November 23, 1945 (20th Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Mr. HOWE:

This section embodies the general transfer to the minister of the powers and duties of the Minister of Munitions and. Supply and the Minister of Reconstruction and Supply. I have a chart of the new department which could be gone into in detail. The merger is not at all difficult, because many of the functions are common functions, for example, the legal department, the service department generally and the deputy minister's department. The production departments of Munitions and Supply have been liquidated pretty well and merged into the purchasing department. The purchasing department will become one branch in the new department. It will still purchase the requirements of the armed services and certain material for other governments, but it will purchase as a purchasing department rather than as a series of production departments.
The controller's branch is closely associated with Reconstruction although still in Munitions and Supply. It will still be necessary to keep a few controls, such as lumber, metals as they affect atomic energy, rubber for a time and construction for a time; all having to do, not with war at the present time but with reconstruction. The transfer of these branches into Reconstruction will be a natural step.
The liquidation of accounts and contracts, which is the big job in the Department of Munitions and Supply at the moment, will work in naturally with Reconstruction, as will the renegotiation section which is also very active in connection with the liquidation of obligations of the Department of Munitions and Supply. It seems to me that the change over obviously brings the branches from Munitions and Supply, which in effect is an obsolete title, into the field of reconstruction which is of paramount interest at the present time. It will allow the orderly liquidation of war activities and will, I hope, enable the new department to give some help to reconstructing Canada's peace-time activities and to reconstructing our civil economy.

Topic:   RECONSTRUCTION AND SUPPLY
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OF DEPARTMENT TO ASSUME FUNCTIONS OF RECONSTRUCTION AND MUNITIONS AND SUPPLY
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