March 14, 1939 (18th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

In order to
make my position quite clear may I say that my hon. friend would be quite justified in attacking me or in attacking the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) with respect to any official within our departments who may not be performing his duties as he should. But we are the persons to be attacked; we are the responsible ministers, and the same would apply to the ministers of the other departments. My hon. friend is quite within his rights in bringing to the attention of the house anything at all in connection with the attitude of individual public servants; and, speaking for myself, if officials of any department with which I have to do are assuming attitudes which they should not assume towards members of the House of Commons or the Senate, I will be the first to speak to them about it. But I would say, knowing him as I do, that Doctor Skelton is the last man in the world who would seek for a moment to be other than wholly deferential to all hon. members of the house, and I believe the same is equally true of Doctor Clark.

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