-that the leader of the Opposition should make that statement. The returns brought down by the government of which he was a member will prove the truth of the statement. I made the statement a few moments ago that when the war came the floodgates were opened, but I have already stated that under these conditions very high prices would be paid for everything the government needed to purchase at that time to prosecute the war. What I complain of however, and the leader of the Opposition knows it, is that much of this expenditure was due to premeditated arrangement whereby enormous prices would be paid, much higher than were necessary for the goods that were required. I do not want to go into this matter at this late hour of the evening, after some years have passed since these events, but my hon. friend knows that what I have said is true. He knows that in many instances no effort whatever was made by the government of which he was a member, at all events by the ministers of the Crown in some of the departments, to curtail some of these expenditures or to see that anything like value was obtained for the money expended. I am quite conservative when I say that for every dollar expended in the war at least 50 cents was either wasted or stolen, and this could have been prevented. The result is that the public debt to-day might have been a billion less than it is and taxation nearly cut in two. I do not want my hon. friends opposite to assume therefore that there is any political party in this country responsible for the enormous debt
The Budget-Mr. Hughes
which is now resting upon us, and for the heavy taxation which we have to meet, except the official opposition of to-day.
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE