July 6, 1955 (22nd Parliament, 2nd Session)

PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

or six months from now. It would depend upon the political persuasion of the lawyer, though that should not colour his legal judgment; but he would have to say, "It is true that they have not exercised the power, but you might just as well realize that they have complete power and that your business is not secure at all. Your business may be taken over, your personal services may be taken over, if the government decide to do so." Any lawyer who recognized his obligations to his profession would have to advise his client accordingly, and his client then would have to take the chance as to what would be done. Obviously some hon. members will say, "All right, that is the chance we are quite prepared to take." But I repeat that it is the wording of the law, and that we should not be called upon to leave this in a speculative position and gamble with the security of our people under powers of this nature.
There can be measures of control over delegated authority, and we have pointed out how they can be exercised. We have made it clear, and let no one suggest anything else, that we are prepared to support delegated legislation in regard to the exercise of certain powers so long as the powers which the government itself said were excessive are removed and so long as the government places those powers under a proper time limit, only to be renewed from time to time by parliament itself. That is simple; that is what we have proposed over and over again. Make the department permanent. Unhappily within the life of every one of us defence is going to be a continuing responsibility of parliament.

Topic:   DEFENCE PRODUCTION ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS RESPECTING SALARY OF MINISTER AND EXPIRY OF ACT
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