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

CON

Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

I do not think that is sufficient. My own opinion is that the minister or the government could improve the bill. I was going to refer to the minister, but by virtue of his office he would have access to the board. But, let us take, for example, the master general of the ordnance, who does much of the purchasing of supplies and who has a military training. He could be placed on the purchasing board, as a non-voting member, if you like. Or, it might be done the other way, namely by placing the chairman of the purchasing board on the defence council.
Dejence Purchasing Board

The point is that there should be some member in addition to the minister who is associated with one body and has a place on the other so as to achieve a closer liaison than there would be under the bill.
At page 9 of the Bren gun report there is a suggestion from the Artillery Association of Canada, and one from the conference of defence associations. They suggest the setting up of a munitions board, not a purchasing board such as proposed in the bill. The quotation I wish to read is on page 9. It is as follows:
There was also read into the record a resolution passed on November 13, 1936

That is two and a half years ago.
-by the conference of the defence associations -a body comprised of senior officers appointed by the different service associations who meet for a conference each year. The infantry association, the cavalry association and the artillery association each appoint four of their senior officers to represent them at what is known as the conference of defence associations, which meets in Ottawa and at which matters pertaining to the militia are discussed. The resolution of November, 1936, read as follows:
"That this conference of Defence Associations urges the government of the Dominion of Canada to take immediate steps to create a munitions board or some similar body to control the production within Canada of such munitions as can now be made here satisfactorily and to prepare plans for the effective mobilization of our industrial resources in the event of war, and that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition."
This had reference to the late leader of the opposition. The report goes on:
And the following resolution unanimously passed in February, 1938, by the officers of the artillery association (both the permanent and the non-permanent force officers) was read:
"That steps should be taken by the government to appoint a munitions board-
The same suggestion.
-under the chairmanship of a skilled manufacturer to provide for the manufacture of all munitions which can be efficiently produced in Canada."
In view of these suggestions made by the only associations in Canada which really represent all different branches of Canadian defence forces, I think the government might be well advised to accept some such suggestion as I am making. I say that because it seems to me that the munitions board would go much farther than it is proposed the purchasing board shall go. In fact, I have had a couple of representations from members of the conference of defence associations urging that the defence purchasing board is not sufficient. On the other hand I have been told that at least one of the very prominent members of that association supports the board. The

minister may have information with regard to that. Anyway, I repeat that there has been opposition by a couple of members-

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