to the effect that neither he nor the hon. member for Notre Dame de Grace, nor myself have been invited to or have attended a dinner in Mr. Banks' company, with whom I have never had dinner. Furthermore, I might add that it has been two or three years since I last set foot in the restaurant where the dinner took place.

(Text):

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LIB

Edmund Tobin Asselin

Liberal

Mr. Edmund Asselin (Noire Dame de Grace):

On a question of privilege, I thought the Minister of Public Works had made the matter clear. However, I think I should say I was neither invited to nor present at any such meeting as is referred to in the Globe and Mail this morning.

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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Frank Howard (Skeena):

May I, too, in conjunction with this, indicate that neither do I know Hal Banks, nor do I have any great desire to.

(Translation):

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SC

Gilles Grégoire

Social Credit

Mr. Gilles Gregoire (Lapointe):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to put a question to the Minister of Justice (Mr. Chevrier). In view of the almost disgraceful manner in which the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Deschatelets) denied a moment ago the report published in the Globe and Mail and since the same item reports also that there were meetings between the Minister of Justice and a Liberal organizer-

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?

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Would you come to the point?

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SC

Gilles Grégoire

Social Credit

Mr. Gregoire:

My question is this: Is the Minister of Justice denying the report published today to the effect that he had discussions with one of the directors of the S.I.U.?

(Text):

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?

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

The question is completely out of order, but in order to complete the report may I say the restaurant in question is in my constituency and I knew nothing about this meeting, nor had I had anything to do with it.

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MAIN AND SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, 1963-64


Messages from His Excellency the Governor General transmitting the main and supplementary estimates for the financial year ending March 31, 1964, were presented by Hon. Walter L. Gordon (Minister of Finance) and read by Mr. Speaker to the house.


LIB

Walter Lockhart Gordon (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Walter L. Gordon (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, by leave of the house I would like to make a statement concerning these estimates. The main estimates being tabled today are those which were prepared last fall and which have been the basis for the

Tabling of Estimates

operations conducted under authority oi special Governor General's warrants during April and May of the current year.

The supplementary estimates (A) are also being tabled today and contain the customary adjustments of the main estimates. Total budgetary expenditures in the main and supplementary estimates for 1963-64, including amounts already authorized by continuing statutes and moneys parliament is being requested to appropriate, amount to $6,545,504,515.

Because of the need for carrying on the financing of government operations by special warrant for the last two months of 1962-63 it will be necessary to await the appearance of the final expenditure figures for that year in order to make detailed comparisons. The government intends to report to parliament the total estimates and supply picture for 1962-63, following a detailed review being made to determine items and amounts which should properly be charged to the accounts of that year.

The royal commission on government organization, the Glassco commission, made suggestions for improving the form in which the estimates are presented to the house. These are at present under review but no change has been made in the form in which the estimates for the current fiscal year are now being presented.

With the permission of the house I now request that there be included in Hansard two tables relating to the estimates. The first table compares the 1963-64 estimates with the total budgetary estimates for several preceding years. The second table indicates the changes in the main estimates for 1962-63 and 1963-64, broken down by administration and operation, capital and other costs.

Mr. Speaker, there are two ways of effecting economies in government expenditures. The first is by a detailed examination of each item of expenditure and the particulars of each establishment. The second is by a realistic reappraisal of policies and programs approved in the past and carried forward from year to year more or less automatically. The purpose of such a reappraisal would be to see if certain programs that may have been quite justified and useful when originally introduced should now be dropped, or reduced in scope, in favour of new programs of greater importance under the economic and social conditions prevailing today. Both these approaches are needed if a thorough control over government expenditures is to be exercised. It may be, however, that the second approach of reappraising existing programs will provide greater opportunities for

eliminating or reducing less necessary government expenditures than a long drawn out examination of details, which sometimes degenerates into mere penny pinching.

Treasury board is now examining the programs of each department with the assistance and co-operation of the ministers concerned. Of necessity this examination will take some months to complete. Any reductions in the 1963-64 estimates which may result from this further examination and review will be reflected in the appropriations the house is asked subsequently to authorize.

The government is also pressing forward with a review of the recommendations made by the Glassco commission. Those recommendations of the commission that may be expected to result in greater efficiency throughout the public service or in useful savings of expenditures will be implemented as quickly as possible.

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?

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Does the house give permission to the Minister of Finance to have printed in Hansard the explanatory notes and attached tables relating to the 1963-64 estimates?

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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

[Editor's note: For explanatory notes and tables referred to above, see appendix.]

Hon. George C. Nowlan (Digby-Annapolis-

Kings): Mr. Speaker, the statement which has just been given to the house by the Minister of Finance in connection with the tabling of these estimates is, of course, of interest to all hon. members. I have not had an opportunity to see the statement, which sometimes has been given to financial critics prior to the tabling of the estimates. All I can say at the moment is that we have listened with interest to the minister's statement and will give proper consideration to the explanations he has given. I gather from what he said that treasury board may still be dealing with a revision of these estimates. I presume, however, that the estimates which are now put before hon. members are the final estimates of his government in so far as the financial year is concerned, and we will not expect these to be amended except as further expenditures are required.

I am very happy to see some reference finally made to the report of the Glassco commission-

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

-and the fact that the present government is considering dealing with some of the economies which were recommended by that commission. At the moment, Mr. Speaker, there is nothing one can say in this matter except that we have before us today

the estimates for the coming year. I am not sure what procedure is going to be adopted by hon. gentlemen opposite in dealing with the estimates for the preceding year which, due to their own obstruction, were never approved by parliament.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

I assume that some legislation will be brought in to validate those estimates, otherwise I think we on this side of the house will have to take a very careful look at this matter to decide what procedure we are to adopt. But at the moment we welcome the tabling of the estimates today. I hope this government follow the economies which their predecessors attempted to institute. We will consider this matter and deal with it on a future occasion as circumstances warrant.

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May 29, 1963