Hon. J. L. RALSTON (Minister of National Defence):
Yesterday I answered verbally a
question asked by the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot). The latter part of my answer related to a question the purpose of which, the hon. member explained, was to inquire as to who represented the government in connection with the drafting of the Bren gun contract. I replied at that time to the effect that the government was represented by the judge advocate general and by the officials of the Department of Justice. I spoke from memory; as a matter of fact I had not understood the hon. member's question. But last night I had the matter checked up, and I find that I was quite in error in my reference to the officials of the Department of Justice. What I find is that the judge advocate general himself represented the department in connection with the contract, and that he did not consult the Department of Justice about this particular contract. What the judge advocate said, and what I must have had in my mind, was that there was a clause in this contract which was similar to a clause in previous contracts, about which clause he had consulted the Department of Justice, and as I remember, what he said was that he considered that what was good enough for the Department of Justice was good enough for him to insert in the contract.
I regret the error and hasten to correct it.
Subtopic: REPRESENTATION OF GOVERNMENT IN DRAFTING OF CONTRACT