July 14, 1944 (19th Parliament, 5th Session)

LIB

Harry Leader

Liberal

Mr. LEADER:

I thank the Prime Minister for his kind words. It is because of lack of government action, which I am trying to point out, that I feel it is necessary for me to bring this matter before the committee again. I hate to be considered to be even half out of order; I want to obey the regulations of parliament and adhere to the rules in all cases; but I believe this is the proper -time to bring up the subject which is in my mind, namely the investigation of a scientist-some doctors would not call him a scientist-a research worker who has given the best part of his years in research work endeavouring to find a cure for cancer. The man I have in mind is Doctor J. R. Davidson, of 232 Somerset block, Winnipeg. I hope that is definite. You have the subject of the remarks I am now going to make. I hope I am not going to be too long; certainly I do not wish them to be controversial, but if it should happen that they are, I shall try to uphold my end.
As I pointed out when I commenced speaking, it is just one year ago to-day, since this question was first brought up in the House of Commons and no definite action has been taken. There has been some superficial work which has really aggravated more than it has helped the situation. We have heard from one side only, and that is as a result of the superficial investigation which was made by the medical committee of the research council. We have heard nothing with regard to the government's attitude; and because it is so vital to me I have taken it upon my shoulders to acquaint the people of Canada with the true situation, and 10,000 pamphlets have gone out throughout this dominion. I am getting hundreds of letters every day; I know that public opinion is behind me; and I dare to bring a matter up of which I am supposed to have no knowledge.
Just last night I had a telephone call from Windsor. A friend who was operated on for cancer, had been sewed up and for whom nothing could be done, wanted to get the address of J. R. Davidson of Winnipeg. The other day I read a letter from the northern part of Manitoba. I get letters by the hundred from both the western and the eastern parts of Canada; I receive some from England, some from the United States, some even from South America. So that when I make the statement that public opinion is becoming aroused, it is true. Circulars are being sent out from the city of Calgary addressed to ministers of the

Department of Health and Welfare
gospel urging them, if they have at heart the interests of the people of Canada, to back up this request for an investigation.
I am trying to be as temperate as I can, but I want to make my position clear. I said at Portage la Prairie

by the way, my speech was recorded; anyone can hear it, and I expect it is being heard all over this dominion and perhaps beyond it-that the medical committee of the national research council was developing monopolistic tendencies. I wish to prove that statement to-day. I do not want to make a statement and let it go at that; I want to prove what I say.

Topic:   NATIONAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   CREATION OF DEPARTMENT FOR MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND WELFARE
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