June 20, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)


John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative


I am not going to criticize the minister for not having a large staff in this branch of his department. Several of the provinces have departments of their own, and what kind of top-heavy set-up shall we have across Canada if the provinces and the dominion go into this field? I studied this matter when I was in Great Britain. Their labour department looks after health insurance for 45,000,000 people, with no larger staff than the minister has. This idea of duplicating the work done in every province could only result in a top-heavy organization which the country cannot stand. The minister has already told the committee that his chief officials can take care of what is to be done in this small branch, and I commend him for that. If he is going to staff a health insurance branch for all of Canada we might as well wind up, because we cannot stand such duplication all over the country. Britain has only a small department looking after health insurance for a population five times as large as ours, and it is carrying on the work satisfactorily.

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