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


Robert James Manion (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


My hon. friend is supporting my argument, although I do not suppose that was his intention. Even though he is in industry, the hon. member for Waterloo South would not be able to tell any more about this plant after having visited it than he would before his inspection. All he would be able to say is that it looks as though it might be a good industrial plant. That is the reason he gives for not going. I submit that no other member of the public accounts committee is qualified to make an inspection, certainly not the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard, and certainly not myself if I were a member. I suppose that he and I are average of the house in general, but I do not think that either, of us could visit that plant and give to the public accounts committee any opinion which would be worth while. In my position as minister and as a member of this house for many years I have had the opportunity, as have other hon. members, of visiting mines and industrial plants. That is the usual method of entertaining members of parliament when they visit industrial cities and towns. You go through a plant, you see a lot of wheels turning and belts going round, you see a lot of men at work, but you come out no wiser than you were before. Not one member of this committee will be able to go into this plant

on Saturday morning and be any wiser afterwards as to whether the plant will be able to manufacture Bren guns in a splendid manner.

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