George Alexander DREW

DREW, The Hon. George Alexander, P.C., C.C., Q.C.

Parliamentary Career

December 20, 1948 - April 30, 1949
PC
  Carleton (Ontario)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (October 2, 1948 - November 1, 1954)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
PC
  Carleton (Ontario)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (October 2, 1948 - November 1, 1954)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
PC
  Carleton (Ontario)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (October 2, 1948 - November 1, 1954)
  • Leader of the Official Opposition (February 1, 1955 - August 1, 1956)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 1429)


July 20, 1956

Mr. Drew:

Then may I take it from the answer of the minister that this subject is actually being examined and that if action is deemed advisable proper steps will be taken?

Topic:   NATIONAL PARKS
Subtopic:   INGONISH-REPORTED OUTBREAK OF SPRUCE BUDWORM
Full View Permalink

July 20, 1956

Hon. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to ask one supplementary question in connection with that. Will the Prime Minister not take into consideration the fact, in connection with the pensions payable to members of the civil service, the armed forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police whose pensions were fixed some time ago, that adjustments have been made under similar circumstances in the United Kingdom and in the United States and that consideration here would seem to be overdue in regard to people who are suffering very greatly as a result of the level being fixed at a time when the dollar was worth much more than it is today?

Topic:   PENSIONS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR COMMENT ON REPORT IN OTTAWA "JOURNAL" OF JULY 19
Full View Permalink

July 18, 1956

Hon. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that the letter of Mr. Bulganin to the government of Canada was known at the time

External Affairs

it was presented, and in view of the very general interest in the subject, I wonder if the Prime Minister is in a position to summarize the nature of the reply he has made, short of actually reading the letter if he deems that is not advisable? It seems to me there is general interest in the subject and that the members of the house might wish to know the effect of what has been said to the Russian government in these circumstances.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Full View Permalink

July 18, 1956

Mr. Drew:

That, of course, is not a correct interpretation at all of what was said. I might say, Mr. Chairman, it is dealing very lightly

with statements made by senior officers who were recently relied upon by this present minister. What I was pointing out is that we should have an opportunity to examine the accuracy of those statements before a committee and I asked for that committee at a time when it still could have been appointed.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   TEESWATER, ONT. CONSTRUCTION OF NEW POST OFFICE
Full View Permalink

July 18, 1956

Mr. Drew:

Before we proceed to the general remarks, I just want to refer to one point raised by the Minister of National Defence. Any suggestion that the reference to statements made by senior officers identified either myself or others with those statements is entirely out of keeping with the way in which the argument was presented at the time. What was pointed out to the minister, as he himself indicated some considerable time ago in this session, was that senior officers, including the gentlemen who formerly held the offices of chief of the general staff and adjutant general, had severely criticized the organization of the Department of National Defence and various aspects of our defence preparations.

I pointed out at that time, and I repeat now, that hon. members of this house are not in a position to judge the accuracy or otherwise of those statements. Those statements have been made, however, by senior officers upon whom the Minister of National Defence and the government were relying until a short time ago. I pointed out at the time I mentioned those statements that the minister himself had emphasized the dependence of the government upon our senior military officers in their expert capacity. This dependence has been emphasized by what he has again said this morning. He has emphasized his own agreement, in most cases, with the former chief of the general staff, and doubtless that applies to other senior officers who were, until recently, associated with the government, and who have expressed different views.

My reference to those statements, and they were statements which were directed to fundamental weaknesses if they do exist and if those statements are correct, was that those statements seem to justify the demand for a standing committee on national defence. Either those statements were right or they were wrong. The place where that could have been found out and the place where the facts could have been obtained was

before a standing committee on national defence. The Prime Minister made a strange statement in answer to my suggestion to this effect, that we do not operate under the same system as in the United States. This assertion had no relevancy at all to the suggestion. We already have a standing committee on external affairs where there must, certainly, be questions of security just as high as in the Department of National Defence. We have standing committees on other subjects.

Before those standing committees, under the rules guiding the direction of the affairs of those committees, it is possible to call for witnesses and the production of documents. My contention was that the way we could find out what the facts were in the light of the statements that had been made was to set up a standing committee on national defence so that all of us could have the real facts in regard to that department, which has been spending more money than any other single department of government. What the minister has said this morning in regard to this whole subject, where he has reviewed things that could have been under consideration before a committee, merely supports the demand that was made earlier that there should be a standing committee on national defence. I believe the government is shown to have failed in its duty in not appointing a standing committee on national defence when that was requested long ago. I believe what has been said justifies it still further.

I hope it will be realized by those who read the reports of what takes place here, that there are none of the facilities before a committee of the whole house which would compare, in any way, with the facilities offered by a standing committee; where the individuals themselves could be brought forward, where documents could be produced and where the information could be obtained upon which well informed decisions could be made in regard to this vitally important subject.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   TEESWATER, ONT. CONSTRUCTION OF NEW POST OFFICE
Full View Permalink