Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver):
I thoroughly appreciate and welcome the sentiment my hon. friend has expressed; if that is the attitude he is going to take I appreciate it. But we have been criticized for not calling for competitive bids, and I thought it only fair to put the essential facts upon the record so that they would be available.
The late administration during the four and a half years from April 1, 1931, to October, 1935, let contracts as follows:
1. By public advertisement, eleven contracts, totalling $736,874.
2. By selected bidders, from selected lists, 284 contracts, totalling $5,013,502. In other words, Mr. Speaker, of the contracts available for competition where the amount involved was more than $5,000, the late government let by public advertisement:
1. By number of contracts, less than 4 per cent (3-7 per cent).
2. By dollar value, only 13 per cent.
They gave to selected bidders more than ninety-six per cent of their contracts, representing eightv-seven per cent in value of those available for public tender. Altogether, of contracts available for bidding, they let 295, to the value of $5,751,377. In five and a half years, under the previous administration, only eleven contracts, representing $736,874 out of $5,751,377, were offered to public bidding in the dominion.
Now we, sir, have let in three years in office, by competitive bidding, contracts to the value of $12,677,367. In three years and two months, down to December 31, 1938, the present government let 135 contracts by public advertisement as compared with eleven contracts in five and a half years under the previous administration.
Subtopic: CREATION OF DEFENCE PURCHASING BOARD TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR MUNITIONS, EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES