Angus MACINNIS

MACINNIS, Angus

Personal Data

Party
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)
Constituency
Vancouver Kingsway (British Columbia)
Birth Date
September 2, 1884
Deceased Date
March 3, 1964
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angus_MacInnis
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=b8094e9f-95f3-46b2-ab3e-9e132f32ed9e&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
motorman, unionist

Parliamentary Career

July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
IND
  Vancouver South (British Columbia)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
CCF
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
CCF
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
CCF
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
CCF
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
CCF
  Vancouver Kingsway (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 7 of 1083)


February 11, 1955

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Minister of Veterans Affairs if he is now prepared to answer the question I drew to his attention yesterday.

Topic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON CHANGE IN TREATMENT REGULATIONS
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February 10, 1955

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver-Kingsway):

In the absence of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, I should like to direct a question to his parliamentary assistant which he can take as notice. Telegrams received from veterans' organizations in British Columbia indicate they are concerned about amendments to the veterans' treatment regulations made by order in council 1955/102, passed on January 20. Would the minister make a statement that would indicate what change has been made from the previous order regarding the burial of persons who die while receiving treatment?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
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February 8, 1955

Mr. Maclnnis:

I quite agree that the estimates of the Department of External Affairs, as far as this particular motion to refer them to committee of supply is concerned, are a little different, because on those occasions the motion was made with Mr. Speaker in the chair. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) has a much better memory, but I believe on

946 HOUSE OF

Special Committee on Estimates occasions Mr. Speaker has left the chair. However, the purpose of that debate was to give the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) and others in the house an opportunity to discuss external affairs and not necessarily the estimates of that department. If we can be quite sure that there will be no interference with debate in taking these estimates into committee I believe we can get over any other difficulty. I quite agree with the minister in his statement that there is no reason for two debates.

I have been discussing the matter with some of my colleagues and they are concerned as to whether we would have an opportunity to debate these estimates when they come back to the house. My understanding is that we will have such an opportunity, in the same manner as we will have an opportunity for discussing the estimates of the Department of External Affairs.

I believe a great deal of good can accrue from referring these estimates to a special committee. I believe everyone who has had the opportunity to serve on the committee for external affairs has found that committee very useful indeed. I can recall outstanding explanations that have been made on the operation of government policy to that committee, and such explanations alone justified any time spent there. We had an extremely useful explanation during last session when Mr. Cavell outlined to us the work being done under the Colombo plan, and I am sure everyone found that information-information we could not get easily in the house- extremely useful. Last year and the year before that we had a most interesting three or four days with Mr. McNaughton who explained to us the workings of the international joint commission. It is questions of how policies are put into operation that take up time on the estimates, and not the scrutinizing of how the money is paid out. For that reason I believe the committee should be set up.

The hon. member for Greenwood mentioned that private business could not possibly carry on its operations in the same manner as we do here. But if private business had 265 members insisting on talking on every matter that was brought under consideration by the president or general manager, and insisting on giving publicity to all that took place, I do not believe private business could handle its affairs as it does now. I am not saying that they handle their affairs particularly well now, but they certainly could not do so under those circumstances. That is what happens in this house. Everything that the government does is supposed to be done in a goldfish bowl. That may be a good

thing or it may be a bad thing, but we must realize that that is the way public affairs are carried on. There are some people, I assume, who would like to make the work of these committees a matter of determining particularly whether such and such an expenditure should be made-and I find nothing wrong with that-or whether economies could be made. But in a quarter of a century of experience here, I do not think that I have ever heard of a member complaining- in fact, I am sure I have not-that the appropriation for his constituency was too large and that it ought to be reduced. It is my opinion that until we come to the state of mind that will enable us to criticize appropriations for our own constituencies, it ill behooves us to be too virtuous in our criticism of other estimates.

Over the years I have noticed the two papers here that criticized the government- and particularly one of them-unmercifully. I do not mind that. I think it is a good thing for the government even if the criticism is not always justified; but I think it is justified in most instances. But if you put in the estimates an appropriation for Ottawa, there is no criticism. If there is any criticism at all, it is that the appropriation is not enough, and that a great deal more could very well be spent in the city of Ottawa with good effect.

It seems to me that economy is not so much a matter of the saving of money as it is of the proper expenditure of money, or the getting of proper value for the money that we spend. I do not want to revive another debate, but the other evening someone said that we, in this group, were always ready to spend the other fellow's money. I am not particular whether or not that accusation is made against me, as long as I am trying to save the other fellow's life or to improve his life; and that is what we have been trying to do here with a great deal of the money that the government spends.

As to the matter of economy, I am reminded of a story I heard about a Scotsman, the head of a family. It is rather strange, but the Scots are about the only race left about whom you can have a joke without giving offence. This Scotsman bought a barrel of apples. When he took the lid off the barrel, he found there were a few bad apples on the top. Being thrifty, he insisted that his family consume the bad ones first before they consumed the good ones. But lo and behold, when they had taken off this layer of bad apples those that were previously good had now gone bad, so they had to eat them also. Eventually they consumed the whole barrel of apples but they ate them

all in a state of decay, more or less. That is not good economy, in my opinion; it is poor economy indeed. It is that kind of economy that we ought to try to avoid.

I do not know that there is anything more I want to say on this matter. As an experiment, I think this suggestion is worth trying. It is not a matter of policy but rather a matter of procedure. If we can make it work, it will be to the benefit of all of us. But it is an experiment that is not breaking entirely new ground because, as I said before, we have had the external affairs committee for several years and I think no one would wish to abolish that committee.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER CERTAIN ESTIMATES
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February 8, 1955

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, when this matter was brought before the house some years ago, I believe, as the minister said, it was in 1947, this party approved of referring estimates to committee. But in doing so we were not and are not any less suspicious of the government and its intentions than if the estimates were considered on the floor of the house.

I listened carefully to the arguments advanced by the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell) and though he finally approved of this motion most of his arguments, it seemed to me, were against the motion, though I believe the same arguments could be used against the setting up of any committee for any purpose.

Special Committee on Estimates

I believe we should try to remember that times change and parliament and legislatures are today being called upon to deal with many more matters of importance than they were even 20 or 25 years ago. For that reason, if for no other, we should try to find ways in which we can deal with these matters expeditiously.

I believe I am just as firm in my resolve as the hon. member for Greenwood that we should not forgo any opportunity for debate in this house on matters of importance. I would add, however, that during the years in considering the estimates in the house a great deal of time has been taken up not so much in dealing with particular items as in dealing with questions of policy or other questions which could not be discussed except on the estimates. I confess I have been as guilty in this respect as many other hon. members. However, one aspect of our parliamentary institution in which I take pride is that there is no question which cannot be discussed here. A private member will have an opportunity to discuss any subject in which he is interested if he watches for that opportunity, and most of us watch for such opportunities during the discussion on the estimates.

I am not sure whether I understood the minister correctly when he said that these estimates would be referred to the committee without debate. If he means that these committees will be brought into supply and no debate will be allowed, then I disagree with him because I am not prepared to sacrifice any opportunities we have for debate on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER CERTAIN ESTIMATES
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February 7, 1955

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to prevent the vote. I merely say that I do not think it is within the competence of anyone to say that the amendment means something except just exactly what it says. However, I am sure I am speaking for the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar when I say that he would be perfectly agreeable to the suggestion made by the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton).

Topic:   XII HUMAN RIGHTS
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