Mr. Prime Minister and gentlemen, this is an occasion which obviously calls for plain speaking and a frank expression of our reaction to the address delivered this morning by the Minister of Finance. Mr. Ilsley's comprehensive address might well have been reduced to one simple word of two letters: No! For that reason his statement conveyed much more than just an unsatisfactory negative answer to the considered opinions expressed around this conference table by the provincial premiers. It conveyed an attitude of uncompromising rigidity on the part of the dominion government that is indefensible in the light of the circumstances as they are.
Then Mr. Manning is reported again on page 538 as follows:
Now, Mr. Prime Minister, I cite these facts not in a spirit of bitterness, but rather for the sole purpose of emphasizing the attitude of uncompromising rigidity which the dominion government has adopted in this matter.
I am forced to say this after listening to the reply of the Minister of Finance to the submissions of the provincial premiers that, if this conference fails, and I sincerely hope that even yet it will not fail-but if this conference fails, the responsibility for its failure will rest squarely on the doorstep of the dominion government and will be due to the attitude of uncompromising rigidity expressed on behalf of the government by the Minister of Finance this morning.
Then as to the apparent reason for the real charge made by the Minister of Justice I should like to quote Mr. Ilsley from page 624, the final page, as follows:
As the Prime Minister reminds me, I must proceed at once with the preparation of the budget. It is not possible for me to wait until an agreement is reached, and I will have to prepare the budget in the light of the fact that no agreement has been reached. In the meantime my suggestion is that we should adjourn sine die, and that the government take into consideration the points of view that have been expressed here today, and then arrive at a decision as to the procedure to follow and the position to take.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY