February 1, 1937 (18th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, for reasons that I made quite clear last session I do not agree with the steps that are being taken, but it is sufficient to say that; for it is quite evident that the government desires to proceed in this way, and having sufficient numbers to enable it to do so, that is the end of it. I think an inquiry of another kind would have been very much better than an inquiry before a political committee. I think it would be very much better to have a non-party body-not partisan but non-party-judicial or otherwise, than a committee of this house, to consider a matter that will lend itself to so much acrimonious discussion. I assume it was for that reason that the government selected a judge rather than a committee of this house to investigate textile matters. I believe that that is a much sounder method, but since the government has decided to proceed with a committee, I think the motion itself is hardly ample so far as the last paragraph is concerned. It is a motion to continue an investigation that has already been partly carried out, and it is not sufficient to say that what has already been done should be made available to the committee; it should be provided that what has been taken in the way of records

shall become part of the records of the continuing committee. Simply to make it available does not enable the committee to utilize it for the purpose of predicating findings upon it. It should become part of the records of the new committee. I shall content myself with making this observation, but I cannot think that the end sought will be accomplished as effectively as it would be by the utilization of the other method. Had that been done, the inquiry might have been carried on during the recess and the results made available to parliament, which is hardly possible now so far as this session is concerned.

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