September 12, 1939 (18th Parliament, 5th Session)


Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. A. A. HEAPS (Winnipeg North):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour (Mr. Rogers) has stated that because of certain representations made last evening he now proposes to withdraw this bill. Some members of the house are not in favour of that course being followed. Personally, I think that when the house is in session all the legislation which the government seeks to put into effect should be brought down and passed upon by the house. In years gone by, objections were raised, particularly by hon. members to my right, to the government proceeding by order in council at a time when the house was in session.
There is strong resentment throughout the country against the increase in prices of everyday commodities of life. It is possible that in this proposed legislation is to be found the means of curbing those who would attempt to profit by the existing war prices. We are given the impression that by withdrawing these amendments to the Combines Investigation Act the government are weakening in their effort or desire to put a stop to war profiteering. If the house were not in session I could well understand the desire of the government or the desire of the opposition to see that action was taken under the War Measures Act, but I contend that the democratic method of procedure is to proceed by way of legislation when the house is in session. There is no excuse for the government's withdrawing legislation of this kind simply because some hon. members happen to be opposed to it. It may be that this legislation can be described as contentious, but if there is to be a real effort on the part of the government to curb profiteering I cannot see why such a
measure as this can be called contentious. I doubt if there is a single member in this house who does not desire that profiteering be curbed with the least possible delay.

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