March 29, 1945 (19th Parliament, 6th Session)

NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

May I say just a word on that? Of course the reason why there may be mistakes in the legislation of last year-and I am wondering that we have not found dozens of flaws, instead of the few that seem to exist-is that in the speech from the throne, in January, this government envisaged the introduction of this legislation, but it was not brought down until long after. We asked for it in the house continually, but right up to almost the very last minute the house was sitting the government was not ready to bring it down. Time after time I asked the minister when it would be brought in; and I do not think there was ever less opportunity to debate an important piece of legislation in this parliament than was the case in connection with this measure. It is all very well to say we had time, but if I remember correctly the bill was brought in and given first reading one day, and we were asked to debate it the very next day. There was no opportunity to get the reaction of veterans' organizations or of the country at large, and with the limited opportunities hon. members had to deal with that legislation I wondered when the first explosion would come with respect to flaws in it. That is the answer to the minister's question, as to why people were not alert to the flaws in the measure as it went through. When legislation is being rushed through parliament you cannot expect hon. members to do justice to it. The responsibility definitely rests upon the government, and nowhere else.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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