March 16, 1939 (18th Parliament, 4th Session)


Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour


Government members of the committee undoubtedly have asked, though, that they go to Toronto. I think it is an error. It would be far better to bring people to tell what the plant was like in the beginning. One cannot now see what it was like, even if one did go. Then the committee could have people come to tell what the plant is like at the present time.
It would look now as though the plant is being groomed as the seat of action for munitions. While I should like to see the manufacturing done under public ownership-and I must not continue with this, or Mr. Speaker will rule me out of order-it would appear that this plant is being prepared for the manufacturing of munitions. The government having spent $844,000, it is going to be difficult to pass over that company and give it to others.
The hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard struck a very patriotic note. I was afraid to laugh too much, for fear he would too, and that would have spoiled the effect. May I say to him that one need not have armaments in these days in order to win a war. Just walk in-there is not even a protest. So that the hon. member's arguments seem rather far-fetched. I do not think hon. members of the committee who do not want to go are any less patriotic than hon. members who do want to go. If I were a member of the committee-and I am glad I am not-I should not want to be taken there to see a new plant, and then be put into the very awkward position of saying that the plant was not a fit one in which to do manufacturing.
I be'lieve the committee would be well advised to forget about it, and, as is the usual custom with committees, bring experts here. Otherwise if the government is going to do

Public Accounts Committee Report
what we hope it is going to do, if it is going to be fair and give contracts in other places, this committee will have a great time travelling around the country. It will not be in a position to stop after the visit to Toronto; it will have to go to many different places.
I believe the good sense of the House of Commons, no matter how the vote goes, is that the committee would be well advised not to travel or to start on a roving commission.

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