September 11, 1950 (21st Parliament, 3rd Session)


Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)


Mr. Abbott:

My hon. friend has raised a good point and one to which we have given a good deal of thought. The reason for putting this definition in this way which, as he pointed out, is really hardly a definition, is that we wanted to maintain in this act a real degree of flexibility. As the committee will recall, in the order during the war subsection 2 provided that this order applies to all goods now in use except, and then we had a long list of exceptions. It will be found that the extent to which the order applied was fairly wide.
As I said in my general statement a little while ago, here we really feel that we need to have a bit more information as to the extent to which this order needs to be used before we draft the regulations. We have therefore taken in the act the discretion to the governor in council to determine what will come within the general description of consumer goods. I think it is fair to say that the governor in council will and should be bound by that general description. But admittedly it lacks precision. The order in council which will have to be passed pursuant to this paragraph (b) would have to specify what those goods are; and under a subsequent section would have to be published in the Canada Gazette, be tabled in the house, and so on, so that it would be available in the same way as the order of the wartime prices and trade board was available during the war. But at this time I repeat that we feel that it is desirable to maintain a real degree of flexibility in the legislation itself. That is the reason that the definition is in the terms in which it is framed and is not in effect a definition in the strict sense of the term.

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