Hon. John C. Munro (Minister of National Health and Welfare):
Mr. Speaker, I am now in a position to make the statement concerning Indian health services that I promised the house a week ago on Monday.
Early this year as part of the government's drive to halt inflation a general paring was made through all departments. Indian health services were involved in this as well. In an effort to maintain current standards and services within the over-all framework of government fiscal policy, directives were sent out which put forward fields of activity which could be cut back without endangering the over-all health of the Indian and Eskimo communities.
There was a good deal of protest over this from those who felt that we should not attempt in any way to economize where our native Canadians were concerned. Accordingly my predecessor made a clarifying statement to the house on March 26-
Subtopic: STATEMENT RESPECTING INDIAN HEALTH SERVICES