June 7, 1940

LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Chairman, I do not see how the hon. member for Renfrew South can state that a layman cannot express any view about this branch. It is all composed of laymen, and therefore we are all on a common ground.

On the other hand, sir, now that you have had time to check by the book of rules, I would ask you please to make your decision on the imputation of personal motives to the member for Temiscouata by the hon. member for Renfrew South. Has an hon. member the right to impute personal motives to any other member?

Before I take my seat, allow me to say that I am wholly in favour of the fight against narcotics; but it is not carried on by that branch, it is done by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where they have chemists who can do their own job and do not have to transfer the whole thing to another department.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB
LIB
LIB
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I will ask the hon. gentleman to sit down, and I will rise. I suggest that things go on as they are now, for everything is done by a department of the mounted police. According to the evidence of Colonel Sharman, all the analyses are made there. The analyses are not even made in the national health branch.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

That is incorrect.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Then there has been a change. I will tell my hon. friend that if he is right, Colonel Sharman is wrong, because when he appeared before me, Colonel Sharman told me that all the analyses were made by the mounted police. Things may have been changed and he may now have all the work.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I am informed that the hon. member's information is entirely incorrect.

Supply-Health-Narcotic Drugs

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Well, all right, but I was badly informed by Colonel Sharman when he made that statement to me in the committee. 1 want to tell the hon. member for Renfrew South that there are three things involved in the opium and narcotics service: first, the inspection; second, the seizure; third, the analysis, and afterwards there are reports, prosecutions and so on. But in this case it is my personal knowledge, as having had first hand information under oath from the chief of the branch himself in one of the special committees of this house, that the branch were making no seizures; and I would ask the minister if they are making any seizures.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

The police make the seizures.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Yes. The minister is confirming what I say. The branch do not make any analyses. If an analysis is made by the department, it is made by the laboratories branch, which is an altogether different branch. Therefore, what is the use of the opium and narcotic drugs branch, which is the fifth wheel of the coach? That is the point. Moreover, half of the time the chief is not there; he is travelling to Geneva, signing papers he does not understand.

For all these reasons I do not see why we should vote such an enormous amount of money for nothing. I do not have to stand for abuse by any hon. member, because I am carrying on the fight of the common people. I should like to discuss the same matter before the electors in Renfrew South or anywhere else, and I should get the cheers of the crowd.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

John James Kinley

Liberal

Mr. KINLEY:

I have had considerable

experience in the wholesale and retail drug business. I have been handling narcotics for many years, and I wish to say that the action of the national health branch in the protection of the public against the improper use of narcotics has been most stringent, and, I believe, most effective. With regard to this protective work, there is a man whose name, as I recall it, is Nairn, a graduate of the Ontario pharmaceutical college. I know that he visits Nova Scotia, and he calls on the wholesale trade and makes tours of inspection all over the country. In all our stores the mounted police come once a month and check up on the narcotic books. Your books must be kept in proper order and must be balanced. Once in a while we may hear of some drug addict and usually it is someone who has the privilege of using the drug in some way or another, but the detective work of the department is scientific and most efficient. In my opinion the National Health branch is doing 95826-42

splendid work, and the use of narcotics in Canada, as I know it, is almost entirely legitimate.

With regard to what has been said about the deputy minister, I feel as a personal friend that I should say a word. For eight years I have been president of the St. John Ambulance Association of Nova Scotia, and the deputy minister of health I have known as one of the leading officers of that organization in Canada. In all my communications and dealings with him I have found him a public-spirited man highly thought of by the order of Saint John in Canada and by members of the association to which he has given most valuable service. It seems to me that there should be some chivalry in referring to public servants. We should refrain from attacking a man who cannot defend himself, an officer who comes here to assist his minister. I believe there should be criticism where necessary, and while no doubt the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) has done a great service to the country as an iconoclast who has torn down shams, at the same time, as one coming from the eastern coast of Nova Scotia, I think it is my duty to convey a word to this official, from Ontario, who is now attacked, and tell the committee that in the dealings of the Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society, of which I am a past-president, and of the Dominion Pharmaceutical Society, of which I am an honorary president, we regard him as eminently fitted for the position he holds.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

The hon. member for Temiscouata has on two occasions made statements with regard to the chief of this particular division and the minister has remained silent.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I rise to a point of order. That statement is absolutely incorrect. If the hon. member will look at Hansard to-morrow, he will see that the first words I uttered were those of the highest commendation for this particular officer, Colonel Sharman, and I wish to endorse all that has been said by hon. members who have come to his defence. I have not known him long in this department, but I have known him as an individual for years. I have known him as a gallant officer who distinguished himself in the great war and who has won a national reputation for himself and an international reputation for the wonderful work which he accomplished for this country at Geneva.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Thank you. This statement should have been made earlier by the minister. The hon. member for Temiscouata

The Late Hon. Norman Rogers

also referred to a certain scandal in connection with another chief in the department, but that has not been mentioned by the minister. The hon. member referred to a scandal in connection with the appointment of one of the chiefs.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I have no knowledge of that.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
SC

James Alexander Marshall

Social Credit

Mr. MARSHALL:

A number of questions asked on the floor of the house could be answered by a perusal of the report published by the department from year to year. The report which has been tabled during the session deals with the work of the department for the year ended March 31, 1939, about fourteen months ago. Is it the intention of the minister to table during the present session the report for the year ended March 31, 1940?

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

Yes. This session of parliament came so soon after the end of the fiscal year that it was a physical impossibility to have the report printed in time to comply with the fifteen-day rule. However, I have every hope of having it tabled during the present session.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
SC

James Alexander Marshall

Social Credit

Mr. MARSHALL:

How much of the $50,780 which was voted last year under this item was actually spent during the year?

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

The sum of $50,239.33 was spent last year.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink

June 7, 1940