March 10, 1939 (18th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):

I do
not pretend to be an expert on military affairs. That information was given to me by the highest ranking officers, and naturally I accepted their opinion at the time. I say this to my hon. friend, that the production of small arms and ammunition has been increased so much in the other arsenals at our disposal that in my judgment the old objections with regard to Lindsay have disappeared completely.
The second conclusion of the Skelton committee, that the problem must be solved by administrative means, appears to coincide with

Defence Purchasing Board
the conclusion of the British royal commission, which admitted that the problem was fraught with difficulty. The problem is a new one, at least so far as Canada is concerned, and we can hope for progress only by experience. The department welcomes every constructive suggestion, but those emanating from outside the department have so far not been very constructive.
With regard to the third suggestion, the interdepartmental committee was set up and has cooperated with the department for the past two years. In that time this committee has passed upon contracts totalling in the neighbourhood of $10,000,000. In regard to the fourth suggestion, Mr. Fraser Elliott's recommendation that the capitalization of companies be closely watched, this is reflected in the provisions of one contract which restrain the company from selling shares without the consent of the minister. This is the first time in the history of Canada that any such provision has been incorporated in a government contract. With regard to No. 5, which dealt with publicity, both the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence explained the situation very fully to the house in 1937.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
Full View