May 21, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


William Duff



I am not interested in what the Minister of Finance has done; in fact the Minister of Finance has made a splendid budget statement under the deplorable circumstances. But the Minister of Public Works is directly responsible for the expenditure in his department and I am asking him, not the Minister of Finance, who does not happen to be here. It is not fair for the Minister of Public Works to throw this on the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Finance is from Nova Scotia and I will not allow the Minister of Public Works to throw anything on him. I am asking the hon. gentleman how this $2,500,000 voted last year was spent. In addition to that $2,500,000 blanket vote, which was in the $40,000,000 last year, we voted a number of other items. Let me tell you what they were. Will somebody please get a pencil and add them up; I am busy. I can understand my hon. friend from North Huron (Mr. Spotton) laughing; he is a jolly soul and appreciates what I am saying, and if there were a secret ballot taken in the house he would vote with me. In addition to the $2,500,000 under this blanket vote of $40,000,000 you will find that we voted for harbours and rivers generally, in 1934, in addition to 1935, for Nova Scotia, $50,000; for New Brunswick, $75,000; for Quebec, $300,000; for Ontario, $100,000; for Manitoba $40,000; for Saskatchewan and Alberta, $10,000; for British Columbia, $75,000. We voted nearly $1,000,000 in the last session of

Public Works Program
1934. We voted another 82,500,000 and we voted $1,140,000 two months ago for harbours and rivers generally. And now we are asked to vote another 82,500,000. These are very large amounts, and the ordinary taxpayer is wondering what this government is doing with all this money. And the end is not yet. That is only part of the expenditure which the Minister of Public Works is trying to put over.
Now let me take your memory back to the year 1929-30, when the present Minister of Public Works was a humble member of the opposition and when, for instance, the Post Office vote was under consideration. Perhaps virtue has received its reward or otherwise, but you will remember that in 1929-30 the Minister of Public Works kept this house for three weeks, associated of course with my hon. friend from Port William and some other hon. members-my hon. friend from Digby-Annapolis (Mr. Short), who I hope is going to the Senate soon. I wish to God I were going there myself. But those hon. gentlemen helped the present Minister of Public Works to hold up the Post Office estimates in 1929 and 1930. We did not then hear the present Minister of Railways in stentorian red blooded Canadian tones talk about the Liberal party or any party holding up a vote. That was all right in 1929 and 1930 when the present Minister of Railways tried to make capital against the Liberal party at that time; but a similar situation is a terrible one now. It does not make any difference whether we spend 830,000.000 or $70,000,000, the joke is that the situation is like that of a man who is bankrupt, because that is what this government is. It has almost brought the country to bankruptcy and it does not care how much it spends-

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